Archive for Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT! for America Meets with British “Freedom” Party

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by loonwatch

Looks like Brigitte Gabriel‘s loony ACT! for America is seeking to cement ties with Islamophobes from across the pond, the trans-Atlantic Islamophobic Axis continues:

British Freedom Party links up with Brigitte Gabriel

On Thursday night, the Chairman of the newly formed British Freedom Party, Paul Weston, spoke to a group of New Yorkers at a meeting sponsored by Brigitte Gabriel’s Act For America organization. Weston also said he came to warn America that what is happening in Britain today could happen in America in the not too distant future.

This meeting is going to be preceded by a joint event between BFP chairman Paul Weston and the Jewish Defense League (JDL).

British Freedom Party leader to speak at Jewish Defense League meeting in Toronto

Security will be tight on Monday as a controversial leader of a far-right British Freedom Party (BFP) talks to supporters in Toronto about his tough stand against immigration and spread of radical Islam. Toronto Police officers will be on hand as Paul Weston is expected to draw a large crowd at the Toronto Zionist Centre, on Marlee Ave.

The BFP was formed in Oct. 2010 and features a 20-point platform with a priority to “stop immigration to Britain from countries that promote the Muslim brotherhood.” Other points of the platform include abolition of the human rights of foreign criminals and terrorists; deport dual nationality Islamists and illegal immigrants and stop or turn back all aspects of the Islamisation of Britain.

“We have witnessed the spread of fundamentalist Islam across Europe and are witnessing the same trend in North America,” Weston stated in party literature.

Meir Weinstein, of the Jewish Defense League, an organizer of the event, said security will be high when Weston takes to the stage to bash immigration and Muslims. “We are very excited to have him (Weston) here,” Weinstein said on Thursday. “His party wants more stringent rules for people coming from countries that promote the Muslim brotherhood.”

He said police have been notified of the event and private security will be on hand to prevent possible disruptions by protestors. “There has been some chatter on the Internet about protests,” Weinstein said. “We are not taking any chances.”

He said Weston is following in the footsteps of powerful anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders, of the Freedom Party of the Netherlands, who holds similar views. “There has to be a change to our immigration policy,” Weinstein said on Thursday. “One of our goals is to stop the spread of Muslim fundamentalism.”

Officials of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said Weston has no criminal convictions to bar him from entering the country.

Toronto Sun, 17 February 2012

Last year the JDL organised a meeting in solidarity with the English Defence League which was addressed by Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (“Tommy Robinson”) by video link.

Brigitte Gabriel: Liberals and Muslims Doing “Exactly What Hitler Did”

Posted in Feature, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2012 by loonwatch
Brigitte Gabriel

Right-wing Christianity’s favorite self-hating racist, Hanan Tudor, a.k.a Brigitte Gabriel has been making a killing through her anti-Islam organization “ACT! For America,” also better known as Hate! for America.

Not too long ago she was at the Cornerstone Church in Nashville, Tennessee, (yes, the same church that hosted European fascist Geert Wilders) participating in the “anti-Shariah Conference.” You can watch the video yourself here.

As you can see Gabriel is up to her usual gimmick, fear-mongering about the deadly and dire “Islamization of the USA,” which is supposedly happening right under the patriotic noses of: good, wholesome, real Americans! According to her the Muslims are being aided in this anti-American endeavor by the liberals who wish nothing more than to see America destroyed!

She says at the 6:00 minute mark about the “Liberal-Islamic axis of evil”:

They’re doing exactly what Hitler did. What did Hitler say, what did Hitler do? “Give me the children and I’ll change society in ten years.”

Really? The Hitler card? Isn’t that played out by now?

Cornerstone Church has a history of giving a platform to this sort of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim propaganda. I won’t be surprised if one of its congregants believes he/she has to take out the Muslims before they take over, or perhaps a la cultural-Christian-Templar-Knight-Terrorist Anders Breivik, take out the liberals who are facilitating the so-called “demise of the USA.”

*********************

While Brigitte Gabriel’s reputation has been severely discredited and she is unable to get the kind of access that she was accustomed to in the past she is still able to weasel her way at times into the mainstream.

Such was the case recently in an article written by Frida Ghatis for McClatchy Newspapers and which was picked up by the Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee and several other papers. Ghatis’ article was titled, Truly Revolutionary: Arabs Speaking Well of Israel.

The piece is pro-Israel propaganda through-and-through and while maintaining a veneer of objectivity it degrades the successes of the Arab Spring and revolves around the not-so-hidden thesis that a real revolution in the Arab world would be one in which Arabs “speak well of Israel.” No explanation is given of why many Arabs are anti-Israel (i.e. occupation, apartheid, discrimination, war crimes, the bombing of Arab countries, etc.).

Instead the focus is: will Arabs finally love Israel and say nice things about it. All pretense to objectivity is dropped when we come to this sentence:

Pro-Israel Arabs, Muslims, and former Muslims who use their real names are usually people living safely in the West, such as Lebanon’s Brigitte Gabriel, Somalia’s Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Egypt’s Tawfik Hamid, or Canada’s Irshad Manji.

We have covered all of the loons mentioned above by Ghatis. If Ghatis was willing to do a basic search on Gabriel she would realize that Gabriel doesn’t even consider herself an Arab! In fact, Gabriel believes Arabs have no soul!:

The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arab world is the difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s the difference between good and evil [applause]…. this is what we’re witnessing in the Arabic world, They have no SOUL!, they are dead set on killing and destruction. And in the name of something they call “Allah” which is very different from the God we believe….[applause] because our God is the God of love.

One can see why Ghatis would be so enthusiastic about Gabriel, she really speaks so “well” of Israel.

ACT! For America Member: “Muslims Are Like Cockroaches”

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2011 by loonwatch
Brigitte Gabriel

ACT! For America is an extremist anti-Muslim organization that should be better known as ACT! For Hate. It is no surprise that they are fear-mongering across the nation and providing venues for the dehumanization of Muslims.

Is anti-Muslim sentiment at Crestwood venue an echo of Nazi Germany?

by Tim Townsend (STLToday)

This week, Bloomberg Businessweek said Crestwood was Missouri’s best community in which to raise children, citing the community’s great schools, low tax rates and excellent municipal services. One of those municipal services is the ability of any resident to use space in Crestwood City Hall as a meeting place.

All the group has to do is fill out a one-page form for a permit and agree to the city’s meeting-room guidelines. Those include leaving the room clean and orderly and refraining from “loud, boisterous, rude or other unacceptable conduct.”

The First Amendment dictates that the city can’t censor the content of any such meeting, however hateful or fictional its message.

And so it was on Wednesday, that about a dozen people attended an event in the Crestwood aldermanic chambers called “What America Must Learn from the Fort Hood Massacre.”

The St. Louis chapter of ACT! for America, a Florida-based, anti-Islam group that calls itself a National Security Organization, organized the meeting, which featured the screening of an hourlong DVD lecture by the organization’s executive director, Guy Rodgers.

The event was advertised in a weekly newspaper. Referring to the Army psychiatrist who killed 13 people in a rampage in Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, the ad copy said, “It is essential that Americans understand why homegrown Jihadists like Nidal Hasan do what they do.”

Political forces set on eliminating a particular religious or ethnic group often use propaganda to convince the masses of their righteousness. A key device of persuasion is the systematic dehumanization of those in the target group.

In Nazi Germany, Jews were often portrayed in anti-Semitic literature — most famously in Julius Streicher’s “Der Stürmer” — as vermin or cockroaches. By routinely referring to the hated Tutsis as inyezi, or cockroaches, broadcasters on Hutu-run radio goaded ordinary Rwandans into killing their neighbors with machetes during the 1994 genocide.

Genocide scholar James Waller writes that dehumanization occurs after the target group has been defined as what sociologists call the out-group. When the in-group exaggerates the differences between itself and an out-group, it creates a bias “toward information that enhances the differences” between the two groups, instead of the similarities, writes Waller.

In Rwanda, Hutu ideology defined Tutsis as alien to the country despite their long history as natives. The Nazis assigned an imaginary hereditary superiority to Aryanness, and defined Judaism as anathema to that superiority.

Nazi Germany is seen as a chapter in history. The massacre of nearly a million Tutsis over 100 days happened in Africa, far from suburban St. Louis.

The dehumanization of a religious group, an initial step toward the moral disengagement that leads to radical evil, couldn’t happen in 21st century America, right?

Unfortunately for American Muslims, we are about to enter a presidential election year, during which groups like ACT! for America and the Clarion Fund have historically spread anti-Islam messages that promote fear of “the other.” Both groups formed in the wake of the unprecedented attacks on the United States by Muslim terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

It’s a message that has been trumpeted from Crestwood City Hall before.

Last September, a group called the New Gravois Township Conservative Republican Party showed a film called “The Third Jihad” in a City Hall meeting room The film was produced by the Clarion Fund, an organization with historic ties to Aish HaTorah, an orthodox Jewish education network based in Jerusalem, and claims that terrorists have infiltrated the United States with the intent of “eliminating western civilization from within.”

After receiving complaints about the video, the city decreed a policy forbidding political and religious groups from using City Hall’s meeting rooms. The city’s aldermen suspended the ban two months later after strenuous opposition from members of the New Gravois Township Conservative Republican Party. Roy Robinson, Crestwood’s mayor at the time, apologized to the Republican committeeman for the ban.

The DVD lecture on Wednesday evening in Crestwood was a walk through the Quran’s violent passages, which Rodgers depicted as coming from the latter part of Muhammad’s life. He said that Islam’s prophet gained more followers with violence than he had with an earlier, more peaceful approach to spreading the faith.

The lecture soon moved on to the Obama administration’s failures to name the “threat” against the United States (jihad, according to Rodgers.) The DVD lecture finished with a swipe at the government, academia and the media for playing along with terrorists and failing to recognize that the U.S. Constitution is in danger of being replaced by sharia, or Islamic, law at the direction of the Muslim Brotherhood.

When the lights went up, the crowd wanted to talk. Use of the word “Muslim” was rare. Instead, the audience preferred the terms “they” and “them.”

“When they move to a new country, they don’t assimilate,” one man said.

“They don’t value education in the same way we do,” said Liz Trent, ACT! for America’s Southern Illinois chapter leader.

“We celebrate birthdays, and they celebrate death anniversaries,” Trent added. “They are the opposite of us. They celebrate death and we celebrate life.”

“I heard the Saudis are funding chairs in our universities,” a woman said.

“They have infiltrated our culture at every level,” said Trent.

“What do we need to do to stop it?” a woman asked.

Trent said that since a federal judge blocked Oklahoma’s decision to prohibit its courts from considering sharia law in its decisions, the new front was ‘specific laws.” Coming legislation, for instance, would “ban anyone from mutilating their child’s genitals,” Trent said. Someone asked if that wouldn’t be covered under existing law.

“No, no,” Trent said. “Slavery, murder, abuse of a child — all of that is legal under Islam, so it’s protected.”

When a target group is identified as a race or religion that the in-group sees as inferior or threatening, dehumanization follows, writes Waller. The target group is stigmatized as alien. The in-group uses language suggesting the target group deserves persecution.

In the civic heart of Missouri’s best child-rearing community, the executive director of an anti-Islam organization looked down from a white screen and told a dozen people that tolerance was the enemy in the fight against Muslims.

