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March 20, 2014 3

What Next for the Westboro Baptist Church?

fred phelpsThe vir­u­lently homo­pho­bic, anti-Semitic West­boro Bap­tist Church (WBC) is enter­ing a new stage now that founder and patri­arch Fred Phelps, Sr., has died. An estranged son, Nate Phelps, who first described his father’s impend­ing death on Face­book, also claimed that WBC mem­bers excom­mu­ni­cated the senior Phelps in August 2013.

WBC would not con­firm whether Fred Phelps had been excom­mu­ni­cated, assert­ing that infor­ma­tion on WBC’s mem­ber­ship was pri­vate. A March 16 press release on the group’s web­site stated that the group has no sin­gu­lar leader but is headed by an eight-member board of elders.

Accord­ing to Nate Phelps, WBC has under­gone a num­ber of changes over the last year. He claimed that ten­sions rose within WBC when the all-male board of elders mar­gin­al­ized WBC spokesper­son Shirley Phelps-Roper.  In response to the power strug­gle between Shirley and the board, Fred Phelps allegedly called for kinder treat­ment between WBC mem­bers. The board then sup­pos­edly excom­mu­ni­cated Fred.

The ongo­ing inter-family strife within the orga­ni­za­tion, if true, sig­nals a new chap­ter for WBC.  Shirley Phelps-Roper, Fred’s daugh­ter, has been the most pub­lic face of WBC and acts as a lawyer for the group, as well. Nate Phelps claimed that Shirley could never be the leader of WBC because of pas­sages in the Bible that cite women’s sub­servience to men. Another issue that could affect Shirley’s sta­tus within the church is her two daugh­ters’ very pub­lic defec­tion from the church about a year ago.

A new leader of WBC may emerge in the com­ing months now that Fred Phelps has actu­ally passed. Nate Phelps spec­u­lated that pos­si­bil­i­ties include one of Fred’s sons, Tim Phelps, or Steve Drain, a mem­ber of the church who is not part of the extended Phelps fam­ily.  In the last few months, Drain appears to have super­seded Shirley Phelps-Roper as spokesper­son for the church.

Fred Phelps’ death and Shirley Phelps Roper’s alleged mar­gin­al­iza­tion may change the pub­lic face of WBC but pre­sum­ably not its mes­sage. The church will likely con­tinue its many protests at the funer­als of sol­diers and other indi­vid­u­als and pro­mote hate towards any­one who dis­agrees with its viewpoint.

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May 10, 2013 0

OnIslam Publishes E-Book Denying Jewish Connection To Holy Land

An Egypt-based web­site that pro­vides reli­gious guid­ance to Mus­lims world­wide has released an e-book called “Time­line of Jerusalem (Al-Quds)” that denies any con­nec­tion between Jerusalem and Jews and depicts Israel as a state cre­ated through eth­nic cleansing.onislam-ebook

The e-book is avail­able on OnIslam.net, which is affil­i­ated with rad­i­cal Mus­lim Broth­er­hood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Released in March 2013, the e-book con­tains three chap­ters: “Early His­tory,” “Cre­ation of Israel,” and “Sys­tem­atic Judaiza­tion of Al-Quds.” In the “Early His­tory” sec­tion, the book­let describes the Hebrew inva­sion of the Land of Canaan as “geno­ci­dal mas­sacres against the native Canaan­ite tribes.”

Sim­i­larly, in the sec­tion titled “Cre­ation of Israel,” Israel’s estab­lish­ment is char­ac­ter­ized as “a wave of geno­ci­dal mas­sacres against Pales­tini­ans. Many noto­ri­ous mas­sacres were cold-bloodedly com­mit­ted in Pales­tin­ian cities, such as Dir Yasin, Tan­tura, and Dawaymeh.”

The sec­tion on the “Sys­tem­atic Judaiza­tion of Al-Quds” describes Jew­ish vis­its to the Tem­ple Mount as provo­ca­tions by “Talmudic-minded set­tlers, who con­duct Tal­mu­dic rit­u­als and call for the demo­li­tion of Islamic shrines in Jerusalem.”

