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.

Fethullah Gulen: Despite Attacks Good Works Shine Through

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Blogs, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2010 by loonwatch

An interesting report on Sufi leader Fethullah Gulen and the wild conspiracies thrown out against him and his Hizmet (Service) movement. Conspiracies of “militants” being trained at a Pennsylvania retreat that houses Gulen are debunked, though unfortunately space and weight is given to anti-Muslim bigots and Islamophobes Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson, whose commentary is near worthless on these matters.

Daniel Pipes argues from conspiracy, essentially asserting that Gulen is a “stealth Jihadist” while Emerson who is well known as being in the anti-Muslim game for cash money can at most offer the meek “we don’t know” if Gulen is a radical. Sorry to burst your bubble Emerson, but we do know –Gulen is NOT a “radical.” Only in your cerebral world in which every Muslim is guilty until proven innocent can we entertain the question of whether Gulen, a Sufi leader of an inspirational organization that fosters interfaith dialogue, ecumenicism, opens exceptional schools for the poor be considered “radical.”

Imam who lives in rural Pennsylvania arouses praise, concerns

By Andrew Conte

SAYLORSBURG — Just a short drive on a two-lane road from the Dunkin’ Donuts here, the Golden Generation Retreat Center hardly seems like the home of one of the world’s leading Islamic thinkers.

A metal gate at the driveway stands open, and no fences or walls protect the 25-acre property from suburban homes and rolling hillsides nearby. Officials recently invited their neighbors to celebrate the opening of a three-story meeting center and share a Thanksgiving feast.

“They’re friendly people,” said Rod Schreck, 74, who lives within walking distance.

“Put it this way,” his wife, Maxine, 69, said, “they’re better to us than we are to them.”

Still, mystery surrounds the center’s most famous guest, Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish imam who has lived here for 11 years after arriving in the United States for medical treatments. Gulen practices Sufism, a mystical form of Islam that requires strict religious observation, austerity and abstinence, according to one of his more than 60 books.

“We are for one thing: peace and prosperity in the world for everyone,” said Bekir Aksoy, president of the retreat center. “There is no ‘them’ for us. All humanity is one.”

After coming here, Gulen was tried — and then acquitted — in Turkey on charges related to inciting an overthrow of the government. He might face criminal charges again if he returned home, a supporter in Istanbul said. And that could trigger chaos.

So Gulen remains in this rural community about 30 miles northeast of Allentown and less than a two-hour drive from Manhattan. He lives alone in one room of the large main house and owns only the toiletries and small possessions in his bedroom, Aksoy said.

Debilitated by health issues — he has heart, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure problems — Gulen, 69, was not well enough to meet with a reporter during a recent visit, Aksoy said.

The ongoing mystery around Gulen breeds suspicion, particularly since the 9/11 terror attacks added to Americans’ unease with Islam. Some research groups raise questions about Gulen’s real intentions. Yet, some contend he is no different from any other religious leader.

Concerns in the United States about Gulen and the spread of Islam are rooted in ignorance and misunderstanding, said Terry Rey, chair of the Department of Religion at Temple University, which co-hosted a conference on Gulen with his supporters this month.

“Any religious movement that begins to draw people is a threat to someone,” Rey said. “As a scholar of religion, I can contextualize it, and I cannot see it as anything fundamentally different from what has always gone on.”

AN ENIGMA

Internet rumors say the retreat center was used as a militia training ground and schools started by Gulen’s admirers are brainwashing children.

An article published last year by the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based policy group, suggested Gulen’s supporters control $25 billion and could be plotting a religious takeover of Turkey’s government, a secular republic.

Daniel Pipes, the nonprofit’s director, called Gulen dangerous. Pipes said he could be “perhaps the most sophisticated Islamist leader in the world” for eschewing violence and extremism but still seeking to apply Islamic religious law.

“He’s a bit of a mystery,” said Steven Emerson, an expert on Islamic extremists. “The question is, is he a radical or not?”

Michael Werz, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank, described Gulen as a moderate who spoke out against terrorism and supported interfaith dialogue.

“He’s a pretty middle-of-the-road guy,” said Werz, who plans to speak Tuesday at an event hosted by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

The government allowed Gulen to remain in the country as an alien worker with “extraordinary ability” since he won a court ruling in 2008 that overturned an initial denial by immigration officials.

Rumors that the retreat center is being used to create an army are unfounded, said Howard Beers Jr., chairman of the board of supervisors in Ross Township in Monroe County, home of Golden Generation. His construction company built the retreat center’s facility.

“That’s so far-fetched,” he said. “People love to make up crap, and they know if they make that up, someone will believe them.”

A state police supervisor in nearby Lehighton said the retreat center has not created problems or generated emergency calls. Gulen cooperates during FBI visits, said J.J. Klaver, spokesman in the agency’s Philadelphia field office.

“We have no reason to believe anything other than what he says is going on there, is going on,” Klaver said.

Nothing obvious about the retreat center suggests that it could be a training ground for militants, either.

Newly constructed guest houses surround the meeting center. The houses hold up to 80 visitors, who come from around the world and stay for days at a time, said Steve Sablak, vice president of the retreat center.

The buildings appear clean and modern, with a granite countertop and plastic furniture in one kitchen. Visitors’ clothes spilled out of small suitcases in a room lined with Turkish futons, and children’s toys, including a Bob the Builder doll and a plastic ball, sat on the floor.

‘FANTASTICALLY DISORGANIZED’

The understated campus belies the wide reach of Gulen’s teachings.

Readers of Foreign Policy magazine voted Gulen the world’s leading public intellectual in 2008. A report by Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst last year called him a polarizing figure in Turkey.

The number of people inspired by Gulen is estimated at more than 5 million.

Gulen’s supporters belong to a “fantastically disorganized organization,” said the Rev. Walter Wagner, a Lutheran minister and adjunct professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. They do not report to a central authority or maintain membership lists.

These people often refer to themselves as “volunteers” rather than followers. The movement — another term they shun — is typically known in the United States as hizmet, for the Turkish word for service. Turks refer to the group as cemaat, the word for a religious community.

Gulen’s influence emanates from the schools founded by those inspired by his words, said Yvonne Haddad, a professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in Washington. The schools, located in 120 countries, typically emphasize math and science over religion, with the goal of educating young people in poor areas.

“Conspiracy theories are everywhere,” Haddad said. “I have looked at the material and interviewed people. As far as I know, it’s no different than any other” school connected to a religious group.

Huseyin Gulerce, a columnist in Istanbul with the pro-Gulen Turkish newspaper Zaman, said the movement stresses three points: education, dialogue and communication.

“The first thing when I think about Fethullah Gulen and his movement is their schools,” said Emin Kahveci, 25, a graphic designer in Istanbul.

Gulen’s admirers started a school in Monroeville, called the Snowdrop Science Academy, in 2005. But the school closed four years later because it did not have enough students, a former administrator said.

Americans, like all people, could learn from Gulen’s sermons, said Mahmut Demir, president of the Turkish Cultural Center Pittsburgh in Dormont. The center typically draws 100 to 200 people for dinners and events related to Turkey and interfaith communication.

“(Gulen) is open to all different ideas,” said Demir, a doctoral candidate in physics at the University of Pittsburgh. “He respects people’s choices. … Everybody can learn something from this man who teaches nothing but peace and tolerance.”

Free-lance writer Ali Abaday in Turkey contributed to this report.

 

NY Times Exposes Geller, Mentions LoonWatch

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by loonwatch
The more Geller gets attention, the more her looniness is exposed

The New York Times ran a feature on anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller. The Times feature also mentioned LoonWatch! While it’s noteworthy for our site to be mentioned by the New York Times, we won’t let it get to our collective head. There’s too much work in exposing right-wing nuts like Geller to allow for that.

Outraged, and Outrageous (New York Times) h/t Rob

PAMELA GELLER’S apartment, in the fashion of the blogosphere, doubles as her office. It is a modern full-floor unit in a high-rise on the East Side of Manhattan that could belong to a socialite or the editor of a lifestyle magazine. There is ample light and a tasteful lack of clutter. The kitchen appliances are made of brushed steel; the countertops are slate. In the earth-toned living room hangs a painting, in vibrant colors, of a woman in a swimsuit.

It is in this genteel setting that Ms. Geller, 52 and a single mother of four, wakes each morning shortly after 7, switches on her laptop and wages a form of holy war throughAtlas Shrugs, a Web site that attacks Islam with a rhetoric venomous enough that PayPal at one point branded it a hate site. Working here — often in fuzzy slippers — she has called for the removal of the Dome of the Rock from atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; posted doctored pictures of Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court justice, in a Nazi helmet; suggested the State Department was run by “Islamic supremacists”; and referred to health care reform as an act of national rape.

Ms. Geller has been writing since 2005, but this summer she skyrocketed to national prominence as the firebrand in chief opposing Park51, the planned Muslim community center she denounces as “the ground zero mega-mosque.”

Operating largely outside traditional Washington power centers — and, for better or worse, without traditional academic, public-policy or journalism credentials — Ms. Geller, with a coterie of allies, has helped set the tone and shape the narrative for a divisive national debate over Park51 (she calls the developer a “thug” and a “lowlife”). In the process, she has helped bring into the mainstream a concept that after 9/11 percolated mainly on the fringes of American politics: that terrorism by Muslims springs not from perversions of Islam but from the religion itself. Her writings, rallies and television appearances have both offended and inspired, transforming Ms. Geller from an Internet obscurity, who once videotaped herself in a bikini as she denounced “Islamofascism,” into a media commodity who has been profiled on “60 Minutes” and whose phraseology has been adopted by Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin.

FOR Ms. Geller, the battle against Park51 is only part of a much larger crusade in which she is joined by an influential if decentralized coalition that includes formergeneralsnew-mediapolemicistsresearchers and evangelicals who view Islam as a politically driven religion, barbaric at its core and expansionist by nature. Her closest partner is Robert Spencer, the proprietor of Jihadwatch.orgIncorporation papers for their American Freedom Defense Initiative list as founding members Anders Gravers, a Danish “anti-Islamization” activist (“Jihad is the knife slicing the salami of freedom”) and John Joseph Jay (“There are no innocents in Islam”). Their lawyer, David Yerushalmi, has sought to criminalize the practice of Islamwhen defined as adherence to Shariah, Islamic religious law.

