Archive for Robert Spencer

Loon Victory: Muslim Doctor Ousted for FGM Thought Crime

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2012 by loonwatch
Dr. Hatem al-HajDr. Hatem al-Haj

by Ilisha

All across the Looniverse, hate mongers are congratulating themselves on a stunning victory.

They’ve managed to oust Dr. Hatem (Elhagaly) al-Haj from his role as a pediatrician at the prestigious, US-based Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for nothing more than a thought crime.  There is no evidence Dr. al-Haj has injured, neglected, or in any way harmed any of his patients, and furthermore, there are no formal complaints against him stemming from his practice.

The successful campaign was spearheaded, according to loons, by a lone Jihad Watcher, who garnered hundreds of signatures on a petition submitted to the Mayo Clinic alleging the doctor endorsed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and therefore posed a potential danger to his patients. The “smoking gun” and centerpiece of  the campaign against Dr. al-Haj is a paper he wrote seven years ago as part of his doctoral thesis. The paper was translated from Arabic into English by a notorious translator already exposed as incompetent by Loonwatch here.

The translation appears to be deliberately manipulative, and falsely attributes a quote to Dr. al-Haj saying FGM  is “an honor for women.” It is unclear whether Dr. al-Haj resigned under pressure or was fired by the Mayo Clinic in the wake of the manufactured “controversy,” but it is nevertheless an astounding achievement for bigots devoted to marginalizing Muslims in the West and demonizing Islam.

Dr. al-Haj is the latest victim caught in the crosshairs of a relentless, coordinated campaign to portray Muslims as misogynist and barbaric by falsely attributing FGM to Islam. In fact, FGM does not have its origins in Islam, is not practiced exclusively by Muslims, and is virtually unheard of in many Muslim-majority countries.

What is FGM?

Female Genital Mutilation is a term used by most human rights groups to describe various degrees of genital cutting performed on girls and women. The United Nations categorizes four major types:

Type 1:

Excision of the prepuce, with or without excision of part or all of the clitoris.

Type 2:

Excision of the clitoris with partial or total excision of the labia minora.

Type 3:

Excision of part or all of the external genitalia and stitching/narrowing of the vaginal opening (infibulation).

Type 4:

Others, such as pricking, piercing or incising, stretching, burning the clitoris, scraping of itssue surrounding the vaginal orifice, cutting of the vagina, introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the vagina to cause bleeding or to tighten the opening.

How prevalent are these procedures?

Although bigots always cite the most extreme forms of FGM and the corresponding side effects, Types I and II are most common, accounting for about 85% of all FGM procedures. Type III is mostly confined to Somalia, northern Sudan and Djibouti, and the highest rates of FGM today are found in parts of Africa:

FGM Map

Why is FGM performed?

FGM is sometimes viewed as necessary to control a woman’s sexuality, and though evidence contradicts this notion, some believe FGM helps to to ensure virginity and fidelity by diminishing sexual desire. In some tribal communities, FGM is part of traditional initiation rituals for girls entering womanhood, and continuation of the practice is sometimes bolstered by myths, such as the notion an uncut clitoris will grow to the size of a penis.

In other cases FGM is incorrectly thought to enhance fertility and improve hygiene, and some perceive it as more aesthetically pleasing. Some practitioners also believe it is religiously sanctioned or mandated, and in some communities, it is a prerequisite to marriage.

Is FGM a Muslim problem?

FGM does not have its origins in Islam, but it does need to be discussed among Muslims for several reasons. The practice is widespread in some Muslim majority countries, especially in Africa, and in countries like Somalia and Egypt, large majorities of girls undergo some form of FGM.

There is no direct correlation between religion and FGM. However, Muslims in areas where the practice is common often conflate this cultural inheritance with religion, believing FGM is either mandated or at least recommended, in Islam.

What is the origin of FGM?

Despite the fact many hate sites refer to FGM as “Islamic,” its is an ancient practice that predates Islam by centuries. FGM is thought to have originated under the Pharoahs of ancient Egypt, which is why Type III procedures are sometimes referred to as “pharaonic circumcision.” Archeologists have found circumcised female mummies, and in the fifth century BCE, Herodotus reported the practice among the Phoenicians and Ethiopians, as well as Egyptians, which means FGM predates Christianity as well.

Various forms of female genital cutting have also been traced to parts of Africa, the Philippines, the Upper Amazon in South America, and to parts of Australia where aborigines performed FGM and in some areas, still do. Female genital cutting also occurred among the early Romans.

In Victorian times, clitoridectomies were performed in Western countries.  The first reported clitoridectomy in the West was carried out in Berlin in 1822 by Isaac Baker Brown, an English gynecologist who was the president of the Medical Society of London. He believed that “unnatural irritation” of the clitoris caused epilepsy, hysteria, and mania, and would remove it whenever he had the opportunity. His views sparked outrage and he was eventually expelled from the Obstetrical Society, though he certainly was not alone in believing removal of the clitoris was a legitimate treatment. As recently as the 1950s, clitoridectomies were sometimes performed in Western Europe and the United States to treat various “ailments,” including hysteria, epilepsy, mental disorders, masturbation, nymphomania, melancholia and lesbianism.

What’s being done to end the practice worldwide?

Fortunately, FGM has already been eradicated in many regions, and in 2003, the United Nations launched the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation as part of a campaign to end the practice worldwide. In recent years, a growing number of countries have passed laws banning FGM. However, laws alone are not enough to eradicate the practice, and may in some cases, merely drive FGM underground.

Firmly entrenched in some societies where it has been practiced for centuries, FGM is viewed as essential by some families, regardless of their religious affiliation. If physicians are banned by law from performing any form of FGM, families sometimes resort to an unlicensed practitioner who may use crude tools in an unsanitary environment, causing further pain, trauma, and potential complications. Stiff penalties also may deter families from seeking proper medical attention if complications arise, further endangering the lives of girls who undergo the procedure despite the ban.

This brings us back to Dr. Al-Haj, who discussed in his paper the “ritual nick” as a possible alternative to other forms of FGM, which in some cases may appease families convinced FGM is necessary without causing permanent harm to the girl or woman. This suggestion caused a firestorm of protest, yet it is noteworthy that the supposedly “radical” position espoused by Dr. al-Haj in his paper was endorsed in 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics as reported in the New York Times. Criticizing a federal law that prohibits all forms of female genital procedures, including the ritual nick, the group said:

It might be more effective if federal and state laws enabled pediatricians to reach out to families by offering a ritual nick as a possible compromise to avoid greater harm. ~ The American Academy of Pediatrics

No matter how adamant and eager activists may be to end the practice, social change is a process, and it takes time. The strategy for eliminating the practice should first and foremost take into account the health and well being of girls and women, and not the politics of bigotry.

The Other Side of the Story

Many of the hate sites crowing about their victory include a link to Dr. al-Haj’s website, despite the fact his thoughtful explanation undermines their case against him:

I have always condemned Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM. Moreover, I have unequivocally voiced both orally and in written form the condemnation of all harmful forms of Female Genital Cutting FGC, justifiably known as FGM. Furthermore, I have taught that nothing in Islamic Law and religious texts supports such a heinous crime. In fact, it is repugnant to Islamic principles and values to inflict such trauma and suffering on any female. The severest forms of this practice are akin to killing in Islamic Law.

The statements I have made, that are now being unfairly distorted against me, are those regarding a subtype of Female Genital Cutting FGC, a harmless procedure called the ritual nick. This subtype doesn’t involve any form of clitorectomy. It is merely an incision (or a minimal excision, as explained in the details below) of part of the clitoral hood, the counterpart to the foreskin in males, and does not remove any part of the clitoris. This opinion is scientifically irrefutable and shared by many American non-Muslim pediatricians. It is the position expressed by the Committee on Bioethics of the American Academy of Pediatrics. [Pediatrics Vol. 125 No. 5 May 1, 2010 pp. ‎‎1088 -1093‎.], which noted:

“This [the ritual nick] is no more of an alteration than ear piercing. A legitimate concern is that parents who are denied the cooperation of a physician will send their girls back to their home country for a much more severe and dangerous procedure or use the services of a non–medically trained person in North America.”…

The claim that I said, “Female genital mutilation is an honor” is so repugnant. The statement sounds to me like an intractable conflict. However, my opponents have used against me every other logical fallacy in their campaign, such as generalization, poisoning the well, straw man, etc. Therefore, it does not surprise me that they ascribed such statement to me.

Despite my acknowledgment of the harmlessness of the ritual nick, I have unwaveringly discouraged all people from having it done because of its illegality in the US. I have never advised, suggested or encouraged any of my patients or their families to undertake any type of female circumcision, including the ritual nick…

The smear campaigns against me are unfounded in that they are based on religious bias, ignorance and misconceptions of my real positions and actions on the issues at hand. These defamers have misquoted me, taken excerpted words out of context, distorted my position and plainly fabricated lies against me in order to vilify me as some type of evil, backward extremist physician. I am none of these things. Quite the contrary, I give medical care to my young female patients, as I would my own daughters…”

Read the Rest here: http://www.drhatemalhaj.com/

Whatever one thinks of the “lesser evil” of a ritual nick, it doesn’t seem as if mere discussion of the prospect should cost a doctor his job. As Dr. al-Haj has said, and even the loons admit, he has never performed any form of FGM, has never seen any such procedure performed, and has never actually recommended it to any patient. His paper merely provided an overview of Muslim opinion with respect to FGM.

Circumcision in Islam: A Wide Range of Opinions

Hate sites put an emphasis on any evidence they can harvest to suggest FGM is mandated by Sharia (Islamic Law). Fortunately, they are not able to present evidence from the Qur’an, nor reliable hadith, promoting the practice of FGM. They must resort to quoting dubious sources, ranging from uneducated villagers to imams whose credibility is highly questionable, and who are not recognized authorities in the Muslim community. In the absence of a comprehensive global survey, it is impossible to determine how widespread support for FGM is among Muslim scholars. However, it is clear there is a broad range of opinion regarding the practice.

Despite Pamela Geller’s constant reference to “clitoridectomies” as being “Islamic,” there is apparently no credible Muslim scholar who believes removal of the clitoris is mandated in Islam. Based on his interpretation of the ”Reliance of the Traveller,” a classical manual for the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence written over 600 years ago, American-born Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller has said that circumcision is mandatory, and includes removing the prepuce of the penis in men and the prepuce of the clitoris in women. His opinion is based not on the Qur’an, but an interpretation of the Sunnah, and he makes it clear that this does not include removal of the clitoris itself. Keller distinguishes between the procedure he advocates, which he refers to as “circumcision,” and what he considers to be female genital mutilation.

Other prominent Muslim scholars have issued fatwas against FGM in all its forms. In 2006, leaders from around the world gathered in Egypt and ruled female circumcision un-Islamic, and the following year, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa issued a fatwa against the practice. Gomaa said FGM is not commanded in the Qur’an, nor the hadith, and while it may have been accepted in the past, studies showing dangers to health make it unacceptable today.

Gomaa also pointed out that there is no record of the Prophet Muhammad’s wives or daughters ever having undergone the procedure, and suggested it was an unwelcome innovation stemming from cultural tradition. The full fatwa can be read on his website here.

Gomaa received support from the Grand Sheikh of Egypt’s prestigious Al-Azhar University, Muhammad Sayyed Thanthawi. Thanthawi said female circumcision is prohibited and cannot be justified on religious grounds. Despite the loons consistent efforts to present inauthentic hadiths as evidence of support for FGM, Thanthawi also confirmed that FGM is justified neither by the Qur’an nor reliable hadith, and further stated that circumcision in Islam applies only to men.

While the circumcision of men is a majority opinion, it is further testament to diversity that some Muslim scholars believe all forms of circumcision are prohibited in Islam. They cite passages in the Qur’an (40:64, 64:3, 95:4, 4:119, and 6:38) as evidence that God created the human being in the desired state, without need for alteration, and argue that circumcision violates the central theme of compassion in Islam.

