Archive for NPR

Fearmonger Does Little to Improve Conversation on Terrorism

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by loonwatch

Fearmonger does little to improve conversation on terrorism

by John L. Smith

For Steve Emerson, the danger is very clear and very present: A surprising number of American officials and institutions are in the tank to Islamic extremists and their handmaidens.

Emerson accuses the Obama administration of being infiltrated by radical followers of Islam inside our own country and throughout the world.

That’s right. Infiltrated.

Emerson, the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, spent an hour last week with the Review-Journal editorial board and was accompanied by Elliot Karp, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas. In the short time Emerson spent at the newspaper, he managed to indict a number of law enforcement institutions and officers as patsies for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic extremists in our midst.

For one, there’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Emerson said the FBI is so focused not offending Islamist and Arabic groups with allegiances to Hamas and Hezbollah that it’s getting in the way of anti-terrorism investigations.

“The agents on the ground understand exactly what’s going on,” Emerson says cryptically of the bureau’s political atmosphere. When asked to elaborate, he replies, “I have to protect my sources.”

Forgive me, but I thought the FBI was doing a pretty good job on the terrorism front. Turns out they’re falling down on the job.

It’s OK, though. Emerson has confidence in his own ability to spot the terrorists among us. He brags that his sources are “sometimes even better than the bureau.”

He adds that his field intelligence was superior to the FBI’s in part because “informants are more likely to work for us.”

That’s not all. He also has the sneaking suspicion that a talk he was scheduled to give to a group of CIA operatives was derailed by the Obama administration. Who knew President Barack Obama had enough hours in the day to dispatch CIA Director David Petraeus to teach Emerson a lesson?

Then there’s Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. In 2010, Baca was honored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been linked to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. CAIR also actively challenges Muslim stereotypes and presents the Islamic side of issues.

“He believes CAIR is a wonderful organization,” Emerson says sarcastically. ” … I’m not calling him evil, or fundamentally stupid, but he is in bed with the bad guys.”

Obviously, Emerson isn’t shy about pointing fingers. Nor is he simply a sign-waving conspiracy theorist. His allies on the right consider him a Cassandra who warns us about the dangers of Islamic extremism at home and abroad, and especially as it affects Israel. He pens op-ed pieces in major newspapers, is often quoted on television and radio talk shows, is cheered on the speaking circuit, and has a loyal following on his website. He is a leading firebrand from the school of thought that goes something like, “Not all Muslims are plotting terrorist acts, just most of them.”

He claims he is the victim of “a fatwa by NPR” largely because National Public Radio officials don’t invite him on their programs these days. But you can still catch plenty of Emerson’s opinions in a variety of media and networks.

Lest you think he’s just a right-wing extremist out to frighten people, Emerson repeats often that his work is dangerous and he has received many threats. He says things like “I’ve got to look over my shoulder every day,” and “If I had a wife and kids, I couldn’t do this.”

Certainly not. He made it sound a little dangerous just sitting in the room with him.

That’s Emerson’s problem whether you believe he’s full of facts or fudge. His hyperbolic rhetoric plays well on the fundraising circuit, but it does nothing to forward the understanding of complex issues.

The Middle East is a political tinderbox. There’s heated talk of possible U.S. and Israeli military intervention in Iran to halt its development of nuclear technology.

At the risk of becoming part of a vast conspiracy to silence Steve Emerson, that complex conversation isn’t improved by his shouts of conspiracy at the highest levels of our government.

John L. Smith’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Email him at Smith@reviewjournal.com or call 702-383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith.

Terrorism Training Casts Pall Over Muslim Employee

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by loonwatch
John Guandolo“Terrorism Expert” John Guandolo

This cottage industry of “terror experts” needs to be reanalyzed. Walid Shoebat, John Guandolo, Robert Spencer, and there are many more.

Terrorism Training Casts Pall Over Muslim Employee

by DINA TEMPLE-RASTON (NPR)

The man at the center of this story is 59-year-old Jordanian-American Omar al-Omari. He looks very much like the college professor that he is — tweed jacket, button-down shirt, thick round glasses, drinking coffee. We met at a coffee shop near downtown Columbus, Ohio, where he laid out a series of events that ended with him being accused of having links to terrorism.

