Archive for GOP

Sheldon Adelson: “All Terrorists are Islamic”

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by loonwatch

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is the biggest patron of Newt Gingrich's presidential bid, giving a reported $10m to a Gingrich-supporting Super Pac. Photograph: Vincent Yu/AP

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is the biggest patron of Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, giving a reported $10m to a Gingrich-supporting Super Pac. Photograph: Vincent Yu/AP

Newt Gingrich’s former, and Mitt Romney’s soon-to-be sugar-daddy, Sheldon Adelson recently commented on terrorism, and how he believes all terrorists are “Islamic” or “Islamist.”

Sheldon Adelson could have saved himself from looking like a complete doofus and unintelligent moron if he read our most popular article: “All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 94% of Terrorists that Aren’t”

The Right Wing’s Election-Year Islamophobia Fuels a New Smear Campaign Against Obama

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on March 30, 2012 by loonwatch

Barack_Obama

Barack Obama

Interesting article about the evolving “Obama is a Muslim” myth and the raging Islamophobia in the GOP, as well as the reality of Obama’s relationship with Muslims in both the US and overseas:

The Right Wing’s Election-Year Islamophobia Fuels a New Smear Campaign Against Obama

by John Feffer (AlterNet)

Those who fervently believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim generally practice their furtive religion in obscure recesses of the Internet. Once in a while, they’ll surface in public to remind the news media that no amount of evidence can undermine their convictions.

In October 2008, at a town hall meeting in Minnesota for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, a woman called Obama “an Arab.” McCain responded, incongruously enough, that Obama was, in fact, “a decent family man” and not an Arab at all. In an echo of this, a woman recently stood up at a town hall in Florida and began a question for Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum by asserting that the president “is an avowed Muslim.” The audience cheered, and Santorum didn’t bother to correct her.

Though they belong to a largely underground cult, the members of the Obama-is-Muslim congregation number as many as one third of all Republicans. Arecent poll found that only 14% percent of Republicans in Alabama and Mississippi believe that the president is Christian.

These true believers treat their scraps of evidence like holy relics: the president’s middle name, his grandfather’s religion, a widely circulated photo of Obama in a turban. They occasionally traffic in outright fabrications: that he attended a radical madrasa in Indonesia as a child or that he put his hand on the Qur’an to be sworn in as president. An even more apocalyptic subset believes Obama to be nothing short of the anti-Christ.

By and large, however, this cult doesn’t attract mainstream support from the larger church of Obama haters. Indeed, these more orthodox faithful have carefully shifted the debate from Obama being Muslim to Obama actingMuslim. Evangelical pundits, presidential candidates, and the right-wing media have all ramped up their attacks on the president for, as Baptist preacher Franklin Graham put it recently on MSNBC, “giving Islam a pass.”

The conservative mainstream still calls the president’s religious beliefs into question, but they stop just short of accusing him of apostasy and concealment. What they consider safe is the assertion that Obama is acting as if he were Muslim. In this way, Republican mandarins are cleverly channeling a conspiracy theory into a policy position.

There is a whiff of desperation in all this.  After all, it’s not an easy time for the GOP. The economy shows modest signs of improvement. The Republican presidential candidates are still engaged in a fratricidal primary. By expanding counterterrorism operations and killing Osama bin Laden, the president has effectively removed national security from the list of Republican talking points.

One story, however, still ties together so many narrative threads for conservatives. Charges that the president is a socialist or a Nazi or an elitist supporter of college education certainly push some buttons. But the single surefire way of grabbing the attention of the media and the public — as well as appealing to the instincts of the Republican base — is to assert, however indirectly, that Barack Obama is a Manchurian candidate sent from the Islamic world.

Obama and the Muslim World

A succession of Republican candidates have attempted to run to the right of party favorite Mitt Romney by asserting that only a true conservative can defeat Obama in November. Most of them boasted of the same powerful backer. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum all declared that God asked them to run for higher office. Together with Newt Gingrich, they have deployed various methods of appealing to their constituencies, but none is more potent than religion.

Rick Santorum, a Catholic and the favorite of the evangelical community, has been particularly adept at using his soapbox as a pulpit. The president subscribes to a “phony theology,” Santorum has claimed, “not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.” Although he occasionally asserts that “Obama’s personal faith is none of my concern,” he nonetheless speaks of the president’s attempt to “impose values on people of faith”– implying that the president is certainly no member of that community.

In his attacks on the president’s spirituality, Santorum is cleverly attacking Mitt Romney’s Mormonism as well (a theology also based on text other than the Bible). At the same time, the suggestion that Obama is somehow “other” operates as a code word for “Black” in a race in which race goes largely unmentioned.

It’s an odd set of charges. Obama, after all, did everything possible during his first presidential campaign to foreground his Christianity. He was repeatedly seen praying in churches and assiduously avoided mosques. He never made a campaign appearance with a prominent Muslim. He talked about his “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ.

The day after he clinched the Democratic Party nomination in 2008, he gave a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in which he reaffirmed that he was “a true friend of Israel.” Although he would occasionally mention his Muslim relatives and the time he spent in Indonesia as a child, he generally did whatever he could to emphasize only two out of the three major monotheisms.

As president, Obama has certainly “reached out” to the Muslim world. In Cairo, in June 2009, he spoke of seeking “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.”

That new beginning, however, has yet to come. At home, for example, the Obama administration provided federal funds that the New York City Police Department then used to expand its surveillance of Muslim American neighborhoods. (Even the CIA was involved in this “human mapping” project.) The FBI has spent the Obama years rounding up suspected Muslim terrorists in operations that flirt dangerously with entrapment. The administration has expanded the no-fly list, though because the list is secret it’s difficult to know whether Muslim-Americans are specifically profiled. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests that they are.

The administration’s record internationally is even more disappointing. The conduct of U.S. troops in Afghanistan — the night raids, massacres (including the recent murders of 16 Afghan villagers), and the Qur’an burnings — have enraged local Muslims. Obama has expanded the CIA’s drone air campaign by a considerable margin in the Pakistani borderlands. Civilian casualties, overwhelmingly Muslim, continue to occur there and in other “overseas contingency operations” as U.S. Special Operations Forces have dramatically expanded their activities in the Muslim world.

Despite right-wing charges, Obama has maintained a tight relationship with Israel and the Israeli leadership. As former New Republiceditor Peter Beinart concludes, “The story of Obama’s relationship to [Prime Minister] Netanyahu and his American Jewish allies is, fundamentally, a story of acquiescence.”

It’s no surprise, then, that surveys in six Middle East countries taken just before and two months after the Cairo speech in 2009, the Brookings Institution and Zogby International discoveredthat the number of respondents optimistic about the president’s approach to the region had suffered a dramatic drop: from 51% to 16%. A 2011 Pew poll found that U.S. favorability ratings had continued their slide in Jordan (to 13%), Pakistan (12%), and Turkey (10%).

continue reading…

Majority Whip Sen. Durbin: GOP Candidates at War with Islam

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by loonwatch

Sen. Dick Durbin dropping some truth about the Republicans:

Majority Whip Sen. Durbin: GOP candidates at war with Islam

Majority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) appeared on Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien to discuss the flare up of violence in Afghanistan.

Durbin says, “And understand, just go back to history a little bit to 9/11, President George W. Bush, I sure had my differences with him, but I thought he got it right, and he stuck with it through his presidency. He said our war is not with the religion of Islam. Our war is with those who would distort it and turn it into terrorism. And I think that was a bright spot kind of a guiding principle. It was adopted by President Obama. Now, listen to these Republican candidates for president. They’re at war with Islam.”

CNN Contributor Will Cain counters, “Senator Durbin, I haven’t heard one thing that backs up what you suggest. Just give me an example, how are they at war with Islam?

