AFDI/SION’s Leadership: Arrests & Scandals - updated 2/6/13

AFDI/SION’s Leadership: Arrests & Scandals

by Sheila Musaji


On September 11, 2012, AFDI/SIOA/SIOE/SION/EDL/BF held what they called a Global Alliance Event in NYC.  These groups are so inter-connected and have so many acronymns and give each other so many titles that it is difficult to keep up.

Here from their own announcements are the leaders

International Activist Leadership Team to be called the SION President’s Council. The initial members of the President’s Council are:  SIOE’s Anders Gravers; Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll of the EDL; Debbie Robinson of the Q Society of Australia, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.  The members of the newly formed council unanimously voted to elect Pamela Geller Council President.

... The President’s Council differs from the SION Board, which includes:  Swiss parliamentarian Oskar Freysinger; Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media; Ashraf Rameleh of Voice of the Copts; Ali Sina of FaithFreedom.org; Wafa Sultan, Stefan Herre of Politically Incorrect in Germany; the Israeli author Dr. Mordechai Kedar;  Babu Suseelan; and Anders Gravers of SIOE. 

This Board functions in an advisory capacity, while the President’s Council is a steering committee. It functions as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.

Most of these characters have profiles in our TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  Let’s look at just a few of these “leaders”.  Two have been arrested, one has previous serious convictions, one has made genocidal statements about Muslims, etc..  We have discussed the “top leadership”, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer previously. For examples of incitements to violence, “gotcha quotes” and broadbrush demonization of all Muslims by Spencer & Geller see Spencer and Geller’s “Defense”: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing.  They are also in the “who’s who” and mentioned frequently in the “Resources for dealing with Islamophobia Summary” at the bottom of the page.


KEVIN CARROLL of the EDL

Bob Pitt of Islamophobia Watch reports that

The joint leader of the far-right English Defence League has been arrested on suspicion of a race hate crime.

Kevin Carroll, cousin of the anti-Islam group’s founder Stephen Lennon, was arrested on Saturday morning by officers investigating allegations he posted a message inciting racial hatred on Facebook.

Mr Carroll, who recently stood unsuccessfully for election as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, is also the joint leader of the nationalist British Freedom Party.

A message posted on Facebook by a group which supports the EDL read: “Kev was arrested in Luton Town Centre for Religious & Racial Hatred, following on from screenshots being provided to the OB of FB comments ‘allegedly’ made.

“He has now been bailed with conditions and has to sign in at the Police Station twice a week. He was on his way to a meeting in Luton when he noticed he was being followed, Kev says it was something out of the sweeney as they all pulled up around him, pepper spray, flashing lights, well over the top.”

The EDL was dealt a blow last week when its founder and leader Stephen Lennon – who also uses the alias Tommy Robinson – was jailed for 10 months for entering the USA illegally.

A spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said: “a 43 year old was arrested on Saturday morning on suspicion of ‘Display threatening abusive/insulting written material with intent/likely to stir up racial hatred’.”

Independent, 14 January 2013

According to the British Freedom party, of which Carroll is now chairman, he was arrested in connection with a Facebook post from October in which he described Muslims as “all fukin backward savages, a devil spawned death cult worshiping all that is unholy and barbaric, pure evil”.

It is of course welcome news that Carroll has been arrested in connection with this blatant incitement of hatred. However, it is difficult to see how a prosecution under the racial hatred law (Part 3 of the Public Order Act) could succeed, as Muslims (unlike Jews and Sikhs) are defined as a multi-ethnic faith community and except under exceptional circumstances are not protected by that legislation.

A charge under the religious hatred law (Part 3A of the Public Order Act) would also fail, as that legislation is completely useless, requiring both proof of intention and that the words should be threatening (which in this case they are not).

What this underlines is the need to amend the religious hatred law so that Muslims have the same protection against incitment to hatred that mono-ethnic faith communities do.

As things stand, the Crown Prosecution Service might be better advised to charge Carroll under Section 127(1) of the Communications Act 2003, which makes it an offence to send over a public electronic communications network a message that is “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”. The offence carries a possible 6-month prison sentence.

TOMMY ROBINSON aka Stephen Lennon aka Stephen Yaxley Lennon of the EDL

In October he was arrested on a charge of entering the United States illegally on someone else’s passport to speak at the AFDI/SION Conference on 9/11/12.  In November,  Richard Bartholomew reported that Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer were raising funds for Robinson’s legal defence.  Geller called Robinson’s arrest “darkness descending in England” and “sharia inspired victimization!” and described Robinson as “part of our international team, members of SION’s President’s council, key players in the worldwide struggle for freedom.”  Earlier this month, Robinson was found guilty and sentenced to 10 months in prison

Sky News reports that Robinson has been found guilty by a British court and sentenced to 10 months in prison.

