Archive for Daniel Pipes

Round 2: THE 99 Superheroes Vs. The Loons

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on April 22, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Wham! Bam! Islam!

By Ilisha

Last October, the loons were celebrating a small victory in their epic battle against THE 99 Comic Stealth Jihad:

THE 99 is an animated series featuring superheroes inspired by Islamic culture and society. The series was scheduled to launch in the US last week on the The Hub children’s television network, but producers have since announced the broadcast will be postponed indefinitely. Vicious anti-Muslim bigots everywhere are gleeful, boasting that their small but boisterous outcry may have prompted the delay.

The New York Post published a scathing article by outrage peddler Andrea Peyser criticizing the series and calling on anti-Muslim bigots to protest loudly so they can “cancel THE 99 before it starts.”  Peyser says the series will indoctrinate impressionable young children with Sharia-compliant Muslim superheroes “masquerading as the good guys.”

For Peyser the Hateful, Muslims are always super villains, so characters who represent the 99 virtues of God in the Qur’an will naturally use their powers to wage the ultimate jihad. She conjures up fearsome images of Jabbar the Powerful dishing out a mean stoning, and Darr the Afflicter venting his rage on hapless dhimmis

…Despite all the controversy, Dr. Al-Mutawa remains optimistic.  He has faced many hurdles in the last eight years, and his frustrations have been chronicled in the PBS documentary Wham! Bam! Islam!  ”One way or the other,” he says, “‘The 99′ will get on air in the U.S.”

Read the rest: THE 99 Superheroes Vs. The Loons

Now it seems professional outage peddler and hate sophisticate, Daniel Pipes, has at last detected THE 99 Comic Stealth Jihad and taken up the battle in his alarmist article, Islam’s Cartoon Missionaries:

Comic books as a method of missionizing for Islam (da’wa)?

Yes. One year ago, Harvard University hosted a workshop to teach comic book artists how to address Americans’ “unease with Islam and the Middle East.” And later this week, Georgetown University will air a PBS documentary, Wham! Bam! Islam! celebrating a comic book called The 99.

The 99 sounds innocuous. Adweek describes its topic as “a team of multinational superheroes [who] band together to fight the forces of evil.” The American children’s network Hub more fully explains that, “Created by noted Middle East scholar and clinical psychologist Dr. Naif al-Mutawa, [it consists of] superhero characters who must work together to maximize their powers. Each member of The 99embodies one of 99 global values such as wisdom, mercy, strength or faithfulness, and they hail from 99 different countries on seven continents. The series’ superheroes portray characters designed to be positive role models, representing diverse cultures, who work together to promote peace and justice.”

Who can object to the promotion of “global values … representing diverse cultures”?

But a closer look reveals the Islamic nature of the comic book. The title, 99, refers to Islam’s concept that God has 99 names, each of which appears in the Koran and embodies some attribute of His character: the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Kind, the Most Holy, and the All-Peaceful, but also the Avenger, the Afflicter, and the Causer of Death.

The comic book, produced by the Teshkeel Media Group of Kuwait, tells a partly-factual, partly-fantastical tale that begins in 1258 A.D., when the Mongols besieged Baghdad. Librarians supposedly saved the wisdom of the city’s main library by encoding it in 99 gems that get scattered around the world. The heroes must find these “gems of power” before an arch-villain does. Each of them is an ordinary Muslim who, through contact with a gem, achieves superhuman powers and represents one of God’s 99 attributes.

The superheroes are all Muslims (i.e., not Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist), some of whom come from Western countries like the United States and Portugal. In contrast, villains are primarily non-Muslims….

….Likewise, Barack Obama praised the comic books for having “captured the imagination of so many young people with superheroes who embody the teachings and tolerance of Islam.” An Islamic investment bank whose products “fully comply with Shari’ah principles” invested US$15.9 million in Teshkeel and complimented it for “highlighting Islam’s rich culture and heritage.”

In short, The 99, available in both Arabic and English, contains overtly Islamic content and explicitly promotes Islam. Granted, its Islam has modern aspects, but among non-Muslims the series engages in surreptitious da’wa.

In addition to the comic books, Al-Mutawa has developed some spinoffs (online comics, games, lunch boxes, and theme parks) and envisages others (newspaper comics, stickers, and perhaps toys). But most of all, he wants an animated cartoon. Although the Hub network planned in 2011 to air The 99, this never happened, largely because criticism caused it to shy away from a show instilling “Islamic values in Christian, Jewish and atheist children.”

In short, to the Islamic indoctrination of Western children, already present in schools through textbooks ,additional school materials, and classroom trips, now add comic books and their many spin-offs, actual and potential. The 99 might be fine for Muslim children but, support from Georgetown University notwithstanding, non-Muslim children should not be exposed to missionizing propaganda of this sort.

Will THE 99 Comic Stealth Jihad succeed and lure our children into the clutches of the Mooslem supervillains?!? What are we to do now that Pipes the Courageous has revealed that even our Secret-Mooslem-President, Barak HUSSEIN Obama, is in on the plot?!?

Quick! Someone call Spencer Man and Geller Woman

The 19The 19: Spencer Man and Geller Woman..ugh.

…or before you can say derka derka Mohammed jihad, ”our children” will be snubbing pork rinds, and Mooslamic theme parks will be springing up like mosques in the heartland.

The Islamophobia Excuse

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2012 by loonwatch
Sharia HysteriaPhoto by Ann Hermes / The Christian Science Monitor

Why would politicians and pundits want Americans to hate Islam and Muslims?

Many reasons, argues Philip Giraldi, including promoting Israel’s interests and justifying an endless series of wars in far away lands. (H/T: MasterQ)

The Islamophobia Excuse

by , Antiwar.com

It seems that the Republican presidential aspirants’ fervor to confront Islam has receded a bit with the decline and fall of Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich, but one can likely still count on Rick Santorum to come up with some bon mots on the threat posed by Shariah law. Those who fear that hands will soon be lopped off shoplifters caught in Cleveland appear to be making much ado about nothing, but there is a much broader and more insidious agenda that is really playing out behind the scenes. Perry, Gingrich, and Santorum are all smart enough to know that Islamic law is hardly poised to dominate the U.S. legal system, but they are using it as the wedge issue to deny the patriotism of Muslims in general and fuel the demands to exercise a military option against Iran.

Promoting fear of Shariah law is essentially a red herring. There are more than 50 predominantly Muslim countries in the world, and, while most have elements of Shariah in their civil and family law, only two have it as their criminal codes. They are Saudi Arabia and Iran, one a close ally of the United States and the West and the other currently playing the cameo role of a threat to the entire world, to borrow a phrase from the eminent Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel. The countries that do not have Shariah as their criminal codes have modeled their laws on European and American models, some borrowing from Roman law and others from British common law.

Depicting Islam as manifestly medieval, backward, and cruel is not new, as it has been going on in one form or another since the Israelis and Palestinians first locked horns. Recognizing that the propaganda that is being ground out in the mainstream media derives from that conflict, it is easy to understand why Muslims are persistently portrayed in negative terms. And it should be equally unsurprising to learn that those who are denigrating Muslims and Islam are almost invariably among the most uncritical supporters of Likudist Israel and all its works.