Referencing the Quran burnings, Durbin replies, “Newt Gingrich saying that the president is guilty of appeasement…. What you listen to is incendiary rhetoric coming out in a very delicate situation. Lives are at stake here. The president is showing leadership. The president is stepping up, trying to calm a situation. These three candidates are coming on television doing the opposite.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by loonwatch

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Singling Out Islam: Newt Gingrich’s Pandering Attacks

The former House speaker regularly calls for treating Muslims differently — and his discriminatory remarks are mostly forgiven. 

It’s interesting to observe what qualifies as beyond the pale in American politics. For bigoted newsletters written two decades ago, Ron Paul is deemed by many to be disqualified from the presidency. I don’t fault anyone for criticizing those newsletters. I’ve done so myselfThey’re terrible. So is the way he’s handled the controversy. But isn’t it interesting that Paul has been more discredited by years-old, ghostwritten remarks than has Newt Gingrich for bigotry that he’s uttered himself, on camera, during the present campaign? It’s gone largely ignored both in the mainstream press and the movement-conservative organs that were most vocal condemning Paul.

That’s because Muslims are the target. And despite the fact that George W. Bush was admirably careful to avoid demonizing a whole religious faith for the actions of a small minority of its adherents — despite the fact that Barack Obama too has been beyond reproach in this respect — anti-Muslim bigotry in America is treated differently than every other kind, often by the very same people who allege without irony that there is a war in this country against Christians.

In the clip at the top of this post, Gingrich says, “Now, I think we need to have a government that respects our religions. I’m a little bit tired about respecting every religion on the planet. I’d like them to respect our religion.” Of course, the U.S. government is compelled by the Constitution to afford protection to religion generally, and “our” religion includes Islam, a faith many Americans practice. That’s just the beginning of what Gingrich has said about this minority group. In this clip, he likens Muslim Americans seeking to build a mosque in Lower Manhattan to Nazis building next to the Holocaust Museum. He once suggested that the right of Muslims to build mosques should be infringed upon by the U.S. government until Christians are permitted to build churches in Saudi Arabia, a straightforward suggestion that we violate the Constitution in order to mimic authoritarians. He favors a federal law that would pre-empt sharia law — though not the religious law of any other faith — from being used in American courts, which would be the solution to a total non-problem.

And no surprise, for he regularly engages in the most absurd kind of fear-mongering. To cite one example:

I think that we have to really, from my perspective you don’t have an issue of religious tolerance you have an elite which favors radical Islam over Christianity and Judaism. You have constant pressure by secular judges and by religious bigots to drive Christianity out of public life and to establish a secular state except when it comes to radical Islam, where all of the sudden they start making excuses for Sharia, they start making excuses that we really shouldn’t use certain language. Remember, the Organization of Islamic Countries is dedicated to preventing anyone, anywhere in the world from commenting negatively about Islam, so they would literally eliminate our free speech and there were clearly conversations held that implied that the U.S. Justice Department would begin to enforce censorship against American citizens to protect radical Islam, I think that’s just an amazing concept frankly.

If Gingrich believed all of this it would be damning. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether it is more or less damning that his tone, and much of his substance, is in fact a calculated pander. Justin Elliott at Salon demonstrated as much when he delved into how Gingrich used to talk about these issues:

Gingrich’s recent rhetoric represents a little-noticed shift from an earlier period in his career when he had a strikingly warm relationship with the American Muslim community. As speaker of the House in the 1990s, for example, Gingrich played a key role in setting aside space on Capitol Hill for Muslim congressional staffers to pray each Friday; he was involved with a Republican Islamic group that promoted Shariah-compliant finance, which critics — including Gingrich — now deride as a freedom-destroying abomination; and he maintained close ties with another Muslim conservative group that even urged Gingrich to run for president in 2007.

The article goes on to note:

Gingrich’s warm relations with the Muslim community continued well into the mid-2000s. Around 2004, for example, he participated in a planning meeting of the Islamic Free Market Institute, according to an activist who also attended the meeting. “His tone was nothing like what you hear today,” recalls the activist. “He was very positive, very supportive. His whole attitude was that Muslims are part of the American fabric and that Muslim Americans should be Republicans.” By the standards of the Gingrich we know today, the Islamic Free Market Institute was essentially engaged in “stealth jihad.” The now defunct group, founded by conservative activist Grover Norquist in 1998 to woo Muslim Americans to the GOP, was involved in educating the public and policymakers about Islamic or Shariah-compliant finance. Its 2004 IRS filing reported the group spent tens of thousands of dollars to “educate the public about Islam[ic] finances, insurance, banking and investments.” To most people, there’s nothing nefarious about Islamic finance — there is a large international banking business centering on special financial instruments that are compliant with Islamic strictures against interest, and so on.

So in 2004 Gingrich attended a planning meeting of a group devoted to promoting Shariah-compliant finance. Fast forward to 2010 and here’s what he said in his speech to the American Enterprise Institute: “[I]t’s why I think teaching about Sharia financing is dangerous, because it is the first step towards the normalization of Sharia and I believe Sharia is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it.”

If an American politician suggested, of Christians or Jews, that they should be required to take a special loyalty oath before assuming office; that the government should restrict where they’re permitted to build houses of worship; that laws should be passed singling out their religious law as odious; that they don’t count when Americans talk about “our” religion; that their main lobbying group should be aggressively investigated: if any American politician said any of those things, they’d be regarded as an anti-religious bigot engaged in a war on Christianity.

Whereas the accusation that there’s something wrong with Gingrich’s rhetoric is met on the right with righteous indignation, as if he is the put-upon victim of political correctness or the elite media.

In the 1980s, the Ron Paul newsletters played on white anxiety about urban crime and racism toward blacks. It was awful. And apparently America didn’t learn its lesson, for Gingrich 2012, like Cain 2012 before it, is playing on majority anxieties about terrorism and xenophobia toward Muslims. This is particularly dangerous in the civil-liberties climate produced by Bush and Obama, where American citizens can be deprived of their liberty and even their life without charges or due process, a protection that is especially valuable to feared minorities.

North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2012 by loonwatch

What if he were Muslim?

North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers

By Marie Diamond (Thinkprogress)

The last legal public hanging in America took place in 1936 in Owensboro, Kentucky. The “event” attracted 20,000 people and turned into such a sickening spectacle that many credit it with ending the practice in the U.S.

But one North Carolina Republican believes that as a country we’ve grown soft since banning public hangings and is calling for them to reinstated as a deterrent to crime. If Rep. Larry Pittman had his way, “abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers” would be first in line for the gallows:

Republican Rep. Larry Pittman, who was appointed to the District 82 House seat in October, expressed his views in an email sent Wednesday to every member of the General Assembly. […]

“We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner,” Pittman wrote in the email. “If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.”

As ThinkProgress reported, last year Republicans in South Carolina, Nebraska, and Iowa pushed legislation that would essentially legalize the murder of abortion providers. Such radical sentiments have been echoed by prominent conservatives like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who said during his 2004 campaign, “I favor the death penalty for abortionists.”

“Judenrat Jon” Stewart

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2012 by loonwatch

“Judenrat Jon” Stewart

by: David Harris-Gershon on January 7th, 2012

When Jon Stewart is called a “smug, self-loathing Jew” by a right-wing Jewish personality (who is often called upon by conservative pundits to wax political), it’s tempting to dismiss the comment as a disgusting tribal dig.

When Jon Stewart is called a Judenrat who “would have been first on line to turn over his fellow Jews in Poland and Germany” by this same hawkish voice, it’s tempting – even though this voice has a visible platform – to just ignore the comment as the product of the Republican, FOX-inspired echo chamber.

However, ignoring these comments wouldn’t just be dangerous, it would be to allow a growing brand of hatred coursing through America’s veins – produced on the fringes – to continue infecting our public discourse (and public opinion) on matters both foreign and domestic.

