Archive for CNN

In Breivik, troubling echoes of West’s view of Islam

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , on April 18, 2012 by loonwatch

Breivik

An excellent analysis.  (H/T: islamispeace)

In Breivik, troubling echoes of West’s view of Islam

By Timothy Stanley, CNN

The trial of mass murderer Anders Breivik has confirmed one thing so far: He seems quite mad. Looking plump and dumb, with a slightly receding hairline, the Norwegian gave a right-wing salute as he entered the courtroom and smirked his way through CCTV footage of his handiwork.

Breivik claims that he killed 77 people as an act of self-defense against the Islamification of Norway, that he is a member of the Knights Templar and part of an “anticommunist” resistance to multiculturalism. Reading his insane manifesto, it is tempting to dismiss him as a nut with a gun.

Nevertheless, there’s no denying the political context to what Breivik did. Since 9/11, fringe and mainstream politicians in Europe and America have spoken of Islam as incompatible with Western values. Breivik quoted many of them in his manifesto. This is not to say that he took direct inspiration from those public figures, or that they bear personal responsibility for his crimes. But Breivik’s paranoia does conform to a popular — wholly negative — view of the twin problems of Islam and multiculturalism. Tragically, it is a view that few mainstream politicians have been willing to challenge.

Breivik makes two false claims. The first is that Islam is ethically inferior to Christianity and cannot exist peacefully within the secular democracies of the post-Enlightenment West. That is the open view of the Dutch Party for Freedom, the French National Front, the English Defense League and the Finnish True Finns. It was implicit in Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s aversion to the building of mosques. We might also infer it from much of the testimony presented at Rep. Peter King’s congressional hearings into the radicalization of American Muslim youth. King has opined that there are “too many mosques” in the United States and that roughly 80% of American Muslims are radical.

The mistake being made by all these people is to conflate a tiny minority of political Islamists — whose precise ideology has only really emerged in the last 30 years — with the entire global and historical community of Muslims. It is true that Islam has never undergone a total Reformation, but it has experienced mini-enlightenments. The most celebrated is the Islamic Golden Age (750- 1258), centered in Baghdad, in which the arts and sciences flourished in a manner that left Dark Ages Europe far behind. (You can also find humanist poetry and art in Persia and even a small amount of erotica in Northern Africa.)

Islam never outright rejected scientific empiricism but instead tried to reconcile and integrate it into its religious beliefs, with a surprising amount of debate about the primacy of either faith or reason. It preached that divine revelation could be found in other religions and so practiced tolerance in the lands that it conquered — a kind of Islamic multiculturalism. One of the giants of the European Enlightenment, Voltaire, favorably opined that Islam was more tolerant in its treatment of minorities than Christianity (consider the comparative persecution of Catholics in Ireland or of Jews in Spain).

Today, Islamic society looks different in every region where it is found. The royal families of Saudi Arabia have promoted ultra-conservative Wahhabism, which discourages personal vice, idolatry, veneration of saints, etc. The Bangladeshis prefer the more mystical Sufism, which places greater emphasis upon a subjective experience of Allah and is traditionally more tolerant of human foibles and dissent.

Almost every part of the Islamic world has produced progressive movements, some headed by women. Pakistan gave the world Benazir Bhutto and Indonesia Megawati Soekarnoputri. In all cases, the political development of Muslim countries has been as much shaped by poverty and the legacy of colonialism as it has Islam. Iran might have continued on a course toward liberalism had the West not sponsored an anti-democratic coup in 1953.

In short, there is no monolithic Islamic history or experience, which makes it hard or even disingenuous to talk about the challenge that Islam as a whole poses to the West. Put another way, no American would want anyone to think that the Westboro Baptist Church spoke for all of Christianity.

Breivik’s second, equally fallacious claim is that Islam’s growth in the West has been encouraged by liberal elites as a means to destroy traditional Christian culture. Indeed, multiculturalism has been strongly critiqued by two British prime ministers – Tony Blair and David Cameron. Cameron said that it had “failed” because it did not demand submission to the liberal principles of gender and sexual equality.

