CHICAGO — Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke at Chicago’s St. Sabina Catholic Church Thursday evening to protest Facebook’s ban on the minister.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger invited the longtime leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam to attend and respond to what he calls “an outrage.”
Facebook banned Farrakhan, as well as conservative figures like Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopolous, for what Facebook considers hate speech.
Organizers streamed the 7 p.m. rally online and on Facebook Live. Pfleger said the rally was about free speech and said Farrakhan’s voice needed to be heard. Supporters were encouraged to share the video of the event, which was not taken down Thursday evening.
A representative from the Archdiocese of Chicago joined leaders from the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center at a press conference Thursday. They extended an invitation for Farrakhan and Pfleger to tour the museum.
The Archdiocese said Cardinal Blase Cupich was not consulted before the event was announced.
The museum’s CEO said she is not asking Pfleger to call off the event, but does not want Farrakhan using speech that denigrates Jewish people or anyone.
Pfleger said he has known and worked with Farrakhan for 30 years and has denounced Facebook for banning the controversial leader.
“I don’t agree with everything Minister Farrakhan has said,” Pfleger told CNN. “I don’t agree with anyone on everything, but we are in a dangerous time when we can no longer have dialogue without demonizing one another.”