Archive for anti-Muslim movement

Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott Not Sharing Stage with Islamophobe Pamela Geller

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by loonwatch

“If you are an Islamophobe, and even Tea Party Politicians don’t want to hang out with you, you are in trouble.”

We live in the age of organized Islamophobia. Anti-Muslims coalesced after 9/11 and created, in effect, an industry that sought to influence public officials, government bodies and the masses across the United States and Europe. While the forces involved may come from different backgrounds in terms of ideology, faith and political persuasion they are united in their efforts to demonize Islam and Muslims.

Anti-Muslim Islamophobes have created a structure of Islamophobia that cuts across many levels. They hope that in people’s minds Islam will become the new Nazism and Communism combined or worse, because at least the former two enemies of humanity were “Western” and had some “rationality,” whereas Islam is the incomprehensible beast from the East.

Reza Aslan explains it well:

Simply put, Islam in the United States has become otherized. It has become a receptacle into which can be tossed all the angst and apprehension people feel about the faltering economy, about the new and unfamiliar political order, about the shifting cultural, racial, and religious landscapes that have fundamentally altered the world. Across Europe and North America, whatever is fearful, whatever is foreign, whatever is alien and unsafe is being tagged with the label ‘Islam.’ (No god but God)

Islamophobes work assiduously to push their agenda. They have boosted the profiles of (fake)ex-Muslims, (fake)scholars, and created a network of think tanks, foundations, “terror experts,” bloggers that have produced hate groups such as ACT! for America and SIOA amongst others.

Their activism is strong and they won’t stop anytime soon because that is what they get paid to do!

For some time American Muslims must have felt alone in fighting the scourge of bigotry and hatred that was aimed at them, however efforts such as ours here show that decent people from all walks of life can come together to fight the menace of fear-mongering and prejudice.

It is through the efforts of loonwatchers that we have agitated the SPLC and even the ADL to take firm stands against the Islamophobia movement. Loonwatchers were also instrumental in first booting Geller from the Hyatt Place in Sugarland, Texas and then evicting her crew from the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee where they planned a “Sharia Conference” that was really more of a love-in for the vanguard of Islamophobia.

Now, according to several reports, another victory, both Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott, Republicans from Florida say they will not participate in a Tea Party Convention where they would have shared the stage with Pamela Geller and another Islamophobe:

Rubio and Scott are listed as “confirmed speakers” at the convention, but representatives of their respective offices told CAIR-FL that the event is not on the senator’s nor the governor’s official schedule.

Before we published our article asking loonwatchers to contact both Rubio and Scott the two were still confirmed speakers at the Tea Party Convention. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Rubio and Scott may end up showing up for the convention, they are after all Republicans, but if this stands it is another strong rebuke to Geller, Spencer and the rest of the anti-Muslim Islamophobia movement.

Daniel Tutt writes that Islamophobes have noted that there is push back against them, and they are none too happy about it, this is why it is an opportune moment to point out that we have to continue to hound the Islamophobes. An elected official should never share the same podium as a Pamela Geller, the FBI should never allow its employees to be instructed or lectured by a Robert Spencer, universities should never invite a Nonie Darwish to their campus to deliver speeches on “Islam,” or “Sharia.”

We shouldn’t rest on our laurels! Loonwatchers should capitalize on the momentum and actively campaign, using fliers, letters, phone calls, organizing protests and rallies where ever and when ever Islamophobes attempt to gain legitimacy. We will do our part by exposing them for the frauds they are and giving you the ammunition to shed light on their hatred.

LW Exclusive: Shocking Video of Geert Wilders Hate Speech on US Soil

Posted in Feature, Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2011 by loonwatch
Geert Wilders in Nashville at the Cornerstone Church

The Southern United States and the Midwest have been ravaged by violent forces of nature in the past few weeks; massive flooding has threatened to erase whole communities from Tennessee to Alabama, and over the past few days behemoth-like tornadoes, whipping in fury and frenzy swallowed and spit out whole towns.

The cataclysmic events of the Rapture predicted by Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping may not have come to pass but these tragedies have altered lives forever, and our thoughts and prayers should be with those affected. I encourage everyone to contribute in whatever way they can to reliefand support efforts in those regions.

