Archive for Muslims

Mehdi Hasan: Halal Hysteria

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2012 by loonwatch

On the politics of “halal hysteria” in the UK and beyond:

by Mehdi Hasan (New Statesman)

I am sitting in one of London’s finest Indian restaurants, Benares, in the heart of Mayfair. I’ve just placed an order for the “Tandoori Ratan” mixed-grill appetiser – a trio of fennel lamb chop, chicken cutlet and king prawn.

I’ll be honest with you: I’m pretty excited. Most of the upmarket restaurants in London do not cater for the city’s burgeoning Muslim population. Benares is one of the few exceptions: all of the lamb and chicken dishes on its menu are halal.

The restaurant opened in 2003 and its owner, Atul Kochhar, is a Michelin-starred chef. “Right from day one, we’ve kept our lamb and chicken halal,” Kochhar says. “It was a very conscious decision because I grew up in India, a secular country, where I was taught to have respect for all religions.” Kochhar, who is a Hindu, says Muslims make up “easily between 10 and 20 per cent” of his regular diners. It isn’t just a taste for religious pluralism that has dictated the contents of his menu; serving halal meat makes commercial, as well as cultural, sense.

To other, perhaps less tolerant types, however, the rise of halal meat in the west and here in the UK, in particular, is a source of tension, controversy, fear and loathing. British Muslims are living through a period of halal hysteria, a moral panic over our meat. First there came 9/11, 7/7 and the “Islamic” terror threat; then there was the row over the niqab (face veil) and hijab (headscarf); now, astonishingly, it’s the frenzy over halal meat.

Last month, MPs in the Commons rejected a ten-minute-rule bill that would have made it mandatory for retailers to label all of the halal and kosher meat on sale and make it clear on the packaging that the animals were “killed without stunning”. The bill’s proponent, the Tory backbencher Philip Davies, claimed that the meat was being “forced upon” shoppers “without their knowledge”. It was defeated by the narrowest of margins – 73 votes to 70.

As is so often the case, the right-wing press is behind much of the fear-mongering and misinformation. “Britain goes halal . . . but no one tells the public,” screamed the front-page headline in the Mail on Sunday on 19 September 2010. The paper claimed that supermarkets, restaurants, schools, hospitals, pubs and big sporting venues such as Wembley Stadium were “controversially serving up meat slaughtered in accordance with strict Islamic law to unwitting members of the public”.

The following week, readers were treated to two more stories suggesting a sinister plot to inflict halal meat on innocent, animal-loving, non-Muslim Britons. “How 70 per cent of New Zealand lamb imports to Britain are halal . . . but this is NOT put on the label”, said the Daily Mail on 25 September 2010. “Top supermarkets secretly sell halal: Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and M&S don’t tell us meat is ritually slaughtered,” proclaimed the Mail on Sunday the next day.

With the threat from terrorism receding, Britain’s Islam-baiters have jumped on the anti-halal bandwagon, and not just the neo-fascists of the British National Party and the English Defence League, which has a page on its website devoted to its (anti-) “halal campaign”, but mainstream commentators, too. The Spectator’s Rod Liddle – who once wrote a column entitled “Islamophobia? Count me in” – has demanded that halal meat be banned and called for a boycott of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and the rest until they agree to stop stocking halal products. “I will buy no meat from supermarkets,” he wrote, rather melodramatically, back in 2010.

Watch Rep. Peter King Lie Through His Teeth: “NYPD, Doesn’t Profile Muslims”

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by loonwatch

That the NYPD was profiling Muslims based on their religion is an indisputable fact, but King of course can’t and won’t admit it. His entire political career at the moment hinges on the “radicalization of Muslim Americans” myth:

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2012/05/14/exp-point-king-profiling-exchange.cnn

The lies are not a surprise, but reporters need to do a better job at challenging politicians like King.
Rep. Peter King On NYPD Muslim Surveillance: ‘There Is No Profiling‘

(HuffingtonPost)

Representative Peter King (R-NY) said Monday during an appearance on CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien that “there is no racial profiling” by the New York Police Department.

The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza asked King first what he thought of profiling as a practice, and then insinuated that perhaps King’s staunch defense of everything NYPD is problematic.

House Democrats Thursday introduced a resolution calling on the NYPD to end programs that infiltrated mosques and spied on innocent muslims.

King responded to Lizza, “First of all, there is no profiling. And that’s the absolute nonsense that people like you and others are propagating.”

Lizza quickly defended his question. “I’m not propagating anything,” he said. “I’m just telling you that there’s been some very good questions raised about what the NYPD’s doing. ”

King replied, “I’m telling you there is no profiling. So, I want you to take that back…. You have no evidence of profiling at all. They use terms like profiling, spying, casually and cavalierly. And you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

And when guest anchor Brooke Baldwin interjected that Izza was just brining up some valid points, King responded emphatically, “They’re not valid points!”

King and fellow New York Republican Rep. Bob Turner demanded Democrats apologize for the resolution Friday, issuing a statement that read, “We are utterly dumbfounded and shocked that after such a slanderous attack, the overwhelming majority of congressional Democrats and the entire Democratic leadership voted for the Holt amendment and against the NYPD. We believe the Democrats owe New York and the NYPD an explanation for their shameful surrender to political correctness.”

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2012/05/14/exp-point-king-profiling-exchange.cnn
This isn’t the first time King–who chairs the House’s Homeland Security Committee and who has held hearings on the radicalization of Islam in the US– has defended the NYPD from criticism over its surveillance of muslim communities.

In March, when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie criticized the NYPD’s operations in Newark, King responded, “It’s really disturbing and disappointing to have someone like Chris Christie join on this politically correct bandwagon. I wish Chris Christie was more concerned about keeping people alive than he is about trying to score cheap political points.”

Also in March, King joined the narrator of “The Third Jihad” at a rally held by muslims in defense of NYPD surveillance of muslims.

Nachum Shifren: Racist Rabbi Still Trying to Run For Senate Seat

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Rabbis with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by loonwatch

Nachum Shifren is still trying to run for senate. He thinks “White Americans” like “him” are under assault by everyone else. In the past we exposed Shifren for being the racist and hate-monger he is in our article, Rabbi Nachum Shifren: Rides the Wave of Islamophobia and Rabbi Nachum Shifren: EDL is the Salvation of the West from the “Muslim Dogs”.

I am not even sure if Shifren is still a Jew, how can he say this and remain a Jew, perhaps he is a “self-hating” Jew?:

… I AM an Islamophobe, and everything we need to know about Islam, we learned on 9-11! I believe in peace and justice for everybody – but that’s not why they’re here…. We’re getting sucker-punched because we as white – yes I said it! – as white, Christian Americans are being taught that somehow WE are to blame for all the problems.

Clearly he didn’t mean to say that he is a “Christian,” maybe he forgot to add the “Judeo” part?

Also see Richard Silverstein’s take: California Tea Party “White Christian” Settler Rabbi for US Senate

California: EDL-supporting Senate candidate claims to defend ‘white Americans’ against threat of Islam

San Mateo, CA — In the US Senate primary in California on June 5th, where 23 candidates vie to challenge Senator Dianne Feinstein in November, conservative candidates were recorded on videoverbally attacking teachers, Muslims, and minority groups to excite their base at GOP and Tea Party venues.

The video was recorded at a “Get to Know Your Candidates” event hosted by the San Mateo GOP at the American Legion Hall here. Dr. David Levitt, the candidate who recorded the event, reports unmasked homophobia, Islamophobia, and racism in the Republicans’ speeches.

In the video Republican candidate Rabbi Shifren cries, “… I AM an Islamophobe, and everything we need to know about Islam, we learned on 9-11! I believe in peace and justice for everybody – but that’s not why they’re here…. We’re getting sucker-punched because we as white – yes I said it! – as white, Christian Americans are being taught that somehow WE are to blame for all the problems.”

PRWeb, 14 May 2012

In October 2010 Nachum Shifren visited the UK to express his solidarity with the English Defence League, joining them for ademonstration in support of Israel and against “Islamic fascism” at which he was the main speaker. Fired up by Shifren’s Islamophobic rhetoric – he described Muslims as “dogs” who were trying to “take over our countries” – three EDL members attacked an Islamic literature stall and were later convicted of public order offences, with one of them receiving a seven-day prison sentence and a five-year CRASBO.

