AmeriKKKa: Threats, harassment, vandalism at mosques reach record high


Gunshots fired into a mosque in Connecticut. Armed men protesting the “Islamization of America” outside Islamic centers in Texas. Death threats called in to mosques in Florida, Maryland and Virginia.

Anecdotal evidence suggests 2015, a year bookended by murderous attacks carried out in the name of Islam, has been one of the most intensely anti-Muslim periods in American history. A new study shared with CNN puts statistical heft behind that suspicion.

Through December 8, American mosques and Islamic centers have been the victims of vandalism, harassment and anti-Muslim bigotry at least 63 times this year, the Council on American-Islamic Relations says in the study. That’s the highest number since the Muslim civil rights group began keeping track in 2009 and a threefold increase over last year.

The previous high was 53 incidents in 2010, during the controversy over the “ground zero mosque”near the site of the 9/11 attack in New York. But many of those incidents concerned bias at zoning hearings for new mosques. This year’s hostilities have a sharper edge.

This November alone saw 17 anti-Muslim incidents at mosques, with the vehemence rising after terrorists aligned with the Islamic State killed 130 people in Paris. Death threats and vandalism appear to be spiking again since December 3, when a Muslim couple killed 14 people and injured 21 more in San Bernardino, California.

(There was little increase in incidents after one of the first prominent terrorists attacks of the year, against the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7.)

CAIR provided the data after CNN asked about the recent rise in reported anti-Muslim hate crimes. Neither the FBI nor CAIR have yet tallied the total number for 2015. But the data on mosques provides an early statistical look at how bad this year has been for American Muslims.

Typically, hate crimes against people — including Muslims — are twice as high as crimes against property, such as mosques, according to the FBI’s annual reports, leading many observers to predict that 2015 will witness the most anti-Muslim incidents since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Hate incidents against American Muslims unabated; political rhetoric not helping

Corey Saylor, a CAIR spokesman, compiled the study based on media accounts and reports from the group’s regional chapters. He cautioned that the data is preliminary; the real number of incidents at mosques is likely higher. According to the Justice Department, hate crimes are often dramatically under-reported.

Still, CAIR’s study shows the depth of resentment against Muslims among some segments of the American population. The incidents occurred in nearly every region of the country, including the nation’s capital. (On Thursday, the Washington, D.C.-based CAIR itself was evacuated after it received hate mail containing a suspicious substance.)

“Daesh wants Americans to turn on each other, and with November seeing the highest number of mosque incidents since we started keeping data, it seems they are getting their wish,” said Saylor, using an alternative name for the Islamic State.

The incidents against mosques break down into four categories:

1. Damage, destruction or vandalism

2. Harassment, including the use of anti-Islamic slurs

3. Intimidation or threats

4. Clear bias during local zoning proceedings in which Muslims are seeking to build mosques

Since the Paris attacks, vandals have smashed mosque property and covered doorways with feces. Hackers replaced a Phoenix Islamic center’s homepage with a site that read “Vive le France.” A man in Falls Church, Virginia, left a fake explosive device at a mosque and battered its front gate.

The situation seems so dire that officials at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in northern Virginia said the security firm they hired to protect the mosque quit this week. “They said, ‘We don’t know what’s going to happen, we can’t protect you,'” said Imam Mohamed Magid, the mosque’s leader. ADAMS has been vandalized twice in past years, according to members, but not recently.

Magid’s comments on Monday came minutes after Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, at a press conference at ADAMS, pleaded with Americans not to “throw a net of suspicion over Muslims.” Asked if Homeland Security will provide extra protection for mosques, a spokesman referred CNN to state and local law enforcement agencies.

U.S. Muslims tell their stories

Since the San Bernardino, California, massacre, anti-Muslim incidents have reached well beyond mosques.

In recent weeks, Muslims have reported being attacked in parks while praying, bullied at school and spat on while driving. On Tuesday, a Muslim congressman, Rep. André Carson, D-Indiana, said he has received a death threat, which he attributed in part to politicians “who are fanning the flames of bigotry.”

Dalia Mogahed, director of research at the Institute of Social Policy and Understanding, said studies suggest that anti-Islamic sentiment seethes during presidential election years, when some politicians try to show their hawkish side by talking tough about Muslims.

During this election campaign, Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner, has proposed barring Muslim immigrants, surveillance of mosques and said he was open to the idea of creating a database of all Muslims living in the United States, ideas that struck some scholars as totalitarian and likely unconstitutional.

Opinion: Don’t collectively punish Muslims

According to CAIR, though, the anti-Islamic flames have been rising since August 2014, when ISIS released a video showing the beheading of two Americans. The horrific killings created an environment of “toxic hate,” the group said, in which some Americans lashed out against their Muslim neighbors.

