Nasralla's Denials About Video Continue Despite Other Anti-Muslim (and Anti-Sikh?) Media
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:45:46 PM EST
PhotobucketToday's New York Times article on Nakoula B. Nakoula, the unrepentant producer of the incendiary Muhammad video, includes further claims by Joseph Nasralla that he was tricked into allowing his Media for Christ facility to be used for  filming. But Nasralla's own Media for Christ projects are no less inflammatory than the video.  At right and below are graphics from 911 Defend our Students, a joint venture of Nasralla's Media for Christ and the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.  Not only does the flier, like the now-infamous movie, portray Muhammad as a sex-crazed pedophile, but an accompanying graphic in the anti-Muslim flier shows a man in a Sikh - not Muslim - turban.  This is a remarkable mistake for organizations advertised as providing expertise on Islam.
The New York Times article revisits the role of Media for Christ's Nasralla (Joseph Nasralla Abdelmasih) in the making of the video known as "Innocence of the Muslims," stating,
He also insisted that Media for Christ's "work is not against Muslims," and he said he was "shocked" by the final product. But his studio has been used to produce "Wake Up America," a program hosted by Steve Klein, an insurance salesman in Hemet, Calif., and a staunch anti-Islam activist. Mr. Klein served as a consultant for Mr. Nakoula after they first met at Media for Christ.
In addition to the Media for Christ activities and broadcast, both Nasralla and Steve Klein are partners in the 911 Defend our Students project of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC).  The CADC is a 501(c)(3) founded by Gen. William S. Hollis in 1999, but was inactive until 2007, when Gary Cass, a former executive of D. James Kennedy's Reclaiming America for Christ, was made CEO.  Since taking the helm, Cass has popularized the organization's anti-homosexual and anti-Muslim agenda, as well as a series of anti-Obama films titled "Seven Reasons Barack Obama is Not a Christian."(RightWingWatch has an archive of posts on Gary Cass and the series of videos.)
Photobucket

The stated agenda of the 911 Defend our Students project is to "defend the students of America from the propaganda of Islam," and has included distribution of fliers to public school students in Florida and California. One flier claims that Muslim leaders have sex with girls as young as four years old and includes the graphic of a man in a Sikh-style turban. Link to: pages of the flier on this page of the 911 Defend our Students website; an example of local coverage  here; and Leah Nelson's Salon article Steve Klein's Anti-Muslim Crusade.

The "Islamophobia Industry," as it is sometimes dubbed, is dangerous not only because of its hate mongering but also its cultural ignorance. The figures behind this industry are not nearly as "fringe" as we might like to think. The 911 Defend our Students webpages describe the venture as a "Ministry of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission and are housed at CADC's website The parent organization's advisors include a who's who of major Religious Right organizations, including:

Matthew Staver - Chairman, Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law
Lou Sheldon - Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition
Rick Scarborough - President, Vision America
Don Wildmon - Founder, American Family Association
Leslie Unruh - Founder, Abstinence Clearinghouse
Ted Baehr - Chairman, Christian Film and Television Commission
Dick Bott - President, Bott Radio
These Religious Right leaders have, at the very least, allowed their names to be used in support of an organization that disseminates fliers implying that men who look like the Sikh in the picture, have sex with young girls.

Targeting Sikhs

Sikhs are not Muslims.  They follow Sikhism, a 500 year old religion that does not actively proselytize and is not rooted in the Middle East.  On September 15, 2011, a Sikh immigrant from India was shot to death as he planted flowers around the gas station he owned in Phoenix.  The shooter was quoted as saying on 911 that he was "going out to shoot some towel heads."  This was the first in a long string of attacks on Sikhs mistaken as Muslims.

Wade Michael Page entered a Wisconsin Sikh temple on August 5, 2012, and shot nine people, including six who died.  The Southern Poverty Law Center had been tracking Page, a white supremacist and head of a white power band, since 2000. Page apparently believed his Sikh victims were Muslims.

Following the murders at the Sikh temple, author Rhekha Basu described the targeting of Sikhs since 911 in an article in the Des Moines Register.

It has happened before, too many times since Sept. 11, 2001. Sikhs are easy targets because of the turbans and beards men wear. They get mistaken for Muslims, and Muslims get mistaken for terrorists. Because of that mistake, Sikhs around the U.S. have been shot at, vandalized, insulted, pulled off trains and airplanes. At some airports, including Chicago's O'Hare, according to an organization called the Sikh Coalition, Sikh men are pulled aside for extra screening 100 percent of the time. This spring, the organization responded with a downloadable app to record and report such incidents.

