The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
He hated Muslims.
They got what they deserved.
Things happen for a reason.
Those were the chilling words and sentiments the homeless man charged in the arson fire of a Houston mosque allegedly told a convenience store clerk shortly after part of the house of worship went up in flames Friday morning around 5:30.
The office of the Harris County District Attorney revealed the alleged statement yesterday evening when the suspect, 55-year-old Darryl Ferguson, made his first court appearance in the case, according to KPRC 2.
“He told a nearby convenience store clerk,” a court official said yesterday during Ferguson’s probable cause hearing, “that he hated Muslims, they got what they deserved, and things happen for a reason.”
Despite Ferguson’s alleged statements, the arson that heavily damaged a portion of the Quba Islamic Institute mosque and school in a residential neighborhood of Houston has not been classified as a hate crime. “It’s still under investigation,” Jeff McShan, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney, told Hatewatch today. “Who knows if that guy [the store clerk] is telling the truth?”
Ferguson, who has a lengthy criminal record, was arrested Monday evening after he approached arson investigators who were canvassing the neighborhood near the mosque. The authorities said Ferguson had been staying in the area and confessed to setting the fire, claiming it was accidental and he was simply trying to stay warm.
He has been charged with first-degree arson and faces from five to 99 years in prison if convicted. He is being held without bond.
McShan, the district attorney spokesman, said even if it turns out that Ferguson actually said those chilling words of hate to the store clerk he would not be charged with a hate crime because he has already been charged with the highest level of offense. In Texas, McShan said, a hate crime offense adds one degree to a charge “and he’s already at first degree and he wouldn’t be moved up.”
McShan said Ferguson’s alleged words, however, could be used against him at trial to establish guilt.
No one was injured in the blaze that took about two dozen firefighters roughly an hour to knock down. One of the three buildings – primarily used for storage – that comprise the mosque and school complex was gutted.
A telephone call to the mosque for comment today about Ferguson’s alleged statement was not returned.
A homeless man has been charged with arson in connection with a fire last week that heavily damaged a portion of the Quba Islamic Institute mosque and school in a residential neighborhood of Houston.
Suspect Darryl Ferguson, 55, was arrested Monday evening after he approached arson investigators who were canvassing the neighborhood near the mosque, the Houston Chronicle reported. Investigators said Ferguson, who has a lengthy criminal record and had been staying in the area, confessed to setting the fire, claiming it was accidental.
Authorities have not said if they intend to classify the arson as a hate crime.
In a Facebook posting and media interviews, mosque officials say they were told by investigators that the fire at 5:30 a.m. Friday was deliberately started by someone using accelerants.
Two dozen firefighters from the Houston Fire Department had the fire knocked down within an hour but the blaze gutted one of three buildings — primarily used for storage — that comprise the mosque and school complex.
No one was injured. A damage estimate hasn’t been released.
It is the latest in a string of at least four suspicious fires or arson attempts at Houston-area mosques in the past decade.
The arson fire in Houston occurred just three days after the murder of three Muslim university students in Chapel Hill, Va. The FBI is now conducting an initial inquiry to determine if those killings constitute a hate crime, warranting a federal investigation.
“A lot of people have the feeling that perhaps the mentality is the same,” Ahsan Zahid, son of the Houston institute’s imam, told the Los Angeles Times after the fire at the mosque.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Zahid noted the preliminary finding of arson and added, “I hope it’s not a hate crime.”
Houston — the fourth largest city in the United States — has the largest population of Muslims in Texas, an estimated 57,000 people. The state of Texas, meanwhile, has the nation’s eighth largest Muslim population, 420,000 people, who are served by 166 mosques.
Some of them, it appears, have been targets of hate crimes.
In March 2011, a fire at the Clear Lake mosque in southeastern Houston damaged a library, kitchen and women’s prayer room. Two months later, three masked men captured on security cameras poured gasoline on prayer rugs at the Madrasah Islamiah mosque, but a large fire failed to ignite.
In May 2004, a late-night arson fire damaged the Msjiad Almuhaymin mosque in Houston while the facility was locked and vacant.
There have been no arrests in any of those arsons, according to media reports.
