via Think Progress
Increasing anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. has shown enormous growth in the past two years, leading the Southern Poverty Law Center to mention three notorious Islamophobes on their list of “30 new activists heading up the radical right.” The SPLC finds that “[a]n anti-Muslim movement, almost entirely ginned up by political opportunists and hard-line Islamophobes, has grown enormously since taking off in 2010, when reported anti-Muslim hate crimes went up by 50%.”
The anti-Muslim activists, who all play a prominent role in the Center for American Progress’ report, “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America,” play pivotal roles as misinformation experts and online activists, stirring up Islamophobic fears across the country.
The SPLC’s list of “new activists heading up the radical right” include:
- Frank Gaffney: Gaffney, the president and founder the Center for Security Policy, has argued that “Shariah-adherent Muslms” are engaged in “civilization jihad” by infiltrating “government, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, the military, penal institutions, media think tanks, political entities, academic institutions. And they are very aggressively targeting non-Muslim religious communities in the name of ecumenicalism.” The SPLC observes that:
As recently as in 2002, a prominent British newspaper listed him with Iraq invasion cheerleaders Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Richard Perle as one of the men “directing” then-President George W. Bush’s post 9/11 security doctrine.
Sometime between then and now, Gaffney seems to have snapped.
- Pamela Geller: Geller, who runs the prominent anti-Muslim blog AtlasShrugs and co-founded of Stop Islamization of America, has suggested that President Obama is the “love child” of Malcolm X, accused Obama of being “involved with a crack whore in his youth” and asserted that “that Islam is the most antisemitic, genocidal ideology in the world.” In 2007, she attended a conference hosted by Vlaams Belang, a Flemish nationalist party in Belgium whose party platform includes seeking amnesty for those who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. The SPLC writes:
Geller has mingled comfortably with European racists and fascists, spoken favorably of South African racists, defended Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and denied the existence of Serbian concentration camps. She has taken a strong pro-Israel stance to the point of being sharply critical of Jewish liberals.
- David Yerushalmi: Yerushalmi, founder of the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), practices, what he calls, “lawfare” by writing and pushing anti-Shariah bills in state legislatures and filings lawsuits against alleged enemies of America’s “Judeo-Christian” heritage.The SPLC reports:
Muslims aren’t the only group with whom he has a bone to pick. Yerushalmi, an Orthodox Jew, also rails against liberal Jews and the “progressive elites” he says they influence. He’s described blacks as “the most murderous of peoples” and reportedly once called for undocumented immigrants to be placed in “special criminal camps,” detained for three years, and then deported.
The prominent role given to Islamophobes in the SPLC’s list underscores the anti-Muslim sentiments which have emerged on right-wing media outlets, Washington think tanks like the Center for Security Policy and the “anti-Shariah” legislation which has swept across more than two-dozen states.