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Press ReleaseAnti-Semitism-USA
RULE
ADL ALERTS NATION'S ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP ABOUT VIRUS OF BIGOTRY BEING SPREAD BY KHALID ABDUL MUHAMMAD

New York, NY, July 1, 1997...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on university and college presidents for "moral leadership" in speaking out against the hate-filled addresses being delivered on campuses across the country by a former Nation of Islam spokesman.

In a letter alerting them to a "virus" being spread by Khalid Abdul Muhammad's hateful rhetoric, David H. Strassler, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said to university and college presidents, "The virus is bigotry -- anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Catholicism and all forms prejudice...Any campus that unwittingly permits itself to be used as a breeding ground for bigotry and prejudice stifles the full realization of human potential, which is the primary purpose of the academic enterprise."

Mr. Muhammad delivered a hate-filled speech on May 21, 1997 at San Francisco State University in which he viciously attacked Jews, whites, Catholics and gays. He denied the Holocaust, and claimed Jews control the U.S. and are involved in a myriad of conspiracies.

"At San Francisco State, in particular, his rhetoric achieved a new level of rancor and vitriol, surpassing even that of his Kean College address," continued Mr. Strassler and Mr. Foxman. "In 1997, it is frightening that such a litany of anti-Jewish, anti-white and anti-gay bigotry could still receive an enthusiastic welcome on a university campus."

The League urged college and university presidents to follow the "courageous example" of what a growing number have already done and "speak out against the hatred that would infect their campuses."

"Using historic fallacies, Mr. Muhammad takes aim at easy targets using the slippery language of hatred, bigotry and prejudice," said Robert A. Corrigan, President of San Francisco State University, in a statement following the speech. "Mr. Muhammad provides an uncomfortable reminder that insidious hatred still lingers in our society and must routinely be exorcized by factual information."

"Respecting legitimate free inquiry and expression does not require any institution of higher education to offer uncritically its facilities to those who espouse hate," Mr. Strassler and Mr. Foxman told the college presidents. "Our society looks to you for moral leadership... ."

Mr. Muhammad's November 1993 appearance at New Jersey's Kean College, led to the passage of an unprecedented resolution of censure that was passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress in 1994. Since that time, he has continued to appear as a featured speaker at colleges and universities. Last semester, he appeared on a number of campuses, including Northwestern University, California State University at Northridge, California Polytechnic State University, and California State University at Los Angeles.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.



 
 
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1997 Anti-Defamation League