Gaza is a concentration camp, and it’s an American delusion not to recognize that — Weschler

Gaza is a concentration camp, and it’s an American delusion not to recognize that — Weschler


 on July 19, 2014 32 Comments

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Lawrence Weschler

Lawrence Weschler, by David Shankbone

Lawrence Weschler, a writer of considerable mainstream prestige, is sick of prevaricating about Israel. It’s rabid. It has rabies. And Gaza is a concentration camp. Weschler has let loose chiefly because of the “remorseless” and “repetitively compulsive” aspect of Israeli violence. I believe that understanding is now widely shared in the liberal mainstream, and interventions like Weschler’s make it easier for others to speak up. From Truthdig:

I know, I know, and I am bone tired of being told it, when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is plenty of blame to go around, but by this point after coming on almost 50 years of Israeli stemwinding and procrastinatory obfuscation, I’d put the proportionate distribution of blame at about the same level as the mortality figures—which is, where are we today (what with Wednesday morning’s four children killed while out playing on a Gaza beach)? What, 280 to 2?

For the single overriding fact defining the Israeli-Palestinian impasse at this point is that if the Palestinians are quiescent and not engaged in any overt rebellion, the Israelis (and here I am speaking of the vast majority of the population who somehow go along with the antics of their leaders, year after year) manage to tell themselves that things are fine and there’s no urgent need to address the situation; and if, as a result, the endlessly put-upon Palestinians do finally rise up in any sort of armed resistance (rocks to rockets), the same Israelis exasperate, “How are we supposed to negotiate with monsters like this?” A wonderfully convenient formula, since it allows the Israelis to go blithely on, systematically stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank, and continuing to confine 1.8 million Gazans within what might well be described as a concentration camp.

Note, incidentally, I say “concentration camp” and not “death camp.” I am not comparing Gaza to Auschwitz-Birkenau, but one cannot help but liken the conditions today in Gaza to the sorts of conditions once faced by Japanese-Americans during World War II, or the Boers in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War, or the black South Africans years later in such besieged townships as Soweto, or for that matter Jews and gays and gypsies at Dachau and Theresienstadt in the years before the Nazis themselves settled on their Final Solution.

And it is quite simply massively self-serving delusion that Israelis (and their enablers and abettors here in America, among whom incidentally I count a steadily declining number of American Jews) refuse to recognize that fact.

Weschler goes on to say that support for Israel is strongest in the U.S. among evangelicals. This is a standard dodge, employed by liberals, to avoid the hard reflective work of considering the power of the reactionary Jewish establishment. Does Obama care a fig about evangelicals when it comes to gay marriage or abortion? No. But here there is a unity of interest, and the power is in the Jewish establishment. Israel calls on Jews to recognize what Avram Burg said a few years back at the NY Public Library, that Jews created two structures in the wake of the Holocaust, a Jewish state and an American Jewish leadership.

For me Zionism was the scaffolding… that was supposed to help the Jewish people to rebuild, to restruct [sic] itself from an exilic reality to sovereignty. And the structure went on and on and on and on, and and now 150 and 100 and some years later, when you look around the Jewish existential reality, you realize that actually the Jewish people built two structures. One is the semi-autonomous American Jewry, which was not here 150 years ago– powerful influence, access to the corridors of power, impact on the culture, and civilization… plus the infrastructure of the community of solidarity and fraternity and support system and education etc and also the sovereignty over there in the Middle East.

Thanks to Ed Moloney.

About Philip Weiss

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People are boycotting United Airlines following an Islamophobic incident

People are boycotting United Airlines following an Islamophobic incident

People are boycotting United Airlines following an 'Islamophobic' incident
Tahera Ahmad, who was on the United Airlines flight (pic: Facebook)

A woman called United Airlines ‘Islamophobic’ after she was allegedly discriminated against by a flight attendant.

Tahera Ahmad, who works at Northwestern University as director of interfaith engagement, spoke last night of the ‘disgusting behaviour’ of the airplane staff.

She was on a flight last night and asked for an unopened can of Diet Coke, which the attendant refused to give her due to the airline’s apparent policy.

Ahmad then noticed the same attendant giving an unopened can of beer to someone else, and confronted her.