“They’re everywhere,” one woman in the audience whispered to her friend. “They’re like cockroaches.”

Right Wing Watch: ACT! Demands Donations To Fight Imaginary Sharia Invasion

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2011 by loonwatch

Brigitte Gabriel

ACT! for America is really Hate! for America.

ACT! Demands Donations To Fight Imaginary Sharia Invasion

Brigitte Gabriel of ACT! for America (formerly American Congress for Truth) today sent members a video message urging them to become “Patriot Partners” by making monthly donations to her anti-Muslim group. She said that the funding will go towards efforts to pass laws banning the supposed use of Sharia law in courts, such as the one struck down by a federal judge in Oklahoma. Gabriel called her rivals “unhinged” and “fronts” of the Muslim Brotherhood who intend to “smear” and use “legal assaults” against anti-Sharia legislation.

Of course, Gabriel’s legislative fix is still in need of a problem, as there is simply no evidence that Sharia law or Sharia courts are permeating the American justice system. But don’t let that stop you from giving Gabriel your money!

Former Mitt Romney Staffer Revealed As Key Player Behind Nationwide Islamophobia Push

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

Former Mitt Romney Staffer Revealed As Key Player Behind Nationwide Islamophobia Push

(ThinkProgress)

Last week, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report detailing who’s behind the rise of Islamophobia in the United States. “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America” shows how a small handful of groups, including ACT! for America and Stop Islamization of America, have been the driving force behind the the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States.

A ThinkProgress investigation found that a top employee at ACT! for America, Chris Slick, was a key staffer in South Carolina for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign and continues to be a “rabid Romney volunteer” this year. Slick, who currently works as ACT!’s director of online operations, served as a South Carolina field manager for Romney’s 2008 presidential bid. During Slick’s tenure on Romney’s staff, the former Massachusetts governor declared that he would not appoint a Muslim in his cabinet if he were elected president. (GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain made a similar pledge this cycle, to much criticism.) After Romney’s bid failed, Slick moved on to spread Islamophobia at ACT! for America, though he maintains contact with Romney’s 2012 presidential bid as a volunteer.

At ACT!, Slick has worked to distribute model anti-Sharia legislation to state lawmakers around the country. In South Carolina, for instance, state Sen. Mike Fair (R) told ThinkProgress he had coordinated with Slick as he introduced legislation to ban Sharia in the Palmetto State. After working behind the scenes with Fair to bring up the anti-Sharia legislation, Slick then lobbied ACT! supporters to inundate state Sen. Larry Martin (R) with phone calls in an attempt to persuade Martin to lift his hold on the bill.

Slick’s Islamophobia isn’t just confined to pushing anti-Sharia legislation. His Twitter feed includes frequent anti-Muslim and anti-Arab missives. On April 25, Slick wrote, “Press 3 for Arabic. Yep, we are in trouble now folks…”. The week before, Slick accused Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) of having “ties to terrorism” for once representing the Arab television network Al Jazeera. Back in February, Slick retweeted a post from Logan’s Warning asking “Why would any woman be supportive of Islam?” And earlier that month, Slick wrote, “Dear Egyptian protesters [sic] aka the Muslim Brotherhood, please do not damage the pyramids, we will not rebuild them again. Signed, The Jews.”

Slick also sent out an ominous tweet on May 10: “I need a Wikipedia expert. Need to hire one to clean some stuff up. Do you or someone you know work well with Wiki? Let me know ASAP.” It’s unclear precisely whose or what Wikipedia page he wanted to alter.

To learn more about how the Islamophobia network operates, check out this video ThinkProgress produced:

Omar Baddar: Who is Brigitte Gabriel?

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2011 by loonwatch

Omar BaddarOmar Baddar

This is a decent video from anti-loon Omar Baddar exposing the insanity, contradictions and bigotry of Brigitte Gabriel:

$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.

‘Ex-terrorist’ Rakes in Homeland Security Bucks

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by loonwatch

Last night CNN had a “special investigation” on the fraud that is known as Walid Shoebat. It took them years to realize that he was a fraud, even after they had him on as a “terrorist expert” in the past. We wrote about Shoebat two years ago in a piece titled, Three Stooges Coming to a Campus Near You, and Walid Shoebat:”Kill them and their Children”.

CNN provided some disturbing video of Shoebat defrauding security personnel and first responders and wasting tax payer money with his lies. Hopefully it won’t be long until Robert Spencer and the rest who get paid to hate-monger to the DHS are exposed by mainstream media.
Watch Part 2 of Drew Griffin’s special investigative report about Walid Shoebat Thursday on AC360° beginning at 10pm E.T.

From Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston, CNN Special Investigations Unit

Rapid City, South Dakota (CNN) — Walid Shoebat had a blunt message for the roughly 300 South Dakota police officers and sheriff’s deputies who gathered to hear him warn about the dangers of Islamic radicalism.

Terrorism and Islam are inseparable, he tells them. All U.S. mosques should be under scrutiny.

“All Islamic organizations in America should be the No. 1 enemy. All of them,” he says.

It’s a message Shoebat is selling based on his own background as a Palestinian-American convert to conservative Christianity. Born in the West Bank, the son of an American mother, he says he was a Palestinian Liberation Organization terrorist in his youth who helped firebomb an Israeli bank in Bethlehem and spent time in an Israeli jail.

That billing helps him land speaking engagements like a May event in Rapid City — a forum put on by the state Office of Homeland Security, which paid Shoebat $5,000 for the appearance. He’s a darling on the church and university lecture circuit, with his speeches, books and video sales bringing in $500,000-plus in 2009, according to tax records.

“Being an ex-terrorist myself is to understand the mindset of a terrorist,” Shoebat told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

But CNN reporters in the United States, Israel and the Palestinianterritories found no evidence that would support that biography. Neither Shoebat nor his business partner provided any proof of Shoebat’s involvement in terrorism, despite repeated requests.

Back in his hometown of Beit Sahour, outside Bethlehem, relatives say they can’t understand how Shoebat could turn so roundly on his family and his faith.

“I have never heard anything about Walid being a mujahedeen or a terrorist,” said Daood Shoebat, who says he is Walid Shoebat’s fourth cousin. “He claims this for his own personal reasons.”

CNN’s Jerusalem bureau went to great lengths trying to verify Shoebat’s story. The Tel Aviv headquarters of Bank Leumi had no record of a firebombing at its now-demolished Bethlehem branch. Israeli police had no record of the bombing, and the prison where Shoebat says he was held “for a few weeks” for inciting anti-Israel demonstrations says it has no record of him being incarcerated there either.

Shoebat says he was never charged because he was a U.S. citizen.

“I was born by an American mother,” he said. “The other conspirators in the act ended up in jail. I ended up released.”

He said his own family has vouched for his prison time. But relatives CNN spoke to described him as a “regular kid” who left home at 18, eventually becoming a computer programmer in the United States.

Shoebat, now in his 50s, says he converted to Christianity in 1993 and began spreading the word about the dangers of Islam. He has been interviewed as a terrorism expert on several television programs, including a handful of appearances on CNN and its sister network, HLN, in 2006 and 2007.

Since al Qaeda’s 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, expertise on terrorism has been in high demand. The federal Department of Homeland Security has spent nearly $40 million on counterterrorism training since 2006. The department doesn’t keep track of how much goes to speakers, nor does it advise officials on the speakers hired by states and municipalities.

Shoebat spoke at a 2010 conference in South Dakota and was so well-received that he was invited back for the May event in Rapid City, according to state officials. He warned the police and first responders gathered in the hotel conference rooms that the Lebanese Shiite Muslim militia Hezbollah had operatives working in Mexico and that drug cartels were raising money with Islamic groups. He also asserted that federal agents could have prevented the 9/11 attacks by looking for a chafed spot, called “zabibah,” that sometimes forms on the foreheads of devout Muslims.

“You need ex-terrorists who can tell you what life is like and what thinking is like of potential terrorists,” Shoebat said. “But had we looked at the zabibah only, we would have deflected a suicide action of killing 3,000 Americans.”

But Shoebat also told the group there were 17 hijackers when there were 19. And perhaps more surprising from a man who bills himself as a terror expert, Shoebat said the Transportation Security Administration could have stopped them. The TSA wasn’t created until after the 9-11 attacks.

Jim Carpenter, South Dakota’s homeland security director, said Shoebat brought “a point of view that certainly is not mainstream.”

“He brings in commentary about living and being raised as a Muslim and converting over to Christianity — gives them a different aspect of breaking the mold, so to speak,” Carpenter said. But he said Shoebat’s appearance was “a small portion” of the two-and-a-half-day conference.

“It’s not like we’re talking about setting up training and a discipline we would follow, that this is the only way and that’s the particular point of view of a Muslim or somebody of the Islamic faith. That’s not the case,” Carpenter said. “That’s his point of view.”

Carpenter said there is “no fear of threat” from Islamic terrorism in South Dakota, where the last census reports showed the state’s Muslim community made up less than one-half of 1 percent of the population. According to Rapid City’s local newspaper, about two dozen Muslims live in the city.

During Shoebat’s presentation, he criticized Muslim organizations and told audience members to be leery of Muslim doctors, engineers, students and mosques.

“Now, we aren’t saying every single mosque is potential terrorist headquarters. But if you look at certain reports by the Hudson report, 80 percent of mosques they found pamphlets and education on jihad. So they’re in the mosque, the mosque in accordance to the Muslim brotherhood is the command post and center.”

The conservative Hudson Institute said it never issued such a report and has no idea why its name was invoked.

Shoebat warned that making special accommodations for Muslim beliefs was a step toward establishing Islamic religious law. And he recounted how he wore a T-shirt that read “Profile me” on a trip to the airport and approached the screeners at the security checkpoint.

“I got tapped down, I got checked, I got all these different things,” he said. “I say it’s wonderful.”

Shoebat and business partner Keith Davies run several foundations and three websites that are all linked. Shoebat said the major group, the Forum for Middle East Understanding, includes his own Walid Shoebat Foundation.

In tax records filed by Davies, the Forum for Middle East Understanding reported 2009 earnings from speaking engagements, videos and book sales of more than $560,000. The documents are thin on specifics, and so is Shoebat.

“Basically, we are in information, and we do speaking and we do also helping Christians that are being persecuted in countries like Pakistan, and we help Christians that are suffering all throughout the Middle East,” he said. Asked how they do that, he said, “None of your business” — adding that disclosing details could endanger people he was trying to help in Islamic countries that have laws against blasphemy.

Shoebat’s name doesn’t appear on any of the paperwork. As for his own salary, he said he makes “probably what a gas station makes or a garage makes.”

“Everybody thinks I’m just raking in the dough, which is absolutely incorrect,” he said. He referred details to Davies, who offered to provide a copy of the group’s tax returns — but didn’t. When asked who served on the foundation’s board of advisers, Davies gave “Anderson Cooper 360″ the name of a former pilot, who didn’t return phone calls. But he could not name the high-ranking military officers he said were on the board.

Federal officials say they don’t know exactly how much money has gone to speakers like Shoebat. But in April, the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee raised concerns about “vitriolic diatribes” being delivered by “self-appointed counterterrorism experts” at similar seminars.

