EXTREMISMFarrakhan Promotes Antisemitism, Anti-Vaccine Conspiracies

Published 14 March 2022

The Nation of Islam (NOI) held its annual Saviors’ Day event, which commemorates the birth of NOI founder Fard Muhammad. The event culminated in a keynote address by longtime NOI leader Louis Farrakhan, and as is often the case, his speech featured extensive antisemitic, bigoted and conspiratorial rhetoric.

The Nation of Islam (NOI) held its annual Saviors’ Day event on February 27, 2022. The event, which commemorates the birth of NOI founder Fard Muhammad and culminates in a keynote address by longtime NOI leader Louis Farrakhan, regularly features extensive antisemiticbigoted and conspiratorial rhetoric.

In 2022, Farrakhan again injected antisemitism into his address,  claiming that Jews are the enemy of Jesus and promoting antisemitic tropes about Jewish control. Farrakhan also reiterated the conspiratorial anti-vaccine rhetoric that has characterized the NOI’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. In the weeks leading up to the event, Farrakhan’s speech was advertised as potentially the 88-year-old’s last major public address, though he reassured supporters that he was not retiring.

Likening himself to Jesus, Farrakhan asked the audience gathered at Mosque Maryam in Chicago, “How many of you have the friendship of Jews or the hatred of Jews, where you can’t even say a kind word about me? And you’ve got to answer to them. It’s in the Book of John; the people got afraid to say anything good about Jesus, because the Jews jumped on them. That’s what they did to Nick Cannon. That’s what they did to others who say they love Farrakhan.” Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS in 2020 after he praised Farrakhan and made antisemitic remarks on a podcast episode.

Farrakhan added, “The enemies of Jesus were Jews…They turned away from God and used the skill and wisdom that God gave them to trick people into sin. Now, Satan has to be exposed. The liar has to be exposed.” Farrakhan also made multiple references to “the Jews and their power” throughout the address. 

Later in his address, Farrakhan turned his attention to the COVID-19 vaccine, repeating his claim that it is part of a “death plot” designed to cull the Black population around the world. Farrakhan described President Biden as “the chief inviter to death” for Black people, referencing the U.S. government’s efforts to encourage vaccination. Farrakhan noted that he has been deplatformed from social media platforms—such as Facebook, which banned him in 2019 for violating its policies—and praised NOI figures like Student Minister Wesley MuhammadBrother Rizza Islam, and Brother Ben X for continuing to spread the NOI’s messaging against the vaccine. 

Before Farrakhan’s speech, various NOI leaders made introductory remarks, including NOI National Spokesperson Ava Muhammad, who also spoke against the COVID vaccine. Nuri Muhammad, Student Minister of the NOI’s Muhammad Mosque No. 74 in Indianapolis and member of the NOI Research Group, solicited donations, praising individuals who had already made significant monetary contributions, including rap artists Doug E. Fresh, 2 Chainz, and London on da Track; Cash Money Records co-founders Ronald “Slim” Williams and Bryan “Birdman” Williams; former NFL player Edgerrin James; and Farrakhan ally Father Michael Pfleger of Saint Sabina Church in Chicago. 

Tens of thousands of viewers tuned in to Saviors’ Day across various livestreaming platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Zoom, Rumble and the Nation of Islam’s own video-hosting website and online radio station. Just prior to the start of the speeches, YouTube terminated the event’s primary livestream account for violating its Terms of Service (YouTube previously banned NOI in 2020).

Toward the end of Farrakhan’s address, the NOI’s Facebook Live video was also temporarily disabled; at the time it was being watched by approximately 8K viewers. Alternative channels and pages on both YouTube and Facebook continued to livestream the address to thousands of viewers. As many as 20K viewers watched the Rumble video live, while tens of thousands watched on the NOI’s media website. Live translations in six different languages were also available via Zoom.

The article is published courtesy of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).