Archive for Allen West

Allen West Not Backing Down From Communism Conspiracy

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on April 19, 2012 by loonwatch

Anti-Islam politician Allen West, who recently caused a firestorm of controversy when he claimed that 80 Congressmen were Communists is not backing down from the claim, he is going even further and claiming that Woodrow Wilson was a Communist as well.

Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks takes apart West’s confused silliness below:

It is not surprising that West continues to put his foot in his mouth, his entire m.o. is to present this tough guy exterior and if he were to take back his words that would be shattered.

Allen West Believes Over 40% of House Democrats are Communists

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by loonwatch

Allen West not only believes that there is a stealth movement among Muslim Americans, but is convinced that there are 80 house Democrats that are alleged communists.

Allen West: I’ve ‘Heard’ 80 House Democrats Are Communist Party Members (VIDEO)

 WASHINGTON — As many as 80 House Democrats are communists, according to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).

West warned constituents at a Tuesday town hall event that he’s “heard” that dozens of his Democratic colleagues in the House are members of the Communist Party, thePalm Beach Post reported. West wouldn’t elaborate beyond that, however, and didn’t offer up any names. There are currently 190 House Democrats.

A request for comment from West’s spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

During the same event, which took place at Jensen Beach, the freshman Republican said President Barack Obama wouldn’t have a public debate with him over their policy differences because he was “scared.” The president was in Florida on Tuesday giving remarks about the economy and holding campaign events.

“I really wish that, standing here before you, was Allen West and President Obama,” West said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “We could have a simple discussion. But that ain’t ever gonna happen.”

When an audience member asked why, West said in “a mocking voice” that it was because Obama “was too scared.”

WATCH West’s comments in the video above.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post stated that West made the remarks at Florida Atlantic University. He made the statement at Jensen Beach.

http://embed.5min.com/517267798/
Allen West Speaks at CPAC

BBC Asks: Is Anti-Muslim Politics on the Rise in Florida? Umm, Duh.

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by loonwatch
florida_mosque_protest
Protesters demand mosque be shut down

Is anti-Muslim politics on the rise in Florida?

Clashes between Muslim activists and Florida conservatives have turned the state into a stand-off. Why?

When hardware superstore Lowe’s pulled its advertising from the cable reality programme All-American Muslim, it did so at the behest of a small group called the Florida Family Association (FFA).

The FFA’s previous letter-writing campaigns have been targeted at shows with both gratuitous and non-traditional sexuality, like Behind Girls Gone Wild and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

All-American Muslim is the first show that FFA has targeted on the grounds that it obscured “the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values”. But it’s not the first time Florida has made national headlines for sentiments hostile towards Muslims.

Last spring, pastor Terry Jones caused worldwide outrage when he burned a Koran at his church in Gainesville, Florida. In September, Nezar Hamze, head of the Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was the first person refused admission to the Broward County Republican party executive committee.

And Congressman Allen West, who represents constituents in South Florida, was recorded by the liberal website ThinkProgress last August saying “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals that stand up and say that.”

‘Fear mongering’

The boycott by the FFA comes as distrust of Muslims is on the rise across the US. Statistics released by the FBI in November show that anti-Muslim hate crimes rose by about 50% in 2010.

A family from All-American Muslim stands outside of a house All-American Muslim was targeted by a small Florida organisation

After a long quiet period, says Mark Potok, director of the intelligence project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, crimes against Muslims started up again in 2010 with the May fire bombing of a mosque in Jacksonville, Florida.

The big spike in hate crimes across the US, he says, coincided with the summer controversy over plans to build an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero in New York City.

“There’s been a dramatic increase thanks to this completely ginned up controversy about the imposition of Sharia law,” says Mr Potok. “What we’re seeing is fearmongering on an absolutely massive scale.”

He is careful to point out that while speech against Muslims is not a hate crime, “words have consequences”.

That being said, his office has not observed a noticeable rise in anti-Islamic group activity in Florida.

Sense of urgency

However, the debate over Muslim ideology has become a political fulcrum in Florida, especially for Tea Party candidates. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Matthew Hendley, a reporter for the New Times, a weekly paper in Palm Beach and Broward county.

“Florida really is a hotbed for this kind of thing,” says Tim Murphy, a reporter for Mother Jones magazine who has covered the issue.

He notes several factors that make Florida unique: a history of well-organised political activism, large populations of both pro-Israeli Jewish residents and pro-Palestinian Muslim residents, and a few high-profile arrests of Muslims suspected of terrorist activity.

As reported in the Miami Herald, the FBI also investigated ties between the 9/11 hijackers and a Saudi family living in Sarasota, Florida.

To those concerned about Islamic extremism, says Mr Murphy, these arrests “give them a sense of urgency – ‘we need to act now.’”

In South Florida, political figures concerned with Muslim extremism and what they perceive as the spread of Sharia law are well-represented.

Joyce Kaufman, a south Florida radio host, frequently speaks out against Islam encroaching into classrooms and American culture, and her remarks are examples of the kind of extreme rhetoric now being heard.

At an event hosted by the anti-Islamic activist Pamela Geller, Ms Kaufman said that “almost every act of political murder” has been done in the name of Allah.

When a Tampa imam was arrested on suspicion of aiding the Pakistani Taliban, religious leaders held a protest, demanding the mosque be shut down.

Former Florida Representative Adam Hasner, who is now running for the US Senate, has been vocal in the fight against Sharia law and the threat of radical Islam. When he was speaker of the house in Florida, he invited the controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders to speak at a summit. During his speech, Mr Wilders said while there may be moderate Muslims, “there is no such thing as a moderate Islam”.

A new approach

To that end, those who fight “radical Islam” often see any expression of Islam as a threat, say Muslim activists.

“I’ve been in South Florida my whole life. It’s been on a steady rise for the last few years,” says Mr Hamze, the man who was excluded from the Broward County Republican party. “Since ’07 or ’08, there has been an increase in activity,” he says. “Now there are churches involved with this, politicians involved, radio stations involved.”

Though his views as a Muslim hew closely to Republican views on social issues, his affiliations with CAIR – which opponents say is an organisation with extremist ties – factored into his exclusion.

Allen West stands at a rally Florida Congressman Allen West has sparred with members of CAIR over the values of Islam

While Florida Republicans actively courted Muslim voters in 2000, the party has now found success rallying voters against the dangers of militant Islam.

But they maintain that fight against Muslim extremism is not the same thing as a fight against Muslims. Rick Wilson, an advisor for Mr Hasner, says that CAIR and other groups “shout down any critique of extremism as a critique of Islam”.

“Opposing Islamic radicalism and opposing Sharia Islam, these are things, as Adam has frequently said, that speak to our national security in the first and our national character in the second,” says Mr Walker.

All-American Muslims

A fear of Muslim extremism in the US is not solely a Florida phenomenon, after all. While the Florida Family Association initially pushed Lowe’s to drop their All-American Family advertising, the campaign has found support across the country.

And Florida is not defined by groups like FFA.

