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

After Vicious Anti-Muslim Rally, a Deafening Silence

By Leah Nelson on March 4, 2011 - 12:52 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

The silence from those who organized and promoted a California anti-Muslim protest that devolved into a revolting display of hatred has been deafening.

A major Muslim organization released a video compilation (no longer available) earlier this week that depicted a Feb. 13 rally in Yorba Linda promoted by several Muslim-bashing groups, conservative organizations, local and national politicians, and some Jewish leaders. Although the rally started out as a strident but peaceful protest against a Muslim fundraiser that included two highly controversial speakers, a group of about 100 protesters broke away from the main crowd and launched into a series of vicious tirades.

The video is chilling. Small children, clutching their parents’ hands fearfully as they arrive at the fundraiser, cower as people behind police lines wave American flags and scream, “Go back home! Go back home! Terrorists! Terrorists!” A tiny girl in a pink hijab walks past the camera as a man’s voice rises above the crowd: “Muhammad was a child molester!” he shouts. A woman, standing behind a police barrier, bellows at the Muslim cameraman. “You’re a terrorist!” she screams. “Go home, go home! … Do you beat your wife, too? Are you a molester? … You beat your women, your wife and your children. Why don’t you go beat up your wife like you do every night? Why not go have sex with a 9-year-old, marry her?”

The video, which also features a city councilwoman saying she knows some Marines who would be happy to send the “terrorists” attending the fundraiser “to an early meeting in paradise,” has caused an outcry from progressive journalists and many others. But not elsewhere. In fact, there was a triumphal tone from many, including some who might be expected to know better. “We protestors [sic] all represented our city well,” Yorba Linda Councilman John Anderson wrote after the event.” It was a “triumph,” crowed Pam Geller of the hate group Stop Islamization of America. The Jewish Journal wrote an account nine days after the rally that made no mention of the insults from speakers and other protesters, instead depicting a motherhood-and-apple-pie event populated by a wide array of people opposed to “hate.”

The fundraiser was organized by the relief arm of the New York-based Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) to raise funds for local services like women’s housing, disaster relief and funeral assistance. It quickly became controversial because its main speakers were Imam Abdul Malik Ali, who has made a whole series of patently anti-Semitic comments, and Imam Siraj Wahhah, who was a character witness for a blind New York City sheikh convicted in a terror conspiracy.

Yorba Linda Mayor Nancy Rikel, responding to a raft of angry E-mails, tried unsuccessfully to get ICNA to choose new speakers. Waqas Syed, the deputy secretary general of ICNA, told Hatewatch that both speakers were told to refrain from political oratory and did, adding that the whole episode had convinced ICNA to rework the way it vets speakers. He would not condemn Ali’s anti-Semitism.

A protest against such speakers certainly seems legitimate, and even the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the group that released the Yorba Linda video this week, said clearly that it supported the speech rights of the protesters. But as the CAIR and another video reviewed by Hatewatch make plain, the protest went from bad to worse as Muslim families began to arrive at the fundraiser.

“Let me tell you, what’s going on over there right now, make no bones about it, that is pure, unadulterated evil,” Deborah Pauly, a councilwoman from nearby Villa Park, barks into the microphone in some of the more hair-raising comments of the day. “Most Americans have no idea what’s going on right now and part of the reason why is we have been quiet. Those of us who know what’s going on have been cowed into silence out of fear. And I’m telling you we cannot afford to do that anymore. We have to go out and speak to our friends and our neighbors. We need to make sure everyone knows and I don’t even care, I don’t even care if you think I’m crazy any more. I have a beautiful daughter; I have a wonderful 19-year-old son who is a United States Marine. As a matter of fact, I know quite a few Marines who will be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.”

Also speaking at podium was U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), who attacked “multiculturalism” because it has “paralyzed too many of our fellow citizens to make critical judgments.” Another congressman, U.S. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar), told the crowd, “I’m proud of you. I’m proud of what you’re doing.”

