Archive for the Loon Media Category

Sacha Cohen and Arab Minstrelsy

Posted in Feature, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by loonwatch

by Daniel Ibn Zayd (Original guest piece)

In May of 2005 I joined a group of students and activists to watch a documentary entitled Paul Robeson: Here I Stand. Paul Robeson was an American political figure, though he remains virtually unknown by most in his home country. Many might recognize him from a booklet of stamps published by the United States Postal Service, entitled “African-Americans on Stamps: A celebration of African-American Heritage”. The booklet opens with Robeson’s smiling face, and states: “By the late 1930s, [Robeson] had become very active and outspoken on behalf of racial justice, social progress, and international peace.” This is true. He was also exiled from the United States, his citizenship revoked and then re-instated; he was poisoned with drugs and tortured with electric-shock therapy, the latter while under American supervision in hospital custody in London. He was repeatedly forced to defend himself during the Communist witch-hunts of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He died in relative obscurity in 1977. For any group that has suffered similar treatment, this will sound all too familiar.

Like many acculturated Americans, I was familiar with Robeson as an entertainer; his rendition of “Ol’ Man River” from Showboat (written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern in 1927) is considered an American classic. The dirgeful ballad describes the toil and strife of the black slave working the gambling ferry boats:

Colored folks work on de Mississippi,
Colored folks work while de white folks play,
Pullin’ dose boats from de dawn to sunset,
Gittin’ no rest till de judgement day.

In the score this refrain is marked optional; replaced with “[a] musical part” depending on the whim of the director, in deference to audiences perhaps not comfortable with this rendition. This “comfort level” is the driving force of acceptance of Othered minorities as citizens, as well as their presence within cultural manifestations and national mythologies. The allowance or not of these couplets speaks of an understood ever-shifting limit of tolerance, the tolerated never quite alloted full freedom.

From this vantage point, the recent presidential election takes on a different significance, the opposite of current received wisdom, that a historic event has taken place with the election of a black American as marking a “post-race” America. Barack Obama’s election instead represents a similar “limit of tolerance”, based on the behavior, thought, and action of the one tolerated. His mediation* as a new “ideal” on the other hand, wholly separate from actions which make him hard to differentiate from his predecessors, and removed from the mood on the street and realities suffered on the ground, is, in this light, not a contradiction.

One month before the election in 2008 I stopped into a hip-hop clothing store in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Various T-shirts sported the visage of Obama along with statements of pride and hope. “My President Is Black” read one, against the backdrop of an American flag, and with the words “The American Dream” on the reverse. This explosion in production of T-shirts and signage outside of the licensing purview of the Democratic National Committee[1] bears witness more to the weight placed on Obama’s shoulders than belief in “Hope” or “Change”. On the wall of the shop was a graffitied art piece reflecting Obama’s perceived political peers: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela. To peer into Obama’s future we simply have to examine King, sadly reduced post-mortem to a shill for Alcatel and Cingular, and Mandela, who now serves a similar function as an ideal wholly removed from the realities of a post-apartheid South Africa, currently morphed into a neo-liberal and globalized nightmare.

Malcolm X, on the other hand, represented in image as well as in word and deed something much closer to the reality of lived life for many in the country, as stated in his famous “Ballot or the Bullet” speech in 1964:

No, I’m not an American. I’m one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the 22 million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy. So, I’m not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter, or a flag-waver–no, not I. I’m speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don’t see any American dream; I see an American nightmare….

Reframed, these T-shirts thus become a grassroots manifestation of the poet Langston Hughes’s The Dream Deferred[2]; they implicitly contain the projection of what might happen if the dream is put off any longer. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of an Obama presidency.

Malcolm X also happens to be the only Black activist in the USPS booklet (this due to lobbying efforts), nonetheless painstakingly described therein as a “lifelong criminal” who did time in prison before his conversion to Islam. No mention is made of his assassination, perhaps due to his description of the assassination of John Kennedy as America’s “chickens [coming] home to roost”. This was echoed by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright[3] who said the same about the attack on the World Trade Center, and Like Malcolm X and Paul Robeson, Reverend Wright also suffered a smear campaign to paint him as a threat to the nation.

Full acceptance in a culture which mocked their aspirations

Part of what marks X, King, Robeson, and even Obama is their not matching their bestowed stereotype. In his book Harlem: The Making of a Ghetto[4], Gilbert Osofsky states:

What was most striking about the Negro stereotype was the way it portrayed a people in an image so totally the reverse of what Americans considered worthy of emulation and recognition. The major and traditional American values were all absent from the Negro stereotype. The Negro was conceived of as lazy in an ambitious culture; improvident and sensuous in a moralistic society; happy in a sober world; poor in a nation that offered riches to all who cared to take them; childlike in a country of men….Negroes hoped for full acceptance in a culture which mocked their aspirations.

The condition of the American black man was a function not just of racism, but of a built-in inability of those so tagged to voice or discuss the nature of the problem; an inversion in which the dominant discourse promulgated stereotypes which were subsumed within the dominated culture itself, and then further assumed and re-characterized by the targeted group in question.

It is only relatively recently that we are witnessing documentation of Robeson and his work–time having defused any revolutionary potential here–along with one of the first stars of an entertainment realm that tolerated black performance: Bert Williams. In 1903 Williams staged a musical comedy entitled In Dahomey that was so successful it forced the racial integration of many theaters in the States. Simultaneously, W.E.B. DuBois was seeing the birth of a Black cultural awakening in such work. In an essay from 1916 entitled “The Drama Among Black Folk”, he wrote:

In later days Cole and Johnson and Williams and Walker lifted minstrelsy by sheer force of genius into the beginnings of a new drama. White people refused to support the finest of their new conceptions like the “Red Moon” and the cycle apparently stopped. Recently, however, with the growth of a considerable number of colored theatres and moving picture places, a new and inner demand for Negro drama has arisen which is only partially satisfied by the vaudeville actors….The next step will undoubtedly be the slow growth of a new folk drama built around the actual experience of Negro American life.

This cultural expression, wrested from the dominant class, spoken in its own language, and directed inward in terms of audience was the de facto segregated black nation attempting to stand on its own feet and create its own place, speak in its own voice. For this reason it could not be tolerated. Dubois’s appeals for funds for such a theater went unheeded; audiences wished to see re-affirmation of their view of black Americans, as shaped by white actors in blackface makeup. The stillborn theatrical awakening was reduced even further to the horrific tragedy of actors such as Williams smearing oily burnt cork ash on their own [not] black [enough] faces.

This inversion of Black culture through the mediation of the white artist is evident as well in Porgy and Bess, an opera about Black life (written by George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward in 1935). In a biography of George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, the jazz-era band leader stated, “the times are here to debunk Gershwin’s lampblack Negroisms.” Similarly, when listened to outside of the dominant discourse such as on the radio show L’épopée des musiques noires broadcast on Radio France Internationale[5], such artists speak openly of the racism that they suffered and which continues to plague them. That Duke Ellington successfully staged all-black musicals that rose above the minstrel dross remains lost within history; meanwhile, Showboat and Porgy and Bess have replaced actual historical memory.[6]

Black to the future
This specter of white men in black face rises every so often as a reminder and as a warning, but also as a marker of white privilege defended as “free speech”, as in the case of firefighters on Long Island who wore Afro wigs and black face in a community parade in the late ’80s[7]:

The police commissioner’s management authority has been undermined by federal Judge John Sprizzo’s June 23 ruling, following a non-jury trial, that the city did not have the right to fire a police officer and two firefighters who rode in blackface and wore Afro wigs on a parade float in 1988. Police Officer Joseph Locurto and the two firefighters were punished, wrote Sprizzo, “in retaliation for engaging in protected speech.” This “protected speech” involved being part of a float with the banner “Black [sic] to the Future: Broad Channel 2098,” which the defendants said was a parody of black racial integration into the mainly white Broad Channel neighborhood. They threw watermelon and fried chicken at parade goers and, as the parade was ending, a firefighter grabbed the back of the truck and dangled himself toward the ground, re-enacting the brutal dragging murder of a black man in Texas two months earlier.

Although we might not remember the vaudeville circuits of the early 20th century, this news item attests to the lingering epithets and uglinesses that were used to disparage blacks of that period. Their deep-seatedness is revealed in the non-reaction to their use, and the ensuing disapproval if not dismissal of the discussion that might follow such an event. This legally protected “free speech” leaves no humanizing aspect untargeted, by referring directly to black stage characters and their disempowering nicknames (Step-‘n’-Fetch-It, Jim Crow); to the sight of white eyes peering out of black face ([rac]coon); to the percentage of black blood in a person’s bloodstream (high yellow, quadroon); to one’s renegade slave background (maroon). Furthermore, the “reverse” of this often used as a defense, namely, disparaging terms for whites, are few in number, hardly as powerful, and are by contrast comical in their ineffectiveness.

This brings up the main point of any such discussion of representation, which cannot be limited to its visual or aural perception: the power differential involved. Who is the audience, and where do they fit societally speaking? What is my physical, technical, and economic ability to reach them? What are the various legal rights that enable and/or impinge such communication? What is my privilege to make such a statement, and what personal, communal, moral, etc. limitations might I place on myself before doing so? What is my luxury to so speak, above and beyond these other aspects of such expression?

Examples of unspoken referents thus weigh even heavier, in the sense that one need not even speak to evoke the same racist sentiment: Confederate flags flying over southern state capitol buildings (or in hidden locations out of public view); separated primary elections that reflect the class breakdown of the political parties along racial lines; the voting down of a federal holiday commemorating Martin Luther King (“states’ rights” makes direct reference to George Wallace’s statement of “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”); the practice of diluting minority power via the gerrymandering of electoral districts; the use of scare tactics at the polls; the prohibition of the vote for felons; etc.

The equivalent disparity of direct expression within the culture, along similar overt as well as covert lines, includes endless examples: Billie Holiday used to relate how she was run out of Mobile, Alabama for singing Strange Fruit (written by Abel Meeropol in 1937), a song about the infamous practice of lynching. In Louisiana more recently, black students were convicted and imprisoned for their protest and reaction to a noose[8] being hung from a tree on the school lawn; this “warning” to the black student population came after they decided to assemble underneath the “white student’s” tree.[9] A super-mediated* discussion of the word “nigger” took place when Michael Richards (Kramer from the television show Seinfeld), not happy with some black hecklers, informed them that “fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass.” More disturbing are the commemorative postcards made from photographs of hanged men, these “black bodies swinging/in the Southern breeze”, surrounded by smiling white faces as might be seen at a picnic or a communal pigsticking, and today disturbingly mimicked by images from Abu Ghaib prison in Iraq, as well as of soldiers in Afghanistan posing with corpses.

A share of the wealth and a piece of the action
It should thus come as no surprise that during the Democratic primaries of 2008 Andrew Cuomo made reference to Barack Obama’s “shuck and jive”, a phrase which has no meaning outside of imposed black vaudeville dialect for shiftiness and evasiveness, making semantic reference to costume change, rapid dance steps, and a fancy ability with words. The attorney general’s disavowal of the term as racist is contradicted by his former statement that voting for his [black] rival for the New York governor’s race, Carl McCall, would result in a “racial contract” between Black and Hispanic Democrats which “can’t happen”.[10] Similar was the statement from Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland that Obama seemed “uppity”. Everyone who speaks American English completes this noun phrase with the one epithet that follows, explicitly referring to a black man who should “know his role”.

These terms and images are so loaded that they only need be hinted at to get the message across; even in their denial they hit the target and leave their mark. The resulting backtracking can be seen to be prefigured; meaning they are planned if not staged, the knowledge remains that exculpation awaits for simply denouncing the action of having stated them, or else by labeling the targets thereof as “oversensitive”, “politically correct”, or “racist” themselves. In this way, the legacy of the ignoble practices and codes of that time most assuredly live on, as a chronic condition of the culture itself; the equivalent of linguistic sucker punches such as “I would never refer to my opponent as a Communist”[11].

Then candidate Obama listlessly defended himself against such provocations, and was rewarded with the presidency. In stark contrast, no U.S. postage stamp, indeed, few American history books represent any leader from the Black Power movements of the 1960s, and this despite the acknowledgment at that time by then president Richard Nixon, who used the term Black Power in a speech attempting to subvert the movement at its core:

[M]uch of the Black militant talk these days is actually in terms far closer to the doctrines of free enterprise than to those of the welfarist thirties–terms of “pride”, “ownership”, “private enterprise”, “capital”, “self-assurance”, “self-respect”… What most of these militants are asking is not separation, but to be included in–not as supplicants, but as owners, as entrepreneurs–to have a share of the wealth and a piece of the action. And this is precisely what the Federal central target of the new approach ought to be. It ought to be oriented toward more Black ownership, for from this can flow the rest–Black pride, Black jobs, Black opportunity and yes, Black power….[12]

The actuality is better known: the former Black Power movement leaders have either been assassinated or put in prison, have come around to parrot the dominant discourse, or have retreated to obscurity and/or academia; all have been rendered place-less, historically silenced and disappeared. Similarly, if no one remembers the black musicians of jazz, blues, funk, gospel, etc. that the U.S. Postal Service attempts to pay tribute to, everyone on the other hand knows their white stand-ins, their role-reversers: Elvis, Joe Cocker, The Rolling Stones, Eminem, etc. To reinforce this diminishment, blacks of a certain celebrity are often referred to as the shadow of their white counterparts, especially in terms of politics and culture: “the black Daniel Webster” applied to Samuel Ringgold Ward, or “the black Callas”, attributed to Barbara Hendricks, or now, “the black Kennedy”, in a reflection of racial privilege, and the one-way directional flow of cultural appropriation and political designation.

The rainbow sign
In one such Black spiritual now forgotten, God gives Noah the “Rainbow Sign” that ends his estrangement from the land; however the sign comes with a warning that He is done with water, promising “the fire next time”. In his book of the same name, James Baldwin describes Malcolm X’s relationship with the United States thus:

Whether in private debate or in public, any attempt I made to explain how the Black Muslim movement came about, and how it has achieved such force, was met with a blankness that revealed the little connection that the liberals’ attitudes have with their perceptions or their lives, or even their knowledge–revealed, in fact, that they could deal with the Negro as a symbol or a victim but had no sense of him as a man. When Malcolm X, who is considered the movement’s second-in-command, and heir apparent, points out that the cry of “violence” was not raised, for example, when the Israelis fought to regain Israel, and, indeed, is raised only when black men indicate that they will fight for their rights, he is speaking the truth. The conquests of England, every one of them bloody, are part of what Americans have in mind when they speak of England’s glory. In the United States, violence and heroism have been made synonymous except when it comes to blacks, and the only way to defeat Malcolm’s point is to concede it and then ask oneself why this is so….there is no reason that black men should be expected to be more patient, more forebearing, more farseeing than whites; indeed, quite the contrary. The real reason that non-violence is considered a virtue in Negroes…is that white men do not want their lives, their self-image, or their property threatened.

Here Baldwin presages the purely symbolic non-threatening black man who will be acceptable in the United States. Another such example, Bill Cosby, echoes this when he states that “all the problems [on his TV show] were not solved, but were dealt with without violence.” In contrast to the [acceptable] violence of Israel and England (which too has its own “Jerusalem”[13]) Baldwin reveals what is most threatening about the landless or placeless minority nations within Anglo-Saxon realms. More importantly, he reveals society’s inherent fear of those who have similarly examined the topic of self-representation (Ture, Fanon, Roy, Dabashi, etc.), and who conclude that violence is, perhaps, the only possible reaction to greater violences both actual and virtual suffered by the oppressed.

We’re here without any rights
This discussion of violence controlled by those who have the power to define the parameters for said violence brings us to Sacha Cohen, and his portrayal of an Arab leader in his movie The Dictator. In naming the dictator “Gen. Shabazz Aladeen”, pointed reference is made to the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X’s taken name, juxtaposed mockingly against the exoticized “Aladdin” (which removes any religious significance here). In an interview with Howard Stern[14] Cohen states:

“All these dictators blame everything on the Zionists,” said Baron Cohen, “it’s a great scapegoat. Now, young people are saying the reason we’re not happy is we’re living in these dictatorships. There’s a guy who’s a trillion-aire who’s sleeping with models and actresses, and we’re here without any rights being persecuted.”