Sen. Susan Collins, the committee’s Republican chairwoman, and Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman asked the department to account for how much federal grant money went to state and local counterterrorism programs and what standards guided those grants. The request followed reports by the liberal Political Research Associates and the Washington Monthly that raised similar questions.

The Homeland Security Department told CNN that it has standards — and if training programs don’t meet them, “corrective action will be taken.”

“We have not and will not tolerate training programs — or any DHS-supported program — that rely on racial or ethnic profiling,” the agency said in a written statement.

Anti-Islam group finds fertile ground in Nashville

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2011 by loonwatch

Surprise, surprise, ACT for America or as they are better known ACT for Hate’s largest chapter is in Nashville. Bob Smietana does a good job reporting on them in the article below.

Anti-Islam group finds fertile ground in Nashville

by Bob Smietana

ACT! for America sums up its mission in four words: “They must be stopped.”

The “they” in question are Muslims, who ACT! for America’s leaders insist are involved in a stealthy jihad to destroy the United States from the inside out, replacing the Constitution with the Islamic legal code known as Shariah.

The Virginia Beach, Va.-based national nonprofit claims 150,000 members and spreads its message through books, websites, radio ads, cable television and the work of local chapters.

It has become a potent political force in Nashville, home to the largest ACT chapter in the nation. Local members have opposed new mosques and lobbied for laws limiting Islamic influence — including a new state anti-terrorism law that originally referenced Shariah law.

Their message appeals to Bible Belt Christians, who fear that Islam and secularization threaten their way of life, and Jewish and Christian supporters of Israel, who see Muslims as the enemy of that nation. Members point to the 2009 case of Carlos Bledsoe, a Muslim convert and former Tennessee State University student who confessed to murdering an Army recruiter in Little Rock.

Critics say ACT distorts the nature of Islam and labels law-abiding Muslims as terrorists. Local Muslims say they will stand up for their rights to religious freedom.

“We are not afraid of this ACT group,” said Rashed Fakhruddin, a member of the Islamic Center of Nashville. “But we are concerned about the climate of fear they are trying to create.”

ACT has nine chapters in Tennessee: Middle Tennessee — based in Nashville — Cleveland, Hermitage, Jackson, Lebanon, Knoxville, Memphis, Morristown and Niota. Charles Jacobs, president of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, a Boston-based anti-Islam group, said he’s not surprised that ACT has caught on in Middle Tennessee.

“The extent to which ACT has been successful in Nashville reflects its strong leadership nationally and locally and the frustration of many citizens with the failure of Nashville’s civic leadership and the media to deal with this threat,” he wrote in an email.

Anti-Islam groups fight for new laws

Daniel Bregman, a Nashville eye surgeon, leads the Middle Tennessee chapter. Bregman’s wife, Joanne, an attorney, has been one of the group’s chief lobbyists at the state Capitol.

Bregman turned down several requests for an interview. He appeared in a promotional video produced by the charity’s national office for its recent annual conference, held in Washington, D.C. The video states that Nashville has the largest chapter in the country, although the group won’t reveal its membership numbers.

“There are a couple reasons why a large chapter is good,” he said on the video. “The larger you are, the more power you have.”

The video includes images of the couple, as well as images of the outside of the Islamic Center of Nashville. Bregman repeats the claim that Muslims in the U.S. want to impose Shariah law in the place of the U.S. Constitution and are threatening non-Muslims.

“The imposition of Shariah law, which is the objective of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamists in this country, is that I become a second-class citizen,” he said. “If I don’t get killed first.”

ACT members see themselves as warriors in a clash between Western civilization and Islam. That belief is reinforced at local chapter meetings, which feature speakers from other national anti-Islam groups.

They include Frank Gaffney of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy and a star witness for opponents of the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. He has argued on ACT! for America’s cable show that Muslims should be arrested and tried as traitors if they follow any part of Shariah law.

He spoke at a March 15 ACT meeting held at New Hope Community Church in Brentwood, and a recording of his speech recently was posted online.

“Frankly, I feel I am in the presence of a lot of heroes,” he told audience members. “Folks like you are, in the end, what’s going to make a difference between victory and defeat in what I think of as the war for the free world.”

That message appeals to ACT supporters such as J. Lee Douglas, a Brentwood dentist.

Douglas said he usually takes a live-and-let-live approach when it comes to religion. But he doesn’t believe Islam shows the same respect to other faiths.

“I think with Islam, there is an effort to not just leave people alone,” he said. “There is a compulsion to force people to join that faith.”

Defenders called apologists, ignorant

Douglas was one of 100 or so people in attendance at a workshop Tuesday night — also at New Hope Community Church — sponsored by the local chapter of ACT! for America.

The session was titled “Persuading the Near Enemy.” According to the workshop leader, Bill French, a near enemy is anyone who thinks Islam has good points.

“The near enemy is the apologist for Islam, who, I have found, doesn’t know anything about Islam,” French told the group.

French is a former Tennessee State University physics professor who writes under the pseudonym Bill Warner and runs the Center for the Study of Political Islam. He has no formal training in Islamic studies and doesn’t speak Arabic.

He recently was listed as a member of “The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle” by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Reportmagazine, along with Gaffney, ACT founder Brigitte Gabriel and David Yerushalmi, a Phoenix attorney who drafted Tennessee’s anti-Shariah bill.

That law passed after all references to Shariah and Islam were removed. The final version made giving assistance to a terrorist group a class A felony.

Shariah law’s meaning debated

French’s books, with titles such as Shariah Law for Non Muslims, and talks are based on counting verses in the Quran and other Islamic texts. He says that more verses in those texts are about politics and violence than religion.

Therefore, he argues, Islam isn’t only religion. Instead, he sees it as a political system bent on world domination, disguised with a thin veneer of religion. Real Muslims who follow the true Islam want to spread their religion by force.

“Jihad is what made Islam great,” he said.

Page Brooks, assistant professor of theology and Islamic studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, said ACT! For America confuses radical Islam with the more moderate mainstream version of the faith.

Brooks, who is a chaplain in the Army National Guard, spent 2010 in Iraq. He said the Muslims he met there were thankful that American troops were opposing terrorists, who used Islam to justify violence.

“Even the average Iraqi knew the difference between the radical jihadists and the average Muslim walking around the street,” he said. “We have to be careful about who we label as a radical Muslim.”

Brooks also took issue with how ACT! for America and its supporters describe the Islamic legal code known as Shariah. That code guides religious practice — such as how to pray or what to eat — as well as family law, business practices and rules for ethical warfare.

“A lot of it has to do with religious compliance and personal holiness,” Brooks said.

Ron Leonard, ACT chapter leader in Hermitage, said his group is only worried about terrorists.

“I want to make that real clear,” said Leonard, who retired from the Army National Guard in 2004. “It is not Muslims. It is the extremist elements that we are dealing with. Muslims are good people. There are people that take their extremist views to the point of killing people. And ACT is in a position to stop this from going on.”

War, religious right are at group’s roots

ACT! for America is the brainchild of Hanah Kahwagi Tudor, a Lebanese Christian who fled her homeland during that country’s civil war, which raged from 1975 to 1990.

Tudor, who goes by the pseudonym Brigitte Gabriel, first moved to Israel, where she worked for a television network owned by Pat Robertson.

She married a co-worker named Charles Tudor, a former cameraman for Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise the Lordtelevision show. The couple eventually settled in Virginia Beach.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, she began speaking out about terrorism. She wrote two books — They Must Be Stopped andBecause They Hate — which became best-sellers.

In books and speeches, Tudor says that Islamic terrorists took over her home country, and she wants to stop them before they take over America.

Tudor declined to be interviewed. On Friday, the ACT! for America website announced she’d visit Nashville on a November date to be announced.

ACT and Tudor’s other nonprofit, the education group American Congress for Truth, took in a combined $1,612,908 in 2009, according to their latest federal tax returns, known as Form 990s. The groups asked for an extension for filing their 2010 tax returns.

Tudor was paid $178,441 in salary by the two charities.

The nonprofit uses constant email updates, conference calls with Tudor and other electronic means to keep in close contact with local leaders.

Email updates sent to supporters also regularly include a request for donations.

Julie Ingersoll, associate professor of religious studies at the University of North Florida, attended ACT’s recent national convention and wrote about her experience for religiondispatches.com.

Ingersoll, who is critical of ACT, said the event was well organized and professional and focused on an “us versus them” approach to Islam and to liberals, who are seen as supporting Muslims.

“It’s framed as this real fear of outsiders,” she said. “It’s tied to all of the tea party rhetoric about the real America.”

Middle Tennessee Muslims organize

ACT’s growing influence has led local Muslims and interfaith groups to become more organized.

Hillsboro Presbyterian Church recently hosted an interfaith Scripture study with local Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders. About 50 people attended.

Fakhruddin, of the Islamic Center of Nashville, helped organize opposition to the anti-Shariah bill, working with the American Civil Liberties Union as well as people of other faiths.

“It made us a stronger group,” he said. “We will not tolerate any acts of injustice. Not just to Muslims, but to all Americans.”

Local Muslims haven’t been politically active until recently, Fakhruddin said. Now they are more aware of how to get involved in the political process and have now gotten to know their state legislators. They also are committed to defending the U.S. Constitution.

“People know us a little better than they did in the past,” he said. “People will see what we stand for and who we really are now. We are Americans. We are not some other group. We stand up for America.”

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.

The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle

Posted in Loon People, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2011 by loonwatch

The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle

By Robert Steinback
Illustration by Bri Hermanson

The apparent recent surge in popular anti-Muslim sentimentin the United States has been driven by a surprisingly small and, for the most part, closely knit cadre of activists. Their influence extends far beyond their limited numbers, in part because of an amenable legion of right-wing media personalities — and lately, politicians like U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who held controversial hearings into the radicalization of American Muslims this March —who are eager to promote them as impartial experts or grassroots leaders. Yet a close look at their rhetoric reveals how doggedly this group works to provoke and guide populist anger over what is seen as the threat posed by the 0.6% of Americans who are Muslim — an agenda that goes beyond reasonable concern about terrorism into the realm of demonization.

Of the 10 people profiled below, all but Bill French, Terry Jones and Debbie Schlussel regularly interact with others on the list. Most were selected for profiling primarily because of their association with activist organizations. People who only run websites or do commentary were omitted, with two exceptions: Schlussel, because she has influence as a frequent television talk-show guest, and John Joseph Jay, because he is on the board of Pamela Geller’s Stop Islamization of America group. Three other activists, Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes and Frank Gaffney, have interacted with many of the core group as well and also have offended many Muslims, but they are somewhat more moderate in their views of Muslims than those who are profiled below.

Bill FrenchBILL FRENCH
ORGANIZATION
 Heads the for-profit Center for the Study of Political Islam in Nashville. 

CREDENTIALS Former Tennessee State University physics professor; author of Sharia Law for Non-Muslims (2010; under the pen name Bill Warner).

SUMMARY French has no formal training or background in law, Islam or Shariah law — which in any case is not an established legal code, as the book title implies, but a fluid concept subject to a wide range of interpretations and applications. He garnered attention recently by leading the opposition to a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “The two driving forces of our civilization are the Golden Rule and critical thought. … There is no Golden Rule in Islam. … There is not really even a Ten Commandments.”
—Quoted in The [Blount County, Tenn.] Daily Times, March 4, 2011

“This offends Allah. You offend Allah.”
— Quoted in The Tennesseean, Oct. 24, 2010, speaking to opponents of the Murfreesboro mosque while pointing to an American flag

Brigitte GabrielBRIGITTE GABRIEL 
ORGANIZATIONS Founder and head of ACT! for America and American Council for Truth.