... The court heard that he was previously jailed for assault in 2005 and also has previous convictions for drugs offences and public order offences.

Sentencing the 30-year-old, Judge Alistair McCreath, told him: “I am going to sentence you under the name of Stephen Lennon, although I suspect that is not actually your true name, in the sense that it is not the name that appears on your passport.

“What you did went absolutely to the heart of the immigration controls that the United States are entitled to have.  “Had it been known in this country that you were proposing to leave under a false passport, you would not have been accepted on to the plane and you would not have been permitted to leave this country on a false passport.  “It’s not in any sense trivial.”

Bob Pitt of Islamophobia Watch asks a pertinent question: “Is Geller asking us to believe she didn’t realize that her star guest, who as the Sky and BBC reports note had previously been barred from entering the US, could only have secured entry to the country by illegal means? Hopefully the US authorities will be investigating Geller’s role in this.”

Actually, the authorities should be investigating both Geller and Spencer’s role in this, as they both lead the organizations involved.

And, of course, Geller has already posted an article calling this “political imprisonment in the UK”.  She says that “It is stunning that the UK has degenerated to such depths. Freedom is no longer a reality, but a defeated idea undone by cowardice and capitulation of Islamic thuggery and violence.”  And that Robinson was “imprisoned for standing up for freedom and equality of rights under the law. I stand with Robinson.”

The Exposing the EDL site has published a lengthy article outlining Lennon’s public statements and comparing them to statements made by Adolph Hitler.  They introduce this collection with this statement “It is far too easy, and misleading, to accuse someone of being a Nazi without quantifying that statement. So I’d like to quote a few comments by Hitler and contrast them with comments by Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. I’ve included videos of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon actually saying those words to prove that he actually said them. The full video of the Peterborough speech is included. If any EDL supporters wish to claim those words have been ‘taken out of context’ as they usually do when confronted with such damning evidence, either provide the ‘real’ context in which they were said, or shut up and stop making pathetic attempts at excuses.”

BABU SUSEELAN of Indian American Intellectuals Forum

You can read our full TAM profile on Suseelan Babu Suseelan, the Hindu face of AFDI/SION.  Here are the highlights:

...  The SPLC says about Susseelan:  “Babu Suseelan, a Hindu nationalist who believes that Marxists and jihadists are “in collusion” to “deconstruct [Hindu] society with apocalyptic ideas” and who has called on India’s Hindu population to “unite together and work towards the goal of Establishment of ‘Divine Hindu Kingdom’”

...  At the AFDI/SIOA/SIOE/SION/EDL/BF Global Alliance Event held on 9/11/2012 in New York, Aaron Labaree at Guernica Magazine, attended and reported on the Conference.  He provides “A few choice words by Dr. Babu Suseelan:

“If we do not kill the bacteria,” the jowly Suseelan scolded the audience, “the bacteria will kill us.” Otherwise, he warned, “Muslims will breed like rats and they will be a majority.” Still, he concluded hopefully, “Islam can be stopped! And it can be wiped out.”


Spencer laughed, but Geller covered her face, as if witnessing the antics of a naughty child.  There is no way to understand this except as a call for genocide.  And, covering your face with your hands or laughing, are not appropriate responses for individuals who claim not to hate Muslims. 

Geller and Spencer both describe this SION board member as a “Hindu human rights activist”.

ALI SINA of Faith Freedom International

You can read the full TAM profile on Ali Sina here.  A few quotes are enough to explain how hateful this individual is:

— ”We strive for the unity of Mankind through the elimination of Islam, the most insidious doctrine of hate. Islam can’t be reformed, but it can be eradicated. It can’t be molded, but it can be smashed.
— “At FFI, we do not want to reform Islam. We want to eradicate it. Just as cancer cannot be reformed and the only way to cure the patient is to eradicate it, Islam cant be reformed either and it must be eradicated for the world to be saved.”” 
— ”Islam, like fascism, appeals to people with low self esteem and low intelligence. Both these ideologies are irrational. They disdain reason, and hail devotion and submission to a higher authority.
— there is no such thing as moderate Muslim ... Every “moderate” Muslim is a potential terrorist. The belief in Islam is like a tank of gasoline. It looks innocuous, until it meets the fire. For a “moderate” Muslim to become a murderous jihadist, all it takes is a spark of faith.”
— “If any city in the West is nuked I am 100% for nuking tens of cities in Islamic countries. I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin. It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.”
— But you are diseased. You are infected by a deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a limb infected by flesh eating disease, now you are a threat to the rest of mankind.  ...  Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway? Does it mean you are moderately diseased?

