Lieberman Urged to Not Meet With Farrakhan

By Dorothea Cooke | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

( - The Anti-Defamation League is urging Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman to not meet with Nation of Islam head Minister Louis Farrakhan, saying if he did, Lieberman would be "legitimizing a bigot, an anti-Semite and a racist, who continues to spout his message of hate."

On a recent radio show, Lieberman said he would be willing to meet with Farrakhan. But in past speeches, Farrakhan has characterized the Jewish faith as a "gutter religion."

Both Republican presidential candidate George W Bush and Lieberman's running mate, Vice President Al Gore, have declined meetings with Farrakhan.

ADL National Chairman Howard P. Berkowitz and National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a September 27 letter to Lieberman they were concerned about Lieberman's comments "expressing admiration for Minister Louis Farrakhan and your stated intention to meet with him."

Berkowitz and Foxman went on to say that "Minister Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam have spread the message of Black separatism and anti-gay, anti-Catholic, racist and anti-Semitic bigotry throughout the United States and the world."

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 and is among the world's leading groups fighting anti-Semitism.