“Actually, I was out of town, out of state, attending a conference and on my way back to Columbus,” Omari said, “and I received a call from one of the attendees of this conference in which I was told my name was used repeatedly during the training. Apparently I was labeled as a suspect. They personalized the attacks. There was a promise to dig into my background, and basically, as an Arab-Muslim American, they thought I’m a suspect.”

Omari was singled out at a three-day seminar for local police and law enforcement in the Columbus area last April. The class was part of a larger nationwide initiative to help local law enforcement not just understand terrorism, but perhaps find ways to stop it. The Obama administration has set aside millions of dollars to fund these training programs, and, not surprisingly, that money has helped create an industry in which self-styled terrorism experts contract themselves out to local police departments as terrorism tutors.

There is no certification process to vet the experts. They simply present their resumes and, often through word of mouth, they get hired. The trainers tend to be former government officials. Sometimes they have had key roles in the federal government fighting terrorism. Just as often, they have not. There’s growing evidence that many of these training sessions are providing officers at the grass roots with a biased view of Muslims in America. That is what appears to have happened to Omari.

The training at the Columbus Division of Police took place over three days in mid-April 2010. The course was titled “Understanding the True Nature of the Threat to America.” Broad outlines of the curriculum are posted on the trainers’ website. The course includes a discussion about the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States; Islamic law as it relates to jihad; and the trainers say they will provide “specific examples of Muslim Brotherhood/Islamic Movement activity in the locale in which the presentation is given.” It was in that context that Omari became a target.

One of the trainers in Ohio that day was a man named John Guandolo. He’s a former FBI agent and former Marine. According to people in the training class that day and Guandolo himself, a photograph of Omari with members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a local Muslim advocacy group, was put up on the screen. According to the people who were there, Guandolo and the other visiting trainers didn’t say outright that Omari was a terrorist, but they suggested that he had links to bad people — people who were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and even al-Qaida.

“I stand by what I said that day about Omari,” Guandolo told me, though he declined to say so on tape. “The facts are on my side.”

Now, to understand why the accusations against Omari were so surprising, it is important to know that at the time he ran a key Muslim outreach program for the state of Ohio. What he was doing for the state’s Department of Public Safety was considered so effective, counterterrorism officials in Washington sent him overseas to talk about it.

Omari is from Jordan. He has been living in the U.S. for 30 years, and he’s an American citizen. Even so, for people in the counterterrorism class in Columbus that day, it seemed entirely possible that he could be a terrorist. And that reaction in the room surprised a lot of people — most notably Deputy Chief Jeffrey Blackwell of the Columbus Division of Police. Blackwell is now in charge of the division’s homeland security unit.

“I was shocked,” he said. “I was shocked that a person at Omar’s level in the state of Ohio in the Department of Public Safety would have his picture displayed by an anti-terrorism group. His reputation was impugned incredibly by the speakers.”

Blackwell and other officials suspended the class to make sense of what happened. “We had a meeting and we discussed what we were witnessing right before our very eyes, what was transpiring in the lecture hall,” Blackwell said. What was so strange about Omari being singled out was that nearly everyone in the room knew him, or at least had heard of him. He was one of Ohio’s most high-visibility Muslims. Many of the visiting officers and Columbus officers had actually worked with Omari on outreach in the Muslim community.

“I knew him really well,” Blackwell said. “And I thought he was a great professional, so that was part of the reason why I was so surprised when his picture popped up in the presentation.”

But for some reason, maybe because former government officials said Omari couldn’t be trusted, Blackwell watched as some people in the room were ready to believe the worst.

“There were a large amount of people there that felt the class was in fact appropriate — that the finger-pointing and the name-calling and the nexuses that were developed and discussed were appropriate to discuss,” he said. “And then you had a huge percentage that were equally and diametrically opposed to that way of teaching and the substance of the anti-terrorism class.”

And the lesson Blackwell took from their reaction?

“That as Americans we are all over the board on our feelings about the terrorism issue,” he said. “And as a law enforcement professional, even law enforcement is divided in how they view people.”