It’s a hate-filled islamophobia that masquerades as patriotic, as anti-terrorism, as proudly American and Zionist (as though the two are synonymous). It’s a brand of hatred that the current GOP seeks, a hatred it feels it needs, a hatred it foments for perceived political gain at great cost to civil society. And, as much as it pains me as a progressive Jewish American to say, it’s a hatred right-wing American Jews are often solicited to be spokespeople for on venues like Fox News, with claims of anti-Semitism at the ready should they be critiqued by people such as, well, Jon Stewart.

So, wait – what happened to Jon Stewart, exactly? – you ask. Here is the context:

Jason Jones and The Daily Show crew produced this rather brilliant segment on how Broward County Republicans orchestrated a campaign to block membership of a Muslim Republican to the Broward Republican Party’s executive committee. This was done with the help of the Muslim-hating group ironically called Americans Against Hate (headed by Joe Kaufman, who is running against Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Congress).

The segment elicited this disgusting display from Pamela Geller:

This is not the first time that The Daily Show made fun of, ridiculed, and smeared proud Americans and passionate zionists. What’s he doing? And why? Does he know how much CAIR raised for their home office, Hamas, whose stated goal is to destroy the Jewish homeland, through the Holy Land Foundation? Stewart missed his calling. He would have been first on line to turn over his fellow Jews in Poland and Germany. Smug self-loathing Jew.

Yes, Geller is a nut. And yes, this particular display has been limited – so far – to her personal site. But Geller, just one of many fringe figures who inexplicably get airtime aplenty, knows what she’s doing. She knows the game: play the anti-Semitism card.

And not just any anti-Semitism card – the self-hating-Jew card. And she plays it against one of our country’s most important media critics and defenders of reason. Why? Because he represents exactly what she and her right-wing minions loathe: someone willing to call out islamophobia for what it is, even when promoted by American Jews.

While it would be easy to dismiss all this due to the messenger, does Jon Stewart shy away from railing against hatred and bigotry when it is perpetrated by the unhinged?

Nope.

And neither should we.

Santorum wants to impose ‘Judeo-Christian Sharia’

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on January 7, 2012 by loonwatch
Santorum
Rick Santorum bows his head in prayer during a campaign rally in Iowa this week.

(H/T: Ali5)

Santorum wants to impose ‘Judeo-Christian Sharia’

By Dean Obeidallah, Special to CNN

CNN Editor’s note: Dean Obeidallah is a comedian who has appeared on Comedy Central’s “Axis of Evil” special, ABC’s “The View,” CNN’s “What the Week” and HLN’s “The Joy Behar Show.” He is executive producer of the annual New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and the Amman Stand Up Comedy Festival. Follow him on Twitter.

(CNN) – There are two Rick Santorums: The first one I might not agree with, but the second one truly scares me.

“Santorum One” pushes for less government regulation for corporations and shrinking the federal government. You may or may not agree with these positions, but they are both mainstream conservative fare.

Then there’s “Santorum Two.” This Santorum wants to impose conservative Christian law upon America. Am I being hyperbolic or overly dramatic with this statement? I wish I were, but I’m not.

Plainly put, Rick Santorum wants to convert our current legal system into one that requires our laws to be in agreement with religious law, not unlike what the Taliban want to do in Afghanistan.

Santorum is not hiding this. The only reason you may not be aware of it is because up until his recent surge in the polls, the media were ignoring him. However, “Santorum Two” was out there telling anyone who would listen.

He told a crowd at a November campaign stop in Iowa in no uncertain terms, “our civil laws have to comport with a higher law: God’s law.”

On Thanksgiving Day at an Iowa candidates’ forum, he reiterated: “We have civil laws, but our civil laws have to comport with the higher law.”

Yes, that means exactly what you think it does: Santorum believes that each and every one of our government’s laws must match God’s law, warning that “as long as there is a discordance between the two, there will be agitation.” I’m not exactly sure what “agitation” means in this context, but I think it’s a code word for something much worse than acid reflux.

And as an aside, when Santorum says “God,” he means “not any god (but) the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” So, if your god differs from Rick’s, your god’s views will be ignored, just like the father is on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

Some of you might be asking: How far will “Santorum Two” take this? It’s not like he’s going to base public policy decisions on Bible passages, right?

Well, here’s what Santorum had to say just last week when asked about his opposition to gay marriage: “We have Judeo-Christian values that are based on biblical truth. … And those truths don’t change just because people’s attitudes may change.”

Santorum could not be more unambiguous: His policy decisions will be based on “biblical truths,” and as he noted, these “truths” will not change regardless of whether public opinion has evolved since the time the Bible was written thousands of years ago.

Imagine if either of the two Muslim members of Congress declared their support for a proposed American law based on verses from the Quran. The outcry would be deafening, especially from people like Santorum.

One of the great ironies is that Santorum has been a leader in sounding alarm bells that Muslims want to impose Islamic law — called Sharia law — upon non-Muslims in America. While Santorum fails to offer even a scintilla of credible evidence to support this claim, he continually warns about the “creeping” influence of Muslim law.

Santorum’s fundamental problem with Sharia law is that it’s “not just a religious code. It is also a governmental code. It happens to be both religious in nature and origin, but it is a civil code.”

Consequently, under the Sharia system, the civil laws of the land must comport with God’s law. Now, where did I hear about someone wanting to impose only laws that agree with God’s law in America?

So, what type of nation might the United States be under Rick Santorum’s Sharia law?

1. Rape victims would be forced to give birth to the rapist’s child. Santorum has stated that his religious beliefs dictate that life begins at conception, and as a result, rape victims would be sentenced to carrying the child of the rapist for nine months.

2. Gay marriages would be annulled. Santorum recently declaredthat not only does he oppose gay marriages, but he supports a federal constitutional amendment that would ban them, invalidating all previous gay marriages that have legally been sanctioned by states and thus callously destroying marriages and thrusting families into chaos.

3. Santorum would ban all federal funding for birth control and would not oppose any state that wanted to pass laws making birth control illegal.

4. No porn! I’m not kidding. Santorum signed “The Marriage Vow”pledge (PDF) authored by the Family Leader organization, under which he swears to oppose pornography. I think many would agree that alone should disqualify him from being president.

To me, “Santorum Two” truly poses an existential threat to the separation of church and state, one of the bedrock principles of our nation since its inception. Not only did Thomas Jefferson speak of the need to create “a wall of separation between church and state,” so did Santorum’s idol, Ronald Reagan, who succinctly stated, “church and state are, and must remain, separate.”

While there may be millions of Americans who in their heart agree with the views of “Santorum Two,” it is my hope they will reject any attempts to move America closer to a becoming the Afghanistan of the Western Hemisphere.

The Daily Show, Nezar Hamze and the Skewering of Joe Kaufman

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2012 by loonwatch
Nezar Hamze
Nezar Hamze

Justin Elliot wrote a piece on Nezar Hamze’s attempt to join the Broward County Republicans not too long ago. The anti-Muslim response Hamze got from members of the Grand Old party received national attention at the time.

Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones was funny as usual and skewered Joe Kaufman in the video below. Kaufman was looking dolt-like as ever, unable to provide a definition of the word “against;” he also readily admitted that he used ‘guilt-by-association’ assumptions to label individuals such as Hamze ,and organizations such as CAIR, as “terrorists” or “terrorist supporters.”

The Elephant in the Room

Jason Jones heads to Florida to help a Muslim Republican gain the acceptance of the Brower County GOP. (05:21)

http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:video:thedailyshow.com:405258

The Daily Show
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

*********************************************

The video certainly deserves to be in the annals of our Kaufman-o-meter series, so we will consider this Kaufman-o-meter #6!

