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October 23, 1992 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-10-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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emarks here this past
week by minister
Louis Farrakhan,
leader of the Nation
Of Islam, slammed the door
on the hopes for dialogue
between that controversial
leader and the Jewish com-
munity, according to Jewish
leaders here.
"Some want me to couch
my words in apology for
wrongdoings that aren't
mine," Minister Farrakhan
told about 40,000 people at
the Georgia Dome this past
Sunday. "In other words,
some people wanted Brother
Farrakhan to scratch where
he don't itch and laugh when
it's not funny .. .
"I have no apologies to
make in coming here," he
said. "I have no words to
retract. I only speak the
truth as I know it."
Minister Farrakhan's re-
ported past remarks include
calling Judaism a "gutter
religion" or a "dirty re-
ligion." He also reportedly
endorsed the statements of a
Chicago supporter who said
Jewish doctors have infected
black babies with AIDS.
Minister Farrakhan's ap-
pearance was the culmina-
tion of Saviour's Day, which
marks the life of the Nation
of Islam founder, Elijah
Muhammad.
Last week Gov. Zell Miller
retracted a welcome letter to
the Nation of Islam, saying
he did not want to be seen as
endorsing anti-Semtism.
Mayor Maynard Jackson did
not retract a similar letter,
but asked Jewish leaders
and Minister Farrakhan to
meet and for the latter to
denounce anti-Semitism.
"If the effort was genuine
they would have begun a re-
pudiation of their anti-
Semitism," said Stuart
Lewengrub, director of the
Southeast region of the Anti-
Defamation League.
"We don't debate the
Holocaust. We don't debate
whether Judaism is or is not
a dirty religion," he added.
"I don't know very many
blacks who debate whether
or not slavery happened."
His comments were echoed
by Sherry Frank, director of
the American Jewish Com-
mittee Southeast region. She
said the call for dialogue was
an attempt "for media atten-

tion and an effort to be
divisive in a community
where blacks and Jews have
strong ties."
Prior to Minsiter Far-
rakhan's appearance, which
began three hours late,'
Nation of Islam officials on
the podium occasionally re-
ferred to the current con-
troversy.
"(Farrakhan) has never
called against Jewish peo-
ple," said Donald Mohamm-
ed, an aide to Minister Far-
rakhan. "He has never
spoke against the Jewish
people and if the truth hurts,
so be it because this man
tells the truth."
The bulk of Mr. Far-
rakhan's extensive speech
focused on the economic
plight of this country, par-
ticularly as it relates to
blacks. At length, he ex-
plored topics such as the fed-

"I have no
apologies to make
in coming here,"
he said. "I have
no words to retract.
I only speak the
truth as I know it."

Louis Farrakhan

eral debt, poverty, the trade
deficit, inflation and
unemployment.
At one point he urged the
crowd to stay focused be-
cause "this is going to be a
different kind of speech."
Later he said, "This coun-
try, believe it or not, could
face revolution because the
government and leadership
has hidden the truth and
will not and does not have a
solution for the suffering of
the problems of the people — -
gross vanity, greed, lust."
Several times, he appeared
to mention his controversy
with Jewish groups without
specifically identifying it.
"You label me an anti-
Semite so that you can
justify among your people,"
he said. "And the reason is
that you are protecting your
own greed. As Jesus said,
you are a rebel against
God."



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