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Dispatch / September 12, 2012

Steve Klein, right-wing extremist and consultant for Islamophobic cinema

Crossposted from MaxBlumenthal.com

The US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three US diplomats were killed in attacks and rioting provoked by an obscure, low-budget anti-Muslim film called “The Innocence of Muslims.” The producer of the film is a real estate developer supposedly named “Sam Bacile”who claims to be an Israeli Jew. Bacile told the AP the film was made with $5 million raised from “100 Jewish donors.” He said he was motivated to help his native country, Israel, by exposing the evils of Islam.

While Bacile claims to be in hiding, and his identity remains murky, another character who has been publicly listed as a consultant on the film is a known anti-Muslim activist with ties to the extreme Christian right and the militia movement. He is Steve Klein, a Hemet, California based insurance salesman who claims to have led a “hunter-killer team” in Vietnam.

Klein is a right-wing extremist who emerged from the same axis of Islamophobia that produced Anders Behring Breivik and which takes inspiration from the writings of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and Daniel Pipes.

Islamophobic Actors Guild: That fat hick with man boobs on the bottom left is supposed to be one of Mohammed’s disciples

It appears Klein (or someone who shares his name and views) is an enthusiastic commenter on Geller’s website, Atlas Shrugged, where he recently complained about Mitt Romney’s “support for a Muslim state in Israel’s Heartland.” In July 2011, Spencer’s website, Jihad Watch, promoted a rally Klein organized alongside the anti-Muslim Coptic extremist Joseph Nasrallah to demand the firing of LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, whom they painted as a dupe for Hamas.

Klein is also closely affiliated with the Christian right in California, organizing resentment against all the usual targets — Muslims, homosexuals, feminists, and even Mormons. He is a board memberand founder of a group called Courageous Christians United, which promotes anti-Mormon, anti-Catholic and anti-Muslim literature (including the work of Robert Spencer) on its website. In 2002, Klein ran for the California Insurance Commissioner under the American Independent Party, an extremist fringe party linked to the militia movement, garnering a piddling 2 percent of the vote.

Klein has been closely affiliated with the Church at Kaweah, an extreme evangelical church located 70 miles southeast of Fresno that serves as a nexus of neo-Confederate, Christian Reconstructionist, and militia movement elements. The Southern Poverty Law Center produced a report on Kaweah this spring that noted Klein’s long record of activist against Muslims:

Over the past year, Johnson and the church militia have developed a relationship with Steve Klein, a longtime religious-right activist who brags about having led a “hunter killer” team as a Marine in Vietnam. Klein, who calls Islam a “penis-driven religion” and thinks Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca is a Muslim Brotherhood patsy, is allied with Christian activist groups across California. In 2011, as head of the Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment, he worked with the Vista, Calif.-based Christian Anti-Defamation Commission on a campaign to “arm” students with the “truth about Islam and Muhammad” — mainly by leafleting high schools with literature depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a sex-crazed pedophile.

Klein, based in Hemet, Calif., has been active in extremist movements for decades. In 1977, he founded Courageous Christians United, which now conducts “respectful confrontations” outside of abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques. Klein also has ties to the Minuteman movement. In 2007, he sued the city of San Clemente for ordering him to stop leafleting cars with pamphlets opposing illegal immigration.

Like many other activists who fashion themselves as “counter-Jihadists,” Klein has organized against the construction of mosques in his area. While leafleting against a planned mosque in Temecula, California, which he claimed would herald the introduction of Shariah law to the quiet suburb, Klein remarked, “It all comes down to the first amendment. I don’t care if you disagree with me. Just don’t cut off my head.”

What used to be a U.S. consulate in Libya…

Klein appears to be allied with the National American Coptic Assembly, a radical Islamophobic group headed by Morris Sadik. Sadik claims to have discovered the film and began promoting it online. Once it went viral, the trailer was translated into Arabic, sparking outrage in the Middle East, and ultimately, to the deadly attacks carried out by Muslim extremists today.

Klein claims credit for inspiring “Sam Bacile” to produce “The Innocence of Muslims,” promising him he would be “the next Theo Van Gogh,” referring to the Dutch columnist and provocateur who was murdered by a Muslim extremist. Of the attacks in Libya, Klein said, “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen.”

