Archive for Islamophobes

‘The United West’ Video: Is it from The Onion? No, This Lunacy is Real.

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2012 by loonwatch

What do you get when you cross a ShamWow commercial with the Rainbow Six video game?  Answer: A video from the anti-Muslim, racist, supremacist hate group, The United West (h/t Khuram Zaman):

It’s hard to tell the difference between that and this classic video from The Onion:

To all the loons who buy into these crazy anti-Muslim conspiracy theories: you’re certifiably nuts.

Top Three Reasons we wont Miss Sue Myrick

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2012 by loonwatch
With Sue Myrick's departure in 2013, the 9th Congressional District seat will shift to another person for only the fifth time since Republican Charles Jonas went to Washington in 1953. DIEDRA LAIRD - 2008 CHARLOTTE OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
With Sue Myrick’s departure in 2013, the 9th Congressional District seat will shift to another person for only the fifth time since Republican Charles Jonas went to Washington in 1953. DIEDRA LAIRD – 2008 CHARLOTTE OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
Here are the top three reasons why we are happy Sue Myrick will not seek another term:
  1. She wrote the forward to “Muslim Mafia”, a book that argues that Muslims crept into our government by an orchestrated network of spy interns.
  2. She partook in the Peter King hearings.
  3. She supports Bridgette Gabriel of ACT! for America, and other Islamophobes.

Rep. Sue Myrick will not Seek another Term in Congress

By Tim Funk and Jim Morrill
tfunk@charlotteobserver.com, jmorrill@charlotteobserver.com

U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick’s surprise announcement Tuesday that she’ll leave Washington after nine terms sparked a scramble by would-be successors that reached halfway around the world – literally.

Mecklenburg County commissioner Jim Pendergraph, a Republican and longtime Myrick ally, is expected to announce his candidacy this morning – apparently with Myrick’s blessing.

“Sue and I have been friends for 25 years and she’s very close,” said Pendergraph, a former Mecklenburg sheriff and one-time Democrat. “And I just would expect that she would (support me).”

Former GOP state Sen. Robert Pittenger, who is also among those mulling a run in the predominantly Republican 9th Congressional District, was notified by a reporter while on a mission trip in China.

“I … will discuss with my wife and family when I return,” he said in an email.

And Andy Dulin, a GOP Charlotte City Council member whose district overlaps with Myrick’s in southeast Charlotte, said he’ll make a decision on whether to run by week’s end.

Other Republicans mentioned: Mecklenburg Commissioner Bill James, who said he will decide soon; and Dan Barry, mayor pro tem of Weddington, who has been running in the crowded 8th District race but actually lives in the 9th.

Former Republican Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory would have been a sure candidate for the seat if – after years of waiting for it to become vacant – he had not decided to try instead for the N.C. governor’s mansion.

Mecklenburg County commissioner Jennifer Roberts, who’s a Democrat, also is considering a run. So may Jeff Doctor, a Democrat who challenged Myrick in 2010.

But the 9th District has historically been a safe GOP seat – and one that rarely changes occupants.

With Myrick’s departure in 2013, the office will shift to another person for only the fifth time since Republican Charles Jonas went to Washington in 1953. Since then, the seat was held by Jim Martin, Alex McMillan and Myrick.

Its boundaries have changed over the years, and it shifts shape again under the reapportionment map approved last year by the N.C. legislature. The Charlotte-centered district is even more Republican, with Mecklenburg County comprising a larger slice. It no longer includes Gaston County. Instead it takes in southern Iredell County and northern Union. Still, seven out of 10 district residents live in Mecklenburg County.

About 40 percent of the voters are registered Republicans, with Democrats comprising 32 percent and independents, 28 percent.

It’s also a predominantly white district (83 percent).

‘Grateful for the privilege’

Myrick, who will turn 71 this year, made her announcement on Facebook just days before Monday’s start of filing.

“After thoughtful discussion with my family, I have decided not to run for another term in Congress,” Myrick wrote. “I’m grateful for the privilege of serving. … We will spend the rest of the year working on the issues that are important to all of you – and I hope to be a positive influence.”

Myrick gave no reason for her decision. She and her staff did not return phone calls Tuesday.

Many GOP stalwarts expected her to run for a 10th term.

“I was quite surprised by her decision,” said state Sen. Bob Rucho, a Matthews Republican. “I talked to her the other day and never got an inkling about it. … I applaud her for her great job and wish her the very best as we move forward.”

Myrick’s road to Washington began in Charlotte, where she served on the City Council before defeating Democrat Harvey Gantt in the 1987 mayoral race. She served two terms, then ran unsuccessfully for her party’s U.S. Senate nomination in 1992.

Two years later, Myrick was elected to Congress as part of a GOP tidal wave that ended the Democrats’ 40-year control of the House. She won with 66 percent of the vote, becoming only the second woman to be elected to a full congressional term in North Carolina.

Her platform that year called for term limits for members of Congress. But Myrick never got around to limiting her own terms, going on to easily win eight more times.

A staunch conservative, Myrick also managed to move up the leadership ladder in the House. By 2004, she was both a member of the powerful Rules Committee, which decides which bills go to the floor, and chair of the Republican Study Committee, whose members are often to the right of the House’s GOP leaders.

Over the years, she emerged as a fiscal conservative, but one who favored federal money for road projects in her district. As a breast cancer survivor, she became a champion for increased coverage of mammograms. And, especially in recent years, Myrick waged high-profile, often controversial, campaigns against illegal immigration and radical Islam, which she charged had infiltrated the U.S. government.

On Tuesday, Republicans praised her record; some Democrats criticized it.

“Sue Myrick has been an incredibly effective leader,” said N.C. Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes, a former congressman who served with Myrick. “Throughout her time in Congress, she earned the respect of the leadership by always being a strong voice for her district.”

But N.C. Democratic Party spokesman Walton Robinson said voters in her district will now “have the opportunity to elect a responsive, constituent-oriented representative who will take their concerns to Washington – not the other way around, as Sue Myrick has done for so many years.”

‘Not just NO, but HELL NO!’

Myrick was not the kind of House member to show up on national talk shows every Sunday.

But, in 2006, she did made national news – and seemed to speak for many around the country – when she sent a one-sentence letter to President George W. Bush, then had her office email a copy to reporters.

“In regards to selling American ports to the United Arab Emirates,” she wrote, “not just NO, but HELL NO!”

Myrick also demonstrated her toughness in a more personal way, by surviving breast cancer.

Diagnosed in 1999, she agonized over whether to make the news public.