CREDENTIALS Author of Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America (2006) and They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It (2008). Co-producer and co-host of weekly ACT! for America television show.

SUMMARY Gabriel views Islam in absolute terms as a monolithic threat to the United States, Israel and the West. She is prone to sweeping generalizations and exaggerations as she describes a grand, sophisticated Muslim conspiracy bent on world domination. Of the people profiled here, she alone has focused on building a grassroots organization, claiming 155,000 members and 500 chapters around the country. Questions persist about the accuracy of her autobiographical account of being a victim of Muslim militancy in Lebanon.

IN HER OWN WORDS “America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America. They have infiltrated us at the C.I.A., at the F.B.I., at the Pentagon, at the State Department.”
— Quoted in The New York Times, March 7, 2011

“The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arabic world is quite simply the difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s the difference between good and evil and this is what we’re witnessing in the Arab and Islamic world. I am angry. They have no soul! They are dead set on killing and destruction.”
— From a speech delivered to the Rev. John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel Convention, July 2007

“Tens of thousands of Islamic militants now reside in America, operating in sleeper cells, attending our colleges and universities, even infiltrating our government. They are here — today. Many have been here for years. Waiting. Preparing.”
— ACT! for America website, undated

P. David Gaubatz

P. DAVID GAUBATZ
ORGANIZATION Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE).

CREDENTIALS Co-author of Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America (2009). As director of operations for SANE’s Mapping Shariah project (see David Yerushalmi, below), a privately operated effort to infiltrate American mosques in an attempt to expose radical elements, Gaubatz was paid $148,898, according to Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim website.

SUMMARY A civilian agent who worked in the Middle East for the U.S. Air Forces Office of Special Investigations, Gaubatz made it a personal project — and the theme of his book — to prove the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is linked to international terrorism. In October 2009, four members of Congress led by Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) held an embarrassing press conference claiming the book revealed a Muslim plot to infiltrate government. Their hardest “evidence” was a document showing that CAIR had encouraged young Muslims to become Capitol interns — much like many other Washington, D.C., interest groups.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “As an ideology [Islam] is a terminal disease that once spread is hard to destroy. Once the ideology (cancer) takes hold it is like trying to remove millions of cancerous cells in one’s body. Not impossible to remove, but very, very unlikely.”
— Essay on the Northeast Intelligence Network website, June 10, 2008

“[T]he political ideology of winning over the West and the world for an Islamic Caliphate is NOT specific to some extremist group of Muslims. This is mainstream Islam and Shari’a. … The goal remains the same: all of the non-Islamic world, and indeed all of the Islamic world, must submit to Shari’a. A Muslim who refuses to do so will be killed. … A non-Muslim, assuming he is not a pagan (typically a Christian or Jew) might be given the opportunity to live in a subservient status in an Islamic society and pay a special head tax to prove his submission. But this option is left to the Caliph or ruler at the time.”
— Essay carried by the Assyrian International News Agency, Feb. 13, 2008

PAMELA GELLER Pamela GellerORGANIZATIONS Executive director and co-founder (with Robert Spencer; see below) of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA)

and the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), an umbrella group encompassing SIOA. Both are listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Runs the Atlas Shrugs blog.

CREDENTIALS Self-styled expert on Islam with no formal training in the field. Co-produced with Spencer the film “The Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks,” which was first screened at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference. Co-author with Spencer of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America (2010).

SUMMARY Geller has seized the role of the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and influential figurehead. Her strengths are panache and vivid rhetorical flourishes — not to mention stunts like posing for an anti-Muslim video in a bikini — but she also can be coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam. Geller does not pretend to be learned in Islamic studies, leaving the argumentative heavy lifting to SIOA partner Spencer. She is prone to publicizing preposterous claims, such as President Obama being the “love child” of Malcolm X, and once suggested that recent U.S. Supreme Court appointee Elena Kagen, who is Jewish, supports Nazi ideology. Geller has mingled with European racists and fascists, spoken favorably of South African racists and defended Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic. She is a self-avowed Zionist who is sharply critical of Jewish liberals.

IN HER OWN WORDS “Islam is not a race. This is an ideology. This is an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth.”
— On Fox Business’ “Follow the Money,” March 10, 2011

“No, no, they can’t. … I don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day. … I believe in the idea of a moderate Muslim. I do not believe in the idea of a moderate Islam. I think a moderate Muslim is a secular Muslim.”
— Quoted in The New York Times, responding to a question as to whether devout practicing Muslims can be political moderates, Oct. 8, 2010

“In the war between the civilized man and the savage, you side with the civilized man. … If you don’t lay down and die for Islamic supremacism, then you’re a racist anti-Muslim Islamophobic bigot. That’s what we’re really talking about.”
— Quoted in The New York Times, Oct. 8, 2010

DAVID HOROWITZ

ORGANIZATION Front Page Magazine (online), published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.David Horowitz

CREDENTIALS Organized “Islamofascism Awareness Week” which brought prominent anti-Muslim activists to college campuses in 2007. Author of several books including Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left (2004), which claims that American leftists support Islamic terrorists.

SUMMARY Horowitz, who spent his young years as a Marxist, has in recent years become a furious far-right antagonist of liberals and leftists. He also provides some funding support for other anti-Muslim ventures, including, according to the blog SpencerWatch.com, paying Spencer $132,537 to run the JihadWatch website. Horowitz sees no philosophical gradations; if you’re not in total agreement with his view of Islam, you’re in favor of Muslim hegemony. He believes the Muslim Brotherhood and “Islamofascists” control most American Muslim organizations, especially Muslim student groups on college campuses.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “I spent 25 years in the American Left, whose agendas are definitely to destroy this country. The American left wanted us to lose the Cold War with the Soviets and it wants us to lose the war on terror. So I don’t make any apologies for that.”
— On the “Riz Khan” Show, Al Jazeera, Aug. 21, 2008

“Some polls estimate that 10 percent of Muslims support Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. An al-Jazeera poll put the number at 50 percent. In other words, somewhere between 150 million and 750 million Muslims support a holy war against Christians, Jews, and other Muslims who don’t happen to be true believers in the Quran according to
bin Laden.”
— In the Columbia Spectator, Oct. 15, 2007

“There are 150 Muslim Student Associations on American campuses. The Muslim Student Associations were created by Hamas and funded by Saudi Arabia. … [The associations] are Wahhabi Islamicists, and they basically support our enemies.”
— On Fox News’ “Neil Cavuto Show,” Aug. 15, 2006

JOHN JOSEPH JAYJohn Joseph Jay
ORGANIZATION summer patriot, winter soldier (a website; Jay doesn’t use capital letters in his website’s name or in his writings). Board member, SIOA. Listed as one of the founders of American Freedom Defense Initiative, SIOA’s umbrella group (see also Pam Geller, above).

CREDENTIALS Jay worked for 25 years as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C. Geller’s Atlas Shrugs blog describes him as a constitutional scholar. In addition to his anti-Muslim commentary, Jay blogs prolifically on the right to bear arms.

SUMMARY Jay is remarkable for his unreconstructed hatred of all Muslims. He believes attacks by Muslim terrorists justify any violence directed at any Muslim, adding that, as he sees it, the Koran itself justifies such blind retaliation.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “every person in islam, from man to woman to child may be our executioner. … there are no innocents in islam. … there is no innocence in islam. all of islam is at war with us, and … all of islam is/are combatant[s.] … islam has established without intellectual doubt that there are no innocent muslims, that the myth of the ‘moderate muslim’ is precisely that, and that muslims are no more entitled to exemption or protection from retaliation that [sic] any of the other ‘non-innocent’ combatants in the world. … there are no innocent muslims.  islam is subject to killing on grounds of political expediency on the same basis as islam kills its victims, and islam cannot ethically and morally claim otherwise.”
— From his website, July 14, 2010

“in short, dear muslims, g_d in his infinite wisdom saw in advance this struggle between men and religions to win his favor, and the only thing that is foreordained, is that the strong and the resolute shall win his favor, and so far, it has been amply demonstrated that he has chosen the jews as his people, and favored christianity with science, technology, culture and military power. to islam, he has given the hind and dry tit, and the sewers and the deserts of the world in which to inhabit, and in which to fester.”
— From his website, June 27, 2010

TERRY JONESTerry Jones
ORGANIZATION Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Fla. Listed by the SPLC as a hate group.

CREDENTIALS Pastor of Dove World; instigator of “International Burn a Koran Day,” which was slated for Sept. 11, 2010, but canceled after worldwide protests and calls from senior officials of the Obama Administration. On March 20, however, Jones did burn a Koran, leading to several days of rampages in early April by religious rioters in Afghanistan, including the storming of a United Nations compound, that resulted in the deaths of at least 20 people. Jones showed no remorse over the deaths, which included at least seven foreigners. Author ofIslam is of the Devil (2010). Jones has admitted never having read the Koran. He has no academic or theological degree; his “doctorate” is honorary.

SUMMARY A true fanatical extremist who seems to be driven mostly by the need for self-promotion and publicity. Operates entirely outside of the core circle of anti-Muslim activists. Jones is also virulently anti-gay.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “Here’s your opportunity, all you so-called peaceful Moslems [Jones’ pronunciation]. … We are accusing the Koran of murder, rape, deception, being responsible for terrorist activities all around the world. … Present to us your defense attorney who is going to defend the Koran. Let us really see. We challenge you: do it. Let us not talk. Let us have some action and proof. … The Koran, if found guilty, can be burned … Or the Koran will be drowned. Or the Koran will be shredded into little bitty pieces … or the Koran will face a firing squad.”
— From an undated video on the Dove World Outreach website announcing “International Judge the Koran Day”

“The world is facing a great danger, which, if it is not stopped, will sooner or later be a threat to freedom in all nations and specifically to the United States. This danger is the growing religion of Islam.”
— From the introduction to Islam is of the Devil, 2010

DEBBIE SCHLUSSELDebbie Schlussel
ORGANIZATION Columnist; eponymous website.

CREDENTIALS The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Schlussel is a Detroit-based attorney and MBA. Frequent guest on conservative talk shows.

SUMMARY Uncompromising, viciously anti-Muslim commentator who dismisses ostensible allies if they are willing to believe in the concept of moderate Islam. She has even berated Hollywood for its failure to depict Muslims as sufficiently villainous. She has referred to Muslims as “animals.” Her intense animosity toward Muslims appears rooted in strong pro-Israel sentiments.

IN HER OWN WORDS “So sad, too bad, Lara. No one told her to go there. She knew the risks. And she should have known what Islam is all about. Now she knows. Or so we’d hope. … How fitting that Lara Logan was ‘liberated’ by Muslims in Liberation Square while she was gushing over the other part of the ‘liberation.’ Hope you’re enjoying the revolution, Lara! Alhamdillullah (praise allah) [sic].”
— From her website, following the gang sexual assault on CBS Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Lara Logan in Cairo, Feb. 15, 2011

“[T]he fact is that the majority of Muslims support terrorism. The vast majority. Not just a few hijackers and a few suicide bombers. But the MAJORITY. This isn’t me saying it. It’s Muslims saying it. And not just in poll after poll of Muslims around the world including in America. Go to the streets of ‘moderate Muslim’ Dearbornistan [Dearborn, Mich.] and see how many Muslims dare condemn Hezbollah and HAMAS. It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo?”
— From her website, Oct. 8, 2008

ROBERT SPENCERRobert Spencer
ORGANIZATION Runs the Jihad Watch website, a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Co-founder with Pamela Geller (see above) of Stop Islamization of America and the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

CREDENTIALS Spencer has a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Co-produced with Geller the film “The Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks” (2011). Author of numerous books including The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion (2007) andThe Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (2005).

