Archive for Ahmed Rehab

Let’s Face it: It’s the Radical Right, not Islam, that is the Greatest Threat to the American Way

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2011 by loonwatch

Hand Star Crescent

One of the most thorough and insightful pieces regarding the Lowe’s fiasco and the Muslim reality show, All American Muslim.

Let’s Face it: It’s the Radical Right, not Islam, that is the Greatest Threat to the American Way

by Ahmed Rehab (MindfulOfDreams)

Imagine if a major American advertiser were to pull its ads off of Jersey Shore because they received objections that the show while portraying a group of Italian-Americans, made the glaring error of excluding Mafiosi.

Imagine if the absence of characters “whacking knee caps” and “making offers you cannot refuse” was deemed as an “omission” and therefore pro-Italian propaganda, and as a result too controversial to sponsor.

Pathetic? Incredulous?

Well imagine no more.

Such is the pitiful state that Islamophobia has reached in this country, and it’s very real.

All-American Muslim is an American reality show like any other. It portrays the trials and travails of five Michigan families with typical reality show themes like marriage, birth, business, faith, food and of course drama queens.

There is one problem however, at least for the Florida Family Association:  the characters in the show are American Muslims.

The Florida Family Association got its members to send in dozens of emails to the show’s advertisers based on a pre-written template that stated in part:

“The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to the liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.”

So basically, their objection is that the show is portraying “ordinary Muslims” as – you may need to sit down for this – “ordinary Muslims”! Of course this runs the risk that unsuspecting Americans may come to view their ordinary Muslim neighbors as ordinary. According to this Florida group of nuts, this would be a travesty that American corporations must not contribute to.

We are more or less used to the unfortunate fact that there are anti-Muslim loons lurking about out there. There’s the burn-a-Quran-day pastor from Florida, there’s the group from Florida that tried to ban a Muslim professor from the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission because he was Muslim, and there’s that guy who tried to organize against Muslim family day at a Six Flags Texas theme park in Texas. Yes, yes, he was from Florida.

But what is real cause for alarm is the creeping influence of Islamophobia into mainstream American politics and culture.  From the Peter King radicalization hearings that use taxpayer funds to put mainstream American Muslims and their institutions on mock trial, to the frequent anti-Muslim rantings of the Congressman from Florida, Allen “Islam is not really a religion” West all the way to presidential hopeful Newt “Palestinians don’t really exist” Gingrich. And now, we have the weak-kneed primetime corporate sponsors.

That a group of extremists from Florida would exercise their first amendment right to carry out bigoted campaigns is unfortunate but not all that shocking. That 65 out of 67 advertisers (according to the Florida Family Association’s website of which only Lowe’s is independently confirmed) would capitulate to their nonsensical complaints that “ordinary Muslims are being portrayed as ordinary” is an alarming new milestone in the mainstreaming of bigotry in this country. For that reason, it ought to catch the attention of Americans who, for far too long, have stayed on the sidelines of the Islamophobia horror picture show.

Lowe’s admitted that they cut their ads short as a result of the emails they were receiving and after reviewing some websites and blogs out there (in the “bigotosphere”). Lowe’s is not just a tool in the hands of the far right, it’s the entire hardware store.

What Lowe’s is essentially saying by choosing to pull its sponsorship is that NOT portraying American Muslims as terrorists is just, well, too controversial for its brand:

“We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance. We strongly support and respect the right of our customers, the community at large, and our employees to have different views. If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.”

Lowe’s is putting forth a very dangerous argument: that the far right bigots and the mainstream Muslim voices with their pro-tolerance allies of all faiths are equal opposites; that those who wish to humanize a faith community that comprises 25% of humanity and those who wish to demonize them are equal opposites; that the forces of bigotry and the forces of anti-bigotry are equal opposites. The pervasive assumption that there is a moral equivalency between the two sparring sides is a major factor in the rise of Islamophobia in the US. But Lowe’s goes further than to claim moral equivalency. It actually takes sides, the wrong side: the side of the bigots.

The running complaint used to be that Muslims are always portrayed as terrorists. But now, the message being sent is that “not portraying American Muslims as terrorists” is sufficient for complaint and controversy. It’s moving the goal posts to a dangerous new “lowe”.

There are three lessons to be extracted from this episode:

First, it is a confirmation of what we have been stating all along:  Islamophobia is not merely a reaction to terrorism or radical ideologies (which would have been a welcome exercise), but, in fact, it is a form of bigotry that targets an entire faith community: the religion of Islam itself and its mainstream practitioners.

Second, Islamophobia is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s sort of like “we hate you because you are terrorists, but when you’re not terrorists, we want you to be terrorists so we can hate you.” In the case of American Muslim leaders and organizations, the line is “we hate you because you are terror-linked, but when you’re not, we need you to be terror-linked so we can hate you.”

Third, Islamophobia is but a smokescreen, a projection of sorts. We are often told that Muslims are trying to Islamize America and institute Islamic Shariah law (“Sharrorize” America as Imam Suhaib Webb puts it). We are told that the less than 1% of American Muslims is but a fifth column who is here to take over and subjugate the remaining 99% plus. Setting aside the obvious ludicrousness of the claim for a second, ask yourself when was the last time American Muslims organized to pull advertisements off the air from shows that do not conform with their faith values (and trust me there are many)? Our organizing campaigns are themed around anti-bigotry and social justice, not the imposition of our faith.

To the contrary, it is the Christian right, the same folks who comprise many of the leading anti-Muslim alarmists, groups like the Florida Family Association (and trust me there are many) that are time and again organizing to force their way of thinking on other Americans. A quick visit to their website shows that this is not the first time they have successfully harassed advertisers for advertising on shows that do not conform to their ideology. They’ve targeted gays, sexually liberal shows, and others they disagree with.

It is not a coincidence that the organized Islamophobia networks in this country often include the same people who are trying to force-feed the Bible into government, schools, and public life.

And so comes the most important realization:

The organized American Muslim community’s agenda is in fact a social justice agenda. Any objective scrutiny of our organizations, campaigns, projects, and discourse reveals that this is widely and consistently the case.

On the other hand, as I already mentioned, you will find that it is it is none other than the far right that is out to force their narrowly conceived socio-religious ideology and way of life on Americans.

They conveniently promulgate the whole Islamist supremacist takeover fantasy and the Shariah scare as a divergence, a distraction, a smokescreen.

Projection is the name of the game.

They often use soft namesakes like “family” and “freedom” to give the impression of docility, and they inundate their websites and blogs with American flags and eagles to give the impression that they are the tried and true patriotic Americans who are best poised to speak for the majority.

They are not the majority, but they are not less than 1% either. They are in the millions, have access to billions of dollars, and have sufficiently organized at both the grassroots level and onas well as the internet in recent years to start to flex some muscle. (It is often stated that if fascism were to ever come to America, it would be wrapped in the US flag and bearing a cross.)

There is a ray of light. More Americans are beginning to wake up to the Islamophobia disease and the attempts at divergence from the real threat to our freedoms and democracy.

A year ago, the scorching Park51 controversy, while contrived and sensationalized at the end of the day, failed to impress the media or the public. In the case of the Lowe’s controversy, Americans are joining hands in speaking out against bigotry. Muslim, Catholic, and Jewish groups, as well as notable individuals, including 2010 Spirit of Anne Frank awardee Anya Cordell, California State Senator Ted Lieu, music mogul Russell Simmons, actress Mia Farrow, and several other celebrities, have come out strongly to say “enough is enough.”

For Lowe’s and other companies that gave in to bigotry, the choice is simple: own up to your error and do the right thing – or risk being chalked up on the wrong side of history (not to mention the wrong side of an impending boycott).

O’Hare TSA Employee Fired over Racist, Homphobic, Anti-Muslim Facebook Posts

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by loonwatch
Roy Egan

Roy Egan was fired due to violating the TSA code of conduct.

O’Hare TSA Employee Fired Over Racist, Homphobic, Anti-Muslim Facebook Posts

Sun-Times Media Wire

Chicago – Roy Egan, an O’Hare Airport baggage handler who allegedly spewed racist and bigoted rants against Muslims, African Americans, Latinos and homosexuals on his Facebook page has been fired, according to the Chicago Council on American-Islamic Relations.

CAIR said Egan had worked at the airport for nine years, was suspended in October and terminated this month.

Egan used his Facebook page, where he openly identified himself as a TSA officer, to post comments such as: “FILTHY MUSLIM,” Muslims “need to be exterminated”, “BURN ISLAM”, “Islam, a cult that glorifies death,” and ”Does anything at all make you smile more than a Muslim burning by his own hateful hand.”

He also posted remarks about President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Attorney General Eric Holder.

CAIR-Chicago representatives met with Transportation Security Administration leadership in Chicago three weeks ago to voice the concerns of the Muslim community about the incident and to ask that more be done to prevent future incidents from happening.

“We made it clear that Egan’s discourse was as much an embarrassment to the agency and the values it stands for, as it was an affront against Muslims and other minorities,”

“By the end of the meeting, we felt convinced that the TSA leadership takes such violations of its code of conduct very seriously and that they genuinely set out to do their utmost to ensure that all constituents are treated with fairness and respect.”

“The TSA works hard everyday to keep Americans safe,” Amina Sharif, TSA communications coordinator said in the release. “When such egregious behavior is flagged on the part of one of their agents, it breeds confidence in us as passengers that it is dealt with as swiftly and as seriously as it was in the case of Roy Egan.”

Egan was in violation of the TSA code of conduct which stipulates that its employees — on or off duty — behave in a manner that avoids causing the public to raise questions about their judgment and ability to enforce the mission of the agency, the release said.

Self-Hating Muslim Irshad Manji’s WTF Tweet of the Day

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2011 by loonwatch

(Update I below)

Muammar Gaddafi’s regime collapsed yesterday, as the capital Tripoli was liberated by freedom-fighters.  As people all over the world rejoiced–including Libyans and Muslims across the globe–this is what faux-progressive Muslim Irshad Manji had to say; she tweeted:

Regardless of what happens in #Libya, may the victims of Pan Am 103 be at rest.” #Qaddafi #Tripoli

Ahmed Rehab tweeted in response:

WTF tweet of the day: @IrshadManji: “Regardless of what happens in #Libya, may the victims of Pan Am 103 be at rest.” #Qaddafi #Tripoli

Rehab described Manji’s tweet in the best possible manner: a WTF tweet.  WTF, indeed.

(“Pan Am 103″ is referencing a terrorist attack in the 1980′s, in which about 270 people were killed.  Libyans were implicated in this attack.  As one reader pointed out, it was actually Gaddafi himself, but Irshad Manji won’t let that fact bother her too much–it was those damn Libyans!)

In any case, a twitter war ensued thereafter, with one person responding to Manji saying:

and how about the 20 thousand Libyans who died in battle fighting Qadafi?

To which Manji replied:

Of course. While we’re busy praising them (rightly), let’s not overlook others. It’s not either/or. It’s and/both.

Umm, yeah.  Except that she specifically chose to highlight a terrorist attack that took place decades ago , without mentioning the thousands of Libyans who were killed recently.  Is it not likely that Manji cares much more about good white folk that die but cares much less about brown Muslims who are killed in record numbers?