Lori Peek, a sociologist at Colorado State University who has studied anti-Muslim backlash, says hate crimes are often more complex than they might seem. Some are carried out by drunk thrill-seekers with nothing better to do on a Saturday night. Others, which often occur after terrorist attacks, arise from a mistaken notion of “defending” the country from Muslim invaders.

In other words, one violent act, supposedly carried out in the name of Islam, is met by another violent act, supposedly carried out to combat Islam. Meanwhile, innocent American Muslims are caught in the middle. The effects of hate crimes can be long-lasting and psychologically devastating, according to studies, leading to depression, anxiety and other emotional trauma.

What would the U.S. with a ban on Muslims look like?

As with the rise of ISIS in the last 18 months, the news keeps getting worse for American Muslims, Peek said, with every new attack like a drop of water falling into an overflowing sink. “Muslim Americans are feeling that they will never be able to say that this is in the past, that we will be accepted again into the fabric of America.”

Still, some American Muslims say they’ll keep trying, even if they are targeted.

Hours after the Paris attacks, a gunman fired five shots into Baitul Aman, a mosque that sits on a quiet stretch of Main Street in Meriden, Connecticut. Thankfully, no one was at the mosque at the time, said Mahmood Qureshi, president of the Ahamadiyya Muslim Community of Connecticut. Worshipers found the bullet holes the next day.

Initially, the congregation was rattled, but they decided to open their doors again. They invited the local community to an open house at the mosque the very next day.

“The person who fired at our mosque didn’t know us,” Qureshi said. “We have to do a better job of reaching out to people. But we are resilient.”


23 WHITE TERRORIST: Arrested in suspected arson-hate crime at Coachella mosque


Surrounded by soot-covered orange and grapefruit trees, members of the Masjid Ibrahim Mosque in Coachella gathered in the building’s yard Saturday for morning prayer, less than 24 hours after police say 23-year-old Carl James Dial tried to burn the place of worship down.

Dial was arrested late Friday in Palm Desert in connection with the suspected arson-hate crime at the Coachella Valley’s only mosque, 84-650 Avenue 49.

K Sadiq, who stood vigil overnight at the mosque, said people in this world need to question what politicians and religious leaders are telling them before filling their hearts with hate.

“If someone tells you to hate someone, you need to say, ‘Why?’ and not just hate them,” Sadiq said.

The fire occurred more than a week after a mass shooting that killed 14 people and injured another 22 in San Bernardino – it is one of many similar incidents that officials say have been occurring at mosques around the country in response to the San Bernardino shootings, which authorities have said were committed by radicalized followers of an Islamic State group.

According to Riverside County jail records, Dial was arrested along Country Club Drive shortly before 9 p.m. Friday by Riverside County sheriff’s investigators.

He is being detained at the Riverside County Jail in Indio on suspicion of committing multiple felony offenses including: commission of a hate crime, two counts of arson, one count of maliciously setting a fire, and a count of second-degree burglary.

Police tape marks off the burned front lobby of the Islamic Center of Palm Springs in Coachella, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. Flames were reported just after noon on Friday. The fire was contained to the small building's front lobby, and no one was injured. (AP Photo/David Martin)

Police tape marks off the burned front lobby of the Islamic Center of Palm Springs in Coachella, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. Flames were reported just after noon on Friday. The fire was contained to the small building’s front lobby, and no one was injured. (AP Photo/David Martin)

Dial remained jailed Saturday night in lieu of $150,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court at the Larson Justice Center in Indio on Wednesday, according to jail records.

His arrest was a comfort to many of the mosque members who gathered outside the mosque Saturday to pay their respects and lend a hand with clean-up efforts.

No one there recognized Dial from his mugshot, and most people were confused that such an incident would happen in such a quiet, accepting neighborhood.

Others were just ready to move forward, fix their mosque and try to put the crime behind them.

“God’s going to take care of everyone,” Kassim al-Wisha said. “We’re gonna fix it. We have insurance.”

The musallah, the room where members pray, was largely untouched by the blaze.

A young man who arrived with plywood to board up the gaping doorway, which was scorched and charred by flames, asked if he would be able to step inside the musallah before beginning to work.

“I just need to pray,” he said before disappearing inside.

Federal authorities began investigating the arson-hate crime just hours after Cal Fire personnel extinguished the 12:09 p.m. blaze. People were praying inside at the time of the fire, but everyone was evacuated from the building and no injuries were reported.

The doorway, lobby and areas where people perform their ablutions before prayer were heavily burnt, but the majority of the mosque sustained only smoke damage.

People described hearing a “loud boom” and seeing flames, Reymundo Nour, the mosque’s acting imam, said Friday. He was not on site at the time, but said the mosque had been “firebombed.”

In a news release issued late Friday, the sheriff’s department stated that investigators “believed this was an intentional act potentially resulting in a hate crime, and utilized all available resources in an attempt to identify and locate the suspect.

“A person of interest was quickly identified and was subsequently located and detained pending further investigation,” the release stated, adding that additional updates would be provided as they became available.

