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Anti-Muslim

Anti-Muslim hate groups are a relatively new phenomenon in the U.S., with many appearing after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. They frequently traffic in conspiracy theories involving the infiltration of the government by Islamist extremists, warn that the U.S. legal system is being subverted by Shariah law and portray Muslims in general as potential terrorist threats.

Top Takeaways

The anti-Muslim movement has many allies in the Trump White House, though various personnel shakeups, notably the ouster of National Security Adviser John Bolton and his temporary replacement, chief Bolton aide Charles Kupperman, thinned those ranks slightly. An anti-Muslim terrorist attack in New Zealand in March killed 51 people and wounded another 50, and the alleged shooter’s manifesto cited several anti-Muslim talking points. Anti-Muslim hate groups remained active at the state and local level, holding events, lobbying anti-Muslim legislation and harassing mosques

Key Moments

Following the March 15 terrorist attack at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, key figures in the anti-Muslim movement tried to distance themselves from the suspect, despite the fact that his manifesto contained anti-Muslim talking points that these groups have promoted in the past. John Guandolo, a prominent figure in the movement, called the attack “monstrous” but added, “[T]his also highlights the growing frustration in the West by citizens who feel helpless watching their communities being surrendered by their leaders to Islamic jihadis implementing barbaric sharia [law].” Brigitte Gabriel, the leader of the nation’s largest anti-Muslim hate group, ACT for America, undertook a national speaking tour to promote her new book. Her group planned a fundraising gala at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, but Mar-a-Lago canceled the event after it was publicized by the SPLC.

What’s Ahead

What’s Ahead he Trump administration continues to pursue policies that align with the anti-Muslim movement’s discriminatory agenda. It has set a low refugee cap for 2020, expanded the countries listed in the Muslim travel ban and floated the controversial proposal of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. Anti-Muslim hate groups will have an ally in the White House for at least one more year.

Background

All anti-Muslim hate groups exhibit extreme hostility toward Muslims. The organizations portray those who worship Islam as fundamentally alien and attribute to its followers an inherent set of negative traits. Muslims are depicted as irrational, intolerant and violent, and their faith is frequently depicted as sanctioning pedophilia, coupled with intolerance for homosexuals and women.

These groups also typically hold conspiratorial views regarding the inherent danger to America posed by its Muslim-American community. Muslims are viewed as a fifth column intent on undermining and eventually replacing American democracy and Western civilization with Islamic despotism, a conspiracy theory known as “civilization jihad.” Anti-Muslim hate groups allege that Muslims are trying to subvert the rule of law by imposing on Americans their own Islamic legal system, Shariah law. The threat of the Muslim Brotherhood is also cited, with anti-Muslim groups constantly attacking Muslim civil rights groups and American Muslim leaders for their supposed connections to the Brotherhood. Many of these groups have pushed for the Brotherhood to be designated a foreign terrorist organization.

Anti-Muslim hate groups also broadly defame Islam, which they tend to treat as a monolithic and evil religion. These groups generally hold that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion.

In recent years, the most influential groups — namely ACT for America and the think tank Center for Security Policy (CSP) — have sought to develop closer relationships with elected officials both at the state and local level. A shift in targets has also taken place recently with the Syrian refugee crisis, as anti-Muslim groups have increasingly directed their ire toward the American refugee program. Refugees are commonly depicted as potential terrorist infiltrators by these organizations. Small anti-refugee groups have popped up across the country and fought the relocation of refugees at the hyper-local level.

2019 anti-Muslim hate groups

View all groups by state and by ideology.
*Asterisk denotes headquarters.

ACT for America
Washington, DC*
Jonesboro, AR
Tucson, AZ
Corona, CA
Laguna Woods, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Mission Viejo, CA
San Fernando Valley, CA
San Gabriel Valley, CA
Santa Clarita, CA
Walsenburg, CO
Cheshire, CT
Connecticut
Bear, DE
Heathrow, FL
Jacksonville, FL
Viera, FL
Des Plaines, IL
Lafayette, IN
Terre Haute, IN
Baton Rouge, LA
Metairie, LA
Hopkinton, MA
Kansas City, MO
Whitehall, MT
Nashua, NH
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH
Columbus, OH
Hauppauge, NY
Pittsburgh, PA
Wilkes-Barre, PA
Coffee County, TN
Knoxville, TN
Austin, TX
Houston, TX
Spokane Valley, WA
Oostburg, WI
Charleston, WV

American Freedom Alliance
Los Angeles, CA

American Freedom Defense Initiative
New York, NY

American Freedom Law Center
Ann Arbor, MI

American Public Policy Alliance
Washington, DC

Bomb Islam
Phoenix, AZ

Bureau on American Islamic Relations
Irving, TX

Center for Security Policy
Washington, DC

Christian Action Network
Forest, VA

Citizens for National Security
Boca Raton, FL

Clarion Project
Washington, DC

Concerned Community Citizens
St. Cloud, MN

Counter Jihad Coalition
Santa Monica, CA

Cultures In Context Incorporated/Turning Point Project
Immokalee, FL

David Horowitz Freedom Center
Sherman Oaks, CA

Florida Family Association
Tampa, FL

Fortress of Faith
Bellingham, WA

Foundation for Advocating Christian Truth
Bronx, NY

G416 Patriots
Boerne, TX*
Meridian, ID

Glasov Gang Productions
Los Angeles, CA

Global Faith Institute
Omaha, NE

Jihad Watch
Sherman Oaks, CA

Last Chance Patriots
Dayton, MT

Political Islam
Nashville, TN

Proclaiming Justice 
to the Nations
Franklin, TN

Radio Jihad/Global Patriot Radio
New York

Refugee Resettlement Watch
Fairplay, MD

Rise Align Ignite Reclaim
Fishkill, NY

Sea Jay Foundation
Highlands Ranch, CO

Sharia Crime Stoppers
Mount Clemens, MI

Shoebat Foundation, The
Newtown, PA

Soldiers of Odin
California
Idaho
Illinois
Nevada

Southeast Michigan 
Tea Party
Utica, MI

Straight Way and More, The
Marble Hill, MO

Sunshine on Government (SONG) Alliance
Covington, GA

Thomas More Law Center
Ann Arbor, MI

Truth in Love Project
Chattaroy, WA

Truth in Textbooks
Boerne, TX

Unconstrained Analytics
Washington, DC

Understanding the Threat
Dallas, TX

United West, The
Lake Worth, FL

Virginia Christian Alliance
Henrico, VA