Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the immigrant-bashing, Muslim-hating leader of the far-right English Defense League was sentenced yesterday to 10 months in a British prison after pleading guilty to trying to illegally enter the United States. Yaxley-Lennon used a friend’s passport in order to speak at a gathering of other immigrant-bashing, Muslim-hating bigots last Sept. 11 in New York City.
American immigration officials initially stopped the 30-year-old, name-shifting extremist from entering the country at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York when he was fingerprinted and it was revealed he was not the man listed on the passport - Andrew McMaster.
But Yaxley-Lennon, who also uses the pseudonym Tommy Robinson in his anti-Muslim protests and speeches across England, somehow managed to slip away from the authorities and travel into the heart of Manhattan. There, he delivered a speech to a conference of an international right-wing umbrella group, Stop the Islamization of Nations (SION), that included a U.S. SION spinoff, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA). SIOA is headed by Pam Geller, the American anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead and a Yaxley-Lennon ally.
Yaxley-Lennon returned to England the next day and was arrested a short time later.
“We were fortunate to have the singular Tommy Robinson come to New York and address the first SION World Freedom Congress on September 11,” Geller wrote on Oct. 21 on her website site, Atlas Shrugs. “Robinson has been arrested for his participation in this effort. This is the latest outrage in a relentless campaign of attrition, harassment and political persecution of Robinson by a weak, sharia-compliant UK government.”
A legal defense fund was set up on both sides of the ocean and his supporters called Yaxley-Lennon a political prisoner. Geller vowed to “fight alongside him.”
One anti-racist English blogger saw Geller’s position as hypocritical. “For the number of times they scream about ‘illegal immigrants’ setting foot on their precious land, you’d think they’d pick up on the fact that the EDL’s leader Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) entered American illegally,” the blogger wrote.
The group behind a recent spate of inflammatory advertisements throughout the transit system said this week that it planned to make its biggest purchase yet: the space beside each of the roughly 220 clocks hanging in New York City’s subway stations.
The advertisements depict the twin towers, engulfed in flames, beside a quote attributed to the Koran: ‘Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.’
The clocks are suspended from ceilings above subway platforms in stations across the city.
The group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, has often stoked controversy with its messages, including posters placed in 10 subway stations in September, characterizing Islamist opponents of the Jewish state as ‘savage.’ Virtually all of the ads were vandalized shortly after they were posted.
But the latest ad buy is unique. It is large enough that, compared with past campaigns, New Yorkers will be much more likely to see the displays. And because of the advertisements’ overhead placement, would-be vandals ‘would have to get a ladder,’ said Pamela Geller, the group’s executive director.
A spokesman for the transportation authority said it was reviewing the advertisements. Rejection seems unlikely: the authority recently approved virtually identical ads from the group, with the same image and quotation, for display at Metro-North Railroad stations. Ms. Geller, whose group has also placed ads that say ‘Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,’ said that campaign would begin next week.
Ms. Geller has long created headaches for officials at the transportation authority, which initially rejected the campaign that included the ‘savage’ label, citing its demeaning language. The American Freedom Defense Initiative sued and in July won a federal court ruling on First Amendment grounds.
Tea Party candidate and Anti-Gay/ Anti-Muslim crusader Allen West has conceded defeat in Florida. West’s controversial and expensive campaign has come to an end, and even with full Fox network and Glenn Beck backing he couldn’t retain a seat in Congress. Perhaps people are finally becoming tired of the bile, divisiveness, and politics of populist hate; I know I won’t miss this guy.
More on the defeat here:
Florida Republican Rep. Allen West conceded to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy Tuesday morning, wrapping up one of the highest-profile and most expensive House races in the country.
One other note: with this defeat and just one more race outstanding it looks like the GOP losses are larger than expected - the new makeup of the house will be 234 R - 201 D once the last remaining Republican candidate still contesting results concedes.
Hal was also the ultimate source of the “China’s going to take our homes through emminent domain” kookspiracy that Pam Geller and other wingnut bloggers floated a few years back, and Hal was also rumored to be a frequent caller in the early days to the Sean Hannity radio show.
(I posted about the China kookspiracy here.)
Harold C. “Hal” Turner, the right-wing Internet radio shock jock, racist, Holocaust denier, FBI snitch, lynching advocate and jailbird, is back home in his New Jersey condo after spending nearly three years in a prison cell in Indiana for threatening three federal judges on his blog who had upheld a handgun ban in Chicago.
You might add delusional to the Turner list.
Just before being released from a Newark half-way house in pre-dawn darkness last Friday, Turner, 50, told the Herald News of New Jersey, “I think my actions, in defense of the country and working covertly for the FBI, prove I’m one of the good guys.”