A spokesman for the sheriff’s department would not say Saturday how investigators were led to Dial.

Friday’s incident was not the first time the mosque in Coachella was damaged as the result of a criminal act.

On Nov. 4, 2014, during early morning prayers, someone fired five shots at the mosque. No one was injured in that incident, which was investigated as a hate crime. Despite a $12,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the shooting, the case remains unsolved.

A number of public officials condemned Friday’s suspected arson.

“We see this as a cowardly act of vandalism that we do not tolerate in our community,” Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez said. “Freedom of religion is one of our core values in this country, so any time we witness violence or vandalism directed at a religious institution, it flies in the face of everything we stand for and believe in as Americans.”

He was joined by Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit and U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, who each expressed their concern and called for a thorough investigation into the blaze.

The fire occurred nine days after a radicalized Muslim husband and wife committed a mass shooting inside a San Bernardino County employee holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.

Syed Rizwan Farook, a 28-year-old San Bernardino County environmental health specialist, and his 29-year-old wife, Tashfeen Malik, used two semi-automatic handguns and two assault rifles to kill or injure Farook’s county coworkers Dec. 2. Farook and Malik were killed later that day in a shootout with authorities. The FBI is investigating the San Bernardino incident.


No difference between the Donald Trump/GOP and Hitler/Nazi Party


No difference between the Donald Trump/GOP and Hitler/Nazi Party

Under the leadership of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazi Party, grew into a mass movement and ruled Germany through totalitarian means from 1933 to 1945. Founded in 1919 as the German Workers’ Party, the group promoted German pride and anti-Semitism, and expressed dissatisfaction with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the 1919 peace settlement that ended World War I (1914-1918) and required Germany to make numerous concessions and reparations. Hitler joined the party the year it was founded and became its leader in 1921. In 1933, he became chancellor of Germany and his Nazi government soon assumed dictatorial powers. After Germany’s defeat in World War II (1939-45), the Nazi Party was outlawed and many of its top officials were convicted of war crimes related to the murder of some 6 million European Jews during the Nazis’ reign.

In 1919, army veteran Adolf Hitler, frustrated by Germany’s defeat in World War, which had left the nation economically depressed and politically unstable, joined a fledgling political organization called the German Workers’ Party. Founded earlier that same year by a small group of men including locksmith Anton Drexler (1884-1942) and journalist Karl Harrer (1890-1926), the party promoted German nationalism and anti-Semitism, and felt that the Treaty of Versailles, the peace settlement that ended the war, was extremely unjust to Germany by burdening it with reparations it could never pay. Hitler soon emerged as a charismatic public speaker and began attracting new members with speeches blaming Jews and Marxists for Germany’s problems and espousing extreme nationalism and the concept of an Aryan “master race.” In July 1921, he assumed leadership of the organization, which by then had been renamed the Nationalist Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party.

Through the 1920s, Hitler gave speech after speech in which he stated that unemployment, rampant inflation, hunger and economic stagnation in postwar Germany would continue until there was a total revolution in German life. Most problems could be solved, he explained, if communists and Jews were driven from the nation. His fiery speeches swelled the ranks of the Nazi Party, especially among young, economically disadvantaged Germans.

In 1923, Hitler and his followers staged the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, a failed takeover of the government in Bavaria, a state in southern Germany. Hitler had hoped that the “putsch,” or coup d’etat, would spark a larger revolution against the national government. In the aftermath of the Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler was convicted of treason and sentenced to five years in prison, but spent less than a year behind bars (during which time he dictated the first volume of “Mein Kampf,” or “My Struggle,” his political autobiography). The publicity surrounding the Beer Hall Putsch and Hitler’s subsequent trial turned him into a national figure. After his release from prison, he set about rebuilding the Nazi Party and attempting to gain power through the election process.

In 1929, Germany entered a period of severe economic depression and widespread unemployment. The Nazis capitalized on the situation by criticizing the ruling government and began to win elections. In the July 1932 elections, they captured 230 out of 608 seats in the “Reichstag,” or German parliament. In January 1933, Hitler was appointed German chancellor and his Nazi government soon came to control every aspect of German life.

Under Nazi rule, all other political parties were banned. In 1933, the Nazis opened their first concentration camp, in Dachau, Germany, to house political prisoners. Dachau evolved into a death camp where countless thousands of Jews died from malnutrition, disease and overwork or were executed. In addition to Jews, the camp’s prisoners included members of other groups Hitler considered unfit for the new Germany, including artists, intellectuals, Gypsies, the physically and mentally handicapped and homosexuals.

Once Hitler gained control of the government, he directed Nazi Germany’s foreign policy toward undoing the Treaty of Versailles and restoring Germany’s standing in the world. He railed against the treaty’s redrawn map of Europe and argued it denied Germany, Europe’s most populous state, “living space” for its growing population. Although the Treaty of Versailles was explicitly based on the principle of the self-determination of peoples, he pointed out that it had separated Germans from Germans by creating such new postwar states as Austria and Czechoslovakia, where many Germans lived.