The next day, some people came to Omari’s defense. The head of the local Joint Terrorism Task Force and one of the FBI’s top agents in Ohio both arrived at the academy and assured the class that Omari wasn’t a terrorism suspect. Everyone says that at that point the room erupted in shouts. Half the officers sided with Omari. The other half trusted the trainer, Guandolo. Blackwell said they assumed he must be privy to intelligence on Omari that he wasn’t revealing.

Guandolo suggested when I interviewed him on the phone that there were things he knew about Omari that the FBI didn’t. “We know we have our facts right, because we have to,” Guandolo said. (Nearly a dozen sources contacted by NPR in the intelligence community, the FBI and at the Department of Homeland Security said Omari has no links to terrorists or terrorism. They said the accusations against him are unfounded.)

Bill Braniff, who is in charge of the training program at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, sees what happened in Ohio as part of a larger problem.

“I think this is something that happens across the nation fairly consistently,” he said. “No one is tracking this with numbers, but anecdotally we are hearing about it all the time. The Muslim-American community is being preyed upon from two different directions. One, the jihadist recruitment and radicalization that is actively preying on their sons and daughters; and two, the elevated levels of Islamophobia — Islamophobia at worst and distrust and alienation at best.”

That distrust had real consequences in Columbus. Omari lost his job with the state of Ohio, though not because of claims that he had ties to terrorism. After that training session, officials began digging into Omari’s past, and they eventually found something: They discovered that his employment application was incomplete. He hadn’t listed all of the schools where he had worked before taking the job with the state of Ohio. Omari says he just listed places where he had taught relevant courses — courses that touched on Middle Eastern studies. But he was fired anyway — some six months after the training session.

Federal officials familiar with the case say Omari was singled out because he distinguished between extremist Muslims and mainstream Muslims in his outreach and training programs. Guandolo, the trainer, had a different view. When he talked to me about Muslim groups in the U.S., he spoke in terms of whether or not Muslims were patriotic.

 

Omari, for his part, still can’t believe he got fired. “I lost a lot of things over this,” he said. “I lost respect, dignity, reputation — everything really was connected with that, and definitely, you know, how could you defend yourself?”

Chief Blackwell says even more than a year after the episode, he’s still upset. “That was not a good day, in my opinion, for the Columbus Division of Police or law enforcement in general,” he said.

Omari filed suit last week against the Ohio Department of Public Safety and several individuals for wrongful dismissal. He said he’d love to get his job back. And the trainers who came to the Columbus police department? One of them is scheduled to hold another training session in August at the CIA.

Cyberpath still on the War Path against Ahmed Rehab and Reza Aslan

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by loonwatch

How sad can Robert Spencer get? My colleagues at LoonWatch have termed him an Internet Psychopath. Perhaps a more fitting description would be a Cyberpath.

Blowing the whistle on Robert Spencer’s pyscho-cyber path syndrom:

Cyberpath: People that possess a NarcissisticSociopath , or Psychopathpersonality disorder where they use the Internet as a tool against others on the Internet (their victims) in order to harm, bully, abuse, provoke, troll, torment, created conflict, destroy, damage, deceive, flame and inflame others for their own gratification , for example, seeking personal or financial gain.

This describes Robert Spencer to a tee. He has graduated from being a psychopath to being an all out Cyberpath. His narcissistic image of himself doesn’t allow for him to let any perceived slight or blight (even if it doesn’t exist) against his person go.

This has manifested itself in his recent Crusade against two Muslims who don’t really fit the extremist mold as far as any discerning viewer can note: Reza Aslan and Ahmed Rehab.

Spencer has stooped to calling the two “Islamic Supremacists.” Their crimes, aside from blasting Spencer as belonging in the “trash bin of history” seems to be that they “look metrosexual” (I didn’t know Spencer the flobby anti-Muslim polemicist was also a fashion expert, his attire would suggest otherwise), won’t entertain Spencer and his arguments as serious but view him as a bigoted clown, and that they are active in protecting the rights of Muslims.

In a little over 48 hours Spencer has produced 7 pieces of varying length and verbiage against both Aslan and Rehab, essentially confirming himself as their cyberstalker.