“I have a very public job, so was concerned about what to tell the media about my surgery,” she wrote in a 2005 blog for the website Yahoo! Health. “My husband and I discussed it and decided that I had a ‘bully pulpit’ and should go public if it would help others. It was the best thing I did.”

She also served as a mentor for other GOP congressmen, including Cherryville’s Patrick McHenry, who was the youngest member of Congress when first elected to represent North Carolina’s 10th District in 2004.

“I have always been amazed by how hard Sue works,” McHenry said in a statement Tuesday. “Her leadership on health care and our national security will be sorely missed.”

Critics, foes welcome news

Myrick also had her share of foes, including Charlotte area Muslims and Hispanics who often criticized her outspokenness on issues relating to national security and immigration.

“We lost someone who worked tirelessly to fuel the flames of fear against the Muslim community and worked to make it hard for us to practice our faith openly,” said Jibril Hough, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Charlotte, who welcomed the news that Myrick was retiring.

Local Muslims criticized her for writing the foreword to a book – “Muslim Mafia” – whose researcher called Islam a disease. And in 2003, during remarks about domestic security threats, Myrick upset U.S. Arabs and Muslims by saying: “Look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country.”

She publicly faulted the U.S. intelligence community for failing to see a connection between al-Qaida and Samir Khan, a radical Charlotte blogger who left for Yemen to edit a magazine for the terrorist group and was later killed in a U.S. strike.

Last year, the congresswoman made headlines when she cancelled appearances at 9/11 memorial events because, she told the Observer, intelligence sources had alerted her that her name had turned up in a threatening Iranian news agency article.

Some criticized her, saying she was exaggerating the threat for political gain. But with the 2011 shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, many members of Congress have been more concerned about their safety.

Appealed to GOP base

Some of the stands that upset Myrick’s critics delighted her Republican base.

She put getting tough on illegal immigration near the top of her agenda, for example.

In 2005, she managed to include her amendment to deport any illegal immigrant convicted of drunken driving in a bill that passed the House but died in the Senate.

She forged on, later reintroducing the “Scott Gardner Act” – named for a Mount Holly teacher killed in a 2005 wreck caused by an undocumented immigrant driving drunk – in the House.WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT FRANCO ORDONEZ AND STAFF WRITER DAVID PERLMUTT CONTRIBUTED.

Continue reading: Rep. Sue Myrick will not Seek another Term in Congress

Rev.Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Awkward for Islamophobes

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature with tags , , , , , , , on January 16, 2012 by loonwatch
Martin_Luther_King_Malcolm_X
Two Extraordinary Men: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X

The day when we are supposed to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and struggle for civil rights, justice and freedom is marked today, January 16th, 2012. It goes without saying that everyone owes MLK Jr. a debt of gratitude. Reflecting on his life the past few days, I have re-read the “Auto-biography of Martin Luther King, Jr.” edited by Clayborne Carson, mostly using material from his collected letters, speeches and writings.

There are innumerable ways in which we can remember his legacy, but there is a specific context and relevance that I want to highlight, one that American Muslims and all despised minorities can relate to and understand.

It begins with first acknowledging that, as Svend White noted, Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t exactly the universally loved and admired individual that we honor today. In his time, MLK was reviled, considered by some in their hysterical conspiratorial craze “a Communist,” the FBI followed his every movement, and while he was alive he was considered a national security threat.

…contrary to the comforting revisionism that reigns, King was not universally acclaimed and supported after his advent in American national consciousness, even a decade after his legendary speech.

It’s relatively well-known that elements in the government—especially J. Edgar Hoover, who was convinced that he was a Communist plant—ignored the fact that by the end of his life he was a radical social critic who applied his vision to far more than race relations. As he began to apply his values holistically and across racial lines, he lost support among many erstwhile allies.

King’s bravery and vision did not end at “race relations,” his dream was larger, that is why he condemned the Vietnam war and joined striking sanitation workers in Memphis.

MLK day is an awkward day for Islamophobes. His life stands in sharp contradistinction to their hate-filled polemic and activism. While MLK waged jihad for civil rights and freedom, anti-Muslims lobby to restrict freedoms, while MLK pushed for non-violence and opposed aggressive wars, Islamophobes stand in support of such wars–or at least the by-product of slaughtering “towel-heads.”

Can you imagine what their reaction would be to one of King’s most famous, if less well known statements given during his “Beyond Vietnam” address,

 The USA is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.

If MLK said that today (and it is as true today as it was in his time), rest assured he would be called a leftist, terrorist sympathizer, or perhaps even a “secret Mooslim.”

MLK represented the highest qualities of his Christian faith, but this did not lead him to exclusivist narrow mindedness, instead it opened doors of knowledge and reflection upon unifying principles between the various world religions:

‘I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate — ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: ‘Let us love one another, for love is God. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.’ If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.”

For saying the above MLK would be considered a “dhimmi” by the radical anti-Muslim Islamophobes. That is why a commemoration of MLK is awesome, it exposes the futility of hate, the absurdness of it, while also reminding us that there is much work to be done to reach a dream that has not been understood or realized.

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2012 by loonwatch

(image from an Islamophobic website)

DISCLAIMER: LoonWatch has not endorsed any candidate for President of the United States.  This article should not be seen as such.

Islamophobes absolutely hate Ron Paul.  Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs–the King and Queen of Islamophobia on the internet–dedicate page after page on their hate blogs lambasting the Congressman and presidential hopeful.

Why do they hate Ron Paul so much?

There are three major reasons why they detest him:

(1) Ron Paul stands up for American Muslims against Islamophobia.  For example, he defended the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” arguing that the entire controversy was “all about hate and Islamophobia.”

(2) He has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Bush-Obama curtailments of civil liberties that specifically target Muslims.

(3) Paul is the only major presidential candidate to oppose America’s wars in the Muslim world.  Even more importantly, Ron Paul links reason #1 above (the Lesser Islamophobia) to reason #3 (the Greater Islamophobia), arguing that “in order to perpetuate this foreign policy…they have to perpetuate this hate toward Islam.”

This third reason is also why mainstream politicians and the mainstream media dislike Ron Paul and have tried their utmost to destroy him.  Fox political pundit Bill O’Reilly argued that Paul’s views on foreign policy “disqualifies him” as a candidate for president.  Here is exactly what O’Reilly said:

His foreign policy disqualifies him in my eyes as an American…

Bill O’Reilly has inadvertently touched upon something very deep and meaningful:  ”As an American,” foreign policy must include waging war.  To do without war would simply be un-American.

One recalls the words of H. Rap Brown, the chairman of the civil rights group Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), who famously declared in 1967:

Violence is as American as cherry pie.

Brown uttered this statement during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.  While blacks were being beaten up and hosed down in the streets of America, the United States was raining death down upon the Vietnamese population halfway across the earth.

