The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Gunshots were fired today at a mosque in Coachella, Calif., about 120 miles east of Los Angeles, but no one was injured, authorities reported.
Four people were praying inside the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley mosque when shots were fired about 5 a.m., striking the building and a car parked outside, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Andrew Shouse told the Desert Sun newspaper.
“A reasonable person would believe when a mosque is targeted, a hate crime may be occurring,” the sheriff’s official said at the scene of the shooting.
Salah Salah, a member of the mosque’s board, expressed concern over the shooting and the initial lack of a suspect.
“Somebody drunk? Something crazy? Nothing ever happened here before,” Salah told the newspaper, adding: “We are concerned about our safety, our security.”
The 16-year-old mosque has about 90 members.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, has asked the FBI to investigate.
“Any time shots are fired at a house of worship, the FBI should offer its resources to local authorities to help determine whether or not there was a bias motive for the attack,” CAIR chapter executive director Hussam Ayloush said.
A scheduled appearance by retired Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, a noted conspiracy theorist who has called President Obama a “Marxist” and warns incessantly of a “Muslim threat,” this morning at a civic “prayer breakfast” in Washington has stirred controversy.
Muslim-American community leaders in Seattle last week raised concerns about Boykin’s appearance, saying he is an “anti-Muslim bigot” with a history of hateful remarks about both Muslims and President Obama.
“While Mr. Boykin has the right to hold extremist anti-Muslim views, his un-American bigotry should not receive the endorsement of elected officials who serve citizens of all faiths,” said Arsalan Bukhari, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for Washington, based in Seattle. ( continue to full post… )
Editor’s Note: This weekend, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that his government would “use all legal means” to prevent the Budapest white nationalist gathering explored below from occurring, presumably by banning foreign visitors from entering the country. According to the Hungarian blog HungarianAmbience.com, officials at the planned venue for the conference also have cancelled their contract with conference organizers, saying they were not aware of the nature of the gathering. Still, chief organizer Richard Spencer is reassuring those planning to attend that the conference will go on as scheduled, even if meeting will be a “little more inconvenient” than it would have been.
One of the most polished American racists of recent years is Richard Bertrand Spencer, a 36-year-old Ph.D. program dropout who, in his khakis and oxfords, looks more like some ambitious young Capitol Hill staffer than a white supremacist. Indeed, with a master’s degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s from the University of Virginia, Spencer’s resumé reads a lot like that of a well-heeled, up-and-coming politico.
But several years ago, when he was in his early thirties, Spencer left mainstream conservatism for what he calls “a life of thought crime.” Since then, he has established racist websites and ascended to the top spot at the National Policy Institute (NPI), a white nationalist nonprofit he runs from his home in Whitefish, Mont., along with two affiliated publishing outfits. After holding a series of highbrow-racist conferences on such topics as the future of white people, Spencer has now set his sights on bigger things — building bridges to the organized European racist right.
Though past NPI conferences have featured leading European racists, Spencer is moving beyond one-off presentations from these folks in order to connect with two newly important radical-right strains on the continent: the Movement Identitaire, a pro-white, anti-Muslim and anti-globalist movement that started in France in the early 2000s and has been growing rapidly since, and Jobbik, the anti-Semitic and racist organization that became Hungary’s third-largest political party this spring, when it polled more than 1 million votes.
“We hope that our budding society will act as a forum for a number of different traditionalist groups in Europe, including Identitarians,” Spencer told Hatewatch. “We are eager to involve Europeans who seek to connect with community and tradition, and thus preserve true diversity against the flattening of globalism.” His interest, Spencer added, is to reach “any European who seeks to develop racial identity and consciousness.”
A key upcoming moment in this effort comes at a planned Oct. 3-5 conference NPI organized in Budapest, Hungary. Co-hosted by Jobbik, the Inaugural Identitarian Congress is slated to feature prominent European nationalists of various types and several leading American racist ideologues (see biographies below).
Little is known about Spencer’s new allies in the U.S., but across the Atlantic they are seen as serious threats to European democracy. Members of the European Union, the European Jewish Congress and other prominent human rights defenders have warned of the dangers posed by Jobbik, which has been widely described as fascist, is patently anti-Semitic, and yet has grown rapidly. Similarly, the Movement Identitaire, which started small but made a name for itself with the 2012 invasion of a French mosque, is deeply worrying to European officials. ( continue to full post… )
As news of the ultra-violent Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) repugnant activities has filtered into America’s consciousness, right-wing politicians and media outlets have made the group the latest cause célèbre in their endless rhetorical war against the twin evils of Islam and immigration.