From the mid- to late 1930s, Hitler undermined the postwar international order step by step. He withdrew Germany from the League of Nations in 1933, rebuilt German armed forces beyond what was permitted by the Treaty of Versailles, reoccupied the German Rhineland in 1936, annexed Austria in 1938 and invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939. When Nazi Germany moved toward Poland, Great Britain and France countered further aggression by guaranteeing Polish security. Nevertheless, Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and Great Britain and France declared war on Germany. Six years of Nazi Party foreign policy had ignited World War II.

After conquering Poland, Hitler focused on defeating Britain and France. As the war expanded, the Nazi Party formed alliances with Japan and Italy in the Tripartite Pact of 1940, and honored its 1939 Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact with the Soviet Union until 1941, when Germany launched a massive blitzkrieg invasion of the Soviet Union. In the brutal fighting that followed, Nazi troops tried to realize the long-held goal of crushing the world’s major communist power. After the United States entered the war in 1941, Germany found itself fighting in North Africa, Italy, France, the Balkans and in a counterattacking Soviet Union. At the beginning of the war, Hitler and his Nazi Party were fighting to dominate Europe; five years later they were fighting to exist.

When Hitler and the Nazis came to power in 1933, they instituted a series of measures aimed at persecuting Germany’s Jewish citizens. By late 1938, Jews were banned from most public places in Germany. During the war, the Nazis’ anti-Jewish campaigns increased in scale and ferocity. In the invasion and occupation of Poland, German troops shot thousands of Polish Jews, confined many to ghettoes where they starved to death and began sending others to death camps in various parts of Poland, where they were either killed immediately or forced into slave labor. In 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Nazi death squads machine-gunned tens of thousands of Jews in the western regions of Soviet Russia.

In early 1942, at the Wannsee Conference near Berlin, the Nazi Party decided on the last phase of what it called the “Final Solution” of the “Jewish problem” and spelled out plans for the systematic murder of all European Jews. In 1942 and 1943, Jews in the western occupied countries including France and Belgium were deported by the thousands to the death camps mushrooming across Europe. In Poland, huge death camps such as Auschwitz began operating with ruthless efficiency. The murder of Jews in German-occupied lands stopped only in last months of the war, as the German armies were retreating toward Berlin. By the time Hitler committed suicide in April 1945, some 6 million Jews had died.

After the war, the Allies occupied Germany, outlawed the Nazi Party and worked to purge its influence from every aspect of German life. The party’s swastika flag quickly became a symbol of evil in modern postwar culture. Although Hitler killed himself before he could be brought to justice, a number of Nazi officials were convicted of war crimes in the Nuremberg trials, which took place in Nuremberg, Germany, from 1945 to 1949.


White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States


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White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States, according to a study by the New America Foundation. The Washington-based research organization did a review of “terror” attacks on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001 and found that most of them were carried out by radical anti-government groups or white supremacists.

Almost twice as many people have died in attacks by right-wing groups in America than have died in attacks by Muslim extremists. Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the group defined as terror, 19 were carried out by non-Muslims. Yet there are no white Americans languishing inside the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. And there are no drones dropping bombs on gatherings of military-age males in the country’s lawless border regions.

Attacks by right-wing groups get comparatively little coverage in the news media. Most people will struggle to remember the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people in 2012. A man who associated with neo-Nazi groups carried out that shooting. There was also the married couple in Las Vegas who walked into a pizza shop and murdered two police officers. They left a swastika on one of the bodies before killing a third person in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Such attacks are not limited to one part of the country. In 2011, two white supremacists went on a shooting spree in the Pacific Northwest, killing four people.

Terrorism is hard to define. But here is its basic meaning: ideological violence. In its study, the New America Foundation took a narrow view of what could be considered a terror attack. Most mass shootings, for instance, like Sandy Hook or the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting — both in 2012 — weren’t included. Also not included was the killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina earlier this year. The shooter was a neighbor and had strong opinions about religion. But he also had strong opinions about parking spaces and a history of anger issues. So that shooting was left off the list.

The killing of nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina last week was included. The shooter made it clear that his motivation was an ideological belief that white people are superior to black people. The shooting has cast new light on the issue of right-wing terrorism in the United States. But since it can’t really use Special Forces or Predator drones on US soil, it remains unclear how the government will respond.


If your ship is going to get boarded by pirates, it’s best that it happens in the waters off Indonesia. Unlike their Somali counterparts, Indonesian pirates have shown little interest in kidnapping for ransom. And, writes GlobalPost Senior Correspondent Patrick Winn, a review of Southeast Asian piracy incidents in recent years reveals a theme: the pirates are seldom brutal and like to get in and get out as quickly as possible.