Islamic Supremacist Reza Aslan: “Nothing can stop the spread of Islam” (Spencer relies on one of his followers, Evan Mark, for this “quote.” No one in the media reported it, but when we look at the actual speech we see that what Aslan is saying is that there are fundamentalists (such as Spencer) who wish to destroy Islam and to go to war with Islam and strip Muslims from practicing or preaching their religion, Aslan said that this is stupid and is not going to happen because Islam is a great world faith and all indicators are it is going to keep growing.)

Bill O’Reilly Fawns over anti-Semitic Islamic Supremacist Ahmed Rehab of Hamas-linked CAIR (I sense a bit of jealousy and envy on the part of poor ole’ irrelevant Spencer. No longer able to bask in the 5 minute glory of the ginned up “NYC Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, no one wants him on air. In fact they don’t want to be near him with a ten feet pole because he is just that ludicrous. He is sad that O’Reilly, a hardcore Right-winger, had a Mooslim with some intelligence on his program and not awkward self-proclaimed academic Robert Spencer.)

Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran protests State Department’s Sending lobbyist for Islamic Republic on tax-payer-funded jaunt to Saudi Arabia (By pro-Democracy what he means is the anti-Islamic and neo-Conservative organization PDMI, an Orwellian organization that includes one Amil Imani whose vitriol against Muslims would put Geert Wilders to shame. Not to mention that it is so “pro-Democracy” that it hosts a portrait of “His Majesty Mohammed Reza Shah,” a real scion of Democracy!.)

Juan Williams and the Left’s Intellectual Bankruptcy ( a Human Events piece that continues his worn out attacks of Leftist/Mooslim stealth conspiracy to advance Jihad)

State Department sponsors Saudi trip of apologist for Islamic Republic of Iran(Trita Parsi, the reason they dislike him, an individual who supported the Green Movement that called for Reforms in Iran, and who are the real Pro-Democracy advocates is because he isn’t a hysterical anti-Muslim bigot)

CAIR’s Ahmed Rehab and the Use of Ridicule (a hypocritical piece in which Spencer whines about being ridiculed by Ahmed Rehab while at the same time previously and in this blog piece calling Ahmed Rehab a “metrosexual who uses lipstick and eyeliner.”)

CAIR’s Brave Ahmed Rehab, who ran from debate with me, claims never to have run from a debate (The “objective scholar,” very “scholarly” slings personal attacks and lies against Ahmed Rehab. O’ Little Cyberpath (to include a variation on an Andrew Bostom quote) how can someone “duck” a debate with you when they didn’t agree to one in the first place? I guess facts don’t matter to faux-scholars!)

 

Greenwald: Anti-Muslim bigotry needed for fear campaigns

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , on October 22, 2010 by loonwatch
Glenn Greenwald, the first nomination for induction in the Anti-Loon Hall of Fame

Glenn Greenwald is on point as usual. He summarizes the core issue of the Juan Williams firing from NPR – that anti-Muslim bigotry is needed by many in power to keep the masses scared of the Muslim boogeyman in order to further their agendas, whether domestically or internationally. The entire episode also shows the hypocrisy of many in the media on the issue of free speech – when it’s anti-Muslim speech it’s all good!

The real danger from NPR’s firing of Juan Williams (Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald)

I’m still not quite over the most disgusting part of the Juan Williams spectacle yesterday:  watching the very same people (on the Right and in the media) who remained silent about or vocally cheered on the viewpoint-based firings of Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez, Eason JordanPeter ArnettPhil DonahueAshleigh BanfieldBill MaherWard ChurchillChas FreemanVan Jones and so many others, spend all day yesterday wrapping themselves in the flag of “free expression!!!” and screeching about the perils and evils of firing journalists for expressing certain viewpoints.  Even for someone who expects huge doses of principle-free hypocrisy — as I do — that behavior is really something to behold.  And anyone doubting that there is a double standard when it comes to anti-Muslim speech should just compare the wailing backlash from most quarters over Williams’ firing to the muted acquiescence or widespread approval of those other firings.

