Archive for Right-wing

Daily Mail’s Bigoted and Inaccurate Reporting Provokes More Right-wing anti-Muslim Hysteria

Posted in Loon Media, Loon People, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on December 13, 2011 by loonwatch
BNPRight Wing British National Party

The recent case of an assault on a white woman by Somalis in Britain is being fully exploited by loons on both sides of the Atlantic. Islamophobia Watch investigated and exposed the distorted coverage, though as usual, the truth cannot wash away the residue such sensationalism invariably creates.

Daily Mail’s bigoted and inaccurate reporting provokes more right-wing anti-Muslim hysteria

Over the past week we have seen a wave of right-wing hysteria over the case of Rhea Page, a white woman from Leicester who was assaulted by four women of Somali heritage – or a “Muslim gang”, as they are invariably described.

The version of events that has gained currency on the racist right is that the women subjected Page to a “savage beating” while screaming “kill the white slag” but escaped a prison sentence because the judge accepted the defence’s argument in mitigation that the accused were Muslims who weren’t used to drinking alcohol. The case has been presented as an example of double standards in the British legal system, which supposedly discriminates against the white majority population and in favour of Muslims and other minorities.

Daily Express columnist Leo McKinstry produced a characteristically frothing-at-the-mouth comment piece on the case. Being a bit of a traditionalist, McKinstry couldn’t help adding a large dollop of good old-fashioned racism to his article (“Too many Somalians have become a burden on the British taxpayer, thanks to their welfare dependency…. Somalian gangs, most of them peddling drugs, have helped to create a climate of fear in parts of our cities through their enthusiasm for violence and contempt for the law”). But the main thrust of his argument was viciously Islamophobic:

The dogma of political correctness is dangerously weakening Britain’s traditional concept of justice. Our ruling elite are so deluded by the ideology of cultural diversity that they have lost the ability to protect the innocent and punish the guilty.

That is the only conclusion to be drawn from the outrageous leniency shown by a court this week towards a gang of Somalian Muslim women who savagely beat up a white woman in Leicster city centre. In a brutal, unprovoked assault, the thugs knocked Rhea Page to the ground, then repeatedly kicked in the head while calling her a “white bitch” and “white slag”….

Incredibly, despite the ferocity of the attack, the judge gave the girls only suspended sentences, even though he could have jailed them for up to five years. His bizarre decision came after the defence told him that the Muslim assailants had been drinking and were “not used to being drunk” because of their religion.

As a cause for mitigation, this is absurd. Why on earth should Muslims be treated any differently to other offenders, simply on the grounds of their faith? … The disgraceful message of this episode is that Muslims can get drunk and maim almost with impunity because the state is so craven about their creed….

The reluctance to imprison Ms Page’s attackers is so indicative of the supine, guilt-ridden mindset of our modern ruling class, where cowardice is dressed up as cultural sensitivity and self-loathing masquerades as tolerance. This mentality, which is tearing apart the moral bonds of our civilisation, can be seen all around us. This mentality, which is tearing apart the moral bonds of our civilisation, can be seen all around us….

Tremendous double standards are at work over race crime. Racial killings of whites are frequently downplayed or forgotten…. The British establishment is guilty of nothing less than reverse racism. Their members, from judges to politicians, think they are enlightened and compassionate. But in truth they are filled with prejudice. For often they refuse to expect the same standards of civilised behaviour from certain minorities that they demand of the indigenous population.

Forces further to the right have of course seized on the case. The British National Party reported it under the headline “‘Enough is enough’ – Rising anger over court bias as Muslim racists swagger free from Leicester court” and boasted that they were recruiting members off the back of the controversy. Paul Weston, the leader of the English Defence League’s new political ally the British Freedom Party, posted an article (“One rule for them, one rule for us”) on Ned May’s Gates of Vienna blog, one of the “counterjihadist” websites that provided the inspiration for Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik. The EDL itself organised a protest in Leicester yesterday and has announced that it will be holding a national demonstration there in February to oppose “anti-white racism and the 2 tier justice system”.

This entire furore derives from a report published in the Daily Mail last week, under the headline “Muslim gang who kicked woman in the head while yelling ‘kill the white slag’ FREED” (subsequently amended to “Girl gang who kicked woman in the head while yelling ‘kill the white slag’ freed after judge hears ‘they weren’t used to drinking because they’re Muslims’”). In the print edition the article was headlined “Somali girls thugs go free after judge is told ‘they were not used to being drunk’”, but the Mail evidently thought it necessary to beef up the shock-horror anti-Muslim message for the benefit its online readership.

The Mail‘s account provided the basis for further coverage in the Sun, the Telegraph and the Metro. The Sun added an editorial comment, headed “Return Left”:

How Britain cheered when judges doled out proper jail sentences to the looters who briefly ran amok in our cities. Four months on, the Left has regrouped to concoct its perverse excuses for evil. And courts have resumed their liberal agenda too. So while in the summer yobs were handed two years apiece, yesterday a girl gang who screamed racist abuse while kicking a care worker’s head in got six months. Suspended. The poor dears were Muslims and not used to drinking, you see.

Since then the Sun has kept the issue on the boil by running an interview with Rhea Page (“I daren’t go out since race attack”), which in turn provided the Mail with an opportunity to run the story a second time (“Muslim girl gang ‘sentence sends wrong message about street violence’”). Not to be outdone, the Express, apparently feeling that McKinstry’s extended rant was an inadequate response to the scandal, published another op ed by Nick Ferrari (“Whatever happened to the idea of everyone being equal in the eyes of the law? Are we really suggesting that Muslims can be seen to be beyond the law by virtue of being unused to drink? … If this wasn’t a race crime, what the hell is?”)

Where did the Mail get the information for the report that provoked such a frenzy? As is often the case, the paper lifted the basic facts from a local newspaper and then distorted them in order to support its own anti-Muslim agenda. (For another recent example, see the Mail‘s concocted story of “church leaders” expressing “fury” over a branch of McDonald’s opening on Christmas Day.) In this instance the Mail‘s piece was essentially a rewrite of a report published in the Leicester Mercury back on 24 November, combined with quotes from an interview with Rhea Page, who of course held her assailants entirely responsible for the violent confrontation and claimed that she and her partner Lewis Moore were blameless.

If you examine the Leicester Mercury report you can see how it has been manipulated by the Mail. It was the lawyer for just one of the defendants, Ambaro Maxamed, who raised the issue of their faith. He said: “Although Miss Page’s partner used violence, it doesn’t justify their behaviour. They’re Somalian Muslims and alcohol or drugs isn’t something they’re used to.” But there is no suggestion in the Mercury report that the religious affiliation of the accused had anything to do with the judge’s decision not to jail them:

Sentencing, Judge Robert Brown said: “This was ugly and reflects very badly on all four of you. Those who knock someone to the floor and kick them in the head can expect to go inside, but I’m going to suspend the sentence.” He said he accepted the women may have felt they were the victims of unreasonable force from the victim’s partner.

A researcher from Full Fact contacted the Judicial Office, who referred her to the Mercury report as accurately reflecting the facts of the case and pointed out that “the role of the victim’s boyfriend was the one which impacted on the judgement”. This was no doubt reinforced by the fact that the main object of Lewis Moore’s violence was Ifrah Nur, who it appears had initially intervened to try and stop the fight, only to be punched in the face by Moore.

The Mail was clearly aware of this hole in its story. Hence the weasel-worded sentence that opened its report: “A gang of Muslim women who attacked a passer-by in a city centre walked free from court after a judge heard they were ‘not used to being drunk’ because of their religion” (emphasis added). Chronologically speaking, this is of course strictly true. The Mail‘s objective, however, was to mislead its readers into concluding that the judge decided against jailing the women because they were Muslims.

The actual cause of the violent clash is itself obscure. The Mail quoted Page as saying:”I honestly think they attacked me just because I am white. I can’t think of any other reason.” She added: “We were just minding our own business but they kept shouting ‘white bitch’ and ‘white slag’ at me. When I turned around one of them grabbed my hair then threw me on the ground.” Page repeated this accusation in her Sun interview: “they all came from behind me shouting, ‘White bitch’ and ‘White slag’. I had done absolutely nothing to them, I hadn’t even looked at them.”

But the Mercury report states that the assault on Page followed a verbal altercation: “after words were exchanged, Ambaro Maxamed had grabbed Miss Page’s hair, causing her to fall on the ground” (emphasis added). Which obviously conflicts with Page’s account. The Mail has posted CCTV footage of the incident on its website, but this has been edited so that the events leading up to the attack have been omitted. Even on the basis of this truncated version, however, it looks as though Page was involved in a verbal exchange with two of the four women before they attacked her. Exactly what was said, and why it provoked a violent reaction, the Mail obviously had no interest in establishing. They preferred to whip up the anger and indignation of their readers with a tale of Muslim thugs attacking a random stranger solely because she was white.

The claim that the attack was racially motivated is also dubious. The Mercury reports that only one of the defendants was accused of using such language: “During the hearing, James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, said Ambaro Maxamed, who started the violence, had called Miss Page a ‘white bitch’ during the incident.” But Page’s account has all four of the women calling her a “white bitch” and “white slag” before attacking her. If that was indeed the case, it is difficult to understand why the Crown Prosecution Service failed to charge the accused with a racially aggravated offence. The Islamophobic right of course have a ready explanation for that. It wasn’t because the police and CPS were unconvinced that the assault was racially motivated or felt there was insufficient evidence to prove this (just as they refused to accept the allegation by Ifrah Nur that Page’s partner Lewis Moore had himself been racially abusive towards her). It was because the state systematically discriminates against white citizens in favour of ethno-religious minorities. And that, we are told, was also why the defendants were not sent to prison.

Indeed, as we have seen, the central claim of the racist right in relation to this case is that the sentencing of the four women was part of a general pattern, with the legal system systematically giving preferential treatment to non-white minority communities and Muslims in particular. To quote Leo McKinstry’s diatribe: “We can be pretty sure that if a Somalian Muslim girl had been kicked to the ground by a group of white brutes, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Police would have taken a tougher approach.” This is the so-called “two-tier system” that the EDL endlessly bangs on about.

This myth was demolished in a recent Guardian report, based on an analysis of over a million court records, which found that:

black offenders were 44% more likely than white offenders to be sentenced to prison for driving offences, 38% more likely to be imprisoned for public disorder or possession of a weapon and 27% more likely for drugs possession. Asian offenders were 41% more likely to be sent to prison for drugs offences than their white counterparts and 19% more likely to go to jail for shoplifting.

One expert, who is working with the Magistrates’ Association on disparities in sentencing, told the Guardian that the “disproportionality appears to be getting worse”.

As for McKinstry’s views on the judicial system’s supposed bias in favour of Muslims and minorities, ENGAGE has posted an effective response:

His statement that had the race of the attacker and victim been reversed, the sentencing would have been harsher is highly dubious. Take, for example, the disproportionate effects of stop and search on ethnic minorities, or the harsh judgements handed down to young Muslims for public order offences committed during demonstrations against the Israeli offensive on Gaza in December 2009 – January 2010. Or to use examples more directly related to the question of inversing ethnic identities and comparing the judges’ decisions – take the case of the four men who were given suspended sentences for their drunken attack on a mosque in Scunthorpe last month, or the community service sentence given to a young white teenager who committed a religiously aggravated attack on a Muslim police officer. Did any of these cases merit a column from McKinstry on the justice system and its upholding equality under the law? The answer is, of course, no.

None of this justifies the violence to which Rhea Page was subjected, of course. It is even possible that Page was indeed attacked at random, purely because she was white, though that strikes me as unlikely. It might be argued that the assailants should have received heavier sentences. Or you could argue that Lewis Moore should have been charged with assault too, for that matter. But in order to make a judgement on these issues it would be neccessary to have much more reliable information about the case than we currently do. It is a shameful reflection on the state of journalism in the UK that the Mail, and the rest of the press that unquestioningly followed its lead, have shown not the slightest interest in uncovering that information and presenting us with an accurate account of the events.

In its analysis of the inaccurate press coverage of the case, Full Fact has suggested that “this handling of the story reflects inexperience in reporting legal issues on the part of the journalists concerned”. That is far too charitable. In reality, what we have here is the conscious manipulation and distortion of the facts by the Mail in order to produce a misleading story that has been uncritically repeated by other right-wing newspapers, with the aim of inciting their readers against Muslims.

This sort of irresponsible journalism has real consequences. Former Daily Star journalist Richard Peppiatt, who has explained to the Leveson inquiry how that paper takes its line directly from the Mailput it very well: ”The lies of a newspaper in London can get a bloke’s head caved-in down an alley in Bradford.” Already we are seeing increasingly violent expressions of anti-Muslim bigotry in the UK – only last week an EDL member and his friend were convicted of trying to blow up a mosque in Stoke. Nor is it accidental that Anders Breivik was influenced by the Mail – numerous anti-Muslim reports from the paper are cited in his manifesto and he even reproduced an article by Melanie Philips in its entirety. If the Islamophobic propaganda put out by the Mail and the rest of the right-wing press continues at its present pitch the emergence of a British Breivik cannot be ruled out.

Postscript:  This analysis has concentrated on the right-wing response to the case in the UK. However, it has also been taken up by US right, with predictably ignorant and bigoted coverage from the likes of Jihad Watch, Bare Naked Islam, Pamela Geller and FrontPage Magazine.

Congressman Mike Quigley’s Remark About Rising Islamophobia Stirs the Blogosphere

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by loonwatch

Congressman Mike Quigley addressed a crowd at the American Islamic College and apologized for the “rising Islamophobia” in the United States. Many in the Right-Wing took exception to this with Quigley being castigated as a dhimmi-leftist pandering to “the Mooslims” about a fictional “rise in Islamophobia.”

Bill O’Reilly even thought it fit to do a segment on his show about it, having anti-loon Ahmed Rehab on. At the end of the segment O’Reilly admitted that Rehab’s stats on the “rise of Islamophobia” bolster his argument.

(hat tip: Francis)

Congressman’s Remarks Stir the Blogosphere

by James Warren (New York Times)

Mike Quigley knows about cheap shots on ice. Now he’s an expert on being blindsided on the Internet and cable TV.