The list of those who are passionate about how bad Islam is has a familiar ring to it. It is led by the truly vicious and fanatical like Pamela Geller and includes John Bolton, David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, and Charles Krauthammer. Geller has written that there is “a systematic campaign to impose Shariah on the secular marketplace” and to pervert the justice system in favor of Islamic exemptions, a theme that has been picked up by Gingrich and Santorum, both of whom favor pointless laws banning Shariah in any form. In a milder form, the same viewpoint is reflected in both the news coverage and the editorial pages of newspapers like The New York PostThe Washington Post, and even The New York Times. The arguments being made are not necessarily intended to convince anyone other than those who are already more than half onboard, but they are designed to keep the issue of how Muslims are not quite like the rest of us on the back burner to so that the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians and other Arabs will somehow always seem suspect. It also fuels other narratives that the neoconservatives and their friends support, like perpetual warfare against Islamic countries to bring about regime changes, suggesting that there is something that is not quite right in the way that Muslim countries govern themselves. The real objective is, however, spelled out in the paper that the neocons presented to Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996, “A Clean Break,” advocating the breakup of Arab countries into smaller components that would be perpetually at war with themselves, thereby assuring Israeli predominance in the region. As is so often the case, the conversation in the United States is really all about Israel.

The broader agenda of Islamophobia also fuels arguments to continue to stay the course in places like Afghanistan. Urinating on corpses, hunting and killing local farmers for sport, shooting women and children in the middle of the night, and burning Qurans are all justified because American soldiers find themselves in a difficult and stress-filled environment where the enemies are everywhere and are manifestly not quite real people in the same sense that boys from Kansas are. Muslims become abstractions, and there is the undercurrent of “Don’t they know we are there to help them?” The rarely spelled-out subtext in all the narratives that seek to explain or mitigate the barbaric behavior on the part of America’s finest is that the Afghans are not quite like us and they are not being grateful enough. Their otherness comes partly from the perception that they are primitive but even more from the fact that they are Muslims.

Moving beyond Shariah, those who wish to marginalize Muslims in American life point to the terrorism arrests of Muslims who are American citizens or legal residents of this country. There have indeed been such cases, but a careful reading of the court records suggests that the arrests are mostly what once would have been considered entrapment. A disgruntled young man toys with jihadist websites, is identified, and suddenly finds himself with a new friend who presents him with an unusable bomb to blow himself up in Times Square. He is then arrested and finds himself facing 20 years in prison. The reality, however,  is that of 14,000 murders in the United States in 2010, not a single one was attributed to a Muslim terrorist.

So why should Americans hate or fear Muslims? If it were only the idiosyncrasies of their culture that were an irritant, one would reasonably observe that the United States has absorbed plenty of cultures and lifestyles equally outside of the Western European mainstream. The fact is that the Islamophobia we are currently seeing really has two objectives. First and foremost it is to protect Israeli interests, making Muslims appear to be a threat and a group that is irredeemably un-American, while Israelis are presented as people who are more or less just like us. That means that only one voice will be heard on the Middle East, which is precisely what has taken place. The second objective is to justify the seemingly unending series of wars in Asia, presenting the local people as lacking in the civilized moral and political values that we all hold dear. Ironically, this latter argument is self-defeating, as it is the foreign wars of the past 11 years that have stripped Americans of many of their liberties and constitutional rights. What we choose to fear in Islam and deplore in Muslim regimes — the lack of individual rights — has come home to us.

The Haunting of Daniel Pipes by Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart”

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2012 by loonwatch
GazaA Palestinian boy sits on rubble in an area that was destroyed during Israel’s January 2009 Gaza offensive, in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip. Hatem Moussa / AP

“We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinians] never do return … The old will die and the young will forget,said David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, in 1949.

The old are dying, the young are dying, but no one has forgotten.

Despite rabid anti-Arab, anti-Muslim Daniel Pipes’ wishful thinking, the Palestinians are not a “defeated people.” They  continue to demand their rights, and support for their cause is steadily growing worldwide. That trend will continue as it becomes increasingly difficult to obscure Israel’s rejectionist stance and continued illegal settlement building in the Occupied Territories.

The Arab Peace Initiative, proposed in 2002 and re-endorsed in 2007, offered full normalization with the entire Arab world in exchange for the two-state solution with the Palestinians. In 2003, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators proposed the Geneva Accord, which also offered Israel a comprehensive peace agreement, also based on the two-state solution enshrined in international law.

Israel rejected both peace proposals.

Last year, 1,600 confidential Palestinian records of negotiations with Israel from 1999 to 2010 were leaked to al-Jazeera. The Palestine Papers showed Palestinian negotiator’s shameless acquiescence to an unjust “peace” agreement that savaged Palestinian rights in favor of Israel.

Israel nevertheless rejected the settlement.

Last September, Palestinian leaders requested UN membership for a Palestinian state. The proposal is once again based on the two-state solution, but is opposed by both the US and Israel. If the Palestinians achieve recognition, the United States has vowed to veto the decision.

In the meantime, Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to be refugees in their own land, stubbornly refusing to appease Daniel Pipes and his ilk by dying off or disappearing.  Mr. Pipes doesn’t seem to grasp that refugees who remain unsettled remain refugees, a status which is inherited by their children, hence his hysterical predictions.

What solution does Pipes have in mind for solving the problem?  Stall the so-called “peace process” indefinitely, and ultimately, “population transfer” (ethnic cleansing) of the unwanted Palestinian population of “Greater Israel.”

The “problem” is the Palestinian peace offensive is gaining support, and that apparently has Pipes fuming and waxing paranoid.

The Haunting of Daniel Pipes by Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart”

by Franklin Lamb, Foreign Policy Journal

BEIRUT — Daniel Pipes, the anti-Arab Islamophobe, is reportedly spooked these days. “Actually he has become an almost terrified man”; so says a colleague at Pipes’ Islamophobic Middle East Forum (MEF) and the McCarthyesque Campus Watch (CW) organization.

MEF was founded by Pipes in 1986, and the witch hunting anti-Arab McCarthyesque Campus Watch in 2001. CW’s function is to hound and intimidate faculty and students at colleges who are critical of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Pipes and CW create “dossiers” on professors, students and university administrations thought hostile to Israel. Under civic pressure from Americans who opposed his tactics and insisted on having their own names added to his personal “terrorist list,” Pipes withdrew his dossiers from the CW website, but he still circulates them to scores of “select and executive subscribers” and other hate groups in order to get the word out about academics and others who support Palestine or criticize Israel.

Pipes increasingly exposed racist views are carried by journals like the National Review as well as pro-Zionist Islamophobic internet outlets. In 1990, Pipes wrote in the National Review that:

Western societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene…. All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.

Having briefly written anti-Muslim screeds for Rudy Giuliani’s failed White House quest in 2008, Pipes claims he liked the job and seeks to do the same for Mitt Romney (Pipes has labeled Mormonism “a cult”) or even Rick Santorum (Pipes has referred to Rick as “one of those kook dispensationalist Christians”). Daniel told a copy editor at the Washington Times (who edited his recent article noted below) that he would prefer to work for Newt Gingrich if he gets the nomination since they share the same views of Palestinians as “an invented people”.