SUMMARY Spencer is entirely self-taught in the study of modern Islam and the Koran. Critics have accused him of doggedly taking the Koran literally — Spencer considers it innately extremist and violent — while ignoring its nonviolent passages and the vast interpretive tradition that has modified Koranic teachings over the centuries. Spencer believes that moderate Muslims exist, but to prove it, they’d have to fully denounce the portions of the Koran he finds objectionable. Spencer has been known to fraternize with European racists and neo-fascists, though he says such contacts were merely incidental. Benazir Bhutto, the late prime minister of Pakistan, accused Spencer of “falsely constructing a divide between Islam and West” in her 2008 book,Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West. Spencer, she wrote, presented a “skewed, one-sided, and inflammatory story that only helps to sow the seed of civilizational conflict.”

IN HIS OWN WORDS “Osama [bin Laden]‘s use of these and other [Koranic] passages in his messages is consistent … with traditional understanding of the Quran. When modern-day Jews and Christians read their Bibles, they simply don’t interpret the passages cited as exhorting them to violent actions against unbelievers. This is due to the influence of centuries of interpretative traditions that have moved them away from literalism regarding these passages. But in Islam, there is no comparable interpretative tradition.”
— From The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), 2005

“Where is moderate Islam? How can moderate Muslims refute the radical exegesis of the Qur’an and Sunnah? If an exposition of moderate Islam does not address or answer radical exegeses, is it really of any value to quash Islamic extremism? If the answer lies in a simple rejection of Qur’anic literalism, how can non-literalists make that rejection stick, and keep their children from being recruited by jihadists by means of literalism? 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.”
— Jihad Watch, Jan. 14, 2006

DAVID YERUSHALMIDavid Yerushalmi
ORGANIZATION President of the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE); principal of Stop the Madrassa.

CREDENTIALS General counsel for the Center for Security Policy (see Frank J. Gaffney Jr., above); also, an attorney representing SIOA. Yerushalmi drafted a proposed law filed this year in the Tennessee legislature that would subject anyone who advocates or adheres to Shariah customs to up to 15 years in prison; he drafted a similar bill in Georgia in 2008.

SUMMARY Yerushalmi equates Shariah with Islamic radicalism so totally that he advocates criminalizing virtually any personal practice compliant with Shariah. In his view, only a Muslim who fully breaks with the customs of Shariah can be considered socially tolerable. He waxes bloodthirsty when describing his preferred response to the supposed global threat of Shariah law, speaking casually of killing and destroying. Ideally, he would outlaw Islam and deport Muslims and other “non-Western, non-Christian” people to protect the United States’ “national character.” An ultra-orthodox Jew, he is deeply hostile toward liberal Jews. He derides U.S.-style democracy because it allows more than just an elite, privileged few to vote.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “On the so-called Global War on Terrorism, GWOT, we have been quite clear along with a few other resolute souls. This should be a WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful. … At a practical level, this means that Shari’a and Islamic law are immediately outlawed. Any Muslim in America who adopts historical and traditional Shari’a will be subject to deportation. Mosques which adhere to Islamic law will be shut down permanently. No self-described or practicing Muslim, irrespective of his or her declarations to the contrary, will be allowed to immigrate to this country.”
— A 2007 commentary entitled “War Manifesto — The War Against Islam,” as reported by The American Muslim

“The more carefully reviewed evidence, however, suggests that because jihadism is in fact traditional Islam modernized to war against the ideological threat posed by the West against Islam proper,there is no way to keep faithful Muslims out of the war. If this is true, any Muslim who sticks his neck out of the mosque to yell some obscenity at the West should be considered an enemy combatant and killed or captured and held for the duration of the war. If you kill enough of them consistently enough, those disinclined to fight in the first place will find a way to reform their religion.”
— Review of Mary Habeck’s book Knowing the Enemy on the American Thinker website, Sept. 9. 2006

From South Lebanon via Queens with Hate… When Hanan met Peter

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2011 by loonwatch
Brigitte Gabriel

Hanan Qahwaji, better known as Brigitte Gabriel in the Islamophobesphere has been exposed yet again. We wrote about Brigitte a while ago, and brought to fore the hate that her organization ACT! for America regularly engages in. (via. Brigitte Gabriel Review)

From South Lebanon via Queens with Hate… When Hanan met Peter

by Franklin Lamb (Peoples Voice)

Hanan is the Islamophobic Lebanese woman, Hanan Qahwaji who as a child lived in the South Lebanon village of Maryoun overlooking the Lebanon-Palestine border during three years of the on again off again Lebanese Civil War before she became an Israeli collaborator and fled to Israel. Hanan, repackaged as “Rachael”, soon quickly landed a job with Israeli TV and specialized in telling stories about how Muslims terrorized her and her Christian neighbors.

Later, repackaged as “Nour Semaan”, a name she still sometimes uses, Hanan tells American audiences that she became a Middle East “anchor” in Israel. Forgetting to mention that her job was with Pat Robertson’s, Christian Broadcasting Network, working to spread his politically conservative, Pentecostal faith in the Middle East which includes Robertson’s vision of rapture and how righteous Jews will all convert when Jesus comes again. The others will burn in Hell according to the Pentecosts. Hanan is sometimes known as, Nour Semaan, Rachael Cohen, “Dark Angel” and more recently, Bridgitte Gabriel, founder of the anti-Islam Zionist hate group “Act! For America”.

Peter, would be US Congressman Peter T. King, the Republican Islamaphobe from Long Island, NY, who as Hanan’s new partner in saving America from Islam, she sometimes flirtatiously refers to simply as “Petey” or “Petey Chops.”

It’s unknown to this observer whether the couple experienced “un vrai coup de foudre” when Mr. King was Hanan Qahwaji’s first guest earlier this year on a new cable television show that she co-hosts with Guy Rodgers, a Republican consultant who helped expand the Christian Coalition, which used to be a potent political organization on the Christian right and who is ACT’s Executive Director. However, “Petey” and “Bridge” as he calls her sometimes, certainly appear to see potential in one another for saving America from the Muslim hoards, which according to the duo are now in all American neighborhoods and who have infiltrated the FBI, the CIA, the State Department and the White House!

The new team is said by one King staffer to share a vision of “defeating Radical Islam in America and defeating it before it’s too late.” And they intend to show their fellow Americans just how to do it.

This past week in Washington, King held the second of what it planned as a series of “Congressional Hearings” designed to warn Americans about various threats from Muslims in their midst.

Gabriel frequently tells interviewers that “[F]or my first ten years I led a charmed and privileged life. All that came to an end when a jihadist religious war, declared by the Muslims against the Christians, […] tore my country and my life apart. It was a war that the world did not understand.”

What is obvious to the many Lebanese who view Hanan with contempt for misrepresenting and besmirching their country (not to mention her open letter to Israel during the July 2006 war, which she read frequently on TV shows urging Israel to keep bombing Lebanon despite their already killing of more than 1,300 civilians is that it was a war that Gabriel did not understand.

The on again, off again intermittent civil war was not characterized by anything remotely resembling a Muslim “Jihad”. Some Muslims actually fought with Israel and with the Christian Militia. Moreover, the Palestinian organizations were secular nationalists and not remotely Jihadists; plus many were also Christians, while other fighters were communists, Nasserites, and non-religious westerners. Although many combatants were Muslim, perhaps 35% were not. And their fight was with Israel; it was not a religious crusade against Christians. Gabriel’s fundraising speeches among largely uniformed right wing Republican audiences in which she claims she was the target of a religious crusade against Christians is patent nonsense.

“Watching the World Trade Center buildings fall in 2001,” Hanan tells audiences, “I was struck by the same fear that I experienced during the war in Lebanon. As I watched, words instinctively came from my mouth as I spoke to the TV screen: ‘Now they are here.” Gabriel is well aware, as Michael Young of Beirut’s Daily Star has pointed out, that there was nothing remotely comparable between what happened in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, and what she experienced in Marjayoun.

Bridgitte is said to believe that she can help King from deflecting rising criticism of his “hearings” given her own experience with hecklers as she tours the American heartland sounding the alarm.

She is said to resemble a Sarah Palin “mama grizzly” when she senses danger to those she cares about and no sooner than King’s hearing began last week than ACT! pounced with Tweets from the Congressional Hearing Room.

An ACT! staffer twittered live labeling it: “Round 2: House Homeland Security Committee Hearing on The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons:

“As I watched the discussion during the hearing, I Tweeted about so that our ACT! for America members could see right away what Members of the U.S. Congress are saying and doing about it. While there certainly were not as many “rabble rousers” as there had been for Chairman King’s first hearing on Muslim radicalization, there was some political drama, nonetheless.”

“For example, Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) falsely alleged that the focus of Chairman King’s hearing “can be deemed as racist and as discriminatory.” The Chairman immediately fired back by saying that “the purpose of this Committee is to combat Islamic terrorism because that is the terrorist threat to this country. Bravo!”

“In response to Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) commenting that “the political correctness in this room is astounding,” Rep. Shiela Jackson-Lee (D-TX) held up a copy of the Constitution replying that the document is where she finds her “version of political correctness.” She went on further to state that there is a parallel between Christian militants and jihadists when it comes to bringing down the Constitution. More nonsense.”

“Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI) ranted terribly on for several-minutes about the real problem being the overcrowding of prisons due to unfair sentencing guidelines and claimed that prisoners were turning to Islam to “protect themselves.”

Other witnesses who reportedly left Peter and Bridgette unhappy were:

Deputy Chief Michael Downing, Commanding Officer of the LA Police Department’s Counter Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau, and Professor Bert Useem of Purdue University.

According to ACTS! Tweets:

“Chief Downing repeatedly tried to distinguish “Islam” from what he referred to as “Prislam,” and said that all jihadis had “hijacked” the Islamic faith. As I listened to him, I wondered if he has taken the time to read sharia law, the Qur’an and the hadiths? If he did, I think he would understand that what the “radicalized” Muslims are adhering to is an ideology that is clearly enunciated within Islam’s holy books and has been practiced for 14 centuries. His statements reminded me that a great deal of educating at local, state and federal levels still needs to be done.”

“Professor Useem made several amazingly naïve and plain stupid assertions, one of which was that “correctional leadership (at both the agency and prison-level) has consciously and successfully infused the mission of observing signs of inmate radicalization into organizational practices. Rather than being sitting ducks, waiting for their facilities to be penetrated by radicalizing groups, correctional leaders have fashioned, staffed, and energized the effort to defeat radicalization.”