But last May, at the end of a lengthy sting investigation, the FBI arrested a man from a Houston suburb who allegedly plotted to kill police officers and blow up government buildings and mosques.
Robert James Talbot Jr., 38, of Katy, Texas, who used the online alias of “Robert Liberty,” pleaded guilty in October to attempted interference with commerce by robbery and solicitation to commit a crime of violence.
Most court documents in his case are sealed from public viewing, but the docket report shows Talbot is scheduled for sentencing on April 10.
The FBI has opened an “initial inquiry” – a procedural step before a full investigation – into this week’s fatal shootings of three young Muslims at a housing complex in Chapel Hill, N.C., near the University of North Carolina.
“The FBI has also opened a parallel preliminary inquiry to determine whether or not any federal laws were violated related to the case,” the FBI said in a statement, the Washington Post reports in today’s editions.
Chapel Hill police currently are the lead agency in investigating the shooting deaths on Tuesday of newlyweds Deah Barakat, 23, and Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, all students at the University of North Carolina.
Before a formal investigation is begun by the FBI, the agency frequently opens what it calls an “initial inquiry” to determine if there is sufficient evidence to justify full-blown federal intervention. With the FBI involved, federal charges can be filed against suspects in an investigation, supplanting or supporting state charges.
A neighbor of the victims, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, surrendered to police after the shootings. He has been charged with three counts of murder and remains in jail. Chapel Hill police have said “an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking” may have been a factor in the shootings.
But Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of the sisters who were killed, has publicly said the murders were a hate crime and called upon the FBI to investigate. “This has hate crime written all over it,” the father told reporters at the funeral of his daughters. Others, including fellow Muslims, have echoed that sentiment.
The Washington Post reported that the shooting “has stirred a deep sense of fear and vulnerability” for Muslims living in and near Chapel Hill. “As thousands gathered Thursday to mourn the victims, more and more people there were discussing whether bias played a role in the shootings and the larger issue of anti-Islamic sentiment,” the newspaper reported.
Hicks’ Facebook page was filled with statements against religion of all types, although Islam was not particularly singled out. Hicks also was a gun enthusiast, as evidenced by his many postings on gun websites and also an Amazon “wish list” that included such items as rifle scopes. In addition, the sisters’ father has said that one of his daughters told him before her murder that she had a scary neighbor who appeared to be upset by the traditional Muslim hijabs the two women wore.
There are other reasons for Muslims in America to feel under siege. Recent weeks and months have been thick with news of jihadist horrors — the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, the murder of American Kayla Mueller by the Islamic State and the beheadings and burning alive of a Jordanian pilot by the same group, the Taliban’s mass murder of 145 people at a school in Pakistan, and more.
A poll out earlier this week, from LifeWay, a Christian nonprofit research group, found that 27% of Americans now see the barbaric Islamic State as representative of mainstream Islam. A variety of politicians and pundits have been aggressively attacking Muslims and their faith, often in the guise of working to pass laws to prevent the imposition of Shariah law on American courts — an impossibility under the Constitution.
And that’s not all.
This morning, American Muslims awoke to the news that a large building at a new Islamic community center in Houston had been entirely gutted by an early morning fire. Though officials were not saying if the blaze was caused by arson, officials at the center said they had been told that it was started by a person, although perhaps accidentally.
Imam Zahid Abdullah also told ABC News that he saw a suspicious man near the center on Wednesday and last night. “My son was passing by here and somebody was sitting her in a white Ram, making mockery, chanting, “ he said.
Another Islamic center in Houston was attacked by arsonists in 2011. There have been similar attacks on Islamic centers in Jacksonville, Fla., and Corvallis, Ore.
President Obama issued a statement about the triple homicide in Chapel Hill today that sought to reassure Muslims, calling the murders “brutal and outrageous,” and confirming that the FBI’s would see if federal laws were violated.
“No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship,” the president said.
In the weeks following the terrorist attacks in France, major players in the American anti-Muslim movement have unleashed a tirade of bigotry and renewed their energies in attacking the federal government. But not to be left out, prominent anti-immigrant figures and politicians have also joined the show.