“Heartland USA” as this region is otherwise known is too often ignored, some forget that beyond the confines of our large urban cities there is a whole other America that is rural, conservative and vibrant.

It is here that another force has taken hold and is setting up the perfect storm of intolerance, bigotry, racism, xenophobia and hatred.

This force is a product of the wedding of Islamophobia across the Atlantic, between right-leaning populist politicians and Christian and Israeli/Jewish Zionists that has led to a feverous increase in anti-Democracy and anti-Muslim activity.

This is the real monster that should worry us, not some eight-headed dragon beast that might emerge from the sea and usher in the Second Coming of Christ.

Extremism on our Shores

On May 12, 2011 in Madison, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, Geert Wilders readily accepted an invitation from the Tennessee Freedom Coalition to speak at Cornerstone Church, a mega church with regular attendance exceeding 3,900 weekly. LW received exclusive video from Rob, a fan of LoonWatch who attended the event and taped the speeches of Wilders, Lou Ann Zelenik and Andy Miller. He was so upset by what he saw that he immediately sent us the footage he captured.

Wilders speech was a diatribe against Islam and Muslims in which all the familiar talking points were rehashed but with a little extra venom, undoubtedly playing to the sentiments of the crowd.

LW Exclusive: Shocking Video of Geert Wilders Hate Speech on US Soil Part 1:

Geert Wilders: “Its Islam Stupid (raucous applause). We must stop the Islamization of our countries, more Islam means less freedom”…”And now, now Europe is looking slowly but gradually like Arabia”…”It was the land of our fathers, it is our land now, it is our values, our values are based on Christianity, Judaism and Humanism and not Islam, it is that simple (applause)”…”and I have a message for all those people who want to rob us from our freedoms, and my message is stay in your own country (loud applause)”…”we are not going to allow Islam to steal our country from us (applause)”…”if Jerusalem falls, Athens, Rome, Amsterdam and Nashville will fall therefore my point is we all are Israel (applause)”…”the only place where Christians are safe in the Middle East is that beautiful country called Israel (loud applause)”…”Make no mistake, please make no mistake, Islam is also coming to America, in fact Islam already is in America. America is facing a stealth jihad, the Islamic attempt to introduce Sharia’ law bit by bit”…”what we need my friends, what we need to turn the tide is a spirit of resistance, what we need I repeat it again is a spirit of resistance”…”we must repeat it over and over again, especially to our children, our Western values and culture based on Christianity and Judaism is better and superior to the Islamic culture (applause), and leaders who talk about immigration without mentioning Islam are blind (applause)”…”we must stop the immigration from non-Western countries and we must forbid the construction of new hate palaces called mosques (applause)”…”the press calls it an Arab spring, I call it unfortunately an Arab winter (applause), Islam and freedom, Islam and democracy are incompatible (applause)”…”the so called Prophet Muhammad was a terrorist worse than Bin Laden ever was (applause)”…”neutrality my friends, neutrality in the face of evil is evil itself (applause).”

Why is a mega-church, an institution that professes to follow the teachings of Christ hosting such a hate-mongerer in the heartland of the USA? What is the Tennessee Freedom Coalition and why is it paying an extremist foreign politician who undermines “freedom” to speak at a Church? What are the ramifications for the rest of the West, the USA in particular when such an extremist is given a platform to incite hate?

Cornerstone Church

This mega-church is a bit like a franchise corporation. It has two locations: one in Bowling Green, Kentucky and the other in Madison, Tennessee. It is led by Senior Pastor Maury Davis,

Pastor Maury Davis was arrested at age eighteen for the crime of first-degree murder. Following his trial and conviction, he served eight and one-half years in the Texas Department of Corrections. During his incarceration, Pastor Davis found his Savior in Jesus Christ and led a revival among his fellow prisoners.

Can anyone imagine what would happen if say Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf had a rap sheet similar to Pastor Davis? Pamela Geller would be doing back flips through Manhattan.

Aside from boasting about its large attendance, the Church also has a Starbucks-esque Coffee shop and other amenities for the Faith-full shopper. It successfully marries capitalism and religion and also adds an ultra-extra helping of Nationalism.

When nearing the Church, the first thing one notices is the strikingly gargantuan American flag in front of the Church:

Inside the Church the backdrop is red, white and blue and the colors surround a white modern looking Cross that reminds one more of the lapel pin worn by Captain Kirk on Star Trek than a cross. I guess they really want you to know they are patriots.

