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Women's March movement distances itself from Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan

Statement comes nine days after antisemitic remarks at conference last month

    Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan in November 2017
    Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan in November 2017 (Photo: Getty Images)

    The Women's March movement has attempted to distance itself from African-American activist and minister Louis Farrakhan's antisemitic remarks at a Nation of Islam conference last month.

    Mr Farrakhan, who leads the black nationalist group Nation of Islam, told the audience at its annual Saviours' Day event that “the powerful Jews are my enemy.”

    He later added during his speech on February 25: “the Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behaviour that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.”

    The Women's March was represented at the event by Tamika Mallory, one of its co-presidents, who has previously praised Mr Farrakhan on social media.

    Ms Mallory and the movement were attacked for not criticising the minister's remarks but did not issue a public statement until Tuesday, nine days after the speech.

    COMMENT: We can and must beat the rhetoric of Louis Farrakhan

    In a post on Facebook the Women's March said Louis Farrakhan's remarks were “not aligned” with its principles.

    “Women's March is committed to fighting all forms of oppression as outlined in our Unity Principles. We will not tolerate anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia and we condemn these expressions of hatred in all forms,” the statement said.

    It added: “Our external silence has been because we are holding these conversations and are trying to intentionally break the cycles that pit our communities against each other. We have work to do, as individuals, as an organization, as a movement, and as a nation.”

    Tamika Mallory with Louis Farrakhan
    Tamika Mallory with Louis Farrakhan (Photo: Instagram)

    The Women's March, which was first staged in January 2017 on President Donald Trump's first day in office, has sought to build an inclusive women's right movement but has faced accusations of discrimination towards Jews and other minorities.

    Palestinian-American campaigner Linda Sarsour, another co-chair of the march, stoked controversy last year by asserting that Zionists cannot simultaneously be feminists because the Israeli occupation of the West Bank was oppressive to women

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