An extremist group too radical for even Al Qaeda to stomach, ISIS has horrified the world with the recent beheading of two American journalists and its brutal massacres of Iraqi religious minorities. Though there is no evidence that ISIS has operatives in America, ultraconservative Texas Gov. Rick Perry has suggested that the group has sent combatants over the U.S.-Mexico border, while WorldNetDaily, a far-right conspiracist online tabloid, claims that ISIS is working with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate this country.
The LGBT- and Muslim-bashing hate group Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC), takes it one step further than that.
In an unsigned Sept. 4 blog post apparently written by CADC head Gary Cass (Cass is known to write most of the posts on the CADC site), the group seems convinced that ISIS is already here – and it thinks American Christians must prepare to fight back with “overwhelming Christian just war.” In the post, titled “I’m Islamophobic, Are You?,” CADC says “every true follower of Mohammed wants to … subjugate and murder you. They believe they have been given a mandate by Allah (Satan) to dominate the world.”
That, of course, is in direct conflict with Cass’s own belief that in fact it is Christians who have been given a mandate for dominion. Cass’s mentor, the late D. James Kennedy of the anti-LGBT group Coral Ridge Ministries (of which Cass is the former executive director), once said, “As the vice regents of God, [Christians] are to exercise godly dominion and influence over … every aspect and institution of human society.”
According to the new CADC post, the only way to permanently prevent Muslims from pursuing their “infernal goals” is for Christians to “obtain a gun(s), learn to shoot, teach your kids the Christian doctrines of just war and self defense, create small cells of family and friends that you can rely on if some thing [sic] catastrophic happens and civil society suddenly melts down.”
The CADC post considers and rejects the slightly less harsh options of conversion and deportation. The former is dismissed as “not biblically doable,” because according CADC’s reading of the bible, Arabs are descended from Ishmael, who was cursed to be “an ass of a man; His hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him.” While seemingly keen on deportation (CADC is not specific as to where) or forced sterilization, the post is skeptical that American “politicians will do anything until it is too late, unless, of course, ‘we the people’ demand otherwise.” ( continue to full post… )
Editor’s Note: As of Sept. 5, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has confirmed he will participate in the Values Voter Summit.
Where have all the elected officials gone?
The Family Research Council’s (FRC) annual Values Voter Summit (VVS), set for the end of September, is fast approaching. But unlike prior years, very few high profile politicians have confirmed their participation. And the current line up seems more extreme than ever.
Could this annual rite of passage, a must attend event for politicians courting social conservatives, be losing its luster? ( continue to full post… )
In a rather rare move, the FBI has posted a $2,000 reward to help solve a hate crime in which a woman who recently immigrated to the United States was assaulted by an attacker who yelled obscenities about Muslims.
The attack occurred on June 5 when “an unknown masked man forced his way into the victim’s home in Albuquerque, N.M.,” the FBI said Thursday in a prepared statement. The FBI, working closely with the Albuquerque Police Department, has labeled the incident a hate crime. ( continue to full post… )
FBI agents in Texas have arrested a man who allegedly was plotting to use C-4 explosives and weapons to kill police officers, rob banks and armored cars, and blow up government buildings and mosques, authorities announced today.
Robert James Talbot Jr., 38, of Katy, Texas, was arrested Thursday on federal charges of attempted interference with commerce by robbery, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and possession of an explosive material, the FBI said.
After setting up a Facebook page called American Insurgent Movement (AIM), Talbot allegedly sought to recruit five or six like-minded people who wanted “to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.” He wrote this year on the AIM page that he was seeking people interested in “walking away from your life … to stop the regime.”
The crimes Talbot was plotting to carry out — detailed in a six-page criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas — sound eerily similar to a series of terrorist attacks carried out 30 years ago by members of an infamous neo-Nazi group called The Order, also known as the Silent Brotherhood (or Brüders Schweigen in German). There’s just one big difference: Talbot talked about some of his planned crimes on Facebook, the complaint says, while The Order committed murders, robbed armored cars, and carried out a number of other attacks.
Talbot was expected to be held without bond as a flight risk and danger to the community after an initial appearance today before a U.S. magistrate judge in Houston.
Court documents say the FBI opened an investigation into Talbot’s activities last August after learning of his desire to recruit others for terror attacks. The “like-minded” individuals he initially attracted worked for the FBI, it turns out. The FBI used a confidential informant and two undercover FBI agents assigned to the agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. ( continue to full post… )
Hardball with Chris Matthews Takes FRC’s Jerry Boykin to Task for Remarks about Obama, Muslims and Jews
Last night, Hardball with Chris Matthews reserved a spot on the “clown car” for Family Research Council Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin. The segment centered on audio that we recorded of Boykin speaking on a “hot mic” at a far-right conference.