This loose-knit cadre’s vision of Islam in an age of terror is not unlike a cold war view of Communism: a stealthy global threat creeping into nodes of power that must be opposed at all cost. “In the war between the savage and the civilized man,” Ms. Geller says, “you side with the civilized man.”

It remains unclear how much Ms. Geller is driving opposition to the Islamic center and how much she reflects it — polls suggest most Americans oppose the project — but her involvement can hardly be ignored. Atlas Shrugs, which gets about one million unique visitors a month, helped draw thousands to protests against Park51 on June 6 and Sept. 11. Ms. Geller, supported by a divorce settlement and blog advertisements, also played an important role in winning the resignation in 2007 of Debbie Almontaser, a Muslim principal who started an Arabic-language public school in Brooklyn; brought 200 people to Ohio last year to support Rifqa Bary, a Muslim girl who accused her parents of abuse; and helped draw vociferous objectors to a hearing this summer on a since-scrapped proposal for a mosque on Staten Island.

In conversation, Ms. Geller habitually refers to herself as a “racist-Islamophobic-anti-Muslim-bigot” — all one word in her pronunciation — which hints at her sense of humor and her evident frustration at her public persona. She wields a similarly broad brush against opponents, using terms like “diabolical” and “stealth jihadist” even for people like the journalist Christiane Amanpour and the Republican operative Grover Norquist.

The outrageous and the solemn are deeply intertwined in her character. Ms. Geller admits to using Atlas Shrugs to test topics significant (the conflict in Sudan) and outlandish (that a young Barack Obama slept with “a crack whore”). She has taken up arms against “honor killings” as well as against a Disneyland employee who fought to wear a head scarf. She inspires laughs at sites like Loonwatch, but critics say her influence is serious: a spreading fear of Islam and a dehumanization of Muslims comparable to the sometimes-violent anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism of earlier eras. Even some of her former right-wing allies say she has gone too far.

“I think she’s enabling a real bigotry — a lot of people are convinced by the propaganda she repeats like a mantra,” said Charles Johnson, who runs the blog Little Green Footballs, where Ms. Geller got her start as a frequent commenter. “Nine-eleven didn’t happen in a vacuum — it came from a long history. But when people like Pam Geller are the loudest voices out there talking about it, it drowns out everything else and makes everyone look crazy.”

Like many writers, Ms. Geller is fond of what she calls her “little darlings” — rhetorical flourishes, such as accusing the imam behind Park51 of “totalitarian Khomeinism.”Asked during an interview on Sept. 28 whether these extreme constructions undermine her credibility, Ms. Geller spontaneously erupted into song. “I gotta be me,” she sang, sounding not too bad, though not at all like someone who has opined extensively about the Mufti of Jerusalem and the Iranian revolution. “I gotta be free.

“I’m serious,” she added, returning to her Long Island-accented voice. “I haven’t thought about that song in a million years. But it’s really true.”

THE day last December when The New York Times first reported plans to build a Muslim community center two blocks from ground zero, Atlas Shrugs immediately objected. “I don’t know which is more grotesque,” Ms. Geller wrote, “jihad or the NY Times preening of it.”

She dropped the topic until May 5, when the project — including a mosque, sports facilities and cultural programs to promote understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims — won unanimous approval from a committee of Community Board 1.

The next day, Atlas bristled with outrage. It was a “monster mosque.” It was “sort of like a victory lap” — analogous to Muslims’ reconsecrating the iconic Hagia Sophia cathedral as a mosque after conquering Constantinople in 1453. “Insulting and humiliating.” “A stab in the eye of America.”

“This is Islamic domination and expansionism,” Ms. Geller declared. The only Muslim center appropriate near ground zero, she said, would be devoted to “expunging the Koran” of “incitement to violence.” (Though, she added, such a center “probably wouldn’t last two minutes without being bombed by devout Muslims.”)

Two days later, Ms. Geller invited readers to protest the “9/11 monster mosque being built on hallowed ground zero,” in a post that was among the first to spread the misimpressions that the project was at the World Trade Center site and would solely house a prayer space. The next week, The New York Post took up the cause (“Mosque Madness at Ground Zero”). Fox News booked Ms. Geller on Mike Huckabee’s television programSean Hannity hosted her on the radio.

The community board received hundreds of letters and calls from across the country; Ms. Geller had posted its contact information. She advertised its May 25 hearing, which was packed and marked by heckling (“You’re building on a Christian cemetery!”).

Next, the organization she and Mr. Spencer took over in April, Stop Islamization of America, held a rally on the anniversary of D-Day, which Ms. Geller marks as the moment Park51 became a national sensation. A post about it by El Marco, a conservative blogger, “went viral,” she said, a rare instance of a big debate’s bursting on the scene without “the mainstream media telling people what to think.”

Ms. Geller, though, had some suggestions. She and other bloggers quoted selectively from the imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, stressing his description of United States policy as partly responsible for 9/11. They branded him a “radical Islamist.” They declared that his talks against extremism and violence were “taqiyya” — the hiding of true beliefs, religiously sanctioned for Muslims, usually minority Shiites, under hostile rule. And Ms. Geller said, without evidence, that the center’s financing might be tied to terrorists.

Her assertions became common talking points for Republican leaders and other opponents. Soon, Rick A. Lazio, running for governor of New York, was calling the imam a “terrorist sympathizer.” Rush Limbaugh was describing Park51 as a “victory mosque.” Mr. Gingrich was talking about fighting “stealth jihad,” a favorite Geller phrase and the title of a book by Mr. Spencer.

Over the summer, Ms. Geller, irresistibly appealing to television bookers, appeared on programs across the political spectrum as the face of opposition to the Muslim center. Her claims were disputed often enough that the liberal media-tracking group Media Matters called on stations(ineffectually) to stop presenting her as an expert.

Opposition to Park51 grew — and with it, antipathy for Islam. A New York Times poll last month found that two-thirds of city residents thought the project should be relocated. A Quinnipiac University poll of likely New York State voters showed that 90 percent of Republicans — compared to 34 percent of Democrats — thought that a mosque near ground zero was wrong. And the portion of Americans with a favorable view of Islam reached its lowest ebb since 9/11 — 37 percent, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Ms. Geller said in the interview that it was “insulting to the American people” to suggest that she and her allies inspired the anger over the project. But if many people have a general unease over the idea of a mosque downtown, Ms. Geller has provided a vocabulary to express it and a framework to understand it: worries about Islam.

“I have an interesting play on words sometimes,” she said. “If people like it, I think that’s great.”

Mr. Spencer says Ms. Geller’s “genius” is translating his sometimes-obscure concepts into vernacular, plus a “charm and appeal” that motivates people to take action. Rich Davis, a founding member of their group, likened her to the lead singer who made the Who’s challenging music popular.

“I think of her like Roger Daltry,” said Mr. Davis, a Navy veteran from Pennsylvania. “He had a good look, a strong personality, and that’s how I think of her. She’s the front man for so many of us who feel the same way.”

PAMELA GELLER was born in 1958, the third of four girls. She grew up in Hewlett Harbor, one of Long Island’s Five Towns, an affluent, heavily Jewish enclave that spawned notables like the fashion designer Donna Karan. Her father, Reuben, owned a textile mill in Brooklyn and often worked 16 hours a day; he died in 1996. “I was closer to my dad than anyone,” Ms. Geller has written. “There was no one like him. He came up the hard way and made a success of his life the hard way.”

Her mother, Lillian, who died in 2006, was often in the kitchen when Pamela and her sisters — two became doctors, one a teacher — returned from school for lunch. Pamela was the most adventuresome and the most enthralled by New York, said Jessica Geller, the eldest. “She was the girl who couldn’t wait to drive,” Jessica added. “She loved everything about the city, the buzz, the excitement, the vibrancy.”

Theirs was, Jessica Geller said, an “unremarkable” postwar suburban household — mom, dad, school, work, cars, boys. The sisters went to Hebrew school, but attended synagogue mainly on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. (“It was more of a fashion show in many respects,” Jessica Geller recalled.)

Israel, which now forms a crucial piece of Pamela Geller’s politics, was not frequently discussed. Both parents were Democrats, but, in Jessica Geller’s view, “the liberal moms and dads of the ’60s and ’70s would be considered right-wing nuts by today’s standards.”

Pamela Geller said her early years were imbued with a sense of American power and rectitude, so pervasive that it need not be articulated. Many of her current concerns — political correctness, media cowardice, changing national identity, eroding individual rights — can be connected to those times.

“Growing up as the sort of tail end of the baby boomers, there was this feeling of invincibility in America,” she said. “We were free. The good guys won. The good cop is on the beat. I certainly don’t get a sense of that anymore.” (Jessica Geller put it this way: “What my sister really wants is for everything to get back to normal in America.”)

Pamela went to Lynbrook High School and Hofstra University, but left without a degree. She worked on the business side of The New York Daily News through the 1980s, then became the associate publisher at The New York Observer.

Colleagues at The Observer remembered her as brassy and vulgar — not an easy fit with the salmon-colored broadsheet’s effete ethos. Ms. Geller recalled pushing the publisher to endorse Rudolph W. Giuliani in his first mayoral bid, and being satisfied when the paper issued no endorsement. Married in 1990 to Michael H. Oshry, a wealthy car dealer from the Five Towns who was himself the son of a wealthy car dealer from the Five Towns, she quit in 1994 to stay home with her daughters.

Ms. Geller got nearly $4 million when the couple divorced in 2007, and when Mr. Oshry died in 2008, there was a $5 million life-insurance policy benefiting her four daughters, said Alex Potruch, Mr. Oshry’s lawyer. She also kept some proceeds from the sale of Mr. Oshry’s $1.8 million house in Hewlett Harbor.

“Pamela wanted to live in the city,” Mr. Potruch said. “He made certain that she had sufficient support to buy a co-op in the city and survive there without having to work.