Hasan Shibly, the director of the Tampa chapter of CAIR, recently moved from New York to Florida. He says that he’s never known Islamaphobia to be so rampant, but believes that for the most part, those attitudes belong to a vocal but small minority.

“I really don’t think this rhetoric is reflective of Floridians as a whole.”

Broward GOP Treats Muslims Worse Than Other Republicans

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by loonwatch

Allen West with Pamela “the loon” Geller

NPR exposes Allen West’s antagonistic attitude toward Islam and Muslims.

CAIR: Broward GOP Treats Muslims Worse Than Other Republicans

by Lisa Rab (Broward New Times)

U.S. Rep. Allen West has already tried to end federal funding for National Public Radio. But if he needed another reason to hate NPR, yesterday’s “All Things Considered” segment should do the the trick.
The story explored West’s view of Islam as a “totalitarian, theocratic, political ideology,” and his ongoing rhetorical battle with Nezar Hamze, the executive director of the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. No news there — the West/Hamze controversy has already been well-documented on the Pulp. But NPR took the story one step further, suggesting that Broward Republicans were more anti-Muslim than their GOP comrades in other states.

Last month, Hamze attempted to join the Broward Republican Executive Committee, and was soundly rejected by a “pit of discrimination.”

Yet committee chairman Richard DeNapoli told NPR:  ”I really don’t think this had anything to do with religion. It’s just that this was a widely known circumstance where he had made statements against Allen West, and the members reacted to that.”

Strike one. Broward Republicans will defend West to the end, even if it makes them look like bigots on national radio. But wait, there’s more!

“CAIR officials say they have good relations with other Republicans, but that in South Florida at least, the Republican Party and their Tea Party supporters have made Muslims feel unwelcome,”  NPR reporter Greg Allen said.

Ouch. This means South Florida — a predominantly Democratic area– is allegedly more prejudiced against Muslims than other Republican strongholds.

Congratulations, Broward. You are the new Strom Thurmond.

Joe Kaufman-O-Meter #5: Dodges Question on Whether He Supports Nuking Iran

Posted in Feature, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2011 by loonwatch
Joe Kaufman

Just when you thought Joe Kaufman couldn’t make more of a fool of himself he proves you wrong! Previously, Kaufman eulogized a dead terrorist and racist by the name of Rabbi Meir Kahane, and we thought “well he can’t top that!” Then he called for nuking Muslim countries, and we thought “OK, that’s it, no way he can surpass such lunacy.” Then it so happened we learned he’s been paying homeless people to join his pathetic anti-Muslim rallies to bolster their numbers, and we’re like “golly jee, he keeps setting the bar so low.”

Recently, Kaufman was at a rally to express love for anti-Muslim politician Allen West and condemn CAIR South Florida. I kid you not, Kaufman’s exact words at the rally were “I love Allen West.” But that’s not the real ludicrous bit.

The ridiculous portion is Kaufman’s response to a reporter who asked him about his infamous call to “nuke the Mooslims”:

Reporter: “Do you support the nuclear bombing of Iran?”

Joe Kaufman: “No…um, well, I would never say whether I would support that or not.”

Why is this so ridiculous? Well, Kaufman has had 10 years to reflect and ponder on how he would answer this inevitable question, and the above is the best he could do. Rather then coming right out and saying he “wouldn’t,” as most conscientious people would, he hesitated and dodged. By dodging however, he not-so-subtly implied he is open to supporting such horrific action. That’s wily Kaufman for you I guess.

Who is he?:

Joe Kaufman, has been on the Anti-Muslim scene for quite a while now and is dubbed by the far Right-Wing FrontPageMag as, you guessed it…another one of their ”Investigative Journalists.”  That he has been influenced by Meir Kahane and the Kahanist ideology is well documented, as is his love and angst for Kahane.

In the past he has been accused of contributing to the terrorist organization founded by Kahane known as JDL (Jewish Defense League) while others accuse Kaufman of at the very least holding views that parallel JDL positions.

Kaufman’s unsavory associations and views are quite real and they are only dangerous to America if you’re stupid enough to swallow his conspiracy theories but other than that he is simply a half-baked paranoid conspiracy theorist, some what along the lines of the “9/11 Truthers.”

In every nook and cranny there is a “Mooslim”…hiding and ready to get ya…so beware and be afraid. Be veryyyy afraid goes his story.

In this special LoonWatch series we will detail the exploits and punchlines that Krazy Kaufman throws out there and attempts to pass as serious journalism, commentary and investigation.

Rep. Allen West Goes “Nuts!”

Posted in Feature, Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2011 by loonwatch

Rep. Allen West is well known to us as the anti-Muslims’ favorite politician. His alliance with terrorist inspirers and MEK terror-linked hate activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer is common knowledge. He is also supported by the likes of the long-time stalker of Muslims Joe “Nuke ‘em” Kaufman and loon Reverend O’Neal Dozier.

We reported a few weeks ago about a letter sent by Nezar Hamze of CAIR South Florida, a constituent of Allen West’s district, expressing his concern at West’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and associations with extremists and hatemongers. West responded to Hamze’s letter with a one word reply, “NUTS!”:

In attempting to explain what the Miami New Times called possibly the “dumbest thing ever written on congressional stationery,” some have latched on to the likelihood that he is “channeling a famous line by an American general fighting the Nazis during World War II. During a battle with German troops in Western Europe, Gen. Anthony McAuliffe was told that the Germans wanted his men to surrender. He replied, ‘Us surrender? Aw, nuts!’”

Instead of condemning the radical company that he has been keeping, Rep. Allen West decided to tell Hamze to ‘go to hell.’ West implies Islam is akin to Nazism and that Muslims are modern day Nazis.  This aligns well with the Islamophobic belief that Islam is not a religion but rather a totalitarian political ideology that seeks to conquer and subjugate the entire world. To say this dehumanizes Muslims would be an understatement.

West and his supporters, perhaps smarting from the blow of this latest PR disaster decided to hold a town hall on “terrorism” as well as a rally against Nezar Hamze and CAIR:

Instead of helping their cause, Allen West and his supporters undermined it even more by exposing their radicalism and stubbornly clinging on to their conspiracies of infiltration and subversion by “Mooslims.”

For instance Peter Lebowitz leader of something called (Senior?)Citizens for National Security stated at the rally, “They(muslims) are not in large numbers at this point but they have infiltrated our schools, our colleges, our government, our treasury department. They are not coming to the gate, they are inside the gate!” He also said that “if we don’t wake this country up, your grandchildren and my grandchildren will not know America,” “we are being attacked and they are everywhere.” Sounds kind of like Anders Breivik doesn’t he?

Rev.O’Neal Dozier spoke plainly without any of the sugar-coating some Islamophobes are accustomed to:

He’s not in the video, but Rev. O’Neal Dozier was also named in the CAIR letter as an anti-Islam extremist tied to Congressman Allen West. His words were unambiguous.”“I believe Islam, period, is a danger to this country,” said Dozier, a former George W. Bush advisor who leads a large church in Pompano Beach where Allen West has spoken. “The only true Muslim is an extremist … true Muslims are terrorists.”