But multiculturalism is not a Marxist ideology carefully plotted by the “Saul Alinksy radicals” so loathed by Newt Gingrich. Rather, it was free-market economics and globalization that caused the mass migration of Muslims from East to West — and multiculturalism was simply a policy response. The aim was to protect the cultural integrity of both host and guest populations by allowing them separate spaces in which to develop.

Far from intending to threaten the religious or civil liberties of the majority Christian population (which remains vastly superior in numbers), the goal was to create a common framework of laws but otherwise leave everyone to their own devices. If Christianity has declined in the West, it’s the fault of the Christians who stopped going to church — not the small groups of Muslims quietly attending their local mosque.

And yet Muslims in Western countries now live under the pressures of anti-terrorist surveillance and social ostracism. They are forced to defend their Britishness, their Frenchness or their Americaness — even if they are third- or fourth-generation citizens of those countries. Breivik’s attack has raised the threat level against the West’s Muslims: They are now the target of our politically engaged sociopaths.

Given how widespread the condemnation of both Islam and multiculturalism is across the West, perhaps it is apt to describe Breivik as a symptom of Western psychological angst. It is a condition of neurosis about decline and paranoia about foreign invasion that is in desperate need of remedy.

Timothy Stanley is a historian at Oxford University and blogs for Britain’s Daily Telegraph. He is the author of the new book “The Crusader: The Life and Times of Pat Buchanan.

FBI Betrayed Us: Iowa Muslims

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by loonwatch
Arvinder Singh, who has been attending Des Moines mosques over the past seven years, was revealed to be an FBI informant.
Arvinder Singh, who has been attending Des Moines mosques over the past seven years, was revealed to be an FBI informant.

FBI Betrayed Us: Iowa Muslims

IOWA – The Muslim community in Iowa is frustrated and angry over FBI’s sending informants into mosques to spy on worshippers, seething with a sense of betrayal that has undermined trust between American Muslims and security agencies.

“That was really surprising, very sad that somebody would come or the FBI or Homeland Security would send somebody here to pretend to be Muslim and try to find out what goes on here,” Dr. Hamed Baig, president of the Islamic Center of Des Moines, told CNN on Friday, February 3.

“I feel there is no need for that.”

In Des Moines, Iowa, a small yet diverse Muslim community is divided into four mosques from Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, among other nations.

Frustration among members of the Muslim community began after 42 year-old Arvinder Singh, who has been attending their mosques over the past seven years, was revealed to be an FBI informant.

Charged with “selling or transferring precursor substances for an unlawful purpose” in March of 2002, Singh said he was approached by FBI officers who told him, “‘You look Middle Eastern, and we need your help for the war against terror.’”

Singh, currently in Hardin County Jail in Iowa, where he’s been awaiting deportation, said the FBI came to him with a simple tradeoff:  We’ll help you get your citizenship if you help us get some terrorists.

Having no information about Islam, Indian-born Singh was surprised to be approached by FBI agents.

“I was surprised. I said, ‘Me? I have no idea about this’ And they said ‘We’ll train you. You’ll get used to it. We’ll make you go and do some work for us.’”

Later on, he assumed a Muslim identity, Rafik Alvi, and went into the mosques pretending to be interested in converting.

He says sometimes the FBI gave him pictures of persons of interest and he would confirm that they were at the mosque.  On a few occasions, Singh says he taped his conversations with congregants.

“They wanted me to go investigate some people in the area,” Singh told CNN in a jailhouse interview.

“See what they’re doing, who they’re meeting. Who’s their family member, who’s attending them, what they are talking about. That kind of work.”

Anger 

The mosque infiltration has angered Iowa Muslim community, saying that the FBI just took a step backwards in building trust with the Muslims in his community.

“To know that somebody made an intrusive entry into the masjid for purpose other than prayer, or other than socializing or taking care of anybody who is in need makes me very much nervous and embarrassed, too, that I belong to a community where we have a member who has come for some other purpose,” Anis Rehman, executive board treasurer of the Islamic Center of Des Moines and a college professor, told CNN.

