Louis Farrakhan, who has led the Nation of Islam since the late 1970s, has stirred controversy for his anti-Semitic remarks and anti-white theology.
Among other things he preaches, the 86-year-old minister has led a chant of “death to America” and called for a separate state for black Americans. Last year, Farrakhan was among several far-right or “hate” figures that Facebook permanently banned.
But his hate-filled views long predate the Facebook ban. Here is a list of Farrakhan’s top five most controversial quotes.
1. “Hitler was a very great man.”
During a 1984 interview broadcast on a Chicago radio station, Farrakhan reacted to Nathan Pearlmutter, then chair of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), who called the minister “Black Hitler” for his anti-Semitic views.
“Here come the Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man. He wasn’t great for me as a black person, but he was a great German. Now I’m not proud of Hitler’s evil against Jewish people, but that’s a matter of record. He rose Germany up from nothing,” Farrakhan said.
2. “I’m not an anti-Semite” but…
During a 2018 speech in Detroit marking the 23rd anniversary of the Million Man March, Farrakhan addressed members of the Jewish community who weren’t fond of him. In a video of the speech posted on Twitter, Farrakhan wrote the caption: “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.”
Despite drawing outrage, Twitter did not suspend his account.
3. “I am that Jesus.”
Farrakhan attempted to clarify his “anti-termite” comment during a keynote address at the United Center arena in Chicago in February 2019. He explained that the reference was not to all Jews but “the richest 10 percent of Americans” who own “84 percent of all stocks.” Yet his most eyebrow-raising comment was comparing himself to Jesus.
Farrakhan told the audience that “Jesus died because he was 2,000 years too soon to bring about the end of the civilization of the Jews.”
“The real story is what I tried to tell you from the beginning,” he said. “It didn’t happen back there. It’s happening right while you’re looking at it,” Farrakhan told the audience. “I represent the Messiah. I represent the Jesus and I am that Jesus. If I am not, take my life.”
4. “Osama Bin Laden didn’t destroy the Twin Towers.”
Long a proponent of conspiracy theories, Farrakhan has repeatedly pushed the notion that 9/11 was an inside job carried out by the U.S. government as a justification for regime change in the Middle East.
“Osama Bin Laden didn’t destroy the Twin Towers. That was a false flag operation to take the world’s attention away from the great disunity in America after George W. Bush stole the election,” Farrakhan wrote in a March 15, 2016 entry of The Final Call, the official newspaper of the Nation of Islam.
5. “Talmudic, satanic Jews” are to blame for sex scandals of Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein
In a July 2019 sermon at the Nation of Islam’s headquarters, Farrakhan spoke on the sex scandals surrounding Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and financier Jeffrey Epstein. He said the Talmud warrants their actions.
“Did you know that pedophilia, homosexuality, sex trafficking, is the work of Talmudists?” Farrakhan asked the crowd.
“Weinstein and Epstein and all of those top Jewish Talmudists who are in media, television that abuse women – there ain’t nobody talking about Weinstein, there ain’t nobody talking about Epstein. You don’t hear anybody talking about the man who set up a hedge fund. Because Talmudic, Satanic Jews are the ones that feel nobody has a right to punish them for what the Talmud has made lawful to them.”