The fact that Irshad Manji’s first thought when it comes to Libya is “1980′s Pan-Am 103 terrorist attack” is proof that–far from being the “Muslim representative” she parades around as–she is an outsider posing as an insider, who can only see the Muslim word through the lens of Orientalism.  To her, Libya is reduced to whatever America’s experience and simplistic stereotype of it is.  So, to her, Libya is 1980′s Pan-Am terrorist attack.  The more than two decades of Libyan history that followed after that are largely irrelevant to her understanding of the region.

Ahmed Rehab commented on Manji’s Facebook page:

I found it strange that of all the things that could be said at such a historic moment in the plight of a people dying for their freedom, this is what you could think of. I mean, what is it about Libyan citizens fighting for freedom against a 42 year oppressive rule, giving life and limb, and finally celebrating being on the cusp of finding it, that conjures up a 1980′s terrorist attack in your mind? Very Bizarre for me.

Very bizarre indeed.  WTF more like it.

Update I:

Ahmed Rehab threw another grenade, saying:

@Irshad, the phenomenon of the people of Libya fighting for freedom and celebrating their victory yesterday has nothing to do with a terrorist act by Qaddafi in the 80′s. But since you’re in the business of randomly mentioning things and associating events together because they’re “human too” then why not throw in that tweet mention of the 1000+ dead in the last Gaza war at the hands of an occupation you seem to support and say something like “I wish they too could have seen a free day”? Seems like just as much a logical association if not more than the one you threw out. Come on, why not? What’s happening in your heart that you would need to view this as an either/or scenario, rather than an and/both sentiment?

But of course Irshad Manji doesn’t sympathize with the Palestinians under Israeli occupation.  That would put her in the bad books with the right-wingers and neo-conservatives whose approval she so desperately needs.  So much for the “and/both” claim.

Rehab said further:

There’s nothing wrong with evoking the victims of Hiroshima, but it would be bizarre if one tweeted “regardless of who wins the olympic gymnastics Gold between the US and Romania, I hope the victims of Hiroshima rest in peace” and then when someone rightly wonders WTF, the response is “what is it in your heart that you cannot BOTH celebrate the US gold AND have it in your heart to remember Hiroshima”. It’s the bizarre forced associaton that makes your tweet incoherent. I know you are intelligent enough to grasp this simple point. So, there’s something else going on with you. And I will tell you what it is: expediency. I don’t personally believe that you are concerned with the freedom of Libyans, or with the victims of terrorism for that matter (if you were you’d have – even if once by sheer accident – decried Israeli state terrorism against unarmed Palestinian families). I think instead you are a professional panderer givning a segment of Western society what you think they want to hear from a Muslim to be patted on the back and hansomely rewarded as a “good, civilized, educated” Muslim. And you never waste an opportunity to deliver the goods. In fact, you’ve made a career of mastering that art. You will forgive my honesty.

That’s pretty much spot-on.

Ahmed Rehab: The Denial of Islamophobia

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon People, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2011 by loonwatch

Greeneye recently did a great piece on Pascal Bruckner, a (wanna-be) “philosopher” who made thevery poor and contradictory case that the word Islamophobia was “invented” to silence critics of the Koran, while at the same time minimizing bigotry against Muslims.

Much to our delight Marty Peretz wanted to help make our case that Pascal Bruckner’s article was not only woefully anemic intellectually, but thoroughly Islamophobic. Peretz of “Muslim lives are cheap fame” latched onto Bruckner’s article hoping that in some way another fake liberal might exonerate him of his lewd beliefs and laughingstock position, in doing so he just made our point even stronger. Good company you are in Pascal!

Ahmed Rehab shreds Peretz (hat tip: John P.):

The Denial of Islamophobia

by Ahmed Rehab

Faux liberal and pro-occupation advocate, New Republic editor Martin Peretz is back at it again.

Last fall, he caused a firestorm with his racist comments that “Muslim life is cheap” in a piece lambasting the New York Times for speaking out against anti-Muslim prejudice and defending constitutionally-protected religious rights.

Sounding more like a slumlord than a former Harvard assistant professor, he wrote at the time:

I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.

Peretz, who was slated to be honored by Harvard prior to the controversy, was roundly rebuked for his offensive comments, with Harvard put under intense pressure for honoring a bigot. Harvard students rallied outside his ceremony which several professors and staff boycotted; disgusted alumni returned their certificates to the university. Though the ceremony took place, his acceptance speech was cancelled.

But that humiliation has not stopped Peretz from his downward spiral to kookdom. On Monday, he dished out some raw Islamophobia-denial in a gullible column entitled “The Invention of Islamophobia”:

Anyone who suggests that there is a war being waged by Muslims in their own lands and in the lands in which they have settled–these last, by the way, are the really aggressive “settlers”!–against rationalists and true liberals, traditional conservatives and Islamic dissenters, Christians and Jews is likely to be labeled an “Islamophobe.” I have been, and thousands of you out there, perhaps millions, have been so labeled…or almost. And, at dinner with friends, have anyone of you just raised questions about the tyranny of silence which the “politically so correct” are trying to impose on those who are fearful of the admixture of faith and bombs and then not found yourselves attacked as at least “intolerant” and perhaps even a bigot? Or, yes, even an Islamophobe.

He goes on to claim:

Islamophobia–that is, the word itself–is meant to silence you. It has already silenced President Obama, hasn’t it? He hasn’t even spoken up for his fellow Christians who in recent weeks have been victimized in Iraq (where maybe we still wave some sway), Egypt (our very expensive ally), Nigeria, Pakistan et al.

(Actually that’s a lie. “President Obama, in a statement, called the attack ‘barbaric and heinous,’” the AP reports. But that’s not our topic.)

Allow me to clarify a few things for the confused, self-victimizing Peretz.

Firstly, being “fearful of the admixture of faith and bombs” does not constitute Islamophobia.

In fact, most Muslims in the world would admit to being afraid of this admixture.

I understand that it is difficult for stereotype-minded individuals to understand that other people are largely just like their own – that is, with their share of some bad who do bad things and a good majority who fear bad things – but that is what makes them bigots.

Bigots, by definition, tend to not only fear the bad apples in “other” group – which would be understandable – but they tend to go further by propping them up as the headline for the entire group, even if the bad apples are a small percentage.

And so for a certified bigot, all Blacks are street criminals, all Latinos are gang bangers, all Jews are greedy, and all Muslims mix faith with bombs.

As such Islamophobia is just another form of bigotry – in this case, bigotry against Muslims. But here’s the point Mr. Peretz, like other forms of bigotry, it is not so much about criticizing something as negative (as you cheekily posit), but the generalization of what is negative to all members of the group (which you and others demonstrably indulge in).

So when Peretz talks of a war being waged by “Muslims in their own lands and in the lands in which they have settled … against rationalists and true liberals, traditional conservatives and Islamic dissenters, Christians and Jews” without context, scope or qualification – as if all 1.4 billion Muslims are waging a war against all the billions of liberals, conservatives, Christians and Jews in the world – then Peretz is engaging in simplistic and vitriolic generalizations against Muslims that certainly constitute Islamophobia.

There is another related indicator of Islamophobia: selectivity.

So when Peretz is “fearful of the admixture of faith and bombs” only when that faith is Islam, but not when that faith is Christianity, Hinduism, his native Judaism or some other faith, then chances are Peretz is mired in Islamophobia.

Funny enough, there is one more common indicator of Islamophobia: criticizing those who resist the trigger-happy generalizations of Muslims as supposedly “succumbing to political correctness.” In that warped world view, the bigoted are the courageous freedom fighting patriots, and those responsible souls who say “no thanks” to generalizations are the weak-kneed politically-correct liberals who are going to bring America down.

So no, Mr. Peretz, before you start crying victim and feeling sorry for yourself as someone who is ridiculed for daring to speak out against the evils of Islam and Muslims and against the oversensitivity of the poor old politically correct masses, perhaps you can explain to us how opposing an American Muslim mosque for the alleged transgressions of Muslims in medieval Muslim lands is not a double generalization across time and space for which you should rightly be ridiculed and dismissed?

Islamophobia – that is negative stereotyping, bigoted expressions, and rampant generalizations against Islam and Muslims – is not only a sad reality in America today but one that is hard to miss just reading through the news headlines in 2010, let alone the third page. Not coincidently, those who are leading the Islamophobic movement in this country are the same people now leading the Islamophobia-denial movement. And in truth, Martin Peretz, though a member of the club, is not at the top of the list.

Whether anti-semitism or Islamophobia, those who coined the phenomenon did not “invent” the phenomenon, they simply called it out. It is an insult to Harvard, that someone like Peretz does not possess the requisite intellectual fortitude to tell the difference.

 

Ahmed Rehab: A Silver Lining in Egypt’s Dark Cloud

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2011 by loonwatch

An inspiring and heartening post by Ahmed Rehab on the bombing of the Coptic church. We were alerted to this late but this is certainly thus far one of the best posts on the subject. (hat tip: Ivan)

A Silver Lining to Egypt’s Dark Cloud

by Ahmed Rehab

The recent bombing outside a Coptic church in the Egyptian seaport of Alexandria that claimed 21 lives and 96 injuries sent shockwaves throughout Egypt and made headlines around the world.

Much of the global media has limited its interest in the story to the bombing itself and the subsequent angry street protests by Coptic youth; more savvy journalists included some discussion of government negligence and the context of sectarian strife that plagues Egypt today.

Still, an integral part of the story remains untold outside of Egypt: the strong response of everyday Egyptians – Muslims and Copts.

A popular storm of anger, defiance, and national unity is sweeping the country expressed by political leaders, members of the clergy, movie stars, students, and men and women on the street all reiterating one resounding theme: this is an attack against Egypt and all Egyptians.

While sectarian strife – even violence – is a serious problem in this mostly Muslim nation with a sizable Coptic population, Muslims and Copts generally live in peace side by side and have for many centuries.

Ali GomaaEgyptians of all stripes seem to concur that the Alexandria bombing – the most serious act of terrorism in a decade – is an attack on the Egyptian way of life with the intent to drive a wedge between faith communities and push the nation into turmoil.

“This is not just an attack on Copts, this is an attack on me and you and all Egyptians, on Egypt and its history and its symbols, by terrorists who know no God, no patriotism, and no humanity,” said Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti of Egypt.

Khaled El Gendy“This cannot be classified as religious extremism, this can only be classified as religious apostasy,” said sheikh Khaled El Gendy a popular Muslim TV personality. “I do not offer my condolences to Christians, but to all Egyptians and to Egypt, All Copts are Egyptian and all Egyptians are Copts; their places of worship are national places of worship, a bomb that targets them bleeds us all.” A high ranking member of the Coptic clergy who sat beside him echoed his words.

“An act like this is wholly condemnable in Islam. Muslims are not only obligated not to harm Christians, but to protect and defend them and their places of worship,” said Imam Ahmed Al Tayeb the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Egypt’s seat of Orthodoxy.

Adel Imam“Let us hang black flags from our homes and black ribbons on our cars to mourn this cowardly attack against our brothers and sisters, let us send a symbolic message of defiance against those who are trying to divide us”, said a visibly enraged Adel Imam, Egypt’s most popular living actor, a Muslim, and a long time advocate for Coptic rights.