Good guy? Good grief.
On his now defunct radio show, Turner ranted and raved for years about “bull-dyke lesbians,” “savage Negro beasts,” “faggots” and a “portable nigger lyncher” machine.
After a countless number of such incendiary statements on the radio, his blog and at neo-Nazi-sponsored rallies from New York to Michigan, Turner finally went too far. On June 24, 2009, he was arrested and charged with threatening to assault and murder three federal judges. Turner had been seething over a decision in a Chicago appeals court that upheld a local handgun ban.
“Let me be the first to say this plainly,” Turner wrote on his blog on June 2, “these judges deserve to be killed.”
“Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty,” he continued. “A small price to pay to assure freedom for millions.” The next day, Turner updated the post to include the names, work addresses, phone numbers and photographs of the judges.
It took federal prosecutors three trials before convicting Turner of threatening the judges. The first two ended in mistrials.
Turner’s defense argued that the First Amendment protected his speech. His racist rants and threats were part of his undercover work as an FBI informant, his lawyers said. All his talk of “dykes,” “Negro beasts” and lynching machines was a ruse, they argued, encouraged by his federal handlers to draw truly dangerous white supremacist out into the open.
“The vast majority of the things Hal said were nothing more than shock jock material,” Michael A. Orozco, the lawyer who represented Turner at his first two trials said today. “I don’t think he was a racist. He was doing a lot of those things at the behest of the FBI.”
“Hal likes to push people’s buttons,” Orozco added. “I don’t think he meant to cause those judges any harm.”
Mona Eltahawy is charged with criminal mischief, and her attorney Stanley Cohen says he wonders “how New Yorkers would react to a poster with an oven that said, ‘Not enough Jews’
A lawyer for an Egyptian-American columnist charged with spray-painting over a pro-Israel subway ad used an odd hypothetical example to argue his client was merely exercising her right to free speech.
‘My client decided to take a stand based on principle,’ Stanley Cohen said of Mona Eltahawy, who was arraigned on misdemeanor charges, including criminal mischief, in Manhattan Wednesday. The ad she defaced implies Muslims are savages.
‘I wonder how New Yorkers would react to a poster with an oven that said, ‘Not enough Jews,’ ’ Cohen reasoned.
Eltahawy on Tuesday sprayed pink paint on a poster that says, ‘In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.’
Read more: nydailynews.com
NEW YORK — Provocative advertisements equating Muslim radicals with savages appeared in New York City subways on Monday, drawing immediate criticism from some riders.
‘It’s a terrible idea,’ said Colby Richardson at a subway station in midtown Manhattan. ‘It’s going to spark controversy obviously when you deem one side savages and the other side civilized. ‘
Said another rider, Cameron McCabe: ‘I think it’s unfortunate that someone would want to put that up.’ But, she added, ‘I think it’s their right to do so.’
The ads — reading, ‘In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.’ — went up in 10 stations across Manhattan after a court victory by a conservative commentator who once headed a campaign against an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York initially refused to run blogger Pamela Geller’s ad, saying it was ‘demeaning.’ But a federal judge ruled in July that it is protected speech under the First Amendment.
Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and publisher of a blog called Atlas Shrugs, has said she’s not concerned that her ad could spark protests like the ones against the depiction of Muslims in the video ‘Innocence of Muslims.’ Violence linked to the movie has left dozens in seven countries dead, including the American ambassador to Libya.
The ad was plastered on San Francisco city buses in recent weeks, prompting some people to deface the ads and remove some of the words, including ‘Jihad,’ or holy war. There were no immediate reports of similar mischief in New York on Monday.
A New York Police Department spokesman said Monday that the department has no plans to beef up security in response to the campaign.
Geller said the subway ads cost about $6,000. The MTA said they will be up for a month.
Pamela’s shenanigans just make me sick to my stomach, particularly the fact that these ads are being promoted as “pro-Israel.” There is nothing “pro-Israel” about them, they are “pro-Hate.”
Please feel free to share this version!
Joseph Nassralla tells Pamela Geller he had no control over the production of Nakoula’s rubbish film
An American Coptic Christian activist whose California TV facility was used to make an anti-Islam film that touched off protests across the Muslim world said he was deceived by the film’s producer about its inflammatory content.
In a statement posted on the blog of a prominent American anti-Islamic activist, Joseph Nassralla, founder of a Duarte, California-based group called Media for Christ, said he was a victim of “disinformation and smear” and the film’s principal producer had altered its content without his knowledge.
Media for Christ operates a Christian satellite TV station called The Way TV, according to its website and tax return.
