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September 28, 2012

#AskFarrakhan Town Hall Meeting Features Anti-Jewish Conspiracy Theories

On September 26, Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Far­rakhan held a town hall style meeting in which he promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about supposed Jewish political control in America and Jewish manipulation of the Black community.

When asked by an individual participating in the meeting online if America will “be forced to go to war with Iran,” Farrakhan went into a rant about how presidents who “resist Israeli pressure… do not get away with it.” He continued, “When you don’t vote the way they think you should vote, there’s no such thing as forgiveness. They move to unseat you. Cynthia McKinney, brilliant sister but she was not pro-Zionist, well she’s not in Congress… once you take an opposing position, you have to pay a price.”

He then said that the Monica Lewinsky scandal was somehow a Jewish plot. “Bill Clinton refused to meet with an Israeli Prime Minister. The next thing you heard was Monica Lewinsky and all of those that were involved in scandalizing Bill Clinton, they happened to be Zionists.”

Farrakhan made it clear that he still blames Jews for what he perceives as a fragmented Black community. “No Black artist becomes rich without having a friendship with the Jewish community.” He then noted that in order to keep Black role models away from the NOI, Jews “make the world think I’m an enemy of Jewish people.” However, he credited Kanye West, a well-known rapper, for making it possible for a student group to attend the town hall meeting.

During his remarks, Farrakhan also mentioned an Iranian-government sponsored dinner he attended in New York the previous day on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly opening. This meeting between representatives of various faith-based communities and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  featured a keynote speech in which Ahmadinejad denounced America’s policies on Iran’s nuclear program and blamed the anti-Islam film, Innocence of Muslims, on Zionists even though that has been clearly proved to be a lie.

When Farrakhan was asked at his town hall meeting “Why is it that you seem to be friends with everyone that America hates such as Castro, Qaddafi and Ahmadinejad?” Farrakhan responded, “Evidently, America’s on the wrong side of history. I’m a friend of those who fight to deliver the masses from oppression…So I’m in good company.” Farrakhan also attended a meeting with Ahmadinejad in 2010.

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September 24, 2012

“Zionism” Blamed for Anti-Islam Film At Protests in Houston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

Protests held in Houston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. last Friday and Saturday accused Zionists of having a hand in the production of the anti-Islam film, Innocence of Muslims.

The rallies, which were sponsored by the Muslim Congress, a Shi’a organization founded in 2005, also featured placards and slogans accusing the America and other Western nations of harboring double standards regarding what constitutes freedom of speech.

Sign at Muslim Congress protest in Houston

Protesters at the Houston rally, which was co-sponsored by the Islamic Education Center (IEC), a Houston-based Shi’a mosque and private school with a record of employing stereotypical anti-Semitic narratives in its publications, held a banner that read: “Insult of Islam = Freedom of Speech? Inquiry on Holocaust= Antisemitism? Double Standards!” Protesters also chanted slogans blaming Zionists for the film’s production and held posters with “Yes to Moses, Yes To Jesus, Yes to Muhammad, No to Zionism” written on them.

Although they were billed as “peaceful protests” to “honor Divine Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad,” a Muslim Congress press release issued after the events called the film “a by-product of a culture created by … war-profiteers, and the Zionist lobby.”

The same release included a resolution calling for limits on freedom of speech and asked for “all Americans of faith [to] stand together against the plans of the Zionist to disunite us, as the Zionists respect neither Judaism, Christianity or Islam.”

The Muslim Congress has regularly featured anti-Semitic speakers such as Abdul Alim Musa of the extremist As-Sabiqun group and Mohammad al-Asi at its annual conventions.

Similar to the protest in Houston, protesters in front of the Los Angeles Federal Building held up posters denouncing the film and blaming the violence seen in several Middle Eastern countries on Zionism. One poster read, “Yes to Torah, Yes to Bible, Yes to Quran, No to Zionism.”

PressTV, the Iranian government’s primary medium for promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to English-speaking countries, described the Los Angeles protest as a reaction to the anti-Islam film produced “thanks to Jewish donations totaling USD five million.”

The false claim that the film was the work of an “Israeli Jew” initially spread when the filmmaker said in interviews that his project had 100 Jewish backers who had invested $5 million to produce it. It was later revealed that the film was cre­ated, pro­duced and pro­moted by sev­eral Chris­t­ian anti-Muslim activists con­nected to a net­work of anti-Muslim organizations.

