The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Strange Bedfellows: Like Christian Right Groups, Anti-Semitic Imam Lies About Hate Crime Bill

By Sonia Scherr on May 21, 2009 - 7:16 am, Posted in Anti-Semitic

It’s not only the religious right that’s telling tall tales about a proposed new federal hate crimes law.

Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a Muslim cleric who frequently speaks on California campuses, falsely claimed last week that the law would prevent Americans from expressing negative views about Israel or Jews. As Ali tells it, none other than “the Zionists” are behind this attempt to crush free speech.

Amir Abdel Malik Ali

“Y’all know Rahm Emanuel, the Zionist Jew?” Ali asked a crowd of roughly 70 during his May 14 speech at the University of California, Irvine. “He’s the chief of staff for President Obama. For our non-Muslim friends, when President Obama chose Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, the Muslims knew just what was happening. As soon as he chose Rahm Emanuel, we said ‘Uh-oh, oh, Barack is owned. He’s owned by the Zionists.’”

Ali contends it’s Emanuel who’s pushing the hate crimes bill, which is chock full of perks for Jews. “Since it’s Rahm Emanuel, if this bill is passed — listen to me! — if this bill is passed, it will be a crime to criticize Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, it will be a crime to report the extraordinary influence of AIPAC [the pro-Israel lobby], it will be a crime to doubt any aspects of the Holocaust.”

In fact, Ali asserted that those who question that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust could go to prison under the proposed law. What’s more, “If you talk about the disproportionate numbers of Jews, Zionist Jews, in the media, in finance and foreign policy, that’s a crime. That’s a crime! So what you’re talking about, if this bill is passed, is that you can criticize any country in the world except the apartheid state of Israel. That’s under the Hate Prevention Act of 2009 [sic].”

While Ali’s diatribe received applause, it’s completely untrue. The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act would not curtail any of the free speech rights that Americans currently enjoy, including the right to deny the Holocaust or trot out anti-Jewish canards. Rather, the act would increase funding for state and local authorities to prosecute hate crimes, including those based on sexual orientation. It would also allow federal authorities to investigate and prosecute hate crimes when state or local agencies don’t do so.

But Ali, an Oakland imam who was invited to Irvine by the Muslim Student Union, didn’t respond directly to an audience member’s assertion that he’d gotten his facts wrong. During previous speeches on California campuses, Ali has asserted that Zionist Jews control the media and perpetrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — so it’s probably no surprise that he’s promoting falsehoods about the hate crimes bill.

But he does make a strange bedfellow for religious-right anti-gay groups, which are also lying about the proposed legislation. These groups claim that by protecting Americans of all “sexual orientations,” the act would actually extend legal protection to pedophiles and those with deviant (and often illegal) sexual fetishes. This is incorrect; by “sexual orientations,” the act refers only to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. Leading religious right organizations also have falsely claimed, in hundreds of thousands of E-mails and other communications to their supporters, that the act would allow authorities to imprison pastors who criticize homosexuality from the pulpit.

Meanwhile, for those who missed him at Irvine, Ali is scheduled to speak at the University of California, Riverside’s Muslim Student Association today.

Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism photo

  • Carter

    Getting back to the discussion at hand: – Lying about the Mathew Shepard Bill is an understatement.
    I just got done with a cursory look at both the House & Senate’s version of the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. I strongly suggest that people read it before commenting on it…….

    In brevity the Bill provides supports local prosecution of Hate Crimes when State resources are too low or too overworked to allow for a full implementation of the standards of Hate Crimes prosecution. Generally, it’s a Bill that would allow a State to petition for relief if the local Prosecutor deems it necessary to bolster a case that’s dying on the vine due to lack of staff or funds.

    Please read “The Findings” (sec 2), DEFINITION OF HATE CRIME (sec 3), & Support for Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions by State, local, and Tribal law enforcement officials.

    NO WHERE in there will you find any issues that target 1st Amendment issues. People really aught to read what the Hell they are talking about before they even start to open their mouth about a individual act of legislation.

    Section 4 brings the Bill into focus as it is a direct & indirect financial aid bill for certain petitioning regions that don’t that funds to do justice to a CRIME of VIOLENCE.
    SEC. 4 :. support for criminal investigations and prosecutions by state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials.

    (a) Assistance Other Than Financial Assistance-

    (1) IN GENERAL- At the request of State, local, or Tribal law enforcement agency, the Attorney General may provide technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or any other form of assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any crime that–



    (C) is motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a violation of the State, local, or Tribal hate crime laws.

    (2) PRIORITY- In providing assistance under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall give priority to crimes committed by offenders who have committed crimes in more than one State and to rural jurisdictions that have difficulty covering the extraordinary expenses relating to the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

    S 1105 has nothing to do with defining Hate Crimes! It has to do with funding for small (Wyoming) or overloaded areas (Los Angles) so that the Prosecutor doesn’t have to continually plea bargain a torture / murder case or a fire bombing of a Mosque continually because it’s overloaded or underfunded.
    Amir Abdel Malik Ali is someone who didn’t read the Bill & appears the fool. but the idiots who applauded him are so much the less for following such a clown.