Who is Joe Kaufman?:

Joe Kaufman, has been on the Anti-Muslim scene for quite a while now and is dubbed by the far Right-Wing FrontPageMag as, you guessed it…another one of their ”Investigative Journalists.”  That he has been influenced by Meir Kahane and the Kahanist ideology is well documented, as is his love and angst for Kahane.

In the past he has been accused of contributing to the terrorist organization founded by Kahane known as JDL (Jewish Defense League) while others accuse Kaufman of at the very least holding views that parallel JDL positions.

Kaufman’s unsavory associations and views are quite real and they are only dangerous to America if you’re stupid enough to swallow his conspiracy theories but other than that he is simply a half-baked paranoid conspiracy theorist, some what along the lines of the “9/11 Truthers.”

In every nook and cranny there is a “Mooslim”…hiding and ready to get ya…so beware and be afraid. Be veryyyy afraid goes his story.

In this special LoonWatch series we will detail the exploits and punchlines that Krazy Kaufman throws out there and attempts to pass on as serious journalism, commentary and investigation.

Aljazeera: Fault Lines-Politics, Religion and the Tea Party

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2011 by loonwatch

A must see documentary on AlJazeera English, dealing with the contemporary influence of Far Right Christianity on American politics. It gets really interesting from the 18:00 mark.

Fault Lines-Politics, Religion and the Tea Party

Newt Gingrich: Leading GOP Presidential Candidate: “Palestinians are ‘invented’ People”

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2011 by loonwatch

What if a Muslim leader said that the Israelis are “invented” people? It would be cause to saber rattle against the said nation or drop bombs on them.

Gingrich calls Palestinians ‘invented’ people

(AlJazeera)

Republican White House hopeful Newt Gingrich has stirred controversy by calling the Palestinians an “invented” people who could have chosen to live elsewhere.

The former House of Representatives speaker, who is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential race, made the remarks in an interview with the US Jewish Channel broadcaster released on Friday.

Asked whether he considers himself a Zionist, he answered: “I believe that the Jewish people have the right to a state … Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire” until the early 20th century,

“I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab
community.

“And they had a chance to go many places, and for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and it’s tragic.”

Most historians mark the start of Palestinian Arab nationalist sentiment in 1834, when Arab residents of the Palestinian region revolted against Ottoman rule.

Israel, founded amid the 1948 Arab-Israel war, took shape along the lines of a 1947 UN plan for ethnic partition of the
then-British ruled territory of Palestine which Arabs rejected.

More than 700,000 Palestinians were forced from their lands by Zionist armed groups in 1948, in an episode Palestinians refer to as the Nakba or “catastrophe”.

‘Irrational hostility’

Gingrich’s comments drew a swift rebuke from a spokesman for the American Task Force on Palestine, Hussein Ibish, who said: “There was no Israel and no such thing as an “Israeli people” before 1948.

“So the idea that Palestinians are ‘an invented people’ while Israelis somehow are not is historically indefensible and inaccurate.

“Such statements seem to merely reflect deep historical ignorance and an irrational hostility towards Palestinian identity and nationalism.”

Sabri Saidam, adviser to the Palestinian president, told Al Jazeera, “This is a manifestation of extreme racism and this is a reflection of where America stands sad, when Palestinians don’t get their rights…this is sad and America should respond with a firm reaction to such comments that, if let go, more of which will come our way,”

“Let me ask Newt Gingrich if he would ever entertain the thought of addressing Indian Americans by saying that they never existed, that they were the invention of a separate nation, would that be tolerated?”

“Let’s also reverse the statement; let’s put ourselves in “the shoe of Jews who are listening now. Would they ever accept such statements being made about them?”

Saidam said, “I think it’s time that America rejects such statements and closes the door to such horrendous and unacceptable statements.”

Gingrich also sharply criticised US President Barack Obama’s approach to Middle East diplomacy, saying that it was ”so out of touch with reality that it would be like taking your child to the zoo and explaining that a lion was a bunny rabbit.”

He said Obama’s effort to treat the Palestinians the same as the Israelis is actually “favouring the terrorists”.

“If I’m even-handed between a civilian democracy that obeys the rule of law and a group of terrorists that are firing missiles every day, that’s not even-handed, that’s favouring the terrorists,” he said.

He also said the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, share an “enormous desire to destroy Israel”.

The Palestinian Authority, which rules the occupied West Bank, formally recognises Israel’s right to exist.

President Mahmoud Abbas has long forsworn violence against Israel as a means to secure an independent state, pinning his hopes first on negotiations and more recently on a unilateral bid for statehood via the UN.

Gingrich, along with other Republican candidates, are seeking to attract Jewish in the US support by vowing to bolster Washington’s ties with Israel if elected.

He declared his world view was “pretty close” to that of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and vowed to take “a much more tougher-minded, and much more honest approach to the Middle East” if elected.

Rick Santorum Claims He Supports TSA Using Ethnic And Religious Profiling Of Younger Muslim Males

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by loonwatch

It just gets crazier in the GOP.

Rick Santorum Claims He Supports TSA Using Ethnic And Religious Profiling Of Younger Muslim Males

Andrea Stone (Huffington Post)

http://www.5min.com/Video/Santorum-Muslims-Should-Be-Profiled-517212363

One of the most devout Christians in the GOP field endorsed singling out Muslims for extra screening by the Transportation Security Administration while the only African-American candidate called for racial profiling by another name.

“Obviously, Muslims would be someone you look at, absolutely,” said former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. “The radical Muslims are the people committing these crimes, by and large, with younger males” also deserving of more scrutiny at airport checkpoints.

Herman Cain said he was in favor of “targeted identification,” another way of saying some people look more suspicious than others. “If you take a look at the people who have tried to kill us it would be easy to identify what that profile looks like.” But when moderator Wolf Blitzer suggested that focusing on one sort of person would be like sngling out Christians or Jews, Cain rejected the premise as “simplifying.”

Rep. Ron Paul, as is wont in these debates, differed from his rivals. After Santorum noted that Muslims would be “your best candidates” for extra screening, the Texas congressman said, “What if they look like Timothy McVeigh?” referring to the white Christian ex-soldier convicted in 1995′s Oklahoma City bombing.

“That’s digging a hole for ourselves,” Paul said.

Politicians are Politely Avoiding Tea Party Convention

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2011 by loonwatch

Politicians are politely avoiding Tea Party Convention

by Scott Powers (Orlando Sentinel)

The Tea Party opens a long-planned convention tonight in Daytona Beach, expecting 1,200 delegates, dozens of speakers — but almost no big-name politicians.

None of the leading Republican presidential candidates and only two of the five U.S. Senate candidates agreed to speak at the three-day Florida Tea Party Convention at the Volusia County Ocean Center.

And top Republican officeholders who have previously courted Tea Party support — Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Allen West of Plantation — also sent their regrets.

Organizers said they still expect two presidential candidates: U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. But neither campaign would confirm they’re coming, and their campaign schedules don’t list the convention.

Sid VanLandingham, the convention’s communications director, blamed the busy campaign season, saying a regional event has a tough time competing for attention.

“The [politicians’] schedulers, they’re making last-minute decisions, hopping from place to place, and it’s changing constantly,” he said.

In fact, all of the politicians who responded to Sentinel inquiries cited scheduling conflicts, though the convention dates were set months ago. And their absence leaves many observers puzzled, considering how popular tea-party events have been among most Republican candidates.

Liberals say the depiction of tea partyers as “extremists” — especially on issues such as immigration — is prompting candidates to keep their distance.

“A lot of politicians are worried about being painted by that association, especially as we get into the real meat of the election cycle,” said Mark Ferrulo, executive director of the liberal, Tallahassee-based Progress Florida.