 

Crossposted from MaxBlumenthal.com

Would you like to know more? Check out Max Blumenthal’s previous postsProgressive Democratic hero Elizabeth Warren enlists to serve AIPAC’s pro-war agenda . . . Mitt’s Foreign Policy Team Run By Ultra-Neocon Loons & Failures Itching For Nuclear War With Iran . . . Washington Post Scrubs Quote Smearing Iran War Critics, But Ex-Camp Guard Jeffrey Goldberg Runs With It Anyway


 

Read more:, Max Blumenthal, Dispatch

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66 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. Zhu Bajie  |  September 15th, 2012 at 12:34 am

    @46 “To the objectivists who always trot out the claim that you never see Christians calling for the blood of people who insult their religion, do you honestly think they WOULDN’T if they could get away with it?”

    It used to be rather common, early 20th century and earlier. The KKK definitely defended the Protestant religion against Jews, Catholics, even Pentecostals when they were new.

  • 2. francis P. Hughes  |  September 15th, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Steve Klein is a american right wing jew who
    is trying to provoke a war agaist the Muslims The man is a fraud and if he ever was in the U.S. Military it was likely as a supply clerk. The greatest Jewish Israeli that ever lived was Itzak Rabin who was killed by a right wing rabbinical student who was incited by none other than Netanyahu. He repeatedly and publicly called Rabin a traitor for agreeing to the Oslo Accords.

  • 3. A-Lex  |  September 15th, 2012 at 5:22 am

    The bottom line, Max, is that the peace-loving Arabs you constantly advocate in your Middle East articles have once again demonstrated that they are always ready and willing to launch a killing spree and burn down embassies over a nerdish home video.

    Which the world should have been pretty much aware of for the past 30 years – save for people like you.

  • 4. DocAmazing  |  September 15th, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    To the objectivists who always trot out the claim that you never see Christians calling for the blood of people who insult their religion, do you honestly think they WOULDN’T if they could get away with it?

    Abortion insults their religion, and that is why they bomb and burn clinics and shoot physicians and other staff members of those clinics.

    Christians have been very busy murdering people with whom they disagree in the US for the past three decades.

  • 5. M.ZERGIOTIS  |  September 15th, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Its ok for muslims BOYS to befriend the AUSTRALIAN GIRLS so they can have sex with them then dump them (TO SAW THERE WILD OATS)Then they marry the muslim VIRGIN girls. AUSTRALIAN GIRLS are being USED BY THESE MUSLIM USERS. The Muslims do so much to us Christians do you here us go to SYDNEY to protest and RIOT and ABUSE our Police Men that are protecting our Country, They took a little thing & made it to the point that there ABUSIVE OUR SYSTEM. THEY HAVE TO RESPECT FOR OUR COUNTRY. THEY SHOULD GO BACK TO THERE OUR COUNTRY WHERE THERE ARE USED TO DO THESE RIOTS IN THERE COUNTRY. WE DONT WANT THESE KINDS OF PEOPLE HERE IN AUSTRALIA.

  • 6. HelloFoctor  |  September 16th, 2012 at 12:02 am

    @54

    yeah but why do you consider those people christians?

  • 7. Eurotrash  |  September 16th, 2012 at 1:52 am

    That’s a tired old argument, Foctor. Since a true believer would never murder anyone, they can’t be true believers, etc

    They’re no need to move the goalposts. A man may adhere to a religion in a cultural sense only – most do – and feel unrestricted by any of the particular niceties the religion prescribes while still cheerfully murdering you in the name of its ever-compassionate god.

  • 8. JLamar  |  September 16th, 2012 at 10:58 am

    “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen.”

    Wait… They KNEW that making this film would incite violence against a US embassy?!?

    When you create a work knowing full well that it will incite violence against American interests, at home or abroad, that’s treason, and any constitutional or legal scholar will tell you that we have a solid treason case.

    If our government doesn’t bring treason charges against these people, then that proves that they were complicit in this.

  • 9. zhubajie  |  September 16th, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    If Americans would stop trying to rule the world, they would stop making enemies everywhere.

