Facebook Live Video Gives Startling View on How Hate Gets Taught
The Islamic Community Center of Tempe has become the center of a social media firestorm. In a series of videos, two women identified as Tahnee Gonzales and Liz Dauenhauer, took three children to the mosque to vandalize the property, rip flyers off walls, and yell at a worshipper they stumbled upon.
The video is strange. It involves both women spewing a range of Islamophobic comments claiming Muslims are stealing jobs, raping children, eating dogs, and that all Muslims have AK-47 assault rifles. At one point one of the women notice a “no firearms” sign and remove a gun from their purse and hand it to a child off screen to put in the car. The women claim (falsely) to be U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
The scariest part is the indoctrination occurring. Both women encourage the children to deface the property. They give positive feedback when the children repeat what the adults are saying. They tell the children they will be raped by Muslims. The constant stream of hateful comments gives little break for the children to express their own thoughts or opinion. The video ends with a call to action to “educate” Americans about the dangers of Islam.
The mosque has contacted the police about arresting the women for trespassing. In the video, you can see them pass a visible sign that says, “no trespassing.” Sadly, the mosque states they receive some form of harassment on a weekly basis.
The video was originally posted on Dauenhauer’s Facebook page, but she deleted her account after media exposure. However, the video has now been reposted on multiple pages. Both Gonzales and Dauenhauer are members of Patriot Movement AZ, a fringe group that is known for spreading Islamophobia. Gonzales has several videos of her rallying against Muslims or verbally attacking Muslim senatorial candidate Deedra Abboud at a political rally.
Hate crimes against Muslims have been steadily on the rise in the United States. Social media being used to promote these activities creates two problems: the fear that they embolden other to act and create a competitive culture where extremists try to outperform each other by increasing the stakes for new hate crimes.
Neither Dauenhauer or Gonzales have released a public statement or answered any questions from the media.