The convention has attracted more than 30 political and social conservatives — many from out of state — as speakers. Among them: John Michael Chambers, founder of the Save America Foundation; Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition; and Mathew Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel.

VanLandingham, whose home group is the South Lake 912 Tea Party of Clermont, said the big-name politicians might have been a draw, but they are not the point.

“It’s a grass-roots gathering of people from around the state to share what works, what doesn’t work, and to share projects,” he said, citing workshops on how to organize for the 2012 elections.

The only statewide candidates expected to come are Mike McCalister of Plant City and Craig Miller of Winter Park, both underdog candidates for U.S. Senate.

Those who expressly said they are not coming include GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman, and GOP Senate candidates Adam Hasner, George LeMieux and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack.

A whirlwind of controversy in the past two weeks could have played a role, after the convention invited anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller to speak and an American Muslim civil-rights group, the Council of American-Islamic Relations, protested.

“They [CAIR] put pressure, I think, on some of the state officials, and I think some of the state officials, in their judgments, they declined to go,” VanLandingham said. “Their [the officials’] reasons were ‘prior commitments.’ ”

Geller writes an anti-Islam blog called Atlas Shrugs and leads an organization called “Stop Islamization of America.” Last year, she received wide attention — and stoked bitter anger from American Muslim groups — with her harshly worded opposition to a proposed Muslim community center a few blocks from ground zero in New York City.

Last month, CAIR sent letters to Florida politicians urging them not to attend the convention if Geller was on the schedule. And when Rubio and Scott indicated they would not come, CAIR issued a news release thanking them.

Geller said CAIR tries to get her appearances canceled or boycotted wherever she goes. But she said she is certain her appearance in Daytona had nothing to do with all the declined invitations.

“The politicians decided not to participate before this controversy began,” she said in an email.

But CAIR is not so sure.

“In other states, elected officials have pulled out and do not want to be on the same stage as her,” said CAIR media-relations director Ahmed Rehab.

Broward GOP Treats Muslims Worse Than Other Republicans

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by loonwatch

Allen West with Pamela “the loon” Geller

NPR exposes Allen West’s antagonistic attitude toward Islam and Muslims.

CAIR: Broward GOP Treats Muslims Worse Than Other Republicans

by Lisa Rab (Broward New Times)

U.S. Rep. Allen West has already tried to end federal funding for National Public Radio. But if he needed another reason to hate NPR, yesterday’s “All Things Considered” segment should do the the trick.
The story explored West’s view of Islam as a “totalitarian, theocratic, political ideology,” and his ongoing rhetorical battle with Nezar Hamze, the executive director of the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. No news there — the West/Hamze controversy has already been well-documented on the Pulp. But NPR took the story one step further, suggesting that Broward Republicans were more anti-Muslim than their GOP comrades in other states.

Last month, Hamze attempted to join the Broward Republican Executive Committee, and was soundly rejected by a “pit of discrimination.”

Yet committee chairman Richard DeNapoli told NPR:  ”I really don’t think this had anything to do with religion. It’s just that this was a widely known circumstance where he had made statements against Allen West, and the members reacted to that.”

Strike one. Broward Republicans will defend West to the end, even if it makes them look like bigots on national radio. But wait, there’s more!

“CAIR officials say they have good relations with other Republicans, but that in South Florida at least, the Republican Party and their Tea Party supporters have made Muslims feel unwelcome,”  NPR reporter Greg Allen said.

Ouch. This means South Florida — a predominantly Democratic area– is allegedly more prejudiced against Muslims than other Republican strongholds.

Congratulations, Broward. You are the new Strom Thurmond.

Former Mitt Romney Staffer Revealed As Key Player Behind Nationwide Islamophobia Push

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2011 by loonwatch

Former Mitt Romney Staffer Revealed As Key Player Behind Nationwide Islamophobia Push

(ThinkProgress)

Last week, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report detailing who’s behind the rise of Islamophobia in the United States. “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America” shows how a small handful of groups, including ACT! for America and Stop Islamization of America, have been the driving force behind the the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States.

A ThinkProgress investigation found that a top employee at ACT! for America, Chris Slick, was a key staffer in South Carolina for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign and continues to be a “rabid Romney volunteer” this year. Slick, who currently works as ACT!’s director of online operations, served as a South Carolina field manager for Romney’s 2008 presidential bid. During Slick’s tenure on Romney’s staff, the former Massachusetts governor declared that he would not appoint a Muslim in his cabinet if he were elected president. (GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain made a similar pledge this cycle, to much criticism.) After Romney’s bid failed, Slick moved on to spread Islamophobia at ACT! for America, though he maintains contact with Romney’s 2012 presidential bid as a volunteer.

At ACT!, Slick has worked to distribute model anti-Sharia legislation to state lawmakers around the country. In South Carolina, for instance, state Sen. Mike Fair (R) told ThinkProgress he had coordinated with Slick as he introduced legislation to ban Sharia in the Palmetto State. After working behind the scenes with Fair to bring up the anti-Sharia legislation, Slick then lobbied ACT! supporters to inundate state Sen. Larry Martin (R) with phone calls in an attempt to persuade Martin to lift his hold on the bill.

Slick’s Islamophobia isn’t just confined to pushing anti-Sharia legislation. His Twitter feed includes frequent anti-Muslim and anti-Arab missives. On April 25, Slick wrote, “Press 3 for Arabic. Yep, we are in trouble now folks…”. The week before, Slick accused Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) of having “ties to terrorism” for once representing the Arab television network Al Jazeera. Back in February, Slick retweeted a post from Logan’s Warning asking “Why would any woman be supportive of Islam?” And earlier that month, Slick wrote, “Dear Egyptian protesters [sic] aka the Muslim Brotherhood, please do not damage the pyramids, we will not rebuild them again. Signed, The Jews.”

Slick also sent out an ominous tweet on May 10: “I need a Wikipedia expert. Need to hire one to clean some stuff up. Do you or someone you know work well with Wiki? Let me know ASAP.” It’s unclear precisely whose or what Wikipedia page he wanted to alter.

To learn more about how the Islamophobia network operates, check out this video ThinkProgress produced:

Salon’s Justin Elliott Rattles the Cage, Poking the Anti-Muslim Beast Inside the Republican Circus Tent

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2011 by loonwatch

GOP presidential hopefuls have been falling all over themselves to please anti-Muslim elements within the party, each trying to outdo the other in this regard.  From Herman Cain of “Muslims must take a special loyalty oath” fame to Michele Bachmann who signed an “anti-Sharia pledge,” it’s a close call who’s truly in the lead.

To gain his street cred on Anti-Muslim Street, Texas Governor Rick Perry started “palling around” with anti-Muslim influentials.  All was going as planned, until Salon’s Justin Elliott entered the scene.  For those of you who haven’t been following Elliott’s excellent work, he’s become a very quiet yet forceful and consistent voice against anti-Muslim hatred.

Elliott decided to throw a wrench into the Perry presidential machine after he dug up an interesting tidbit about the governor: Perry has had very cordial relations with the Aga Khan, an influential Muslim spiritual leader.  Don’t worry, you wouldn’t be blamed for not knowing who the Aga Khan is.   To make a long story short, the Aga Khan refers to Karim al-Husseini, who is the 49th Imam (leader) of the Shia Ismaili sect of Islam.

Lest you begin to imagine a bearded mullah or angry ayatollah, be advised: the Aga Khan would fit in more with Donald Trump than Ayatollah Khomeini.  I’ve reproduced his picture above: notice the expensive suit and tie; the guy is as GQ Muslim as you can get.  The Aga Khan is a billionaire, lives in Europe, and jet-sets around the world.  He married a British fashion model, and in spite of the Islamic prohibition on gambling, owns some of the finest thoroughbred race horses in the world.