According to Ahmad, the attendant said: ‘We are unauthorised to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane.’

She then allegedly gave the Muslim woman a can of Diet Coke, which she immediately opened so Ahmad didn’t ‘use it as a weapon’.

Shocked, Ahmad turned to her fellow passengers to ask if they had witnessed the ‘discriminatory and disgusting’ incident.

One of them told told her ‘you Muslim, you need to shut the f**k up’, as he also believed that she could use the can as a weapon.

Ahmad then burst into tears, explaining that she’d been expecting people to defend her, but no-one had stepped up during the Islamophobic attack.

She posted about her ordeal on Facebook, and her post soon went viral.

A hashtag supporting her soon started on Twitter, with people saying that they will boycott United Airlines until it apologises:







We reached out to United Airlines for comment, and they said:

‘United is a company that strongly supports diversity and inclusion, and we and our partners do not discriminate against our employees or customers. We are reaching out directly to Ms. Ahmad to get a better understanding of what occurred during the flight. We are also discussing the matter that Ms. Ahmad describes with Shuttle America, our regional partner that operated the flight. We look forward to speaking with Ms. Ahmad and hope to have the opportunity to welcome her back.’


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5 Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

Can the Right Diet Prevent Cancer?


There’s no such thing as a diet that prevents cancer because diet is only one of many factors in this complex disease. However, there are ways to reduce your risk. Nutrition Diva has 5 of the most important things you can do.  (Surprise: Eating organic isn’t one of them!)


Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,

March 12, 2014
Episode #275

Page 2 of 2

5 Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

Tip #1: Cut Down on Alcohol. Alcohol consumption increases your risk of several types of cancer, including two of the most common forms: colorectal and breast cancer. Even very moderate alcohol consumption, which can benefit your heart, carries some risk. No-one should drink more than the recommended 1-2 drinks per day but those with increased risk (or fear) of cancer, should consider abstaining entirely.

See also: How Much Alcohol Is Healthy?


Tip #2: Be More Active. Even modest amounts of physical activity can reduce your risk of cancer, both directly and indirectly. Exercise is beneficial all by itself and also can help to maintain a healthy body weight, which further reduces your risk. Small efforts can really add up here: taking stairs instead of elevators and escalators, parking further from the door, and standing up during meetings and conference calls can all help reduce the amount of time you spend sitting. I installed a free widget on my computer that suggests a different stretch or brief exercise every 30 minutes. 

See also: Can Exercise Help Treat Cancer?


Tip #3: Respect Your Circadian Rhythm. We may live in a 24-hour news cycle, but humans are still diurnal mammals. We need regular sleep, preferably in the dark. Among other things, this optimizes the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Try to reduce your exposure to artificial light (especially from electronic devices) in the hours before bedtime and make your bedroom as dark as you can (or sleep with a mask on).

See also: Nutrition Tips for Night Shift Workers and Technology to Help You Sleep


Tip #4: Limit Your Sugar Intake.  Contrary to urban legend, sugar doesn’t “feed” cancer nor does avoiding sugar “starve” cancer cells. There is, however, a connection. Diets with a high glycemic load have been linked to increased risk of cancer, and being diabetic also increases your risk. Avoiding sweetened beverages and juice, limiting sweets and refined sugars, and focusing on whole, minimally processed foods will help you keep your blood sugar steady and also support healthy body weight.

See also: Can You Reverse Diabetes with Diet?


Tip #5: Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables. (You knew that was coming, right?) Eating the recommended 5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings fruit every day provides a rainbow of cancer-protective phytonutrients, helps facilitate weight control, and displaces less healthy foods from your diet. You don’t need to eat special “superfoods”—just try to get a good variety. Buy organic if you can, but don’t stress if you can’t. The benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables far outweighs the potential risk from pesticides.

See also: Which Vegetables Are Best?


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Anonymous website lists pro Palestine Students

Shadowy Web Site Creates Blacklist of Pro-Palestinian Activists

A new website is publicizing the identities of pro-Palestinian student activists to prevent them from getting jobs after they graduate from college. But the website is keeping its own backers’ identity a secret.

“It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” a female narrator intones in a slick video posted to the website’s YouTube account.