“But later when we saw that he was not actually a member but a pretender then it made me more angry,” Rehman said.

Rehman says the idea of a FBI informant in their tiny mosque is not only offensive but baffling.

“I find that to send an impostor into our community which is so small where not only we know each other but (where) the law enforcement agents can perhaps pick each one of us by name and by family, I don’t think that the incident [on] 9/11 could warrant such action in a small community like ours.”

Since 9/11, Muslims, estimated between six to seven million, have become sensitized to an erosion of their civil rights, with a prevailing belief that America was stigmatizing their faith.

FBI tactic of sending informants into mosques have deteriorated relations with the US Muslim community over the past few years.

In 2009, Muslim groups threatened to suspend all contacts with the FBI over sending informants into mosques.

US Muslims are particularly wary of the FBI’s history of targeting members of their community.

Basim Bakri, another Iowa Muslim, noted that if Singh’s claims are true, the FBI has just destroyed any chances of building trust with the Muslims in his community.

“I think the FBI owe[s] us an apology because they did violate our civil rights,” Bakri said.

“It wasn’t right at all, it wasn’t right from the beginning and they have no right to do that.”

Rick Perry: Hamas And Hezbollah Working In Mexico

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by loonwatch

If you didn’t know by now, Hamas and Hezbollah hablan mucho Español. If you also didn’t know by now, GOP candidates like Rick Perry are retrying to combine the fear of immigrants and Mooslims taking over the country. Apparently, it is a tried and true method to win the GOP candidacy.

Rick Perry: Hamas And Hezbollah Working In Mexico

Texas Gov. Rick Perry warned viewers of CNN’s Republican debate on Tuesday that Hamas and Hezbollah were working out of Mexico. Perry’s answer came in response to a question about securing the southern border.

“We’re seeing countries start to come in and infiltrate. We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico as well as Iran with their ploy to come into the United States,” Perry said.

He continued: We know that Hugo Chavez… and the Iranian government has one of the largest — I think their largest embassy in the world is in Venezuela. So the idea that we need to have border security with the United States and Mexico is paramount to the entire western hemisphere.”

‘Ex-Terrorist’ Fraud: Walid Shoebat Exposed Part 2

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

The expose on the fraud known as Shoebat continues on CNN:

Robert Spencer, watch out you’re next.

Muslim hearings recall my life in internment camp

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2011 by loonwatch
The Japanese-American Mochida family await relocation to a an internment camp in this photo taken by Dorothea Lange.

Muslim hearings recall my life in internment camp

Editor’s note: Rep. Michael Honda, D-California, is senior Democratic whip and a member of House Budget and Appropriations Committees.

(CNN) — Who would have thought that my early childhood experience in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II would offer such useful insight, 65 years later, in determining the direction America is headed? In reflecting on this week’s second round of Muslim radicalization hearings, planned by New York Rep. Peter King, I feel as if a mirror is being held up to my life, giving value to lessons learned as a child.

Make no mistake. Growing up in internment Camp Amache in Colorado was no joy ride — just look at the pictures. We were treated like cattle in those camps. Never mind that we were born in America. Never mind that we were patriotic Americans and law-abiding citizens. Never mind that we were constructively contributing to the American economy. Despite all this, hundreds of thousands of Americans suddenly became the enemy at the height of the war, with no cause, no crime, and no constitutional protection.

We look back, as a nation, and we know this was wrong. We look back and know that this was a result of “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.” We look back and know that an entire ethnicity was said to be, and ultimately considered, the enemy. We know that internment happened because few in Washington were brave enough to say “no.”

We know all this, and yet our country is now, within my lifetime, repeating the same mistakes from our past. The interned 4-year-old in me is crying out for a course correction so that we do not do to others what we did unjustly to countless Japanese-Americans.

 

Camp Amache, Colorado, where Rep. Honda and his family were sent.