The message was not much different on Egypt’s most watched talk shows that were abuzz with Muslim and Coptic guests in the studios and on the streets, expressing their solidarity with each other and defiance against what they see as a common enemy trying to drive a wedge between Egyptians.

Muslim college students in Alexandria and Cairo have vowed to join Copts at their upcoming Christmas celebrations (January 7th for the Coptic Church). “We will be there with signs bearing the Crescent and the Cross, celebrating with them, standing with them, and falling with them if necessary,” said a young, veiled student leader surrounded by her colleagues.

As an Egyptian, I am as invigorated by the current mood in Egypt as I am distraught by the bombing. However, I pray that this welcome surge of unity and camaraderie is seized and eternalized. I hope that it becomes ingrained into our societal fabric and that it is leveraged to induce long needed reforms.

I agree that an attack such as this has the bearings of Al Qaeda and its imitation groups therefore taking us outside the realm of common sectarian strife and into one of national security; nonetheless, Egyptians should see the current atmosphere of empathy as an opportunity to address Coptic grievances and strive towards a more equal society.

We can no longer deny that since the rise of Muslim extremist ideology in the 1970′s, Egypt’s once exemplary Muslim-Coptic relations has deteriorated significantly.

My father tells me that growing up in the 50′s, he often did not know if one of his friends was a Muslim or Copt except by sheer coincidence, and then when he did it mattered little. This was not my experience growing up in Egypt where my religion teacher made sure to warn me against the “treachery” of my Coptic colleagues.

Naguib El RihanyIn the 40′s, no one seemed to care that Naguib El Rihany, Egypt’s then greatest comedian and a national treasure, was a Copt; he was simply Egyptian. Likewise, Copts did not bat an eyelid when Omar Sharif, a Christian, converted to Islam in the 50′s, at the height of his celebrity, a far cry from today’s intense reactions against conversions.

As far back as the 12th century, Egyptian Muslims and Copts fought side by side against the Crusaders, viewed then as a national security threat and not a religious war. Together, they stood tall against British colonialism – a lasting image of the period depicts Muslim sheikhs and Coptic priests marching together side by side and chanting “long live the crescent and the cross!”

One needs not look farther than the Alexandria Church itself to gain a glimpse of the sort of religious cohabitation that is uniquely Egyptian: the church is brightly lit up by flood lights perched up on a Mosque, only 30 feet across the street.

Egyptians are asking today privately and publicly, where has all this gone?

But we need to do more than ask and lament. We need to act.

The post-Alexandria solidarity between Muslims and Copts – the likes of which Egypt has not witnessed in decades – represents a silver lining in Egypt’s dark cloud of sectarian strife and mistrust.

We would be wrong not to acknowledge and applaud it, but equally wrong to settle for it; a silver lining never made for a brighter day.

We need to carry the momentum forward into the realm of real change:

When extremist religious discourse at Mosques (and in Coptic circles) is regularly and unequivocally condemned and countered with a proactive and effective discourse of respectful coexistence, it will be a brighter day.

When Egyptians no longer have to list their faith affiliation on their official government ID’s, it will be a brighter day.

When Copts no longer need a special government decree to build churches (or fix bathrooms in their churches), it will be a brighter day.

When I see talented young Coptic men playing on the Egyptian football national team at a rate proportional to the Coptic talent in my 6th grade class in Cairo, it will be a brighter day.

When the glass ceiling barring Copts from reaching the highest levels of government is shattered, it will be a brighter day.

When Egyptian law, prosecutors, officers, and judges treat Muslims and Copts as merely Egyptians – that is as equal citizens – with merit being the only qualifier, it will be a brighter day.

Given the candid conversations happening all over Egypt today, I believe that a brighter day is within reach. It is up to us “to change this tragedy into an opportunity,” to borrow the words of Sheikh Ali Gomaa.

Clearly, the immediate priority is security, but that must be followed – if not paralleled – with addressing Coptic civic grievances. For this to stand a realistic chance of success, the Coptic cause must become a national cause led and fought for by Muslims under a program of comprehensive civil rights reform.

Ahmed Rehab is a board member of the Egyptian American Society and a co-author and signatory of the Chicago Declaration, a practical document calling for equal treatment of Copts under the law, submitted to the Egyptian government in 2005.

 

Ahmed Rehab: Passion and Peril at a Pro-Christian Rally

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by loonwatch

Muslims in Chicago joined their Christian brethren in condemning and opposing the slaughter of Christians in Iraq. (hat tip: Robert Spencer)

Beyond the Comfort Zone: Passion and Peril at a Pro-Christian Rally

(ahmedrehab.com/blog)

by Ahmed Rehab

Yesterday, CAIR-Chicago staff and interns participated in a rally alongside the Assyrian community of Chicago to condemn violence against Iraqi Christians. The rally was organized in response to the massacre of dozens of Assyrian Christians in Baghdad on October 31st.

It was a tricky decision for us. We knew that there could be anti-Muslim sentiment at the rally that would put is in a precarious position, but we decided that our disdain for the heinous acts of Al Qaeda far exceeded our concern for personal inconvenience.

We decided that the right thing for us to do was to act on our values and our sincere feelings of camaraderie with our fellow human beings in times of anguish. We wanted to raise our voices as Muslims in support of the Assyrian community and against terrorists who purport to act in the name of our faith.

Al Qaeda does not have reverence for any innocent life, including those of Muslims. It is a fact that they have bombed many more Mosques in Iraq than churches.
While we were weary of the possibility that some people at the rally could lash out at us, Muslims-at-large who condemn terrorism, we were not interested in seeing ourselves as victims. The only victims we were prepared to recognize were the 52 innocent souls that were claimed by the recent church bombing, and the many others – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and otherwise – claimed by terrorism.

And so we set out with signs including “An Attack on Your Church is an Attack on my Mosque,” “American Muslims, Iraqi Christians, One Blood,” “My Brother is an Assyrian,” “We Stand with Iraqi Christians,” and “Muslims for Peace.”

We held our signs up high and marched in solidarity with the predominantly Assyrian Christian crowd.

The reaction we got was mixed.

In an interesting scene that summed up my experience, I was asked by one man if I was a Muslim. I said “Yes, I am.” He then asked, “Am I impure?”

I joked, “I don’t know did you shower this morning?”

He dismissed the joke and asked me if I thought “his blood was impure.” I told him, “why would you expect that, you’ve never met me, I am here supporting you, what about me leads you to ask me such a question?” He told me, “You said you are a Muslim.” I told him, “so what?” He said that Muslims believe this sort of thing. I told him that he had been grossly misinformed, “you’re blood like all innocent blood is holy to me.”

Another man interjected and started yelling that I was “unwanted” there, motioning with his arms for me to leave. As he continued to yell at me, my attention was drawn to something that touched me. A young woman a few yards away leaned down on a stroller she was pushing and started to sob uncontrollably.

At first, I thought it had nothing to do with us but my intuition told me otherwise. I asked here, “what’s wrong, why are you crying?”

She said unable to hold back her tears, “I am so sorry you and your friends have to deal with idiots like that, this man does not represent us, I am so embarrassed. This is so wrong.”

Here I was standing before a stark display of contrasts, extreme animosity on one end and extreme compassion on the other.

In a single powerful moment, I was reminded yet again at the absurdity of those who generalize about any one group of people. Here were two people of the same religion, color, and ethnic background standing side by side rallying for the same cause — and yet they could not be any more different.

I hugged her and tried to comfort her, “Trust me, I know, we have our share of idiots too, everyone has them, most people here have been kind.”

And it was true. Many in the crowd were genuinely happy – almost relieved – to see Muslims standing with them at this rally. Some smiled, some nodded, others simply said “thank you!” It reinforced my feeling that our participation was extremely important.

While there were other incidents – one lady held a cross up to my face and told me I was a “bad Muslim” for condemning terrorism which is “in my Quran”, two people told us that we are going to hell for not accepting Jesus as our Saviour, some guy yelled profanities and was held back by a girl half his size, another called for reciprocal violence – in every single instance, someone else would take a strong stance, telling the others to back off and apologizing.

As we made our way back to the office, we were chased by two girls. “Can I ask you a question?” one of them said. “Can I just give each of you guys a hug?”

We met back in the office for an evaluation.

I learned that my colleagues’ experience mostly mirrored mine.

Despite the bigotry of some, we all felt strong solidarity with most people. We felt as if the Assyrian community, with its good and bad, was our own.

It is of no surprise to any of us that there are some negative feelings among some Arab and Assyrian Christian communities regarding Islam and Muslims. Part of it is understandable to us, given the ugly acts by saboteurs claiming to act in the name of Islam. Part of it is due to the opportunistic work of preachers like father Zakaria Boutros who make a living out of telling Arabic-speaking Christians that Islam is an evil religion. Part of it still is due to the lack of dialogue and engagement between our faith communities, and that was the part we resolved to try to change.

Assyrians have a long and proud history that goes back to one of the earliest civilizations in the world. They live as a religious minority in their indigenous homeland. For centuries, they have coexisted peacefully with their Muslim neighbors. But at other times, especially now, the instability and violence is leaving them feeling frightened for their loved ones and overall vulnerable. Some of them blame Al Qaeda, others demonize all Muslims, and others still blame the United States and its wars.

One thing we must never allow is for the bad amongst us – terrorists, extremists, ideologues of exclusion and hate – to succeed in turning the rest of us against each other. We must condemn them, ostracize them, and disempower them. The way to do that is to strengthen our relations, and stand with one another. That is the only way to spell defeat for the agents of hate.

We must emerge from our comfort zones and stand together as one against all forms of violence, ignorance, and intolerance.

When Christians are attacked, they should NOT have to rally alone. We must rally along with them. When Jews are attacked, they should NOT have to rally alone. When Muslims are attacked, we should NOT have to rally alone.

 

Ahmed Rehab: The Real Meaning of Islam

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , on November 7, 2010 by loonwatch
ahmed rehabAhmed Rehab

A well-argued analytical piece by Ahmed Rehab in the Chicago Tribune that looks at the role of language, translations, and definitions as a factor in shaping (or misshaping) Western public perception and discourse on Islam – the first piece in the series is the word “Islam” itself.

Chicago Tribune: Language Matters: Islam, A Definition

By Ahmed Rehab

Language is to ideas what the body is to the soul. It is the physical manifestation of thought. It is the mortar with which we shape our understanding of the world.

But what happens when words are transmuted from one language to another and subjected to preconceived notions or limitations prevalent in the new language? Do they lose some of their original meaning?

If we are interested in gaining a better, more accurate understanding of Islam, its concepts, doctrine, and ideas, we must concede that there needs to be more robust scrutiny of the definitions that shape our discourse on Islam.

So with that in mind, I will be running a special series here at the Chicago Tribune’s The Seeker faith blog in which I will attempt to analyze definitions and translations of key Islamic terms to test them for authenticity. I am calling the series “language matters,” an intended pun on the importance of language in the understanding of faith constructs.

For this first installment, let us start at the root, the word “Islam” itself.

Islam is commonly translated into English, by both Muslims and non-Muslims, as simply “submission” (or “surrender”).

This is a simplistic translation that fails to convey the full meaning of the Arabic word.

