Nativism Watch

There Goes the Neighborhood: May 19, 2017

Imagine2050 Staff • May 19, 2017

There Goes the Neighborhood is a weekly series from Imagine 2050 staff highlighting upcoming nativist events.

This week, events in California, Ohio, North Carolina, and New York.

On Saturday, May 21, Dutch politician and virulent anti-Muslim figure Geert Wilders will be the keynote speaker at the American Freedom Alliance’s annual Heroes of Conscience Awards in Universal City, California. Wilders’s far-right Party for Freedom made modest gains in Netherlands’ March election but still is not part of the country’s governing coalition. Anti-Muslim figures David Horowitz and Philip Haney will also be honored at the AFA event. Last August, AFA hosted an anti-Muslim conference in California tilted “Islam and Western Civilization: Can They Coexist?” featuring multiple anti-Muslim activists and speakers.

On Monday, May 22, the local chapter of anti-Muslim grassroots organization ACT for America will host a virtual presentation by ACT founder and President Brigitte Gabriel in Broadview Heights, Ohio. According to a flyer produced for the event, Gabriel will give a “national security briefing.” The briefing is expected to be similar to others she has delivered to local ACT chapters across the country in recent years. This year, Gabriel has boasted of having an official meeting the White House and dining at Mar-a-Lago the evening President Trump ordered a cruise missile strike on Syria from the Florida club. ACT’s Cleveland chapter has recently hosted multiple anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists and speakers including Robert Spencer, Trevor Loudon, and John Guandolo.

On Tuesday, May 23, Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) will speak in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Krikorian’s appearance is part of the Chapel Hill area’s ongoing ICON Lecture Series, which has previously attracted nativist speakers including Diana West, James Simpson, John Guandolo, and Roy Beck. Krikorian himself spoke at an ICON event in February 2014.

Read More: Sanctuary cities, spurious claims: Misinformation from the Center for Immigration Studies

Also, the anti-Muslim Clarion Project has declared Tuesday, May 23 as National Screening Day for its latest film, Faithkeepers. Clarion’s previous films, including Obsession, The Third Jihad, and The Honor Diaries have all promoted anti-Muslim ideas and figures active within the organized anti-Muslim movement. It appears Faithkeepers will continue that trend. “’Faithkeepers’ is a not-so-subtle attack on Islam,” according to Arab American Institute’s President James Zogby in a Religion News Service op-ed published yesterday. “The film mixes real stories of Christians and others who have suffered at the hands of ISIS with the insidious insinuation that such persecution is at the heart of the Muslim faith.” So far, Tuesday screenings of Faithkeepers have been announced in Denton, Texas; Pinedale, Wyoming; Pampa, Texas; Mars Hill, North Carolina; Lamar, Colorado; and Half Moon Bay, California

On Thursday, May 25, The Plumas County Republican Women will host a presentation by Susan Tully in Graeagle, California. Tully is National Field Director for flagship anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform. Tully has previously claimed President Obama was “more interested in supporting those who are trying to hurt and undermine the United States” and suggested he intends to do “everything to hurt us.” She spoke to a Tea Party group in Arizona last week.

Also on Thursday, May 25, anti-Muslim firebrand Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) will hold a protest in New York City. Geller and AFDI supporters will gather outside City University of New York headquarters to protest human rights activist Linda Sarsour, who will be delivering this year’s commencement address to CUNY graduates. In addition to Geller, John Guandolo and far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos are slated to speak.

Finally, on Thursday, May 25, the Ohio Christian Alliance will hold its “Spring Freedom Banquet” in Akron, Ohio. Anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney and pseudo-historian William “Bill” Federer will be featured speakers at the event. In January, Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy founded the anti-Muslim front group Faith Leaders for America. Federer spoke to ACT for American members in South Dakota last month. According to the Rapid City Journal, Federer likened Muslims to predatory sharks during his presentation.

Additional information on these events and others can be found in the map below. A red star indicates events scheduled for next week.

Know of any nativist events not located on this map? Please contact us or fill out this form:

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