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ADL resigns from Ill. hate panel

March 2, 2006 at 3:29 PM

CHICAGO, March 2 (UPI) -- The Anti-Defamation League Thursday resigned from an Illinois panel on hate crimes to protest the appointment of a Louis Farrakhan supporter to the group.

Claudette Marie Johnson, the protocol officer for the controversial Nation of Islam leader, was appointed to the Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes. Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich has refused to rescind the appointment and Johnson has declined to step down.

"We cannot continue to serve on a Commission that remains silent in the face of bigotry and makes a mockery of the fight against hatred and intolerance in Illinois," ADL Chicago Regional Director Lonnie Nasatir said in a release. "It is sad day when we are left with no choice but to resign from the commission."

Farrakhan in the past described the Jewish religion as a "gutter" religion but in recent years has called for greater tolerance. More recently he accused "Hollywood Jews" of promoting homosexuality and other "filth."

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