Anti-Semitism » ADL Blogs
April 25, 2014 1

Revolution Muslim Leader Sentenced To 2.5 Years For Threatening Jews

Yousef al-Khattab, the co-founder and for­mer leader of Rev­o­lu­tion Mus­lim (RM) was sen­tenced today to 2.5 years in prison on charges of threat­en­ing Jews and Jew­ish institutions.yousef-al-khattab-revolution-muslim-sentenced-prison

RM, a fringe anti-Semitic Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tion that jus­ti­fied ter­ror­ist attacks and other forms of vio­lence for many years, was mostly active in New York until the end of 2010, after which it was shut down and began oper­at­ing as Islam Pol­icy.

Al-Khattab’s sen­tenc­ing makes him the last of RM’s lead­ers to be imprisoned.

Al-Khattab, a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen, cofounded RM in 2007 with Younes Abdul­lah Muham­mad, and served as the group’s amir (leader) and “chief exec­u­tive offi­cer” until Decem­ber 2009, when he announced that he was mov­ing to Tetouan, Morocco.

Al-Khattab’s threats against the Jew­ish com­mu­nity on the RM site were both exten­sive and shock­ing. They included a video encour­ag­ing view­ers to seek out the lead­ers of Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion chap­ters in the U.S. and “deal with them directly at their homes;” direc­tions to spe­cific Jew­ish facil­i­ties along­side a link to a man­ual for con­struct­ing and using explo­sive devices and a mes­sage encour­ag­ing read­ers to “make EVERY attempt to reach these peo­ple and teach them the mes­sage of Islam;” and a poem list­ing ways that Jews can be hurt includ­ing throw­ing “liq­uid drain cleaner in their faces” and burn­ing “their flam­ma­ble sukkos while they sleep.”

Although it is no longer active, the RM site con­tin­ues to influ­ence home­grown extrem­ists. Terry Lee Loewen, who attempted to bomb the Wichita Mid-Continent Air­port in Kansas in Decem­ber 2013, claimed to have been influ­enced by the site and allegedly had been send­ing money to the fam­ily of Younes Abdul­lah Muham­mad.

Addi­tional home­grown ter­ror­ists asso­ci­ated with the RM web­site, YouTube chan­nel and asso­ci­ated online forums have includ­ed Zachary Chesser, Samir KhanJose PimentelCar­los Eduardo Almonte, Mohamed Mah­mood Alessa, and Colleen LaRose (“Jihad Jane”).

ADL recently released a report explor­ing the influ­ence of online extrem­ism, includ­ing detailed infor­ma­tion on RM’s impact.

Yousef Al-Khattab was born in New York where he was raised as an obser­vant Jew. He later lived in Israel.  He claims that he con­verted to Islam fol­low­ing a series of online con­ver­sa­tions focus­ing on rejec­tion of Judaism and hatred of Jews.

Al-Khattab expressed remorse in court and claims to have denounced his past views, and reg­u­larly posts rejec­tions of them on Face­book and Twit­ter. This rep­re­sents a change from as recently as Feb­ru­ary 2012, when al-Khattab released a 20-minute video on YouTube express­ing his belief that he will be arrested and defend­ing the state­ments he has issued online over the years.

Today’s sen­tenc­ing fol­lows al-Khattab’s Octo­ber 31, 2013 guilty plea.

The other lead­ers of RM, You­nis Abdul­lah Muham­mad and Zachary Chesser, were sen­tenced to prison in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 24, 2014 1

Holocaust Denial Film In Myrtle Beach International Film Festival

zundel-off-your-knees-germany

Screen­shot from “Off Your Knees, Germany!”

The Myr­tle Beach Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, to be held in South Car­olina April 23–26, 2014, is fea­tur­ing a film about German-born Holo­caust denier and anti-Semite Ernst Zun­del.  Enti­tled “Off Your Knees, Ger­many!,” the doc­u­men­tary focuses on Zundel’s views and his two tri­als in Canada in the 1980s for “know­ingly pub­lish­ing false news” about the Holocaust.

Ingrid Rim­land, Zundel’s wife and a fel­low Holo­caust denier, pro­duced “Off Your Knees, Ger­many!” around 2011.  The film por­trays Zun­del as a vic­tim of Jew­ish inter­ests that allegedly con­spired to deprive him of his right to express his views on Germany’s actions dur­ing World War II. In the film, Zun­del denies that the Holo­caust ever took place and claims that Ger­many has been maligned by Jews. He asserts that he is try­ing to reclaim Germany’s honor. 

Zun­del argues in the film, “If I was a mem­ber of the Zion­ist lobby that has conned itself to a pin­na­cle of influ­ence and power in this soci­ety based on vic­tim­hood that they were hard­ened by, by my Ger­man peo­ple in the Sec­ond World War, I maybe would also hate a guy like the Paul Revere of the Ger­mans to come along and ring the bells of freedom.”

Although Zun­del was found guilty of spread­ing false news about the Holo­caust in 1985, the case was later dis­missed due to pro­ce­dural errors. A sec­ond trial in 1988 also led to a guilty ver­dict for Zun­del, but he was released from prison pend­ing an appeal. In 1992, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in his case and struck down as uncon­sti­tu­tional the law ban­ning the spread of false news.

Zun­del left Canada to come to the U.S. in 2001 to join Rim­land. Since the mid-1990s, Rim­land has been pro­mot­ing Zundel’s writ­ings and phi­los­o­phy through Zun­del­site, one of the ear­li­est web­sites devoted to the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of Adolf Hitler and the denial of the geno­cide of Euro­pean Jews dur­ing World War II.

In 2003, U.S. author­i­ties deported Zun­del back to Canada on visa vio­la­tions. Two years later, Canada deported Zun­del to Ger­many, where he served five years in prison for incit­ing racial hatred and deny­ing the Holo­caust.  He con­tin­ues to live in Ger­many since his release in 2010.

Rim­land is pro­mot­ing the Zun­del doc­u­men­tary through a com­pany she formed called Soar­ing Eagles Stu­dio and Gallery, based in Ten­nessee. She is cur­rently try­ing to raise funds for the com­pany by request­ing spon­sors to help fund films, paint­ings and books that appeal to white suprema­cists and anti-Semites. The com­pany says it plans to fea­ture speak­ers, week­end sem­i­nars, exhibits, print pub­li­ca­tions, art and stage and video pro­duc­tions, all pur­port­edly in the name of pre­serv­ing and pro­mot­ing Euro­pean culture.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

April 17, 2014 2

Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Kansas Shooting Victims’ Funerals

Shirley-Phelps-RoperThe vir­u­lently anti-gay, anti-Semitic West­boro Bap­tist Church has announced that it plans to picket the April 18 funer­als of two of the vic­tims allegedly killed by white suprema­cist Fra­zier Glenn Miller in Over­land Park, Kansas. The group sent out faxes, includ­ing to sev­eral Anti-Defamation League offices, declar­ing their inten­tion to protest at the funerals.

West­boro, based in Topeka, Kansas, is noto­ri­ous for hold­ing up hate­ful signs near the funer­als of sol­diers killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They also draw atten­tion to them­selves by protest­ing at funer­als of vic­tims who were killed or died under other tragic circumstances.

Despite the March 2014 death of Westboro’s founder and leader, Fred Phelps, the group is clearly con­tin­u­ing his legacy of hate and divisiveness.

Tags: , , , ,