That’s good because piracy in the waters off of Indonesia is growing more common, and the pirates themselves are getting bolder. They regularly board giant oil tankers, subdue crews with surprisingly little violence, shut down their communications, disguise the ships in creative ways, and siphon off millions of dollars’ worth of gas. Once their pirate ships are laden, they are gone.

While Somali pirates are increasingly a thing of the past, Indonesian piracy is up an incredible 700 percent in the last five years. Indonesia is a good place to be a pirate: A third of the world’s shipping traffic passes by the country. There are tens of thousands of little islands and endless small coastal communities among which to hide.

As long as the violence stays to a minimum, the increased piracy is unlikely to raise that many eyebrows. For the oil and gas industry, the lost product amounts to little more than “a rounding error,” according to experts.


Poland is one of the world’s most religiously conservative countries. It’s as Catholic as Catholic gets. So it’s pretty unsurprising that its abortion laws are some of the strictest in Europe. Basically, you can’t get an abortion in Poland unless you were raped or are near death. And even then a doctor can refuse to help you.

So desperate activists are trying something new. In a few days, a consortium of women’s rights groups will convene in Germany, load a drone full of pills that can be used to safely induce abortions, fly it over the border to Poland and drop the pills to activists on the other side. Some would call that smuggling.

It’s been dubbed the “Abortion Drone,” which is a truly disturbing pairing of words. But the goal is noble: to deliver a much-needed service to Polish women, to raise awareness in Poland that safe abortion medication exists, and to pressure the Polish government to change its draconian laws.


EXTREMIST WHITE CHRISTIAN MEN AND GOP: A Brief History of Deadly Attacks on Abortion Providers


The fatal shooting of three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday was the latest incident in a long history of violent attacks on facilities or doctors providing abortions in the United States and Canada.

At least 11 people have been killed in attacks on abortion clinics in the United States since 1993, including the Colorado attack. The most recent victims were Garrett Swasey, a police officer at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs and a part-time church pastor;Ke’Arre M. Stewart, a former Army specialist who served in Iraq; and Jennifer Markovsky, a woman from Hawaii who was at the clinic with a friend.

Authorities identified the gunman in the attack as Robert L. Dear Jr., saying that he opened fire with an assault-style rifle at the facility, setting off an hourslong standoff and gun battle that also wounded nine people. The police have not described the gunman’s motive, but authorities said that he spoke of “no more baby parts” in a rambling interview after his arrest.

Here is a brief look at the history of deadly violence against abortion clinics, their staff members, patients and their guests in the United States and Canada.

Michael Griffin watches as the jury is selected in February 1994. CreditPool photo by Steve Mawyer

Michael Griffin watches as the jury is selected in February 1994. CreditPool photo by Steve Mawyer

The First Abortion Doctor Killed: David Gunn

Dr. David Gunn was shot and killed by an opponent of abortion during a protest outside his clinic in Pensacola, Fla. His death was the first known killing of an abortion provider in the United States, according to the National Abortion Federation, an advocacy group.

The gunman, Michael F. Griffin, shot Dr. Gunn three times in the back as he approached the rear entrance of the clinic, and Mr. Griffin turned himself over to the police just moments later, telling them, “I’ve just shot Dr. Gunn.”

Mr. Griffin was convicted of the murder in March 1994 and was sentenced to life in prison.

The murder of Dr. Gunn was not the first time that Pensacola had been the site of anti-abortion violence, and it would not be the last. On Christmas Day in 1984, two doctors’ offices and a clinic were bombed by opponents of abortion who were later arrested, convicted and jailed.


Paul Hill on death row in Florida in September 1995.CreditGene Bednarek/Silver Image for The New York Times

Paul Hill on death row in Florida in September 1995.CreditGene Bednarek/Silver Image for The New York Times

Former Pastor Kills a Doctor and Clinic

Anti-abortion violence returned to Pensacola one year after the death of Dr. Gunn when Paul J. Hill, a well-known anti-abortion protester, shot and killed Dr. John Bayard Britton and a clinic volunteer, James H. Barrett, outside a women’s health center in July 1994. Mr. Barrett’s wife, June, was also wounded in the shooting.

Mr. Hill, a former minister, was well known for advocating violence against abortion doctors, and he had praised the killing of Dr. Gunn. He was arrested shortly after the shooting as he tried to flee the scene, the police said at the time.

He was convicted in December 1994 of first-degree murder and was sentenced to death.

In the interview before his execution in 2003, Mr. Hill said that the killing of Dr. Gunn in 1993 had inspired him to kill Dr. Britton.

“I believe in the short and long term, more and more people will act on the principles for which I stand,” he said. ” I’m willing and I feel very honored that they are most likely going to kill me for what I did.”