In a failed bid to play victim, Cohen instead reveals his “Arab-face” minstrelsy; his portrayal of stereotypes are in fact directed at an audience the class of which has controlled the destiny of those living “under dictatorships” for the greater part of the last century, if not the past 500 years. The insinuation here is that such dictatorships are a function of the Arab inability to assume democracy (a great Orientalism, barely worthy of non-scholars such as Bernard Lewis) and claiming falsely that the region has no democratic or, indeed, socialist, pan-Arabist, anti-colonialist, etc. aspects to its past. It is too easy to discuss these neglected historical forces of liberation in the Arab and Muslim world to debunk such heinous racism–Mossadegh, Shari’ati, Fanon, Memmi, Nasser, etc. (among many, many others) all come quickly to mind–and this, coupled with the fact that the Third World’s leftist realm has been targeted for extermination for decades if not more than a century, only reinforces the hubris of Cohen’s statement.

In economic terms, it also reveals the power differential inherent to capitalism and globalization, and is reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s attacks on “bling”-style rap artists–he doesn’t even admit to their more political precursors–who have managed to acquire wealth and status by following all of the lessons learned in a neo-liberal society (similar to Mexican drug cartels, the Mafia, the Saudi monarchy, etc.) but who get punished when they become too competitive (like Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan) and are thus rendered docile and brought within the domain of global Capital. “The trillionaire sleeping with models and actresses” is a glorified trope within American culture, so it is odd to find it given populist overtones as concerns the current Arab revolts and uprisings, as if we are to believe that in any way Sasha Cohen finds common cause with the Arab street.

The idea that the struggle against the colonial apartheid state of Israel, indeed, that the resistance to First-World globalizing dominance in the region as premised and foregrounded by the Palestinian struggle, might somehow be simplistically reduced to “criticism” of Zionism (in and of itself an ignoble ideology) is so Orwellian an inversion as to be unworthy of retort. There is no point wasting time considering the cultural “flip”, in imagining an Arab or Muslim “doing the same thing” culturally speaking; there is likewise no point in discussing the ridiculous concept of “reverse racism” when such debates require a thorough examination of said expression along economic and political lines. This, the power differential of the dominant culture as portrayed by that culture’s media, is the central point of this discussion, and however we might examine it, those who are minority, who are Other, fundamentally cannot rise above such representations as they are played out within this mediated system.

A critical black gaze
As a black American convert to Islam, Malcolm X, despite mediated attempts to historically reduce him, could very well be a case of a sub-mediated* image that survives such a pulverization[15], and as such, serves as a model to follow to bring us out of this quandary. As stated by bell hooks, in one of her essays[16] concerning and quoting Malcolm X:

Understanding the power of mass media images as forces that can overdetermine how we see ourselves and how we choose to act, Malcolm X admonished black folks: “Never accept images that have been created for you by someone else. It is always better to form the habit of learning how to see things for yourself: then you are in a better position to judge for yourself.” Interpreted narrowly, this admonition can be seen as referring only to images of black folks created in the white imagination. More broadly, however, its message is not simply that black folks should interrogate only the images white folks produce while passively consuming images constructed by black folks; it urges us to look with a critical eye at all images. Malcolm X promoted and encouraged the development of a critical black gaze, one that would be able to move beyond passive consumption and be fiercely confronting, challenging, interrogating.

Proclaimed “hope” or promised “change” should not derail any criticism of the Image Machine, especially when this Machine has minimized minority histories to literally belittled images riding on tickets of commerce; to bogus misrepresentative celluloid trash; to symbolic representations of white privilege embodied in the heads of state and power: All the more reason we must be “fiercely confronting, challenging, interrogating…look[ing] with a critical eye at all images”.

The answer to such racism lies not in a faux multi-culturalism, nor in a homogenizing, “borderless”, “nomadic” neo-liberalism. The answer lies in manifestations of resistance to this dominant culture which are able to pre-emptively prevent co-optation by the dominant discourse. Hamid Dabashi, in his book Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and Power in Time of Terror, states:

Out of this cul-de-sac, one possibility has always remained open: a creative re/constitution of cultural character and historical agency from a range of poetic and aesthetic possibilities, where the notion of the beautiful is violently wrested out of the banal, the sublime forcefully out of the ridiculous, agency defiantly out of servitude, subjection combatively out of humiliation.

This requires, however, that we change our perspective and our own viewpoint first; that we radically re-orient ourselves in terms our relationship to cultural consumption and its source. These manifestations as described by Dabashi are hard to suss out since we have unfortunately lost the ability to read them as such, for having been so long out of touch with our own creative potential, and for having forgotten the formerly “local” media manifestations of guerrilla television, public access cable, pirate radio, radical journals, homegrown theater, etc.

True to our native land
On January 30, 2009, in Denver, Colorado, a black woman was asked to sing the national anthem during the State of the City address by the mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper[17]. Instead of the Star-Spangled Banner, Rene Marie offered a rendition of the “black national anthem”, resulting in hate mail and an outcry denouncing her action. She stated that her decision was based on “how I feel about living in the United States, as a black woman, as a black person”. Further, she said that she would no longer sing the national anthem because she “often feels like a foreigner in the United States”.

The correct response of the mayor’s office should have been “this is her right; this is her freedom of speech”, like our blackfaced firemen, like Andrew Cuomo; this was not forthcoming. The song which originally debuted in 1900 is entitled, Lift Every Voice and Sing (words and music by John Johnson, ironically quoted in the benediction for Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony), and it ends with the lyrics: “May we forever stand,/True to our God,/True to our native land.” This takes on a particularly humbling tone given the replacement of the previous attempts of minority Americans to leave their ghettoes with more current almost prideful acceptances of this, their “allowed” place.

This is manifested in the outlying reaches of Los Angeles–180 degrees removed from Cohen’s Hollywood–the scene of the Watts and Rodney King riots, and described in the music of Bambu[18] among many others, and where a “beautiful” form of dance was created from the “banal” by Tommy Johnston, aka “Tommy the Clown”, borrowing from stripper pole-dancing, although performed by both sexes, and used to entertain children and adults at birthday and block parties. The dance is referred to as clowning, and it went on to spawn another form of dance, angrier and reflective of street realities for a generation lost, often mimicking police beatings and other brutalities, called crumping. Both are performed by youth attempting to escape the reality of gang-controlled streets, where misuse of colors is a marker for murder, and choices of home, school, job, and future are systemically limited.

In the documentary about this dance form called Rize![19] the youth in the movie describe their lives imbued with a renascent spirituality, sense of purpose, and avoidance of the commercialization that has befallen previous expression from this community. Included in this film is the striking image of a black man now painting his face up in white clown makeup and not minstrel black burnt cork, referencing a forgotten cultural marker and not a racist imposition; following Malcolm’s advice to “never accept images that have been created for you by someone else.”

Speak from the street
And so as Arabs and Muslims now targeted with similar minstrelsies, we do ourselves no favor when we simply smear brown paint on our brown features in order to entertain the Master in the Master’s house; we perform no beneficent action by simply parroting endless mediated exchanges with little bark and less bite. Sacha Cohen would ironically represent all of us as tinpot dictators, when it is he, culturally, politically, economically, and in terms of class and avowed ideological affiliation, who has much more in common with this fetid realm of the world stage than does the majority of Arabs and Muslims on the planet. What does Sasha Cohen know about what is going on in his own backyard, much less this world in active revolt? Indeed, it is Cohen who needs to “know his role”.

While we point out this obvious classist and racist arrogance, we must also strive to find the countervailing non-mediated* representatives that exist closer to home and which speak from the street: the Egyptian women whose strikes in the textile mills (not Twitter) led to intifada; similarly the women of the neighborhoods surrounding Tahrir Square in Cairo whose cooking fed this revolution; the 70,000 Palestinian refugees marching to the Lebanese border in May of 2011; the owner of the last kufiyyeh factory[20] in occupied and embattled Al-Khalil, undone by sanctions and outdone by Chinese imports; the Syrian migrant workers slaving to build Beirut skyscrapers, far from their rural communities rightfully rising up in revolts kidnapped by regional powers; the Bedouin populations kept stateless and impoverished; Palestinian hunger strikers; etc. ad infinitum, all with their unique creative contributions of craft, art, music, graffiti, dance, calligraphy, song, poetry, spoken and written word, theater, etc.

For of this common resistance might rise the creative manifestations–the “new folk drama”–that feed back into the revolts against the likes of Sacha Cohen and his ilk who would define us and confine us; manifestations[21] that do not allow simply for a misconstrued and patently false “comfort level” or status quo, that do not inadvertently sell us short, that do not continue to sell us out. In this is perhaps a great step forward, since, as Malcolm X asks of us, once the realization of such mediated deception and the unveiling of the deceivers hits home, once we move from defensive mode to rediscovering the energy that would be better put to creative output, once we wean ourselves from the source of our own misrepresentation, then we might actually recognize the creative source all around us; a new nahdah; proving with our creative action what we already know to be true in our thoughts and words. Paul Robeson, in control of his own creative manifestation in concert, changed the formal and staged lyrics of “Ol’ Man River” to better frame his feelings of being an outsider within American society. It is likewise time for our own re-imaging; our own reformulation; our own restaging.

* Mediation
Mediation defines expression as a function of the distance from direct sensorial witnessing, on a spectrum that ranges from non-mediated to super-mediated.

Non-mediated: A spontaneous expression that is not designed, pre-selected, edited, planned; the voicer of the unsaid.

Example(s): The spontaneous verbal utterance or physical actualization in reaction to witnessing a car accident; Kanye West going off-prompt during a televised fundraiser for the victims of hurricane Katrina, stating: “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.”

Super-mediated: Expression that is designed, pre-selected, edited, or planned, possibly within the constraints of a given group, its ideology, its manifesto or tenets, that may or may not stand in opposition to the dominant discourse, but whose use of tools, languages, systems, and technologies in fact are meant to enable, sustain, and promote such dominant discourse.

Example(s): The television show Cops with an episode concerning drunk driving; drivers’ education movies; a presidential press conference in the aftermath of Katrina.

Sub-mediated: Expression that is designed, pre-selected, edited, or planned within the constraints of a given group, its ideology, its manifesto, or tenets, that absolutely stands in opposition to the dominant discourse often in its uniqueness and its non-derivation from current customs or tropes, and which avoids or attempts to subvert the tools, languages, systems, and technologies of super-mediation.

Example(s): The white-painted ghost bikes of various cities that represent both the individual killed in an accident and their collective whole; the Legendary K.O’s rap song set to mashup videos for “George Bush Don’t Like Black People”.

1 “Dreaming XXL”; Jake Austen. Harper’s, November 2008. pp. 58–59.

2 What happens to a dream deferred?/Does it dry up/Like a raisin in the sun?/Or fester like a sore–/And then run?/Does it stink like rotten meat?/Or crust and sugar over–/like a syrupy sweet?/Maybe it just sags/like a heavy load./Or does it explode?

3;

4 Harper Torchbooks, 1966.

5 The Story of Black Musics [sic] < http://www.rfi.fr/taxonomy/emission/187&gt;;

6 Both musicals are featured as postage stamps. To note is that “First-day” issue of stamps exists for a very particular audience that collects such stamps for their value; this is a different audience than the subject of the stamps themselves.

7;

8;

9;

10 Reference to this conversation taped by a reporter for the Jewish Forward. Interesting here and necessitating another treatise is the ability of Cuomo to claim “whiteness”, as opposed to his formerly equally marking ethnic identity.

11 Testimony of Paul Robeson before the House Committee on Un-American Activities;;.

12 Black Liberation and Socialism, Ahmed Shawki.

13 William Blake poem and later hymn.

14;

15;

16 Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations

17 USA Today, January 31, 2009; “Controversy after singer substitutes ‘black national anthem’ for ‘Star-Spangled Banner’.

18 Pull It Back:;

19 Rize!:;

20 Kufiyeh project:;

21;

Daniel Ibn Zayd was adopted in 1963 and returned definitively to his land of birth in 2004; there he teaches art and illustration and in 2009 founded the artists’ collective Jamaa Al-Yad. He has written for CounterPunch, The Monthly Review Zine, Dissident Voice, and The Design Altruism Project, as well as on his blog: danielibnzayd.wordpress.com. He is a contributor to Transracial Eyes, a web-based collective of transracial adoptees. He can be reached at @ibnzayd on Twitter and by email: daniel.ibnzayd@inquisitor.com.

Dean Obeidallah: Sacha Cohen’s Movie a Minstrel Show

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by loonwatch

Danios wrote recently about Ashton Kutcher’s putting on ‘brown face,’ and ridiculing Indians in a Pop Chips commercial. He pointed out that though Kutcher’s ad was pulled we still have Sacha Baron Cohen’s anti-Arab minstrel show proceeding without much protestation or discussion–until now.

Muslim comedian Dean Obeidallah has weighed-in now, and if I didn’t know any better he must have read our article because he raises similar arguments,

To me, this is essentially the same as white performers in blackface portraying black people in buffoonish negative stereotypes for the enjoyment of white America.

But I am not advocating a ban on offensive comments or the telling of culturally insensitive jokes. I certainly am not calling for more PC comedy. I’m not calling for a boycott of anyone nor asking for one more insincere “I’m sorry to all those who were offended by me” from a celebrity.

I’m in no way arguing that Arab culture is off-limits or cannot be mocked. I’m a comedian of Arab heritage and have performed comedy shows not only for Arab-American groups across the United States, but also in the Middle East, from Egypt to Qatar to Saudi Arabia. I find the biggest laughs are elicited when performers hold up a comic mirror to Arab culture.

But for some reason, the entertainment industry appears to truly enjoy ridiculing “brown” people, Arabs and Indians, and has no qualms about casting people not of our heritage to portray us. Indeed, just last week Popchips snack company found itself embroiled in a controversy because an ad showed Ashton Kutcher playing an Indian character in brownface, similar to what Cohen is doing in “The Dictator.”

Sacha Cohen’s movie a minstrel show

by Dean Obeidallah

(CNN) – Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie, “The Dictator,” is a modern-day minstrel show judging from the trailer and Cohen’s comments promoting the film while dressed as the film’s star, “Gen. Shabazz Aladeen,” the leader of a fictitious Arab country.

Cohen, who is not of Arab heritage, plays this Arab character while sporting a long fake beard and speaking in a strong Arabic accent, which would be fine, except the character is showcasing the worst stereotypes of Arabs.

For example, at a news conference in New York City this week promoting his film, Cohen exclaimed: “Welcome devils of the Zionist media and death to the West.” He then joked about liking TV shows that showed Arab terrorists killing Americans and admiring fashion designer John Galliano for hating the Jews.

To me, this is essentially the same as white performers in blackface portraying black people in buffoonish negative stereotypes for the enjoyment of white America.

But I am not advocating a ban on offensive comments or the telling of culturally insensitive jokes. I certainly am not calling for more PC comedy. I’m not calling for a boycott of anyone nor asking for one more insincere “I’m sorry to all those who were offended by me” from a celebrity.

I’m in no way arguing that Arab culture is off-limits or cannot be mocked. I’m a comedian of Arab heritage and have performed comedy shows not only for Arab-American groups across the United States, but also in the Middle East, from Egypt to Qatar to Saudi Arabia. I find the biggest laughs are elicited when performers hold up a comic mirror to Arab culture.

But for some reason, the entertainment industry appears to truly enjoy ridiculing “brown” people, Arabs and Indians, and has no qualms about casting people not of our heritage to portray us. Indeed, just last week Popchips snack company found itself embroiled in a controversy because an ad showed Ashton Kutcher playing an Indian character in brownface, similar to what Cohen is doing in “The Dictator.”

Read the rest here…

Egypt ‘necrophilia law’? Hooey, utter hooey.

Posted in Loon Media, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2012 by loonwatch

 

The new myth is that Islam somehow promotes…*drum roll*…necrophilia!

While you can likely find a fatwa for everything, when the recent story claiming that the “Egyptian parliament was considering passing a law that would allow husbands to have sex with their wives after death” went viral, the BS meter shot up pretty high for us.

But not for many mainstream media outlets who ran with the story without fact checking, thereby reinforcing Islamophobic myths and anti-Islam talking points.

Despite the ardent desire on behalf of Islamophobes such as Robert Spencer (he saw it as evidence of Sharia’ takeover) for the story to be true it was revealed pretty quickly that it was a hoax.

Spencer still has not updated the story to point out that it was a hoax. Now a lot of the haters have egg on their faces, this is not the first or the last time that such lies will be promoted in the media.(h/t:ZH)

Egypt ‘necrophilia law’? Hooey, utter hooey.

(Christian Science Monitor)

Today, Egypt‘s state-owned Al Ahram newspaper published an opinion piece by Amr Abdul Samea, a past stalwart supporter of the deposed Hosni Mubarak, that contained a bombshell: Egypt’s parliament is considering passing a law that would allow husbands to have sex with their wives after death.

