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April 27, 2015

Members of Congress Invite Anti-Muslim Bigot Geert Wilders to DC Events

Geert Wilders, the Dutch Freedom Party leader and one of the most notorious anti-Muslim bigots in the world, announced that this week two Members of Congress will host him at events in Washington, DC.

Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders

Representatives Steve King and Louie Gohmert are reportedly helping provide a platform for Wilders at two events, a breakfast sponsored by the Conservative Opportunity Society, founded by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and later in the day at a reception.

ADL wrote to Representatives King and Gohmert to make sure they know that Wilders’ rhetoric, comparing the Muslim religion itself to Nazism, crosses the boundaries of civility and religious tolerance.

Wilders routinely says “Islam is evil” and calls for the closing down of Muslim schools and mosques, as he did in November 2014 at the most recent David Horowitz Freedom Center Restoration Weekend in Florida. Wilders considers every Muslim an extremist, stating that “according to the Qur’an, there are no moderate Muslims.” He further claims that the fact most Muslims are law-abiding citizens and have no connection to terrorism is irrelevant, because Islam is an expansionist and aggressive ideology.  His profile as a purveyor of ugly anti-Muslim bigotry went global in March 2008, when Wilders released an online film called Fitna. The film simplistically depicts Islam as a violent religion, interspersing verses from the Qur’an with footage of terrorist violence.

Even a radically anti-Muslim lawmaker like Wilders is entitled to express his opinions.  But Americans are entitled to expect their elected representatives to avoid promoting and legitimizing those odious ideas.

Another instance of such deroga­tory and hate­ful rhetoric by Members of their caucus about immigrants drew swift con­dem­na­tion by House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) and then Major­ity Leader Eric Can­tor (R–VA) as well as Judi­ciary Immi­gra­tion Sub­com­mit­tee Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC).  Speaker Boehner called on leg­is­la­tors to reject hate­ful com­ments that he said were “deeply offen­sive and wrong and said they did “not reflect the val­ues of the Amer­i­can peo­ple or the Repub­li­can Party.”

We hope Speaker Boehner and the House leadership take note of this page from their own playbook and follow their own example again.

Confronting violent extremism from Islamist movements is an urgent and seri­ous task for governments and lawmakers all over the world.

Providing a platform for the basest kind demonizing of Muslims, or of any faith, does lit­tle to make Americans safer. America’s highest ideals of religious liberty and the need to confront terrorism from groups like ISIS and al Qaida with real policy solutions compels Congress to do better.

 

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August 5, 2014

Sixth Issue of Azan Magazine Suggests Targets Around the World

The sixth issue of Azan magazine, an English-language magazine produced by the pro-Taliban Abtalul media group, was released online on August 2.azan-magazine-terrorist-targets

The magazine features a number of animated images, including one fully animated page that shows pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Florida Pastor Terry Jones, President Barack Obama, Former President George W. Bush, Dutch politician Geert Wilders, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being struck by bullets, followed by text saying “No shortage of targets.”

The remainder of the magazine features a number of articles supporting the Taliban and Al Qaeda’s ideology and historiography. It also includes a list of 16 reasons “why we do jihad” and an article refuting the declaration of a Caliphate, an Islamic empire, by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

ADL profiled Azan magazine’s methodology, and the way in which it has utilized techniques from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s Inspire Magazine, in the post “Afghani Azan Magazine Picks UP Where Inspire Left Off.”

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December 21, 2012

Upcoming Maryland Event Sign Of Increased Anti-Immigrant Activity

A conference sponsored by the Maryland Conservative Action Network is due to take place in Annapolis on January 12, 2013. The conference, titled “Turning the Tides 2013” brings together many of the main anti-immigrant voices in the state as well as some speakers known for their anti-Muslim statements and associations.

The conference is the latest example of anti-immigrant activity in Maryland. Anti-immigrant activists were instrumental in gathering enough signatures to put a measure on the ballot in the November 2012 election seeking to undo a law that granted in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants at public colleges in the state.  The in-state tuition bill was originally signed into law in 2011. Despite the efforts of anti-immigrant activists, a majority of Maryland voters voted in favor of granting in-state tuition. Many of the anti-immigrant activists involved in getting the issue on the ballot are due to speak at the January 12 conference.

Scheduled speakers at the event include:

Brad Botwin

Brad Botwin – founder of the anti-immigrant group Help Save Maryland (HSM). Botwin’s group is listed on the website of the largest anti-immigrant group in the country, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), as a state contact. Botwin’s group has co-sponsored events with FAIR and other national groups, such as the Virginia-based NumbersUSA. HSM also worked with FAIR’s legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI).

Neil Parrott – Republican House of Delegates member representing District 2B. Parrott is a member of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), a coalition of state lawmakers who work with IRLI to draft and introduce anti-immigrant legislation in their states. Parrott was chairman of the petition group that successfully put the in-state tuition law on the ballot in November.

Pamela Geller – co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America (SOIA), a group seeking to rouse public fears about a “vast Islamic conspiracy” to destroy American values.   Geller also works closely with far-right groups and figures in Europe, such as the English Defense League (EDL) and anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders.

Diana West – author and journalist who writes about the “dangers” of Islam. In a September 15, 2012 post on her website, West wrote “Indeed, it is this basic Islamic censorship that is at the crux of why Islam itself — not ‘Islamism,’ not ‘radical Islam,’ not ‘Islamists’” but Islam — is an existential threat to the survival of any free society.” In 2007, West met with members of the racist and xenophobic Belgian political party Vlaams Belang.

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