Friday, February 6, 2015

PCG and Bigotry Against Muslims (Islamophobia)

Recently I have been reading issues of the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG)'s Trumpet Weekly. While writing the first of these posts I found myself quite taken aback by the way The Trumpet Weekly constantly spread fear of Muslims and portrayed them in a negative manner. (Thank goodness that are only a small group apparently composed of about 5000 members, according to PCG Information.) This is what I wrote about this topic in that post.
One thing that really took me aback while looking through these [issues of The Trumpet Weekly] was just how constantly they fear monger about Muslims. Just about every issue contains comment about some extreme thing that some extremist Muslim said. Now I am sure they [PCG's leaders] would say they are only talking about militant Muslims who are quite prominent in certain parts of the world. But really one reading this could be forgiven for thinking that Muslims are bloodthirsty war mongers out to get a gun and kill you.

Of course The Trumpet Weekly goes on about things as well but they just constantly go on about these Islamic fundamentalists. There seems to be very few attempts to portray Muslims simply as ordinary people. There also seems to be few attempts to understand why certain militant groups behave the way they do, instead they are just stereotyped as the bad guys who cannot be reasoned with. It is true that certain countries that have Muslim majority population have problems and there are violent conflicts in certain Muslim majority countries but to go on and on about it the way they do.

If they wrote an article entitled, Most Muslims are Normal People who Hate Violence as Much as You, that would be truly amazing, not the fear mongering this publication indulges in so much.
I was uncertain about what I was dealing with here so as a direct result of result of reading PCG's Trumpet Weekly I proceeded to read The Islamophobia Industry by Nathan Lean (2012).

Lean's book is a frightening account of how certain demagogues have fear mongered about Muslims. One fact Lean reveals is that these manipulative demagogues have been able to make bigotry and fear against Muslims into a profitable business.

Lean reveals that Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch did not earn his academic degrees in studying Islam but rather his degree was for studying early Catholic history, and so it must be reported that Robert Spencer is not a trained specialist in regards to Islam.

Lean mentions the wealth possessed by some of these groups that specialize in vilifying Muslims.

One of these demagogues that come to Lean's attention is a Florida based preacher named Bill Keller. Lean mentions how much money his group has gained over the years.
By May 2008, Bill Keller Ministries had accumulated nearly $2.5 million in assets according to an independent auditor's report, with $1.4 million coming from private donations, including his "Gold for Souls" program--a campaign that solicits gold jewelry donations from followers in return for God's blessing.
Another group that earns Lean's critique is a group that is called the Family Research Council, led by Tony Perkins.
While many powerful religious right-wing groups ... eventually ran out of stream, Perkins's $12 million-a-year operation proved to be more durable and became one of the most influential and longest lasting organizations of its kind...
Another group that is mentioned is the American Family Association and its leader Bryan Fischer.
Macabre descriptions of Muslims were the modus operandi of Fischer and his AFA associates, whose net assets in 2010 totaled nearly $37 million. ... [They got] $18 million a year in private donations...
Also mentioned is ACT! for America which is headed by Brigette Gabriel.
When the anti-Sharia scare began to emerge in 2009, Gabriel's organization was at the pulse of the paranoia. ACT! had stretched its operation to all 50 states and ten foreign countries and was fueled by an annual budget of $1.6 million; that year Gabriel drew a $180,000 salary.
It is worth noting that Lean never mentions PCG. PCG had an income of $19.5 million in 2012. Several organizations cited by Lean had incomes smaller than PCG's, yet PCG did not even warrant mention in this book despite the constant vilification of Muslims PCG's leaders consistently spew out in their writings.

This is an indication of how insignificant and unimportant PCG is despite the vast amounts of money at PCG's disposal. Where is PCG's money going?


In case there is any reader who prefers to believe that PCG's writers do not vilify Muslims here are a few quotes from PCG's leaders.

Here Joel Hilliker condemns attempts by British leaders to calm down social tensions after the July 7, 2005 bombings in London.
Though the malignancy of radical Islamism is spreading in many non-Muslim nations—throughout Europe, North America and Southeast Asia in particular—in Britain the problem is uniquely bad. For its pathetic response to the incursion of militant Islam, commentator Daniel Pipes calls it the “weakest link in the Western chain.” [Please note: Lean also identifies Daniel Pipes as one who vilifies Muslims.]
Official response to the July 7, 2005, terrorist attack in London provided a perfect cat scan of the advanced state of the disease. Reportage of the event quickly produced a politically correct, Islam-free version of the murders: The perpetrators were “bombers,” not “terrorists.” That they were Muslims who had been recruited at a British- and EU-government-funded Islamic youth center known for its radical politics was glossed over.