But there’s one point from all of this I really want to highlight.  The principal reason the Williams firing resonated so much and provoked so much fury is because it threatens the preservation of one of the most important American mythologies:  that Muslims are a Serious Threat to America and Americans.  That fact is illustrated by Washington Post Op-Ed today from Reuel Marc Gerecht, who is as standard and pure a neocon as exists:  an Israel-centric,Iran-threateningWeekly Standardand TNR writer,  former CIA Middle East analyst, former American Enterprise Institute and current Defense of Democracies “scholar,” torture advocate, etc. etc.  Gerecht hails Williams as a courageous “dissident” for expressing this “truth”:

[W]hile his manner may have been clumsy, Williams was right to suggest that there is a troubling nexus between the modern Islamic identity and the embrace of terrorism as a holy act.

Above all else, this fear-generating “nexus” is what must be protected at all costs.  This is the “troubling” connection — between Muslims and Terrorism — that Williams lent his “liberal,” NPR-sanctioned voice to legitimizing.  And it is this fear-sustaining, anti-Muslim slander which NPR’s firing of Williams threatened to delegitimize.  That is why NPR’s firing of Williams must be attacked with such force:   because if it were allowed to stand, it would be an important step toward stigmatizing anti-Muslim animus in the same way that other forms of bigotry are now off-limits, and that, above all else, is what cannot happen, because anti-Muslim animus is too important to too many factions to allow it to be delegitimized.  The Huffington Post‘s Jason Linkinsexplained the real significance of NPR’s actions, the real reason it had to be attacked:

Yesterday, NPR cashiered correspondent Juan Williams for doing something that had hitherto never been considered an offense in media circles: defaming Muslims. Up until now, you could lose your job for saying intemperate things aboutJews and about Christians andabout Matt Drudge. You could even lose a job for failing to defame Muslims. But we seem to be in undiscovered country at the moment.

There are too many interests served by anti-Muslim fear-mongering to allow that to change.  To start with, as a general proposition, it’s vital that the American citizenry always be frightened of some external (and relatedly internal) threat.  Nothing is easier, or more common, or more valuable, than inducing people to believe that one discrete minority group is filled with unique Evil, poses some serious menace to their Safety, and must be stopped at all costs.  The more foreign-seeming that group is, the easier it is to sustain the propaganda campaign of fear.  Sufficiently bombarded with this messaging, even well-intentioned people will dutifully walk around insisting that the selected group is a Dangerous Menace.

“The Muslims” are currently the premier, featured threat which serves that purpose, following in the footsteps of The American-Japanese, The Communists, The Welfare-Stealing Racial Minorities, The Gays, and The Illegal Immigrants.  Many of those same groups still serve this purpose, but their scariness loses its luster after decades of exploitation and periodically must be replaced by new ones.  Muslims serve that role, and to ensure that continues, it is vital that anti-Muslim sentiments of the type Williams legitimized be shielded, protected and venerated — not punished or stigmatized.

Beyond the general need to ensure that Americans always fear an external Enemy, there are multiple functions which this specific Muslim-based fear-mongering fulfills.  The national security state — both its public and private arms — needs the “Muslims as Threat” mythology to sustain its massive budget and policies of Endless War.  The surveillance state — both its public and private arms — needs that myth to justify its limitless growth.  Christians who crave religious conflict; evangelicals who await the Rapture; and Jews who were taught from birth to view the political world with Israel at the center, that the U.S. must therefore stay invested in the Middle East, and that the “Arabs” are the Enemy, all benefit from this ongoing demonization.

Beyond that, nationalists and militarists of various stripes who need American war for their identity, purpose and vicarious feelings of strength and courage cling to this mythology as desperately as anyone.  Republicans gain substantial political advantage from scaring white and Christian voters to shake with fear and rage over the imminent imposition of sharia law in America.  And political officials in the Executive Branch are empowered by this anti-Muslim fear campaign to operate in total secrecy and without any checks or accountability as they bomb, drone, occupy, imprison, abduct, and assassinate at will.  Add that all together and there is simply no way that NPR could be permitted to render off-limits the bigoted depiction of Muslims which Juan Williams helped to maintain.