The Church’s philosophy is based on a literal belief in the Bible. They are certainly evangelical and reaffirm the theology of the “millennial reign of Christ,” i.e. the Rapture or the-floating-into-the-sky version of the End Times.

They believe that the Bible, “both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21).”

Danios wrote in his “Understanding Jihad” series about how most American Christians believe the above, and it adds further credence to his recent article, “The ‘But that’s just the Old Testament’ Cop-out.”

Tennessee Freedom Coalition

The Tennessee Freedom Coalition, led by Lou Ann Zelenik and Andy Miller is a right-wing organization that can be considered a part of the Tea Party Movement, the base of the GOP. The addition of the TFC to the long list of GOP organizations can be considered one more dark stain in the history of the Tennessee GOP. It was not long ago that their members were making racist remarks about the president:

On top of the racism, homophobia isn’t far behind, the Republican governor of Tennessee has until June 1st to consider an “anti-Gay bill that would prohibit the passage of anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT individuals.”

Tennessee also happens to be the state where we have seen a rise in hate against Muslims (in fact it is quickly becoming the center of anti-Muslim hate). Courts have been considering whether Islam is a religion, lawmakers are likely to pass a “Ban Sharia’ law” bill inspired by a documented racist and extremist Zionist named David Yerushalmi. It is scene to the Murfreesboro mosque struggle which made headlines this past summer. A year ago Pamela Geller was a headline speaker for the Tennessee Tea Party convention, talk about insane.

For its part the Tennessee Freedom Coalition was passing out this pamphlet at the Church:

How do you promote tolerance by “fighting” a religion? What they really mean to say in light of Wilders speech is, “Promote Religious Tolerance by Working to Stop the Growth of Islam,” which is like saying “promote tolerance by being intolerant.” Obviously this puts Muslims, you know, those who practice Islam in quite the bind.

LW Exclusive: Shocking Video of Geert Wilders Hate Speech on US Soil Part 2:

Conclusion

This is not the first time Geert Wilders has spoken at the pulpit, previously he spoke at Synagogues and at Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller’s SIOA 9/11 hate rally. However his presence amongst 3,000 admiring followers on US soil is not only reprehensible, it is a development that bodes ill for all of us.

It will only increase the radicalization of the anti-Muslim movement which seeks at its fundamental level to curtail freedom of religion and expression, first the rights of Muslims (soft target) and then anyone else they disagree with.

A word must also be said about Wilders obsessive citation of Israel. It is a country which he boasts about visiting over “forty times” and which he cites as a paragon of virtue, freedom, liberty, justice and light. He cites the security of Israel as one of the reasons that the West must fight Islam.

Lets forget the war crimes, human rights violations and apartheid policies in Israel for a second and really look at the hate that is emerging in its name. Individuals and organizations with deep connections to Israel, both network-wise and theologically are calling for the destruction of Islam which they regard as evil incarnate.

Aubrey Chernick (one of the leading funders of Islamophobia), Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, David Horowitz, Brigitte Gabriel, Allen West, the BNP, EDL, SIOE, SIOA, BPE, JDL, large numbers of Christian and Jewish Zionists and others believe that as long as you are fervently pro-Israel you can be as anti-Islam/Muslim as you want without suffering any consequences. Such a position at the end of the day only harms Jewish moral interests, and this much has been expressed by brave voices such as Not in Our Name, Jews without Borders, Muzzlewatch, Richard Silverstein, Max Blumenthal, our very own loonwatcher Gefilte, Glenn Greenwald and others.

The spectacle of a racist, anti-Muslim Dutch politician arriving on our shores to warn us about Islam is quite ironic, but what is most disturbing is the reception he received from a large audience of Americans. It may seem far-fetched now but one day Geert Wilders or someone like him (Allen West?) may move on from addressing thousands of Church goers to addressing Congress–the question is will he receive as many applauses as Benjamin Netanyahu?

John Sugg: What the People in Nashville Know about Steven Emerson

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by loonwatch

John Sugg tears Steven Emerson a new one.

John Sugg on why won’t the Tampa Trib tell you what people in Nashville know about Steve Emerson?