The Prophet Muhammad is said to have been born without a foreskin (aposthetic), and while some Muslims argue boys should be circumcised in order to emulate the Prophet, opponents point out it is possible to glean the opposite message: since the Prophet Muhammad obviously didn’t undergo circumcision, boys today can best follow his example by not being circumcised.

Don’t expect to see this wide range of opinion on the issue of circumcision on hate sites devoted to portraying Muslims as a monolith. Anyone sincerely devoted to ending the practice of FGM should be promoting statements by Grand Mufti Gomaa and like minded scholars to spread the good news FGM is not mandated in Islam. Instead, bigots masquerading as “human rights activists” use their considerable resources to spread the opposite message, putting their agenda ahead of the interests of the girls and women whose rights they pretend to represent.

The Fate of Dr. al-Haj

Emboldened by their ill-conceived victory, anti-Muslim bigots have waged a new campaign aimed at having the doctor’s license to practice medicine revoked as well. Because their baseless accusations can’t stand up to even rudimentary scrutiny, the new campaign should fail. Unfortunately, in the current climate, where irrationality and knee-jerk reactions often prevail, they may very well succeed in sacrificing Dr. al-Haj’s career and reputation on the alter of anti-Muslim bigotry.

It is shocking and disappointing that the Mayo Clinic would take action based on this devious and dishonest witch hunt. Dr. al-Haj is guilty of nothing more than being a Muslim and engaging in a “thought crime,” perpetrated years ago in a paper written as part of his doctoral thesis. If the prestigious Mayo Clinic is willing to cave into a few loud-mouthed bigots based on a campaign of lies and distortions, what’s next for Western Muslims?

Sheila Musaji: Geller & Spencer Attempt to Turn Congressional Race into a Religious War

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

More religion-baiting and Islamophobic anti-Muslim hate-mongering from the premiere religious bigots of the day, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.

Geller & Spencer attempt to turn Congressional race into a religious war

by Sheila Musaji (TAM)

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are outraged that a political campaign in New Jersey has included the issue of one candidates support for Israel.

Both Spencer and Geller refer their readers to an article in the Washington Free Beacon about the democratic primary race between Reps. Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell.

That one-sided article noted that “For the first time in recent American political history, we are witnessing a proxy battle between supporters and detractors of Israel, and it’s playing out in the Ninth District of New Jersey,” said one veteran campaign strategist who is knowledgeable about the district.  And, it noted an ad by an Arab group in the community supporting Pascrell that produced an ad urging the “Arab diaspora community” to “elect the friend of the Arabs” and billed the race as “the most important election in the history of the [Arab] community.”  It also refers to an article by Aref Assaf published in February titled Rothman is Israel’s man in District 9.  It also included this quote “I don’t read Arabic well, but I am pretty sure that the pro-Pascrell posters that have appeared across the district are not calling to elect the candidate who supports a strong relationship between America and the only democracy in the Middle East, one which is rooted in progressive Western values—women’s rights, gay rights, tolerance, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc.,” said Josh Block, a Democratic strategist and former spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

It is impossible to believe that Mr. Block was unaware that it was a letter from a group of Rabbis that began this entire discussion.  It is also impossible to believe that the author of this article, Adam Kredo, was also unaware of the implications of that letter (since he mentions it later in his article).  Nevertheless, Kredo’s article was the basis for both Geller and Spencer’s posts.

Geller says

A New Jersey congressional race is becoming a referendum on a candidate’s Judaism. Muslims are going after a Jewish congressman. Islamic Jew-hatred rears its ugly [be]head for the first time in a congressional race. But believe you me, it won’t be the last time. Islamic Jew-Hatred—it’s in the quran.

It’s very ugly, and the enemedia, self-enforcing the sharia, is not covering it. And the local press is giving the Islamic supremacists all the column inches the haters demand. Aref Assaf, president of the New Jersey-based American Arab Forum, is a vile nazi who has been getting the lion’s share of press.

Assaf wrote in an oped in the New Jersey Star Ledger that the Jewish candidate under attack, Steve Rothman, “is using his support of Israel as the centerpiece of his campaign.” It is Assaf and his Jew-hating constiuency [sic] that are making it all about Rothman’s Judaism and Israel. The Muslim Jew-haters are making it the centerpiece of their campaign. Rothman “has consciously avoided adding fuel to the ethnic fire by focusing instead on his congressional record, note political observers in both New Jersey and Washington, D.C.”

Spencer titles his article “We want this Jew out of office”: Islamic antisemitism invades New Jersey Congressional primary race and calls this An ugly new development in American politics: Muslim voters lining up to defeat a Jewish candidate.

It would be worthwhile to read the actual article written by Assef that would provoke Geller to call him a “vile nazi” and “Muslim Jew-hater”.  Here is what Assef wrote

It may be Kosher but is it illegal? As the Record reported on February 17, 2012, several presidents of Orthodox synagogues are urging the Republican-registered members of their respective congregations to switch party affiliation in order to vote for Steve Rothman. Rep. Steve Rothman is battling fellow Democrat Rep. Bill Pascrell for the newly redrawn Ninth Congressional District.

The primary elections are set for June 5 and because the district is heavily democratic, the winner will most likely carry the November elections too. The Record’s article is based on a letter first posted in the Passaic Clifton Jewish Community News. The Record calls into question the legality of such a letter signed by well-known religious leaders and debates the possible IRS code violations that such a position entails. Skirting the gray line of legality, these letters do carry the weight of the religious institutions the signers represent and when you consider the Orthodox community in Passaic is closely-knit, even when the names are not attached to their religious affiliations, they are still a known entity. While religious institutions may engage in local, state, and even federal elections, there are clear guidelines they must not cross to maintain their tax-exempt status under Section 501 of the IRS code, which governs non-profit and tax exempt entities. Such entities are clearly prohibited from endorsing political candidates and/or contributing to their campaign funds and must provide equal access to all competing candidates.

The question remains when such activities exceed the limit of the law and spill over being a mere informational letter. As quoted in the Record, one of the letter signers, Akiva Hirth, said, “It’s a free country,” adding that “religious leaders were merely communicating with their congregants, not forcing them to take any action.” Yet a closer read tells a different story; and I quote from the original letter: “Our community has the unique opportunity to significantly impact this race. The choice is clear – support the candidate who best understands our needs and interests. Congressman Steve Rothman is the obvious choice in this Primary election.” This is clearly a political endorsement. The IRS is called upon to investigate the legal ramifications of such a violation.

It may turn out to be a non-issue, but I am puzzled that so many Jewish Rabbis would and for mere temporary political expediency encourage their congregation to go against their faith and register Democratic. Like observant American Muslims who also favor the Republican Party, Orthodox Jews would choose the Republican platform for strictly religious reasons dealing with abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, and support for Israel. I would not want my Imam to urge me to change my party label so irreverently. It’s just plain dishonest.

But if it is Kosher for Orthodox rabbis to preach to their members on political candidates, then it must be Halal for Muslim Imams to do the same. We will soon find out if Muslim religious leaders will reach out to their respective congregations. Imams, like rabbis, wield disproportionate leverage in and uncontested access to their congregations.

American Muslims are said to be evenly split between those registered as Democrat and Republicans. If Republican Muslims in New Jersey emulate the Jewish voters, and assuming their numerical symmetry, they will at least cancel out the ‘converted’ Jewish votes. Real democratic voters will then decide the election outcome. I will be reporting back on developments.

Unquestionably, this primary election is pitting two otherwise harmoniously coexisting communities: the Muslim and Jewish communities. To what extent the Muslim community will be energized by these developments will have to be determined. As total and blind support for Israel becomes the only reason for choosing Rothman, voters who do not view the elections in this prism will need to take notice. Loyalty to a foreign flag is not loyalty to America’s.

The incident that Assef was responding to was reported on in an article titled Letter asks Orthodox Jews to switch parties and support Rothman.  Here is the text of that article:

PASSAIC — The leaders of Orthodox Jewish synagogues in the city are urging their congregants to switch parties from Republican to Democrat so they can vote for Rep. Steve Rothman in the June 5 primary against Rep. Bill Pascrell.

A letter endorsed by 15 presidents of Passaic shuls was mailed last week to the homes of Orthodox Jews in the city’s Passaic Park section who are registered Republicans. In the letter, the presidents urge them to register as Democrats by the April 11 deadline so they so they can support Rothman, who is considered more pro-Israel than Pascrell.

“Our community has the unique opportunity to significantly impact this race,” the letter reads. “The choice is clear — support the candidate who best understands our needs and interests. Congressman Steve Rothman is the obvious choice in this Primary election.”

The letter, which carries the heading “A Message from Passaic’s Shul Presidents,” was paid for by the Rothman campaign. It notes that the redrawn boundaries of the 9th congressional district heavily favors Democrats. Whoever wins the Democratic primary will likely capture the seat in November.

The letter, which has also been published in the Passaic Clifton Jewish Community News, is an outgrowth of the recent endorsement of Rothman by Gary Schaer, a prominent member of Passaic’s Orthodox Jewish community who is also City Council president and a state assemblyman.

Although political leaders are free to endorse anyone they want, the letter raises questions about whether religious leaders violated the IRS guidelines that restrict religious non-profits from endorsing political candidates.

Section 501 of the IRS code says religious non-profits are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” The code further prohibits “voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates…”

Marc Owens, a Washington, D.C tax lawyer who headed the IRS’ tax exemption unit from 1990 to 2000, said the issue is whether the synagogue leaders were acting as individuals or on behalf of their religious institutions when they wrote the letter.  “Is it the religious institution speaking or are they speaking as individuals?” Owens said.

Only one of the 15 synagogue presidents who signed the letter could be reached for comment on Friday. In a brief telephone interview, Akiva Hirth said he signed the letter because he was within his rights to do so.  “It’s a free country,” Hirth said, adding that religious leaders were merely communicating with their congregants, not forcing them to take any action.

The Jewish vote is considered crucial for both Rothman and Pascrell, who are locked in a tight battle in the Democratic primary. Spokesmen for both candidates played down the issue on Friday.

Paul Swibinski, a spokesman for Rothman, defended the letter as a legitimate voter registration tactic. “I don’t see anything improper here at all,” he said. “There are no names of synagogues or temples listed in the letter. It is clearly a personal endorsement from leaders of these synagogues. It is not an endorsement by the synagogues themselves.”

Pascrell wasn’t eager to make an issue of it, either. “If anyone is violating tax laws, then we clearly have a concern,” he said.

It would seem that simply following the timeline of events clarifies this whole incident.  A group of Jewish Rabbis raised the issue of a candidates support for Israel as a reason to vote for that candidate.  After they sent out a letter encouraging the Jewish community to support one candidate based on this issue, Aref Assaf wrote his article calling their actions into question on the basis of U.S. law.  He also expressed his sadness that such behavior in a local primary election “is pitting two otherwise harmoniously coexisting communities: the Muslim and Jewish communities” against each other.

It is sad to see this being made into a “religious issue” rather than a simple political issue.  Who is the best candidate to represent the citizens of the 9th district of New Jersey should be the issue.

Geller and Spencer are old hands at stirring the pot of religious bigotry in political campaigns.  This is simply the most recent example.

When Gary Boisclair ran a congressional campaign vs Keith Ellison that was based entirely on hatred of Muslims – Pamela Geller was upset at Youtube for pulling Boisclair’s anti-Muslim ad. Geller called it “enforcing Sharia” and she said More sharia (Islamic law): this is enforcement of blasphemy laws, do not insult Islam. How much more of our freedom are we going to allow them to seize?