And then there’s the more amorphous but arguably more significant self-justifying benefit that comes from condemning “Muslims” for their violent, extremist ways.  I’m always amazed when I receive emails from people telling me that I fail to understand how Islam is a uniquely violent, supremely expansionist culture which is intrinsically menacing.  The United States is a country with a massive military and nuclear stockpile, that invaded and has occupied two Muslim countries for almost a full decade, that regularly bombs and drones several others, that currently is threatening to attack one of the largest Muslim countries in the world, that imposed a sanctions regime that killed hundreds of thousands of Muslim children, that slaughters innocent people on a virtually daily basis, that has interfered in and controlled countries around the world since at least the middle of the last century, that has spent decades arming and protecting every Israeli war with its Muslim neighbors and enabling a four-decade-long brutal occupation, and that erected a worldwide regime of torture, abduction, and lawless detention, much of whichstill endures.  Those are just facts.

But if we all agree to sit around and point over there – hey, can you believe those primitive Muslims and how violent and extremist they are — the reality of what we do in the world will fade blissfully away.  Even better, it will be transformed from violent aggression into justified self-defense, and then we’ll not only free ourselves of guilt, but feel proud and noble because of it.  As is true with all cultures, there are obviously demented, psychopathic, violent extremists among Muslims.  And there’s no shortage of such extremists in our own culture either.  One would think we’d be more interested in the extremists among us, but by obsessively focusing on Them, we are able to blind ourselves to the pathologies which drive our own actions.  And that self-cleansing, self-justifying benefit — which requires the preservation of the Muslim-as-Threat mythology — is probably more valuable than all the specific, pragmatic benefits described above.  All this over a “menace” (Terrorism) which killed a grand total of 25 noncombatant Americans last year (McClatchy:  ”undoubtedly more American citizens died overseas from traffic accidents or intestinal illnesses than from terrorism“).

The double standard in our political discourse — which tolerates and even encourages anti-Muslim bigotry while stigmatizing other forms — has been as beneficial as it has been glaring.  NPR’s firing of Juan Williams threatened to change that by rendering this bigotry as toxic and stigmatized as other types.  That could not be allowed, which is why the backlash against NPR was so rapid, intense and widespread.  I’m not referring here to those who object to viewpoint-based firings of journalists in general and who have applied that belief consistently:  that’s a perfectly reasonable view to hold (and one I share).  I’m referring to those who rail against NPR’s actions by invoking free expression principles they plainly do not support and which they eagerly violate whenever the viewpoint in question is one they dislike.  For most NPR critics, the real danger from Williams’ firing is not to free expression, but to the ongoing fear-mongering campaign of defamation and bigotry against Muslims (both foreign and domestic) which is so indispensable to so many agendas.

 

Loonwatch in the Media: NPR and Juan Cole’s Informed Comment

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2010 by loonwatch

Loonwatch has been in the media quite a bit, The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, etc. and now NPR and Professor Juan Cole at his Informed Comment.

Muslims Try to Get Media-Savvy (go to 3:15)
http://www.wnyc.org/media/audioplayer/red_progress_player_no_pop.swf

by Arun Venugopal

Muslim intellectuals and activists appear to have a favorite source of TV news: “The Daily Show,” which reliably skewers critics of Islam and Islam-based hysteria, and is in all likelihood the only program with a Senior Islamic Correspondent, in Aasif Mandvi.

More serious, but equally edgy is LoonWatch, a relatively new Web site whose editors want to remain anonymous. The people behind LoonWatch (which bears the faux-alarmist tagline, “The Mooslims! They’re Heeere!”) said their mission is to expose “anti-Muslim loons, wackos, and conspiracy theorists” on the Internet.  One of their most widely-circulated articles was “All Terrorists are Muslims… except the 94% who Aren’t,” and was based on FBI statistics showing that only 6 percent of terrorists since 1980 have been Muslim.

DePaul University professor Laith Saud said LoonWatch is not only funny and incisive, but much better at addressing Islam and critics of Islam than the mainstream media.

“In terms of the intellectual claims being made by Islamophobes, those really go unchallenged,” he said. “What the mainstream media is really concerned with is how Islamophobia is playing out politically in this country, in terms of Republicans and Democrats, in terms of voter registration and voter drives.

Loonwatch’s beef it should be reiterated is not with mere critics of Islam but those who traffic in irrational fear of Islam and are pushing an anti-Muslim agenda. The reason we get it more than the mainstream media is because we are ahead of the game. We have been talking about Spencer, Geller and the anti-Muslim movement and its potential to create Islamophobiapalooza for a year and a half now, long before the mainstream media. We have knowledgeable people from all backgrounds, because in the end the fight against bigotry and hate is a universal fight.

