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Controversial Invite to Farrakhan's Speech

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Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich stands by his controversial appointment to the state’s hate crime commission.

Blagojevich appointed Claudette Marie Muhammad, a top official in the Nation of Islam, last year.

Muhammad recently sparked debate when she invited commissioners to attend an annual Nation of Islam event.

Claudette Marie Muhammad invited all the members of the state’s Hate Crime Commission to attend Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s annual address this weekend.

But some members of the 35 person group say they’re not comfortable with the idea because Farrakhan’s made anti-Semetic remarks in the past.

Director of the Illinois Holocaust Museum Richard Hirschhaut and sits on the state’s commission.

He says the content of Farrakhan’s address will help him make up his mind about Muhammad’s appointment.

Hirschhaut says, “No greater litmus test exists in the immediate future than the minister’s annual Saviour’s Day speech this coming Sunday. I think we’ll know much more in terms of where we all stand following that presentation.”

A spokeswoman for Blagojevich says the governor knew Muhammad’s history before he appointed her to the Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes.

She says the role of the commission is to bring different groups together to fight discrimination.

Neither Muhammad nor the Nation of Islam returned calls for comment.

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