When there was a furore over Keith Ellison’s use of the Qur’an in a photo opportunity after his swearing in as a Congressman – Robert Spencer wrote This is allegedly a political masterstroke by Ellison, but it really just begs the question. Thomas Jefferson, obviously, was not a Muslim. In his famous statement on religious freedom he wrote about whether one’s neighbor believed in one god or twelve “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” But what no one is willing to discuss here is whether the Qur’an and Islam really fit into that framework. When I have mentioned that it sanctions lying to unbelievers (3:28 and 16:106, in the mainstream understanding of those verses by Islamic theologians and schools of jurisprudence; cf. Ibn Kathir and many others), people have responded that the Bible is full of nasty stuff as well. But people aren’t swearing on the Bible because it is full of nasty stuff, or endorsing any of it that might actually be there. The idea of swearing on the Bible arises from Christian belief and is buttressed by Christian theology—Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant—that requires honesty and eschews all dishonesty as coming from the “Father of Lies.” The permissions to be dishonest in the Qur’an are not mitigated by Islamic belief, tradition, and theology, but are in fact reinforced—by Muhammad’s statements that “war is deceit” and that lying is permissible in wartime, and more.

In short, to swear on the Bible is to affirm, among other things, that one is part of a tradition, and to swear on the Qur’an does not amount to an affirmation of the same tradition, no matter how much Glenn Beck or Ed Koch or anyone wishes it does or assumes it does. Islamic teachers daily use the Qur’an to establish principles that differ radically from those of Judeo-Christian tradition. These questions need to be discussed in a forthright and honest manner by Ellison and by the mainstream media, instead of being swept under the rug or condemned as bigotry.”

The decent people of the 9th Congressional District of New Jersey don’t need such bigoted individuals involving themselves in this election and fueling the fires of mutual distrust and bigotry.

Neo-Nazi who Was Defended by Robert Spencer Arrested by the FBI

Posted in Feature, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by loonwatch

In May of 2010, Douglas Story‘s vehicle was photographed containing anti-Islam slogans and neo-Nazi symbols:

Is this the back of some neo-nazi’s truck, or the cover of Robert Spencer’s next book?

CAIR filed a complaint with the Virginia Department of Transportation about the “license plate of Douglas Story” claiming that the numbers “14″ and “88″ were symbolic neo-Nazi code.

As Loonwatch contributor Rousseau reported at the time,

CAIR picked up on this loony truck driver’s mural and then apparently noticed his license plate number, which read “14CV88.” Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of CAIR, argued that this number was code for neo-Nazi white supremacist ideas; Hooper explained: “…Among neo-Nazis, 88 refers to ‘Heil Hitler,’ because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. White supremacists sometimes use the number 14 as shorthand for the 14-word motto, ‘We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.’”

Story denied being a neo-Nazi, saying instead that the numbers on his license plate referred to his favorite NASCAR racers. This turned out to be a lie…more anti-Muslim so-called taqiyyah if you will.

CAIR was correct that Story was a White Supremacist. The Washington Post’s Brigid Schulte reported just a couple of days later that Douglas Story’s Facebook page was replete with white supremacist associations:

Arguing that his license plate was purely about NASCAR and had nothing to do with race, Story told me that he had a Jewish sister-in-law and had attended his niece’s bat mitzvah. He denied being anti-Semitic.

But here’s how he describes himself on Facebook:

“100% WHITE MAN, 100% ARYAN, 100% PRO-LIFE (Children are innocent), 100% PRO DEATH PENALTY (Criminal Scum aren’t innocent).
Over the past 28 years; I, like David Duke, have had an Awakening.”

Note to self: In these days of social media, Twitter and personal oversharing on the web, always check Facebook…

When I called Story to ask about the Facebook page, he continued to maintain that his license plate message had nothing to with racism. He stuck by his NASCAR story. “Southern white men. Southern white sport. What else needs to be said?” he said.

Story acknowledged that he thinks of himself as 100 percent Aryan. “Aryan is a Sanskrit word that means noble,” he said, “no matter what spin the liberal media tries to put on it as being a racist, hate word.”

He said he is an admirer of David Duke, who, he said was “reamed by the media because of his Klan affiliations.” “I am a white nationalist,” Story said. “I am in favor of the whites having their own homeland.” When I asked him where that homeland would be, he said he didn’t know. “The Pacific Northwest maybe. Alaska. Denmark. Greenland. Iceland.”

I asked if he really thought that the Holocaust was a hoax. “I don’t know what to think,” he said.

Rather than condemn Story, Spencer offered this initial defense,

Hamas-linked CAIR smears anti-jihad Virginia driver as Neo-Nazi

…CAIR’s whole story was false in the first place: the driver in question, Douglas Story, is not a neo-Nazi at all, but a racing fan. The alleged code numbers for neo-Nazi slogans were actually favorite race car drivers’ numbers.

Will Honest Ibe Hooper apologize to Douglas Story? Come on, Ibe! It would be the decent thing to do!

Spencer also argued the entire episode was a ploy by CAIR to link “anti-jihadists” like Spencer to neo-Nazi white supremacists,

The implication of the story, of course, was that anti-jihadists are neo-Nazis — which, despite the febrile fantasies of libelblogger Charles Johnson and his cohort, CAIR’s amiable stomach-stapled beekeeper Honest Ibe Hooper, flies in the face of the facts…

Spencer never apologized for being so horribly wrong about his “anti-Jihadist” buddy being a White Supremacist. Instead he posted a one sentence update saying, “The Washington Post has uncovered evidence that Douglas Story is indeed a white supremacist racist. In that case, he deserves whatever he gets from the DMV.”

In a new twist to this story, yesterday, Douglas Story was arrested by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force “after allegedly receiving a fully automatic AK-47 from an undercover agent.”

A Manassas man accused of being a white supremacist was arrested Wednesday by members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force after allegedly receiving a fully automatic AK-47 from an undercover agent.

Court records show Douglas Howard Story, 48, of the Manassas area, allegedly provided a semi-automatic AK-47, along with $120, to an undercover law enforcement agent with the intent that it be modified to become fully automatic. He then allegedly received the modified weapon from an undercover agent and was subsequently arrested, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride and FBI  Assistant Director for the Washington Field Office announced Story’s arrest Wednesday.  He has been charged with a violation of the National Firearms Act – a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Manassas Patch, 30 May 2012

See also Inside NoVa, 31 May 2012

I’m not a fan of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, as they have been deeply involved in abusing constitutional rights, through profiling, secret surveillance and entrapment activities. Story’s arrest however does, once again, bring to surface the fact that the so-called “anti-Jihad/counter-jihad” movement is filled with neo-Nazis, fascists, and racists of one stripe or another.

It is also another opportunity to point out Spencer’s hypocrisy. He asked Ibrahim Hooper to apologize for “defaming” Douglas Story, but cannot and will not bring himself to apologize for supporting a “White supremacist” and defaming Ibrahim Hooper.

Robert Spencer will you finally apologize for defending a neo-Nazi “White Supremacist” even after the above image of his car, replete with neo-Nazi symbolism, the Confederate flag, and anti-Islam propaganda were evident? Do you, Spencer, agree with the neo-Nazi Story that “all we need to know about Islam we learned on 9/11?”

Something tells me Spencer’s apologies and answer will not be forthcoming.

Ratko Mladic on Trial For Genocide that Islamophobes Love to Deny

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by loonwatch

Suffice to say many Islamophobes deny the Genocide against Bosnian Muslims, chief amongst them are Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.

Ratko Mladic goes on trial for genocide

(AlJazeera English)

The trial of General Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army chief accused of orchestrating war crimes and a campaign of genocide, has begun at a special UN court at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia made their opening statements against Mladic on Wednesday almost a year after his arrest in Serbia and subsequent deportation after years on the run.

Mladic is accused of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including orchestrating the week-long massacre of over 7,000 Muslim boys and men at Srebrenica in 1995 during the Bosnian war.

Prosecutor Dermot Groome said the prosecution would present evidence showing “beyond a reasonable doubt the hand of Mr. Mladic in each of these crimes”.

“The world watched in disbelief that in neighborhoods and villages within Europe a genocide appeared to be in progress,” said Groome, describing the beginning of the war in 1992.

“By the time Mladic and his troops murdered thousands in Srebrenica … they were well-rehearsed in the craft of murder,” Groome told the court.

Older but defiant

Dressed in a dark grey suit and dark tie, Mladic, now 70, flashed a thumbs-up and clapped his hands as he entered the courtroom in The Hague.

In the packed public seating area, a mother of one of the Srebrenica victims whispered “vulture” several times as prosecutors opened their case.

Later, Mladic made eye contact with one of the Muslim women in the audience, running a hand across his throat, in a gesture that led Presiding judge Alphons Orie to hold a brief recess and order an end to “inappropriate interactions.”

“Ratko Mladic is clearly not the stocky, physically imposing, bullish man that we remember from images of the early ’90s,” Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips reported from The Hague.

Phillips added, however, that even with his age, the general remained as defiant as ever.

“You could really sense his contempt for this court, which he calls the ‘NATO’ court,” he said.

Axel Hagedorn, a lawyer for many of the mothers of those killed in Srebrenica, said that many of his clients had travelled to The Hague, where they were relieved to finally see Mladic stand trial.

“I think he looks much more healthy than last year, when he appeared, that is good for us, because we hope that he can survive this trial and face imprisonment,” he said.

The Mladic trial would also help build a separate case by the Srebrenica families against the United Nations, he said.

In April, the Dutch Supreme Courht ruled that the UN could not be prosecuted in the Netherlands for failing to prevent genocide in Srebrenica, but the families’ lawyers plan to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

“This case is very linked to our case, on the failure of the United Nations to protect the people of Srebrenica,” Hagedorn said.

There are concerns that Mladic’s trial could be disrupted by the defendant’s poor health. He is believed to have suffered at least one stroke while in hiding and was admitted to hospital for pneumonia last October.

Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader, died of a heart attack in detention in 2006 before a verdict in his trial could be reached.

‘Biggest butcher’

Outside, protesters held up placards including one that said “we want justice for the victims of Srebrenica”.

Mladic, who was arrested in a village in northern Serbia last May, is also charged over the 44-month siege of Sarajevo during which more than 10,000 people died.

Mladic has refused to enter a plea and rejected the charges against him as “monstrous” and “obnoxious” in a preliminary hearing last June. He says he was defending his country and his people as leader of the Bosnian Serb army. The court entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on his behalf.

He is the last of the main protagonists involved in the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia to go on trial in front of the special court established by the United Nations to prosecute crimes committed during the conflicts.

“This is the biggest butcher of the Balkans and the world,” Munira Subasic, 65, told the AFP news agency. She lost 22 relatives to Bosnian Serb military forces when Srebrenica was overrun in July 1995.

“I’ll look into his eyes and ask him if he repents,” said Subasic, who said she would watch the trial’s opening from the public gallery at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The case has stirred up deep emotions in the Balkans and Wednesday’s proceedings were broadcast live on big screens in Sarajevo, where thousands died between 1992 and 1995.

“I hope that many of those who are disillusioned and believe that Mladic is a Serb hero will change their minds, and that the trial will demonstrate that he was just a criminal and a coward,” Fikret Grabovica, president of the association of parents and children killed in the siege of Sarajevo, said.

“Even if Mladic lives until the verdict, it will bring only mild satisfaction for the victims of Srebrenica and hundreds of other places in the Serb Republic,” Grabovica added, referring to the entity that rules Serb majority areas of Bosnia.

‘Not satisfied’

Since the end of the war, Bosnia-Herzegovina has been divided into a federation of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, and the Serb Republic.

Mladic’s lawyers last week attempted to have the trial pushed back as the court pondered their request to have presiding judge Alphons Orie removed from the bench. They had argued that Orie would be biased against Mladic because he had already condemned several of his former subordinates.

But Theodor Meron, the president of the court, denied the request.

“I am not satisfied that Mladic has demonstrated that a reasonable observer … would reasonably apprehend bias. I accordingly find Mladic’s request for Judge Orie’s disqualification to be unmeritorious,” he said in a statement.