“He supported her blogging,” the lawyer added, “even though he didn’t always agree with what she was saying.”

IT was 9/11 that drove Ms. Geller to her keyboard. She had barely heard of Osama bin Laden, she said, and “felt guilty that I didn’t know who had attacked my country.”

She spent the next year educating herself about Islam, reading Bat Ye’or, a French writer who focuses on tensions over Muslim immigrants in Europe; Ibn Warraq, the pseudonym for a Pakistani who writes about his rejection of Islam; and Daniel Pipes, whom she ultimately rejected because he believes in the existence of a moderate Islam.

Ms. Geller commented prolifically on Web sites focused on Islamic militancy, like Little Green Footballs. “She was always one of the first ones to start going way out there,” said Mr. Johnson. (Ms. Geller, in turn, dismissed him as “a reviled figure” who had abandoned his principles.) A fellow commenter called Pookleblinky urged Ms. Geller to start her own blog. She named it in homage to Ayn Rand’s championing of individual rights — Ms. Geller, unlike some of her allies, favors abortion rights — and, perhaps, to conjure the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Readership grew steadily, and spiked whenever she took on hot-button issues. In early 2006, when Muslims rioted over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad printed in a Danish newspaper, Atlas — unlike much of the news media — posted the cartoons, and hits leaped from scores to tens of thousands.

During the Lebanon-Israel war later that year, Ms. Geller video-blogged from an Israeli beach, flicking water at the camera, arching her bikini-bared back provocatively and equating Palestinianswith Hamas.

In 2007, she wrote often about Ms. Almontaser, the teacher who founded the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn — Ms. Geller called Arabic-language instruction a front for Islamist indoctrination. She joined Stop the Madrassa, an organization formed to fight the school, which later thanked her for speeding Ms. Almontaser’s ouster. It was this victory, critics say, that emboldened Ms. Geller’s circle and set it on a path to national influence.

“New York is the cosmopolitan city of the world,” Ms. Almontaser said last week. “They figured that if they could do it here, they could do it anywhere. And sadly, they did.”

The next turning point for Ms. Geller, a few months later, was a “counter-jihad” conference in Brussels. It threw her — and Mr. Spencer of Jihad Watch — together with anti-Islamic Europeans whom even some allies considered too extreme, like Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang, an offshoot of a Belgian party banned that was for racism and was allegedly founded by Nazi sympathizers.

Mr. Johnson of Little Green Footballs, a former comrade, attacked Ms. Geller and Mr. Spencer — whose interest in Islam began with family lore about a Greek great-grandfather killed by Turks — for meeting with “neo-Nazis.” They insisted they were not responsible for the views of everyone who stands in a room with them (though they have lobbed similar guilt-by-association accusations at Muslims, including the people behind Park51).

Ms. Geller went on to champion as patriotic the English Defense League, which opposes the building of mosques in Britain and whose members have been photographed wearing swastikas. (In the interview, Ms. Geller said the swastika-wearers must have been “infiltrators” trying to discredit the group.) And she formed a lasting partnership with Mr. Spencer.

It is partly philosophical: They and the anti-Islam movement in Europe share a fear of Muslim takeover. And it is partly practical: He helps her raise money and source some assertions; she helps him spread his ideas and, he said, “get results.”

THEIR first collaboration was informal. In 2008, Mr. Spencer posted Ms. Geller’s appeal to raise $4,000 for a headstone for Aqsa Parvez, a Muslim-Canadian immigrant killed by her father and brother for not wearing a head scarf. More recently, Mr. Spencer worked with Ms. Geller on her book “The Post-American Presidency,” published this summer by Simon & Schuster for what she described as a six-figure advance. He helped her sober up her tone, she said, by removing those “little darlings,” in hopes of bolstering the credibility of her argument that Mr. Obama is “not only presiding over but actively promoting the decline of America.”

The pair populated the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference with anti-Islam sympathizers by renting a room in the same hotel and hosting a talk by Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-Islam activist who has tried to ban the Koran in his country. At this year’s conference, they hosted Mr. Gravers, head of Stop Islamization of Europe, whose motto is “Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is the height of common sense.” Mr. Gravers then asked Ms. Geller and Mr. Spencer to take over his group’s American affiliate, and turn it from a staid Web site into a political force.

They delivered. In April, they founded a nonprofit group called American Freedom Defense Initiative, which also uses the name Stop Islamization of America. They took out bus ads offering to help Muslims who wanted to leave the religion but were afraid of violent reprisals — and won in court when cities tried to suppress the ads. They brought crowds to support Rifqa Bary in Ohio and urged people to oppose the mosque on Staten Island.

Then Park51 emerged.

Mr. Spencer and Ms. Geller said they would rather have galvanized the nation with accounts of Muslim girls killed by male relatives over violations of family “honor.” But, Mr. Spencer said, to many Americans the plight of a Muslim immigrant girl is too abstract. “Most people are only concerned with their families and friends and their immediate circle,” he said. “There is a visceral connection that Americans have with 9/11 that is not felt about other issues.”

It is difficult to determine who finances their movement, since their new organization has yet to win tax-free status requiring documentation of donations. Mr. Spencer estimated that since 2009, the two have raised and spent about $150,000 for things like the bus ads and giant television screens for the 9/11 rally, some of it donated through Mr. Spencer’s Jihad Watch, a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency. In recent years, Jihad Watch has been a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which pays him a $132,000 salary and, as Politico.com has reported, has received significant contributions from philanthropists who back the Israeli right.

Asked how much her blog collects in reader donations and advertisements (one promotes a creationist Web site), Ms. Geller said only that it was enough to live on.

She is barreling ahead. Just last week, Atlas called on readers to boycott Campbell’s soup after the company announced that it planned to certify some products as halal — the Muslim equivalent of kosher — with the supervision of a group that Ms. Geller considers a front for terrorists.

“Warhol,” she wrote, “is spinning in his grave.”

 

Daniel Pipes Accuses Obama of Enforcing Sharia Law

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2010 by loonwatch

(via. Islamophobia-watch)

Daniel Pipes accuses Obama of enforcing Sharia law

Over at the Washington Times Daniel Pipes opines that he found Pastor Terry Jones’ plan to ban the Qur’an “distasteful”. But actual the object of his attack is the Obama administration, who Pipes claims capitulated to the threat of “Muslim violence” when they persuaded Jones to call off his book-burning stunt. Pipes explains: “That violence stems from Islamic law, Shariah, which insists that Islam, and the Koran in particular, enjoy a privileged status. Islam ferociously punishes anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, who trespasses against Islam’s sanctity.”

Pipes concludes with the following charge against the Obama administration: “Its pressure on Mr. Jones further eroded freedom of speech about Islam and implicitly established Islam’s privileged status in the United States, whereby Muslims may insult others but not be insulted. This moves the country toward dhimmitude, a condition whereby non-Muslims acknowledge the superiority of Islam. Finally, Mr. Obama, in effect, enforced Islamic law, a precedent that could lead to other forms of compulsory Shariah compliance.”

Pipes has found himself rather sidelined recently by more newsworthy Islamophobes like Pamela Geller or Newt Gingrich. Maybe this is Pipes’ attempt to show he is still a major player when it comes to whipping up hysteria against the US Muslim community.

 

Islamophobia? What Islamophobia?

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2010 by loonwatch
Muslim non-victim of non-existent Islamophobia

An irony of Islamophobes is that they are among the most vehement Islamophobia-deniers. It’s sort of like how White supremacists believe that there is no such thing as racism, that their hatred of blacks is a logical and rational enterprise. Hey, they’re just out to preserve the purity of the White race.

I wonder what goes through the minds of Robert Spencer or Pamela Geller who are making ahandsome living inciting Americans against the evil faith of Islam and its suspicious adherents when they see the picture of the 44 year old father above lying in the ER after he was slashed on the job for committing the grand old crime of being Muslim.

Ahmed H. Sharif came to this country 25 years ago. He worked as a chef for 10 years, and as a cab driver for 15. Like most American Muslims, he came to this country to earn a living on the merit of his hard work and sacrifice, in hopes of providing a better life for his family.

Unbeknownst to him, there has been a movement fomenting in this country blasting an incessant message over AM talk radio, the internet, and the right-wing TV talk shows telling gullible Americans that Mooslims like Sharif and his ilk are really here to “Islamize” America, abolish freedom and democracy and institute a Taliban-brand Shariah. The recent hysteria surrounding the building of the proposed Park51 Islamic center in lower Manhattan saw that Goebelsian message rise to a deafening pitch.

Michael Enright, 21, an art student by day, and a “soldier of freedom” by night, was listening.

On late August 24th he hailed Sharif’s cab.

“Anti-Jihadi Freedom Fighter” Michael Enright

Enright greeted Sharif with “Assalamu Alaikum.” A flattered Sharif responded. Enright asked Sharif how his Ramadan was going, and a compliant Sharif explained it was going well. Enright then gave Sharif a hint of what was coming by proceeding to ridicule Sharif’s faith.

At the end of the ride, before stepping out of the cab, Enright then left Sharif a little piece of “freedom fighting:”

“This is the checkpoint motherfucker” and “I have to bring you down motherfucker,” shouted Enright.

The New York Times reports that Enright then “withdrew a Leatherman knife and reaching through the opening in the plastic divider, slashed Mr. Sharif’s throat. When Mr. Sharif turned, he said, Mr. Enright stabbed him in his face, on his arm and on his thumbs.”

Mr. Sharif pleaded: “I beg of you, don’t kill me. I worked so hard, I have a family.”

Of course, Pipes, Geller, and Spencer will tell you that Sharif only has himself to blame for being a scary Muslim:

Says ailing Islamophobe Daniel Pipes:

“Muslims should dispense with this discredited term [of Islamophobia] and instead engage in some earnest introspection. Rather than blame the potential victim for fearing his would-be executioner, they would do better to ponder how Islamists have transformed their faith into an ideology celebrating murder and develop strategies to redeem their religion by combating this morbid totalitarianism.” (Islamophobia? New York Sun, 10/25/2005)

Mr. Sharif, We sincerely hope you had some time to “ponder” that before your throat was randomly thrashed in this non-Islamophobic attack.