John F. Sugg was editor of the Weekly Planet in the 1990s, and group senior editor of Creative Loafing Newspapers until he retired in 2008.  In his tenure, he reported extensively on the Sami Al-Arian story.  After recent negative news broke about terrorism “expert” Steven Emerson, Sugg contacted CL about filing this post.

Steven Emerson, a self-styled terrorism expert, is a guy who had a profound and caustic impact on Tampa for more than a decade. Emerson has had much less of an impact on another city, Nashville, although his corrosive brand of often-inaccurate smear jobs recently slithered into Tennessee.

Still, Nashville’s citizens know a whole lot more about Emerson than folks in Tampa, despite his relatively recent arrival on the Tennessee hate-Muslim soapbox, where he jostles for the limelight with loopy religious fanatics and just plain old-fashioned Southern bigots.

Why that imbalance of knowledge about Emerson? The answer lies in a horrible miscarriage of journalism committed over many years by The Tampa Tribune, a series of atrocities the Trib could easily correct by just providing a dash of fair and accurate reporting, something history indicates the newspaper won’t do. Nashville should be grateful that it has a newspaper, The Tennessean, which unlike the Trib will fearlessly dig out the truth.

In tandem with his vassal reporter at the Tampa Trib, Michael Fechter, Emerson waged a decade-long jihad against a professor at the University of South Florida, Sami Al-Arian, accused by Emerson and Fechter of being a terrorist mastermind. Emerson and Fechter were backed by a shadowy network of former federal agents and foreign spooks, notably a disinformation specialist for Israel’s ultra-right Likud party named Yigal Carmon and a controversial ex-FBI official named Oliver “Buck” Revell – and a lot of money whose origins have never been revealed.

However, where their information came from was clear. As the great Israeli newspaper Ha’aretzexplained before Al-Arian’s 2005 federal trial: “Israel owns much of the copyright for the case; a well-informed source termed the prosecution an ‘American-Israeli co-production.’ The Americans are running the show, but behind the scenes it was the Israelis who for years collected material (and) transmitted information…” How did they transmit information? In part, via “secret evidence” slipped to our federales, evidence and accusers Al-Arian wasn’t allowed to confront (who needs that nasty old Sixth Amendment?). But reporters were also conduits for scurrilous “intelligence” claims. Fechter himself wrote that “former and current senior Israeli intelligence officials” loaded his stories with information. Those allegations, many ludicrous on their face, were rejected by a federal jury, despite a highly prejudiced judge and rulings that, if they had been issued against Martin Luther King Jr. would have prevented him from mentioning Jim Crow in his defense.

Over the years, while a Weekly Planet and Creative Loafing editor, I had a great deal of fun exposing Emerson, and the prevarications by Fechter and the federal government. I tried to put into contextwhat the anti-Muslim crusaders were up to. I joined a rather elite cadre of journalists that had tangled with Emerson – including famed investigative reporters Seymour Hersh, Robert I. Friedman and Robert Parry, who provided me with insight into Emerson’s real agenda.

Emerson filed two bogus lawsuits against me, the Weekly Planet (AKA Creative Loafing) and an AP reporter who had told me about questions he had had over the provenance of a document Emerson gave the news service. We obtained a court order that would have forced Emerson to produce real proof of his allegations – and he knew we were digging into who he really was and who paid his bills – so he ran away from the fight he started; the good guys (me, for example) prevailed.

It’s noteworthy that a number of dispassionate analysts had observations similar to mine. New York University scholar Zachary Lockman, for example, (as quoted on “Right Web”) wrote in 2005: “[Emerson’s] main focus during the 1990s was to sound the alarm about the threat Muslim terrorists posed to the United States. By the end of that decade Emerson was describing himself as a ‘terrorist expert and investigator’ and ‘Executive Director, Terrorism Newswire, Inc.’ Along the way, critics charged, Emerson had sounded many false alarms, made numerous errors of fact, bandied accusations about rather freely, and ceased to be regarded as credible by much of the mainstream media . The September 11 attacks seemed to bear out Emerson’s warnings, but his critics might respond that even a stopped clock shows the right time twice a day.”

Again, it’s sadly significant that the Trib never even provided such mild doses of context about its primary source, Emerson, in its inflammatory, intentionally erroneous and misleading, and often racist diatribes against Al-Arian. The Trib still gives Emerson ink – never questioning his claims and guilt-by-association-and-innuendo tactics, and never vetting his background, associations, financing and motives.

