New Anti-Islam Group, Same Old Faces

Apparently there are not enough organisations of right-wing pundits dedicated to revealing the awful truth about Islam and Muslims in America; step forward “Stop Islamization of America”:

WASHINGTON – Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) will hold an organizational launch and press conference with speakers and panel discussion on September 25th, to coincide with Islam on Capitol Hill Day and the 220th anniversary of the passage of the Bill of Rights.

SIOA is an educational and human rights organization with two foundational principles: Love and Compassion.

SIOA’s mission is to educate the American people about the political doctrine of Islam, its history, Sharia (Islamic Law), and Jihad. SIOA believes that Sharia Law is incompatible with our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Seven experts are scheduled to speak on the subjects of Islam, terrorism and civic responsibility.

Rabbi Jon Hausman – Conservative political moderator
Rebecca Bynum – Publisher, Senior Managing Editor – New English Review
Dave Gaubatz – Veteran counter-terrorism investigator, author
Catherine Martin – Veteran grass roots activist, Northern Virginia
John Cosgrove – Counter-terrorism consultant
Martin Mawyer – Founder, Christian Action Network
Jerry Gordon – Senior Editor – New English Review

Attendees will be asked to speak with their Congressmen about Sharia Law, two acts before Congress (the Free Speech Protection Act and the Act to Protect First Responders Fighting Terrorism) and the effort to help protect those who leave Islam from reprisals.

The founder is a slightly mysterious “DL Adams”, but some of the other names are familiar; it looks to me that these outfits simply shuffle the pack of usual characters and get some publicity by announcing a launch. Dave Gaubatz is responsible for a risibly-conceived “Mapping Shari’a in America” project, which I discussed here; Mawyer was best-known for virulent anti-gay rhetoric in the 1990s before he jumped on the anti-Islam bandwagon, and just recently – as I blogged here – he was in the UK interviewing balaclava-clad English Defence League activists. Hausman is a Rabbi in the Conservative tradition, and Geert Wilders has addressed his synagogue; according to a profile in the New English Review, on the day Wilders came,

That afternoon, Rabbi Jon Hausman spiritual leader of Ahavath Torah, was feted, called a ‘hero’ and given an ovation at a Republican Jewish Coalition New England Chapter luncheon. Many anti-Jihad activists were in the audience, among them, Charles Jacobs, founder of the David Project, Andrew Bostom, author of The Legacy of Jihad and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, and Professor Dennis Hale of Boston College.

Martin, meanwhile, is with Brigitte Gabriel’s “ACT for America”. Bynam, writing in the New English Review, has an authoritarian perspective, believing that Islam should be banned as “seditious” and that American Muslims who are convicted of criminal activity “that is prompted by or connected specifically to beliefs that are part of their mental makeup and cannot be shed as long as they are loyal to Islam” should be deported. Like the group I noted yesterday, she also commends the views of a certain Bill Warner,   who purports to be an expert on “Political Islam” (he has a PhD). Bynum also dabbles in theology.

Cosgrove is with Jesse Petrilla’s “United America Committee” (which in turn is linked to the “United British Alliance”), and he was one of yesterday’s protestors in Washington; according to Fox:

…John Cosgrove, who identified himself as a counterterrorism consultant, called on “American males” to “stand shoulder to shoulder” in the battle to save America from the imposition of Sharia on American law. Sharia is a body of Islamic law used, with varying degrees of severity and harshness toward women, in many Muslim societies. At one point, Cosgrove brandished a book called The Quranic Concept of War to demonstrate the supposedly aggressive and confrontational nature of ancient and modern Islam.

Noting the arguments of some that Thomas Jefferson possessed a copy of the Koran, Cosgrove conceded this was true and added: “He had it so that he could know his enemy, so he could confront them, know them, kill them, and vanquish the Islamic pirates, the scourge of the seas and spreading tyranny abroad. After reading the Koran, founding the Marines and expanding the Navy to go kill them, I think he laid the Koran down thinking perhaps he was done. Sadly, it was not the case.”

Cosgrove has probably got this from Christian Right pseudo-historian David Barton – in fact, Jefferson acquired his Koran in 1765, twenty years before he confronted the pirates (1). It’s a small point, but symptomatic of a sloppy and opportunistic attitude. What exactly his qualifications are for being a “counter-terrorism consultant” remain obscure.

Back in February, a number of these persons came to together to promote a documentary by Mawyer. Jeffrey Imm of the wonderfully-named “Anti-Jihad League of America” [UPDATE: who rejects the right-wing views of the likes of Mawyer, see below] explained in Family Security Matters that:

The Washington D.C. audience was invited to attend the premiere screening by the Christian Action Network through e-mails, promotion of the event by anti-jihad web sites and organizations, and local radio promotion by Washington D.C. area’s WAVA-FM radio host Don Kroah. Local activist groups also promoted the anti-jihad event, with attendance by DC area activist leaders Catherine Martin (ACT!For America – Northern Virginia & DC Metro Chapter), John Cosgrove (United American Committee, Virginia Chapter), and Jeffrey Imm (Anti-Jihad League of America), among others.