Some of what part of that crowd was doing was captured in CAIR’s six-minute video. They held signs and shouted at arriving families that Muhammad was a “child molester,” a “pervert” and a “false prophet.” “Take your Shariah,” one man shouted in a reference to Muslim religious law. “Go home. Eat sand!” The crowd’s venom was not in the slightest tamped down by the many children who, obviously terrified, accompanied their parents as they made their way into the fundraiser.

Perhaps it’s not entirely surprising that the much-ballyhooed “peaceful protest” went south so fast. Among those pushing the event are Brigitte Gabriel’s Muslim-bashing ACT! for America group (in 2009, Gabriel said the Koran motivates Muslims “towards greater atrocities in their religious stupor”); the hate group led by Geller, who has called Islam “the most … genocidal religion in the world” and said the 9/11 attackers practiced “pure Islam, original Islam”; far-right websites including FreeRepublic.com and DiscoverTheNetworks.org; and a local group called 911PrincipleConservatives that is part of Fox News host Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project and admirers of antigovernment conspiracy-monger Alex Jones. Also involved, according to The Jewish Journal story, were Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie of the North County Chabad Center; the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (whose leader, Barbara Coe, belongs to a group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity”); and Bikers for Christ, a motorcycle club. Rabbi Dov Fischer, heads a Modern Orthodox congregation in Irvine, also spoke.

Virtually none of these individuals or organizations has condemned the obvious racism and intolerance of many of the protesters and even the podium speakers, even as the CAIR video is viewed by hundreds of thousands of Americans. Once you see the video, you may understand why these people would all rather forget.

  • Jordan

    Truth,
    Christians aren’t any different, should we kick them out too? And I don’t see any sources.

  • http://n/a truth defends

    if you are not willing to defend your ” taken-for-granted freedoms” and blindly think that this islamic genocidal religion is not serious,and for that matter that those americans spouting off negatively do not have a leg of factual knowledges to stand on. i suggest you see into the southern thailand buddhists/ muslim conflic, then go to india and see about the hundreds of years war between hindus and muslims. examine what is happening to black-african tribal people in nigeria,or nigerian christians for that matter,kenya,darfur,sudan,russia,england,europe,ect… you know i was a liberal once too, but the violence that has certainly over-shadowed everything that islam does,raises some alarms. the fact of shariah law being utilized in 2011, as a major component of the muslim islamic religion.it might be wise if every american read the quran,shariah law,and the life of mohammad before we judge the motivations of our fellow americans. isalmic followers have certainly shown us something,that other religions in america have not been troubling to the rest of our american countrymen. the sihks are here,the jews,hindus,yogis,buddhists,in fact americans are not troubled by any other religion that has taught on these shores,except that is islam. i am an american-indian! if you ask me if i think that when muslins get to be a bigger population in the usa and can impose shariah law that i think i would be able to practice my traditional native faith,i just look at all the other indigenous religions that islam has destroyed and i will tell you flat out right,” OF COURSE NOT “,i know better,this is what to an extant that those other americans are concerned,just look at the track record of islam with other people,cultures,ect… there are valid concerns for modern americans to be behaving this way.

  • Jordan

    Ohh, and not all Zionists are Jewish.

  • Jordan

    *Nazis – refers to ‘neo-Nazis’, I drop the ‘neo’ because their is generally nothing ‘new’ about them.

  • Jordan

    Cynthia,
    So your still of the conviction that all Jews are Zionists, huh? These people disagree.
    http://www.ijsn.net/home/
    Well I guess next time someone doubts the actions of liberals I can call them racist since “all blacks are liberal”.
    “Funny, isn’t it, how some people always seem to find excuses for anti-Semitism. I wonder why that is.” The ‘funny’ thing is that people like you try to shrug off calls for murder of minorities by saying that the ones doing the calling are being descriminated against. When the Nazis protest Civil Rights and others criticize them, “whites” are not being descriminated against, the same applies here. Even minority citizens are capable of descrimination.