Says the Queen of Islamophobia Pamela Geller, founder of the pro-genocide anti-Muslim hate group SIOA:

“What hate crimes, what hate crimes, there is no documentation, there is no backlash, this is part of this narrative, it’s part of this narrative, it’s part of this Islamic narrative… There is no [anti] Muslim backlash, that’s part of this Islamic narrative, you cannot cite any hate crimes, there has been no hate crimes, America has gone out of its way to make sure there is no backlash” (The Alyona Show, RT, 07/25/2010)

Hear that Mr. Sharif? Even if you were lashed from the back for being Muslim, it’s still not a backlash because there is no such thing as an anti-Muslim backlash.

Says the (anti) Islamic “scholar” Robert Spencer and co-founder of SIOA:

“This is why the fake term Islamophobia is so dangerous: It insinuates that any reservations about Islam must ipso facto be ‘phobic.’ A phobia is an irrational fear or dislike. Islamic preaching very often manifests precisely this feature, which is why suspicion of it is by no means irrational.” (jihadwatch.org, 08/24/2010)

That’s right, what’s so “irrational” about Enright’s behavior? Islamophobia? What Islamophobia?

So there you have it folks, as the “perceptive” commentator Jonah Goldberg would say: “the supposed Muslim backlash” in America is “mostly a myth.” (Islamophobia? Not really. Los Angeles Times. 08/24/2010)

 

Washington Post Neutral on Anti-Muslim Bigots Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2010 by loonwatch

UPDATED below (8/20/10).

Michelle Boorstein, a journalist with the Washington Post has written on anti-Muslim bigots Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and their growing influence amongst Conservatives. We have extensively followed these two, providing evidence of their hate, bigotry, genocidal rants, and pseudo-scholarship through links, snapshots and in-context quotes.

Boorstein puts on the kids gloves when tackling these two, and labels them “Islam critics.” However, they are more than  mere “critics” of Islam, (a statement one might make of Orientalist Bernard Lewis), they are anti-Muslim Islamophobes. They wallow in, pander and promote the vilest and weirdest conspiracy theories about Islam and Muslims, and sometimes non-Muslims as well.

Boorstein’s article, though it recognizes Geller and Spencer as the principal front figures and activists propelling the anti-mosque agitation is at the end of the day an epic failure due to its neutrality. Despite one mention of Geller’s nutty claim that Obama was the “love child” of Malcolm X, it glosses over the plethora of bigoted, hateful, irrational and borderline genocidal statements Geller has made.

When it comes to Robert Spencer the failure is even more pronounced, Boorstein cites IslamophobeDaniel Pipes (whom she dubs, “perhaps the most prominent US scholar on radical Islam”) opinion of Spencer as a “serious scholar.” This is like a kid being asked what grade his best friend should get on his report card, especially since Pipes considers himself allied with Spencer and Geller against similar “enemies.”

Pipes, according to Boorstein claims to be in the middle now, but that is belied by the fact that he admits he is “raising money” for the “most anti-Islam” individual out there, Dutch politician Geert Wilders, to supposedly “protect freedom of speech.”

Wilders you will remember says Islam is not a religion, compares the Quran to the Mein Kampf and wants it banned, wants to tax the hijab, and repatriate “criminal” Dutch Muslim citizens to their lands of origin. So how in his right mind can Pipes claim to be in the middle?

In the same breathe that Pipes says the “anti-Islam” agitation is growing in the US he admits that the “anti-Islam” bloggers (presumably including Spencer and Geller) have brought an “unsophisticated tone to the debate,” but then nimbly moves to say he shares the “same goals” as them. Double talk anyone? In reality the divide between Pipes and Spencer is a difference without a distinction.

You cannot have your cake and eat it as well. You can’t say that you don’t share in the methodology or beliefs of vociferous anti-Muslims whose goals are to eradicate Islam and strip Muslims of their citizenship but then join them because you have similar goals of “preserving freedom.” That is hypocrisy wrapped up in a contradiction.

In the mean time what is being missed by reporters and journalists in news papers and on TV alike is that these mere “critics” of Islam are at the forefront of a growing, organized anti-Muslim movement. The Park51 “Ground Zero” mosque controversy did not come out of nowhere, it is part of a plan to dig up and spread controversy about Islam and Muslims.

What is surprising is that Michelle Boorstein made no mention of the link between Geller and Spencer and the anti-Muslim movement, especially considering we featured her as an anti-loon in June for asking the question in her blog, “How influential will anti-Muslims become?

What is the future of the anti-Muslim movement in the United States?

For years there has been a small but passionate group of people concerned with the influence of Islam, and their activism seemed to be largely focused on blogging and lobbying political conservatives. But their presence — and the arguments they raise — seem to be coming into the broader sphere of late.

There’s the fight over a mosque at the Ground Zero site, and this weekend the on-line electronic payment firm PayPal reportedly cut off the anti-Muslim blog Atlas Shrugs, saying it’s a hate site.

Needless to say, this has prompted a roar from Atlas Shrugs supporters who see political bias.

Commentators across the spectrum, from the libertarian Becket Fund to the progressive Media Matters are asking: Where is this anti-Muslim movement going? How significantly will it steer the debate in this country about religious freedom and bias?

Why couldn’t she make that connection about these two leaders in the anti-Muslim movement in this article? Is it a reversal of nomenclature on her part due to pressure from the anti-Muslims? Hopefully she is not kowtowing to pressure.

Boorstein mentions Loonwatch towards the end of her piece (hat tip: Marco). One sentence, in a very obscure paragraph.

A site monitoring the Muslim critics is called Loonwatch. Conspiracy theories on the blogs about murder attempts and bestiality are common. People on both sides say they get death threats and thus can’t disclose where they live.

This paragraph is odd and it is a poor transition from the previous paragraph. Loonwatch does not monitor “Muslim critics” which is what that sentence implies. Muslims and Islam may justifiably be criticized by anyone. We don’t have a problem with that. We monitor anti-Muslims and Islamophobes. The paragraph also doesn’t specifically assign the “conspiracy theories” and “bestiality” to the Spencer and Geller blogs and for that reason is too ambiguous. It leaves the door open for people to think we partake in “conspiracy theories” or talk about “murder attempts” and “bestiality” which we do not.

Boorstein could have used a number of our posts and pieces to highlight how insane it is for the Right-wing to allow these two Muslim haters to rise up to stardom in their ranks. How, in fact they belong on the periphery amongst the fringe, but she chose not to and for that reason her article leaves a lot wanting.

However, I did find the final few sentences of her piece quite revealing,

Asked if he was being deliberately combative and provocative, Spencer chuckled.

“Why not?” he asked. “It’s fun.”

This gives us a glimpse into who Spencer is and what he really is about. He finds the fact that he is dooping Conservatives and others in America by creating controversy funny. It is not at all about being a “serious objective scholar,” it is all about the anti-Muslim crusade.

Update: Michelle Boorstein changed the title of her article it is no longer, In flap over mosque near Ground Zero, conservative writers gaining influence, now it is “The pens of anti-Muslim conservatives impact N.Y.C. mosque debate mightily.” She deserves kudos for that.

 

Reza Aslan Rips Republican Zuhdi Jasser on Mosque

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2010 by loonwatch

Reza Aslan, an Islamic scholar and an accomplished writer, blogger, and emerging popular culture figure was on CNN opposite Zuhdi Jasser, a contributor to Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum and a contributing writer for the virulently anti-Islam Family Security Matters.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOp4O9FwzRw 350 300]

 

Robert Wright: The Myth of Modern Jihad

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2010 by loonwatch

An excellent article, and a must read. (hat tip: Justin)

The Myth of Modern Jihad

by Robert Wright

It would be an understatement to say that Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber, pleaded guilty last week. “I’m going to plead guilty a hundred times over,” Shahzad told the judge. Why so emphatic? Because Shahzad is proud of himself. “I consider myself a Mujahid, a Muslim soldier,” he said.

This got some fist pumps in right-wing circles, because it seemed to confirm that America faces all-out jihad, and must marshal an accordingly fierce response. On National Review Online, Daniel Pipes wrote that Shahzad’s “bald declaration” should make Americans “accept the painful fact that Islamist anger and aspirations” are the problem; we must name “Islamism as the enemy.” And, as Pipes has explained in the past, once you realize that your enemy is a bunch of Muslim holy warriors, the path forward is clear: “Violent jihad will probably continue until it is crushed by a superior military force.”

At the risk of raining on Pipes’s parade: If you look at what Shahzad actually said, the upshot is way less grim. In fact, at a time when just about everyone admits that our strategy in Afghanistan isn’t working, Shahzad brings refreshing news: maybe America can win the war on terrorism without winning the war in Afghanistan.

As a bonus, it turns out there’s a hopeful message not just in Shahzad’s testimony, but in Pipes’s incomprehension of it. Pipes exhibits a cognitive distortion that may be afflicting Americans broadly — not just on the right, but on the center and left as well. And seeing the distortion is the first step toward escaping it.

Once you decide that some group is your implacable enemy, your mind gets a little warped.

Here is how Shahzad explained his role in the holy war: “It’s a war,” he said. “I am part of that. I am part of the answer of the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people, and on behalf of that, I’m revenging the attacks.”

Now, for a Muslim holy warrior to see his attacks as revenge runs counter to Pipes’s longstanding claim that Islamic holy war is about attack, not counterattack. Roughly since 9/11, Pipes has been telling us that jihad is “unabashedly offensive in nature, with the eventual goal of achieving Muslim dominion over the entire globe.” This notion of “jihad in the sense of territorial expansion has always been a central aspect of Muslim life” and is now “the world’s foremost source of terrorism.” That’s why you have to respond with “superior military force.”

Now we have Shahzad suggesting roughly the opposite — that the holy war could end if America would stop using military force. He said in court, “Until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan and stops the occupation of Muslim lands and stops killing the Muslims and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S., and I plead guilty to that.”

