U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) apologized for anti-Semitic statements made by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in a speech Conyers had attended at a Detroit Baptist Church on May 17. Farrakhan had referred to “satanic Jews” and the “synagogue of satan,” and said that President Barack Obama “surrounded himself with Satan… members of the Jewish community.”
Conyers condemned the speech, saying in a statement, “It was my expectation that Minister Farrakhan’s speech would focus on the many challenges facing the city of Detroit… Regrettably, he used this opportunity to promote views that have no place in civilized discourse.”
“It is deeply disappointing that so many Detroit leaders are apparently so willing to turn a blind eye to Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. Where are the voices in our community who are willing to stand up and say no to racism and anti-Semitism?” said Heidi Budaj, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Detroit Regional Director, in a statement.