There are namely two problems here.

First, “submission” and “surrender” in English contextualized usage imply a sense of coercion, a usurpation of one’s free will. When we say “surrender!” for example, it’s usually at gun point.

This contradicts a foundational criterion of Islam: freedom of will.

In Arabic, “Istislam,” not “Islam”, means “surrender” (noun). Like its English counterpart, “Istislam” implies coercion, and like its English counterpart it can be used to describe the act of one man vis-a-vis another. Conversely, “Islam” is used ONLY in the context of God, and ONLY in a state of free will (there is no single word in the English language that conveys this).

In other words, for a Muslim to be a Muslim, he or she must accept Islam free of force or coercion. God wishes for us to choose him because we want him, and for no other reason but that. This is a key point that is often misunderstood. Since faith is a matter of the heart, it can never be forced. It is technically impossible that Islam could ever be spread by the sword or by coercion, as some suggest, since even if at gun point (or at the sword blade), one could just as well proclaim to be a Muslim to avoid death, but reject Islam in their heart.

That is not to say that an “empire,” whether Islamic or otherwise, cannot be spread by the sword. But faith cannot. Just as no physical force can coerce you to love someone you do not love, none can coerce you to believe something you do not believe.

God understands this; in fact, he ordained that it be so. Since he is a judge of hearts first and foremost, it is logically necessary that he makes faith a matter of free choice, a matter of the heart and mind. Islam can only be spread by invitation (Da’wah) and persuasion (Hujjah), not coercion (Ikrah). The Qur’an explicitly states: “La Ikrah fel Deen” or “Let there be no compulsion in matters of faith.” (Ultimately, Muslims believe that faith is decreed by divine guidance.)

The second problem this translation poses is that there is no linguistically derived relationship between the English “submission” and the English “peace,” unlike the case in Arabic where “Islam” and “Salam” (peace) are derived from the same root word “slm” (to be in peace).

This etymological relationship is critical and cannot be lost in translation. We submit willingly to God in search of peace. As Muslims, we cannot take the “peace” out of our relationship with God, we cannot be Muslims resigned to anger, trepidation, or bitterness. Human beings are free to choose God’s peace or reject it. The Quran puts generous emphasis on these themes. When we achieve peace with God whom Muslims regard as the ultimate Peace, only then can we be at peace with ourselves. And only when we are at peace with ourselves can we then be at peace with others.

In conclusion, a qualified translation is in order for the real meaning of the Arabic word “Islam” to be fully and faithfully conveyed in the English language. Islam does not mean “submission,” Islam means “to freely submit one’s will to God’s, in pursuit of divine peace.” A simpler version that carries the same meaning is “to enter into God’s peace,” as Professor Tariq Ramadan proposes.

It is ironic that two important characteristics of being a Muslim, in fact the two most basic criteria (freedom and peace), are two of the most misrepresented and conflated when it comes to the West’s conception of Islam. But that is of little surprise when you consider that the building blocks of our discourse and understanding – the language we use – is itself flawed.

[Ahmed Rehab Chicago Tribune Original Link]

 

Cyberpath still on the War Path against Ahmed Rehab and Reza Aslan

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by loonwatch

How sad can Robert Spencer get? My colleagues at LoonWatch have termed him an Internet Psychopath. Perhaps a more fitting description would be a Cyberpath.

Blowing the whistle on Robert Spencer’s pyscho-cyber path syndrom:

Cyberpath: People that possess a NarcissisticSociopath , or Psychopathpersonality disorder where they use the Internet as a tool against others on the Internet (their victims) in order to harm, bully, abuse, provoke, troll, torment, created conflict, destroy, damage, deceive, flame and inflame others for their own gratification , for example, seeking personal or financial gain.

This describes Robert Spencer to a tee. He has graduated from being a psychopath to being an all out Cyberpath. His narcissistic image of himself doesn’t allow for him to let any perceived slight or blight (even if it doesn’t exist) against his person go.

This has manifested itself in his recent Crusade against two Muslims who don’t really fit the extremist mold as far as any discerning viewer can note: Reza Aslan and Ahmed Rehab.

Spencer has stooped to calling the two “Islamic Supremacists.” Their crimes, aside from blasting Spencer as belonging in the “trash bin of history” seems to be that they “look metrosexual” (I didn’t know Spencer the flobby anti-Muslim polemicist was also a fashion expert, his attire would suggest otherwise), won’t entertain Spencer and his arguments as serious but view him as a bigoted clown, and that they are active in protecting the rights of Muslims.

In a little over 48 hours Spencer has produced 7 pieces of varying length and verbiage against both Aslan and Rehab, essentially confirming himself as their cyberstalker.

Islamic Supremacist Reza Aslan: “Nothing can stop the spread of Islam” (Spencer relies on one of his followers, Evan Mark, for this “quote.” No one in the media reported it, but when we look at the actual speech we see that what Aslan is saying is that there are fundamentalists (such as Spencer) who wish to destroy Islam and to go to war with Islam and strip Muslims from practicing or preaching their religion, Aslan said that this is stupid and is not going to happen because Islam is a great world faith and all indicators are it is going to keep growing.)

Bill O’Reilly Fawns over anti-Semitic Islamic Supremacist Ahmed Rehab of Hamas-linked CAIR (I sense a bit of jealousy and envy on the part of poor ole’ irrelevant Spencer. No longer able to bask in the 5 minute glory of the ginned up “NYC Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, no one wants him on air. In fact they don’t want to be near him with a ten feet pole because he is just that ludicrous. He is sad that O’Reilly, a hardcore Right-winger, had a Mooslim with some intelligence on his program and not awkward self-proclaimed academic Robert Spencer.)

Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran protests State Department’s Sending lobbyist for Islamic Republic on tax-payer-funded jaunt to Saudi Arabia (By pro-Democracy what he means is the anti-Islamic and neo-Conservative organization PDMI, an Orwellian organization that includes one Amil Imani whose vitriol against Muslims would put Geert Wilders to shame. Not to mention that it is so “pro-Democracy” that it hosts a portrait of “His Majesty Mohammed Reza Shah,” a real scion of Democracy!.)

Juan Williams and the Left’s Intellectual Bankruptcy ( a Human Events piece that continues his worn out attacks of Leftist/Mooslim stealth conspiracy to advance Jihad)

State Department sponsors Saudi trip of apologist for Islamic Republic of Iran(Trita Parsi, the reason they dislike him, an individual who supported the Green Movement that called for Reforms in Iran, and who are the real Pro-Democracy advocates is because he isn’t a hysterical anti-Muslim bigot)

CAIR’s Ahmed Rehab and the Use of Ridicule (a hypocritical piece in which Spencer whines about being ridiculed by Ahmed Rehab while at the same time previously and in this blog piece calling Ahmed Rehab a “metrosexual who uses lipstick and eyeliner.”)

CAIR’s Brave Ahmed Rehab, who ran from debate with me, claims never to have run from a debate (The “objective scholar,” very “scholarly” slings personal attacks and lies against Ahmed Rehab. O’ Little Cyberpath (to include a variation on an Andrew Bostom quote) how can someone “duck” a debate with you when they didn’t agree to one in the first place? I guess facts don’t matter to faux-scholars!)

 

Bill O’Reilly on the “Muslim Problem”

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , on October 26, 2010 by loonwatch

Mediaite posted an interview that O’Reilly had with Ahmed Rehab. In the interview O’Reilly spews more Islamophobic statements.

Bill O’Reilly Has ‘Gentleman’s Disagreement’ On Iranian Threat With CAIR Representative

Bill O’Reilly is not letting the issue of Muslim go, even if it cost him Joy Behar’s company on The View. O’Reilly invited Ahmed Rehab of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on the program earlier tonight for a lively debate in which he accused Rehab of dodging his question on whether Iran is a threat to America, Ahmed alleged the same thing about his Iranian question, and it didn’t get much more conciliatory from there.

Rehab opened the conversation up aggressively, correcting a statement made on Friday’s Juan Williams-hosted Factor that the Muslim community had not responded to the conviction of the failed Times Square bomber. O’Reilly thanked him for the correction but once again asked Rehab to respond to what he perceives to be the biggest threat posed by the international Muslim community, the Iranian state. “Let me ask you this,” Rehab responded, “how many countries has Iran attacked in the past 50 years?” O’Reilly responded with historic notes from the Iran-Iraq War and sternly warned Rehab, “let’s not play games here.” This prompted a back-and-forth in which both parties accused the other of dodging the question, while Rehab interrupted by clarifying that he is “not a fan of the Iranian regime… I just don’t like it when you exaggerate the reality.”

O’Reilly agreed to a “gentleman’s disagreement” with Rehab on whether the “good Muslims sit it out” or are vocal enough against extremism, an incredibly agreeable tone considering the extent to which the two challenged each other’s opinions during the segment.

The conversation from tonight’s Factor via Fox News below:

 

Internet Sociopath Robert Spencer Scared of Debate

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2010 by loonwatch

Robert Spencer, the notorious anti-Muslim hate blogger, issued an open challenge to a debate:

The list of the Leftist and Muslim academics and apologists who have refused my challenge to debate is very long; they know they can’t refute what I say on the basis of evidence, so they resort to broad-based smears and personal attacks — and haughty refusals to debate.

He has issued similar challenges on numerous occasions, steadfastly claiming that he would be willing to defend his ideas in debate.  I had accepted Spencer’s challenge to a debate, saying:

I accept your challenge, Spencer.  I agree to a radio debate with you on the topic of jihad and “dhimmitude”, namely chapters 1-4 of your book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  It will then be seen if you can defend your own writing, which I argue is a load of sensationalist crock.

Will you accept my challenge to debate or cower in fear?  My guess is that you “know [you] can’t refute what I say” and will “resort to…haughty refusals to debate.”

It’s been 129 days since I accepted Spencer’s challenge, yet he continues to dodge taking me on.  That’s no surprise to most of our readers, since I have written several articles refuting his book and ideas, which he has failed to respond to.  It is well-known that my articles have stopped Spencer in his tracks, and finally he has been effectively silenced on those issues.  For the first time ever, someone managed to spend the time necessary to respond in a thorough fashion.  That’s why Spencer is avoiding a debate with me at all costs, even if it means going back on his open challenge to “leftists and Muslims.”

Even so, this doesn’t stop Spencer from claiming that other leftist or Muslim spokesmen are scared of debating him and can’t refute him.  Spencer claimed that Muslim-American spokesman Ahmed Rehab “ran from debate with me [Spencer].”  Rehab responded, saying:

Spencer, I never agreed to debate you in the first place, and it is highly unlikely that I ever will.

Rehab then mentions Spencer’s hypocrisy, pointing out that Spencer has been dodging yours truly (Danios of LoonWatch) for quite some time:

And now for some irony. Spencer, you are claiming you are ready to debate anyone but that alas no one wants to debate you because no one can. But, is this actually true? Does the name Danios of Loonwatch ring a bell Spencer? You may be burying your head in the sand hoping no one will notice, but a simple Google search on “Robert Spencer debate” reveals your hypocrisy. How come you are ignoring an invitation from another blogger who has challenged you numerous times and whose articles shredding your arguments to pieces are all over the web without a peep of a rebuttal from you? Are you conceding defeat? Are you “running away?”

