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June 18, 2013 6

Leaked “Khaiber” Episodes Confirm ADL Concern Over Anti-Semitic Themes

The first two episodes of “Khaiber,” a multi-million dol­lar tele­vi­sion series com­mem­o­rat­ing the geno­cide of Jews in Ara­bia in the 7th cen­tury, have been posted on Youtube. The episodes, which series pro­duc­ers report­edly claim have been leaked, reveal the degree to which clas­si­cal anti-Semitic nar­ra­tives are being pro­moted in the program.

Sched­uled to air dur­ing Ramadan next month, the episodes depict life prior to the rise of Islam in the Ara­bian city of Yathrib, where the Jew­ish tribe of Khaiber lived between the two Arab tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj.

Khaiber Rab­bis are por­trayed as secretly con­spir­ing to fuel war between the Arabs in order to weaken them. The main char­ac­ter, the Grand Rabbi in Yathrib, Hayi Ben Akhtab, seeks to sow con­flict between Arabs to pro­mote the weapon indus­try, which Jews con­trol, accord­ing to the episodes. Another char­ac­ter, a Rabbi by the name of Shas, is depicted as a sym­bol of Jew­ish hatred to the Prophet Muhammad.

Other Jews who live in the city are depicted as fru­gal, greedy and immoral mer­chants who profit from the Arabs. The one Jew­ish char­ac­ter that is depicted as a good man awaits the appear­ance of Muham­mad to con­vert to Islam.

Last Feb­ru­ary, ADL first reported on the Echo Media Qatar pro­duc­tion and on Egypt­ian author, Yusri al-Jindy, who wrote the script for the mini-series. ADL exposed the trou­bling his­tory of al-Jindy’s pre­vi­ous work, which prop­a­gated anti-Semitism and extreme anti-Israel themes.

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June 4, 2013 0

ADL’s “Viral Hate” Now Available in Bookstores

Abe Foxman's & Christopher Wolf's book: "Viral Hate"

Two lead­ing experts on big­oted speech and the Inter­net have joined forces as authors of a new book that lays out a blue­print for gov­ern­ments, indus­try lead­ers and soci­eties to take proac­tive steps to stem the tide of hate speech on the Internet.

Abra­ham H. Fox­man, National Direc­tor of the Anti-Defamation League and Christo­pher Wolf, ADL Civil Rights Chair, out­line the chal­lenges posed by online hate and pro­pose a series of solu­tions in their new book, Viral Hate: Con­tain­ing Its Spread on the Inter­net (Pal­grave Macmil­lan), avail­able in book­stores and for down­load on e-readers today.

Viral Hate dis­cusses how in the past 20 years, the Inter­net, with all of its many advan­tages to soci­ety and the free-flow of infor­ma­tion, has become one of the most pow­er­ful tools for big­ots to spread evil mes­sages of intol­er­ance and rage.

While it is a mar­velous medium for edu­ca­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, enter­tain­ment and com­merce, as the Inter­net has grown and changed over the years, racists and big­ots have found new ways to exploit the tech­nol­ogy to spread hate­ful mes­sages and recruit oth­ers to join their cause. The book pro­vides numer­ous exam­ples of how this has happened.

Viral Hate offers spe­cific rec­om­men­da­tions for the indus­try, as well as for edu­ca­tors, par­ents and Inter­net users.

The indus­try rec­om­men­da­tions include:

  • Cre­at­ing clear poli­cies on hate speech and includ­ing them within terms of service;
  • Cre­at­ing mech­a­nisms for enforc­ing hate speech policies;
  • Estab­lish­ing a clear, user-friendly process for allow­ing users to report hate speech;
  • Increas­ing trans­parency about terms of service;
  • Actively encour­ag­ing counter-speech and edu­ca­tion to address hate speech.

Rec­om­men­da­tions for Inter­net users include: 

  • Flag­ging offen­sive content;
  • Speak­ing out and, in a smart and care­ful way, being pre­pared to chal­lenge hate­ful mes­sages with pos­i­tive ones;
  • Pro­mot­ing counter-speech, applaud­ing pos­i­tive mes­sages and rec­om­mend­ing them to others;
  • Talk­ing about what you have seen, and reach­ing out to watch­dog agen­cies with expe­ri­ence deal­ing with hate and bigotry;
  • For edu­ca­tors, work­ing to ensure that schools have appro­pri­ate poli­cies in place, and empha­siz­ing the impor­tance of crit­i­cal thinking.