Over the Rainbow in Kansas: Anti-Sharia Legislation Passes Undercover of ‘Women’s Rights’ Rhetoric

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2012 by loonwatch

Dorothy…we’re still in Kansas?:

Kansas Legislature Passes Discriminatory Anti-Muslim Bill By Calling It A ‘Women’s Rights’ Issue

by Faiz Shakir (ThinkProgress)

Last week, the Kansas Senate became the latest state to enact a discriminatory measure against Muslims in America by passing a so-called Sharia ban. The bill goes before Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS), who has not indicated whethere he will sign or veto it.

Oklahoma passed a Sharia ban by ballot in 2010, but that measure has been deemed facially unconstitutional by the courts because it specifically targets Muslims for discrimination. Because of Oklahoma’s experience, state legislatures are moving bills that are more oblique about their discriminatory intent. South Dakota, Louisiana, Arizona, and Tennessee have all passed laws that ban “foreign law in American courts” and don’t mention Muslims or Sharia by name.

Kansas’ proposed anti-Muslim law also similarly asserts it is about promoting “American law for American courts.” (Note: the Constitution already establishes this in its Supremacy Clause.) Kansas Republican state Sen. Chris Steineger noted, the measure was “presented” to him as a billspecifically targeting Muslims:

But Sen. Chris Steineger, R-Kansas City, said a marketing campaign by supporters of the bill inundated him with materials that “explain why sharia law is coming and Muslims are trying to take over America.”

“I thought that was quite ludicrous at the time, and I still do,” Steineger said. “I pointed this out, because this was not presented as protecting the Kansas Constitution. The proponents of this measure, clearly by the literature they gave me and by the video link they directed me to, they presented this as protecting us against sharia law. Despite the fact that this doesn’t mention sharia, that’s how this whole issue was presented.”

Indeed, Kansas was bombarded by anti-Sharia emails and letters from out-of-staters. The bill’s sponsors and advocates proclaimed that it was really about protecting “women’s rights.” The bill helps “women know the rights they have in America,” said sate Rep. Peggy Mast (R). “To me, this is a women’s rights issue,” said Sen. Susan Wagle (R). Nevermind that these same legislators have been engaged in a war against women’s healthPlanned Parenthoodthe right to choose, and so many other far more relevant “women’s rights” causes.

Right-wing legislators have been pushing Sharia bans across the country; roughly 20 other states are also considering similar legislation. The anti-Sharia legislative movement was spawned by David Yerushalmi, an influential Islamophobic lawyer who we profiled last year in Fear, Inc.

The anti-Sharia movement continues despite the fact that no evidence has been provided that there is any threat that a Sharia takeover is occurring. Kansas Republican state Sen. John Vratil “said he quizzed the bill’s supporters on when a Kansas court had ever based a decision on sharia law and had yet to be provided with an example.” As Vratil asserted, “Ladies and gentleman, this isa solution in search of a problem.” True, unless you are someone who views the increasing presence of Muslims in America as the problem.

Glen Bowersock: In the Shadow of the Sword by Tom Holland–Review

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2012 by loonwatch

Books and articles on Islam are pretty good business these days, just ask Robert Spencer.

Tom Holland’s most recent book takes aim at the Meccan origins of Islam, but as Glen Bowersock writes it is one of the most “irresponsible” books on Arabia in recent memory.

Books that take minority revisionist positions appeal to an anti-Muslim culture that is contemptuous of Islam. As one commenter on Bowersock’s review noted,

Commercially-driven bandwagon jumping of the most risible kind is not restricted to popular writings, clearly. Interesting that, today, I struggled to buy a copy of Alexander Kynsh’s readable and erudite Islam in Historical Perspective, a book widely respected and admired within academic Islamic Studies, whilst the literary classes of Britain celebrate having this title on their bookshelves because it is written with such literary panache, willfully oblivious to the ugly cultural current that flows beneath this kind of intellectual partisanism.

*Update: I want to add that Tom Holland is not an Islamophobe or anti-Muslim as far as I can tell. Bowersock’s review of Holland’s book highlighted some crucial issues and questions and was generally spot-on in my opinion. I want to emphasize that writing, investigating, and critiquing the “origins of Islam” and the “literal truth” of orthodoxy does not make one a hate-monger, in fact it is necessary. I would recommend everyone read Holland’s book for themselves and decide.

In the Shadow of the Sword by Tom Holland – review

by Glen Browerback (The Guardian)

In his sprawling new book Tom Holland undertakes to explain nothing less than the origin of Islam. This is a subject as relevant to today’s world as it is controversial within it. How Islam began was obscure right from the start, above all to the surprised Christians who first succumbed to the Arab armies that surged out of the Arabian peninsula in the seventh century. They had seen themselves as confronting a different threat. After all, the Persians had captured Jerusalem in 614 and soon moved into Egypt. At that moment they appeared to be the principal antagonist of the Byzantine empire based in Constantinople. No one could have imagined that a little over two decades later the Persian empire would be in its death throes and that the Patriarch of Jerusalem would be turning over the city to an Arab caliph.

The beginnings of Islam have always been anchored in Mecca in the northwestern part of the Arabian peninsula. Here Muhammad was believed to have received from the angel Gabriel the earliest revelations that became incorporated in the Muslim scripture, the Qur’an. Scholarly debate about the revelations and about Meccan society has gone on for centuries, but no one before has seriously doubted the conjunction of Muhammad and Mecca. Holland wants us to believe that Muhammad did not come from Mecca at all but from southern Transjordan, and that his revelation was a compound of languages and ideas floating around in the Near East.

Holland came to his work on Islam unencumbered by any prior acquaintance with its fundamental texts or the scholarly literature. He modestly compares himself to Edward Gibbon, whom he can call without the slightest fear of contradiction “an infinitely greater historian than myself”. In the Decline and Fall, at the opening of his magisterial chapter 50 on Muhammad, Gibbon had candidly acknowledged his ignorance of “Oriental tongues”, but he also expressed his gratitude “to the learned interpreters who have transfused their science in the Latin, French, and English languages”. Holland seems to have confined himself largely to interpreters, learned or otherwise, writing in English, but his efforts to inform himself, arduous as they may have been, were manifestly insufficient.

He has written his book in a swashbuckling style that aims more to unsettle his readers than to instruct them. I have not seen a book about Arabia that is so irresponsible and unreliable since Kamal Salibi’s The Bible Came from Arabia (1985). Although that work was depressingly misguided in replacing biblical places with their homonyms in the Arabian peninsula, it at least revealed an accomplished scholar who had gone badly astray. Holland has read widely, but carelessly. He starts out with an irrelevant, though arresting, account of a defeated Jewish king in Arabian Himyar (Yemen) killing himself by riding his horse into the Red Sea. It is typical of Holland’s style to lead off with this fanciful story when an inscription from the time of the king’s death records that the Ethiopians killed him.

Holland explodes with indignation over the traditional term, jahiliyya (age of ignorance), for the time before Muhammad. After a tabloid view of Arab culture in that period, he declares: “The effect of this presumption was to prove incalculable. To this day, even in the west, it continues to inform the way in which the history of the Middle East is interpreted and understood.” This was partially true in Gibbon’s time, but it is quite false today. Research and publication on pre-Islamic history, archaeology, art and languages may be found in many western universities, such as Oxford, as well as in many Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria.

The past 30 years have seen lively controversies in the scholarship on early Islam, much of it emanating from the revisionist work of John Wansbrough in analysing the text of the Qur’an and its possible links with both Christian and Jewish language and thought. This is catnip for Holland, as is the revisionist work by Wansbrough’s disciple, Andrew Rippin, and, much more idiosyncratically, by the pseudonymous Christoph Luxenberg, who dares not speak his name. Although these debates are all solidly grounded in close textual study, they can do little more than titillate uninitiated readers because the dust has not yet settled.