Interestingly, Joe Kaufman was questioned about his call for nuking Muslim countries after 9/11 and far from repudiating the comment he struck an ambiguous tone:

Reporter: “Do you support the nuclear bombing of Iran?”

Joe Kaufman: “No…um, well, I would never say whether I would support that or not.”

All of these individuals are intimately linked with Allen West. They are his base of support, and they are not confined to southern Florida or Allen West’s district. It remains to be seen if Allen West’s star will continue to shine on the Right-Wing or whether such antics will relegate him to being a one term Congressman.

To Commemorate 9/11 Allen West Says: “Islam is not a Religion”

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on September 7, 2011 by loonwatch

Pretty self-explanatory if you ask me. West is at war with Islam:

This took place in the Capitol, September 7, 2011.

$42 Million From Seven Foundations Helped Fuel The Rise Of Islamophobia In America

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

money bags

A very interesting report on the funding of the anti-Muslim movement. It is unfortunate that despite a few citations there is scant mention of our taking the haters on day in and day out for over two years.

REPORT: $42 Million From Seven Foundations Helped Fuel The Rise Of Islamophobia In America

By Faiz Shakir on Aug 26, 2011 at 9:30 am

Following a six-month long investigative research project, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report today which reveals that more than $42 million from seven foundations over the past decade have helped fan the flames of anti-Muslim hate in America. The authors — Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matt Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and myself — worked to expose the Islamophobia network in depth, name the major players, connect the dots, and trace the genesis of anti-Muslim propaganda.

The report, titled “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America,” lifts the veil behind the hate, follows the money, and identifies the names of foundations who have given money, how much they have given, and who they have given to:

The money has flowed into the hands of five key “experts” and “scholars” who comprise the central nervous system of anti-Muslim propaganda:

FRANK GAFFNEY, Center for Security Policy – “A mosque that is used to promote a seditious program, which is what Sharia is…that is not a protected religious practice, that is in fact sedition.” [Source]

DAVID YERUSHALMI, Society of Americans for National Existence: “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…the Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.” [Source]

DANIEL PIPES, Middle East Forum: “All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.” [Source]

ROBERT SPENCER, Jihad Watch: “Of course, as I have pointed out many times, traditional Islam itself is not moderate or peaceful. It is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.” [Source]

STEVEN EMERSON, Investigative Project on Terrorism: “One of the world’s great religions — which has more than 1.4 billion adherents — somehow sanctions genocide, planned genocide, as part of its religious doctrine.” [Source]

These five “scholars” are assisted in their outreach efforts by Brigitte Gabriel (founder, ACT! for America), Pamela Geller (co-founder, Stop Islamization of America), and David Horowitz (supporter of Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch). As the report details, information is then disseminated through conservative organizations like the Eagle Forum, the religious right, Fox News, and politicians such as Allen West and Newt Gingrich.

Over the past few years, the Islamophobia network (the funders, scholars, grassroots activists, media amplifiers, and political validators) have worked hard to push narratives that Obama might be a Muslim, that mosques are incubators of radicalization, and that “radical Islam” has infiltrated all aspects of American society — including the conservative movement.

To explain how the Islamophobia network operates, we’ve produced this video to show just one example of how they have mainstreamed the baseless and unfounded fear that Sharia may soon replace American laws:

*We published this piece earlier but took it down for technical reasons.

Rep. West to screen controversial film on ‘Ground Zero mosque’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by loonwatch

Rep. West to screen controversial film on ‘Ground Zero mosque’

By Jordy Yager – 08/02/11 11:22 AM ET

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is planning to screen a controversial film on Capitol Hill about attempts to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero in Manhattan.

The film, “Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mosque,” was produced by the conservative Christian Action Network (CAN) and has begun to garner criticism from such groups as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The 45-minute film is largely focused around a series of interviews conducted with survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and members of their family. The interviews, according to CAN’s website, delve into the feelings they experienced last summer when a group proposed building an Islamic center blocks away from where the World Trade Center towers once stood.

Efforts to build the Islamic center, which was set to include a swimming pool and a mosque among other amenities, were the focus of nearly every news agency last summer and brought a slew of politically charged arguments from members of Congress.

CAN attempted to get permission to show the film in New York City parks over the week leading up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but it was denied out of concern for the content.

According to CAN’s website, West plans to host the event during the week Congress returns from recess, on Sept. 8 in the Rayburn House Office Building.

This will not be the first time a controversial film about Muslims has been shown on Capitol Hill. In 2009, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) hosted the controversial Dutch filmmaker Geert Wilders and showed his movie, “Fitna,” which many Muslims have designated anti-Islamic. Following an anti-screening campaign by the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association, no members of Congress reportedly showed up to watch the film.

West came under fire last year for commenting during a conference that terrorists were fulfilling mandates laid out by the Quran.

A spokeswoman for West did not immediately return a request for comment.

Allen West and ACT! for America: Radical anti-Muslim Activists

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by loonwatch

ACT! for America, or as they are better known ACT! for Hate, held a meeting recently headlined byRep. Allen West. Allen West of course is an anti-Muslim Islamophobe extraordinaire, we’ve covered his rise to prominence within the hardcore radical anti-Muslim right-wing quite extensively.

The main themes of his speech revolved around the usual wacky fear-mongering and hatred about how suspicious Muslims are, how they want to take over the world, how we need to be real “Americans” and fight them instead of “surrendering.”

At the end of the day it is plain nutty stuff, but here is the cause for concern: Allen West is a Congressman, he has a cult-like following among Conservatives, and there will be a few who will take his call for action and translate that into violence against Muslims.

You can find the video of his speech on YouTube, I am not linking to it since it directs to a hate channel. Interestingly, the video was shot by Austrian anti-Muslim politician Elizabeth Sabbaditsch-Wolff who was recorded a few years ago saying, “Muslims rape children.” Wolff seems to be a favorite amongst right-wing anti-Muslim nut-jobs, she appears frequently at their rallies and conferences.

Here are some of the choice cuts from Allen West’s diatribe against Muslims and Islam:

“I like Irish Spring, but I don’t much care for Arab Spring”

“If you’re going to act for America first you have to be like America…the America in which there was an understanding and a seeking of a merciful god…a Judeo-Christian God”

“We are not out of the woods yet, it’s something totally different, it’s called lawfare, a new line of attack. We have long seen such victories in Europe and its backdoors (inaudible), over thirty years Europe has traveled down that path, appeasement, obfuscation and cultural abdication in pursuit of short sighted political and economic gain and benefits, she observes that ‘today, Europe has evolved from a Judeo-Christian civilization with post-Enlightenment secular elements to a simple nation of dhimmitude Eurabia, a secular Muslim transitional society with its judeo-christian mores rapidly declining

“where is the outrage from millions of peaceful Muslims and Muslim nations when their religion is supposedly hijacked?”

“the Quran is longer than the Bible”

“In order to act for America, you have to act like Americans”

“you have to ask yourself, is our liberty important enough to fight for?”