Called Canary Mission, the site has posted profiles of dozens of students and recent graduates, alongside those of well-known activists like Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Some of the students are active in Students for Justice in Palestine; others were involved in recent pro-BDS resolutions at campuses in California. Many of them have relatively thin activist résumés.

“The focus on young people and students is an effort to try to tell people that there will be a price for you taking a political position,” said Ali Abunimah, founder of the pro-Palestinian website The Electronic Intifada. “It’s an effort to punish and deter people from standing up for what they believe.”

Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, defended the tactic as a way of forcing people to understand the seriousness of their political stands.

“Factually documenting who one’s adversaries are and making this information available is a perfectly legitimate undertaking,” Pipes wrote in an email. “Collecting information on students has particular value because it signals them that attacking Israel is serious business, not some inconsequential game, and that their actions can damage both Israel and their future careers.”

Despite its dedication to documenting the identities of pro-Palestinian activists, Canary Mission seems to have gone to great lengths to keep the identities of its own members and backers well hidden. There are no names of Canary Mission staff members, volunteers, donors or allies on the site.

The Web domain is registered in a way that hides its ownership. Though the site says that Canary Mission “is a non-profit organization,” no group called Canary Mission is currently registered with the IRS as eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, and the website indicates no fiscal sponsor through which it can accept donations. The group’s MailChimp account identifies its ZIP code as 10458, a corner of the Bronx that includes Fordham University.

A person named Joanna responded via email to a request for comment from the group, agreeing to an interview but then not calling this reporter over two days. Joanna also did not respond to a list of questions submitted about the group.

A handful of right-wing pro-Israel groups that focus on campuses said they had no relationship with Canary Mission, including the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Pipes’s Middle East Forum, the AMCHA Initiative and StandWithUs.

When asked whether his group had supported Canary Mission, Charles Jacobs, who runs Americans for Peace and Tolerance, a far-right group that purports to expose extremism on campus, said he had no comment. Jacobs is the founder of The David Project, which, under his leadership, produced a 2004 documentary titled “Columbia Unbecoming” that depicted Columbia’s Middle East studies department as unfriendly to Jewish students.

Distributing lists of activists and their activities is not an entirely uncommon tactic in the Middle East debate, on the left or the right. A website called Masada2000, now offline, maintained what it called the “Self-Hating and/or Israel Threatening” list of Jews whose views it considered unacceptable. In early 2014, the anti-Zionist blog Mondoweiss uncovered a password-protected website maintained by StandWithUs that contained backgrounders on pro-Palestinian speakers on the campus circuit. On the left, the website for Right Web, a program backed by the Institute for Policy Studies, profiles hawkish pro-Israel groups and activists.

Mission’s site are lengthy and detailed, and include videos and photographs of the activists. In the case of some current students, the site lists their majors. There are links to Facebook pages, Twitter pages and LinkedIn profiles, and lengthy descriptions of pro-Palestinian student groups and movements to which these students have alleged links.

“I think it’s creepy and I think it’s McCarthyist,” said Max Geller, an SJP member who is profiled on the site. “This is not a badge of honor. This is scary.”

Geller said that some of what is written about him on the site is untrue, and that he has contacted an attorney.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis

Myanmar’s New Birth-Spacing Law Criticized As ‘Anti-Muslim’

Myanmar’s New Birth-Spacing Law Criticized As ‘Anti-Muslim’

By  @avaneeshp88 on May 26 2015 1:06 AM EDT
Plywood with the words “We are Myanmar Rohingya” is seen in an abandoned boat which carried Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants from Thailand, found off the coast near the city of Kuta Binje, Indonesia’s Aceh Province May 20, 2015. Reuters/Beawiharta

A new law in Myanmar that could be used to force women in the country to have children at least three years apart has come under fire by rights group, which have decried it as anti-Muslim. The Health Care for Population Control bill was signed into law last week by President Thein Sein, according to media reports.

“This law targets one religion, one population, in one area,” Khin Lay of the Yangon-based Triangle Women Support Group reportedly said on Monday, referring to the minority Muslim population in the country. However, the government has denied the allegations, reportedly calling it a law aimed at improving maternal and child health.