H. Rap Brown was not the only one in the civil rights movement who linked the struggle of blacks in America to the struggle of the darker skinned peoples of the world.  For instance, Martin Luther King, Jr. called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” for its war-making:

The Soviet Union brought attention to America’s “Negro problem.”  Michael L. Krenn writes on pp.89-90 of Race and U.S. Foreign Policy During the Cold War:

By 1949, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, “the ‘Negro question’ [was] [o]ne of the principal Soviet propaganda themes regarding the United States.” “[T]he Soviet press hammers away unceasingly on such things as ‘lynch law,’ segregation, racial discrimination, deprivation of political rights, etc., seeking to build up a picture of an America in which the Negroes are brutally downtrodden with no hope of improving their status under the existing form of government.”  An [American] Embassy official believed that “this attention to the Negro problem serves political ends desired by the Soviet Union and has nothing whatsoever to do with any desire to better the Negro’s position.”

Apparently, only the United States is allowed to saber rattle and invade countries on the grounds that the “existing form of government” is discriminatory or unjust to part of its population.

With the world’s spotlight on America’s treatment of its darker-skinned citizens–and those same citizens linking their struggle to America’s foreign wars against darker-skinned peoples–the United States moved in the direction of racial integration in the 1970′s.  America’s longest war was also grudgingly brought to an end.

But today, despite the fact that we have been waging wars for two decades in the Muslim world and in just the last couple years bombed over half a dozen Muslim countries, the anti-war movement is, at least compared to the 1960′s and 70′s, all but dead.

Ron Paul is one of the only major political figures–and the only major presidential candidate–to oppose America’s wars.

And that is why he is in the cross-hairs of anti-Muslim bigots, who see the world in apocalyptic holy war terms: the jihad will bring an end to Western civilization as we know it so we must destroy them first!  This is their fundamental world view, which is why sustaining and protracting the wars against the Muslim world is their greatest desire.

Ron Paul threatens that paradigm.  He dares to cogitate that it is our military interventions in the Muslim world that result in Islamic terrorism against the United States and her allies.  He had the chutzpah to include 9/11 in this: “They attack us because we’ve been over there. We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years.”

In the American national discourse, this is next to blasphemy.  But, in the rest of the world (especially in Muslim countries), this is not just common knowledge, it’s common sense.  In fact, nothing could be more obvious.

It’s precisely because this idea is so obvious and self-evident that it must simply never be uttered in the United States.  Anyone who does so must be condemned as unpatriotic and, worse, as Unserious.  Such a person’s character must be viciously attacked.

That’s exactly what is happening to Ron Paul.  Unfortunately, Paul deserves much of the blame for making himself such an easy target.  The racist newsletters are a gold-mine for his opponents.  Pamela Geller gleefully called them a “bombshell,” arguing that his presidential bid is now “unrecoverable” and that “[h]e is done.”

The evidence against Ron Paul, that he wrote those vile things against black people, is certainly very strong.  The only saving grace for Paul is the fact that those racist screeds do not sound anything like him.  Whether or not this alone can outweigh the proof against him, I do not know.  Whatever the case, Paul’s delay in disassociating himself from the letters, his ever-changing excuses, and his questionable associations are enough to condemn him.  (A balanced article on Ron Paul was written by the indefatigable Glenn Greenwald.)

Under normal circumstances, I’d have nothing but absolute contempt for Ron Paul.  In fact, even if he didn’t have such racism-related baggage,  a progressive like myself would have nothing to do with a man who wants to get rid of social welfare programs, the Department of Education, etc. etc.  When it comes to domestic issues, there is probably very little Ron Paul and I would see eye-to-eye on.  Worse yet, I find many of his views on such matters to be outside the realms of reasonableness–I’d go so far as to call them loony.

Yet, many progressives like myself are finding themselves inexorably drawn to Ron Paul.  That is because he is the only major presidential candidate to oppose America’s wars.  Stated another way: the rest of the candidates–including the incumbent president (who expanded the War on Terror)–are war-makers.  Ron Paul is the only peace candidate.

This says a lot about the state of our union more than it does about Ron Paul.  War-making has become such a staple of American life that the only man who stands a chance (and a slim one at that) of bringing an end to Endless War is a loony, fringe candidate with a questionable and possibly racist past.

I have been criticized by some Islamophobes for daring to say anything positive about Ron Paul.  But, the fact that a person of my views (a progressive peacenik) is forced to consider Ron Paul is indicative of how truly violent and warlike our country has become (or, rather, has always been).  This underscores my main counter-argument to the Supreme Islamophobic Myth: we, as part of the Judeo-Christian West, have been and are still, just as, if not more, violent and warlike than the Muslim world.

This fact is underscored even more by the fact that the reason why Ron Paul has been “disqualified” as a realistic candidate is because, in the words of Bill O’Reilly, of his peace-loving foreign policy.  Imagine, for instance, if an Iranian candidate for the Iranian presidency could never realistically win unless he advocated for war against other countries.  What would it say about Iranians if they, by convention and consensus, refused to elect someone who advocated peaceful relations with the rest of the world?

One would expect that progressive peaceniks like myself would have more options to choose from than just one candidate.  But because warmongering is an essential component of being president of the United States (and serving in the military is almost a prerequisite to getting elected–imagine if Iranians would demand that their leaders must have sometime in their lives fought jihad), there is virtually nobody to vote for.

In an earlier article, I wrote of how war has been a part of the American psyche since the very beginning, from 1776 all the way to the present.  We’ve never gone a decade without a major war, and no president in our history can truly be considered a peacetime president.  Yet, somehow even after waging wars for more than 91% of our existence, we look at ourselves as peace-makers and “those Moozlums over there” as violent and warlike.

A verse from the Quran is most fitting here: “When it is said to them: ‘Do not make mischief on earth,’ they say: ‘We are but peace-makers.’  In fact, they are the mischief-makers, but they realize it not.” (2:11-12)

*  *  *  *  *

Something else that reinforces my argument is the fact that even Ron Paul, the single peace proponent in the presidential race, does not seem to oppose war based on peacenik principles.  He usually raises financial and political arguments against the wars, instead of humanitarian ones: We’re bankrupting ourselves.  Or: These wars result in terrorism (against us).

Our moral compass should not be dictated by money or self-interest.  We should oppose these wars because killing innocent civilians is morally atrocious.  This is what should be the main argument:

Not this:

Let me clarify: there is nothing wrong with raising financial and political arguments as secondary reasons to end the wars.  In fact, I would encourage doing so.  But, the primary motivation behind opposing wars should be less self-centered (the war is costing us too much money, they may retaliate with terrorism against us, too many of our young soldiers are risking their lives over there), but more humanitarian towards the victims of our aggression: we are killing innocent civilians.

