Washington (IINA) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) pointed to anti-Islam rallies planned nationwide on Saturday, as further evidence of the growing cooperation between white supremacist, neo-Nazi, anti-government, and Islamophobic hate groups.
CAIR said it is assisting local communities in responding to the hate rallies with peaceful educational events and activities focused on promoting mutual understanding and challenging bigotry.
Brigitte Gabriel's ACT for America, the leading sponsor of the rallies, has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC has named "Brigitte Gabriel" as a member of the nation's "Anti-Muslim Inner Circle." Gabriel has argued that "America is at stage two Islamic Cancer." She believes "every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim," a Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen of the United States," and that Arabs "have no soul."
"Act for America is a hate group. Its rallies are hate marches. Full stop" said Corey Saylor, director of CAIR's Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia. "We encourage all Americans who value religious freedom and reject bigotry to take part in peaceful and lawful local activities challenging these hate rallies."
Saylor noted that ACT for America's official Facebook page promoting the hate rallies is full of racist and violent content targeting Islam and Muslims.
The hate rally in Arkansas is being organized by long-time neo-Nazi Billy Roper. Roper promoted the event on a neo-Nazi message board founded by a former Ku Klux Klan leader. He claims that representatives of his network will take part in ACT for America rallies in Indiana, New York, California, and Texas.
Joey Gibson, a leader of the group "Patriot Prayer," is helping to organize the ACT for America rally in Seattle. Jeremy Joseph Christian, who allegedly stabbed to death two men who came to the defense of a Muslim woman recently in Portland, Ore., attended one of that group's rallies. Gibson acknowledged that some rallies attracted "legitimate Nazis."
Anti-government and racist groups such as Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, American Civil Defense, Three Percenters, and White Lives Matter are also supporting the ACT for America hate rallies.
ACT for America's anti-Muslim bigotry was highlighted recently in a Washington Post expose.
The SPLC has documented the merging of racist, anti-government and other troubling sentiments with ACT's Islamophobia.
The Batesville, Ark., leader of ACT has advocated stoning "rebellious children" and executing prisoners "that cannot be rehabilitated in two years." The head of ACT's 5280 Coalition "left a comment on Counter-Currents, an overtly anti -Semitic website and publishing house run by white nationalist Greg Johnson."
ACT FOR America's hate rallies is reminiscent of John Ritzheimer's 2015 "Global Rally for Humanity." Ritzheimer instructed participants to hold events at mosques and urged them to come armed. He subsequently pled guilty to felony charges after taking part in the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by anti-government activists.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
Source: International Islamic News Agency