Holland’s failure to follow Gibbon in examining French scholarship means that he has missed many of the most important recent discoveries, above all the large number of inscriptions from late antique south Arabia that Christian Julien Robin and his associates in Paris have been publishing in a steady stream. We now know much more about the Judaism of Himyar, the conflict with Christian Ethiopia and the Persian occupation of western Arabia. In discussing early Qur’an manuscripts Holland has missed the collaborative manuscript, in five different hands, which François Déroche has dated to the third quarter of the seventh century. It appears to antedate the Qur’anic inscriptions in the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

The scattershot nature of Holland’s investigations is particularly apparent in his breezy reference to the Qur’an manuscripts that were found in Sana’a, Yemen, in 1973. He hints darkly at censorship to explain publication delays caused by textual variants in a palimpsest but is unaware that the palimpsest itself and two other manuscripts are actually now with the publisher. He is also unaware that a second cache of Qur’an manuscripts was discovered five years ago in renovations of the Great Mosque in Sana’a and that in February 2010 the Yemeni authorities granted permission for them to be studied.

But Holland is at his most irresponsible when he turns to the Meccan origins of Islam. After reasonably supporting Patricia Crone’s argument against the tradition of Mecca as a mercantile centre, he goes on to ask whether the place itself might not be an invention in the story of Muhammad. He raises the possibility that the Qur’anic pagans, calledmushrikun, might be confederate tribes simply because the word is constructed from the Arabic root for “sharing”. He looks for these tribes in southern Jordan and not only thinks of placing Muhammad among them but proposes that his own Meccan tribe, the Quraysh, took its name from the Syriac word qarisha, which, according to Holland, would have been “duly Arabised”. This jaw-dropping idea depends on Holland’s mistaken view that the Syriac word could allude to a confederation. What it means is to clot or congeal.

For some reason Holland’s book was released in the Netherlands in Dutch before it appeared in English. It had a different title then, The Fourth Beast. A marketing strategy of this kind looks like a conscious effort to profit from recent Dutch anxiety over Muslim immigrants. But Holland’s cavalier treatment of his sources, ignorance of current research and lack of linguistic and historical acumen serve to undermine his provocative narrative. In the Shadow of the Sword seems like an attempt by author, agent and publisher to create a very different account of early Islam, but fortunately the quality of the book stands in the way.

• Glen Bowersock’s From Gibbon to Auden: Essays on the Classical Tradition is published by Oxford.

To All the Mammas: Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , on May 13, 2012 by loonwatch

A well known axiom in the Muslim world states, “Paradise Lies underneath the feet of your mother,” (h/t: MuslimMatters).

All peoples and cultures can empathize with this reverence and respect conferred upon mothers, and here we’d like to give a special salutation to all the loonwatching mothers out there: Happy mother’s day!

Dean Obeidallah: Sacha Cohen’s Movie a Minstrel Show

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by loonwatch

Danios wrote recently about Ashton Kutcher’s putting on ‘brown face,’ and ridiculing Indians in a Pop Chips commercial. He pointed out that though Kutcher’s ad was pulled we still have Sacha Baron Cohen’s anti-Arab minstrel show proceeding without much protestation or discussion–until now.

Muslim comedian Dean Obeidallah has weighed-in now, and if I didn’t know any better he must have read our article because he raises similar arguments,

To me, this is essentially the same as white performers in blackface portraying black people in buffoonish negative stereotypes for the enjoyment of white America.

But I am not advocating a ban on offensive comments or the telling of culturally insensitive jokes. I certainly am not calling for more PC comedy. I’m not calling for a boycott of anyone nor asking for one more insincere “I’m sorry to all those who were offended by me” from a celebrity.

I’m in no way arguing that Arab culture is off-limits or cannot be mocked. I’m a comedian of Arab heritage and have performed comedy shows not only for Arab-American groups across the United States, but also in the Middle East, from Egypt to Qatar to Saudi Arabia. I find the biggest laughs are elicited when performers hold up a comic mirror to Arab culture.

But for some reason, the entertainment industry appears to truly enjoy ridiculing “brown” people, Arabs and Indians, and has no qualms about casting people not of our heritage to portray us. Indeed, just last week Popchips snack company found itself embroiled in a controversy because an ad showed Ashton Kutcher playing an Indian character in brownface, similar to what Cohen is doing in “The Dictator.”

Sacha Cohen’s movie a minstrel show

by Dean Obeidallah

(CNN) – Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie, “The Dictator,” is a modern-day minstrel show judging from the trailer and Cohen’s comments promoting the film while dressed as the film’s star, “Gen. Shabazz Aladeen,” the leader of a fictitious Arab country.

Cohen, who is not of Arab heritage, plays this Arab character while sporting a long fake beard and speaking in a strong Arabic accent, which would be fine, except the character is showcasing the worst stereotypes of Arabs.

For example, at a news conference in New York City this week promoting his film, Cohen exclaimed: “Welcome devils of the Zionist media and death to the West.” He then joked about liking TV shows that showed Arab terrorists killing Americans and admiring fashion designer John Galliano for hating the Jews.

To me, this is essentially the same as white performers in blackface portraying black people in buffoonish negative stereotypes for the enjoyment of white America.

But I am not advocating a ban on offensive comments or the telling of culturally insensitive jokes. I certainly am not calling for more PC comedy. I’m not calling for a boycott of anyone nor asking for one more insincere “I’m sorry to all those who were offended by me” from a celebrity.

I’m in no way arguing that Arab culture is off-limits or cannot be mocked. I’m a comedian of Arab heritage and have performed comedy shows not only for Arab-American groups across the United States, but also in the Middle East, from Egypt to Qatar to Saudi Arabia. I find the biggest laughs are elicited when performers hold up a comic mirror to Arab culture.

But for some reason, the entertainment industry appears to truly enjoy ridiculing “brown” people, Arabs and Indians, and has no qualms about casting people not of our heritage to portray us. Indeed, just last week Popchips snack company found itself embroiled in a controversy because an ad showed Ashton Kutcher playing an Indian character in brownface, similar to what Cohen is doing in “The Dictator.”

Read the rest here…

Tom Trento Tries to Rally Shock Troops to Protest Local Muslim Conference

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by loonwatch

Florida loon Tom Trento is perhaps only out shined in his lunacy by Joe “Nuke the Mooslims” Kaufman. (h/t: JH):

Tom Trento Tries to Rally Shock Troops to Protest Local Muslim Conference

by Jacob Hausner (Islamophobia Today)

That Tom Trento is a hate-filled propagandist is common knowledge by now. He is as much a ‘human rights’ activist as David Duke or any racist who relies on lies, half-truths and innuendo to plead his case.

Trento has for quite some time been active in agitating anti-Islam and anti-Muslim efforts in Florida. In 2008, in the run up to the election of President Barack Obama, Trento was busy peddling the hate-filled anti-Muslim movie, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War with the West.”

The website, Obsession for Hate, both catalogued and detailed the propagandistic efforts of the funders of “Obsession,” Aisha HaTorah and the Clarion Fund, to affect the outcome of the election. The not-so veiled strategy was to freely distribute 28 million DVD’s of Obsession in newspapers inside key electoral swing states, to fear-monger about the so-called pending Islamization of the USA. If anyone recalls the election of 2008, Barack Obama’s faith was a central talking point in which Republicans sought to take advantage, thinking they could sway voters by maligning the president as an evil, madrassa-indoctrinated, fifth-columnist “Muslim.”

“Obsession” failed, but that did not stop Trento.

It is 2012 now, and another election is around the corner, queue-in Trento and his fanatical band of doomsday, fear-mongering naysayers! Once again Islam and the Muslims are to be feared, and even more so, ironically because of the Arab Spring!

Trento produced the video below, calling on his compatriots to join him to protest an upcoming Islamic Society of North America conference in Florida:


Now, I would have been content to just post this article in response: ‘The United West’ Video: Is It From the Onion? No, This Lunacy is Real!, but on further consideration I don’t want to leave the Islamophobes with any excuses!

About the only thing that Trento got right in the above video is that, yes, Hasan Al-Banna did create the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928.

By now there is a plethora of well researched, academic and even lay literature on the “Muslim Brotherhood.” Just Google “Muslim Brotherhood” and you will come out with dozens of interesting titles.

One does not have to agree with or like the Muslim Brotherhood to, at the very least, concede that the Muslim Brotherhood never “joined” the Nazis in World War II. That is just a blatant lie!

So let’s look at the lies presented by Trento, one by one:

Trento Lie #1.) “Muslim Brotherhood joined the ‘Nazis’ during World War II.”

