Archive for Republicans

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

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

Sen. Dick Durbin dropping some truth about the Republicans:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colbert Report: ThreatDown – Barack Obama, Fundamentalist Flippers & Coked Up Diplomats

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2012 by loonwatch

Colbert believes that under the sea, Bin Laden might be finding young impressionable dolphins who are willing to wage Jihad.

Starts at 2:23-4:14

Colbert Report: ThreatDown – Barack Obama, Fundamentalist Flippers & Coked Up Diplomats

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/407251/january-30-2012/threatdown—barack-obama–fundamentalist-flippers—coked-up-diplomats
Barack Obama plays the same old dirty political trick of being irresistibly appealing, the Navy trains dolphins to sweep for mines, and the U.N. receives 35 pounds of cocaine. (06:11)

Rick Womick: Muslims ‘Can Go Back To Where They Came From’

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , on November 19, 2011 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from Think Progress, h/t JD)

By Eli Clifton on Nov 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Having drawn condemnation from both Muslim community organizations and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for his call to purge Muslims from the U.S. military, Tennessee State Rep. Rick Womick (R-Mufreesboro) decided to double-down on his anti-Muslim message in an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer.

Womick told Fischer that unless the Muslim community “gets its act together” on Shariah, “they can go back to where they came from.”

The comments, reported by RightWingWatch.org, would indicate that Womick is rejecting the ADL’s call to repudiate his “shameful, deeply disturbing” remarks.

Womick attempted to clarify the remarks he made to ThinkProgress on Veterans Day but only seemed to dig himself in deeper. He said:

WOMICK: My point is, this is my opinion, this is what they asked me, that day on Veterans Day. ‘What do you do about it?’ [I said] well, I can’t tell who the good Muslim is and who the bad Muslim is. And political correctness is not working. What choice do I have? My solution is, and I guarantee you this will work, you don’t let any Muslims serve in the military. You force the Muslim community to get its act together and clean its house and step up and speak out against Shariah law or they’re not a part of not only our military but since they want [inaudible] on our constitution, they can go back to where they came from.

Listen to it:

What exactly Womick means by calling on Muslim Americans to “clean their house” is unclear. A recent Gallup poll found that Muslim Americans are most likely (89%) to reject violent attacks by individuals or small groups on civilians versus any other U.S. religious group.

Perhaps more importantly, a January pew poll showed that 35.5% of Muslims in the U.S. are native born and by 2030, that percentage is projected to increase to 44.9%. Womick’s suggestion that Muslim Americans are all foreign born or can be sent “back to where they came from” ignores the over 200 hundred year history of Muslims in the U.S.

Politicians are Politely Avoiding Tea Party Convention

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

Politicians are politely avoiding Tea Party Convention

by Scott Powers (Orlando Sentinel)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But CAIR is not so sure.

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

Florida County Republican Party Appeases Islamophobia And Denies Muslim Republican A Spot On Executive Committee

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2011 by loonwatch
Nezar HamzeNezar Hamze

Florida County Republican Party Appeases Islamophobia And Denies Muslim Republican A Spot On Executive Committee

(ThinkProgress)

Nezar Hamze is both a Muslim American who is the executive directorof the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a self-identified Republican. As a way to further his activism in the Republican Party, Hamze campaigned for a position on his local Republican party’s executive committee in Broward County, Florida.

During a “raucous meeting” of the party on Monday night, Hamze’s bid for committee membership was rejected by a vote of 11-158, as he was attacked with offensive questions about his faith and even compared to a terrorist by Islamophobic attendees.

Before the vote even took place, the local party changed its rules to require that each new applicant to the executive committee answer questions for five minutes, a rule change Hamze jokingly told a reporter could be called the “Hamze rule.” And as audience members stepped up to interrogate Hamze, he was told that his organization CAIR was identified as a terrorist organization and asked if he supported terrorism. Following the lead of GOP audiences who have booed gays and condemned the uninsured, one attendee yelled out “terrorist!” as Hamze was trying to speak:

At times, when he addressed the packed room at the Sheraton Suites in Fort Lauderdale, a few members shouted out among the crowd of about 300.

“Terrorist!” said one man.

After the vote, Hamze said he wished he had received a letter of denial rather than face such a barrage of hostile questions. One Republican member remarked that Hamze had effectively been “singled out“:

“Wow,” [Hamze] said afterward. “If I had realized it would be like that, I wish they had just sent me a letter saying I was denied.” One Broward Republican member, blogger Javier Manjarres, objected to the process. “They singled him out,” Manjarres said. “It was a set up.”

Before seeking a spot on his local party’s committee, Hamze told the Florida Independent that the main reason he was making his bid was to bring “Muslims to the mainstream political process.” Yet it appears that the Broward County Republican Party seems to believe that Hamze has to be either a Muslim or a Republican, but not both.

Poll: Many S.C. Republicans think Obama a Muslim, born in another country

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by loonwatch

Poll: Many S.C. Republicans think Obama a Muslim, born in another country

President Barack Obama has released his detailed, long-form birth certificate that shows he was born in Hawaii. And the president has said he is a Christian.

But a Winthrop Poll released today shows that large numbers of S.C. Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican Party don’t believe him.

Nearly 73 percent said the word “honest” does not describe the president well. Almost 30 percent of self-identified S.C. Republicans and Republican-leaning voters say Obama is a Muslim, and 36 percent say the president “probably” or “definitely” was born in another country.

For a few years of his childhood, Obama lived in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Obama, however, has insisted he is a Christian, just as he has maintained that he was born in Hawaii.

With some Republicans arguing Obama was not born in the U.S. – and thus is ineligible to serve as the nation’s chief executive – the president released his long-form birth certificate that showed that he was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961.

A birth notice in a Hawaii newspaper also indicates that the president was born where and when he says he was.

But the release of that long-form birth certificate has only partially mollified those who questioned the details of the president’s birth.

A Winthrop poll from April, before the president released the detailed birth certificate, found 43 percent of S.C. Republicans and Republican leaners said the president was “probably” or “definitely” born in another country. About 45 percent said he was “definitely” or “probably” born in the United States. Now, that percentage has crept up to 53 percent.

Whether or not they think Obama was born in the United States, S.C. Republicans and Republican leaners still don’t have much use for the president, the poll shows.

More than three-quarters of those polled say the word “intelligent” describes the president “very well” or “well.” But about 75 percent say the same thing about the word “socialist.”

Original post: Poll: Many S.C. Republicans think Obama a Muslim, born in another country

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is Elliott’s article:

Shariah foes seize on Perry’s ties to Muslims

By: Justin Elliott

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

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

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

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

And:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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