While the World Health Organization recommends having at least a two-year gap between pregnancies, in Myanmar — where several Buddhist ultra-nationalist groups have stoked anti-Muslim sentiments by accusing the Muslim population of having extremely high birth rates — the passage of such a law has become a highly controversial move.

“Activists with a racist, anti-Muslim agenda pressed for this population law, so there is every reason to expect it to be implemented in a discriminatory way,” Brad Adams, the Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said, in a statement released before the bill was passed. “The population bill as well as the other ‘race and religion’ bills under consideration are likely to escalate repression and sectarian violence.”

The law is expected to primarily affect women belonging to the minority Rohingya community. The Burmese government has long claimed that the nearly 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims, who reside primarily in the northern tip of Rakhine state, are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, making them essentially stateless.  In recent years, this has resulted in frequent and violent clashes between the majority Buddhist and the minority Muslim population in Rakhine, killing hundreds and forcing thousands to flee the country to neighboring nations like Malaysia and Indonesia.

Rights groups have also expressed concerns over the vagueness of the law, which reportedly calls for the establishment of designated “health zones” where married couples would be helped in practicing birth spacing. However, it is not yet clear what, if any, punishments would be given to those who violate the law and whether pregnant women would be pressured to have an abortion.

“We are particularly concerned that the Health Care for Population Control Bill could provide a legal basis for discrimination through coercive, uneven application of birth control policies, and differing standards of care for different communities across the country,” the U.S. State Department said, in astatement released last week.

A Plot to Level a Village Isn’t News–When Targets Are Muslim and Plotter Is Christian

A Plot to Level a Village Isn’t News–When Targets Are Muslim and Plotter Is Christian

No crime fascinates US media like terrorism–provided it’s the right sort of terrorism

No crime fascinates US media like terrorism–provided it’s the right sort of terrorism, that is.

The media-approved sort of terrorist is motivated by some fanatic strain of Islam. Terrorists motivated by other ideologies are often forgotten by corporate media (Extra!, 6/13)–sometimes to the point where pundits deny that non-Muslim terrorists exist (FAIR Blog, 12/16/14)–even though the vast majority of terrorist attacks in the United States are carried out by people with agendas unrelated to Islam (Extra!, 8/13)

Sensational acts of or schemes for political violence are ignored because they don’t fit Islamophobic stereotypes (FAIR Blog, 1/11/131/25/14)–or, if the violence is too dramatic to overlook, journalists decline to affix the “terrorism” label to it (FAIR Media Advisory, 4/15/14; FAIR Blog, 6/13/14).

The latest example of the sort of crime story that would be huge news if the perpetrator were Muslim–rather than, in this instance, someone who hates Muslims–is the case of Robert Rankin Doggart, a former congressional candidate from Signal Mountain, Tennessee, who was caught on tape and on social media talking about wiping out a Muslim community in upstate New York.

According to a plea agreement reached in US District Court in the Eastern District of Tennessee, Doggart told an FBI informant that he was planning to attack the residents of a Muslim community known as Islamberg near Hancock, New York.  (Doggart, an ordained Christian minister, apparently became fixated on the hamlet as a result of alarmist reporting on right-wing media.) In a call recorded by the informant, Doggart said:

Those guys [have] to be killed. Their buildings need to be burnt down. If we can get in there and do that not losing a man, even the better.

The buildings Doggart planned to destroy included a mosque, a school and a cafeteria.

In another conversation, Doggart elaborated:

When we meet in this state, the people we seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them. And we will burn down their buildings [and] if anyone attempts to, uh, harm us in any way, our standoff gunner will take them down from 350 yards away.

 “The standoff gunner would be me,” he added.

On Facebook, Doggart declared that “Target 3 [Islamberg] is vulnerable from many approaches and must be utterly destroyed.”

The plea agreement, filed April 29, notes that Doggart took substantive steps to carry out his plan, including traveling to recruit gunners and “battle test[ing]” his M4 rifle. Despite this, Doggart was allowed to plead guilty only to interstate communication of threats and faces a maximum of five years in jail.

There has been little coverage of Doggart’s case in national media, as a broad Nexis search reveals. One of the first reports was in the Chattanoogan (5/16/15), a local online news outlet. The article reports that Doggart

is on federal bond awaiting sentencing in the case…. Doggart was first ordered detained; however, Federal Magistrate Susan Lee later allowed his release on certain conditions after attorneys said he had weaned himself from pain medication and had stopped abusing alcohol. The government opposed his release, saying he remains a danger.