Mladic is being held in the same prison as his former political leader Radovan Karadzic, who was arrested in 2008 and is now about halfway through his trial on similar charges to Mladic.

Mladic’s lawyers  Monday night filed another request to have the trial adjourned for six months, saying they had not had enough time to prepare, due to “errors” by the prosecution in disclosing documents.

Groome said on Wednesday he would not oppose a “reasonable adjournment”.

Dearborn Anti-Islam Conference Discriminates Against Muslim Women it Claims to Save

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

Omar Baddar and a host of other organizations responded to the hateful anti-Islam and anti-Arab conference put on by professional bigots Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. The founders of SIOA crassly titled the event, “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference.” Seeking to manipulate and abuse the memory of a young Muslim girl who was murdered by her step-father.

Her murder had nothing to do with Islam, but the hate-mongerers insist on trying to smear Islam at any opportunity.

In the following video we get the facts. We see how discriminatory and racist to the core the anti-Islam brigades behind the “conference” really are! We also see how scared they are of confrontation and being challenged on their hateful bigotry:

Police Remove Muslim Women From Pam Geller’s ‘Human Rights Conference’

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

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer only preach to their minions, and anyone else is not accepted.

Police Remove Muslim Women From Pam Geller’s ‘Human Rights Conference’

By Eli Clifton on Apr 30, 2012 at 9:30 am, ThinkProgress

Yesterday in Dearborn, Michigan, noted anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer hosted a conference promising to advocate for “human rights” in one of the largest Muslim communities in the United States. Geller, writing on her blog on Sunday, warned, “We will meet fierce resistance by Islamic supremacists who will do anything, say anything to impose the sharia and whitewash the oppression, subjugation and slaughter of women under Islamic law.”

But surprisingly, Muslim women found themselves denied entry to the conference and, after patiently waiting in the corridor after being told to wait, were removed from the Hyatt Hotel by the Dearborn Police Department and Hyatt security.

Several of the young women commented that they shared a similar appearance with Jessica Mokdad, the young women who Geller and Spencer claim was murdered in an “honor killing” (a conclusion not shared by Mokdad’s family or Michigan prosecutors).

ThinkProgress attempted to attend the event and was turned away, and eventually removed from the Hyatt by the police, along with the young women. One of the women commented, “I tried emailing [Pamela Geller to register] and I literally couldn’t get any kind of response back.” That comment seems to contradict Geller’s claim that she wants to help Muslim women and that the conference was in defense of the human rights of Muslim women.

Another woman who tried to attend the conference told ThinkProgress:

Coming in, I was asking where the human rights conference is. [Hyatt Security and Dearborn Police] were like, ‘what are you talking about?’ I’m like, ‘the human rights conference on the second floor.’ They were like, ‘the anti-Islam conference?’ That’s what they’re calling it now.

And another woman expressed surprise that Geller, who has asked to hear from more Muslim voices on human rights issues, was denying Muslims access to her event. “I watched an interview with her [...] and she said, ‘Where are the Muslims?’ Well, we’re here!” Watch it (police arrive to escort the women off the Hyatt premises at 3:58):

Pamela Geller emailed ThinkProgress, “They didn’t register. We’ve been announcing for weeks that only registered attendees would be admitted.”

Geller and Spencer play prominent roles in the Islamophobia “echo chamber,” as detailed in the Center for American Progress’s report “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.”

AAI Community Town Hall Shatters Anti-Muslim Narrative

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2012 by loonwatch

The counter to the anti-Freedom voices:

AAI Community Town Hall Shatters Anti-Muslim Narrative

by Omar Baddar

Yesterday, more than a hundred people gathered at a town hall at the Doubletree Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan to stand in solidarity with the Arab American and American Muslim communities against Islamophobia. The town hall, organized by AAI and local community groups, was held in response to an anti-Muslim conference at the Hyatt in Dearborn, organized by Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and other leading Islamophobes.

Islamophobes try to portray themselves as “the real Americans” defending America from the allegedly foreign presence of Muslims, but it was our community town hall that was attended by many elected officials, including Michigan Congressmen John Conyers, Jr. and Hansen Clarke. Elected officials’ presence at our event reiterated the integrality of the American Muslim community in the U.S. and the fringe nature of those who are pushing America to become otherwise.

The town hall opened with an educational panel that included Fear Inc. co-author Eli Clifton, writer Sarah Posner, and AAI President Jim Zogby. Clifton explained in detail the funding sources that finance the anti-Muslim network, while Posner discussed the influence of Islamophobia on American politics. Zogby shed light on the reasons behind the recent rise in Islamophobia, and gave a broader analysis of its implications on U.S. political culture. AAI Executive Director Maya Berry moderated the discussion.

The educational panel was followed by remarks from local community leaders. Noel Saleh of ACCESS talked about the long history of the Arab American and American Muslim communities as an essential part of the fabric of American society. Dawud Walid of CAIR noted how traditional racism played a significant role in the rise of Islamophobia, including the disputing of President Obama’s faith. Osama Siblani of the Arab American News gave a passionate talk about the inevitable defeat of Islamophobes in America because they are working against American values and against history. Others, including Imam Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America, Suehaila Amen of the Lebanese American Heritage Club, Imad Hamad of ADC-Michigan, Nabih Ayad of the Arab American Civil Rights League, and interfaith stalwarts Rev. Dan Buttry and Victor Begg also offered powerful remarks at the event.

Congressmen Conyers and Clarke offered passionate words of solidarity with the Arab and Muslim communities. Congressman Clarke noted that Islamophobia should not be a “Muslim issue,” but an American one that is combatted vigorously by all Americans. He also urged the community not to only criticize elected officials who engage in anti-Muslim pandering, but to press those who are silent to speak out against Islamophobia. The town hall concluded with a lively Q&A which left everyone in a positive spirit, ready to take on the challenges we face.

Because of our presence in Dearborn to challenge the anti-Muslim narrative, virtually all media coverage accurately described the other event as the anti-Muslim event and ours as the community response to bigotry. As long as our community stands up and speaks out against Islamophobia, and as long as public officials and the broader American community continue to stand with us, the bigots will never build momentum that can disrupt the diversity and tolerance that characterize our society.

After the conclusion of our event, my colleague Omar Tewfik and I tried to attend and cover the anti-Muslim conference, but were denied entry (quite the contrast from our open-to-all event). We’ll be sharing our story very soon, accompanied with video footage and interesting details.

Robert Spencer to Debate Achmed the Dead Terrorist and The Dictator

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2012 by loonwatch

Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim (TAM) has been keeping a close eye on the loons who write for Jihad Watch.  The chief loon of JW, Robert Spencer, had initially been slated to debate David Wood, another Christian loon like himself.  Realizing no doubt that they are on the same side of the loony equation, the debate has been scrapped.  Instead, both Spencer and Wood have agreed to face off against Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri.

As Musaji presciently noted, “[b]oth Choudary and Bakri are part of the Muslim lunatic fringe.”  The nefarious duo are very familiar to the Muslim community of the U.K., not because they have a large following (they don’t), but because they are routinely trotted out by anti-Muslim right-wingers.  The set-up is always the same: a right-winger pundit will invite one of these two clowns onto their show for a “debate.” By making the hated Choudary and Bakri the representative for the Muslim side, the debate is of course already won.  Muslims are left thinking, “with friends like these, who needs enemies…”

Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri are absolutely despised by the vast majority of the Muslim community, even by the ultra-conservative and radical Muslims they pretend to represent.   They are caricatures, just one step away from being Achmed the Dead Terrorist or a character thought up by Sacha Baron Cohen (like Ali G or Admiral General Aladeen, A.K.A. The Dictator).  Choudary and Bakri play the part of terrorists and radical Islamists, which is why hateful Islamophobes love giving them ample air time: look at how crazy those Moozlums are!

It’s absolutely no surprise then that Robert Spencer and David Wood, two loons in their own right, would debate two even loonier loons.  Spencer wastes his time engaging such unserious clowns, because–just as Sheila Musaji noted long time ago–he has a pattern of seeking out complete fools to debate with so that he can then crow in victory afterward.  Meanwhile, Spencer will doggedly avoid debating anyone (1) with a serious grasp of knowledge of the topic at hand and (2) the debating skill to back it up.  And of course, (3) anyone named Danios.  What’s interesting is that even Robert Spencer’s debating partner, David Wood, seemed to imply on his website that Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri are weak debaters.  Wood agrees with Choudary and Bakri’s view that Muhammad existed, but he doesn’t think that they will be able to make the convincing argument.  Why not just debate Achmed the Dead Terrorist or The Dictator?  It would certainly be just as enlightening and perhaps a bit more entertaining.

Robert Spencer’s homepage boldly declares that he is “the acclaimed scholar of Islam”, and yet he has no educational qualifications to validate that lofty claim.  In fact, all he has is an M.A. in Christian studies…If I get an M.A. in Buddhist studies, does that mean I get to be “the acclaimed scholar of Judaism”?  Spencer has never had his work submitted for peer review in the academic world, and so his arguments–while they certainly might pass off in the non-scholarly world–have never been tested by the real experts in the field.  Spencer’s version of peer-review is debating the equivalent of Achmed the Dead Terrorist and The Dictator.

In any case, let’s not beat around the bush.  It’s me in particular who Robert Spencer fears. One would think that he would want to debate me now that I’ve won the Brass Crescent Award for Best Writer last year (and was runner-up the year before), in no small part due to my writings against Spencer.  I have been refuting his book for a long time now, decimating his arguments one by one.  Spencer can’t respond intelligently, so of course, he naturally fears facing off in debate.  It has now officially been 684 days–that’s 1 year, 10 months, and 14 days–since I agreed to have a radio debate with Robert Spencer.  In that time, Spencer has furiously been generating excuse after excuse to avoid the debate.

Spencer continues to use my anonymity as an excuse to cover up his cowardice.  I’m an anonymous blogger and I have expressed my intent in preserving that anonymity for now.  Yet, Spencer repeatedly insists on a public venue–so that I “show my face”–knowing full well that I won’t accept such a condition.  In this way, Spencer gets out of the debate and can then disingenuously claim that I was the cause of the impasse.

Robert Spencer engages in typical right-winger projection: look how cowardly Danios is that he doesn’t show his face.  But, it is Spencer who is the coward, at least when it comes to defending his views.  What difference does it make who I am or what I look like?  The obvious answer is that Spencer wants to engage in ad hominem attacks against me, instead of focusing on the substantive value of his arguments, which my writings have shown to be severely lacking.  It’s now quite evident to all who want to see it: my refutations of his book are irrefutable.  I know it, you know it, he knows it.

And that’s why Robert Spencer will keep running away from me.  Instead, he’ll debate fools and loons.  Yawn, what’s new?

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

*  *  *  *  *

Here is Sheila Musaji’s article from TAM:

David Wood and Robert Spencer “Debate”?

by Sheila Musaji

David Wood is not as well known as Robert Spencer, so a little background is in order.  Wood is an Evangelical pastor and has a series of polemical articles on Answering Islam.  His focus seems to be on anti-Muslim polemics.

Kiera Feldman reported on an incident in 2010:

Organized by Stop the Islamization of America, the first rally against the “Ground Zero mosque” was held in a plaza near the site of the Twin Towers on June 6th—D-Day. “We are not hatemongerers!” Pamela Hall proclaimed from the podium. “We just want our families and our future to be safe from the racist, bigoted ideology that murdered 3,000 people.” In the crowd, signs ranged from “Everything I need to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11” to crude drawings of Mohammed with the label “beast.”

Toward the end of the rally, two dark-skinned men were overheard speaking Arabic. The crowd transformed into an angry mob, surrounded the men, and shouted, “go home” and “get out.” The Bergen Record reported that the two scared men, Joseph Nasralla and Karam El Masry, had to be extricated by police. It turned out they weren’t even Muslim. They were Egyptian Coptic Christians who’d trekked cross-country from California to join the cause against the “Ground Zero mosque.” Nasralla later told John Hawkins of Right Wing News that the Record coverage was indeed accurate, adding that he’d been shoved and his camera knocked to the ground. “He said he was worried that things might have really gotten out of hand if the police hadn’t escorted him and Karam El Masry away,” Hawkins wrote.

