Archive for Conservatives

Social Conservative Bryan Fischer: Muslims Are Stupid Because Of Inbreeding

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2011 by loonwatch

(from TPM)

Social conservative Bryan Fischer said Thursday that centuries of inbreeding has resulted in “an enormous cost in intellectual capacity” among Muslims.

Fischer, the “Directory of Issues Analysis” for the American Family Association, said on his Focal Point radio show that “Muslims have been [inbreeding] for fourteen hundred years and because this is what Muhammad did, they always will do this, they will always defend it, they will always practice it.”

“And this kind of inbreeding results in an enormous cost in intellectual capacity, intellectual quotient among the Islamic people,” he continued. “It’s just a plain fact. You can’t argue with it, it’s just simply the truth. And you get hammered for saying it, but that’s because the truth has now become hate speech, the truth has now become bigotry.”

Watch:

Fischer, aside from being staunchly anti-bear, is also a frequent purveyor of anti-Islam sentiment. He once argued that the U.S. should restrict immigration of Muslims, and deport some of those already in the country. Fischer’s also said that Muslims don’t deserve First Amendment rights, and that the U.S. should havee “no more mosques, period.”

That hasn’t stopped a number of conservatives from appearing on his show (and alongside him at the Values Voter conference), including Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, and Tim Pawlenty.

h/t Right Wing Watch.

Exclusive: Frank Gaffney Was Barred From Participating In CPAC, So He Invented A Reason To ‘Boycott’ It

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2011 by loonwatch
Frank Gaffney

ThinkProgress has the scoop.

Exclusive: Frank Gaffney Was Barred From Participating In CPAC, So He Invented A Reason To ‘Boycott’ It

(ThinkProgress)

Frank Gaffney has been a leading figure in the neoconservative movement for over two decades, having served in the Reagan Pentagon and founded a national security think tank. But Gaffney was absent from the panels and podiums at the year’s biggest conservative conference, CPAC, despite having spoken at the annual event held this weekend for the past 15 years. Gaffney had vowed to boycott the conference this year because, he claimed, it had been infiltrated by Islamic extremists. Specifically, he pointed to Grover Norquist, the influential anti-tax activist, and Suhail Kahn, who directed Muslims outreach efforts for the Bush White House. He accuses the two of being moles for the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, ThinkProgress has learned that Gaffney was actually prohibited from participating in CPAC — disinvited from speaking this year by conference organizers fed up with his increasingly vicious attacks on fellow conservative leaders. Indeed, Gaffney appears to have invented the entire theory about the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating CPAC as a pretext to explain his absence from the event.

A source close to conference organizers told ThinkProgress that Gaffney was “specifically not to be invited” to speak at the conference this year because CPAC Chairman David Keene and other conservatives were “sick of him” attacking other conservatives. “The whole boycott thing was just to save face,” the source said. (Gaffney did show up to CPAC to conduct some interviews, including one with ThinkProgress, but did not participate in any official capacity).

Keene confirmed to ThinkProgress that “we weren’t going to invite him to speak this year,” but said, “we didn’t announce or tell him that.” In a statement provided by a spokesperson, Keene had some strong words for Gaffney, saying he has become “obsessed with his weird belief that anyone who doesn’t agree with him on everything all the time” is either “ignorant” or “dupes of the nation’s enemies” (full statement after the jump):

Having said that, we didn’t announce or tell him that we weren’t going to invite him to speak this year. We covered the issues in which he is interested (and which interest many of our registrants) and we did manage to do so without him. I do know that he attended CPAC and made his views known to as many as would listen through the talk shows on radio row.

The simple fact is that while Frank Gaffney did yeoman work on issues like missile defense in years passed, he has become personally and tiresomely obsessed with his weird belief that anyone who doesn’t agree with him on everything all the time or treat him with the respect and deference he believes is his due, must be either ignorant of the dangers we face or, in extreme case, dupes of the nation’s enemies.