Later other local outlets picked up on the story, with a modest article appearing in the Chattanooga Times Free Press (5/18/15) that quoted Doggart’sFacebook boast: “We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace.” Stories appeared a couple of days earlier in the Arizona Republic (5/16/15), as well as the Rock Hill, S.C., Herald (5/16/15), which ran an article focusing on the reaction of a similar Muslim community in northern South Carolina.

Nexis also turns up brief reports in the London Independent (5/18/15) andSky News (5/18/95), as well as a handful of Pakistani papers. But nothing in major US papers like the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Todayor LA Times. While Nexis’ broadcast transcripts are not exhaustive, there was no indication that the story had been picked up by any US TV outlet, or by National Public Radio.

There were a handful of online news outlets that carried the story, often making reference to the lack of coverage in other media (“Guess Why This Christian Terrorist Plot Against Muslims Isn’t Getting Any Press,” Daily Beast, 5/18/15) or the evident double standard in the criminal justice system (“Would This Man Be Charged With Terrorism if He Were Muslim?,” Think Progress, 5/18/15).Wonkette (5/18/15) highlighted the sensationalized Fox News coverage that may have motivated Doggart’s terror scheme. One of the most substantive articles appeared on the web publication Heavy (5/18/15), with a report that cited Muslim reactions to the plot and examined Doggart’s 2014 independent congressional bid, which garnered 6 percent of Tennessee’s 4th District vote.

The Daily Beast report, noting that “it goes without saying that if Doggart had been Muslim and had planned to kill Christians in America, we would have seen wall-to-wall media coverage,” pointed to a major reason that the case has not gotten more attention: the tendency for journalists to rely on official sources to tell them what stories are important. Beast contributor Dean Obeidallah wrote:

One big reason for the lack of media coverage was that neither the FBI nor the US Attorney’s office put out a press release about Doggart’s arrest.  In contrast, the FBI office in Knoxville, the one that handled this investigation, has posted press releases for numerous other recent arrests, such as for drug crimes and robbery charges.  (My calls to the FBI about this issue have not been returned.)

However, when a Muslim is arrested in a sting-type operation, as we saw recently in Brooklyn, the FBI touts that arrest to the media with a detailed press release. We have also seen US attorneys hold press conferences to announce the arrest of Muslims, as we witnessed recently with the six Minnesota men charged with planning to join ISIS. But not here.

Jim Naureckas is the editor of Extra!, FAIR’s monthy magazine.

MBA grad denied job for being Muslim

MBA grad denied job for being Muslim


A LEADING Mumbai- based diamond firm has been booked for causing secular disharmony after it rejected the application of a candidate on religious grounds.

Hari Krishna Exports Private Limited allegedly rejected the candidature of 22- yearold Zeshan Ali Khan from Mumbai because of his name. Zeshan said, “I had applied on May 19 at 5.45 pm and within 15 minutes I got a response from the HR department saying that they hire only non- Muslims.”Zeshan said while his application was rejected, those of his two classmates, who had also applied for jobs at the same firm and arent Muslims, were accepted.

“I could not believe my eyes that in the 21st century when PM Narendra Modi talks about inclusive growth, that a firm with a global presence could reject me because of my surname. My sister suggested that I take a screen shot of the email and post it on Facebook,”said Zeshan, who had just given his MBA final year exam. His post on the social networking site went viral, prompting the firm to respond.

Later in an e- mail apology to Zeshan, Mahendra Deshmukh, Associate VP & Head- HR of Hari Krishna Exports, said, “We would like to clarify that the company does not discriminate against candidates based on gender, caste, religion, etc. Any hurt caused in the matter is deeply regretted. This erroneous e- mail was sent by my colleague Dipika Tike who has joined recently and is still on training.”Zeshan said that an apology cant satisfactorily explain why such a reply had been sent in the first place. “They rejected me because of my name. And now they say it was an error. A typing or grammatical mistake could be considered erroneous.

How could an entire sentence be erroneous? I think the HR person was merely following the company policy,”he added.

