Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan reacted to Facebook banning him by saying in a speech, “I just know the truth, and I’m here to separate the good Jews from the Satanic Jews.”
During the speech Thursday at a St. Sabina Roman Catholic church on Chicago’s South Side, Farrkahn denied allegations that he had made antisemitic comments in the past by saying that he “stands on God’s truth.”
“I do not hate Jewish people. Not one that is with me has ever committed a crime against the Jewish People,” Farrakhan said. “Social media, you met me tonight. I plead with the rulers, let the truth be taught.”
Chicago cardinal Blase Cupich issued a statement on Friday evening saying Farrakhan’s comments “shock the conscience”, emphasizing that Farrakhan was invited by Rev Michael Pfleger who did not consult with him or any other archdiocesan officials before extending the invitation.
“Antisemitic rhetoric – discriminatory invective of any kind – has no place in American public life, let alone in a Catholic church,” Cupich said. “I apologize to my Jewish brothers and sisters, whose friendship I treasure, from whom I learn so much, and whose covenant with God remains eternal.”
The archdiocese released a similar statement distancing itself from Farrakhan.
“There is no place in American life for discriminatory rhetoric of any kind,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “At a time when hate crimes are on the rise, when religious believers are murdered in their places of worship, we cannot countenance any speech that dehumanizes persons on the basis of ethnicity, religious belief, economic status or country of origin.”
Farrakhan has made numerous antisemitic comments in the past, frequently describing Jews as “Satanic.” In March 2018, he denied claims that he was antisemitic, explaining that he was “anti-termite.” He also has made many claims that Jews control the world. He stated that Zionists had key roles in the 9/11 attacks while Hezbollah were “freedom fighters.”
At a meeting of the Nation of Islam at Madison Square Garden in 1985, Farrakhan said of the Jews: “And don’t you forget, when it’s God who puts you in the ovens, it’s forever!”
His critics have compared his antisemitism to that of Hitler, to which Farrakhan responded during a March 11, 1984, speech broadcast on a Chicago radio station, “Hitler was a very great man.”