Ron Paul’s emphasis on financial and political reasons, as opposed to humanitarian concerns, seems to be consistent with his ideology.  (After all, he supported Israel’s bombing of Iraq in 1981 and seems unconcerned if Israel bombs Iran on its own accord.  This indicates to me that it is not the dead in Iraq or Iran that bothers him so much, but only that it would cost us money to kill them or would risk retaliation against us for doing so.)  What does it say about America if even the one and only supposed peace candidate is against wars not out of humanitarian reasons but financial and political concerns?

Even if I am being too harsh on Ron Paul and it’s just a political consideration to focus on financial and political reasons, what does it say about us Americans that we can only be convinced based on our wallets and not on our consciences?

*  *  *  *  *

I don’t say this very often, but Pamela Geller was absolutely right when she said  about Ron Paul that “[h]e is done.”  He most certainly is.  And so dies the only candidate who could have ended America’s Endless Wars.

One should point out, however, that just because the Islamophobes have found the Kryptonite that will kill Ron Paul (the racist newsletters) this doesn’t change the fact that Paul’s foreign policy views were correct.

Let this be a lesson to groupies and fan boys of Ron Paul, a lesson that groupies and fan boys of Barack Obama should also heed: do not put your hopes in a man, because if you do, that man will often, if not always, disappoint you. Put your faith in a conviction instead.  If you hold on tightly enough to the conviction and not the man, it will persevere.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.  

DISCLAIMER: LoonWatch has not endorsed any candidate for President of the United States.  This article should not be seen as such.

Europol Reports Zero Deaths from Islamic Terrorism in Europe

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by loonwatch

Europol tracks terrorist attacks in the European Union and publishes the data in an annual report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT).  The first such report was for the year 2006 and the most recently released one was for 2010.  Going through the data, I noted in my previous article (Updated Europol Data: Less Than 1% of Terrorist Attacks by Muslims) that less than 1% of terrorist attacks on European soil were committed by Muslims.

Anti-Muslim bigots were naturally very upset with these findings, and offered a couple flimsy counter-responses.  The most popular one was some variation of the following snarky remark:

Perhaps ‘scale’ rather than ‘quantity’ is the real issue here? ;)

But, is it?

I went back through the data, which revealed the following conclusion: there were zero deaths from Islamist terrorism for every single year the Europol reports were published, a span of five years.

Here is the data (all quotes are taken directly from that year’s Europol terrorism report):

In 2006, there were no successful terrorist attacks by Muslims, but only 1 “failed terrorist attack that took place in Germany” resulting in zero deaths.

In 2007, once again “[t]here were no successful Islamist terrorist attacks” with 1 “failed terrorist attack that took place in Germany” and 3 “attempted terrorist attack[s]” resulting in zero deaths.

In 2008, there was only 1 terrorist attack by Muslims, in which “only the attacker himself was injured.”  Again, zero deaths.  But, the scale of the Islamist terrorist attacks make up for the fact that 99+% of terrorist attacks were by non-Muslims!  (Note: there were no other attempted or foiled attacks in that year.)

In 2009, there was only 1 terrorist attack by Muslims, resulting in zero deaths but “[o]ne of the guards trying to stop [the terrorist] was slightly wounded.”  The scale!  The horror!

In 2010, “[t]he number of Islamist terrorist attacks actually carried out in the EU was limited to three attacks in 2010.  They caused minimal damage to the intended targets.”  The report notes further that “[t]he attacks shared some characteristics” including “lack of familiarity with explosives.”  But, be very afraid of these Mastermind Terrorists!  In the first attack, the victim “managed to save his life” by locking himself in a room.  In the second attack, the Mastermind Terrorist accidentally let the bomb explode while “in a hotel toilet,” resulting in zero fatalities.  In the last attack, ”the suspected suicide bomber himself was the only fatality.”  Once again, there were zero deaths from Islamist terrorism in that year.

This brings us to a grand total of zero deaths from Islamist terrorism from every year since Europol started keeping track of terrorism and publishing an annual report.  Amazingly, it seems that the only injuries sustained, in the entire five year period, was to one guard who “was slightly wounded.”

Yet, even though according to the data in their own reports Muslims were responsible for less than 1% of terrorist attacks and caused zero deaths, Europol ominously warns that “the threat [from Islamist terrorism] remains real and serious” and “the threat of Islamist terrorism by Al-Qaeda inspired groups and affiliates is high.”  Every year, without fail, Europol has reported these same findings, but never once did any of these reports note that the threat of Islamist terrorism is heavily exaggerated.  In fact, the data they provide is irrelevant to their conclusions and recommendations, which are actually predetermined long before any data is collected or analyzed.

In one of his recent articles, Glenn Greenwald notes that U.S. officials declared that they have defeated Al-Qaeda by rendering it “operationally ineffective” but at the same time warned that “the terrorist group will remain a major security threat for years.”  It seems that both the United States and the European Union are able to operate under such paradoxical premises.

Similarly, facts will not move Islamophobes.  Even as their main arguments fall apart, they will no doubt find some fall-back argument to rely upon.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Updated Europol Data: Less Than 1% of Terrorist Attacks by Muslims

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

The most popular article published on LoonWatch was released in January of 2010: that article showed that, according to the official FBI website, only 6% of terrorist attacks in the United States from 1980-2005 (the only years where data was available) were committed by Muslims.

I published a follow-up article to look at the picture across the pond: I cited official data from Europol, which releases an annual terrorism report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT). The first available such report was for the year 2006.  The data from 2006, 2007, and 2008 showed that about 0.4% of terrorist attacks in the European Union were committed by Muslims–less than 1% (actually, less than half of 1%).

Today, I’d like to update our readers with new Europol data: the data for 2009 and 2010 is now available.

Once again, a minuscule percentage of terrorist attacks in Europe were committed by Muslims.  In 2009 and 2010, there were a grand total of 543 terrorist attacks, of which only 4 were committed by Muslims.  This means that only 0.7% of terrorist attacks–again, less than 1%–were committed by Muslims.

Meanwhile, in that same time frame, separatist groups in Europe committed 397 terrorist attacks, or 73% of terrorist attacks overall.  In other words, separatist groups committed 99.2 times (almost 100 times) more terrorist attacks than Muslims.

Another 85 attacks were committed by left-wing groups, accounting for about 16% of terrorist attacks overall.

Here is the data for 2009:

And for 2010:

In the 2010 report, the annex contains a summary of the results from the previous and current years:

(Due to size constraints, the table is a bit difficult to read here; you can see the actual report here.)