Truth: As Matthias Kuntzel noted in his book, “Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11″ (Telos Press, 2007),

‘it would be wrong to characterize the Muslim Brothers as ardent followers of the Nazis.’

Richard Wolin in an exchange with Jeffrey Herf (author of “Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World”) comments on this, saying,

Here there is simply no squaring the circle; too many aspects of Nazi ideology–its paganism, its Aryan racial doctrines, its conception of Germanic geopolitical supremacy–are incompatible with the key tenets of political Islam. As Küntzel rightly concludes, Hassan al-Banna was too devout a Muslim to latch on to someone as impious as Hitler as a political role model.

Trento Lie #2: “In 1981, that same Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Anwar Sadat.”

Truth: A quick read on Wikipedia could have easily disabused Trento of this embarrassing falsity. Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Khalid Islambouli and a group of renegade Egyptian military soldiers. Islambouli, in fact was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood but instead of a group called the “Egyptian Islamic Jihad,”

After graduating from the Egyptian Military Academy with excellent grades, he was accepted as an officer in the Bombardment Forces of the Egyptian Army with the rank of Lieutenant. Sometime after this appointment, Islambouli joined the proscribed Egyptian Islamic Jihad movement.

Trento Lie #3: “In 2011, that same Muslim Brotherhood overthrew President Hosni Mubarak, for the express purpose, as the United West predicted, to establish the Islamic caliphate in Egypt.”

Truth: Trento seems to be living in the past when the internet and new media wasn’t readily available. As it turns out it wasn’t the “Muslim Brotherhood” that overthrew Hosni Mubarak, (who wasn’t really a “president” as Trento so reverently refers to him, but a “dictator”) they were actually late to the protest game, it was a mass popular movement of “Egyptians” that toppled Mubarak. To suggest otherwise is tantamount to spitting on the sacrifices of all those brave souls who were killed, injured and tortured by Mubarak-thugs. Most rational people realize this.

Trento Lie #4: “Obama…gave the Muslim Brotherhood 1.5 billion dollars”

Truth: Seriously? Do we have to even answer this one? In fact, the money was not given to the Muslim Brotherhood, but to Egypt, just as it has been for over thirty years ever since the Camp David accords, when President Jimmy Carter reached a peace deal between Egypt and Israel.

Trento Lie #5: “Now, in May, the Muslim Brotherhood is coming to Tampa Bay, Florida for the express purpose of continuing the ‘cultural jihad’ to turn the United States eventually into an Islamic State.”

Truth: Trento is referring to the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) “East Zone Conference.” ISNA happens to be one of the oldest and largest Muslim organizations in the United States, and perusing their website, ISNA.net, and looking at the program and topics of the conference, there was surprisingly NOT one lecture, seminar or group activity relating to “cultural jihad to turn the United States eventually into an Islamic State.”

If we were to find anything relatively close to what Trento is talking about I am sure it would have been on ISNA’s own website, right!? Alas, it does not exist, and much like Trento’s ludicrous video, this too is an outlandish, kooky lie, ginned up to try and rally anti-Islam bigots and shock troops to counter a peaceful Muslim conference.

Hopefully, Trento’s “protest” won’t devolve into the type of hate-filled “protests” we have come to know and expect from him and his friends:

Gun Parts, Ammo Found Hidden Inside Stuffed Animals at Rhode Island Airport, Suspects are Free to Go

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by loonwatch

TSA via AP

This photo provided by the Transportation Security Administration shows pistol parts hidden in a stuffed animal found at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I.

Can you imagine if a Muslim or “Muslim looking” person had stuffed animals with gun parts and ammo? You can bet he would be on a one way ticket to Guantanomo! (via. What If They Were Muslim?)

Gun parts, ammo found hidden inside stuffed animals at Rhode Island airport

By NBC News, msnbc.com staff and news services
(msnbc.com)

WARWICK, R.I. — Gun components and ammunition were found hidden inside three stuffed animals carried by a passenger at Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport on Tuesday, federal transportation officials said.

Authorities later allowed the 4-year-old boy and his father to continue their travel to Detroit after concluding the man didn’t pose a risk, authorities said. He told police that he didn’t know the parts were inside the stuffed toys — which included a Mickey Mouse and a teddy bear.

“It appears to be the result of a domestic dispute,” Rhode Island Airport Police Chief Leo Messier said. “It was jointly investigated by the RI Airport Police, FBI and the RI State Police and it was determined that there was no threat at any time to air safety.”

NBC News station WHDH reported that a magazine loaded with two .40-caliber rounds was discovered inside a bunny and a firing pin was inside Mickey Mouse.

‘Artfully concealed’
Officials with airport police and the Transportation Security Administration declined to comment further, saying the incident remained under investigation.

A TSA officer noticed the disassembled gun components “artfully concealed” inside three stuffed animals. The stuffed animals were inside the child’s carry-on bag, which had been put through an X-ray machine as part of normal security screening.

The parts could have been assembled to make a full firearm, authorities said.

The items were confiscated. Police have not released the man’s name.

Passengers at T.F. Green told WHDH they were thankful the system worked.

“I know a lot of people don’t like the screening procedure, but I’m thankful that they really screen people and we feel much safer because of it,” one woman told the station.

NBC News station WHDH and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Raphael Magrik: Commentary Whitewashes Discrimination

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2012 by loonwatch

Muslims women gather for a special Eid ul-Fitr morning prayer at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

Muslims women gather for a special Eid ul-Fitr morning prayer at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

Commentary Whitewashes Discrimination

by , The Daily Beast

Only three weeks since Passover, and some people already need refreshers.

Over at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin argues that Islamophobia in the United States must be a myth because… look! the Muslims are breeding like rabbits. Citing newly released census data showing that the population of American Muslims more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, Tobin asks: “Is it possible or even likely that Islam would be thriving in the United States if it were not a society that is welcoming Muslims with open arms and providing a safe environment for people to openly practice this faith?”

Yes, it’€™s very possible. Let’s start with the Passover story: in particular, Exodus 1:12, in which the Egyptians discover that, “€œthe more they afflicted [the Israelites], the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad.” It looks like Tobin skipped that section of the haggadah.

And this Biblical wisdom holds up well under scrutiny: historically, discrimination and prejudice haven’€™t done much to hinder population growth. The African American population quadrupled (from under five million to nearly twenty million) between the end of the Civil War and the 1964 Civil Rights Act: does Tobin think that a century of Jim Crow, housing discrimination and the Ku Klux Klan provided Blacks “€œa safe environment”€? The fact is, Islam is growing everywhere: doubling over the last thirty years in Europe, and on pace to reach 2.2 billion worldwide by 2030 (it’€™s currently 1.6 billion). Its growth in America is just one piece of this broader trend.

Here’s another fact: Islamophobia is alive and well in America. Tobin claims that there are “€œno obstacles to Muslim advancement or systematic ill treatment.” Tell it toHani Khan, who was fired from her job at Abercrombie & Fitch when she wouldn’€™t remove her headscarf. In 2009, Muslims filed 803 religious discrimination claims with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That’€™s about 25% of the total claims, even though Muslims make up, according to the Pew Research Center, less than 1% of the American population. Resumes with Muslim names get lower response rates from employment firms than resumes with names from any other ethnic or religious group. And it extends beyond employment. In a 2010 Gallup poll, 43% of Americans self-reported some prejudice against Muslims, compared to 15% for Jews and 18% for Christians.

What’€™s sad is that we’€™ve seen all this before. Muslims aren’€™t the first religious group to be accused of cooperating with America’€™s international enemies. Just as Muslims today are called terrorists, American Jews were once tarred as the servants of Moscow. Similarly, attempts to outlaw Sharia recall centuries of anti-Semitic paranoia about Jewish religious law. In every generation, my haggadah teaches me, bigots rise up to discriminate against and attack minorities. If Jonathan Tobin cannot see that, if he continues to turn a blind eye to the oppression of Muslims among us, well then, I’€™ve got a couple more Bible verses he ought to read.

US Government Targets Yonas Fikre in Poorly Disguised Attempt at Retaliation

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2012 by loonwatch

Yonas Fikre accused the FBI of involvement in his torture in the UAE after he refused to become an informant for the FBI.