Mr. Quigley, a Democratic Chicago congressman, had a relatively light Saturday recently. He played ice hockey in the morning, did a beach cleanup with the Sierra Club and hit four block parties in the 32nd, 43rd and 44th Wards. Along the way he surfaced at a conference held by the American Islamic College. It was a quick in-and-out, with remarks to perhaps 100 attendees about the strengths of American pluralism, the sort he makes to many groups. They included:

“Forms of discrimination come in many forms, many shapes and many guises. You have my pledge to work with you to fight them, and I think that it is appropriate for me to apologize on behalf of this country for the discrimination you face.”

He then bicycled to the first block party. The Islamic College audience was apparently grateful but didn’t find his appearance especially notable as they returned to the business of their meeting.

Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, found the address nice and patriotic. “What we’d expect of a congressman,” he said.

Neither he, Mr. Quigley nor anybody else there was prepared for the response initiated in the conservative blogosphere, then intensified on radio and TV.

The congressman was attacked harshly, with at least one death threat on a Fox News site that by week’s end was still not taken down despite requests.

Andrew Breitbart, a conservative activist, blogged that Mr. Quigley made a “surprise appearance”  before “the primarily Muslim audience. He rambled on about the typical racism and discrimination that the liberal left is so convinced America is rampantly infected with.”

The appearance was not a surprise, even if not on the formal program. But the nefarious implication was repeated on blogs and the Fox News Channel. Video links included the lines above but not related comments about the legacies of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others.

Social media posts and hundreds of nasty calls, e-mails and faxes poured in to his offices, which deleted profane and violent posts and passed direct threats to law enforcement.

But the conservative echo chamber was in high dudgeon. Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News host, decided that Mr. Quigley’s remarks were a story and thus conferred high-profile legitimacy to the bloggers’ vituperation on Tuesday. Mr. Quigley could not appear, but Mr. Rehab did, initially nonplused that the remarks were deemed newsworthy.

With “Questionable Apology” emblazoned on the screen, Mr. O’Reilly repeated the same two sentences Mr. Quigley had uttered and declared: “Wow! What discrimination?”  Statistics don’t support claims of bias against Muslim Americans, he said.

Much data and polling contradicts him. As an unabashed Mr. Rehab told him, “You’d have to be living under a rock” to miss the overarching reality.

Mr. Rehab cited federal figures on rising workplace complaints of anti-Muslim discrimination and polls showing both that 39 percent of Americans would require Muslims to carry special identification and that one-third don’t think Muslims should be allowed to run for president.

“O.K., those stats bolster your argument,” Mr. O’Reilly conceded. “But in economic realms, Muslim Americans are doing well, pretty well,” he said. “We don’t want anybody to be anti-Muslim. Thank you for coming on here,” Mr. O’Reilly concluded brusquely, with Mr. Rehab having clearly failed to fulfill a role of self-righteous liberal piñata.

But Fox wasn’t done.

On Wednesday, its morning “Fox and Friends” show saw Mr. Quigley, 52, called a “silly old fool” by Ralph Peters, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and advocate of aggressive military actions. He belittled Muslims with a series of mock apologies like “We should apologize for preventing them from beating their daughters to death for flirting.”

Eboo Patel, an Indian-born Muslim and former Rhodes Scholar who runs the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Corps, found the response offensive. But he noted a Gallup poll finding that American Muslims remain very optimistic despite facing discrimination.

He mentioned that his nephew in Houston was hassled when, for religious reasons, he wouldn’t eat school pizza with pork.

Well, at least we occasionally try to curb school bullies. We clearly don’t when it comes to the bullies who can drive our public dialogue.

jwarren@chicagonewscoop.org

Threat to America’s Freedom? It’s Not Islamic Law

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2011 by loonwatch

Imagine, for a minute, that Muslims in America were openly advocating at meetings and conferences to take control of major sectors of public life, such as the government, media, and the law.

Imagine further that Muslims had built law schools, accredited no less, with the agenda to teach its students that America should be governed by Islamic law.

And imagine a little further that the leaders of this Muslim movement to Islamicize America were openly calling for America to become a Muslim nation.

And just imagine that all of the above was being absorbed into a major American political party and that some members of this Muslim mission were in Congress and were also looking to become the next President of the United States.

Of course, there would be mass hysteria and panic at such a notion. But none of the above is actually happening. Instead, replace Muslim with Christian and that is precisely what is currently occurring in America.

But of course, certain Islamophobes would have us worry about an imagined threat from Muslim-Americans–who make up a measly 2% of the U.S. population–rather than the Christian groups out there who are actively working to Christianize America, and who have been working at this for over three decades with the aid of one of the two main political parties.

Many of these evangelical Christian groups are actively looking to restrict the rights of women, members of the LGBT community, and to force their religious viewpoint on to the rest of the country.  Worse yet, advocates of Christian dominionism call for world conquest, to subjugate the infidel nations of the world to Christian domination.

Here is an excellent article from Sarah Posner on dominionism (emphasis added)–just imagine how utterly insane Islamophobes would go if Muslim were substituted for Christian here:

The Christian right’s “dominionist” strategy

by Sarah Posner

An article in the Texas Observer last month about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s relationship with followers of a little-known neo-Pentecostal movement sparked a frenzied reaction from many commentators: Dominionism! Spiritual warfare! Strange prophecies!

All the attention came in the weeks before and after “The Response,” Perry’s highly publicized prayer rally modeled on what organizers believe is the “solemn assembly” described in Joel 2, in which “end-times warriors” prepare the nation for God’s judgment and, ultimately, Christ’s return. This “new” movement, the New Apostolic Reformation, is one strand of neo-Pentecostalism that draws on the ideas of dominionism and spiritual warfare. Its adherents display gifts of the spirit, the religious expression of Pentecostal and charismatic believers that includes speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing and a belief in signs, wonders and miracles. These evangelists also preach the “Seven Mountains” theory of dominionism: that Christians need to take control of different sectors of public life, such as government, the media and the law.

The NAR is not new, but rather derivative of charismatic movements that came before it. Its founder, C. Peter Wagner, set out in the 1990s to create more churches, and more believers. Wagner’s movement involves new jargon, notably demanding that believers take control of the “Seven Mountains” of society (government, law, media and so forth), but that’s no different from other iterations of dominionism that call on Christians to enter these fields so that they are controlled by Christians.

After Perry’s prayer rally, Rachel Maddow featured a segment on her MSNBC show in which she warned,

“The main idea of the New Apostolic Reformation theology is that they are modern day prophets and apostles. They believe they have a direct line to God … the way that they’re going to clear the way for it [the end of the world] is by infiltrating and taking over politics and government.”

Maddow’s ahistorical treatment of the NAR, however, overlooked several important realities. For anyone who has followed the growth of neo-Pentecostal movements, and in particular the coalition-building between the political operatives of the religious right and these lesser-known but still influential religious leaders, the NAR is just another development in the competitive, controversial, outrageous, authoritarian and often corrupt tapestry of the world of charismatic evangelists.

Before the NAR came along, plenty of charismatic leaders believed themselves to be prophets and apostles with a direct line to God. They wrote books about spiritual warfare, undergirded by conspiracy theories about liberals and Satan and homosexuality and feminism and more (my own bookshelves are filled with them). They preached this on television. They preached it at conferences. They made money from it. They all learned from each other.

Before the NAR, Christian right figures promoted dominionism, too, and the GOP courted these religious leaders for the votes of their followers. Despite a recent argument by the Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg that “we have not seen this sort of thing at the highest levels of the Republican Party before,” it’s been there since at least 1980. Michele Bachmann is a product of it; so was Mike Huckabee. Ronald Reagan pandered to it; so did both Bushes; so does Perry.

In 2007, I saw Cindy Jacobs and other “apostles” lay hands on Shirley Forbes, wife of Rep. Randy Forbes, the founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, which boasts some Democrats as members and many of the GOP’s leading lights. “You are going to be the mother of an army,” they told Forbes, prophesying that she would “speak the power of the word into politics and government. Hallelujah!”

The idea that Christians have a sacred duty to get involved in politics, the law and media, and otherwise bring their influence to bear in different public spheres is the animating principle behind the religious right. If you attend a Values Voters Summit, the annual Washington confab hosted by the Family Research Council, you’ll hear speakers urging young people to go into media, or view Hollywood as a “mission field.” That’s because they insist these institutions have been taken over by secularists who are causing the downfall of America with their anti-Christian beliefs.

A few days ago, the Washington Post’s religion columnist, Lisa Miller, took Goldberg and Maddow to task for overhyping dominionism as a plot to take over the world. Miller, though, misses the boat, too, by neglecting to acknowledge and describe the infrastructure the religious right has built, driven by the idea of dominionism.

Oral Roberts University Law School, where Bachmann earned her law degree, was founded with this very notion in mind: to create an explicitly Christian law school. Herb Titus, the lawyer converted by Christian Reconstructionism who was instrumental in its launch, describes his mission in developing a Christian law school as a fulfillment of a “dominion mandate.” After ORU was absorbed into Regent University in the 1980s, Titus was the mentor to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who last week was elevated to chair of the Republican Governors Association and is widely speculated to be a possible vice-presidential pick.

Christian Reconstructionists, and their acolytes of the Constitution Party, believe America should be governed by biblical law. In her 1995 book, “Roads to Dominion: Right Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States,” Sara Diamond describes the most significant impact of Reconstructionism on dominionism:

“the diffuse influence of the ideas that America was ordained a Christian nation and that Christians, exclusively, were to rule and reign.” While most Christian right activists were “not well-versed in the arcane teachings” of Christian Reconstructionism, she wrote, “there was a wider following for softer forms of dominionism.”

For the Christian right, it’s more a political strategy than a secret “plot” to “overthrow” the government, even as some evangelists describe it in terms of “overthrowing” the powers of darkness (i.e., Satan), and even some more radical, militia-minded groups do suggest such a revolution. In general, though, the Christian right has been very open about its strategy and has spent a lot of money on it: in the law, as just one example, there are now two ABA-accredited Christian law schools, at Regent (which absorbed the ORU law school) and Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. There are a number of Christian law firms, like the Alliance Defense Fund, formed as a Christian counterweight to the ACLU. Yet outsiders don’t notice that this is all an expression of dominionism, until someone from that world, like Bachmann, hits the national stage.

John Turner, University of South Alabama historian and author of “Bill Bright and the Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America,” said that the NAR’s “Seven Mountains” dominionism is “just a catchy phrase that encapsulates what Bright and many other evangelical leaders were already doing — trying to increase Christian influence (they would probably use more militant phrases like ‘capture’) in the spheres of education, business and government.”

Bright, like Perry’s prayer cohorts, believed America was in trouble (because of the secularists) and needed to repent. One of the most well-known evangelicals in the country, Bright had agreed to let Virginia Beach preacher John Gimenez, a charismatic, organize the rally, despite evangelical discomfort with charismatic religious expression. In his book, Turner describes the Washington for Jesus rally of 1980:

From the platform, Bright offered his interpretation of the source of the country’s problems, asserting that “[w]e’ve turned from God and God is chastening us.” “You go back to 1962 and [196]3 [when the Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer and Bible-reading],” Bright argued, “and you’ll discovered a series of plagues that came upon America.” Bright cited the Vietnam War, increased drug use, racial conflict, Watergate, and a rise in divorce, teenage pregnancy, and alcoholism as the result of those decisions. “God is saying to us,” he concluded, “‘Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!’” … “Unless we repent and turn from our sin,” warned Bright, “we can expect to be destroyed.”

Unlike Perry’s rally, Ronald Reagan the candidate wasn’t present at the Washington for Jesus rally. At a 2007 gathering at his church, Gimenez recounted how he and Bright later met with President Reagan, and Bright told him, “You were elected on April 29, 1980, when the church prayed that God’s will would be done.”

In August 1980, though, after Reagan had clinched the nomination, he did appear at a “National Affairs Briefing” in Texas, where televangelist James Robison (also instrumental in organizing Perry’s event) declared, “The stage is set. We’ll either have a Hitler-type takeover, or Soviet domination, or God is going to take over this country.” After Robison spoke, Reagan took the stage and declared to the 15,000 activists assembled by Moral Majority co-founder Ed McAteer, “You can’t endorse me, but I endorse you.”

That was also a big moment for Huckabee, who worked as Robison’s advance man. It was even imitated by then-candidate Barack Obama, who met with a group of evangelicals and charismatics in Chicago and repeated Reagan’s infamous line. Obama’s group included publisher Stephen Strang (an early endorser of Huckabee’s 2008 presidential bid) and his son Cameron, whose magazines Charisma and Relevant help promote the careers of the self-declared modern-day prophets and apostles. Huckabee appeared with Lou Engle at his 2008 The Call rally on the National Mall (like Perry’s, billed as a “solemn assembly”) in which Engle exhorted his prayer warriors to battlesatanic forces to defeat “Antichrist legislation.”

When I interviewed former Bush family adviser Doug Wead for my 2008 book, “God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters,” he gave me a lengthy memo he compiled for George H.W. Bush in 1985, to prepare him for his 1988 presidential run. In the memo, he identified a thousand “targets,” religious leaders across the country whose followers, Wead believed, could be mobilized to the voting booth.

In my book, I examined the theology and politics of the Word of Faith movement (also known as the prosperity gospel) and how Republicans cultivated the leading lights of the movement. Primarily because of television, but also because of the robust (and profitable) speaking circuit these evangelists maintain, they have huge audiences. All that was in spite of — just as the scrutiny of NAR figures now is revealing — outlandish, strange and even heretical theology. What’s more, Word of Faith figures have endlessly been embroiled in disputes not just with their theological critics, but with watchdogs and former parishioners who charge they took their money for personal enrichment, promising that God would bring them great health and wealth if they would only “sow a seed.”

At Gimenez’s 2007 event, Engle and the other “apostles” were not the stars; rather, the biggest draw was Word of Faith televangelist Kenneth Copeland. In 1998, writing to Karl Rove, Wead called Copeland “arguably one of the most important religious leaders in the nation.” At Gimenez’s church, Copeland, who has boasted that his ministry has brought in more the $1 billion over his career, preached for two hours. The sanctuary was packed, with the audience hanging on every word. Gimenez introduced him as “God’s prophet,” and Copeland urged them to “get rid of the evening news and the newspaper,” study “the uncompromised word of the Holy Ghost,” and take “control over principalities.”