This “mega-table” shows that from 2007 to 2009, out of 1,317 terrorist attacks only 3 of them were committed by Muslims.  From a percentage standpoint, that means only about 0.2% of terrorist attacks in Europe were committed by Muslims in those years–again, far less than 1%.

If we combine the data from the years Europol started keeping track of terrorist attacks–including 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010–we see that out of a grand total of 2,139 terrorist attacks only 10 of them were committed by Muslims.  You can count the number of terrorist attacks by Muslims on your fingertips.  Percentage wise, this means that 0.5% of terrorist attacks in Europe–half of 1%–were committed by Muslims.

In spite of this fact, all we ever hear about in the media and national discourse is the threat of “Islamist terrorism.” The data, however, does not support such fear-mongering.   Yet, it is amazing how many people will persist in the belief that “Islamist terrorism” is an existential threat to America and Europe.

What is more amazing, however, are the Europol reports themselves.  Year after year they report the same data, with terrorist attacks by Muslims numbering anywhere from zero to four incidents, always less than 1% of the total.  For example, the 2010 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report showed that only 1 Islamist terrorist attack took place in the entire previous year.  In that year (as in every year), separatist and leftist terrorism dwarfed Islamist terrorism by a magnitude of 237:1 and 40:1 respectively.  Nonetheless, the report notes that “Islamist terrorism is still perceived as the biggest threat to most Member States” and concludes that “the threat remains real and serious.”  No statement in the publication indicates that the perceived threat is exaggerated.

In 2010, there were 249 terrorist attacks; only 3 of these were committed by Islamists and the attacks themselves were described by the 2011 Europol report as “caus[ing] minimal damage.”  Yet, the same report ominously warns that “the threat of Islamist terrorism by Al-Qaeda inspired groups and affiliates is high.”  The report also includes xenophobic warnings about the threat of Muslim immigration to Europe, warning:

The current and future flow of immigrants originating from North Africa could have an influence on the EU’s security situation. Individuals with terrorist aims could easily enter Europe amongst the large numbers of immigrants.

So, three goons do something, and then the entire North African community is to be stigmatized?

Instead of drawing the obvious conclusion that the threat of “Islamic terrorism” is heavily exaggerated, the authors of these Europol reports continue to publish alarmist conclusions that simply do not match up with the data that they themselves provide.

*  *  *  *  *

When I published my previous article on terrorist attacks inside America and Europe, anti-Muslim critics giddily pointed out that the very same reports warned of the threat of Islamist terrorism.  The data also showed that a disproportionately large minority of suspects arrested, detained, or wanted for terrorism-related offenses were Muslims.

This is not something I dispute.  In fact, this finding supports my main argument: the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, the United States government, and their European counterparts are wrongfully targeting the Muslim community.  The disparity between actual terrorist attacks committed by Muslims on the one hand and the number of Muslims arrested on the other speaks to this grave injustice, blatant discrimination, and misguided policy.

The 2010 Europol report notes:

Reported court decisions related to separatist and left-wing terrorism have the highest acquittal rate (15 %).

Guess who has the lowest acquittal rate?  If your name is Abdallah ibn Masood al-Tamimi, you don’t stand a chance.

Furthermore, the report goes on to say (emphasis is mine):

Suspected membership of a terrorist organisation and the financing of terrorism were the two most common reasons for arrests related to Islamist terrorism.

In fact:

The majority of arrests were made on suspicion of membership of a terrorist organisation.

In other words, the most common reasons Muslims were arrested were not for actually planning or carrying out terrorist attacks…not even for being suspected of that.  Rather, it was for suspected membership of a terrorist organization.  But, here’s the real gem:

As in 2008, two-thirds of the individuals arrested on suspicion of involvement in Islamist terrorism could not be linked to specific terrorist organisations known to the authorities.

So, let me get this straight: Muslims were arrested for suspected links to terrorist groups, except the authorities didn’t even know to which ones?  How much evidence could these authorities possibly have if they didn’t even know the names of the supposed groups that these Muslims were allegedly affiliated to were suspected to be affiliated to?

As for financing terrorism, we all know how that works: there is the famous case of the highly-esteemed Islamic intellectual Dr. Tariq Ramadan who donated money to two Palestinian charities between 1998 and 2002.  In 2003, the United States designated both of these charities as “terrorist fundraising organizations” for their alleged support of Hamas.  Dr. Ramadan did not give any more money to these charities  after that.  Even so, the United States government accused Tariq Ramadan of “providing material support to a terrorist organization.”  They argued that he “reasonably should have known” that the charities provided money to Hamas.  Ramadan naturally responded: “How should I reasonably have known of their activities before the U.S. government itself knew?”

The same situation happens with other Muslims, to the point where now Muslim communities are too scared to donate to Islamic charities or to charities located in their ancestral countries.  Even President Barack Obama seemed to appreciate this problem in a speech he gave in Cairo.

Muslims are arrested at a rate that does not correlate with the actual number of terrorist acts committed by Muslims simply because the majority of them are arrested not for actual, attempted, or even planned terrorist attacks.  Rather, they are arrested for “providing material support for terrorism”–the absolutest vaguest of charges, one that I suspect a future generation will be smart enough to prohibit by law.  Using such Gestapo style laws, Muslims can be arrested for mere suspicion of being part of an unknown terrorist organization, with little or no proof needed to levy such charges; alternatively, they can be arrested for “financing terrorism,” which often just means donating to charities that even the government hasn’t banned yet.  Other offenses for which Muslims are arrested for include producing “propaganda”, which here in the U.S. would be considered Constitutionally protected freedom of speech (but is now prosecuted due to the curtailing of freedoms of speech in the War on of Terror) or even for merely expressing unpopular political views.

*  *  *  *  *

Clearly, the data proves that Islamist terrorism is not a major threat to the United States or Europe.  Anyone who believes it to be an existential threat should be considered alarmist and even a bit insane.

We’ve all heard the oft-repeated saying of Islamophobes that “all Muslims might not be terrorists, but (almost) all terrorists are Muslims!”  Without any shadow of doubt, this mantra is patently false.  Not just that, but certainly in the case of Europe it’s completely reversed from reality: all Muslims aren’t terrorists, and almost no terrorist attacks are committed by them–less than 1%.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Arab victim ‘stabbed 10 times by haredim’

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by loonwatch
If an Arab Muslim or Christian perpetrated such an act Islam or so called “Islamic culture,” whatever that means, would be the center of attention. Here we have Haredim, Orthodox Jews stabbing Arabs in a racist assault, what if they were Muslim?

