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ADL Resigns from Illinois Hate Crimes Commission After Gov. Stands by Nation of Islam Representative

CHICAGO, IL, March 2, 2006 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today announced its resignation from the Governor's Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes and expressed its "utter disappointment" in the Blagojevich administration's decision to stand by the Nation of Islam representative on the Commission.

Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad is a top adviser to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who once again used the annual Saviours' Day event to engage in hateful anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist bigotry. Member of the Commission were invited to the event and several attended.

In announcing ADL's resignation, Lonnie Nasatir, Regional Director of ADL's Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest office, issued the following statement:

We cannot continue to serve on a Commission that remains silent in the face of bigotry and makes a mockery of the fight against hatred and intolerance in Illinois. It is sad day when we are left with no choice but to resign from the Commission. We are utterly disappointed at the Blagojevich administration's decision to stand by Sister Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. She serves on the Commission as a representative of the Nation of Islam, just as I serve as a representative of ADL, and she must be held accountable for the statements of her organization's leader.

Sister Muhammad's statement is wholly inadequate. She in no way condemns or apologizes for Minister Farrakhan's hate-filled rhetoric that pervades the message and beliefs of the Nation of Islam. Moreover, in stating that she respects those who practice the 'true tenets' of their faith, she echoes Minister Farrakhan's comments Sunday that, 'These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people… It's the wicked Jews, the false Jews, that are promoting Lesbianism, homosexuality. It's wicked Jews, false Jews, that make it a crime for you to preach the word of God, then they call you homophobic!' It is clear to us that the Nation of Islam considers the Jewish community to be 'false Jews' whom it is acceptable to hate.

The Anti-Defamation League will continue to be a loud, clear and consistent voice in the fight against hate and discrimination in Illinois.


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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