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

New Report Details Funding Sources Behind Anti-Muslim Fearmongers

By Robert Steinback on August 26, 2011 - 1:00 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim, Extremist Propaganda

The rising tide of Islamophobia in the United States is not a natural or spontaneous outgrowth of popular fear of Muslim fundamentalist terrorism, nor is it the product of a vast right-wing conspiracy. Rather, it is the design of “a small, tightly networked group of misinformation experts guiding an effort that reaches millions of Americans through effective advocates, media partners, and grassroots organizing,” according to a powerful investigative report released today by the progressive think tank Center for American Progress (CAP).

Entitled “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” the 130-page report asserts that five “experts” are primarily responsible for the dissemination of false facts and materials used by political leaders, grassroots groups and the media to generate unreasonable fears about Muslims and Islam. Since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, seven foundations have provided over $42 million in support for this focused campaign, the report determined.

“This small network of people is driving the national and global debates that have real consequences on the public dialogue and on American Muslims,” the report said. “Due in part to the relentless efforts of this small group of individuals and organizations, Islam is now the most negatively viewed religion in America.” ( continue to full post… )

Nativist Leader Clarifies Violence Statement, Sort Of

By Leah Nelson on August 25, 2011 - 4:33 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Extremist Propaganda

William Gheen, head of the nativist extremist group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), has certainly made a spectacle of himself this week. Shocked at the backlash from his proclamation Monday that “illegal and violent” “extra-political activities” might be the only way to save “white America” from “Dictator Barack Obama,” he is scrambling with all the effectiveness of a bug stuck on a pin to pretend he didn’t say what he said. ( continue to full post… )

Ex-Marine and Fugitive Tied to Oath Keepers Arrested

By Bill Morlin on August 25, 2011 - 1:15 pm, Posted in Patriot Groups

Charles DyerA federal fugitive with past ties to the Patriot group Oath Keepers was arrested without incident Thursday southwest of Houston, Texas, just days after fleeing a campground during a law enforcement dragnet.

Charles Alan Dyer, 31, a former Marine, was arrested after leaving a Sonic drive-in where he had purchased a Route 44 red cherry limeade, The Houston Chronicle reported. Fort Bend County sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Goodrich, who made the arrest, said Dyer was  wearing a baseball cap, blue jeans, with a T-shirt over his shoulder. After providing a fictitious name, he was arrested without resisting and seemed very tired, the deputy said. “He said he was just done,” Goodrich said.

Deputies found $1,000 in cash and a GPS device on Dyer, who had been hiding along the Brazos River during the day. Officials say he had been in the Fort Bend County area for three to four days. The wanted man apparently hung out along the Brazos River during the day and would come out at night, searching for food, sheriff’s deputies said.

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News Roundup for August 25, 2011

By Hatewatch Staff on August 25, 2011 - 12:58 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim, Hate Crime

Prosecutors in Muscogee County, Ga., indicted a man for assault they allege is connected to the neo-Nazi National Alliance. Authorities say that Michael Carothers, 31, allegedly pulled up alongside an African-American man who was walking and pepper sprayed him. Carothers is known for passing out National Alliance literature, and is facing up to 20 years in prison for the attack.

A man in Portland, Ore., has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly firebombing a mosque in Corvallis, Ore. Cody Crawford is accused of the attack on the mosque, only a block away from his home, which had once been attended by a suspected attempted bomber.

A lesbian couple in Harlan County, Ky., is asking the federal government to investigate a possible hate crime against them. The couple alleges that while they attended a Fourth of July fireworks display with their family, including their children, a group of people began shooting fireworks at them, burning one victim’s grandmother. After one victim’s father attempted to approach the group, people in the crowd began to attack her and her partner, resulting in serious injuries to both.

Police in Port Orange, Fla., are searching for a grandmother accused of kidnapping her grandson, and who may be dangerous. According to police, Laurine Sue Arnold, 49, is believed to be a “sovereign citizen” and may be uncooperative if found. Arnold was allegedly not allowed to see her grandson, and is also wanted on an unrelated charge of resisting arrest.

Authorities in Waterloo, Iowa, have announced that they will not seek hate crimes charges in the death of a 19-year-old African-American teen. The victim was allegedly beaten in front of a friend’s house by a group of individuals, and later died at a local hospital. The friends of the victim claim it was a hate crime due to his being called gay slurs. Police say previous animosities between the two sides caused the taunting and fight.

Radical Rabbi Blames Gay People for Earthquake

By Evelyn Schlatter on August 24, 2011 - 3:09 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Extremist Propaganda

It was only a matter of time before somebody blamed yesterday’s earthquake in Virginia on homosexuality. The man who has the distinction of being the first this time around is New York City-based Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who claimed yesterday in a YouTube video that because of homosexuality, “God brings earthquakes to the world.”

Levin is not the first religious figure to include LGBT people in the blame game for catastrophic events more typically described as “acts of God.” In 2001, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell blamed 9/11 on a variety of supposed evils, including feminists, pagans, abortion, the secularization of America, and “the gays and the lesbian who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle.” More recently, according to Robertson, the devastating earthquake in Haiti was the result of Haitians themselves, who “made a pact with the devil” in the 18th century in order to defeat their French colonizers and were now paying the price. And this January, Cindy Jacobs, a self-proclaimed “prophet” and apostolic Christian, declared that the repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) military policy on gays and support for same-sex marriage were responsible for a rash of bird deaths in Arkansas. ( continue to full post… )

You, Too, Can Learn About America’s Surrender to Shariah – If You Act Now!