A few examples of questions from new Members that may have pleased Bridge and Petey were:

  • Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) asked if Shariah law would supersede the U.S. Constitution for radicalized Muslims. A chorus of “Yes” was heard from most of the witnesses.
  • Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) remarked that he was disappointed to see some members of the committee question why a hearing of this nature needed to take place. That the threat of Islamic radicalization in our prisons is clear.
  • Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) commented how remarkable it is that a discussion about the threat of radical Islam appeared to be “off limits.” He also expressed concerns about literature found in U.S. prisons, such as writings by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, that ask: Which do you choose, the flag of Islam or the flag of America?

ACTS! Final Tweet from King’s Hearing last week:

“Action by our grassroots is the fuel that makes the ACT! For American engine run. As we wait for Chairman King’s third hearing on Islamic radicalization it’s really nice to see that the engine is roaring loud and strong.”

In perhaps a personal message of encouragement to the Chairman were the words: “Please keep it up for Round Three!”

One subject being considered for Round Three is: “How to spot an Islamic terrorist in your neighborhood”. An interesting subject since that’s one suggested title for Hanan’s (Bridgitte’s) next book featuring an introduction by none other than “Petey” King.

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon and can be contacted c/o fplamb@gmail.com

He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon.

Frank Gaffney: Muslims Practicing Sharia Should Be Prosecuted for Sedition

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on March 22, 2011 by loonwatch
Frank Gaffney

Gaffney appears with Brigitte Gabriel of ACT, I mean Hate! for America and calls for Muslims to be prosecuted for sedition if they practice Sharia’. This is even more quixotic when considering today’s feature on the man who chose to stone his gay friend after reading the Bible. Robert Spencer and other anti-Muslims also support this sort of legislation.

Frank Gaffney: Muslims Practicing Sharia Should Be Prosecuted for Sedition

(Little Green Footballs)

Here’s Frank Gaffney of the anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy, calling for Muslims who practice any version of sharia law to be arrested and prosecuted for “sedition.”

Gabriel: But a lot of people say that Sharia law is a religious practice, and maybe it should be protected by the First Amendment. Can you please tell us, is it compatible with the Constitution? Should it be protected by the First Amendment as a religious practice?

Gaffney: It is the law of the land in Saudi Arabia and Iran, and anyone who thinks that what life is like in either of those two countries is the same as life in America obviously doesn’t know anything about either Saudi Arabia or Iran. In fact, it is absolutely antithetical, Sharia is, to our Constitution, and the pursuit of it as you said in your comment, Brigitte, is incompatible with the Constitution’s Article VI, and therefore, far from being a protected religious practice, it is an impermissible act of sedition, which has to be prosecuted under our Constitution.

Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT! for America Draws Crowds with Anti-Muslim Message

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2011 by loonwatch
Brigitte Gabriel

We have been reporting on “Brigitte Gabriel” and her hate organization ACT! for America since we began our site a few years ago. It seems now people are speaking out more against her extremist hate due to recent flagrant Islamophobic events such as the one in Yorba Linda.

Brigitte Gabriel’s personal story is a crock, what she presents to her ignorant crowds is a crock, she presents a black and white world in which Muslims are the enemies of humanity, Christianity and Civilization.

For more on her read: A Case Study in Sincere Hypocrisy: Brigitte Gabriel

ACT! for America is Better Known as Hate for America!

Drawing U.S. Crowds With Anti-Islam Message

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN (New York Times)

FORT WORTH — Brigitte Gabriel bounced to the stage at a Tea Party convention last fall. She greeted the crowd with a loud Texas “Yee-HAW,” then launched into the same gripping personal story she has told in hundreds of churches, synagogues and conference rooms across the United States:

As a child growing up a Maronite Christian in war-torn southern Lebanon in the 1970s, Ms. Gabriel said, she had been left lying injured in rubble after Muslims mercilessly bombed her village. She found refuge in Israel and then moved to the United States, only to find that the Islamic radicals who had terrorized her in Lebanon, she said, were now bent on taking over America.

“America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America,” she said. “They have infiltrated us at the C.I.A., at the F.B.I., at the Pentagon, at the State Department. They are being radicalized in radical mosques in our cities and communities within the United States.”

Through her books, media appearances and speeches, and her organization, ACT! for America, Ms. Gabriel has become one of the most visible personalities on a circuit of self-appointed terrorism detectors who warn that Muslims pose an enormous danger within United States borders.

Representative Peter T. King, Republican of Long Island, will conduct hearings Thursday in Washington on a similar theme: that the United States is infiltrated by Muslim radicals. Mr. King was the first guest last month on a new cable television show that Ms. Gabriel co-hosts with Guy Rodgers, the executive director of ACT! and a Republican consultant who helped build the Christian Coalition, once the most potent political organization on the Christian right.

Ms. Gabriel, 46, who uses a pseudonym, casts her organization as a nonpartisan, nonreligious national security group. Yet the organization draws on three rather religious and partisan streams in American politics: evangelical Christian conservatives, hard-line defenders of Israel (both Jews and Christians) and Tea Party Republicans.

She presents a portrait of Islam so thoroughly bent on destruction and domination that it is unrecognizable to those who study or practice the religion. She has found a receptive audience among Americans who are legitimately worried about the spread of terrorism.

But some of those who work in counterterrorism say that speakers like Ms. Gabriel are spreading distortion and fear, and are doing the country a disservice by failing to make distinctions between Muslims who are potentially dangerous and those who are not.

Brian Fishman, a research fellow at both the New America Foundation in Washington, and theCombating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point, said, “When you’ve got folks who are looking for the worst in Islam and are promoting that as the entire religion of 1.5 or 1.6 billion people, then you only empower the real extremists.”

Ms. Gabriel is only one voice in a growing circuit that includes counter-Islam speakers like Pamela GellerRobert Spencer and Walid Shoebat. What distinguishes Ms. Gabriel from her counterparts is that she has built a national grass-roots organization in the last three years that has already engaged in dozens of battles over the place of Islam in the United States. ACT! for America claims 155,000 members in 500 chapters across the country. To build her organization, Ms. Gabriel has enlisted Mr. Rodgers, who had worked behind the scenes for the Christian Coalition’s leaders, Ralph Reed and the television evangelist Pat Robertson. (Ms. Gabriel herself was once an anchor for Mr. Robertson’s Christian television network in the Middle East).

As national field director, Mr. Rodgers planted and tended Christian Coalition chapters across the country, and is now using some of the same strategies as executive director of ACT! Among those tactics is creating “nonpartisan voter guides” that rank candidates’ responses and votes on issues important to the group.

Just as with the Christian Coalition’s voter guides, the candidates whose positions most often align with ACT!’s are usually Republicans. Mr. Rodgers previously served as campaign manager forPatrick J. Buchanan’s presidential run in 1996, and as a consultant for John McCain in 2008.

Ms. Gabriel and Mr. Rodgers declined to be interviewed in person or over the telephone, but agreed to respond to questions by e-mail. They permitted interviews with only their national field director and two chapter leaders they selected, though half a dozen other interviews were conducted with chapter leaders before they were told not to talk.

Ms. Gabriel says she is motivated not by fear or hatred of Islam, but by her love for her adopted country.

“I lost Lebanon, my country of birth, to radical Islam,” she wrote. “I do not want to lose my adopted country America.”

She insists that she is singling out only “radical Islam” or Muslim “extremists” — not the vast majority of Muslims or their faith. And yet, in her speeches and her two books, she leaves the opposite impression. She puts it most simply in the 2008 introduction to her first book, “Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America.”

“In the Muslim world, extreme is mainstream,” she wrote. She said that there is a “cancer” infecting the world, and said: “The cancer is called Islamofacism. This ideology is coming out of one source: The Koran.”

In what ACT! is calling “Open a Koran” day this September, the group plans to put up 750 tables in front of post offices, libraries, churches and synagogues and hand out leaflets selectively highlighting verses that appear to advocate violence, slavery and subjugation of women.

In the last year, the group played a key role in passing a constitutional amendment in Oklahoma banning the use of Shariah, a body of Islamic law derived from the Koran and from the Muslim prophet Muhammad’s teachings, sayings and acts. Most Muslims draw selectively on its tenets — in the same way that people of other faiths pick and choose from their sacred texts.

But group members and their allies have succeeded in popularizing the notion that American Muslims are just biding their time until they gain the power to revoke the Constitution and impose Shariah law in the United States.

“We can’t let Shariah law take hold,” said Susan Watts, who leads a large chapter in Houston.

ACT! members are challenging high school textbooks and college courses that they deem too sympathetic to Islam. A group leader in Eugene, Ore., signed up to teach a community college course on Islam, but it was canceled when a Muslim group exposed his blog postings denouncing Islam and denying the scope of the Holocaust.

A chapter in Colorado recently featured a guest speaker on “How to minister to Muslims,” and “Conversion success stories.” Mr. Rodgers said in a written response that ACT! does not encourage such activities.

Ms. Gabriel’s approach and her power appear rooted in her childhood trauma in the civil war in southern Lebanon. The war was a chaotic stew in which ever-shifting alliances of clan-based militias made up of Christian, Shiite, Sunni, Palestinian and Druse made war on one other, often with the backing of other countries. But in the rendering Ms. Gabriel shares with her American audiences, it was black and white. As her father explained to her, “The Muslims bombed us because we are Christians. They want us dead because they hate us.” (The refrain became the title of her first book.)

She moved to Israel in her early 20s to work for Middle East Television. Ms. Gabriel often mentions in lectures that she was an anchor for the network, but does not reveal that Middle East Television was then run by Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network to spread his politically conservative, Pentecostal faith in the Middle East.

On air as a reporter, Ms. Gabriel used the name Nour Saman. She married an American co-worker and in 1989 moved to the United States. They started a film and television production company, which says it has produced programs on terrorism for “Good Morning America” and “Primetime.”

She said she uses a pseudonym, voted on by her organization’s board, because she has received death threats.

Ms. Gabriel has given hundreds of lectures, including to the Heritage Foundation and the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va. Her salary from two organizations she founded, American Congress for Truth and ACT! for America, was $178,411 in 2009. And the group’s combined income was $1.6 million.

In Fort Worth, Ms. Gabriel spent nearly an hour after her speech signing books and posing for pictures with gushing fans.

“She really opened up my eyes about Islam,” said Natalie Rix Cresson, a composer, clutching a signed copy of Ms. Gabriel’s book. “I didn’t realize it was so infiltrated in the schools, everywhere.”

 

TPM: Just Before Hearings, King Will Appear On Anti-Muslim Group’s TV Show

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on January 21, 2011 by loonwatch

So these hearings aren’t an anti-Islamic witch hunt? Funny way to show that King.

Just Before Hearings, King Will Appear On Anti-Muslim Group’s TV Show

(TPMuckracker)

Just before he holds hearings on the “radicalization” of Muslims in America, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) will appear on the new TV show for a group that believes Muslims are the enemies of America.

In early February, King, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, will appear on the debut episode of a TV show produced by the group Act! For America. The group’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, believes that Muslims can’t be trusted to serve in the U.S. armed forces; that “tens of thousands of Islamic militants now reside in America … attending our colleges and universities, even infiltrating our government;” and that Americans must unite to “defeat radical Islam.”

Who counts as a radical Muslim to Gabriel?

“Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim,” she says.

King will be the first guest on Gabriel’s new cable show, according to a press release. Gabriel will be the host.