Arab victim ‘stabbed 10 times by haredim’

by Hassan Shaalan from Israel News

Christian Arab assaulted near Safed says ‘Jews’ racism against us has reached point of real violence’

Alber Halul, who was stabbed Saturday night by a group of masked men he claims are haredim, recounted the attack Sunday. “They threatened to shoot us if we resisted and stabbed me 10 times – in my head, my leg, and my neck,” he told Ynet.

Halul, a 22-year old Christian Arab from the Galilee town of Gush Halav, was assaulted while with a group of friends at Ein Zeitim forest, near Safed.
He says that at around 12:30 am two vehicles arrived at their gathering place and eight masked men alighted, and attacked them. Halul is currently being treated for wounds in his back, head, and legs at Ziv Hospital in Safed.

“At around 12:30 five masked drove up in a Nissan jeep and began driving in circles near us. Then they left and came back with another vehicle, and came closer,” he recalled from his hospital bed.

“They threw stun grenades and fired in the air. Then eight masked men got out of the car and began to attack us. The guys I was with ran away but I stayed to protect a girl who was with us. They stabbed me 10 times in my head, my leg, and my neck until they hit me hard and I fell to the ground.”

Halul says he knows the men were ultra-Orthodox Jews although they wore masks. “While they were attacking us one of the said that if we dared to resist they’ll shoot us and we knew from their accent and their clothes that they were ultra-Orthodox,” he said.

It wasn’t the first time the 22-year old was attacked due to his race. “I won’t return to the forest again. The Jews’ hatred and racism against us has reached a point of real violence that threatens our lives,” he said.

I don’t want to blame anyone and hope that the police will reach the people behind this attack because such people shouldn’t be walking the streets – they are a menace to the Jewish and Arab public.”

But police have not yet made any arrests in the case, and say they have no suspects. “The case is still being investigated,” police said in a statement.

Muslamic Ray Guns Being Used in Stealth Jihad

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2011 by loonwatch
Well it is green you know?

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller’s heroes, the EDL at it again, lets watch this genius:

Obviously the bloke is a little drunk…at least I hope he is. At the end of the day this group is a nativist, racist organization that doesn’t want to see any non-Whites or Muslims around.

Of course you know that it had to be autotuned:

Richard Silverstein: David Yerushalmi, Jew as White Supremacist

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon People with tags , , , , , , on February 28, 2011 by loonwatch

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein’s excellent blog post on the paradox known as David Yerushalmi.

YERUSHALMI: JEW AS WHITE SUPREMACIST

(Richard Silverstein)

I know. It sounds too preposterous to be true. But read on.

Earlier today, Fadi of Kabobfest linked in a comment here to a Muslim Link post by Tariq Nelson about David Yerushalmi’s “infiltration” of a Virginia mosque for the purposes of unmasking its alleged jihadi agenda. Since I know Yerushalmi based on his strident Israeli nationalist views I was having a hard time crediting Nelson’s claims that he espoused “white supremacist” views.

But Larry Cohler Esses has set me straight and proven that a Jew can indeed by a white supremacist as proven by this Yerushalmi essay in Conservative Voice:

While our constitutional republic was specifically designed to insulate our national leaders from the masses, democracy has seeped up through the cracks and corroded everything we once deemed sacred about our political order. Prior to the Civil War, the electorate, essentially white Christian men, had access to local government. It was here, where men shared an intimacy born of family ties, shared religious beliefs, and common cultural signposts, that representative government was meant to touch our daily lives. With the social and cultural revolution which followed the emancipation, man’s relationship to political order was radically nationalized and democratized. Today, there is simply no basis to resist “democracy” and the “open society”.

Note Yerushalmi’s distinction between national and local government. White men were supposed to enjoy democracy only in New England style town meetings with their neighbors, while the affairs of state were to be handled by national leaders free from the messy pressures of the unwashed “masses.” And you’ll notice who Yerushalmi blames for the deterioration in our body politic, Abe Lincoln, the Great Emancipator. That’s right, letting the darkies get the vote was the worst thing those “white Christian men” ever let happen to the Republic.

Fadi also turned me on to some eye-popping Yerushalmi legislative proposals regarding the Arab-American “menace:”

WHEREAS Islam requires all Muslims to actively and passively support the replacement of America’s constitutional republic with a political system based upon Shari’a.

Whereas, adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the US Constitution and the imposition of Shari’a on the American People.

HEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED THAT: It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Shari’a.

The Congress of the United States of America shall declare the US at war with the Muslim Nation.

If you spend any time at a Yerushalmi site you feel like you’ve traveled through the Looking Glass where every notion about this country you ever cherished becomes reviled and every notion you ever detested about this country is lauded. It is definitely “through a glass, darkly.”

I’ve wondered whether Yerushalmi’s background as a Ukrainian Jewish immigrant could figure in this. [UPDATE: Yerushalmi is NOT an immigrant but born in the U.S. His ancestors were born in the Ukraine. My errror was due to the misunderstanding of a comment my informant made about Yerushalmi’s background.] Observers of the Israeli political scene note that many Russian immigrants entering politics are either outright anti-democratic or so far right as to be virtually anti-democratic. Avigdor Lieberman is one example and Natan Sharansky is not far behind. Something in the Communist system has so warped these people’s minds toward democracy that they view it as a debased system, a trick designed to harm their interests. Of course, Russia is also known for its right-wing racialist politics and neo-Nazi activism. Witness Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

 

PolitiFact: Most Muslim countries allow churches, synagogues

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on October 7, 2010 by loonwatch

PolitiFact: Most Muslim countries allow churches, synagogues

The statement

In most Muslim countries, “We can’t have a church. We’re not able to build synagogues. It’s forbidden.”

Franklin Graham, Sunday, on ABC’sThis Week

The ruling

On ABC’s This Week, host Christiane Amanpour held a town hall debate on whether Americans should fear Islam. Naturally, the so-called Ground Zero mosque came up. She asked the Rev. Franklin Graham about his comments after 9-11 that Islam is a “very evil and very wicked” religion, and that prompted this response:

“I understand what the Muslims want to do in America,” said Graham. The push for mosques is driven by a desire to “convert as many Americans as they can to Islam,” he said. “I just don’t have the freedom to do this in most Muslim countries. We can’t have a church. We’re not able to build synagogues. It’s forbidden.”

We spoke to experts on religion and government in Muslim countries. The consensus: There are churches and/or synagogues in almost every Muslim country.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic relations, said Graham was incorrect. “There are lots of Christian churches and synagogues in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Indonesia, Qatar, Kuwait. … If you go to any number of so-called Muslim countries you will see thriving Christian and Jewish populations.” One member of the Iranian Parliament is Jewish, Hooper noted. “The only one where you don’t see it, where you can’t have a Christian church or synagogue is Saudi Arabia,” Hooper said.

The cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia are the two holiest cities in Islam, said Akbar S. Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies at American University. So no churches or synagogues are allowed there. He compared them to the Vatican.

Graham was speaking in the context of Muslims building mosques in order to convert people to Islam, and on that point, he is on firmer ground.

A 2007 Council on Foreign Relations “backgrounder” on religious conversion and sharia law said, “Conversion by Muslims to other faiths is forbidden under most interpretations of sharia and converts are considered apostates” sometimes regarded as treason and punishable by death. Experts told us there was an ongoing debate in Islam about this question.

In sum, we think Graham erred when he said that in most Muslim countries, “We can’t have a church. We’re not able to build synagogues. It’s forbidden.” That’s demonstrably false. The construction of churches is not forbidden in most Muslim countries, only Saudi Arabia. And so, on balance, we rate Graham’s comment False.

Edited for print. For more, go to PolitiFact.com.

 

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

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

UPDATED below (8/20/10).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why not?” he asked. “It’s fun.”

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

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

 

South Park angle unlikely; Marriott Hotel, not Viacom, probable target

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by loonwatch
Faisal ShahzadFaisal Shahzad

Following the failed Times Square bombing and the arrest of a Pakistani-American suspect named Faisal Shahzad, questions remain about his possible motivations.  Some have suggested that the recent South Park controversy could have something to do with it: perhaps Mr. Shahzad was retaliating against Viacom, which owns Comedy Central.  According to this theory, the grievance was over a depiction of the Prophet Muhammad by the satirical cartoon show South Park, which runs on Comedy Central. The Viacom building is in close proximity to the intended blast site.

The police have not ruled out this South Park angle (and I do not think they should), although officials have conceded that it is one out of a hundred possibilities.  However, certain extreme right-wingers and anti-Islam ideologues (such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller) have invested a lot in this South Park-Times Square connection, and pray that it turns out to be true.  It would certainly allow them to paint the Muslim community in the worst possible light: “Those crazy Moozlems bomb and kill innocent civilians simply for drawing a cartoon of their prophet!”

Proponents of the South Park-Times Square connection argue that both the (1) location and (2) timing fit.  As for the location, it is said that the the parked SUV was in close proximity to the Viacom headquarters.  This is true, but it is unlikely that the blast would have significantly damaged the Viacom building.  Instead, it seems more likely that the intended target was the Marriott Hotel, which is right next to the blast site.  Most importantly, the reaction of the emergency response teams gives us a strong indication of what the terrorists’ target was.  It seems to have been the Marriott Hotel, which was evacuated and shut down.  USA Today reports:

NYC’s Marriott Marquis partly evacuated due to car bomb scare Saturday

Update, 12:13 pm: Earlier this morning, I learned more about what Marriott Marquis guests experienced last night from Kathy Duffy, who handles public relations for Marriott’s New York hotels. Since the suspicious vehicle was parked on the 45th Street side of the Marquis, NYPD told the hotel to evacuate that side of the building. Since the hotel was sold out, that meant evacuating several hundred people who had rooms between floor 10 and 45, she said. The Marquis provided the guests with temporary cots and blankets in the banquet room (see CNN iReport photo link below), where they stayed until around 2 to 3 a.m., when they were allowed back to their rooms, Duffy told me.

Because the Marriott Hotel–and not the Viacom building–was evacuated, it seems pretty safe to say that the former was the target and not the latter.  Furthermore, the attack was on Saturday night–after hours.  The Viacom building would likely have been virtually empty.  Wouldn’t a bloodthirsty terrorist have struck during peak office hours in order to kill as many Viacom employees as possible?  The New York Times commented:

Times Square on a Saturday night is one of the busiest and most populated locations in the city, and has long been seen as a likely target for some kind of attack.

We can further reasonably assume that a bloodthirsty terrorist would want to kill as many people as possible, and therefore a “sold out” Marriott and a heavily “populated” Times Square were the more likely targets than the unoccupied Viacom building.  If it was truly the Pakistani Taliban involved in the attack, the chosen target (the Marriott) would fit their M.O.  This is not the first time the Marriott would have been targeted.  In 2006, Islamic extremists detonated a bomb outside the Marriott in Karachi, the same city where Faisal Shahzad allegedly met with radicals.  In 2008, the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad was bombed, as well as another Marriott in Jakarta.  In 2003, the Marriott in South Jakarta was bombed.  In addition to the Marriott, several other hotels have been bombed in Pakistan.  In fact, two of the prime targets chosen by terrorists in Pakistan are consulates and hotels.

As for the timing of the attack, proponents of the South Park-Times Square connection argue that the bombing attempt occurred almost immediately following death threats made by Revolution Muslim. They argue: how can this just be a coincidence?  However, it is in fact the incredibly short time duration–between when the South Park controversy took place and the attempted Times Square bombing–that works most against the South Park-Times Square theory.  It is unlikely that the terrorists could have planned the attack so quickly.  Furthermore, and most importantly, numerous reports have come out saying that Faisal Shahzad went to Pakistan to receive terrorist training.  This happened long before the South Park controversy.  Hence, something else radicalized him and convinced him to bomb his adopted country.  If we assume that the Pakistani Taliban trained him (and instructed him to bomb NYC), then all this preceded the South Park affair.  Mr. Shahzad, and his Taliban teachers, had intended to bomb us long time ago.

It is highly unlikely that Revolution Muslim has anything to do with the bombing, as they are under constant scrutiny by the FBI.  They are known for their antics and tall talk, not for their actions and walk.  And surely they would have bombed the place first, before announcing to the world their intention to do that and placing themselves under the watchful eye of the government.

It could be argued that Revolution Muslim issued the call and other extremists hearkened to it.  However, as I discussed above, the bombing took place too soon afterward.  Furthermore, the Pakistani Taliban–who claimed responsibility for the bombing–have not (to my knowledge) ever expressed outrage over the South Park cartoons.  The South Park controversy seemed to be a decidedly North American affair, and it is unlikely that the Taliban took notice of it.  If they had, where were their bellicose condemnations and flamboyant threats?

Lastly, there seems to be no motive to attack Viacom.  Comedy Central had, to the dismay of the South Park creators, cowed to the threats from the Islamic extremists, and refused to show the Prophet Muhammad on their channel.  Faisal Shahzad is a highly educated man; certainly, he would have known that it would makes no sense to attack Viacom or Comedy Central, considering they met the extremists’ demands.  Had this recent bombing had anything to do with South Park, it would have been the creators of the show–not Viacom–whom would have been targeted.

