Disgraced ex-FBI agent and well known Islamophobe John Guandolo was scheduled for a 5 city tour in the Midwest between April 5-9, three of the stops were planned for Wisconsin. Guandolo runs the anti-Muslim hate group, Understanding The Threat (UTT), Joining Guandolo on the tour is his partner at UTT, Chris Guabatz, as well as Worldview Weekend’s Brannon Howse.
Worldview Weekend, is an alt-right media group that promotes dangerous conspiracy theories and Islamophobic agendas. However, an alert by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a watchdog group that monitors hate crimes around the country, lead to a groundswell of civil rights, Interfaith, anti-racism, and Muslim groups mobilizing to make clear his hate was not welcome here. They effectively forced the cancellation of the entire tour within 48 hours.
After resigning from the FBI in disgrace due to multiple ethical breaches, affairs, and illegal solicitation of monetary gifts, Guandolo created a job for himself as a self styled terrorism expert. He has conducted trainings around the country for law enforcement on combatting the Muslim threat to America, promoting dangerous stereotypes and fear mongering.
Realizing that Guandolo and his false public accusations of Muslims is nothing but a promoter of hate has lead to a significant drop in the number of law enforcement agencies calling on him. He has accused the Muslim Students Associations at universities across the country of being recruiting grounds for terrorists. He has routinely filmed unsuspecting Muslim employees and accused them of being in this country to commit violent acts.
A photo of an unsuspecting Muslim airline employee went viral and caused the airline to respond to him. In a 2016 radio interview, Guandolo claimed that Americans would soon see “dozens of jihadis doing multiple operations in conjunction with the Marxist and socialist groups like Black Lives Matter, which will be, you know, burning and looting cities like they did in Ferguson [Missouri] and Baltimore.” He has also promoted conspiracy theories such as claiming that Muslims are purchasing hotels, gas stations and convenience stores in anticipation for “a jihad here in the United States.”
Dealing with unrelenting phone calls and emails from activists and fearing loss of business as well as concern for being publicly associated with this type of hate group, the venues in Green Bay, Pewaukee and La Crosse cancelled one after the other.
Worldview Weekend tweeted after the Green Bay cancellation urging people to go to the Pewaukee location, (which is actually a popular wedding venue for Muslims,) only to have them cancel hours later.
Worldview Weekend once again tweeted as if in a panic “We have over $15,000 into conferences not counting mailing.”
In La Crosse, the Omni Community Center resisted until a few hours before the program was set to start, but then they posted that the event was cancelled. Weekend Worldview tweeted “Alert. All rallies have now been cancelled, due to pressure put on the hotels we rent.”
Americans are losing their patience with these racist groups that sow discord and division in order to make money off of people. Shutting down a well financed tour by Guandolo should send shock waves throughout the Islamophobic speaker establishment. This was not only a decisive win for the countless activists and concerned citizens across Wisconsin, it was a decisive win for all good decent Americans!