Archive for anti-loons

Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature with tags , , , , , on December 29, 2011 by loonwatch
From Molly Norris, one of the Anti-Loons of 2010

(A List of the anti-Loons of 2010.)

That time where we recount and reflect upon the events and happenings of the past year is upon us. A review of 2011 is due in short order, but before we post that piece we will consider the anti-Loons of the year. This time around it would only be fair to allow loonwatchers to vote for the Anti-Loon of the Year. As we can’t create a poll, we present those we found deserving of such a consideration.

G. Greenwald

It goes without saying that we feature and cite many of Glenn Greenwald’s articles. His research is almost always exhaustive and thorough. The facts he uncovers are intertwined with phenomenal analysis that very often exposes the hypocrisy of the US government, attacks on the rule of law, double standards in media and much more.

A perennial Anti-Loon, Stephen Colbert has joined his creative prowess with biting political satire that is only challenged by his arch-nemesis Jon Stewart. Colbert lent his enormous talents quite a few times in brutally exposing the stupidity of Islamophobia.

 

 

We freakin’ love Jon Stewart! We have his image on the side of our website linking to his page on Comedy Central. He is an inspiration, and what he has done to combat Islamophobia in this country is, in my opinion, equal to the efforts of a Glenn Greenwald.

Wajahat Ali

Wajahat Ali has made an extraordinary contribution towards, on the one hand, “humanizing Muslims” and “Islam” through the arts, and on the other hand factually taking apart the funding of the Islamophobia apparatus in this country. His contribution to the Center for American Progress report entitled Fear, Inc. was one of the biggest stories of the year. For this, co-authors Matt Duss and Eli Clifton deserve an honorable mention as well.

Sheila Musaji has for a long time been taking anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia to task through her website The American Muslim. She has been a premiere defender of justice, equality and freedom, and for her strong stance she draws the ire and scorn of the hatemongers. Keep up the indispensable and valuable work Sheila!

 

Sherrif Lee Baca has been a consistent defender of religious freedom and pluralism. He is someone who actually interacts with Muslims and has taken the effort to understand Islam. In his amazing testimony in front of Congress during the Peter King McCarthyesque hearings he displayed his intricate knowledge of not only Islam but the smears leveled at Muslim leaders and organizations. He provided curt, substantial, factual and logical replies to leading anti-Muslim questions that too often are not rebutted in the mainstream.

Ahmed Rehab is a consistent and seemingly tireless voice for rationality and harmony in our society today. He is one of a handful of Muslims who manages to receive airtime to annihilate any and all Islamophobes he encounters in debate; various Fox News interviews attest to that reality. His participation in the Arab Spring highlights the diversity of his activism. Recently, his article on the “Radical Right” threat to America garnered much attention and is a necessary corrective to the exaggerated focus on conspiracies of “Islamization” and “terrorism.” A point we have been making on this site for quite some time now.

Reza Aslan is one of our favorite scholars. When he is not demolishing Islamophobes in debate he is traveling the country speaking at various venues about Islam, the Muslim world and its interactions with the West. He is also a powerful voice for peace and his exclusive interview with Loonwatch was one of the highlights of the year for us:

 

 

Sarah Posner is one of the foremost writers on religion in America today. Her articles are carried widely across the country in many different venues. Her skill at in-depth analysis of religious trends makes her an important voice when she turns her attention to anti-Muslim and Islamophobic bigotry.

Haroon Mughal is a great writer, with tremendous insight and piercing analysis. He went into the lion’s den when he attended a radical Christian gathering in Detroit that was aimed at having Jesus “invade” the dreams of Muslims and turn them into Christians.

Richard Silverstein is an ally and a friend of Loonwatch. His work detailing the hate amongst extremist Zionists in Israel and their American counterparts has been significant and vital. He is a promoter of peace and is continuing the Jihad of Tikun Olam, “repairing the world.”

 

Cenk Uygur is another perennial favorite of ours on Loonwatch. His show, the Young Turks provides us with much material in exposing the fallacies of right-wing loons:

 

Aasif Mandvi is a special reporter for the Daily Show and one of the shining lights of Muslim comedy in the America today.

 

 

Russel Simmons has been out in front fighting bigotry against all people especially Muslims. He was a prominent voice supporting Park51 and recently bought all the Ad space for the All American Muslim reality show.

The Peter King hearings while bringing forth the ugly populism that lies at the heart of much of our politics also highlighted some courageous and forthright politicians who were willing to take a stand against demagoguery and hatred.

Rep. Keith Ellison’s testimony at the Peter King hearings was heart wrenching. Ellison did a good job over the past year of humanizing Muslims and being a progressive voice for justice and equality in the nation.

A friend and ally of the site, Lesley Hazleton is an erudite scholar with a tremendous sense of humor.

This by far has not been an exhaustive list. Please add any names you think are important to see here and we will update the piece. Below are some more individuals deserving of anti-Loon consideration (*not in any particular order):

*Update: Bob Pitt of Islamophobia-Watch, Muhammed Malik, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, Chris Christie, Charles Johnson of LGF, Faiz Shakir, Mikey Weinstein, William Coley, Tariq Jahan.