JOHN JOSEPH JAY

Additionally, one of the early AFDI/SIOA board members from whom Spencer and Geller have attempted to distance themselves was John Joseph Jay.  As Richard Bartholomew reported, Jay was a co-founder of their American Freedom Defense Initiative, and according to Spencer (in a statement he has since retracted) he was also a board member of Stop Islamization of America.  Further:

...  Jay is referring to the controversy which has followed a recent post on his blog in which he called for the killing of “talking head media”, of “every self avowed socialist and communist in congress”, and of “the faculty senates at harvard, yale, columbia, nyu and university of california at santa barbara”. This was of wider interest due his formal association with Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer: he was a co-founder of their American Freedom Defense Initiative, and according to Spencer (in a statement he has since retracted) he was also a board member of Stop Islamization of America.

Geller and Spencer have known about Jay’s sanguinary views for some time: in 2008, Jay left a comment on Geller’s blog on the need for “old fashion war with wholesale slaughter including indiscriminate death of innocents and babes. down to the last muslim, if necessary.” In 2010, a statement about the need to kill liberals and Muslims came to general attention thanks to the Daily Kos - Spencer’s response was to claim that Jay had been misrepresented in some unspecified way by “Hamas-linked CAIR and dhimmi Leftist jihad-enablers”.

That, though, was before the Anders Brevik massacre; Geller and Spencer are today rather more circumspect about being linked to someone who fantasises publicly about mass killings. Think Progress has a new quote from Geller:

Jay helped me out so I could get the incorporation papers filed, but was never a Board member or a part of the organizational structure in any way. He was gone almost as soon as he was there, and is not a member of AFDI.

This contrasts with a 2010 reference made by Geller to “my associate, the attorney John Jay”.

Spencer, meanwhile, has backtracked from the claim that Jay was ever a SIOA board member:

“He was never a board member. I don’t recall saying he was, but if I did, it was in error.” That was “was a mistake on my part,” Spencer wrote in another email after ThinkProgress provided a link to his post.

This belated cutting of ties following bad publicity fits a pattern – Spencer and Geller formerly worked with the Christian Action Network, and broke with the group only when its anti-gay rhetoric caused political embarrassment to Gert Wilders. ...

Alex Seitz-Wald also reported on the connections between AFDI and John Jay (with lots of links to documentation)  Pam Geller Linked Anti-Muslim Activist Calls For Mass Murder Of Congressmen, Muslims, Liberals And Journalists

The anti-Muslim activist John Joseph Jay has issued a call for the mass murder of the leadership of both parties in Congress, the governors of seven states, and prominent academics, along with a demand to “burn all mosques. period.”

Jay helped in the founding of anti-Muslim activist Pam Geller’s group American Freedom Defense Initiative. AFDI is the umbrella organization of the prominent Stop the Islamization Of America (SOIA). Jay’s signature can be seen below those of Geller and fellow arch anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer on AFDI’s incorporation document (PDF), as Charles Johnson at LGF pointed out. The P.O. Box listed for Jay is also the same as Geller’s.

But while those organizations have stopped short of calls for violence, Jay crossed way over that line in a rambling post on his blog called “start the revolution,” which fantasizes about the painful medieval deaths of perceived enemies (screenshot here, cached version here):

1.)take out the talking head media, and burn the new york times, the los angeles times and the washington post to the ground.  draw and quarter the media, and shoot their remains from canons in the four directions of the prevailing winds.

rinse, lather, repeat as needed.

2.)take out all the incumbent leadership of both parties in the congress, and every self avowed socialist and communist in congress.  give them all proper muslim burials at sea, just like osama bin laden.

eliminate pensions for congressional service.  rinse, lather, repeat as needed.

3.)eliminate the faculty senates at harvard, yale, columbia, nyu and university of california at santa barbara.  boil bill ayers, bernie dorhn and angela davis in canola oil, and feed their remains to the fishes.

they are all physical cowards.  they should fall into line pretty quickly.  repeat every ten years as a prophylactic, on general principle. 

and,

4.)now that the “arab spring” has brought enlightenment to the middle east, send all of the muslim immigrants back to their native countries, in boxes or tourist, their choice.

burn all the mosques.  period.

In a post script, he adds that he wants to “burn the editors and contributors” to the Daily Kos, throw “the living governors of new york, california, ohio, illinois, washington, florida and massachusetts into the fiery pits… from which there is no escape,” and writes, “i’ll think of something suitable for hilary clinton.”

In an update to the post, Jay responds to LGF’s Johnson “breathlessly announcing that i am advocating mass murder.” Jay makes no denial of advocating mass murder, and writes of Johnson’s charge, “even the blind hog finds an occasional acorn.”

According to the organization’s website, Geller is the executive director of American Freedom Defense Initiative, which seems to be an umbrella organization for SIOA and other anti-Muslim groups. In a post on the American Thinker from the August of last year, Geller refers to, “my associate, the attorney John Jay.”

