Archive for Ali Gharib

ThinkProgress: The American Enterprise Institute’s Islamophobia Problem

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton recently wrote a 2 part report on the Islamophobic views held by some of the “prominent” think tankers at the neo-Conservative American Enterprise Institute.

One such think tanker is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In the first part of the report below Gharib discusses Ali’s recent speech in which she sympathizes with terrorist Anders Behring Breivik and shifts blame for his massacre onto the “advocates of silence,” i.e. liberals. Gharib also tip us for flagging the speech.

(Make sure to check out the second part of this report as well here.)

Conservative Think Tank Scholar Promotes Claim That Norway Terrorist Attacked Because He Was Censored

by Ali Gharib (ThinkProgress)

In a speech earlier this month, a scholar at an influential think tank and flagship of contemporary Washington conservatism, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), gave voice to one of the justifications for Norwegian anti-Muslim terrorist Anders Breivik‘s attacks, explaining that Breivik said “he had no other choice but to use violence” because his fringe views were “censored.” While accepting a prize this month from the German multimedia company Axel Springer, Somali-born Dutch AEI scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke on the “advocates of silence” — those she admonishes for purportedly stifling criticisms of radical Islamic extremism.

In the speech, flagged by the website Loonwatch, Hirsi Ali noted that she herself appeared in Breivik’s 1,500-word manifesto (Breivik reprinted a European right-wing article saying Hirsi Ali should win the Nobel Peace Prize). While she denounced Breivik’s views as an “abhorrant” form of “neo-fascism,” she then postulated that Breivik was driven to violence because his militant anti-multicultural views were not given a fair airing in the public discourse.

After speaking about how the “advocates of silence” repress discussion about radical Islamism, Hirsi Ali said:

Fourthly and finally, that one man who killed 77 people in Norway, because he fears that Europe will be overrun by Islam, may have cited the work of those who speak and write against political Islam in Europe and America – myself among them – but he does not say in his 1500 page manifesto that it was these people who inspired him to kill. He says very clearly that it was the advocates of silence. Because all outlets to express his views were censored, he says, he had no other choice but to use violence.

Watch a clip of the speech:

Hirsi Ali’s exclamation that the “advocates of silence” stifle discourse so effectively that Breivik was driven last July to kill 77 people — 69 slaughtered at a summer youth camp — is contradicted even by her own speech. In closing, Hirsi Ali said, “The good news is that recently the leaders of established conservative parties in Europe have broken the pact of silence,” citing comments against multiculturalism by the leaders of Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Hirsi Ali has herself been a Dutch parliamentarian, a frequent contributor to mainstream U.S. and international publications, and author of a New York Times best-selling autobiography. Dutch anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders enjoys considerable success in Hirsi Ali’s own Netherlands. Views against multiculturalism don’t get censored, though some of the most bigoted ideologies are often driven to the margins in free societies.

Neither AEI nor Ayaan Hirsi Ali replied to requests for comments about her talk. But a public affairs official at AEI wrote to ThinkProgress, “AEI does not take institutional positions on policy issues. When our scholars speak, they speak for themselves.”

In her speech, Hirsi Ali said that “to speak out against radical Islamism is to be condemned as an Islamophobe.” But as detailed in the Center For American Progress’s report on Islamophobia, “Fear, Inc.,” the Islamophobe label applies not to those who rail against “radical Islam,” but rather against Islam as a whole. Not surprisingly, Hirsi Ali is herself in this latter category — yet another indication that Islamophobic views are not censored. In a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine, Hirsi Ali called for Islam to be “defeated.” The interviewer asked: “Don’t you mean defeatingradical Islam?” Hirsi Ali replied bluntly: “No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.”

Islamophobic Filmmakers Promote Comment Seeking To Legitimate Norway Terrorist’s Views

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2012 by loonwatch

Islamophobic Filmmakers Promote Comment Seeking To Legitimate Norway Terrorist’s Views

By Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib on Feb 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

The Clarion Fund, an organization which produces Islamophobic documentaries, came under renewed scrutiny last month when news broke that their film “The Third Jihad” was screened at an NYPD conference. Facing calls for his resignation, NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly, after some dissembling, admitted he was interviewed for the project and apologized for his role, calling the film “inflammatory.” Clarion, however, bragged about the attention.

Now, Clarion appears to be throwing caution to the wind — along with any plausible defense that the group is not Islamophobic — by promoting a comment from a reader seeking to redeem the views of the anti-Muslim right-wing extremist who terrorized Norway this summer, killing 77, including 69 people at a youth camp. In an e-mail newsletter to supporters, Clarion Fund quoted the reader suggesting that a recent report that militant Islamic extremism posed the top threat to Norway redeemed the unheralded warnings of Anders Breivik, the anti-Muslim killer.

The newsletter, published by the organization’s radicalislam.org website, promoted the comment from a “reader in Norway.” It read:

What a hot current topic this is! Just today the news came out in Norway, “officially” and in spite of all the PC-ness of this government, that according to the national security forces, the threat of Islamist terrorism is the foremost threat against Norway. You probably remember the July 22 shootings. One of Breivik’s arguments was that the authorities were not taking this threat seriously because you musn’t offend a Muslim. Interesting development.

Clarion’s willingness to promote and publish an e-mail sympathetic to Breivik seems a bizarre move for an organization under fire for Islamophobia, especially when the comment obfuscates the bigoted point Breivik was making about Islam at-large — the very same conflation between extremism and the whole faith the Clarion Fund has repeatedly been accused of making.

Breivik’s warnings did not focus on Muslim extremism, but rather on Islam at-large. Breivik’s1,500-page manifesto is littered with comments about Islam in general, for instance arguing that the Muslim veil “should more properly be viewed as the uniform of a Totalitarian movement, and a signal to attack those outside the movement.” He called Islam a “totalitarian, racist and violent political ideology,” and said its holy book, the Koran, should be banned. Breivik’s warning was not about, as the reader wrote, “Islamist terrorism,” but about Islam:

What is likely to happen to the West, if it continues to follow its present policy of ‘political correctness’ and apathy towards the hostile teachings of Islam, [will be like] “the Islamic conquest of India…”

“In order to wake up the masses,” the soon-to-be killer wrote before attacking government offices and a political youth camp, “the only rational approach will be to make sure the current system implodes.”

Breivik went on in his manifesto to cite the writings of numerous American right-wing Islamophobes and recommended the Clarion Fund’s film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” for “further studies.” He even included a link to it.

While the Norwegian security services’ report did indeed cite Islamic-inspired extremism as the country’s top threat, that assessment actually proves Breivik’s assertion wrong: Norwegian authorities seem rather well-attuned to the serious threat posed by the few radicalized, extremist Muslims in Norway.

Despite the citations, Clarion is not, of course, responsible for Breivik’s attack. But by singling out and publishing a reader comment that whitewashed and sought to exonerate Breivik’s murderous ideology, the Clarion Fund may be tipping their hand as to how closely their views dovetail with his. (HT: Demographics United)