Max Blumenthal

Spencer Ackerman

Charles Kurzman

Kenny Irwin Jr.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Andrea Elliot

Justin Elliot

Alex Pareene

Zubiru Jalloh

Rais Bhuiyan

Kari Ansari

Mevludin Oric:

Richard Bartholomew:

John Esposito:

Alan Colmes:

Two Young Chechens:

Prof Risa A. Brooks:

Anti-Loons of the Year: 2010

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by loonwatch
From Molly Norris, one of the Anti-Loons of the Year

We reviewed the Year in Islamophobia, and it was a crazy year. However, we noted that at the end of the day there was “hope.” There were those willing to stand up, take a stand firmly against hate directed towards Muslims and Islam. Here we recount some of the best anti-loons of 2010. There are many more whom we may have omitted and who deserve equal attention and recognition.

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald published countless articles on Salon.com in which he took to task the complicity of the media in regard to Islamophobia, the double standards that exist when Muslims commit crimes as opposed to when non-Muslims do and the stark difference in coverage. He was outspoken on the root causes of terrorism and the willful neglect and negligence of our government and politicians when it comes to honestly discussing the causes of terrorism, namely — occupation. Greenwald’s colleagues Justin Elliot and Alex Pareene also contributed significantly to the discussion and had great coverage of the tidal wave of Islamophobiapalooza.

Jon Stewart

The Daily Show brought us plenty of laughs but also penetrating analysis and insight into the state of affairs in America today. Stewart’s mock news show was hailed for bringing more news to us than mainstream media. He was all over the coverage of the Park51 mosque controversy, and even before then he was seminal in covering and satirizing the rhetoric on Fox News, amongst Tea Partiers, as well hate crimes that were rising all over the country. His seminal “Rally to restore Sanity” which he co-hosted with Stephen Colbert was a watershed moment and though its detractors tried to minimize its importance, it frankly eclipsed Glenn Beck’s ghoulish “Rally to restore Honor.” His show also coined the word of the year, “Islamophboiapalooza.”

Stephen Colbert

The Colbert Report is a show that many are in love with, the host’s over the top adulation of himself combined with the incisive satire and biting sarcasm that no doubt turns Bill O’ Reilly and others in the Right-wing into a heaping pile of anger during the weekdays beamed onto our screens and left a residue of warmth and compassion. Colbert was everywhere, Capitol Hill for hearings on immigration, on the Mall for his “Rally to Restore Sanity and or March to Keep Fear Alive.” His commitment to justice led him to take on the pervasive atmosphere of anti-Muslim hysteria and in doing so he contributed to restoring sanity and dispelling fear.

Reza Aslan

Aslan is the man that Islamophobes love to hate. They can’t stand him. Robert Spencer published dozens of blog posts on him alone. Aslan has been vocal in the mainstream media about the anti-Muslim Islamophobia that swept America in 2010 and its main progenitors. He has delivered speeches, engaged in debates, written articles and books all towards attempting to foster understanding, and his implicit nod to Loonwatch on the Colbert Report was much appreciated.

Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal’s pieces on Pamela Geller, SIOA, video footage of rabid anti-Muslim rallies, and coverage of the Great Islamophobic crusade bring him into the spotlight as one of the leading anti-Loons of 2010. Blumenthal is also notable for being one of the first investigative journalists to quote and link to Loonwatch.

Lee Baca

Sheriff Lee Baca is a tough as nails LA County Sheriff who went toe-to-toe with a right-wing republican Representative over the politicians attempts to intimidate Muslims and cast Muslim leaders as affiliated with terrorist organizations.

Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) impugned Baca during a House Homeland Security subcommittee meeting, saying the sheriff had allied himself with a Muslim American group that engaged in “radical” speech by going to its fundraisers. Baca not only attacked that description of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, but he also told Souder he would be fine with going to more fundraisers for the group.

“If he thinks I’m afraid of what he said, I will go to 10 fundraisers because he said it,” Baca declared Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours before a town hall meeting with the Muslim American community.

Actually, Baca said, he’s been to only two fundraisers for the organization in four years, but that, he added, is not the point. What rankled Baca — aside from what he took as Souder personally challenging the sheriff’s patriotism — was what he saw as the congressman’s inaccurate assessment of the group.

“In other words, he’s an amateur intelligence officer,” Baca said.

Several times a year, the Muslim American Homeland Security Congress — an independent group set up to advise Baca and forge a partnership between the department and Muslim Americans — and the Sheriff’s Department’s Muslim Community Affairs Unit hold forums to discuss issues. The one Tuesday night was scheduled before the dust-up in Washington offered a charged topic for discussion.

When Baca spoke at the Tuesday event, he was given a standing ovation by the 75 or so people at the Omar ibn Al-Khattab Foundation near USC.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Mayor Bloomberg stood up at a crucial moment during the Park51 (Ground Zero Mosque) controversy and didn’t back down. He gave an impassioned defense of religious liberty and freedom in a historic speech during the firestorm and took a lot of heat for it from people in his party.

Honorable Mentions:

-Wajahat Ali

-Richard Silverstein

-Keith Olbermann

-Rachel Maddow

-Molly Norris

-Cenk Uygur

-Lesley Hazelton