Should we really take this testimony seriously? It does, after all, have an air of self-dramatizing grandstanding. Then again, terrorism is a self-dramatizing, grandstanding business, and there’s no reason to think this particular piece of theater isn’t true to Shahzad’s interior monologue.

Indeed, it tracks the pitch of jihadist recruiters, notably Anwar Awlaki, the American sheik in Yemen who inspired not just Shahzad but the Fort Hood shooter and the thwarted underwear bomber. The core of the pitch is that America is at war with Islam, and the evidence cited includes Shahzad’s litany: Iraq, Afghanistan, drone strikes, etc.

Of course, this litany amounts to pretty severe terms for peace. Shahzad says terrorism will continue until we end two wars and all drone strikes? And quit “reporting” suspicious Muslims to our government? Anything else we can do for him?

But as a practical matter, taking any of these issues off the table weakens the jihadist recruiting pitch. (Different potential recruits, after all, are sensitive to different issues.) And if we could take the Afghanistan war off the table, that would be a big one.

At least, that’s my view. This isn’t the place to fully defend it (e.g., address the question of whether I’m “blaming” America for terrorism or whether ending the war would amount to dangerous “appeasement”). My point is just that, if you take Shahzad at his word, there’s more cause for hope than if Pipes were right, and Shahzad’s testimony were evidence that jihadists are bent on world conquest.

Now on to the second cause for hope: Pipes’s confusion itself. For these purposes, it doesn’t matter whether Shahzad was telling the truth, because Pipes certainly thinks he was. Pipes applauds Shahzad’s “forthright statement of purpose,” adding, “However abhorrent, this tirade does have the virtue of truthfulness.”

So then why doesn’t it bother Pipes that Shahzad’s depiction of Islamic holy war as defensive counter-attack is the opposite of the depiction Pipes has peddled for years? How can he possibly hail Shahzad’s comments as confirming his world view?

It’s only human nature. Once you decide that some group is your implacable enemy, your mind gets a little warped. Virtually all incoming evidence is thereafter seen as consistent with that model. (In fact, there’s a more specific finding from social psychology that also helps explain Pipes’s world view, as laid out by blogger Dan Drezner in this little video clip.)

This cognitive distortion reared its head in America’s previous cosmic struggle. Just about all cold war historians agree that Americans bought into the “myth of monolithic communism.” Once we decided that the communist menace was a single, vast, implacable force, we failed to appreciate, for example, tensions between Russia and China that in retrospect seem obviously important. We had our model, and we were sticking to it. Pipes has his model, and he’s sticking to it. He needn’tdismiss evidence inconsistent with it, because he can’t really see the evidence to begin with.

This same tendency may now be impeding America’s ability to conduct the war on terrorism wisely.

If you ask people — right, left or center — why we can’t withdraw from Afghanistan, they start talking about the catastrophe that would ensue: The Taliban would take over, provide bases for al Qaeda, and suddenly it’s 9/11 again. Now, the consequences of withdrawal would certainly be messy and in some ways bad — and this subject is way too complicated to deal with in my remaining few paragraphs. But enough holes have been poked in standard catastrophe scenarios (by, for example, Paul Pillar, former deputy chief of the C.I.A.’s counterterrorism center) without much reducing the grip these scenarios have on people’s minds that you have to wonder whether our fears are grounded in something other than pure reason. You have to wonder whether we’re doing what Pipes is doing: taking a genuinely pretty scary bunch of enemies and making them much scarier — attributing so much unity and relentlessness and cunning to them that it’s hard to imagine beating them without military victory.

To be sure, there is always an ostensibly logical argument that catastrophists summon. (Pipes isn’t wrong to say that there is a doctrine of offensive jihad — he’s just wrong about how it has played out historically and how it plays it out today.) But the reason people accept these arguments so uncritically is that they have a fear of Islamic radicalism that dwarfs the actual threat.

The analogy with communism is worth dwelling on. People warned that if Vietnam fell, the dominoes would keep falling until America itself was under communist control. After all, Russia and China — the sponsors of our Vietnamese enemy — would join with the Vietnamese government to use Vietnam as a forward base if we were chased out. You know — kind of the way al Qaeda would join with a Taliban that controlled any chunk of Afghanistan to torment America.

Well, four years after Saigon fell, Communist Vietnam and Communist China were at war — not with us, but with each other. And a decade after that we had won the cold war.

I’ve been kind of hard on Pipes — in parts of this column and in an earlier column. So I’m glad to have the opportunity to emphasize that he’s just an example of the human mind at work, albeit a particularly revved up example. It’s only natural to attribute to your enemy more cohesion and menace than is in order. We used to do this with communism, and now we do it with radical Islam — and radical Muslims, for their part, do it with us. It’s a temptation we all have to fight. Maybe if we fought it as hard as we fight other enemies, we’d have fewer of them.

 

Miss USA Rima Fakih “Too Sexy” for Debbie Schlussel and other Islamophobes

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2010 by loonwatch

Miss USA

Debbie Schlussel is a walking catastrophe. She has been hit by the green monster. No, not the “diabolical Islamic hordes marching to overtake the West” but…jealousy. It seems that the unsavory wingnut is up in arms that the Miss USA crown has gone to Miss Michigan Rima Fakih, a young woman who astounded judges with her beauty and intelligence during the pageant. Per her modus operandi, Schlussel is claiming that Rima Fakih should really be known as Miss Hezbollah. (Yeah, because you know how Hezbollah really loves women walking around in bikinis.)

Seriously, this is sad, but it is wonderful to watch how low Schlussel can go. Pathetic.

Donald Trump, Dhimmi: Miss Hezbollah Rima Fakih Wins Miss USA

It’s a sad day in America but a very predictable one, given the politically correct, Islamo-pandering climate in which we’re mired.  The Hezbollah-supporting Shi’ite Muslim, Miss Michigan Rima Fakihwhose bid for the pageant was financed by an Islamic terrorist and immigration fraud perpetrator–won the Miss USA contest. I was on top of this story before anyone, telling you about who Fakih is and her extremist and deadly ties.

hezbollah4.jpgMISS USA

Rima Fakih: Miss Hezbollah is Now Miss USA

No, it’s not “just another beauty pageant.”  Donald Trump, Muslims (who mostly support Islamic terrorist groups, like Hezbollah, which features many of Fakih’s close relatives as top officials), and even Barack Obama will exploit this as propaganda for Islam.  Mark my word.  Hezbollah is laughing at us, tonight.  One of its auxiliary members won the Miss USA title without having to do a thing to denounce them and their bloody murder of hundreds of Americans, including the trampling/torture murder of Navy Diver Robert Dean Stethem aboard TWA flight 847, the 25th anniversary of which is next month.

Dhimmi Donald Trump simply didn’t have the guts to demand that Fakih denounce the Islamic group Hezbollah, whose martyrs and top terrorists are Fakih family members.  It doesn’t matter to the Donald that this is the terrorist group that murdered more Americans than any other after Al-Qaeda, and probably more, when you count its joint ventures with Hezbollah.  Trump made a bigger deal with Miss California USA and her bimbo activities, when–hellooooo–it’s a bimbo contest.  Now, Hezbollah has the chief USA bimbo.  And they’ll use it.

I don’t just wonder if this whole contest is rigged.  I have a feeling that it is.  Clearly, there is affirmative action for Muslim women in beauty pageants and other such “contests.”

We know that political correctness and bending over backward (and forward) to all things Islam, are the rules of the day.  I had a bad feeling they’d pick her to try to pander to the Islamic world some more because–ya know–the collective American nose isn’t yet brown enough from ass-kissing Islamic butt all around the world  . . . at least according to the conventional wisdom of idiots.  The Islamic world is especially laughing that a sequined gay man dressed like the world’s ugliest cross-dresser, Johnny Weir, helped make a woman from their intolerant world, Miss USA.  If they could, they’d still rip him to shreds and sever his penis, the way they torture their Israeli and even their own fellow Islamic victims.

donaldtrumphairblowing

Tonight, they celebrated and laughed at us from within at Dearbornistan’s Hezbollah restaurant, La Pita, where workers openly sing Hezbollah war songs and anti-Semitic “ditties” in the kitchen.  It was the site of Fakih’s victory party, where falafel, and hummus, and hate were all on the menu, as they usually are there and throughout Fakih’s community.

I wonder how much influence Miss USA’s Islamic sponsor Farouk Shami–the racist 9/11 Truther and Palestinian terrorism supporter whose Farouk Systems helped pay for the pageant and broadcast–had on this win.  A lot, I’d bet, especially since Fakih tweeted gushingly about hanging out with him.  He probably urged Trump and the judges to make sure his fellow Muslima won.  After all, it makes no difference that she’s a Shi’ite and he’s a Sunni.  She had the support of Sunni terrorists like Imad Hamad, who helped fund her bid.  And, as anyone who knows anything about the Islamic world knows, they’ll happily put their internecine Shi’ite-Sunni war on hold, if it means helping Islam in its propaganda war and fight to take over the West.

In her answer to a dumb question about insurance covering birth control, Fakih gave an even dumber answer.  But it was a feminist, big government, anti-business, politically correct answer.  And because she’s a Muslim, Fakih got away with her utterly conceited statement in a video profile:  “When people meet me, they see a very beautiful, very smart, very funny person.”  Hey, don’t be so modest.  We gotta beat thatfake notion of “Islamic modesty” that really doesn’t exist in the real world.

I knew the classy Miss Oklahoma USA, Elizabeth Woolard–who gave a good and somewhat educated answer about Arizona’s immigration law (watch the video, above)–would lose, the minute she said she supported the Arizona law.  After all, the right answer was to say how “unAmerican” and “oppressive” this law is and how great these illegal aliens are for doing “the work that some Americans just won’t do” (like kidnapping, rape, stealing jobs, and driving down wages).  It doesn’t matter that the question–uttered by judge Oscar Nunez–was incorrect, since his premise was that the law allows authorities to check the immigration status of anyone they think is here illegally (That’s not what the law allows at all).  Since she said the right thing for America and Arizona, not the politically correct answer to win Miss USA, she lost.

