Archive for FrontPageMage

Shameless Political Exploitation, Academic Hypocrisy at Front Page Magazine

Posted in Feature, Loon People, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2011 by loonwatch

Just because a person has a PhD in one field does not make them an authority in another field. For example, a person with their PhD in Chemistry does not make them an authority in Physics, even if they know a lot about Physics. This is because academia has a system of checks and balances through peer-reviewed scholarship that makes sure the university or organization is presenting the most authentic information possible. In our case, many anti-Muslim loons come from a variety of academic fields but they cannot speak with authority on issues involving Islam and Muslims. Simply, they do not possess the requisite knowledge.

For our latest example, observe Jamie Glazov, the editor of Front Page Magazine (part of the same Horowitz-Spencer closed information system). He boasts of his “PhD in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy.” He must really know what he is talking about when it comes to Muslims, right? But is he fluent in any classical Islamic language: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu? Is he proficient in at least two or three of them, as required by many Islamic studies departments in the United States? Is he proficient enough in a European research language (French, German) to be able to consult what prior scholars of Islamic studies have said? From the look of his daily Muslim-bashing, the answer is no.

Recently, Glazov exploited the tragedy of an Iraqi woman, Noor Almaleki, to use the generic Islamic villain as a stick to bash the Democrats:

The honor killing trial begins in Phoenix today (Monday, Jan.24) of Faleh Hassan Almaleki, an Iraqi Muslim immigrant who killed his 20-year-old daughter, Noor Almaleki, on October 20, 2009, because she had become too Westernized…

After killing his daughter, Almaleki himself boasted that he had to take Noor’s lifebecause she had dishonored his family by her “Western” behavior. Evidence reveals that Almaleki had tried to impose strict Islamic codes on Noor and that he had attempted to force her into an arranged marriage when she was 17…

Almaleki was trained from birth to see the world through the lens of Islamic misogyny, where women are the property of men. Under the vicious and sadistic system of Islamic gender apartheid, women’s autonomy must be suffocated on all levels.

First, notice from the outset that Mr. Glazov makes no distinction between different interpretations of Islam; between the extremist acts of a single individual and what many mainstream Muslim scholars, leaders, and institutions have said on the issue of honor killings, specifically Muslim women scholars, specifically in Iraq.

Second, Glazov forgets to remind his readers that the citizens of Iraq are not living under normal conditions like most people. Perhaps he forgot about the ongoing Iraq War, the military occupation, and, among other things, the chaos unleashed by private military contractors. Glazov wants you to think that Iraqis are living normal, comfortable lives; therefore, their erratic behavior, such as this case, can only be explained by Islamic teachings,  rather than the complex reality-based mix of social, economic, cultural, and historical factors (studied by sociologists) which shed light on why people do things. Glazov would rather just explain this tragedy as just another manifestation of the monolithic Islamic “monster” (his expression, not mine).

Third, to suggest that women are viewed as “the property of men” is just a flagrant canard. It belies what the Quran clearly states:

The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise. [Quran 9:71]

O you who believe, it is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dower ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them it may be that you dislike a thing, and Allah brings through it a great deal of good. [Quran 4:19]

It further ignores an objective history of early and contemporary Islam. Again, I am curious to see how he explains the fact that a Muslim country like Pakistan, allegedly under “Islamic gender apartheid,” has twice elected a woman Prime Minister.

Fourth, the fact that he “had attempted to force her into an arranged marriage” is a violation of a basic tenet of Islamic jurisprudence on marriage. As recorded in the Prophet’s traditions:

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her, and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.”

[Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7 Book 62 Number 67]

If he really wanted to force her into marriage, then this is strong evidence that the man was acting against Islamic teachings, not in accord with them. But remember Spencer’s Islamophobic indoctrination principle: whenever a Muslim does something evil, that is true Islam; but when Muslims speak out against evil, they are acting against Islam.