“I actually caused that by accident,” an evangelical pastor named David Wood told me with a chuckle. He meant the near race riot. Wood is a PhD student in philosophy at a respectable New York institution whose name he didn’t want me to use. Passionate about proselytizing to Muslims, Wood’s expertise is Christian apologetics, the practice of arguing unbelievers into faith. He is best known as the creator of a viral video “Of Mosques and Men,” which argues all Muslims—even those who seem “peaceful,” like “good citizens in public”—had an urge to “smile when there were terrorist attacks.” But Wood allows himself a little laugh about violence when Muslims are on the receiving end.

As he tells the story of that day, “[The Copts] were complaining about not having anything to hand out. And I said, ‘I’ve got some pamphlets on Islam, specifically on whether Islam is a religion of peace.” The pamphlets contained passages of the Qur’an selected to suggest the answer is no. “People thought they were there to defend the mosque and promote Islam,” Wood explained. “Lots of people were fired up about that.” But it was a goofy case of mistaken identity, a funny little mix-up. “The guys who were doing it were actually Christians,” Wood told me as if clearing up the whole matter. “They weren’t Muslims.” In other words: the mob’s anger and actions were justified, but misdirected. Aim better next time?

Garibaldi of Loonwatch has written exposes about Wood in two articles here and here

Wood and Robert Spencer will have a “debate” this coming Sunday on the thesis of Spencer’s new book Did Muhammad Exist?  This “debate” will be moderated by Pamela Geller.  That may be the only time that you will see the combination of Pamela Geller and moderation in the same sentence.

Wood made the “challenge to a debate” by video and Spencer accepted the “challenge”.

Spencer is still falsely claiming that Muslims are afraid to debate him, and says in his acceptance: So David Wood will do their work for them.  Read my article Danios vs Spencer:  18 months and Spencer still avoiding a debate for the Saga of Spencer’s avoidance of a debate with Danios.  See The Muslim Communities Useful Idiots for information on some of Spencer’s past debates with Muslims, and why I believe that engaging with bigots is not productive.

These are not individuals who hold respectable, if controversial opinions.  These are bigots, and engaging them in such a forum only provides them with some veneer of respectability.

Hosts like Hannity, or Bolling can claim that they have been “fair and balanced” because they included a Muslim.  And, full time, paid mercenaries in a “holy war” against Islam like Spencer, will claim “victory” no matter what the outcome.  If they have no “facts” that will stand up to scrutiny, they will stoop to ridiculous slurs, as they did with Christina Abraham.  And, when all else fails, if any Muslim says anything reasonable, they will say that it is taqiyya.

This sort of devious, unethical, and downright childish behavior, is not surprising from individuals who consistently “get it wrong” when it comes to Islam and Muslims, and who see no ethical problem with simply removing articles from a site when they are proven to be inaccurate.  Not too surprising for individuals who are co-founders (Spencer & Geller) of a group, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The group is also described by the ADL in the following terms: “Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), created in 2009, promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam. The group seeks to rouse public fears by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and asserting the existence of an Islamic conspiracy to destroy “American” values. The organization warns of the encroachment of shari’a, or Islamic law, and encourages Muslims to leave what it describes as the “falsity of Islam.”

I believe that it is not “cowardly” to leave these folks alone, just sensible.   It is not that their claims cannot be, and have not been answered, but rather that they have proven themselves time and time again to be untrustworthy and dishonorable in both their tactics and their responses to reasoned argument.

Spencer and Wood seem to have a mutual admiration society.  Spencer posted a notice about the “debate” with a note to watch Wood’s video, and Wood posted a notice with a note to read Spencer’s book.

The notice points out that this “debate” will be right after Geller and Spencer’s “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference” (their most recent anti-Muslim hate fest) ends.  It is worth noting that David Wood will be a speaker at Spencer and Geller’s conference.  I’m sure their promotional video will be more exciting than the actual “debate”.

It seems pretty obvious that rather than a debate, this is a calculated publicity stunt to gain a little more notoriety for their conference, and to publicize Spencer’s book.  I’m sure that they will both have an opportunity to get in a few anti-Muslim zingers in the course of this “debate”.  Let the bigots talk among themselves.

UPDATE 4/30/2012

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more strange.  Robert Spencer just posted a new notice about tonights “debate”.  The debate is now to be between Spencer and Wood (on the same side) versus Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri.

Both Choudary and Bakri are part of the Muslim lunatic fringe.  Just type their names or the term lunatic fringe into our TAM search engine for more information on these disreputable folks.

I’m curious as to how Spencer is going to talk to Omar Bakri since the last I heard he had been denied re-entry to England, and arrested in Lebanon.

“Jessica Mokdad” Conference: At War with Islam by Any Crooked Means

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2012 by loonwatch

Jessica_Mokdad_Conference

The Panelists at the conference

When Malcolm X uttered the famous words“by any means necessary,” it was in the midst of the Jim Crow era. He was making it known that Blacks were not going to take the systematic violence and oppression directed against them in a subservient manner. On the other side was Bull Connor, George Wallace, the Ku Klux Klan and organized racism which sought to uphold Jim Crow “by any crooked means.”

In the “fine” tradition of the Jim Crow-era racists, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and other leading anti-Muslim activists have declared war on Muslims by any and all crooked means. In doing so they project their own inadequacies and stealth motives onto Muslims and Islam. They create new definitions of theological concepts such as taqiya (dissimulation to protect oneself from violence and coercion), defining it as lying for the advancement of Islam. In fact, it is Spencer and Geller who are lying to aide their own cause and to line their own pocket books. They put on the mask of defenders of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, when it is they who are a part of the leading regressive force in the US undermining and challenging our liberties and freedoms.

This was on full display yesterday, April, 29 in Dearborn when they went ahead with an anti-Islam conference titled the “Jessica Mokdad Conference.” Jessica Mokdad was a young woman who was murdered by her step-father, a sick man who had been sexually abusing her.

Mokdad’s murder had nothing to do with Islam, but Geller spinned it into an honor killing.

Despite it not being an honor killing, despite the fact that Mokdad’s family requested her name be taken off the conference, (expressing how it pained them that Geller and co. could so thoughtlessly use Jessica’s memory to further hate of the religion she “loved”) the title was kept: “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference.”

Geographic Racism

Dearborn, Michigan is home to one of the largest concentrations of Arabs and Muslims in the United States. For this reason it has earned the scorn and undying resentment of the fanatical anti-Muslim movement.

According to these racists Dearborn has ceased to be a part of America because of the “camel jockeys” and “towel heads” who have invaded. In their mind the city has become “Dearbornistan,” and Michigan an “Islamic Republic.”

Such racist notions zeroing in on certain geographic locations isn’t new, it is a similar kind of racism that paints the US’s Southern border as “Third World” and “backward” because of the large percentage of Latinos.

In their nostalgic-looking-back-at-the-50′s-White-bred world when so-called true Americana existed, when America was a Christian (or Judeo-Christian) nation lies the heart of the anti-Muslim movement’s present malaise.

Like most fundamentalists, they hearken to a mythic, purer past, while selling the fear of an impending Armageddon, after which America will no longer be America.

To fight to keep America “pure,” to recreate its glory, the crowd is given the message: “you are the soldiers,” “this is a war,” ”we are the soldiers. It’s up to us.” (via. USA Today reporter Niraj Warikoo):

Standing for Truth

Dearborn’s residents and Jessica Mokdad’s family decided not to protest the conference, instead they held a town hall titled, Rejecting Islamophobia. This is where the anti-Loons gathered, those opposed to bigotry and hate:

“We stand for America,” said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Dearborn-based Arab-American News, at a panel discussion held at a Detroit hotel. “And they (anti-Muslim activists) stand against America and against the American way of life.”

Siblani’s views were echoed by others who gathered for a conference organized by the Arab American Institute and supported by several other Arab-American groups to counter a conference held in Dearborn on Sunday by anti-Muslim activists called the “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference on Honor Killings.”

Last year, Mokdad, 20, a Muslim was shot dead by her stepfather in Warren, Mich. Some anti-Islam activists said it was a honor killing because initial reports were that she was perceived as too independent, but Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Cataldo said Friday it was not an honor killing. The family of Mokdad opposed the anti-Islam conference and didn’t want Mokdad’s name on it, Cataldo said.

On Sunday, Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn — the biggest mosque in Michigan — said : “Honor killing has no religious roots in Islam.”

Sunday’s anti-Muslim conference features two of the most well-known anti-Islam activists in the United StatesPamela Geller and Robert Spencer.

Geller, who blogs against Islam, said: “Our goal is to raise awareness about the phenomenon of Islamic honor killing in order to help bring a stop to it. These girls have rights, too, they’re human beings, and yet they’re completely forgotten in our politically correct culture.”

Qazwini said he believes Geller is motivated by money. He said she wants to make “Islam look like a monster to raise funds.”

Sunday’s anti-Muslim conference in Dearborn is the latest effort by anti-Islam activists to target Dearborn, which has the highest percentage of Arab-Americans in the U.S., according to Census figures. Earlier this month, Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones held a demonstration outside Qazwini’s mosque.

In addition, some Christian missionaries have increasingly targeted Muslims at the annual Arab festival in Dearborn; last year, some yelled at festival goers as they walked by.

James Zogby, who heads the Arab American Institute, said of Sunday’s anti-Muslim conference: “These people are bigots … they are sick.”

The Arab-American conference featured talks by U.S. House Reps. John Conyers and Hansen Clarke, both Democrats from Detroit. Daniel Kirchbaum, executive director of Michigan’s Department of Civil Rights, also spoke at the event, saying that many in Michigan want to make sure “Muslims are treated fairly and equally.”

Try as they may, to spit on the memory of Jessica Mokdad in the name of human rights, the anti-Muslim bigots will not be successful–as long as those who are vigilant speak out against their hatred, fear-mongering, false dichotomies, generalizations, misattributions and lies.

Please read Omar Baddar’s account of the “Reject Islamophobia” event: AAI Community Town Hall Shatters Anti-Muslim Narrative.

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

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

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

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

By Kari Huus, msnbc.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Islamophobia is a national illness,” he said.

Egypt ‘necrophilia law’? Hooey, utter hooey.

Posted in Loon Media, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2012 by loonwatch

 

The new myth is that Islam somehow promotes…*drum roll*…necrophilia!

While you can likely find a fatwa for everything, when the recent story claiming that the “Egyptian parliament was considering passing a law that would allow husbands to have sex with their wives after death” went viral, the BS meter shot up pretty high for us.

But not for many mainstream media outlets who ran with the story without fact checking, thereby reinforcing Islamophobic myths and anti-Islam talking points.

Despite the ardent desire on behalf of Islamophobes such as Robert Spencer (he saw it as evidence of Sharia’ takeover) for the story to be true it was revealed pretty quickly that it was a hoax.

Spencer still has not updated the story to point out that it was a hoax. Now a lot of the haters have egg on their faces, this is not the first or the last time that such lies will be promoted in the media.(h/t:ZH)

Egypt ‘necrophilia law’? Hooey, utter hooey.

(Christian Science Monitor)

Today, Egypt‘s state-owned Al Ahram newspaper published an opinion piece by Amr Abdul Samea, a past stalwart supporter of the deposed Hosni Mubarak, that contained a bombshell: Egypt’s parliament is considering passing a law that would allow husbands to have sex with their wives after death.