The two also agree on moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, increasing aid to Israel, and the evitable necessity of transferring most of the remaining Palestinians out of “Eretz Israel” in order to stop once and for all the demographic and existential threat and pressure for a one state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict which Pipes and Gingrich consider, if not reversed soon will lead to the collapse of Israel.

Pipes makes his fears plain to readers what has unnerved him in his recent 2012 Republican presidential candidates “application for a position as Middle East adviser”, which he launched in the Washington Times on February 21, but which was first presented in occupied Jerusalem at a recent MEF seminar.

Pipes chose the low hanging fruit of the underfunded and over stretched UNRWA to target Palestinian refugees and to promote himself and his thesis. But even from the sarcastic title of his article, “Eventually, All Humans Will Be Palestine Refugees!”, to his bizarre conclusions, Pipes demonstrates a preference for Arab bashing over truth. Pipes maintains that UNRWA has conspiratorially inflated the number of Palestinian refugees by including the children of the original nearly 800,000 (UNWRA uses a lower 750,000 figure) who were ethnically cleansed in 1948 (the “Nakba”, or “catastrophe”) and adding Palestinians ethnically cleansed in 1967. Both groups absolutely should be included on Palestinian refugee’s lists, since they are also victims of the original and continuing ethnic cleansing.

Pipes writes: “In contrast all other refugee populations have diminished in number as people ‘settle down’ or die.”

By Palestinians “settling down”, one guesses Pipes means sardine-canned into squalid refugee camps, while Jews from Brooklyn or anywhere else can live on their lands, move into new housing financed partly from US taxes, and enjoy swimming pools while nearby Palestinian orchards and crops are destroyed by drought, bulldozers, or psychotic settlers.

Pipes laments to Washington Times readers that the second thing that should have happened is that “almost all of the real 1948 refugees should have died by now” but for sure the last one will be dead in a few years. Instead, Pipes warns that rather than disappearing as they were supposed to, “the Palestine refugee population has dramatically grown over time.” Pipes, claiming to be a historian, calls this apparently unanticipated unwillingness of the Palestinian refugees to forget their country and the Nakba a “bizarre historical phenomenon.”

Considering his “application-article” title about all humans being Palestinian refugees, Pipes is well aware that many human rights organizations, when it comes to the right and responsibility to resist the Zionist occupation of Palestine and to liberate their stolen land and homes, we are indeed all Palestinians.

We are all Palestinians because all people of good will who seek justice and the full right of return for those who were ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba identify with those brutally ethnically cleansed over the past 64 years.

Until Palestine is liberated and its refugees return, as Nelson Mandala has repeatedly instructed us, none of us is truly free. We are all Palestinians as we increasingly support international law’s rejection of any settlement or any colonist on any part of occupied Palestine.

What haunts Pipes also is Ben Gurion’s failed boast to fellow Zionist terrorists in Palestine during the Nakba. The Palestinian holocaust that saw the ethnic cleansing of 531 villages in Palestine by more than 62,000 well armed troops, many WWII veterans predictably decimated the approximately 2,500 Palestinian defenders scattered, approximately 25-30 per village across Palestine who were at a hopeless military disadvantage with largely Ottoman-era rusting rifles and very little ammunition.

Given the above noted reality, the Zionist leaders worked arduously so that roughly one-half of the villages and approximately 50% of the population would not be discovered by the west, and Ben Gurion’s words that “in any event, the old will die and the young will forget” were more than wishful thinking. Pipes and his associates in the “Israel-first” culture have realized that not only was Ben Gurion fundamentally mistaken, but also that the 19th Century Zionists fundamentally erred in their calculations and hasbara.

Pipes’ basis for panic appears straight out of Edgar Allen Poe’s Novel, “The Tell Tale Heart”, where Poe’s character committed a savage crime and then was haunted because the evidence of this crime could not be hidden. The victim’s heart kept beating louder and louder and would not stop informing the world of the crime. Try as he might, the evil perpetrator could not get the heart to stop proving the crime and it drove the criminal more deeply into suicidal insanity.

In some aspects, Poe’s telltale heart appears a microcosm of the 19th Century Zionist colonial crimes which continue to this day in Palestine. The current efforts being made by Israel-firsters like Pipes include keeping Palestinian refugees invisible. They were to be erased by now, but instead the global community, and younger generations are increasingly taking up their cause and joining the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) and other non-violent campaigns against their Zionist occupiers.

Pipes argues in his Washington Times article, “Were the Palestine refugee status a healthy one this infinite expansion would hardly matter. But the status has destructive implications for Israel which suffers from the ‘depredations’ of a category of persons whose lives are truncated and distorted by an impossible dream of return to their great-grandparents’ houses; and the ‘refugees’ themselves, whose status implies a culture of dependency, grievance, rage, and futility.” Pipes continues: “All other refugees from the World War II era (including my own parents ) have been long settled and the Palestine refugee status has already endured too long and needs to be narrowed down to actual refugees before it does further damage to Israel.”

Pipes and his ilk, who appear to tally on a daily basis the Nakba refugees and their families, are horrified that Palestinian victims have refused to die off or forget the Nakba crimes committed against their families while at the same time the global community is beginning to support the Palestinians right to return.

Even many American taxpayers, long intimidated by Zionist hasbara and fears of being labeled “anti-Semitic” or “self-hating Jews” but who have long opposed Israel’s occupation of the political power centers in Washington DC, are outing themselves. Increasingly they are calling publicly for their government to break with Israel and its intensely promoted and sometimes engineered US wars in the region, and bring our troops home, and  heal and repair America while reclaiming American values.

This last remaining 19th Century colonial enterprise, which brutally implanted Israel in the heart of Palestine, has created more than six million refugees, each of whom has the separate, personal, and inalienable right and responsibility to return home.

One remarkable quality of the Palestinian refugees which Pipes keeps from his readers is that in the main they, unlike the European colonists who continue to ethnically cleanse them from their homes, may be willing to share their lands with any Jew who will agree to live as equals in a democratic one person one-vote governed country without religious preferences or a foreign “chosen colonial people” imposing an Apartheid regime.

Franklin Lamb, a former Assistant Counsel of the US House Judiciary Committee at the US Congress and Professor of International Law at Northwestern College of Law in Oregon, earned his Law Degree at Boston University and his LLM, M.Phil, and PhD degrees at the London School of Economics.

Honor Killing and Even More Proof You REALLY Shouldn’t Trust Robert Spencer’s “Scholarship”

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2012 by loonwatch
Coran and SpencerMichael Coren and Robert Spencer

by Ilisha

It was a trial that captured headlines across Canada—the so-called “honor killing” of three teenage sisters and their father’s first wife in a quadruple murder staged to look like an accident.

On January 27, the girls’ brother, Hamed, 21, and their parents, Mohammad Shafia, 58, and Tooba Yahya, 42, were each found guilty on four counts of first-degree murder. All received the maximum sentence of life in prison.

On police wiretaps captured in the days following the murders, a remorseless Mohammad Shafia referred to his slain daughters as treacherous whores who had “betrayed Islam.”  The family is originally from Afghanistan, and sweeping statements about their cultural and religious background have put Canada’s Muslims on the defensive.