Professor Juan Cole used the analysis we first published on the Europol report on terrorist attacks in Europe and also linked to us in a great blog piece on Informed Comment.

On Juan Williams’ Firing for Islamophobia and how Most European Terrorism is by European Separatists

A Europol report on terrorist attacks in Europe in 2009 [pdf] says that out of hundreds of terrorist attacks iin Europe in 2009, most were the work of ethnic separatists. About 40 were carried out by members of the extreme left. A handful by the European far right. See also this analysis.

One terrorist attack was carried out in 2009 in all Europe by persons of Muslim heritage (I do not say ‘by a Muslim’ because terrorism is forbidden in Islamic law).

That is right. Out of hundreds. Exactly one.

After all that nonsense spewed on the internet and Fox Cable News about the danger of Muslims to Europe, and all the ethnic profiling and other discrimination against Muslims, it turns out that not only is their religion not dangerous, even the persons who depart from it into extremism and terrorism are tiny in number. Now it would not be right to profile or generalize about Basques, the Real IRA, etc., either. But even by the lights of the bigoted, it would be a waste of time to obsess about Muslims on this evidence.

As for the European far left and far right, those it is all right to generalize about and to conclude that they are, like, very dangerous. Two words: Stalin and Hitler. Extremists of Muslim heritage have killed a few thousands of people over the past century. European political extremists have killed tens of millions.

 

Juan Williams Grabs His Purse When Muslims are Around

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2010 by loonwatch

Juan Williams, a long time NPR analyst and frequent guest on Fox News has been sacked. It is major news across the media from the cable news networks to the blogs. It is a unique development, as Glenn Greenwald noted the obvious double standards involved in the mainstreaming of Islamophobia didn’t bode well for predicting such an action. It was acceptable (until yesterday?) to degrade and further anti-Muslim and anti-Islam rhetoric but NPR’s move may signal a shift in the winds.

Juan Williams FIRED: NPR Sacks Analyst Over Fox News Muslim Comments

Williams’ comments came during a discussion with Bill O’Reilly on Monday’s “O’Reilly Factor.” O’Reilly asked Williams if he had been in the wrong during his now-infamous appearance on “The View” last week. (There, O’Reilly’s statement that “Muslims killed us on 9/11″ caused Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg to walk off the set in anger.)

Williams replied that he thought O’Reilly had, in fact, been right. He continued:

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

How ironic is it to hear of Juan’s “nervousness” around Muslims? If we replaced the word Muslim with “black” how prejudiced would it sound?

I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Black garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Blacks, I get worried. I get nervous.”

The things that make you go hmmm?

While Juan is kicking himself in the butt for comments that he should have known better to never utter, it should be noted that NPR was probably waiting for an opportunity to fire Juan due to his constant appearances on Fox.

One other note is that it is interesting that the first person to get axed for disparaging and bigoted comments about Muslims is an individual from a minority group but Bill O’ReillyMarty PeretzBillKilmeade, etc. get away with such language all the time.

Juan Williams Video:

 

Raymond Ibrahim and the Islamophobic Cash Cow

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by loonwatch
Raymond IbrahimRaymond Ibrahim

Raymond Ibrahim is a friend of Robert Spencer and used to be a regular contributor to JihadWatch, he was one of the many who took advantage of the “Islamophobic cash cow” that took off after 9/11 and overnight transformed from “research librarian” into “Islamic scholar” and “Middle East Expert.”

InFocus did a great piece back in 2007 exposing Ibrahim for what he is: a faker.

The Islamophobic Cash Cow

By Salaam Abdul Khaliq

OK, so you’re a failed writer who toiled for years to achieve fame, fortune and immortality. You’ve spent years in obscurity struggling to pay the bills and keep your head above water, hoping for the day you would eventually earn the attention of some big publisher.

But, sadly for you, all your efforts went by the wayside.

The good news is there is hope. There is just one thing left to do, one thing that would guarantee fame, fortune, a publishing contract and a lot of free media bonanza.

