The Nation of Islam in 1996
Any thorough analysis of anti-Semitism in America requires a consideration
of Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Minister
Farrakhan has a three-decade, well-documented record of hate-filled
rhetoric and anti-Semitism. Nation of Islam ministers and representatives
regularly spew anti-Semitic, anti-white, homophobic and anti-Catholic
sentiments in their appearances and speeches. The Final Call,
the official organ of the Nation of Islam, reflects the anti-Semitism
of Louis Farrakhan and the N.O.I.. While 1995's Million Man March
may have been the height of his mainstream appeal, 1996 witnessed
a steep decline in that appeal. The year was highlighted by a
World Friendship Tour, a subsequent U.S. Tour, conflict over loans
from Libyan leader Moammar Qadaffi and finally a World Day of
Atonement on the one-year anniversary of the Million Man March.
World Friendship Tour
In January, Farrakhan announced that he would be embarking on
a "World Friendship Tour." Although clearly meant to
play on any credibility gained from the previous October's march,
the trip elicited a far more negative reaction. The 27-day tour
included stops in five countries described by the United States
Government as sponsors of terrorism: Libya, Iran, Iraq, Sudan
and Syria. During the tour, Farrakhan repeatedly denounced the
American Government, even calling it (while in Iran) "the
Highlights from the trip included Farrakhan's expressing support
for Nigeria's military ruler, Sani Abacha, during a six-day state-sponsored
visit. This gesture undermined the efforts of many Black community
leaders who have harshly criticized the military junta. While
in Nigeria, Farrakhan also defended Abacha's recent execution
of Nigerian writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. Challenging
American critics of Saro-Wiwa's execution he said, "So what.
How many did you hang?"
While in Libya, Qadaffi reportedly offered Farrakhan $1 billion
to bankroll a Muslim lobby in America. Until now, Qadaffi said,
"Our confrontation with America was like a fight against
a fortress from the outside. [The pact with Louis Farrakhan offers]
a breach to enter the fortress and confront." The State Department
has thus far prohibited Farrakhan from accepting the gift.
Stops in Iran and Iraq provided the stage for more America bashing.
An Iranian newspaper quoted Farrakhan as saying, "You can
quote me: God will destroy America by the hands of Muslims....God
will not give Japan or Europe the honor of bringing down the United
States; this is an honor God will bestow upon Muslims." On
February 13, during a Tehran radio interview, Farrakhan predicted
that his preaching might lead to imprisonment, perhaps alongside
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Egyptian cleric convicted of conspiring
to bomb New York landmarks.
Maybe there's a cell next to Abdel-Rahman for me, and maybe he
and I will be together reading the Koran and encouraging each
other....America feels that a person like that . . . who is listened
to and loved, as Imam Abdel-Rahman was, needs to be confined"
when he preaches "the message of true Islam, which inspires
the militants among us as Muslims....
At a news conference following a meeting with Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein, Farrakhan was critical of United Nations sanctions following
the 1991 Gulf War. "We visited the children's hospital .
. . and I must say if I were made of stone, seeing what I saw
today would bring tears from my eyes. Sanctions is [sic] a crime
against humanity. Visiting the hospital that we visited today
would be, or could be, compared to visiting one of the [Nazi]
In perhaps Farrakhan's biggest public relations blunder of the
tour, he and his entourage made a five-hour visit to Khartoum
in the Sudan. While there, Farrakhan met with Sudanese President
Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Hassan al-Turabi, leader of Sudan's
ruling party. Under Turabi's influence, Sudan has become a launching
pad for Islamic extremism-and, according to the reports prepared
for the United Nations, the State Department and private human
rights organizations, Muslims from Sudan's northern region regularly
enslave Sudanese Blacks. According to the government-owned news
service, Farrakhan assured them that "More than 40 million
American Muslims stand with Sudan against the unjust plots that
it is subjected to."
