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August 9, 2016 Off

Oregon Police Save Woman Held Hostage by Armed White Supremacist

A SWAT team with the Glad­stone Police Depart­ment in North­west­ern Ore­gon res­cued a woman being held hostage by a bar­ri­caded white suprema­cist fol­low­ing a shootout with police.jeffreygiddingstattoos

The inci­dent began on August 8, 2016, when Jef­frey Carl Gid­dings, a con­victed felon and career crim­i­nal, fled on a bicy­cle from an offi­cer who was attempt­ing to stop him for a traf­fic violation.

A short time later, Gid­dings allegedly opened fire on a police sergeant who had located him in the park­ing lot of a Sub­way restau­rant.  The sergeant was struck in his bal­lis­tic vest and is report­edly in excel­lent condition.

Gid­dings then took a woman hostage and bar­ri­caded him­self in the Sub­way.  A respond­ing SWAT team tried to nego­ti­ate with Gid­dings, but he made demands and refused to give up.  Fear­ing for the hostage’s safety, the SWAT team shot Gid­dings and saved the woman. Gid­dings suf­fered a non-life threat­en­ing injury and was taken to the hospital.

Gid­dings’ face and body are cov­ered in tat­toos.  Many of them are sym­bols used by white suprema­cists includ­ing the words “Aryan Pride”, a Celtic Cross and “16/23,” a numer­i­cal code for PW or “peck­er­wood.”  Addi­tion­ally, Gid­dings has IPS tat­toos on both his neck and col­lar­bone area which is the acronym for the Insane Peck­er­wood Syn­di­cate, a white suprema­cist prison gang with mem­bers in Ore­gon and Washington.

This is the sec­ond shootout in the United States between police and domes­tic extrem­ists this month, and the ninth so far this year.

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August 8, 2016 Off

White House Combats Religious Discrimination

On July 22, the White House hosted a Reli­gious Dis­crim­i­na­tion Con­ven­ing – cul­mi­nat­ing six months of com­mu­nity round­ta­bles held across the coun­try to high­light and insti­tu­tion­al­ize strate­gies to address reli­gious dis­crim­i­na­tion.  Con­ven­ing atten­dees heard from a num­ber of fed­eral offi­cials, includ­ing Neil Eggle­ston, White House Coun­sel, Melissa Rogers, Faith-Based Office Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Jenny Yang, Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­nity Com­mis­sion, and Cather­ine Lha­mon, Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion Assis­tant Sec­re­tary for Civil Rights.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Wash­ing­ton Coun­sel, Michael Lieber­man, rep­re­sented ADL on a panel on Pre­vent­ing Religion-Based Hate Vio­lence and Attacks on Houses of Worship.

(From left to right) John Walsh, US Attorney for Colorado Moderator;  Megan Mack, Department of Homeland Security; Robert Moossy, Department of Justice; Paul Montiero, Department of Justice; Michael Lieberman, Anti-Defamation League; Madihha Ahussain, Muslim Advocates.

(From left to right) John Walsh, US Attor­ney for Col­orado Mod­er­a­tor; Megan Mack, Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity; Robert Moossy, Depart­ment of Jus­tice; Paul Mon­tiero, Depart­ment of Jus­tice; Michael Lieber­man, Anti-Defamation League; Madi­hha Ahus­sain, Mus­lim Advocates.

A num­ber of new resources were unveiled at the event, including:

  • The Depart­ment of Jus­tice (DOJ) released an excel­lent new report on religion-based dis­crim­i­na­tion,  The report pre­sented find­ings from com­mu­nity round­ta­bles, includ­ing dis­turb­ing trends of religion-based dis­crim­i­na­tion in edu­ca­tion, employ­ment, hate crimes, and land use.  Impor­tantly, the report made a series of rec­om­men­da­tions to address these issues and includes a com­pre­hen­sive list­ing of fed­eral resources to address reli­gious discrimination.

 

DOJ has made fight­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion through the enforce­ment of the Reli­gious Land Use and Insti­tu­tion­al­ized Per­sons Act (RLUIPA) a pri­or­ity.  DOJ released an updated report on its enforce­ment of RLIUPA between 2010 and 2016.

  • The Depart­ment of Education’s Office of Civil Rights unveiled a new sec­tion of its web­site devoted to Reli­gious Dis­crim­i­na­tion.  The web­site aggre­gates rel­e­vant resources on bul­ly­ing pre­ven­tion and reli­gious harass­ment.  In 2015–2016, for the first time, every pub­lic school in the nation will report to OCR on the num­ber of religion-based bul­ly­ing or harass­ment inci­dents in schools through the OCR data col­lec­tion tool, Civil Rights Data Col­lec­tion. Though they have col­lected bul­ly­ing infor­ma­tion since 2009, this is the first year they are ask­ing for religious-based data.

