The Man Who Cried Dust

Christopher Muhammad's fight with Lennar over toxic dust has resulted in a restraining order against him, an accusation that he's a shakedown artist, and grudging respect from his rivals.

On a recent Thursday, Christopher Muhammad went to talk to the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund site clean-up branch, accompanied by about 20 people, including Greenaction and the Sierra Club. In January, Leon Muhammad had asked the agency to look at the asbestos data to date from Parcel A to see whether it constituted "emergency" levels. EPA officials delivered their conclusion at the June meeting: No, it didn't. But they said they'd continue to monitor the site, even though the federal agency doesn't typically track asbestos levels.

Back at the Grace Tabernacle headquarters that night, Muhammad relayed a very different message to his followers. He said he'd asked the agency why it hadn't done more monitoring in the past: "They had no answers. Couldn't say anything in its defense. Because you sat back and watched this."

Leon yelled, "Nonnnnnne!" from a back pew, and Muhammad's followers were all ears.

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