The Anti-Defamation League today expressed dismay that a group of Alabama elected officials have invited Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to join them in a campaign to rally support for the extension of the federal Voting Rights Act.

“The cause is just, but the inclusion of Louis Farrakhan in this campaign is a terrible mistake” said Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director of ADL.

“ADL has spoken out frequently in favor of the extension of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, but we have also repeatedly demonstrated that Minister Farrakhan is a promoter of hatred and bigotry who routinely peppers his speeches with virulently anti-Semitic remarks and more generalized condemnations of all white people,” said Nigut. “We urge the public officials who have invited Farrakhan to Alabama to withdraw their invitation and reject his hateful rhetoric.”

Alabama State Senators Hank Sanders (D-Selma) and Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) and Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford have all publicly endorsed Minister Farrakhan’s participation in a state-wide caravan to raise support for the extension of Section 5.

Just two months ago, Minister Farrakhan claimed in a speech that “Nobody becomes President of the United States without going before Israel or AIPAC and promising the Zionists everything you think will allow you access to their wealth, their influence and their power.”

Farrakhan often accuses Jews of conspiring against blacks through manipulation of the film and music industries as well as the legal and medical fields, claiming “You can’t go nowhere in their world without paying obeisance to them.”