ADL Blasts U.S. Congressman for Lacking Courage to Condemn Farrakhan

Condemnation follows two interviews in which Democratic Rep. Danny Davis stated his personal relationship with Nation of Islam leader, and his lack of concern over Farrakhan's anti-Semitic comments

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Louis Farrakhan leader of the Nation of Islam, congratulates President-elect Barack Obama during a sermon at the Mosque Maryam, headquarters of the Nation in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008
Louis Farrakhan leader of the Nation of Islam in Chicago, Nov. 9, 2008Credit: AP

The Anti-Defamation League blasted United States Congressman Danny Davis for lacking the courage to condemn Louis Farrakhan, according to JTA.

“It is unfortunate that the congressman apparently can’t muster up the courage to denounce Farrakhan’s blatant anti-Semitism" and chooses to praise him instead, an ADL spokesman told JTA.

This follows a Sunday interview in The Daily Caller, in which Davis doubled down on comments made in a previous interview regarding the Nation of Islam leader, calling him “an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate.”

“I know Farrakhan, been knowing him for years and years and years and years and years, and every once in a while some writer or somebody will I guess try to think of something to say about Farrakhan, but nah, my world is so much bigger than any of that,” Davis told the online news site on Sunday.

Davis's comments have been consistent in both of his Daily Caller interviews. Both have him stating his personal relationship with the religious leader and his lack of concern over Farrakhan's documented anti-Semitism.

According to the ADL, they reached out to Davis for a comment following the first interview.

“The congressman was insistent that The Daily Caller misquoted him during the interview and that he didn’t subscribe to Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic statements and actions in the past,” the ADL official told JTA in a statement. “He expressed an interest in seeing some of the latest statements made by Farrakhan vis-a-vis Jews, which we promptly shared with him.”

The official said the ADL had shared information with Davis about Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic statements, and that the organization was waiting to hear back from him.

However, Davis has refuted this in his second Daily Caller interview, saying he was not sure someone from his office told the ADL he had been misquoted.

“I think that was what they wanted to write. Nah, I don’t have no problems with Farrakhan, I don’t spend a whole lot of my time dealing with those kind of things,” Davis told the Daily Caller.

The ADL did not immediately return a request for comment from the Daily Caller.

Speaking to JTA Sunday, an ADL spokesman said “We are deeply disappointed with Congressman Davis’ statements about Farrakhan, an avowed anti-Semite who leads a group that traffics in hate not just towards Jews but also the LGBTQ community," adding that “hate should not be difficult to denounce. Once again we’re calling on the congressman to denounce anti-Semitism and all forms of hate.”

Danny Davis is a Democratic Representative from Illinois's 7th congressional district since 1997. He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucaus, Progressive Caucus, and Democratic Socialists of America.

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