If you’ve been disabused of the notion that the Aga Khan is some Islamic fundamentalist, be rest assured too that he’s quite a pacifist as well.  The Evangelical Academy of Tutzing in Germany awarded him the Tolerance Prize, just one of the many awards he’s been given.  The Aga Khan heads notable humanitarian efforts throughout the world.

From a theological perspective, you should know that the Shia Ismailis (the sect to which the Aga Khan belongs to) are considered by many elements within the Islamic orthodoxy to be heterodox (even “heretical” by some).  They are to Islam what Mormons are to Christianity.  They don’t pray five times a day, they don’t fast during Ramadan, etc.  Far from calling to jihad and the imposition of “dhimmitude,” the Shia Ismailis are usually on the receiving end of religious discrimination and sometimes even persecution.  So if there were Muslims who “counter-jihadists” could tolerate these would be it!

But Justin Elliott predicted that the Islamophobes wouldn’t care: any Muslim is unacceptable.  You know how there was a saying that the only good Indian is a dead Indian (or, alternatively, the only good nigger is a dead nigger)?  Well, Islamophobes adhere to the following axiom: the only moderate”Muslim” is an ex-Muslim. So to them, the Aga Khan is not acceptable: the Aga Khan hasn’t publicly repudiated and renounced Islam.  He certainly hasn’t written a book about what’s wrong with Islam, so he must be a stealth-jihadist!

Less than a week ago, Elliott posted an article entitled “Rick Perry: the pro-Sharia Candidate.” It was certainly tongue-in-cheek, almost spoofing right-wing nut jobs.  Bellowed Elliott:

Rick Perry has made a name for himself in the last few weeks by palling around with some radical evangelical Christian figures who are openly hostile to Islam, and have even, in one notable case, called for a ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S. Perry also raised eyebrows in his decidedly unecumenical exhortation for all Americans to pray to Jesus Christ.

But it turns out that the Texas governor has had surprisingly warm, constructive relations with at least one group of Muslims over the years.

Perry is a friend of the Aga Khan, the religious leader of the Ismailis, a sect of Shia Islam…

Elliott also dug up the fact that Perry cooperated with the Aga Khan in a couple educational projects.  In high school world history, for example, students learn about various world cultures, including Islamic civilizations.  Perry and the Aga Khan worked together improving the standard of teaching in this regard, and Perry himself said: “I have supported this program from the very beginning, because we must bridge the gap of understanding between East and West if we ever hope to experience a future of peace and prosperity.”

Here’s where Justin Elliott decided to rattle the cage (to make a political point but also for sh**s and giggles) and poke the anti-Muslim beast in the Republican circus tent.  Elliott quipped:

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that right-wing bomb-throwers will use this as a line of attack against Perry.

Elliott predicted that his article would create a political maelstrom for Perry.  And he was right. As if on cue, the mindless drones and brainless sharia-zapping zombies of the Islamophobic cyber-world marched in lockstep, honing their taqiyya-radars on Rick Perry and setting their jihad-phazers to kill mode.

Just a few short days after his piece, Elliott published a follow-up article, documenting the hyper-exaggerated response from the anti-Muslim right-wing.  Humorously, one prominent “anti-Sharia” figure quoted in Elliott’s article defiantly said (emphasis added):

This story tells us more about Salon, Politico and other left-of-center media outlets than about Perry. Rather than engage on the substantive issues as regards to Islamism and the extent of the threat of groups with political motivations and histories of terrorist links, Elliott and Smith refuse to take their opponents seriously, thinking they’re ‘poking the cage’ of a Republican base too unsophisticated to know the difference between the Ismaili sect and, say, the Muslim Brotherhood.

What’s humorous is that in fact Elliott’s “poking the cage” worked “like clockwork.”  Elliott effectively became a puppet-master, adequately demonstrating to us how easy it is to stir up a fake anti-Muslim controversy.  Just yell any variation of Muslim, Sharia, and stealth jihad loud enough, link them to your opponent, and voila!, the anti-Muslim cyber-world will inject into the issue a life of its own, amplifying it a hundred-fold.

Justin Elliott has successfully made fools out of the right-wing anti-Muslim nutters, who took the bait.  I want to laugh, but perhaps I’m too scared to.  This is a well-oiled machine, an echo chamber of anti-Muslim madness, a Frankenstein that even the creators cannot contain.

Here is Elliott’s article:

Shariah foes seize on Perry’s ties to Muslims

By: Justin Elliott

It looks like my story last week about Rick Perry’s cordial relations with a group of Muslims has, as expected, generated alarm within the anti-Shariah wing of the Republican Party.

My piece explored Perry’s long-standing friendship with the Aga Khan, the wealthy, globe-trotting leader of the Ismaili Muslim sect, which has a small but significant population in Texas. Perry and the Aga Khan have launched two joint projects, including a program to educate Texas schoolchildren about Islamic culture and history. I noted that this relationship set Perry apart from those members of the GOP field who consistently demonize Islam, and that some anti-Shariah/anti-Muslim activists might be skeptical of his ties to the Aga Khan.

Like clockwork, two anti-Shariah figures have now penned columns attacking Perry on exactly these grounds. But one anti-Shariah group, Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, has dissented and says it has no problem with Perry’s relationship with the Ismailis. The group’s spokesman, Dave Reaboi, emailed Commentary’s Alana Goodman:

Politico’s Ben Smith amplified a Salon report about Perry’s relationship with Aga Khan of the Ismaili sect of Shia Islam. As Salon’s in-house apologist for Islamism and crusader against conservatives, Justin Elliott clearly believed such a story, breathlessly told, would cause a great deal of friction between the Texas governor and the GOP base—who are rightfully concerned about the anti-Constitutional aspects of Shariah law in our own country, and are watching as Shariah is the rallying-cry of jihadists around the globe. That said, Perry’s relationship to Khan and the Ismaili’s, I predict, will not cause much of a stir. The Islamailis are a persecuted Shia minority in Saudia Arabia; indeed, Perry’s meeting with Khan could not have won him many friends there. Rather than reaching out– as both presidents Bush and Obama mistakenly did—to problematic organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood’s expressly political agenda, Perry’s choice to engage with a more ‘progressive’ group is a good sign.

And:

This story tells us more about Salon, Politico and other left-of-center media outlets than about Perry. Rather than engage on the substantive issues as regards to Islamism and the extent of the threat of groups with political motivations and histories of terrorist links, Elliott and Smith refuse to take their opponents seriously, thinking they’re ‘poking the cage’ of a Republican base too unsophisticated to know the difference between the Ismaili sect and, say, the Muslim Brotherhood.

As it turns out, Reaboi’s predictions — that Perry’s associations “will not cause much of a stir” and that anti-Shariah activists are too sophisticated to demonize the Ismailis — have already been proven wrong.

The blogger and activist Pamela Geller wrote a column for the American Thinker today declaring that “Rick Perry must not be President. Have we not had enough of this systemic sedition?”

But Perry has been sucked into the propaganda vortex, and is now wielding his enormous power to influence changes in the schoolrooms and in the curricula to reflect a sharia compliant version of Islam.  He is a friend of the Aga Khan, the multimillionaire head of the Ismailis, a Shi’ite sect of Islam that today proclaims its nonviolence but in ages past was the sect that gave rise to the Assassins.

Commentary’s Goodman suggests that, compared to Gaffney’s think tank, Geller is a fringe figure in the anti-Shariah movement. In fact, Geller is one of the primary ideological and organizational leaders of the movement: she devotes numerous posts to the issue on her influential blog; she regularly gives speeches on Shariah and discusses it on TV; and she founded a group, Stop Islamization of America, that names stopping Shariah as one of its primary goals.

And it gets better: Both Geller and Gaffney are apparently on the eight-member steering committee of a coalition called the “Sharia Awareness Action Network.”