In the official account, the real victims were British Muslims, who were certain to suffer an increase in “Islamophobia” from ignorant Britons who would naturally conclude from the attack that all Muslims are evil. The deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Brian Paddick, tried to head off public mistrust of Muslims by saying, “Islam and terrorists are two words that do not go together.” The Nottinghamshire chief constable made it his top priority to deal with the problem—not by clamping down on extremism, but by pacifying the Muslim community with gestures such as ordering 20,000 green ribbons for all public officials to wear in a show of solidarity with Muslims. (Joel Hilliker, "The Sickness in Britain's Heart", The Philadelphia Trumpet, November-December 2006, p. 18.)
Here the late Ron Fraser describes how (alledgedly) the secession of Bosnia from Yugoslavia in 1992 was partly the creation of "pan-Islam" (whatever that is) and "Muslim interests" in trying to "consolidate Islam's terrorist enclave on European soil", which refers to the creation of independent Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The overarching reality of the Balkans situation is that of all the ethnic groups the Balkan Peninsula contains, the Serbs are the largest nationality and were the most opposed to the German/Vatican-instigated breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Serbia and the Serb enclaves within Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo simply stood in the way of the EU’s hegemonic goals in its southward and eastward landgrab following the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Serbs also stood in the way of pan-Islam’s efforts to establish a beachhead on European soil in Bosnia from which to further its northward push.

Both EU and Muslim interests coaxed Washington to endorse and even underwrite efforts to have NATO forces fight the Serbs on their behalf—the former to aid its colonizing of the whole Balkan Peninsula, the latter to consolidate Islam’s terrorist enclave on European soil. (Ron Fraser, "The Demonizing of a Nation", The Philadelphia Trumpet, October 2008, pp. 25-26.)
In fact it was the Bosnian Muslim community that would endure the worst deprivations during the Yugoslav Wars, including most infamously the Srebrenica massacre in which the forces of Karadžić and Mladić murdered 8000 Bosnian men.

Here Hilliker condemns attempts by US officials to prevent communal backlash against innocent people who happen to be Muslim regarding the mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009. Hilliker said that the murder should be blamed on the murderer's professed Islamic faith.
Nevertheless, don’t expect many retractions from those over the past week who have insisted people not assume Hasan’s religion had any bearing on his motive in the attack. That is because they cherish some things more than the truth.

To hold fast the imagined virtues of diversity and political correctness, they have closed their eyes.
Washington, the military and the mainstream press knew enough to conscientiously downplay or bury the jihadist connection from the moment the tragedy happened. They ascribed the attack to Hasan’s supposed mental imbalances, or stress from counseling traumatized soldiers, or harassment he endured for being Muslim.

Gen. George Casey, the U.S. Army chief of staff, said it’s important not to speculate about the role his Muslim faith played in the outburst. His concern is to prevent a backlash against Muslims in the military; he instructed his commanders to watch out for that reaction at Fort Hood. (Joel Hilliker, "Fort Hood Attack: Accept The Truth", November 9, 2009.)
Here Joel Hilliker once again referring to the July 7, 2005 terrorist bombings in London and condemning attempts by British leaders to minimize social strife.
The rush to exhibit such multicultural sanctimony has become so predictable after such incidents. The more that Muslims attack, the louder we praise them. The same Upside-Down reaction was on parade five years ago, after Islamic suicide bombers killed 52 Londoners on their morning commute. British officials didn’t blame Islam—but Islamophobia. London’s mayor asserted that the true fault lay in “80 years of Western intervention into predominantly Arab lands because of the Western need for oil.”

Reality is screaming in their faces, and they are closing their eyes, plugging their ears, and saying “La la la la la.” (Joel Hilliker, "The Upside-Down World", The Philadelphia Trumpet, August 2010, p. 5.)
Here Joel Hilliker vilifies Palestinian children as being raised up on the hatred of Jews.
[Here President Obama says that the Palestinians need their own state in a speech he gave while visiting Jerusalem.] “The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, their right to justice, must also be recognized.” Applause. “And put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own.Applause. “Living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements not just of those young people, but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished.” Applause. “It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands or restricting a student’s ability to move around the West Bank (applause begins) or displace Palestinian families from their homes.” Applause. “Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer.” Cheering applause. “Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their homeland.” Applause.

