Islam, Security and Television News

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We remain extremely proud of the film, which is still available to view on 4oD. A Metropolitan police spokesperson said the force had no knowledge of the event or the decision to cancel it. However, sources close to the channel said the screening had been cancelled after advice was taken from "relevant security authorities".

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Dr Jenny Taylor, a writer and academic who had been invited to attend the screening, said it was "appalling" the event was being cancelled. Holland is one of the trustees of Lapido, which is publishing a series of books on religious affairs, the first of which is about the controversial Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat. Taylor said media coverage was a factor in whipping up "a false storm of protest" over the programme, which she described as "a good bit of history by one of the most eminent historians in the country". That is the western way. That is what we do here. Every other civilisation that Tim has written about has come in for the same treatment.

Why should Islam be left out? Among those who criticised the programme was Inayat Bunglawala, who debated with Holland on Twitter. Bunglawala also blogged about the programme , accusing Holland of "bizarre conjecture About Islam's birthplace".

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Gabriel was invited to Twin Falls by the local chapter of ACT for America — the grassroots organization she founded in — in the thick of the most heated political controversy to have visited the small agricultural city in decades. All were charged with felonies. In concert with a smattering of other groups, members of ACT for America launched a publicity campaign around the Fawnbrook case, accusing the local government of covering up the assault. In truth, officials had sealed the case, as they would with any incident in which both victim and perpetrator are juveniles.

The story caught fire in the right-wing press, where it served as a shocking index of the dangers posed by Muslim refugees. In Twin Falls, Gabriel laid out her conspiratorial vision: Refugee resettlement is one weapon in a vast scheme by radical Islam, led by the Muslim Brotherhood and with the complicity of the United Nations and the US government, to colonize and destroy America from within.

As she spoke, people in the audience shook their heads contemptuously in the direction of a row of empty seats near the front, which had been reserved for officials in the City Council and local law enforcement. None had shown up.


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In this Dec. Nowhere is the connection more direct than with ACT for America, which is considered a hate group by organizations that track extremism — such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Center for New Community — and which has nevertheless contributed two board members, one former and one sitting, as national security advisers to the Trump campaign.

The sitting board member is retired army Lt. The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Yet in terms of sheer influence, Gabriel stands apart. Since , following the model set in the s by the Evangelical right, she has assiduously built a bona fide grassroots organization, mobilizing thousands of Americans around the premise that ordinary Muslims living among them constitute a covert threat.

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Even if these numbers are inflated or represent a largely idle membership, as some observers believe, the group has a substantial and dedicated core that has translated into political clout. They have really good relationships with lawmakers. The average reporter comes from a world view that fundamentally opposes ACT! We are anti—radical Islam and the political ideology behind terrorism. Gabriel also rejected the extremist label pinned on ACT for America by hate-tracking organizations.

This is what we know:. Sometime around 5 p. Two of the boys, ages 10 and 14, belong to an Eritrean family that was resettled in Twin Falls from a refugee camp in Sudan. The third boy, age 7, belongs to a family of Iraqi refugees. Inside the laundry room, the 7-year-old boy allegedly touched the girl in ways that included genital-to-oral contact. Officials investigating the case believe the year-old may have touched the girl as well.

At least one boy allegedly urinated on the girl. The year-old allegedly took video with a mobile phone. The first call came at p. Dispatchers confirmed the child was safe in the care of her family. A second call came 20 minutes later, this time clearly reporting a sexual assault. Officers and detectives from the Twin Falls Police Department were on scene shortly afterward.

Felony charges were filed against all three boys, with maximum sentences of imprisonment until the age of 21; the prosecution is ongoing. A rumor circulated after the incident that police had taken more than two hours to arrive at Fawnbrook. This notion — and the often futile attempts by officials to dispel it — was one indication that the case was quickly becoming a magnet for speculation and mistrust. On June 13, a group of activists attended a meeting of the Twin Falls City Council to demand answers.

No one on the City Council had heard about the reported crime at Fawnbrook. At that point, only one brief news item had appeared on a local TV station; moreover, the council has no jurisdiction over criminal matters, and law enforcement had seen no reason to brief it on the incident, one of about 30 cases of sexual assault against children in Twin Falls this year. The accusations came right away. There's been violations already occurred by Muslims here. Soon after, a right-wing website called BehindMyBack.

