Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan challenged prominent Jewish Americans to a debate during a sermon this week, while claiming that Jews have “no connection” to the Land of Israel and that whites are ‘unnatural’ people.
The controversial 85-year-old leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam spoke at a sermon in the Mosque Maryam in Chicago Sunday, following his return from a trip to Tehran, during which he was filmed leading a group chant of “Death to Israel, Death to the US”.
Footage of the sermon, which was released on Tuesday, shows Farrakhan reiterating Nation of Islam claims that white people are “not natural people on our planet,” the Nation of Islam’s newspaper The Final Call wrote.
“Yakub, the father of the white race,” said Farrakhan. “He really taught the devil's lies. He was a black scientist. He's a liar."
The Nation of Islam has claimed that non-blacks were created by a rogue scientist, Yakub, 6,600 years ago.
"White people are grafted out of the original. This is science. Why isn't the white man a native anywhere?”
Farrakhan also said that blacks are the authentic Semites, claiming that the Middle East – including the Arab world – was originally entirely black.
"All that Middle Eastern area was once black. All of it! Not some of it. All of it. You call it Saudi Arabia. Look at those people. They're not the original Meccans. No, that was black."
The Nation of Islam leader, who has frequently used anti-Semitic rhetoric in his sermons and invoked classic anti-Jewish tropes, accused Ashkenazi Jews of being interlopers with “no connection” to the Land of Israel.
“You're not a native Palestinian. No, you're not. You didn't originate there. But if you did, you're the real Semitic people. But the Ashkenazi European, he has no connection at all to the Holy Land. None! Prove to us that you are Semitic!"
“The native Palestinians are Semitic people; been in Palestine for thousands of years. But this that crept out of Europe, stealing the birthright of the Semitic Jews, the Semitic Arabs, he’s against the Palestinians; they’re Semitic people. Well, where is the real anti-Semite.”
Later, Farrakhan called on prominent American Jewish figures to debate him publicly, saying many Jews “want me dead”.
“A showdown! Why not? We’re ready to die for what we believe! So, come on out Mr. [Jonathan] Greenblatt of the ADL and bring Mr. [Abraham] Foxman with you. Come on out Alan Dershowitz. You that say we are haters and anti-Semites.”
“Those of the Jewish people who want me dead, there’s a way you can do it; because my teacher said he was willing to give his life if one word that he taught was false. And I’m willing to offer my life for the word that I teach from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. You want me dead? Prove that I have lied, and I will offer you my life. But will you offer me yours.”
“Come on out from your hiding place. Leave your n**gers at home! Come on out! You think that the Nation is only Louis Farrakhan? You think that I’m the only one that can battle this enemy and beat him down? We’ve got stars here!”
“So, in a showdown prove to us that you are Semitic. All—let’s go on with it; it’s our time now.”
Farrakhan also sparked controversy last month when he compared Jews to termites, saying he is “not an anti-Semite, I’m anti-termite.”
Farrakhan has long been a controversial figure within the Black Muslim community in Chicago, praising Adolf Hitler as a “very great man”, and slamming Judaism as a “gutter religion” during a 1984 speech, leading the US Senate to condemn him in a unanimous 95-0 vote.
Earlier this year, Farrakhan accused Jews of practicing “Satanism” and ‘infecting’ the world “with poison and deceit”.