In addi­tion, OCR unveiled a revised online com­plaint form to clar­ify when it can inves­ti­gate com­plaints from indi­vid­u­als who believe they have expe­ri­enced racial, eth­nic, or national ori­gin dis­crim­i­na­tion involv­ing their religion.

  • The U.S. Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­nity Com­mis­sion (EEOC) announced it will col­lect more pre­cise data about the reli­gion of the indi­vid­ual alleg­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion.  EEOC released released a fact sheet, in Eng­lish and in Span­ish, pri­mar­ily designed for young work­ers to edu­cate them about their rights under the law.

The Obama Admin­is­tra­tion has made address­ing hate crimes and reli­gious dis­crim­i­na­tion a pri­or­ity.  These new resources and pro­gram­matic ini­tia­tives will help pave the way for fur­ther progress.

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August 3, 2016 3

Anti-Muslim Extremists’ Disgraceful Attack On The Family Of An American Hero

Khizr Khan has been in the pub­lic eye since he spoke at the 2016 Demo­c­ra­tic National Con­ven­tion.  In react­ing to Khan’s promi­nence, some long-time anti-Muslim activists are seek­ing to dis­credit him.

Walid Shoebat

Walid Shoe­bat

Anti-Muslim extrem­ist, Walid Shoe­bat, who is known for pro­mot­ing Chris­t­ian mil­i­tancy, pub­lished an arti­cle on his web­site claim­ing that Khizr Khan, the father of Cpt. Humayan Khan is “a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Agent Who Wants To Advance Sharia Law And Bring Mus­lims Into The United States.” Cpt. Khan was killed in com­bat in Iraq in 2004 and posthu­mously was awarded the Bronze Star and Pur­ple Heart for his service.

The arti­cle bases this claim on a schol­arly paper pub­lished in the Hous­ton Jour­nal of Inter­na­tional Law in 1983 titled Juris­tic Clas­si­fi­ca­tion of Islamic Law, which Shoe­bat claims was writ­ten by Khizr Khan. How­ever, it is not clear that this is the same Khizr Khan who is the father of the slain Cpt. Khan.

Based on this schol­arly paper, Shoe­bat claims that Khan’s fas­ci­na­tion with Islamic Sharia stems from his life in Saudi Ara­bia, and that the paper cites Islamic Law, a book writ­ten by a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood ide­o­logue, Said Ramadan.  For Shoe­bat and oth­ers like him, fab­ri­cat­ing absurd claims to attack oppo­nents is noth­ing new. How­ever, what is unusual here is that anti-Muslim extrem­ists are using this vile tac­tic to defame griev­ing fam­i­lies of fallen Amer­i­can soldiers.

Pub­licly exposed after a 2011 inves­tiga­tive CNN report revealed his fab­ri­ca­tion of sev­eral sto­ries about his back­ground, Shoe­bat pro­motes a form of anti-LGBT/anti-Muslim Chris­t­ian mil­i­tancy. He also posts arti­cles on his web­site that express hos­til­ity towards Jews. One arti­cle writ­ten by his son Theodore pub­lished on Shoebat’s web­site on June 18, 2015 claims, “There are many Jews (the major­ity in Amer­ica are far-left) who har­bor anti-Christian sen­ti­ments, and express vit­riol when you try to talk about Christ with them.”

In Feb­ru­ary 2016, Shoe­bat, who claims to have con­verted to Chris­tian­ity, attacked evan­gel­i­cal lead­ers who con­demned his son’s remarks that in “a bib­li­cal society…every f-g would be rounded up and killed.” Shoe­bat responded to their crit­i­cism of this com­ment by ask­ing, “So how far will the Evan­gel­i­cal move­ment in the United States go to please the LGBT agenda?”

Other anti-Muslim extrem­ists echoed Shoebat’s attack on the Khan fam­ily. Some of them are plan­ning to attend an upcom­ing anti-Muslim event in Los Ange­les about Islam and West­ern Civ­i­liza­tion on August 21st.

The event will fea­ture speak­ers known for their anti-Islamic big­otry includ­ing Elis­a­beth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Frank Gaffney, and Pamela Geller. The event will also fea­ture Mor­ton Klein, Pres­i­dent of the Zion­ist Orga­ni­za­tion of Amer­ica (ZOA) as a speaker.

By attack­ing the Khan fam­ily, who made the biggest sac­ri­fice a human can endure, the hate­ful agenda of anti-Muslim extrem­ists has reached a new low.

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