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July 30, 2020 12:06 pm

Philadelphia NAACP Head Offers Tentative Apology for Antisemitic Post on Facebook as Deicide Tweet Comes to Light

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avatar by Ben Cohen

Rodney Muhammad, president of the Philadelphia branch of the NAACP. Photo: Facebook.

Rodney Muhammad — president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP civil rights organization — issued a fresh statement on Thursday morning that addressed the furor over his posting of crudely antisemitic material on social media.

Referring to his post on Facebook last weekend which showed celebrities Ice Cube, DeSean Jackson, and Nick Cannon ‐‐ all of whom recently made antisemitic statements ‐‐ alongside a grotesque antisemitic caricature, Muhammad said he regretted the offense he had caused.

“I do regret the insult, pain and offense caused to all, particularly those of the Jewish community, by this unfortunate episode,” Muhammad said, in a one-line statement carried by the local Fox News affiliate in Philadelphia.

Jewish organizations had been calling for Muhammad — a follower of the antisemitic Nation of Islam (NOI) led by Louis Farrakhan — to step down from his post with the NAACP. This week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro echoed the call, adding to the pressure on Muhammad.

The offending post on Facebook followed a largely ignored post on Twitter a few days earlier in which Muhammad raised the charge of deicide — the accusation that Jews are eternally culpable for the death of Jesus at the hands of the Romans — in a defense of Farrakhan’s July 4 message that described Jews as “Satan.”

Said Muhammad in a July 17 post: “The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke to millions on July 4th and what you don’t hear are nearly 8 million people calling him antisemitic or a hate teacher. The Sahedrin (sic) shout to create mob psychology to crucify Jesus.”

Muhammad’s Twitter feed, @RodneyMuhammad7, is followed by just 116 people, a handful of whom shared his post.

A statement from Muhammad earlier this week expressed regret for his Facebook post, but stopped short of the limited personal apology he offered on Thursday.

“I stand with all members of the Jewish faith in the fight for social justice, and I intend to use this opportunity for thoughtful conversations with both the Black and Jewish communities,” Muhammad stated on Tuesday.

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