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September 14, 2012

Anti-Muslim Christian Activists Responsible For Inflammatory “Innocence of Muslims” Film

The anti-Islam film that has sparked considerable outrage and violence across the Middle East and Islamic world appears to be a product of several Christian anti-Muslim activists.

Although the false claim that the film Innocence of Muslims was the work of an “Israeli Jew” received widespread attention in the U.S. and abroad, recent reports indicate that the film was created, produced and promoted by individuals connected to a network of anti-Muslim organizations.

The film, which was produced during the summer of 2011 and portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a child-molester, homosexual and philanderer, was advertised in the Anaheim-based Arab World newspaper under its original title, The Innocence of Bin Laden. The advertisement described the movie as revealing the true identity of the terrorists behind the killing of Muslims in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. The advertisement also indicated that the film would be shown during Ramadan, and provided a screening date of June 30 at the Vine Theatre in Los Angeles.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula

Screenshot of “Innocence of Muslims”

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old California-based Coptic Christian, appears to be the one responsible for creating the impression that the film was created and supported by Jews. According to American officials in an interview with the Arabic-language television station Al Hurra, Nakoula is the alleged producer and filmmaker of the anti-Islam film. Nakoula initially exposed his role to international media under the pseudonym Sam Bacile, a fictitious individual that the Associated Press had initially reported was “an Israeli filmmaker based in California.” In the interview with the AP, Nakoula, speaking under a pseudonym, said the film cost $5 million to make “and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors.” These claims have since been disproved with the revelation that Sam Bacile does not exist.

Joseph Nasralla

Joseph Nasralla with Pamela Geller

Nasralla is a self-described “Coptic Christian activist from Egypt” and founder of the California-based The Way TV, a satellite television station devoted to matters concerning Egypt’s Coptic community. He is also the founder and chief executive of the California-based Media for Christ, the conservative Christian production company reportedly responsible for producing Innocence of Muslims. Nasralla is connected to prominent anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and their conspiratorial anti-Muslim organization, Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). According to Geller, Nasralla popped onto her radar following his attendance at the SIOA’s June 6, 2010 “D-Day Rally” in front of the proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan. In a letter addressed to Geller and Spencer following the rally, Nasralla described himself as a refugee from “the oppression of Islam” and said that he seeks to “expose to the American public what kind of instigation we [Coptic Christians] suffered at the hands of hateful Muslim preachers…” Since 2010, Nasralla has been invited to speak at various SIOA events, including at SIOA’s 2010 and 2011 September 11 rallies in New York.

Morris Sadek

Morris Sadek with Terry Jones

Sadek, head of the U.S.-based National Coptic Assembly, an anti-Muslim organization that claims to represent and speak on behalf of Egyptian Christian Copts, was instrumental in the film’s accessibility to the Arabic-speaking world. Sadek released the 14-minute trailer of the film on YouTube on September 5 with Arabic subtitles. Sadek claims to be the president of a Coptic state in Egypt and asserts that this independent Coptic state is under the occupation of “Arab Muslim invaders.” According to Sadek’s website, he frequently writes letters to Israeli leaders appealing for their assistance in “liberating the Coptic state.” He also has a working relationship with controversial Qur’an burning Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center and has participated in demonstrations held by Jones and his church. On his personal website, Sadek has voiced his support for Jones’ distasteful mockery of the Prophet Muhammad. Sadek also attended the 2010 ACT! for America National Conference. ACT! promotes the idea that Islam is a backward and seditious political ideology and that Muslim immigration to the U.S. must end.

Steve Klein

Steve Klein

Steve Klein is a California-based anti-Muslim Christian activist and former U.S. Marine who claims that he provided consulting services for the production of Innocence of Muslims. In a recent interview following the outbreak of violence in Cairo and Benghazi, Klein described the film as being designed to spark outrage. In addition to his alleged role in the film’s technical production, Klein is founder and board member of Courageous Christians United (CCU), an organization that protests outside of mosques, abortion clinics and Mormon temples. CCU issued a statement today denouncing the film and indicating that Klein had been removed from the board. Many of the links on the group’s website redirect readers to sites designed to convince Muslims, Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses to convert to Christianity. Klein is also the founder of Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment (CCFA), an anti-Muslim group whose primary initiative is to warn high school students that they are being brainwashed through courses and lesson on Islamic history. He has spoken at conferences on the subject of Islam at the Church at Kaweah, a militant Christian church base in California.

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