Oh, and she wasn’t a Lebanese Muslim Hezbollah supporter with relatives who are top terrorists and “martyrs” in the group.  If you don’t have relatives that have died killing some Jews and relatives who’ve murdered hundreds of Americans, you really don’t deserve to be Miss USA.

Do you?

PREVIOUS:

**** UPDATE, 05/12/10: EXCLUSIVE: Miss USA Contestant is Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah Supporter, Used Pageant Name to Promote Muslim Female Subjugation; Hezbo Taqiyyah Allows Bikinis? ****

**** UPDATE, 05/13/10: Meet Miss USA Contestant’s Hezbollah Family ****

**** UPDATES, 05/16/10:
You Stay Classy: Muslim Miss USA Contestant Has “High-Class” Supporters; More “Islamic Modesty”
* Confirmed: Islamic Terrorist Financed Miss USA Contestant
Miss USA Pageant Sponsor Attacked “Whites,” Bragged About Dad’s Massacre of Jews, is 9/11 Truther, Anti-Israel

While we leave Debbie to spasm over someone a million times hotter than she could ever be, another Islamophobe, botox queen Pamela Geller who loves bikini modeling herself was feigning euphoria, praying for fatwas and claiming Fakih as “an icon for the advent of modernizing the Muslim world.” Of course, Pamela would love nothing more than to enlist Fakih into her goonish and fantastical scheme of stopping the “Islamization of America” but something tells me Fakih would recoil in horror from Geller’s reptilian drawl.

Daniel Pipes has also commented on the victory, stating that affirmative action played a part, fromDavid Weigel,

I’ve been seeing plenty of links to Daniel Pipes’s blog post on Rima Fakih, the first Muslim to become Miss USA. But I only just decided to click through. Wow. Citing five Muslim victories in beauty pageants over the past five years, Pipes says that “this surprising frequency of Muslims winning beauty pageants makes me suspect an odd form of affirmative action,” then offers an update from a reader:

“[O]n a more serious level, affirmative action appears to play a role in some of the Nobel Prizes.”

And more reader insight:

“No surprise here. Affirmative action was first applied in beauty contests for black women to win in the 1980s, then it was the turn of Latin, brown skinned women, and now it’s Muslims. That’s why most people ignore these rigged “events.” They are money losers and require controversy.”

This comes not from a penny ante blogger but from a former State Department staffer, former member of the United States Institute of Peace (holding a recess appointment after being filibustered by Democrats), and former adviser to Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign. Just wow.

Muslims from what I have gathered have mixed feelings, but there won’t be any fatwas, as one friend reminded me, there are hundreds of Rima Fakih’s in the Muslim world free to dress as they please, especially in her country of origin, Lebanon where women routinely dress in mini-skirts and tight-fitting clothes.

Other Muslims of course disagree with her participation in what they see as an event that focuses on objectifying and debasing women, but in the end the decision is her’s and it seems as though a lot of people in her community support her, including her family. I am sure Pamela wasn’t hoping for that, she wanted another Rifqa Bary case, hoping that her parents would want to kill her, but Pamela will be sorely disappointed if she’s looking for an honor killing.

In the end this throws everyone for a loop. The Islamophobes hate it when Muslims win anything and don’t know what to make of it. Jealous and hateful types such as Debbie Schlussel cast her as Miss Hezbollah while Pamela Geller and company hope against hope that some “Mooslim’ will threaten her, or in their dream world scenario, that she will join their hateful ranks.

On the other hand many American Muslims recognize, and some applaud this achievement and how it reflects that America is maturing and accepting Muslims/Arabs into the mainstream, but many are wondering if this is the right way? While individual Muslims might be happy for Rima Fakih, it seems not all American Muslims are accepting of the way she went about achieving her success, but one thing is for sure no one is going to say she is Miss Hezbollah in that bikini!

 

Federal Body: Daniel Pipes et al. are “Extremist Sources”

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2010 by loonwatch

Richard SilversteinRichard Silverstein

EEOC Finds Bias in NYC Firing Arab School Principal, Almontaser

by Richard Silverstein

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that the New York City Department of Education (DOE) discriminated against Debbie Almontaser, founding principal of the Khalil Gibran Academy, the City’s first Arab-language public school, when they removed her from her position. Readers of this blog may recall a ferocious campaign waged by Jewish neocons and Islamophobes like Daniel Pipes, David Yerushalmi, the N.Y. Post, and Stop the Madrasa against the school and Almontaser personally.

Matters came to a head when Almontaser was smeared over a T-shirt displaying the word “Intifada.” Her opponents made her out to be a supporter of Islamism and armed resistance because she explained the Arabic meaning of the word to a reporter, while not denouncing it sufficiently. When Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein dropped her like a hot potato, her days were numbered. After her forced resignation, she sued and lost. Then she filed a claim with EEOC for discrimination. TheN.Y. Times reports on the finding:

A federal commission has determined that New York City’s Department of Education discriminated against the founding principal of an Arabic-language public school by forcing her to resign in 2007 following a storm of controversy driven by opponents of the school.

Acting on a complaint filed last year by the principal, Debbie Almontaser, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that the department “succumbed to the very bias that creation of the school was intended to dispel and a small segment of the public succeeded in imposing its prejudices on D.O.E. as an employer,” according to a letter issued by the commission on Tuesday.

The commission said that the department had discriminated against Ms. Almontaser, a Muslim of Yemeni descent, “on account of her race, religion and national origin.”

This is a great deal for civil rights in New York and in America. It is a day that Arab-Americans can be proud. It is a day when all Americans should be proud. Debbie Almontaser turned to the federal government for redress and it did what it could to make her whole.

This is a day when Muslim-haters like Norman Podhoretz and his friends I mentioned above should hide their heads in shame (though they will shake their fists in defiance instead). Their bullying has been shown for what it is: un-American, unfair, unjust. We are better than the haters in Stop the Madrasa. The democratic system worked.

My chief regret is that the political leadership of New York and the Jewish communal leadership were cowards and turned tail at the first sign of trouble. Instead of standing up to the ranters, Bloomberg folded at the earliest opportunity. The New York Jewish federation, after allowing Rabbi Michael Paley to represent it in the fight on behalf of the Academy, forced him to shut up. I was never able to determine who specifically made this decision–whether it was an executive decision by CEO Jon Ruskay or a lay decision influenced by a wealthy neocon board member like James Tisch. Whoever made the decision betrayed the courage necessary for true leadership. Instead of speaking out and doing the right thing, they let Daniel Pipes present the Jewish community’s position by default.

The EEOC called on New York City to do the right thing:

The commission asked the Department of Education to reach a “just resolution” with Ms. Almontaser and to consider her demands, which include reinstatement to her old job, back pay, damages of $300,000 and legal fees. Should the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the dispute will end up in court, her lawyer said.

Instead of hearing the message, the City’s attorney said his client would fight Ms. Almontaser every step of the way. They still haven’t gotten the message. I only hope that cooler heads will prevail. The former principal was wronged and deserves her job back and the chance to lead this school. That’s what’s fair. That’s what’s American.

I do take issue with one statement in this report:

Despite Ms. Almontaser’s longstanding reputation as a moderate Muslim, her critics succeeded in recasting her as a “9/11 denier” and a “jihadist.”

This is very sloppy writing and editing. Her critics did NOT succeed in recasting her as any of those things. But the mud flung by the Islamophobes resonated in certain quarters (like the pages of the Post) and her employer hung her out to dry. There was never ANY truth to any of the claims against Almontaser. They were all lies. So in that sense her critics could not have succeeded in any objective sense in labeling her. But they waged a vitriolic racist campaign which the DOE and city refused to counteract. Rather than fight, they folded.

In its criticism of the City’s actions, the Commission found that Almontaser had said nor done anything related to the T-shirt incident that warranted her removal:

It was The Post’s article, the commission wrote in its letter this week, that prompted the Department of Education to force Ms. Almontaser to resign. (City officials have said that she resigned voluntarily.)

“Significantly, it was not her actual remarks, but their elaboration by the reporter —creating waves of explicit anti-Muslim bias from several extremist sources — that caused D.O.E. to act,” the commission’s letter said.

I’m delighted that the EEOC pointedly noted the nasty role playing by Pipes and STM and labelled them “extremist.”

 

Is Robert Spencer Captain Oblivious? A Case Study in His Epic Double Standards

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2010 by loonwatch
Hat tip: HGG
Hat tip: HGG 

I’m absolutely no fan of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Unlike the neocon nutter Daniel Pipes who said that he was “rooting for Ahmadinejad,” I was praying for the opposition to win.  But I must always speak the truth, and therefore object to (the fraudulent liar) Robert Spencer’s absolutely deliberate misquoting of the Iranian president.  Spencer just published an article which he entitled as follows:

Ahmadinejad: “With God’s grace,” Israel “will be annihilated.”

In fact, Ahmadinejad did not say that.  The proof is in the news article Spencer himself linked to, which claims that the Iranian president said: “With God’s grace, this [Israeli] regime will be annihilated.”   A world of a difference.  Isn’t it the neocons themselves who call for the toppling of regimes in the Arab and Muslim majority world?  Isn’t it Spencer himself who calls for this, in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and even Iran?  So it’s ok to call for it against Muslim regimes, but not “Judeo-Christian” Western ones?

This deliberate misquoting of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cannot be a mistake, because Robert Spencer–being the global expert of the Islamic world that he is–must be well aware of the now famous misquoting of Ahmadinejad in 2005; the Huffington Post reported:

As the Bush Administration beats the drums for another war of choice with another country that had nothing to do with 9/11, they are using another series of fabricated facts to indoctrinate the American people into thinking that Iran poses a serious threat to our security. At the core of these fabrications is the claim that on October 25, 2005, during a speech at the Ministry of Interior conference hall, the then newly-elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad remarked that “Israel must be wiped off the map.” As someone who was born in Tehran, lived there for seventeen years and is a native Farsi speaker, I have read the original transcripts of the speech in Farsi and want to inform you that Ahmadinejad never said “Israel must be wiped off the map,” but rather, his statement was grossly mistranslated and taken out of context, perhaps to help make a case for military action against Iran.

