On Sunday, February 25, Nation of Islam leader, Rev. Louis Farrakhan, gave his annual Saviours’ Day address in Chicago, an event attended by the co-president of the Women’s March, Tamika D. Mallory, The Forward reported Wednesday.
At the rally, Farrakhan made a number of incendiary comments. He claimed that “the powerful Jews are my enemy,” and “the Jews have control over agencies of those agencies of government” like the FBI. He also charged that Jews are “the mother and father of apartheid,” and Jews are responsible for “degenerate behavior in Hollywood turning men into women and women into men.”
This isn’t Farrakhan’s first foray into anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League has called him “the leading anti-Semite in America.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the Nation of Islam a hate group and stated, “Farrakhan is an anti-Semite who routinely accuses Jews of manipulating the U.S. government and controlling the levers of world power.”
Despite the abundance of anti-Semitism in Farrakhan’s speeches, Tamika D. Mallory, one of four presidents of the Women’s March, participated in the rally. Mallory has on multiple occasions posted on her social media platforms about attending events with Farrakhan, posing for a photo with him in 2015, and sharing the stage with him in 2016.
The Women’s March has not distanced themselves from Mallory’s support of Farrakhan and two other co-founders of the Women’s March, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez, have also praised and appeared at events with Farrakhan.
This is not the first anti-Semitic voice highlighted by the leaders of the Women’s March.
Sarsour, who is of Palestinian descent, is a harsh critic of Israel. Soon after the Women’s March, she was condemned by Jewish leaders for telling The Nation that supporters of Israel cannot be feminists.
“It just doesn’t make any sense for someone to say, ‘Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement?’ There can’t be in feminism,” she told the magazine in March 2017. “You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none.”
She is also a proponent of the anti-Semitic boycott, divestment, and sanction campaign, known as BDS. Sarsour has voiced her support for a one-state solution that would create a shared country for Jews and Palestinians — this is considered a formula for the end of a Jewish Israel. And in 2012, she tweeted “Nothing is creepier than Zionism” — the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland – equating it to racism.
Sophie Ellman-Golan, who is Jewish, and the Women’s March deputy head of communications, wrote in The Forward last August that she, Mallory, Sarsour, and Perez “do not always agree on every single issue or feel the same way about every single individual.”
She continued: “It is painful for me to engage when people like Louis Farrakhan perpetuate the same narrative of ‘satanic global Jewry’ that Nazis do…. But we trust and respect each other — and we have faith in our shared dedication to justice and liberation.”
Mallory, who was arrested on Tuesday while protesting about immigration in front of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office, did not comment on attending the rally in Chicago. A spokeswoman for The Women’s March was also unavailable when asked about the group’s links to Farrakhan.
“Maybe I’ll be accused of siding with the alt-right or tarred as Islamophobic. But what I stand against is embracing terrorists, disdaining independent feminist voices, hating on democracies and celebrating dictatorships,” New York Times editor Bari Weiss wrote in August of last year, critiquing the support Mallory and Sarsour give to extremists. “If that puts me beyond the pale of the progressive feminist movement in America right now, so be it,” she concluded.
In a critique of Linda Sarsour, one of the leaders of the march, Julie Lenarz observed in The Tower, “Linda Sarsour is not a feminist. She supports a culture that is forcing millions of women into religious slavery. She is a false apostle selling her regressive views to a blinded liberal audience.”
[Photo: Mohammad Ali Marizad / WikiCommons ]