When Jay got in trouble last summer for a separate blog post advocating the mass murder of Muslims and liberals, Robert Spencer wrote of “John Jay, a member of the SIOA Board.” Still, Spencer wrote that Jay is “not a founder or co-founder of SIOA. He has no role in the running of the organization.”

As ThinkProgress reported, Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik was influenced by American anti-Muslim activists. He cited Spencer and his blog 162 times, and Pam Geller and her blog 12 times. The two play are key players in a network of Islamophpbia, explored our recent report, Fear Inc.

Alex Seitz-Wald did a follow up article Spencer And Geller Disavow Anti-Muslim Activist’s Call For Violence, Say He Was Never A Board Member with more documentation after the dynamic duo of hate attempted to weasel out of their connections with Jay.


UPDATE 2/6/2013

Bob Pitt reports Pamela Geller advocates banning Islam, demolishing mosques, deporting and killing Muslims .

... Geller crossposts, with evident approval, an article from another Islamophobic blog called The Muslim Issue commenting on a video. It reads in part:

If a government wants to learn how to manage growing Islamic problems, take some advice from Ottoman army officer Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk abolished Islam by putting a complete ban on Islamic materials, demolishing mosques, and removing any traces of Islam in his country to get rid of the evil. Those who tried to revolt were put in their place, or basically killed….

It is time for the UK to stop wasting their military abroad, but bring them to patrol their own streets and begin to remove Muslims. And it is vital time to plan and arrange deportation programs – and even arrange new deportation programs for practicing Muslims born in England to be deported to their parent’s country of origin.


This goes way beyond anything that even the English Defence League or the British National Party would officially support. They are the sort of policies advocated by the most extreme neo-Nazi elements of the far right in the UK. Are US Republican Party organisations and mainstream media outlets going to continue providing a platform for a woman who posts material like this on her blog?

 


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RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA SUMMARY

The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films.  They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally.   They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”

Currently, the Islamophobia Industry is engaged in a full-scale, coordinated,  demonization campaign against American Muslims and Arabs. In just the past few months we have seen a series of inflammatory provocations:    There was the Innocence of Muslims film Titanic, a German satire magazine plans an “Islam” cover article to be published later this month.   Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine published an issue with inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.   Newsweek published their ‘Muslim Rage’ cover.  Terry Jones held a “trial of Prophet Muhammad”.  SION held a “global” gathering in NYC to plan propaganda strategy.  A group in Toronto publicized a “walk your dog at the mosque” day.   AFDI/SIOA has run a series of anti-Muslim ads on public transportation across the country.   AFDI/SIOA are planning to run 8 more anti-Muslim ads.  There are three more films on Prophet Muhammad in the works by Ali Sina, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Imran Farasat.   They are even bringing their hate messages into public schools.

Daniel Pipes is encouraging publication of “A Muhammad cartoon a day”, and says “So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: Display the Muhammad cartoon daily, until the Islamists become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”.  Pipes joins Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) who published an appeal on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’?.  And, both are following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Pamela Geller, who promoted just such a plan back in 2010 with her promotion of Draw Muhammad Day, even after the cartoonist who drew the first cartoon and suggested the idea, Molly Norris apologized to Muslims and asked for the day to be called off, and American Muslims had issued a defense of free speech.    None of this is surprising as one of the Islamophobes laid out their strategy as “The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the questionable (though unquestioned) character of the ‘Prophet’ himself. We need to satirise and ridicule baby-bonking Mo until the Muslims fly into uncontrollable tantrums, then ridicule them even more for their tantrums, and repeat the process until they froth at the mouth and steam comes out of their ears.”

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences.   The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

Sadly, the Islamophobic echo chamber has been aided by some in the Jewish and Christian clergy, and even by some of our elected representatives, particularly in the GOP.

The claim that the Islamophobes are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence”, or that nothing that they say could have had anything to do with any act of violence,  are nonsense.  The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,  or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense

These individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses, and distorting the meaning of Islamic terms such as taqiyya, jihad, sharia, etc.).  Islamophobes falsely claim to see “JIHAD” PLOTS everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist.   They, like Muslim extremists, don’t understand the true meaning of the term jihad.  The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking”, non-existent Muslim jihad plots.

Islamophobes generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.    Islamophobes consistently push demonstrably false memes such as:  - we are in danger from creeping Sharia, - the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, - 80% of American Mosques are radicalized,  -  There have been 270 million victims of “jihad”  -  There have been 17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks since 9/11    - Muslims in government are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be MARGINALIZED or excluded.  Muslim and Arab organizations and individuals are connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or the unindicted co-conspirator label, or accused of not condemning Hamas, telling American Muslims not to talk to the FBI, of being “Jew haters”, etc.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence. 

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence. 

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.   There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.   There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. 

See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes for many more reasons that these people cannot be trusted.



Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989.  Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.    Biography  You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji ( https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )


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