The commenters who have jumped on the NAR frequently overstate the size of its following. Engle’s events, for example, are often smaller than advertised, including a poorly attended revival at Liberty University in April 2010, where one would expect a ready-made audience. When I’ve covered these sorts of events, including smaller conferences by local groups inspired by figures they see on television, it’s often hard to see how the often meandering preachers are going to take over anything, even while it’s clear they cultivate an authoritarian hold on their followers. I meet a lot of sincere, frequently well-intentioned people who believe they must be “obedient” to God’s word as imparted by the “prophets.”

Most chilling, though, is the willingness to engage in what’s known in the Word of Faith world as “revelation knowledge,” or believing, as Copeland exhorted his audience to do, that you learn nothing from journalism or academia, but rather just from the Bible and its modern “prophets.” It is in this way that the self-styled prophets have had their greatest impact on our political culture: by producing a political class, and its foot soldiers, who believe that God has imparted them with divine knowledge that supersedes what all the evil secularists would have you believe.

Last week CNN’s Jack Cafferty asked, “How much does it worry you if both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have ties to dominionism?” That worry crops up every election cycle. If people really understood dominionism, they’d worry about it between election cycles.

However, it’s the Moozlums we’re supposed to worry about.

To clarify though, LoonWatch is not pressing the panic button: the threat from the religious right is very real, but we don’t think it’s a doomsday situation.  All we’re saying is that the threat from the Christian right is certainly greater than this imaginary threat from Muslims and all this Sharia-nonsense.

Facing Islamophobic Backlash, Whole Foods Instructs Stores Not To ‘Promote’ Ramadan This Year

Posted in Loon Sites, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on August 11, 2011 by loonwatch

Facing Islamophobic Backlash, Whole Foods Instructs Stores Not To ‘Promote’ Ramadan This Year

(ThinkProgress)

In the current era of Islamophobia, anything remotely “Muslim-ish” touches off paranoid delusions of impending jihad, particularly when it involves American emblems — like Whole Foods. Last week, the suburban staple decided to tout “Saffron Road,” a new line of Halal-certified frozen food, to coincide with the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Halal foods are items permitted under Islamic dietary guidelines. In a post on the company’s website entitled “What’s this halal about,” Whole Foods offered a chance to win free samples because “whether you eat halal because of your religious dietary guidelines or you simply prefer to choose food that’s made with high-quality, responsibly farmed ingredients, then Saffron Road has some tasty offerings for you.”

It seems that a “very small” contingent of consumers and right-wing bloggers simply preferred to throw an apoplectic fit. Thus, in apparent genuflection to this bloc, Whole Foods sent an email to all its U.S. stores specifically telling the franchises not to promote Ramadan this year. The Houston Press obtained a copy of the email:

“It is probably best that we don’t specifically call out or ‘promote’ Ramadan,” reads a portion of that email. “We should not highlight Ramadan in signage in our stores as that could be considered ‘Celebrating or promoting’ Ramadan.”

This reversal marks “a significant departure from years past, when Whole Foods has promoted its halal items during Ramadan with small signs that displayed a crescent moon, the symbol of Islam.” What’s more, the move is hardly likely to placate the small number of fringe bloggers who are already boycotting the chain for “pimping and promoting–’Canaan Fair Trade’ and ‘Palestinian Fair Trade’ Olive Oil.” But given the conservative credentials of Whole Foods owner John Mackey, perhaps its surprising the company even considered recognizing Islam in the first place.

Whole Foods responded that the company has not stopped the campaign. It states it is still highlighting halal but also maintained it is still “not specifically [promoting] #Ramadan after some negative comments.” In any event, as Gawker notes, the whole episode does serve as a kind of flow chart for future faux-controversies: “Are you a racist xenophobe who dislikes anything at all for any arbitrary reason? Simply complain loudly on your blog, and Whole Foods will obsequiously cater to your every last prejudice.”

*Updated*

Despite a wave of false rumors that it was backing out of its Ramadan campaign, Whole Foods has directly stated via Twitter that they are indeed standing behind their efforts.

“We are still carrying and promoting halal products for those that are celebrating Ramadan this month. We never sent a communication from our headquarters requesting stores take down signs or remove parts from this promotion. We have 12 different operating regions and unfortunately, one region reacted by sending out directions to promote halal and not specifically Ramadan after some negative online comments.”

In Defense of Demonization: Frontpage’s lame defense of Robert Spencer

Posted in Feature, Loon Sites, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by loonwatch
Robert Spencer

By now you probably have read all the details concerning the terrorist attack in Oslo, Norway. This attack has shined a spotlight on the demonization of Muslims at the hands of anti-Muslim bloggers we have profiled on this site. For example, the NY Times published a devastating expose of the shooter’s ideological ties to Robert Spencer. The evidence is so damning that Spencer is in a panicked state of damage control. So his friends at Frontpage Magazine have jumped to defend his Islamophobic enterprise, an apologia worthy of a detailed response from Loonwatch.

The article begins with some whining about how poor Spencer is the victim of the lamestream media:

No tragedy goes long without exploitation, and the atrocities in Norway are no exception to that rule.

Spencer spends his days exploiting bad news about Muslims, but when the news reflects poorly on him and he is criticized, it suddenly becomes exploitation?

Is silencing researchers who have put years of effort into exposing networks of radicals the right response to a terrorist attack? No reasonable person would think so. But that is exactly what media outlets like the New York Times and the Atlantic are trying to do.

Who is silencing Robert Spencer? Has his website been shut down? Is he prevented from publishing more books? Rest assured that Spencer’s first amendment rights are intact. The problem here is that Frontpage is cynically playing victim; they cannot distinguish between being fairly criticized and actually being denied rights.

Now let’s turn to the voluminous citations from Spencer found in the Shooter’s manifesto:

The “64 times” cited by the Times and its imitators reflects lazy research since the majority of those quotes actually come from a single document, where Spencer is quoted side by side with Tony Blair and Condoleezza Rice.

See, Spencer was only cited 64 times making the argument (unlike Blair and Rice) that terrorism is an essential aspect of mainstream Islam.

Quite often, Robert Spencer is quoted providing historical background on Islam and quotes from the Koran and the Hadith. So, it’s actually Fjordman quoting Spencer quoting the Koran. If the media insists that Fjordman is an extremist and Spencer is an extremist — then isn’t the Koran also extremist? And if the Koran isn’t extremist, then how could quoting it be extremist?

Actually, it’s Fjordman quoting Spencer quoting the Quran (out of context) and explaining that good Muslims are terrorist killers. Why shouldn’t he defend Western civilization from Muslims?

The New York Times would have you believe that secondhand quotes like these from Spencer turned Breivik into a raging madman… The complete absence of quotes in which Robert Spencer calls for anyone to commit acts of terrorism reveals just how empty the media’s case against him is.

See, Spencer is just arguing that good Muslims are terrorists, that Islam is pure evil, and that Muslim immigration, aided by liberals, is destroying Western civilization. He supposedly never* actually calls for outright violence, but he has no problem with people who post violent comments on his website.

If we follow Spencer’s logic, it can be easy to conclude that violence is needed to stem the Hottentot Mongol tide of immigration. This argument ignores the fact that demonization leads to violence:

“When you push the demonization of populations, you often end up with violence,” said Heidi Beirich, research director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But the shooter didn’t kill Muslims, so Islamophobia cannot be involved, right?

And even this is irrelevant because Breivik did not carry out violence against Muslims… If Breivik was motivated by Islamophobia, then why did he not attempt to kill Muslims? Why did he not open fire inside a mosque?

This point is refuted by Alex Pareene at Salon:

Opposition to Islam was the killer’s stated motivation. He targeted other white Scandinavians because he considered them race traitors. He wrote all of this down, too, so we don’t even have to make guesses about it! He blamed liberals for enabling jihad by supporting “multiculturalism.”

Just because he didn’t directly attack Muslims does not mean Islamophobia had nothing to do with this attack. In fact, it had everything to do with the attack. But there is one last straw for Spencerites to grasp at:

Not only did Breivik not target Muslims, but he considered collaborating with Muslim terrorists… “An alliance with the Jihadists might prove beneficial to both parties,” Breivik wrote. “We both share one common goal.”

Interesting, Breivik and the Islamophobic ideology he shares with Spencer do indeed share one common goal with jihadists. They both want a homogenous society that doesn’t tolerate the Other. They both want to incite religious/nationalist war. They both want to increase Islamophobia; Spencer because it is his source of income, and jihadists because it is good recruiting propaganda. So, it is not a surprise to us that extremists share common goals but for vastly different reasons. We’ve known for some time that Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists reinforce one another.

In sum, Spencer and Frontpage want free reign to demonize Muslims and peddle baseless sharia conspiracy theories, but they cry foul when they get criticized in public. They suddenly demand the nuance that they have so far happily denied to Muslims as a whole.

*Admin Note: Spencer has subtly and overtly endorsed violence or a violent posture against Muslim citizens and their “liberal enablers” in the West. Just in January, in a piece titled “Digging Graves for the Next World War,” Roland Shirk a contributor at JW wrote,

The strings that knit together peaceful coexistence among communities are straining under the pressure of millions of resident aliens who should never have been admitted, who can only be tolerated when they are as sure as we that compared to us they are helpless. Islam is a religion of fear and force, and its adherents can only be at your feet or at your throat. We had better decide which posture we prefer. The time is short.

Those words are essentially the theme of Breivik’s manifesto, and Spencer approved it. This is on top of the knowledge that Spencer joined a Facebook group that sought as its objective a Reconquista of Anatolia, a holocaust of Turks and a forced conversion of any and all remaining Muslims. Spencer never denied joining the group, only claiming that he was the victim of a “trick.”

In response to Norway attacks, right-wing bloggers suddenly demand nuance

Posted in Loon Sites, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by loonwatch
Anders BreivikAnders Breivik

In response to Norway attacks, right-wing bloggers suddenly demand nuance

American anti-Islam bloggers aren’t to blame for the Norway Massacre. But their response to the attacks is nonetheless revealing, in that they are now demanding the kind of nuanced analysis of the Norway shootings that they’ve always failed to offer when implicating jihadism or all Muslims for terror attacks.

As the news of terrorist attacks in Oslo broke on Friday, the conservative media were quick to place the blame on al Qaeda even though the details weren’t fully known. Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin wrote that the attacks were “a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists.”

At first, it wasn’t unreasonable to reach that conclusion. Given the way the attacks unfolded — multiple targets being hit within a short time period — it was reasonable to assume that Islamic extremists were responsible, rather than anti-Muslim extremist Anders Behring Breivik.

When the truth became known, Rubin, like many others on the right, tried to downplay the right-wing anti-Muslim ideology driving the alleged shooter. She was suddenly far more generic in how she describedBreivik’s motive, referring to it as “undiluted evil.”

What’s notable about the response by conservatives to the attack is that their primary worry was that the anti-Islam cause might be tarnished. Bruce Bawer, writing in the Wall Street Journal, was beside himself that “this murderous madman has become the poster boy for the criticism of Islam.” He then casts Breivik’s concerns, if not his actions, as defensible, describing “the way he moves from a legitimate concern about genuine problems to an unspeakably evil `solution.’”

It would be hard to imagine a conservative showing such empathy for Hamas, concluding that while terrorism is evil, they are nevertheless acting out of legitimate concerns about Palestinian suffering. What’s pathetic is not so much their reasoning, but the knowledge that their arguments would be the same in substance, if more enthusiastic, had Muslim extremists been responsible.

The most telling reaction was from the anti-Muslim bloggers Breivik cited by name in his manifesto.

Pamela Geller, who along with Professional Islamophobe Robert Spencer has been active in opposing the construction of mosques in the U.S., wrote: “This is just a sinister attempt to tar all anti-jihadists with responsibility for this man’s heinous actions.” Spencer, for his part,wrote: “as if killing a lot of children aids the defense against the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, or has anything remotely to do with anything we have ever advocated.”

Most of Geller and Spencer’s blogging consists of attempts to tar all Muslims with the responsibility for terrorism. At CPAC last year, Geller and Spencer drew a large crowd for their documentary referring to the proposed community center near Ground Zero as “the second wave of the 9/11 attacks.” Yet they’re now pleading for the world not to do what they’ve spent their careers doing — assigning collective blame for an act of terror through guilt-by-association. What’s clear is that they understand that the principle of collective responsibility is a monstrous wrong in the abstract, or at least when it’s applied to them. They are now begging for the kind of tolerance and understanding they cheerfully refuse to grant to American Muslims.

These bloggers are not directly responsible for the actions of Anders Behring Breivik. But make no mistake: Their school of analysis, which puts the blame on all Muslims for acts of terrorism perpetrated by Islamic extremists, has been fully discredited — by their own reaction to the Oslo attacks. While it’s obvious that few if any of them will take this lesson to heart, the rest of us should — terrorist acts are committed by individuals, and it is those individuals who should be held responsible.

Robert Spencer in Damage Control After Terror Attack in Norway

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2011 by loonwatch
Spencer is working hard to disassociate himself from one of his fans

The anti-Muslim loons of the world are in a major bind right now. Their intolerant anti-Muslim attitude and constant fear-mongering is responsible for the horrible terrorist attack that occurred in Norway at the hands of self-professed Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller supporter Anders Behring Breivik. Recent reports suggest that Breivik was inspired by the writings of anti-Muslim bigots like Spencer and Geller, as well as others in the anti-Muslim circle such as Bat Ye’or and Fjordman.

Spencer himself has come out and attempted to dismiss the connection between Breivik’s violence and his own anti-Muslim bigotry, saying “no one has explained or can explain how this guy’s supposed anti-jihad views have anything to do with his murdering children.” A fair question in light of the tragic violence that Breivik was responsible for.  Did the anti-Muslim hatred inspire the violence in Oslo?

Spencer lays out his version of the logic this way, saying:

1. Freedom fighters preach free speech, freedom of conscience and equality of rights for all people, against Sharia and Islamic supremacism that denies those rights, advocating only legal means of protest and dissent.

2. Some nutcase who allegedly expressed allegiance with the freedom fighters kills people, none of whom are preaching Sharia or Islamic supremacism.