Of course, this got Robert Spencer worked up in quite the tizzy, and he blogged a furious response.  In it, the sociopath Robert Spencer starts ranting about the Soviet Union and Stalin, something all delusional right-wing nut jobs are prone to do some time or the other.

The irony of Spencer’s response cannot be understated.  His post is entitled “CAIR’s Ahmed Rehab and the use of ridicule,” and he complains of how Rehab supposedly resorts to “adolescent ridicule and abuse rather than substance.”  It is truly special that Spencer can say this with a straight face while at the same time lampooning the very same opponent by posting a photograph of Ahmed Rehab with a caption accusing him of wearing lipstick and eye shadow.  His readers take great delight in this picture, gleefully snickering at this “adolescent ridicule and abuse.”  The photograph is likely photoshopped, but even if it is not, what relevance does it have to do with the debate at hand?  Here, Spencer has lowered himself to the lowest possible schoolyard tactic: accuse your opponent of being gay.  To an extremist Catholic apologist like Robert Spencer being called “gay” is a very bad insult.  Of course, to a proud “leftist” progressive like myself, I don’t find it a slur to be labeled “homosexual”, which is clearly what Spencer is hinting at.  Even if Ahmed Rehab really did wear make up like gay popstar Adam Lambert, so what?  What’s your point?  Other than expose your underlying homophobia?

Let me be clear though: we here at LoonWatch don’t mind adolescent ridicule.  To wit: Robert Spencer is a fat slob.  His belly is so protuberant that he can’t see his feet.  (Watch Robert Spencer cry about “personal attacks” when he himself has been doing the same to Ahmed Rehab!)

Have you noticed how Spencer has a thing against what he calls “meterosexual guys” like Ahmed Rehab and Reza Aslan?  Do I sense jealousy?  Both Rehab and Aslan are fairly good-looking guys.  In fact, Rehab was involved with the current Miss USA and Aslan with Jessica Jackley.  Maybe Spencer’s antipathy towards these chic Muslim spokesmen is that they are too damn good-looking.  Compare Spencer’s frumpy body with Rehab’s toned body.  That could also explain Spencer’s burning hatred of Dr. Tariq Ramadan, as one user on his site complains about “his handsome lying face.”  I wouldn’t be surprised if Spencer’s burning hatred is a reflection of his own inferiority complex…He certainly wouldn’t be the first loser to embrace a hate-filled ideology to boost his own inner lack of self-worth.

The issue is not Spencer’s “use of ridicule”, but his hypocrisy: he cries that leftist and Muslim spokesmen–Ahmed Rehab specifically here–resort to “adolescent ridicule and abuse”, which is what Spencer himself engages in on his hate site, against Rehab no less!  He cries about “adolescent ridicule” and in the same post say that Rehab and Aslan “richly deserve lampooning.”  So you can’t use adolescent ridicule, but lampooning is OK.  Does pointing out how fat and ugly Spencer is fall into the former or the latter?

Anyways, back to the point: I had long ago accepted Robert Spencer’s open challenge, agreeing to a radio debate.  So why does Spencer dodge me?

Spencer needs to generate excuses and a way out from debating me.  His first attempt was to minimize my importance, which somehow does not fall under “haughty refusal to debate.”  He can no longer rely on this excuse, since Ahmed Rehab himself, the Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, messaged me: “You are amongst the top writers on this topic, far more effective and relevant than 99% of the countless Muslim writers out there.”  That’s high praise from the man whom Spencer considers an adequate spokesman for Muslims.  Will Spencer refuse to debate someone considered in the top 1%?  I suspect so.  Spencer says of me:

Debating such a compromised and dishonest individual would be a waste of time

Isn’t that the exact same reasoning that Rehab gave for refusing to debate you, Spencer?  The same reasoning you were so opposed to and called cowardice?

Spencer needs another excuse to weasel out of a debate with me.  What will it be?  Aha!  It will be my anonymity!  As many of you know, I write anonymously under a pseudonym.  Spencer and his fellow fans desperately want to know who I am.  Some of them are convinced I am XYZ, and others that I am ABCD.  Some have even engaged in textual analysis, trying extremely hard to find out who this cursed Danios is.  My question is: who cares?  Deal with my arguments, not who I am. Spencer says:

…Since Rehab invokes [Danios] and others have referred to his site [LoonWatch] recently, I am willing: if “Danios of Loonwatch” reveals his real name…

Spencer places this condition on me, knowing full well that I will refuse to reveal my name, since he knows that I like writing anonymously.  Spencer asks:

What is “Danios of Loonwatch” afraid of?

Do I have to be “afraid” of something?  I enjoy writing anonymously.  Having said that, I do plan on eventually “coming out of the closet” (will Spencer now accuse me of being gay too [although for the record I am not]?), but not just yet…When the time is right and of my own choosing. And when I do come out, I am sure that Spencer will attack my “meterosexual looks”.  Ah, why o why was I cursed with such handsome looks?

More importantly, I am currently a post-doctoral fellow at an Ivy League university and instructor at a state university.  Coming out of the closet at the present time would pose some logistical problems for me, which is why I have chosen to do it at a later date.  Does this answer your question, Spencer?

Then Spencer places his second condition:

I am willing: if “Danios of Loonwatch” reveals his real name, finds a university willing to host the debate and contracts an impartial moderator, I’m ready when he is.

So (1) I have to reveal my real name, and (2) the debate can only be at a university.  The second condition is odd, considering that it is Spencer who has no affiliation to any university.  In fact, Spencer failed to respond to this point by Rehab:

Spencer claims to be a scholar of Islam, Islamic Law, and Theology but holds no degrees in any of those subjects and has never even published a single peer-reviewed paper.

Why, in your epic rant, did you not respond to this argument against you?  How is it, my portly friend, that you consider yourself a “scholar of Islam”–which your site so claims–when you do not even have a single degree in any subject of Islam, let along a single peer-reviewed paper?  Exactly what type of scholar are you, then?

Anyways, Spencer’s second condition is tied to the first: a university debate can only be arranged if I reveal my true identity and university affiliation, which he knows that I am not willing to do just yet.  Spencer concludes:

But I won’t be holding my breath.

I’m sure Spencer was actually holding his breath, for fear that I might accept his two pre-conditions, and then how to avoid the challenge!?

Of course, Spencer’s two conditions–both of which involve revealing my identity–are completely bogus.  I have offered to debate Spencer on the radio.  Does Spencer not do radio interviews?  In fact, Spencer has appeared on the radio countless times, doing interviews for Jawa radio, Spirit Catholic Radio, Western World Radio, etc. To completely negate Spencer’s generated excuse, here we have Spencer himself saying how he engaged in a radio debate with a CAIR spokesman:

In April 2007, I participated in a heated hour-long radio debate with CAIR’s Hussam Ayloush…

So why does Spencer agree to a radio debate with Hussam Ayloush but now he doesn’t agree to the same with yours truly?  What’s that sound?  Oh, it’s the sound of a chicken.

UPDATE:

One of our readers Jack raised a great point:

Isn’t Robert Spencer great friends with Bat Ye’or? That’s not her real name… Does Spencer require of her to dispense with the nonsense (everybody knows her real name by now). Does Robert Spencer refuse to quote ‘Fjordman’? ‘Baron Boddissey’? And so on and so forth.

Not to speak of Ali Sina, Ibn Warraq, and countless other fellow anti-jihadists (read: Islamophobes).   The truth is: Robert Spencer is scared out of his wits.  He will continue to generate excuse after excuse…

 

Beckel and Rehab Rip Geller a New One

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2010 by loonwatch

Bob Beckel and Ahmed Rehab were on Fox Business News’ program Money Rocks with Eric Bolling alongside right-wingers Pamela GellerDavid Webb and Fox host Bill Hemmer. It was an interesting program and I am baffled as to why Pamela brought it to our attention by posting it because she got absolutely butchered and exposed! For the longest time we complained that people weren’t using the information in our articles exposing her crazy, wingnut, moonbat, wacko, and lunatic blogging on Atlas Shrugs.

To our dismay she actually started receiving a wider (Tea Party mostly) audience and influence with the big wigs in the Republican party. The instances that she was on TV no one was adequately challenging her with the exception of the Alyona Show, but the past month or so she has been getting challenged in both print and on TV by people who are using the information we have documented on her.

Video:

She gets called out beautifully in the beginning here by Ahmed Rehab who takes a jab at Bolling for saying that Geller is his “good friend,”

Rehab: You just called her your good friend, and I don’t know if you’ve visited her anti-Muslim blog any time recently, Atlas Shrugs, where you can see a video that she posted where she is implying that Muslims have sex with goats, and suggesting they wear Muhammad condoms, I don’t know if you can call her your good friend…

Geller interrupts: That’s a lie, you know it’s a lie.

Rehab: We have a screenshot of that, you’re a lying bigot.

Geller: You don’t have a screenshot of that. [LW: actually Pamela there is a screenshot, click here.]

Rehab: Do you also deny that you put a picture of the Prophet Muhammad with a pig for a face?

Geller: yea, no…that was part of Everybody Draw Muhammad Day…do you condemn…

Rehab: Don’t evade the question, you are one of the most anti-Muslim bigots out on the internet and your blog consistently is filled with anti-Muslim statements…

[talking over]

Bolling: Pam hold on, Pam hold on, go ahead Rehab,

Rehab: Well, Pamela also suggested we should nuke Mecca, and this was done on her blog February 24, 2010.

Geller: I did not say it. [LW: actually you did Pamela, click here.]

Rehab: She also suggested that Obama is an anti-Semite, pimp and Jihadist…

Geller: Oh yeah, uh, I believe that is true.

Rehab: She is a certified loon. She’s a bigot of the highest order and you’re calling her your good friend Eric, so I don’t know how you feel about that now.

Bolling went on to justify his friendship with nut case Pamela Geller saying he “knows her” and then he goes on to talk about his personal experience with the World Trade Center and how he “was there.” He exposes his bias saying he is “angry” with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his group for building their mosque near Ground Zero, which he thinks is so close you can throw a baseball there. Yeah, maybe if you have the arm of Roberto Clemente! Where is Fox getting these people?

Geller tried to strike back at Rehab with her guilt by association smear tactics, trying to bring up CAIR and repeating Hamas as many times as possible in one breathe, but it seems she hyperventilated and was unable to make the point because Rehab straight up asked her, “what does that got to do with the Mosque?” Her response was epic, bumbling idiocy.

Rehab: Pamela’s at the forefront of those who are claiming this is a victory mosque at Ground Zero, which is a blatant lie, so I am asking her right now, what can she tell us in terms of truth that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf had anything to do with hijackers in a plane?

Bolling: hang on I want to bring in the panel.

Bolling then proceeds to bring in the panel. He immediately hits up Beckel by playing a clip of him saying, “we have to get over 9/11.” They discuss that for a while and he clarifies that what he is saying is that “we shouldn’t forget 9/11″ or “stop grieving” but that we can’t live like it “happened yesterday.”

He also laid into Pamela Geller saying,

Beckel: There are also a lot of moderate Islamists…but you wouldn’t know that from your friend’s (Pamela Geller) web page, who accused the President of the United States of being anti-Semitic which is as about ridiculous a thing I’ve ever heard.

