Hate Crime Hoaxes and Tribal Threats Expand in the Digital Age

By Brenda Walker
Volume 27, Number 3 (Spring 2017)
Issue theme: "A new era for immigration enforcement"

It’s a sad commentary on modern society that victimhood is so highly valued. The inner child experiences a tiny bump and looks for a reassuring hug. In the media age, that emotionalism is amplified. In fact, social media is the giant magnifying glass over every minuscule of human experience — Facebook encourages us to share a photo of what we ate for lunch, and when that doesn’t get enough clicks, something more dramatic is necessary.

A revved up political climate adds to the intensity. College students, being hormonal drama queens anyway, often want to draw attention to themselves. A mean-spirited message, including a swastika nailed to the dorm door, can result in a campus-wide explosion of leftie outrage, with marches and enthusiastic denunciations of hate. In 2014, Capital University student Jalen Mitchell said he found a racist note on his apartment door, threatening “We will kill you, n—!” He later confessed to the fake hate, and admitted he had fabricated several earlier hoaxes. “It was a way to try to get attention, to say ‘Someone notice me, I’m dying on the inside,’” he told the student newspaper of the Columbus, Ohio school. But mostly he sowed fear among fellow students about non-existent racist threats on campus.

School diversity multiplies the possibilities every which way: Mexicans, Muslims, and blacks all have an opportunity to cash in with an attention-grabbing story. In 2013 a black kid running for his high school student council in New Jersey sent himself some racist emails to attract votes.

Usually, campus fakers get no punishment following discovery, but in a high-profile 2004 case, the fraudster was arrested, tried, and convicted: Claremont Mc-Kenna College Professor Kerri Dunn was sentenced to a year in state prison for concocting a fake hate crime in which she was the supposed victim. She was convicted of filing a false police report and attempted insurance fraud regarding her car. She had claimed her Honda was vandalized with racist graffiti, but witnesses saw her doing the damage herself, which harmed the victim narrative considerably. Until the unpleasant facts came out a few days after the incident, Dunn was a liberal hero, inspiring campus rallies against hate, which made the participants feel very virtuous.

Furthermore, the normal human desire to get love and attention runs off the rails when it is transmogrified in the political arena. Tribe-based organizations like La Raza collect reports of hate crimes of varying veracity to use in their psy-ops to wear down opposition among citizens to lawbreaking foreigners. Deporting illegal aliens is treated like a hate crime, for instance, and we see sob-story cases quite frequently on the front pages of major liberal newspapers.

Rumors of hate crimes and danger against Muslims have been a major tool of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Hamas-affiliated organization that nevertheless is the go-to quote source for liberal media on Muslims matters.

Last June, FBI Director James Comey noted that his agency was investigating 1,000 ISIS terror cases in all 50 states, but to CAIR, the biggest problem today in America is “Islamophobia,” a fake construct created by jihadists to confuse the infidels because a phobia is an unreasonable fear. In the real world, Muslims are killing unbelievers every single day because the Koran says they should. Confusion is a powerful psychological weapon, often underestimated.

The CAIR message is that Americans are MEAN, they are RACIST, they are ISLAMOPHOBIC! We traditional citizens are supposed to respond to the nonstop propaganda by always giving diverse Muslims the benefit of the doubt.

That strategy clearly worked in San Bernardino, where neighbors were suspicious of nearby Muslims behaving strangely, but they did not report them to authorities because they didn’t want to be thought racist: as a result, Syed Farook and wife Tashfeek Malik were free to organize the December 2, 2015, attack that killed 14 and seriously wounded 22 fellow office workers where Farook was employed. The couple had a large arsenal of weapons in their home, including a dozen pipe bombs, which if police had seen, the jihad plot could have been broken up. So the Islamophobia propaganda won, and 14 Americans died as a result. Intimidation is an effective weapon, and hostile Muslims have been perfecting their world-conquest chops over 1,400 years.

CAIR encourages miffed Muslims who think they have been slighted by the infidels to phone the organization with a report. So imaginary affronts and outright lies are conflated by CAIR into a large scenario of a national lynch mob about to pounce upon poor innocent Muslims residing in the U.S. In January, the Powerline blog noted a kindergarten teacher supposedly hating on a tiny child: “CAIR promoted the fake hate crime in its patented style, alleging a two-month reign of terror against the boy.”

Perhaps some Muslims harbor an unconscious animus against Islam, since fake hate crimes against mosques by followers are not unknown. On Christmas morning (!) 2014, the Fresno Islamic Cultural Center was burgled, and alarm ensued: the police chief declared the incident an obvious hate crime and the FBI investigated. But the vandal, quickly identified from a surveillance photo, was Asif Mohammad Khan, a Muslim. The local Islo-community claimed the perp was suffering from mental illness (a common excuse), so the insanity defense was deemed acceptable and the city was relieved.