Another sponsor of that coalition is WorldNetDaily, which yesterday published an attack on Perry by Joel Richardson, author of “The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth About the Real Nature of the Beast” (WND Books). He argues that Perry has been fooled by the Aga Khan, who is part of the relentless Islamic quest to conquer “the West”:

It should also be mentioned that one of the doctrines espoused by Ismaili Muslims is the doctrine of Taqiyya. In simple terms, the doctrine of Taqiyya allows Muslims to purposefully hide or lie about their true religious beliefs to “unbelievers” or even Muslims of different sects. Of course, it is doubtful that the children of Texas will learn anything of Taqiyya in their Perry-sponsored education concerning Islam.

Of course, while lying in the name of religion may seem like a foreign concept to most, it is the principle of “the ends justify the means” that underscores many aspects of the Islamic approach to win the West.

One can only hope that such is not the principle driving Gov. Perry’s campaign for the presidency.

None of this is particularly surprising. As I noted in my original piece, the Muslim education program previously generated a bit of controversy in a state board of education campaign in Texas. (“I think Islamic curriculum is about the furthest thing that we need to be introducing into Texas classrooms,” said the Republican candidate in that race.)

To be clear, I have absolutely no problem with the Aga Khan-Perry partnership, and the effort to educate Texas schoolchildren about Muslim culture and history is to all appearances a positive and constructive thing. I think Perry’s relationship with the Ismailis in Texas makes for an interesting and relevant contrast to the Santorums and Cains of the GOP field.

But here’s the bottom line: My prediction that anti-Shariah activists would be troubled by Perry’s associations was borne out in the space of just a few days.

Gov. Chris Christie Slams Islamophobic Criticism of Sohail Mohammad

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

Unfortunately there aren’t many other GOP leaders willing to take the stand that Chris Christie did.

Gov. Christie’s stand is a sigh of relief in an age of Islamophobiapalooza, especially from a high profile GOP official. Sadly, Gov.Christie’s righteous stand for Sohail Mohammad is an exception in today’s politics.

This incident also further highlights the shoddy work of Islamophobe Steven Emerson, who is caught once again being full of BS.

N.J. Governor: ‘This Shariah law business is crap’

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday slammed the anti-Muslim “crazies” who have raised objections to his nomination of a Muslim lawyer to become a state Superior Court judge.

“Ignorance is behind the criticism of Sohail Mohammad,” Christie said in response to a reporter’s question at a Thursday press conference. “Sohail Mohammad is an extraordinary American who is an outstanding lawyer and played an integral role in the post-September 11th period in building bridges between the Muslim American community in this state and law enforcement.”

Critics have used the very track record Christie cited to depict Mohammad, an Indian-American, as a radical unfit for the bench. Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism in January derided Mohammad as a “longtime mouthpiece for radical Islamists”. Emerson traced Mohammad’s career back to his work as an immigration lawyer on behalf of Arab men who were detained after 9/11.

Christie pointed out that many people were wrongly arrested during that time, and that none of Mohammad’s post-9/11 clients were charged with crimes of terrorism. Christie added that Mohammad set up “dozens of meetings” between government and law enforcement officials and members of the Muslim-American community to build lines of trust.

A reporter asked Christie a question about Shariah law, which only fired up the governor’s frustration. “Shariah law has nothing to do with this at all. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. The guy is an American citizen … and has never been accused of doing anything but honorably and zealously acquitting the oath he took when he became a lawyer…. This Shariah law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies. It’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background…. I’m happy that he’s willing to serve after all this baloney.”

Hatewatch, 4 August 2011

Bryan Fischer: No longer alone in Bigotry

Posted in Feature, Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by loonwatch

GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain has revealed himself to be, for various reasons, the biggest bigot and buffoon in the race. He kicked up a firestorm with his recent comments on Fox News Sunday in support of the “right” to ban American mosques. Apparently, Cain thinks that freedom of religion means freedom to ban religions:

CAIN: They could say that. Chris, lets go back to the fundamental issue that the people are basically saying they’re objecting to. They’re objecting to the fact Islam is both a religion and a set of laws, Sharia law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes. The people in the community know best, and I happen to side with the people in Murfreesboro.

WALLACE: You’re saying any community, if they want to ban a mosque?

CAIN: Yes. They have a right to do that. That’s not discriminating based upon religion.

Discriminating against Muslims is not discrimination because they’re Muslims! Kind of like the argument we hear from racists that discrimination against black people is not discrimination because black people are more likely to be criminals.

Many religious leaders took Cain to task for his comments, but not everyone. In fact, more than enough far right wingers are gleefully embracing his call to deny American Muslims their fundamental American rights.

Bryan Fischer is a Christian fundamentalist who is one of the loudest voices of intolerance on the right wing. For example, he has argued that Muslims should not serve in the military, law-abiding Muslim immigrants should be “sent back home,” and all American mosques should be banned:

Permits, in my judgment, should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America. This is for one simple reason: each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government.

Did you get that? Each Islamic mosque is “dedicated” not to the pillars of Islam (faith, prayer, charity, and fasting) but to the “overthrow of the American government.” As if all the Muslims of every denomination (Sunni, Shi’ite, Sufi, liberal, conservative, etc.) are acting with one will, one goal, like the Borg (resistance is futile, you will be assimilated). He must have read that somewhere in the Protocols of the Elders of Mecca.

Anyway, it is this last point that has Bryan Fischer super excited: he is no longer alone in his Bigotry now that a big shot GOP candidate has legitimated his effort to ban all mosques. On what grounds can they so brazenly defy the First Amendment? The bogus talking point about Islam being a political ideology, not a religion:

In point of fact, in Islam the church IS the state. And since Islam allows no room for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience and equal rights for women, it’s view of culture is so bizarrely un-American as to be dangerous and destructive to civilized society in all its forms.

This is quite ironic coming from a man whose goal in life is to impose his backward religious opinions on an unwilling society. Don’t mind our homegrown Christian fundamentalists who reject separation of church and state. They don’t count.

In reality, the Gallup polls of the Muslim world reveal the exact opposite of Fischer and Cain’s claims:

•Large majorities cite the equal importance of democracy and Islam to the quality of life and progress of the Muslim world. They see no contradiction between democratic values and religious principles.

•Political freedoms are among the things they admire most about the West.

•Substantial majorities in nearly all nations say that if drafting a new constitution, they would guarantee freedom of speech.

•Most want neither theocracy nor secular democracy but a third model in which religious principles and democratic values coexist. They want their own democratic model that draws on Islamic law as a source.

•Significant majorities say religious leaders should play no direct role in drafting a constitution, writing legislation, determining foreign policy, or deciding how women dress in public.

Another poll reports that less than 1% of Egyptians want the radical fusion of religion and state like Iran:

Egyptians… express little interest in recreating their country in the image of Iran, as has been the fear among some Western commentators. Less than 1% say the Islamic Republic should be Egypt’s political model, and most Egyptians think religious leaders should provide advice to government authorities, as opposed to having full authority for determining the nation’s laws. The majority of residents in the Arab world’s most populous nation desire a democracy informed by religious values, not a theocracy.

The numbers concerning Muslim attitudes toward women are equally destructive to Fischer’s arguments:

•Majorities in most countries believe that women should have the same legal rights as men: They should have the right to vote, to hold any job outside the home that they qualify for, and to hold leadership positions at the cabinet and national council levels

•Majorities of men in virtually every country (including 62 percent in Saudi Arabia, 73 percent in Iran, and 81 percent in Indonesia) agree that women should be able to work at any job they qualify for.

•In Saudi Arabia, where women cannot vote, 58 percent of men say women should be able to vote.

•While Muslim women favor gender parity, they do not endorse wholesale adoption of Western values.