Bolling then shifted to Rehab and asked him his thoughts. Rehab defended Beckel, but it then descended into a free for all talk over and Rehab was unable to answer the original question from Bolling. Bill Hemmer, the totally credulous Fox News presenter tried to stick up for Geller, complimenting her on her performance on 60 minutes and then saying he just found out that “they [Muslims] are praying.” What a douche.

C’mon, seriously Bill, you didn’t know that Muslims were praying in that building?

Hemmer: What I did not know until last night, they’re praying,(pause) inside that building today. I don’t think that’s something that most people even realize.

Beckel: What’s wrong with that?

Hemmer: I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that…there is already a mosque there.

Beckel: There is also a strip joint there.

Now it gets interesting, with quite the exchange between Geller and Beckel. Geller essentially says Beckel is in league with terrorists, supporting them and in a most condescending way says, “you are carrying water” for them. This obviously infuriates Beckel, and he tells Geller to watch what she says. He makes a comment that she is a woman, obviously implying that if she weren’t he would probably knock her teeth out for saying that he was a terrorist water boy. Geller replied in her usual shrill way by saying that Beckel was a women hater. Classic.

Geller: I would like to address Mr. Beckel’s point, I don’t know why you are carrying water for the most radical, intolerant ideology in the world today, there have been 20,000 documented radical Islamic attacks since 9/11, each one with the imprimatur of a Muslim cleric.

Beckel: You better be very careful, you’re a woman, you better be very careful for who you say I carry water for because you have no idea what you’re talking about and don’t start putting me in the middle of your crap!

Geller: Don’t point at me.

Beckel: I’ll point at you all I want.

Geller: You’re a misogynist.

Beckel: You got yourself 15 minutes of fame because you’re picking on a bunch of Muslims.

Geller: You’re picking on a bunch of women. You’re a women hater.

Beckel: A women hater?  A women hater?

Geller: Yes. Look how you are talking to me. It’s outrageous.

Beckel: You are nuts!

Geller: I’m not nuts.

Geller looked pathetic when she said that. “I’m not nuts.” Pamela, you’re nuttier than a bag of Planters roasted peanuts.

Bolling shifted topics and asked Rehab about Rauf being a bad landlord, Rehab responded by saying this is an evasion from the topic.

Rehab: Well, again, what you are trying to do here is evade the central issue which is the principle position of whether we can build a center there or not and whether we should or not and going back to Mr. Beckel’s point we shouldn’t forget about 9/11 but we should move beyond the politicization and the exploitation and memory of 9/11 for personal political gain or for ratings or for notoriety like your certified bigot friend there Pamela Geller is doing.

Geller: Unbelievable.

Man was Geller getting exposed. She is nuts, regardless of her protestations. She hates Muslims, the evidence is there for all to read, and when she is challenged on it she resorts to lying and saying it is not there.

The video ends succinctly with Rehab getting the last word responding to one of David Webb’s only points,

Rehab: I am not saying that they should build because we have the right to build…I am saying they should build because it is the right thing to do

Webb: You just did.

Rehab: …I am telling you it is the right thing to do. It is the right thing to build a moderate center that can bring people together, that actually stands against the very ideology of AlQaeda. You know, building this center is the worst thing that could happen to Bin Laden, that’s not why we are doing it, we’re doing it because that’s the best thing we can do for our country.

Bolling: [Laughing] Those are some fairly interesting things you had to say. We’ll bring you back though, we appreciate your time.

Rehab: For interesting things visit Atlas Shrugs, you’ll find a lot of interesting things there.

Bolling and Geller shared a strange and out of place laugh towards the end of the segment, condescendingly and mockingly laughing at Rehab’s final point that this mosque is the best thing we can do for our country. Why is that funny?

Is it because it so shatters your view and perspective on this issue that you are just unwilling to countenance it at all? Even being outnumbered 4-2 by the right-wingers both Beckel and Rehab held it down and destroyed the hate and illogic coming from the anti-Mosque crowd. My last request is that I hope someone will auto tune this video!

 

Huffington Post: Tea Party Reveals Real Reason Behind Mosque Opposition Frenzy

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2010 by loonwatch

There was a great article on Huffington Post, which linked to our site (my article on taqiyya):

Tea Party Reveals Real Reason Behind Mosque Opposition Frenzy

By Ahmed Rehab

Leaders of astroturf groups opposing the Not-At-Ground-Zero-Muslim-Center can’t seem to decide on an argument. They have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at us in the way of fabricated reasons.

First, they tried the “legal” route. When it became apparent that American Muslims had a constitutionally guaranteed right to religious, cultural, and communal services in lower Manhattan just like everyone else, they invoked the “sensitivity to the 9/11 families” line.

When it was argued that there is nothing insensitive about Muslims with no connection to 9/11 establishing a center two blocks away (unless you assume collective guilt), and that Muslims died in the Twin Towers, too, they tried to smear the center’s imam as a radical.

When it was revealed that imam Feisal’s 37-year track record was so consistently antithetical to radicalism that it earned him the “moderate model imam” accolade from this administration, the Bush administration, the FBI, and the New York interfaith community, they tried the “sacred ground” argument.

When it was revealed that the center was not actually “at” Ground Zero and that there were offices, delis, dollar stores, bars, and a strip club in the same vicinity that no one was taking issue with for being on sacred ground, they tried the foreign funding route.

When it was revealed that the imam has no intention of receiving funding from foreign governments or groups, or even individuals with a less-than-stellar reputation, they tried the sensitivity route again.

It seems that they just can’t decide on the public strategy to keep Park51 from taking its rightful place among Manhattan’s blossoming diversity.

Privately, however, there seems to be little such confusion. The reasons there are given clearly, and it turns out it is precisely what many of us have argued all along: opposition organizers are motivated by an ideological belief that “Islam is evil and must be stopped; America is Judeo-Christian.”

That’s it.

That is the undisguised rallying cry on the private email listservs, the blogs, and the viral youtube videos administered by the right-wing oppositional leadership. On the prime time networks, they openly lie to the American people about harboring an anti-Muslim agenda, perhaps wishing to avoid being exposed for their religious intolerance.

Not for long.

Check out the uber-creepy Tea Party email below, released by no less than teaparty.org.

In it, the Tea Party folks argue that America is exclusively “Judeo-Christian” and that Islam should be “expelled from our shores.”

And that’s just for starters.

The rest of the email displays a fundemental disdain for a pluralistic America and reveals chilling levels of Islamophobia and hatemongering.

It poses the freakish question: “Will ‘blanket tolerance’ be the downfall of the Judaic/Christian basis of the American society?”

It quotes select passages from of the Quran out of context, a game that can just as easily be played with the Torah or the Bible.

It then suggests to its members that Muslims at large — not terrorists, mind you, but Muslims at large — plan for the “complete annihilation of the west,” for “our demise,” for “our destruction,” and that they are “working dilligently” to “celebrate the day America will be no more.” It warns that “the United States Judaic/Christian roots are being ‘God Shocked,’” and wonders if “the courts should hand down a litmus test” for religions before they are “expelled from our shores.”

So let me ask you again? Do you still think that the sudden rise in anti-mosque hysteria is really about sacred ground? Sensitivities to 9/11 victims? Funding sources?

Or is it about the rise of an ideological anti-Islam movement and the desire to curb, if not outlaw, religious freedoms for Muslims?

What would it take to wake the media up, if not this blatant piece of evidence? Will the media now pay attention? Is it remotely interested in the facts that are practically smacking it in the face? Where is the FOX News coverage of everything “Mosque at Ground Zero,” the same FOX News that desperately scrutinizes Imam Feisal’s every utterance in the hope of unearthing a controversial statement? Laura Ingraham, are you listening?

Re: Tea Party – Truth Behind 911 Mosque
From: teaparty@teaparty.org

On: Friday, August 20, 2010 8:46 PM

The American people find articulating their concern over the proposed Mosque near the sight of the 911 attacks problematic. On one hand, many view the First Amendment a shield of protection for religious freedom, on the other hand, some view the First Amendment as providing a haven for religions with a hostile political agenda wrapped in cleric’s robes.

Is it any wonder that there is so much confusion on this matter? Most Citizens of the United States have never experienced the driving and all consuming force of a Theocratic government with its crushing Theo-political tenet.

The American religious experience is the usual Sunday morning ‘hymn singing’; passing the offering plate, an off tempo choir and the occasional neighborhood revival. The ‘Church supper and bake sale mentality’ gives way to a much colder and more formidable view of religious practices, which are not only unfamiliar, but also antithetical to the ‘Sunday Go To Meeting’ crowd.

The United States Judaic/Christian roots are being ‘God Shocked’ by the concept that a religion can and does demand world domination by any means, including violence if necessary.

The Koran states: Sura 61:9 He it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islamic monotheism) to make it victorious over all (other) religions even though the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad) hate (it). (Hilali and Khan, The Noble Qur’an, Riyadh: Darussalam, 1996)

Allah’s Messenger said: “By Him (Allah) in Whose Hand my soul is, surely the son of Mary [Isa (Jesus)] will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims), and will judge mankind justly by the Law of the Quran (as a just ruler) and will break the Cross and kill pigs and abolish the Jizyah [a tax] ….” (Bukhari 3:2222) .

The growing confusion among Ministers and their Congregations over the nature of legitimate Islamic worship and the practice of Taqiyya[1] is causing serious questions regarding the constitutionally protected practice of religion, if that religion is detrimental to the welfare and domestic tranquility of the very nation whose constitution protects it.

The emerging question is: Should the first amendment protect the practice of a religion which has a hostile political agenda wrapped in cleric’s robes? Should the U.S. Constitution protect a religion whose focus is converting the United States from a Democratic Republic into a Theocracy lead by religious cleric’s who are antithetical to what made this nation great and what keeps it great? Is this the change America should have or needs?

How can the Citizenry demarcate a concept which holds the well established fact that millions of the Islamic faith have called for a Holy Jihad and thereby demand the complete annihilation of the west? Yet, this same Citizenry is expected to open their arms to that very same religion, welcoming them as friends, protecting them with the same Constitutional protection Synagogues and Churches have enjoyed for over 234 years.

To make matters worse, this same Citizenry is expected to grant permission to build a Mosque on American hallowed ground, thereby, offering sanctuary and worship for the same religion which was instrumental in the 911 attacks.

Will it become necessary for the courts to hand down a litmus test for religion? If a religion passes the litmus test, then and only then that religion is welcome and protected?

However, if the religion in question fails the litmus test… will that be reason enough to expel the failed theological expression from our shores?

Should ‘We The People” give haven to religions whose main purpose it to install a system of Theo-political colonization? Shall the American people welcome with open arms a religion having untold millions of members demanding the beheading of western infidels? Shall the People of America grant safe haven to those who cheerfully work for the day Israel, the United States and all other non-Islamic states are finally eradicated off the face of the earth?

These bothersome questions are not ones of religious rights, but rather of the will of the people. Will the people tolerate everything?

Will ‘blanket tolerance’ be the downfall of the Judaic/Christian basis of the American society?

Is there nothing which will compel We The People to stand up and say: “It stops here and no further,” shall this be America’s crucifixion?