3. Media assumes that #1 caused #2 and blames freedom fighters.

The obvious problem with Spencer’s logic is that it does not include his and other anti-Muslim loons’ consistent denunciations of “leftists” as jihad-enablers. This is a key tenant of the so-called anti-jihadist movement. They hate the left, or more specifically, anyone who treats Muslims with a smidgen of fairness and tolerance. Spencer and Geller consistently and constantly portray the left as those who would sell out the West to the scary Mooslems. Spencer’s hate site Jihad Watch is filled with posts denouncing the “Leftist/Jihadist alliance,” warning his readers of how the left will happily allow the Mooslem hordes to overthrow the West and “dhimmify” its population.

Breivik adopted this view of the left.  Paul Woodward notes that Breivik argued “that cultural conservatives should not identify their main opponents as Jihadists, but instead should focus their attention on those he regards as the ‘facilitators’ of Jihadists, namely, the proponents of multiculturalism.” It was these liberals and “multi-culturalists” that were the target of his rampage.

Therefore, a more logical set-up would be as follows:

1. Anti-Muslim bigots vilify Muslims as a threat to Western culture and civilization, and argue that the left is most responsible for allowing Muslims to undermine Western civilization.  In fact, the left is more the enemy than the anti-jihadists themselves!

2. A right-wing self-proclaimed anti-jihadist chooses the capital of a famously liberal, leftist, and socialist country as the target for his attack.

3. Media is perfectly justified in establishing a link between #1 and #2.

When you preach bigotry and fear on a daily basis, don’t be surprised when one of your followers takes the next logical step.  But Robert Spencer has a reason to feign surprise and indignation over what his hatred has incited, as the link between his hate-writing and this act of terrorism becomes clear:  Richard Silverstein notes that the right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik cited Robert Spencer 46 times in his manifesto.  He was clearly quite the fan.  This certainly seems to be right-wing anti-Muslim terrorism inspired by the king of Islamophobia himself, Robert Spencer.

Norway attacks suspect admits responsibility

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2011 by loonwatch
Oslo Terrorism BombingOslo Terrorism Bombing

Norway attacks suspect admits responsibility

(AlJazeeraEnglish)

The man suspected of a gun and bomb attack in Norway has called his deeds atrocious yet necessary, his defence lawyer said.

“He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary,” defence lawyer Geir Lippestad told TV2 news on Saturday.

Lippestad said his client had said he was willing to explain himself in a court hearing on Monday. The court will decide at the hearing whether to keep the suspect in detention pending trial.

Earlier on Saturday, officials in Norway had charged a 32-year-old Norwegian man with killing at least 92 people in a gun and bomb attack described as the worst act of violence in the country since World War II.

Police confirmed to Al Jazeera on Saturday that the suspect had been named as Anders Behring Breivik.

Breivik, who confessed to firing weapons during questioning on Saturday, belonged to right-wing political groups. But officials said they are not jumping to conclusions about his motives.

Reports suggest he belonged to an anti-immigration party, wrote blogs attacking multi-culturalism and was a member of a neo-Nazi online forum.

But Norwegian authorities said Breivik, detained by police after 85 people were gunned down at a youth camp and another 7 killed in an Oslo bomb attack on Friday, was previously unknown to them and his internet activity traced so far included no calls to violence.

‘Beyond comprehension’

Breivik bought six tonnes of fertiliser before the massacre, a supplier said on Saturday, as police investigated witness accounts of a second shooter in the attack on Utoya.

If convicted on terrorism charges, Breivik would face a maximum of 21 years in jail, police said

If convicted on terrorism charges, he would face a maximum of 21 years in jail, police have said.

Norway’s royal family and prime minister led the nation in mourning, visiting grieving relatives of the scores of youth gunned down at an island retreat, as the shell-shocked Nordic nation was gripped by reports that the gunman may not have acted alone.

The shooting spree began just hours after a massive explosion that ripped through an Oslo high-rise building housing the prime minister’s office.

“This is beyond comprehension. It’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for those who have been killed, for their mothers and fathers, family and friends,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Saturday.

Though the prime minister cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the gunman’s motives, both attacks were in areas connected to the left-leaning Labour Party, which leads a coalition government.

The youth camp, about 35km northwest of Oslo, is organised by the party’s youth wing, and the prime minister had been scheduled to speak there on Saturday.

‘Christian fundamentalist’ views

The blond-haired Behring Breivik described himself on his Facebook page as “conservative”, “Christian”, and interested in hunting and computer games like World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 2, reports say.

On his Twitter account, he posted only one message, dated July 17, in English based on a quote from British philosopher John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to a force of 100,000 who have only interests”.

The suspect was reportedly also a member of a Swedish neo-Nazi internet forum, a group monitoring far-right activity said on Saturday.

Nordisk, a 22,000-member web forum founded in 2007, describes itself as a portal on the theme of “the Nordic identity, culture and traditions.”

In comments from 2009-2010 to other people’s articles on another website, Document, which calls itself critical of Islam, Breivik criticised European policies of trying to accommodate the cultures of different ethnic groups.

“When did multi-culturalism cease to be an ideology designed to deconstruct European culture, traditions, identity and nation-states?” said one his entries, posted on February 2, 2010.

Breivik wrote he was a backer of the “Vienna School of Thought”, which was against multi-culturalism and the spread of Islam.

He also wrote he admired Geert Wilders, the populist anti-Islam Dutch politician, for following that school. Wilders said in a statement on Saturday: “I despise everything he stands for and everything he did”.

Nina Hjerpset-Ostlie, a contributing journalist to the right-wing website, said she had met Breivik at a meeting in late 2009.

“The only thing we noticed about him is that he seemed like anyone else and that he had some very high-flying, unrealistic, ideas about marketing of our website,” she said.

Police searched an apartment in an Oslo suburb on Friday, which neighbours said belonged to Breivik’s mother.

“It is the mother who lives there. She is a very polite lady, pleasant and very friendly,” said Hemet Noaman, 27, an accounting consultant who lives in the same building in a wealthy part of town. “He often came to visit his mother but did not live here.”

Oslo Deputy Police Chief Roger Andresen would not speculate on the motives for what was believed to be the deadliest attack by a lone gunman anywhere in modern times.

“He has never been under surveillance and he has never been arrested,” Andresen told a news conference on Saturday.

Populist party member

Breivik, who attended a middle class high school called Handelsgym in central Oslo, had also been a member of the Progress Party, the second-largest in parliament, the party’s head of communications Fredrik Farber said.

He was a member from 2004 to 2006 and in its youth party from 1997 to 2007.

The Progress Party – conservative but within the political mainstream – wants far tighter restrictions on immigration, whereas the centre-left government backs multi-culturalism. The party leads some public opinion polls.

A politician who met Breivik in 2002-2003, when he was apparently interested in local Oslo politics, said he did not attract attention.

“I got the impression that he was a modest person … he was well dressed, it seemed like he was well educated,” Joeran Kallmyr, 33, an Oslo municipality politician representing the Progress Party, told the Reuters news agency.

Progress leader Siv Jensen stressed he had left the party.

Breivik was also a freemason, said a spokesman for the organisation.

Pamela Geller and Co. Connected to Norway Bomber Anders Behring Breivik?

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2011 by loonwatch
Anders Behring BreivikOslo Bombing Suspect Anders Behring Breivik

We’ve been screaming from the top of our lungs about how these crazed radical anti-Muslim Islamophobes are inciting violence through their hate-mongering. Anders Behring Breivak, arrested as a suspect in the attack has written glowingly of Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, SIOE, and the EDL. Charles Johnson of LGF reports that he had a link with Fjordman who was a guest writer on Geller’s blog.

Terrorism in Europe has been over linked to an Islamic Muslim threat, even though we reported on how exaggerated the claim was: Europol Report: All Muslims are Terrorists…Except the 99.6% that Aren’t.

What Just Happened in Oslo, Norway? (UPDATES)

(Mother-Jones)

This explainer is being updated as more news emerges. Click here for photos from the sceneand here for details about the man arrested in connection with the attacks. For the latest news updates, click here.

The basics: A massive explosion hit Norway’s government hub in central Oslo on Friday, killing at least seven people and injuring at least 15 others. The six-story building that was most heavily damaged included the oil ministry and is next to the building that houses the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. The PM was unharmed in the blast and is now operating out of an undisclosed location. Witness testimony and damage at the scene are consistent with reports of a car bombing. The New York Times reports:

Stunned office staff and civil servants working in the vicinity of the bombed building said two explosions could be heard in close succession. The sound of the blasts echoed across the city just before 3:30 p.m. local time. Giant clouds of light-colored smoke continued to rise hundreds of feet into the air over the city…

Photos and television footage showed windows blown out in the 17-story office building across the street from the oil ministry, and the street and plaza areas on each side were strewn with glass and debris.

The first person on the scene “described it as ‘worse than a war zone,’” says Joe Sivilli, who’s talking to Mother Jones‘ Tim McDonnell from on the ground in Oslo. Sivilli, who speaks Norwegian fluently, works at a home-brewed beer shop about 2 kilometers away from the site of the bombing. He says he felt a “rumble, like a small earthquake,” when the bomb went off, but assumed it was just “construction or something like that.” He’ll be monitoring the Norwegian-language media for us as this story develops.

Wasn’t there another attack? A gunman dressed as a policeman reportedly opened fire this afternoon at a Labour party youth camp on the island of Utoya, about 15 miles outside of Oslo, killing at least 80 people (police officials previously reported at least 10 casualties, but had expect that number to rise). Police have a suspect in custody. Prime Minister Stoltenberg was due to visit the camp tomorrow morning, according to NRK, Norway’s national public television broadcaster. (Stoltenberg has attended gatherings at the camp almost every year in recent memory.) On Friday evening, police found undetonated explosives on the island.

Close to 700 teenagers had gathered on Utoya, and initial reports suggested that some tried to flee by swimming. CBS News reports that Kurt Lier, Oslo’s assistant chief of police, “had little information about what had happened on the island, but said if people are leaving island swimming, it is a ‘long swim.’” Hans-Inge Langø, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), says the “timing and targets [of the attacks are] too similar for this not to be connected.” The AP reports that Norwegian police say the two events were definitely connected.

The Pamela Connection:

UPDATE 1, Saturday, July 23, 12:16 a.m. EDT: Blogger Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs is reporting that the Oslo bombing/shooting suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, posted often on a Norwegian anti-immigration site and recommended a post by the prominent anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller, who spearheaded the US drive against the planned “Ground Zero mosque.” (We’ve previously covered her activities herehereherehere, and here.) LGF also asserts a link between Breivik and one of Geller’s guest bloggers, Fjordman.

Geller responded on her own website: “This is just a sinister attempt to tar all anti-jihadists with responsibility for this man’s heinous actions…this is war. And the left is vicious, amoral and depraved. They mean to win, and that is the only way they know how.”

UPDATE 2, Saturday, July 23, 11:06 a.m. EDT: Oddmy Estenstad, an employee of agricultural retailer Felleskjøpet, tells CNN that Utoya shooting suspect Anders Behring Breivik bought six tons of fertilizer from the company in May:

She did not think the order was strange at the time because the suspect has a farm, but after Friday’s explosion in Norway’s capital, Oslo, she called police because she knew the material can be used to make bombs.

“We are very shocked that this man was connected to our company,” said Estenstad. “We are very sad about what happened.”

UPDATE 3, Saturday, July 23, 11:09 a.m. EDT: According to the UK’s Daily Mirror, Anders Behring Breivik has been “preliminarily charged with acts of terrorism.” Norwegian police say the 32-year-old Breivik appears to be an extreme right-wing, Christian fundamentalist, due to postings on his website. NRK reports that the suspect is a member of an Oslo gun club, and “was exempted from military service, and thus…has no special education [from the Norwegian] Armed Forces.”

UPDATE 4, Saturday, July 23, 11:19 a.m. EDT: Norwegian media report on eyewitness accounts of the Utoya massacre. The Los Angeles Times also has the story:

Media reports say the gunman apparently used a handgun and a machine gun, and that police arrived at the island possibly 90 minutes after the shooting started. At midmorning Saturday, police were still searching the island for more bodies.  One wounded survivor, Adrian Pracon, described the gunman as “calm and controlled,” shooting people who tried to escape the island by swimming to the mainland…Pracon described his attempt to escape. “We started running down to the water and people had already undressed and started swimming.”

Pracon said he began swimming, but “after 150 meters … I realized I wouldn’t make it so I went back and saw him standing 10 meters from me shooting at the people who tried to swim over.”

From our Loonwatch Readers:

Dane Bargeld:

He has written a number of comments on norwegian website document.no:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.document.no/anders-behring-breivik/

He seems to be more intelligent than the average loon. His comments are reflective rather than emotional. He doesn’t seem crazier than the average loon. His last comment is from october 2010 though.

He’s expresses support for:

– The Vienna school of thought
– Political movements like Tea Party, PVV (Wilders), EDL and (norwegian) Progress Party
– Israel
– Christianity (he’s a protestant but dislikes modern day protestancism and suggest that christians should unite in the roman-catholic church)
– Countries like Japan and South Korea (for rejecting multiculturalism)

He dislikes:

– Islam
– Totalitarian ideologies
– Cultural marxism
– Multiculturalism

David:

According to Norwegian reports, the organization this CHRISTIAN TERRORIST belonged to tried to establish links with the English Defense League — another Lieblingsorganization von Frau Geller.

Myrpou:

The swedish site realisten.se claim that Anders Behring Breivik claimed to be THE Fjordman over a year ago, so they initially reported when they got his name that Fjordman was the terrorist. However Robert Spencer claims it isn’t Fjordman and an article on Gates of Vienna claims the same, however the former was a bit suspicious to me, they didn’t allow any comments on that particlar article and made it clear that “the discussion was over”. If they’re certain that this guy isn’t fjordman wouldn’t they be more willing to prove it?

Eslaporte:

Breivik has had many posts on the site Document.no, an Islam-critical site that publishes news and commentary…Anders Breivik Behring has also commented on the Swedish news articles, where he makes it clear that he believes the media have failed by not being “NOK” Islam-critical…

As far as the Dutch connection, we still don’t know the total details about the 2009 Queen’s Day Apeldoorn attack – which there were accusations that the ethnic Dutchman, Karst Tates, was a radical right nutjob. The Dutch police appeared to whitewash the report and there appear to be a sloppy investigation of Tates’ past year up to his terrorist attack on the Dutch Royals.