By Robert Steinback on August 24, 2011 - 2:51 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

If you, through your own diligence and dogged research, had discovered evidence of foreign infiltration of key U.S. institutions like the Pentagon and the White House, what would you do with it? Tell the FBI? Call your senator or governor? Distribute it to major news outlets to warn an unwary populace?

Not Brigitte Gabriel, president of ACT! for America and one of the nation’s leading hawkers of anti-Muslim propaganda. Her preferred strategy for saving America from the formidable Islamic threat she sees: Selling $19-a-month memberships to her organization.

Gabriel this week distributed a message to those on her ACT mailing list declaring the growing menace of “The enemy among us,” the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egypt-based organization “through its many front organizations in the U.S., has engaged in what it calls ‘civilization jihad,’ an influential campaign of information warfare designed to deceive and co-opt elected officials, law enforcement officials, academics and the media,” the letter explains. Why, they’re even “advising President Obama on Middle Eastern affairs,” Gabriel writes.

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Neo-Nazi Leader Was Investigated for Supporting Al Qaeda

By Bill Morlin on August 23, 2011 - 4:58 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Neo-Nazi

August B. Kreis III, the self-appointed director of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, came under FBI investigation after making statements supporting Al Qaeda terrorists, a federal prosecutor revealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Columbia, S.C.

The revelation emerged when Kreis pleaded guilty to a federal charge of lying to the U.S. government while drawing military veterans’ benefits. He was getting enhanced benefits from the government he hates even though he only served nine months in the U.S. Navy.

During the brief court hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean Eichelberger revealed that Kreis became the focus of an FBI investigation after he made public statements aligning himself with Al Qaeda jihadists. “Kreis stated that he and members of his movement desired to join Al Qaeda in its jihad against the United States government,’’ the prosecutor said. “Actions in material support of enemies of the government are criminal, and federal law enforcement investigated whether Kreis was acting on these statements or providing support to Al Qaeda.” ( continue to full post… )

Group Wants Next President to ‘Investigate’ LGBT Opponents

By Evelyn Schlatter on August 23, 2011 - 3:28 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT

Earlier this month, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), one of the most visible and active anti-gay marriage groups, asked all serious contenders for the GOP nomination for president to sign its so-called “Marriage Pledge.”

It some ways, it was just another pledge being sought from political conservatives, like the one that many Republicans have signed promising never to vote for higher taxes. The NOM pledge obligates signers to oppose same-sex marriage, support a federal amendment defining marriage as limited to one man and one woman, and back the appointment of judges and an attorney general who will “respect the original meaning of the Constitution” and defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denies the legal federal benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.

No particular surprises there. But there is one especially sinister provision: the NOM pledge promises that signers, upon election, will “appoint a presidential commission to investigate harassment of traditional marriage supporters.” ( continue to full post… )

Nativist Leader Says Violence May be Needed to Save ‘White America’

By Leah Nelson on August 23, 2011 - 2:38 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Extremist Propaganda

While much of the political rhetoric on the right these days is laden with violent imagery and gun-based metaphors, outright suggestions of political violence remain relatively rare. But in the wake of President Obama’s executive order last week that sharply limits deportations of non-criminal undocumented immigrants, that is changing.

Yesterday, speaking with far-right radio host Janet Mefferd, William Gheen, the leader of the nativist group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), said that legal political activity may no longer be sufficient to protect America from immigrants — in particular, he made it clear, from non-white immigrants. Gheen, who in the past tried to appear a moderate on the nativist scene, said that in order to save “white America,” it may be necessary to engage in “extra-political activities that I can’t really talk about because they’re all illegal and violent.”

His full quote: “We’re no longer referring to him as President Barack Obama, our national organization has made the decision and made the announcement, we now refer to him as dictator Barack Obama. That’s what he is. And, basically, at this point, if you’re looking for a peaceful, political recourse, there really isn’t one that we can think of, and I’m really not sure what to tell people out there than I guess they need to make decisions soon to just accept whatever comes next or some type of extra-political activities that I can’t really talk about because they’re illegal and violent.” ( continue to full post… )

News Roundup for August 23, 2011

By Hatewatch Staff on August 23, 2011 - 1:09 pm, Posted in Anti-LGBT, Anti-Semitic, Militias

A college student in Waterloo, Iowa, was killed in a possible hate crime. According to a friend of the victim, a group of individuals taunted the victim with anti-gay slurs, prompting a fight. The victim was knocked to the ground and kicked in the head; he later died. Police are still searching for the suspects.

The manhunt continues for an Oklahoma militiaman accused of sexual assault. Charles Alan Dyer is accused of raping a 7-year-old girl and then fleeing authorities. Police are now concentrating on a small Texas town.

Los Angeles police are investigating a hate crime after a local synagogue was vandalized with white supremacist symbols. Police say that swastikas with “666” and “Go Home” were spray-painted in the property.