“Is Western civilization worth saving?”

“We stand at the brink of a new dark age”

“Find out if Muslim Student Associations are terrorizing students on university campuses”

“Help our European brothers and sisters, there are a number of organizations fighting back in this clash of civilizations”

“War is an ugly thing, but it is not the ugliest thing”

“Act like Americans, not the poor timid soul who would surrender the greatest nation the world has ever known.”

West’s statements are increasingly becoming radical which is in line with the general trend in the Islamophobesphere. As they find that their words, actions and exhortations are not gaining traction with mainstream society their speech gets increasingly hostile and inflammatory. The Islamophobes long ago dropped rational discourse and have increasingly latched onto emotional and irresponsible rhetoric. It is only a matter of time before we see a crazy guy acting on the fears and anxiety stoked by the likes of West throwing a bomb into a mosque while people pray.

Allen West Practicing Taqiyya?

Posted in Feature, Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2011 by loonwatch

We have done our fair share of coverage of the loony House representative from Florida, Allen West, but this guy is just amazing sometimes in the nonsense he spits out. West has made some seriously Islamophobic remarks in the past, arguing in point blank statements that Islam is not a religion, but an ideology:

“We already have a 5th column that is already infiltrating into our colleges, into our universities, into our high schools, into our religious aspect, our cultural aspect, our financial, our political systems in this country. And that enemy represents something called Islam and Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals that stand up and say that.”

So said West back then, in the company of other right-wing loons, that “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion.” It seems pretty clear to anyone with half a brain that he was not trying to say “radical Islam” is wrong, or that he is against “extremist” versions of Islam, or “Islamism” or anything else. He makes it very clear in that speech he is against Islam, period. He also makes it clear that he does not think Islam is a religion.

In early February 2011, West was contacted by religious leaders who became aware of West’s rhetoric against Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim Congressmen in the House of Representatives. West said that Ellison represented “the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established”:

Several religious leaders told South Florida Congressman Allen West on Wednesday they have “deep concern” over his recent comments about a Muslim colleague in Congress and about “your tendency to offer intemperate comments about Islam.”

In contrast to the blunt comments about Islam he made during the right-wing program mentioned above, West changed his tune:

“It is the extremist, radical element that has hijacked Islam that presents a dangerous threat to both our country and our allies throughout the world,” West said in a return letter. “This radical jihadist movement has no place in the United States of America or anywhere on earth.”

So now it was the “extremist, radical element” that had “hijacked Islam” that West was concerned about. I would like to offer a more cogent and intellectual analysis of West’s statements, but let’s be real here folks. It isn’t required. He is changing his tune because he does not want to appear to be the bigot that he clearly is. West was speaking from his heart to his like minded loons last year at that right-wing program where he said that “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology.” But when respected religious leaders contacted him after his verbal attack on Rep. Ellison, West backtracked to save face. West, it could be argued, is practicing the definition of “taqiyya” that so many anti-Muslim loons claim that Muslims practice. West is hiding his true beliefs about Islam from civil society because he knows it can only serve to make him look like a bigot. Meanwhile, the Congressman ramps up the anti-Islam rhetoric once he’s in front of his fellow Muslim-bashing compatriots.

However, West’s true face was shown once again when he felt pushed into a corner about his views on Islam. On Monday, Feb. 21, West got into a heated exchange with the director of CAIR Florida, Nezar Hamze. Hamze had the audacity to question West’s knowledge about Islam. How dare he! It’s quite obvious that someone of West’s stature, being a Congressman and all, would have the requisite knowledge to speak about Islamic theology and history. I mean, don’t most U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen know a whole lot about Islamic theology and history? Isn’t that why they are elected to Congress – because they know a lot about Islam?

Well, of course not. But, Hamze stood before the bigoted Congressman and asked West to point out where in the Qur’an it says to attack Americans or innocent people. This gave West the opportunity to show how prolific his knowledge of Islamic history was (and how big of a wise guy he is). West told the lowly Muslim that of course there’s no mention of attacking Americans in the Qur’an because America was not even around when the Qur’an was written.

Duh, you stupid Muslim!

West then made mention of certain battles in early Islamic history. LoonWatch is currently working on a lengthy response to West’s dubious claims, one that he and other Islamophobes constantly refer to in order to argue that Islam is violent. Stay tuned for that response – it will be posted soon. However, make no mistake that West’s alleged understanding of Islamic law and history is way off base, as is his understanding of the Muslim American community today.

In response to the question Hamze asked, West alleged that Maj. Nidal Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar” when he killed those innocent people at Fort Hood and that the 9-11 hijackers also yelled “Allahu Akbar” when they flew planes into the Twin Towers, as if to show that these people represent Islam. Of course, West is attempting to link all Muslims to what Nidal Hasan and the 9-11 terrorists did through the use of common Islamic terms. Just because some extremists shouted out a religious term when committing acts of violence against innocent people does not mean that others who also use those religious terms share in the guilt of those atrocities or that Islam somehow would condone these actions because these murderers attempted to “Islamicize” these heinous actions. West is treading on a slippery slope. One that will make him fall on his face. Which brings us to his final statement at the town hall event that fateful evening.

Hamze told West that he was ashamed that West was attacking his religion, whereupon West burst out and yelled “You attacked us! You attacked us!”

Wow.

This is a United States Congressman? This is not only an absurd statement to make, because for one Hamze obviously had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks, but two, West is essentially laying guilt for 9-11 on every single Muslim American. By saying “You attacked us,” West is telling us what he truly believes. That Muslim Americans, like Nezar Hamze, are co-conspirators in the 9-11 attacks. That Muslim Americans are guilty people (sounds like West is applying Robert Spencer’s definition of dhimmi on Muslim Americans).

And you know what that means. It means West’s followers will associate every Muslim living in America with terrorism and make them worthy of ridicule, contempt, distrust, and then eventually this type of thinking will lead to violence against innocent Muslims in America. You can already see the type of vitriol that is being practiced against Muslim Americans when viewing the anti-Muslim protestin Orange County, CA.

This is disgusting behavior on the part of a U.S. Congressman. West is not clever. He’s not smart. He doesn’t know squat about Islam or Islamic history. He’s the worst of what America has to offer. He is a disgrace to his constituents and a danger to law-abiding Muslim Americans who simply want to live a normal life in America. He is simply an un-American fake tough guy who loses his temper when questioned about things he knows nothing about. The fact that this jerk is a U.S. Congressman speaks volumes about the state of Islamophobia in America today. He’s also clearly practicing“taqiyya” by saying one thing to his right-wing constituents about Islam and then saying another thing to religious leadership in order to hide his bigoted views of Islam and Muslims. But never fear, Loon Watch is here – to expose loony frauds like Allen West and put them in their rightful place of shame.

 

Allen West: I Can’t Be Islamaphobic, I Brought ‘The Light Of Freedom Into The Islamic World’ When I Invaded Iraq

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2011 by loonwatch

Does Allen West suffer from amnesia or is he perpetrating dissimulation?

