Nation of Islam ministers published an open letter last week calling on black lawmakers to reverse their denunciations of fellow minister and organization leader Louis Farrakhan for being anti-Semitic.
The letter, signed "On Behalf of The Executive Council of the Nation of Islam" by Ishmael R. Mohammed and Ava Muhammad, quotes extensively from a letter Farrakhan wrote in 2010 to black leaders. This new letter tells Democratic Reps. Danny Davis (Ill.), Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), and Barbara Lee (Calif.) that they should not listen to "Satanic Jews."
"Remember, it was the same Satanic Jews of yesterday that conspired against Jesus and had him killed by the ruling authority of the Roman Empire," they wrote. "They hated Jesus because he told the truth. Jesus was ridiculed, falsely charged, lied on, evil spoken of and called a hater and a bigot."
This argument echoes a tweet from Women’s March co-founder Tamika Mallory, whose connection to Farrakhan has brought him back into the news recently. Mallory praised Farrakhan for having "the same enemies as Jesus."
If your leader does not have the same enemies as Jesus, they may not be THE leader! Study the Bible and u will find the similarities. Ostracizing, ridicule and rejection is a painful part of the process…but faith is the substance of things!
— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) March 1, 2018
Mallory has denied that she was referring to Jews with this tweet, saying she was just pointing out that both Farrakhan and Jesus had enemies.
Funny how folks interpreted my mention of one having enemies the same as Jesus, as me describing a certain group of people. That’s your own stuff. My point…Jesus had a number of enemies as do all black leaders. Period point blank.
— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) March 2, 2018
The Nation’s letter quoted Farrakhan in 2010 when he wrote that Jews continually resist the "Light of Truth" by asking black leaders to denounce him.
"Whenever the Light of Truth has been shone on [Jewish people], they reach for you [black leaders] to defend them against the Truth that uncovers the horror that has been done to us," Farrakhan wrote. "They have always been successful pitting us against each other thus keeping them from facing the Truth of their real relationship with us."
Farrakhan argued his claims are based on "research."
"Would you condemn me as an anti‐Semite for exposing the research that shows them as being anti‐Black?" Farrakhan asked.
"If you become an apologist for them in this hour, you will be seen by the masses of our people as a modern-day Uncle Tom who believes you owe more to them than to the masses of our suffering people," he added. "If you attack me at their insistence you will be seen as an enemy of the rise of our people as well as an enemy of your rise."
After comparing Farrakhan’s plight to that of Jesus, the Nation’s letter concludes by asking black leaders not to condemn "an innocent man."
"He who does not learn the lessons of history is doomed to repeat them," they wrote. "Perhaps you can avoid the errors of the past and not let an innocent man be condemned."
Scrutiny of Farrakhan's relationships with Democratic lawmakers and progressive leaders increased in recent weeks after the Nation of Islam leader went on an anti-Semitic rant last month. During his annual Saviours' Day address, Farrakhan attacked "that Satanic Jew," called Jews "the mother and father of apartheid," and proclaimed that "when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door." Since his remarks, Democratic lawmakers known to have a relationship with Farrakhan have been asked to clarify their relationship and denounce his views.
Perhaps notably, the letter was not addressed to Democratic Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.), who has distanced himself from some of Farrakhan’s remarks but has not denounced him specifically.
Rep. Todd Rokita (R., Ind.) on Tuesday introduced a resolution in Congress condemning Farrakhan for spreading anti-Semitic ideas.