“We are especially grateful to Rep. King for appearing on our debut episode to discuss the kinds of issues Congress and America need to face if we are going to defeat the threat of radical Islam,” Gabriel said in the release. “I commend Rep. King for his decision to convene hearings on the issue of Muslim radicalization and the rising threat of homegrown terrorism.”

King’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

 

State turns ACT! Jacksonville president’s debt to collections agency

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2011 by loonwatch

Randy_McDaniels

Looks like ACT has to get its act together.

State turns ACT! Jacksonville president’s debt to collections agency

Florida is facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit, but, despite his sizeable debt to the state, bookkeepers should not expect Randy McDaniels to help fill that gap anytime soon.

The head of ACT! Jacksonville, a local chapter of a national anti-Islamist group, was fined $624,000, including collections fees, by the state between 2006 and 2008, related to his time as a contractor. Documents indicate he accepted $170,316 in partial, up-front payments for jobs he never started or didn’t finish to satisfaction. The state fined McDaniels, whose license was revoked, for 10 of those incidents, records show. His largest individual fine is $123,129.

McDaniels has yet to make any payments, and last week the matter was turned over to a third-party collections agency.

ACT! Jacksonville took a very public stance last year against University of North Florida professorParvez Ahmed’s nomination to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission. The group’s efforts brought attention to what is usually a routine process, and helped persuade six City Council members to oppose Ahmed’s nomination to the volunteer commission.

In an e-mail to the Times-Union, McDaniels said his business went belly-up due to a bad economy, and he criticized the newspaper’s coverage of his group.

“I and thousands of other businesses in Florida failed … during the recent economic downturn,” he wrote. “Each story you run and attack you make while favoring Parvez Ahmed swells our membership and support in the city, thank you.”

The newspaper first reported McDaniels’ troubled past as a contractor in December, when a state official characterized the harm done to McDaniels’ customers as “quite significant.”

ACT! opposed Ahmed’s nomination because it says that the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the organization Ahmed chaired for three years, is a propaganda arm for Hamas, which the federal government has designated a terrorist organization. CAIR has denied those claims.

McDaniels, who characterized the Times-Union’s stories as a “witch hunt,” said the work was not fulfilled because his company folded after contracts were signed.

“It is regretful that some of our clients were hurt,” he wrote. “Regarding the fines, had I been more concerned with my personal position and that of the company and taken time and precious monies to hire an attorney and leave working projects, our violations and fines may have been lower.”

He gave no indication that he planned on paying the fines, and the state probably will not be able to force payment.

“There is a certain percentage of debtors who have no assets, and nothing to be gotten. At that point it’s a loss,” said Fran Landau, who has been a collections attorney for 31 years, and owns Accelerated Receivables Management. She was speaking in generalities, not specifically about McDaniels’ case.

She said a lot of letters will be sent, phone calls will be made, and, if payment is not made, it will hurt McDaniels’ credit rating.

“For some, credit rating matters, for others it really does not mean a whole lot,” Landau said.

Sandi Copes, a spokeswoman for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, said if the state does not see the money it will have to write off the debt.

“This would be taken into consideration,” she said, “if Mr. McDaniels ever applied to reinstate his license.”

matt.dixon@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4174

 

Educating or fear-mongering? The controversy over ACT!

Posted in Loon People, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by loonwatch
Brigitte Gabriel

One piece would have saved Deirdre a lot of time: ACT! For America is better known as HATE! For America.

Educating or fear-mongering? The controversy over ACT!

By Deirdre Conner
When ACT! for America’s Jacksonville chapter began attacking a local Muslim scholar this year, it might have appeared to be the isolated action of a fringe group.

Far from it.

Over the past year, ACT has engaged in similar skirmishes across the country that have raised the group’s profile, its membership and its revenue.

It describes itself as educating concerned citizens and exposing the threat of radical Islamic terrorists they believe are multiplying on American soil. When the local chapter protested the appointment of University of North Florida professor Parvez Ahmed to the city’s Human Rights Commission, they claimed he had ties to terrorist organizations, despite his written record of condemning violence and terrorism.

But the episode is also one of many reasons ACT has come under increasing scrutiny from critics. They say that at best, the group is promoting misinformation among an American public still largely uninformed about Islam, and at worst, it is exploiting people’s worst fears to propagate bigotry and hate speech against Muslims.

Related: Anti-Muslim activist who led fight against Jacksonville commissioner owes state more than $500K

Its detractors include Muslim civil rights groups as well as scholars and even the Southern Poverty Law Center, all of which say the group denigrates all Muslims, not just extremists.

Despite controversy over ACT’s message, the group has found more and more willing ears from the public, and, in some cases, elected officials.

ACT! for America has a full-time lobbyist in Washington and says it ended 2010 with 155,000 members nationally. In Florida, the group’s membership has more than doubled since 2009, to 19,233 members, said Guy Rodgers, the group’s national executive director. Those members, he said, have been key in the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” strategy.

Busy agenda

It counts among its successes:

– The passage of a ballot initiative in Oklahoma banning courts from considering “international law or Sharia Law” in making decisions.

Related: What sharia is – and isn’t

– The investigation and suspension of the Muslim Student Union at University of California-Irvine for disrupting a speech by Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.

– Protesting the cancellation of a course called “What is Islam?” at an Oregon community college, which was to be taught by one of the group’s chapter leaders.

Together, the Pensacola-based ACT! for America and its affiliated research group, American Congress for Truth, raised more than $1.6 million in 2009, according to the latest tax returns available. Rodgers attributes growing interest in the group to the rise in domestic terrorism threats from Islamic militants over the past two years.

“More and more Americans are beginning to in their consciousness wonder, what is causing this?” Rodgers said.

‘Political correctness’

ACT also is concerned that the government is not thoroughly investigating places in America they feel could be breeding ground for Islamic militants, such as jihadist websites or camps they believe are paramilitary training grounds for terrorists.

So why does ACT believe the government isn’t as vigilant as it should be?

“Political correctness, I think that’s why,” Rodgers said. “We believe that is shackling many in the government … from tackling that issue head-on.”

It was political correctness, the group believes, that led to Ahmed being appointed to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, a volunteer board.

Ahmed is the former chairman of the national board for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. ACT claims CAIR is a front for Hamas, a militant Palestinian organization designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. government. And ACT points to CAIR being named in 2007 as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a terrorism-funding trial.

But CAIR was one of hundreds of unindicted co-conspirators. And it was never accused of wrongdoing by the government. For his part, Ahmed has personally condemned violence against both Palestinian and Israeli civilians.

In numerous blog posts and op-eds for The Times-Union and national media, Ahmed has rejected extremist views and violence and writes frequently about how religions can coexist peacefully.

Related: Parvez Ahmed speech transcript: ‘Is Islam compatible with American values?’

And although nearly a third of the City Council voted against his appointment, he found many more supporters among politicians, business leaders and citizens concerned that the episode could paint Jacksonville as a place of intolerance.

Difficult to dismiss

ACT! for America has, both locally and nationwide, found common ground with tea party members and extreme conservatives who helped Republicans retake the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections.

One of its key allies, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., announced plans this month for hearings on Muslim-Americans and terrorism when he assumes the chairmanship of the House Homeland Security Committee.

That’s why even its opponents say the group shouldn’t be dismissed.

“If they were just yahoos … then why did you have people running for Congress or government officials who are otherwise well educated playing that [Muslim] card?” said John L. Esposito, a Georgetown University professor who studies discrimination against Muslims.

“They played that card because a significant number of voters believe that.”

Esposito said ACT! for America is Islamophobic, and he compares it to anti-Semitic and racist groups.

He said that ACT – along with politicians and pundits who agree with it – is capitalizing on people’s fear, which is heightened because of the trauma of terrorism and a painful economy.

“People don’t look at the numbers,” Esposito said. Islamic terrorists “are an infinitely small but dangerous part of the population, and that’s a group that most people reject.”

He compared it to stereotyping all anti-abortion advocates as violent extremists just because there have been incidents of violence against abortion providers.

“It’s a dangerous thing,” he said, “but nobody blows the numbers out of proportion on this.”

Despite its crusade against political correctness, ACT officials deny they are anti-Muslim.

Yet its national leaders – including its founder, the Lebanese-born Christian Brigitte Gabriel – repeatedly say that Islam itself creates terrorists.

In her book “They Must Be Stopped,” Gabriel writes that “The freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedoms that Muslims enjoy in this country have not tempted them to renounce their dreams of destroying the United States.”

In 2008, she told the New York Times Magazine that she disapproves of Islam because it “calls for the killing of other people.” In a speech to U.S. Navy SEALS that same year, she said that the West is doomed to failure until it identifies Islam as the “real enemy.”

A slideshow presented as educational material on ACT! for America’s website refers to Muslims’ birth rates as a “demographic timebomb” and says that moderate Muslims are the true radicals.

But Rodgers, the group’s executive director, said the group is not prejudiced, and that it works with Muslims who want to reform Islam. Islam has “issues” that need to be addressed, he said.

“Embedded within Islamic doctrine is a supremacist political ideology,” Rodgers said. “Does every Muslim agree with that ideology? No. Does every Muslim practice it? No. But it’s that particular political ideology that is at the root of militancy, whether it’s violent militancy or what we call ‘cultural jihad.’ ”

When it comes to the information about Islam and terrorism that ACT espouses, the group is less than transparent. In its tax return, American Congress for Truth notes that it conducted 700 hours of research on the issues, but Rodgers declined to name any of those researchers.

‘This filthy doctrine’

If the difference between being anti-Islam and anti-radical Islam is nuanced, some of ACT’s supporters don’t appear to get the message.

Facebook “fans” of the group repeatedly post anti-Islamic sentiments on the page. In the past week, one posted that “this filthy doctrine needs to be wiped off the face of the earth,” and another declared hatred of Muslims. The week before, one post praised ACT for “fighting the good fight” against Islam, and another called on “God-lovin” Americans to disrupt a Muslim prayer service in New York City.

But Rodgers said the group tries to keep tabs on members who cross the line. He pointed to a video posted this year by CAIR, in which an ACT member is shown saying that the Quran should be used as toilet paper.

Rodgers said ACT condemned those actions when it found out about them. The group can’t know about the beliefs of every one of its members, he said.

What isn’t in dispute is how little most Americans know about Islam and the roots of terrorism.

An August poll from the Pew Research Center shows that 55 percent of Americans say they do not know very much or know nothing at all about the Muslim religion and its practices.

Yet just 62 percent of respondents said Muslims should have the same rights as other groups to build houses of worship.

And 38 percent believe Islam encourages violence more than other religions, a figure that has increased substantially in the nine years since President George W. Bush visited a mosque and reminded Americans that Islam is a religion of peace.

Republicans and people with less education are far more likely to express an unfavorable view of Islam, Pew found, and people with more knowledge of the religion are more likely to view it favorably.

Concern over rising volume

Groups that exploit that lack of information to spread fear about Muslims seem to have become louder over the past few years, said Brannon Wheeler, professor of history and director of the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy. He does not speak on behalf of the academy.

More insidious, he said, is when groups “take a 10th century legal text [regarding sharia] … and find stuff in that text and say, this is what Muslims all around the world believe.”

Just as Christians around the world have diverging beliefs on certain issues, Muslims around the world are also quite diverse – if not more so, Wheeler said.

“It was my hope … that after the tragedy of Sept. 11, many people would learn more about Islam,” Wheeler said. “But I fear that what has happened in general is that most people’s stereotypes have become more entrenched and more widespread.”