Imams across Canada and the US responded by issuing a fatwa declaring honor killing, domestic violence, and misogyny as “un-Islamic.” Nevertheless, the murders have prompted a fresh wave of anti-Islamic sentiment, and the usual assortment of crackpots have seized this tantalizing opportunity to vilify Islam.

Pseudo-scholar Robert Spencer recently discussed the case on Sun TV with English-Canadian talk show host and fascist sympathizer, Michael Coren. The 13-minute segment appears at the end of this article.

Spencer’s Five Big Lies about honor killings are refuted in this article, in order of appearance.

1. A Bogus Statistic

Spencer began with the baseless assertion that, “91% of honor killings worldwide take place among Muslims.” What is the source of Spencer’s statistic?

He makes the same claim on his website, Jihad Watch, and links to an article on the Middle East Forum as the source. This is an anti-Muslim propaganda site founded by Daniel Pipes, and the article referenced is authored by Phyllis Chesler, who is yet another rabid Islamophobe. Chesler cites an ill-defined “study” as the ultimate source of this statistic:

This study analyzes 172 incidents and 230 honor-killing victims. The information was obtained from the English-language media around the world with one exception. There were 100 victims murdered for honor in the West, including 33 in North America and 67 in Europe. There were 130 additional victims in the Muslim world. Most of the perpetrators were Muslims, as were their victims, and most of the victims were women.

The “methodology” she describes is filled with weasel words, and it’s unclear who actually conducted the study or for what purpose. Culling 172 incidents from self-selected articles in the English-language media does not constitute a valid sample.

In the very same article, Chesler concedes, “Definitive or reliable worldwide estimates of honor killing incidence do not exist.” Then how has she managed to glean a precise statistic of 91%?

We have already covered this alleged “epidemic” of honor killings extensively in a previous article, Honor Killings: The Epidemic that Isn’t, where Chesler’s “logic” was exposed as absurd:

Taking her study at face value, do you think 33 honor killings constitutes an epidemic?  Stinging insects kill more than 40 people each year in the US, which is more than the number of honor killings Chesler reported over the course of her study for all of North America.  Chesler says, “to combat the epidemic [emphasis mine] of honor killings requires understanding what makes these murders unique.”

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, have all said that honor killings cut across cultural and religious lines. No credible organization cites a statistic that supports Robert Spencer’s assertion, which Phyllis Chesler seems to have pulled out of her hat.

2. Misinterpretation and Misuse of The Reliance of the Traveller

Coren asked Spencer if it’s true that there is Qur’anic and Sharia support for honor killings, and Spencer said, “Absolutely, Michael,” and, ”Islamic Law stipulates there’s no penalty for a parent who kills a child.” As we have already established in a previous article, this is a blatant lie:

In a pathetic attempt to prove Islam sanctions honor killings, the loons have dredged up  ”Reliance of the Traveller,” a classical manual for the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence written over 600 years ago. A convoluted interpretation of select passages has gone viral, and is now routinely cited on the pages of hate sites and in comments on numerous articles related to honor killing.

Geller quotes a section of The Traveller on her website that says certain crimes, including the killing of one’s offspring, are not subject to retaliation, implying Muslim parents have a free pass to murder their children under Islamic Law, which is a bold faced LIE. Retaliation is a form of reciprocal justice, lex talionis, commonly known as “an eye for an eye.”

A crime that is not subject to retaliation can still be punished by other means. Restrictions on reciprocal justice in the Qur’an were meant to reduce blood feuds and the cycle of vengeance. The concept of retaliation is also found in Jewish and Christian scriptures, and like honor killing, traces back to the ancient Code of Hammurabi.

Even if The Traveller sanctioned honor killing (which it doesn’t), it would be the interpretation of one Islamic cleric who lived centuries ago, and not a formal part of Islamic Law. Sharia is drawn primarily from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and neither sanctions honor killing.

Honor killing is a form of murder where the victim is denied a fair trial, which is contrary to Islamic law. Islam forbids acts of murder and vigilantism, and likens the killing of one human being to the killing of the entire human race (Qur’an 5:32, 6:151, 17:33).

Is Sharia exceptionally harsh or extremely lenient, even in the case of a serious crime like murder? Apparently it’s whatever suits Spencer’s agenda at the moment. In any case, a “renowned scholar” should certainly understand the ancient concept of reciprocal justice.

Is Spencer ignorant or deliberately deceptive?

3. The Case of Syria and Jordan

Spencer cites “relatively moderate” Muslim-majority Jordan and Syria in an effort to provide real-world examples of Sharia-sanctioned honor killing. His examples fall short in two major ways.

First, although a single honor killing is one too many, these murders are not epidemic. Jordan has around 15-20 honor killings each year, and Syria has about 200. Both of these Muslim-majority countries have low overall homicide rates, in contrast to many countries in the non-Muslim world, most notably in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Central and Southern Africa.

Second, Syria and Jordan have mixed legal systems largely based on French Law, derived from the Napoleonic Code. In Syria, Articles 192, 242, and 548 have historically been invoked to reduce sentences in honor killing cases, and all are derived from the Napoleonic Code, not Sharia.

Syria’s Grand Mufti, Ahmad Badr al-Din Hassoun, has unequivocally condemned honor killing. Hassoun specifically condemned Article 548, which has since been amended as part of Syria’s ongoing effort to abolish honor killings.

In Jordan, Articles 340 and 98 have historically been invoked to reduce sentences in honor killing cases, and they also derive from the Napoleonic Code, not Sharia.

While Spencer was correct when he said some religious and cultural conservatives in Jordan have resisted legal reform, Queen Rania and King Abudllah II have been outspoken advocates. In a report released last November, the United Nations praised Jordan for amending Article 340 so that it no longer exonerates the perpetrators of honor killings.

Spencer’s examples fall short because neither Jordan nor Syria has a high rate of homicides of any kind, and the legal loopholes in question are primarily a legacy of French colonialism, not Sharia. However, Coren asks no questions of substance, so it’s on to the next lie.

4. Khidr in Chapter 18 of the Qur’an

Spencer tries to “prove” honor killings are supported in the Qur’an, citing the well known story of Khidr in the 18th chapter as a justification.  From Jihad Watch:

Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 18, “The Cave,” verses 60-82

Verses 60-82 of Sura 18 contain one of the strangest, most arresting stories in the entire Qur’an: that of the journey of Moses and Khidr, one of the great road-trip stories of all time…

In Islamic tradition this man is identified as Al-Khadir or Al-Khidr, or, more commonly, Khidr, “the Green Man.” Some identify him as one of the prophets, others as a wali, a Muslim saint….

…Khidr murders a young man in an apparently random act, and Moses criticizes him again (v. 74)…

…Khidr killed the young man because he would grieve his pious parents with his “rebellion and ingratitude” (v. 80), and Allah will give them a better son (v. 81)….

…Another point emerges in Islamic tradition: don’t kill children, unless you know they’re going to grow up to be unbelievers. “The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used not to kill the children, so thou shouldst not kill them unless you could know what Khadir had known about the child he killed, or you could distinguish between a child who would grow up to he a believer (and a child who would grow up to be a non-believer), so that you killed the (prospective) non-believer and left the (prospective) believer aside.” The assumption thus enunciated may help explain the persistence of the phenomenon of honor-killing in Islamic countries and even among Muslims in the West…

Notice the child was not related to Khidr, and there was no honor motive. This “apparently random act” doesn’t fit the profile of a so-called “honor killing.”

