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Nation of Islam calls Farrakhan’s ban from Facebook ‘completely unjustified’

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's participation in a a rally Thursday on the South Side is drawing criticism from Holocaust survivor Fritzie Fritzshall | Getty

The Nation of Islam on Monday called Facebook’s decision to ban leader Louis Farrakhan “completely unjustified.”

“The enemy of the truth is afraid of anyone who will speak the truth,” according to a Nation of Islam statement. “The decision of Facebook and Instagram to remove his accounts has to be questioned as to the real reason behind it and who is behind it. Only the wicked are afraid when the light of truth appears.”

A rally is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Sabina Catholic Church, 1210 W. 78th Place, Nation of Islam officials said. The Rev. Michael Pfleger, St. Sabina’s pastor, has invited Farrakhan to attend and respond to the Facebook “outrage,” according to the statement.

“We can disagree with each other, but we ought to be able to listen to each other and speak to each other. And I have a real problem when we start to say, ‘We are going to control who you are going to listen to and who you can watch,'” Pfleger told the Chicago Sun-Times. He said Farrakhan plans to attend the rally Thursday.

Facebook banned the longtime leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam as part of the tech giant’s efforts to rid its websites of hate speech and “dangerous” people and organizations.

Pages affiliated with Farrakhan — as well as right-wing figures Alex Jones, Paul Nehlen, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopolous — were removed from both Facebook and Instagram on May 2 for violations of Facebook’s policies, the website said in a statement.

While Facebook did not say what led to the crackdown, it says the newly banned accounts violated its existing policies. The company says it has “always banned” people or groups that proclaim a violent or hateful mission or are engaged in acts of hate or violence, regardless of political ideology.

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