The casket of Dr. George Tiller is loaded into a waiting hearse after his funeral at College HIll United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas. Credit Steve Hebert for The New York Times

The casket of Dr. George Tiller is loaded into a waiting hearse after his funeral at College HIll United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas. Credit Steve Hebert for The New York Times

George Tiller, Twice a Target, Is Killed in 2009

Dr. George Tiller, one of the few doctors in the United States who provided abortions late in pregnancy, was a frequent target of anti-abortion violence and was killed in 2009 by Scott Roeder as he stood in the foyer of his church.

A witness who was serving as an usher alongside Dr. Tiller at the church that day told the court that Mr. Roeder entered the foyer, put a gun to the doctor’s head and pulled the trigger.

At trial, Mr. Roeder admitted to killing Dr. Tiller and said he did it to protect unborn babies. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. At his sentencing, he told the court that God’s judgment would ”sweep over this land like a prairie wind.”

Dr. Tiller was shot once before, in 1993, by Shelley Shannon, an anti-abortion activist who compared abortion providers to Hitler and said she believed that “justifiable force” was necessary to stop abortions.

Ms. Shannon was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the shooting of Dr. Tiller and later confessed to vandalizing and burning a string of abortion clinics in California, Nevada and Oregon.


The Terrorists Among Us: Forget Syria. The most dangerous religious extremists are migrants from North and South Carolina.


Another terrorist attack. Another grim tally of the dead and wounded. Another killer full of hate, from a land that breeds such men. Like millions of migrants before him, the perpetrator crossed the border unchallenged. And like others, he struck our country without warning.

Our politicians say they’ll stop these killers. They talk about building walls and vetting refugees. If we were serious, we would do it. We would seal our borders against North Carolina.

North Carolina? It sounds absurd. When we think about immigration and terrorism, we think of Syria. But that’s not where our casualties are coming from. On Friday, a gunman killed three people and wounded nine more at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. The suspect is white American Robert Lewis Dear. When police apprehended Dear, he uttered one telltale phrase: “no more baby parts.” People who have known or met Dear say he wasn’t a regular churchgoer. But they also report that he believed devoutly in the Bible and that he claimed to have read it “cover to cover.” In an online forum, Dear apparently spoke of Jesus and the “end times.” He painted or posted crosses on at least three of his homes.

Dear moved to Colorado last year from North Carolina, where he had been living. For two decades, the Tar Heel State has been a hotbed of religious extremism, fueled by clerics who preach holy war. The result is a stream of interstate terrorism.

It began with Eric Rudolph, a Holocaust denier who grew up in the Christian Identity movement. In 1996, Rudolph traveled from North Carolina to Atlanta, where he detonated a bomb at the Olympics, killing one person and injuring more than 100 others. A year later, Rudolph bombed a lesbian bar in Atlanta, wounding five people. In 1998, he bombed a reproductive health clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, killing a security guard and injuring a nurse. The “Army of God,” which hosts Rudolph’s writings, claimed credit for his attacks.

In 2001, Steve Anderson, another Christian Identity follower, was pulled over for a broken tail light on his way home from a white supremacist meeting in North Carolina. He pumped 20 bullets into the officer’s car and fled. Police found weapons, ammunition, and explosives in his truck and home. A year later, he was captured in the western part of the state.

In 2010, Justin Moose, an extremist from Concord, North Carolina, was arrested for plotting to blow up a Planned Parenthood clinic. Moose, who claimed to represent the Army of God, also opposed the construction of a mosque near ground zero in New York. He called himself the “Christian counterpart of Osama Bin Laden.” Eventually, Moose pleaded guilty to disseminating information on how to make and use explosive devices.

In 2014, Frazier Glenn Miller, a career anti-Semite and former grand dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, killed three people at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home in Kansas. Decades ago, long before ISIS conceived of an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Miller devised a similar plan in the United States: an “all-white nation within the bounds of North and South Carolina.”

AMERICAAmong dozens of avowedly Christian, anti-Semitic, and right-wing terrorists cataloged by the Anti-Defamation Leagueand the Southern Poverty Law Center, you’ll find many from these two states: Charles Robert Barefoot Jr., a North Carolina Klan leader who was convicted in 2012 on charges involving firearms, explosives, and violent conspiracy. Kody Brittingham, a Marine at Camp Lejeune who confessed to plotting the assassination of President Obama. Paul Chastain, a South Carolina militiaman who tried to acquire plastic explosives and threatened to kill federal officials. Steve Bixby, a violent activist from an anti-Semitic household, who gunned down two police officers in Abbeville, South Carolina. Daniel Schertz, a Klansman arrested in Greenville, South Carolina, and later convicted, on weapons charges involving racist bomb plots.

And then there’s Dylann Roof. After allegedly murdering nine black people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church this summer, Roof drove more than three hours north, to Shelby, North Carolina. Nobody stopped him at the state border. The boundary between North and South Carolina, like the boundary between Syria and Iraq, is a joke.

