Local Jews worried after Farrakhan devotee wins Florida city council seat

“I am not willing to denounce the leader of my faith no more than a Catholic would be willing to denounce their pope,” says new councilman of notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan.

By World Israel News Staff

A devoted follower of antisemitic Nation of Islam Founder Louis Farrakhan was confirmed to the city council of a major Florida City, and his refusal to disavow remarks from his spiritual leader has local Jews worried, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported.

Brother John Muhammad, whose legal name is John C. Malone according to the JTA, was confirmed for a vacant seat on the St. Petersburg city council in a 4-3 vote on Tuesday.

Muhammad is a devout follower of Farrakhan, who has a long history of virulently antisemitic comments and has pushed ideology that inspired Nick Cannon, Kanye West, and Kyrie Irving.

Farrakhan has repeatedly called Jews “satanic,” “termites,” and “wicked,” and blamed them for black slavery in the U.S. and “sexual degeneracy” pushed by the media.

He has also praised Adolf Hitler, calling him a “very great man.”

According to the JTA report, Muhammad did not distance himself from Farrakhan’s Jew hatred while running for political office.

“I am not willing to denounce the leader of my faith no more than a Catholic would be willing to denounce their pope,” he said.

Local Jewish groups, including the Florida Holocaust Museum, publicly raised the alarm about Muhammad’s appointment and suggested that his tacit endorsement of Farrakhan’s antisemitic views made him unfit for office.

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“I do have issue with his reverence of someone who is blatantly antisemitic, and he won’t disavow him, he won’t reject him,” Maxine Kaufman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast, told JTA. “I don’t think enough was done, personally.”

In a video from 2016 viewed by JTA, Muhammad is seen defending Farrakhan while speaking to a group of young black activists.

“Minister Farrakhan got accused of being antisemitic for a long time because he pointed out and made some corrections about the activity of Jews. And anybody who says anything critical of the Jewish community is labeled as being antisemitic. Good, bad, right or wrong, it doesn’t matter what you say. If you criticize them that’s what you are,” he said.

Local black-owned newspaper the Weekly Challenger dismissed the Jewish community’s concerns, accusing them of unfairly targeting Muhammad.

The outlet erroneously asserted that the “perusal” into Muhammad’s “faith practice” was “illegal,” and that questions about his views were a form of “hounding.”