Martin Bashir's Interview With Louis Farrakhan

These are unedited excerpts from an interview between "Nightline's" Martin Bashir and Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. This interview aired on "Nightline" March 8, 2007.

Farrakhan on His Health:

BASHIR: Many of your supporters and followers are interested to know exactly what your condition is. Do you have cancer? Because we know that it started as prostate cancer.

FARRAKHAN: Yes, um, unfortunately, or fortunately, when they went in to remove the prostate, they found cancer in the colon. So they cut that out, and the margins were clear, the lymph nodes were clear. And so they believe that they have it, but I'm undergoing testing right now to make sure that I'm clear of that. And you go over one mountain and you get down in a valley and you've got another mountain to climb, but God is great, and he has brought me from a mighty long way, and I believe he'll see me through until it's time for me to come in.

BASHIR: There were also consequences as a result of some pellets that were placed in your body. Did they make matters worse or improve things?

FARRAKHAN: Well, in one sense, they improved things, because they killed the cancer, but the radiation was so strong that unfortunately it affected the colon and the urethra. I had a fistula or a hole, where there was communication between the two, and that made it very difficult for me. But all of that has been removed and cleared up from the surgery.

BASHIR: I want to ask you a couple of questions about yourself. You have a, you've had cancer, which normally is a terminal illness. You're not going to live forever. What are your reflections on where you've come and where we are today?

FARRAKHAN: Certainly, I'm very aware of my mortality, and I'm very aware that I have fewer years in front of me than behind me.

BASHIR: Any regrets? Do you have any regrets?


BASHIR: Are you sorry for anything you've said or done?


BASHIR: Do you want to apologize to any of the groups that may have felt offended by you?

FARRAKHAN: No. No. I said to some of the groups that have quote unquote been offended by my words, come, let's sit down and reason together. Show me where what I said was wrong. I can correct the manner of my delivery, that I can regret. But the words, if they're true, I would be a hypocrite to back down on the truth that I spoke. But I welcome dialogue, come, let's sit down, you don't like this, you don't like that, tell me what you don't like, and defend it with truth. Then I will go before the world where I made the error and apologize. I'm not a proud man, if I've offended you and you show me where I'm wrong, which is your duty, then I will acknowledge it if I believe it and repent of it, and go before the world and say, I'm in error, please forgive me.

BASHIR: You've come a long way yourself, 'cause you were a calypso singer in the day.


BASHIR: You remember that?

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