Headlines

Middle East

The Americas?

Politics



At his Friday rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, the billionaire racist and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump held forth on a variety of policy issues—including the Affordable Care Act, the intransigence of Congress, and Japan’s devaluation of the yen—before diving, headfirst, into an email chain hoax involving Muslims, pig blood, and a World War I-era Army officer. The relevant section starts at 33:00 in the video above; you can listen to secondary audio, captured by Gawker’s Gabrielle Bluestone (and beginning at 8:00), in the SoundCloud player below:

The reporter Benjy Sarlin, who also attended the rally, recounted what exactly happened for MSNBC:
Trump repeated—favorably—an apparent myth about how General John Pershing summarily executed dozens of Muslim prisoners in the Philippines with tainted ammunition during a guerrilla war against the occupying United States. “He took fifty bullets, and he dipped them in pig’s blood,” Trump said. “And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the fifty people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the fiftieth person he said ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem, okay?” …

The moral of the tale, according to Trump: “We better start getting tough and we better start getting vigilant, and we better start using our heads or we’re not gonna have a country, folks.”
Sarlin notes that the tale of General Pershing’s mass execution of 49 Muslims has been widely discredited by the website Snopes, which gathered historical records of his tour of duty in the Philippines, a cluster of islands in the western Pacific Ocean that were ruled by the United States in the first half of the 20th century. The false anecdote apparently arose from Pershing’s involvement in the Moro Rebellion, a fourteen-year conflict between the Moros, an indigenous Muslim group in the southern Philippines, and the U.S. military.

The most unsettling thing about Trump’s aside isn’t that it’s false, though. It’s that he’s indulging an openly racist murder fantasy—in which an American military officer uses dead Muslims he had killed with bullets dipped in the blood of swine (an animal whose meat and other byproducts are considered impure, and thus forbidden from consumption, by the Qur’an) to terrorize many more Muslims—in order to convince South Carolinians to vote for him.

Presidential candidates are certainly not immune to promulgating fake Internet memes. Nor has Trump been friendly to Muslims, either: In the past few months alone, he’s endorsed preventing Muslims from entering the United States, shuttering a certain number of mosques (while placing the remainder under surveillance), and registering every practicing Muslim in a national database. In that sense, today’s utterance differed in degree, not kind: Trump will say anything, for any reason, if it benefits him. At the same time, this tale gives us a good sense of what kind of person Trump is pandering to, and what exactly such a person would believe.


A north Texas mosque was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in United States history. The judge found there was ample evidence that the mosque, the Islamic Association of North Texas, assisted the Holy Land Foundation in funding millions of dollars to a Palestinian military terrorist organization that has killed Israeli children.

The Richardson, Texas, mosque, also known as the Dallas Central Mosque, was set up largely for the purpose of funding Hamas and terrorist activities by funding the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). The foundation was based in the same city as the Islamic Association of North America – Richardson, Texas.

The HLF was designated as a terrorist organization by the federal government in 2001. The organization was shut down and its assets were seized because the charity’s primary purpose was found to fund Hamas. Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and other governments.

In May 2009, five of the key leaders of the HLF were sentenced after having been convicted in November, 2008, of providing material support to the terrorist organization. Two of the leaders lived in Richardson where the Islamic Association of North Texas is located. Another leader was from nearby Garland, Texas. The two other defendants were from San Diego, California, and Patterson, New Jersey. Three of these individuals incorporated the HLF, and two of them worked as fundraisers.

According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2009, the now-defunct HLF was the largest U.S. Muslim charity before it was shut down in 2001. The foundation existed to support Hamas “from its inception,” states the DOJ.

The DOJ charged that “the HLF intentionally hid its financial support for Hamas behind the guise of charitable donations.” It added, “HLF and these five defendants provided approximately $12.4 million in support to Hamas and its goal of creating an Islamic Palestinian state by elimination the State of Israel through violent jihad.”

Armed protestors and members of the Bureau of American-Islamic Relations (BAIR) are planning an armed protest at the Richardson mosque on December 12. More protesters and supporters are planned for the same day at the Irving Islamic Center, as reported by Breitbart Texas. Nearly 100 demonstrators