Some insight on Emerson’s millions has now been provided by The Tennessean, Nashville’s daily newspaper. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, citing the Tennessean’s reports, on Oct. 26 awarded Emerson his nightly “Worst Person in the World” citation. Olbermann expressed regret that the network had previously used Emerson as a chattering head on terrorism topics. (Similarly, CBS did not renew its contract with Emerson after he claimed that the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing had “a Middle Eastern trait” because it was carried out “with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible.” That was a big “Oops.”)

The Tennessean reported that Emerson collects money through a non-profit, the Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation, and then funnels that money to his for-profit SAE (as in Steven A. Emerson) Productions. Quoting Ken Berger, president of Charity Navigator, a nonprofit watchdog group, the Nashville paper reported: “Basically, you have a nonprofit acting as a front organization, and all that money going to a for-profit. It’s wrong. This is off the charts.”

That little bit of information on Emerson, contained in one report, is far more than the Trib told you about Emerson over a decade – despite Emerson using the Trib to provoke a legal firestorm that is still ongoing.

You do recall the firestorm, right? Emerson and Fechter launched a series of series of attacks on Muslims. No amount of hyperbole and vitriol-spewing was considered excessive by the Trib or Emerson. Fechter, for example, darkly hinted that the FBI found documents about MacDill Air Force Base among Al-Arian’s papers, insinuating some dastardly design. Nope. Al-Arian had twice been invited to speak to large groups of military and intelligence officers, and the sinister documents were, well, just the hand-out materials. Fechter, following the lead of his guru, Emerson, also tried to blame the Oklahoma City bombing on Arabs, an egregiously false story the Trib has never seen fit to correct. Emerson, meanwhile, said in February 1996 that Palestinian advocates at USF were involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Emerson promised proof “in the near term.” The proof never came, and the Justice Department said it had no records supporting the allegation.

You think the Trib might have called Emerson on that one? Hahaha.

The former head of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa, Robert O’Neill, twice concluded during the 1990s there was no evidence to prosecute Al-Arian, according to my multiple sources in the Justice Department. I don’t like quoting anonymous sources so I’ll be clear: O’Neill, now the U.S. Attorney for Florida’s Middle District, himself told me he had looked at the evidence and found no reason to prosecute. In 1998, the then FBI counterterrorism chief Bob Blitzer also told me “no federal laws were broken” by the Tampa Muslims.

Yet, after 9/11, propelled by hate-Muslim diatribes from Bill O’Reilly (who had been funneled highly slanted information by Fechter) and the fear by Jeb Bush that the University of South Florida would conclude a settlement with Al-Arian that would prove embarrassing to the Bushite regimes in Washington and Tallahassee, the federal government indicted Al-Arian. The trial concluded with the government failing to win a single guilty verdict against Al-Arian or his co-defendants, an immense disaster for the Bush Justice Department.

Al-Arian later plea bargained in order to preclude another trial on counts on which the jury didn’t reach a verdict – although notably no more than two jurors felt he was guilty on even those “hung” counts.  Al-Arian’s plea bargain stipulated that he had had no involvement in terrorist activities. Rather, he had provided some minor support to people who might have become terrorists, although it’s clear from the trial that any such activities by Al-Arian occurred when they were legal. The plea agreement supposedly ended all business between Al-Arian and the federal government. However, due to legal chicanery by a rogue federal prosecutor in Virginia, Gordon Kromberg – who has been called a doppelganger of Emerson – Al-Arian remains entangled in federal courts and on house arrest.

According to my federal sources, the Al-Arian case cost our government at least $50 million, and, no, the Trib and Emerson didn’t offer to pay part of the bill (you and I had that honor). And, with so many FBI agents chasing a guy whose “guilt” was mostly in exercising his First Amendment rights, the FBI missed another fellow flitting around Florida, a real terrorist with blood on his mind, Mohammed Atta.

The final chapters in the Trib’s pogroms against Muslims had a sadly humorous angle. Fechter, who had long been a tool of Emerson’s, finally got slightly honest and went to work for his mentor. And Fechter dumped his wife and children and shacked up with one of the federal prosecutors who tried Al-Arian. I don’t recall where Fechter got his journalism training, but he must have skipped the classes on journalistic objectivity and not sleeping with your sources.

