Nation of Islam's Anti-Semitic Publications
RESEARCHERS who study hate philosophies and groups say that views espoused by Louis Farrakhan and some of his followers and associates evince more than just a general negativism toward Jews. Many of their notions about Jews, these scholars say, conform to well-defined paradigms of anti-Semitic thought.
Thus, these views have a pseudo-intellectual as well as a visceral component, the experts say. Mr. Farrakhan ``hasn't just arrived at his theories organically,'' says Chip Berlet, a researcher at Political Research Associates in Cambridge, Mass., who studies ultraright-wing groups.
``Farrakhan is a racist and a classical fascist - there's no other word for it. His views embrace authoritarianism, racial supremacy, a cult of personality, and Horatio Alger myths,'' he says.
In support of his contention, Mr. Berlet points to literature recommended by the Nation of Islam's newspaper, the Final Call. These include ``Behold a Pale Horse'' (which reprints ``The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,'' a document forged by Russian secret police in the 19th century, purporting to be a secret plan for Jewish world domination), ``Iceman Inheritance'' (a book about black-supremacy eugenics), and ``The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. I.''
The latter book contends that Jews dominated the American slave trade. The book, which Farrakhan discusses frequently, has been debunked by scholars including Henry Louis Gates Jr., a black professor at Harvard University, and Harold Brackman, a researcher for the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
The Nation of Islam says it will soon publish two more volumes of ``The Secret Relationship,'' which, it alleges, will expose Jewish domination or manipulation of Hollywood, the media, the legal profession, and academia.
Why do Farrakhan and his movement focus so much attention on Jews? For the same reasons that scapegoats and conspiracy theories have long been used by demagogues to arouse anger and consolidate power, scholars say.
``The economic, social, and political forces in America that have contributed to racism are very complex,'' Berlet says. ``So if you are an angry person, who do you point the finger at - large amorphous forces, or someone you can kick?''
Sylvia Neil, executive director of the American Jewish Congress's Midwest office in Chicago, says: ``Sadly, the history of demagoguery around the world shows that anti-Semitism really works.''