I sometimes get irritated comments from people (particularly a certain “June” of late) who think my blog entries on this kind of thing mean that I must be wishing to minimise or ignore the threat of Islamic extremism. That’s not actually the case, and for a every right-wing demagogue who wants to whip up anti-Islamic feeling, it should be remembered there are Muslim extremists who are perhaps even more effective in causing people to fear the religion (and I have written about those, too). But as with the 1950s “Red Scare” (and other situations), the existence of a real security threat does not mean that one should uncritically embrace anyone who comes along with some posturing rhetoric and self-proclaimed expertise offering easy answers.

UPDATE: Jeffrey Imm writes to clarify:

You have referenced an out-of-context excerpt from an article that I wrote in February 2009 to suggest that I support the SIOA.  I do not, and I have specifically written as to how we do not support the SIOA at:

I would like to clarify your posting where you make reference to an article that I posted for the long-since defunct “Anti-Jihad League of America” in February 2009.  Your excerpt, taken out of context, will inaccurately make individuals to believe that I share Mr. Mawyer’s organization’s views on issues other than Jihad.  For you and your readers, I would like to provide the context on this that is not in your article.

First, I did not know of Mr. Mawyer’s 1990s “anti-gay” views that you mention in your article when I was invited to their documentary covering what has been widely reported as a report on Islamic supremacist groups in the U.S. that seek both separatist and violent agendas.  I addressed this strictly from an anti-jihad perspective – that is not an anti-Islam view, nor is it a bigoted or right-wing attack on Muslims.  It was and remains a challenge to Islamic supremacists, just as Americans once challenged (and need to continue to challenge) white supremacism.  Therefore, it seemed reasonable at the time for me to attend, and given the attendance from the local area to report on this.  Shortly thereafter, I disbanded the “Anti-Jihad League of America” as a group because the goal to find a cross-section of those in the Counterterrorism community and the public was not working, as the Counterterrorism community has long since given up in challenging the ideology of Islamic supremacism.  Moreover, while I once shared my articles with “Family Security Matters,” if you look you will see that I am no longer a contributor to “Family Security Matters” as well.

In fact, the reference that you make to the February article is not a valid web link.  However, in the interests of open communication, I wanted to set the record straight on this.

In March 2009, I created a new human rights group called “Responsible for Equality And Liberty,” (R.E.A.L.) which you can find  In fact, defense of homosexual human rights is a key part of our focus, and will remain so.  Our focus at Responsible for Equality And Liberty remains the basic defense of universal human rights, which requires us to challenge those groups that would deny such human rights.  If you can provide more information on Mr. Mawyer’s 1990s “anti-gay” positions,  I would appreciate it.  Your assumption that everyone is aware of every individual’s positions from a decade ago is not realistic.  Speaking for myself and R.E.A.L., we will challenge anti-homosexual groups in defense of their human rights as we have publicly written and have spoken out against similar groups such as the Traditional Values Coalition.

This is documented at:

R.E.A.L. has a specific focus on defying those who spread hate and violence against homosexuals as documented at:

In retrospect, it was a mistake to not have researched Mr. Mawyer’s CAN group views on homosexuality before writing my article about their documentary on Jamaat Al-Fuqra-led facilities that seek to spread Islamic supremacism and documented violence in the United States.  I apologize for that mistake and will be certain not to repeat it.  

However, as you no doubt are aware, it is impossible to research every individual thoroughly enough, which is why you were unaware of my positions when you provided an except of my article.

I wanted to write you to clarify this to you and to set the record straight on this issue.  Regarding the SIOA, our group has solidly come out AGAINST what they are doing and we have publicly stated this at:

As we have written publicly, we do not agree with the SIOA, what they believe, and what they stand for.  Our challenge to Islamic supremacism is not an attack on “Islam” or on “Muslims,” in fact we believe that those who will most benefit from our human rights defiance are other Muslims who are oppressed by Islamic supremacists.

By the way, the assumption that many who are concerned about Islamic supremacism are “right-wing” is incorrect.  The human rights threat of Islamic supremacism remains a threat to people of all political persuasions, all religions, all genders, and all ethnic backgrounds.

Since you have taken this small excerpt out of an article to give an impression about what my positions are, I would appreciate if you would update this with the additional information to tell the rest of the story.Jeffrey Imm
Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) 

Thank you very much.


(1) See Douglas A. Hicks, With God on All Sides: Leadership in a Devout and Diverse America, Oxford University Press, pp. 111-112. This blog has further details:

We do not know for certain why he purchased it…The only substantial scholarly treatment of this specific topic that I’m aware of is Kevin Hayes’ 2004 article in Early American Literature, “How Thomas Jefferson Read the Qur’an.”  Hayes suggests that Jefferson’s primary motivation in purchasing the Qur’an was his interest in it as a legal text.  This seems highly plausible to me.  What does not seem plausible is that, 21 years before he encountered a representative of an Islamic country in a professional capacity, he 1) decided that he considered Muslims his “enemy” and 2) conceived of a need to study their main religious text so as to be better equipped for conflict with them.