Former congressman Tom Tancredo called for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States, and rabid far-right commentator Ann Coulter said the same for France, suggesting that it might be a good time for the French to “take a little pause in Muslim immigration for a while.”
But that was only the beginning of their outrage, which quickly turned to focus on criticizing Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), for his appointment to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Carson is the first Muslim to sit on the committee.
Robert Spencer, who runs the website Jihad Watch and is closely tied to anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller, questioned Carson’s position and lamented that he “already has entrée to highly sensitive areas” of the federal government. The anti-Muslim blog “Creeping Sharia” called Carson “delusional” and “dangerous” and claimed, “he does not belong on any intel committee.” A post about Carson on the website of the increasingly extreme American Thinker also concluded, “With radical Muslims parading in and out of the White House over the past six years, installing Carson on a national security committee is more proof that the Islamic threat we face is inside our own government.”
The fallacy in the Thinker’s argument — that all Muslims are radicalized and bent on destroying the West — is only the beginning in this new round of anti-Muslim hate. Others have reacted to the Jan. 7 attack in Paris by ratcheting up completely fabricated concerns, like so-called “no-go zones” in the United States and United Kingdom where non-Muslims are no longer welcome and, in fact, targeted upon visiting.
The idea has received considerable airtime thanks to repeated statements from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who recently doubled down on his claims that these areas exist in a interview with CNN, stating, “I think your viewers know absolutely there are places where the police are less likely to go. They absolutely know there are neighborhoods where they wouldn’t feel comfortable.”
Even before Jindal’s remarks, though, anti-Muslim activist Steve Emerson told Fox News that Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city, is “totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.” Emerson’s comments prompted an angry response from British Prime Minister David Cameron who branded him “a complete idiot.” (Fox News issued an apology for Emerson’s comments soon after.)
But anti-immigrant leader Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a nativist think tank, echoed Jindal and Emerson’s comments in a tweet on January 20. “OF COURSE there are no-go zones in many of Europe’s Muslim neighborhoods,” the tweet said.
Krikorian is no stranger to anti-Muslim sentiment, once writing, “I’m afraid that in the Islamic world democracy faces the problem of a vicious people, one where the desire for freedom is indeed written in every human heart, but the freedom to do evil.”
It doesn’t stop there. There has also been increased hand-wringing about Sharia law supplanting Constitutional law. A litany of anti-Muslim leaders signed a letter penned by Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy praising Jindal for his recent comments about Sharia. Other notable signatories included Brigitte Gabriel, head of the anti-Muslim ACT! for America and Tony Perkins, president of the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council.
Then, last week, some in the anti-Muslim movement decided to take to the streets to voice their opposition to Islam.
On January 17, a “Stand with the Prophet” event aimed at combatting Islamophobia took place in Garland, Texas. In response, Muslim-basher Pamela Geller organized a demonstration that attracted a number of extremists, including representatives from the anti-Muslim group The United West and Ruben Israel, part of the Los Angeles-based hate group Official Street Preachers. In an interview with The United West at the protest site, Geller stated, “The Islamic leadership in this country is holding a conference to restrict our free speech. It’s the same exact premise, it’s the same ideology, it’s the same system of governance, the Sharia, that was behind those murders (in Paris).”
There are voices that disagree. In a recent op-ed in The Tennessean, for example, Paul Galloway, executive director of the American Center for Outreach, which works to bring Muslim voices to the Tennessee political stage, wrote that, “More and more people are starting to see the symbiotic relationship between Muslim terrorists and the anti-Muslim propaganda machine.” This is certainly the case, but the propaganda from anti-Muslim quarters continues to spread.
Update: The RNC voted yesterday to censure its member Dave Agema for posting material on social media that is insensitive to gays, Muslims and African Americans. Ironically, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is working closing with a group, American Family Association, that could be described in the exact same way.
It’s only been a few weeks since we learned that majority whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) had spoken to a white supremacist group in 2002, and again the Republican Party has a scandal about race on its hands.
As the RNC gathers today in San Diego for its annual strategy meeting to draft plans for its future, particularly how it will improve its outreach to minorities, another prominent GOP lawmaker has been discovered to be a fan of white supremacist thinking.
