Update: The Traditionalist Youth Network will not burn the Qur’an on September 11. Instead, the group plans to hold an event supporting Syria’s President Assad.
The Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), a small youth group founded by white supremacists Matt Parrott and Matthew Heimbach, announced plans to hold a “Koran Barbecue” event on September 11 in Central Michigan. Participants reportedly plan to burn Qur’ans and eat pork to demonstrate their anti-Muslim hatred.
The serving of pork at the barbecue is an example of the TYN copying the tactics of the French far-right political party Bloc Identitaire (BI). BI focuses on taking direct action to intimidate the Muslim community; for example BI hosts barbeques in predominately Muslim areas of French cities where the group serves pork and wine, both forbidden in the Islamic faith. TYN is modeled after BI’s youth movement, Generation Identitaire (GI). Heimbach and Parrott’s aim is to attract white youth to their movement and to convince them to take part in direct action events.
Heimbach also used Stormfront, the largest white supremacist Internet forum, to advertise the “Koran Barbeque” event. He encouraged people to join in the event, stating, “this can go along with protesting a mosque or any activity to let the Islamic invaders know that they are not welcome.”
TYN is not the only extremist groups planning to burn Qur’ans on September 11. Terry Jones, the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, a virulently anti-Muslim, anti-gay apostolic church formerly based in Gainesville, Florida, has said that his group would burn copies of the Qur’an that day.
Aside from the “Koran Barbecue,” Heimbach and Parrott recently passed out flyers in the town of Perry, Michigan, advertising TYN. Perry is just 12 miles south of Owosso, where TYN has a P.O. Box. The flyers handed out by Heimbach and Parrott attack “conservatives” for being surprised when “feminism, globalism, open borders, radical Islam, and anti-White racism always end up winning.” The flyers also allege that the left “hates us because we represent a genuine threat to Culutral Marxists, to Organized Jewry, and to Global Capitalism.”
On August 26, Parrott, Heimbach and Thomas Buhls, the white supremacist founder of the Indiana University chapter of TYN, protested outside a left-leaning bookstore in Bloomington, Indiana, claiming it was a “Marxist organization.”
Heimbach and Parrott recently attended and addressed the third annual “Practical Politics Seminar” hosted by white supremacist Don Black, founder of Stormfront, in Tennessee. Other attendees included white supremacists David Duke, Paul Fromm and Sam Dickson. In the past, TYN’s few members limited their activities to networking on the Internet and attending white supremacist events, but are trying to use the flyer campaign and planned Qur’an burning event to draw more attention and followers to their cause.