anti-Islam extremism

Duke University hosts town hall on funding of Islamophobic networks

If you're wondering why it's so pervasive, wonder no more:

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations says in a news release that Dr. Abbas Barzegar is scheduled to speak Saturday at a research-based advocacy town hall hosted by the Duke Graduate & Professional Student Council. The town hall will be held Saturday evening in the Schiciano auditorium of Fitzpatrick building on Duke's campus.

In addition to discussing research on funding of hate groups, Barzegar will highlight CAIR's work on federal-level litigation related to criminal justice and government surveillance.

Just to give you an example of how effective these anti-Muslim propagandists are, CAIR itself has been labeled as a "hate group" by many (even in government) just for defending Islamic citizens who are/were attacked. But the work that Dr. Barzegar and his team have done has exposed something more insidious than just the hateful rhetoric. Much of the funding for these groups has been "laundered" through legitimate mainstream philanthropic funds, which serves to hide the identity of the bigots behind the movement. Since most reading this will not be able to attend the town hall, here are some excerpts from the Report itself:

Bigots R Us: Dan forest to join American Renewal Project crazies

danforestfire.jpg

When hate is the only language you speak:

A national Islamic group is calling on North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest to cancel his appearance next week at a Charlotte event the group says features “Islamophobic” speakers. Forest, a Republican, is scheduled to appear at the event sponsored by the American Renewal Project on Oct. 3 and 4. The event is billed as “a complimentary private gathering of NC church and ministry leaders.”

In addition to Forest, speakers include William Federer and E.W. Jackson. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Federer an “anti-Muslim activist.” Last year The Hill newspaper said Jackson spoke about the arrival of new Muslim members of Congress. “The floor of Congress is now going to look like an Islamic republic,” he said. “We are a Judeo-Christian country.”

This is just one (of countless) reasons why Dan Forest is not fit to be Governor of the State of North Carolina. These guys aren't just run-of-the-mill bigots; they're way out on the extreme fringe, evoking fear of Sharia law and whatever else they can think of to go after folks in Muslim communities. (Author's note: The Q'uran incorporates both Hebrew and Christian tenets into its fabric--Ibrahim is Abraham.) But while Federer is almost exclusively anti-Muslim, E.W. Jackson is fiercely anti-LGBTQ, and has claimed Pete Buttigieg wants to turn America into a "Homocracy," whatever the hell that means:

Hate mail sent to UNC Muslim Students Association

Not all cartoons are harmless or funny:

The comics included angry imagery of camels and Muslims, as well as warnings about Islam's invasion into Western countries. One cartoon read, "If you say anything bad about 'Allah' or his prophet, Muhammad...some of them will try to hurt you." Another cartoon strip read, "Here's how they invade today. First, they're peaceful, until they gain power — then look out! England is losing control and is closer to accepting Sharia* (sic) law."

“It's definitely an eye-opener because we go about our lives as any other student on this campus," MSA publicity chairperson Malak Harb said. "For us to receive things like that, it kind of makes us stop for a second and realize, you know what, there are people who see us as less than. They try to make it very clear to us that we are not like everyone else.”

Using cartoon imagery to promote hatred is definitely not new; it was standard fare for anti-Semitic movements dating back to a century ago. And one of the main reasons bigots use this is because they are free to craft the angriest and ugliest facial features they want, in order to frighten gullible white people. Jews and recently freed slaves were depicted in this fashion even by mainstream newspapers, and average white Southerners didn't even bat an eye. And that's why it's more important then ever for us to avoid falling into the same old prejudicial trap:

Lunatic Fringe: GOP Legislative candidate attacks John Kerry

For trying to preserve Iran nuclear deal Trump trashed:

A day after President Donald Trump slammed former Secretary of State John Kerry for private meetings with a top Iranian official, a North Carolina state Senate candidate lobbed similar accusations in a tweet of his own.

“When will the President Strip Former Sec of State of his Security Clearance,” said Republican Rickey Padgett, who is running to unseat Democrat Mike Woodard in District 22. “With John Kerry now working on the behalf of foreign terrorist governments (Now) should be the answer. Drain the Swamp now! John Kerry should be next!”

