Similar to the attack on police in Dallas, the perpetrator of the attack that killed at least three police officers was or is a member of the Nation of Islam, an anti-American, pro-jihadist group led by radical minister Louis Farrakhan, who advocates violence against police.
Gavin Long, the shooter, said in a YouTube video that he had belonged to Nation of Islam. He later said on Twitter that he was not a Muslim. However, the propaganda of Islamist extremists like the Nation of Islam can influence non-Muslims, and certainly someone like Long who belonged to the organization.
The attack shows the intersection between anti-police bigotry, anti-American revolutionary beliefs and Islamist extremism. Specifically, Long’s stated ideology has significant parallels with the Nation of Islam.
Long’s online postings show that he believed in violent revolution to overthrough the U.S. government and saw the police pursuing a genocide of blacks akin to the genocide of Native Americans. He said he was radicalized—or, as he put it, had a “spiritual revelation”—after leaving the U.S. Marine Corps in 2010 and traveling to Africa.
Only hours before the Dallas attack, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was inciting racism and violence towards white people. In November 2014, he responded to racial tension in the U.S. by justifying violent “retaliation” against police, telling parents to teach their children how to throw Molotov cocktails and declaring, “We’ll tear this goddamn country apart!”
As Clarion Project wrote after the Dallas attack, it is time to hold the Nation of Islam accountable.
- Any type of government grants to this undeserving organization and any entities linked to it should be ended.
- The organization’s prestige should be reduced by keeping a focus on them and eliciting statements of condemnation of the group’s incitement from activists concerned with excessive police force. It is critical that, to whatever degree possible, a fissure openly erupts between peaceful protestors and those who incite violence and anti-police bigotry.
- Measures should be discussed to strip the non-profit statuses of organizations that directly incite criminal activity that victimizes others, including the murdering of policemen.
- Legal professionals should assess the applicability of laws against treason, sedition and subversive activities. This includes rebellion or insurrection and advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government.
Any and every constitutional way to undermine the Nation of Islam must be used as part of an overall strategy against Islamism that includes confronting anti-police bigotry.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.