Mr. Fox­man, a long­time leader in the fight against anti-Semitism and big­otry, and Mr. Wolf, an Inter­net pri­vacy law attor­ney who has rep­re­sented ADL in a num­ber of inter­na­tional bod­ies tasked with fight­ing Inter­net hate, cite numer­ous instances in recent years where indi­vid­u­als like James von Brunn, the white suprema­cist and U.S. Holo­caust Museum shooter, have taken advan­tage of the power of the Inter­net to spread hate­ful mes­sages and to find like­minded bigots.

And they iden­tify the var­i­ous forms of hate speech that have pro­lif­er­ated online, includ­ing racism, anti-Semitism, reli­gious big­otry, Holo­caust denial, homo­pho­bia, misog­yny, pro­mo­tion of ter­ror­ism and harassment.

In Viral Hate, Fox­man and Wolf dis­cuss how ADL helped to con­vene a new work­ing group on online hate that is bring­ing together Inter­net indus­try lead­ers and oth­ers to probe the roots of the prob­lem and develop new solu­tions to address it head on.

The authors write it is “a national dis­grace” that schools do not have as a require­ment courses instruct­ing chil­dren on the appro­pri­ate use of elec­tronic communication.

More infor­ma­tion on the book is avail­able on the League’s web site at www.adl.org/viral-hate.

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April 25, 2013 3

Parallels Between Boston Bomber And Australian Preacher

The online activ­ity of Tamer­lan Tsar­naev, the dead Boston Marathon bomb­ing sus­pect, reveals a fas­ci­na­tion with mil­i­tancy and Islam, includ­ing an Aus­tralian preacher named Feiz Moham­mad whose life has some inter­est­ing par­al­lels to the bomber.tamerlan-tsarnaev-feiz-mohammad-youtube-boston-bomber

While it remains unclear to what degree Tsar­naev was influ­enced or rad­i­cal­ized by any of the mate­ri­als he was view­ing online, he appar­ently added at least two videos of Feiz Moham­mad, who is known for his extreme anti-West views, to his YouTube channel.

Moham­mad, who blames non-Muslims in the West for Mus­lim vic­tim­hood and has glo­ri­fied “mar­tyr­dom,” has a large col­lec­tion of English-language Islamic lec­tures avail­able online. In a video posted to YouTube in 2007, he claims that Mus­lims today are not suf­fi­ciently ded­i­cated to mar­tyr­dom and there­fore are “the most humil­i­ated nation on the face of this earth.” He adds, “It is not as appeal­ing as it was to those ances­tors — the great warriors.”

In a lec­ture posted on YouTube in Decem­ber 2010, he teaches his stu­dents that fol­low­ers of other sects of Islam, such as Sufi Mus­lims and Shite Mus­lims, are not true Mus­lims and accord­ing to Islamic law deserve execution.

In addi­tion to pro­mot­ing mil­i­tant themes, Moham­mad seeks to appeal to a younger gen­er­a­tion of Mus­lim immi­grants by shar­ing his per­sonal story as a lost young immi­grant who found an iden­tity by strictly adher­ing to Islam.

Sev­eral of his lec­tures focus on warn­ing Mus­lims liv­ing in the West of the dan­gers of adopt­ing the lifestyle of non-Muslim West­ern­ers. In a lec­ture posted on YouTube in April 2012, he warns Mus­lims against lov­ing non-Muslims or befriend­ing them: “Isn’t this why we are a slave by them [non-Muslims]? Because we are lov­ing their ways, we are mix­ing in their ways. We are being a Kafir [infi­del] our­selves by enjoy­ing their lifestyles.”

An inter­view with Tamer­lan Tsar­naev pub­lished while he was train­ing for the 2009 Golden Gloves box­ing com­pe­ti­tion revealed Tamerlan’s dif­fi­culty assim­i­lat­ing into Amer­i­can cul­ture. He is quoted in the inter­view say­ing, “I don’t have a sin­gle Amer­i­can friend, I don’t under­stand them.”

Like Tsar­naev, Mohammad’s fam­ily emi­grated from a war-torn coun­try. Mohammad’s fam­ily immi­grated to Aus­tralia from Tripoli in north­ern Lebanon. Also like Tsar­naev, Feiz Moham­mad spent his teenage years box­ing, which he later denounced. The names he acquired as a boxer included “Frank the Killer” and “The Beast.”

At the age of 19, Moham­mad report­edly decided to embrace a con­ser­v­a­tive form of reli­gious teach­ings known as Salafism and became pop­u­lar among the Salafist groups in Syd­ney. After pur­su­ing an Islamic edu­ca­tion in Med­ina, Saudi Ara­bia, he returned to Aus­tralia. He then founded the “Global Islamic Youth Cen­tre” (GIYC) and opened a Madras­sah, a tra­di­tional Islamic reli­gious school.

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