It was soon mentioned in an English language version of Al-Arabiya and immediately started zipping around social-networking sites. By this afternoon it had set news sites and the rest of the Internet on fire. It has every thing: The yuck factor, “those creepy Muslims” factor, the lulz factor for those with a sick sense of humor. The non-fact-checked Daily Mail picked it up and reported it as fact. Then Andrew Sullivan, who has a highly influential blog but is frequently lax about fact-checking, gave it a boost with an uncritical take. TheHuffington Post went there, too.

There’s of course one problem: The chances of any such piece of legislation being considered by the Egyptian parliament for a vote is zero. And the chance of it ever passing is less than that. In fact, color me highly skeptical that anyone is even trying to advance a piece of legislation like this through Egypt’s parliament. I’m willing to be proven wrong. It’s possible that there’s one or two lawmakers completely out of step with the rest of parliament. Maybe.

SEE ALSO – IN PICTURES: Behind the veil

But extreme, not to mention inflammatory claims, need at minimum some evidence (and I’ve read my share of utter nonsense in Al Ahram over the years). The evidence right now? Zero.

There was a Moroccan cleric a few years back who apparently did issue a religious ruling saying that husbands remained married to their wives in the first six hours after death and, so, well, you know. But that guy is far, far out on the nutty fringe. How fringe? He also ruled that pregnant women can drink alcohol. Remember, alcohol is considered haram, forbidden, by the vast majority of the world’s Muslim scholars. Putting an unborn child at risk to get drunk? No, that’s just not what they do. Whatever the mainstream’s unpalatable beliefs (there are plenty from my perspective) this isn’t one of them.

It’s important to remember that the structure of the Muslim clergy is, by and large, like that of a number of Protestant Christian sects. Anyone can put out a shingle and declare themselves a preacher. The ones to pay attention to are the ones with large followings, or attachment to major institutions of Islamic learning. The preacher in Morocco is like the preacher in Florida who spent so much time and energy publicizing the burning of Qurans.

Stories like this are a reminder of the downside of the Internet. It makes fact-checking and monitoring easier. But the proliferation of aggregation sites, newsy blog sites, and the general erosion of editorial standards (and on-the-ground reporters to do the heavy lifting) also spreads silliness faster than it ever could before.

Daily Mail Continues to Publish Inflammatory Headlines

Posted in Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , on April 21, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Daily Mail Eid rape headline

The above was a recent headline in the Daily Mail. One wonders if the Daily Mail would ever run an article titled, “Christian gang kidnaps and rapes two girls as part of their Christmas celebration?”

The wholesale misattribution of the criminal conduct of these men to Islam fits a long pattern of Islamophobic reporting at the Daily Mail.

Bob Pitt of Islamophobia-Watch breaks it down below :

Another inflammatory anti-Muslim headline in the Mail

That’s the headline to an article in today’s Daily Mail, reporting on the conviction of a group of men for abducting, assaulting and raping two girls, aged 15 and 16.

The article quotes one of the convicted men as claiming that sex with the two girls was consensual: “It was Eid. We treated them as our guests. OK, so they gave us [sex] but we were buying them food and drink.”

And that single quote is the sole the basis for an inflammatory headline that plays to the poisonous far-right racist myth that Muslims are directed by their faith to sexually molest young girls.

It’s worth noting that the report is written by Katherine Faulkner, who last year co-authored the equally irresponsible and misleading report of a drunken assault in Leicester, which led to an EDL protest against so-called “anti-white racism” in the town.

It is no accident that the Mail was one of Anders Breivik’s favourite English-language newspapers. It is cited numerous times in the manifesto he published to justify his terrorist killings and an article by Melanie Phillips is reproduced in its entirety.

Richard Silverstein: UK Jewish Chronicle Hosts BNP White Supremacist Blogger

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Our friend Richard Silverstein at Tikkun Olam was the first to expose the UK Jewish Chronicle’s hosting a White Supremacist blogger by the name of Carlos Cortiglia. It was largely through his efforts that the Jewish Chronicle removed Cortiglia’s posts, but not before Silverstein got screenshots. The UK Jewish Chronicle has not explained why they gave Cortiglia a platform, they seem to be just covering it up (h/t: Jenny):

UK JEWISH CHRONICLE HOSTS BNP WHITE SUPREMACIST BLOGGER

by Richard Silverstein (Tikkun Olam)

UPDATE: I e mailed the Jewish Chronicle editor asking about Cortiglia’s status as a JC blogger.  No one replied, but Ben White has noticed that the BNP leader’s posts are no longer publicly available on the site.  So the response to my inquiry must’ve been to take the posts down.  Their approach seems to hush this up so the embarrassment will not be too public.  Hopefully, we can disabuse them of that notion.

Another JC reader notes that apparently any JC reader can set up their own personal blog on the newspaper’s website, which is what Cortiglia did.  I’ve corrected my post title and text accordingly.  Finally, Cortiglia’s four posts are were still available using these links (here and here).  Whether or not Cortiglia was a featured blogger or a reader-blogger on the JC site, the fact remains that they published four of his posts, made them publicly accessible for eight months, and gave him a platform he wouldn’t otherwise have enjoyed.

UPDATE I: The JC has totally removed Cortiglia’s four blog posts, but we have screenshots for every one.  The JC editor, Stephen Pollard, is lying when he told the Guardian’s Hug Muir that Cortiglia’s blog was taken down in September.  The accompanying screenshot disproves this, as the four posts were on the site and freely accessible till yesterday.  Such lies only exacerbate the offense of the JC hosting BNP PR for eight months.  I don’t understand why, when faced with embarrassment, people don’t admit to the offense and move on.  Lying only focuses more attention on the matter.

*  *  *

Stephen Sizer reports that the UK national Jewish community’s Jewish Chronicle has offered a blog-column toCarlos Cortiglia, a leader of the British National Party, the nation’s leading white supremacist political party.  Cortiglia is the BNP candidate in the London mayoral race.

I asked Electronic Intifada’s Asa Winstanley to put BNP’s politics in a U.S. context, and whether it could be compared to the Tea Party.  He replied that BNP carries more political weight, but its politics are more extreme:

Although they have moved towards a focus on Islamophobia and the counterjihad movement in recent years, their background is in the more traditional European neo-Nazi context and the National Front…

They used to be solidly anti-Semitic and it’s said [their national leader, Nick] Griffin used to deny the Holocaust. In recent years and especially since 9/11, they’ve decided they hate Muslims more than Jews or blacks so have put the focus on agitating against Muslims…

As part of their appeal to unite against Islam, they’ve made more recent attempts to distance themselves from anti-Semitism (although it can’t be far underneath the surface). Interestingly they are also now very pro-Israel.

This seems part of the growing convergence of the European far-right and pro-Israel ultranationalists.  A perfect representative of this is of course Anders Breivik, who’s just gone on trial for murdering 77 young Norwegians.  I’ve also written here about a group of Russian neo-Nazis who were welcomed to the Knesset by two far-right Jewish MKs.  The operative concept here seems to be that the enemy of my Muslim enemy is my friend, even if he’s a Nazi.

But white supremacists?  Is this how low the mainstream UK Jewish leadership are prepared to go?  To make common cause with those who only a decade or so ago admired Adolf Hitler and denied the Holocaust?

On a somewhat related subject, Electronic Intifada reports that the faux progressive UK Jewish rights group, Engage, surreptitiously accepted funding from the UK Jewish Board of Deputies in order to mount an anti-BDS campaign.  All the while Engage touted itself as an independent Jewish progressive voice, when it was a paid shill of the monied pro-Israel interests of the UK Jewish leadership.  When you’ve been doing this as long as I have you develop a sense of smell about groups like this.  They make a pretence of believing one thing and do something entirely different.  Engage is one, as is StandWithUs.

Another Fake Story About Muslims Demanding Special Treatment

Posted in Loon Blogs, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2012 by loonwatch

One of the anti-Loons of 2011, Sheila Musaji dissects the anti-Muslim propaganda of Daily Mail, Telegraph and hate bloggers Pamela Geller and Bare Naked Islam.

Another fake story about Muslims demanding special treatment

by Sheila Musaji

First let’s see how the Islamophobes slanted yet another story, and then we’ll look at the facts.

Pamela Geller posted an article Imposing Islam: London University mulls alcohol ban.  She posts an article from The Telegraph with this introduction Another nail in the coffin. Here again we see the imposing of Islam on the public square, all part of the ongoing campaign of the islamization of the West, as meticulously documented in my book, Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.  The bottom line is, if alcohol is haram for Muslims, then don’t drink it. Period. Don’t impose Islam on non-Muslims.

Bare Naked Islam posted DON’T BAN BOOZE, BAN MUSLIMS! referring to the same Telegraph article, with the introduction You are now entering yet another Sharia-Controlled Zone in England: London Metropolitan University has just announced that it is considering banning alcohol on campus because it is ‘offensive to Muslims.’

Here is a sample of the comments under the Bare Naked Islam story:

— Muslim slaughter innocent people as the devil himself…There is “Nothing” religious about the Muslim Satanic cult! Not only do the Muslim hate non-Muslim, they HATE dogs also…If you would see what Muslim do to dogs this to would make your blood boil! There is NO place for a Muslim on earth…You want peace in the world, then rid the world of the vile creatures called Muslims and Commies!! How many more Million among Millions of innocent people have to die before the vile creatures are killed?!

— Many people are offended by moslems; myself included, so why can’t we ban islam?

— The ENTIRE Western world ought to ban Muslims from entering their countries. Further, they also need to start a crusade to drive Islam out of sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia, and any part of the Americas, Australia/Oceania where it’s taken serious hold. Do them as they have done non-Muslims for 1400 years.

— If Muslims HATE our way of life so much, then why do they come in such huge numbers to our countries? Oh, I momentarily forgot; they come to CONQUER and impose Islamic sharia law where defenseless non-Muslims have NO human rights.

Now we get to the facts that set off this hate-fest.  Once again, just as in the incident at Catholic University when Muslim students were falsely accused of “wanting crosses removed”, no Muslim students made any request to the University in England regarding alcohol.  There was no “imposition”, no “demands”, no “creeping Sharia”, no attempt at “Islamization of the West”.

Engage, a British Muslim group in England published an article outlining what actually happened.

There is coverage in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and the London Evening Standard on comments by the vice-chancellor of London Metropolitan University that the university is considering creating ‘alcohol-free zones’.
He stated that this was to cater for a “21st-Century balance”, given its diverse student population. Almost 20% of the LMU’s students are Muslim, and according to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Malcolm Gillies “For many students now, coming to university is not about having a big drinking experience.”

The Guardian headlines with ‘University where 20% of students are Muslim considers alcohol-free zones’. The article states:

“A London university is considering establishing alcohol-free zones on its campuses because so many of its students consider drinking to be immoral.

“Professor Malcolm Gillies, vice-chancellor of London Metropolitan University, said the selling of alcohol was an issue of “cultural sensitivity” at his institution where a fifth of students are Muslim.

“Speaking to a conference of university administrators in Manchester, he said that for many students, drinking alcohol was “an immoral experience”.

“He told the Guardian the makeup of his institution had changed considerably over the past few decades. In the past it had been “substantially Anglo Saxon – now 20% of our students are Muslim,” he said.

““We therefore need to rethink how we cater for that 21st-century balance. For many students now, coming to university is not about having a big drinking experience. The university bar is not as used as it used to be.”

“Alaa Alsamarrai, the vice-president of student affairs for the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, said Muslim students wanted universities to be inclusive so that students “from all walks of life can come and share experiences”.

““Alcohol is a barrier to many Muslim students participating in freshers’ events and often in society activities, so we are in support of moves to have alcohol-free zones and events,” she said. “However, if a student wants to drink, we don’t want to ban them from doing that.”

Contrast this reporting with the sensationalist headlines in the Daily Mail and Evening Standard.

The Daily Mail headlines, ‘London University considers stopping sale of ‘immoral’ alcohol on campus because it offends their Muslim students’, whilst the ES headlines, ‘London university to ban alcohol because students say it’s ‘immoral’ ’

Both are factually inaccurate, as the restriction on alcohol selling would only apply to some areas on the campus, the so-called ‘alcohol-free zones’. This is something which is not clarified at all in the LES, whilst the Daily Mail makes it clear much later in its article, where it states, “Professor Gillies said he would work with the student body to move towards having areas on campus where ‘one serves alcohol and others don’t’”.

Moreover, the Daily Mail’s claim that the move is to be considered on grounds that it ‘offends Muslims’ is ludicrous. Nowhere in the comments of Professor Gillies is there the suggestion that the arrangement is motivated because alcohol causes offence to a particular group. Rather he states that it is an issue of “cultural sensitivity”, and that he is “raising the issue of changing values in student populations and the question of how a responsible university responds.”

The Daily Mail’s report is typical of its habit of publishing stories on the latest thing to ‘offend’ Muslims. Such sensationalist, and irresponsible reporting, serves to embed the false impression that Britain’s Muslim communities require ‘special’ or ‘exceptional’ treatment, apart from the rest of society.

Islamophobia Watch reports on another important detail left out of the irrational Islamophobic accounts.

The right-wing press has latched on to an interview with Prof Malcolm Gillies of London Metropolitan University in which he reportedly said he wants to create alcohol free areas on campus out of “cultural sensitivity”.

… Also worth noting is the following statement by the London Met branch of the University and College Union:

1. London Met Uni has some 25,000+ students studying in over a dozen buildings – all of which have alcohol-free coffee bars/student areas, across two distinctly separate campus areas in North and East London, with only a single student bar at each campus (the only places that serve alcohol at the university).

2. There have been no complaints or demands from students directly or via the students union for alcohol to be either banned, or partially-banned, on campus.

3. Gillies is currently selling off large sections of the university estate, including ‘The Hub’ –the student union facility (inc student bar) at the City Campus. The VC’s comments need to be seen in that light – i.e., they are simply a convenient cover for reducing student social facilities.

4. The language adopted by the VC in this regard is extremely divisive and is already stoking tensions where none had previously existed between the multiplicity of London Met’s student constituencies. The fact that the EDL (English Defence League) and other extreme Right and fascist groups have latched on to this is a major concern.

5. If Gillies were serious about student welfare and wider social and cultural equality and fairness, why has he personally defended the following university management decisions:

i) direct links with the Uzbekistan regime – noted for the torture of its opponents (primarily Muslim incidentally), and forced sterilisation of woman (see this week’s BBC report on the issue – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01fjx63)

ii) cutting of most of the university’s student chaplaincy service – including the forced redundancy of the Imam;

iii) the drastic reduction in the opening hours of the Women’s Library (down to only 1 day per week), and its eventual closure;

All of this is happening at a time of huge cuts to student courses/modules – including the majority of the ‘critical’ subjects – such as philosophy and history, and mass redundancies amongst staff – both academic and student service related.

At best, Gillies utterances are a crass example of the disconnect becoming more and more evident at London Met between university management and the staff and students they supposedly represent. At worst, it is a quite cynical attempt to stir-up a divisive atmosphere in order to deflect attention from the far more serious issue of the deliberate destruction of a once proud inner city ethnically mixed and vibrant modern university.

After this interview with Prof. Gillies was published, the BBC asked some Muslims  what they thought about possible alcohol free zones.  Here are a couple of the responses:

Alaa Alsamarrai, the vice-president of student affairs for the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), said: “We want our universities and unions to be inclusive – where students from all walks of life can come together and share experiences.  “Alcohol is a barrier to many Muslim students participating in freshers events and often in society activities – so we’re in support of moves to have some alcohol-free zones and events.  “Though if a student wants to drink in their lifestyle, we of course don’t want to ban that.”

Farooq Murad, Muslim Council of Britain secretary general, said that thousands of Muslims attended university and as far as he was aware there had never been a demand for an alcohol ban on campuses.  “There has always been a balance between social life and studying. We believe university authorities should be able to decide what works best for them in managing their campus space. Muslims have studied at universities for decades and we cannot imagine that others drinking alcohol will impede them from continuing to attend.”

The Times Higher Education reports on MORE FACTS that completely undermine the Islamophobic take on this story.

The president of London Metropolitan University students’ union has called for the vice-chancellor to apologise after he suggested the sale of alcohol should be banned from parts of the campus because some Muslim students believed drinking was “immoral”.

Claire Locke said Malcolm Gillies had “offended” Muslim students by generalising about their beliefs. There had been no calls from students to create alcohol-free areas on the London Met campus, she said.

Ms Locke argued that London Met’s Muslim students were “respectful of other people’s cultures”. Muslim students’ union officers were currently fighting for a new student bar to be opened at the university’s City campus, she added.