At the next City Council meeting, on June 20, Chief Kingsbury addressed the chambers in full uniform. All three boys had been charged with serious felonies, he said, and although the case was sealed by law, he could reassure the public that many of the details being reported were either provably false or unsubstantiated by any evidence. Twin Falls has no Syrian refugees. Police did not take two hours to respond. There was no evidence of a knife or a high-five.

Grant Loebs, the chief criminal prosecutor for Twin Falls County, released a statement that similarly denied the rumors around the case. This only helped to fan the flames. Every official correction or denial was seen either as evidence of a cover-up or, at minimum, a sign that the government was trying to downplay the significance of what had occurred, and the local press was now considered just as culpable. Local officials started receiving threats. They raised funds to move the family out of Fawnbrook. One Twin Falls resident bought them a car.

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Loebs, the county prosecutor, said he felt this crossed a line. The coalition mobilizing around the Fawnbrook case was not limited to ACT for America — it included a handful of gun rights, libertarian, and other groups from the Magic Valley, as the stretch of southern Idaho around Twin Falls is known. Nevertheless, the accusations they leveled at local government had their unmistakable origin in the teachings of Gabriel and the anti-Islam lobby. At a City Council meeting on July 11, Ruf invited every member of the council to go see Gabriel speak at the high school auditorium.

Her arrival in the world, as she writes in Because They Hate , was destiny. Her mother, having been married and childless for 20 years, assumed she was barren, until one day in her mid-fifties she experienced symptoms of pregnancy. In , according to her account, a Palestinian militia bombed a military facility near Marjayoun, destroying her childhood home.

Thus began the tribulations that Gabriel credits with shaping her worldview and that she describes, sometimes with varying details, in her books, speeches, and promotional materials. Her saviors, Gabriel writes, were the Israelis, who invaded and occupied Lebanon in After her mother was injured and ended up in an Israeli hospital, Gabriel was amazed to find that doctors were treating Muslim people, their enemies. I wish you were all dead. And when you are unable to be grateful to the people who saved your life, you have no soul.

Unlike Gabriel, when Haddad looks at the Lebanese civil war, she along with most scholars sees a conflict with an elaborate cocktail of sociopolitical causes, in which religion is only one ingredient. Even the major player in what Gabriel describes as the radical Muslim side, the Palestine Liberation Organization, was composed mainly of secular socialist blocs. In the statement she provided for this story, Gabriel accused Lamb of fabricating his interviews and otherwise dismissed her skeptics.

Two years after the Israeli invasion, in , Gabriel moved to Jerusalem and took a job at Middle East Television, a news station owned by the Christian Broadcasting Network, itself owned by the famous American televangelist Pat Robertson. As an evening news anchor, she adopted the name Nour Saman — the first of two name changes in her career.

Gabriel says that everyone at the network had a pseudonym for security reasons. It is truly the clash of civilizations in its rawest form. The two married and, in , moved to the US and settled in Virginia Beach, where the Christian Broadcasting Network is headquartered and where, according to public records, they still live.

Years later, on Sept. From the rusted steel bridge that traverses the canyon, objects seem at once impossibly distant and perfectly clear. The effect is heightened by the fact that Twin Falls, unlike many small cities in Middle America, does not give the impression of being in trouble; absent, for the most part, are shuttered businesses, homeless people, or buildings in decay. The federal government has been bringing refugees to Twin Falls since The resettlement program, based out of the College of Southern Idaho, is run by Zeze Rwasama, who is himself a refugee, having been displaced from what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the chaos that followed the Rwandan genocide.

When he arrived in Idaho in , Rwasama said, the refugee center was operating quietly, with little to no controversy, as it had for three decades. Unusually low unemployment and comparatively high demand for agricultural labor made the Magic Valley region better equipped than most, he said, to accommodate a steady influx of refugees. When I met him in his undecorated office in Twin Falls, Rwasama was wearing elaborate, pointy cowboy boots under jeans.

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Even though his department was a prime target of the anti-refugee movement, he had been watching the uproar with a sort of quiet bemusement. It comes with being a stranger in a new country — people feel like, why are we helping them?


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Recently, though, Rwasama has begun to worry that the growing tension might do lasting damage to the community. I had arrived in Twin Falls expecting to hear about friction between locals and refugees, particularly Muslims, and I assumed this is what Rwasama was talking about.

But he corrected me: Although there had been instances of public hostility toward refugees, the newcomers, by and large, were too busy coping with their transition into American life to register much of a day-to-day difference.