Archive for Congress

Allen West Practicing Taqiyya?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duh, you stupid Muslim!

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

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

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

Wow.

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

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

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

 

Peter King: “Walid Phares, as of Now not Testifying at ‘Muslim Hearings’”

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2011 by loonwatch
Peter King supported the IRA

It seems as if Rep. King has changed his tune on Walid Phares somewhat. He will no longer be calling him to testify:

King: Phares not testifying

(Politico)

A potentially controversial witness, Walid Phares, isn’t expected to appear at Pete King’s hearings on Muslim radicalization, King told POLITICO just now.

Robert Costa’s report this week that the witness included Walid Phares, a Fox News analysts and conservative terrorism scholar, raised some eyebrows.

That’s because King has told us, among others, that he plans to rely on Muslim witnesses. That angered some outside critics of the community, but King hoped it would lend the hearings credibility and avoid some distracting controversy.

But Phares is of Lebanese Christian descent, and Muslim groups accuse him of ties to Christian militias in Lebanon’s brutal civil war (whose sectarian battles echo in various ways through the current American politics of Islam.

“As of now, he is not testifying,” King said through a spokesman.

What is the reason for this sudden turn around, did it have anything to do with our piece exposing Phares’ membership in genocidal and racist Christian militias? Did it have anything to do with our intrepid Loonwatchers contacting the Congressman and their local officials? (Good job guys!):

REP. PETER KING TO CALL WALID PHARES, FORMER LEBANESE FORCES MILITIAMAN AT MUSLIM HEARINGS

(Loonwatch)

Rep. Peter King, slated to hold hearings on the threat of “terrorism in the American Muslim community” is well known for his checkered past in regards to terrorism as well as outlandish and overtly bigoted statements against Muslims.

For instance Peter King has claimed that “85% of Muslim leadership in America are enemies among us,” though when pressed he has not provided one shred of evidence on how he arrived at this number. King has also expressed his belief that there are “too many mosques in America.” This is on top of the fact that Rep. King was one of the staunchest supporters of the IRA at a time when they were targeting non-combatants in bombing campaigns, kidnappings and shootings.

Now it has come to light that amongst those expected to address the “Muslim hearings” will be a former Lebanese Forces militiaman and spokesman, Walid Phares. The Lebanese Forces were responsible for some of the most horrific slaughters and pogroms during the Civil War in Lebanon, amongst them the Sabra and Shatila massacres.

As’ad Abu Khalil of angryarab.net reported on Phares’ involvement with the Lebanese Forces as well as the Guardians of the Cedar whose slogan during the civil war was, “Kill a Palestinian and you Shall Enter Paradise,” way back in 2007. (hat tip: Akkad)

Walid Phares and the Lebanese Forces

(angryarab.net)

by As’ad Abu Khalil

I am aware that Phares now likes to deny his past role with the Lebanese Forces (the right-wing, sectarian Christian militia that–among other war crimes–perpetrated the Sabra and Shatila massacres). Somebody yesterday posted a comment challenging my statement about Phares and his association with the Lebanese Forces. These are only two of many newspaper clips that I have in which his affiliation is clearly noted. In the top one, (As-Safir, 12/6/1987), it said that “Member of the Command Council of the Lebanese Forces, [and] head of the Lebanese Immigration Apparatus in the Lebanese Forces, Walid Phares, lectured on “the Role of Free Christianity in Lebanon and the Middle East.” In the lecture, he also “criticized the mechanism of the development of Lebanse Christian resistance over 12 years.” In the second one above, (As-Safir, 27/8/1991), Phares was identified as the “vice-chair” of the Extraordinary Emergency Committee for the Lebanese Front (the political leadership committee of the Lebanese Forces) (the chairperson was Etienne Saqr (who founded the Guardians of the Cedar, which during the civil war raised the slogan “Kill a Palestinian and you Shall enter heaven,” and he now resides in Israel). And it has to be said that his rise in the Lebanese Forces took place at a time when it was aligned with the regime of….Saddam Husayn. (emphasis mine)

Even before Abu Khalil’s revelatory post, Iviews.com reported on Walid Phares’ activities and association with Etienne Saqr, founder of Guardians of the Cedar in 1999. In a piece about ties between an American Jewish Organization and Lebanese Terrorists that is well worth the complete read we learn that:

Walid Phares, who founded the WLO and is now a professor at Florida Atlantic University left Lebanon for the United States in 1990. But during the Lebanese civil war he was himself a Christian militiaman. (12) Phares told iviews.com that he was in charge of foreign affairs for the Lebanese Front, the political directorate of the Lebanese Forces. The Lebanese Forces was an umbrella coalition of several right wing militias, including Saqr’s Guardians of the Cedar and the Phalange, perpetrators of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. The current chairman of the Lebanese Front is Etienne Saqr. (13)

Asked about the atrocities attributed to Saqr, Phares replied, “Everybody did silly stuff, on both hands…but amazingly enough, the Guardians of the Cedars have been the most moral fighters.”

The Jerusalem Post reported that Saqr is a “leading member” of the WLO, (14) but Phares denies this. “The WLO had a strong alliance with Saqr, not anymore though, because Saqr had been advocating extreme positions, asking the Israelis to intervene directly in Lebanese affairs,” said Phares. Asked when the WLO cut off ties with Saqr, Phares replied, “No, there’s no cut-off, but I would say about six months ago, seven months ago.”

But in June of this year, Phares joined Saqr, Baraket, and an Israeli professor at a symposium in Israel to do just what he says caused him to end his “strong alliance” with Saqr. (15) The four urged Israel to set up an independent Lebanese Christian “entity” in South Lebanon, to be controlled by a “vastly expanded and strengthened [Lebanese Christian] militia.” (16) The aim, they said, was to “revitalize ties with Israel at a time when there is a trend of loosening those bonds.”

“If Israel leaves Lebanon, it has an obligation towards us, we have been faithful allies,” Phares said at the symposium. (emphasis mine)

These are not small revelations, they highlight the fact that this hearing is an absurdity. Led by someone whose own hands are muddied in support of foreign terrorists, we are now expected to hear from a so-called expert, Walid Phares, a former member of a terrorist militia that slaughtered thousands of innocents.

The profound irony should not be lost on anyone, these hearings are going to be McCarthyist to its core. The point will not be to effectively combat extremism or domestic terrorist threats, but to intimidate the American Muslim community while inspiring fear amongst the general population. It has all the recipes of a disaster waiting to happen. I call on Loonwatchers to contact their local congressmen, representatives or embassies to expose the sham that this hearing is going to be.

Unfortunately however Rep. King has not distanced himself from Phares or condemned Phares’ long history with a terrorist militia that has killed many Muslims and Palestinians:

(Homeland Security)

Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement on Professor Whalid Phares:

“Professor Walid Phares is a respected author, scholar and expert on Islamist Jihadism.  For several months Professor Phares has been advising the Homeland Security Committee staff and me in preparing for Committee hearings on Islamist or Jihadi radicalization.  Professor Phares has been extremely helpful and cooperative, even agreeing to my request that he consider being a witness at a hearing, should the need arise.  His only caveat was to warn me that certain elements would charge that as a Christian he is not qualified to testify as a representative from Muslim communities.  I assured him that would not stop me from asking him to testify.

“I did, for a time, consider asking Professor Phares to be a witness at the first hearing to provide an overview of Jihadi ideologies.  Approximately three weeks ago, however, I decided to focus that first hearing on specific instances of radicalization within the American Muslim community from an American Muslim perspective. While Professor Phares will not be a witness at the first hearing on March 10, I certainly expect to call him to testify at future hearings regarding Jihadi ideologies and strategies.  My staff and I will also continue to rely upon Professor Phares for his advice and counsel as these hearings go forward.”

Unrepentant as ever. This does not bode well for the future.

 

In Other News: Patriot Act Defeated!

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

Huge news. This happened a few days ago.

House GOP Leaders Blindsided By Patriot Act Defeat

(NPR)

If the House’s new Republican leaders were going to fail to pass any particular piece of legislation, you wouldn’t expect it to be an extension of several Patriot Act provisions.

The Patriot Act, a Bush Administration legacy, has typically been more strongly supported by Republicans than Democrats.

But the House leadership was blindsided Tuesday evening when a Patriot Act extension was defeated.