Last April, we had a shoppingmall shooting where the shooter was an unabashed PVV voter and hated foreigners also. Are we going to see the are whitewash by Dutch police?

How Islam Created the Modern World:

He was active in the kind of Huy buoy-like forums in the Netherlands as we know. He was active in SOORTS called Huy buoy-eight forums that even in Kenner Netherlands.

There is another link with the Netherlands. Ice is another link system nand Netherlands. Breivik is also a follower of Pamela Geller, an angry white woman who became famous thanks to the action against the otnmoetingscentrum five blocks from where the WTC once stood. Breivik is a follower of Pamela Geller, an Angry glossy women who shoveled name thanks to the Acti called otnmoetingscentrum Five block from where formerly called World Trade Center stood. Geller invited Geert Wilders and the two support each other. Geller invited Geert Wilders supports a two Elka. Breivnik how close to her is unclear (probably a follower, and no more).

How Hecht Breivnik ice with her was not clear (probably a Volga, a Not anymore). It seems that he wanted to act against the Muslims politically dangerous enough to play offered. It seems that HE is a DAAD Wild Couples against the dangerous politics against Muslims Few games offered.

Apparently, the norwegian far right Anders has also praised Geert Wilders PVV party as being the only true party.

‘Verdachte aanslag en schietpartij heeft sympathie voor PVV’
http://welingelichtekringen.nl/14368-schutter-heeft-sympathie-voor-pvv.html

Google translate from Dutch to English

‘Suspicious attack and shootings have sympathy for PVV’

Anders Breivik Behring, the man suspected of the bombing and the shooting on the island, according to Fox News Utoya sympathy for Geert Wilders. On a Swedish news site he would have said that the Freedom Party is the only “true” conservative party. The media were not critical enough towards Islam.

Wilders said in a statement on Saturday:
“I despise everything he stands for and everything he did.”

Look at the hypocricy, it’s stunning. What a reptilian farce, I mean can’t these muslim haters at least be loyal to one another? Anders at least is honest, but Geert Wilders is a smarmy liar, when he says he despises everything Anders stands for.
How can he say that, when he shares his goals and supports the PVV, is pro Zionist, supports the Israeli far right, anti Muslim,

Death toll at Oslo attacks rises to 92

http://www.ejpress.org/article/52233

Breivik wrote he was a backer of the “Vienna School of Thought,” which was against multiculturalism and the spread of Islam.

He also wrote he admired Geert Wilders, the populist anti-Islam Dutch politician, for following that school.

Wilders said in a statement on Saturday:
“I despise everything he stands for and everything he did.”

Norwegian:

The suspect is not, by all accounts, the blogger known as Fjordman. He is one of his followers in his preachings of class war. Fjordman is widely believed to be one of the two brothers Anfindsens, since part of OJ ANfindsens book about the necessity of the survival of the white race seems written by his brother and bears close resemblance to Fjordmans style of writing.

JD:

Ok so when this story first broke out Yahoo was reporting it as a muslim terrorist see link below ( picture is fuzzy because it a screen shot of whole page click on it to zoom in and you can read it)

http://justpaste.it/2030

If you scroll down you love the comments

Grobpilot: Kill all muslims even the babies because they will eventually grow up and start killing you.

Bob: They rounded up japanese americans during ww2 and put them in basicly concentration camps in the desert
maybe thats what need done with the muslims till they are shipped out

Hakepeszip:When will civilized countries finally learn not to allow in Islamist in especially not if they are from any
of their garbage countrys

Another Article Few Hours Later ( keep in mind this is mid day we still dont know who what where when why )

http://justpaste.it/2031

People blamed by journalist Louise Nordstum and Matt Lee at AP were..
Al-Quida
Helpers of Global Jihad
Libya
People Pissed off at Mohammed Cartoons.

This lead to more wonderful comments which are at bottom of the pic you can read them

Uncle Remus: Welcome to the rest of the world norway see how far the muslim cancer has spread.

Thaddeus : Lets Hope if it is a white christian patriot then he took out plenty of left wong traitors
and some muzzie immigrants Europe must cleanse itself of third world immigrants
and left wingers Me and my mates are ready herer in England blah blah blah(+5 thumb up)

Norwegian national broadcaster NRK identified him as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik and said police searched his Oslo apartment overnight. NRK and other Norwegian media posted pictures of the blond, blue-eyed Norwegian.

“He is clear on the point that he wants to explain himself,” Roger Andresen told reporters Saturday.

National police chief Sveinung Sponheim told NRK that the suspected gunman’s Internet postings “suggest that he has some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views, but whether that was a motivation for the actual act remains to be seen.”

Andersen said the suspect posted on websites with Christian fundamentalist tendencies. He did not describe the websites in any more details.

George Carty:

Here’s an extra interesting piece of info: the island camp had hosted a pro-Palestinian rally the day before. I wonder if the gunman got his dates mixed up?

Salam:

He has written a 1400 page islamophobic book where he described in detail how the bombing/massacre would go down. I take back what I said about his ideology not being extreme. This is fucking insane. He used this as a publicity stunt to spread his propaganda. Oh wow.

You can download the book in English here: http://www.sharepdfbooks.com/3TZOU0V52W6B/2083_-_A_European_Declaration_of_Independence.pdf.html

A quote from the book:
“7a. Apprehension
If you for some reason survive the operation you will be apprehended and arrested. This is the point where most heroic Knights would call it a day. However, this is not the case for a Justiciar Knight. Your arrest will mark the initiation of the propaganda phase.
7b. Your trial offers you a stage to the world”

When I thought this couldn’t get more surrealistic..

Damian:

This video calling for European Christians to take up arms against the Islam and the multicultural left seems to have been posted by Anders Breivik (here anglicised as “Andrew Berwick”) yesterday before he put his plans into action (please note: Youtube have removed original by Andrew Berwick, so this is a repost, which may also be moved):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mZ29eUVAxg

The video shows him holding a gun a the end. From the text of the video, it seems he is hoping to start a new Crusade, a civil war that will finally rid Europe of Islam once and for all.

His thinking on these issues is clearly influenced by Robert Spencer of “Jihad Watch”, who also calls for a new “Crusade” against Islam in his books. Much of what Breivik says in online comments comes straight out of Spencer’s thinking on these issues: e.g. that the leftists/multiculturalists are the greatest threat to Western civilisation, because they are facilitating the “Islamisation” of Europe:

http://translate.google.com/translate?client=firefox-a&hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1&u=http://www.document.no/anders-behring-breivik/

In these comments Breivik cites Spencer’s “Jihad Watch”, as well as Pamela Geller’s anti-Islam/anti-leftist hate-site “Atlas Shrugs”, as sites that all Europeans should read.

Eugene Robinson: Stand up to Herman Cain’s bigotry

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

Eugene Robinson takes a stand against bigot Herman Munster Cain.

Stand up to Herman Cain’s bigotry

by Eugene Robinson (Washington Post)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“They could say that,” Cain replied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bull Connor and Lester Maddox would be proud.

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

The Unholy Alliance: how Israeli wingnuts befriended Russian Hitlerophiles

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

Disturbing alliance between Right-wing Zionists and Russian Nationalists. (Hat tip: SR)

The Unholy Alliance: how Israeli wingnuts befriended Russian Hitlerophiles

by Sergey Romanov (LGF)

On an Israeli Russian-language site IzRus we can see this news item from 12.07.2011:

Russian nationalists met in Israel with a right-wing Zionists

One of the leaders of Russia’s National Democratic Alliance, who visited Israel together with his colleagues at the invitation of religious-right-wing Zionists, came to the conclusion that the two political forces have a lot in common …

Since last week, in Israel there is a group of moderate [ethnic] Russian nationalists from Russia, arrived here at the invitation of the religious-right bloc “Ihud ha-Leumi” (“National Unity”). The leaders of an interregional public association of the National Democratic Alliance (established in March 2010) made several trips to the Holy Land, visited the Knesset, and the memorial complex “Yad Vashem”. Following the visit, co-chairman of the movement Ilya Lazarenko came to the conclusion that the Russian nationalists and right-wing Zionists have much in common. “We are very much in common, and first of all – rejection of violent Islamism, which is a threat to civilization – he said to the portal IzRus. – We also have some ideological overlap associated with the objectives of nation-building and its operation.”

Russian political leaders in recent years emphasize the multi-ethnic country and its citizens need to instill ethnic and religious tolerance. However, Lazarenko is convinced that in Russia today it is not only appropriate but also very important to talk about national component. “The national problem in Russia – this is primarily a[n ethnic] Russian problem, all the rest follow. The problem is that [ethnic] Russians don’t have their own national state, their homeland. Just as Jews didn’t have it for a long time,” – said Lazarenko.

The Russian version of the Israeli 7th channel – Arutz Sheva – that caters to the religious right-wing segment of the population provides further details of the visit.

www.7kanal.com/news.php3?id=283314

Yesterday in Knesset leaders of the Russian National Democratic Alliance (NDA) met with the representative of the bloc “National Unity” MK Aryeh Eldad, head of the parliamentary lobby against Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.

Member of the “Union of Professors for strong Israel” Dr. Michael Pavlov
accompanied the group and translated during the meeting.

The meeting took place in a warm, friendly atmosphere, – said Dr. Pavlov. Aryeh Eldad was interested in the political platform of NDA and the opinion of the alliance about Israel and to certain Israeli politicians. In response to Ilya Lazarenko said he had been impressed by the visit to the Deputy Minister of Negev and Galilee Ayoob Kara. Mr. Lazarenko also warmly praised the bloc “National Unity”, believing members of this unit to be the real patriots of Israel.

[…]

Ilya Lazarenko said he hoped for further cooperation with the patriotic forces of Israel. MK Aryeh Eldad assessed the meeting as productive.

On the photo in the article are NDA’s Ilya Lazarenko (right) and Alexey Shiropayev(left).

www.7kanal.com/news.php3?id=283299

For one week representatives of Russian public movement “National Democratic Alliance” (NDA) were in Israel.

Guests from Russia visited the memorial complex “Yad Vashem”, toured the West Bank, walking on Hebron and Jerusalem, and had a conversation at the “Round Table” in Netanya, with the extra-parliamentary and informal social and political organizations and movements, including “The Jewish Memorial “and the” Altalena – New Zionist revisionists.”

Guests from Russia, accompanied by Shlomo Lensky, editor of “7th channel” [Arutz Sheva] Tuvia Lerner and Dr. Michael Pavlov. Conversation with the deputy minister Ayoob Kara was also recorded by television reporters from “Israel Plus” channel (the same day, two representatives of the NDA were guests at the “Open Studio” show with David Cohn).

Says Dr. Michael Pavlov: “About a month ago I was contacted by my friend, asking for help in organizing the visit to Israel of the movement of Russian National-Democrats. I was a little confused, because, in my understanding a Russian nationalist is a drunken member of Pamyat society, brandishing an ax, shouting “Beat the Jews – save Russia.” However, looking at information about the movement of the national democrats, I was pleasantly surprised. It turns out that for a long time the movement takes the Israel-friendly stand, and was one of the few Russian organizations that fully supported Israel during “Operation Cast Lead.”

Yesterday there was a meeting of the co-chairmen of the NDA Alexey Shropayev and Ilya Lazarenko and the movement’s press secretary Alexander Galitskij and representatives of the St. Petersburg branch of the movement with the Deputy Minister development of Negev and Galilee Ayoob Kara. During the meeting, Mr Kara told about the blood relationship of the Druze – and specifically of his family – with the people and the State of Israel, as well as his vision of the Israeli national policy and current global threats. Russian leaders of the National Democratic Alliance Alexey Shiropayev and Ilya Lazarenko told about similar aspects of political life in Russia and have found many points of mutual understanding.

The Deputy Minister told guests that he had only recently returned from a trip to Europe, where he had met with representatives of right-wing national parties [Vlaams Belang/Dewinter – S.R.]. “Some accuse me of having links with the ultra-Right movements and leaders. But I say – Israel must find allies to fight the scourge of Islamic fundamentalism. Left-wing leaders can not understand what I explain to them for many years: we have no partner for negotiations among the Arab countries – they do not want the existence of a Jewish state at all. This is proved by our retreat from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that Israel returned to the boundaries defined by the UN, “Hezbollah” and Hamas failed to cease hostilities against Israel. Every day I read the Arabic-speaking press and see all the duplicity: while in English the Islamists broadcast their love of peace, then in Arabic – they call for Islamic expansion and the destruction of Israel.”

[…]

Russian National Democrats were satisfied with the visit to Israel. “In Russia, most of the media lie about the Jewish occupation and discrimination against the Arab population. We visited Hebron, and have not seen any signs of occupation. On the contrary – most people in the Russian provinces would envy those conditions which are at the Arab residents of Hebron. We have seen in Israel the only effective model of national state in the world, preserving the democratic structures, and we believe that Russia has a lot to learn from Israel in this field “- the movement’s leader Alexey Shiropayev said.

Shlomo Lensky (deputy adviser to Michael Ben-Ari on ‘Russian’ Affairs) who accompanied the NDA group to the Knesset (as well as on a trip to Hebron, and to the “round table” in Netanya) noted that both for the Russian nationalists and for the Israeli right it was very important to break down stereotypes. “It is believed that if you’re a Russian nationalist – automatically you’re an anti-Semite and a fascist, etc., etc., and if you’re an Israeli right-wing you are always an extremist, a fanatic, a schismatic, and both – marginal. Meeting with Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara was an indication that it is the people who value and care about their country’s national interest who will find common language, who have a space for dialogue and may cooperate in the fight against common enemies, without being burdened with an inferiority complex and a variety of prejudices, “- said Shlomo Lensky.

Ayoob Kara has expressed willingness and even the desire to visit Russia as an official guest of the NDA, and said he would prefer St. Petersburg – a city about which he had heard many things, but, unlike other cities in Russia, and he hadn’t visited. “I am pleased to become a mediator between Russia’s NDA and similar national parties in Europe” – said Ayoob Kara.

OK, so who are Ilya Lazarenko and Alexey Shiropayev?

Ilya Lazarenko is best known as the founder of the so-called “Society of Nav“, a defunct pseudo-occult organization. Another name – “Church of the Great White Race”. It is described as a “racist ariosophic Gnostic-neo-Pagan organization which calls for the “rebirth of the Russian people as a part of the Aryan nations of the white race”. The organization “copies several elements of the KKK symbolics – gowns, pointy hats – but are very hostile to Abrahamic religions”. Lazarenko called this society “the Russian KKK”. See this link for some photos of their symbols, including the swastika.