Glazov is following Spencer’s manual to the letter, and then it starts really going downhill:

It is in the Left’s interest that the murders of thousands of innocent Muslim girls like Noor, Aqsa and the Said girls, and the monstrous Islamic ideology that engendered such murders, are pushed into invisibility. For the Left, it is crucial that historical amnesia is imposed on these uncomfortable matters (i.e. the extermination of Muslim girls), for the truth about Islamic honor killing makes it difficult for the Left to pursue its top priority: waging war on capitalism and on its own host society. Indeed, if an adversarial culture and religion turns out to actually be evil, then we might have to admit that there is something good and superior about our own civilization and that it is worth defending. This notion is anathema and unfathomable to the Left — and it explains why leftist feminists like Naomi Wolf engage in a romance with the burqa.

This was the whole point in the first place: to attack the Left (i.e. Democrats). It is all part of the evil Left-Moozlim alliance. The Left is part of the murdering Islamic machine, we are told. The Left is waging war on everything you hold dear, we are warned. No nuance, qualification, specification, or clarification. It is simply Us vs. the Left (and Islam). So, really it’s all about dirty far-right politics as usual; demonizing the enemy, don’t give them an inch.

After examining Glazov’s article in light of the facts, this can be taken as another example of Muslim-bashing with a false academic veneer. We have already seen how fake scholar Robert Spencer, whose masters degree is in early Christianty, makes him in no way an authority on Islam. He cannot stand up to peer-reviewed scholarship (i.e. for his anti-Muslim theories to actually be scrutinized by facts); even his own professor warns about him. Similarly, Glazov’s seemingly impressive credentials in no way validate anything he says. He does not speak the primary languages; it seems he has not even checked sources in English.

I find it offensive that Glazov exploits this tragedy for politics as usual. I have a very hard time believing Glazov really cares about Muslim women when he spends his days and nights bashing them for political gain. Today it is Noor Almaleki; tomorrow it will be the next anti-Muslim story (with Noor’s case all forgotten). I don’t buy it.

Nevertheless, what should we expect from someone who thinks “just nuke ‘em” Pamela Geller is a “modern-day freedom fighter”?

 

David Horowitz’s blog spouting propaganda as usual part 2

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2011 by loonwatch

It’s a daily barrage of explicit anti-Muslim messages over at David Horowitz’s NewsRealBlog. Not just extremist Muslims, but all Muslims (over 1 billion people) and Islam (over 1,400 years of tradition) itself. I recently called out Mr. Paul Cooper for his sweeping claims about women and Islam. Today, we find another Islamophobic underling spouting anti-Muslim talking points but whose knowledge of basic facts is, to be polite, somewhat limited.

Mrs. Lisa Graas, a self-proclaimed Catholic, is furious that Cardinal Sfeir of Lebanon is “suffering from an acute case of dhimmitude.” His crime? This single statement:

Islam is, of course, a religion that promotes worshipping the goodness in life, worshipping God and being fair to others.

Of course, what the Cardinal said is the largely accepted non-controversial stance of serious comparative religion scholars who aren’t indoctrinated with anti-Muslim libels and canards. The Quran says:

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, acquainted. (4:135)

This call for justice is universal; that is, it is applied to both Muslims and non-Muslims, as is clear from the phrase, “even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” It is recorded in the practice (Sunnah) of the Prophet and his early companions:

Narrated Abdullah bin Amr: The Prophet said: “Whoever killed a person protected by a treaty shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be found at a distance of forty years (of traveling).”

[Sahih Bukhari, Book 83 Number 49]

Dr. Maher Hathout, a respected American Muslim scholar, writes about the precedent set by the first four Caliphs of equal treatment, Muslims and non-Muslims, before the law:

The Caliph Ali is noted to have said, concerning non-Muslims, “they only entered the covenant so that their lives and properties would be [protected] like our lives and properties.” This point is important because it highlights the underlying purpose of entering into a treaty with the ruler. The state has the ability to provide protection for its people and both Muslims and non-Muslims enter into a political contract with the state so that they are granted equal protection.

The equality with which all are to be treated before the law is illustrated when the Caliph lost his armor in the battle of Siffin. A few days later, he noticed a Christian wearing that armor. He referred the case to a judge, and both he and the Christian appeared before the judge, each arguing that it was his armor, but the Christian stated that his possession of it was proof of his ownership. Caliph Ali could not produce any witnesses to support his own claims to it. When the judge hesitated in pronouncing the verdict, given the Caliph’s status [as chief executive], he exhorted the judge to disregard any such considerations. The judgment was in the Christian’s favor, and the Caliph accepted it.

