A Project of the Council on American-Islamic Relations


Oak Initiative

What is the Oak Initiative? 

The Oak Initiative is a religious national organization that creates and advances bigoted anti-Muslim views. 

The website of the organization explains its mission as the following: “The Oak Initiative is a grassroots movement to Unite, Mobilize, Equip, and Activate Christians to be the salt and light they are called to be by engaging in the great issues of our time from a sound biblical worldview.”  

Right Wing Watch reports that the Oak Initiative is an, “ultra-right wing group founded by Rick Joyner that has been actively promoting anti-Muslim activism and the efforts of anti-Muslims activists like Jerry Boykin and Frank Gaffney.” 

Anti-Muslim Activities 

The Initiative operates an online TV show, as well as a YouTube channel, and has authored reports asserting such claims as “Shariah–Threat To America.” 

The Oak Initiative also operates Oak Leaves Publishing, which disseminates neoconservative literature, as well as an online store that sells books by Islamophobes such as Brigette Gabriel (of ACT! For America) and David Gaubatz. 

In 2011, Oak Leaves Publishing released Islam Vs The United States, a book (by board member Nicholas Papanicolaou) which claims to expose “the strategic plan for the Muslim Brotherhood in the USA” and the “all-conquering character of many of the followers of Islam.”  

Key Individuals & Influence 

Rick Joyner serves as the president of the Oak Initiative. His book The Harvest lays out some of his views on Islam: “Islamic terrorists will permeate the West with teams that target Christian organizations and leaders. This is in preparation for an Islamic assault upon the entire world. They will compile computer data on every Christian leader who has any kind of extra-local influence (i.e. newsletters, television or radio outreach). Their main target for attacks will be upon denominations and institutions with political influence. They will seldom interfere with the actual harvest of the true church. Ultimately Islam will become the greatest threat to peace, world order and freedom.” 

Joyner advanced the conspiracy theory that former President Obama is a Muslim, saying “No doubt President Obama is acting more like a Muslim, and doing far more to promote Islam, while at the same time demonstrating disdain or hostility toward Christians and Christianity. The fruit of his actions bears strong evidence that Obama is indeed a Muslim, or at the very least has far more affinity for Islam than Christianity.” 

Joyner attempts to paint the Muslim community in Michigan as a threat, saying the following: “One of the things Detroit has become known for in our nation is the largest Muslim community in our nation, and Dearborn, it’s growing. Many have said there actually is an attempt to make Michigan our first Muslim state…. You cannot understand our modern world today without understanding Islam, and the Lord called them hypocrites who did not know the Signs of the Times. We need to know and understand this issue, we have to. And Islam is in our face, everywhere we return. And here, in America, this is the one place where it is most in our face, right now.” 

Joyner believes that the Quran “enslaves”’ Muslims, purporting that the Quran is why “we have more slaves in the world today than before the Civil War here in America.” 

Fmr. Lieutenant General William G. Boykin also serves as a board member of the Oak Initiative. Southern Poverty Law Center labeled William Boykin as an anti-Muslim extremist

Boykin was the United States Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. He is currently the executive vice president of the Family Research Council. 

In 2011, Boykin asserted that “[Islam] should not be protected under the First Amendment,” that there should be “no mosques in America,” that Islam is a “totalitarian way of life,” and that there can be no interfaith dialogue or cooperation between Muslims and Christians.  

On a panel discussion in Colorado covering “the threat to America,” Boykin said of Muslims: “They’re infiltrating every element of our society while we are trying to believe that there is a big separation between the radical Muslims and moderate Muslims. And the reality is, John [Guandolo] said it, the moderate Muslims are just simply Muslims who have chosen not to follow the teachings of the Quran and the hadith. And there are a lot of them, and God bless them, I wish that more of them would refuse to follow it.”  

In 2003, then President Bush rebuked Boykin for his anti-Muslim stance. Writing in the New York Times on October 20, 2003, Brian Knowlton reported, “Boykin had said, among other things, that Muslims worship an ‘idol,’ not a ‘real God,’ and that America’s enemy in the fight with Islamic extremism was ‘a guy called Satan.’”  

HuffPost reports that during a radio appearance in 2012 the host asked Boykin, “Isn’t there a city in Michigan that is almost 100 percent Muslim and operating under Sharia law now?” Boykin responded, “Dearborn, Michigan yes…if you walk down the streets you would think you’re in Beirut or Damascus or someplace.”  

In 2013, Boykin warned, “If you are tied to the mainstream media you will never know anything about the true nature of Islam.”  

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