Nassralla said he was contacted last year by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whom he described as the film’s producer, with a plan to make a film about the persecution of Christians in Egypt…
Nassralla said in his statement that in explaining his film project, Nakoula had said the film would be called “Desert Warrior” and would “examine the culture of the desert and how it is related to what is going on right now.”
The statement was posted on the website Atlasshrugs2000, which is run by Pamela Geller, an activist who has organized anti-Islamic protests and events, including demonstrations opposing construction of an Islamic center near the site of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001.
There was no way to independently confirm Nassralla’s account.
Nassralla, who spoke at two rallies in 2010 and 2011 organized by Geller, said Nakoula “needed a place to film. So I let him use my facility.”
“That is all I did, and is the full extent of my involvement with this project. Nakoula used my facility for ten days. Media for Christ employees were given a vacation during that time, because Nakoula was using the facility and so there was no work for them. There was only one Media for Christ employee who remained, to answer phones for the ministry,” Nassralla said.
There was no sign of activity at the small studios of Media for Christ, located in a nondescript office park behind a Walmart store in suburban Duarte, during two visits last week by a Reuters reporter.
On both occasions the doors were found locked and knocks went unanswered. A woman who worked at an office next door said she had not seen any employees there in recent days.
The wicked man flees when no one pursues.
In an introduction to Nassralla’s statement, Geller said that she had last seen him at an event in June in California, and that now he was being “hunted like an animal for speaking critically about Islam.”
Nassralla “is currently in hiding after multiple death threats from Muslims because of his purported role in producing this video,” she said.
In an exchange of emails with Reuters last weekend, Geller suggested that if Nakoula was arrested, that would represent an attempt to impose strict Islamic Sharia law in the United States.
“He will not be in prison for fraud or some probation violation, but for blasphemy. This is Shariah enforcement in America,” she said.
In a later email, however, Geller expressed disappointment over Nassralla’s account of his dealings with Nakoula. But she added, “That would not make (Nakoula) any less a political prisoner.”
Yes beware of the Sharia boogey monster under the bed. Where is Michele Bachmann when you need her?
And if anyone wants to read here is Nassralla’s statement
Brimelow was not the only prominent radical figure right in CPAC’s line-up. Other all-stars include:
This afternoon, Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney, the Muslim-fearing former Pentagon official who in 2011 called for the resurrection of the McCarthy-era House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) - this time to target Muslims - spoke on national security and the military budget.
Also this afternoon, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who among other things spreads the lie that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem,” gave an untitled presentation.
CPAC regular Cliff Kincaid, head of the antigovernment “Patriot” group Accuracy in Media (AIM), today presented an award to CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson, as Media Matters observes, faces much criticism from within the journalism industry for accepting an award from Kincaid, who at CPAC in 2009 suggested that the President is a communist who was not born in the United States. When he’s not advancing conspiracist propaganda, Kincaid spends a lot of energy defaming LGBT people. Pontificating last year on the pending repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he suggested that openly gay soldiers would “demand sexual favors to rise in the ranks. … [I]t is a recipe for national suicide.” AIM has also published guest columns by Scott Lively, co-author of The Pink Swastika, which advances the utterly false claim that “the Nazi party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals.”
Michael Boldin of the Los Angeles-based Tenth Amendment Center, will offer two showings of “Nullification: The Rightful Remedy,” a film which promotes the Center’s thesis that each state has the constitutional right to invalidate and disregard virtually any federal law it dislikes. Popular among among neo-Confederates and antigovernment “Patriots,” the concept of “nullification” relies on a spurious interpretation of the Tenth Amendment (which reserves to the states and the people any power not explicitly given to the federal government), and flies in the face of more than two centuries of jurisprudence.
Pam Geller and Robert Spencer of the anti-Muslim hate group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), will speak tomorrow on “Islamic Law in America: How the Obama Justice Department Is Selling Us Out.” Geller is a birther who made a spectacle of herself last Thanksgiving when she accused Butterball Turkey of “stealth jihad,” and last month crossed yet another line by celebrating the U.S. soldiers who were caught on video urinating on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Spencer, who adopts a more sober and scholarly mien, is an entirely self-taught “expert” in the study of modern Islam and the Koran. His writings were cited dozens of times in the manifesto of Anders Breivik, the terrorist who slaughtered 77 people in Norway last July because he believed they were enabling Muslim immigration.
On Saturday, a clumsily named panel on “Immigration - High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Indentity” will feature anti-immigrant superstar Kris Kobach, who, before his election as Kansas’ secretary of state, authored a series of draconian, anti-immigrant “enforcement-only” laws, including Arizona’s S.B.1070 and Alabama’s H.B. 56. Also onstage will be ProEnglish’s Vandervoort.