  • 10. Strelnikov  |  September 16th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    People don’t have a right to be necessarily by treated politely either. The burden of offense is on the offended, not on the offender.

    And there’s a good reason for this. People find all manner of reasons under the sun to be offended. If we went entirely according to their subjective analysis, our courts would be absolutely choked with bullshit.

    But here’s the thing you faggots don’t understand. Criminal behavior cannot righteously descend from “MUH FEELINGS.” If you believe it can, we have a fundamental disagreement that cannot be solved by anything but the sword. I believe a man’s right to life is more important than another man’s right to not be offended. This shouldn’t be controversial. This is fucking common sense. It’s you very-same liberals that justified the wholesale genocide of Poles at the hands of the Russians, saying that Poles are born anti-semites and thus deserving of murder. Eat a fucking dick you miserable little Temujins.

    I am saddened to hear we have so many apologists for the boy-buggering WOGs that murder our kin.

  • 11. Eurotrash  |  September 17th, 2012 at 1:26 am

    It’s not an apology, Kowalski. It’s an explanation of an event that seems to puzzle some people.

  • 12. Jedi Mind Trick  |  September 17th, 2012 at 4:53 am

    #60

    Is that some sort of pick up line?

  • 13. super390  |  September 18th, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    So when Tea Party protestors scream racist abuse at civil rights veteran Rep. John Lewis, or attack black reporters and cameramen, does that mean that Americans are violent racists, or that a significant number of Teabaggers are racist?

    At least accord the same distinction between “Moslems” and “Salafists”. The whole population of Libya was not trying to burn down that consulate, nor even a large number of Libyans, and we know from last year’s events that a large number of Libyans are willing to risk their lives for their actual convictions.

  • 14. Why should I care?  |  September 18th, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    This is all very exciting and sensational, but it just doesn’t seem very important.

    If we work by the metric “your rights end where my feelings begin” then the boundaries of speech shall always be set by the religious right. That’s simply untenable, and so the whole “speech that deliberately insults people must be banned” notion has to go. Don’t worry about the poor offended monotheists too much; they are eminently durable peoples.

    And as for the actual damage: well, if you’re working in a U.S. embassy in North Africa, then it’s understood you might die for it. Not really all that morally different than signing up for the army. It sounds like the U.S. ambassador was an uncommonly cool guy (press hype or truth?) and I feel badly for any Libyan passersby that got caught up in the rioting, but honestly.

    So who really died here? Some brave embassy staff, adults that knew the risks when they signed up. A handful of angry young men — easily manipulated, dangerous, violent people in any society. No big deal if you lose a few of ’em, or a few thousand of ’em — American could stand to shed a few herself, because ours were mostly too chicken to sign up for the army when Iraq stated.

    No what’s the problem here? No harm, no foul. For the most part this situation has been win-win. Let the extremists butt heads while sane people stand back and laugh. I don’t want this cultural exchange to end! I want to build, like, Thunderdome or something and make it legit. Ticketmaster will soak us when it comes to buying season tickets, sure, but nobody said the future wouldn’t be challenging.

  • 15. fajensen  |  September 21st, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    So far nobody has cottoned on to the strange coincidence that the riots just happens to be on 9/11, the jihaddist 4’th of july, and the movie just happens to have been on youtoob for several months, where nobody gave a rats arse.

    The internet in maybe slow in saudi and pakistan – but not *that* slow!!

    The whole thing is made up: The official 9/11 celebration parties got a bit out of hand and in the spirit of inter-cultural understanding a story was made up, blame apportioned where no punishment could be given and everybody bought it – right up to the total denial of a terrorist attack on the US ambassador. Pathetic!

  • 16. Rehmat  |  September 27th, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    The AEC sayeth: Your commenting is not untolerated on this hallowed comment section ground. But the AEC does not take kindly to giving out free ads to bullshit blogs. Look inside your soul: have you made a generous offering to the AEC? Canadian Jewish academic, Henry Makow PhD, who as a young Zionist spent a few years at illegal Jewish settlement in occupied Palestine – says that the murder of US ambassador was an Israeli false flag operation to push America into war with Iran.

    “The US ambassador to Libya murdered earlier today was a martyr to Zionist attempts to draw the US into war with Iran.


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