The CPAC issue is just part of “a larger pattern” with Gaffney that goes back several years, the source told ThinkProgress. Since Gaffney began his public attacks on Norquist and Kahn shortly after September 11th, he has allegedly been reprimanded by a number of prominent conservatives or his attacks, such as the leadership of the secretive Council for National Policy and the late Paul Weyrich, a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation. Several years ago, he also became “the only person to have ever been kicked out” of Norquist’s famousWednesday Meeting strategy sessions with conservative leaders. Gaffney and Norquist used to be friends and sit next to each other at the well-attended gatherings, the source said, but Noquist barred Gaffney “in writing” several years ago, sending a letter announcing Gaffney’s exile to over 100 regular attendees.

The theory that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated the conservative movement is ridiculous on its face, but it now seems clear that is was merely a convenient fabrication to protect Gaffney’s ego. Nonetheless, Gaffney’s invention has taken hold in the paranoid right. Conservative blogger Pam Geller, who has close ties to Gaffney, pushed the theory at CPAC while Fox News host Glenn Beck advanced it on his radio show today. A CPAC panel involving Kahn even devolved into an ugly shouting match Saturday.

Gaffney has “never ever tried to get the truth,” the source said, “and even if he finds the truth, he just keeps going” — “I really think he just raises so much money off this stuff that he really doesn’t care.” Indeed, Gaffney made nearly $300,000 in 2008 from his think tank, according to IRS documents. The organization, which appears to have few paid officers, brought in over $4 million in contributions that year.
Frank Gaffney has often spoken at CPAC in the past, but has never been a co-sponsor. For years he has argued that his organization hasn’t had the resources to officially participate, but that his message is so important that he should be included. Hundreds of people vie to speak at CPAC and while we don’t limit our invitations to those who are suggested by the more than a hundred participating groups, we give some priority to their suggestions and we are, frankly, rather skeptical of folks who claim that they are the only person who knows anything worthwhile on the topics we cover.

Last year, Gaffney complained because he was not given the microphone in the main ballroom and that as a consequence of his not receiving the attention he thinks he deserves, we had virtually ignored the threat of terrorism and militant Islam. This charge was made in spite of the fact that speakers from former Vice President Dick Cheney to former UN Ambassador John Bolton and perhaps a dozen other speakers addressed themselves to the issue.

It was an ironic position for him to take as at the same time he was taking it, former Congressman and ACU Chairman Mickey Edwards was charging that we paid too much attention to these issues and are, in fact, obsessed by them.

Having said that, we didn’t announce or tell him that we weren’t going to invite him to speak this year. We covered the issues in which he is interested (and which interest many of our registrants)and we did manage to do so without him. I do know that he attended CPAC and made his views known to as many as would listen through the talk shows on radio row.

The simple fact is that while Frank Gaffney did yeoman work on issues like missile defense in years passed, he has become personally and tiresomely obsessed with his weird belief that anyone who doesn’t agree with him on everything all the time or treat him with the respect and deference he believes is his due, must be either ignorant of the dangers we face or, in extreme case, dupes of the nation’s enemies.

 

Egypt shows ‘clash of civilizations’ was a myth

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2011 by loonwatch

Egypt shows ‘clash of civilizations’ was a myth

by Arun Kundnani

(CNN)

Since the end of the Cold War, conservatives have argued that the world should be seen through the lens of a clash between civilizations. The world could be divided, they argued, on the basis of different cultures and their distance from Western values.

Countries where the majority of the population is Muslim were grouped together as the ‘Islamic world’ and seen as culturally prone to fanaticism and violence. Revolution there could only mean Islamic revolution along the lines of Iran in 1979. Democracy could only emerge if imposed by force from outside, as disastrously attempted in the Iraq War.

Liberals had their own version of such thinking, particularly after 9/11. Rejecting the necessity of a clash between civilizations, they spoke of a dialogue between civilizations. But they shared with conservatives the assumption that culture was the primary driving force of political conflict.

There was something of this thinking in President Obama’s famous 2009 speech in Cairo, addressed to “the Muslim world.” Liberals like Obama thought it possible that dialogue could allow for the peaceful co-existence of cultural differences between Muslims and the West. Conservatives, on the other hand, feared that no dialogue was possible with Islam, and it was better for the West to ready itself for inevitable conflict.

These have been the terms of debate between liberals and conservatives since 9/11.