The story is meant to convey the message that believers should have faith in God’s wisdom. Events may seem harsh and inexplicable, but when the veil is lifted and the broader truth is exposed, the believer will see that what has happened is ultimately for the best.

Spencer provided no examples of any Muslim citing the story of Khidr as a justification for honor killing, nor did he mention any scholars who have adopted his interpretation. In fact, the story of Khidr has historically been associated with charity and good works in the Islamic world.  

As for the Hadith Spencer quoted (Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4457), Muslims are instructed not to kill children, “…unless you could know what Khadir had known.  Khidr was granted eternal life and bestowed with direct knowledge of God’s will, which no ordinary Muslim can claim. It is simply not possible to know whether a child will grow up to be a believer, so it makes no sense to use this as a justification for murder.

In fact, it is widely known that Islam has always condemned infanticide, a common practice in pre-Islamic Arabia. The Qur’an  forbids the killing of children, expressly in 6:151 and 60:12, and implicitly in 2:49, 7:127, 7:141, 14:6, 28:4, and 40:25. Why would a “renowned scholar” of Islam be unaware of the many verses in the Qur’an that directly contradict his claims?

Is Spencer ignorant or deliberately deceptive? 

5. Islam and the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Spencer also claims that the Judeo-Christian tradition sends the “opposite message” with respect to killing children, specifically citing Genesis 22:1-13 as an example.  In this Old Testament story, the Prophet Abraham was poised to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord, but just as he placed a knife to the boy’s neck, God sent an angel to intercede, and Isaac was spared.

The same story exists in the Qur’an and carries the same moral message. The major difference is that Isaac is replaced by Abraham’s other son, Ishmael. A “renowned scholar” of Islam should surely be aware of the corresponding story in the Qur’an (The Rank Makers 37:100-109).

In fact, numerous verses in the Bible recount the killing of children, and stipulate harsh punishments, including the death penalty. The following is not a comprehensive list:

Exodus 21:17

17 Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.

Leviticus Chapters 20 and 21 also stipulate harsh punishments for dishonoring parents and committing adultery:

Leviticus 20:9-13

9 If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.

10 If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.

Leviticus 21:9

9 If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.

Deuteronommy (13:6-10) says if your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” … You must stone him or her to death. Death by stoning is also the punishment stipulated for a “stubborn and rebellious” son in 21:18-21.

In Judges (11:30-40), Jephthah killed his young daughter (and only child) by burning her alive to fulfill his vow to God, in exchange for a victory in battle.

In 2 Kings (2:23-25), when youngsters made fun of the Prophet Elisha’s bald head, he called down a curse “in the name of the Lord,”and two bears came out of the woods and tore 42 of the youths to pieces.

As a Catholic and self-proclaimed religious scholar, it seems reasonable to assume Spencer has read the Bible, so what explains this glaring double standard?

Is Spencer ignorant or deliberately deceptive? 

The bottom line is that honor killings are not Islamic. Spencer’s lies, no matter how often they’re repeated, can’t change that fundamental truth.

 

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The Muslim Comedian and the Islamophobe: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Interview

Posted in Loon Blogs, Loon Politics, Loon Sites, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2012 by loonwatch

The Muslim comedian and the Islamophobe:  A funny thing happened on the way to the interview

by Sheila Musaji

Robert Spencer and his fellow Islamophobes are fond of asking Muslims impossible questions, demanding that Muslims “admit” to something or another, and developing tests for Muslims to “prove” that they are “one of us”.  Daniel Pipes had a test, David Horowitz had a petition he wanted Muslims to sign, Former Muslims United had a pledge against punishment for apostasy (created two years after an actual Muslim statement on this topic was issued) , the list goes on and on.  None of these are serious attempts at understanding anything.  They simply demand simple answers to complicated questions, or include some bigoted assumption within the question that no Muslim would agree with and demand a yes or no answer.

This is the infamous legal tactic exemplified by the question “Have you stopped beating your wife?  Answer yes or no!”

The most recent prove to me you’re not a radical Muslim test came out of a simple reqest for an interview with Robert Spencer by the Muslim comedian Dean Obeidallah.  Loonwatch lays out the background of this incident very well

Dean Obeidallah is working on an Islamophobia documentary and asked Robert Spencer if he could interview him. A simple request one would think? Spencer of course is chicken (as we have shown before), he doesn’t want to be exposed for the buffoon he is, and so he responded to Obeidallah with an inquisition-like (pun intended), 1,000+ worded questionnaire.

Isn’t this extremely odd? Spencer attempted to pass off his fear of this interview by claiming that Obeidallah was “running” from his questions. When Obeidallah called him out on not presenting the truth, Spencer begrudgingly published Obeidallah’s response:

Robert – I dont have the time to answer all ur questions in the midst of editing a film and all the other projects Im working on – in fact I didnt even finish reading all of them.

You dont know me but Im a rather direct person so so let me make this easy: If you are interested in being interviewed for our film, I can assure you that we will not quote u out of context or play any games with you- we will ask u straightforward questions – most of which Im sure u have been asked before.

If ur interested then lets please lock in a date when u will be in NYC and conduct the interview. If you’re not interested then lets not waste any more of each other’s time-I know we are both busy people.

Thanks, Dean

That’s pretty direct in my opinion. What is Spencer so scared of? Isn’t he the “champion of freedom,” defending the West against the Muslim hordes?

Here is an opportunity Spencer for you to put your cape on and be the champion of the “counter-Jihad” world!

Here is the 1,000 word plus questionnaire required by Spencer in order to consider being interviewed by Obeidallah, and I have taken the liberty of responding to the questions myself.

1. True or false: No comedy show, no matter how clever or winning, is going to eradicate the suspicion that many Americans have of Muslims. This is because Americans are concerned about Islam not because of the work of greasy Islamophobes, but because of Naser Abdo, the would-be second Fort Hood jihad mass murderer; and Khalid Aldawsari, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Lubbock, Texas; and Muhammad Hussain, the would-be jihad bomber in Baltimore; and Mohamed Mohamud, the would-be jihad bomber in Portland; and Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square jihad mass-murderer; and Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the Arkansas military recruiting station jihad murderer; and Naveed Haq, the jihad mass murderer at the Jewish Community Center in Seattle; and Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, who hatched a jihad plot to blow up a Manhattan synagogue; and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas airplane jihad bomber; and many others like them who have plotted and/or committed mass murder in the name of Islam and motivated by its texts and teachings — all in the U.S. in the last couple of years