It was soon mentioned in an English language version of Al-Arabiya and immediately started zipping around social-networking sites. By this afternoon it had set news sites and the rest of the Internet on fire. It has every thing: The yuck factor, “those creepy Muslims” factor, the lulz factor for those with a sick sense of humor. The non-fact-checked Daily Mail picked it up and reported it as fact. Then Andrew Sullivan, who has a highly influential blog but is frequently lax about fact-checking, gave it a boost with an uncritical take. TheHuffington Post went there, too.

There’s of course one problem: The chances of any such piece of legislation being considered by the Egyptian parliament for a vote is zero. And the chance of it ever passing is less than that. In fact, color me highly skeptical that anyone is even trying to advance a piece of legislation like this through Egypt’s parliament. I’m willing to be proven wrong. It’s possible that there’s one or two lawmakers completely out of step with the rest of parliament. Maybe.

SEE ALSO – IN PICTURES: Behind the veil

But extreme, not to mention inflammatory claims, need at minimum some evidence (and I’ve read my share of utter nonsense in Al Ahram over the years). The evidence right now? Zero.

There was a Moroccan cleric a few years back who apparently did issue a religious ruling saying that husbands remained married to their wives in the first six hours after death and, so, well, you know. But that guy is far, far out on the nutty fringe. How fringe? He also ruled that pregnant women can drink alcohol. Remember, alcohol is considered haram, forbidden, by the vast majority of the world’s Muslim scholars. Putting an unborn child at risk to get drunk? No, that’s just not what they do. Whatever the mainstream’s unpalatable beliefs (there are plenty from my perspective) this isn’t one of them.

It’s important to remember that the structure of the Muslim clergy is, by and large, like that of a number of Protestant Christian sects. Anyone can put out a shingle and declare themselves a preacher. The ones to pay attention to are the ones with large followings, or attachment to major institutions of Islamic learning. The preacher in Morocco is like the preacher in Florida who spent so much time and energy publicizing the burning of Qurans.

Stories like this are a reminder of the downside of the Internet. It makes fact-checking and monitoring easier. But the proliferation of aggregation sites, newsy blog sites, and the general erosion of editorial standards (and on-the-ground reporters to do the heavy lifting) also spreads silliness faster than it ever could before.

Rejecting Islamophobia: Town hall counters ‘Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference’ in Dearborn

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Jessica_Mokdad

Jessica Mokdad “loved Islam” according to her parents.

Striking back and rejecting Islamophobia:

Rejecting Islamophobia: Town hall counters ‘Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference’ in Dearborn

Dearborn, home to one of the nation’s largest concentrations of Arab Americans, once again will become a focal point for debate over the practice and persecution of Islam in the west.

Pamela Geller, conservative activist and co-founder of Stop Islamization of America, is scheduled to host the “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference” from the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn on Sunday at 5 p.m.

The event is named after a 20-year-old woman fatally shot by her stepfather last year in Warren. Initial reports suggested Rahim Alfetlawi shot Mokdad because he believed she had strayed from Islam, but prosecutors have since said that religion did not play a role.

Despite opposition from family members who say Mokdad’s murder has nothing to do with Islam, Geller has refused to rename the conference, suggesting an attempt to cover up what she continues to call an “honor killing.”

“Unlike those closest to her, we are going to honor Jessica’s memory and stand up against the brutal practice that took her life,” Geller said in a statement announcing the conference.

Local leaders say the conference is misleading and argue that Dearborn has become a convenient target for anti-Muslim groups, pointing to recent protests led by activist Pastor Terry Jones.

To counter Geller’s conference, The Arab American Institute and partners have scheduled a competing town hall on Sunday titled “Rejecting Islamophobia: A Community Stand Against Hate.” It is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in Dearborn.

“This is clearly not the first time our community in Michigan has had to deal with a hate group,” AAI President Jim Zogby said in a statement. “Despite repeated efforts to target Arab Americans and American Muslims, the community has remained resilient and poised, sometimes choosing to ignore the fervor.

“This group we cannot ignore and this is the time to stand up and make our voices loud and clear in opposition to the politics of division and bigotry.”

Temple University, Philadelphia: Protestors Condemn Geller and Spencer’s ‘Irrational Hatred’

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Blogs, Loon People, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Protesters at Temple University condemned Geller and Spencer’s irrational hatred of Muslims.

Temple University, Philadelphia: protestors condemn Geller and Spencer’s ‘irrational hatred’

PROTESTERS who had filled the auditorium seats at an anti-Muslim event on Temple University’s campus Monday night left the room quite empty when they marched out in opposition after the discussion began.

The organization hosting the “Islamic Apartheid Conference,” Temple University Students for Intellectual Freedom, says its mission is to introduce controversial issues often left out of mainstream debates and defends its right to political incorrectness. Panelists at the conference included Robert Spencer, contributor to the blog Jihad Watch, and Pamela Geller, famous for her hostility to the proposed construction of an Islamic community center near the site of the World Trade Center.

After walking out, more than 50 demonstrators, consisting of North Philadelphia residents, campus groups and Occupy Philly protesters, remained outside in the rain, holding signs and confronting attendees as they left the event in Ritter Hall, on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 13th Street.

Walter Smolarek, a freshman education major at Temple University, said that the content of the conference is “based solely on irrational hatred toward people, in this case, because of their religious faith, and we don’t feel like it falls under the umbrella of free speech, or should be part of political debate.

“An attack against Muslim communities is an attack against all working people,” said Smolarek.

Though Temple University approved the conference for its calendar, it did not promote the event in the daily campus-events email distributed to the student body.

Jihad By Any Means Necessary?

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by loonwatch

 

The following is a part of LoonWatch’s Understanding Jihad Series, which is a refutation of Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  Specifically, I am herein refuting chapter one of his book, entitled “Muhammad: Prophet of War.”

An anti-Muslim canard that has gained considerable popularity in the post-9/11 world is the idea that Muslims can do anything, no matter how morally questionable, if it furthers the Islamic cause.  According to this idea, jihad can be waged “by any means necessary.”  Robert Spencer argues this in his book, writing:

Islam’s only overarching moral principle is “if it’s good for Islam, it’s right.” [1]

Spencer traces the birth of this Islamic “principle” to the life story of the Prophet Muhammad, specifically the raid at Nakhla.  To properly debunk this conspiracy theory, we must then transport ourselves back in time to this controversial event.

In the year 610 A.D., Muhammad declared his prophethood.  His people, the Quraysh of Mecca, violently rejected him.  The early Muslims suffered heavy-handed persecution, which they endured with patience for well over a decade.  Finally, the God of the Quran permitted them to take up arms in self-defense.  Muhammad and his followers, who had regrouped in the nearby city of Medina, engaged in guerre de course (commerce raiding) against the powerful Quraysh.

I have discussed Muhammad’s guerre de course in quite a lot of detail in a previous article.  This tactic was not only something considered acceptable in the Arabian context of the time, but also has a celebrated history in the American–as well as French and German–naval traditions.  Historically, it has been considered a valid military strategy and a means of waging economic warfare against a more powerful enemy.

The early military operations led by the Muslims were largely unsuccessful–that is, until the raid at Nakhla.  Muhammad had dispatched Abdullah bin Jahsh with secret instructions contained in a letter that were not to be opened until after traveling two days journey.  (This precaution was designed no doubt to thwart potential spies, who may have informed the Quraysh of Muslim “troop” movements, which could explain the earlier failed military expeditions.)

When Abdullah opened Muhammad’s letter, it read:

When you have read this letter of mine proceed until you reach Nakhla between Mecca and Al-Ta’if. Lie in wait there for [the] Quraysh and find out for us what they are doing. [2]

On the way to Nakhla, Abdullah and his fellow riders happened across a poorly armed Qurayshite caravan.  They debated among themselves whether or not to waylay it, for it was the last day of the month of Rajab.  The pre-Islamic culture at the time assigned four months of the year as sacred (of which Rajab was one), in which fighting was proscribed.  In addition to the four sacred months, fighting was forbidden in certain holy sanctuaries (i.e. Al-Bayt Al-Haram, the area around the Kaabah).

Abdullah’s contingent faced a difficult choice:

If [we] leave them alone tonight they will get into the sacred area and will be safe from [us]; and if [we] kill them, [we] will kill them in the sacred month. [3]

They were also not quite sure what day it was.  Was it the last day of the sacred month of Rajab or the first day of of the next month, Jumada (in which fighting was permitted)?  Prof. Reuven Firestone writes of this:

The uncertainty of the day is a natural result of the calendrical system of that period, in which the moon was the primary measurer of time, because the beginning of the month was established only by actual observation of the new crescent moon. [4]

Making matters worse was the fact that, according to the lunar calendar used by the Arabs, days change at sunset, not midnight.  One of the men explained to Muhammad later that

it was becoming evening. We looked at the crescent moon of Rajab, and we did not know whether we [struck during] Rajab or in Jumada. [5]

Initially, Abdullah and his men hesitated, but then decided to attack.  The Muslims shot and killed one of the Quraysh (a man by the name of Amr Ibn Al-Hadrami), captured two of them, and seized the caravan’s goods.  By killing Ibn Al-Hadrami, the Muslims had violated the pre-Islamic Arabian custom forbidding bloodshed during the sacred month.

When Abdullah and his men returned to Medina, Muhammad rebuked them, saying:

I did not order you to fight in the sacred month! [6]

Sir Thomas W. Arnold wrote of this incident:

In so doing, [Abdullah] had not only acted without authority but had violated the sacred truce within Arab custom caused to be observed throughout the month of pilgrimage.  Muhammad received him coldly with the words, “I gave thee no command to fight in the sacred month;” dismissed the prisoners, and from his own purse paid blood-money for a Meccan who had lost his life in the fray. [7]

Other Muslims in Medina also chastised the men.  Meanwhile, the Quraysh exploited the incident to further their war propaganda against the Islamic nation.  They effectively drove a wedge in the community of Medina, with Muslims distancing themselves from other Muslims, and non-Muslims from Muslims.  Muhammad’s leadership itself was called into question.

It was in this crisis that the following Quranic verse was revealed:

They ask you about fighting in the sacred month. Say, ‘Fighting in that month is a great offense, but to bar others from God’s path, to disbelieve in Him, prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its people, are still greater offences in God’s eyes: [their] persecution is worse than the killing [of Amr Ibn Al-Hadrami].’ They will not stop fighting you [believers] until they make you renounce your faith, if they can. If any of you renounce your faith and die as disbelievers, your deeds will come to nothing in this world and the Hereafter, and you will be inhabitants of the Fire, there to remain.  But those who have believed, who were driven out from their homes, and who strive for God’s cause, it is they who can look forward to God’s mercy: God is most forgiving and merciful. (Quran, 2:217-218)

This response from the God of the Quran successfully rallied the Muslims around their leader and their cause.  Muhammad’s treatment of the raid was splendidly balanced, neither making the Muslims look too warlike nor too humiliated: on the one hand, he paid blood money for the Qurayshite man that was killed (blood money was a form of restitution given to a victim’s family) and freed the two Qurayshite prisoners.  On the other hand, he released the two Qurayshite prisoners only in exchange for two Muslim prisoners, and also accepted the confiscated goods as legitimate spoils of war.

*  *  *  *  *

Robert Spencer writes of the Nakhla raid:

In Medina, these new Muslims began raiding the caravans of the Quraysh, with Muhammad personally leading many of these raids.  These raids kept the nascent Muslim movement solvent and helped form Islamic theology–as in one notorious incident when a band of Muslims raided a Quraysh caravan at Nakhla, a settlement not far from Mecca.  The raiders attacked the caravan during the sacred month of Rajab, when fighting was forbidden.  When they returned to the Muslim camp laden with booty, Muhammad refused to share in the loot or to have anything to do with them, saying only, “I did not order you to fight in the sacred month.”

But then a new revelation came from Allah, explaining that the Quraysh’s opposition to Muhammad was a worse transgression than the violation of the sacred month.  In other words, the raid was justified.  ”They question thee, O Muhammad, with regard to warfare in the sacred month.  Say: warfare therein is a great transgression, bu to turn men from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel his people thence, is a greater sin with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing” (Quran 2:214).  Whatever sin the Nakhla raiders had committed was overshadowed by the Quraysh’s rejection of Muhammad.

