The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on Fox Television to cancel its anticipated speech by US-based Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, it said in a statement.
The speech is expected to take place on July 4, in honor of American Independence Day. The center called on Fox to cancel Farrakhan's speech due to his long record of making inflammatory and antisemitic statements, including suggestions that Jews controlled the trans-Atlantic slave trade and calling Judaism a "gutter religion."
Farrakhan has also engaged in promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories, such as Jewish and Israeli involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.
“Since the 1980s, Louis Farrakhan has denigrated the Jewish people, Judaism and the Jewish state, members of the LGBT community, the United States of America, and entertainment leaders from Hollywood. Throughout those decades, he has embraced America’s enemies from Libya’s Ghaddafi to Iran’s Ayatollahs,” said the center's founder and dean Rabbi Marvin Hier, and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and global director of social action for the leading Jewish human rights NGO.
The two rabbis added that “The African-American community is blessed with leaders in every field of endeavor from the arts, to business, to politics, to faith to media – anyone of whom can deliver an empowering and inclusive message of hope on July 4th. Farrakhan is a racist antisemite – a demagogue and divider – at a time when all Americans need to hear messages of unity and hope, the values for which Martin Luther King Jr. lived and died for.
“On behalf of our 400,000 constituent families, we urge Fox Television Network to cancel the speech by a person who has spent his adult life spitting on everything July 4th stands for,” SWC officials said.