(JTA) — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, saying “I don’t hate Jewish people,” denied he is anti-Semitic during an address to the group’s annual convention.
Farrakhan, who is known for his diatribes against the Jews, in his three-hour speech on Sunday night in Detroit compared himself to auto magnate Henry Ford, saying that Ford was “a great man who was called an anti-Semite.”
“I feel like I’m in good company,” Farrakhan told a crowd of about 18,000 at Joe Louis Arena, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“I don’t hate Jewish people … what I hate is evil,” he also said, adding that “Satan is in control of Hollywood,” as well as TV, the media and money.
Responding to Farrakhan’s speech, Heidi Budaj, Michigan regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Detroit Free Press, “Expressing pride for being called anti-Semitic is shameful. A person in this day and age should be ashamed to say that.”
Farrakhan also reprimanded Muslims for fighting among themselves in the Middle East, saying they were killing each other for “America” and the “European infidel.”
He said that if the United States launched a war on Iran, “we ain’t fighting. We’re not killing no Muslims for these infidels.”
Farrakhan also touched on other topics, such as the African-American community separating from the rest of the world in order to better their lives and reinvesting in Detroit.