Militant Islam Monitor > Weblog > MIM Exclusive:Neo Nazi William Baker Tells Crowd at Boca Marriott that 9-11 Hijackers Weren't Muslims
MIM Exclusive:Neo Nazi William Baker Tells Crowd at Boca Marriott that 9-11 Hijackers Weren't Muslims
May 1, 2005
"To the best of our understanding, Mr. Baker is a religious man and seems adamant about bringing people together and promoting tolerance and understanding," statement by the Assadiq Islamic Educational Foundation
Controversial Bill Baker Tells Boca Crowd 9-11 Hijackers Weren't Muslims
Reiterates claims of Muslim speakers at Assadiq Islamic Educational Foundation event
by Emily Emerson
BOCA RATON, FL (April 30, 2005) "Islam has come to America to call this country back to its roots," declared the controversial Bill Baker to a crowd of over 300 men, women and children Saturday night at the Boca Raton Marriott Hotel. Baker, a self-proclaimed Christian, travels throughout America and Canada making speeches to mostly Muslim organizations, often in conjunction with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and Muslim Students Associations on college campuses. The main point Baker said he wanted to make was that Christians and Muslims "have more in common than you think."
The white haired, aging Baker appeared last on the lineup. He began by thanking his Shiite Muslim hosts and declared, "my heart is Shi'a" as he touched his chest. He cajoled and wooed the audience with an edgy sarcastic sense of humor while recounting a number of anecdotal personal stories that would be difficult to verify. Despite Baker's stated objective of enlightening the audience, he did little to explain what the two religions have in common. He asked, "why haven't we heard more about the commonalities between Christians and Muslims?" Answering his own question he replied, "because it doesn't serve today's realities." He offered no explanation of these realities. He skirted the issue of his neo-Nazi ties through a casual acknowledgement that he had detractors, and he declared he would welcome working with "Jewish brothers and sisters who practice true Judaism."
Baker repeated the earlier Muslim guest speakers who emphatically stated that the men who destroyed the World Trade Center on 9-11 were not Muslims. Yet, in a sarcastic tone he condemned Christianity for the Crusades. Declaring a religious dissociation of people from their self-proclaimed religious affiliation is apparently only available to Muslims when they don't live up to their own moral standards. Baker missed the opportunity to argue that the Crusaders weren't really true Christians. Instead, he apologized to the audience on behalf of all Christians for the Crusades. Baker asserted that Islam was never spread by force and Muslim soldiers were never allowed to rape women. Had there been an opportunity for questions, one might have asked Mr. Baker to explain the well-documented ongoing brutal rape of thousands of Muslim and Christian Sudanese women, girls, and boys in Sudan by Muslim Sudanese army troops and Muslim junjaweed militia soldiers.
Collectively, Baker's portrayals of American Christians were negative and contemptuous. He praised Muslims for their dignified observance of Ramadan and fasting without complaint, while characterizing fasting Christians as "going around with a long face," complaining, and looking for special recognition of their sacrifice. He recounted a story of where he challenged a Christian man's contempt of Libyan Dictator, Col. Muammar al-Qadhafi, by saying to him, "have you ever met him?" Baker claims to have met with Col. Qadhafi and liked him. Human rights organizations have document numerous gross human rights violations against Libyan citizens by Qadhafi and his regime. Baker also claims to have illegally traveled into Kashmir and risked his life to meet Muslim Kashmiris; to have had a longstanding friendship with the now deceased Sheikh Ahmad Keftaro, who was the Grand Mufti of the Republic of Syria and Head of the Supreme Council of Fatwa; and to have traveled numerous times to Saudi Arabia where he was allowed to freely practice Christianity despite Saudi law prohibiting such displays outside designated compounds in the Kingdom.
Baker had more to say about Saudi Arabia. He rejects the available evidence that indicates Saudis are funding and spreading radical Islamic ideologies in the US and around the world. He discounted concerns about the spread of radical Wahhabi Islam by claiming the US government wants us to think "the Wahhabis are everywhere." He claims to have recently debated Samuel Huntington in Greece. Huntington is the author of the book, The Clash of Civilizations, where he writes that Christianity and Islam are on a collision course. Rather, Baker told Saturday's audience that Muslims and Christians should join together and in doing so would create the most powerful alliance of faith in the world.
Local Christian clergy were contacted for comment on Bill Baker and his views. All those contacted said they had never heard of him. Apparently Baker is only renowned within the Muslim-CAIR speaking circuit. The claims of his notoriety and credentials in the Christian community appear false.
One prominent and well-respected American church leader has heard of Baker and wants nothing more to do with him. The Reverend Robert Schuller and the Crystal Cathedral Ministries in Garden Grove, CA had at one time employed Baker. (Schuller is best known for his nationally syndicated television program "Hour of Power" and numerous Christianity-based self-help books). Schuller fired Baker when Baker's neo-Nazi ties came to light in 2002. Baker served as the 1984 chair of the Populist Party that offered former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke as a 1988 Presidential candidate. Baker has written several books one of which promotes the denial of the Holocaust. Baker and his Boca hosts advertised Baker as currently affiliated with the Crystal Cathedral Ministries. The Cathedral Media Relations Director was contacted for comment. She confirmed the Cathedral Ministries had cut all ties with Baker. She said Baker continues to falsely associate his name with their organization despite numerous requests that he not do so.
The recently incorporated Assadiq Education Foundation invited Baker to speak ignoring previous community protests against Baker in 2004. The Foundation gave an open invitation to the community to attend the celebration. Apparently that invitation didn't apply to the news media. The Foundation leadership refused numerous requests by the Palm Beach NBC Channel 5 News for entry to the event, and denied access to Baker. Several other TV station news vans were positioned in the hotel's parking lot and Boca Raton police officers stood watch outside the front entrance. Inside the banquet room, two super-sized black men in the traditional black suits worn by Nation of Islam security personnel flanked each side of the stage for the entire 3-hour program. Outside the Marriott, a small handful of protesters held signs with the message, "Americans Against Hate."
Emily Emerson is an investigative reporter and can be contacted at [email protected]
Exclusive to Militant Islam Monitor (c) copyright Emily Emerson 2005