Outright lies or distortions about anything concerning Islam or Muslims is so common among the Islamophobes that on TAM we have an article collection that we try to update regularly called What Everyone “Knows” About Islam and Muslims.  The demonization industry has become so prolific that it is difficult to keep up with the updates as they churn this crap out daily.

The most commonly repeated false claims about Muslims and Islam are that:

Everyone “knows” that most or all terrorists are Muslims, and there are no Christian and no Jewish terrorists (or terrorists of any other religious stripe), and that Muslims are all militant,  inherently violent, more likely to engage in violence against civilians, and more likely than other Americans to be radicalized.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not interested in dialogue.  That Muslims don’t help Christians in need.  That Muslims can’t have Christians as friends, and are anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and intolerant of other faiths.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t unequivocally denounce terrorism, that American Muslim leaders have not responded to radicalization in their community,  that mosques are the source of radicalization, that 85% of mosques are run by radicals, that Muslims don’t cooperate with law enforcement.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not equivalent to real Americans, that they are the enemy within, and a fifth column,  that good Muslims can’t be good Americans, that Muslims are not loyal to America, that they are not a part of our American heritage,

Everyone “knows” that Islam itself is the problem and makes Muslims “backward”, that Muslims have made no contribution to the West, that Islam is “of the devil”, a Crescent menace, a “green peril”, that was spread by the sword,  an “evil encroaching on the United States”, and not a religion.

Everyone “knows” that this is a Christian nation, which the Muslims are trying to take over, starting with getting an Eid stamp which is the first step towards shariah law which is a threat to America, and a threat to our judicial system, by purposefully having more children than others to increase their numbers, and they will be the majority in this country in 20 years.  Muslims are a threat to America

Everyone “knows” that Muslims have no respect for the Constitution, they don’t obey the laws of the United States,  that they are opposed to freedom of speech, don’t allow and freedom of religion.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are given a pass by the elite media.  It’s “us versus them”.

Everyone “knows” that the Muslims’ goal is world domination under a Caliphate, and the proposed Cordoba House in NYC is a demonstration of supremacism and triumphalism, and that Muslims planned to open it on the anniversary of 9/11.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t speak out against extremism or terrorism, and even those Muslims who do speak up or seem moderate are simply lying or practicing taqiyyah.

Everyone “knows” that the Qur’an is uniquely violent, that the Islamic concept of God doesn’t include God’s love, and does not include the concept of a Golden Rule,  that Allah is a moon god.

Everyone “knows” that Islam is a monolith and all Muslims are the same, like the “Borg”.  This means that every act committed by an individual who is a Muslim is directly attributable to Islam, and never because the individual is crazy, criminal, or perverted.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t have a sense of humor

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are like the Fascists and Nazis and that in fact they supported those movements.

The problem is that what “everyone knows” is wrong.  These self-righteous and incorrect statements are usually followed by a demand that the Muslim community do something about whatever is the false flag of the day or face the inevitable consequences.

In addition to these “everyone knows” statements of demonization and misrepresentation, there is also a whole industry of simply connecting with Islam or Muslims with any negative idea, event, or societal trend (even when there is no sane connection to make).  These I think of as “Through the Looking Glass” claims.

For example, lots of “news” items never happened, or are simply not true.

— Arabs didn’t celebrate 9/11 at a Dunkin Donuts in New Jersey.
— Budweiser did not pull all its product from the shelves of a convenience store where there was celebration of the terrorist attacks – this never happened.
— The Muslim statement of faith (Shahada) is not an expression of hate.
— An American Missionary in Africa didn’t face possible murder charges and hanging because of a traffic accident.
There is no verse of the Qur’an on “The Wrath of the Eagle”.
— The supposed bomb threat made by an Arizona student that led to an evacuation of the school was a hoax by non-Muslim students.
— The story that Iran was considering forcing Jews to wear a yellow star appeared in several publications and it was totally false.
— The story that Iran was going to attack the U.S. and/or Israel with nuclear weapons on August 22, 2006 was a lie.
— The slaying of the New Jersey Coptic family was falsely charged to Muslims.
— The story about the British banks banning piggy banks so as not to offend Muslims never happened.
— Muslims are not more likely to support terrorism and violence than Christians or Jews.
— Muslims did not destroy the Library of Alexandria.
— Nurses in Britain were not “ordered to drop everything and turn Muslims’ beds toward Mecca five times daily”.
— There is no  Muslim sword through the 41-cents mark on the U.S. Eid stamp.
— Sirhan Sirhan is a Christian, not a Muslim.
— The Virginia Tech massacre had no connection with Islam.
— The University of Oklahoma bombing had no connection with Islam.
— A bus driver in Britain didn’t tell passengers to get off the bus so he could pray.
— Rachel Ray’s Paisley scarf is not a symbol of “murderous Palestinian Jihad” (and neither is a Keffiyah).
— A Muslim student in Florida did not refuse to stand for the pledge of allegiance.
— There were no Muslims acting suspiciously on Air Tran flight 297.
— Wearing a tee-shirt with Arabic writing on it does not make a person dangerous.
— A Madrassah is simply a school.
— The zebibah (prayer bruise) on some Muslims foreheads is not a sign of a “commitment to jihad”.
— There is no “spit jihad”
— There is no hijabi employment jihad
— There is no Muslim “marriage to important men” jihad plot
— Jihad is not terrorism.
— Ashura is not a “Muslim blood festival”.
— Muslims are not forbidden to have non-Muslims as friends.
— The Shahada (declaration of faith) is not  an “expression of hate” that is “closely identified” with terrorism.
— The Nuclear Security Summit logo is an atom on a circular path, not an Islamic symbol.
— The U.S. Missile Defense Logo is not evidence of ‘Submission To Shariah’, and neither is the Flight 93 memorial.
— The Google Veteran’s Day logo doesn’t display a secret Muslim agenda.
— Muslims also died on 9/11.
— Barack Obama is not a Muslim, but so what if he was?
— Mattel is not promoting Sharia with a subversive doll that supposedly says “Islam is the light”.
— The Hamas “child bride” incident was nothing of the sort.
— The best buy Happy Eid statement on an ad was not a subversive attempt to “water down” American holidays
— The “Muslim plot” to kill the Pope never happened
—The story about a flight from London to Malta being stopped because a Muslim man was praying in the aisle was a lie
— Five American Muslim soldiers never plotted to poison their fellow soldiers.
— There is no devious Muslim plot to groom attractive Muslim women to marry important men or politicians – an Islamic/socialist/left wing plot to advance a pro-Muslim Agenda and take over America.
— Straight prayer lines, beards, hijabs, gender segregation during prayers, wearing a watch on your right hand, wearing “non-western” clothing, etc. are not “Sharia adherent behaviors” that might correlate with the promotion of violence.
— Muslim environmentalists are not part of a sinister plot to colonize the west.
— All of the rapes Oslo, Norway over the past three years were not “committed by Muslim immigrants using rape as a weapon of cultural terrorism”.
— There was no Muslim plot hatched in an on-line forum to attack British Jews over Israel’s actions in Gaza, and there was no “Islamist” named Abu Islam making these fake postings.
—Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazd did not justify and provide Islamic guidelines for the raping of prisoners.  The story was a lie.
— Keith Ellison’s use of the Qur’an in the photo op after his swearing in was not “undermining American culture”
—There is no Muslim scholar named Sheikh Haron, and everything he does or says as a supposed member of the Muslim community is a lie.
—Muslims do not block New York streets to pray every Friday.
—There is no plot to have terrorist babies born in the U.S.
—Stephen Coughlin, a Pentagon anti-terrorism specialist was not ousted because his superiors thought he was too critical of Islam
—The Holocaust museum shooting had nothing to do with Islam.
— Anders Breivik’s terrible massacre in Norway was not “a jihad” or even commited by a Muslim
— The word Slav does not come from the word for slave and has nothing to do with Islam.  Slavery is not only a Muslim problem.
— There is no Muslim vehicular jihad plot
— All rapes in Norway have not been committed by Muslims (not even most)
— Whole Foods offering halal products during Ramadan was not “shilling for jihadist interests”
— There is no plot by Muslim cabdrivers in New York City to impose Sharia on America
— Muslims are not more likely than non-Muslims to approve of violence against civilians (PEW poll)
— Muslims are not intolerant of other faiths (Gallup poll)
— Claims about Muslim inferiority due to “inbreeding” are racist and a misrepresentation of the issue
— The photo of a Yemeni passenger on the Mavi Marmara holding a dagger was totally misrepresented
— There was no assassination attempt on an EDL leader in Britain
— Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf did not make a comment blaming “the Jews” for 9-11
— “Islamophobia” is not an “attempt to silence freedom of speech”
— There was no Muslim Thanksgiving turkey “stealth jihad” plot
— The ridiculous complaints about crosses at Catholic University were not made by Muslims
— The White House Iftar was not a “ghoulish” or “disgraceful” attempt to appease Muslims
— Muslims don’t hate dogs
— Muslim handshaking customs are not an attempt to force Sharia on others.
— The tragic Belgian massacre by Nordine Amrani was not a “jihad” attack and Amrani wasn’t a Muslim
— The Hollywood shooter, Tyler Brehm was not a Muslim
— An Eid party for Muslim special needs kids was not any sort of “stealth jihad”
— Requesting reasonable religious accommodation in the public sphere is not “creeping Sharia”.
— Muslim students did not “target Jewish students” with eviction notices at a Florida University.
— A spelling bee for students at Muslim schools was not an example of the inability of Muslims to integrate.
(Note: click on the links to see responses to particular claims or incidents

Where do these false claims come from?  They come from a relatively small group of individuals and organizations involved in an Islamophobia industry.  Please see A Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry where The American Muslim (TAM) has collected information about these individuals in an easy to use format.  Just click on the links provided to go to in-depth articles and backgrounders on these individuals.

Eli Clifton: Time For The National Review To Take A Stand Against Islamophobia

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , on April 13, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Don’t hold your breath:

Time For The National Review To Take A Stand Against Islamophobia

The National Review has been cleaning house over the past week. Last week the conservative publication fired John Derbyshire for a racist rant and today the magazine terminated its relationship with Robert Weissberg for his ties to a white nationalist group.

But while the National Review has decided to very publicly purge itself of white supremacists and racists, bigotry toward Muslims appears to go unchallenged in the pages of the magazine and on its blog, National Review Online (NRO). NRO contributing editor Andrew McCarthy, who accused President Obama of standing with the Muslim Brotherhood against 9/11 families in his post “The President Stands With Sharia,” told Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims:

What “radicalizes” Muslims is Islam — the mainstream interpretation of it. The “radicals” propagating it do not need the “captive audience” provided by the prison environment. The “radicalization” is happening in plain sight.

The denigration of Islam and Muslim Americans isn’t limited to McCarthy’s screeds. A number of noted Islamophobes are regularly given free rein to guest post on NRO’s site or write in the magazine, including:

  • Robert Spencer, who just last month concluded that “Islamic supremacists” may have subverted the “U.S. defense against jihad terror,” because the man who heads the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center — and is credited with crippling Al Qaeda and other militant networks in Pakistan — was identified as a Muslim in a Washington Post profile.
  • David Horowitz, who, in an interview last year, stated, “What has the Arab world contributed except terror?…The theocratic, repressive Arabic states do no significant science, no significant arts and culture.”
  • Daniel Pipes, who, in the pages of The National Review in 1990, wrote, “All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.”

The National Review has been notified of the Islamophobic statements made by a number of their contributors in the past. To date, they appear to have decided to do nothing. Perhaps now is the time for The National Review to take a hard stance against all bigotry, intolerance and racism.

David Ha’ivri: Blatant Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab Racism on YNetNews

Posted in Loon Media, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2012 by loonwatch

 

David_Haivri

David Ha’ivri

We have linked several times in the past to articles on YNetNews, a popular Israeli online news source. I am unaware of their “op-ed” policy, but today they published an article by David Ha’ivri titled, The Arab-Muslim Narrative.

Ha’ivri is the “director of the Shomron Liaison Office. He and his wife Mollie live in Kfar Tapuach.” Ha’ivri’s op-ed is racist tripe and generalizes both Arabs and Muslims.

I can understand such an op-ed being published on Arutz Sheva, or the The Israel Times Online but on YNetNews, a leading Israeli online site read by hundreds of thousands daily?

Here are some of the most egregious quotes:

This conversation was a great help to me in understanding the Muslim Arab mindset and culture. Facts are not really so important to them. They can be made up or even changed as needed.

Muslim people celebrate detachment from reality as part of their worship:

Understand that we are dealing with people who celebrate being detached from reality as part of their worship of Allah.

And perhaps the most racist and ridiculous of them all:

It is unrealistic, in my opinion, to believe that we can turn the Arabs into a society that truly embraces western concepts and values – like facts and sticking to truth. It makes much more sense to understand that fantasy and stretching the truth are very deeply embedded in the mindset of the Muslim and Arab culture. I do not mean to say this as an insult, but to suggest that we accept it as a fact, take it as it is and move on.

Do Young British Muslims Support ‘Honour’ Violence?

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2012 by loonwatch

A great article by Bob Pitt on more DailyMail Islamophobia. What’s most revealing and egregious is the clear lack of concern the Daily Mail has for factual accuracy, they will do anything it seems to demonize Islam and Muslims:

Do young British Muslims support ‘honour’ violence?

by Bob Pitt (Islamophobia-Watch)

Here is a classic piece of Islamophobic reporting by the Daily Mail, featuring the paper’s usual contempt for factual accuracy when it comes to coverage of the Muslim community.

Headlined “More than two thirds of young British Muslims believe ‘honour’ violence is acceptable, survey reveals”, the article begins: “Most young British Muslims support violence against women who ‘dishonour’ their families, a Panorama investigation will claim today.”

In reality the Panorama documentary Britain’s Crimes of Honour does nothing of the sort. The ComRes poll commissioned by Panorama, to which the Mail’s scaremongering headline refers, found that 69% of respondents agreed with the proposition that “Families should live according to the concept of ‘honour’, or ‘Izzat’”. That particular question made no reference at all to violence. Furthermore, the poll was conducted among British Asians of various faith communities. 70% of Muslim respondents said they agreed with living according to the concept of honour, but so did 79% of Sikhs, 64% of Hindus and 62% of Christians.

What the Panorama documentary claims, based on the ComRes survey, is that 18% of young British Asians believe that some forms of behaviour by women which could affect their family’s honour justify physical punishment. And even that figure is based on a one-sided reading of ambiguous findings.

In fact only 6% of respondents agreed with the proposition that “In certain circumstances, it can be right to physically punish a female member of the family if she brings dishonour to her family or community”. The figure was also 6% for respondents aged 16-24 and 7% for those aged 25-34. There were more Christians (8%) who agreed with this proposition than Muslims (6%).

The 18% figure was arrived at by presenting respondents with a number of possible “offences” by young women (disobeying their father, marrying someone unacceptable to the family or community etc) and then asking which of these actions respondents thought were “reasonable justifications for physical punishment”. 18% of British Asians in the 16-34 age bracket said they thought one or more of these actions could be regarded as “reasonable justifications”, three times more than those who thought it was “right” to carry out physical punishments.

Neither ComRes nor Panorama saw fit to try and explain this anomaly, preferring instead to emphasise the higher and discount the lower figure. An obvious explanation for the disparity, however, is that respondents might think that their family or community could regard certain actions as reasonable justifications for physical punishment while disapproving of such punishments themselves. Which puts a rather different complexion on it.

What seems to have happened here is that the Panorama documentary makers set out by assuming that support for “honour” based violence is rife within British Asian communities but found that the ComRes survey provided little support for this assumption. So the poll findings were not interpreted objectively but rather hyped up to suggest that there is solid evidence of widespread support for such violence.

As for the Daily Mail, it couldn’t even restrict itself to publicising Panorama’s dubious claims but had to invent its own.

Fox News Commenters React to Afghan Killings: ‘A Dead Muslim Is a Good Muslim’

Posted in Loon Media, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2012 by loonwatch

From Charles Johnson at LGF:

Fox News Commenters React to Afghan Killings: ‘A Dead Muslim Is a Good Muslim’

It’s no longer surprising, but the right wing blogs are full of comments today praising the soldier who allegedly committed mass murder in Kandahar, killing men, women, and children asleep in their beds.

Gateway Pundit:

It’s a start. Now for the rest of the bastards.

[…]

Congratulations to the soldier…give him a heros welcome….buck fobama

[…]

WAAAAAY TO GO!!!!!

But why did he stop? Run out of ammo?

Michelle Malkin’s new site, Twitchy.com:

Good. More, please.

[…]

I don’t think he was unbalanced. I think he was getting some payback. It’s nice to see someone on our side who actually wants to hurt the enemy.