  • Cynthia

    Funny, isn’t it, how some people always seem to find excuses for anti-Semitism. I wonder why that is.

  • Jordan

    P.S. When an elected official calls for the murder of children and calls attendees of a homeless shelter fundraiser “terrorists” it is far more than “some prejudiced remarks”.

  • Jordan

    “While quite rightly condemning some prejudiced remarks and bad behavior toward Muslims, posters, one in particular, have made far worse anti-Semitic remarks and no one has condemned them.” Calling someones extremists names (yes, Judaism has extremists, check out these guys http://www.splcenter.org/get-i.....nse-league) is condemning the whole religion? ” Either you agree with this repulsive hater, or you are so used to hearing rank anti-Semitism that you don’t even notice it. Either way, only a hypocrite or an anti-Semite thinks it is acceptable to attack Jews in this way while at the same time condemning racism towards others.” And only you are confusing Zionism with Judaism (one’s a religion, the other’s a political movement which has been quite racist). ” It is a form of racism to single out some people on the basis of status or group membership, and that fact that not one of the commentors noticed shows in what fetid waters you swim. ” You are totally ignorant of the definition of racism aren’t you? Let me simplify it racism= belief that personality comes from skin color, some skin colors are better (and has nothing to do with religion or singling people out). The Jewish protesters were mentioned in the above article so that readers would not think that anti-Islamic sentiment is entirely a conservative Christian phenomenon (and to point out that being part of a historically persecuted minority doesn’t shield someone from themselves becoming prejudiced)

  • Cynthia

    I find the comments here fascinating. While quite rightly condemning some prejudiced remarks and bad behavior toward Muslims, posters, one in particular, have made far worse anti-Semitic remarks and no one has condemned them.

    Zionazi pigs, anyone? Nazi-like racists, anyone? Either you agree with this repulsive hater, or you are so used to hearing rank anti-Semitism that you don’t even notice it. Either way, only a hypocrite or an anti-Semite thinks it is acceptable to attack Jews in this way while at the same time condemning racism towards others.

    I further find it completely unacceptable that the religion of any of the protesters was mentioned in the article. It is a form of racism to single out some people on the basis of status or group membership, and that fact that not one of the commentors noticed shows in what fetid waters you swim.

    No doubt the author of this article thinks of herself as a person who is not prejudiced or racist in any way. I would suggest that she should do some real soul-searching as it is badly needed.

  • Jordan

    MK Ultra,
    I’m sorry, could you clarify please. By “degredation” do you mean the fanatics calling for the deaths of children because of their religion, or the children attending a fundraiser for homeless shelters. It’s hard to tell.

  • MK Ultra

    How revolting! Amerikans manage to stoop one step lower every day into the cesspool of degradation drowning this country. Where is King when you need him, eh?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “It it not okay to offer an opinion of a group? Christians are victims of hate speech quite often and most often by the media but no one speaks up for them.”

    For the 1000th time…you have the right to free speech, and other people have the right to call your speech hateful. This is not infringing on your rights to free speech.

  • Gaaaaaaaaaaabs

    America is supposed to be a place people can come to be free and escape from their countries. It is NOT a place where people come to get oppressed by other who think they’re better than them. I know immigration is a problem, but there’s nothing we can do to stop it, especially by calling them names and violating a fundraiser which is meant to be a good cause. If anything, we should just accept that our country is growing because it’s a good place and people want to come here. it’s a compliment to our country, so let’s welcome immigrants with open arms!

  • Jonas Rand

    Yes, EDL really is involved with Jewish organizations. They have a Jewish branch, and I don’t believe that, despite the Hitler salute pictures, the EDL is over all an antisemitic organization. However, they are indeed “terrorist scum”, whether they are cosy with Islamophobic Zionist Jews or not. I would think that their Jewish division was involved in disrupting the protest of Palestinians with violence in June 2010:

    http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en......html?c=on

    They support Israel, and that’s the reason they have a “Jewish division”. They are still just as Nazi-like, only pro-Zionist.