Let’s analyze what Ahmadinejad said. His exact words in Farsi were as follows: “Emam goft een rezhim-e eshghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzegar mahv shavad.”

The correct translation of the statement is as follows: “Imam said this occupying regime in Jerusalem must vanish from the page of times.”

And the word-to-word translation of the statement is as follows: Emam: Imam (Khomeini, leader of the 1979 revolution); Goft: said; Een: this; Rezhim-e eshghalgar: occupying regime; Qods: Jorusalem; Bayad: must; Az: from; Safheye: page of; Ruzegar: times; Mahv shaved: vanish.

Coming back to the recent quote reproduced by Spencer, Ahmadinejad obviously didn’t say for Israel to be annihilated.  The fact that he specifically used the term regime indicates that he absolutely wasnot calling for that.  This much you can tell just from reading the article that Spencer himself cited.  As for the news article itself, I wonder how accurate their translation is; did he really call for the regime’s annihilation or its elimination (a much less loaded term)?

Anyways, moving beyond Robert Spencer’s deliberate misquoting (which shows how truly fraudulent this man is), there is an even more glaring issue here.  Even if we pretend that Mahmoud Ahmedinejad called for the annihilation of Israel (which he didn’t), then what about the hate video that Robert Spencer just promoted on his website, where a Hindu extremist calls for the annihilation of Pakistan–to wipe it off the map?  It’s almost the exact same words as Spencer attributes to Ahmedinejad!  And this is in the translation that Spencer himself put up.  It is truly unbelievable how oblivious Spencer is to his profound double standards.  Or perhaps he is not oblivious at all (which is actually more likely), and just hopes that nobody important (aside from his loyal Islamophobic fan base) sees through his thin veneer of hate, bias, and double standards?

The brainwashed extremist girl declares:

…Soon our whole nation [of Hindustan] will rise.  When our people rise up, it will be very difficult for you [Pakistanis].  It will be disastrous for every inch of your land…Kashmir will continue to exist, but not Pakistan.  Who [amongst you] will voice such concerns?  Who will show the braveness to use the atom bombs we have [against Pakistan]?  Ask them [the Indian government] who is going to use the [atomic] weapons we have?  Whom are they waiting for?  Don’t worry what is happening now.  History is where it is. We have the capacity to change the geography of the world [by wiping out Pakistan]…everything between [the Pakistani cities of] Karachi to Rawalpindi will become worthless…There won’t be any Pakistan!  If you continue to believe this, I assure you that Pakistan won’t be present in the world for long.

Notice how she goes way past anything that Robert Spencer just criticized in Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s speech.

And one can’t help but notice the absurdity of Spencer saying:

There just isn’t much that’s peaceful about the Iranian regime, but they expect us to believe the nuclear program is.

Earth to Captain Oblivious: you just promoted a video of a Hindu extremist advocating the use of nuclear weapons to absolutely destroy Pakistan and wipe it off the map.  You posted this only within the last few days, and we just published our article calling you out for this.   Maybe you should at least have waited a few weeks, with the hope that people would begin to forget the hate speech posted on your very own site.

What an absolutely unbelievable hypocritical fraudster Robert Spencer is.

(It should be noted that we here at LoonWatch are in no way, shape, or form insinuating that the extremist girl represents Hindus.  Clearly, she is part of a fringe minority of extremists.  Furthermore, I advise the readers not to be harsh with her; I’ve read some people calling her some pretty nasty things.  Calm down.  She’s only sixteen years old and brainwashed.  She’s probably never even seen a Pakistani in her life.  She wasn’t even alive when those events she mentioned in her speech happened.  It’s not her fault as much as those who indoctrinated her with this burning hatred.  I hope that one day, with age and maturity, she recants.  So go easy on her.  The true villains are those like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller who are grown adults and yet promote her immature words.)

Update:

A loyal reader of our site (hat tip: Zam) pointed out to me that the JihadWatch.org article against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was written by Marisol, not Spencer.  Nonetheless, it was posted on Spencer’s own site.  And we must assume that he approves of the message, since he has neither repudiated nor recalled the article.

More importantly, he has condemned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s supposed statement multiple times in the past, such as here where Spencer laments: “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared at a conference in Tehran entitled ‘The World without Zionism’ that Israel should be destroyed.”   Spencer entitles this article “Iran Calls for a New Holocaust.”  In fact, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad simply reproduced the words of Ayatollah Khomeini, just as Spencer reproduced the words of the Hindu extremist.

Of course, neither Ahmadinejad or the Ayatollah he quoted actually called for the annihilation of Israel or a New Holocaust (see Huffington Post article I referred to earlier); on the other hand, both the Hindu extremist and Spencer endorsed a call for a nuclear holocaust in Pakistan.  I’m sure Spencer condemns himself for that.

10 Loonwatch Pieces from 2009 you May Have Missed but Shouldn’t Have

Posted in Feature, Loon Flashback with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2010 by loonwatch

spencer_geert_puss

While the year was great and we had a lot of highs there were some pieces that didn’t get the attention that they truly deserved due to Loonwatch not being as well known at the time.

Here are a list of 10 pieces you may have missed but shouldn’t have, also take a look through our archives for any past articles:

Douglas Farah’s Delusional Delight

Douglas FarahDouglas Farah

Doug, yet another so-called “investigative consultant” tries to link U.S. Muslim orgs to planet Zorbex, that global superpower operating in perfect coordination yet total secrecy to sneak in an evil empire.

M.Cherif Bassiouni Rips Fake Scholar Robert Spencer

Cherif BassiouniCherif Bassiouni

Robert Spencer, and his proxies such as Hugh Fitzgerald fail miserably trying to character assassinate M. Cherif Bassiouni, read them get ripped in the process.

Update: Robert Spencer Whines and Wimpers after being Exposed

Robert Spencer: ExposedRobert Spencer: Exposed

Update: Robert Spencer cries “bloody censorship” after he is exposed and the ALA canceled his near platform to spout anti-Muslimisms.

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield’s Double Speak

Rabbi Brad HirschfieldRabbi Brad Hirschfield

Rabbi Hirschfield seems like a good guy but on his blog he bizarrely criticizes Muslim objections to an anti-Muslim hate film he himself trashes, as “crying wolf.”

ADL Contradicts its Goals by Supporting Fascist

adl-large

Abe Foxman’s support of Avigdor Lieberman is quite troubling for a number of reasons, most glaringly for its contradiction to the goals preached by the ADL.

Tawfik Hamid: The Shemp of the Three Stooges

Tawfik HamidTawfik Hamid

Previously we wrote about the Three Stooges of Islamophobia: Walid Shoebat, Zachariah Anani, and Kamal Saleem but we forgot about Shemp — Tawfik Hamid.

Steven Emerson: “Wowser”

inspector_gadget

Steven Emerson likes to pass himself off as a gumshoe Investigative Journalist but his antics reveal that he is a poor imitation of Inspector Gadget.

Update: Freedumb of Speech Summit-Defenders of Delusion

geert_wilders1

The Freedumb of Speech Summit descended into a predictable Hate Summit, but were you expecting otherwise?

Spate of Islamophobic Gang Attacks on Elderly Muslims of London

Three year old girl, traumatized from watching her grandfather's brutal murderThree year old girl, traumatized from watching her grandfather’s brutal murder

A spate of racially motivated gang attacks against Muslims culminate in the death of a sixty-seven year old man, who was clubbed to death in front of his now traumatized granddaughter. 

Fascist Leaves Daniel Pipes “Elated”

Avigdor LiebermanAvigdor Lieberman

Lieberman’s extreme world view and rhetoric has left observers around the world, including many Israelis, shocked and frightened. Not so, Daniel Pipes. Lieberman has him “elated.”

————————————————————————————————–

And here is a free bonus since Rabbi Hirschfield, while having a loonie moment, does not qualify as a loon in our books:

Robert Spencer: Teaming up with Euro-Supremacists Again

Under his wing; Geert Wilders and Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer, erstwhile ally of neo-Fascists, friend to advocates of genocide, and all around anti-Muslim is once again basking in the light of his own, made up self-importance.

This time it centers around his recent trip to Germany where he gave a speech at a rally in Berlin.

 

Busted: Daniel Pipes Uses Photoshopped Image

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , on December 29, 2009 by loonwatch
Newest Daniel Pipes ScandalNewest Daniel Pipes Scandal

In our last post on notorious Islamophobe, Daniel Pipes, we analyzed some of the questionable and often hypocritical posturing he employs in his commentary on Islam and Muslims by offering an exhaustive rebuttal one of his many bizarre posts, “Hijabs on Western Political women.”

As I went through the images he had on his little photo display of Western women in Hijabs, I noticed one photo that did not look quite right. Apparently, the shady Mr. Pipes tried to sneak in a photo ofCamilla Parker Bowles in a Hijab that included a photoshopped image of Prince Charles in what is presumably “full Muslim” garb. Prince Charles’ expensive Western suit was magically replaced with a gown, cloak, and turban. The sheer dishonesty in using the photoshopped version of that photo, despite the availability of many other photos taken on that day at that same spot showing Prince Charles dressed in a suit, deserves its own post here at LoonWatch.

Now, last time a career Islamophobe was exposed here at Loonwatch with their hand in the cookie jar, he tried to lay low and then he played dumb. We fully expect Daniel Pipes to enter the same plea.

Unfortunately for Mr. Know-it-all, the “I did not know” excuse is not going to fly:

a) the photo is clearly photoshopped to the naked eye, that is how I knew it was!

b) any elementary research on a photo with Camilla in a hijab (which is presumably how Pipes found this photo) results in many photos taken that day showing Prince Charles next to her in a suit.

The notion that Pipes could be this gullible and this sloppy raises questions about the accuracy of his research abilities – this of course is the best case scenario. The more realistic scenario is that Pipes is aware it is photoshopped but used it all the same just for dramatic effect, again underscoring his shady and sensationalist ways. This does not surprise us in the least, like his colleague Robert Spencer, Mr. Daniel Pipes is more of a propagandist and less of a scholar. By the way, a third possible scenario, yet unmentioned, is that someone in Mr. Daniel Pipes’ camp did the photoshopping which would then make the case against him even more dire – if that is at all possible at this point.