[…]

Forget apologies; Pardon that soldier…

I’ve looked at about a dozen right wing sites this morning to see how they’d react to the news from Afghanistan, and the comments at every single one of them were full of people celebrating the killings, praising the soldier who allegedly committed them, and denying there was any crime, while at the same time frantically trying to blame the crime on President Obama.

But the worst site by far is the right wing’s premier news channel, Fox News:

This is nothing! Wait until you see what happens to the n!qqqers here in the US of A when the new civil war starts!

[…]

THATS 15 LESS AFGAN POLICE WHO HAVE BEEN MUR D ER ING OUR TROOPS AND CIVILIANS

[…]

Obama just announced that he is personally going to provide fe la tio to every Afghani male to compensate for their loss.

[…]

The P O S P apoligizes to moooooooooooooslimes and doesnt have any respect for American solders ! Sent the ragehead obummerdeen and his entire family to Kenya where their dirty s c u m b a g b o d i e s belong !

[…]

This guy only did what the NewBIackPanthers promise to do to white babies.

[…]

What? Our wim mpy prez going, sorry for our troops for getting in the way of your rag head sol diers bul lets. I see the stre ss that our tro ops are under in that f-kin country. Let’s pull out NOW. The only good rag head is a d—d ragh ead

[…]

I don’t see a problem here.

[…]

Obummer what is tragic and shocking that you are a lying P O S P that supports t e r r o r i s m ! Burn in L L E H
moooooooooooooooooooslime

[…]

It’s perfectly okay for the Afghanistan military to mur der our troops, Obama dosen’t even flinch, however, condolences go out when it’s the other way around. I’ll be very glad when the loser-in-chief is on his way out. I hate muslums, big time, in a very big way! Right behind the muslums are the libtards, they’re just as bad.

[…]

What comes around goes around That soldier deserves a medal!!!!!

[…]

Well, that should be enough to start a MASS RIOT. And then that will spiral all thru the middle-east causing more Americans to be killed. We got two choices here…. Keep putting up with this mooslime S H I T..or… Drop a freaking nuke on that islamic radical country and end this cat and mouse game forever. We know its going to happen sooner or later, lets get this World War III started so our economy will come back. Our Industries will come back. Our Jobs will come back. And most important, Our American Patriotism will once again lead…

[…]

I’m tired of apologists, tired of a woosie President and his woosie administration that constantly fall over themselves apologizing. Tell Karzai to pound sand and if one more American is k illed by his crazies, Karzai himself will be assuming room temperature.

[…]

This soldier made a great point. You kiI I our family, we will kil l yours.

[…]

LOL….DUMB_NIGGERS like you are humorous actually. Isn’t there some food stamp line you should be standing in? Oh yes, it’s Sunday and you have to shine your spinners.

[…]

Blahhh, Blahhh, Blahhh…… you’re still just a DUMB_NIGGER. LOL.

[…]

Every M U S L I M that reads the Quran is an enemy combatant…at home or abroad.

[…]

musIim civilians????? Yea Right…Blow Me

[…]

The Muzzie men are P issed they had plans to strap b ombs on the women and childern…just sayin

[…]

Just another day at the office, even up the score

[…]

Must have been one of those G a y soldiers they are letting in now. Probably emotionally distraught that his g a y lover was ki11ed by Taliban rebels in retaliation for Koran burning that the prisoners defaced to begin with. So what? No big deal. Obamao caused this by letting them in the ranks. Now libturds will blame it on our forces and personally attack us for saying so.

[…]

Our mus lum president is on their side

[…]

There is no such thing as a musIim civilian

[…]

A dead Mus lim is a good Mus lim. Give the soldier a medal.

Again, note that these freaks deliberately insert spaces and misspell their racial slurs in order to sneak them past the automatic word filters. Many of the worst comments quoted above had numerous “likes” from other Fox News readers. And this is a tiny selection from more than 2,200 comments; there are many, many more like this.

Andrew Breitbart Leaves a Legacy of Racism, Islamophobia and Hate

Posted in Feature, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , on March 1, 2012 by loonwatch

Andrew Breitbart has died of natural causes according to his website. His image will now most likely be rehabilitated in the mainstream and his contributions to the blog world will likely be highlighted above and beyond his racist and Islamophobic antics.

Many may think it is “tacky,” “tasteless” or even “wrong” for  us to say anything negative about Breitbart on the day of his passing. I don’t agree. While it is sad when anyone passes, and our condolences go out to his family, he was a public figure who did much to divide this nation. Commenting on how people such as Breitbart spent their lives is both appropriate and relevant at the time of their deaths.

He was a pivotal figure in transitioning the Right into the contemporary world of new media, which in itself is not a bad thing, but it is how he used his new media platform that was extremely problematic. He played a part in disseminating hate propaganda, undermining the truth and deflecting justice. Who can forget the fiasco with Shirley Sherrod?

On July 19, 2010, Breitbart posted two short videos showing excerpts of a speech by Shirley Sherrod at an NAACP fundraising dinner in March 2010. The videos ensuing controversy resulted in Sherrod being fired from the United States Department of Agriculture on July 19. After Breitbart was criticized for taking Sherrod’s words out of context, he posted the complete 40-minute video of the speech. The NAACP stated that the video excerpts aired by Breitbart were deliberately deceptive and said that he had “snookered” the group.[42][43] Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack later apologized to Sherrod and offered her a new job.[44] In 2011, Sherrod brought suit against Breitbart for defamation.

Or his targeting of ACORN?

Breitbart was also involved in the 2009 ACORN video controversy. Hannah Giles[46][47] posed as a prostitute seeking assistance while James O’Keefe portrayed her boyfriend, and clandestinely videotaped meetings with ACORN staff.[48] Subsequent criminal investigations by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and the California Attorney General found the videos were heavily edited in an attempt to make ACORN’s responses “appear more sinister”,[49][50][51] and contributed to the group’s demise.[52][53] Breitbart then provided a forum for O’Keefe on his BigGovernment.com website[54] and defended his actions on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel program.[55]

(For more on Breitbart’s aiding of racism, Islamophobia, etc. see Max Blumenthal’s piece, Feeling the Hate at CPAC 2010 with Andrew Breitbart, Hannah Giles and the Crazy Mob .)

His “Big” blogs are quite popular forums for anti-Islam and anti-Muslim screeds. His website “Big Peace” for instance boasts about featuring seminal loon and “Islamization” fear-mongerer Frank Gaffney. His websites also link to Atlas Shrugs and reproduce many of the Islamophobesphere’s articles, videos, etc.

Here is just a sample of how the looniverse is taking his passing:

Pamela Geller thinks of Breitbart as her “fearless leader”:

Andrew was our warrior, our leader. Fearless, unapologetic, brilliant. I admire few, but Andrew was in a league of his own. His herculean contribution to the war is incalculable.

Robert Spencer:

The forces of truth have lost a great and courageous warrior. Unlike most on the Right, he was not a cringing dhimmi eagerly throwing his comrades under the bus in a futile attempt to appease the Left. I hope that his lasting legacy will be legions of freedom fighters confronting Leftists and Islamic supremacists on their hypocrisy, lies and justifications for evil with just as much fearlessness, verve and good humor as he always displayed.

I wish I could say RIP Breitbart, but the above eulogies from the loons make it clear that Breitbart’s abiding legacy is his contribution towards amplifying the most radical voices amongst the Right. I am more inclined to repeating the words of Johnny Cash,

Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light

Qur’an Burning: The causes of the protests in Afghanistan

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media, Loon Politics with tags , , , on February 28, 2012 by loonwatch
Afghan ProtestersAfghans carry a protester injured during an anti-U.S. demonstration in the northern city of Kunduz. (Ezatullah Pamir, Associated Press)

More than 30 people have been killed in the violence that erupted after American personnel burned Qur’ans on a US air base in Afghanistan.

In the wake of the protests, many are asking, “Why are Afghan Muslims so angry over burning the Qur’an?

After all, it’s just a book! Why would Muslims get violent over it!?! 

Glenn Greenwald explains why misleading media coverage leaves the public with a false impression.

The causes of the protests in Afghanistan

by Glenn Greenwald, Salon

(H/T: Saladdin)

Most American media accounts and commentary about the ongoing violent anti-American protests in Afghanistan depict their principal cause as anger over the burning of Korans (it’s just a book: why would people get violent over it?) — except that Afghans themselves keep saying things like this:

Protesters in Kabul interviewed on the road and in front of Parliament said that this was not the first time that Americans had violated Afghan cultural and religious traditions and that an apology was not enough.

This is not just about dishonoring the Koran, it is about disrespecting our dead and killing our children,” said Maruf Hotak, 60, a man who joined the crowd on the outskirts of Kabul, referring to an episode in Helmand Province when American Marines urinated on the dead bodies of men they described as insurgents and to a recent erroneous airstrike on civilians in Kapisa Province that killed eight young Afghans.

“They always admit their mistakes,” he said. “They burn our Koran and then they apologize. You can’t just disrespect our holy book and kill our innocent children and make a small apology.”

And:

Members of Parliament called on Afghans to take up arms against the American military, and Western officials said they feared that conservative mullahs might incite more violence at the weekly Friday Prayer, when a large number of people worship at mosques.

Americans are invaders, and jihad against Americans is an obligation,” said Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a member of Parliament from the Ghorband district in Parwan Province, where at least four demonstrators were killed in confrontations with the police on Wednesday.

The U.S. has violently occupied their country for more than a decade. It has, as Gen. Stanley McChrystal himself explained, killed what he called an “amazing number” of innocent Afghans in checkpoint shootings. It has repeatedly — as in, over and over — killed young Afghan children in air strikes. It continues to imprison their citizens for years at Bagram and other American bases without charges of any kind and with credible reports of torture and other serious abuses. Soldiers deliberately shot Afghan civilians for fun and urinated on their corpses and displayed them as trophies.

Meanwhile, the protesters themselves continue to be shot, although most American media accounts favor sentences like these which whitewash who is doing the killing: “running clashes with the police that claimed the lives of another five Afghan protesters” and “in Nangarhar Province, two Afghans protesting the Koran burning were shot to deathoutside an American base in Khogyani District” and “protesters angry over the burning of Korans at the largest American base in Afghanistan this week took to the streets in demonstrations in a half-dozen provinces on Wednesday that left at least seven dead and many more injured.”Left at least seven dead: as As’ad AbuKhalil observed, “notice that there is no killer in the phrasing.”

It’s comforting to believe that these violent protests and the obviously intense anti-American rage driving them is primarily about anger over the inadvertent burning of some religious books: that way, we can dismiss the rage as primitive and irrational and see the American targets as victims. But the Afghans themselves are making clear that this latest episode is but the trigger for — the latest symbol of — a pile of long-standing, underlying grievances about a decade-old, extremely violent foreign military presence in their country. It’s much more difficult to dismiss those grievances as the by-product of primitive religious fanaticism, so — as usual — they just get ignored.

UPDATE: Beyond all these points, it’s perversely fascinating to watch all of this condescension — it’s just a book: who cares if it’s burned?  – pouring forth from a country whose political leaders were eager to enact a federal law or even a Constutional amendment to make it a criminal offense to burn the American flag (which, using this parlance, is “just a piece of cloth”). In fact, before the Supreme Court struck down such statutes as unconstitutional in 1989 by a 5-4 vote, it was a crime in 48 states in the nation to burn the flag. Here is what Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote in dissent about why the Constitution permits the criminalization of flag burning (emphasis added):

The American flag, then, throughout more than 200 years of our history, has come to be the visible symbol embodying our Nation. It does not represent the views of any particular political party, and it does not represent any particular political philosophy. The flag is not simply another “idea” or “point of view” competing for recognition in the marketplace of ideas. Millions and millions of Americans regard it with an almost mystical reverence, regardless of what sort of social, political, or philosophical beliefs they may have.

Might one say the same for Muslims and the Koran? Along those lines, just imagine what would happen if a Muslim army invaded the U.S., violently occupied the country for more than a decade, in the process continuously killing American children and innocent adults, and then, outside of a prison camp it maintained where thousands of Americans were detained for years without charges and tortured, that Muslim army burned American flags — or a stack of bibles — in a garbage dump. Might we see some extremely angry protests breaking out from Americans against them? Would American pundits be denouncing those protesters as blinkered, primitive fanatics?

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.More Glenn Greenwald

Here’s How 5 Million or So Muslims in the US were Depicted Yesterday in the NY Post

Posted in Feature, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , on February 25, 2012 by loonwatch

And then they wonder why there is Islamophobia? 

Glenn Greenwald first alerted us to this in his tweet:

Here’s how 5 million or so Muslims in US were depicted yesterday in the NY Post

NYPost_NYPD_Islamophobia

According to the NY Post, all those students, worshippers, shop owners, etc. that the NYPD spied on were Taliban-esque terrorists.

Update I:

Greenwald wrote a short article on the subject which is worthy of reproduction here:

Abject bigotry at the New York Post

By: Glenn Greenwald

As I wrote about on Wednesday, Associated Press over the last year has been publishing an investigative series detailing how the NYPD, often in conjunction with the CIA, has been systematically spying on entire Muslim communities both in New York City and in surrounding areas. Virtually none of those spied upon are suspected of any wrongdoing; they are just innocent people who are targeted for surveillance solely because they are Muslim. That’s why the program is so controversial. This is how this controversy was depicted yesterday by The New York Post, in a cartoon by Sean Delonas (click to enlarge; h/t sysprog):

[see image above]

According to The New York Post, to be Muslim — as between 5-7 million people in America are — is to be a hook-nosed, Osama-worshipping, suicide-bomb-wearing Terrorist. There is no other interpretation for someone justifying a massive, indiscriminate spying program aimed at Muslims generally with this response. It goes without saying that there is not a single other group against whom bigotry this hateful and overt would be tolerated. And that explains a great deal about what has happened with U.S. policy — both foreign and domestic — over the last decade.

Tucker Carlson: “Iran Deserves to be Annihilated”

Posted in Loon Media, Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2012 by loonwatch

The war-mongering calls for the invasion and destruction of Iran are multiplying at a horrific pace.

We saw this in the lead up to the decimation of Iraq, now we have Conservative pundits such as Tucker Carlson blatantly calling for “annihilation” as well as oddly claiming that the USA is the only country that has “moral authority” to engage in “pre-emptive war.”

Eli Clifton has some excellent analysis of all this (H/T: BA):

Tucker Carlson: ‘Iran Deserves To Be Annihilated

by Eli Clifton (ThinkProgress)

As the “drumbeat to war” with Iran, as Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) warns of, grows louder, a number of journalists have begun to compare the hawkish rhetoric from pundits with the calls for military action against Iraq in 2002. Scott Shane, writing on the frontpage of today’s New York Times, observed, “Echoes of the period leading up to the Iraq war in 2003 are unmistakable, igniting a familiar debate over whether journalists are overstating Iran’s progress toward a bomb.” Indeed, the ombudsman of The Washington Post and the public editor of The New York Times criticized their own journalists for overstating the evidence of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.

Over the past week, journalists have raised the alarm about the increasing carelessness of the mainstream media in hyping the calls for war with Iran. But Fox News commentator and The Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson openly called for war against Iran and argued for the full-scale annihilation of the Islamic Republic during an appearance on Fox News’s late-night show Red Eye. Carlson responded to a question about U.S. military action:

CARLSON: I think we are the only country with the moral authority […] sufficient to do that. [The U.S. is] the only country that doesn’t seek hegemony in the world. I do think, I’m sure I’m the lone voice in saying this, that Iran deserves to be annihilated. I think they’re lunatics. I think they’re evil.

Carlson, having called for the annihilation of Iran — a country with a population of over 74 million people — went on to acknowledge that “we should assess what will happen to the price of energy were we to do that.” Watch the clip:

Carlson doesn’t bother to make a case for why the U.S. should destroy Iran. But presumably he’s referring to the crisis over Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. However, neither the IAEA norU.S. intelligence reports conclude that Iran has restarted its nuclear weapons program. The IAEA and U.S. intelligence have expressed concerns about possible military aspects to Iran’s nuclear program and suspicions about Iran’s program intensified after Tehran refused IAEA inspectors access to facilities thought to be used for tests on how to produce nuclear weapons. Tehran also refused to agree to a process by which it would address IAEA concerns about “possible military dimensions” to its nuclear program.

But, much as in the case of the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, many journalists and politicians areignoring the facts on the ground and pushing forward with calls for increasingly aggressive actions. Carlson, however, may stand alone in publicly calling for Iran’s outright annihilation.