Farrakhan's defense of the Sudanese regime has led to bitter condemnations
even among former Farrakhan supporters in the United States and
abroad. Many columnists, African-American and white, have pointed
out Farrakhan's hypocrisy. Clarence Page wrote, ". . . if
Black pride means anything, it means caring about Black people,
even when their oppressors don't happen to be white."
The Final Call
Defense of the Sudanese leaders could also be found in the pages
of the Final Call after two Baltimore Sun reporters
traveled to Sudan and documented their success in buying slaves,
in response to a Farrakhan challenge for proof of the existence
of slavery there. The Call quoted Farrakhan in duly as
saying that "The Baltimore Sun is not a news source
I should accept as gospel." Another article from The Final
Call, written by Kaukab Siddique, ranted that "The Sun
is a Zionist Jewish daily which has a track record of opposition
to and condemnation of all Islamic, African and Arab nations...."
Siddique also found room in his piece on slavery to lash out at
Kweisi Mfume, National Director of the NAACP:
Most people do not realize that Kwesi (sic) Mfume was brought
in to prop up the NAACP after the Million Man March put the Black
Nation outside the control of the Jewish power structure. Mfume
has consistently voted in favor of Jewish interests.
The contrast in quotes from Farrakhan and Siddique provides an
instructive point. Farrakhan often uses The Final Call
to provide himself with the best of both worlds. By using a shill
he is able to viciously condemn Jews one week, while protecting
himself from being directly quoted. Farrakhan will then allow
himself to be quoted only when taking a seemingly more moderate
and defensible stand. It is clear that Louis Farrakhan stands
behind what appears in the pages of The Call.
A most egregious example of anti-Semitic hatred from The Call
appeared in the June 16, 1996, issue. The piece, entitled "Manifesto
on Black/Jewish 'Dialogues,'" and written by Marcus Lewis,
President of the National African American Consensus based in
Los Angeles, stipulated a set of issues and demands that it argues
should be confronted at any Black-Jewish dialogue. One such "demand"
insists, "Prominent newspaper ads must be published condemning
Jewish scholars and scientists who espouse neo-Nazi theories regarding
Black genetic inferiority." The piece also asked, "Why
are Jewish leaders ignoring the fact that many prominent Jews
in the media and in academia are consciously scapegoating Blacks,
before the American public, in the same degrading way that the
Nazis treated Jews, before the German public-an assault which
resulted in the holocaust [sic]."
Lewis pointed to the magazine, Common Quest, jointly published
by Howard University and the American Jewish Committee, as another
example of the inequity in Black-Jewish Relations. Lewis wrote:
If the first issue is a harbinger of things to come, then, we
can look forward to articles by Louis Farrakhan-bashers, civil
rights leaders who rely on Jewish financial aid, Black scholars
whose careers and publications largely depend on Jewish favor
and other Black apologists.
In April, after emerging from a self-described depression brought
on, according to Farrakhan himself, by criticism of his World
Friendship Tour, he launched an eight-city U.S. speaking tour,
ostensibly to address his critics. Farrakhan offered no new information
to refute charges of having, in the words of the U.S. government,
"cavorted" with some of the world's worst tyrannical
Few were spared Farrakhan's venom during the U.S. tour. He accused
Colin Powell of obeying "massah," suggested that Bill
Clinton and Bob Dole were puppets on "someone else's string,"
defended the Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah as "freedom
fighters" and suggested that the Washington Monument was
in fact a monument celebrating slavery in America He also alleged
that the presidents of major Jewish organizations were trying
to influence U.N. reaction to the fighting in Lebanon and argued
that ". . . the Zionists have control in England, in Europe,
in the United States, and around the world." In once again
suggesting a meeting between the N.O.I. and Jewish groups, Farrakhan
said, "It won't make any difference whether they wish to
sit down or not. In some point in time, they will be forced to
sit down.... It's better to come willingly...."