Allen West: I Can’t Be Islamaphobic, I Brought ‘The Light Of Freedom Into The Islamic World’ When I Invaded Iraq

(ThinkProgress)

At a townhall meeting Monday, tea party firebrand Rep. Allen West (R-FL) got into a shouting match with a Muslim attendee who confronted West about his history of highlyIslamophobic comments. “Don’t try to blow sunshine up my butt and tell me [Islam] is all warm and fuzzy,” the congressman angrily responded to the questioner’s assertion that Islam is not a violent religion.

West appeared on Fox and Friends this morning to discuss the incident. Propped up by Fox host Steve Doocy, West, a retired lieutenant colonel, said he couldn’t possibly be Islamaphobic because, “I have done my share to bring the light of freedom into the Islamic world” while serving with the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan:

DOOCY: You stood up for the principles of the Muslim countries. You served abroad, and you tried to keep freedom alive in Muslim countries.

WEST: Absolutely. And I think that’s one of the things that we should understand. You know, we went into Kosovo to protect the Muslim population there. You know, I was there in Desert Storm and Desert Sheild to protect Kuwait. I served in Iraq, I’ve been in Afghanistan, I spent two and half years there.

So I think I’ve done my share to bring the light of freedom into the Islamic world. And for this young man to come up to me and try to castigate me as some enemy of Islam, I will not tolerate that.

Watch it:

Indeed, West served for 20 years in the military, but his career ended abruptly in 2003 when he resigned under a cloud while facing a court martial over the brutal interrogation of an unnamed Iraqi man. According to his own testimony during a military hearing, West watched four of his men beat the suspect, then West said he personally threatened to kill the man while holding a pistol. According to military prosecutors, West later took the detainee outside and fired a 9mm pistol inches from the man’s head, in order to make him believe he would be shot. West thought the man had information about an assassination plot against him.

It’s telling that West sees occupying another nation and then brutally mistreating one of their citizens as bringing “the light of freedom into the Islamic world.”

 

Allen West Changing His Tune on Islam?

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2011 by loonwatch

Allen West used to be fond of saying Islam is not a religion at all but it now seems he is changing his tune and claiming that he against the “radical jihadist movement” and most surprisingly of all that he “respects Islam.” I don’t believe him at all, it sounds to me like when Geller said she “loves Muslims.” Don’t you love how deceptive these Islamophobes are?

Allen West defends remarks on Islam

By William Gibson

Several religious leaders told South Florida Congressman Allen West on Wednesday they have “deep concern” over his recent comments about a Muslim colleague in Congress and about “your tendency to offer intemperate comments about Islam.”

West immediately replied that he respects Islam, has fought to protect religious freedom and has directed his scorn only at “a radical jihadist movement.”

The flap came over West’s comments at town hall meetings in South Florida and in a recent interview on the “Shalom Show,” a TV program about Jewish life and Israel.

The religious leaders from Jewish, Christian and inter-faith groups wrote a letter to West accusing him of calling U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the “antithesis of the principles on which this country was established” because he is Muslim.

“Regrettably, this is just the latest example of your tendency to offer intemperate comments about Islam,” the letter says. “At a town hall meeting during your campaign, you characterized Islam as America’s enemy and asserted, `Islam is a totalitarian, theocratic political ideology; it is not a religion.’ Such untrue and inflammatory remarks intensify an unsettling trend of anti-Muslim rhetoric and fear in our country. They are also likely to confuse your constituents as to the differences between radical, Islamic extremists and non-violent adherents to Islam.”

The letter was signed by the Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance; Rabbi Jack Moline, director of public policy for The Rabbinical Assembly; Rabbi David Saperstein, director and counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and the Rev. J. Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

In response, West said on Wednesday his comments on Ellison “are not about his Islamic faith but about his continued support of CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations.”

“It is the extremist, radical element that has hijacked Islam that presents a dangerous threat to both our country and our allies throughout the world,” West said in a return letter. “This radical jihadist movement has no place in the United States of America or anywhere on earth.”

“The problem is, these fanatics are often supported by certain groups and organizations that masquerade as more peaceful moderates,” West wrote. “Organizations such as CAIR have long histories of supporting violent anti-American and anti-Israel terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

West told the letter-writers he shares their goal to exercise and safeguard religious tolerance.

 

Allen West Engages in Double Speak on Islam

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , on February 1, 2011 by loonwatch

U.S. Rep. West draws applause in Boynton Beach, tough questions on Iraq service, Islam comments

BOYNTON BEACH — An overwhelmingly supportive crowd of 400 or more greeted new U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, at his first public meeting with Palm Beach County constituents tonight, but he still faced some tough questions.

It was the second packed house in four nights for West, who also drew about 400 people to a town hall meeting with Broward County constituents last week in Deerfield Beach.

Tonight’s standing-room-only crowd at St. Mark’s Catholic School applauded when West announced where his district offices are and when he said Congress needs to spend more days working in Washington.

There was applause and even a “whoo-hoo” from the audience when West announced he’ll be on the House Small Business Committee.

When West opened the floor for about an hour of questions, however, he said he wanted to hear first from people who didn’t vote for him.

His first questioner, Anole Halper of Lake Worth, brought up the 2003 incident in which West, then a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel serving in Iraq, fired a pistol near the head of an Iraqi detainee to get him to divulge information about a suspected ambush.

Halper mentioned “torture” before much of her question was drowned out by boos and groans from the audience.

“Having been a commander in combat, if you were one of my soldiers, I would have done the exact same action to protect you,” West responded.

“Obviously people want to continue to bring up something that happened almost eight years ago. I was taken out of command, I was fined $5,000, the matter is over,” said West, who was allowed to retire with a full pension after the incident.

West was also confronted by Nezar Hamze, executive director of the South Florida chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, who brought up West’s past criticisms of Islam.

“You have consistently demonized and insulted my religion. … You’ve insulted the prophet,” Hamze said.

“I will always defend your right to practice a true religion under the First Amendment,” West said. But, West added, “I’m not going to stop speaking the truth,” and he began reciting violent incidents from Islamic history.

“Your version of Islam is exactly what the anti-Islam people are teaching you,” said Hamze, who said acts of violence “have nothing to do with Islam.”

What does “true religion mean”? It is well known that many in West’s camp, Geert Wilders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer don’t believe Islam is a religion and therefore should not be protected by Freedom of Religion.

 

Allen West Says Keith Ellison is the “antithesis of American values”

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2011 by loonwatch

Allen West is on a crusade, no doubt about it. The video for his interview with Shalom TV is insane, it seems as though he puts Israel first even ahead of America.

Allen West: Keith Ellison ‘The Antithesis Of Principles’ Upon Which Country Was Founded (VIDEO)

(Huffington Post)

Freshman Tea Party-backed Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) recently got personal in an attack on one of the House’s two Muslim representatives, declaring that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) represents “the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”

During an interview with “The Shalom Show,” West also said that he plans to “defeat” Ellison, an outspoken Democrat who “supports Islam,” according to host Richard Peritz, “intellectually in debate and discourse.”