This time, instead of creating an ethnic enemy, Rep. King is creating a religious enemy. Because of prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of Republican leadership, King is targeting the entire Muslim-American community. Similar to my experience, they are become increasingly marginalized and isolated by our policies.

Never mind that many were born in America and have no allegiance to their ancestors’ native homeland. Never mind that they are patriotic Americans and law-abiding citizens. Never mind that they are constructively contributing to the American economy. Regardless of all this, millions of Americans have become the new enemy, with no cause and no crime.

There is no question that a congressional hearing, which targets an entire religion, is morally and strategically wrong-headed. First, it is un-American. This is not the America that I know and have helped build as a lifelong public servant. The America that I know has always provided refuge for those fleeing persecution, from early settlers to recent refugees. The America that I know does not hate and discriminate based on race, religion or creed.

Rep. Michael Honda

Second, it is counterproductive. King is undermining his own objective. In hosting these hearings, King, as chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, has declared, erroneously, that the Muslim-American community does not partner actively enough to prevent acts of violence — or in the case of prisons, extremism. Despite the offensive and fallacious nature of King’s concern, given extensive evidence that contradicts his claim, the Homeland Security chairman’s strategy makes future partnerships unpalatable.

Michael Honda on the day his family was released.

In one fell swoop of his discriminatory brush, King, in his apparent attempt to root out radicalization, marginalizes an entire American minority group, making enemies of them all. To add insult to injury, King has quipped (again, speciously) that America has too many mosques and that extremists run 80 percent of them. We can only hope that Rep. King does not completely undermine all the goodwill established across this country between Muslim Americans and law enforcement officials. You can be certain that few will want to work with King going forward.

Don’t get me wrong. I support the Homeland Security Committee examining “radicalization” in this country, and in our prisons, provided it is a comprehensive review, not a discriminatory one that targets only one subgroup of America. I support the committee examining “violent extremism” in this country, including an examination of militias and the 30,000-plus gun-related deaths that happen each year. I support a committee chair that is keen to keep our homeland secure.

This is not the case with King. These hearings do little to keep our country secure and do plenty to increase prejudice, discrimination and hate. I thought we learned a lesson or two from my internment camp experience in Colorado. I hope I am not proven wrong.

The opinions in this commentary are solely those of Michael Honda.

My Take: This just in, Tennessee court says Islam is a religion

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , on May 23, 2011 by loonwatch

Anderson Cooper slams Laurie Cardoza Moore on her misinformation.

My Take: This just in, Tennessee court says Islam is a religion

Editor’s Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of “God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World,” is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=bestoftv/2010/09/01/ac.mosque.burning.guests.cnn

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

A few months ago I spoke at an interfaith forum at the University of North Alabama. One of the speakers on my panel was Ossama Bahloul, imam of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

Bahloul began his talk by observing that God must have a sense of humor to have given him a name as problematic as Ossama. But the heart of his talk concerned the compatibility of Islam with American values.

What surprised me about Bahloul, in both his public talk and our private conversations, was his deep and abiding faith in America. Signs at the construction site for his planned mosque had been vandalized twice and federal investigators had determined that a fire at the site was intentionally set. Efforts to build that mosque, appropriate for a growing congregation that had been active in the area for roughly two decades, were met not only with protests but also with a lawsuit.

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Yet Bahloul continued to believe that what was right would win out in the end.

In the lawsuit, opponents of the mosque argued, among other things, that Islam was not a religion and therefore was not entitled to the free exercise protections and special zoning treatment given to religious organizations. But last week, a Murfreesboro court ruled for the Islamic center.

In his ruling, judge Robert Corlew announced “that Islam is a religion.” The fact that a court of law in the United States would actually have to make such a finding is a sad commentary on where we are today in the United States in terms of religious literacy.

Tennessee imam: My mosque was torched

Islam is not just a religion. It is the second largest religion in the world, with over 1 billion adherents. And as the Murfreesboro case demonstrates, some of these Muslims are our neighbors.

There is still one legal issue unsettled in this case—a technical matter concerning whether a prior proceeding allowing the mosque construction had followed the rules of a local open meetings ordinance. But, as the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro noted on its web page yesterday, the building permit is now in hand.