Farrakhan's longtime anti-Jewish hatred resurfaced during various
appearances and interviews. In his Saviour's Day speech in Chicago
in February, for example, he ranted:
And you do with me as is written, but remember that I have warned
you that Allah will punish you. You are wicked deceivers of the
American people. You have sucked their blood. You are not real
Jews, those of you that are not real Jews. You are the synagogue
of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the U.S.
Government and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell.
But I warn you in the name of Allah, you would be wise to leave
me alone. But if you choose to crucify me, know that Allah will
In a July interview with Utah Business Magazine, Farrakhan
defended the militia group, the Freemen.
The Freemen . . . are not nuts. They're every white man who sees
this nation on a horrible course, taken over by persons who have
robbed the American people of the democracy the founding fathers
envisioned for theirs. The militia. The Aryan Nation. The angry
whites of America who see America going in a direction that is
not in the best interest of this nation.
And in a final example, in an interview in Swing magazine
in October, Farrakhan again defended his rhetoric, and lashed
out at Jews:
[U]ntil Jews apologize for their hand in that ugly slave trade;
and until the Jewish rabbis and the Talmudic scholars that made
up the Hamitic myth-that we were the children of Ham, doomed and
cursed to be hewers of wood and drawers of water-apologize, then
I have nothing to apologize for.
Hatred from the Nation of Islam did not come only from Farrakhan
and through others in The Final Call; some of the most virulent
examples came from Nation ministers. Khalid Abdul Muhammad, infamous
for his Kean College appearance in 1993, added to his long record
of anti-Semitism during the year. In one example, he appeared
in Chicago in March and said:
You see everybody always talk about Hitler exterminating six million
Jews. That's right. But don't nobody ever ask what did they do
to Hitler . . . They went in there, in Germany, the way they do
everywhere they go, and they supplanted, they usurped . . . they
had undermined the very fabric of the society.
Quannell X, National Youth Minister for N.O.I. said in an October
I say to Jewish America: Get ready . . . knuckle up, put your
boots on, because we're ready and the war is going down . . .
The real deal is this: Black youth do not want a relationship
with the Jewish community.... All you Jews can go straight to
World Day of Atonement
Perhaps the highlight of the year for Louis Farrakhan was the
"World Day of Atonement," held on the one-year anniversary
of the Million Man March, on the doorstep of the United Nations,
and coincidently outside the windows of the National Office of
the Anti-Defamation League. The event, with its themes of atonement,
personal responsibility and reconciliation, drew an estimated
crowd of 38,000. Farrakhan himself gave a relatively tame speech,
characteristically choosing when on a national stage to limit
his outrageousness. He still defended his ties to Libya, stating
that "Terrorism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder,"
and urged world and political leaders to defy sanctions on Sudan,
Nigeria and Iraq.
Although overt hostility toward Jews was not present in speeches
made during the rally, the nature of the books being sold at nearby
Nation of Islam book stands was more revealing. These books included
The Jews and Their Lies by Martin Luther, The Jewish
Onslaught by Tony Martin, The Ugly Truth About the ADL
by the Editors of EIR, the Lyndon LaRouche publication, The
Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and The International
Jew by Henry Ford. Also for sale was The Secret Relationship
between Blacks and Jews a thoroughly discredited book by the
Nation of Islam "historical research department" which
purports to show that the Jews were responsible for the African
slave trade. Other books available that day included Jack McLamb's
Operation Vampire Killer 2000, a conspiracy tract popular
in militia circles, and Reclaiming Your Sovereign Citizenship
by Johnny Liberty, a document outlining "common law court"-type
In 1996, as in previous years, the falsity of any notion that
Louis Farrakhan was serious about moderating his hateful views
could be found in his words, those of his ministers, on the bookstands
at his appearances, and on the pages of The Final Call.
Time and again, Farrakhan reaches out to the disenfranchised with
a scapegoat, the media with controversy and the mainstream with
hints of atonement and reconciliation. Slowly but surely, the
game makes itself more and more apparent.
Source: Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents 1996. Copyright Anti-Defamation League
(ADL). All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.