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

Muslim-Basher Pam Geller, Fresh From Call for Censorship, to Testify to Alaska House Today

By Robert Steinback on March 30, 2011 - 10:09 am, Posted in Anti-Muslim, Patriot Groups

Pamela Geller, one of America’s most rabid Islamophobes and a woman who is scheduled to testify today to the Alaska House of Representatives, thinks people like her should be able to decide what news people like you get to see. And she doesn’t think you can handle news presented by Middle East-based Al Jazeera English.

Geller, writing for the right-wing Daily Caller website Saturday, offered her insight on the constitutional rights and privileges of foreign media in the U.S. market. “Al Jazeera is planning to expand into the United States, and the chattering classes are treating it as a simple free speech matter,” Geller wrote.

“Let’s not let the Islamic supremacists once again invoke the freedom of speech to kill our freedom of speech,” Geller continued. “The ruse of using freedom of speech to allow propaganda broadcasts over our airways is another stealth attack on the United States of America. The issue of the expansion of Al Jazeera into the United States can only be likened to an expansion of [Nazi propagandist Joseph] Goebbels’s media network into the U.S. at the height of World War II.”

To protect freedom of speech, in other words, Geller bizarrely suggests America should suppress certain speech and control the media. Because, after all, Al Jazeera, whose coverage of the recent uprisings in the Arab world was widely lauded because it was so much more comprehensive than that of other media, is just like the Nazis.

Remarkably, given her radical views, Geller is set to testify today on behalf of Alaska’s House Bill 88, yet another proposed state law meant to stop the purported spread of Shariah, or Islamic religious, law. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has asked the Alaska House to rescind its invitation to Geller, citing her history of hateful commentary against Muslims. Geller quickly denounced CAIR’s request, accusing it of “using freedom of speech to kill freedom of speech” — essentially recycling the same charge she levied against Al Jazeera. ( continue to full post… )

Student Group at Harvard Sponsors Anti-Gay Religious Speakers

By Evelyn Schlatter on March 29, 2011 - 2:40 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT

On April 1-2, an event called “The Social Transformation Conference: Social Transformation by the Power of God” is scheduled to take place at Harvard University, and it’s raising a few red — or perhaps crimson — flags. Sponsored by a student group, the Harvard Extension Service & Leadership Society, the conference is billed innocuously as a meeting of invited religious leaders to discuss how faith-based social transformation efforts can improve society.

But a harder look at the speakers tells another story, and the conference’s own agenda notes that it has specifically targeted Harvard in an effort to bring the famous educational institution back to its Christian roots. Many of the speakers are associated with the “Seven Mountains” movement, which is a type of Christian dominionist theology. Dominionism generally calls upon Christians to establish “dominion” over every aspect of our culture and government — that is, create a kind of theocracy — and use that to create God’s kingdom on Earth in order to ensure the return of Jesus Christ. Dominionism is a highly conservative and often radical-right theology whose leaders are often virulently anti-gay and anti-Muslim. ( continue to full post… )

SPLC Testifies About Rising Anti-Muslim Sentiment

By Booth Gunter on March 29, 2011 - 1:52 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim, Hate Crime

Anti-Muslim bigotry is once again on the march, thanks in large part to hate groups like Stop Islamization of America, which helped gin up nationwide hysteria last year over a planned Islamic cultural center near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in Manhattan.

Since the controversy over the “ground zero mosque” erupted last May, we’ve seen a steady drumbeat of news accounts of hate crimes and bias incidents aimed at Muslims – too many to ignore. And U.S. Rep. Peter King’s Islamophobic hearings almost three weeks ago on the radicalization of Muslims in America didn’t help matters.

So the hearings that began today in the Senate, conducted by Sen. Dick Durbin, are a welcome development. Durbin, chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, announced last week that he would hold hearings “in response to the spike in anti-Muslim bigotry in the last year including Quran burnings, restrictions on mosque construction, hate crimes, hate speech and other forms of discrimination.”

SPLC President Richard Cohen today submitted testimony at Durbin’s invitation. ( continue to full post… )

After ‘Liberty Dollars’ Creator Convicted, Feds Seek Millions

By Bill Morlin on March 25, 2011 - 2:15 pm, Posted in Extremist Commerce, Extremist Crime, Patriot Groups

The U.S. government wants ownership of $7 million worth of coins manufactured and sold by Bernard von NotHaus, a 67-year-old antigovernment icon who became a “high priest” in his own marijuana-smoking church.