So, The Tennessean’s articles might have provided an excellent opportunity for the Trib to revisit and maybe heal a terrible wound it was complicit in inflicting in Tampa. On Friday, I asked TribManaging Editor Richard “Duke” Maas if he had such an inclination – heck, I inquired, aren’t you interested in what The Tennessean wrote about a guy who had so much impact on Tampa and your newspaper? Well, not really, Maas responded, sounding more irritated than journalistically curious. He added that Fechter had left the newspaper, which I gather meant he felt the Trib was thereby absolved of responsibility.

If you happen to have a spare backbone, you might send it to the pathetic folks at The Tampa Tribune.

John F. Sugg was editor of the Weekly Planet in the 1990s, and group senior editor of Creative Loafing Newspapers until he retired in 2008.

 

Keith Olbermann: Steven Emerson: “The Worst Person in the World”

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by loonwatch

O’Reilly was the runner up for his “Muslim problem” theme, but Emerson took the cake by being a sleazy scoundrel laundering non-for profit money to his for-profit outfit. Counter terrorism sure makes you a pretty penny.

Keith Olbermann: Steven Emerson “The Worst Person in the World”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

 

 

Steven Emerson of the anti-Muslim Movement has Millions of reasons to fear Muslims

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

Does anyone profit from spreading anti-Muslim fear? Some do

BY BOB SMIETANA (the Tennessean)

Steven Emerson has 3.39 million reasons to fear Muslims.

That’s how many dollars Emerson’s for-profit company – Washington-based SAE Productions – collected in 2008 for researching alleged ties between American Muslims and overseas terrorism. The payment came from the Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation, a nonprofit charity Emerson also founded, which solicits money by telling donors they’re in imminent danger from Muslims.

Emerson is a leading member of a multimillion-dollar industry of self-proclaimed experts who spread hate toward Muslims in books and movies, on websites and through speaking appearances.

Leaders of the so-called “anti-jihad” movement portray themselves as patriots, defending America against radical Islam. And they’ve found an eager audience in ultra-conservative Christians and mosque opponents in Tennessee. One national consultant testified in an ongoing lawsuit aimed at stopping a new Murfreesboro mosque.

But beyond the rhetoric, Emerson’s organization’s tax-exempt status is facing questions at the same time he’s accusing Muslim groups of tax improprieties.

“Basically, you have a nonprofit acting as a front organization, and all that money going to a for-profit,” said Ken Berger, president of Charity Navigator, a nonprofit watchdog group. “It’s wrong. This is off the charts.”

But a spokesman for Emerson’s company said the actions were legal and designed to protect workers there from death threats.

“It’s all done for security reasons,” said Ray Locker, a spokesman for SAE Productions.

Emerson made his name in the mid-1990s with a documentary film, “Jihad in America,” which aired on PBS. Produced after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the film uncovered terrorists raising money in the United States.

He followed up with the books “Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the U.S.” and “American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us.”

He claims that extremists control 80 percent of mosques in the United States. In August, he claimed to have uncovered 13 hours of audiotapes proving that Feisal Rauf, the imam behind the proposed mosque near ground zero in Manhattan, is a radical extremist.

Emerson formed a Tennessee connection last summer, when his organization uncovered pictures on a Murfreesboro mosque board member’s MySpace page. His company said the pictures are proof of a connection to Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization. But mosque leaders said they checked with the Department of Homeland Security and found the concerns were groundless.

Special Agent Keith Moses, who heads the FBI’s Nashville office, told The Tennessean last month that the bureau doesn’t discuss specific allegations.

Others cash in@

While large organizations like Emerson’s aren’t the norm, other local and national entrepreneurs cash in on spreading hate and fear about Islam.

Former Tennessee State University physics professor Bill French runs the Nashville-based, for-profit Center for the Study of Political Islam. He spoke recently to a group of opponents of the Murfreesboro mosque gathered at a house in Murfreesboro.

With an American flag as a backdrop, French paced back and forth like the Church of Christ ministers he heard growing up. His message: Creeping Shariah law is undermining the very fabric of American life.

“This offends Allah,” said French, pointing to the flag on the wall. “You offend Allah.”