In an old interview with Moscow News (quoted here) Lazarenko explained why the organization was founded on April 20:

April 20th was pointed out by the prevailing astrological situation. This is pure coincidence. Although we have nothing against Hitler. He was a good man, loved animals, children and his people.

Lazarenko claims: “We’re not fascists”, but then adds:

If we come to power, we will immediately introduce martial law, arrest the current government, restore the death penalty, will make Moscow a restricted area. We will revive the slogan “Beat the kikes, save Russia!” Modern rotten society is unable to resist. Like a goat on a string, it will follow the leader.

Lazarenko has a blog at LiveJournal, “ariognostic”. Here are a couple of his comments:

igni-ss.livejournal.com/268535.html?thread=8354039

2009-05-06 04:01 pm UTC

No trolling, actually.
That the NSDAP regime was Judeophobic is a fact.
That 6 million of specially killed Jews during the Holocaust are a myth – it is also a fact.
The method of “proving” the “6 million” is pure hysterics, nothing more. This myth doesn’t hang together.

ru-gnostik.livejournal.com/102455.html?thread=9303 59

2007-02-02 10:17 pm UTC
It would be more reasonable for Jews to admit that 80% of the “Holocaust” consist of inventions of the Allied war propaganda. The war propaganda was never “objective”. […]

Being in sound mind, it is difficult to believe that “death camps” were effectively killing Jews up until the 70s, to get to the 6 million victims.

Nowadays even an attempt to get to the bottom of this causes hysterics.

[…]

There is no evidence of intended, massive extermination of any groups by national criteria in NS Germany.

Now Shiropayev. You can look at the Wiki article about him through Google Translate, or at this note. He was writing essays in defense of swastika back when he was still a Christian. He is well-known for his radical poetry. Some samples are here (use Google translate). Two examples of raw translation:

The sacred springOver Moscow – stormy expanse.
People and greenery come to life.
The day is such – the birthday of Adolf.
It means – the joy is in the sky.

Celestial strings rattle,
Continuing as flows of rain.
With undiluted bass of Perun
The Führer’s name responds.

Führer is with us – neither black bones
Nor the poor product of Hollywood.
He is the air in discharges of energy,
Which is clear as the Buddha.

He is a breath of spring tillage,
Washed clean by the triumphant sky.
He is the zenith with the Kolovrat of Salvation
And the jubilant roar of Messerschmitt.

Collapsed on Moscow as a flood
And as a pagan baptism Spree –
From the volatile mountains of airy Europe,
From the peaks of cloudy Hyperborea.

Zeus strikes the golden aegis,
Without giving cheap warranties.
This Spartan name – Hitler –
Comes to life under the sun, as an antique.

Führer with us! In the glow of a halo,
Shuddering roofs and grounds,
The sun-faced messenger of Olympus,
Who awakened the mystery of the Race.

Führer is alive! Wheel of Helios
Like a tsunami will crumple paranoia.
No, not the flocks of geese from Laos –
It is the souls of heroes are returning.

What is left is the shifting pile
From banners, legions and steel –
The Doric world of thunder and sun
Will rise from the hot ashes.

(C) Alexey Shiropaev, 2001

From another poem:

Greetings, our stern happiness,
The steel of space, the steep sky!
Catacomb symbols of swastikas
Hallow the concrete.

And from yet another (2005):

Singing “Horst Wessel
I go out on the trail.
I hanged a Communist
On a high oak.[…]

How easy and pleasant it is
To pass through the woods,
While falling apart into the spots
Of the SS camouflage.

In his 2002 book “Prison of the Nation” [pdf] Shiropayev blames the Ukrainian famine of 1933 on the “Jewish Kremlin”. He writes:

But what can one say about nobility and aristocracy, if even in XIXth century the Jews, this, using Menshikov’s words, “Asiatic, extremely dangerous, extremely criminal people” have introduced their blood in the the Russian Imperial family?[…]As we see, the St. Petersburg emperors have inherited from the Moscow tsars the tradition of interracial sodomy. But the asiatic element was the new one. Instead of Tatar princes – Jewish bankers.

And further:

So, during the pre-October decades an organic “changing of the guard” in the elite layer of the Russia-Eurasia took place. “Steppe” element replaced by “desert” element, which was – because of many religio-historical features – far more anti-Aryan. Moreover, in contrast to the “nomads”, the “desert children” had developed an ideology of Talmudic racism, which proclaims religio-racial superiority of the Jews over “goyim” and, accordingly, the right of the “people of God” to rule and even the massively physically exterminate the “heathens”. Add to this the Jewish control over a significant part of international financial capital and the world’s masonic structures. All this did not promise the white population of Russia anything good. Tatarism must have seemed like “flowers”. This is what happened. Compared to Trotsky, Batu-Khan was an Asiatic liberal.[…]

Jews entered the Project to pursue their own goal – the power over the world, and that means primarily the Aryan world.

[…]

It was’t difficult for Jews to push Russia into war with Germany.

[…]

The organizers and main implementers of the the Tsar’s murder were, of course, the Jews.

[…]
By killing the Romanovs the Jews were exterminating the living memory about mother Europe, about Rus.

[…]

After the murder of White tsars, a genocide of the white population began on a monstrous scale. The second after oprichnina, but incomparably more powerful and fanatical Asiatic terror apparatus was created – the Cheka, in which acronym is hidden the Hebrew word meaning “slaughterhouse for cattle”, i.e. for all non-Jews-goyim according to the Talmud race theory.

And so it goes on, and on, and on…

Finally, some photos: 123.

These are the people who were invited by Ichud Ha-Leumi to Israel, whom Lensky and Lerner of Arutz Sheva promised to promote while they were visiting. What’s worse, judging by this interview an Arutz Sheva reporter took from Shiropayev after the latter visited Yad Vashem, AS people knew about his background – he is asked about his views about Hitler, about his poems (he, of course, dismisses it as mere poetry, says he grew out of it, and dishes out a boilerplate speech about the dangers of Islamism).

More ironically, these people are complete political non-entities in Russia – they have no influence, so this visit cannot be excused even as “Realpolitik”. In fact, it serves as a legitimization of these people in Russia.

Herman Cain: Americans Can Stop Mosques

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

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

Herman Cain: Americans Can Stop Mosques

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory

Posted in Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2011 by loonwatch

via. Islamophobia Today

The onetime Nixon operative has created the most profitable propaganda machine in history. Inside America’s Unfair and Imbalanced Network

By TIM DICKINSON MAY 25, 2011 8:00 AM ET

At the Fox News holiday party the year the network overtook archrival CNN in the cable ratings, tipsy employees were herded down to the basement of a Midtown bar in New York. As they gathered around a television mounted high on the wall, an image flashed to life, glowing bright in the darkened tavern: the MSNBC logo. A chorus of boos erupted among the Fox faithful. The CNN logo followed, and the catcalls multiplied. Then a third slide appeared, with a telling twist. In place of the logo for Fox News was a beneficent visage: the face of the network’s founder. The man known to his fiercest loyalists simply as “the Chairman” – Roger Ailes.

“It was as though we were looking at Mao,” recalls Charlie Reina, a former Fox News producer. The Foxistas went wild. They let the dogs out. Woof! Woof! Woof! Even those who disliked the way Ailes runs his network joined in the display of fealty, given the culture of intimidation at Fox News. “It’s like the Soviet Union or China: People are always looking over their shoulders,” says a former executive with the network’s parent, News Corp. “There are people who turn people in.”

This article appears in the June 9, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone. The issue will be available on newsstands and in the online archive May 27.

The key to decoding Fox News isn’t Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. It isn’t even News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. To understand what drives Fox News, and what its true purpose is, you must first understand Chairman Ailes. “He is Fox News,” says Jane Hall, a decade-long Fox commentator who defected over Ailes’ embrace of the fear-mongering Glenn Beck. “It’s his vision. It’s a reflection of him.”

Photo Gallery: Roger Ailes, GOP Mastermind

Ailes runs the most profitable – and therefore least accountable – head of the News Corp. hydra. Fox News reaped an estimated profit of $816 million last year – nearly a fifth of Murdoch’s global haul. The cable channel’s earnings rivaled those of News Corp.’s entire film division, which includes 20th Century Fox, and helped offset a slump at Murdoch’s beloved newspapers unit, which took a $3 billion write-down after acquiring The Wall Street Journal. With its bare-bones news gathering operation – Fox News has one-third the staff and 30 fewer bureaus than CNN – Ailes generates profit margins above 50 percent. Nearly half comes from advertising, and the rest is dues from cable companies. Fox News now reaches 100 million households, attracting more viewers than all other cable-news outlets combined, and Ailes aims for his network to “throw off a billion in profits.”

Slideshow: An hour-by-hour look at how Fox disguises GOP talking points as journalism

The outsize success of Fox News gives Ailes a free hand to shape the network in his own image. “Murdoch has almost no involvement with it at all,” says Michael Wolff, who spent nine months embedded at News Corp. researching a biography of the Australian media giant. “People are afraid of Roger. Murdoch is, himself, afraid of Roger. He has amassed enormous power within the company – and within the country – from the success of Fox News.”

Read about the GOP’s dirty war against Obama

Fear, in fact, is precisely what Ailes is selling: His network has relentlessly hyped phantom menaces like the planned “terror mosque” near Ground Zero, inspiring Florida pastor Terry Jones to torch the Koran. Privately, Murdoch is as impressed by Ailes’ business savvy as he is dismissive of his extremist politics. “You know Roger is crazy,” Murdoch recently told a colleague, shaking his head in disbelief. “He really believes that stuff.”

>> Continue reading: How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory

Wave of Horrific Islamophobia in Athens

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by loonwatch

Athens at this point sounds like Geert Wilders idea of heaven. (hat tip: Elizrael)

by Sara (via. her website: Neocolonialism and its Discontents)

I just got back from a study trip to Athens, Greece, and it was definitely an interesting experience. Although my specialization is gender, the trip ended up being more about migration and race-relations in Greece.

Before we went there, we had no idea that Greece is having a huge immigration problem. Some things we found out while we were there:

–Mosques are not allowed to be built in Athens, which means that there are only informal mosques in basements.
–Over the past few years, right-wing Greek people have trapped Muslims inside these informal mosques and then thrown petrol bombs inside, killing everyone.
–The second day we were there, a Greek man was robbed and then killed by 3 “dark-looking people” who were assumed to be immigrants. Later that night, neo-Nazi TV channels (yes) and blogs called for Greek people to go out and attack and beat immigrants.
–The next day over 17 immigrants ended up in the hospital after being stabbed.
–There was also a clash between the left-wing and the police, who are overwhelmingly right-wing (surprise, surprise).
–There is a huge back-log in terms of applications for legal status as a migrant, and some have to wait up to 20 years. Thus they can be arrested at any time, and they are kept in 2-by-2 cells with no toilets, little food, and no dignity.
–There are reportedly 2 million undocumented migrants in Athens, who are now at risk of being attacked.

While Athens is certainly extreme, these discourses can be found all over Europe now, including the Netherlands. Anti-Islam rhetoric has become so widespread and acceptable, it is no surprise that in some countries, like Greece, it has led to violence.

Some feminists criticize porn because they say it leads to violence against women, since it objectifies and dehumanizes them. The same can be said about discourses on Islam in Europe today. By dehumanizing, stigmatizing, and insulting Muslims, violence is only a few steps away.

And why exactly is Greece allowed to have a neo-Nazi channel if it is a member of the EU? Honestly, the EU needs to stop criticizing other countries when it has members who 1) have neo-Nazi media outlets, and 2) do not allow Muslims to build places of worship.
Uffff.


On a positive note, Greek men are very good-looking!

Chuck Norris Jump Kicks onto the Loon Band Wagon

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2011 by loonwatch

I liked Chuck Norris. I really did. I can still remember the scene from Invasion USA where Chuck heroically saves a school bus of innocent children from a dastardly terrorist bomb plot. Oh, how we look up to our childhood heroes! How we admire their selfless bravery! But alas, the truth is stranger than fiction.

I once thought Mr. Norris was pretty level headed when I heard him challenge Steve Emerson on Fox News, saying:

Don’t you believe that only 2% of the Muslim world are extremists? That 98% of the Muslims want, believe that the Koran teaches a tolerance for other religions?

That’s my hero! So understandably I was quite surprised and disappointed when I saw Mr. Norris’recent article published on the notorious conspiracy mongering website, World Net Daily, a.k.a. the “biggest, dumbest wingnut site on the Web.” For those of you unaware of the site’s “journalistic standards,” WND editor and CEO Joseph Farah admits the site knowingly peddles misinformation if it supports their political goals. And this is the absurd context in which Chuck Norris has chosen to warn Americans about the alleged pernicious influence of American Muslims.

Chuck begins by paying homage to the uncontestable dogma of the anti-Muslim conspiracy movement:

There’s no mystery that radical Islamists intend to use the freedoms in our Constitution to expand the influence of Shariah law.

And what is Chuck’s smoking-gun-proof for sounding the alarm? None other than the completely paranoid and discredited book, Muslim Mafia, authored with the help of David Gaubutz, an anti-Muslim crazy who claimed in all seriousness that he found Saddam’s WMD, that President Obama is a “crack head,” and who belongs to an organization claiming White Christians deserve special distinction for creating America. Gaubatz is the former employee of the rabidly racist hate group, Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), who promoted blatant anti-Muslim bigotry on their website:

Whereas, adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US. [sic] Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the US Constitution and the imposition of Shari’a on the American People…It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Islam.

So this is the inSANE man whose work Chuck recommends for reliable information on Sharia law. Not exactly befitting a Texas Ranger, I must say. But then Chuck has the brassiness to claim he welcomes Muslims:

First, let me categorically state that I’m not an Islamaphobe. I welcome the plurality of religions in America and am a firm believer in the First Amendment.

Chuck, you say you are not an Islamophobe, so why are you citing one? Why do you get your information from a racist Islamophobe? Why are you arguing that Americans should fear normal law-abiding Muslims? Honestly, I think (I hope!) Chuck means well in his heart of hearts, but it should be clear here that he has been thoroughly duped by WND’s orchestrated misinformation campaign, only a modest part of which are Islamophobic conspiracy theories.