Dave Agema, a member of the Republican National Committee from Michigan, republished an essay by the white nationalist publication American Renaissance in a New Year’s Eve Facebook post. The racist article, par for the course for American Renaissance, said “blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.”
Agema reportedly found it “very enlightening.” Can that possibly be true?
Agema has since pulled the piece down, but he refuses to apologize or resign from the RNC. And this isn’t his first racist rodeo.
According to the National Journal, Agema has a well-documented history of making inflammatory and false remarks, such as that President Obama is a Muslim. The Journal points to another Agema Facebook faux pas. He apparently shared what he called an “eye opening” essay that posed the question: “Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?”
At least in this case, some in the RNC have reacted appropriately by calling for Agema to resign or be removed. They include RNC head Reince Priebus and Michigan’s entire GOP delegation. That’s all well and very good, but where’s the outrage from Priebus or other prominent Republicans over Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s plan to hold a prayer rally with the American Family Association (AFA)? Emails to Priebus’ and Jindal’s offices asking for comment were not returned.
On Jan. 24, Jindal, with AFA backing, will be praying at Louisiana State University in an event billed as “The Revival.” His partner, AFA, has defamed immigrants, the LGBT community and women. And just like American Renaissance, it has had horrible things to say about black people.
Let’s take a look at Jindal’s prayer partners.
- An AFA leader has said, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.”
- The same staffer said African Americans “rut like rabbits” and women have no place in politics or the military.
- Another has argued that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” and come to the United States to “plunder” our country.
- And the group has repeatedly made the point that non-Christians are second-class citizens—“we are a Christian nation, and not a Jewish or Muslim one.” (Find a comprehensive look at AFA’s extremist statements and positions here).
Given a track record like that, I have to ask where’s the outrage from Jindal’s fellow Republicans? American Renaissance is clearly racist, but so are these statements about black people and Latinos. Shouldn’t they be condemned as well? And what about blaming gay people for the Holocaust?
So, if Agema is the big Republican elephant in the room stalking the GOP’s efforts to reach out to minorities, isn’t that true as well of any politician who is close to AFA?
Sadly the hypocrisy goes much deeper. As RNC Chair Priebus has berated Agema, rightly saying, “The tone and rhetoric from Agema is consistently offensive and has no place in politics or any rational conversation,” the chairman is also working closely with AFA.
At the end of this month, Priebus is leading an all expenses paid trip to Jerusalem for RNC members. So far, about 60 members (about 36 percent) of the RNC have accepted the offer, according to Haaretz.
And guess who is picking up the tab for this “incredible opportunity” Priebus is offering his fellow RNC members? You guessed right: the AFA.
Terry Jones has given up cooking Qurans for the time being in favor of taking a new stand in Bradenton, Florida. Jones and his two brothers opened “Fry Guys Gourmet Fries,” a French fry stand at the food court of the DeSoto Square mall.
Jones is the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, an anti-Muslim hate group that received international attention for planning to burn 2,998 Qurans—one for each victim from the September 11th terrorist attacks—in 2013. He was arrested on his way to the event for felony unlawful conveyance of fuel and also charged with unlawful open-carry of a firearm.
Previous plans to burn a Quran in 2010, eventually aborted, and 2011 resulted in a $2.2 million bounty being placed on Jones’s head by an Al-Qaeda affiliate.
According to a recent interview in VICE, Jones sees his fry stand as an act of patriotic defiance.
“I hope that it’s somewhat of an asset for people that are tired of what is going on and want to speak out, and want to believe that someone will stand up, and take a chance, and speak out. People can support us by coming out to eat,” Jones said.
Jones, who also made headlines in 2011 for holding “Good Friday protest” in Dearborn, Michigan, at the Islamic Center of America where he claimed that the city was ruled by sharia law, seems to have toned down his rhetoric.
When asked by VICE if he wished all Muslims would convert to Christianity, he gave a surprising answer.
“If you’re asking me as an American, then I have no problem with Islam—they are protected under the First Amendment. I have no problem with them being in the country, building mosques, or evangelizing.”
In his first column of 2015, published on the right-wing website News with Views, Wooldridge continued his campaign to denigrate Muslims, calling for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. and warning that no Western country will “survive [Muslim] birthrates or culture.”
