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December 3, 2013

Denver Conference To Feature Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorists

The Muslim Student Association – Persian Speaking Group (MSA-PSG) will hold its 43rd annual conference in Denver, Colorado, which will draw the participation of several anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers.msa-psg-iran-denver

The conference, titled “Awaiting the Savior,” is scheduled for December 26-29 and will include lectures and workshop sessions with the purported aim to discuss “how Islam can help guide us in our awaiting time to be the true supporters of our Imam,” also known as the Mahdi, a messianic figure for Shi’a Muslims. 

The MSA-PGA was founded in 1970 by Mostafa Chamron, an Iranian anti-Shah activist when he was a student at the University of California – Berkeley. Chamron subsequently returned to Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and served as defense minister and a member of parliament for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The organization has a history of inviting anti-Semitic speakers and extremists to its annual conference. Among the list of speakers invited this year, and in previous years, are Muhammad al Asi and Abdul Alim Musa. Al Asi and Musa are frequently invited to speak at anti-Israel events on campus where they engage in anti-Semitic rhetoric during their speeches and lectures. Additionally, both individuals have publicly sworn allegiance to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Musa is also the leader of Sabiqun, an anti-Semitic Muslim group that advocates for the creation of a global Islamic state.

Anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists Mark Glenn and Mark Dankof are also invited to speak at this year’s event. At the 2012 annual MSA-PSG conference, Dankof made a series of conspiratorial and anti-Semitic claims that Muslims and Christians are under threat by Zionists. Moreover, Dankof made a series of allegations that Jews are in control of American politics, economics and media, and that Jewish conspiracies are behind important U.S. events, such as the assassination of President Kennedy and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The organization, which is primarily based in Los Angeles, adheres to the strict principles of Twelver Shi’a Islam and the virulently anti-Semitic and anti-West ideology of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Contrary to its name, members of the MSA-PSG are not necessarily students. Many members are of Pakistani or South Asian origins who have previously spent time at Iranian seminaries and religious institutions. Previous years’ conferences have primarily been held in Houston and Chicago.

Another scheduled speaker is Hamza Sodagar, an Iranian-born cleric. At the 2010 Muslim Congress (MC) convention, Sodagar made several conspiratorial charges, including one where he alleged Zionist control over U.S. Muslims.

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November 22, 2013

Anti-Semitic Iran Film Festival Appeals To U.S. Extremists

The Office of Cultural Studies for the Islamic Revolution, an Iranian non-governmental organization that enjoys support from high-ranking officials in the Iranian government, will hold the 4th annual Ammar Popular Film Festival (APFF) in Tehran from January 3-11, 2014.ammar-film-festival-iran

The film festival, which is named after one of the companions of the Prophet Mohammad, is soliciting films on anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic topics. These include: “False-flag attacks: The September 11th attacks, the role of the Zionist Lobby and neocons, the Israeli attack to USS Liberty,” “the power of the Zionist Lobby in the US and Europe, including Christian Zionism,” “ The role of Israeli Lobbies in promoting war,” and “Resistance against Zionist, not only in Palestine but also in USA and Europe.” The best submissions will be entered into a competition.

The aforementioned categories only appear on the festival’s English language website, which may suggest that organizers are specifically seeking submissions from extremists that have previously been given a platform in Iran.

Considering the conspiratorial topics for this year’s submissions, it is no surprise that the APFF has attracted interest from anti-Semites from outside Iran, including American anti-Semites such as Holocaust denier Michael Hoffman, the editor of the conspiratorial Veterans Today, Gordon Duff, and frequent Press TV contributor Mark Glenn.

American anti-Semites have been frequent participants in anti-Semitic and Holocaust denying conferences in Iran, often under the guise of promoting cultural and academic understanding.  They also frequently appear on Press TV, Iran’s government-run English-language satel­lite news net­work.

Last year’s APFF included a meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who encouraged the audience to incorporate political messages into films. He stated, “…certain organizations which promote western art such as Hollywood are completely political. If it is not like this, why do they not allow Iranian films which are anti-Zionist to be nominated at film festivals?”

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April 18, 2013

Extremists and Conspiracy Theorists React to Boston Marathon Terrorist Attack

Forty-eight hours after Monday’s horrific terrorist attack targeting the Boston Marathon, which left 3 people dead and close to 200 injured, extremist and anti-government conspiracy theories about who was responsible are spreading across the Internet.

A screenshot from the anti-Semitic conspiracy website “nodisinfo.com.”

The lack of information currently available to the public about possible perpetrators has not kept extremists from jumping to conclusions.  Conspiracy theorists spanning the ideological spectrum – from anti-Muslim bigots to white supremacists – have accused different groups and individuals of perpetrating the bombing.

Here’s just a sampling of these accusations. A comprehensive overview of extremist reactions to the Boston attack can be found here: Boston Bombing Prompts Extremist Conspiracy Theories.

Conspiracy theorist Mark Glenn claimed that the bombing in Boston may have been orchestrated by Israel as a “way of not only rubbing manure in Barack Obama’s face” but also to demonstrate what Israel is capable of doing to the United States. He blamed the Jewish community and the State of Israel for a number of attacks against Americans, adding “You in the Jewish community and in the pro-Israel community…you have a criminal record.” Glenn concluded, “It is very possible that this is an Israeli false flag event, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Others claimed they were sure Muslims were behind the attack. Quran-burning Florida pastor Terry Jones released a statement that read, “Is it an Islamic attack? It looks like it. The bombing came on Patriots Day. It has all of the earmarkings (sic) of an Islamic attack but will there again be a great coverup by the Great Satan Obama? His Administration, the people he has surrounded himself with, are all some type of closet Muslims, heavily influenced by Islam because of their background.”

Anti-government extremists have described the attack as a “false flag” operation orchestrated by the U.S. government as a pretext to curtail Americans’ civil liberties. 

Other extreme organizations seemed satisfied with the attack and went so far as to describe it as a divine act. The virulently homophobic Westboro Baptist Church, for example, announced that it would picket the victims’ funerals and that the attack was a result of God’s anger about gay rights in America.

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