Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, residents in Alabama neighborhoods of Cullman and Decatur have reportedly found themselves being recruited by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) “to fight the spread of Islam in our country.”
While the circumstances surrounding the distribution of the alleged KKK recruiting flyers have reportedly are not known, the Alabama chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization — has called on statewide officials to reject growing anti-Islam sentiments, according to a news release. According to the release, similar flyers were reportedly distributed in the same area back in September but without any reference to Islam.
“Our state’s leaders must speak out against the rising anti-Muslim bigotry nationwide that is apparently inspiring a new recruiting effort by racists,” said CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed. “The KKK must be repudiated, whether it targets African-Americans, Muslims or any other minority group with hatred and intimidation.”
The recent flier distribution suggest the KKK’s presence in Alabama is growing, as some 4,000 fliers were left at people’s homes in March as civil rights activists descended on Selma for the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in both Selma and Montgomery, historically African American cities. The week that followed, several African American residents in Auburn notified police back in March recruitment fliers attached to rocks were thrown on their driveways.
Similar incidents are on the rise nationwide as anti-Muslim sentiment is growing in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks.
Joining in the anti-Islamic rhetoric and adding fuel to the fire, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stirred global outrage by calling for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the country Monday night.
“We have no choice,” Trump said to a standing ovation at a rally in South Carolina, calling the ban “common sense.”
Trump continued in a statement, “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
Trump’s comments stoked widespread public outrage.
“This is exactly what ISIS wants, to turn Americans against one another,” a CAIR representative said. “We stand today united as Americans against stigmatization, against Islamophobia, against ISIS.”