A federal jury in Statesville, N.C., decided on March 18 that the “Liberty Dollars” and other silver, gold and copper coins manufactured in North Idaho and sold throughout the United States by von NotHaus and his sales team violated federal laws. Von NotHaus, the founder of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act (NORFED), was convicted on charges of conspiracy and two counterfeiting-related charges.

No sentencing date has been set for von NotHaus, who could get up to 15 years in prison. Three other co-defendants are still awaiting a separate trial.

The Liberty Dollars are still a hit with some coin collectors without a political or philosophical agenda. But most buyers, it appears, came from the ranks of anti-tax or radical “sovereign citizen” movements. The common denominator: challenging the authority of the federal government to tax and regulate, along with the notion that the Federal Reserve is controlled by private Jewish bankers. ( continue to full post… )

Justice Keeping Blanket of Secrecy Over MLK Parade Bomb Case

By Bill Morlin on March 24, 2011 - 9:17 am, Posted in Anti-Black, Extremist Crime

The Justice Department is maintaining tight secrecy around its case against a 36-year-old white supremacist accused of planting a backpack bomb on the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day unity parade in Spokane, Wash.

Kevin William Harpham, who has past ties to the neo-Nazi National Alliance and made more than 1,000 postings on racist Internet sites, was indicted Tuesday, 13 days after his arrest by the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team and other agents.

If convicted of attempting to use a “weapon of mass destruction” and knowingly “receiving and possessing” an illegal explosive device, Harpham was told at his arraignment Wednesday that he could be sent to prison for life.

But just how an FBI terrorism task force and Justice Department prosecutors built their case again the former U.S. Army soldier remains a secret. There have been no other arrests and Harpham wasn’t charged with conspiracy, which would have been a clue that FBI agents were still looking for one or more additional suspects. ( continue to full post… )

Steve Emerson, Backing King Hearings, Pushes Misleading Statistic on Muslim Terrorism

By Robert Steinback on March 23, 2011 - 2:57 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

UPDATE: Steve Emerson, who is criticized in the post below, sent in a lengthy statement last night in response to a request for comment submitted by the writer earlier in the week. It can be found in the comments at the end of the story.

The day before U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) convened the first round of his controversial hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, the nonprofit Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) released what certainly seemed to be a sobering statistic. “More than 80 percent of all convictions tied to international terrorist groups and homegrown terrorism since 9/11 involved defendants driven by a radical Islamist agenda,” IPT said in the opening lines of the March 9 statement on its website. “Though Muslims represent about 1 percent of the American population, they constitute defendants in 186 of the 228 cases DOJ lists.”

These claims, while not exactly going viral, nevertheless were quickly picked up by the political right. Anti-Muslim firebrand Pamela Geller, executive director of Stop Islamization of America (which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group), went on Eric Bolling’s FOX Business program “Follow the Money” on the evening of King’s hearings. “As we witnessed in the recent study released by [IPT Executive Director] Steve Emerson,” she said, “where we saw that over 80% of the attacks since 9/11 were Islamic in nature, so there is a problem.”

But it really isn’t so.

IPT’s statistics, clearly intended to justify King’s decision to focus only on the threat of homegrown Muslim terrorists to the exclusion of all other domestic terror threats, mischaracterized the source material it analyzed from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) — and then drew a meaningless conclusion from its own flawed analysis. While Emerson didn’t flatly misstate most of the facts, IPT’s characterization of those facts — especially its second sentence, comparing the percentage of American Muslims with the percentage of Muslim defendants in terror cases listed by the DOJ — was essentially a propaganda ploy meant to hype the domestic Muslim threat. ( continue to full post… )

Alaska Congressman Seeks Distance From Accused Militia Plotter

By Bill Morlin on March 22, 2011 - 4:24 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Crime

A Republican congressman from Alaska, who also is on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association, now is attempting to distance himself from a Fairbanks militia leader accused in a high-profile firearms, murder and kidnapping plot.

In April 2009, with a video camera rolling, Rep. Don Young signed a “Letter of Declaration” being circulated by the Second Amendment Task Force/Alaska Peacemakers Militia, led by Francis Schaeffer Cox. The “declaration” called on “sovereign Americans” to “alter or abolish” any government that tries to “further tax, restrict or register firearms” or prevents individuals from exercising their “God-given right to self-defense [that] precedes all human legislation.”

Cox apparently thought the Second Amendment also gave him the right to possess hand grenades, a silencer and an unregistered machine gun. He’s accused of keeping such an illegal weapons cache in a trailer in Fairbanks.

