Washington Times contributor and syndicated radio host Steve Deace used an anti-semitic propaganda video, which features a British far right “fascist” politician, as evidence that refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. have “brutal intentions.” In reality, refugees are thoroughly vetted and evidence of refugee ties to terrorism are extremely rare.
In his November 17 column for The Washington Times, Deace warned that Europe was being overrun by refugees bent on raising the flag of Islam over the continent, and that the U.S. would suffer the same fate if refugees from the Syrian Civil War were relocated here. Deace claimed refugees met by welcoming Europeans hid sinister intentions to exploit and overtake European culture:
The waves of Syrian and other Muslim refugees inundating Europe have often been met by clapping and cheering Germans or Swedes singing their version of “this land is your land.”
But the refugees already knew that sappy tune, which is why they came so far in the first place. They knew they would be given other people's money. They knew their hosts were bent on demographic suicide due to paltry birthrates. And they knew the women and young girls at the end of their journey were ripe for sexual conquest because the men would do little about it.
As evidence for his fear mongering, Deace pointed to a video “which catalogs in detail the brutal intentions of those who are welcomed under the banner of peace and understanding.” Deace attributes the video to Jews News, a blog which has been criticized in the past for posting inaccurate and inflammatory misinformation about Muslims. The video purports to show a collection of footage and interviews edited to stoke fears of Middle Eastern refugees.
The racist slant of the video includes an overarching theme of anti-Semitism, which blames Jews for the assimilation and multiculturalism the video's creators warn against. The film includes footage of Nick Griffin, the former leader of the British National Party, a right-wing political party both academics and Prime Minster David Cameron refer to as “fascist.” Griffin warns in the video of “an unholy alliance of leftists, capitalists and zionist supremacists” who “schemed to promote immigration and miscegenation,” with a “deliberate aim of breeding us out of existence in our own homelands.”
Even the right-wing site Breitbart, which also shared the video, acknowledged that the inclusion of the “anti-Semitic” Griffin in the film represented a “swipe” at European Jews. The video closes with a warning that Jews will act as a catalyst for multiculturalism using a clip of Barbara Lerner Spectre, an American-Israeli academic, who claims Jews will play a “leading role” in making Europe “multicultural.”
The origin of the video appears to be from a collaboration between users of 4chan and 8chan's "/pol/" message boards, known for their dedication to discussing self-proclaimed "politically incorrect" topics, which often venture into white supremacy. The YouTube account “Death of Nations,” which is responsible for the video's release, bookended the incendiary footage with a logo referencing the /pol/ message board. According to The Daily Beast, members of these same forums posted hacked social media information of Trayvon Martin in an attempt to “depict him as a thug and drug user, and justify his shooting death.”
Deace's choice to use the video as a warning against accepting refugees rejects expert analysis of the minimal security threat posed by refugees as well as statistics of refugee behavior. According to the Migration Policy Institute, it is very unlikely a terrorist would choose to infiltrate, or be successful in infiltrating, the refugee resettlement program (emphasis added):
The most common arguments against resettling more Syrian refugees, made by some Republican presidential candidates and members of Congress, is that the resettlement program could be a path for infiltration into the United States by ISIS or other terrorists. But the refugee resettlement program is the least likely avenue for a terrorist to choose. Refugees who are selected for resettlement to the United States go through a painstaking, many-layered review before they are accepted. The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, State Department, and national intelligence agencies independently check refugees' biometric data against security databases. The whole process typically takes 18-24 months, with high hurdles for security clearance.
The Department of Homeland Security has a strong track record in vetting refugees accepted into the U.S. Since September 11, 2001, only two of the 745,000 refugees resettled in America have been arrested for terrorist related activities (specifically aiding al-Qaeda in Iraq, not planning attacks on United States soil). According to an analysis by The New York Times, “nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims,” since 9/11.
Deace's promotion of right-wing, anti-immigrant propaganda actually plays into the desires of anti-Western extremist groups like ISIS, because it complicates an already chaotic refugee crisis and encourages the sort of anti-Muslim behavior that terror groups use as a recruiting tool. The goal of terrorism is to effect change by using fear to pit populations against one another. ISIS and others aim to sow fear and promote costly overreaction. One such overreaction would be the rejection of well-vetted refugees.