Anyhow, after admitting that there is a plurality of interpretations of Sharia Law, from ultra-conservative to ultra-liberal, he then proceeds to contradict himself by essentializing (generalizing) about Sharia in the most negative way, saying:

The main point here is this: Where Muslim religion and culture has spread, Shariah law has shortly followed.

Of course, many Americans watch on video a Middle Eastern woman allegedly caught in adultery, buried in the ground up to her head and being stoned to death, and think, “That could never happen in America.” But they fail to see how Shariah law has already been enabled and subtly invoked in our country, and that any such induction like it is brought about by understated lukewarm changes, like a frog boiled in a kettle by a slow simmer.

Thus, Chuck thinks that we should be afraid of “Muslim religion and culture” because “Sharia law” will surely follow. According to him, the essence of Sharia law is stoning women, yet he seems not to realize that stoning laws are not found in the Quran (the primary source of Sharia law) but, ironically enough, stonings are explicitly and repeatedly endorsed in his own holy scriptures:

Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

[Deuteronomy 21:21]

(See also Leviticus 20:2, 20:27, 24:16, 24:23; Deuteronomy 13:10, 17:5, 21:21, 22:23-24; Numbers 15:36; Joshua 7:25; and 1 King 21:10)

That’s somewhat like the pot calling the kettle black, no?

Before you know it, the Moozlims will start stoning American girls left and right, up and down, all around the town! Back in reality, however, the truth is that if stonings ever take place in America, they are much more likely to be carried out by our own homegrown Christian dominionists.

So if America is on the brink of destruction due to Sharia law, what is the proof? Chuck cites three bogus examples, all of which are actually proofs against his argument. As Tim Murphy of Mother Jones explained:

Of course, each of these points has its self-refuting flaws. Judges turn cases over to pre-selected religious arbitrators all the time, for instance, and not just for Muslims. None of the state legislators in question have produced a single example of Sharia being forced upon their states. And as for the argument that Sharia has been “oversimplified,” I would just point you to the fact that a quasi-mulleted martial arts actor from the mid 1990s feels qualified to explain to a national audience what Sharia is.

It only makes sense if you give weight to the fanatic conspiracy theories at WND. Apparently, for an aging action star, kooky internet goons are better sources of information than peer-reviewed scholars who spend years actually studying these things under other peer-reviewed scholars. Regardless, Mr. Norris intends to publish more articles on this topic, most likely including the same misunderstanding of basic facts and logic. We’ll be looking forward to see what he comes up with.

What happened, Chuck? You were such an American hero. You were MY hero.

Why did you decide to jump kick it on the Loon Band Wagon?

Salon.com: Fox’s Favorite Muslim radical

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2011 by loonwatch

Elliot’s main point echoes a lot of what we were saying in our article, Islam and the Media in the Age of Islamophobiapalooza.

Fox’s favorite Muslim radical

By Justin Elliot

On Thursday, the radical Muslim and veteran provocateur Anjem Choudary plans to hold a demonstration in front of the White House calling for an extreme form of sharia to reign in America.

Whether the protest actually goes forward — there’s a real chance it won’t, if Choudary’s past stunts are any guide — doesn’t really matter. Choudary, who is known for applauding terrorism and calling for stonings of gay people and the overthrow of democratic governments, has already logged several appearances on Fox and CNN, generated a bunch of articles in the right-wing press, and even prompted a member of Congress to demand that he be banned from the country. All that in the last month.

Choudary is a London-based preacher who has over the past decade become the face of radical Islam in the British press — especially in the tabloids, and even more especially the right-wing papers owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. — despite having no religious credentials and virtually no public support. In fact, according to those who have tracked his career in Britain, Choudary is wholly a press creation.

“He’s a media whore,” says Mehdi Hasan, a senior editor at the New Statesman who has covered Choudary. “There are real Islamist groups that can get crowds together but his is not one of them. He doesn’t have the numbers to make good on his claims. What he does have is a media that’s very happy to play the game with him.”

Now, Choudary, 43, is using the same formula — making deliberately offensive statements and trumpeting plans for provocative demonstrations — in the United States, where the media has proved all too willing to accommodate him. He can be understood as the Muslim analogue of Terry Jones, the obscure Florida preacher who created an international controversy last year with plans for a “Burn the Quran Day.” He is a radical with minuscule public support, but one who can, given enough free airtime, do real-world damage.

Last month on Fox Sean Hannity had a sparring match with the preacher that ended with Hannity calling him “one sick, miserable, evil SOB.” (It’s worth noting that Fox has the same parent company, News Corp., as some of the U.K. tabloids that obsessively cover Choudary.) Here’s a taste of the exchange:

Two weeks later, Choudary was back on the network, where an angry Gretchen Carlson told him that “I can tell you one thing, Americans don’t want sharia law.” Adam Serwer has argued that Choudary is, for Fox, a “cartoonish buffoon who can be counted on to confirm every stereotype about Islam and Muslims.”

But it’s not just Fox. Late last year Eliot Spitzer had Choudary on CNN and heroically derided him as a “violent and heinous terrorist.” In February, Spitzer hosted him again to argue that the revolution in Egypt was an “Islamist uprising.” Choudary has also been on programs with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

So where did Choudary come from? Born and raised in Britain, his rise to prominence came as the right-hand man of Omar Bakri, a founder of the extremist group Al Muhajiroun. Like Choudary today, Bakri was a press-hungry provocateur, but he also played a role “in the radicalization of some young men,” according to the BBC. Bakri left the U.K. for Lebanon after the 7/7 bombings in 2005. The British government has since barred him from re-entering the country, and Bakri has been charged in Lebanon with forming a militant group to undermine the government there.

In Bakri’s absence, Choudary became the leader of Al Muhajiroun’s successor group, Islam4UK. Both were proscribed in 2010 under a British law that allows for groups to be banned if they “unlawfully glorify the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism.”

(Choudary has not always been so devout. The Daily Mail published an exposélast year revealing that, while he was student at Southampton University, he had been a hard-partier who gambled, drank, used drugs, looked at porn and had sex with Christian women. The paper had pictures to prove most of the charges.)

When I spoke to Choudary Tuesday, he refused to discuss how many followers he had, beyond claiming that he can attract 150 people to his lectures. “I’m not going to give you details of our administration,” he said. But according to Inayat Bunglawala, a Muslim commentator who is involved in combatting extremism in Britain, Choudary’s record for getting large numbers of people to turn out to events is thin. Bunglawala points to a 2009 demonstration at a parade in the town of Luton in which Choudary and his cohort held signs assailing British troops returning from Iraq as “butchers” and “terrorists.”

Choudary and some of his followers had advertised the event by leafletting for a week among the 20,000-strong Muslim population in the town, says Bunglawala, who has closely tracked Choudary’s career. But the turnout was vanishingly small. “Literally only 20 people showed up and yet they got the front pages of just about every right-wing tabloid the next day. Even the BBC gave them a lot of coverage on that.” Bunglawala observes: “It’s almost a symbiotic relationship between Choudary and the right-wing papers.”

Choudary also has a long history of publicizing demonstrations that never actually happen. In 2009, for example, he planned a “March for Sharia” in central London that drew widespread press attention. The promotional effort included Photoshopped images of what Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square would look like under Choudary’s vision of the caliphate, with minarets and the like. But at the last minute, he canceled the event, claiming threats from right-wing groups.

None of this has stopped the tabloids from regularly calling Choudary to weigh in on pretty much anything in the news. There is, for example, this typical lead from a recent Daily Star piece: “Hate preacher Anjem Choudary last night urged a Muslim uprising against the royal wedding … He said it would be against Islam for Muslims to celebrate the nuptials.”

Choudary does his part by making himself extremely easy to reach; his mobile phone number is posted all over his website and he responded to my e-mail seeking an interview in just a few hours. He even once agreed to have a bull session over milkshakes with Vice Magazine, which noted his favorite flavor is chocolate.

Now, in advance of the planned “Shariah4America” demonstration in Washington, Choudary is following a familiar script. His group has postedimages online of the White House with minarets and the Statue of Liberty wearing a veil. It’s not hyperbole to say that everything he does is for media consumption. When I asked him about a 2003 episode in which Al Muhajiroun unveiled posters hailing the Sept. 11 hijackers as the “Magnificent 19,” Choudary was candid: “It was a media ploy in order to attract the attention of the media and the general public about why such things take place.”

Whether or not the demonstration actually happens Thursday, the Choudary phenomenon is at least as much about the laziness — and, arguably, irresponsbility — of the media as it is about Islam. Says terrorism analyst Daveed Gartenstein-Ross: “One lesson from our experience with would-be Quran burner Terry Jones is that when fringe or relatively fringe figures … are given a great amount of media exposure, it generally increases their power rather than diminishing it. Unfortunately, the media either has not absorbed that lesson, or else does not want to.”

Justin Elliott is a Salon reporter. Reach him by email at jelliott@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin More: Justin Elliott

 

Glenn Beck: Off the Rails and into the Abyss with Joel Richardson and Zuhdi Jasser

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon Pastors, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2011 by loonwatch

Glenn Beck recently has been harping on and on about the impending doom of Armageddon, and he has figured out who the Anti-Christ is, an “Islamic figure” known as the “12th Imam” or “Mahdi.” To help promote his pseudo-religio-apocalyptic propaganda he had Joel Richardson (fundamentalist Christian) and Zuhdi Jasser, token Muslim beloved by Neo-Cons and wacko Islamophobes.

Beck claims he has been studying this “issue” for nearly five or six years, which is hard to believe when he can’t distinguish between Shi’as and Sunnis:

This hysteria is quite revealing. The Christian right-wing has always scapegoated or somehow cast America’s perceived “enemies” at one time or another as the Anti-Christ. During the Cold War the Soviet Union and its Premieres were the Anti-Christ, during the Gulf War it was Saddam Hussein, at various points throughout history it has been the Pope, and Jerry Falwell thought it obvious that theAnti-Christ was a “male Jew.”

It would almost be an exercise in futility (since they are so obvious) to rebut the horrendous, blatant factual inaccuracies regarding Islamic Eschatology here, but a brief response is necessary.

In the first instance it must be noted that Islamic Eschatology is a debated topic with various theological opinions amongst scholars, and both Sunni Islam and Shia’ Islam have different views of the events and also place different levels of importance on these End Times characters/scenarios. For Shia’ Twelver Islam the Mahdi is a central figure of their Faith whereas amongst Sunnis he is not central to the Faith.

Before we approach this subject it must be made abundantly clear that Muslims believe that no one, not the Prophets, Saints nor the Angels know when the Last Day/End Times will begin. This knowledge belongs only to God because he is the one who has decided it:

“They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): ‘When will be its appointed time?’ Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (Alone). None can reveal its time but He. Heavy is its burden through the heavens and the earth. It shall not come upon you except all of a sudden.’ They ask you as if you have a good knowledge of it. Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with God (Alone), but most of mankind know not.’”

[al-‘Araf 7:187]

2 – God says:

“People ask you concerning the Hour, say: ‘The knowledge of it is with God only. What do you know? It may be that the Hour is near!’”

[al-Ahzaab 33:63]

Ibn Katheer (3/527) said:

God tells His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that he has no knowledge of the Hour and that when the people ask him about that, he should refer the matter to God.

Al-Shanqeeti said (6/604):

It is known that the word innama (translated here as “only”) has the effect of limiting or restricting the meaning, so what the verse means is: No one knows when the Hour will come except God alone.

3 – God says:

“They ask you (O Muhammad) about the Hour — when will be its appointed time?

You have no knowledge to say anything about it.

To your Lord belongs (the knowledge of) the term thereof

You (O Muhammad) are only a warner for those who fear it”

[al-Naaz’iaat 79:42-45]

al-Sa’di said:

Because knowing the time of the Hour serves no spiritual or worldly purpose for people, rather their interests lie in it being concealed from them, the knowledge of that has been kept from all of creation and God has kept it to Himself. “To your Lord belongs (the knowledge of) the term thereof.” (via. IslamQA)

It also must be made abundantly clear that according to Islamic doctrine no one, I repeat no one has the ability to hasten the Last Day/End Times. The logic goes: How can one hasten something God has already decided? Nothing any Muslim or non-Muslim does or doesn’t do has one iota of an effect on hastening or bringing closer the End Times. This is completely and utterly in the power of God. To believe otherwise is considered disbelief and counter to Orthodox Islamic teaching amongst all Sunni groups and schools of thought, and I would venture to say most Shia’ groups and schools of thought as well (Shia’ readers feel free to add comments).

Furthermore, Islamic ‘Aqeeda, belief that Allah knows everything and all things happen through His power and Will is so profound and deeply ingrained that the idea of hastening the Last Days never occurred as a theological possibility, it was unimaginable! There is not much said about it over 1400 years of Islamic history precisely because it was inconceivable and absurd from an Islamic viewpoint.

In fact, throughout history individuals who have claimed to have been mahdis or messiahs have generally not had a very happy end: they have either been persuaded to repent, forced to repent, jailed, killed or castigated as false pretenders. (hat tip: Ahmed)

The cult of Juhayman al-Otaibi is a case in point. He is the famous mastermind behind the siege of the Grand Mosque of Mecca in 1979. He was forwarding the concept that his brother-in-law was the awaited Mahdi. To do so — amongst other things — he attempted to fulfill some of the “signs of the Last Hour” mentioned in Hadith. Juhayman and 67 of his followers were (after being captured) summarily executed.

What we are really seeing from Glenn Beck and the Christian Right crowd that he is pandering to with these insane antics is a classic case of PROJECTION. It is in fact many in the Christian Right who believe that the End Times, the Last Days can be hastened. They actually believe they have a role in bringing Jesus Christ back to Earth!

One of the violent consequences of this disastrous theology is that they believe the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque must be destroyed and the Third Jewish Temple be built for Jesus to return to earth. Imagine the repercussions if they are successful in this mad dash to instigate cataclysm?

The one piece of evidence that Islamophobes, Beck and his ilk use to try to instill fear in the populace is their de-contextualized recital of a hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammad) and its variations that says, ‘the Last Day will not arrive until the Jews fight the Muslims and the Muslims defeat them.’