US Charges Yonas Fikre, American Who Claimed Torture, With Conspiracy

by Nick Baumann (Mother Jones)

Last month, Mother Jones broke the story of Yonas Fikre. An American Muslim now living in Sweden, Fikre claims he was tortured in the United Arab Emirates at the US government’s request after refusing to become an informant for the FBI. On Tuesday, less than three weeks after Fikre’s allegations were made public, the Justice Department charged Fikre, his brother Dawit Woldehawariat, and a third man, Abrehaile Haile, with conspiring to hide $75,000 worth of money transfers to the UAE and Sudan from the government, all in violation of federal reporting requirements for large international financial transactions. Woldehawariat, Fikre’s brother, was also charged with failing to file a tax return in 2009 and 2010.

There are no allegations of terrorism associated with the charges.

Gadeir Abbas, a lawyer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations who has been working with Fikre, told Mother Jones on Wednesday that the federal charges were retaliation for Fikre’s refusal to cooperate with the FBI. “It is disappointing but not surprising that the FBI is retaliating against Yonas by filing specious charges against him after they promised to make his life difficult after he refused to become their informant,” Abbas wrote in an email. “While FBI agents lied to Yonas about many things, in this case, it seems that they have kept their word.”

Thomas Nelson, Fikre’s Portland, Oregon-based lawyer, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Tuesday that he was unaware of the charges against his client. But Abbas said he’s been in touch with Nelson since then and the two are working together to decide what to do next.

Here’s the charging document:

Chris Stedman: Sam Harris, Will You Visit A Mosque With Me?

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2012 by loonwatch

Chris_Stedman_2011

Chris Stedman

A vey good piece by Chris Stedman. He invites Sam Harris to leave his comfort zone, the bully pulpit of his blog, and come experience meeting real, life Muslims, the one he’s eager to have profiled (H/T: CriticalDragon):

by Chris Stedman (Huffington Post)

Sam Harris–I know you’re a busy man, but I’d like to ask you out. Will you go to mosque with me?

I’m not trying to convert you to Islam. Like you, I’m not a Muslim. Like you, I don’t believe in any gods. I’m happily, openly atheist. A queer atheist, even. Like you, I have many significant concerns about Islamic beliefs and practices. But still, I want to visit a mosque with you.

We don’t have to go alone–we could go with Mustafa Abdullah, a young community organizer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina who is currently campaigning against the state’s proposed anti-gay Amendment One. We could attend with Najeeba Syeed-Miller, a teacher and activist who has dedicated her life to peacebuilding initiatives. Or we could go with Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, who is committed to promoting pluralism and opposing bigotry, and who regularly speaks up for atheists as a religious minority in the United States.

Why am I inviting you to visit a mosque with me and my friends? Since I’m asking you publicly (I couldn’t find your phone number anywhere and I’m pretty sure this MySpace page isn’t really you), I should probably give some context.

A few weeks ago I saw you speak at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia. Before I go on, I need to confess: your remarks blew me away. In a weekend full of incredible intellects, your frank, contemplative, eloquent speech on death, grief, and mindfulness was easily my favorite. So I was not prepared for the crushing disappointment I felt when, just a few weeks later, you published a piece called “In Defense of Profiling” in which you unequivocally stated: “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it.”

Never mind that your argument doesn’t hold water–to quote my friend Hind Makki: “What does a Muslim look like? The 9/11 hijackers didn’t have beards and ‘dressed Western.’ The shoe bomber wasn’t Arab or South Asian. Sikhs wear turbans. The majority of American Muslim women don’t wear hijab. The majority of Arab Americans are Christian–though they often share the same names as their Muslim counterparts. Perhaps Harris would support an initiative that required all Muslims to sew a crescent and star onto our clothes. It would make his airport security time a more pleasant experience. (Though, I suppose, it wouldn’t have stopped McVeigh or Breivik.)” Though as a frequent traveler I share your frustrations with the TSA, profiling doesn’t make sense as a solution to its problems.

Instead, while we’re en route to mosque, I’d like to talk to you about something else. As I read your piece, which (along with the clarifying addendum you tacked on a few days later) failed to explain how you would determine who “looks… Muslim,” I thought back to another moment at the Global Atheist Convention a few weeks ago. As you were speaking, rumors began to fly that a group of extremist Muslims would be protesting the convention. Sure enough, a group of less than a dozen appeared just a short while later, holding signs that said “Atheists go to hell” and shouting horrible things. But to my dismay, their hate was mirrored by hundreds of conference attendees, some of whom shouted things like “go back to the middle east, you pedophiles,” tweeting ”maybe the Muslim protesters [are] gay so [they] don’t have wives? … A lot are/were camel shaggers,” and wearing shirts that said “Too stupid for science? Try religion.” Watching the scene unfold, I was reminded of how much work there is to be done in combating prejudice between the religious and the nonreligious.

I’m not sure you share my concerns about this divide. In fact, last year you wrote this about the 2011 attacks orchestrated by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway that resulted in the deaths of over 70 people:

One can only hope that the horror and outrage provoked by Breivik’s behavior will temper the growing enthusiasm for right-wing, racist nationalism in Europe. However, one now fears the swing of another pendulum: We are bound to hear a lot of deluded talk about the dangers of “Islamophobia” and about the need to address the threat of “terrorism” in purely generic terms.

In the wake of an atrocity of unimaginable proportions–one perpetrated by an anti-Muslim terrorist who was influenced by anti-Muslim writers–I could not believe that you decided to write a blog suggesting that the real problem is the fight against Islamophobia.

Whether you think so or not, Sam, Islamophobia is quite real. The American Muslim community experiences disproportionately high rates of discrimination and violence, and Islamophobic rhetoric has a significant bearing on this. This from a detailed report on the network of Islamophobia in America: “According to former CIA officer and terrorism consultant Marc Sageman, just as religious extremism ‘is the infrastructure from which Al Qaeda emerged,’ the writings of these anti-Muslim misinformation experts are ‘the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.’”

As a society, we need to acknowledge the reality of the consequences of Islamophobia. As one Norwegian Muslim recently said:

“I think it is good and healthy that this comes out,” he told AFP in a telephone interview, arguing that Breivik built his ideology largely on the basis of Islam-critical writings in the media and online and rumors he has heard about violent Muslims. “This should help show people that this kind of rhetoric can be very, very dangerous. It is a wake-up call, and I think many people will moderate the way they talk about these things.”

We desperately need to discuss these things. An argument I frequently hear from atheists is that if moderate Muslims really exist, they need to speak out more. The problem is that Muslims are speaking out against extremists who cite Islam as their inspiration. Need some examples? ThereAreSoManyThat.ICan’tLinkToThemAll. (But those eleven are a good start.)

The real problem is the Islamophobic misinformation machine, supported by our conflict-driven media. Stories of Muslims engaging in peaceful faith-inspired endeavors don’t sell nearly as well as stories of attempted Times Square bombings. Yet even coverage of violent stories is skewed against Muslims: for example, the mainstream media largely ignores violence against Muslims, such as when a mosque in Florida was bombed. (Just imagine the media frenzy if that had been a Muslim bombing a church.) The press also ignores stories of Muslim heroism, such as the fact that the man who stopped the Times Square bomber was himself a Muslim. Perhaps we perceive Islam as inherently violent, and imagine that an “Islam versus the West” clash of civilizations is inevitable, because our perspective is shaped by the warped way the media reports on Islam.

The feeling that we need to profile “Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim,” as you wrote–that Muslim Americans are dangerous and should be viewed with suspicion–is an outgrowth of the Islamophobic misinformation that proliferates our culture. I’m proud to say that nontheist organizations like the Center for Inquiry, the American Humanist Association, and the Institute for Science and Human Values recognize this, which is why just last week they signed on to a letter (alongside many interfaith and religious organizations) decrying racial and religious profiling.

The idea that we should single out Muslims is a misguided and damaging one, and it has serious ramifications for the Muslim community. After the thwarted “Christmas tree” bombing by a young Muslim in Portland, OR, Eboo Patel wrote:

It would be perfectly understandable if, in this time of Muslim terrorism and Islamophobia, everyday Muslims tried to slink into the shadows, to hide in the mosque. But it would be a huge mistake. Now more than ever, we need Muslim community leaders to be loud and proud about Islam’s glories, to inspire a new generation to follow in the footsteps of the Muslim heroes who bent the arc of the universe towards justice.