Several new GOP lawmakers from the Tea Party wing who, in principle, are suspicious of federal power, joined other Republicans as well as House Democrats to torpedo the extension.

The legislation failed on a 277-148 vote, coming seven votes shy of the two-thirds margin needed to pass bills under House rules normally reserved for non-controversial legislation.

It was the biggest defeat for the House’s new GOP managers since they took charge last month.

House Republicans vow to bring the bill up again under chamber rules that would require just a simple majority. The Obama Administration supports the extension.

As NPR’s Carrie Johnson who covers the Justice Department reported:

The FBI’s authority to conduct some kinds of surveillance and get business records expires at the end of February.

So the defeat of a House plan to extend the deadline until the end of the year threatens to throw the law enforcement community into disarray.

A GOP aide blamed the situation on new lawmakers who don’t understand the Patriot Act and on Tea Party favorites who reject broad federal powers.

The Senate will try to push forward its version of the plan next week.

Now the question is whether Republicans in the House can work with Democrats in the Senate with only two weeks of room to maneuver.

Aides to Republican leaders also blamed Democrats who had voted for such an extension during the last Congress but didn’t this time.

They also blamed House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) whose job it is to count the votes before the actual vote and twist enough arms to gain passage.

From National Journal:

“I am surprised that so many Democrats who supported an extension of these very same provisions last Congress suddenly changed their votes,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas. “President Obama supports a reauthorization of these important national security tools. And the House bill provides Congress with the opportunity to engage in a thorough review of the provisions as we consider a longer reauthorization. It’s unfortunate that partisan politics seems to have prevented so many Democrats from doing what’s best for America’s national security.”

GOP aides, however, were pointing the finger at House Majority WhipKevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Aides said McCarthy failed to whip the vote, which led to the embarrassment of the bill falling short and leaders being caught off guard.

For Democrats, it was an opportunity for a little payback, to bloody the noses of the House’s new GOP managers.

But the vote also demonstrated the impact of the House losing so many of its more centrist Democrats. Some of those who were defeated in the mid-terms or retired would have likely provided the necessary votes to pass the extension. But they weren’t there.

Instead, the House Democrats who remain are more liberal. And they could hardly contain their joy at the House leadership’s failure to pass the bill.

An excerpt from The Hill:

Veteran Democratic Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.) exited the House chamber boasting that the GOP unsuccessfully held the scheduled 15-minute vote open for a total of 35 minutes to twist enough Republican arms to change the outcome.

“They didn’t have the votes! They kept trying to get them to switch, but couldn’t get them,” Frank exclaimed as he walked through reporters in the Speaker’s Lobby, which is just off the House floor.

Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay (Mo.) laughed as he told The Hill, “We’re so happy, I’m so happy. I voted against it. They tried to get enough Rs to switch their votes, because the Tea Party voted ‘no’ also… but it wasn’t enough.”

 

Baca Tangles with Another Republican Congressman Over Muslim Americans

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Sheriff Lee Baca takes on the Islamophobes again.

Baca tangles with another Republican congressman over Muslim Americans [Updated]

(LATimes)

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca drew national headlines again Monday for tussling with a Republican congressman over Muslim Americans.

At a Washington, D.C., forum hosted by American Muslim groups, Baca challenged assertions by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) that members of the religious minority haven’t always been cooperative with law enforcement.

Baca dismissed the congressman’s remarks, inviting him to come visit Los Angeles County, where the sheriff says Muslim Americans have been pivotal in helping to fight terrorism and other crime.

Baca, who proudly declares himself an international sheriff, found himself in a similar position last year when then-Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) said during a House Homeland Security subcommittee meeting that Baca had allied himself with a Muslim American group that engaged in “radical” speech by going to its fundraisers. Baca shot back at that description of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and told Souder he would be fine with going to more fundraisers for the group.

“If he thinks I’m afraid of what he said, I will go to 10 fundraisers because he said it,” Baca said afterward, before labeling Souder an “amateur intelligence officer.” [Updated, 6:51 p.m.: An earlier version of this post implied that Souder is still a congressman. He resigned last May for unrelated reasons.]

“The sheriff is adamant about including Muslim Americans in the community they’re a part of,” said Baca spokesman Steve Whitmore. “He’s been known to take heat for that, and he’s more than willing to do that.”