This was a momentous revelation, for it led to an Islamic principle that has had repercussions throughout the ages.  Good became identified with anything that redounded to the benefit of Muslims, regardless of whether it violated moral or other laws.  The moral absolutes enshrined in the Ten Commandments, and other teachings of the great religions that preceded Islam, were swept aside in favor of an overarching principle of expediency. [8]

In true Spencerian fashion, he misleads the reader using lies of omission and commission.  Spencer does not clearly state that Muhammad had dispatched the “band of Muslims” on a reconnaissance mission, in order to “find out for us what [the Quraysh] are doing.”  This is why the Prophet of Islam later disavowed Abdullah’s actions, for he had “acted without authority.”  Also, no mention is made in Spencer’s book of the difficulty in ascertaining the day and month in which the raid took place.

Spencer’s biggest lie, however, is the following doozie:

Whatever sin the Nakhla raiders had committed was overshadowed by the Quraysh’s rejection of Muhammad.

In fact, it was not merely “the Quraysh’s rejection of Muhammad”, but, in the words of the Quran itself, their persecution [of the Muslims that] is worse than the killing” of Amr Ibn Al-Hadrami.  Here, the Islamic holy book was referring to the over decade-long period of Qurayshite persecution, during which the early Muslims suffered beatings, imprisonment, torture, and forced conversions; some of the early believers were even killed.  This, the God of the Quran argued, was worse than what the “band of Muslims” had done.  It would be difficult to argue otherwise.

Spencer goes on to say:

In other words, the raid was justified.

No, it wasn’t.  In fact, the Quran recognized and affirmed that the Muslims had committed a grave sin: “Fighting in [the sacred] month is a great offense.”

Many Western commentators have claimed that Muhammad and the Quran, by this passage, abandoned observation of the ban on fighting during the four sacred months.  The insistence on this view is based on their blind acceptance of the traditional opinion [9], held by various Islamic exegetes in medieval times, that this was a pre-Islamic tradition that was overturned by the advent of Islam.

Yet, a neutral reading of the Quranic text–both this passage and those that follow it–reveals the exact opposite: the Prophet Muhammad affirmed and respected the sanctity of the four sacred months.  The Quranic verse starts by saying, “They ask you about fighting in the sacred month.”  Obviously, Muhammad was being accosted by all sides about the raid at Nakhla, which threatened to be a public relations disaster for the Muslims.  How much easier it would have been for the Prophet of Islam to have simply declared the four sacred months a “pagan belief” that the Muslims did not accept.

After all, in another controversy in early Islam’s history, when Muhammad received significant criticism for having married his adopted son’s ex-wife Zaynab bint Jahsh, the Quran justified the act by declaring that: firstly, unlike in the pagan custom of the time, in Islam there is no prohibition against such a thing; and secondly, it was God himself who commanded Muhammad to marry Zaynab, and therefore, “the Prophet is not at fault for what God has ordained for him” (Quran, 33:38).  (It should be noted that the Islamic permission to marry one’s adopted son’s ex-wife is no more disconcerting than Judaism’s permitting of marriage to one’s nieces.)

The point is that the Quran didn’t just take the easy way out, which would have been to reject the four sacred months altogether.  (Muhammad could have also simply declared the pagans to be “disbelievers”, licit to be attacked at any place or any time.)  Instead, the Quran affirmed that it was indeed a grave offense to fight therein, and in fact, commanded Muhammad to tell the people so:

They ask you about fighting in the sacred month. Say, ‘Fighting in that month is a great offense.’ (Quran, 2:217)

The Islamic affirmation of the four sacred months occurs throughout the Quran.  Muslims are not to fight in these months, so long as the other side respects this prohibition:

Fight during the sacred months if you are attacked therein, for a violation of sanctity is subject to the law of just retribution.  So, if anyone commits aggression against you, attack him as he attacked you. (Quran, 2:194)

The Quran also affirms the idea of sacred spaces:

Do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque unless they fight you there. (Quran, 2:191)

This topic deserves greater elaboration, but for now, suffice to say that even in the jihad passages of chapter nine of the Quran–which the Islamophobes insist are (in the words of the anti-Muslim website ReligionOfPeace.com) “the final ‘revelations’ from Allah” about jihad–the four sacred months are affirmed.  For example, in the so-called “verse of the sword” (ayat al-saif), the Quran declares:

When the sacred months are passed, then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them… (Quran, 9:5)

Leaving aside for now the fact that the verse right before this one (verse 9:4) explains that this injunction refers only to those pagans who broke a treaty and waged war against the Muslims, there is another obvious point to be made here: Islamophobes insist that this passage was revealed in Muhammad’s last years and was his final, all-out call to war against non-Muslims.  (I will refute this argument in a future article.)  If we are to accept this claim, then we see that–even in this late stage of Muhammad’s decrees about jihad–the sacred months are to be respected.

In fact, the Quran goes so far to claim that it was God himself who decreed these months to be sacred.  More than this, the God of the Quran chastises the Qurayshite pagans for violating the four sacred months by “transposing them” for other months in the year, something they did out of convenience:

God decrees that there are twelve months–ordained in God’s Book on the Day when He created the heavens and earth–four months of which are sacred: this is the correct calculation. Do not wrong your souls in these months–though you may fight the idolaters at any time, if they first fight you–remember that God is with those who are mindful of Him.  Transposing sacred months is another act of disobedience by which those who disregard God are led astray: they will allow it one year and forbid it in another in order to outwardly conform with the number of God’s sacred months, but in doing so they permit what God has forbidden. Their evil deeds are made alluring to them: God does not guide those who disregard Him.  (Quran, 9:36-37)

In conclusion, it is not true that Muhammad justified the Nakhla raid, nor is it valid to claim that the Prophet of Islam simply made it legal when Muslims did it.  Spencer’s claim that ”if it’s good for Islam, it’s right” finds no basis.

The Quran acknowledged that the killing of Amr Ibn Al-Hadrami in the sacred month was a “grave offense” and Muhammad offered restitution to the victim’s family.  This mea culpa indicates that the Prophet of Islam acknowledged that wrong had been committed and he sought to right it.  Meanwhile, the “band of Muslims” involved in the escapade were duly chastised.  After they had expressed remorse for their sin, the God of the Quran forgave them “for God is Forgiving, Merciful” (2:218), and reassured them of their salvation.  That forgiveness was necessary in the first place indicates that they had committed a sin.

What the Quran didn’t do is claim that the Muslims had done nothing wrong.  All it did was point out the hypocrisy of the Quraysh, for they had committed greater offenses against the Muslims.  Robert Spencer would quickly claim that the Quran was committing a tu quoque fallacy, but there is a difference between a valid tu quoque argument and an invalid tu quoque fallacy.  Tu quoque (“you too”) arguments are not always illegitimate.  Of significance is the fact that, following the Nakhla raid, Muhammad (1) admitted that the Muslims had committed an offense, and (2) willingly submitted to the penalty of that offense (i.e. paid blood money).

The Prophet of Islam didn’t try to make something right because the enemy did something wrong.  More importantly, he didn’t try to get out of the penalty for the offense.  Instead, he admitted that his side had done something wrong, paid the penalty for it, and then pointed out that his accusers had committed far greater offenses without making any amends for it.  He was not trying to get out of the penalty, but only highlighting the Qurayshite hypocrisy so that they would not exploit the incident to further anti-Muslim propaganda.

Islamophobes today are also guilty of hypocrisy on this front: they are among America and Israel’s most hawkish proponents of war in Muslim lands.  During Muhammad’s pre-Badr expeditions, the Muslims had killed only one person, and this was in violation of their orders.  What about the hundreds and hundreds of Muslim victims who die at the hands of the American and Israeli military, without any form of restitution given to them?  We are told then that “this is war”…But when Muhammad’s men kill one person, then it’s the greatest tragedy in all of history.

Related to our opening question (Is Islam more violent than other religions, specifically Judaism and Christianity? Was Muhammad the most violent prophet or religious figure in history?) lies another question: the Biblical prophets–such as MosesJoshuaSamson,DavidSaul, etc.–engaged in genocide against the natives of Canaan.  Thousands and thousands of innocent people were slaughtered.  Are there any stories in the Bible of any of these Judeo-Christian prophets and holy figures giving restitution to the victim’s families?  One can already hear Robert Spencer crying “tu quoque, tu quoque!”, a word that he obviously does not properly understand.  Islam, identified as our enemy in the post-9/11 war, is put through a special standard, one that Spencer’s own religion could not withstand.

*  *  *  *  *

The Islamic principle of justice is to apply the law equally to all.  There are numerous verses of the Quran to this effect (i.e. 16:90: “God commands you to uphold justice and to do good to others”) and this topic would require another article to elucidate fully.  For now, however, it would suffice us to refer to the opening of sura (chapter) five, which is said to be among the final revelations of the Quran.  It was revealed after the conquest of Mecca.  In it, we see once again that the Quran affirms the idea of sacred months and sacred spaces.  More importantly, it commands Muslims to uphold justice and be fair even to their enemies:

Do not violate the sanctity of God’s rites or the Sacred Months…or the people coming to the Sacred Space…Do not let your ill-will towards a people–because they barred you from the Sacred Mosque–cause you to transgress against them.  Help one another to do what is right and good.  Do not help one another towards sin and aggression. (Quran, 5:2)

Robert Spencer traces “Islam’s only overarching moral principle” of “if it’s good for Islam, it’s right” to the raid at Nakhla, but the evidence simply does not bear his argument out.  Instead, all that becomes apparent is the Islamophobic tactic: if it makes Islam and Muslims look bad, let’s run with it.

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

Footnotes
1. Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), p.79
2. Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p.287 (tr. A. Guillaume)
3. Ibid.
4. Reuven Firestone, Jihad, p.57
5. Ibid.
6. Ibn Ishaq, p.287
7. Thomas W. Arnold, The Preaching of Islam, p.30
8. Spencer, pp.5-7
9. It should be noted that the nineteenth century gave birth to the modernist movement within Islamic thought, which redefined jihad and challenged the long-held “traditional” opinion on the matter.  Today, the “traditional” opinion is held only by a few ultra-conservative Muslims, a view that should not to be conflated with that held by Radical Muslims such as Osama Bin Laden.

A Journey Out of Islamophobic Darkness

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by loonwatch

 

islamophobia-drfus

Leaving the Islamophobia nightmare

The Islamophobia propaganda machine has its roots in years of concerted online, media and marketing campaigns. This well oiled machine of hate has attracted many followers, and they can be broken up into several groups (there may be considerable overlap):

1.) Those who were ripe for the picking. These individuals already had a hate for Islam and Muslims or Arabs, they were already racist in one way or another, and easily attached themselves to Islamophobia.

2.) Opportunists. These individuals are always looking for a way to make a buck, to line their pockets. Real, honest work doesn’t suit their tastes and so they’ve devoted themselves to that centuries old money-maker, hate.

3.) True believers. They may come from various ends of the ideological spectrum, most of them are very afraid, fear courses through their every waking moment, they are made even more afraid by modern interpretations of say Biblical prophecies, or fears about the existential threat of the end of Western society.

4.) The gullible or the naive. These individuals read and believe the Islamophobic propaganda because they perceive the arguments as objective, factual, honest, and fitting with their worldview, or answering their confusion and incomprehension of world events or history.

There may be a few other groups not identified here, but those in the last category, the “gullible or the naive,” are usually individuals who later become enlightened and realize the true nature of Islamophobia. They start to question the poor “analysis,” the skewing of “facts,” the blindly subjective and hateful methodology employed by those they once respected as honest brokers on the issues of Islam and Muslims.