As Muslims become more and more marginalized, that will be increasingly difficult. When I posted a link to Patel’s column on my Facebook page, a friend commented on the FBI’s involvement in the Portland incident, and a subsequent arson attack on a Portland-area mosque: “I’m starting to wonder how any of this makes our country more secure or keeps our citizens safe. It certainly made things more dangerous for Muslims in Corvallis.”

I look around and I see a country deeply divided over the place of Muslims in America’s civic landscape–a nation roiling with fear and uncertainty, where hundreds of people will crowd outside of a benefit for a Muslim relief organization and scream things like “go home” and “terrorist” while waving American flags. That despicable display of anti-Muslim hate didn’t really make the news either, by the way.

Profiling feeds this fear and paranoia, and it plays right into the notion held by the tiny percentage of Muslims who are extremists that all Muslims are under attack and need to be defended. It is truly dangerous territory, and not just for Muslims–the recent congressional “Muslim radicalization” hearings in the U.S. echo the anti-gay “lavender scare” and the explicitly anti-atheist undertones of the “red scare” in the 1950s. As a gay atheist, I recognize that it could just as easily be me who is targeted.

But I do have hope, Sam. I’m currently reading a wonderful book called The Young Atheist’s Handbook by Alom Shaha–I could lend it to you after our mosque visit. In the book, Shaha writes about growing up Muslim and later becoming an atheist. In the fourth chapter of the book, he touches on the tragedy in Norway and delves into a lengthy, must-read exposition of the ugly reality of Islamophobia in the U.K., Australia, and the United States. In it, he points to the major role the media has played in guiding the narrative that says that Muslims are a monolithic, loathsome bloc–or as Shaha wrote, a perspective that “see[s] all Muslims as the same, and completely fail[s] to acknowledge the diversity and differences in values that are held by the millions of Muslims in the world.” Shaha goes on to write:

You may wonder why, if I no longer identify as Muslim, I care so deeply about this… Although I am an atheist, I nevertheless find it distressing that people can be contemptuous of all Muslims based on their own prejudices about what it means to be Muslim. Some atheists are guilty of this ideological categorization, too, and it bothers me that some of those who really should know better feel that Muslims and non-Muslims cannot, by definition, get along. I suspect this is a point on which I differ from more-hardline atheists, but perhaps my own experience of being judged for my skin colour has made me acutely sensitive to such judgments being exercised upon others.

Shaha is definitely on to something. Over the last few years, I’ve watched with despair as an increasing, increasingly-less-subtle xenophobic anti-Muslim undercurrent has spread throughout the atheist movement, cloaked by intellectual arguments against Islam’s metaphysical claims and practices and rallying cries in defense of free speech. Though it has been spreading throughout our broader culture, I’m especially disheartened to see it among my fellow atheists. At my first American Atheists conference, for example, I witnessed a crowd of people shout things like “show us some ankle” at three women wearing burkas for a satirical musical performance. It’s one thing to critique Islam; but the glee I saw in some of their faces as people whistled and shouted “take it off” was something else.

Writing about an incident where an American Atheists State Director posted an Islamophobic rant to their official Facebook page, atheist blogger Hemant Mehta said:

It’s always a touchy subject when atheists go after Islam… because people have to be very careful that they don’t stereotype all followers of Islam as if they’re all extremists. Our society does a terrible job of this. Atheists, especially when they’re ‘leaders’ among us, ought to know better than to fall into that trap.

You ought to know better, Sam. Your insistence that Islamophobia isn’t a problem and your willingness to play into the irrational anxieties of those who fear Muslims is irresponsible and dangerous. With your great reach, you have the opportunity to build bridges of understanding–instead, you have chosen to make the dividing lines that keep our communities apart that much thicker.

Read the rest….

What If They Were Muslim?: Pipe Bomb Found At North Belfast Church

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2012 by loonwatch

The uptick in attempted bombings in Northern Ireland is causing concern that there will be a return to heightened sectarian conflict.

Another bomb has been discovered, this time in the grounds of a Presbyterian Church in North Belfast. (H/T: JD)

Can one imagine if Muslims had been behind this? It would be all over international media, and you can bet the anti-Islam haters would lump it in as one more attempted “Islamic terrorist” attack, but they would never call it “Christian terrorism”:

(u.TV News)

A suspect object discovered at a church in north Belfast has been declared a viable device, police have confirmed.

The pipe bomb was found in the grounds of the Ballysillan Presbyterian Church on the Crumlin Road area on Wednesday morning.

Evacuated residents have been allowed to return to their homes and the road has re-opened to traffic.

Chief Inspector Andrew Freeburn, North Belfast Area Commander, said the device was capable of causing injury or death to anyone in the vicinity.

“The people who carried this out have shown a callous disregard for everyone in our community, not least those local residents who have been inconvenienced through being evacuated.

“This incident will be fully investigated with view to bringing criminal charges against those responsible.”

SDLP Oldpark Councillor Nichola Mallon said the object was discovered during the cutting of grass on the grounds of the church.

She continued: “The people of North Belfast have seriously suffered through the years as a result of the brutality of the Troubles. They don’t want or need to live under the renewed threat and fear of disruption and attack as they have been increasingly forced to do in recent days.”

Geert Wilders: Asks Muslims to Leave Islam, When Will He Leave America?

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2012 by loonwatch

Non-shocking tidbit of the day from the moronic fascist corner of Euro politics: Geert Wilders wants Muslims to leave Islam.

What we should ask Wilders is when will he leave the US? Or are we now the prime choice for washed-up, has-been Euro anti-Islam/Muslim propagandists?

PVV leader Geert Wilders has called on Muslims throughout the world to leave Islam. He made his call in a speech in New York, to promote his English-language book Marked for Death.

Wilders claims that his book explains that Islam is a “totalitarian ideology” and is an encouragement to freedom-loving Muslims to turn their back on Islam. “I support those who fight for freedom in the Islamic world completely. The Arab, Turkish, Iranian, Pakistani and Indonesian peoples have enormous potential. If they could free themselves of the yoke of Islam, if they could stop seeing Mohamed as their role model and if they could break away from the rancorous Koran, then they could achieve amazing things,” Wilders said in his speech.

With reporters, Wilders went into the political situation in the Netherlands last week when he caused the collapse of government by pulling out of the budget negotiations with the conservatives (VVD) and Christian democrats (CDA). Wilders calls this a difficult decision, but says he had no other choice.

”We are now concentrating on elections on 12 September. Our campaign will be on the need to revive our national sovereignty, as without this we cannot defend our identity and fight against Islamisation.” Wilders said he was not planning to move to the United States. “I am really staying in the Netherlands and will campaign for the elections with very much enthusiasm and very much good sense,” he said yesterday on Radio 1.

A number of media suggested last week that Wilders might be considering an international career because his role in the Loer Hose appears to have been played out for the coming period. Former VVD MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, also a fighter against Islam, moved to the US in 2005 and was subsequently named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential persons.

NIS News Bulletin, 2 May 2012

WhatIfTheyWereMuslim?: Bomb Defused in Northern Ireland Would Have Caused Devastation

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Widely (un)reported terrorist bomb attack, would have killed many,

“To put it in perspective – anyone within 50 metres of this device would have been killed and anyone within 100 metres, seriously injured,” District Commander Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson told a news conference.

“This was a very significant device. If this had exploded it would have caused devastation.”

Bomb defused in Northern Ireland would have caused devastation

(news.yahoo.com)

BELFAST (Reuters) – Two bombs planted by militant Irish nationalists, including one packed with enough explosives to have killed anyone within a 50-metre (yard) radius, were defused in Northern Ireland on Saturday, police said.

The 600-pound (270-kg) bomb, roughly the same size as one used to kill 29 people in the town of Omagh in the single deadliest attack of Northern Ireland’s three decades of violence in 1998, was left in an abandoned vehicle in the town of Newry.

Police blamed nationalist groups opposed to a 1998 peace deal that largely ended violence in the British-controlled province, and said the device was fully primed to cause devastation.

“To put it in perspective – anyone within 50 metres of this device would have been killed and anyone within 100 metres, seriously injured,” District Commander Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson told a news conference.

“This was a very significant device. If this had exploded it would have caused devastation.”