In conclusion, it seems unlikely that the failed Times Square bombing had anything to do with the South Park controversy.  This is so because neither the location, timing, or motive fits.  Rather, the intended target seems to have been the Marriott Hotel and Times Square, both of which would have resulted in the greatest number of deaths.  As such, it is extremely unlikely that the Times Square bombing had anything to do with a cartoon’s depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.  I believe that the extreme right wing and anti-Islam camp wish to pin it on the South Park affair only to exploit the Times Square bombing to further their hate-filled agenda.

There is a concerted effort to hide the fact that our country’s horrific foreign policy–the interventionist policy in the Islamic world in general and the predator drone attacks in Pakistan in specific (which have killed hundreds of Pakistani civilians)–could be (and most likely is) what motivated the Times Square bombing. (I argue this here, and more convincingly here.)  Instead, it is easier to blame it on a heathen religion.

 

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

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

Richard SilversteinRichard Silverstein

EEOC Finds Bias in NYC Firing Arab School Principal, Almontaser

by Richard Silverstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I do take issue with one statement in this report:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Europol Report: All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 99.6% that Aren’t

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2010 by loonwatch
Europol releases an annual study of terrorism; the results do not support claims that "(nearly) all Muslims are terrorists"Europol releases an annual study of terrorism; the results do not support claims that “(nearly) all Muslims are terrorists”

Islamophobes have been popularizing the claim that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but (nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.”  Despite this idea becoming axiomatic in some circles, it is quite simply not factual.  In my previous article entitled “All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 94% that Aren’t”, I usedofficial FBI records to show that only 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by Islamic extremists.  The remaining 94% were from other groups (42% from Latinos, 24% from extreme left wing groups, 7% from extremist Jews, 5% from communists, and 16% from all other groups).

But what about across the pond?  The data gathered by Europol strengthens my argument even further. (hat tip: Koppe)  Europol publishes an annual report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report.  On their official website, you can access the reports from 20072008, and 2009.  (If anyone can find the reports from earlier than that, please let me know so we can include those as well.)

The results are stark, and prove decisively that not all terrorists are Muslims.  In fact, a whopping 99.6% of terrorist attacks in Europe were by non-Muslim groups; a good 84.8% of attacks were from separatist groups completely unrelated to Islam.  Leftist groups accounted for over sixteen times as much terrorism as radical Islamic groups.  Only a measly 0.4% of terrorist attacks from 2007 to 2009 could be attributed to extremist Muslims.

Here are the official tables provided in the reports…

For 2006:

20063b

For 2007:

2007b

For 2008:

20081b

(According to the report, there was 1 “Islamist attack” in the UK in 2008, which was omitted in the table above.  It has been included in the bar graph below.)

Just glancing at those tables is enough to know how absurd it is to claim that “all terrorists are Muslims.”  That statement is nowhere near the truth.  If we compile the data, it comes out to this:

barchart-copy

 

On p.7, the 2009 Europol report concludes:

Islamist terrorism is still perceived as being the biggest threat worldwide, despite the fact that the EU only faced one Islamist terrorist attack in 2008.  This bomb attack took place in the UK…Separatist terrorism remains the terrorism area which affects the EU most. This includes Basque separatist terrorism in Spain and France, and Corsican terrorism in France…Past contacts between ETA and the FARC illustrate the fact that also separatist terrorist organizations seek cooperation partners outside the EU on the basis of common interests.  In the UK, dissident Irish republican groups, principally the RIRA and the CIRA, and other paramilitary groups may continue to engage in crime and violence.

Perception is not reality.  Due to the right wing’s influence and propaganda, people mistakenly think that Islamic terrorism is the greatest threat to the Western world.  It is even a commonly held belief that Islamic terrorism poses an existential threat–that the very survival of the Western world is at stake.  Of course, the reality is that there are other groups that engage in terrorism on a much larger scale, yet these terrorist incidents are minimized.  Acts of terrorism committed by Muslims are purposefully sensationalized and focused upon, culminating in the idea that “(nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.”

Terrorism from Islamic extremists is certainly a cause for concern, but it need not be an issue that creates mass hysteria.  Nor should it be allowed to be such a critical issue that we are willing to sacrifice our ideals or civil rights for fear of it.  Neither should we be reduced to a status of absolute sissitude.  We have analyzed data from America and Europe (a good portion of the entire Western world), and the threat from Islamic terrorism is much more minimal than commonly assumed; in the U.S., it accounts for 6% of terrorist attacks, and in Europe not even half of a percent.

It is only through sensationalism and fear mongering that the topic of Islamic terrorism is allowed to be used to demonize a religious community that happens to be a minority in the West.  When confronted by such lunacy, we ought to respond with the facts and the truth.

In a future article, we shall analyze the data for terrorism on the world stage in order to further strengthen our argument…

 

LoonWatch Islamophobia Montage

Posted in Loon TV with tags , , , , , on December 23, 2009 by loonwatch
From Left to Right: Andrew Bostom, Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, Pamela GellerFrom Left to Right: Andrew Bostom, Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller

One of our readers, isherif who if I recall has been commenting on our site for quite some time now really took the initiative and provided us with a cool short montage of some of our best hits. We really love it when readers interact with us and are pro-active in joining us in exposing Islamophobia.

Take a look and enjoy:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBW0_3c93G4 300 250]

 

Fathima Rifqa Bary Under the Influence of a Christian Cult

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by loonwatch

Fathima Rifqa Bary: Under the Influence

Fathima Rifqa Bary, has claimed that her parents are “radical Muslims,” yet the reality seems to be that it is actually she herself who has fallen into the ranks of radicals.  We’re already very familiar with the extremist church she is involved with, the Global Revolution Church, which preaches that there is today an Armageddon between good (the Christians) and evil (the Muslims).

Now, let’s look into a different group she has associated herself with, namely The Call, another End of Times Armageddon invoking group. Here she is on a conference call with Lou Engle, the fanatical leader of the cult:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRhCIxiY5OA&feature=player_embedded 300 250]

Up until about four minutes into the video she sounds fairly sane,  but at about 4:20, suddenly she becomes possessed by what we can only assume is the Holy Spirit.  She enters a trance-like state that to us normal human beings seems bizarre, to say the least.  I’ve seen some preachers, Imams, and Rabbis have some crazy highs and lows in their speeches, but usually they build up to it.  On the other hand, Fathima Rifqa just turned on the crazy from the very start; one second she’s talking like a normal human being and the next she starts yelling in a crazed delirium, reaffirming the view that she’s been brainwashed by fundamentalists. Continue reading