Update: Tucker emails Glenn Greenwald:

It’s my fault that I got tongue tied and didn’t explain myself well last night. I’m actually on the opposite side on the Iran question from many people I otherwise agree with. I think attacking could be a disaster for the US and am worried that Obama will do it, for fear of seeming weak before an election. Of course the Iranian government is awful and deserves to be crushed. But I’m not persuaded we or Israel could do it in a way that doesn’t cause even greater problems. That’s the main lesson of Iraq it seems to me.

That’s my sincere view, but I’d rather take some lumps and be misunderstood than seem like I’m reversing myself due to pressure from Twitter.

Hollywood Hates on a Muslim Sean Stone

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2012 by loonwatch
Sean Stone Sean Stone
Sean Ali Stone

Twitter and the general looniverse was abuzz with the angry reactions of Islamophobes to  Sean Stone’s conversion to Islam, we covered the episode in our post, Oliver Stone’s Son Converts to Islam: The “Islamization” of Hollywood Continues?

In the most recent update to the story Stone discusses the reaction he has received both in the film industry and at large:

“I’ve already experienced the reverse of anti-Semitism, having people within the film industry express a reluctance to work with me now that I have said a simple prayer, ‘There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his messenger.’ I am sure I have [bleeped] off some powerful people.”

…..

“I didn’t realize I would be so vilified. It is almost like I am a criminal for having accepted Islam. I didn’t realize Islamophobia was that deep. People have speculated that I have done this because I am from a spoiled family or that I am lost and trying to find myself. That is ridiculous.

“I don’t care if I get criticized. If I can open up a debate about religion and create some understanding, then it is worth it.”

The below report is from the NY Post, not our favorite news source, but if you get a chance you will see that the majority of the comments are exceptionally Islamophobic and anti-Muslim in tone.

H’wood snubs Muslim Stone

(NY Post)

Sean Stone, son of controversial director Oliver Stone, converted to Islam in Iran last week and says he’s already experiencing a Hollywood backlash.

The ceremony was held in Isfahan, where he is researching a documentary. He now goes by the name of Sean Christopher Ali Stone.

He told Page Six: “I’ve already experienced the reverse of anti-Semitism, having people within the film industry express a reluctance to work with me now that I have said a simple prayer, ‘There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his messenger.’ I am sure I have [bleeped] off some powerful people.” Speaking over dinner at Barrio 47, Sean told us, “Having read the Koran and having been around the Islamic culture, especially in Iran, I do believe that Mohammed is a prophet of the same god worshipped by other religions.

“I am of a Jewish bloodline, a baptized Christian who accepts Christ’s teachings, the Jewish Old Testament and the Holy Koran. I believe there is one God, whether called Allah or Jehovah or whatever you wish to name him. He creates all peoples and religions. I consider myself a Jewish Christian Muslim.

“What I am trying to do is open up a dialogue about religion. There is such Islamophobia in the West. Islam is not a religion of violence any more than Judaism or Christianity is.”

He said his dad welcomed the move.

“My dad said, ‘Allah be with you.’ My father understands that I am trying to bridge certain gaps and bring about peace.”

But he has been shocked by the reaction from others. Sean, about to release his horror movie “Graystone,” said, “I didn’t realize I would be so vilified. It is almost like I am a criminal for having accepted Islam. I didn’t realize Islamophobia was that deep. People have speculated that I have done this because I am from a spoiled family or that I am lost and trying to find myself. That is ridiculous.

“I don’t care if I get criticized. If I can open up a debate about religion and create some understanding, then it is worth it.”

Honor Killing and Even More Proof You REALLY Shouldn’t Trust Robert Spencer’s “Scholarship”

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2012 by loonwatch
Coran and SpencerMichael Coren and Robert Spencer

by Ilisha

It was a trial that captured headlines across Canada—the so-called “honor killing” of three teenage sisters and their father’s first wife in a quadruple murder staged to look like an accident.

On January 27, the girls’ brother, Hamed, 21, and their parents, Mohammad Shafia, 58, and Tooba Yahya, 42, were each found guilty on four counts of first-degree murder. All received the maximum sentence of life in prison.

On police wiretaps captured in the days following the murders, a remorseless Mohammad Shafia referred to his slain daughters as treacherous whores who had “betrayed Islam.”  The family is originally from Afghanistan, and sweeping statements about their cultural and religious background have put Canada’s Muslims on the defensive.

Imams across Canada and the US responded by issuing a fatwa declaring honor killing, domestic violence, and misogyny as “un-Islamic.” Nevertheless, the murders have prompted a fresh wave of anti-Islamic sentiment, and the usual assortment of crackpots have seized this tantalizing opportunity to vilify Islam.

Pseudo-scholar Robert Spencer recently discussed the case on Sun TV with English-Canadian talk show host and fascist sympathizer, Michael Coren. The 13-minute segment appears at the end of this article.

Spencer’s Five Big Lies about honor killings are refuted in this article, in order of appearance.

1. A Bogus Statistic

Spencer began with the baseless assertion that, “91% of honor killings worldwide take place among Muslims.” What is the source of Spencer’s statistic?

He makes the same claim on his website, Jihad Watch, and links to an article on the Middle East Forum as the source. This is an anti-Muslim propaganda site founded by Daniel Pipes, and the article referenced is authored by Phyllis Chesler, who is yet another rabid Islamophobe. Chesler cites an ill-defined “study” as the ultimate source of this statistic:

This study analyzes 172 incidents and 230 honor-killing victims. The information was obtained from the English-language media around the world with one exception. There were 100 victims murdered for honor in the West, including 33 in North America and 67 in Europe. There were 130 additional victims in the Muslim world. Most of the perpetrators were Muslims, as were their victims, and most of the victims were women.

The “methodology” she describes is filled with weasel words, and it’s unclear who actually conducted the study or for what purpose. Culling 172 incidents from self-selected articles in the English-language media does not constitute a valid sample.

In the very same article, Chesler concedes, “Definitive or reliable worldwide estimates of honor killing incidence do not exist.” Then how has she managed to glean a precise statistic of 91%?

We have already covered this alleged “epidemic” of honor killings extensively in a previous article, Honor Killings: The Epidemic that Isn’t, where Chesler’s “logic” was exposed as absurd:

Taking her study at face value, do you think 33 honor killings constitutes an epidemic?  Stinging insects kill more than 40 people each year in the US, which is more than the number of honor killings Chesler reported over the course of her study for all of North America.  Chesler says, “to combat the epidemic [emphasis mine] of honor killings requires understanding what makes these murders unique.”

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, have all said that honor killings cut across cultural and religious lines. No credible organization cites a statistic that supports Robert Spencer’s assertion, which Phyllis Chesler seems to have pulled out of her hat.

2. Misinterpretation and Misuse of The Reliance of the Traveller

Coren asked Spencer if it’s true that there is Qur’anic and Sharia support for honor killings, and Spencer said, “Absolutely, Michael,” and, ”Islamic Law stipulates there’s no penalty for a parent who kills a child.” As we have already established in a previous article, this is a blatant lie:

In a pathetic attempt to prove Islam sanctions honor killings, the loons have dredged up  ”Reliance of the Traveller,” a classical manual for the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence written over 600 years ago. A convoluted interpretation of select passages has gone viral, and is now routinely cited on the pages of hate sites and in comments on numerous articles related to honor killing.

Geller quotes a section of The Traveller on her website that says certain crimes, including the killing of one’s offspring, are not subject to retaliation, implying Muslim parents have a free pass to murder their children under Islamic Law, which is a bold faced LIE. Retaliation is a form of reciprocal justice, lex talionis, commonly known as “an eye for an eye.”

A crime that is not subject to retaliation can still be punished by other means. Restrictions on reciprocal justice in the Qur’an were meant to reduce blood feuds and the cycle of vengeance. The concept of retaliation is also found in Jewish and Christian scriptures, and like honor killing, traces back to the ancient Code of Hammurabi.

Even if The Traveller sanctioned honor killing (which it doesn’t), it would be the interpretation of one Islamic cleric who lived centuries ago, and not a formal part of Islamic Law. Sharia is drawn primarily from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and neither sanctions honor killing.

Honor killing is a form of murder where the victim is denied a fair trial, which is contrary to Islamic law. Islam forbids acts of murder and vigilantism, and likens the killing of one human being to the killing of the entire human race (Qur’an 5:32, 6:151, 17:33).

Is Sharia exceptionally harsh or extremely lenient, even in the case of a serious crime like murder? Apparently it’s whatever suits Spencer’s agenda at the moment. In any case, a “renowned scholar” should certainly understand the ancient concept of reciprocal justice.

Is Spencer ignorant or deliberately deceptive?

3. The Case of Syria and Jordan

Spencer cites “relatively moderate” Muslim-majority Jordan and Syria in an effort to provide real-world examples of Sharia-sanctioned honor killing. His examples fall short in two major ways.

First, although a single honor killing is one too many, these murders are not epidemic. Jordan has around 15-20 honor killings each year, and Syria has about 200. Both of these Muslim-majority countries have low overall homicide rates, in contrast to many countries in the non-Muslim world, most notably in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Central and Southern Africa.

Second, Syria and Jordan have mixed legal systems largely based on French Law, derived from the Napoleonic Code. In Syria, Articles 192, 242, and 548 have historically been invoked to reduce sentences in honor killing cases, and all are derived from the Napoleonic Code, not Sharia.

Syria’s Grand Mufti, Ahmad Badr al-Din Hassoun, has unequivocally condemned honor killing. Hassoun specifically condemned Article 548, which has since been amended as part of Syria’s ongoing effort to abolish honor killings.

In Jordan, Articles 340 and 98 have historically been invoked to reduce sentences in honor killing cases, and they also derive from the Napoleonic Code, not Sharia.

While Spencer was correct when he said some religious and cultural conservatives in Jordan have resisted legal reform, Queen Rania and King Abudllah II have been outspoken advocates. In a report released last November, the United Nations praised Jordan for amending Article 340 so that it no longer exonerates the perpetrators of honor killings.

Spencer’s examples fall short because neither Jordan nor Syria has a high rate of homicides of any kind, and the legal loopholes in question are primarily a legacy of French colonialism, not Sharia. However, Coren asks no questions of substance, so it’s on to the next lie.

4. Khidr in Chapter 18 of the Qur’an

Spencer tries to “prove” honor killings are supported in the Qur’an, citing the well known story of Khidr in the 18th chapter as a justification.  From Jihad Watch:

Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 18, “The Cave,” verses 60-82

Verses 60-82 of Sura 18 contain one of the strangest, most arresting stories in the entire Qur’an: that of the journey of Moses and Khidr, one of the great road-trip stories of all time…

In Islamic tradition this man is identified as Al-Khadir or Al-Khidr, or, more commonly, Khidr, “the Green Man.” Some identify him as one of the prophets, others as a wali, a Muslim saint….

…Khidr murders a young man in an apparently random act, and Moses criticizes him again (v. 74)…

…Khidr killed the young man because he would grieve his pious parents with his “rebellion and ingratitude” (v. 80), and Allah will give them a better son (v. 81)….

…Another point emerges in Islamic tradition: don’t kill children, unless you know they’re going to grow up to be unbelievers. “The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used not to kill the children, so thou shouldst not kill them unless you could know what Khadir had known about the child he killed, or you could distinguish between a child who would grow up to he a believer (and a child who would grow up to be a non-believer), so that you killed the (prospective) non-believer and left the (prospective) believer aside.” The assumption thus enunciated may help explain the persistence of the phenomenon of honor-killing in Islamic countries and even among Muslims in the West…

Notice the child was not related to Khidr, and there was no honor motive. This “apparently random act” doesn’t fit the profile of a so-called “honor killing.”

The story is meant to convey the message that believers should have faith in God’s wisdom. Events may seem harsh and inexplicable, but when the veil is lifted and the broader truth is exposed, the believer will see that what has happened is ultimately for the best.

Spencer provided no examples of any Muslim citing the story of Khidr as a justification for honor killing, nor did he mention any scholars who have adopted his interpretation. In fact, the story of Khidr has historically been associated with charity and good works in the Islamic world.  

As for the Hadith Spencer quoted (Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4457), Muslims are instructed not to kill children, “…unless you could know what Khadir had known.  Khidr was granted eternal life and bestowed with direct knowledge of God’s will, which no ordinary Muslim can claim. It is simply not possible to know whether a child will grow up to be a believer, so it makes no sense to use this as a justification for murder.

In fact, it is widely known that Islam has always condemned infanticide, a common practice in pre-Islamic Arabia. The Qur’an  forbids the killing of children, expressly in 6:151 and 60:12, and implicitly in 2:49, 7:127, 7:141, 14:6, 28:4, and 40:25. Why would a “renowned scholar” of Islam be unaware of the many verses in the Qur’an that directly contradict his claims?

Is Spencer ignorant or deliberately deceptive? 

5. Islam and the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Spencer also claims that the Judeo-Christian tradition sends the “opposite message” with respect to killing children, specifically citing Genesis 22:1-13 as an example.  In this Old Testament story, the Prophet Abraham was poised to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord, but just as he placed a knife to the boy’s neck, God sent an angel to intercede, and Isaac was spared.

The same story exists in the Qur’an and carries the same moral message. The major difference is that Isaac is replaced by Abraham’s other son, Ishmael. A “renowned scholar” of Islam should surely be aware of the corresponding story in the Qur’an (The Rank Makers 37:100-109).

In fact, numerous verses in the Bible recount the killing of children, and stipulate harsh punishments, including the death penalty. The following is not a comprehensive list:

Exodus 21:17

17 Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.

Leviticus Chapters 20 and 21 also stipulate harsh punishments for dishonoring parents and committing adultery:

Leviticus 20:9-13

9 If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.

10 If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.

Leviticus 21:9

9 If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.

Deuteronommy (13:6-10) says if your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” … You must stone him or her to death. Death by stoning is also the punishment stipulated for a “stubborn and rebellious” son in 21:18-21.

In Judges (11:30-40), Jephthah killed his young daughter (and only child) by burning her alive to fulfill his vow to God, in exchange for a victory in battle.

In 2 Kings (2:23-25), when youngsters made fun of the Prophet Elisha’s bald head, he called down a curse “in the name of the Lord,”and two bears came out of the woods and tore 42 of the youths to pieces.

As a Catholic and self-proclaimed religious scholar, it seems reasonable to assume Spencer has read the Bible, so what explains this glaring double standard?

Is Spencer ignorant or deliberately deceptive? 

The bottom line is that honor killings are not Islamic. Spencer’s lies, no matter how often they’re repeated, can’t change that fundamental truth.

 

*********************************

UK: Daily Mail Conflates Violent Criminal’s Actions with Islam

Posted in Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , on January 26, 2012 by loonwatch

Is it necessary to turn a story about a rapist into one about the religion he grew up with?

(via. Islamophobia-Watch)

‘Strict Muslim’ raped four women at knifepoint to ‘punish them for being on the streets at night’

by Bob Pitt

Thus the headline to an article in today’s Daily Mail. As is almost invariably the case when this newspaper reports on any issue involving Muslims, the headline is intentionally misleading.

If you read the article, you’ll see it is the rapist’s family background that is characterised as “strict Muslim” not the individual himself. In fact the judge in passing sentence made the point that the rapist carried out the attacks despite and in contradiction to his religious upbringing: “The fact that you have attacked these women not withstanding your background must represent your own wholly warped personality.”

But the headline suggests to the reader that it was the man’s strict adherence to his faith which produced the violent misogyny that led him to commit these crimes.

Fox News GOP Primary Debate: “1400% Increase in Murder Rate of Women in Turkey” Due to “Islamist Oriented” Government

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2012 by loonwatch

Women_Murdered_Turkey

It is an understatement to say that violence against women is a serious issue today, as I wrote in a previous article titled, Rampant Sexual Harassment of Women…in the West, “women are mistreated across the globe, across cultures, races, and religions at unfortunately high and gross levels.” This was proven with empirical evidence and scholarly analysis from various studies.

In the intro of the article I reminded readers that Islamphobes,

love to trot out the talking point that Muslims (due to Islam of course) are unique in harassing and oppressing women. According to them, anytime a Muslim man harasses or otherwise assaults a woman it is considered a result of Islam or somehow encouraged by “Islamic behavior.”

This belief, however, is not limited to anti-Muslim bigots but has also crept into the popular imagination and perception of the mainstream.

