San Diego State University has confirmed that Ava Muhammad, a minister, author and spokesperson for the Nation of Islam’s leadership, will not be invited to speak on campus. Muhammad was on a list of five suggested speakers for a summit on reparations for slavery.
SDSU had previously announced that four graduate students were awarded funding to develop programming to improve the lives of black students at SDSU. Their proposal for the reparations summit, which suggested speakers including Muhammad, was awarded $68,000.
Muhammad speaks to students on behalf of Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, an African American political and religious organization. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam have both been highlighted by the Southern Poverty Law Center for anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ vitriol. Muhammad, in 2017, also referred to Jews as “bloodsucking parasites.”
After an outcry, SDSU announced Monday on Twitter that the student-led event would have a revised list of speakers. The university said it supported that decision. “We strongly reject anti-Semitic, and other disparaging messages and actions.”