The only Americans who are concerned only about Muslims who have carried out or plotted terrorist actions are those who have fallen for Robert Spencer and other “greasy Islamophobe’s” big lie about the actual terrorism threat coming primarily from Muslims.  All of us need to be concerned about all such actions, including those by non-Muslims such as — Ray H. Adams, Jim Adkisson, Alabama Free Militia, Chad Altman, Animal Liberation Front, Army of God, Samuel Arrington, Jonathan Avery, Sergio Baca, Daniel Barefoot, Philip Bay, John Patrick Bedell, Kody Brittingham, Seung-Hui Cho, Demetrius Van Crocker, Daniel Cowart, Samuel J. Crump, James Cummings, Matthew Derosia, Jeremy Donahoe, John Earl,  Earth Liberation Front, Paul Ross Evans, David Anthony Fuselier, Matt Hale, Jeffrey Harbin, Kevin William Hardham, Lucas John Helder, Patricia Hughes, David Hull, Hutaree Christian militia, Idaho Mountain Boys Militia, Vadim Ignatov, Bruce Ivins, JDL, Jerry and Joe Kane, KKK, Joseph Konopka, William Krar, John F. Lechner, James Lee, Ryan Daniel Lewis, Thomas Hayward Lewis, Jared Lee Loughner, Davvie Love, Keith Luke, Dennies & Daniel Mahon, Alberto Martinez, David McMenemy, Jonathan Maynard, Justin Carl Moose, Donny Eugene Mower, Patriot Movement, Robert Pickett, Richard Andrew Poplawski, Project 7, Charles Carl Roberts, Daniel & Timothy Robinson, Dan Roberts, Scott Roeder, Daniel James Schertz, Paul Schlesselman,  Kyle Shaw, Joseph Stack, Rossie L. Strickland, Roger Stockham, Texas Militia, Frederick Thomas, Bruce & Joshua Turnidge, omar Falu Vives, James von Brunn, Lonnie Vernon, Clayton Waagner, Jeffrey Weise, Byron Williams, Alexander Robert Youshock..

2. True or false: The fact that there are other Muslims not fighting jihad is just great, but it doesn’t mean that the jihad isn’t happening. This comedy show simply doesn’t address the problem of jihad terrorism and Islamic supremacism.

This is not a true or false question.  The question contains more than one element, and requires a more complex answer than is possible with a simple true or false.

3. What do you make of the fact that Islamic supremacists from the Muslim Brotherhood invented the term “Islamophobia” in order to deflect attention away from jihad violence and Islamic supremacism, and intimidate opponents thereof?

Spencer believes that he knows who coined the term “Islamophobia”.  There are certainly a number of different theories about when the term was first used.  It really doesn’t matter who used the term first.  The term itself has come to be used to describe a particular form of bigotry against Muslims and Islam, just as anti-Semitism has come to be used to describe a particular form of bigotry against Jews and Judaism.  It’s primary use is to direct attention towards outright bigotry.

4. What do you have to say about the fact that FBI statistics show that there is no “Islamophobia”?

Actually, FBI statistics do not show that there is no “Islamophobia”.  What the most recent “hate crime statistics” do show is that there have been fewer hate crimes committed against Muslims in the U.S. than there were against Jews.  Whether this might also reflect a reticence to report such crimes on the part of members of some refugee communities particularly has been discussed.  And, the same report documents the fact that the actual hate crimes against Muslims, while still lower than those against Jews, have increased by 50% over the last year.  Hate crimes statistics are only one of many possible indicators of prejudice and bigotry.

Other possible indicators of Islamophobia including EEOC complaints about work related discrimination, and a trend towards an increase of anti-Muslim, anti-Islam rhetoric from public figures, Christian andJewish clergy, and even elected representatives would appear to show that this is a word describing a real phenomenon.

5. What do you have to say about the fact that many “anti-Muslim hate crimes” have been faked by Muslims, and that Jews are eight times more likely than Muslims to be the victims of hate attacks.

For every category of hate crime there have been people who have taken advantage of an opportunity to further their own agenda and claim a hate crime where none existed.

There are hundreds of such cases.  Here are just a few:

— In Florida LB Williams, a 50-year-old black man, his wife of nearly seven years Donna Williams, who is white, and their bi-racial daughter found a cross burning in their driveway.  This was reported and investigated as a hate crime, but it turned out that Mr. Williams faked the whole thing in an attempt to stave off a divorce.
— In Anderson, California, a black high school student staged a fake hate crime because she was angry with her father for not picking her up on time.
— A Jewish student at George Washington University faked an anti-Semitic hate crime

The issue is not that there are some despicable individuals who will lie about hate crimes, but that there are far too many legitimate hate crimes against minorities.

6. True or false? Since the Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated in its own words to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within,” one easy way to do that would be to guilt-trip non-Muslims into being ashamed of resisting jihad activity and Islamic supremacism, for fear of being accused of “Islamophobia.”

Another impossible true or false question.  To think that every American Muslim is somehow privy to internal Muslim Brotherhood plots, or has ever even met a member of the Muslim Brotherhood for that matter is nonsense.  The Muslim Brotherhood document that Spencer refers to has had a lot of questions raised about its authenticity.

7. True or false: Negin Farsad, with her “eye-catching mini dresses,” etc., has more to worry about from observant Muslims than she does from “Islamophobes.”

Negin Farsad is a competent Muslim woman who can speak for herself.  Ask her the question.  My guess (as a Muslim woman myself) would be that she would say that Muslim women have as much to worry about from Muslims holding extremist interpretations of Islam, as from Islamophobes.  Being an extremist and being observant are not the same thing.

8. What do you think of this: When you call Geller (and by implication, me) a “Muslim hater,” I believe that you are ascribing people’s legitimate concerns about jihad and Islamic supremacism to “hate,” and that the only effect of this will be to make people who have those legitimate concerns to be even more suspicious of Muslims, which will only lead to more of what you call “Islamophobia.”

Geller is called a “Muslim hater” because of the hateful things she herself is documentedas saying.  — ”Devout Muslims should be prohibited from military service. Would Patton have recruited Nazis into his army?”  — I would like to feel all warm and fuzzy and embrace the moderate Muslim/ meme but they show no evidence of their existence – not in any real number anyway. The only voices of reason in the Muslim world are lapsed Muslims or apostates. — We can pretend or we can strategize on how to defeat our mortal enemy. — Muslims have no right to invoke Moses and Abraham. — Muslims have no right to invoke Moses and Abraham. — There are no moderates. There are no extremists. Only Muslims. — 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.

And, here are a few of your own quotes, Mr. Spencer — Islam itself is an incomplete, misleading, and often downright false revelation which, in many ways, directly contradicts what God has revealed through the prophets of the Old Testament and through his Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh… For several reasons… Islam constitutes a threat to the world at large. — no American official should be taking an oath on the Qur’an, since—as we have been pointing out here for over three years now—there are so many elements of traditional and mainstream Islam that are at variance with our system of government, our Constitution, and our entire way of life. — there is no reliable way to distinguish a “moderate” Muslim who rejects the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism from a “radical” Muslim who holds such ideas, even if he isn’t acting upon them at the moment. — The misbegotten term “Islamo-fascism” is wholly redundant: Islam itself is a kind of fascism that achieves its full and proper form only when it assumes the powers of the state. — there has been no widespread, sustained, or sincere Muslim outcry against the jihad terrorist enterprise in general. — there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists.

Geller and Spencer’s hateful rhetoric could fill a book.  Refusing to acknowledge this sort of speech as hatred will only make Muslims not only suspicious of those who engaged in such speech, but proves to us that Islamophobia really does exist.

9. Is there a plan behind your demonizing and smearing of all anti-jihadists? Do you want to create “Islamophobia” in order to claim privileged victim status for Muslims and exempt them from reasonable law enforcement scrutiny?