    There are no statements in the Bill that defines Hate Crime. It simply allows under resourced areas who choose to go forward with a prosecution to have resources to do so. There is not one statement of the Holocaust or the Armenian Genocide, or even of the Mathew Shepard case per se’.
    I really wish people would read things 1st – before commenting on them.

  • daemonesslisa

    “Mike’s” post is basically spam; I’ve seen this kind of thing on that petitiononline site; random nimrods would spam the petitions with national alliance ‘advertisements’. I think the blog moderators should look a little closer into these posts and just delete them.

  • carrisima

    I feel there are a couple of parrots responding out there. One asserts the Rothwell email is a “typical” hoax and the other suggests that the Rothwell email is a hoax because policemen go by the book.
    Well, I PRAY the Rothwell email is a hoax.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Mike’s whole story is fake. It is most likely a Stormfront tactic; creating ready-made propaganda posts for comments sections like these(the technical term is copy pasta). Anyone with basic knowledge of the WN movement can see how ridiculous the guy’s post is.

  • Carter

    I can’t stand it any longer: you folks are being duped!
    IF this person was an LEO he would have MUCH more to offer of substantiation (of legal background) than the statement (Cop talk voice on….) “exited his vehicle”.

    An individual either called the LE agency himself & formats the prosecutorial statement or there is no reason to write a citation if the LEO does not have direct evidence of a low-level misdemeanor. In other words, if the wronged party does not request a written prosecution (a 1st party “statement of factual law-breaking”); there is nothing the responding LEO can do. This is especially true in a Domestic Disturbance. The exception being a higher level of criminal activity documented by any 3rd party (the deputy, etc) than a minor physical contact & conditional trespass on one’s property. The appropriate manner of dealing with a common trespass is to initiate the 911 oneself & follow w/ a request for a Statement of Prosecution.
    What is the LEO’s function? If the reporting party had really been a LEO for 14 years he should have known exactly what’s within the purview of any responding uniformed unit to a time-wasting agenda like that….. What a joke.

    Wow – people, I have a bridge to sell you.

  • carrisima

    I am ecstatic over Obama’s choice for Chief of Staff — and there should be laws — this confirms Obama is a Judeo-Christian — not a hate-filled muslim as the press tried to make him out to be. So far, Obama has drawn into his cabinet a very diverse staff even some from the GOP. He is seeking help to resolve tough issues drawing from any source he deems fit for the position. I am pro-Israel.

  • carrisima

    To Michael Rothwell,

    I am carrisima. Are you Jewish by your name? I am assuming you are not. I just wanted to tell you that as a minority, I would have done exactly what you had done to the stranger on my property whether he was white or black — I may have even reacted disorderly to his presence — he had some nerve. But that’s no reason for you to get bent out of shape over the fact he was black. You should have developed a thicker skin from your distinguished and diversified background in the US military. Remember, Obama is also half white and his roots are strong in that regard because of his upbringing.
    It appears to me you have been disgruntled for a long time and looking for an excuse to go on a hate war path. DON’T DO IT! If you have a love of G-d, the USA and family – then take the higher road. GO TO CHURCH and pray about it. Hate can only cause you to contract deadly diseases and taint your stable, heroic image in the end.
    To me you have the makings of a hero.

  • Carter

    -IF… I were to be concerned about my being able to criticize Israel or America’s desire for a Palestinian Homeland or fair treatment for Muslims in the US because the President appoints someone who happens to be Jewish to a White House Chief of Staff position; I would realize I have a degree of pre-judgment in me. And perhaps I just am a bit uninformed as to the position of White House CoS & it’s function.

    Obama is not “owned” by the secret Jewish power brokers that manipulate world finance & media.
    [That] these sheep applaud this man on a University campus is laughable. They obviously have NOT read the Bill.
    If a person does not read & investigate something beforehand, they are easily lead about.

    “The Zionists, the Zionists, the JEWS….” It seems I’ve heard this twist once or twice before…. Just because someone is Jewish does not mean he supports Zionist ideology; just as someone who happens to be Muslim does not mean they happen to be Taliban.

    Have not we discussed the Palestinian “right of return” & the Jewish “right of return” in a political framework. Zionism is a political issue that deals with a right of return & is being adopted by Palestinians as a simple political agenda. Zionism is to Jews what the Palestinian right of return is to Islam. Right of return is NOT religion; it is a political-geographical dynamic.

    For any discussion of the Mathew Shepard Bill to have depth in it’s relationship to Jewish Star Chamber secret cabal – Let’s see some quotes of the Bill & it’s leanings toward stopping the criticism of US-Israeli internal political infrastructure & direct impact of open critique of Israeli policy. I’ll bet we don’t find too many….
    The subtle mixing of that with Holocaust Denial is a cheap way to blur the facts of Hate speech. The same methods are to mix a adult gay relationship with Bestiality.

    We are dealing with a Bill that was drawn up to deal with a brutal torture / murder of a gay man. It would make sense to discuss the Bill itself & not be pulled off track by “secret Jewish agendas”, wondrous loving skinheads, or the vicious Black man with a camera.