And, at least for now, the First Amendment is still the law of the land in Tennessee.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

Pamela Geller Called out for Being an “anti-Muslim Bigot” on CNN

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2010 by loonwatch

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ9g4WDIy4o 350 300]

On the heels of the Salon.com article that traced the Ground Zero mosque controversy back to Pamela Geller, CNN ran a special segment on the anatomy of this story. In it Pamela Geller is called out for who she is, an “anti-Muslim blogger.” The evidence for that abounds,

Geller: Obama “is a third worlder and a coward” who’s “appeas[ing] his Islamic overlords.” In an April 13 blog post, Gellerwrote: “Obama is a third worlder and a coward. He will do nothing but beat up on our friends to appease his Islamic overlords. All this is going down while Obama plays footsie at his nuclear nonsense campfire — sucking up to Iran’s enablers while beating up our allies.”

Geller: Liberal Jews are “lost souls,” “self-hating wretches.” In her January 25 Newsmax column, Geller wrote that Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League “has come out against a great and wonderful friend of the Jews, Rush Limbaugh.” Geller added that this “is symptomatic of a deeper problem: I have for years derided Jews in America and the Jewish lay leadership for tolerating and supporting clear and present enemies of the Jewish people among our senior ranks. It is a sickness of the soul.” She further wrote, “The liberal Jew worships at the church of human secularism. These lost souls are married to their liberal dogma” and asked, “Which Jews support deleterious characters like Foxman? Which Jews give blood money to these self-hating wretches?”

Geller on Obama’s Israel policy: “Jews Refuse to Get on Obama’s Trains.” In a post apparently responding to Obama’s opposition to settlement growth, Geller wrote, “Jews refuse to get on Obama’s Trains.” She added: “Obama is pressuring Jews to “evacuate” from parts of Israel? And what Warsaw ghetto does the muhammadan [sic] president have in mind? I think I am gonna hurl. The Jews will not go. The Jews will not submit to this century’s nazis [sic] and Mansourian poser. No way, bloodsuckers. Not again. Never again.”

Geller on transgender Obama appointee: “What a freak show this presidency is.”In a January 4 blog post, Geller responded to a report that Obama named a transgender appointee to a Commerce Department position by stating, “Does Obama know anyone who isn’t wacky, radical, militant, judeophobic, socialist, marxist, pedophilic? …… Does he chill with anyone who is normal? Isn’t there one Marilyn Munster in the family? What a freak show this presidency is.”

Geller: Obama “wants jihad to win. That’s what he is doing.” In an April 1 blog post titled, “”President Jihad: Obama Encouraged Violent Palestinian Muslim protests against Israel,” Geller claimed Obama “is agitating Muslims against Jews” and stated, “The President of the United States is advancing jihad against the oath of office that he took.” Geller also stated in an April 11 post, “President Sarkozy called [Obama] ‘a madman,’ ‘a lunatic.’ Perhaps, I don’t know — but one thing is for sure: Hussein is a muhammadan. He’s not insane ………..he wants jihad to win. That’s what he is doing. Of course, to the western mind, the rational mind, the logical mind, the American mind, that is insane.”

Geller called Democrats “National Socialists.” In a March 13 blog post, Geller wrote, ”National Socialists [Democrats] Obamacare: Sheeps to ‘Slaughter Solution.’” She added, “The buzz on Capitol Hill is that the Democrats are now considering what is being called the ’Slaughter Solution’ that will allow ObamaCare to be signed into law WITHOUT HOUSE MEMBERS EVEN HAVING TO VOTE.

Geller: Senate Democrats supporting health care reform voted “to rape the American people.” In a December 21, 2009, blog post, Geller wrote of the cloture vote for health care reform: “The moochers and the looters, the crooks and degenerates voted at 1 am this morning to rip the constitution to shreds, to rape the American people and to nationalize medicine.” She added that passing the bill on Christmas Eve would be “an act of treason and blasphemy.”

