The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Tuesday welcomed Barack Obama's statement strongly condemning the anti-Semitism of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The Illinois senator's statement came in response to reports that his minister, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., leader of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, had honored Farrakhan as one who "truly epitomized greatness."
[Editor's Note: Please read Ronald Kessler's report "Obama Minister Honored Farrakhan"]
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL's national director, issued the following statement:
"We welcome Barack Obama's condemnation of the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Minister Louis Farrakhan, and his making clear that he did not agree with his church's decision to honor Farrakhan with the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award.
"Issues of racism and anti-Semitism must be beyond the bounds of politics. When someone close to a political figure shows sympathy and support for an individual who makes his name espousing bigotry, that political figure needs to distance himself from that decision. Obama has done just that.
For nearly 30 years as the leader of the Nation of Islam, Farrakhan has repeatedly made hateful statements targeting Jews, whites and homosexuals. Farrakhan's bigoted and anti-Semitic rhetoric has included statements calling whites "blue eyed devils" and Jews "bloodsuckers" that
controlled the slave trade, the government, the media and various black individuals and organizations.
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