Or, shall the American people create a feathered bed for all those who plan our demise, who work diligently for our destruction and for those who will celebrate the day America will be no more.

Stephen Eichler J.D.

America’s Legal Analyst

[1] The practice of precautionary dissimulation whereby believers may conceal their faith when under threat, persecution or compulsion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqiyya

Click here for the real skinny on “Taqiyya

The Untold Story Behind the “Mosque at Ground Zero”

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2010 by loonwatch

A powerful piece by Ahmed Rehab in the Huffington Post laying the bottom line about the swelling controversy surrounding the “mosque at Ground Zero.”  (hat tip: Schmorgus)

The Untold Story of the Mosque at Ground Zero

by Ahmed Rehab | Huffington Post

Americans have a right to assemble and worship freely in this country, period. It’s not only a founding principle of this nation, but a main justification for its founding. It is why many White Christians flooded to this country in the first place.

Those opposed to American Muslims practicing their right to build a religious and cultural center on their private property near Ground Zero and in concordance with all laws and regulations reluctantly concede that they have no legal grounds to challenge it. So they argue instead that they should voluntarily forgo their right out of sensitivity for the sacredness of that site.

2010-08-20-nomosquesign.jpgThis is a particularly disingenuous line.

If it is about sensitivity for the sacred, then why aren’t those same people opposing the deli, bar, coffee shop, and offices, or strip club for that matter, that are open for business in that same sacred vicinity?

What is particularly indecent or insensitive about American Muslims building a house of peace, community, and worship that doesn’t apply to the New York Dolls gentlemen’s club?

Let’s be blunt: it is only indecent and insensitive if you buy into the canard that American Muslims are somehow collectively guilty for 9/11. That is the coded message at the heart of opposition to the center. It is a message we reject on its face.

American Muslims bear no collective guilt or blame for the crime of 9/11. We have nothing to apologize for and everything to be proud of, including our loyalty and hard-earned livelihoods. We are not guest citizens, we are not second-rate citizens; we reject marginalization and require no validation. We are equal citizens living and worshipping in our country.

We are part and parcel of the diversity of America including the diversity of the 3,000 people who died on 9/11. We are part of the diversity of the hundreds who were injured and those who were first responders to Ground Zero. We are part of the diversity of the millions who grieved and still grieve. When “they” attacked “us,” we were attacked. We are part of the “us” not the “they.”

The whole brouhaha about the “Mosque at Ground Zero” is frankly bogus. It has little to do with sacred ground, or sensitive hearts. It does however have everything to do with the exploitation of the sacred and the sensitive for the furtherance of the sacrilegious and the insensitive: the phenomenon of Muslim-bashing that is ravaging our nation today.

The Cordoba House, now Park51, is an old story. In fact, it was reported on in the New York Times and other mainstream media as far back as two years ago. Why the frenzy now?

That’s not all: Muslims have been worshipping at Mosque Manhattan a few blocks away from Ground Zero, long before Ground Zero was Ground Zero; in fact, since 1970, before the twin towers were the twin towers.

So again, why the sudden frenzy?

Failure to ask “why” is a collective indictment of the media establishment (with a fewnotable exceptions). Just as the media shirked its responsibilities in questioning the Bush administration on the justifications for the war in Iraq, now too it fails to properly investigate, scrutinize, and report the origins of this controversy. Here is what it failed to tell you:

2010-08-20-spencer_geller.pngThe”Ground Zero Mosque” fiasco is a fabricated controversy that traces its origins to a couple of long-time anti-Muslim goons from the annals of the hate blogosphere by the names ofRobert Spencer and Pamela Geller as a flagship campaign of their newly founded organization,Stop the Islamization of America(SIOA). SIOA is part of an emerging phenomenon ofastroturf anti-Muslim organizations that seek to project any public expression of Muslim life in this country as tantamount to a stealth “Islamization of America.” (Except it’s not so stealth since everyone and their mother is talking about it).

It was SIOA that first coined the misnomer “Mosque at Ground Zero,” purposely twisting the reality that the proposed Muslim cultural center near Ground Zero is neither a Mosque nor at Ground Zero. It was the SIOA that sought to redefine Imam Rauf as a radical Imam even though he was heralded by the Bush administration, the FBI and others as a moderate voice of reason. It was the SIOA and its partners that ruthlessly sought to stoke the fears and suspicions of otherwise good, unsuspecting Americans.

The fact that bigots see fit to peddle sensational drivel for a living is not shocking.

The fact that the media is unwilling or incapable of calling it out is disturbing.

The fact that a significant segment of this population stands to be duped by it is disappointing.

And the fact that public officials who should know better are all too content pandering to the bigoted, misguided, and confused in search of votes this election season is outright nauseating.

Here’s another under reported fact:

The battle raging on now is not one that pits Muslims on one side and non-Muslims on the other as critics would have you believe. It is in fact a showdown between Americans of all backgrounds (Muslim and otherwise) who are fighting for the freedom and dignity of what it means to be American, on one side; and those who are willing to throw those values under the bus in exchange for publicity, notoriety, ratings, or votes, on the other.

It is a struggle between those wishing to affirm our pluralism and our equality as color-blind, race-blind, and faith-blind citizens and those wishing to immerse us into identity politics that make some more equal than others.

The Park51 battle is a microcosm of this generation’s struggle for the soul of America.

That’s the untold “Mosque at Ground Zero” story any red-blooded American journalist who still has respect for the integrity of the profession should be telling.

 

David Yeagley: Bad Eagle or Plain Loon?

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2010 by loonwatch
“Bad Eagle” or just “Plain Loon”?

What happens when you cross a white supremacist with someone who claims to be half-white and half-Native American? Answer: David Yeagley (hat tip: Mallorcaman). Yeagley is a rare and strange specimen, self-described as the “lone Conservative Indian voice,” he rails against Native Americans and anyone who he considers to be liberals. He is known amongst Native Americans, for reasons we will come to shortly as the Indian apple,

apple n. An Indian who is red on the outside, white on the inside.
Tonto n. Sidekick, lackey, Indian Uncle Tom.
Tepee Tom n. Native American version of an Uncle Tom. Synonyms: Tonto, Fort Indian, Hang-around-the-fort Indian

Amongst his many peculiarities is that he claims to be the descendant of a Comanche Indian chief, Bad Eagle, while at the same time allying with and espousing White supremacist beliefs,

Yeagley is associated with a long list of figures on the far right, the John Birch Society, white nationalists VDare, neo-Nazis Stormfront, the White Boy Society, and the National Alliance, and eugenics groups Gene Expression and American Renaissance.

Native Americans find him offensive for many reasons and also dispute his claims of being a Comanche,

According to sources at the Comanche headquarters, David is not Comanche. His adopted mother is Comanche.

One website devoted to exposing Yeagley, DavidYeagley.blogspot.com, has skewered him and exposed him for the fraud that he is. It is run by Al Carrol, a scholar who is truly descended from Natives. On the site we find more expositions of Yeagley’s persistent White supremacy and anti-Native American stances,

Yeagley describing a gathering of white supremacists and anti-Indian groups:

“It’s their people that created America, not Indians. Only a diabolically self-righteous liberal politician would take America out of the hands that created it, and give it to those who either lost it, or never had anything to do with it.”
“The white blood flowing is the purest I’ve ever seen.”http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13399

“Superior beauty is in the white race, with its scintillating varieties of color: red, brown, amber, golden hair… green, blue, light brown, gray eyes. In the darker races, everything is always the same, dark brown and black a beastly bore.”

“These days the white woman is expected to humble herself before the darkie.”

“Judeo-Christian religion allowed the European Caucasian race to advance above all other people.The darker races now encroach through integration and intermarriage.”

“Maybe Hitler was partially right on ‘the hated white race’ thing.”

“There is a reason for differences. This is to keep the human race separated into smaller groups. Love of race is the only ‘saving grace’ left in the world.”http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=273

“Indian men… and also typical of black women, together, is just the kind of thing that says these races deserve to be on the bottom of the barrel. They cannot appreciate good will, they are possessed by envy, and have no higher thought than lies.”http://www.indianz.com/board/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14169&whichpage=3 (Quoting from Yeagley on his Badeagle forum. Note that the poster quoting him was neither an Indian man nor a Black woman. It is typical of Yeagley’s racist paranoia to assume a “plot” by the races he hates.)

And as if to remove all doubt, Yeagley’s conversation with a white supremacist reluctant to admit it until he reassured her he believed the same:

“You are simply a white supremacist, complete with a theology to justify it.
THAT’s OKAY! I’m not knocking that. But you can’t talk about it. You have to guise it in different terms. That’s NOT exactly okay….you DON’t believe in equality, and THAT’s OKAY, TOO. I really mean that. ”
http://www.badeagle.com/cgi-bin/blog/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=650

Yeagley wrote a lot of these supremacist rants on Frontpagemag, David Horowitz’s zany far-right rag, where he was a regular contributor, and on his own website. Not too long ago he also posted a piece called White Man Rising: The Confederacy, which extols the South as the last bastion of true America.

Amongst Yeagley’s other novel pursuits has been his support for the portrayl of Native Americans asmascots. A touchy issue with Native Americans, amongst whom a consensus against such mascots exists. Isn’t it strange for a self-proclaimed descendant of a Comanche chief, who claims to want to help the Comanche, to then go and support the use of Indian mascots?

Yeagley’s maniacal hate and demented racism manifests itself when it comes to Muslims and Arabs. Yeagley writes about Rima Fakih nearly a dozen times on his site, bringing up the familiar wacko claims that she is a secret Hezbollah plant. He writes that she is a Muslim mascot propped up by Muslims to infiltrate and “rape the West.”

The Huffington Post’s Ahmed Rehab in an excellent piece entitled, Miss USA Scrutiny indicates Weird Obsession with Islam, ripped into the loon world who were obsessing over Rima Fakih for being a Muslim, and accusing her of everything from cultural infiltration to being a terrorist. He linked to Bad Eagle as an example, calling it a “Kooky blog.”  That really hurt David Yeagley’s feelings causing him to once again unleash his hate filled feelings about Islam, Muslims and all Americans,

Rima Fakih, the Lebanese immigrant supported by terrorists, who was “judged” to be the new Miss USA 2010, is clearly a nude mascot for Muslims. She is Islam, stripped of all pretense. Despite the pathetic defense of terrorist associate Ahmed Rehab, both on Huffington Post and Celebutopia, Islam is offensive to America. Muslims are repugnant. They have made their name to stink in all the free world. Rehab, typically Muslim, typically liberal, attempts to denigrate and demean Americans who happen to be offended by Islam, and by the unpredecented hypocrisy of the Rima mascot. Americans don’t have “a weird obsession” with Islam. We hate it!

I call you out, Mr. Ahmed Rehab, and everyone like you. I call you a deceiving coward, liar, and enemy of America. Go home. You, who are afraid to reveal your family background and country of origin; you who presume to represent American freedom, but speak only for Muslims, or Communist Democrat liberals; I challenge you, one on one, man to man. Was it not you who had the audacity to post your Twittered comment(No.21) on my site? Or was it some lackey in the office? It doesn’t matter. I call you an extremely offensive individual, and I don’t want you in the free world. You need to be in Saudi, or whatever country believes like you do. You are an unwanted and odious alien in this country. I despise how you think, and what you represent. You are not welcome here in this country. Leave. Now.