As ThinkProgress notes, West has repeatedly sought to connect Islamic religious beliefs to supposedly anti-American views.

At a town hall meeting during his campaign, West claimed that people who display the popular “Coexist” bumper stickers, which use various religious symbols as font, are those who would “give away our country” and “our rights and freedoms and liberties because they are afraid to stand up and confront that which is the antithesis, anathema of who we are.”

If the connection between the bumper sticker and Islam wasn’t made clear by that statement, West went on to drive home his claim that Islam is a “very vile and very vicious enemy that we have allowed to come in this country because we ride around with bumper stickers that say ‘coexist.’”

For more on West’s controversial views of Islam, check out ThinkProgress’s report here.

 

Allen West Starting the Crusade against Muslims

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2011 by loonwatch

Expect more bellicose rhetoric from Allen West and actual attempts to ban Sharia’ and Muslim religious rights.

From (ThinkProgress)

Rep. Allen West (R-FL), a newly-elected member who has loudly scapegoated Muslims and campaigned on a promise to oppose religious diversity, appeared on Frank Gaffney’s radio program last week. Gaffney, who routinely says that Obama is both a secret Muslim and a member of the “Muslim Brotherhood,” asked West about how the new Republican Congress plans to “take on Sharia as the enemy threat doctrine?”

West said that, although he has not spoken with all of the new members, he hoped that Congress would focus on the “infiltration of the Sharia practice into all of our operating systems in our country as well as across Western civilization.” He explained that targeting Sharia should be part of America’s “national security strategy” and that a response to Sharia would somehow include “tailor[ing]” American “security systems, our political systems, economic systems, our cultural and educational systems, so that we can thwart this”:

ALLEN WEST: So there are many different ways we need to understand this 21st century battlefield, how we can leverage all elements of our nation’s power against —and like I said we need to get away from this nation building focus. I think that is economically hurting us.

GAFFNEY: In terms of understanding our enemy, and I think you’ve done as much as any congressional candidate to help expand the awareness for not only your constituents but others. I count on you to be carrying that on in your new capacity. What is your sense of the willingness of this new Congress to take on Sharia as the enemy threat doctrine?

WEST: Well, I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down with all of the new members, giving all the new members of the freshmen class a phone call to talk to them. I think one of the critical things that we must come together is that there is an infiltration of the Sharia practice into all of our operating systems in our country as well as across Western civilization. So we must be willing to recognize that enemy. We cannot have a national security strategy that does not recognize it in specific and understand its goals and objectives. So once again, we can tailor you know our internal goals and objectives as far as our security systems, our political systems, economic systems, our cultural and educational systems, so that we can thwart this. And it comes back to one of those strategic goals that you mentioned, reducing the sphere of influence of this Sharia you know ideology that is tied into Islam. But I think that is our most threatening part, is the Sharia philosophy.

Listen here:

West also said that he would get rid of the “nation building” aspect of the ‘war on terror.’ Instead, he would prefer a focus on the type of ethnic and religious witch hunts against Muslims that Gaffneyspecializes in. Gaffney of course helped plan the protests against the Park51 community center in Manhattan and galvanized support for the anti-Sharia constitutional amendment in Oklahoma.

 

Joyce Kaufman: Islamophobe Inspires Follower to Violence

Posted in Loon Radio, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2010 by loonwatch

Islamophobes like to distance themselves from the actions of those they influence, but this story is a chilling reminder of the fall out of bigotry.

Woman Arrested for Threatening School Violence: FBI

The FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Group in Miami arrested a Florida woman Tuesday in connection with the November 10 violent email threat that lead to a massive lockdown of all Broward County schools for much of a day.

The US Attorney’s Criminal Complaint suggests the woman, Elissa Martinez, was inspired by Tea Party radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman of Fort Lauderdale and conservative GOP leader Sarah Palin.

In the complaint, the FBI says it traced the e-mail, sent to Kaufman vowing to use violence against schools and government buildings in Broward County to “make headlines” and “teach all the government hacks working there what the 2nd amendment is all about,” from Martinez’ computer at her home in New Port Richey, Florida. The FBI also traced a subsequent phone call to Kaufman’s radio station from Martinez’ cell phone.

Kaufman has told political rallies previously that “if ballots don’t work, bullets will,” and that individual citizens should become armed militias. The video clip of her rant has been broadcast widely. Kaufman claims her words were misrepresented, and that she was only trying to inspire people to vote.

But, the FBI says the e-mail, only portions of which have been released until now, began “dear ms. kaufman, i was so thrilled to see you speak in person for congressman elect west. i was especially exited to hear you encourage us to exercise our second amendment gun rights. i felt your plan to organize people with guns in the hills of Kentucky and else where was a great idea. i know that you know one election is not enough to take our country back from the illegal aliens, jews, muslims, and illuminati who are running the show. i am so glad you support people who think like me. I’m planning something big around a government building here in Broward County, maybe a post office, maybe even a school, i’m going to walk in and teach all the government hacks working there what the 2nd amendment is all about. Can I count on your help?”

The day before the incident, Kaufman was hired by newly-elected Congressman Allen West as Chief of Staff. Kaufman and West parted ways immediately after the incident.

The threatening e-mail also quoted Sarah Palin’s often used line, “what does Sarah say, don’t retreat, reload! Let’s make headlines girl!”

After the e-mail was received by Kaufman, her radio station got a call from a woman claiming her husband was going to shoot up a school in Plantation, Florida. The woman asked the station to air a plea to stop him. Police were called and school officials eventually locked down the entire school district, affecting tens of thousands of school kids and their anxious parents.

The Criminal Complaint says the FBI and other law enforcement went to Martinez’ home in New Port Richey and questioned her outside her home. She refused to let authorities into her home or to see her computer. She told them she knew nothing about the threats. She conceded she owned a cell phone with the number in question, but that she had left it in a restroom during the time in question while she was at a New Port Richey café called Starz.

Martinez was not taken into custody at that point and, somehow, managed to leave her home without police noticing. The FBI reviewed security camera video at the Starz Café and did not see Martinez during the crucial time frame.

Martinez, 48, was arrested Tuesday in Los Angeles. She may also own a home in Santa Monica, CA.

The e-mail also said near the end “we’ll end this year of 2010 in a blaze of glory for sure. thanks for your support mrs kaufman.”

 

Allen West Defends Selection of Joyce Kaufman

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by loonwatch

The political insane asylum in this country just gets larger and larger.

Allen West Defends Joyce Kaufman (Via Huffington Post)

Tea Party-backed Congressman-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) broke his silence over a controversial chief of staff pick this weekend, aggressively defending his selection of radio show host Joyce Kaufman despite the fact that the decision failed to come to fruition.

Here’s CNN’s report on their discussion with West:

“I was not hiring a talk radio host; I was hiring a very brilliant political mind, someone that has been in South Florida politics for 20 plus years. But unfortunately the liberal left showed that I guess they are threatened and intimidated by me, and so they went into the attack dog mode, which is something that they did the entire time in our campaign,” West told CNN Sunday in an interview at a downtown hotel where incoming freshmen were gathering for orientation.