“Islam grows in America. This beast roams America in places like Philadelphia where Muslim women walk Market Street where Ben Franklin walked,” Wooldridge wrote. “At some point, we must shut down all Muslim immigration before we lose control of our own country. They prove relentless, uncompromising and unyielding. No such thing as a ‘moderate Muslim!’”
The column is the third installment in a series titled, “Impregnating America With Muslims: Onslaught on our Ethos, Language and Culture.” It also quoted heavily from an October 2014 sermon delivered by Rabbi Shalom Lewis of Congregation Etz Chaim, where Lewis called for a “holy crusade” against Muslim extremists.
Wooldridge has a long history of anti-Muslim vitriol, and he is far from an isolated figure within the broader anti-immigrant movement. He is an advisory board member with the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), founded by white nationalist John Tanton, the architect of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement. Wooldridge also worked as a “senior writing fellow” for the anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). Both FAIR and CAPS received funding from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation dedicated to funding the studies of race and intelligence, as well as eugenics, the “science” of breeding superior human beings that was discredited by various Nazi atrocities.
Incidentally, the idea of Muslim immigration diluting western culture has long been a nativist fascination. As early as 2000, for example, FAIR attacked Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.), an Arab-American, for supporting more high-tech visas for immigrants. In radio and TV ads, FAIR claimed Abraham’s proposal could “make it easier for [Arab] terrorists like Osama bin Laden to export their way of terror to any street in America.”
A decade later, in the Fall 2010, Tanton’s anti-immigrant journal The Social Contract (TSC) called for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. Tanton’s right hand man, K.C. McAlpin, attempted to justify the call for a ban, saying “Congress has used that power in the past to ban the immigration of Communist Party and National Socialist (Nazi) party members who were deemed to be threats to our national security. This case is no different.”
But in reality, for Wooldridge and McAlpin, it is completely different.
Editor’s Note: This story will be published in the forthcoming issue of the Intelligence Report magazine, which is scheduled for release in February.
At an age when most men and women choose to retire, 67-year-old William W. Williams went out and got a new job in one of the world’s oldest professions – hate.
He is now the HNIC – Head Nazi in Charge.
Known throughout the white nationalist movement as “White Will” – the fictional hero of a notorious 1990s racist comic book he helped write and draw – Williams is the new chairman of what’s left of the old neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA), once America’s leading hate group. Crafty and smart, the self-described “biological racist” recently out-maneuvered and hustled his bitter rivals in the neo-Nazi movement for the tarnished title, a state of affairs duly registered with the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission.
Williams won by stealth and ambush, skills he picked up as a young U.S. Army Special Forces officer during two combat tours in Vietnam. But this time, he did not have to fire a shot to get the job done. He sat back and watched his foes – a band of disgruntled former NA members calling themselves the National Alliance Reform & Restoration Group, or NARRG – do the heavy lifting. As NARRG was spending tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to seize control of the Alliance with a $2 million civil lawsuit against Erich Josef Gliebe, the much maligned chairman who presided over the last 12 years of the NA’s decline, Williams was secretly negotiating with Gliebe to resign and hand over to him the keys to the crumbling kingdom.
“We managed to keep it pretty close to our chest,” Williams told the Intelligence Report in a recent interview. “We didn’t go out there, bragging and boasting and all that. We just kind of slowly maneuvered around.”
Williams’ power grab clearly caught NARRG off guard. It was a stiff Roman salute to the jaw and NARRG did not take it well, calling Williams, among other things, a “superficial” “racial gadfly” who blends “various reactionary white nationalist ideologies” and is “bent on a path of religious tyranny.”
Herr Kettle, meet Herr Pot.
Needless to say, NARRG rejects Williams as chairman. “The lawsuit,” NARRG announced on its website, “continues to go on, even though the purported wrinkle of Williams may be in the mix.” ( continue to full post… )
A 34-year-old Kansas City truck driver faces a first-degree murder charge and a federal hate crime investigation after authorities say he deliberately struck a teenager leaving a mosque with his SUV.
After his arrest, Ahmed H. Aden told police that he had been looking to kill several men who threatened him earlier, mistaking 15-year-old Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein for one of those men, the Kansas City Star reported.