These words characterize the Palestinians as yearning for peace through negotiations with Israel, if only Israel would cooperate. Apparently this view is shared by these Jewish academics.

They woefully ignore several pressing realities: that the Palestinian children of which the president speaks are being raised on virulent Jew hatred; that Arab leaders who support negotiations with Israel lose public support; that Arab leaders, whatever they may say to the international press, consistently speak to their own people in terms of war with the Jews; that when Israel ended its “occupation” of Gaza, that territory became a terrorist haven; that Israel’s “controlling” security measures are necessary to protect citizens from unprovoked terrorist attacks. The crowd’s applause signifies stubborn adherence to beliefs long proven false. (Joel Hilliker, "Obama in Israel", March 23, 2013.)
Even their children are condemned and politicized.

Here is Gerald Flurry speaking of Muslims in a negative way in his 2014 book, The Former Prophets: How to Become a King, as noted in a previous post. (It must be stated here Joel Hilliker was an editor of that book.)
Think for a moment about the people within Islamist culture today. They are raising their children—from the time they are little babies—to hate, even to murder. Those young people constantly hear that message of hatred, and they become more evil as they grow older. They say they want to wipe Israel (biblical Judah) off the face of the Earth! What is the solution to that problem? God has a plan for them. He will resurrect them into a world that has been transformed into a paradise by keeping God’s law of love! He plans to educate them and give them all the love that they never received in this evil world today! (Gerald Flurry, The Former Prophets: How to Become a King, Chapter 2, 2014, p. 30.)
Judges 1:29 shows the Ephraimites allowing the Canaanites to live in their land. Modern Ephraim, Britain, does the same thing. Today, Muslims practice sharia law there, in some cases with the blessing of the British government! Those people don’t want British law: They are importing their own Islamic judicial system! There is no way you can live in peace with such individuals for long. (Gerald Flurry, The Former Prophets: How to Become a King, Chapter 3, 2014, pp. 42-43.)
This attitude of contempt against Muslims that PCG's leaders express is wrong and deserves to be condemned.


  1. This is a hard topic, possibly a personally trying one. On the one hand, the Muslim friends I've had, though they do have a different sense of logic, and a different way if doing things, have been sincere people who try to do good. I even created controversy on some of the blogs and forums several years back, with a personal anecdote regarding protecting some young Arab kids and their moms from a rattle snake while hiking.

    However, Christians really don't have any equivalent to the violent jihadists and suicide bombers that function from their bases within the Muslim community. That identity is killing them in their public relations attempts! Abortion clinic bombers have sometimes been cited as an example of Christian terrorists, but that has really been a fairly rare and isolated phenomenon. You are more likely to see Christian picketers peacefully protesting outside of the Planned Parenthood clinics, if even that.

    Flurry's anti-Islamic bigotry is another example of adapting the Armstrong prophecy mold in an attempt for relevancy in the post Cold War era. Leading up to 1975, the WCG really didn't trash the Arabs, or use them to indulge in the fear mongering to the extent that they did this with Germans, Catholics, and the Pope. I think 9-11 really took the ACOGs by surprise, because the focus had been misdirected for so many years to Europe.


  2. I remember just before 9/11 I read an article from LCG written by one William Bowmer that discussed Islam. Since LCG claims Armstrongism to be the true religion it did condemn Islam as false but it was done, it seemed to me, in a mild manner. It was a mere statement of fact calmly stated with no note of anger.

    He said that despite the various conflicts elsewhere the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people.

    But then 9/11 happened and I read PCG's magazine, the November 2001 issue. But I was perplexed how it said the exact opposite. Muslims were portrayed as yearning for war with the West. It was very nasty about Muslims and towards the innocent Muslims among us. They had a photo of enraged bearded protesters. I think they were burning a flag.

    (Recently I have reading about Muslims in America and as far as I can tell the vast majority of American Muslims hate Al Qaeda. The vast majority have no sympathy for Al Qaeda whatsoever.)

    And to my surprise they demonized Iran as the "Head of the Snake". PCG's obsession with Iran is a peculiarity of PCG compared with the other COGs.

    Looking back on it I am pleased that even in my indoctrinated state at the time I soon decided to ignore PCG. (I so wish I did the same to LCG but I would not wake up to learn the truth about LCG and Armstrongism until 2008.)