Significantly, both sides in the debate assumed that the fundamental divisions in the world were cultural rather than political.

In the case of the Middle East, conflict was seen as rooted in a cultural failure of Islam to adapt itself to modernity, rather than a political aspiration to freedom from regimes the West was backing.

The Egyptian revolution has finally demonstrated in practice that this cultural assumption no longer holds. Popular sovereignty, not God’s sovereignty, has been the basis of the revolution. Muslims and Christians have marched together on the streets. The slogans have been universal demands for rights, dignity and social justice. At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood has been one among the many strands of the movement, accommodating themselves to its democratic and pluralist thrust.

All of this confounds the “clash of civilizations” thesis which holds that the ‘Islamic world’ has necessarily “bloody borders.” It also confounds the “dialogue of civilizations” approach, which seeks to address the people of the Middle East as a culturally distinct “Muslim world” rather than as populations whose demands are political and universal.
It is no surprise that the Obama administration’s response to the fall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt has been muddled; its working assumptions about the ‘Muslim world’ have collapsed as a result of the revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt.

Equally, the confused response of conservatives reflects the fact that their framing of the Middle East as a hotbed of fanaticism has been revealed to be a myth. And they are exposed for backing an autocrat for narrow strategic reasons linked to protecting Israel. For all their rhetoric, the real fear of conservatives is not the “Muslim fanatic” but genuine political freedom for the Arab nations — which is now suddenly imaginable.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Arun Kundnani.

 

Frank Gaffney Thinks Some Conservatives are Muslim Brotherhood

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2011 by loonwatch
Frank Gaffney

More wackiness from Gaffney.

Conservatives claim anti-tax crusader secretly leading Muslim indoctrination

(RAWstory)

Are a growing cross-section of American conservatives really secret Muslims bent on destroying western civilization?

Answer: No.

But that’s not stopping right-wing activist Frank Gaffney from claiming the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) had been infiltrated by radical Muslims because of the inclusion of Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist and former Bush staffer Suhail Khan.

American Conservative Union (ACU), the oldest conservative lobbying organization in the country which hosts CPAC, is involved in a “stealthy effort to bring Shariah” to the United States, according to Gaffney.

“This is a ticking time bomb for the conservative community,” he told the conservative conspiracy website WorldNetDaily. “An influence operation is contributing materially to the defeat of our country.”

 

 

Gaffney alleges that Norquist and Khan are secretly working for the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamist group, and trying to influence conservative groups in a plot to “Islamize” America. Both Khan and Norquist are ACU board members.

Khan, a conservative activist who previously worked for the Bush administration, allegedly has ties to the radical Islamists from his time as consultant for The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He has also served on committees at the Islamic Society of North America, according to Gaffney.

Gaffney also claimed that Khan’s father was a founding member of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. In a report by Talking Points Memo, Khan called the allegation “laughable” and said his father was from India, noting that the Muslim Brotherhood was formed in Egypt.

He is now a senior fellow for Christian-Muslim Understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement.

Norquist, founder of the conservative Americans for Tax Reform, was also accused of secretly providing the Muslim Brotherhood with access into the highest reaches of the conservative movement.

“Grover Norquist is credentialing the perpetrators of this Muslim Brotherhood influence operation,” Gaffney said. “This is part of tradecraft, to get people who have standing in a community to give it to people who lack it, so they can do what they’re assigned to do in terms of subversion. We are in a war, and he has been working with the enemy for over a decade.”

Gaffney is no stranger to making wildly unsubstantiated claims. He said in 2009 that there was mounting evidence that President Barack Obama “not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.”

“The man now happy to have his Islamic-rooted middle name featured prominently has engaged in the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Chamberlain over Czechoslovakia at Munich,” he added.

CPAC was facing a boycott from a number of conservative groups for inviting the conservative gay Republican group GOProud to the conference. The Family Research Council, Concerned Women For America, American Values, the American Principles Project, the Capital Research Center, the Center for Military Readiness, Liberty Counsel, and Liberty University have said they will not attend the conference in February.