Reports by the “attack dog” media turned upnumerous incidents in which Kaufman had spoken with incendiary rhetoric against illegal immigrants and Muslims. Soon after the reports, she turned down West’s chief of staff offer.

According to one such glance back at her past of public speaking, Kaufman reportedly said: “If you commit a crime while you’re here, we should hang you and send your body back to where you came from, and your family should pay for it.”

Oddly enough, West seemed to contend that the examination of Kaufman’s past of extreme speech was a sign that liberals had “issues with racism” against him.

“I think the American people are sick of, and that despicable, disgusting action and the way that they went after Joyce Kaufman shows that not only this liberal left has some issues with racism,” West told CNN. “I guarantee you, if I was a black Democratic Congressman-elect, they would not be doing these type of actions, and the fact that they’re attacking a woman like this, that shows me something about sexism and misogynist behavior.”

Kaufman reportedly addressed the incident herself over the weekend, as well. This from theBroward Palm Beach New Times.

“This is not about me,” she said of the threats. “This is the first attack on this man [Allen West].” She called the incident, “an attempt to try to make us look bad,” adding, “We didn’t fall into the trap!” She said she is remembering the individuals who have “demonized” her in the last few days, the columnists, the bloggers, and that she will call them out by name soon. She said she’s already received an offer to write a book about her ordeal.

 

Kelley Vlahos: 2012: Exploiting Islamophobia to Win Big

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2010 by loonwatch

2012: Exploiting Islamophobia to Win Big

by Kelley B. Vlahos, November 09, 2010 (antiwar.com)

Why did Renee Ellmers, a Republican candidate for Congress from North Carolina, produce a campaign ad skewering her opponent for not vociferously opposing the Park 51 Islamic center planned for Manhattan near Ground Zero, over 500 miles away?

Because it was good campaign strategy, that’s why. She presumed that the Newt Gingrich-hyper-generated history of the Muslims conquering the city of Cordoba 13 centuries ago, complete with illustrations and the juxtaposition of Ground Zero, would pay off, particularly among the disgruntled southern conservatives in her district, which covers the central and eastern parts of the state. And she was right – this blatant exploitation of their fears certainly didn’t hurt and might very well have helped her beat seven-term incumbent Democrat Rep. Bob Etheridge in one of the many GOP upsets of the midterm elections.

“I think this election will weigh heavily on us for the next couple of years,” lamented James Zogby, director of the Arab American Institute, talking before an audience assembled at The Palestine Center in Washington, D.C on Thursday. Parsing out the election results in the frame of the current backlash, he said Islamophobia has “exploded” on the Arab-American community in the U.S., “to the extent I don’t think I have ever seen before.”

In Florida, for example, Republican ex-Army officer and two-time congressional candidate, Allen West, has been fond of giving speeches that highlight his perceived historical knowledge of Islam as a religion of murder and hate. Pontificating on the Quranat the Hudson Institute this year, West exclaimed, “this is not a perversion, (Terrorists) are doing exactly what this book says.”

In February, West took it up a notch, speaking before the Freedom Defense Initiative, a jihad-hunting fundraising machine headed by Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) and Robert Spencer (Jihad Watch):

“There is no such thing as ‘war on terror,’” he told his audience, “a nation does not go to war against a tactic. A nation goes to war against an ideology… we are against something that is a totalitarian, theocratic, political ideology and it is called Islam.”

Geller did her best to promote West’s candidacy – “Run West Run!” – and Ellmers was also on Geller’s list of “endorsed” candidates. In ordinary political times, respectable Republican candidates would have steered clear away from Geller and Spencer and other such toxic avengers.

Not West, not now. On Tuesday, the Tea Party-backed West beat Democratic incumbent Rep. Ron Klein with 55 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, just days before the election, right wing blogs started touting what they said was proof that Democratic Rep. Joseph Sestak, running in a tight race for Senate with Republican Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, had attended a 2006 campaign fundraiser hosted for him by the director of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), an “unindicted terrorist co-conspirator” that is supposedly a front for Hamas, but apparently not so effective to have been charged as such by the U.S. government. Nevertheless, the accusations have been dogging Sestak, a retired Vice Admiral in the U.S. Navy, and in July, blogs like Atlas Shrugs began pushing the issue and circulating this ad by the “Emergency Committee for Israel,”right wing marriage of Washington neoconservatives and evangelical Christians with a lot of money to burn. It launched with the Sestak attack, and was key in making Park 51 a national issue a few weeks later.

Sestak lost last Tuesday to Toomey, 49 to 51 percent.

In Nevada, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid may have beat back a challenge by Tea Party favorite Sharon Angle, but most would agree she forced him to dance to her tune throughout the entire campaign. Example: when challenged in August by Angle to break his silence on the Park 51 project, Reid succumbed to the noxious Tea Party atmosphere and said Park 51 should be “built elsewhere.”

Later, in October, Angle indulged a delusional audience member by agreeing with him that Muslims were slowly taking over the American legal system.

“We’re talking about a militant terrorist situation, which I believe it isn’t a widespread thing, but it is enough that we need to address, and we have been addressing it,” she told the audience.

Off the congressional grid, Republican Josh Mandel, whose campaign produced an attack ad that artfully invoked anti-mosque/Muslim feelings while pumping up Mandel’s “real American” status as a “decorated Marine,” “crushed” incumbent Ohio State Treasurer Kevin Boyce, a Democrat, by 15 points.

Notably, national jihad-watchers weighed in on this statewide race, targeting Mandel’s opponent’s deputy, accusing him of attending an “infamous mosque” and “hanging with Islamic extremists.” After the election, the Cleveland Plain Dealer referred to Mandel as “a rising star in his party.”

And of course, there was the successful state ballot initiative in super red Oklahoma, touted by Gingrich and others as the first shot across the bow at the coming Muslim invasion. The “Save our State” amendment will modify the state constitution to ban Sharia law. Comedian Stephen Colbert, while noting that there are only 15,000 Muslims in Oklahoma today, had the best take yet: “Just because something doesn’t exist doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ban it. That’s why I have long fought for ballot measures to ban cat pilots, baby curling, and man-futon marriage.” (video here).

Looking at the smoldering post-election landscape and the long presidential campaign trail ahead, it’s clear that Islamophobia as a political tool is here to stay –- wielded by Republicans who use it to excite and galvanize the right wing, embarrass their opponents and sow the seeds of fear and paranoia in everyone else. And it’s so damn effective!

Zogby says President Bush may have “kept a lid on” the worst of the backlash after 9/11, however selfishly, by promoting the meme that his military invasions were not a “war on Muslims.” But the election of Barack Obama and the accompanying economic crisis unleashed the vitriol simmering under the surface, stirred by what Zogby called the expanding “cottage industry of terrorism experts” like Geller, Spencer, Daniel Pipes,Clifford May and Frank Gaffney. They inhabit largely Republican think tanks like theCenter for Security Policy, the American Enterprise Institute and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which as a monolith of anti-Muslim rhetoric, all provide daily talking points to Republican politicians like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and up-and-comers like West and Ellmers.