So, while scientific polling of the Muslim world (not to mention American Muslims) reveals broad support for democratic principles, a rejection of theocracy, and support for women’s rights, that won’t stop the far right from parroting the thoroughly debunked but politically potent talking point that Islam is somehow uniquely anti-democratic, oppressive to women, and dangerous.

Bryan Fischer is the face of the grassroots prejudice to which Herman Cain is appealing and which will not likely be criticized by the rest of the GOP candidates. American right-wing politics has sunk to a new low. No longer is shredding the First Amendment considered fringe, crazy talk.

Fischer is not a lone anti-freedom bigot anymore. The GOP is right there with him.

Eugene Robinson: Stand up to Herman Cain’s bigotry

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by loonwatch

Eugene Robinson takes a stand against bigot Herman Munster Cain.

Stand up to Herman Cain’s bigotry

by Eugene Robinson (Washington Post)

It is time to stop giving Herman Cain’s unapologetic bigotry a free pass. The man and his poison need to be seen clearly and taken seriously.

Imagine the reaction if a major-party presidential candidate — one who, like Cain, shows actual support in the polls — said he “wouldn’t be comfortable” appointing a Jew to a Cabinet position. Imagine the outrage if this same candidate loudly supported a community’s efforts to block Mormons from building a house of worship.

But Cain’s prejudice isn’t against Mormons or Jews, it’s against Muslims. Open religious prejudice is usually enough to disqualify a candidate for national office — but not, apparently, when the religion in question is Islam.

On Sunday, Cain took the position that any community in the nation has the right to prohibit Muslims from building a mosque. The sound you hear is the collective hum of the Founding Fathers whirring like turbines in their graves.

Freedom of religion is, of course, guaranteed by the Constitution. There’s no asterisk or footnote exempting Muslims from this protection. Cain says he knows this. Obviously, he doesn’t care.

Cain’s remarks came as “Fox News Sunday”host Chris Wallace was grilling him about his obsession with the attempt by some citizens of Murfreesboro, Tenn., to halt construction of a mosque. Wallace noted that the mosque has operated at a nearby site for more than 20 years, and asked, sensibly, what the big deal is.

Cain launched into an elaborate conspiratorial fantasy about how the proposed place of worship is “not just a mosque for religious purposes” and how there are “other things going on.”

This imagined nefarious activity, it turns out, is a campaign to subject the nation and the world to Islamic religious law. Anti-mosque activists in Murfreesboro are “objecting to the fact that Islam is both a religion and a set of laws, sharia law,” Cain said. “That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes.”

Let’s return to the real world for a moment and see how bogus this argument is. Presumably, Cain would include Roman Catholicism among the “traditional religions” that deserve constitutional protection. It happens that our legal system recognizes divorce, but the Catholic Church does not. This, by Cain’s logic, must constitute an attempt to impose “Vatican law” on an unsuspecting nation.

Similarly, Jewish congregations that observe kosher dietary laws must be part of a sinister plot to deprive America of its God-given bacon.

Wallace was admirably persistent in pressing Cain to either own up to his prejudice or take it back. “But couldn’t any community then say we don’t want a mosque in our community?” Wallace asked.

“They could say that,” Cain replied.

“So you’re saying any community, if they want to ban a mosque. . .,” Wallace began.

“Yes, they have the right to do that,” Cain said.

For the record, they don’t. For the record, there is no attempt to impose sharia law; Cain is taking arms against a threat that exists only in his own imagination. It makes as much sense to worry that the Amish will force us all to commute by horse and buggy.

This demonization of Muslims is not without precedent. In the early years of the 20th century, throughout the South, white racists used a similar “threat” — the notion of black men as sexual predators who threatened white women — to justify an elaborate legal framework of segregation and repression that endured for decades.

As Wallace pointed out, Cain is an African American who is old enough to remember Jim Crow segregation. “As someone who, I’m sure, faced prejudice growing up in the ’50s and the ’60s, how do you respond to those who say you are doing the same thing?”

Cain’s response was predictable: “I tell them that’s absolutely not true, because it is absolutely, totally different. . . . We had some laws that were restricting people because of their color and because of their color only.”

Wallace asked, “But aren’t you willing to restrict people because of their religion?”

Said Cain: “I’m willing to take a harder look at people that might be terrorists.”

Generations of bigots made the same argument about black people. They’re irredeemably different. Many of them may be all right, but some are a threat. Therefore, it’s necessary to keep all of them under scrutiny and control.

Bull Connor and Lester Maddox would be proud.

Eugene Robinson will be online to chat with readers at 1 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday. Submit your questions before or during the discussion.

Herman Cain: Americans Can Stop Mosques

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by loonwatch

This is a GOP candidate who is getting 6% of the popular vote right now, and this sort of rhetoric is acceptable for a large portion of Americans.

Herman Cain: Americans Can Stop Mosques

Herman Cain said Sunday that Americans should be able to ban Muslims from building mosques in their communities.

“Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state,” Cain said in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “Islam combines church and state. They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it.”

Last week, the Republican presidential candidate expressed criticism of a planned mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, telling reporters at a campaign event that “This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Sharia law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that.”

“This isn’t an innocent mosque,” Cain said.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Wallace pressed him about those comments.

“Let’s go back to the fundamental issue,” Cain said. “Islam is both a religion and a set of laws — Sharia laws. That’s the difference between any one of our traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes.”

“So, you’re saying that any community, if they want to ban a mosque…” Wallace began.

“Yes, they have the right to do that,” Cain said.

Cain has made a number of controversial comments about Muslims, including a vow to be cautious about allowing a Muslim to serve in his administration.

On Sunday, Cain defended his position, telling Wallace that it’s not discrimination.

“Aren’t you willing to restrict people because of their religion?” Wallace asked.

“I’m willing to take a harder look at people who might be terrorists, that’s what I’m saying,” Cain replied. “Look, I know that there’s a peaceful group of Muslims in this country. God bless them and they’re free to worship. If you look at my career I have never discriminated against anybody, because of their religion, sex or origin or anything like that.”

“I’m simply saying I owe it to the American people to be cautious because terrorists are trying to kill us,” Cain said, “so yes I’m going to err on the side of caution rather than on the side of carelessness.”

Original post: Herman Cain: Americans Have The Right To Ban Mosques In Their Communities

Breaking: Herman Cain Is Suspicious of Muslims

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by loonwatch

Cain should have stuck to making pizzas.

Breaking: Herman Cain Is Suspicious of Muslims

(New York Magazine)

Does Herman Cain know what a mosque is?

Herman Cain, it’s probably safe to say, has already peaked. For reasons that remain unclear, hewowed Republicans in the primary season’s first debate but was quickly forgotten when Michele Bachmann wowed Republicans in the second debate. His national polling average of 10.2 percent in late June has gradually dropped over the past couple of weeks to 6.5 percent, according to Real Clear Politics. His numbers have steadily declined in polling of the Iowa caucus as well, and some of his staff in Iowa and New Hampshirerecently abandoned ship. But Herman Cain does still have one card up his sleeve: More than any other candidate, he’s willing to say heinous, bigoted things about Muslims.

Cain has said he wouldn’t appoint a Muslim to any position within his administration because of fears that Muslims are trying to “gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government.” He later softened his position slightly, allowing for the potential hiring of Muslims that pass some kind of loyalty test that only Muslims have to take. And now Cain is speaking out against the never-ending controversy over a proposed Islamic center and mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee:

“It is an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion,” he said. “And I don’t agree with what’s happening, because this isn’t an innocent mosque.” ….

“It is another example of why I believe in American laws and American courts,” Cain said. “This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Shariah law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that.”

You read that correctly: Letting Muslims practice their religion is an infringement on our freedom of religion. Let that argument sink in for a second. Or don’t. It’s actually uncomfortably farcical.