Okay, aside from the fact former Secretaries of State have often taken an active role on the world stage to promote diplomatic solutions to potentially dangerous problems, what (in the name of all that's holy) does this have to do with representing people in the NC General Assembly? The answer is nothing. Absolutely nothing. But going after national Democrats is a theme for this patently unstable former Durham deputy, like posting a Tweet of Pelosi and Schumer dressed as Nazis (which he has since deleted) and making incredibly racist comments about Maxine Waters:

Profiles in hatred: Anti-Muslim extremists invade US cities

White supremacy seems to be the common denominator:

Far-right groups converged on the grounds of the State Capitol in Raleigh for an anti-sharia law rally, part of a nationwide string of events hosted by the anti-Muslim organization ACT for America, on Saturday. “There are no KKK here, there are no Nazis here,” said Peter Boykin, president of Gays for Trump and the local coordinator for the Raleigh anti-sharia rally. Despite his disavowal of extremism, Boykin publicly thanked Identity Evropa, a group founded last year that openly espouses white supremacy, after members in matching white dress shirts punctuated speeches with chants of, “Sharia-free USA” and “We will not be silenced.”

If you're wondering (as I frequently do) on what could lead to somebody joining such a fringe group, which often requires traveling great distances just to publicly display your ignorance, the most obvious first choice is deeply-ingrained racism. But it's more than that, and at least some of the responsibility may rest on our shoulders. To go this far, you have to also possess an incredible lack of trust in our system of government, the way our laws are developed and enforced. Many on the Left are guilty of relentlessly attacking that (entire) system, as opposed to being surgical in their criticisms, and this has helped to erode public trust across the board. And in that trust-deficient environment, fear always steps in to fill the void. And so we hear the names of ambiguous and "code-enhanced" groups emerging:

Fascism Watch: Anti-Muslim extremists talk openly about killing

Coming soon to a conference room near you:

“Do you have any recommendations as to how we could stop this?” asked Frank del Valle, a Winston-Salem resident whose Facebook page identifies him as a retired federal employee and native of Cuba, near the end of the hour-long presentation. “Because my only recommendation is to start killing the hell out them.”

Robert Goodwill, who identified himself as a member of the national security advocacy group Act for America, took an optimistic tack with the recent election of Donald Trump, adding, “We’re on our way.” Another man, who did not identify himself, said, “I want to start doing something instead of talking about it all the time.” He added, “I’m in a group. I’m not going to tell you what group I’m in.”

Right, because you know law enforcement would consider you more of a terrorist threat than the local Muslim population, and rightly so. These zealots aren't really concerned with *actual* Islamic terrorists, they believe moderate Muslims are part of a coordinated attempt to take over the United States. In other words, if they do start actively looking for targets for their anger and rage, soft targets (innocents) may be at the top of their list. They even discussed Keith Ellison's brother, who is a local Democratic Party activist:

Josh Stein joins lawsuit opposing Trump's Muslim ban

Because fighting injustice is part of the job:

“President Trump’s executive order undermines the core American value of religious tolerance, and it makes us less safe,” Stein said in a statement released Monday. “It signals to the world that America sees all Muslims as terrorists, strengthening ISIS’s propaganda and efforts to recruit terrorists.

“Not only is Trump doing immeasurable damage to our country’s standing, he’s doing it in a way that is unconstitutional. That is why I will join my colleagues in taking action.”

What he said.

Wilmington professor censured by his fellow faculty members

His right-wing online rants are out of control:

On Sep. 15, 2016, the Daily Wire published an article by Adams – “Queer Muslim Jihad?” – that publicly named and lampooned a student, Nada Merghani. Students and graduates of UNCW have since called for his removal and have circulated a petition to that end.

Referencing these events, Friday’s statement from Adams’ colleagues stated, “We value freedom of speech and neither endorse nor support recent public statements or actions that have resulted in the harassment and discriminatory treatment of students.” The statement goes on to affirm the professors’ ethical obligation to respectful and dignified treatment of students without regard to how those students identify themselves.

It's plain as the nose on your face that UNC-Wilmington is unwilling or unable to exert any control over this dude. And now he's endangering the lives of students, just to feed his infamous reputation. But where are NC's faux-Libertarian pundits, who engaged in a campaign to destroy the career of Gene Nichol for writing OpEds in the News & Observer and other publications? Crickets. As for his use of anti-LGBT rhetoric, his disingenuous excuse is, "They use the word, why can't I?"

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