One Harvard University study found 83 percent of Sikhs surveyed had experienced a hate incident or knew someone who had, in the wake of Sept. 11. Within days of those attacks, a Sikh gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona was shot to death, in one of over 750 reported hate crimes of retaliation.

As Basu stated, Sikhs are mistaken for Muslims, and Muslims get mistaken for terrorists.

This combination of hatred and ignorance is not limited to white supremacists, but has become a ubiquitous feature of some Religious Right organizations. This type of targeting of other Americans, whether they are homosexual, Muslim, or other frequent scapegoats,  explains why the Southern Poverty Law Center has chosen to take the controversial position of designating some of the most powerful Religious Right organizations in the nation as "hate groups."

The Islamophobia Industry

Over the last two years, several organizations published reports warning of the dangers of the Islamophobia industry and the role it is playing in conservative politics.

Manufacturing the Muslim Menace, a report by Political Research Associates (PRA), details a systemic failure to regulate content in nationwide counter-terrorism training.

Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, by the Center for American Progress, details $42 million dollars from seven foundations helping to fund anti-Muslim hatred in America.

The Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism, by People for the American Way (PFAW), is a short report on how anti-Muslim paranoia has been mainstreamed in the conservative movement.

One of the most striking factors in these reports is the extent to which self-proclaimed “counter-terrorism experts” with demonstrably false information had been given access to train military, intelligence, and homeland security personnel. What was not covered in detail in these reports is the extent of the overlap of these “experts” with the Religious Right’s anti-Muslim activism and the End Times prophecy speaking circuit - a significant phenomenon which deserves further inquiry.

Also see a previous Talk2action.org article on Joseph Nasralla and Media for Christ. Note that www.mediaforchrist.org has no relationship with Joseph Nasralla's organization. Nasralla's websites are www.atvsat.com and www.mediaforchrist.net.




Display:
For a closely related Talk To Action story on Media For Christ, see:

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2012/9/16/12752/9534

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:37:08 PM EST



WWW Talk To Action


On Christmas Day, in the Morning
In recent years at Christmastime, I have posted a response to the preposterous-but-malevolent claims broadcast on Fox News and elsewhere that there is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Hallelujah, Mike Huckabee, Hallelujah
Fox News personality Mike Huckabee had a defining moment in the wake of the Newtown massacre. One that as we enter the 2016 presidential......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Moses And Michele: Departing Member Of Congress Spreads More Misinformation
The Religious Right's Moses fixation continues to grow.As you might recall, the Texas State Board of Education recently demanded social studies textbooks that highlight......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right Silent about Bob Jones U Sex Abuse Report
One of the deep scandals of our time, and apparently times past, is that sex abuse, particularly of children, has been so tolerated and......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Boot These Bigoted Bans: Movement Seeks To Remove Anti-Atheist Bias From State Constitutions
Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
James Madison and Tax-Supported Chaplains
In light of former Sen. Rick Santorum's recent silly declaration that “the words ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the U.S. Constitution,......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Death to Obama; Death to "Homos"; What's Next?
When the Obama administration was young, threats against the president were common, and sometimes quite public. One notorious such incident was that of Rev.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Rick Scarborough's America
When Stand Up Sunday was convened by Mike Huckabee in Houston it was to feature the leading spokesmen for the Religious Right agenda.  The......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
The Republican Diversity Program... Is Working
I don't usually write directly about electoral politics, but sometimes I bring an outsider's perspective to how the inside looks to some of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
American Christian Right Leaders in Rome
The remarkable and growing alliance between conservative Catholicism and protestant evangelicalism was on prominent display at a recent event at the Vatican. My colleague......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Religious Supremacism on the Rise Against Marriage Equality
This is a crosspost of an op-ed I recently published at LGBTQ Nation.  -- FC Christian right undermines marriage equality with religious supremacism FREDERICK......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Author of Loathing Lincoln Explains Why Some on the Christian Right Loathe Lincoln
One under-reported result of the 2014 elections was the rise of Neo-Confederate politics in the U.S. This included the election of unabashed apologist for......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
A Catholic Theocracy Grows in Florida
Catholic Right pizza mogul Tom Monaghan and his Ave Maria School of Law are back in the news.  Journalist Eleanor Bader has a new......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Mississippi Madness: Group Wants To Designate An Official Religion
A group in Mississippi is collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to change the state constitution in several ways.The proposal put forth by the......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
I Stand Sunday Part 2
I Stand Sunday took place in Houston, Nov. 2, 2014, motivated by the cities' mayor who subpoenaed sermons from local pastors.  The host church......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)

Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else © 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.