Beck and company want to pass off and interpret these ahadith as somehow calling for a hastening of the End Times. Not only is this interpretation antithetical to Islamic creed, not only is it an interpretation NEVER forwarded in the 1400 years of Islamic history by any of the hadith commentators (I have Fath al-Bari by Imam Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalani, Sharh Sahih Muslim by Imam Nawawi, and other commentaries open in front of me right now), but it exposes a profound and disgustingly immense historical amnesia.

Why wouldn’t Muslims over the course of 1400 years, at a time when Christian Europe was murdering and enslaving Jews under the doctrine of Perpetual Servitude have exterminated Jews if Beck and his cohorts are right? Why were Jews thriving in the Muslim world? Why were they being appointed as Viziers, Advisors, Diplomats, Physicians to the Caliphs, Sultans and Amirs? Why was the Golden Age of Jewish thought and culture, the revivification of Hebrew (a previously near dead language) in lands ruled by Muslims? (I am currently writing a book review for LW on The Oranament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal).

No doubt these ahadith have been used in a bellicose and bigoted manner over the past 80 or so odd years due to the political situation in the Middle East, i.e. the conflict between the creation of Israel and occupation and repression of Palestinians. But can the anti-Muslims who forward the claim that Muslims are using these ahadith to hasten the End Times bring one shred of evidence in which these ahadith have been used to instigate or incite pogroms or to usher in the Last Days over the last 1400 years? Maybe Bernard Lewis can help in this regard?

What Beck and co. are saying would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that it was so dangerous. Some nut or group of nuts is going to see his show and start arming himself against the evil Mooslims and think to himself that he has to get the Mooslims before they get him.

 

Why Aren’t We Calling Loughner a Terrorist?

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on January 11, 2011 by loonwatch

A good piece from Charles D. Ellison on the differing usages of the “terrorism” and the double standards it reveals.

(hat tip: Blue)

Why Aren’t We Calling Loughner a Terrorist?

by Charles D. Ellison (Huffington Post)

I can’t help but wonder why folks are so afraid to call the mass shooting in Tuscon, Arizona an act of terrorism.

The fear of the “T” word seems almost palpable in describing the gruesome events that took place this past Saturday. There is little explanation or reasoning for the omission, except that it’s very obvious what most Americans won’t call 22-year-old Jared Loughner. It goes without saying that the man is deranged. Fairly obvious that he’s unstable. But, tell us what we don’t know. Get straight to the core of the matter here. Let’s not fool ourselves and everyone else struggling to make sense out of it. Loughner is a terrorist, clearly fit within the strictest definition of the term.

While other top public officials tip-toed around it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton almost went there, just short of dropping the “T” word. Instead, she chose “extremist.” While clearly holding back, it was one of the braver rhetorical stands we’ve heard in the past few days. Her comparison to the Middle Eastern “extremism” we routinely see plastered on global headlines is sure to raise a few brows and ‘how-dare-she’ remarks back home, especially since she said it while in Abu Dhabi.

But, let’s keep it real. The “T” term gets quickly applied within every second a suicide bomber blasts a busy street corner in Pakistan or when a crowded European commuter train is vaporized. We find some sort of geopolitical logic, however violent and horrific, to explain the indiscriminate mass killings of innocent civilians in various corners of the world. Even before responsibility is investigated or admitted by some obscure political fringe group wanting their spot blown, we’re already using the “T” word.

When a “crazy” white guy with a gun, wound up on polarized talking points and manifestos, indiscriminately kills innocent Americans in broad daylight, it takes several days in the aftermath before the larger public will even accept a hint of premeditation. Typically, the collective American psyche will initially trivialize the event by calling the perpetrator “deranged” or “mentally unstable.” The social response script is fashioned to fake us into a false sense of security. It’s isolated, they say. Just one crazed nut with a gun.

That dude who flew his plane into an IRS building? Isolated. Or the cat who waited for, scoped, then killed three Pittsburgh police officers? Crazy. What about the man who shot at the Panama City school board then shot himself? Off the edge.

Brown skin man with bombs strapped to his torso? Oh, that’s a terrorist.

Yet, in every instance, the “isolated” or “crazed” Americans each expressed some form of political reasoning for committing the act. Loughner, whose elaborate musings are outlined in lengthy Internet entries on MySpace and YouTube, was apparently hanging with anti-government dudes who probably have posters of Sarah Palin in a bikini brandishing a semi-automatic prior to the attack.

So, what’s the difference between a mass political killing in Tuscon, Arizona and the same in Any Town, Middle East?

Part of it is that we don’t want to accept that Americans are actually capable of politically motivated destruction. Clearly, the level of invective in our political discourse has reached a feverish pitch in recent years, matched by the worrisome lack of civility and old fashioned decency we use to pride ourselves on. It’s another conversation, but we’re much meaner, much more hyper-competitive and much less compassionate — some can fairly argue with that assessment, especially after 400 years of slavery and institutional racism peppered by mass lynching. We don’t want to admit it, but we all talk about how foul our social attitude is these days.

But, as we enter this 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, we are afraid to accept the comparisons. While the North vs. South battle lines disappeared with every history lesson, we can see a scary repeat of similar passions which led to the first cannon shots at Fort Sumter in 1861. Congress, in the 1850s, was also a scene of unadulterated political mayhem, Members beating each other senseless on the House floor and Senators drawing guns on one another. While it’s not that bad today, we are seeing an alarming deficit of decorum in the House chamber which, if left unchecked, could lead to unbridled outbursts of ideology we’ll end up regretting one day.

We’d be irresponsible not to reassess our national discourse. There are serious consequences to the ideological bubbles we’ve created while we self-isolate ourselves in Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts, interacting only with those we agree with.

Disagreeing is our national legacy and right, but how we disagree is a national discipline we should embrace before Tuscon becomes the norm rather than the exception.

 

Allen West Starting the Crusade against Muslims

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2011 by loonwatch

Expect more bellicose rhetoric from Allen West and actual attempts to ban Sharia’ and Muslim religious rights.

From (ThinkProgress)

Rep. Allen West (R-FL), a newly-elected member who has loudly scapegoated Muslims and campaigned on a promise to oppose religious diversity, appeared on Frank Gaffney’s radio program last week. Gaffney, who routinely says that Obama is both a secret Muslim and a member of the “Muslim Brotherhood,” asked West about how the new Republican Congress plans to “take on Sharia as the enemy threat doctrine?”

West said that, although he has not spoken with all of the new members, he hoped that Congress would focus on the “infiltration of the Sharia practice into all of our operating systems in our country as well as across Western civilization.” He explained that targeting Sharia should be part of America’s “national security strategy” and that a response to Sharia would somehow include “tailor[ing]” American “security systems, our political systems, economic systems, our cultural and educational systems, so that we can thwart this”:

ALLEN WEST: So there are many different ways we need to understand this 21st century battlefield, how we can leverage all elements of our nation’s power against —and like I said we need to get away from this nation building focus. I think that is economically hurting us.

GAFFNEY: In terms of understanding our enemy, and I think you’ve done as much as any congressional candidate to help expand the awareness for not only your constituents but others. I count on you to be carrying that on in your new capacity. What is your sense of the willingness of this new Congress to take on Sharia as the enemy threat doctrine?

WEST: Well, I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down with all of the new members, giving all the new members of the freshmen class a phone call to talk to them. I think one of the critical things that we must come together is that there is an infiltration of the Sharia practice into all of our operating systems in our country as well as across Western civilization. So we must be willing to recognize that enemy. We cannot have a national security strategy that does not recognize it in specific and understand its goals and objectives. So once again, we can tailor you know our internal goals and objectives as far as our security systems, our political systems, economic systems, our cultural and educational systems, so that we can thwart this. And it comes back to one of those strategic goals that you mentioned, reducing the sphere of influence of this Sharia you know ideology that is tied into Islam. But I think that is our most threatening part, is the Sharia philosophy.

Listen here:

West also said that he would get rid of the “nation building” aspect of the ‘war on terror.’ Instead, he would prefer a focus on the type of ethnic and religious witch hunts against Muslims that Gaffneyspecializes in. Gaffney of course helped plan the protests against the Park51 community center in Manhattan and galvanized support for the anti-Sharia constitutional amendment in Oklahoma.

 

Soumaya Ghannoushi: Islamophobia Acting Like Free Speech

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2010 by loonwatch

An interesting piece from Soumaya Ghannoushi published at AlJazeera English.

Islamophobia acting like free speech

by Soumaya Ghannoushi

The caricatures of Prophet Muhammad first published in the Danish Jyllands-Posten then reprinted in a string of European newspapers have exposed the gulf separating the West from the Muslim world.

The cartoons and the reactions they have sparked across the Muslim hemisphere, many have conjectured, symbolise the confrontation between two irreconcilable value systems, one based on the Enlightenment tradition, the other clinging to religious dogma.

These simplistic explanations would have stood a better chance of being accepted if the majority of those offering them had been more vocal in denouncing the continuous assault on free speech in Western societies in the name of the war on terrorism. The reality is that the controversy over freedom of expression and its limits is a symptom of an infinitely deeper crisis affecting the relation of the West, European and Atlantic, to the vast Muslim world from Tangier to Jakarta.

Nothing happens in a vacuum. Since we are historical beings, we cannot be detached from our hermeneutical tradition and historical condition.

Only by reference to these contexts are our actions understandable. Any explanation of the cartoons crisis that does not take into account the explosive climates of the post-September 11th world and the rise of the right wing in Europe and the United States is bound to remain superficial.

Islam, which had lain forgotten during the cold war and the obsession with the communist threat, has now come to the fore, penetrating into the heart of the public domain.

It is no coincidence that the cartoons were published in Denmark in a right-wing paper under a right-wing government then reprinted in countries notorious for their hostility to their Muslim minorities and opposition to the cultural and racial diversity of today’s European societies.

That reactions to the cartoons have been so passionate should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following developments in the Muslim world closely. To Muslims, the caricatures vividly brought back the scenes of Israeli bulldozers demolishing Palestinian homes in Jenin, the invasion of Afghanistan, the fall of Baghdad, terrors of Abu Ghraib and humiliations of Guantanamo Bay.

Cultural arrogance was added to political aggressiveness. Muslims have grown used to the torrent of terrifying images that associate them and their faith with the most horrifying of practices, from violence and cruelty to fanaticism and oppression. When it comes to Islam, all boundaries and limits could be dispensed with. The unacceptable becomes perfectly acceptable, proper and respectable.

The truth is that today racism, intolerance, xenophobia, and hatred of the other hide behind the sublime façade of free speech, the defence of “our” values and protection of “our” society from “foreign” aggression.

Let us not be deceived about this rhetoric of liberalism and free speech. The Danish cartoons have nothing to do with freedom of expression and everything to do with hatred of the other in a Europe grappling with its growing Muslim minorities, still unable to accept them.

Muhammad, who had been depicted in medieval legends as a bloodthirsty warrior with a sword in one hand and a Quran in another, is now made to brandish bombs and guns. Little seems to have changed about Western consciousness of Islam.

The collective medieval Christian memory has been recycled, purged of eschatology and incorporated into a modern secularised rhetoric that goes unquestioned today.

The medieval world abounded with hostile stories, folktales, poems and sermons of Muhammad where the imagination was given free reign.

About Muhammad, or “Mathomus” all could be said since, as the 11th-century chronicler Guilbert of Nogent had put it: “One may safely say ill of a man whose malignity transcends and surpasses whatever evil can be said about him” (Dei Gesta per Francos, 1011).

Guilbert’s Muhammad, like that of most medieval authors, bears little resemblance to the historical Muhammad, or his journey.

Just as in the Danish caricatures, he appears as a scoundrel who used licentiousness and the promise of paradise with its many beautiful virgins to lure men into following him. His career was devoid of virtue. His vast empire was built on slaughter and bloodshed.

In the popular Chansons de Geste, written from the 11th to the 14th century at the height of crusading fervour, reflecting sentiments and beliefs that were widely accepted, Muhammad and his followers, the “Saracens” are described in the most grotesque of terms.

Creatures of Satan, they are painted with huge noses and ears, blacker than ink with only their teeth showing white, eyes like burning coals, teeth that can bite like a serpent, some with horns like the antlers of stags.

Humans inherit their prejudices as they do their language. Europe has inherited an enormous body of stereotypes of the Muslim elaborated in the course of many centuries of confrontation with Muslim civilisation.

Islam could not be regarded with the same detached curiosity as the far away cultures or beliefs of China or India. Islam was always a major factor of European history.

As the historian Richard Southern put it, Islam was Latin Christendom’s greatest problem, a mighty military and cultural challenge, dazzling in its power, wealth, learning and civilisation.

In the heart of Europe, its poor northerly neighbour, it generated an array of emotions that ranged from fascination to fear and resentment.

When in the 11th century European writers began to form a notion of what it meant to be European, they found themselves faced with a powerful Islam, which they were neither able nor willing to understand.

Islam was integral to the European notion of the self. The encounter with the Muslim other was fundamental to the formulation of the Western world view, particularly in the centuries that began in the Crusades and culminated in the dismemberment of the Ottoman empire.

By forcing the continent to find ways of concerted action, Islam encouraged Europe towards a stronger sense of “self” and a stronger sense of the “other”. In more ways than one, Islam was Europe’s midwife.

In the tense post September 11th climate, with its pre-emptive strikes, growing military interventions and increasingly powerful right-wing parties, the medieval arsenal of fantasies and stereotypes of Islam and Muslims has been brought back to life. Gone are the devils and Antichrists of medieval legends and polemics.

But their bleak outlook on Islam and the Muslim lingers on unchanged. It survives in an essentialist self-enclosed discourse centred on a mythical pure self permanently pitted against an imaginary dehumanised, demonised Muslim other.

In the past as in the present, religion, culture and the politics of fear are placed at the service of the great games of dominance and mastery.

Make no mistake about it: This is a political conflict that speaks in the language of culture and religion. The conflict is not between “we” and “they”, not between cultures and civilisations, but within the same cultural and political front.

The battle must be fought, a battle against intolerance, hatred, myth of cultural superiority and will to hegemony over the other.

Soumaya Ghannoushi is a researcher in the history of ideas at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London.

The opinions expressed here are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position or have the endorsement of Aljazeera.

Ghannoushi is currently writing a book on Western Representations of Islam Past and Present.