French, who has no formal religious education, believes Islam is not a religion. Instead, he sees Islam and its doctrine and rules – known as Shariah law – as a totalitarian ideology.

In his 45-minute speech, he outlined a kind of 10 commandments of evil – no music, no art, no rights for women – taken from his book “Sharia Law for Non-Muslims.” The speech was free, but his books, penned under the name “Bill Warner,” were for sale in the back and ranged from about $9 to $20.

When he was done, the 80 or so mosque opponents gave him a standing ovation and then began buying French’s books to hand out to their friends.

Frank Gaffney, head of the Washington-based nonprofit Center for Security Policy, earned a $288,300 salary from his charity in 2008. Gaffney was a key witness in recent hearings in the Rutherford County lawsuit filed by mosque opponents. He said he paid his own way.

On the stand, the Reagan-era deputy assistant defense secretary accused local mosque leaders of having ties to terrorism, using ties to Middle Eastern universities and politics as evidence. His main source of information was his own report on Shariah law as a threat to America, one he wrote with other self-proclaimed experts.

But, under oath, he admitted he is not an expert in Shariah law.

The list of people on the anti-Islam circuit goes on. IRS filings from 2008 show that Robert Spencer, who runs the Jihadwatch.org blog, earned $132,537 from the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative nonprofit.

Brigitte Tudor, who runs the anti-Islam groups ACT! For America and the American Congress for Truth, earned $152,810, while her colleague Guy Rogers collected $154,900.

Unusual arrangement@

Emerson’s older organization collects several times that in an average year.

Emerson incorporated his for-profit company, SAE Productions, in Delaware in 1995. He launched the nonprofit Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation in Washington in 2006.

But he doesn’t make that distinction on his website, www.investigativeproject.org, which describes the Investigative Project on Terrorism as “a non-profit research group founded by Steven Emerson in 1995.” And today, the two groups share the same Washington street address, which is published on Emerson’s personal website.

In 2002 and 2003, despite lacking nonprofit status, Emerson received a total of $600,000 in grants from the Smith Richardson Foundation, a conservative public-policy shaper based in Connecticut. The foundation declined to comment on the grants but said it gives money only to tax-exempt charitable groups.

Giving money to a for-profit is extremely rare for foundations, said Peter Bird, president of the Nashville-based Frist Foundation. It can happen only when the foundation keeps meticulous records on how the money was spent by the group that received it.

“It almost never happens,” he said.

Locker, a former USA TODAY national security editor now working for SAE Productions, said his organization does not discuss funding.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation’s application for tax-exempt status stated that all the money raised by the charity would go to a nonprofit subcontractor with no ties to Emerson or any board members. The application also said the charity would buy no services from board members. Emerson ended up being the only board member.

In a letter dated Dec. 8, 2006, the IRS asked if there would be any ties between the subcontractor and the Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation. On Dec. 29, 2006, Emerson wrote back: “There are and will be no financial/business transactions between officers, board members or relatives of the aforementioned and applicant organization.”

In 2008, however, the charity paid $3,390,000 to SAE Productions for “management services.” Emerson is SAE’s sole officer.

Because of its unusual arrangement with Emerson’s company, the Investigative Project’s tax returns show no details, such as salaries of staff.

Locker said the approach was vetted by the group’s lawyers and is legal. He said that Emerson takes no profits from SAE Productions and therefore the Investigative Project is a nonprofit.

That doesn’t fly, said Charity Navigator’s Berger. Berger said tax-exempt nonprofits must be transparent and disclose how they spend money and how much they pay their staff. Emerson’s group appears to be trying to skirt these rules, he said.

“It really undermines the trust in nonprofits,” he said. “This is really off the grid.”

The Frist Foundation’s Bird said the discrepancy between the Investigative Project’s application to the IRS and its practices is troubling.

“It looks like they told the government one thing and did another,” he said.

 

Geert Wilders is Guilty in the Court of Public Opinion

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2010 by loonwatch
Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders, the anti-freedom-anti-Muslim-peroxide-using Dutch politico is in the news this week because he is on trial for charges relating to hate incitement and defamation. This comes on the heels of Wilders’ (ironically named) Freedom Party (PVV) being allowed to join a coalition with the Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Liberal Party (VVD). The coalition is viewed as frail and many are speculating whether it can survive a crucial vote of confidence in the parliament.