Today, Republican presidential candidates are climbing over one another in a race to block the entry of Syrian refugees. They’re doing this even though, among the nearly 800,000 refugees we’ve accepted since 9/11, not one has been convicted of—or has even been arrested for—plotting a terror attack in this country. (A few have been arrested for links to terrorism elsewhere.) Why do refugees have such a clean record? Because they have to go through an elaborate process: screening by U.N. evaluators, “biometric and biographic checks,” consultations with U.S. counterterrorism agencies, and an in-person interview with the Department of Homeland Security. On average, the process takes about a year and a half—or, in the case of Syrian refugees, about two years.

TERRORISMTerrorists from North Carolina encounter no such scrutiny. They just climb into their cars, cross the border, and proceed to Georgia, Kansas, or Colorado. They’re protected by Article IV of the Constitution, which, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, guarantees citizens “the right of free ingress into other States.” That’s why, among the 27 fatal terror attacks inflicted in this country since 9/11, 20 were committed by domestic right-wing extremists. (The other seven attacks were committed by domestic jihadists, not by foreign terrorist organizations.) Of the 77 people killed in these 27 incidents, two-thirds died at the hands of anti-abortion fanatics, “Christian Identity” zealots, white anti-Semites, or other right-wing militants.

This week’s carnage in Colorado brings the death toll from North Carolinian terrorists, including Eric Rudolph, to eight. That’s just one shy of the nine people murdered in Charleston. Throw in the work of a few lesser miscreants, and you’re looking at roughly 20 casualties inflicted by Carolina extremists.

That doesn’t make the Christian states of North and South Carolina anywhere near as dangerous as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But it does make you wonder why, as we close our doors to refugees who have done us no harm, we pay so little attention to our enemies within.


Top 5 Places White Terrorists Would Most Likely feel Comfortable and Welcome



What do you think of the below list?

Any big surprises?


KKK Meeting or Rally

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), or simply “the Klan“, is the name of three distinct past and present movements in the United States that have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacywhite nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically expressed through terrorism aimed at groups or individuals whom they opposed. All three movements have called for the “purification” of American society, and all are considered right wing extremist organizations.


Tea Party Rally or Meeting

The Tea Party movement is an American political movement known for its conservative positions and its role in the Republican Party. Members of the movement have called for a reduction of the U.S. national debt and federal budget deficit by reducing government spending. In addition, they have also called for lowering taxes. The movement opposes government-sponsored universal healthcare  and has been described as a mixture of libertarianpopulist, and conservative activists. It has sponsored multiple protests and supported various political candidates since 2009.mVarious polls have found that slightly over 10% of Americans identify as members.


NRA Convention

The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is an American nonprofit organization which advocates for gun rights. Founded in 1871, the group has informed its members about firearm-related bills since 1934, and it has directly lobbied for and against legislation since 1975.

Originally founded to advance rifle marksmanship, the modern NRA continues to teach firearm competency and safety. It instructs civilians and law enforcement, youths and adults, in various programs. The organization also publishes several magazines and sponsors competitive marksmanship events. Its membership surpassed 5 million in May 2013.

Observers and lawmakers see the NRA as one of the top three most influential lobbying groups in Washington. Over its history the organization has influenced legislation, participated in or initiated lawsuits, and endorsed or opposed various candidates.

The NRA has four charitable subsidiaries: the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund, the NRA Foundation Inc., the NRA Special Contribution Fund, and the NRA Freedom Action Foundation. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) is its lobbying arm, which manages its political action committee, the Political Victory Fund (PVF).


GOP Debate Party

The Republican Party, commonly referred to as the GOP (abbreviation for Grand Old Party), is one of the two majorcontemporary political parties in the United States, the other being its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Founded by anti-slavery activists, modernizers, ex-Whigs, and ex-Free Soilers in 1854, the Republicans dominated politics nationally and in the majority of northern States for most of the period between 1860 and 1932. There have been 18 Republican presidents, the first being Abraham Lincoln, who served from 1861 until his assassination in 1865, and the most recent being George W. Bush, who served from 2001 to 2009. The most recent Republican presidential nominee is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who lost in 2012 to Democratic incumbent Barack Obama.

The party’s platform is generally based on American conservatism, in contrast to the modern American liberalism of the Democrats. The Republican Party’s conservatism involves support for free market capitalism, free enterprise, business, a strong national defense, deregulation, restrictions to labor unionssocially conservative policies and traditional values, usually with Christian overtones. The party is generally split on the issue of how to deal with illegal immigration.

In the 114th United States Congress, Republicans have their largest majority in the House of Representatives since the 1928 election and a majority of seats in the Senate. The party also holds a majority of governorships and state legislatures. Specifically, 68 out of 98 partisan state legislative chambers have Republican majorities.