Later, encouraged by people, including lawyers and activists, on social media, Zeshan approached the Kurla police station and lodged a FIR against the firm.

The charges against the company were made under Section 153 B ( 1) ( b) and ( c) ( denying or depriving any person of their right as citizens of India over religious, racial, language or regional lines and causing religious disharmony).

MAIL T ODAY contacted Hari Krishna Exports Mumbai head office and was told by a receptionist that an email would be sent in this regard.

The reply is still awaited.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Minorities( NCM) has delegated the case to its member T. N. Shanoo, who would seek information from the state government on the unconstitutional hiring practices of Hari Krishna Exports.

Robert Doggart: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Robert Doggart: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Robert Doggart

Robert Doggart (

A Tennessee man, who made a failed bid for Congress last year as an independent with extreme right wing beliefs, has admitted in federal court to planning an attack on a Muslim community in New York.

Robert Doggart, 63, was recorded on a wiretapped phone talking about his plan to travel along with members of a private militia to an area near Hancock, New York, known as Islamberg, to burn down a mosque, school and cafeteria, while gunning down anyone from the community who tried to stop them.

“Our small group will soon be faced with the fight of our lives. We will offer those lives as collateral to prove our commitment to our God,” Doggart said in a Facebook post, according to court documents. “We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace.”

Doggart was arrested April 10 by the FBI on charges that he solicited others to violate civil rights, attempted to damage religious property because of the religious character of the property and made threats through interstate communication.

Two weeks later, Doggart pleaded guilty to interstate communication of threats. A judge has not yet signed off on the plea agreement. He was released on $30,000 bond to home confinement after the agreement was made and faces between 0 and 5 years in federal prison, along with a possible fine of up to $250,000.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. ‘If it’s Necessary to Die Then That’s a Good Way to Die’

Robert Doggart

Robert Doggart in a photo from his Congressional campaign.

Robert Rankin “Bob” Doggart said in conversations with an FBI informant and on wiretapped phone calls that his goal wasn’t to go to the Islamberg community to kill anyone, but to burn down buildings and send a message. But he wasn’t afraid of getting into a gun fight.

“If there’s a gun fight, well there’s a gun fight. And I want to come home ’cause I love my family and I want to see my kids again. But I also understand that if it’s necessary to die then that’s a good way to die,” Doggart said during a March phone conversation with an unnamed militia member from South Carolina.

The Signal Mountain, Tennessee resident said in a recorded phone call that, “When we meet with this state, the people that we seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them. And we will burn down their buildings.” He said if anybody attempts to “harm them in any way, “our standoff gunner will take them down from 350 yards. The standoff gunner would be me.”

Doggart eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of making a threat. Read the plea agreement below:

Doggart planned to attack Islamberg, a hamlet of Hancock, New York in Delaware County, which is mainly made up of members of The Muslims of America, Inc. The organization says about its community:

Members of The Muslims of America primarily consist of African American Muslims of the Sunni sect of Islam who are indigenous Americans with Islamic roots spanning four generations. The first generations were mainly converts from various branches of Christianity. Local law enforcement and neighbors have nothing negative to say about the Islamberg community.

But Islamberg has long been a target of right wing groups, which have claimed it is actually a terrorist training ground.

“It’s kind of perplexing to us,” local Police Chief Craig Dumont said on New York’s AM 970. “All this recent media attention in regard to potential terrorist training camps and things that are going on there. We don’t see it. We just don’t find any of that to be valid at this time. … There are no active threats that we are aware of at this time.”

Doggart posted on his campaign website about visiting a Muslim community in Tennessee that he heard was a terrorist camp:

On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, I will be travelling to a suspected Muslim Jihadist Training Camp in Tennessee. I am not at liberty to reveal the location at this time, and am not going there hoping to find conflict. However, given the recent beheading of an American Journalist by the treacherous ISIS group, the Islamic networking that is underway in America, and the threats directed at us, there is no choice but to engage this topic, face-to-face, on location. It should be noted that I have contacted the City Mayor, and expect involvement by the County Mayor and the County Sheriff as well, to insure that the intelligences that they have gathered is known prior to making an unanticipated visit to a place about which I know little. A future blog will be posted to report upon this intrepid, yet innocent journey.