Army bomb disposal experts defused a similarly sized bomb in the border town of Newry this time last year. Another bomb was also found near the main Dublin-to-Belfast motorway earlier this month that police said had the potential to kill.

The other bomb also made safe by the army on Saturday was discovered under a parked car in Belfast where 80 people were moved from their homes for five hours overnight. There was no confirmation yet of its size.

Police investigating dissident activity also found guns and ammunition in the mainly Catholic Ardoyne area of Belfast.

The 1998 peace agreement called a halt to more than three decades of violence between mainly Catholic Irish nationalists opposed to British rule of Northern Ireland and predominantly Protestant unionists who wanted it to continue.

But dissidents, many of them belonging to splinter groups that have broken away from the IRA, fight on with mostly unsuccessful and sporadic gun and bomb attacks.

(Reporting by Ivan Little; Editing by Padraic Halpin/Maria Golovnina)

Sam Harris, “Profile the Muslim Looking People!”

Posted in Feature, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Sam Harris continues the absurdist act that he has something intelligent to say when it comes to topics other than Neuroscience. We also learn that he possesses a 9mm, and travels with 75 rounds of ammunition, if the religion-bashing industry doesn’t work out maybe he can be the new spokesman for the NRA?

In a recent blog post, the pop Atheist guru writes that “we” should specifically profile Muslims at airports, and “be honest about it.” He is sick of the “tyranny of fairness” in which airport security searches people randomly when we all know that it’s the “Mooslims” who want to kill everyone on the plane. He concedes that he hasn’t “had to endure the experience of being continually profiled…”, and that he would find it “frustrating” if he had, but if someone looks like they may commit a crime (based on their ethnic appearance), they should be targeted for extra scrutiny.He uses the comedian Ben Stiller’s appearance as an example:

“But if someone who looked vaguely like Ben Stiller were wanted for crimes against humanity, I would understand if I turned a few heads at the airport. However, if I were forced to wait in line behind a sham search of everyone else, I would surely resent this additional theft of my time.”

Attempting to speak on behalf of the very people he wants profiled, he implies that Muslims should “welcome” profiling, at the very least it would “save them time!”

He goes on;

We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it.

Maybe Sam will want Muslims to wear crescent and star badges so as to be identified as “Muslim?” By saying “conceivably be Muslim” Sam is really saying any Brown, Middle Eastern or South Asian looking person, perhaps someone with a turban?

In a very poor attempt to soften the racialist tone, he adds this caveat;

And, again, I wouldn’t put someone who looks like me entirely outside the bull’s-eye (after all, what would Adam Gadahn look like if he cleaned himself up?)… (emphasis added)

As with most advocates of procedures that single out specific people for harassment, Sam Harris himself doesn’t have to experience the frustration that comes from this harassment. It’s easy to say, “Muslims should just cooperate and make it easier on themselves and everybody else” when one doesn’t have to experience such situations, multiple times, themselves.

He recounts earlier in the blog post an ironic experience he had at the airport whereby he “accidentally” smuggled nearly 75 rounds of ammunition past the inspectors, while a three-year old was momentarily taken from her family so that her sandals could be inspected.

I once accidentally used a bag for carry-on in which I had once stored a handgun—and passed through three airport checkpoints with nearly 75 rounds of 9 mm ammunition.

Question: What the hell is Sam Harris doing with 75 rounds of ammunition?

As of today (May 1st), he has added an addendum to his blog, complaining that some people didn’t take too kindly to his simply presenting the “facts” as he sees them. One of those basic “facts” is;

“…that, in the year 2012, suicidal terrorism is overwhelmingly a Muslim phenomenon. If you grant this, it follows that applying equal scrutiny to Mennonites would be a dangerous waste of time.”

He must have not read the report which stated that only 6% of terrorist acts committed in the United States from 1980-2005 years were committed by Muslims, and that even in 2012 an American is more likely to get struck by lightning than to be killed/hurt by a Muslim terrorist.

He goes on;

“1. When I speak of profiling “Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim,” I am not narrowly focused on people with dark skin. In fact, I included myself in the description of the type of person I think should be profiled (twice). To say that ethnicity, gender, age, nationality, dress, traveling companions, behavior in the terminal, and other outward appearances offer no indication of a person’s beliefs or terrorist potential is either quite crazy or totally dishonest.”

Well that’s a sigh of relief! It’s not “just” dark-skinned Muslims that he wants to be profiled, but all Muslims! What universalistic spirit!

It has already been established that the more “Muslim” a person looks at the airport, the less likely they are to attempt anything violent on the plane. It simply would make no sense for a person to raise a thousand red flags in the minds of airport security, before they even board the plane. The entire point of a terrorist is to accomplish their goal, not to raise the suspicions of everyone around them before they get the chance to do so.

Since the stereotypical image of a Muslim in the minds of many is that of a “dark-skinned man of the Orient,” Muslim profiling is for all practical purposes racial profiling.

Juan Cole wrote about this on his blog nearly a year ago, when two Muslim clerics were forced to exit a plane because the pilot refused to fly if they were still on board;

“The terrorist costume is a simulated reality, circulated in Hollywood and countless news broadcasts, that evokes a causal relation between appearance and action. The terrorist costume is familiar to nearly all Americans: a thick beard, an ashen robe, brown skin, sandals holding dirty feet, and some sort of headgear, usually a turban (Sikh style, of course). The terrorist wearing this costume often sports a Qu’ran, so the audience can be certain that he is a Muslim.

Yet the acts of terrorism that have been committed by radicals of Muslim heritage involved perpetrators, like Mohamed Atta, who didn’t at all resemble the image of the Hollywood terrorist. Rahman and Zaghloul dressed in a way that set off alarms in some of their American co-passengers because the latter entertained Orientalist fantasies. Ironically, Muslim-American clerics are among the more law-abiding people in the country.”

Harris’s pro-profiling views are not shocking to anyone who knows his history of loonieness. Harris after all is the same unprincipled and bigoted individual, who has, as Bob Pitt noted;

backed Geert Wilders, joined the hysterical campaign against the so-called Ground Zero mosque and claimed that “the people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists.”

WhatIfTheyWereMuslim?: 5 Anarchists Nabbed in Terrorist Plot to Blow up Ohio Bridge

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Ohio_Anarchist_Terrorism

The above individuals are charged with conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials. Imagine if they were “brown” or “Muslamic” looking, this would be called a terrorist plot from the get go. (via. WhatIfTheyWereMuslim)

This piece was reported not as a “terrorist” plot but rather simply a “bomb plot”:

By Pete Williams, NBC News justice correspondent
(msnbc.com)

Federal agents have arrested five people who were plotting to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, Ohio, an incident not connected to the anniversary of former al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden’s death, officials say.

Douglas L. Wright, 26, Brandon L. Baxter, 20, and Anthony Hayne, 35, were arrested by members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on April 30 on charges of conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce. Also arrested were Connor C. Stevens, 20, and Joshua S. Stafford, 23. Charges are pending against them.

The five were “controlled by an undercover FBI employee,” and agents had them under extensive surveillance for a long period of time. The explosives they allegedly purchased were inoperable.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

“There was never any danger,” one federal official said.

Court documents say the FBI became aware of the men in October. A confidential source told the FBI that they were acting suspiciously at a protest event, wearing masks, talking on radios, and saying they didn’t believe in peaceful protest. They carried flags associated with anarchist groups.

From that point on, the informant was in constant touch with the group members. Their goal, one of them said, was to destroy private property “to send a message to corporations.” Last November, they discussed setting off smoke grenades on Veterans Memorial Bridge in Cleveland as a diversion while they would be knocking bank signs off the tops of tall buildings downtown.

Federal officials say Wright, Baxter and Hayne describe themselves as anarchists who considered a series of evolving plots over several months.

As Stevens and Stafford came into the plot, they started talking about using explosives.

The informant brought in two people he said could help them get explosives. These people were actually FBI undercover agents. The group members agreed to buy tear gas and gas masks. Two weeks later, they said they wanted to buy plastic explosives.

A photo of the Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge taken in 1995 as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey and Historic American Engineering Record projects for the U.S. National Parks Service.

In late April, they settled on trying to blow up the Route 82 Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge. This bridge crosses from Brecksville, Ohio to Sagamore Hills, Ohio over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

On April 29, they met with the undercover agents and bought what they thought were two homemade bombs for $450. They planned to place them on April 30 but were arrested by the FBI.