The delusions held by this self proclaimed descendant of Bad Eagle are momentous. To him Rimais Islam, and all Muslims are de facto terrorists, Islam not only isn’t American it is “liberal” and “alien.”

Ahmed Rehab must have really pissed Yeagley off, (not a hard task: just say you are a Muslim or not white) considering he wants to expel him from the “free world.” Does Yeagley notice the contradiction, or is his brain so muddled with right-wing racist propaganda that he can’t see the contradiction in wanting to expel someone from the “free world” for not believing or being the same as him? Freedom obviously has a different meaning for Yeagley than the one in the Constitution.

Moreover, in Yeagley’s typical self-victimizing fashion, the old kook tried to argue that he was being ridiculed by Rehab because he was “Indian” not because he was a Kook.

Rehab didn’t mention BadEagle.com in hisHuffington Post defense of Rima the Muslim Mascot, but instead mererly linked to my article behind the words, “kooky blog.” So, an American Indian patriot site is “kooky.” Kooky because I quoted Debbie Schlussel? Or kooky because I hate liars like Ahmed Rehab?

Arab Muslims immigrants apparently feel superior to all other races, and are anxious to demonstrate it. They come from a history of lording over others, from enslaving others, from humiliating others. This is their visceral way of exalting themselves. Equality is anathema to them. I am not suprised that Rehab should consider the American Indian the lowest of the low, or merely “kooky.” We’re easy to denigrate. And honesty is certainly not Rehab’s strong point. Truth he must demean, or nullify somehow. Rehab’s attitude is abundantly clear. Islam has no respect. Islam was the invention of an angry Arab. It is a military death cult from the day it was born. Deceptive, specious words in the societies of the free world may fool those willing to be fooled, but, not me.

I am an American Indian conservative patriot. I hate Islam, and everything it stands for. I hate liars, who attempt to pawn Muslims off as a blessing to the free world. Islam is the enemy of freedom. I love freedom, and I love what America has provided, despite the ironies of history. I defend America, at least verbally, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Amed Rehab is an invader, an enemy, and a lying deceiver. This is what I say, because this is what I see.

Rehab responded directly on Bad Eagle’s blog by calmly ripping him a new one,

Show me where I made any disparaging remarks about Indians. Copy and paste them here for all to see. I challenge you.

You will fail to do so because I never made a single negative remark about Indians, and you sir are a liar.

I merely called your blog kooky – because it is.

You generalized my opinion of your blog to an opinion of all Indians, mostly because you are a dishonest person; I myself did not and would not make that generalization.

Badeagle.com is not representative “Indians,” it is representative of “David Yeagley”

In the same vein, in venting your anger at my negative opinion of your blog, you proceeded to disparage Islam and Muslims at large, rather than to limit your reaction to me. Again, stupid generalization is your sin.

As to the “Kooky” designation for your blog, I stand by that. While your lackeys may entertain your madness, I have no doubt that any objective person will take a look at this blog and reach the conclusion that it is kooky, and that you sir are a classic kook.

Your blog posts are all over the place, your arguments make no sense, you seem to suffer from an ego the size of Alaska, and a good number of delusions, such as that you somehow speak for Indians just because you claim Indian ancestry or that you have the moral authority to decide who is an American and who is not. Your grammar sucks, your posts are filled with schoolboy typos, etc. Most significantly, your blog posts and the comments from your friends are filled with ridiculous generalizations and filthy hatred of Muslims.

I imagine that self-respecting Indians cringe to see someone like you claim to speak for them. You defile the sanctity, glorious history, and honor of the great native tribes of this country. I count Native Americans as friends, I find them to be compassionate, intelligent, and some of the least bigoted people I know.

That anybody would take you seriously is an enigma. Fortunately, your kookiness speaks for itself. I imagine most people who browse your blog can only laugh at what a silly individual you are.

Good luck to you sir.

Ouch. Bad Eagle down.

David Yeagley, the Indian Apple?

Yeagley’s filthy racist attacks are plenty, he writes about Arabs,

Arab Muslims should be immediately deported from the free world, and returned to their own homelands, with a travel ban placed on all of them for the next decade.

Not only does he believe that Arab Muslims should be immediately deported, he also believes that,

The Arab personality is the perfect cohabitation of fear and aggression. It reacts to itself. It comprises fear of the Jew, and the assertion of superiority, not only to the Jew, but to all other races. The Arab personality is desperate for superiority. It must achieve superiority–by any means. Words are first, then actions. It is characterized by impatience, argumentativeness, arrogance, violence, and cruelty. It is essentially a mindless reaction to its own fear. It is a most private writhing, manifested in offense to all other people. It seeks to overcome its fear by enslaving or lording over others. That is its natural way. That is its approach to reality–a jaded reaction to itself. There is no objectivity, no self-reflection, or moral evaluation.

He has a lot in common with other more savvy and less out right racist Islamophobes such asRobert Spencer and Pamela Geller (both people he cites favorably on his site). They hold common conspiracy theories such as “Obama is a Mooslim,” “Muslim demographic take over of the West,” etc.

In the end, David Yeagley is just another garden variety loon who belongs in the category of dejected and unknown backwater wingnuts such as Bob Beers, i.e the Loon blog dungeon. His semi-coherent verbal diarrehea and racist Hitler-esque meanderings serve only as a warning to mankind that such inanities and impossibilites are possible.

 

Update: Robert Spencer Whines and Whimpers After Being Exposed

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2009 by loonwatch
Robert Spencer: Exposed

Robert Spencer: Exposed

We recently wrote about the bruhaha that occurred when it was revealed that anti-Muslim polemicist Robert Spencer was invited by the ALA (American Library Association) to participate on a panel discussing the topic, Perspectives on Islam: Beyond The Stereotypes.

To summarize, close to the date of the event one of the panelists, Dr. Marcia Hermansen, discovered that Spencer would be on the panel. She informed the other panelists, one of the panelists decided to drop out in protest while Hermansen and the other panelist decided to stay on.

In the meantime various scholars, ALA member librarians, concerned citizens contacted the ALA to lodge their protest and demand to know why a notorious Islam hater was on a panel meant to dispel stereotypes about Islam, as did groups like CAIR-Chicago and CIOGC later on. The ALA lagged in their response and the remaining two panelists decided to drop out which lead the ALA to cancel the event.

It turns out the ALA did not know a thing or two about Spencer when he was curiously lobbied for by Ellen Zyroff, the co-chair of ALA’s EMIERT’s Jewish Information Committee and a leader at the San Diego chapter of the Zionist Organization of America, and were caught like a deer in headlights when it later became apparent to them that they had invited a discredited hatemonger. They are not entirely innocent however, how they let Zyroff decide who gets to be on a panel about Islam as opposed to someone on the Islamic Information Committee (if one even exists) is an untold story in and of itself.

In response to the cancellation and unanimous rejection to his participation Spencer started to cry “bloody censorship.” He accused CAIR of orchestrating a campaign to silence him and attack free speech when in reality all of the panelists had decided to drop out independently of CAIR contacting the ALA. By their own admission, they cited the ALA’s “failure to address their concerns” as well as the ALA actively misrepresenting the event to them.

As a result of most self-respecting people not wanting to associate with his rabidly anti-Muslim discourse, the apocalyptic Spencer and his shock troops began to cry that our whole Western Civilization was now under threat.  Closer to the truth seems to be that increasing incidents, such as these involving Spencer, reinforce his marginalization and highlight who he is: a bitter, bigoted Islamophobe with an ego the size of Alaska.

Unable to let the incident go with one 2300 worded diatribe, he penned another (shorter) assault in which he turned his venom from his former ally Charles Johnson onto CAIR-Chicago Director, Ahmed Rehab, in what seems to be an outrageous display of juvenility and senility that further exposes his lack of serious academic prowess or professional standards. In it, he claims that Ahmed Rehab “strong armed” the ALA into canceling the event, and that it is all part of his campaign “against free speech” and the so-called “truth of Islamic Jihad.” In reality, Ahmed Rehab had performed his organization’s stated mission of fighting bigotry by simply exposing the facts about Robert Spencer’s discredited methodology that would earn him an F in the academic world.

Ahmed Rehab, in his own article on the Huffington Post, articulately laid out the facts and even pre-empted this obvious line of attack from Spencer by stating that,

In fact, CAIR-Chicago’s call on the ALA to rescind Spencer’s invitation was not about Spencer but about the ALA, specifically: a) questioning why a respectable organization like the ALA would secretly invite an Islam-basher for an event designed to dispel stereotypes about Islam, and b) demanding that the ALA take responsibility for its misrepresentation of the panel event to the other panelists involved and to the public, and to provide an appropriate remedy for their error.

In Spencer’s self-inflated grandiose world he is unable to see that what concerned the diverse coalition of Americans that rejected him had nothing to do with him, or censoring him, but everything to do with the ALA and what it stands for, as well as the obvious incongruity in providing a platform to someone who makes a living from perpetuating stereotypes to speak on dispelling stereotypes.

Is that really so hard to understand?

Spencer further claimed that the participants knew about the event a month in advance, but he seems to be caught in a contradiction. On July 6, a few days from the event, Dr. Marcia Hermansen discovered that Spencer would be on the panel,

From: Marcia Hermansen
Date: July 6, 2009 8:07:26 AM CDT
To: xxxx@LISTS.xxxx.EDU
Subject: Marcia Hermansen and Robert Spencer
Reply-To: Marcia Hermansen

Thanks–I didn’t know about this–I thought I was on an informational panel for librarians–I guess this turns up the heat!

“xxxx” [xxxx@xxxx.xxxx] 07/06/09 3:06 AM >>>
Dear Colleagues,

I just found out on from the MELA list that Marcia Hermansen and Robert Spencer will be on an invited panel at the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) panel at the American Librarians Association annual meeting on July 12.

What Spencer may not want to admit is that this episode was never about censoring free speech which, when one considers Spencer’s explicit endorsement and support for Geert Wilders who is on the record stating that the “Qur’an should be banned” and that “freedom of religion should not apply to Islam”, seems just a tad bit hypocritical and disingenuous.

It was about principles of consistency, of not giving a platform to Islamophobes just as we don’t give platforms to racists and holocaust deniers. In that vein it seems the overwhelming majority of people agree and as one librarian expressing her own and her colleagues’ sentiments wrote:

Being a librarian I did my own homework. I verify my sources. I can tell that Ahmed Rehab did an excellent job in laying out the facts. Just check the facts again. Call the panelists and ALA organizers. Do your own investigation. The format of this panel was totally UNETHICAL. The main reason was to sneak Robert Spencer and impose a “fait accompli” to other panelists. The whole thing was flawed.

So, let Spencer claim that the world is out to get him and there is a nefarious plot to subvert his free expression of speech. It is his right, under — you guessed it — freedom of speech, but he shouldn’t be such a sore loser when others exercise their free speech and call him out for using his free speech to push lies and support for hatred and bigotry. He can always take solace in that while the sane world rejects him, he will always have his troop of “Crazy McCain ladies” cooing over his innuendo at his David Horowitz-funded extremist blog, “Jihadwatch.”