The Anti-Defamation League called on Detroit leaders to condemn Farrakhan's remarks.
DETROIT -- The leading Jewish civil rights group in the U.S. slammed anti-Semitic comments made in a Detroit church by Minister Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam.
The Anti-Defamation League is also calling upon Detroit leaders who invited Farrakhan and hosted his talks last week to condemn his remarks.
At Fellowship Chapel in Detroit, Farrakhan railed Friday night against what he called "Satanic Jews" and the "Synagogue of Satan," which he said controlled major institutions in the United States. He also alleged that President Barack Obama "surrounded himself with Satan ... members of the Jewish community."
Attending Farrakhan's speech were the pastor of the church, the Rev. Wendell Anthony, who heads the Detroit branch of the NAACP; U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat from Detroit; Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson; and other religious and political leaders. During his trip to Detroit, Farrakhan also spoke before the City Council and at New Destiny Christian Fellowship Church.
"It is deeply disappointing that so many Detroit leaders are apparently so willing to turn a blind eye to Farrakhan's anti-Semitism," said Heidi Budaj, regional director of the Michigan branch of the Anti-Defamation League. "Where are the voices in our community who are willing to stand up and say 'no' to racism and anti-Semitism?"
Started in Detroit in the 1930s, the Nation of Islam is now based in Chicago, but its message of black nationalism is still popular in Detroit, where 83% of the population is African American. During Farrakhan's last visit to Detroit, in 2007, he drew about 50,000 people to Ford Field for a speech.
The Anti-Defamation League's statement this week was based on a Detroit Free Press report on Farrakhan's talk Friday night.
Budaj said that although "we acknowledge the significant challenges that Detroit faces, providing a platform to an individual with a long history of promoting anti-Semitism and racism is not the solution."
Semitism In The Video
19:00mins into this video