But when he went to the “camp,” he learned a lesson about believing what he read on the Internet:

What was discovered was that the local Authorities, and the neighbor (over the last ~18 years), saw no threat to their community. They informed that a number of Federal Agencies had visited the Camp and came away with a similar conclusion of no threat. In fact, they unanimously described the folks who lived in Dover as converts to Islam as good and kind people, and had a number of personal stories to that end. It is interesting to note that the Muslims there are apparently and exclusively African Americans who converted to Islam from some other religion. That is fine, as our Constitution provides for that fundamental freedom. And so, I am convinced that there is no threat, and that we must be careful in taking the subjective words of others, or rumor, or Facebook assertions of alarmists in this, and all areas of the security of our Nation. As a last step, Mrs. Rogers and I drove out to the Camp and were unable to see anything hostile there. As far as I am concerned, it should be opined that this issue is closed. No one need further concern themselves about Jihadists in Dover, Tennessee at present.

2. He Planned to Bring Members of a Militia & a Cache of Weapons to New York

Robert Doggart

Doggart in 2014. (

The investigation into Robert Doggart, according to FBI agent James Smith, who wrote the criminal complaint, included the use of a confidential informant, a wiretap and a review of Doggart’s social media accounts. Smith said Doggart had spoken on the phone with a person in South Carolina about plans to burn down a mosque and other buildings in Islamberg as recently as April 9, two days before his arrest.

According to the complaint, Doggart said in a Facebook post that the “operation” would require less than 20 “expert Gunners.” He said Islamberg, “is vulnerable from many approaches and must be utterly destroyed in order to get the attention of the American people.”

Doggart called the FBI informant and said about Islamberg, “those guys (ought or have) to be killed. Their buildings need to be burnt down. If we can get in there and do that not losing a man, even the better.” He later talked about how he thought they could get in and out without being caught, because there are only four policemen in town and the fire department would take 35 minutes to respond, “and we’ll be long gone by then,” while the buildings would have burned down.

He met with the informant in Nashville and told him he wanted to make a Molotov cocktail to firebomb various buildings in Islamberg, including the mosque, school and cafeteria. During the meeting he gave the informant maps of New York and information on Islamberg and showed him weapons, including an M-4.

During a recorded conversation, Doggart said he planned to bring a M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing, a pistol with three extra magazines and a machete.

“If it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds,” he said.

On April 2, Doggart said in a recorded call, “I’ve got this battalion that I command and they want to go up to uh a place and take action. There is all these people all over the country that what to start what we call a flash point. … so sick and tired of this crap that the government is pulling that we go take a small military installation or we go burn down a Muslim church or something like that.”

Doggart said he planned to go to New York to conduct recon on April 11. The FBI arrested him April 10.

Read the full criminal complaints below:

3. ‘If a Muslim Did This, the Perpetrator Would Be Immediately Identified as a Terrorist’

Robert Doggart

(The Muslims of America Inc.)

The case has received no local or national media coverage and has resulted in an outcry from The Muslims of America, Inc., the organization and community Doggart targeted.

The organization said in a press release it was notified about the threat and worked with state and federal authorities to provide Islamberg residents with around the clcok security.

“Doggart is an example of the results of unchecked and rampant Islamophobia which has spread lies for years about our peaceful community,” the organization’s public relations director, Mathew Gardner, said in a statement. “This man plotted to mercilessly kill us, kill our children, and blow up our mosque and our school. We have sound reason to believe he has already visited our other locations around the U.S. What other murderous plans do he and his private militia have and where are his accomplices?”

“All would agree, if a Muslim did this, the perpetrator would be immediately identified as a terrorist then prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The examples are numerous,” Gardner said. “Therefore, we call on all branches of justice to see to it that this man is prosecuted for planning a heinous hate crime and terrorist act.”

Gardner highlighted that Doggart was not charged with a hate crime or terrorism.

“Unfortunately, in the same set of circumstances, our community would be facing unprecedented aggression and prosecution with labels of terrorism,” Gardner said in a statement. “We do not want to be victimized twice. Once by Doggart and again if this criminal is set free. Therefore we intend to give the judicial system any support they need to properly sentence him.”

