Monday, 18 June, 2018

Number of USA anti-Muslim groups growing under Trump, watchdog says

Neo Nazis Alt-Right and White Supremacists encircle counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville Va. USA Oregon has prominent place on Southern Poverty Law Center's new list of US hate groups
Nicole Thomas | 23 February, 2018, 02:20

The study noted that Ku Klux Klan groups fell from 130 groups to 72 and claimed the decline was a "clear indication that the new generation of white supremacists is rejecting the Klan's hoods and robes for the hipper image of the more loosely organized alt-right movement".

Beirich described black nationalist hate organisations, which grew by 22 percent a year ago, as "broadly anti-Semitic, anti-white and usually anti-LGBT".

"President Trump in 2017 reflected what white supremacist groups want to see: a country where racism is sanctioned by the highest office, immigrants are given the boot and Muslims banned", said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project in the report.

At the meeting, Taylor Township board member Bob Marley - who in an interview called Islam an "evil religion" and criticized Democrats for "supporting homosexuals" - was caught on video in a physical altercation with a protester during the event, advertised as unveiling "The Truth on Islam". The president thrilled white supremacists with his policy initiatives, such as revving up the country's deportation machinery and curtailing civil rights enforcement.

The SPLC's "Year in Hate and Extremism" report identified an increase in hate groups in IN and the US from 2016 to 2017 - a fact the organization attributes in large part to President Donald Trump - but eliminates Kokomo in its group of in cities infiltrated by hate groups. The Center said that neo-Nazi groups have increased under President Donald Trump, and as a result, has spurred the growth of Black nationalist groups.

Neo-nazi organizations also rose in numbers, from 99 groups in 2016 to 121 in 2017, while anti-Muslim groups also experienced sharp growth from the year before.

A key difference between black and white nationalist groups, however, is that the former have little power. They increased from 101 chapters to 114 in 2017 - growth that comes after the groups tripled in number a year earlier. "They don't have an equivalent of a Steve Bannon or a Steve Miller in the White House".

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Wachtel, a forensic psychologist and the author of the book Sociopaths & Psychopaths, said the rise of hate groups follows a loss of empathy.

Ku Klux Klan chapters fell from 130 groups in 2016 to 72 past year - a 21-percent drop. "The overall number of hate groups likely understates the real level of hate in America, because a growing number of extremists, particularly those who identify with the 'alt-right, ' operate mainly online and may not be formally affiliated with a hate group".

In May 2017, 35-year-old Jeremy Christian was arrested and charged with stabbing to death two people and injuring a third when they attempted to prevent him from hurling Islamophobic insults at Muslim passengers. (The U.S. overall has almost 325 million people.) Below are the SPLC-listed hate groups that are based in or have chapters in or or southwestern Washington. Within this category, heavily armed groups increased from 165 to 273, according to SPLC. They include The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website that has spawned activist chapters, and Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group known for distributing hate propaganda on college campuses. The SPLC consider the Shoebat Foundation an anti-Muslim group and Micetrap Distribution as a racist music label.

The Year in Hate and Extremism report can be read at www.splcenter.org.

The SPLC defines a hate group as "an organization that - based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities - has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics".

Visit goo.gl/SYwJQU to see the SPLC's hate map. "Their rhetoric is no different from the other hate groups we track".

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