  • skinnyminny

    BTW, in case NE1 (anyone) is wondering why I posted the above info, EDL participated in a rally in NY against the ‘Ground Zero,’ Muslim center.

  • skinnyminny

    Here is something interesting and may be complementary to this article – please note, I do not know if the pictures are authentic or not, I cannot vouch for this.

    In this article, “EDL: Terrorist Scum,” http://hurryupharry.org/2011/0.....rist-scum/ there are pictures that are alleged to be members of EDL wearing EDL jackets, salutes to Hitler, some posing with weapons and in front of paramilitary organizations flags…and it alleges this group (EDL) is involved with some Jewish organizations.

    Again, I cannot vouch for this, I usually don’t like to take sides unless there is compelling evidence – meaning a video. There are some people saying that the pictures are photoshopped, others saying they are not – one guy doesn’t have the face mask on, whereas the others, they are wearing the complete face mask with openings for the eyes-nose…

  • ruben

    to don…..you are here in north america because a couple of generations ago or so your family came here as refugees from europe searching for a better life and don’t you ever forget it!!…you are non native to this land no matter how many times and ways you try to spin it.

  • Jonas Rand

    @”I Wonder”: I suggest you watch the video before making a comment like that. Who said that this was “hate speech”? How is this “speech” at all? What you see in the video is someone raving at people walking past them in a public place. There are some Islamophobes standing behind a table, yelling insults (presumably) at Muslim men and asking them if they are wifebeaters and “molesters”. Anyone should be allowed to attend a fundraiser without being intimidated by hatred or having their children be scared for their lives. Also, a man screaming “Mohammad was a child molester” and “Mohammad was a pervert” can be heard on the video. The fascists promoting this are mostly evangelical Christian Zionists who want to save Israel from the “Muslim dogs” and hate Arabs. There is also a sizable component of Jewish racists who are also vehemently pro-Israel and pro-Zionist. They sometimes air their views through “counter-terrorism” training for law enforcement. They often use Arabic terms, such as “Jihad”, “Sharia”, “Dawa”, and “Taqiyya” that most people are either unfamiliar with or apply a different meaning to. Sometimes, these raving Zionists will claim that Islam is not actually a religion at all, but a violent political ideology whose goal is world domination. They are lunatics.

  • Jordan

    i wonder,
    The difference between freedom of speech and hate speech. Well for starters freedom of speech is a right (that is the right to say what you want without the fear of GOVERNMENT prosecution, again it only protects speech from legal action NOT from criticism). Hate speech is agressive, hate filled speech aimed at a specific group, it is also one of the things protected by freedom of speech (which is again a protection of almost all speech, with the exception of threats and causing panic, from government intervention).

  • Jonas Rand

    This is the true face of America, which is why some people in the Middle East hold a considerable amount of animus toward America. After the guy made that comment about multiculturalism during the video, it sounded like it would be followed by three chants of “Sieg Heil”.

  • Jonas Rand

    Sick Zionazi pigs strike fear in innocent people’s hearts.

  • i wonder

    What is the difference between hate speech or freedom of speech? I am just wondering? It it not okay to offer an opinion of a group? Christians are victims of hate speech quite often and most often by the media but no one speaks up for them.

  • Nina

    This is so sad. I’m an American and I know these hate protests are more anti-american then anyone could imagine. This whole go home talk? Really? Unless you’re a native you should keep your mouth shut. They ARE American and actually is argue they are more American then the people protesting because they understand the besty, the diversity of our country. To all the American Muslims, dont ever fear these stupid people. They are pathetic…thank u to all colors and religions that make my country beautiful.

  • Zelig

    Don,

    When did your people immigrate? You should think about taking your family back to Europe (or from where ever it is that you fled). Problem solved.

