Tahnee Gonzales and Elizabeth Dauenhauer decided it was a good idea to post videos on Facebook of their road trip with three children and two dogs to steal materials from the Islamic Community Center of Tempe mosque to stop “an illegal takeover of everything” by Muslims. Ironically, the videos got them arrested.
Detective Lily Duran, a Tempe Police Department spokeswoman, said that Gonzales and Dauenhauer, who mocked Muslims for almost 25 minutes while stealing, were arrested about 3 p.m. Thursday; the women face felony burglary charges.
“Based on the details of the crime, an enhancement of hate crime will be considered for sentencing,” Duran told The Arizona Republic.
Gonzales and Dauenhauer are tied to the Patriot Movement AZ (PMAZ), which supports President Donald Trump. Gonzales, whose Facebook profile picture shows her wearing a baseball cap with “Make America Great Again” printed on the front, posted three videos on Facebook on March 4.
The first video begins with footage of them driving to the mosque. She explains that they are going to “get as much information” as they could to prove that Muslims are trying to instill Sharia law in the U.S.
“Sharia law in America does not comply with our U.S. Constitution,” Gonzales says. “They’re even providing houses for Muslims, who under Sharia, qualify for special programs.”
When walking up to the mosque, there’s a gate with a sign that forbids firearms.
Gonzales then says, “I gotta go take my gun out my backpack.”
When the group begins their act of trespassing, and enters the mosque’s gated private property, they begin grabbing pamphlets and periodicals.
A girl shouts, “They smell like goat.” And the women laugh.
They find a box of air fresheners and place handfuls in their bags.
“If you’re Islamic, you need air fresheners,” one of the women says. “We’re going to wipe poop all over these.”
As they continue on the premises and encounter a playground, a little girl says, “Don’t let Connor in the playground.”
Gonzales agrees and says not to touch the playground because of “disease-ridden” germs. The group continues to steal items, including pocket-sized Qurans, and Gonzales calls the little girl a “patriot.”
Authorities believe they found the remains of the 17-year-old American Muslim girl who was beaten and abducted after leaving a mosque in Virginia over the weekend.
Dauenhauer is on the video removing pieces of paper from a bulletin board announcing upcoming events.
Aiming the camera at a bulletin board, Gonzales then tells the group and the viewers on camera, “This is the infiltration of the Arabic Muslim coming in and destroying America. The Muslims are devil Satan worshippers.” She also says, “Pedophilia runs deep in the Muslim community.”
“We came into the mosque in Tempe, we got all kinds of flyers pamphlets and brochures,” she explains. “We’re gonna expose this and we’re gonna continue to expose this.”
As they all walk out, Gonzales says, “Look at the ugly mosque here in our backyard in America.”
She continues, “They live off the welfare system on our hard-earned taxpayer-funded money.”
She said the Muslim community is in the midst of an invasion in the U.S., “an illegal takeover of everything.”
After news organizations, including The Huffington Post and The Arizona Republic, began contacting Gonzales about the videos, she took them down. But before she did, a Facebook user downloaded and combined the videos and posted with the comment:
“Donald Trump supporter moms teach their kids to hate. These hateful mothers go to a mosque in Tempe, Arizona to harass and mock Muslims. Please make this video go viral! AND CALL the local police and report them for ‘domestic’ TERRORISM!”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Patriot Movement AZ (PMAZ) is trying to distance itself from the two women with the following statement:
“Recently two persons who had previously been affiliated with us have crossed a line that violates our principles and beliefs. They continue to show up where we are, but they do not represent us.
“They are not part of us. PMAZ stands firmly against racism, bigotry, and anyone who harasses people based on sexual orientation. Those representing PMAZ are at all times law-abiding, too.
“The actions of one bad apple makes all of us look bad. It is extremely disappointing and while we cannot tell anyone how to behave, we also need to have clear separation and call out bad behaviors.”
PMAZ identified the names of the women on Wednesday.
Ahmad Al-Akoum, the imam at the mosque, said after being told by police of the women’s arrests, he had mixed feelings.
“I really hate for people to be in trouble with the law,” he told The Arizona Republic. “However, I think the lesson needs to be taught to everybody who feels they’re entitled to infringe on other people’s properties and rights. People need to learn.”