No word yet on whether King will be accepting the sheriff’s invitation to visit him in L.A. Calls to the congressman’s office Monday were not returned.

 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “Change the Constitution to Eliminate Muslim Rights”

Posted in Loon People, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2011 by loonwatch

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s quite radical anti-Muslim statements are not only coming to light but people are realizing that she is really a neo-Con…finally! She supports the curtailing of our civil liberties and imperial adventures to “civilize” the Mooslims.

While Josh writes an excellent piece, he nonetheless shows that he was overcome by the same beliefs of Ayaan’s “oppression and victimization” before his post that many others have been duped into believing. Ayaan’s story has in large part been proved to be false. She never witnessed war in Somalia, she was never forced into a marriage with her cousin, nor was she threatened by her relatives with an honor killing.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali should not testify before Rep. Peter King

by Josh Rosenau

I started writing this post hoping to craft an argument that Ayaan Hirsi Ali – a Somali-born atheist (formerly Muslim), a former member of the Dutch Parliament, a screenwriter threatened with assassination for helpng Theo van Gogh (who was assassinated) criticize Islam’s treatment of women, a feminist critic of Islam who has won acclaim across the political spectrum in the US and Europe – ought to avoid testifying in forthcoming hearings on Islamic terrorism out of enlightened self-interest. The hearings have never been about anything but attacking Muslims in America, continuing the crusade against the Murfreesboro mosque and the lower Manhattan Muslim community center (not at Ground Zero, not a mosque), and committee chairman King is a widely-reviled bigot.

I wanted to observe that the noted feminist would be speaking at the behest of an opponent of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I wanted to argue that committee chairman Rep Peter King (R-NY) was a torture advocate, self-described as “most fervent fan” of the civil liberties-choking Patriot Act, and was so friendly to the IRA before they foreswore violence that he proudly called himself “the Ollie North of Ireland.” He told Politico in 2007: “We have – unfortunately – too many mosques in this country,” and surely she wouldn’t want to be associated with his regressive, repressive, illiberal agenda!

I wanted to say that no one who had survived the horrors of Somalia, who had been through enormous difficulties in escaping an arranged marriage and immigrating to a western democracy could want to support the reactionary, repressive, anti-immigrant buffoon who would be inviting her to testify. However nuanced and thoughtful her opposition to Islam, I wanted to argue, Hirsi Ali’s words would be twisted by the committee and by press coverage and used to justify scapegoating moderate American Muslims, including those who havehelped foil terrorist plots(which King denies ever happens). I wanted to push back againstThink Progress’s description of her as a reactionary on par with King.

I wanted to echo Christopher Hitchens’ summary of her views, and to say that Rep. King would not be interested in promoting this message:

Hirsi Ali calls for a pluralist democracy where all opinion is protected but where the law does not—in the name of some pseudo-tolerance—permit genital mutilation, “honor” killing, and forced marriage.

I wanted to say that King’s agenda is a monomaniacal crusade against Muslims, ignoring terrorist attacks like the bomb detected before detonation at Spokane’s Martin Luther King Day parade, the Glen Beck-inspired kooks who have launched multiple murderous attacks,anti-abortion terrorism, the attack on Rep. Giffords, Oklahoma City, the “Minutemen” vigilantes, and other decidedly non-Muslim terrorists. I wanted to say that Hirsi Ali would not possibly support such a distraction from real terrorist threats, and I wanted to note that someone who has lived in the US for longer, and has more experience with violent extremists here, would be a more effective messenger in that effort to broaden the hearing’s scope. I wanted to respect her as much as many of my favorite bloggers seem to do.

Alas, I made the mistake of researching Hirsi Ali before posting, and my lines about her nuanced and sophisticated take on the situation, my attempts to see the best in her view, were consistently foiled by her actual words. I simply cannot say that Hirsi Ali’s views would be twisted to match King’s, because I think they are already aligned.

Here, for instance, is an interview with libertarian magazine Reason‘s Rogier van Bakel:

Reason: Should we acknowledge that organized religion has sometimes sparked precisely the kinds of emancipation movements that could lift Islam into modern times? Slavery in the United States ended in part because of opposition by prominent church members and the communities they galvanized. The Polish Catholic Church helped defeat the Jaruzelski puppet regime. Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes? Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims. Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam? Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace. Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”? Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy. Reason: Militarily? Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

(All emphasis original.)