Boykin said that President Obama supports Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and sends them subliminal messages of support. In the same recording, which we posted on YouTube, Boykin awkwardly joked with an Israeli reporter that “Jews are the problem” and the “cause of all the problems in the world.”
Boykin is a retired Army Lt. Gen. and served as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence under President George W. Bush. His career was derailed by his anti-Muslim advocacy, culminating in a public rebuke by President Bush and a Pentagon investigation that determined he had violated military rules. In the years since, Boykin has established himself as a leading Muslim-basher and conspiracy theorist.
Watch Matthews and his guests, Salon.com editor Joan Walsh and Michelle Bernard of the Bernard Center, take Boykin and the Family Research Council to task:
The Family Research Council’s executive vice president, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (retired), was caught on a “hot mic” following a panel yesterday at the National Security Action Summit, which was held just down the street from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Boykin could be heard, in an awkward attempt at humor, telling a reporter from Israel that “Jews are the problem” and the “cause of all the problems in the world.” Boykin told another reporter that President Obama identifies with and supports Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and uses subliminal messages to express this support.
Boykin appeared on a panel yesterday – “Benghazigate: The Ugly Truth and the Cover-up” – as part of the summit held near Washington, DC, which was organized by Frank Gaffney to highlight speakers, like himself, who were not invited to speak at CPAC. Gaffney has alienated himself by repeatedly claiming that the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Boykin, who is FRC’s second in command after Tony Perkins, fits right in at such a gathering.
After the Benghazi panel came to a close, the video feed for the live webcast went dark but audio continued to be broadcast. Boykin could be heard speaking with two reporters. His first conversation concerned Obama’s supposed support for Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Boykin said that Obama’s “first real public appearance overseas was in Cairo,” and dubbed that the “notorious apology tour.” “If you understand anything about Islam,” he continued, “there are subliminal messages.” Obama’s message to them is “I understand you and I support you.”
Boykin argued that “Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and everybody else” are taking advantage of this support and the “opportunity that they see that they have a president that identifies with them, that has been supportive of them inside the United States and is unwilling to go against them.”
Boykin could be heard recommending that the reporter contact FRC’s head of media relations, J.P. Duffy. He wrapped up that conversation and was approached by Henry Schwartz from IsraeliNationalNews.com, a right-wing Israeli news site run by Arutz Sheva.
A person, perhaps a PR flack, started to ask Boykin, “Would you mind doing a two minute interview with Israel, Israel National News?” (sic). Boykin cut in with “the Jews are the problem, the Jews are the cause of all the problems in the world.” The same person, or perhaps Schwartz, could be heard laughing and said “I know, I know, that’s why we’re trying to fix everything.” Watch:
Culpeper County, Va., Sheriff Scott Jenkins says he “is not backing down from sending his deputies” to an “advanced counterterrorism” training next week by John Guandolo, a disgraced former FBI agent with a long history of demonizing Muslims and hatching wild conspiracy theories. Jenkins was responding to calls from the Southern Poverty Law Center and a national Muslim-American organization to pull his sponsorship of the anti-Muslim, conspiracy-laden training.
Guandolo has told trainees in the past that American Muslims have no First Amendment rights. He also claims that the current director of the CIA is a secret Muslim agent working for the Saudis and that the Bush and Obama administrations were infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. In a blog post last week, he even claimed that the American conservative movement had been penetrated by “jihadis,” in the form of anti-tax activist Grover Norquist.
Nonetheless, Sheriff Jenkins says that 20 of his employees will attend the training. It’s not clear if public funds will be used to cover the reduced registration fees ($25, reduced from $225).
Meanwhile, Guandolo claims that 30 officers from other law enforcement agencies will attend. However, calls to some of the other agencies privately said to be participating cast doubt on that number. He also says that he will do a special seminar for media and local officials. Two years ago in Tennessee, he pushed away a camera when a reporter attempted to tape his presentation. The Culpeper event will likewise be closed to press.
Sheriff Jenkins defended the training as a cheap way of fulfilling training hours for his staff. But Guandolo’s cheap training could prove costly. It will teach law enforcement officers to deny Muslim Americans their constitutional rights while passing along inaccurate – and often outrageous – information about our government, Muslims and the actual risks we face.