Photoshopped image of Prince Charles used by Daniel Pipes on danielpipes.comPhotoshopped image of Prince Charles used by Daniel Pipes on danielpipes.com

Actual way Prince Charles appeared that day and in this photo shoot, as he toured Al Azhar mosque with Sheikh Tantawi. You can see the column and lanterns in the background, and the two girls (one in pink and the other in white headscarves behind him):

prince_charles

prince_charles_2

here is the same angle as the fake Pipes version, but panned out shot:

prince_charles_3

and finally, here is a snapshot of the fake image as it appears on danielpipes.com:

danielpipescomFor shame! Mr. Pipes

Mr. Pipes, you have a lot of explaining to do!

– Zingel

 

Daniel Pipes’ Unhealthy Obsession with the Hijab

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2009 by loonwatch
Daniel Pipes: Bizarre Fixation on HijabDaniel Pipes: Bizarre Fixation on the Hijab

(Read an UPDATE here)

In a running column entitled, “Hijab on Western Political Women,” failed academic turned zaney anti-Muslim blogger, Daniel Pipes, sets out to (in his own words):

For fun, how about collecting those instances when female political leaders, especially leftist ones, don the hijab (Islamic headscarf)?

(What normal person sitting before a computer thinks up of such a bizarre thing to do when trying to “have fun” anyway? Welcome to the world of Pipes I guess. )

Pipes then includes photos of princess Diana, queen Elizabeth, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Angelina Jolie, among others, wearing a Hijab when at various mosques.

This caused us to wonder, surely Mr. Pipes is not sexist. Surely, he would invite the same scrutiny to the men in their lives: princess Diana’s husband and queen Elizabeth’s son (prince Charles, heir to the British throne), Laura Bush’s father-in-law and husband (George H.W and George W., both U.S. Presidents), Chelsea Clinton’s dad and Hillary Clinton’s husband (Bill Clinton, U.S. President) and Angelina Jolie’s dad (actor Jon Voight). Surely Mr. Pipes would not want to give those men a pass, especially given all of them (but the last) are far more important politically than their women.

Well since Daniel Pipes is not very good at holding a mirror up to his face, we here at loonwatch volunteered to do that for him. Seeing that Mr. Pipes is Jewish, we put together the following photo display (true to a Daniel Pipes style presentation) – one that is relevant to his own religion not someone else’s – to see what he thinks of it and what he reckons it signifies.

So “for fun”, Mr. Pipes, how about  collecting those instances when Western (and Eastern) male political (and non-political) leaders, especially leftist (and rightist and centrist) ones, don the kippahor yarmulke (Jewish skullcap)?

We start with the most politically powerful men on the planet, U.S. presidents:

President Bill Clinton wearing a yarmulkeU.S. President Bill Clinton wearing a yarmulke

President George Bush wearing a yarmulkeU.S. President George Bush wearing a yarmulke, flanked by Israeli ministers Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert

President Barack Obama wearing a yarmulkeU.S. President Barack Obama wearing a yarmulke while praying at the Western Wall

President George Bush the father wearing a yarmulke as he kisses the Western WallU.S. President George Herbert Bush (the father) wearing a yarmulke as he kisses the Western Wall

President George Bush wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western WallU.S. President George Bush wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western Wall

President George Bush wearing another yarmulkePresident George Bush wearing another yarmulke

American Senator Joe Lieberman puts a yarmulke on the head of former presidential candidate senator John McCainAmerican senator Joe Lieberman puts a yarmulke on the head of then presidential candidate, senator John McCain

And other politically powerful world leaders:

British prime minister, Gordon Brown, wearing a yarmulkeBritish prime minister, Gordon Brown, wearing a yarmulke

Then British prime minister Tony Blair wearing a yarmulkeThen British prime minister Tony Blair wearing a yarmulke

French president Nicolas Sarkozy wearing a yarmulkeFrench president Nicolas Sarkozy wearing a yarmulke

Then Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western wallThen Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western wall

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin wearing a yarmulkeRussian prime minister Vladimir Putin wearing a yarmulke

Prince Charles of Wales, regent to the British crown, wearing a yarmulkePrince Charles of Wales, regent to the British crown, wearing a yarmulke

And other American political men:

"America's Mayor" Rudi Giuliani, mayor of New York City, wearing a yarmulke“America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York City, wearing a yarmulke as then Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon looks on

Clinton's Special Middle East Coordinator Dennis Ross wearing a yarmulkeClinton’s Special Middle East Coordinator Dennis Ross wearing a yarmulke

US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, wearing a yarmulke, not in a temple but at the Republican National ConventionUS ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, wearing a yarmulke – not in a temple but at a Republican National Convention

And to match Angelina Jolie, how about some entertainers including her own father:

Evangelical Christian actor Stephen Baldwin wearing a yarmulke not at a temple but at a Republican National ConventionEvangelical Christian actor Stephen Baldwin wearing a yarmulke – not at a temple but at a Republican National Convention

Actor Jon Voight holding up his yarmulke at a Republican National ConventionActor Jon Voight (Angelina’s dad) holding up his yarmulke at a Republican National Convention

Michael Jackson wearing a yarmulkeThe king of pop, Michael Jackson, wearing a yarmulke

And how about other world faith leaders:

His holiness, the Dalai Lama, wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western WallHis holiness, the Dalai Lama, wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western Wall

And speaking of political mixing with religious:

The "Mccippah", a play on "McCain" and "Kippah" which means yarmulke, a feature at the Republican National Convention 2008 The “Mccippah”, a play on “McCain” and “Kippah” (yarmulke), a feature at the Republican National Convention 2008

Now, we have a few simple questions to ask Mr. Pipes:

First let’s get real: clearly, Mr. Pipes is not interested in some irrelevant, uneventful “fun” on that merry temple of love and good times of his, danielpipes.com. Everything he writes and puts on there he does so with a purpose in mind. It seems that his “little fun” hijab photo display was yet another sorry attempt to cry “Islamization” and “dhimmi” and all of the favorite concepts he and his friends love to evoke.

So here goes the questions:

1. Do you believe that non-Muslim Western women who wear a hijab when visiting mosques or other Islamic religious settings are doing it as a sign of respect, or a sign of capitulation and a consequence of Islamization?

If the former then what’s the point of your running photo display? And if the latter which more logically seems to be the case, then:

2. Do you believe that non-Jewish Western men who wear a skullcap when visiting a temple or other Jewish religious settings are doing it as a sign of respect, or a sign of capitulation and a consequence of Judaization?

If the former, then why the double standard? And if the latter then why haven’t you sounded the alarm to save the West from Judaization.

More questions:

3. What would you say and how would you react if Western political women not only wore the hijab at the mosque but prayed there while they are at it? Would you see it as a lovely sign of camaraderie, an expression of tolerance, a sign that we all share a common God? Or would you cry “dhimmi”? Justcurious.

(If the latter then kindly educate us: what is the “dhimmi” equivalent of a Western political man – a head of state no less – who does the same but within the context of Judaism rather than Islam?)

4. You seem to gloat about the reporter who took off the “Chador” (a traditional Islamic dress worn in conservative Iran) and threw it at Imam Khomeini whom she was interviewing. Now, I personally believe that Khomeini was a loony Imam. But I am just curious, would you also gloat if a reporter threw a yarmulke at some loony rabbi like say, Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef or Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiraor Rabbi Jon HausmanJust curious.

5.  Are you aware that Eritrea is not an Islamic country and that it has as many Christian citizens as it does Muslim. Are you aware that Hillary Clinton is not necessarily wearing a hijab in the photo of her in Eritrea, but a traditional Eritrean loose shawl worn by both Muslims and Christians there? Are you aware that every other American woman in that photo (and there are at least three) are not wearing a similar shawl clearly proving that it is Hillary’s choice not some enforced evil Islamic spell on Western women as seems to be implied. Q: So if it’s neither enforced, nor a hijab to begin with, why do you use that photo. A: expediency. Typical of Mr. Pipes.

6. Lastly, if some blog put up a display like the one above with the insinuation that there is some insidious force at play, would you not cry anti-Semitism? SO, given your photo display and the accompanying shady commentary, aren’t readers then well within their rights and the bounds of reason to cry Islamophobia? Just curious.

Mr. Pipes, we await your response to our questions. For the rest of our dear readers, this has been a little peek inside the  paranoid mindset of an Islamophobe and the convoluted, often petty, ways in which it processes our world.

(For the record, LoonWatch, unlike Mr. Pipes, takes the consistent position that both non-Muslim women wearing hijabs in Islamic religious settings and non-Jewish men wearing yarmulkes in Jewish religious settings is a sign of respect and nothing more. And that wearing them outside religious settings is indeed strange but a personal choice that is no cause for alarm or geopolitical analysis).

– Zingel


Author’s Note: Daniel Pipes makes a lame attempt to address the hijab/yarmulke comparison in a 2008 addendum to his article in which he “rejects” the comparison altogether, stating in typical Pipesian delusional style that such a comparison is irrelevant, and positing that the “tallit” the Jewish prayer shawl is instead more comparable to the Hijab.

This is nonsense.

The tallit is not worn in public everyday life the way Muslim women wear the Hijab in daily public activity (for Hijabis); however, Jewish skullcaps are worn in daily public living (for Jewish Orthodox men). The yarmulke, not the tallit, is the closest Jewish analogy to the Hijab.

He also implies that half the pictures of Western women wearing the Hijab is not in a mosque while most Western men who wear the skullcap are in a temple. Not true, they are exactly analogous and proportional. Most of the pictures of the Western women wearing a Hijab is in fact in a mosque or mosque setting and it is usually a simple headscarf not some full body chador as he implies but even his collection of pictures clearly contradict (Iran, a conservative theocracy, being the exception not the norm). On the flip side, our photo display has photos that debunk his insinuation that Western men wear yarmulkes only in temples.
READ AN UPDATE HERE