Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan took legal action against the Anti-Defamation League on Oct. 16, as the New York Post reported.
In his lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Federal Court, Farrakhan seeks a substantial $4.8 billion in damages. At the heart of his legal complaint is the allegation that the ADL, a prominent civil rights organization, has infringed on his First Amendment rights by erroneously branding him an “antisemite.”
Farrakhan argues that the ADL’s labeling has perpetuated a “false narrative” that has unfairly tarnished his reputation and that of the Nation of Islam.
He stated, “This lawsuit is to ensure that the abuse, misuse, and false use of the terms’ anti-Semite,’ ‘anti-Semitic,’ and ‘antisemitism,’ as falsely charged by the [ADL], is permanently barred from being a tool to defame [Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam] and stifle the exercise of constitutional rights.”
In the legal documents, he adamantly denies accusations of promoting antisemitism, asserting that he has never harmed or advocated harm to any Jewish individuals.
Farrakhan further expresses his respect and admiration for several Jewish community members, including his boyhood idol, the celebrated violinist Jascha Heifetz, a Russian Jew, and his Jewish violin teachers. Characterizing his ongoing dispute with the ADL as a “battle of Biblical proportions,” he has bolstered his court filing with an extensive 787-page collection of supporting documents.
The lawsuit has spotlighted Farrakhan’s history of controversial statements and beliefs and his alleged promotion of harmful stereotypes. The ADL and other organizations have previously criticized Farrakhan for promoting conspiracy theories and making antisemitic comments, heightening the scrutiny surrounding the case.
ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt told the New York Post the suit “has no merit. “Louis Farrakhan is an antisemite. One need look no further than his own words and statements to come away with the same conclusion,” he said.
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