 

Top Conservatives Support anti-Muslim Inquisition

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on September 17, 2010 by loonwatch

Michele Bachmann Endorses Call for Anti-Muslim Inquisition

by Daniel Luban

I wrote earlier for IPS about the new Center for Security Policy report “Shariah: The Threat to America,” authored by a team billing itself as “Team B II” (in reference to the 1970s  Team B notorious for its alarmist and now-discredited estimates of Soviet military capabilities). The group that produced the report featured a number of the right’s nuttier Islamophobes, including Frank Gaffney, Andy McCarthy, and David Yerushalmi. Given that this sort of thinking is making inroads among congressional Republicans — the report was endorsed by Reps. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), Trent Franks (R-AZ), and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — it’s worth taking a closer look at some of the report’s prescriptions to see just how extreme it is.

The central problem with the report is that the authors identify “sharia” with the most literalistic and brutal versions of sharia, and therefore fail to understand what the term might actually mean to the bulk of Muslims worldwide. (When Matt Duss asked Gaffney at Wednesday’s press conference to name any Muslims scholars or theologians who had been consulted in the writing of the report, Gaffney was unable to produce any names.) As a result their prescriptions would amount in practice to a criminalization of virtually any form of Islam.

Here are some of their policy recommendations (p. 143 of the report):

“…extend bands currently in effect that bar members of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan from holding positions of trust in federal, state, or local governments or the armed forces of the United States to those who espouse or support shariah.”

“Practices that promote shariah – notably, shariah-compliant finance and the establishment or promotion in public spaces or with public funds of facilities and activities that give preferential treatment to shariah’s adherents – are incompatible with the Constitution and the freedoms it enshrines and must be proscribed.”

“Sedition is prohibited by law in the United States. To the extent that imams and mosques are being used to advocate shariah in America, they are promoting seditious activity and should be warned that they will not be immune from prosecution.”

“Immigrations of those who adhere to shariah must be precluded, as was previously done with adherents to the seditious ideology of communism.”

I am not a scholar of Islam, but any competent one will tell you that sharia is a far broader term than the “Team B” authors seem to think it is – it basically refers to Islamic religious precepts in general, to the point of being virtually synonymous with Islamic religious practice. As a result any practicing Muslim, no matter how moderate or extreme, will consider himself or herself to be “sharia-compliant” according to their own understanding of what sharia requires. This does not, of course, mean that they will endorse the brutal hudud penalties that have become the most notorious symbols of sharia to non-Muslims, that they will seek to impose these precepts on others, or that they will seek to make them the law of the land. But to demand that a practicing Muslim to renounce sharia is tantamount to demanding that they renounce Islam itself.

This is precisely what the report’s recommendations demand, whether or not it’s what the authors intend. Any Muslim who “espouses” or “adheres to” sharia – that is, any practicing Muslim – will thereby be banned from government or military service, prohibited from immigrating to the country, and even opened to prosecution for sedition. The only Muslims immune from this witch-hunt are those “who are willing publicly to denounce shariah” – a surefire recipe for the creation of conversosand crypto-Muslims, but hardly one consistent with the First Amendment.

We might be charitable to the “Team B” authors and argue that they’re simply ignorant: not understanding what sharia actually means, they have identified it with its most extreme manifestations, and therefore wrongly believe that by asking Muslims to renounce sharia they are simply asking them to renounce radical Islam. A less charitable explanation would be that they know exactly what they’re doing, and are seeking to outlaw Islam itself.

[Cross-posted at Lobelog.]

 

Daily Show and Keith Olbermann Rip Islamophobes

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2010 by loonwatch

Two takes on the issues revolving on Islamic cultural center that has been dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque.” One is a very serious toned and heart felt monologue from Keith Olbermann,

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZpT2Muxoo0&feature=player_embedded 350 300]

The other is a satirical and hard hitting segment of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show called “Mosque-erade,”

Rachel Maddow: Kagan Closer to Confirmation

Posted in Loon Media, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2010 by loonwatch

Rachel Maddow on the hysteria directed at Elena Kagan from the far right! Frank Gaffney considers Kagan an appeaser of Islam. The Washington Times ran his story accompanied with photoshopped images of Kagan in a turban.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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