    Let’s stop being lead off topic by the mixing of differing agendas & blurring of messages.

  • daemonesslisa

    I posted a response to a similar entry in the Orcinus blog, but I’ll say it again…I may be in the minority on this, but I’d be less worried about the neighborhood pedophile than I would about the neighborhood right-wing extremist.

    Pedophiles are not completely without judgment; you can’t paint them all with the same brush…they KNOW what will happen to them should they ever act upon their desires–at which point then they become killers/rapists/molesters and should be prosecuted as such.

    Right-wing extremists, on the other hand, are they type of people that need just one more thing to “go wrong” before they start killing people at random. More violence has been committed in the name of the ‘Aryan Race’ than has been committed in the name of ‘childlove’ or whatever they call it.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Wow, Rothwell, your story sounds- completely fake. Why don’t you go down to the local community college and see if you can take something called a “creative writing” course, so you can make a more believable story. Here’s a tip, next time don’t immediately go into a rant about WN nonsense so quickly. Nobody goes from Joe Everyman to “I like W.A.R. AND Christian Identity, and the Hammerskins” overnight. Futhermore, the Hammerskins are anything but “very respectful nice young men”. Perhaps you have not spent any time with skinheads. In fact, by saying they would take care of this evil black guy with a camera, they would be conspiring to commit at least assault and battery, and you would have provided all the evidence needed by posting your comment here. Good thing your whole story is fake.


    @Khadijah, those Christian groups are lying to you. The hate-crimes bill does not criminalize any kind of speech. It is based on the motive of the perpetrator. The only major problem I could think of after reading why this bill actually does is the threat of an overzealous prosecutor who tries to attach a bias motive where there isn’t one. But then again such prosecutors are already a problem without such laws anyway.

  • Gregory

    A man becomes a WN because a black man walked onto his property and the sheriff wouldn’t do anything about it…. riiight.


  • Khadijah Evans

    Another commnt for you Michael Rothwell. So you are now a part of the Christian Identity Movement? Do black CHRISTIANS belong to that movement?

    CIM. That’s just another way of saying, “Let’s get America all white!”

    I see there are 20 anti-non-white/non–American-born/non-Christian hate goups in Ohio. Which one did you join?

    I’m white(I guess I can join too)(I’m American born.(Yep that qualifies me!) Opps! I’m an ex-Christian convert to Islam! Guess you hate me too? Come on, 2 out 0f 3 ain’t bad! LOL!

    You need to think about what yu’re saying and doing. The Bible doesn’t justify your hate. But ONE black man shoving you does???? Get real!

  • Khadijah Evans

    To: Michael Rothwell

    Yeah right! I bet you were a racist before the black man shoved you. (Would you hate all whites if it had been a white man? LOL!)

    One incident does not a racist make, especially not one so minor.


    You make about as much sense

  • Michael Rothwell

    I am a White Man. I served 6 years as a US Marine, and 14 more as an inner city cop.I have worked hard to get a college education, and buy a home and 25 acres in rural Ohio.
    Yesterday my wife informed me there was a black man in a car stopped in front of my house. I immediately went out to see what was going on. The black man exited his vehicle and walked on to my property without permission, and stated he was supposed to photograph my home for a realty company. I told him the company he represented was not the holder of my mortgage, and told him to get off my property. He walked back to his car, came back to my property, stating because of the trees, he needed to take the picture from my property. I told him this was private property, and he must leave now. He continued onto my property, I blocked his path, and he PUSHED ME ! My neighbor witnessed this and called the police, I did not retaliate, trying to be a law abiding citizen. The Sheriff responded and did nothing ! He stated that I was not hurt, and since I was twice his size anyway, no harm no foul. At this moment it finally occurred to me that , there is NO PROTECTION FOR THE WHITE MAN in obamas’ america.
    I went online, and found someone who is on my side. Specifically W.A.R. and The Christian Identity Movement. I would NEVER EVER have considered being part of this group before, but after yesterday, I have no choice.Who is going to protect me and my family, ZOG ? You Mr. Dees ? I only pray that my education, years of military and law enforcement experience will be of help to the movement. I supplied the information provided to me by the sheriff to a group of nice local kids who call themselves ” Hammer Skins ” They have been keeping an eye on my property, and even helped my wife unload groceries from her car ! Very polite, very respectful, nice young men. They assure me they will take care of this guy who assaulted me, and I believe them !
    I know my post is not in keeping with the spirit of this blog,however, I want you liberal followers of obama , to understand what causes White people ( who by the way still out number you by millions ) to take a stand !

  • Khadijah Evans

    I’m Muslim, a convert of 8 years. I don’t hate Jews(or anyone else for that matter) but I was a bit disturbed about the future of Muslim-American relations when Obama(whom I voted for) chose Emanuel. But this s the fist time I’ve heard of Imam Ali. I also haven’t heard any local Muslims here speak against the bill.(Are they unaware of it?)

    I did sign a petition to try and stop the anit-hate bill, but not because I thought it would violate my right to speak against Israel, but because an online Christian organization said it would prevent me from speaking out against pedophiles. (A group I feel should have no righs).
    I guess I should have invetigated it further first.