On the whole, Muslims in America are far more integrated into society than in Europe, where there have been more violent conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Still, American Muslims – who make up less than 2 percent of the overall population – say they are more often experiencing discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has seen a surge in discrimination complaints by Muslims in the past two years, the New York Times reported in September.

Although there are many different and complex ways that people become radicalized, discrimination can be a factor, said Gary LaFree, director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. Known as the START Center, it is a partner with the Department of Homeland Security, known as a Center of Excellence.

“The more you marginalize any minority in your population, the more grievances they have, and the more their grievances will be supported,” he said. “[It’s] a way of provoking people who had peacefully coexisted.”

That, LaFree said, is something that Osama bin Laden expressed hope would happen.

“If one of the main purposes of this type of terrorism is to drive a wedge between the Muslim and non-Muslim population,” he said, “it seems this is playing right into that.”

deirdre.conner@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4504

 

SPLC: ACT! for America is an anti-Muslim Group

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2010 by loonwatch
Brigitte Gabriel

Slowly but surely the SPLC is coming around to listing all the anti-Muslim hate groups or at the very least recognizing them as anti-Muslim.

In our last article on the SPLC we wrote about Dove Outreach being put on their hate list and we requested that SPLC look carefully at SIOA and also add them onto the hate list as they are every bit as anti-Muslim as Dove Outreach or ACT for America.

In this thorough article the SPLC takes on ACT, exposes their hypocrisy and concerted campaign against Parvez Ahmed, a Human Rights Commissioner in Jacksonville and also mentions SIOA in a negative light though a stronger condemnation is needed.

Anti-Muslim Group Denounces One Professor, Defends Another

The American Congress for Truth (ACT), an anti-Muslim group run by firebrand Brigitte Gabriel, has targeted a Muslim professor serving on a human rights board in Florida, accusing him of having ties to radical Islamic groups and serving as a “mosque operative” in city government.

After months of opposition to Parvez Ahmed’s nomination to the Human Rights Commission of Jacksonville — he was appointed earlier this year — ACT held a news conference on the steps of Jacksonville City Hall Thursday to release a DVD of edited clips of a speech Ahmed gave in October, which the group claims shows “irrefutable” evidence of Ahmed’s associations with the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islam — despite the absence of any footage speaking directly to that charge. The lack of evidence apparently didn’t trouble Randy McDaniels, the Jacksonville ACT chapter leader who called the news conference. “It’s how he says what he says. What he doesn’t say. What’s inferred and the facts we know,” McDaniels said, adding that Ahmed was a “made man in the Muslim mafia.”

Ahmed is a former national chairman of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest advocacy organization for Muslims in America. Fueling ACT’s accusations against Ahmed is the fact that CAIR was named in 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in charges brought against the Holy Land Foundation. The foundation is a Muslim charity that was ultimately convicted of funneling more than $12 million to Hamas, the militant Palestinian Islamist organization considered a terrorist group by the U.S. government. Charges were never brought against CAIR in the case.

Ahmed says ACT’s claims are categorically false, and that the group, whose lobbying arm is called ACT! for America, has gone too far in its efforts to sully his reputation. “They are going to make the waters so muddy that sensible people will shy away from engaging Muslims in this country. That would be such a tragedy at this time when we need more Americans to engage with Muslims, even have disagreements with them.”

The waters may already be muddied in Florida, however. ACT’s campaign to discredit Ahmed has gone on for months. Ruffians claiming to be ACT members have disrupted his public appearances, screaming that he belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood. Ahmed described being harassed at one public appearance to the point that audience members, fearing for his safety, escorted him from the room. Another eyewitness confirmed Ahmed’s account.

Last week, Jacksonville General Counsel Cindy A. Laquidara told the Florida Times-Union that the city is standing by Ahmed. “Once he’s appointed, he’s appointed,” she said. “And there is not a procedure for people to change their mind.” A message left with Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton’s assistant requesting comment was not immediately returned.

ACT’s attacks on Muslims elsewhere have moved onto the Web, where the hate-filled rhetoric has reached an incendiary level. YouTube clips show people claiming to be ACT members suggesting the Koran is best used for toilet paper and the footbaths outside mosques are better suited for urinals.

ACT officials in Florida and Oregon did not return several communications seeking comment on these recent events.

Still, the campaign against Ahmed is part of a groundswell brought on by groups such as ACT andPam Geller’s New York-based Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) whose members see themselves as foot soldiers in the so-called “anti-jihad” movement and domestic patriots on the front lines of a war on terror. Claiming nearly 300 chapters nationwide, with the largest concentrations in California, Texas and Florida, ACT representatives have pushed for legislation to prohibit courts from acknowledging Shariah or international law and asked for deeper investigations into U.S. Muslim charities. Gabriel, ACT’s founder, has written two books titled They Must Be Stoppedand Because They Hate, the latter partly a memoir in which the Lebanese-born Christian claims to have the experience to judge all of Islam.

On its Web page, ACT claims without proof that “tens of thousands of Islamic militants now reside in America, operating in sleeper cells, attending our colleges and universities, even infiltrating our government.” ACT’s Web site also chastises the “purveyors of political correctness,” saying the “political Left in America denies, apologizes for, or blames America for the rise in Islamic extremism.”

Three thousand miles from Jacksonville, ACT is at work trying to save another professor’s job. Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., cancelled a scheduled class on Islam to be taught by an ACT chapter leader named Barry Sommer. The class, called “What is Islam?” was pulled from the school’s catalogue after CAIR wrote a letter of concern to administrators that Sommer would spread hateful untruths about Islam based on his association with ACT and statements he had made on his personal blog, Islam Today Oregon. Neither Lane College administrators nor Sommer responded to telephone calls and E-mails seeking comment, though Sommer has told several media outlets he is talking to the American Center for Law and Justice about possible legal action.

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said Sommer’s class would be a disservice to Muslims nationwide and stoke already-burning flames of intolerance. “Once you look at what this guy believes, it’s clear what he would have taught,” Hooper said.

In a Dec. 6 entry on his blog, Sommer wrote: “When I say that Islam wants to rule the world, I am called a hatemonger. When I say sharia [sic] law is creeping into western civil law, I am accused of demeaning a religion. When I say that Islam is a patriarchal society where men control women I am said to be a [sic] Islamophobe. My view that Islam is more political than spiritual is shouted down as being intolerant.”

Ahmed, who has no association with the controversy in Oregon, says it all comes back to respecting and tolerating difference. “It’s one thing to have a negative opinion of Islam. And somebody may not like Muslims, and that’s fine,” he says. “But to have the kind of rhetoric and the kind of tactics that ACT and Pam Geller’s group engage in is way over the top.”

 

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.

 

ACT! For America’s Veteran Defenders of America

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2010 by loonwatch

ACT! For America, or as they are better known Hate! for America have created what they are dubbing a joint project, Veteran Defenders of America. ACT! for America is the organization led by class A loon Brigitte Gabriel, it regularly defames Muslims and insists Islam is trying to take over America.

In my previous article, ACT! for America is better known as Hate! for America I wrote,

ACT! for America has a problem. Its first problem is that it was founded by Brigitte Gabriel. Yes, the same Brigitte Gabriel the New York Times called a “radical Islamophobe” and who in the past has made statements like “Arabs have no soul,” and “Arabs are barbarians.” She might be novel eye candy for some (which I’m guessing is the reason Bill Maher had her on his show) but it is clear that Brigitte Gabriel is a whacked out fundamentalist with a seething rage against Muslims and a determination on the one hand to destroy Islam and on the other to make as much profit in the process.

The other problem with ACT! is that it is an organization filled with the types of people we see at Tea Party rallies. You know the ones who dress up in late 18th century regalia a la George Washington or carry around posters about Obama being a Kenyan, or Hitler, or Joker or a Marxist Mooslim anti-Christ coming to change America from a Christian nation into the Soviet Union.

The ACT! for America scheme essentially boils down to an organization masquerading as a “defender of Western Civilization” akin to the claims of other Islamophobes such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. They have a binary view of the world, the Bush mantra of “you’re either with us or against us.”

Now Brigitte and her goons are creating an organization of veterans who will be opposing “terrorism” (i.e. Islam) under the guise of “protecting our freedoms.” This development is pretty hair raising in light of the fact that threatening rhetoric has been observed from members of other anti-Muslim organizations who profess to also be veterans or soldiers in the US military.

We reported earlier on the existence of self-purported veterans in Stop the Islamization of America(SIOA) who made pronouncements of murder and genocide against Muslims,

Veterans know how to “lock and load.” They have honed their skills in the greatest and most powerful military in the world. When populists and fear-mongers unite to dredge up xenophobia, bigotry and hate against Islam and Muslims it lends itself to influencing our veterans and military personnel, especially considering they are involved in two wars in Muslim countries and are stationed on bases throughout the Middle East and the Muslim world.

Simple logic forces us to question: how many of the returning veterans are going to leave the fight against Muslims on the battlefield? Is it safe to venture that the process of dehumanizing the enemy, his religion, his culture, his race will not be limited to the battlefield but will actually see itself transported to the homeland, at least by a small minority?

When we combine this with those who seek to capitalize on anti-Muslim hysteria it is a volatile cocktail, and if the Veteran Defenders of America are any indication it is getting organized — and armed.

Richard Van Waes, founder and operating chair person of the Veteran Defenders of America has this message on his website,

The United States of America has long enjoyed freedoms no other country in history has ever known. The founders of our nation had vision to give us documents that entrusted freedom to all citizens.

As veterans, we swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and to defend it against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Quite simply, unlike any period in our long history, our freedoms are in jeopardy. Our domestic borders have been silently invaded with people who intend to harm us. There are thousands of terrorists and terror cells within the United States borders who have one goal as their agenda – the destruction of America as we know it. This simply cannot take place.

Most of us have families. I have children, grandchildren and extended family who all need protection. You, as a veteran, have training, skills and experience that uniquely enable you to respond to our government’s message that encourages family and community preparedness, citizen awareness and service to our families and our communities.

We’re asking all able-bodied veterans to join Veteran Defenders in an alliance to ensure our freedoms. REMEMBER, we ALL can contribute some of our skilled training, in some small way. Over 18 million strong, we are a valuable and frequently overlooked resource to our nation.

May God bless you, your family and our nation. The time is now, join us.

The idea that our domestic borders have been “invaded by people who intend to harm us,” that there are “thousands of terrorists and terror cells” within the United States who seek to take our freedom and destroy America is quite familiar. It is the language of paranoia, the language of those who sow the seeds of conspiracy to advance their own agenda. It is the same language that was used against Japanese Americans to justify the Internment camps, against Blacks to take away their personal freedoms and to perpetuate Jim Crow.

It is vital to the future of our nation that such organizations do not go unopposed and that the military, veterans of conscious, institutions such as the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) band together to ensure that this vitriol against Islam and Muslims does not spiral out of control.

Update: We thought it would be notable to point out the views of some veterans in response to this.John Bryant a former veteran himself and loonwatcher has this to say in response to the article,

“As a vet with kids in uniform, I find it unbelieveably offens[ive] that these assholes would use the symbols of our five services who fight to defend the constitution (including the first amendment, all of it!) to somehow equate service and patriotism with hate and bigotry!”