According to the press release, Islamberg residents were approached on May 9 by a “suspicious pickup truck at the entrance to their property with an insignia on the back titled ’10th Mountain Division.’ When approached, the vehicle drove off speedily.”

The Muslims of America held a press conference on Monday in Binghamton, New York to discuss the case.

Honorable Hussein Adams, the organization’s chairman, said “our Community is traumatized,”according to the Islamic Post.

He said the TMOA is primarily “indigenous African-American Muslims who’s grandparents helped build this country.”



TMOA’s attorney, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, said, “you cannot imagine the level of disruption Mr. Doggart’s threats have caused the community of Islamberg.”

She said the organization is working with the U.S. Attorney and the FBI, and is calling for new Attorney General Loretta Lynch to talk with them about the case.


The Council on American-Islamic Relations also issued a statement.

“If a Muslim had planned to carry out such a religiously-motivated deadly attack, he would certainly have been labeled a terrorist and charged accordingly,” said National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “We ask the Obama administration to rescind the plea agreement, which – as it stands – could see this individual free in the community.”

Hooper also thanked federal law enforcement authorities for thwarting the planned attack.

4. Doggart Received 9,200 Votes in the 2014 Congressional Election

Robert Doggart

Doggart speaking at a rally outside the White House in November 2014. (YouTube)

Doggart finished in third place in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District race in 2014, behind the victorious incumbent, Republican Scott DesJarlais, and the Democratic challenger, according to The Tennessean.

He received 6 percent of the vote, about 9,200 votes, according to the Tennessee Secretary of the State.

Doggart wrote on Facebook about his campaign:

At this point, I believe the People favor the Independent. So, if this is correct, tell the “president” that “Doggart is Coming” to DC. I am smarter than him, love my Nation more than him, can work harder than him, will save our Country billions of dollars as I discover wasted projects, and will save lives by knowing how to implement an intelligent and fair foreign policy. I shall go wherever necessary, and carry whatever burden is required, for as long as I can. Last Saturday I was in Laredo, Texas, for a protest against Illegal Immigration. We had a bomb threat and a statement that “There will be bloodshed”. I stood in the middle of the Federal Reservation and proclaimed that “This is OUR Nation”, and we will not be frightened by criminals. That was for the second time. I will go again. And then there was the visit to Dover, Tennessee to fact-find whether or not a “jihadist” camp was in residence there. They were, but were benevolent. This story is long and hard, and I am tired of excuses and mistakes. Just like the rest of the American People. So, in short, I ask the People of the 4th District of Tennessee for their vote on November 4th. I shall not fail you, so help me God. And remember that the “president” will know that “Doggart is Coming”. He will find that this will be unpleasant, I can assure you all. And, I will not be corrupted.

Following his election loss, Doggart was one of the main speakers at a rally outside the White House. Video of the event was posted on YouTube:

He also appeared on the online radio show Reach Out America in March, and was billed as a “presidential hopeful.”

5. He Worked as an Engineer For 40 Years & Has a Ph.D From LaSalle University

Robert Doggart

Robert Rankin Doggart’s mugshot. (Hamilton County Jail)

According to the biography on his now-deleted campaign website, Doggart was born in Saint Petersburg, FLorida. He attended Edison State College for his undergraduate degree and went on to get a master’s degree from LaSalle University. He also earned a Ph.D from LaSalle in engineering management.

He is divorced and has four daughters and ten grandchildren. He says he has more than 40 years in the electrical generation business, working as an engineer, manager and superintendent. He worked for 17 year at the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federally owned corporation that provides electrical generation.

Doggart served in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, including two years as a unit commander. He is also an ordained Christian minister in the Christian National Church (Congregational) and says he received two Presidential Awards for Pro-bono Lifetime Public Service “from Mr. Bush.”

Duggart’s attorney used his political experience, career, family and accomplishments as an argument for his release on bond until sentencing. Duggart was originally held in custody until he entered his guilty plea at the end of April. The defense then asked for his release and it was granted by the judge. The government appealed, but the judge upheld the ruling.

Duggart’s attorney says his client has physical, including chronic pain, and mental impairments, including depression and an unspecified personality disorder. He is receiving psychological treatment as part of the requirements of his supervised release.

Read the court documents about his release below: