DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Michigan congressman has apologized after attending Louis Farrakhan’s appearance at a Detroit church during which the Nation of Islam leader made anti-Jewish remarks.
U.S. Rep. John Conyers joined Detroit City Council member JoAnn Watson and others at Fellowship Chapel for Farrakhan’s Friday speech.
The Chicago-based minister denounced “Satanic Jews” and the “synagogue of Satan” that he said controls major U.S. institutions and said President Barack Obama has “surrounded himself with Satan … members of the Jewish community.”
In a statement out Thursday, Conyers said, “Farrakhan made unacceptable racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic statements” that Conyers condemns “in the strongest possible terms.”
Conyers’s statement comes one day after the Jewish advocacy group the Anti-Defamation League criticized the Detroit Democrat for failing to counter Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism.
Speaking to WWJ’s Sandra McNeil, Jewish Community Relations Council President Sharon Lipton said she’s glad Conyers apologized, however: “In my personal opinion, he shouldn’t have been there,” Lipton said.
“I think that people in public office have to be very aware of where they’re going, what they’re doing, and what the perception might be for being in a certain place at a certain time,” she said.
Lipton also pointed out that it took Conyers almost a week to say sorry.
“Probably, that’s not a good thing — but at least he is addressing the issue,” she said.
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