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Hate Crimes Commission Member Speaks Up

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The Nation of Islam member who caused controversy with her membership on Illinois’ hate crime commission says it would be unfair to remove her for the words of Louis Farrakhan.

Claudette Marie Muhammad has been under fire since she invited commission members to a speech by Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader.

Farrakhan made what some consider to be anti-Semitic remarks in that speech.

Speaking publicly for the first time on WVON radio in Chicago this morning, Muhammad defended herself, saying she has Jewish family members and has worshipped in Jewish synagogues.

“For those who try to condemn me because of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s remarks on Saviours’ Day, which were received by some as anti-Semitic, it’s ridiculous ... absolutely ridiculous.”

Four Jewish members on the commission quit rather than serve with Muhammad.

Lonnie Nasatir, head of the Anti-Defamation League, was one of the members who quit. He says Muhammad must repudiate Farrakhan’s comments.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Muhammad to the commission, and says she should not be blamed for Farrakhan’s words.

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