The author of the e-book, Khalid Amayreh, a Hebron-based Pales­tin­ian jour­nal­ist with ties to Hamas, attempts to estab­lish an exclu­sively Arab and Pales­tin­ian his­tor­i­cal iden­tity for Jerusalem’s ancient occu­pants. Amayreh pre­vi­ously pro­duced an e-book titled, “The Nazis of our time: The creep­ing Israeli geno­cide against the Palestinians.”

OnIs­lam fre­quently fea­tures arti­cles on Qaradawi and pub­lishes fat­was express­ing sup­port for “mar­tyr­dom oper­a­tions,” or sui­cide bomb­ings against Israel. The site also includes arti­cles and reli­gious rul­ings sup­port­ing vio­lence against homo­sex­u­als, as well as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content.

For exam­ple, a March 2013 fatwa by Maher al-Huli, the head of the fatwa depart­ment in the Pales­tine Schol­ars Asso­ci­a­tion, was pub­lished on the web­site, rul­ing that non-Palestinian Mus­lims should not travel to visit the Al Aqsa mosque “while it remains cap­tive by the state of the Jews.” The web­site also has a por­tal ded­i­cated to the issue of homo­sex­u­al­ity, which con­tains sev­eral arti­cles denounc­ing homo­sex­u­al­ity as “sex­ual per­ver­sions” that “spread cor­rup­tion on earth.”

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June 1, 2012 2

Conspiracy Theories Mark Louis Farrakhan’s San Diego Address

Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan’s nearly three-hour speech in San Diego last week­end, titled “Guid­ance in a Time of Trou­ble,” was marked by myr­iad con­spir­a­to­r­ial attacks against the U.S., as well as Israel.

While media reports fol­low­ing Farrakhan’s remarks pri­mar­ily focused on his crit­i­cism of Obama’s stance on gay mar­riage and his “warn­ing” that God will severely pun­ish Amer­ica if it attacks Iran, anti-Semitism and anti-Israel vit­riol marked parts of his speech as well.

Far­rakhan reit­er­ated his views about how mem­bers of Con­gress are “afraid to speak out against the war­mon­ger­ing of Israel and their con­trol through AIPAC of your mem­bers of Con­gress.” “Joe Lieber­man and his crowd,” Far­rakhan said, are push­ing for war against Iran and “mov­ing the goal­posts” for Iran on the nuclear issue.

Far­rakhan also pro­moted the NOI’s book “The Secret Rela­tion­ship Between Blacks and Jews,” which argues essen­tially that the his­tory of slav­ery in the New World was ini­ti­ated by Jew­ish ship own­ers and mer­chants, who, as a group, the book main­tains, remained the pri­mary ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the slave economy.

“How many of you have heard of the Holo­caust?” Far­rakhan con­tin­ued. “Raise your hands. Jew­ish peo­ple want the world to know what Hitler did to them. Why? So it will never hap­pen again. Don’t you want to know what was done to you? This book should be in your col­leges in your African Amer­i­can stud­ies. But I know who writes your pay checks.”

In addi­tion to dis­cussing how much of the Amer­i­can south­west was taken from Mex­ico through “trick­ery” and how birth con­trol is a con­spir­acy by white Amer­i­cans to keep the white major­ity, Far­rakhan also attacked Pres­i­dent Obama’s posi­tion on gay mar­riage. “He’s the first pres­i­dent that sanc­tioned what the scrip­tures forbid…Why is it that all you politi­cians take your oath of office on the Bible? If the book is no good, what the hell are you using it for to take an oath of office…?”

Far­rakhan con­cluded his speech with a tirade warn­ing Amer­ica of calamity if it takes action against Iran. “So I’m warn­ing you Amer­ica, if you bomb Iran…The God that I rep­re­sent is going to take out some of your cities with earth­quakes… He’s going show you his power. In the mean­time, one calamity after another until you sub­mit, Amer­ica, and know that judg­ment is here…”

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