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FARRAKHAN VOWS TO USE LESSONS OF ISLAM TO ALTER U.S. ATTITUDES

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Louis Farrakhan promised to use lessons of Islam to achieve "a change of heart and a change of mind" in the United States, which has said he cannot accept a $250,000 prize from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The Nation of Islam leader attended a human rights conference Thursday in the Libyan capital and later was to accept the Gadhafi Human Rights Award, named for the man whom the United States considers a sponsor of terrorism.Decade-old U.S. economic sanctions against Libya forbid Farrakhan from accepting the prize money and a $1 billion gift promised by Gadhafi. The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday rejected Farrakhan's request for an exemption, saying it would undermine U.S. anti-terrorism policies.

The Nation of Islam pledged Thursday to fight the ruling in court.

"It is an action taken in callous disregard of the needs and hopes of black people, at a time when their needs are dire and their hopes under assault," it said in a statement.

The law requires banks under U.S. jurisdiction to freeze transactions relating to Libya that are routed through the United States. Violators face prison or fines.

In Tripoli, Farrakhan praised Gadhafi as "one who would not only use the wealth of Libya to improve the lot of Libya's people but also to improve the quality of life throughout the world."

Farrakhan said the Libyan leader long had been a friend of the Nation of Islam and had loaned it money in the past.

"I told Brother Gadhafi that I, too, am a revolutionary," Farrakhan said. "But I would not make a revolution with a gun. I told him that I would produce in America a change of heart, and a change of mind with this book, and I held the Koran."

Farrakhan's visit coincides with ceremonies marking the 27th anniversary of the coup that overthrew Libya's monarchy and brought Gadhafi to power. Farrakhan was expected to receive the award Friday night in a ceremony broadcast live on Libyan television.

Washington wants Libya to turn over two men wanted in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people. U.N. sanctions ban air travel to and from the country and limit sales of some oil equipment.

Gadhafi pledged to give Farrakhan $1 billion earlier this year when the two men met in Libya to discuss ways to increase the political power of minorities in the United States.