[Hathout, M., Jamil, U., Hathout, G., & Ali, N. (2006). In pursuit of justice: The jurisprudence of human rights in Islam. Los Angeles: Muslim Public Affairs Council. P. 212]

All three branches of the United States government have acknowledged this fact about Islam; such as the 96th Congress, the United States Supreme Court, and many Presidents including Bush and Obama. In addition, Mrs. Lisa Graas, a self-described “experienced apologist for the Catholic faith,” has likewise either not read or has rejected the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions by Pope Paul VI:

The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Thus, in reality, Cardinal Sfeir is being faithful to what the Catholic Church has taught about these matters; an interfaith consensus of peaceful coexistence and respect built over many, many years of painful learning from the follies our collective intolerance. But that doesn’t stop Mrs. Graas from accusing the Cardinal of betraying his symbolic Christian blood oath and paving the road for non-Muslim enslavement, simply by stating what Islam and Christianity obviously have in common. Nay! For those indoctrinated in the Spencer-Horowitz closed information system (based on pretend information), anything uttered about Islam must be in terms of pure evil, otherwise it becomes part of the conspiracy. She fusses:

While Lebanon is not yet to the point of being a Muslim-majority country enslaving, abducting, or deporting Christians, it is important to point out that attitudes like Cardinal Sfeir’s are attitudes of contentment with dhimmitude that pave the way for the advancement of Islam which itself results consistently in more oppression of non-Muslim peoples.

Cardinal Sfeir tendered his resignation to the Vatican some time ago, but the Vatican has yet to accept it. Considering that Pope Benedict XVI has been consistent in every opportunity available to address the plight of Christians under Islam, emphasizing the need for divided Christians to unite and for Christians and Jews to work together, we can believe that a suitable replacement for Cardinal Sfeir is being sought by the Vatican, and one that will actually contend for the true peace offered by Christians, Jews and other peace-loving people rather than the false peace of dhimmitude.

Mrs. Graas relies on links to the closed information-propaganda system (based on pretend information) called discover the networks which features non-expert loons like Bat Ye’or and Andrew Bostom. She essentializes Islam as pure dhimmitude, the imaginary lust for persecution of non-Muslims that is the Islamic religious impulse. She has no need to refer to any contemporary realities concerning modern Muslim interpretations of classical rulings on dhimmi (“protected”) people and citizenship, such as the recent solidarity Egyptian Muslims showed to their Coptic Christian neighbors by serving as human shields against violent extremists. Nor does she need to refer to any fundamental documents that might shed light on attitudes about citizenship in Lebanon such as, perhaps, the Lebanese Constitution:


All Lebanese are equal before the law.  They equally enjoy civil and political rights and equally are bound by public obligations and duties without any distinction.

1.     The Chamber of Deputies is composed of elected members; their number and the method of their election is determined by the electoral laws in effect.  Until such time as the Chamber enacts new electoral laws on a non-confessional basis, the distribution of seats is according to the following principles:

a. Equal representation between Christians and Muslims.

b.    Proportional representation among the confessional groups within each religious community.

c.     Proportional representation among geographic regions.

2.     Exceptionally, and for one time only, the seats that are currently vacant, as well as the new seats that have been established by law, are to be filled by appointment, all at once, and by a majority of two thirds of the Government of National Unity.  This is to establish equality between Christians and Muslims as stipulated in the Document of National Accord [The Taif  Agreement].

Rather, for Graas, Islam is the essence of every evil the human mind can conceive; persecution, war, slavery, rape, abduction, misogyny (hatred of women), irrationality; and Cardinal Sfeir is a part of the problem because he won’t describe Islam for what it allegedly is. Perhaps she should read Danios’ enlightening article about how the medevial dhimmitude she essentializes to Islam was, although second-class by today’s standard, still far better than her own historical co-religionists. Yet, we know that loons have a strong allergy to information that contradicts their anti-Muslim ideology.

Mrs. Graas, take some anti-Islamophobia-hystamine by reading a balanced primer on Islam such as, say, Huston Smith’s World Religions. It’s great for undergraduate studies (where you seem to be).