  • R Lavigueur

    Excellently put Jordan, and in reference to the Jewish leaders involved in this, it only follows a longstanding historical record of the rarity of victim empathy. The ability of groups that have suffered horrible atrocities to turn upon other vulnerable groups is extremely depressing. One would think they would know better what comes of this kind of hate.

    Marnie Singer,

    Love may conquer hatred, but wilful blindness cannot conquer anything. These are people who are screaming their hatred and fear at innocent people who have done them no wrong, and they are blinded enough by these emotions to make children the targets of that hatred.

    We cannot confront these groups and their ideologies without acknowledging the fundamental fact that is is hate and fear which motivate them, no matter how uncomfortable it is to at once recognize their capacity for evil and recognize that they are, in most ways, ordinary people. At least, those who attend events such as this may be ordinary people when outside of a mob… Their leaders are likely to be another story entirely.

    Hate is an extremely powerful emotion, and I sincerely doubt that the organizers of this rally or the mob that they gathered are going to be receptive to dialogue or attempts at building understanding. Most likely they would dismiss any such efforts as attempts at propaganda and subversion, and retreat to their own self-supporting circles.

    There is a reason that most groups promoting hatred prevent dissenting voices from being heard on forums which they operate, and it is the same reason that videos like this are so important. These videos and others like them prevent their beliefs and actions from hiding behind those comforting words.

  • Matthew Bright

    This video is so horrendous it’s barely unwatchable. I am horrified and embarrassed.

    I would also like to point out that a great deal of this anti Muslim hostility is being promoted by Fox News. And I find it more and more understandable why the largest shareholder behind Fox News besides Rupert Murdoch himself is a member of the Saudi Royal Family.

    Americans hating Muslims and supporting the most intransigent right wing elements in Israel is in this mafia family’s self interest.

  • Marnie Singer

    “For hate is never conquered by hate.
    Hate is conquered by love.
    This is an eternal law.”
    ~ Dammapada – Sayings of the Buddha
    (translated by S. Beck)

  • susan moores

    Jordan – I agree! Well put.

  • Don

    I am opposed to immigration and immigration “reform” (amnesty). This country is overpopulated, and 21 million Americans are out of work.

  • Jordan

    “The term “hate group” is itself inflammatory.” Calling a group that spreads hate a ‘hate group’ is inflammatory? I’m sure it is to members of said group (unless they themselves admit it) “Instead of “hate groups,” we could talk about “groups we need to understand” or “groups which challenge us” — or even “groups we are afraid of,” which acknowledges our own fears.” Hmm…let’s try this on an example:
    EURO [European American Unity and Rights Organization] – Glorifies Nazi Germany, preaches racial inferiority
    1) “Groups we need to understand” – I already understand that they love Nazis and deny the holocaust
    2)”Groups which challenge us” – They don’t really.
    3)”Groups we are afraid of” – I’m not afraid of them.
    So what would I call them? “Group which spreads hate”? Because that’s what they are.
    “…and some Jewish leaders” Really? That’s as bad as ‘black supremecists’, they’ve seen were this goes right? They know (at least from history) about the crowds in the 1930s screaming “Die Jew!”, and talking about blood libel? Does it really need to happen a second time?

  • Marnie Singer

    This video is chilling. And yet, I must stand up and point out something which SPLC and many others have been doing which does NOT help situations like this.

    The term “hate group” is itself inflammatory. It is not putting a positive frame around the changes we want to see; rather, it feeds the flames which keep us all from seeing one another as humans with the same human needs. If we are truly loving our neighbors, we are not accusing them of hatred.

    Instead of “hate groups,” we could talk about “groups we need to understand” or “groups which challenge us” — or even “groups we are afraid of,” which acknowledges our own fears.

  • Red Weasel

    Please go to youtube and find as many of these videos as you can. Give them thumbs up and favor as many of them as you can. The more people who see this video the more impact it will have. A high youtube rating will ensure that it is seen.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Class acts all the way.

  • Linnea

    I’m speechless. All I can say is, Yuck.