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Muslim spiritual leader resigns as society's chief

CHICAGO — Imam W. Deen Mohammed, the black Muslim spiritual leader who over three decades transformed how American blacks practice the religion, has resigned as head of the American Society of Muslims.

Mohammed said he will continue to represent and guide black Muslims and direct his ministry, The Mosque Cares, but would no longer lead the society, the main organization representing his movement.

"I'm getting ready to do more, to be more productive and to contribute to the good life of the believers," Mohammed said Sunday at the start of his keynote speech at the society's annual convention.

Mohammed, who will turn 70 in October, on Saturday privately informed his movement's imams, or prayer leaders, that he would step down.