Actually, no we would like to shine a bright spotlight on Islamophobia and it’s purveyors so that decent people can see it for what it is and reject it as bigotry pure and simple, so that we can stop wasting time responding to bigotry against all Muslims and use that time to work together to fight against actual Muslim and non-Muslim extremists.

10. What kind of work have you done to raise awareness about the escalating persecution of non-Muslim minorities in Muslim societies, which is far worse in Egypt, Pakistan and elsewhere than Muslims have it here? Why not?

Dean Obeidallah is an American Muslim comedian.  He is not responsible for solving all of the problems of the world, even those directly involving Muslims anymore than every Christian is responsible for solving all of the problems of the world directly involving Christians.  Spencer, you are Catholic, what have you done to raise awareness about the pedophilia crisis in the Catholic Church, or about the genocide of Muslims by Christians in Bosnia, or about brutality and slaughter by the Christian Lord’s Resistance Army in Africa, or about numerous other crimes involving Christians?  It’s ludicrous to believe that every individual member of any religious group is personally responsible for every injustice committed anywhere in the world by anyone who shares the same religion.

11. On what basis do you imply that those who are defending freedom against jihad are “exhibiting behavior which is less than consistent with the values of this nation”? What have you done to resist the Muslim Brotherhood’s stated agenda of “sabotaging” this nation “from within”?

You are not defending freedom against jihad, you are consistently demonizing Muslims.  And, it is not only Muslims who are openly stating that this is bigotry.  There is a reason that the ADL (A Jewish anti-defamation group) has said that Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) is a “group that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the Political Research Associates reportManufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.  There is a reason that they are featured in our TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  There is a reason that Gellerand Spencer are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

12. Aside from the murder of a Sikh by an idiot shortly after 9/11, what evidence do you have of any backlash against Muslims to which you refer so off-handedly in the WaPo? Where are Muslims suffering violence, discrimination, harassment of any kind? Even you expected far worse than you got when you went to the South — and the level of harassment you did get was no worse than what I get in my email every day. So why the overblown claims about it?

You need to do a little research yourself, and might start with the following collections of resources:

– ALARMING STATEMENTS Note, previously divided by year and now consolidated into one collection
– Alarming statements by elected officials and political organizations
– Answers to Peter King’s Claims About the American Muslim Community
– Claim That All Terrorists are Muslims Ignores History (sections on Christian extremism and terrorismand Jewish extremism and terrorism were divided 4/08)
– Existing reports and studies on radicalization and the American Muslim Community
– INCIDENTS OF ISLAMOPHOBIA – Prejudice, Racist, or Violent Incidents at MOSQUES – Incidents, hate crimes –  Tariq Ramadan incident – and Khalil Gibran Academy incident and Obsession film incident– Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week incident
– Islamo-Fascism?:  Deceptive Labels & Propaganda are Counterproductive
– Islamophobia: Real or imagined
– MEDIA, Propaganda & Perception
– Polls, statistics, and surveys relating to Islam and Muslims
– A Long History of Injustice Ignored
– A Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry
– What everyone “knows” about Islam and Muslims

13. And yes, what do you think about these recommendations?

Do Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah really want to eradicate “Islamophobia”? As long as Islamic jihad and supremacism continue, a comedy tour will never do the trick. But here is an easy way. They can call on Muslims in the U.S. to do these things:

1. Focus their indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.
2. Renounce definitively, sincerely, honestly, and in deeds, not just in comforting words, not just “terrorism,” but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Sharia even by peaceful means. In line with this, clarify what is meant by their condemnations of the killing of innocent people by stating unequivocally that American and Israeli civilians are innocent people, teaching accordingly in mosques and Islamic schools, and behaving in accord with these new teachings.
3. Teach, again sincerely and honestly, in transparent and verifiable ways in mosques and Islamic schools, the imperative of Muslims coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis, and act accordingly.
4. Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach sincerely against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.
5. Actively and honestly work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities

1 and 2.  Please see the thousands of fatwas, statements, articles, etc. by Muslims denouncing extremists committing violent acts in the name of Islam in our TAM collection Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism.  Type “lunatic fringe” into the search engine of TAM for numerous articles denouncing particular extremists and extremist groups.  See my article American Muslims must defend the Constitution of the United States in which I said America is a secular and democratic nation with a clearly marked wall between church and state (thank God!).  One of the reasons America has been a beacon to the world is the freedom that all Americans have to practice any (or no) religion.  As an American Muslim I don’t believe that America can be defined as anything but a secular democracy (secular meaning neutral towards religion, not devoid of religion or hostile to religion) in which all religions are free to worship.  I don’t want to see Shariah, or Biblical law, or any other religious law replace the Constitution, and I don’t want to see any kind of a theocracy in place based on any religion.  I agree with Rabbi Arthur Waskow that “When those who claim their path alone bespeaks God’s Will control the State to enforce their will as God’s, it is God Who suffers.” All civilians are innocent including Americans, Israelis, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Iranians, etc.

3.  There are numerous existing studies, polls, and statements about radicalization in the Muslim community and how the community is working to counter attempts by extremists to radicalize individuals here.  The efforts within the Muslim community are numerous.  MPAC alone has many ongoing efforts including the NATIONAL GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT TERRORISM and BUILDING BRIDGES TO STRENGTHEN AMERICA: BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE COUNTERTERRORISM ENTERPRISE BETWEEN MUSLIM AMERICANS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT.  Also type “radicalization” into the TAM search engine for numerous articles, etc.

4.  Why would American Muslims be responsible for building comprehensive programs in other countries.  We are Americans.

5.  Muslims have already done this.  And, in fact, many of the actual arrests made of individuals plotting some terrorist act were made because of tips from American Muslims.

To sum up, yes you are an Islamophobe.  The fact that you and your partner Pamela Geller have shown time and time again that you have a tenuous grasp of the concept of “truth telling”, and haveattempted to conceal evidence when you’ve been caught in lies and distortions is shameful.  The fact that you have also shown time and time again that you have no qualms about exploiting a tragedy to further your own agenda is shameful.  The Belgian shooting tragedy, and the Hollywood shooting tragedy are just two of the most recent examples.

The fact that you are a middle aged man whose primary means of earning a living comes from being paid to churn out anti-Muslim propoganda is shameful.

A little comedy, preferably satirical about Islamophobes and their tactics wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Update Robert Spencer and David Horowitz jointly published another version of these 5 questions on Front Page Magazine.

Daniel Pipes Misrepresents CAP Report on Islamophobia to Solicit Funds

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2011 by loonwatch
Daniel Pipes

by Farha Khaled

Recently, the MiddleEastForum’s failed academic with a history of Islamophobia, Daniel Pipes sent out a fund raising email, full of misrepresentations and lies regarding a Center for American Progress report that described his anti-Muslim activities.

Pipes begins his solicitation:

The Center for American Progress, in a much-ballyhooed study, deemed me one of the five most influential thinkers shaping the public discussion of Islam.

The study Mr Pipes is talking about is “Fear Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” and the actual words used to describe Mr Pipes in the report are “Islamophobia misinformation expert” and not “influential thinker” as he is claiming.