The members of this group had a strong desire to commit acts of violence but no idea how to do it. At one point, a member of the group says what they needed was “mainly bleach,” because, he said, that’s what land mines and hand grenades were made with during World War II.

“The complaint in this case alleges that the defendants took specific and defined actions to further a terrorist plot,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven Dettelbach. “The defendants stand charged based not upon any words or beliefs they might espouse, but based upon their own plans and actions.”

France: Muslim Section of Cemetery in Carros Desecrated by Vandals

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on April 30, 2012 by loonwatch

cemetery_desecrated_Carros_France

A Muslim section in a Carre cemetery was desecrated

This is a report from the French website, Al-Kanz which does a good job in covering anti-Islam and anti-Muslim trends and attacks, they also alerted us to this story. Here is an approximate translation via. Google:

Desecrated Muslim section near Nice

Hatred of the living led some to attack the dead. The Muslim section of a cemetery in Carros, near Nice, has been desecrated, as reported by France Soir .

The brave Snatchers drew swastikas in reverse and inscribed “Vive Le Pen” and “Arab dehor” outside without s. The UMP proposed a few days ago to reform the spelling. Utility is measured. Like drawing classes with swastikas in place?

Here is the original in French:

La haine des vivants conduit certains à s’en prendre aux morts. Le carré musulman d’un cimetière à Carros, près de Nice, a été profané, comme le rapporte France Soir.

Les courageux profanateurs ont dessiné des croix gammées à l’envers et inscrit « Vive Le Pen » et « Arabe dehor », dehors sans s. L’UMP proposait il y a quelques jours de réformer l’orthographe. On mesure l’utilité. Tout comme des cours de dessin de croix gammées à l’endroit ?

German Far-right Party Plans to Demonstrate Outside Mosques

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

anti-Mosque protests

This seems to be the strategy for the foreseeable future amongst far-right groups in Germany:

German far-right party plans to demonstrate outside mosques

A far-right party on the campaign trial in Germany’s most populous state is threatening to put caricatures of Mohammed outside mosques in a string of cities.

The “Pro NRW” party in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia has already shown anti-Islamic caricatures in Essen and Gelsenkirchen, though the police prevented demonstrations taking place directly outside mosques.

Police have also banned “Pro NRW”, which is campaigning on an Islamophobic platform, from using the Danish cartoons that caused massive protests in the Islamic world in 2005.

But “Pro NRW” intends to send activists to 25 mosques throughout the state in the run-up to the election on May 13, staging protests in Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Aachen, Wuppertal and Solingen. Areport in Die Welt newspaper on Sunday said the far-right party intended to post around 100 what it called “Islam-critical” drawings outside the mosques.

Interior Minister in state Ralf Jäger condemned the campaign and expressed support for planned counter-demonstrations. “Pro NRW is committing spiritual arson,” he told the paper. “The party is consciously taking into account that Muslims will feel provoked and upset. The authorities will exhaust all legal avenues to prevent a xenophobic hate campaign.”

The federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich is reportedly worried about violent confrontations with the Salafists, the fundamentalist Muslims who began distributing free copies of the Koran in Germany three weeks ago. A report in Der Spiegelmagazine over the weekend said his ministry had been in contact with the North Rhine-Westphalia state government in recent weeks to find a way to de-escalate the situation. The election there is on May 13.

“Pro NRW” campaign manager Lars Seidensticker says he did not understand the outrage over the campaign, and says his party would bear no responsibility for any violence.

“If the situation is so tense that you can’t do a campaign like this against Islamist influences any more, then the politicians are responsible for doing away with Germany,” he said, alluding to the title of a 2010 book by banker Thilo Sarrazin (“Germany Does Away with Itself”), which criticized Islamic immigrants in Germany.

“Mosques are potential centres of a new civil war that we have to prevent,” said Seidensticker. “That’s why we have to pull out the Islamist evil by its roots.”

“Pro NRW”, which boasts 250 members, is also planning to award a cash prize for the “best” anti-Islamic caricature, named after Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who was responsible for the 2005 images. Westergaard has distanced himself from the competition and is reportedly considering legal action against the party for using his name.

The Local, 30 April 2012

Dearborn: Muslims and Members of Other Faiths Successfully Counter Anti-Muslim Conference

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Blogs, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2012 by loonwatch

MSNBC describes it as “dueling in Dearborn.” I think the real story is the rejection of Islamophobia, and the anti-Islam outsiders who arrived only to agitate:

Dueling in Dearborn over murder of a 20-year-old woman

By Kari Huus, msnbc.com

In Dearborn Mich., a Detroit suburb known for its concentration of Muslim Americans, anti-Islam leaders from around the country are gathering to discuss how to rescue women from that faith. The “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference on Honor Killings” on Sunday is named for a local Muslim woman murdered one year ago.

But Muslims, civil rights groups and other religious leaders say the conference is merely another event put on by well-known bigots to attack the minority religion. Their response was to schedule a town hall meeting just a few miles away on Sunday called “Rejecting Islamophobia: A Community Stand Against Hate.”

The honor killing conference, organized by Pamela Geller, who became nationally famous for her vocal opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque, aka Park 51 in Manhattan, is based on the premise that Mokdad, 20 years old when she died in April 2011, was the victim of an honor killing justified by Islam.

Mokdad’s family maintains that the killing was a tragedy that has nothing to do with their Islamic beliefs, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

“It’s not a case based on honor,” Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Cataldo, chief of homicide, told the Free Press on Friday.

In court, prosecutors have said the motive for Mokdad’s killing was that her stepfather, Rahim Alfetlawi had “been sexually abusing her,” Cataldo said, according to the report. They argue that when she threatened to go public about the abuse he killed her.

Cataldo said the family strongly objects to the conference using Mokdad’s killing, which they say was a tragedy that had nothing to do with their faith.

Geller insists this was an honor killing carried out by a devout Muslim because his stepdaughter was not following Islam, and that the family is covering it up. She alleges that law enforcers systematically cover up honor killings here and elsewhere under “stealth enforcement” of Islamic shariah law.

On her web site, Geller says: “Despite pressure from the media and members of Jessica’s family who want to cover up the honor killing aspect of her murder, we are not going to change the name of the conference. Unlike those closest to her, we are going to honor Jessica’s memory and stand up against the brutal practice that took her life.”

The Dearborn conference will feature speeches by Geller and Robert Spencer — author of the blog “Jihad Watch” — as well as several like-minded legal and religious figures. They have also invited a young man who says he was Mokdad’s friend to offer “firsthand testimony” that she was a victim of honor killing.

Stop the Islamization of America, which Geller and Spencer founded, has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit civil rights watchdog.

“Pamela Geller is the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead,” according to a profile published by SPLC on its web site. ”She’s relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam and makes preposterous claims.”

The Arab American Institute, a decades-old community organization in the Detroit area, discouraged Muslims and their supporters from protesting at the site of Geller’s conference.  But they organized a competing event, said AAI president Jim Zogby, because Geller and Spencer have become too prominent to ignore.

“Geller and Spencer have thousands of followers, and are given airtime to spew their hate on major American news networks, as if they are respected analysts with just another viewpoint,” Zogby said on the AAI announcement for the “Rejecting Islamophobia” town hall in Detroit.

Although many Americans have never encountered a Muslim in person, about 43 percent questioned in a recent Gallup Poll said they felt at least “a little” prejudice against Muslims.

“This group, we cannot ignore. This is the time for our community to take a stand, along with all those who value America’s commitment to diversity and freedom of religion, against the politics of division and bigotry promoted by the Islamophobes.”

A variety of community, interfaith and religious leaders and Michigan public on their agenda, for a “community conversation about how to respond to these continued attacks,” said Zogby.

One participant who was just on his way to the town hall was Dawud Walid, who heads the Michigan office of the Council on American Islamic Relations, a civil rights advocacy group for Muslims.

“I think firstly we have to better expose who these anti-Muslim bigots are as well as their funders,” said Walid. “We believe that the Islamophobia that permeates our country is being pushed by a well-organized, highly-funded network.”

He says that while Dearborn and Detroit have become a focus for the activities of Geller and others of like mind, the problem is bigger.

“Islamophobia is a national illness,” he said.