It is within that context that we review another recent manifestation of this “anti-Muslim talking point” creeping into the mainstream. As many of those who watched the recent South Carolina GOP Presidential Primary debate are aware, Fox News’s Brett Baier asked Gov. Rick Perry about Turkey’s “Islamist oriented” government, and what our relationship should be towards them (Turkey is one of our oldest allies). He set up the question this way,

“Since the Islamist oriented party took over in Turkey the murder rate of women has increased 1400% there…”

My jaw dropped when I heard that, what an astronomical and frankly unbelievable number! The clear implication was that the “increase in violence” was related to the rule of the so-called “Islamist oriented” AKP party. Once again something “Islam” or “Islam” related was being cast as the source and cause of violence.

Imagine the effect this had on those watching the debate? It either reinforced or created the perception that Islam and Muslims are incredibly violent towards women, and that any “Islam” oriented political party will result in a degradation of women’s rights.

Brett Baier’s question was extremely misleading to say the least. It provided no context or evidence linking the AKP party to the “increase” in murders. To say that the AKP is “Islamist oriented” is misleading as well, a more appropriate analogy may have been to the “Christian Democratic” parties in Europe.

I have found conflicting origins on the source of the “1400% increase” statistic. On some news outlets we learn that the figures were released by Women’s Rights lawyer Aydeniz Alisbah Tuskan,

The figures are based on data issued by lawyer Aydeniz Alisbah Tuskan, Co-ordinator of the Istanbul Bar Association Centre for Women’s Rights.

while others claim it was the Ministry of Justice,

According to the data of the Ministry of Justice, the number of women murders increased by factor 14 between 2002 and 2009. While 66 women were killed in 2002, this figure raised to 953 women murders in 2009. The development of the increase was documented as follows: 83 women murders in 2003; 128 in 2004; this figure more than doubled in 2005 with 317 women killings; again a sharp increase with 663 in 2006; a peak of 1011 women murders in 2007 and a small decrease in numbers in 2008 with 806 women murders.

Regardless of the source there seems to be agreement on the numbers. Tuskan in her report also added another startling fact regarding violence towards women,

The data revealed an additional startling dimension of the problem: 85 percent of about 2000 annually registered divorce applications in Istanbul are based on violence.

According to Tuskan the reason for this explosion in the number of divorce applications stemming from violence is, “based on the fact that women do not endure violence as they used to do in the past.”

This however does not address the increase in the number of murders. As Elif Shafak asks in her Guardian article, Turkey Opens it’s Eyes to Domestic Violence,

Are violent incidents against women on the rise in Turkey? Or is it just that we are finally getting a clearer picture of something that has been happening at the heart of Turkish society for some time?

If one were to listen to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it has been his government that has started compiling these statistics, whereas before his administration statistics on the issue were not even “calculated,”

While numerous sources argued over the last week that violence against women increased by 1,400 percent in the past seven years, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said earlier this week that the issue was presented as if violence against women was on the rise. Highlighting that they would not ignore a single act of violence, Erdoğan said: “Before we started keeping track of this, statistics on the issue were not even calculated and no one was aware of these incidents. … I expect a responsible approach from both the opposition and the media over the matter and I say that, with solidarity and responsibility, we can decrease violence to the lowest level.”

I don’t see any reason to doubt Erdoğan’s assertion, however it would be vital to verify.

Either way, the statement from Erdoğan clearly contradicts Brett Baier’s misleading assertion that the so-called “Islamist-oriented” AKP which Erdoğan heads is the cause or root of the violence.

Erdoğan also went on to say,

“Violence against women is remorselessness, ruthlessness and, I say this without hesitation, contemptible”

Not really the evil, misogynist Islamic terrorist that Baier and Rick Perry thought ruled Turkey, aye?

Since the stats came out on the number of murders and incidences of violence directed against women there has been an intense debate on the subject in Turkey. It is no longer a taboo subject locked behind closed doors. There have also been massive grassroots campaigns and new legislation countering the violent trend,

In recent months, both print and visual media in Turkey have been running story after story about domestic violence: ex-husbands who shoot their ex-wives in front of their children, abusive husbands who come back to kill, boyfriends or fiancés who cannot forgive being dumped and seek revenge.

As disheartening as the situation is, there is also a growing reaction and a grassroots movement to stop it. Nowadays it is widely acknowledged that violence against women is not only confined to a few uneducated families in remote undeveloped regions. More importantly, until today, it was mainly assumed that such cases were a “family affair”. If a husband was beating his wife, this was their problem. Now this assumption is fully debunked. More and more public figures are coming out to say that domestic violence is everyone’s business and we should, as a society, interfere.

Family and social policies minister Fatma Sahin has announced that abusive husbands will be kept away from their homes with the help of electronic handcuffs. A group of men in the eastern province of Van have organised a significant march to protest at male violence. The group’s speaker proclaimed: “We are ashamed of men who attack women and do so in the name of manhood.”

University students are marching on the streets, women’s organisations are collecting signatures. Through blogs, websites, magazines, fanzines, panels and conferences activists are raising their voices, singers give concerts to honour women who have been victims of killings, writers and poets condemn the violence openly and contest it with their words. And yet, all this is not enough. Unless we change the way we raise our sons and discard our belief that they are superior to our daughters, unless we mothers stop treating our sons as the sultans in the house, nothing will be enough.

Lastly, it should be highlighted that Brett Baier’s misleading question is damaging most of all because it obfuscates the true issue of violence directed at women. It deflects from the root causes (cultural norms, cultural traditions, patriarchy) in exchange for the easy Orientalist scapegoat–Islam.

As Ilisha pointed out in her article on Honor Killing, by focusing on Islam, anti-Muslim Islamophobes are actually doing a disservice to those who are truly challenging violence towards women. Brett Baier’s question had the added effect of dehumanizing a whole nation, and I echo Ilisha’s call that Islamophobes, “give up their vicious campaign against Islam and join us in the struggle to end violence against women from all cultural and religious backgrounds.”

UPDATE I:

For further information on this topic I suggest reading The Journal of Turkish Weekly, which conducted an exclusive interview with Dilek Karal, a specialist at USAK Center for Social Studies regarding violence against women. According to Karal, there is no way to solidly identify whether murders against women have increased or decreased,

How should we read violence against women in Turkey? How accurate is it to say that violence has drastically increased in recent years?

D. Karal: There are a lot of factors which can trigger violence such as sociocultural factors, economic factors, and psychological factors in the environment where people grow up. We need to look at what conditions they become prominent under. The efforts shall target eliminating the roots of these factors. However this is not limited to the motto which is liberally used in Turkey—“education is a must”. Educated people also beat their spouses or commit different kinds of violence against them. Education is just one dimension. The issue should be tackled with integrated multi-agency policies. It is compulsory to operate family and child services efficiently, and formalize different environments where boys and girls grow up to not normalize the violence. All in all, violence as a phenomenon needs to leave our lives altogether.

For instance, Turkish Ministry of Justice 2010 data shows violence against women has increased 1400% during the last seven years. This is a very big number. According to some other data during the first seven months of 2010; 226 women were murdered while 478 women were raped and 722 women sexually abused. There are a lot of similar cases. Over 100,000 women suffered from sexual attacks. Although the numbers are as such, they cannot present us solid data regarding whether the violence has increased or decreased. This is because there are certain problems in evaluating statistical data in Turkey. The fact that they are being presented in a systematic fashion in recent years can be interpreted as the invisible tip of the iceberg slowly surfacing.

In other words, violence against women existed before as well but can now be better measured with in-depth research, which has made the issue more apparent. Without longitudinal studies it is very difficult to understand if the violence has increased or not. However, we need to underline that the existing circumstances in the context of this issue are already too tragic. According to Hacettepe University’s research, 39% of the women in this country (more than a third) are victims of physical violence and 15% are victims of sexual violence. 42% of women say that they have experienced a form of one or the other. The interesting part is the women who experienced violence did not make appeals to official units or to non-governmental organizations. More than half of them shared the situation with just close relatives. Only 8% of the women requested help from official units. This rate is very low. In a society where violence is skyrocketing, this low rate points to ignorance. Women either do not see themselves sufficient socioeconomically or they normalize violence in a sociocultural sense.

UPDATE II:
I also came across figures on murders of women since 2009 in the article, “This is a Civil War…” There is a large discrepancy between 2009 (1,126 murders) and 2010 (217 murders). If one were to be disingenuous regarding the issue, one could claim a massive decrease in murders!:

Here is the number of women murdered by year:

2002 – 66

2003 – 83

2004 – 164

2005 – 317

2006 – 663

2007 – 1,011

2008 – 806

2009 – 1,126

2010 – 217

Muslims Ban Christmas and Rape White Women, in Latest Latma Satire

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2012 by loonwatch

Muslims ban Christmas and rape white women, in latest Latma satire

From Latma, the Israeli producers of “We Con the World,” comes a new video,“Christmas in Eurabia”:

A couple things struck me while watching this video. The first was how unfunny it was. The second was how offensive it was. Let’s explore the latter:

The “Eurabia” threat

The video’s title, “Christmas in Eurabia,” refers to a conspiracy theory that white Christian Europe is being systematically overtaken by immigrant hordes of brown-skinned Muslims from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. An uninspired cross between “Europe” and “Arabia,” “Eurabia” is the anti-Arab/Islamophobic equivalent of saying “Jew York.”

To these “Eurabists,” the Islamification of Europe is being facilitated by multicultural permissiveness. The Eurabia ideology takes xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, and nativism—all traits of classic white supremacism—but combines them with ultra-Zionism, as Israel represents the Western bulwark against the Muslim menace.

The English Defence League  The English Defence League

The equivalent in the United States are the pundits, politicians, thinktanks, and officials who rail against the “creeping shar‘ia” threat. Participants in this American, European, and Israeli network of Islamophobic fear-mongering collectively refer to themselves as the “counter-jihad” movement.

The most infamous proponent of the Eurabia conspiracy theory is the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik. Although many Eurabists publicly distance themselves from Breivik and dismiss him as a lone extremist, his 1500-page manifesto actually provides a good introduction to basic Eurabist ideology, and the citations clearly identify the most prominent voices in the “counter-jihad” movement. It is instructive to compare the message of Latma’s “Christmas in Eurabia” to the Breivik manifesto in one instance.

First they kill Santa Claus, then they rape your white daughters

As the “Christmas in Eurabia” video goes through its verses, the locale switches from London to Paris to Oslo. When it reaches Oslo, a Norwegian man (portrayed by Latma regular Noam Jacobson) instructs his daughter:

When they rape you, don’t object,
For that is politically incorrect.

The idea that Muslims are employing rape as systematic warfare against white (non-Muslim) women is popular among Eurabists. Breivik’s manifesto is littered with such references. Here is a sampling:

The incidence of rapes carried out by Muslim men in Norway against non-Muslim women is many times higher than rapes by non-Muslim men….

We have had several recent cases where native girls have been gang raped by immigrants in the heart of the EU capital….

Native Swedes are raped, stabbed, killed and chased out of their homes by Muslim gangs….

The massive wave of violence and especially rapes in Western cities now is a form of warfare against whites, and it’s about time it is recognised as such.

Are not the notorious “gang rapes” another example of collective violence to European women….

…Britons whose teenage daughters are being sexually abused and gang raped by various races who hate whites.

The Muslims therefore takes [sic] advantage of their Allah-given prerogative to rape, kill and steal from Europeans as they view this as the spoils of war.

Muslim drug traffickers/dealers all across Europe…mak[e] their subjects addicted to heroin… when “processing” non-Muslim girls for sexual/financial exploitation.

[Muslims] have…raped more than 500,000 European women…

…more than 1 million European women raped [by Muslims]…

Many European girls/women have been raped multiple times. Ratio is an average 200 rapes per 100,000 Muslims annually.

Moreover the connection between “Muslim-on-White rape” and political correctness, as depicted in the video, is expressed frequently in Breivik’s manifesto. The primary facilitator of mixed-race rape is multiculturalism:

Tellingly, when black gang members stab each other or gang rape a white teenage girl or when Muslim jihadists blow up buses and trains filled with innocent people the first concern of the guardians of multiculturalism will be to minimise the racial aspect of these events…

Make no mistake. These Muslims must be considered as wild animals. Do not blame the wild animals but rather the multiculturalist…traitors who allowed these
animals to enter our lands, and continue to facilitate them.

As a result of [multiculturalism]… more than 500 000 European women have been raped…

Fellow Islamophobe and Eurabist Pamela Geller explained that “Breivik was targeting the future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, who commit major violence against Norwegian natives, including violent gang rapes…”

In the “Christmas in Eurabia” video, mulitculturalism is depicted as permitting Muslims to commit violence against non-Muslims:

     Someone burned my car, oh pity.

     That’s what happens when you tease
Islam, the greatest creed of peace.

     But it makes me feel so jolly,
Proves that multi-culti’s holy

And what is the only “Western” nation not incapacitated by multiculturalism? Israel. Again, from the manifesto:

The truth is that Israelis defend themselves so that their daughters do not have to suffer rape at the hands of Muslim Jihadists, the way the
authorities in Western European countries, and in Sweden in particular, allow to happen every single day.

To be clear, the fear of white women being raped by brown hordes is not based on personal concern for the women themselves, but on concern for the purity of Western heritage. To Eurabists, feminism is as responsible as mulitculturalism for the downfall of Western society:

As a Western man, I would be tempted to say that Western women have to some extent brought this upon themselves. They have been waging an ideological, psychological and economic war against European men for several generations now.

The “Muslim rape wave” myth

Why does the “Christmas in Eurabia” video jump from London to Paris and then to Oslo, where a Norwegian man tells his daughter to let Muslims rape her? Aside from the general tastelessness of the video, isn’t it especially inappropriate to focus on Norway, the site of the recent killings by Anders Breivik, whose crimes were motivated by a fear of creeping Eurabia and the raping of white women by hordes of Muslim immigrants?

A possible explanation lies in a pair of fabricated stories reported by the Israeli settler news site Arutz Sheva. Last June, Arutz Sheva “reporter” Gil Ronen wrote an article entitled “Police Report: All Assault Rapists in Oslo Follow Muhammad,”and he recently followed up on this story with another report, “Muslim ‘Rape Wave’ Reported in Oslo, Ministers Blame Israel.” The articles alleged that Norway was “suffering from an unprecedented wave of rapes that are largely being perpetrated by Muslim immigrants against local women,” based on statistics in an Oslo police report. Moreover, Norwegian “government ministers, most of them avowed anti-Semites, claimed that the report and its publication serve Israel and its policy of occupation,” with Norway’s justice minister declaring, “Israel must be glad to hear about it.”

However, the source for these stories was a single person living in Israel, a blogger named Yehuda Bello who was described by Ronen as “acclaimed,” “well-acquainted with Norwegian culture,” and as someone “who understands Norwegian and has Norwegian contacts.”

Then the story started falling apart. Arutz Sheva inexplicably removed references to the supposed anti-Semitic Norwegian ministers, while Boston University professor and Eurabist nut Richard Landes attempted to corroborate the story about the ministers, to no avail.

Meanwhile, writer Farha Khaled did what Gil Ronen and Arutz Sheva failed to do: she provided a link to the actual Norwegian police report and inquired with the Norwegian justice ministry about the statistics. The ministry’s response:

The Oslo Police District has given a report of rapes in Oslo in 2010. The report shows that for all types of rape, except assault rape, European perpetrators are in the majority, and they are mostly Norwegian. Assault rapes covers only five identified unique person. These have all a foreign origin. The number is however, so low that it does not provide a basis for drawing conclusions with regard to country of origin. Two of them were very young (under 18) and two had severe psychiatric diagnoses and cannot be regarded as representative of their ethnic culture. It is highlighted in the report that generalizations like “Oslo’s rapists are foreigners,” which have been seen in media, are wrong. The report gives no statistics regarding religion of rapists.

While Oslo has indeed been rocked with what has been termed a “rape wave,” authorities are still attempting to identify the culprits and causes, even suspecting the involvement of a serial rapist. Besides, if a “wave” of rapes signals a higher than statistically normal number of occurrences, one cannot necessarily refer to statistics preceding the wave to determine the identities of the current perpetrators.

Interestingly, Gil Ronen had cited another person as an authority on “Muslim rape waves”: the then-pseudonymous Eurabist blogger known as “Fjordman,” who was a primary inspiration for Anders Breivik. Much of Breivik’s manifesto was authored by Fjordman. In the June Arutz Sheva article, Ronen approvingly cited Fjordman’s warning about an earlier “immigrant [and Muslim] rape wave in Sweden,” from back in 2005.

Such reports of hordes of brown-skinned attackers may be familiar to people living in the US in the 1990s, when the media promulgated sensational reports of“wilding” and of African American and Latino “superpredators,” along with today’s recurrent media warnings of “immigrant crime waves.”

As we should be aware, the notion of brown men defiling white women is not a specifically Eurabist scare. It has long been the pinnacle of white supremacist and xenophobic fears, and has long been evoked to justify the oppression and expulsion of brown peoples.