Westboro Baptist Church Protest

Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an unaffiliated Baptist church known for its hate speech, especially against LGBT people (homophobia), Jews (antisemitism), and politicians. The church is categorized as a hate group and is monitored as such by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. It was headed by Fred Phelps (although shortly before his death in March 2014, church representatives said that the church had not had a defined leader in “a very long time”), and consists primarily of members of his extended family; in 2011, the church stated that it had about 40 members. The church is headquartered in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Topeka about three miles (5 km) west of the Kansas State Capitol. Its first public service was held on the afternoon of November 27, 1955.

The church has been involved in actions against gay people since at least 1991, when it sought a crackdown on homosexual activity at Gage Park six blocks northwest of the church. In addition to conducting anti-gay protests at military funerals, the organization pickets celebrity funerals and public events. Protests have also been held against Jews and Catholics, and some protests have included WBC members stomping on the American flagand/or flying the flag upside down on a flagpole.

The WBC is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination, although it describes itself as following Primitive Baptistand Calvinist principles. The Baptist World Alliance and the Southern Baptist Convention (the two largest Baptist denominations) have both denounced the WBC over the years. In addition, other mainstream Christian denominations, such as the Methodist ChurchBaptist Church, Reformed Church, and Evangelical Churchhave condemned the actions of the independent Westboro Baptist Church.





The Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church Shooting

Jim David Adkisson, a devout Christian and anti-abortion right-winger, walked into a Knoxville church on July 27th, 2008, and began firing a shotgun at children who were performing Annie Jr. He killed two and wounded seven, targeting “the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country.”



The Campaign of Terror Against Abortion Doctors

In 1993, Dr. Richard Gunn was shot dead by an anti-abortion protester. In 1994, Drs. John Britton and James Barrett were shot to death by Reverend Paul Jennings. In 1998, Dr. Barnett Sleipan was shot dead in his home by a Christian terrorist. In 2009, Dr. George Tiller was shot by Scott Roeder in a church. The ability for Christian right-wingers to justify cold-blooded murder in the name of their pro-life beliefs is a colossal hypocrisy worthy of a terrorist group like ISIS. According to the National Abortion Federation, there have been 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery, 13 wounded, 100 butyric acid attacks, 373 physical invasions, 41 bombings, 655 anthrax threats, and 3 kidnappings committed against abortion providers since 1977. Terrorist groups like the Taliban and ISIS are very fond of acid attacks and chemical weapons like anthrax; apparently Christian right-wing terrorists share that same preference.



The 1995 Oklahoma City Bombings

Timothy McVeigh, America’s most notorious domestic terrorist, was obsessed with the Seventh-Day Aventist splinter group known as the Branch Davidians, who resisted an ATF raid on their citadel at Mount Carmel in 1993. He travelled to Waco, Texas during the Waco Siege and heavily supported the religious extremists within it. Two years later, he detonated a fertilizer bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing a hundred and sixty-eight people, including nineteen children, and wounded 648 others. This Christian specifically targeted innocent civilians and committed horrific acts of violence to make his political point heard – something Mr. Huckabee believes he should be incapable of, since he’s not a Muslim.



Everything The Ku Klux Klan Has Ever Done

Since its creation after the American Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan has been terrorizing Americans in the name of Protestantism and racial purity. Known for their terrifying costumes and hoods, they wrought have fear and violence against blacks, Jews, immigrants, gays, and Catholics for hundreds of years, responsible for countless massacres, lynchings, rapes, and bombings that have killed thousands. In the modern day, it still has a membership of 5,000 to 8,000 terrorists that operate in individual chapters. Just two weeks ago, Frazier Glenn Cross, the leader of the Carolina Knights of the KKK, was sentenced to death by lethal injection for murdering a fourteen year old girl and two seniors outside the Overland Park Jewish Community Center in Kansas City. The man gave the Hitler salute during his trial and declared that “Jews are destroying the white race.” None of his victims were Jewish.



The Massacre At Zion Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.

On Wednesday, June 17th of this year, a man rose from a pew in the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, and opened fire with a .45 caliber pistol, killing nine worshipers, including pastor and State Senator Clementa Pickiney. The shooter has been photographed wearing patches representing the racist apartheid regimes in Southwest Africa, had a Confederate license plate on his vehicle. All signs points to this being a hate crime- not only is it the oldest black church in the South, it was a symbol of resistance against slavery, and a survivor reported that the shooter yelled ‘I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” Roof was a member of a local Lutheran church, yet somehow his baptism didn’t prevent him from gunning down innocent people in a house of worship, defiling a sacred place with hate and murder.

So the next time one of your conservative friends tries to “school” you on the “evils of Islam,” just name a couple items from this list. The rampant xenophobia that has taken hold of the Republican Party is an affront to everything this nation stands for. Terrorism spawns from the desperation of humankind.




The NRA, GOP, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Planned Parenthood Probe Committee should make a public apology toPlanned Parenthood organizaiton, shooting victims, and their family members for fabricating lies of the organization and misleading the American people.