I don’t claim to fully understand the path she’s describing, in which Islam is defeated – all of it (but not really the peaceful moderate part that apparently doesn’t exist) – then some part that wasn’t entirely defeated comes back to reform Islam’s legacy. It’s weird and self-contradictory, but let’s ascribe this to the difficulty of laying out complex ideas on the fly. Regardless of details, though, her message is clear: Islam must be defeated, crushed, with muscle, with the military, as an idea, and in the minds and bodies of 1.5 billion Muslims.

We’ve talked a bit about violent rhetoric lately, and I have a hard time seeing how the already threatened Muslim populations in the US are going to be safer when – in a House committee with CSPAN cameras and other media crowded around – a woman who looks like part of their community says that Islam is America’s enemy, that it must be “crushed,” that “you” (America? Americans?) must “flex your muscles” and “you” say “this is a warning” to Islam and to all Muslims. I think a lot of American Muslims already see their neighbors flexing muscles at them and giving these sorts of ill-defined threats. I can only see harm to my friends and neighbors coming from such rhetoric, and I’m sure it’s exactly what Peter King will want to hear.

I think he’ll also want to hear her reactionary views on civil liberties:

Hirsi Ali: The Egyptian dictatorship would not allow many radical imams to preach in Cairo, but they’re free to preach in giant mosques in London. Why do we allow it?Reason: You’re in favor of civil liberties, but applied selectively?

Hirsi Ali: No. Asking whether radical preachers ought to be allowed to operate is not hostile to the idea of civil liberties; it’s an attempt to save civil liberties. A nation like this one is based on civil liberties, and we shouldn’t allow any serious threat to them. So Muslim schools in the West, some of which are institutions of fascism that teach innocent kids that Jews are pigs and monkeys—I would say in order to preserve civil liberties, don’t allow such schools.

Reason: In Holland, you wanted to introduce a special permit system for Islamic schools, correct?

Hirsi Ali: I wanted to get rid of them. …

Reason: Well, your proposal went against Article 23 of the Dutch Constitution, which guarantees that religious movements may teach children in religious schools and says the government must pay for this if minimum standards are met. So it couldn’t be done. Would you in fact advocate that again?

Hirsi Ali: Oh, yeah.

Reason: Here in the United States, you’d advocate the abolition of—

Hirsi Ali: All Muslim schools. Close them down. Yeah, that sounds absolutist. I think 10 years ago things were different, but now the jihadi genie is out of the bottle. I’ve been saying this in Australia and in the U.K. and so on, and I get exactly the same arguments: The Constitution doesn’t allow it. But we need to ask where these constitutions came from to start with—what’s the history of Article 23 in the Netherlands, for instance? There were no Muslim schools when the constitution was written. There were no jihadists. They had no idea.

Reason: Do you believe that the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights—documents from more than 200 ago – ought to change?

Hirsi Ali: They’re not infallible. These Western constitutions are products of the Enlightenment. They’re products of reason, and reason dictates that you can only progress when you can analyze the circumstances and act accordingly. So now that we live under different conditions, the threat is different. Constitutions can be adapted, and they are, sometimes. The American Constitution has been amended a number of times. With the Dutch Constitution, I think the latest adaptation was in 1989. Constitutions are not like the Koran—nonnegotiable, never-changing.

Every reactionary movement and every anti-democratic demagogue through history has made claims like “we have to destroy the Constitution to save it” or “we must restrict civil liberties to preserve them.” And yeah, that includes Rep. King, as it includes his hero“Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy. I cannot take seriously anyone who would argue with a straight face: “Asking whether radical preachers ought to be allowed to operate is not hostile to the idea of civil liberties.” It’s the very archetypical attack on civil liberties!

Like Hitchens, I wanted to believe Hirsi Ali just wants “a pluralist democracy where all opinion is protected,” but she doesn’t. She wants a pluralistic democracy where opinions like her own are protected, and that’s a problem, because then it stops being a democracy, and it isn’t pluralistic. Her right to get up and speak in Washington can only exist when a radical imam can speak freely down the street. I wanted to believe her claim that she is not against Muslim people, but against Islam – especially against Islam as a political movement. I don’t believe that any more. Maybe she and King deserve each other.