Would you like to know the secret that escaped hundreds of other failed writers like you – academics, journalists, the poor and huddled masses that had bad luck striking gold in the land of opportunity?

OK, here it is – and you need to sit down for this – it’s called “The Islamophobia cash cow.”

Post 9/11, the fastest and surest way to gain celebrity status in the West and garner respect and attention you would otherwise never achieve on your own mediocre merit is to go on an “Islam-bashing” campaign.

And, mind you, you don’t need to be an expert on the subject matter, just make sure to quote verses from the Qur’an out of context, cite Osama Bin Laden as the role model of Muslim behavior, bank on tired canaries like “Islam oppresses women,” and “Islam was spread by the sword,” and other washed out cliches, and voila!

You’re a celebrity, a famous author (a rich, famous author, mind you), a Good Samaritan defending the civilized world from the evils of Islam.

Meet Raymond Ibrahim, the latest client of the “Islamophobia cash cow industry.”

Ibrahim was recently a guest of Air Talk, hosted by Larry Mantle on the Pasadena-based NPR affiliate KPCC. Ibrahim had his 15 minutes at last.

An unknown and obscure menial research librarian at the Library of Congress, Ibrahim thrust himself into the limelight by writing a book called “The Al Qaeda Reader,” (published in 12/06). The newly Christened crusader finally broke down the doors of rejection and abject obscurity and made it to the pantheon of famous “Islam experts.”

And you wonder how many other poor research librarians have risen out of nothingness to sudden fame in a matter of weeks?

Not to worry, Ibrahim has now shown them the fastest path to sleazy righteousness.

Write something that bashes Islam and your “research librarian” title will suddenly transform into “historian of the Middle East and Islam” and “scholar and writer on the Middle East and Islam,” and many other promiscuous titles that have as much worth as fortune cookie sayings.

Then one wonders why a respected talk show host like Mantle would cede the podium to an Islamophobe like Ibrahim without balance, without bringing someone like Karen Armstrong. for example, to challenge his twisted and warped views.

Instead, Mantle let Ibrahim run amuck quoting verses from the Quran ad hoc and out of context, saying for instance that the verse “there is no compulsion in religion” was reprobated, meaning canceled out, by verses of war in what is known as “naskh.”

Ibrahim was given free reign to unabashedly spew lethargic tirades with impunity, shamelessly proclaiming that if Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, were alive today, he would do what Bin Laden is doing now.

Ibrahim also implied that American Muslims presented a danger to American society because their faith teaches them to kill their enemies wherever they are and by all means necessary.

Such alarmism and incitement to hate and paranoia are simply unacceptable, especially coming from an NPR affiliate station that prides itself in being liberal and inclusive.

It is unconscionable for a respected talk show host like Mantle to hand over the microphone to a petty, anti-Muslim research librarian to freely bash Islam and up the ante on American Muslims in order to hype his anti-Islam-disguised-as-a-critique-of-Al-Qaeda book for material gain.

Just like his fellow Arab American Islam-bashers Wafa Sultan and Nonie Darwish, Ibrahim ought to take notice that Arabs and Muslims have always been in the same boat.

Most Americans don’t make the difference. You are whom you bash.

Many icons of Islamophobia before Ibrahim who sought to make a quick buck by viciously maligning Islam and Muslims sold their souls and ended up as dejects, discarded and washed out has-beens with no credibility and no respect.

It won’t be long before the wisdom of “Islamophobia, like crime, does not pay” will catch on. Media outlets and talk show hosts should take notice.

After this piece was published, Raymond revealed that he faced heat from his employers eventually leading to his “resignation”:

after this Islamist op-ed was published, I received much heat from my supervisors at the Library of Congress, partially culminating in my recent resignation from that American bibliotech — another institution that goes out of its way to appease, especially where Saudi money and princes are concerned.

It was good to see the Library of Congress take a stand against rabid anti-Muslims like Raymond Ibrahim. Notice also how he does what Islamophobes do best, resort to conspiracy theories and blaming it on those “influential” Saudis.

No, Raymond those who employed you at the Library of Congress weren’t “appeasers” or “dhmmis” beholden to the world wide influence of the Saudis, they just got fed up with your hate. Kudos to them.