The 27-year-old militia leader was arrested earlier this month on state and federal charges accusing him of being at the center of a militia plot to kill Alaska state troopers and a federal judge, along with amassing the illegal firearms. Militias are the paramilitary wing of the so-called “Patriot” movement, whose conspiracy-minded members typically see the federal government as their primary enemy. The movement has grown dramatically in the last two years. ( continue to full post… )

Amazon Often Rejects Porn But Helps White Racists Publish Books

By Leah Nelson on March 21, 2011 - 3:49 pm, Posted in Extremist Propaganda

Fans of racist literature looking to get their hands on a copy of Kyle Bristow’s 2010 novel White Apocalypse need look no further than Amazon.com. Thanks to the online retail giant’s print-on-demand (POD) service, the bloodthirsty white nationalist fantasy – which Bristow self-published through Amazon subsidiary CreateSpace – is available for sale on Amazon for just $17.58.

And it’s eligible for super-saver shipping.

Amazon will even help novice white nationalists get their library going. For $50.14 – a slight discount – interested readers can buy Bristow’s book together with Racism Schmacism by James Edwards, host of the unabashedly racist radio program “The Political Cesspool,” and A Mighty Fortress by dedicated neo-Nazi Harold Covington, described by one enthusiastic reviewer as “unabashedly pro-white and anti-jew [sic] and non-white.” ( continue to full post… )

Gingrich Said to Funnel $125K Via Hate Group to Punish Iowa Justices

By Leah Nelson on March 17, 2011 - 3:27 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT

A nonprofit group led by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich channeled $125,000 through a hard-line anti-gay organization to support a 2010 campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in that state, The Associated Press (AP) reported Tuesday. The donation to the American Family Association (AFA), which was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) earlier this year, was part of a total of $350,000 Gingrich reportedly helped steer to Iowa for Freedom, which led the successful campaign against the justices, the only ones on the court who were up for reelection.

The SPLC lists AFA as a hate group principally because of its regular use of false propaganda to demonize gays and lesbians. Especially remarkable are the views expressed by Bryan Fischer, its shrill director of issue analysis for government and policy. Fischer has proposed criminalizing homosexual behavior, advocated forcing gays into “reparative” therapy, and claimed gays were responsible for the Holocaust. (For more on Fischer’s claims, click here, here, here and here.)

The story of Gingrich’s below-the-radar assistance to Iowa for Freedom started to dribble out on March 3, when The Los Angeles Times reported that Gingrich helped the organization get its start, offering strategic advice and arranging a $200,000 gift from an anonymous donor. The remaining $150,000, the AP reported, was raised in the form of donations to Renewing American Leadership (ReAL), a nonprofit group Gingrich founded that promotes his books, TV appearances, and films. It was ReAL Action, an arm of ReAL, that reportedly gave $125,000 of that $150,000 to AFA Action, the political wing of AFA. The final $25,000 was given by ReAL Action to Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. Both AFA Action and Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition then supported Iowa for Freedom’s efforts, the AP said. ( continue to full post… )

Anti-Immigrant Oklahoma State Rep Accused of Threatening Speaker

By Heidi Beirich on March 16, 2011 - 4:25 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Oklahoma State Rep. Randy Terrill is in the press again, this time for reportedly cursing and threatening Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele, a fellow Republican. Terrill, who is rabidly anti-immigrant and a prominent member of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), the main organization behind efforts to undermine the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship, is also under investigation for bribery.

Tulsa Today reports that an affidavit signed last week by an unidentified eyewitness says that on March 10, Terrill entered the office of Majority Floor Leader Dan Sullivan and “stated, in approximately the following words, that he ‘knew he needed Senate authors on two of his bills, but that it didn’t matter because the fucking retard Speaker wasn’t going to hear them anyway – or so that’s what the Floor Leader is telling everybody.’” The affidavit also says Terrill said, “in approximately the following words that ‘He thinks he’s got one bad leg now, wait until I break his other Goddamned leg.’” Steele was crippled in a childhood accident.

Terrill was reprimanded on Tuesday for his behavior by his fellow legislators. During the debate, Terrill proclaimed his innocence and, according to Tulsa Today, “attacked other members of the House, alleging sexual and other misbehavior, and claiming he was being unfairly targeted by Republican leaders.” The vote on Terrill’s reprimand was 34-30, with 29 of the House’s 31 Democrats and several Republicans voting to abstain. Republicans outnumber Democrats 70-31 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. ( continue to full post… )