The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Tennessee has been a hotbed of anti-Muslim activism for years, especially after plans were laid to build an Islamic center in Murfreesboro. There have been bomb threats and numerous conferences centered on the unfounded but widely hyped fear that Shariah law will somehow be imposed on Americans. The chapter of ACT! for America, an anti-Muslim extremist group, based in Nashville is the most active in the country.
So perhaps it was to be expected that a community forum intended to foster dialogue and a greater understanding of Muslims in America degenerated into a hate-filled free-for-all on Tuesday night. ( continue to full post… )
Editor’s Note: We’ve corrected the attribution of a quote below suggesting that if the attackers were antigovernment they would have attacked a government target, rather than random Americans. The quote actually came from Mike Lackomar of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia. Hatewatch regrets the error, which was the result of an editing mistake.
Who was responsible for the deadly Boston terrorist attack?
The Muslims did it. No, it was an illegal immigrant. Think again – it was a gay guy. Wait, you missed the key signs: Our own government once again pulled off an act of covert terror to promote its nefarious aims.
Fingers have been pointed in all of these directions by conspiracy theory peddlers and professional hatemongers since the bombings Monday.
“It’s a pretty safe bet right now that this attack was carried out by an Islamist,” declared a post on the Tea Party Nation website Tuesday. The obvious cause for the violence? “We have a government that is not committed to protecting America.” Linking Islam with Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire” of Communism, the post warned that the Boston bombings are just another event presaging future violence in “an ideological war” that can only be won if we have tougher, more anti-Islam U.S. political leaders. That, of course, would be the Tea Party cabal.
The “American psyche” was damaged when an armed arsonist set fire to a Toledo mosque, much like the impact of Monday’s bombings in Boston, a federal judge said in sentencing an Indiana man to 20 years in prison.
Randolph Linn, 52, of St. Joe, Ind., was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $1.4 million. He pleaded guilty in December to setting fire to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo last September. He told the court he was inspired by media accounts, specificially those on Fox News, suggesting Muslims were threatening Americans and controlling parts of the federal government.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — You might have thought that a conference with the title “Conservative Call to Action” would feature lots of talk of small government, of Ronald Reagan, of the need to defend traditional values and a capitalist economy. But that would be yesterday’s conservatives.
Instead, at the event held Saturday in this famously conservative town that is home to the nation’s biggest concentration of Christian Right organizations, rabid Florida pastor Terry Jones, whose televised burning of Korans set off riots overseas that left several people dead, claimed that he didn’t hate Muslims at all — and then went on to rant that Islam “makes Nazism, fascism look like charity.” He was joined by other “conservatives” who warned that the universities are brimming with “commies,” that all liberals are evil, that President Obama only won re-election through “massive voter fraud,” and that the president’s health care plan is “Marxism to the core.”
Symptomatic of the shift of a broad swath of the conservative movement to outright paranoid fantasy was the appearance of Dinesh D’Souza, who was once a respected commentator on the right. D’Souza began to run off the rails with a 2010 Forbes magazine article that he expanded into a book and then into a 2012 film, “2016: Obama’s America.” The article was pilloried by more old-fashioned conservatives, including Daniel Larison, who described it in The American Conservative as “the most ridiculous piece of Obama analysis yet written.” The article, book and film argue that Obama is motivated by a dream of undermining Western power. ( continue to full post… )
John Guandolo, the former FBI agent who has made a living calling out high-ranking government officials as secret plants working for the Muslim Brotherhood, may have finally crossed the Rubicon into total outrageousness.
Oh sure, he’s already gone after college professors who weren’t sufficiently anti-Muslim. He’s identified mosques that he says are bases of operation for militant Islam. He’s asserted that Muslims have no First Amendment rights in America and aim only to “subjugate” the nation. But it was just last week that he made what may be his most remarkable claim yet, insisting that John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency, is secretly a Muslim convert working to undermine the Constitution. ( continue to full post… )
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the immigrant-bashing, Muslim-hating leader of the far-right English Defense League was sentenced yesterday to 10 months in a British prison after pleading guilty to trying to illegally enter the United States. Yaxley-Lennon used a friend’s passport in order to speak at a gathering of other immigrant-bashing, Muslim-hating bigots last Sept. 11 in New York City. ( continue to full post… )
An Indiana man who pleaded guilty yesterday to setting an Ohio mosque on fire told a judge he was motivated by media accounts – specifically those on Fox News – suggesting Muslims were threatening Americans and were in control of parts of the federal government.
Details made public at the plea hearing also revealed that the arsonist, Randolph Linn, was carrying a pistol when he entered the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on September 30, only minutes after several worshippers had left, and had more guns in his car.
Linn, a 52-year-old truck driver from St. Joe, Ind., expressed no remorse when he admitted trying to burn down the third largest mosque in the United States. Under the terms of a plea agreement, prosecutors and Linn’s defense attorney will recommend a prison term of 20 years when he is sentenced early next year.
A legislative aide in the Alaska State Legislature has resigned after an ethics panel recommended that she be fired for ethical violations and conflicts of interest involving her boosting of a hard-line anti-Islamic organization.
Karen Sawyer, who worked for two Republican legislators over the past nine years, “allowed state resources to be used for a non-legislative purpose and for the private benefit of David Heckert,” the Alaska regional director of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), according to one of two reports issued by a subcommittee of the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics. Sawyer failed to disclose that she was on SIOA’s board of directors in 2011 and 2012, one of the reports said. ( continue to full post… )
A federal judge has ordered Randolph T. Linn – who is charged with setting fire to a mosque outside of Toledo, Ohio, earlier this month – held without bail until he stands trial on two federal hate crime charges returned this week by a grand jury.
Linn, who has expressed obscenity-laced anti-Muslim comments, is a flight risk and “there is serious risk that the defendant will endanger the safety of another person or the community,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Vernelis K. Armstrong said in an order filed after a hearing Thursday.
After viewing evidence against Linn in a closed session, the grand jury panel voted this week to indict the 52-year-old St. Joe, Ind., truck driver on two federal charges – intentionally defacing, damaging and destroying religious real property because of the religious character of that property and using fire to commit a felony. ( continue to full post… )