Geller declared “VICTORY!” after Swiss established ban on minaret construction.In a November 29 post to her Atlas Shrugs blog — headlined “VICTORY! SWISS BAN MOSQUE MINARETS IN A LANDSLIDE VOTE” — Pamela Geller commented: “The Swiss have hand [sic] enough. They actually had the spine to take back their country. I wonder how the religion of peaceniks will react…in their usual tolerant and pacifist manner?”

Geller: “Obama Goes Full On Nazi.” Geller headlined a November 9, 2009, post “Obama Goes Full On Nazi: Subject: “Democratic consultant says he got a warning from White House after appearing on Fox News.”

Geller: ” ‘Kick a Jew’ days … are part of this growing evil Evil unleashed with an anti-semite in the White House.” In a December 14, 2009, post, Geller wrote:

It’s as if the floodgates of hell have been thrown open. The moratorium on the holocaust is officially over and all the savages are free to incite, hate and destroy. Clearly those “Kick a Jew” days discussed here and here in schools are part of this growing evil Evil [sic] unleashed with an anti-semite in the White House.

Geller: “Obama is bringing his jihad to Illinois.” In a December 15, 2009, post, Geller responded to reports that Guantanamo Bay detainees may be housed at the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois by stating: “Obama is bringing his jihad to Illinois. Has anyone asked the people of Chicago if they want KSM’s soul mates in their state? Obama’s treachery is breathtaking. A killer’s paradise.”

Geller: “It is well known that Obama allegedly was involved with a crack whore in his youth,” and he only visited Pakistan while in college because of “jihad or drugs.” In an August 1, 2009, post, Geller discussed rumors of a Palin divorce being spread by bloggers, including one supposedly tied to CNN and stated:

Let’s understand this. CNN won’t touch the birth certificate issue, the Rezko/Auchi corruption, Obama’s anti-semitism, his ACORN/SEIU ties and corruption, and other legitimate stories that need investigation. But they write fiction about Palin. Daily. So why not tell the truth about Obama and his reported strange sexual predilections? My question is, it is well known that Obama allegedly was involved with a crack whore in his youth. Very seedy stuff. Why aren’t they pursuing that story? Find the ho, give her a show! Obama allegedly trafficked in some very deviant practices. Where’s the investigation?

Geller further stated of Obama’s trip to Pakistan during college: “Back in the early 80′s, there were only two reasons to travel to Pakistan. Jihad or drugs. I think he went for the drugs and came back with jihad.”

Geller on Dome of the Rock: “The dome has got to go.” On September 27, 2009, Geller posted an image of Muslims praying at the Dome of the Rock, one of Islam’s holy sites, and stated, “On Erev Yom Kippur, Muslims attack Jews in Jerusalem. The dome has got to go. It is sitting atop the great Jewish temple. The dome has got to go. It’s time to push back and stop indulging evil. Evil is made possible by the sanction you give it. Withdraw your sanction (paraphrasing Rand).”

There is more where this came from, please read our profile of Geller, The Looniest Blogger Ever.The sad thing is that this segment on CNN had Pamela Geller on unopposed. The host, John Roberts, obviously didn’t do his research and didn’t press her enough with the tough questions that Geller should be asked.

Instead, the show in effect gave Pamela Geller an opportunity to lie and cover up the fact that she is a Muslim hater. It is now common to see Pamela in her TV appearances claim that she “loves Muslims,” though the type of love she seems to be talking about is some twisted love in which the only good Muslim is one who doesn’t practice Islam, or believe in the Quran or the Prophet Muhammad.

The fact is she is against the building of mosques. Even in this CNN program she exposes herself by equating terrorists as representatives of “pure Islam,” echoing her friend, Euro-supremacist demagogue Geert Wilders who wants to tax the Hijab, ban Muslim immigration and outlaw Islam in the Netherlands.

The truth is Geller is opposed to the building of mosques, as is clear when she triumphantly claims victory after the Swiss ban minarets and when she calls for the destruction of mosques like the Golden Dome.