The high school sophomore, who had just led evening prayers at his mosque on Thursday, was struck outside the Somali Center by a speeding Chevrolet Blazer, nearly severing his legs. He died a short time later at a hospital.
Mohamed Ahmed, 13, told the newspaper that the teenager “was leading our prayer, and then after that, he just went outside. He was going to the gym to meet his friends and play basketball. And then, he got hit.”
Prosecutors have charged Aden with armed criminal action, leaving the scene of an accident and unlawful use of a weapon. He is also the focus of a federal hate crimes probe, the newspaper reported.
Abdinajib Dirir, the victim’s uncle, said the family had emigrated from war-torn Somalia and was devastated by the loss.
“There are no words to describe,” he told Kansas City newspapers. “This is a community that fled a violent situation. Now we’re facing violence in the United States. … We are American like everyone else. And this is a tragedy for us.”
Members of the Somali community told the newspaper that the suspect had a history of making violent threats against Muslims and the mosque, occasionally even threatening the mass slaughter of worshipers. He had been interviewed by police, but apparently a case against him couldn’t be developed.
Moussa Elbayoumy, chairman of the Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said a member of the mosque has a photo of Aden’s SUV with anti-Muslim graffiti reading, “Quran is a virus disease (worse) than Ebola.”
As Fury Mounts Over Obama Actions on Immigration, SPLC Releases Major Report on Nativist Movement Rebirth
Just a day after President Obama announced a series of executive actions meant to allow millions of undocumented residents to remain in the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center is releasing a major report on the apparent rebirth of the nativist extremist movement that swept the country between 2005 and 2011.
Today’s release of “Back to the Border,” the cover story of the new issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report, comes amid a rising din of anti-immigrant fury from both the mainstream and the radical right about Obama’s moves, unilateral actions that an array of enraged nativists claim could set political violence. The new report traces the resurgence of the movement to early July, when a furious mob turned back buses carrying undocumented and unaccompanied minor immigrants to a Border Patrol facility in Murrieta, Calif. The new edition of the quarterly investigative journal carrying the story can be read at www.splcenter.org.
The confrontation in Murrieta led to a series of similar nativist outbursts around the country and the massing of antigovernment militias and other radical groups on the U.S.-Mexican border in the months that followed. The movement grew large enough that it sparked worries about the return the Minuteman and other nativist groups that harassed undocumented immigrants in recent years. Now, with Obama’s Thursday night speech on immigration already setting off a renewed round of enraged attacks on the president, the threat of a major nativist resurgence seems strong.
“The success of a howling mob in turning back buses filled with undocumented immigrant children bound for a shelter was the first spark to reignite the nativist extremist movement,” said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC and author of the new report. “Now, with the new executive action initiative announced last night by President Obama, that spark may turn into a conflagration.’
This issue of the Intelligence Report also examines another radical movement experiencing a revival — the racist music industry. Racist bands are using iTunes, the world’s largest music vendor, to distribute their music following the collapse of several racist music labels and distributors. Although its terms of service appear to make iTunes off limits to these groups, the Report found that the music of at least 54 well-known racist bands was being sold by the music service this fall.
“The racist music industry, long a major source of money and new recruits for the white power movement, had been in decline in recent years,” Potok said. “But the discovery of iTunes by racist bands, and the fact that iTunes seems unwilling to move against them, has helped this industry find new hope and profits.”
Also in this issue of the Intelligence Report:
- “Warrior for God” profiles retired three-star general William “Jerry” Boykin, a longtime anti-Muslim activist now serving as executive vice president of the Family Research Council.
- “War Dreams” investigates how the neo-Confederate League of the South is forming a secret paramilitary unit called “The Indomitables,” another step in its continuing radicalization. The group now appears to include white supremacists, former Klan members and neo-Nazis.
- “East of Eden” examines how a small group of racists are promoting the Orthodox Church as a home for fascism. Although the church has its share of extreme-right officials, it vigorously rejects any association with such groups.
- “Redeemed” is an interview with Yvette Cantu Schneider, a woman who worked in religious-right “ex-gay” ministries for years, but recently joined other former activists in renouncing the movement.