It was the first in-depth report into how a small cadre of bigots are fomenting and funding Islamophobia for political gain though LoonWatch has been debunking and exposing their nefarious associations for over two years now. The report states (page 6):

Five experts generate the false facts and materials used by political leaders, grassroots groups, and the media:

“These experts travel the country and work with or testify before state legislatures calling for a ban on the nonexisting threat of Sharia law in America and proclaiming that the vast majority of mosques in our country harbor Islamist terrorists or sympathizers.

Indeed, the email Pipes sent out to solicit donations would qualify as an exhibit of this misinformation. He writes:

Meanwhile, Islamist violence in America is on the rise; for example, the number of jihad-related terror indictments in U.S. courts doubled in 2010 and is on pace to reach a new high in 2011.

Jihad related attacks in 2010 were down from the previous year. He made no mention of the significant numbers of American Muslims tipping off authorities about potential threats, nor of the growing debate questioning the motives of the myth makers fueling this propaganda.

Professor Charles Kurzman, who wrote the book The Missing Martyrs: Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists gave an interview to Think Progress. He put the threat into context by explaining how American Muslims play a prominent role in combating what he describes as a low level threat.

Significantly, Pipes glosses over the fact that right wing terrorist threats are on the rise. Annual statistics compiled by the SPLC  in “The Year in Hate & Extremism, 2010” show:

Taken together, these three strands of the radical right — the hatemongers, the nativists and the antigovernment zealots — increased from 1,753 groups in 2009 to 2,145 in 2010, a 22% rise. That followed a 2008-2009 increase of 40%.

Another study, “Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim-Americans” a joint project by the Duke University and the University of North Carolina reached similar conclusions. David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University and a co author of this paper suggests:

Our research suggests that initiatives that treat Muslim-Americans as part of the solution to this problem are far more likely to be successful

Elaborating further in “It’s time to confront the ‘counterjihadists’” Schanzer suggests:

Muslims need to be more aggressive in confronting mistruths about Islam that appear in discourse, whether they come from radical Muslims or anti-Islamic demagogues. The public is uneducated about Islam. This vacuum is being filled by the clash-of-civilization cheerleaders. Muslims need to tell a different story.

In the Fall of 2011, Risa Brooks, Political Science Professor at Marquette University, wrote an analysis; “Muslim ‘Homegrown’ Terrorism in the United States: How Serious Is the Threat?” It details how the exaggerated fear of Islamic terrorism in the USA diverts costly resources from more pressing threats and questions why the Department of Homeland Security downplays the rising number of  right wing terrorist threats and which are often not even labeled as such even when they qualify. She concludes:

the political dynamics noted above contribute to an unbalanced presentation of domestic terrorist threats in the country, the well-intentioned desire by public offcials and politicians to prepare people for local attacks even at the risk of overstating their probability, and perhaps more cynically, those individuals’ bureaucratic and political incentives to magnify the threat. Regardless of the source of alarmism, all Americans benefit from questioning assumptions about the Muslim homegrown threat.

Why then is Daniel Pipes engaged in focusing on and magnifying one threat? Tellingly, in ‘The End of American Jewry’s Golden Era‘ he laments:

The Jews’ Golden Age in America began in 1950, when social restrictions were eased in universities, banks, businesses, clubs, etc. This period may now be ending with the growth of the American Muslim population.

Elsewhere too, Pipes has written of his fear of the growing influence of American Muslims:

It is also the right of CAIR, AMC, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council to devote their resources to promoting the idea of Muslim victimization. But the reality is, stubbornly, otherwise: far from being victimized, the Muslim-American community is robust and advancing steadily.

In his paranoid mind, any kind of success enjoyed by American Muslims must necessarily translate as being detrimental to American Jews. This myopic thinking would explain his uncalled for attacks on Rep. Ellison and his fixation with Muslims in every walk of life from politics to business, from the academia to beauty pageants. Both in America and around the world, Pipes and his Islamophobic allies manage to find a conspiracy behind anything that portrays Muslims in a positive light.

Simultaneously, trawling the news for any crime committed by a Muslim to exploit as the true face of Islam even if the culprit was a non practicing Muslim or a non-Muslim! He claims to be protecting American rights in the Middle East and trumpets how Campus Watch (accused of intimidating academia) and The Legal Project combat ‘lawful’ jihadism and protects free speech citing Geert Wilders as a beneficiary. Would Wilders have been a recipient if he didn’t lent support to the far right Likud agenda that neo conservatives support? Top Dutch officials have mocked Wilders for claiming Islam is a trojan horse in the Netherlands when he himself is loyal to a foreign nation. Sheila Musaji has a compilation of anti Palestinian and Islamophobic memes that Pipes has attempted to legitimise through his organisations.

Returning to the email Pipes sent out, he goes on to solicit:

As debate over Middle Eastern and Islamic issues intensifies ahead of the 2012 elections, I urge you to support our efforts by making a donation

This shouldn’t come as any surprise. Pipes had already tried to inject anti Muslim hysteria masquerading as ‘debate’, both during and after the 2008 election. Some highlights include; Equating Keith Ellison to Hitler; Propagating the falsehood of Obama being a Muslim for which he was mocked at in Islam, Israel and Insurgents a televised Q and A session; Suspecting beauty pageants of ‘affirmative action’ for their odd frequency of having Muslim winners. Although Pipes claims that he only fights ‘Islamism’, in all likelihood to keep up a pretense of scholarly repute, Eli Clifton outed him as a fully fledged Islamophobe.

Having failed to influence the 2008 election in the way he had hoped, Pipes switched tactics proceeding to advise Obama that he could save his presidency by bombing Iran. Then when Egyptians were waiting for Mubarak to step down, he saw Iran as the puppeteer lurking in the background.

Evidently, Pipes intends to get just as down and dirty in the 2012 elections as he puffs:

The Forum, a think tank I founded in 1994 to promote American interests in the Middle East and protect America from Islamist threats, is very active these days.

By now there is plenty of evidence that points to a legitimate threat being hyped by Pipes under cover of American patriotism to promote Likud politics for which an Islamist bogeyman is necessary. All this, whilst accusing American Muslims of colluding with the left to strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood.  Clearly a bad case of projection. One could conclude that Pipes is as extreme as they get, but the peace advocate and blogger Richard Silverstein notes at his website Tikun Olam, popularly known as ‘The Wiki Leaks of Israel’ that ‘Among Anti-Muslim Warriors Pipes is a Dove‘. Particularly so when compared to proponents of Religious Zionism and right wing extremists.

Robert Steinback at the SPLC offers a mirror into the minds of these anti Muslim warriors with his intelligence report ‘Jihad Against Islam‘ which he ends with :

It is particularly perplexing trying to discern the ultimate goal of this corps of activists. If their aim is to isolate and destroy the violence-prone fanatical Muslim fringe, then it doesn’t make sense to undermine moderate Muslims and argue that only confirmed terrorists are interpreting the Koran correctly. But both tactics make perfect sense if the aim is to build a widespread, irrational fear and hostility against Islam in general — encouraging, rather than helping defuse, an eventual global confrontation between East and West.

It may indeed be a cynical obfuscation employed by Pipes and his allies to further their own politics and biases, but at the very least he can bank on receiving money to continue his crusade–if his followers are daft enough to donate.

Farha Khaled blogs at http://farhakhaled.blogspot.com and http://twitter.com/farhakhaled

$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.