Another Christmas day mosque attack occurred in Houston in 2015 and was promoted by CAIR as a hate crime by Americans against Islam, citing what it called a “recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide.” But the arsonist turned out to be a Muslim man who had attended that mosque for five years. Oh well!

In fact, Muslim hate hoaxes have become so common that Breitbart reported last December, “ABC News Worries Hate Hoaxes ‘Discredit’ Muslims,” and CAIR mouthpiece Ibrahim Cooper was dispatched to the mainstream media to repair the damage. “These false reports unfortunately give ammunition to the industry of Islamophobes who promote the demonization and dehumanization of Islamic Muslims,” he observed, blaming Islamophobia for making peaceful Muslims commit felonies — wait, doesn’t that indicate a general mental weakness among the Allah acolytes? Perhaps the normal social stresses of immigration are just too tough for them.

A hate hoax was used by Muslim teenager Yasmin Sewei last December when she claimed she had been attacked on a Manhattan subway by drunk Trump supporters: she wrote on Facebook, “And it was just so dehumanizing I can’t speak about it without getting emotional.” Later the 18-year-old admitted the whole thing was a lie. Apparently she feared the reaction from her strict immigrant father because she had been out late drinking with friends and was dating a Christian boy. She appeared at her arraignment with a shaved head and without the piled-on makeup of her usual appearance. Actually, Yasmin is lucky she wasn’t honor-killed and probably would have been if the family were back in Egypt.

Sometimes the hate scam is used to disguise a deadly crime. On March 21, 2012, Muslim mother and American citizen Shaima Alawadi was beaten to death in her San Diego County home. The murder was initially characterized as an anti-Muslim hate crime, and the diversity-obsessed left worked itself into a frenzy over what it construed as a crime by anti-immigrant Americans.

The New York Times ran a lengthy story placing the blame on unwelcoming citizens in El Cajon, where many Muslims have been settled, titled, “Iraqi Immigrants in California Town Fear a Hate Crime in a Woman’s Killing.” It included a dramatic photo of the mourning husband, Kassim Alhimidi, clutching his wife’s body at her funeral. Local Iraqis feared some anti-Muslim killer was stalking the streets.

The case was publicized at length by lefty media like Salon, which published at least five articles about the supposed atrocity caused by murderous Islamophobia — for shame, bad Americans!

Responsible Islam critics Robert Spencer (JihadWatch.org) and Pamela Geller (PamelaGeller.com) got a severe thrashing online for supposedly causing the murder because they quote Koran verses promoting violence and report Islamic crimes against non-Muslims. Discussing Islam created an atmosphere of Islamophobia and murder, said the defenders of Muslim diversity.

The hate crime narrative had problems from the beginning, however. A note found at the crime scene conveniently provided a blame-Americans motivation: “This is my country. Go back to yours, terrorist.” A neighbor noticed that the broken glass was scattered outdoors from the house, peculiar if someone had broken in from outside. Even the Southern Poverty Law Center talker Mark Potok observed, “It is quite unusual to invade someone’s home, especially a woman, and violently beat her to death in the dining room.”

Finally on November 8, months after the murder, police arrested husband Kassim Alhimidi. He was tried and found guilty of murdering his wife, receiving a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Muslims residing in the United States had been driven into a state of near-hysteria because of the hate crime hoax, believing citizen lynch mobs were at hand. But the crime was of a Muslim husband killing his wife because she was planning a divorce. Robert Spencer wrote a blog summing up why the left media fail: “ Salon tries to save face: Shaima Alawadi murder not a hate crime, but hey, there’s a lot of Islamophobia anyway.”

It would be interesting to know how many crimes claimed to be based on tribal hate actually are fake. The prevalence of hate hoaxes puts the whole category into question. For example, are fake hate crimes included in the annual FBI statistics? Perhaps the new improved Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions could investigate. His Senate office produced excellent papers on the financial and social costs of illegal immigration, so an expansion of scholarship would be a reasonable expectation.

Various motivations propel fake hate behaviors, from the adolescent desire for attention to the political strategy of establishing a particular tribe as a victim class to gain more benefits from the system. When the Islamic organization CAIR wields hate hoaxes and fake Islamophobia like a weapon, it reveals itself as an enemy to America and western values generally. The Clausewitz observation that “War is politics by other means” suggests that the opposite is also true. So politicized hate hoaxes deserve our serious attention.

About the author

Brenda Walker is publisher of the websites LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. A resident of the San Francisco Bay area, she is a frequent contributor to The Social Contract.