Wilders and his goof troop are trying to paint this as an Islamic assault against Freedom and an appeasement or capitulation by the Dutch “ruling elite” to Islam. His two vice regents of Islamophobia in the US, fellow soldiers in hate Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have taken the talking points of *victimization* and run with almost daily postings on the “Geert Wilders” trial.

LoonWatch understands the value of freedom more than any of these goons combined. The right to Free Speech, even unpopular speech is fundamental, and frankly the democracy of the internet gives us the opportunity to expose these modern day hypocrites who wrap themselves in the flag of freedom while at the same time undermining it.

What is crossing the line?

Criticism of Islam and Muslims is fair game. Making fun of Islam or Muslims is fair game as well and most Western Muslims are thick-skinned enough to handle it. This is evidenced by the fact that incidences such as the Danish Cartoons, Fitna, Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, Terry Jones’ handlebar mustache, etc. didn’t evince the expected throng of wild-eyed bearded Muslims rioting across Western Capitols.

Crossing the line however is incitement to violence against Muslims. An essentialization of Islam and regurgitation of common, long held Orientalized views and stereotypes of Muslims provide fodder for the demagogues willing to instrumentalize such views for their ends. Wilders fits into this description, his tactic is to denounce Muslims and their “retarted culture” through a full frontal attack on Islam that usually lacks honesty and facts and seeks to disinform a public already on edge with world events and local concerns such as immigration.

Already Wilders is guilty in the public realm of hypocrisy, (proclaims “freedom” but then wants to ban the Qur’an, tax Hijabs, deport citizens of immigrant background, etc.), of exploitation (instrumentalizing Islam and Muslims for political gain) and a bad, out-of-date hairdo, but is he guilty of incitement and discrimination?

This will be for the Dutch courts to decide, but it is enough to note that he is one of the guiding inspirations for an anti-Muslim movement that spans two continents and bridges the Atlantic. Organizations such as the EDL, SIOA, SIOE, ACT! for America and many more are inspired by Wilders hate speech. When he stands in New York and says, “No Mosque here!” his followers know the implication of his words and they are enthralled. The Dutch prosecutors will analyze Wilders’ racist statements, his proposals for discriminatory policies, but no matter what they decide, and contrary to premature assertions from Wilders’ spin masters Geller and Spencer, he is already guilty!

While you are waiting for the trial enjoy our favorite Geert Wilders jingle!:


Translation:

Our Geert

I know exactly how things stand,

Don’t bore me with the facts.

Give me one of those lefty newspapers,

So that I can sh*t on it.

The Dutch broadcasting corporations,

Pretend to be journalists,

They don’t do anything but lie,

Those dirty socialists.

They hate our Geert,

We hate the government,

That is secretly heading

For islamization.

We were born stupid,

Never had any education,

But we don’t give a damn,

We’ll vote for Geert anyway.

The government doesn’t do anything

About all those Moroccans

Who are on the dole

And stealing our jobs.

They also have a god,

But ours is better.

Their women are all ugly,

Ours are much hotter.

They don’t have any respect

For rules and legislation,

But Geert is not at all afraid,

He’ll throw them out of the country.

We were born stupid,

Never had any education,

But we don’t give a damn,

We’ll vote for Geert anyway.

As soon as Geert is Prime Minister,

As he’s told us oftentimes,

He’ll ban the Koran,

Allah and His prophets.

But that’s not all,

Geert is not easily satisfied,

The Imams will have to go

He’ll close down all their mosques.

And if the Muslims

Start protesting

Geert will shoot them through the knee

And we’ll all chant:

We were born stupid,

Never had any education,

But we don’t give a damn,

We’ll vote for Geert anyway.

© Lyrics: Lucien Van Rooy

For more on the exposition of Geert Wilders please visit: Krapuul.nl (Use Google Translator)

 

George Erdel and the anti-Muslim Movement in Tennessee

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by loonwatch

Eric Allen Bell, a film maker is working on a documentary on the Murfreesboro Islamic Center controversy.

Bell had an interesting interview, to say the least, with George Erdel an opponent of the Murfreesboro Islamic Center and a former conservative Democratic candidate.

Video:

Erdel is definitely a bigot of the highest degree