In 1900, South Carolina Senator Benjamin “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman, proclaimed this justification for the lynchings of African American men:

We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be equal to the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him. I would to God the last one of them was in Africa and that none of them had ever been brought to our shores.

I am reminded of a white supremacist cartoon that I once had the misfortune to see. The cartoon, attacking miscegenation, depicted a black man hooking up with a white woman—with the act being orchestrated by a Jewish man. Both the black man and the Jewish man were drawn as hideous caricatures that highlighted stereotypical features. The Eurabist scare, whether portrayed through Breivik’s manifesto or Latma’s YouTube video, is an extension of the offensive cartoon, lacking only in the stereotypical Jew.

(Update: Ali Abunimah has more information about the Muslim rape wave myth on his blog.)

Is Latma a fringe group?

If we define fringe solely by the validity of one’s viewpoints, then Latma, which produced the “Christmas in Eurabia” video, would definitely be fringe. However, if we define fringe as lacking in popular representation and influence and thus negligible, Latma would not qualify.

Latma head director Shlomo Blass has worked on projects for the Likud party, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies. Earlier this year, Blass collaborated with StandWithUs to produce a propaganda video for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The video, starring Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, was a copy of a settler video for the YESHA Council, with virtually the same storyboard and script, and which was also produced by Blass. The message in both videos were the same: the West Bank belongs to Israel.

Blass was recently commissioned to create another video for the Ministry, again starring Danny Ayalon, and this time purporting to address the issue of Palestinian refugees (of which Ayalon is not one).

Blass also produced the video “Israel’s Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace”for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. This explained that in any future negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel would retain Jordan Valley, would control the West Bank airspace and roadways, and would reshape the West Bank borders to Israel’s liking.

More prominent than Blass is Latma’s chief editor, Caroline Glick, who also serves as the deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post.

Both Glick and Blass starred in Latma’s infamous “We Con the World” video, which ridiculed the Mavi Marmara massacre and portrayed the Gaza flotilla as an Arab/Muslim/Turkish plot to deceive the world into hating Israel.

Caroline Glick, impersonating an Arab or a Muslim or a Turk—or perhaps a crazy Jewish woman from Chicago with a knife. Shlomo Blass can be seen behind her.  Caroline Glick, impersonating an Arab or a Muslim or a Turk—or perhaps a crazy Jewish woman from Chicago with a knife. Shlomo Blass can be seen behind her.

The video link to “We Con the World” was distributed to foreign media via the Israeli government press office. After the video was criticized internationally for its racist content, its tasteless response to the killings of nine people, and its contradiction of Israel’s self-portrayal as reluctant killers, the Israeli government claimed that the link was distributed in error. However, press officer director Danny Seaman still insisted that the video was “fantastic,” and Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev said, “I thought it was funny…It is what Israelis feel. But the government has nothing to do with it.”

In 2010, Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People, based in Tel Aviv University, presented Latma with the NADAV Peoplehood Award, claiming that the “We Con the World” video “made many Jews feel proud in a time of conflict and tension for our people.”

Earlier this year, Israeli Channel One partially funded Latma to film a pilot for aweekly TV program in the style of Latma’s offensive YouTube videos.

Latma’s funder: The Center for Security Policy

Although Latma operates in Israel, it acts as an initiative of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a 501(c)(3) and DC-based think tank, where Caroline Glick serves as the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs. The CSP motto is, no joke, “Peace through Strength.”

Big Eagle is watching you.Big Eagle is watching you.

The CSP made waves at the start of the Iraq War as part of the neocon network that was planning for US wars in Iraq and elsewhere. Indeed the CSP National Security Advisory Council has at times included prominent Bush era neocons, such as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, and Dov Zakheim, as well as Dick Cheney.

CSP’s founder and president is neocon lunatic Frank Gaffney, who accused Saddam Hussein of orchestrating the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center attack. More recently, Gaffney took up the “birther” cause and warned that Obama “not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.”

Gaffney also railed against “Obama’s pandering to the radical homosexual agenda” and the “Obama/homosexual agenda” (in an article strangely placed under a section of the website titled “The Shariah Threat”).

The CSP helped organize the campaign against the Park51 Islamic Center and has been prominent in pushing the “shar‘ia law” scare in the US. Last year, the CSP published a report, Shariah: The Threat to America, co-authored by David Yerushalmi, who has been paid over $270,000 as CSP’s general counsel.

Yerushalmi, who also serves as the attorney for Pamela Geller and Gaffney, is an Orthodox Jew with a penchant for making the most blatantly offensive statements. In an essay entitled “On Race: A Tentative Discussion,” Yerushalmi attempted to justify addressing “blacks as the most murderous of peoples (at least in New York City)” and explained that “there is a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote,” since these founders had an “understanding of human nature and its affect on political society.”

On his own website, Yerushalmi stated that

The Jews it seems are the bane of Western society… the Jewish problem for conservatives is a…quite interesting affair. It is most interesting because so much of what drives it is true and accurate… The conservative variety simply professes to uncover the many and varied ways Jews destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite, especially when the host is a Western nation-state… In response, one must admit readily that the radical liberal Jew is a fact of the West and a destructive one.

And when Mel Gibson made his famous anti-Semitic remarks, Yerushalmi defended him by saying

That Gibson sees Jews in an unfavorable light is only irrational if one wishes to make the argument that secular liberal Jews are not in fact the leading proponents of all forms of anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Christian movements, campaigns, and ideologies.

Yerushalmi also campaigned against the Park51 Islamic Center by forming the Freedom Defense Initiative with Pamela Geller and John Joseph Jay, a fellow “counter-jihadist” who advocates killing Muslims and members of the Service Employees International Union(!).

As the Center for American Progress demonstrated, Yerushalmi prepared an “anti-shari‘a” draft legislation that has served as the model for proposed legislation in many states.

Such a congregation of Islamophobic, homophobic, racist whackjobs would be easily dismissed if the CSP and its affiliated network of Islamophobes did not have such immediate access to the media and to government officials, along with access to a multimillion dollar budget. It’s through CSP that Latma’s videos are realized.

The CSP website proudly features “Christmas in Eurabia” on its home page, and Caroline Glick needs an editor.The CSP website proudly features “Christmas in Eurabia” on its home page, and Caroline Glick needs an editor.

It is thus no surprise that Frank Gaffney, the CSP, and Caroline Glick are all cited and quoted as authorities in Breivik’s manifesto.

Is Caroline Glick a Nazi according to the Jerusalem Post?

On July 24, two days after the Anders Breivik killings, the Jerusalem Post issued an editorial warning that the massacre should not be allowed to be “manipulated” by the Left in such a way as to raise public concern that right-wing extremism was a “real danger facing contemporary Europe,” since the “real underlying problems faced not only by Norway, but by many Western European nations” was the “abject failure of multiculturalism.” That is, the real danger to Europe was the danger Anders Breivik warned about, and over which Breivik committed his killing spree.

An outcry against the editorial was inevitable, and so was the subsequent apology, which the Post issued on August 4, and which included the following statement:

It later emerged that Breivik, a Christian radical, had posted on the Internet an extremely anti-Muslim manifesto that supported far-right nationalism and Zionism.

He apparently feared that a “Muslim colonization” of Europe would destroy Norway.

This is certainly not the kind of support Israel needs. It is the type of Islamophobia that is all too reminiscent of the Nazis’ attitude toward the Jews. Jews, Muslims and Christians in Israel and around the world should be standing together against such hate crimes.

Yet the “Muslim colonization” of the West is exactly what the “Christmas in Eurabia” video is about and is the focal obsession of Eurabists and the so-called “counter-jihadist” movement that includes Caroline Glick and the Center for Security Policy.

Thus, if we are to take the Post’s apology at face value, we would have to accept that Glick’s sentiments, along with Latma’s, are “the type of Islamophobia that is all too reminiscent of the Nazis’ attitude toward the Jews.”

On August 8, Glick responded in the Jerusalem Post with a piece entitled“Norway’s Jewish Problem.” Regarding the Post’s apology editorial, Glick stated, “I was not consulted about this editorial ahead of time, and the editorial does not reflect my views,” implying that the earlier July 24 editorial did reflect and still reflected her views.

Glick refused to apologize, instead labeling her critics anti-Semites and attacking Norway for its pervasive “climate of hatred towards Israel and Jews.” She reminded her readers that Norway was invaded and occupied by the Nazis, and thus Norwegian officials may still be Nazi collaborators. She produced names of Norwegians she didn’t like, such as the humanitarian doctors Erik Fosse and Mads Gilbert. Glick also claimed that “Judaism [is] the only religion that cannot be freely practiced in Norway.”

In a strange expression of moral superiority, she condemned Breivik’s actions, she said, even though Breivik’s victims “had obvious animosity towards Israel and sympathy for genocidal, Jew hating Hamas terrorists.” She concluded by stating that Norway owed her an apology but that no apology from Norway would be enough for her.

Apart from the fact that her long list of things to hate about Norway includes no mention of Norwegian black metal, the main thing that stands out in Glick’s opinion piece is this religious paradox: Glick is more concerned about Christmas being banned in a hypothetical Muslim Norway than she is concerned about Judaism already being banned in a non-Muslim Norway. This indicates either misplaced priorities or an inability to keep her fear mongering “facts” straight. That is, when she wants to criticize Norway, she warns that Jews are unsafe in Norway; when she wants to criticize Muslims, she warns that Christians are unsafe in Norway. Or else, she wants to protect the Jew-hating Norwegians from the Christian-hating Muslims.

Complicated? It’s simply a matter of who Caroline Glick hates most at the moment.

“Christmas in Jewrabia”

For an Israeli group that purports to satirize current events, Latma seems to have overlooked the irony of producing a video about a Muslim war on Christmas while their own government expresses hostility toward Christmas in the name of Jewish nationalism.

Take the case of Nazareth Illit, a suburb of the Nazareth that was the childhood home of Jesus. This year, when Palestinian Christians asked the mayor of Nazareth Illit to permit the placement of festive Christmas trees, similar to the enormous menorahs already on display in the town, the mayor refused. His reasoning:

The request of the Arabs to put Christmas trees in the squares in the Arab quarter of Nazareth Illit is provocative…Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen—not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor.

The mayor’s stance was supported by the town’s chief rabbi, Isaiah Herzl, who said that Christmas trees were “offensive to Jewish eyes.”

Never mind that the area of Nazareth was Palestinian Arab and largely Christian before Israel seized the land. In fact, during the imposition of the State of Israel in 1948, Nazareth was slated for ethnic cleansing, saved only when an Israeli officer refused to follow orders and instead decided to honor the agreement made with the town’s inhabitants during their capitulation. Nazareth Illit was constructed in the following decade in order to Judaize the area and offset the Palestinian majority.

In 1954, IDF Planning Department Director Yuval Ne’eman explained that the purpose of Nazareth Illit was to “emphasize and safeguard the Jewish character of the Galilee as a whole, and … demonstrate state sovereignty to the Arab population more than any other settlement operation.” Northern Military Governor Colonel Mikhael Mikhael elaborated that Nazareth Illit would “swallow up” Nazareth proper through the “growth of the Jewish population around a hard-core group” and “the transfer of the center of gravity of life from Nazareth to the Jewish neighborhood.”

And let’s not forget the Israeli Ministry of Absorption’s own war on Christmas, when it recently produced a video warning Jewish Israeli expatriates in the US to return home, lest their children end up wishing a merry Christmas to the grandparents.

Israel, which side of the War on Christmas are you on?Israel, which side of the War on Christmas are you on?

Even Muslim camels are racially inferior

There’s one final thing to be said about the “Christmas in Eurabia” video. At one point, a camel can be seen walking through the Islamized streets of Norway. The connotation is that Muslim immigration will bring backwardness to European civilization, as represented by the orientalist trope of the Middle Eastern camel.

The irony here is that to diaspora Zionists in the west, the camel has positive connotations associated with the Jewish homeland, as evidenced in these pictures from this year’s “Celebrate Israel” parade in New York.

This can also be seen in Birthright trips, where the camel ride is a staple of the program to induce an emotional attachment to Israel:

How do we reconcile the contradictory connotations? Camels associated with Muslims/Arabs—as in the “Eurabia” video—are a symbol of oriental backwardness, to be contrasted with the technically advanced western Israeli civilization. It is an Israeli rejection of geographical realities, as Israel is seen to have more in common with Europe than with the Middle East.

However, camels associated with Israel—as seen through the idealized eyes of Zionists in the West—are a symbol of exotic wonder, rooting the Western diaspora Jew in a place that is magical and historically profound, symbolizing a deep yet constructed heritage. Here, the camel is part of Israel’s geography, as the camel, like the land, has been conquered by the Ashkenazi pioneers, and so too have the native Bedouins been conquered and thus now prepare the camel rides for the Birthright tourists as part of the contrived Bedouin experience.

Banner from a website promoting BirthrightBanner from a website promoting Birthright

“The Tribal Update”

When “Eurabia” becomes a reality, who knows what those nefarious Muslims will do? Once they outlaw Christmas, what will follow? Will they ban church bells?Demolish non-Muslim homes? Flatten complete villagesEvict non-Muslim residents for Muslim ones? Impose mass population transfers? Eliminate civil marriages? View non-Muslims in Europe as a “demographic threat”? Establishsegregated roads? Enact laws that favor Muslims? Require loyalty oaths to Europe as a “Muslim and democratic” continent? The possibilities that Latma can take their “Eurabia” scenario are endless, and they just need to look at home for inspiration.

But “Christmas in Eurabia” and “We Con the World” are only samples in the Latma YouTube video series known as “The Tribal Update.” Here are some others.

This video mocks the notion that Palestinians are indigenous to the land:

And in a skit entitled “Palestinian Eskimos,” the denial of the existence of the Palestinian people turns into a gratuitous joke at the expense of another oppressed indigenous population, the Inuit.

Another video depicts the UN as filled with incompetent Third Worlders such as an African ambassador who is so uneducated he can’t find Israel on the map.

And a slant-eyed ambassador eating rice.

Rahm Emanuel is depicted as a Jew-traitor.

Barack Obama is a Muslim anti-Semite.

If the Obama blackface is too subtle, here’s Noam Jacobson playing “Kazabubu the Jewish Cannibal,” in a skit that ridicules black African “Jews” making aliyah.

In case you don’t understand Latma’s sense of humor, you’re supposed to laugh as Kazabubu babbles in his stupid African gibberish: “Bu ta le bo bo bi de bbbbbbbbb”—thus demonstrating that he is of inferior stock to the real Jews such as Noam Jacobson and Caroline Glick.

Most of the videos are Israeli talking points expressed by critics of Israel (and semi-critics of Israel) in racist caricature. The humor relies on an elitist nationalist perspective that can be boiled down to this: The world hates Israel, but the world outside of Israel is just a bunch of ignorant Africans, rice-eating chinks, bloodthirsty Muslims, self-hating Jews, and white multiculturalists asking to be raped. Ha ha.

The sheer racism of Noam Jacobson is matched only by his cluelessness, as he fails to understand why his offensive “comedy” skits elicit such hatred—concluding that he is a victim of the world’s hatred against Israel and the Jews. The fact that people would hurl anti-Semitic slurs—unjustified yet unsurprising—against him after watching his racist videos somehow proves that he is doing the right thing. As Jacobson explained to a reporter, “When you see the talkbacks, you know what you’re fighting for.”

Such a remark, made without irony, and published in an article with the incredulous headline, “Fighting the New Blood Libel”—against the backdrop of blatantly racist videos such as “Kazabubu the Jewish Cannibal”—just goes to show what anyone who has sat through a video produced by Noam Jacobson and his Latma colleagues already understands: they have no sense of humor.

Resist a Burglary and You’re a Hero to the Mail – Unless You’re a Muslim, That Is

Posted in Loon Media, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on December 22, 2011 by loonwatch

Sounds like something Robert Spencer would do. (via. Islamophobia-Watch)

Resist a burglary and you’re a hero to the Mail – unless you’re a Muslim, that is

The Daily Mail reports: ”A courageous housewife stabbed a machete-wielding burglar when he threatened to cut off her son’s finger, a court was told yesterday. Gillian Wilson, 55, was praised by a judge after she rushed at violent burglar Nigel Greenwood, 29, and plunged a knife into his arm, causing him and his accomplices to flee.”

What a sharp contrast this report presents to the Mail‘s coverage of Inayat Bunglawala’s resistance to a violent intruder at his own home in 2009 (see here and here), for which the paper was subsequently obliged to issue an apology and pay damages.