They also inspire and conspire with evangelical leaders like Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham (son of the Rev. Billy Graham), who felt emboldened enough to call Islam “wicked” and “evil” during a televised town meeting-style forum last April. Why not, when he knows that nearly half the electorate, or those identifying as Republican or ‘leaning Republican,’ likely agree with him on some level.

According to poll results announced by the Arab American Institute on Nov. 1, 66 percent of Republican voters now hold an unfavorable view of Arabs; 85 percent hold an unfavorable view of Muslims. Compare that to 28 percent who hold a favorable view of Arabs, and 12 percent who hold a favorable view of Muslims.

From Zogby:

“The GOP has become captive of several groups that now dominate the party’s base and have transformed its thinking. The ‘religious right’ and its ‘end of days’ preachers like Pat Robertson, William Hagee and Gary Bauer, presently constitute almost 40% of Republican voters. This group’s emphasis on the divinely ordained battle between the forces of ‘good’ (i.e. the Christian West and Israel) and the forces of ‘evil’ (Islam and the Arabs) has logically given rise to anti-Muslim prejudice.

“Then there are the Christian right’s ideological cousins, the neo-conservatives, who share an identical Manichean and apocalyptic world view, though with a secular twist. And into the mix must be thrown Islamophobic right-wing radio and TV commentators like [Bill] O’Reilly, [Glenn] Beck, [Rush] Limbaugh, [Michael] Savage and company, who daily spew their poison across the airwaves.

“The combination produces a lethal brew that is dangerous not only for the intolerance it has created, but the sense of certitude and self-righteousness it projects.”

The incoming Republican chairs to the foreign policy/security/intelligence committees and shifts in the party leadership in the House are “really problematic,” said Zogby. He pointed out several members who are quite known for promoting interventionist, anti-Arab/Muslim policy prescriptions and are expected to rise in the ranks next year, including Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Foreign Affairs), Eric Cantor (Majority Leader), Dan Burton (Foreign Affairs-Middle East), Peter King (Homeland Security), Lamar Smith (Judiciary) and Steve King (Judiciary-immigration).

“You have people who have a decidedly anti-Arab, anti-Islam mindset … it’s born out of the same ideological fervor of the last (Bush) administration,” said Zogby. As for the broader problem of Islamophobia and the Republican wave of influence in Washington politics, he said, “I think it will have an impact on the President and it will make the climate very difficult.”

You bet. Especially with the presidential campaign right around the corner. In fact, I’ve argued that it is already here. Watch the Islamophobia that poisoned the well in the midterms metastasize like a vulgar cancer for what already promises to be a Republican/Tea Party crusade to throw Obama – a man who upwards of 46 percent of Republicans believe is a secret Muslim – out of the White House for good.

Though the so-called Tea Party movement was supposedly born out of a backlash to the President’s “socialist” economic policies in times of financial crisis, it has done nothing to dissuade its adherents from scapegoating immigrants and Muslims for the country’s problems. Zogby tells Antiwar.com that “if a popular (GOP) leader criticizes this bigotry it could have an impact.” I am not so optimistic. As Zogby said himself, “once the genie is out of the bottle, it’s hard to get it back in.” And this is one hell of a vengeful Jinn.

 

Taxpayers to Fund Pro-Violent Fascist Joyce Kaufman

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2010 by loonwatch
Anti-Muslim Chief-of-Staff Joyce Kaufman alongside Holy Warrior Allen West

(Read the original at What If They Were Muslim?)

Coexistence is a beautiful thing. It’s the idea that despite our religious or political differences, we can still live side by side as good neighbors in a civilized society. Mainstream Muslims have been promoting coexistence with the Common Word initiative, a letter signed by hundreds of Muslim leaders calling for peace and harmony between Christianity and Islam. One would think such positive developments deserve our support. However, if you’re running for office in the contemporary paranoid landscape of American politics, probably not.

We’ve already reported on the Christian supremacy of Florida’s newest State Representative, Allen West. He had stated previously that he explicitly rejects peaceful coexistence, railing as he would against the popular “Coexist” bumper sticker I have on my car, and calling for a renewed holy war by saying Islam is a “very vile and very vicious enemy that we have allowed to come in this country because we ride around with bumper stickers that say co-exist.” It appears Allen West is willing to back up his loony comments with the appointment of anti-Muslim-in-chief Joyce Kaufman as his new chief of staff.

Kaufman is perhaps best known for her incendiary commentary and promotion of conspiracy theories on her right-wing radio show. She has called for hanging illegal immigrants who commit crimes, has called Democratic opponents “garbage,” said Jews voted for Obama because “they don’t embrace being Jews anymore,”and complained that school textbooks hadn’t sufficiently demonized Islam. So much for civilized discourse. Now, Joyce Kaufman is coming to Washington D.C. to spread her trash talk and race-baiting at the tax-payer’s expense.

Perhaps nothing Kaufman said is more dangerous than her less-than-subtle call for violence if the election didn’t go her way:

“I don’t care how this gets painted by the mainstream media. I don’t care if this ends up on YouTube, because I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was that they gave me a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will.”

In America, if you lose an election, the civilized thing to do is to buckle down for the next election. But for Kaufman, losing an election means it’s time to lock and load. This is not the only appeal to “second amendment remedies” we’ve heard from right-wing Tea Party candidates.

Thus, the newly elected Allen West rejects coexistence, has declared war on all Islam (not just violent extremists), and has appointed a shamelessly militant chief of staff. What does this mean for the American Muslim citizens living in Broward county near Palm Beach? Who is going to represent their rights in Washington? What does this say about the state of coexistence in our country? And I cannot help but ask, what if they were Muslim?

Envision, if you could, what would happen if, say, Representative Keith Ellison had ranted against coexistence, declared holy war on Christianity, and had appointed the media’s favorite rent-a-jihadist Anjem Choudry as his chief of staff. If you’ve been paying attention, you know the sight wouldn’t be pretty. Pam Geller would be throwing a ferocious hissy fit. Yet, it seems as if the right-wing isn’t against fascist religious supremacism per se. Muslim fascists we know are very bad, but Christian fascists, well, they get elected. A curious double standard, no?

Which leads me to a serious question: who is more of a threat? Keith Ellison and the Sharia boogeyman? Or the recent rise in right-wing militant extremists and their firebrand rhetorical enablers like Joyce Kaufman? For those actually in charge of securing this country, the answer is clear as day.

Update:

After the revelations of the insane things that Joyce Kaufman has said and called for the pressure seems to have gotten to the Allen West camp. Kaufman “turned down” the offer to be his chief of staff.

Note: This article is part of our “What if they were Muslim?” series. In this series, we examine the double standards used by anti-Muslim activists when discussing religious extremism in Islam as compared to other religions. We reject using extremists of any religion to justify prejudice, stereotypes, and hostility towards all members of that religion. Period.