Anti-Muslim roundup: 5/15/18
The following is a list of activities and events of anti-Muslim organizations. Organizations listed as anti-Muslim hate groups are designated with an asterisk (*).
National anti-Muslim organizations welcomed the announcement on May 9 by President Donald Trump that the United States will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. Anti-Muslim groups opposed the deal since its inception in 2015 and rejoiced at the news. Frank Gaffney, head of the anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy * called the decision “long overdue” and said, “It finally denies legitimacy to this heinous regime, which could just mean that the people of Iran are able to achieve freedom as well as us achieving a measure of security that would otherwise be denied us.” Brigitte Gabriel, head of the largest anti-Muslim group in the United States, ACT for America * started a “thank you” petition and encouraged ACT members to sign it. A previous ACT petition in support of Trump’s Muslim ban was hand delivered by Gabriel to White House officials in 2017.
The anti-Muslim David Horowitz Freedom Center * held an event on May 2 to mark its 30th anniversary. Horowitz is a key funder of the movement and supports a number of anti-Muslim activists who publish on the various Freedom Center platforms. Horowitz has a long history of espousing anti-Muslim sentiment, stating in 2011, “Why are 80 of the mosques [in America] filled with hate against Jews and against Americans and Democrats?” Despite this, he has many friends Congress. Two of his strongest allies, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Ed Royce of California, attended the 30th anniversary event.
On May 9, the anti-Muslim group Middle East Forum (MEF) held an event on Capitol Hill to discuss a new report it published claiming that “Islamists” are influencing Congress. The report was released the same week that a number of American Muslim organizations participated in the annual National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, where groups lobby their members of Congress. The MEF report promotes a key trope of the anti-Muslim movement, namely that Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood are attempting to stealthily advance their agenda in the United States. In reality, the MEF report is a blatant attempt to hinder efforts by American Muslims to participate in the democratic process. Commenting on the report, MEF fellow Tarek Fatah said, “Islamists lobbying the Congress is deeply troubling, considering the fact that most U.S. lawmakers are ill-equipped to see through the burka of deception Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups deploy to disguise their contempt for Western Civilization.”
Anti-Muslim groups supported the nomination of Gina Haspel during her confirmation hearings last week in her bid to become the first female director of the CIA. Haspel ran a secret CIA black site in Thailand where suspects were subjected to heinous interrogation techniques including waterboarding. Anti-Muslim groups defended Haspel’s use of torture. Brigitte Gabriel wrote in a Fox News opinion piece, “Haspel, despite her decades of excellent service keeping our country safe, is now at the receiving end of the leftist smear machine, as it attempts to redefine her reputation as some sort of torture queen – simply because she was doing her job and protecting America from its enemies.”
About forty activists gathered in Dearborn, Michigan, on April 21 to participate in a “Unite America First” rally organized by right wing activist Will Johnson. The event, was organized in Dearborn (a city with a large Arab population) in order to warn about the “infiltration” of Sharia law - another key anti-Muslim trope. Speakers included Usama Dakdok of The Straight Way Ministries* and Anni Cyrus , who, like Dakdok, is very active on the anti-Muslim speaking circuit. About a half-dozen antigovernment figures were also in attendance. Bridge-building between anti-Muslim and antigovernment groups has been on the rise .
Local and Regional Groups
On April 19, Bosch Fawstin, a New York City-based anti-Muslim activist, announced that a book of cartoons the he penned depicting the prophet Muhammad will go on sale to the public soon. Fawstin’s cartoons won a “Draw Muhammad Cartoon Contest” Pamela Geller and the American Freedom Defense Initiative * held in Garland, Texas in 2015. Two men loyal to ISIS attempted to attack the event but were thwarted by police officers.
In response to a visit to Helena from anti-Muslim activist Shahram Hadian of the Truth in Love Project *, Rev. Kendra Wilde, president of the Montana Association of Christians, wrote a letter to the Montana Standard chastising Hadian for claiming interfaith dialogue between Christians and Muslims was a “Trojan horse.” Wilde wrote, “We live in an increasingly diverse religious landscape and as citizens, we cherish the freedom of all people to follow our beliefs. Let’s stand up for our neighbors who are being targeted and maligned.” Hadian regularly travels the country speaking at small venues about what he claims are the ills of Islam. At one event in Idaho in 2015, Hadian described himself as "anti-Islam," and also stated, “The point is to pull the wool over our eyes while they come in, infiltrate this nation and bring it down.”
Local and State legislation
In Delaware, Senator David G. Lawson introduced SB89, American Laws for American Courts, an anti-Sharia law copycat bill. Lawson recently penned a commentary piece in the Delaware State News lamenting that the bill has not advanced and criticizing his colleagues who opposed it because it is anti-Muslim. In fact, the American Laws for American Courts model legislation was drafted by David Yerushalmi of the anti-Muslim American Freedom Law Center.* Anti-Sharia bills have been introduced in dozens of states and passed in 14.
In Maine, the legislature did not advance a bill seeking to criminalize Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The bill was endorsed by Rep. Heather Sirocki, who recruited the help of a local chapter of ACT for America . Hatewatch previously reported on how a series of emails documented how Sirocki was not only in contact with the Norway, Maine, chapter of ACT for America, but also with ACT’s national office in an effort to garner support for the bill. The Norway ACT chapter leader called Sirocki “our sponsor for FGM.” Some versions of anti-FGM bills, along with anti-Sharia and Andy’s Law bills, are the three key pieces of anti-Muslim legislation pushed by national and local anti-Muslim groups in state legislatures around the country.
On May 19, anti-Muslim activist Anni Cyrus will be speaking in Nashville as part of the nationwide March for Our Rights events scheduled to take place around the country that day.
On May 21, the Long Island chapter of ACT for America will host Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. The title of Lopez’s speech is, “The Persecution of Christians, Jews and Yazidis.”
On June 26, Shahram Hadian will be Caldwell, Idaho, to talk about “The Trojan Horse of Interfaith Dialogue.” The event is taking place at the Deer Flat Church in Caldwell.
In their own words:
- “Someone at Buzzfeed knows better, but included this specious passage anyway, indicating the possible presence of the Shariah doctrine of taqiyya, or sacred deception, in the practice of US journalism.” — Christopher Holton, Center for Security Policy*, April 30, 2018
- “Islam is violent, oppressive, racist, and irrational at its very core. It is treachery for people to present it as otherwise, either out of ignorance or for their own personal reasons.” — Amil Imani, Jihad Watch*, April 29, 2018
- “We no longer replace our numbers; instead, we rely on immigration to compensate for the shortfall in births. This immigration is for the most part Muslim; the effect of our demographic decline is therefore the Islamization of Europe.” — Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute, April 28, 2018
- “Ultimately, the danger of migration is not that there will be too many unemployed workers draining welfare dollars from the state, but it’s that Sharia supremacists will keep Islamicizing the EU…. We must never give up. We must come out of the closet and face our fears. We can prevail and must because our civilization and freedoms are too precious to lose. Stand up Europe. Do not let North Africa and Arabia be your destiny.” — Bill Warner, Political Islam*, May 2, 2018