Similarly, I wanted to believe that Hirsi Ali would not wish to lend her support to Peter King’s anti-immigrant agenda, since she herself has seen how hard it is to get refuge in the West from repressive regimes, and she shows how much an immigrant can achieve under such circumstances. And yet I find that she worked with a reactionary, anti-Muslim Dutch politician to restrict immigration from the Muslim world, and continues to advocate for restrictions on immigration.

I wanted to see the good in her that so many liberal secularists do, but I can’t.

I think she and Rep. Peter King deserve each other.

 

Keith Ellison Confronts Peter King on Muslim Hearings

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2010 by loonwatch
Rep. Keith Ellison

Ellison confronts Peter King’s planned witch hunt of Muslims.

Ellison confronts King on planned Muslim investigations

By Andy Birkey12.21.10 | 12:35 pm

Republican Rep. Peter King of New York says he wants to hold investigations into the “radicalization” of American Muslims in his new position as chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, but Rep. Keith Ellison said on Monday that targeting one community would hamper homeland security efforts.

“I believe it’s important to have this investigation into the radicalization of the Muslim community,” King said in an interview with Fox News this week. “We have to break through this politically correct nonsense which keeps us from debating and discussing what I think is one of the most vitally important issues in this country. We are under siege by Muslim terrorists and yet there are Muslim leaders in this country who do not cooperate with law enforcement.”

Ellison, who became America’s first Muslim member of Congress in 2006, said that investigations like the one proposed by King will not cause members of the community to cooperate with law enforcement. He said it might have the opposite effect. Ellison said he confronted King on the House floor on the issue.

“I got so concerned that when I heard about it I actually approached Congressman King on the House floor and told him that, you know, look, we all need to be concerned about violent radicalization, but not just against Muslims, against anybody,” he said on the Ed Show on MSNBC on Monday. “What about the guy who flew a plane into the IRS or what about the guy who killed a guard at the holocaust museum?”

He said the proposed investigations should include all Americans. “You know it is worthwhile to find out what turns somebody from a normal citizen into a violent radical, but to say that we’re only going to do it against this community and we’re about to change the debate to vilify this community is very scary and clearly has McCarthyistic implications.”

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Ellison added, “I’m willing to engage with Congressman King… Let’s investigate this thing in the right way and… enlist Muslim Americans to help safeguard our country… I’m fearful that if you attack an discrete, insular community, you will make people, good people, withdraw, and I would like to see Muslim leaders, if they feel there is some national security threat in their midst, they would feel comfortable talking to the FBI, talking to local law enforcement, and this kind of stuff can really discourage that.”

 

House GOP Seeks Congressional Hearings on American Muslims

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by loonwatch
Sue Myrick wrote the foreward for Muslim Mafia

Sue Myrick, John Shadegg, Paul Broun and Trent Franks, all Republican Representatives are attempting to rekindle the anti-Muslim conspiracy theory they advanced not too long ago about“Muslim spy interns.” They did this in tandem with David Gaubatz, who has been exposed as not only virulently anti-Muslim but also a liar.

From the Right-wing Washington Times,

A group of House Republicans is calling for an investigation into whether a leading American Muslim advocacy group tried to “spy” on congressional offices by placing interns on key security committees.

Rep. Sue Myrick, North Carolina Republican, cited an internal January 2007 memo in which the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) discussed placing Muslim interns on Capitol Hill to “focus on influencing congressmen responsible for policy that directly impacts the American Muslim community.”

The memo was unearthed by David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry, authors of a book titled “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.” Mrs. Myrick, a founder of the House Anti-Terrorism Caucus, wrote a forward for the book and was given an advance copy. A CAIR spokesman, dismissing the Wednesday morning Capitol Hill news conference as “a book launch for Muslim bashers,” said the memo constitutes stolen property, as it was obtained by the son of an author who posed undercover inside the advocacy group.

“They had a spy in our organization for months, stole our property and the most they can come up with is that we placed interns on Capitol Hill? I wish we had placed more interns,” spokesman Ibrahim Hooper cq said. He added that the group has filed a police report on the matter.