According to the SITE intelligence watchdog website, the Islamic State is focusing its propaganda machine on black Americans as part of its social media recruiting appeals. The SITE website reported, that ISIS is seeking disaffected members of the black community to “join their version of Islam to help wage war on the U.S. government.”
The revelation came just days after three police officers were gunned down in Baton Rouge, and other polices officers have been targeted elsewhere. The Islamic State made similar appeals after the attack on police in Dallas by Micah Xavier Johnson who, according to local law enforcement authorities, was “upset about Black Lives Matter” and “recent police shootings.”
There has been considerable controversy and demonstrations in widespread areas of the country after the still unclarified shootings of civilians by police in Baton Rouge and near Minneapolis. These and other shootings of black Americans by police have inspired the Black Lives Matter movement to stage protests all over the country. Some of these have had their share of violence.
According to the ISIS screed, “It’s only Allah’s Shari’ah that doesn’t distinguish between mankind only by their deeds, not by their skin color or sect.” In at least one occurrence, Black Lives Matter members reached out to ISIS on social media before the deadly shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge. ed prior to the Dallas and Baton Rouge shootings. The Facebook post said that using the name of the terror group would focus more attention to the Black Lives Matter cause.
Appeals from ISIS to radicalized elements of the black American community go back to at least 2014 in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown: a young black man who was shot to death by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. A grand jury found that the officer was justified in using deadly force because he justifiably feared for his life. In the aftermath of the shooting in Ferguson, ISIS activists took to social media to reach out to black Americans by tagging posts on Twitter and Facebook with “#Ferguson.”
Seeking to spread its message of hatred and sectarianism, ISIS was encouraging black Americans to convert to Islam and join the terrorist group in rebuilding society. “Hey blacks, ISIS will save you,” one tweet states with a picture of a pair of black hands behind the bars of the American flag, as if in a prison, juxtaposed with an ISIS flag. The tweet is tagged “#IS #Ferguson #WakeUpAmerica”.
Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadiya Salafiya, an Islamist militant group in the Gaza Strip that has made pro-ISIS statements, told WorldNetDaily in 2015 that ISIS is seeking to utilize the “growing movement within the black community toward Islam and the racist policies of the U.S. government.” Saqer claimed that he did not know if ISIS had successfully recruited black American Muslims or if any terrorist cells had been established.
ISIS recruitment linked to Ferguson
According to Saquer, recruitment efforts by ISIS among black Americans were first noticed during the unrest over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Gavin Long, the Baton Rouge shooter who killed three police officers on July 16 was once a member of the Nation of Islam, which is not connected to traditional Islam that was founded in the Arabian Peninsula in the 600s. He is also believed to have been affiliated with the so-called Washitaw Nation, which was founded by Verdiacee Hampton Goston, who was once mayor of Richwood LA.
According to the the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, the group had about 200 hard-core members in 1999. It was popular among those who promote an early 20th century church and black nationalist movement: the Moorish Science Temple.
In his book “Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West,” author William Kilpatrick argues that Americans are unaware that many other Americans and political leaders operate “under a completely different set of rules – what leftist activist Saul Alinsky called ‘rules for radicals.'” Among the groups he targets in his book are: “radical Muslim groups, radical black groups, and a leftist president bent on a radical transformation of America.”
Kilpatrick wrote about Islamist efforts to recruit black Americans: “In a speech delivered to the annual MAS-ICNA (Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North America) Convention in December 2015, Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), urged Muslim Americans to take up the cause of Black Lives Matter. ‘Black Lives Matter is our matter,’ he said; ‘Black Lives Matter is our campaign.'” He noted that ISIS used the race clashes in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2015 to try to recruit blacks to radical Islam.
“But ISIS is a known terrorist organization while CAIR, despite its shady history, is considered by many to be a moderate, mainstream Muslim organization. Thus, if it wanted to convert blacks, it would presumably want to convert them to a moderate version of Islam,” he wrote. CAIR has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and is named by a an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorist funding case. CAIR has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is listed as a terrorist group by the UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. The Muslim Brother organized the so-called Arab Spring revolutions in various Muslim countries.
In 2014, a Muslim group in the Detroit area sought to combat racism within the Muslim community by urging the end of the use of the slur “abeed” or “abed,” which means “slave” when referring to black people. “Drop the A-Word” asked Muslims to stop using the term, while media described the word as an equivalent of “n---er” in English. While “Abed” is not always a negative term: many Muslim men are named “Abed” which also means servant of God. However, when applied to black people, the meaning is negative.