One such individual is Charles Johnson. Loonwatch documented his groundbreaking and public quarrel with his former allies, JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller of AtlasShrugs. For Johnson it was their too easy comfort and alliance with fascists like Geert Wilders that broke the proverbial camel’s back, and ever since, he has been outspoken in his criticism of Islamophobes.

Their have been many like Johnson, some who have changed their minds because of our site or their own introspection. One such individual is regular Loonwatch commenter and tipster CriticalDragon. CriticalDragon was quite involved with right-wing anti-Muslim sites, respected the leading lights of Islamophobia, and even commented (under a different screen name) on Jihad Watch amongst other blogs.

We asked CriticalDragon to tell us about how he at one time embraced Islamophobia, and how and why he eventually left the quagmire of hate:

LW: What first attracted you to the “counter-jihadists?”

CD: Prior to 9/11, I was naive and had an overly simplistic and overly positive view of my country and the world. It’s not that I thought that America had done no wrong, but I believed that in every war since World War II, its intentions were noble.

I always considered myself an anti-bigot, which was ironic since I would become a bigot myself. Although I wasn’t as bad as some of the Islamophobes out there, I said and supported some things that I’m now really ashamed of. One of the reasons why I fell for the “counter jihadists” may have been in part because prior to 9/11, I didn’t hear much about anti-Muslim bigotry.

I did however have a very black and white view of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I got most of my information on that from people like Rush Limbaugh. Although I wouldn’t call Rush an Islamophobe, he always portrayed the Palestinian side as evil. However, he did not make a connection between the conflict and Islam.

Right after 9/11 occurred, I wanted to find out why we were attacked. What had America done to deserve such an attack in their eyes, and why were they so willing to die to hurt us?

I knew about suicide bombers in Israel, but I really knew that I didn’t understand what motivated them either, but I didn’t think much about it, because I was not involved in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It didn’t affect me much, or anyone I knew, but now I felt that my country was in danger of being attacked again at any moment. I became aware shortly after the event of the fact that the 9/11 hijackers were Muslims, but I did not connect the two until later.

Searching for answers I came across the “counter Jihad blogs.” I can’t remember if the first one I came across was Jihad Watch or another one, but at some point I reached Jihad Watch. I read it and some other relatively moderate “Counter Jihad” blogs and basically believed everything I read without doing enough research to determine if they were true or not. For a while I assumed that what they were saying did not apply to most Muslims, and tried, but not hard enough, to find some peaceful liberal Muslims who denounced terrorism.

Even after visiting those sites I probably wouldn’t have bought into the Stealth Jihad or Population Jihad conspiracies if not for two events.

First, I assumed that after we overthrew the Taliban, the government in Afghanistan would be a genuine liberal democracy with religious freedom. At the time, and even though I believed people like Spencer in regards to what they presented as the “teachings of Islam” (death to the infidels, lying to the infidels, oppressive theocracy), I assumed most Muslims did not follow such “teachings.” But after the war was over, I remember an Afghan man who was set to be put to death for converting from Islam to Christianity, and it not only disappointed me, it kind of shocked me.

I literally believed what George W. Bush said about people wanting to live in freedom, and the Afghan people had chosen to install a government without freedom of religion, even after living under a brutal theocracy, and it seemed to me that we had even encouraged it to some degree.

Second was the cartoon riots, which really scared me, because it looked like large numbers of Muslims around the world spontaneously erupted over harmless cartoons, and I saw what looked like Western governments caving-in to their demands.

LW: Which Islamophobic blogs did you frequent?

CD: Mostly The Infidel Blogger’s Alliance, Bosch Fawstin, Citizen Warrior, FrontpageMag, Culturism, and Religion of Peace, which is the worst of them all. It literally scared me, every time I visited it.

They’re really deceptive in how they cherry pick news stories and post hundreds of terrifying stories about Islam and Muslims to support their agenda.

I might suggest that Loonwatch take the “Religion of Peace” website to task more often, except most of the stuff on there isn’t written by them. Most of it is just links to articles on other websites.

Although I read at least two of Robert Spencer’s books I did not spend a lot of time at Jihad Watch. I may have admired him at the time but I didn’t spend much time on his blog. The same is true for Pamela Geller and her Atlas Shrugs blog. One of the reasons why I didn’t realize how nuts she was may well have been because I didn’t spend much time there.

If you are going to take on one of the Islamophobic bloggers whose blog I used to follow I would recommend laying the smack down on Citizen Warrior. He’s kind of like Robert Spencer, but maybe a bit more sophisticated, although he hasn’t written any books that I’m aware of.  You might also want to take on John Kenneth Press (AKA Culturist John) who wrote the book Culturism, and runs the blog by the same name, and eviscerate some of his arguments, although he usually doesn’t deal with Islam or Muslims.

LW: You’ve mentioned in your comments that you truly believed in the threat of “stealth jihad.” Were there any other major themes that seemed to make sense to you at the time?

CD: I’m really embarrassed to say this, but after reading Marks Steyn‘s America Alone, I actually became convinced that Muslims in Europe were having far more children than non-Muslims, and given enough time, they would become the majority. I believed they would most likely turn those countries into Islamic theocracies, because at the time, that’s what I thought most of them wanted, or they wouldn’t be willing to resist when the fanatics started taking over.

I thought it might take centuries but still it scared me, the idea that these people with such an alien worldview might destroy Western culture and eventually replace it with Sharia’. I know its stupid, but I wasn’t thinking too hard at the time unfortunately.

Note that I never saw this in racial terms, always cultural terms. I was Islamophobic, but I was not a racist. I believed that Muslims in the West were raising their children in such a way that they would not share our values. It was not something genetic, but rather how I thought they were raising their children.

I also believed that the West was at war with Islam, yet simultaneously did not believe that all Muslims were evil, or even our enemies. I know that’s a contradiction, but I didn’t think about it too much at the time. On the occasions when other people would bring that up, I just rationalized it away. However, the fact that I realized that not all Muslims could be evil, would eventually help bring me out of the Islamophobic nightmare.

LW: For how long were you a regular visitor to the “counter-jihadist” blogs?

CD: Sadly, I was a follower and supporter of “counter jihad” blogs for about ten years following 9/11. I only really stopped being an Islamophobe some time in late September of 2011, and even then it would be another month or two before I completely rejected all their nonsense. For example I was still somewhat suspicious of CAIR until I realized that just about every blog that suspected them of being connected to terrorist groups like Hamas, recommended Jihad Watch and by that time I had come to see Robert Spencer as the bigot and liar that he really is.

LW: About Ten Years? Why did it take you so long to see the light?

CD: I got scared and I did not do a very good job of questioning what I was told. I was terrified, and I wanted to stop Jihadists from destroying our freedom. It seemed so obvious to me, because I was getting such a distorted picture of reality.

Early on when I joined the counter jihad movement, most of the information I was getting on what was going on in the world involving Islam and Muslims was incredibly biased to say the least, and I did not try very hard to critique it, because all the evidence seemed so overwhelming at the time. Most of the blogs I frequented outside of the “Counter Jihad Movement” rarely mentioned Islam or Muslims. I occasionally, though rarely, visited left wing political blogs.

One of the few exceptions was American United for the Separation Of Church and State, but I don’t even think they talked about Islam until people in the states started trying to pass anti-Shariah legislation. I spent the vast majority of my time on right-wing Islamophobic blogs, and my preferred news channel was Fox News, which rarely debunked Islamophobes. For those reasons, I almost always saw what left wing bloggers wrote refuting Islamophobic claims through the eyes of Islamophobes, and I rarely heard about Muslims protesting evil done in the name of their faith.

However, if I had been willing to do a bit more research to see what groups like Act For America really based their opposition on, outside of the Islamophobic blogs I frequented I would have seen just how wrong they were. In addition I was too quick to dismiss arguments against their positions.

There were some skeptical science blogs and YouTube channels that I really enjoyed, and they tended to be rather left wing, but they rarely mentioned Islam, that is until the idea of Everybody Draw Muhammad day and the issue of the “Ground Zero Mosque” came up, which was years after 9/11 and the cartoon riots.

Even then, too often, I tended to just dismiss them unless I already agreed with them. I got to the point where I really did not want to admit I was wrong. Maybe I didn’t want to admit I was being a bigot.

Case in point, when atheist YouTuber and foe of creationists everywhere, “Thunderf00t” came out in support for Everybody Draw Muhammad day, and made at least one anti “Ground Zero Mosque” video, I tended to dismiss the arguments that other, better, Youtuber skeptics made against him.

I admired “ThunderF00t,” for his strong stance for science and reason and against the “backwardness of Islam.” Ironically I would eventually come to respect and admire the people on YouTube who opposed him like Coughlin 666 (now Coughlin 616 and Coughlin 000) and Ujames1978 (now Ujames1978Forever and Pirus The God Slayer).

I was a horrible skeptic to say the least. For a long time I fell for just about every single prominent Loon.

I believed most of the things that they said, and it seemed like there were just so many “former Muslims” out there talking about how “evil” Islam is, and how the West was destined to be Islamized if we did not do anything to stop it, because there were just so many fanatical Muslims out there determined to force us to convert or submit. I used to really admire Wafa Sultan and, although I thought Walid Shoebat‘s fundamentalist Christian beliefs were a bit nonsensical to say the least, I never doubted that he really was a “former Muslim terrorist” until much later.

I had managed to entrap myself in my own nightmarish digital web of Islamophobia.

LW: What effect, if any did self-proclaimed Muslim supporters of Robert Spencer, such as Zuhdi Jasser have on you?

CD: They actually encouraged me to support the “counter jihad movement” early on and likely contributed to my own Islamophobia, but ironically and counter-intuitively they also were one of the factors that prevented me from seeing all Muslims as the enemy.

Let me explain.

By doing the things that he did, such as being the host of the Clarion Fund‘s anti-Muslim propaganda film, “The Third Jihad,”Jasser likely convinced a lot of people that there really was a conspiracy among American Muslims to “Islamize” the country. Some Islamophobic websites link to his organization, the “American Islamic Forum for Democracy,” and they use it as a way of claiming that they’re not really bigoted against Muslims because some Muslims support them and vice versa.

This certainly reinforced all of my fears, but at the same time, since I couldn’t come up with what I thought would be a good reason for him to be lying about this, it encouraged me to think that not all Muslims were bad. In fact, he was one of the few Muslims that I was certain was not lying to me.

Ironically, I didn’t lose respect for Jasser even while other anti-Muslim bigots tried to convince me that he was really a Stealth Jihadist as well. The only thing that made me completely lose respect for him was something he did after I left the “anti-jihad” movement, when he made a video defending Lowes at the moment they gave into intimidation and pressure from anti-Muslim bigots to drop support for the show “All American Muslim.” I was no longer an Islamophobe at that point and was in fact trying to fight anti-Muslim bigotry.

I’m not sure if Jasser is a “self hating Muslim” for lack of a better term, but he may be a useful idiot for Islamophobes. I have come across multiple instances where Islamophobes accused him of being a Stealth Jihadist as well, just because he’s a Muslim, they think he is lying to them and that he really supports groups like AlQaeda. What he and his organization are doing is perpetuating baseless conspiracy theories about Muslims, and he won’t convince Islamophobes who are already convinced that he’s the enemy that he’s a friend.

In fact, if he ever comes to see how baseless the Stealth Jihad conspiracy really is, and turns around and stops supporting “counter jihadists,” then a bunch of people who used to support him will become  convinced that he really was a stealth Jihadist all along.

LW: What changed your mind? Was it a single event or a process over time?

CD: It was a process, but there were some definite events.

I recall these events not in any particular order:

Even before 9/11, I considered myself a conservative, but I had some views that were not stereotypical of a conservative. For one thing I was a supporter of the separation of Church and State. I considered myself a secularist and a skeptic. I may have rightfully rejected things like scientific creationism, but a good skeptic would never have fallen for someone like Spencer or Geller, or if they had, they would have had too many doubts as soon as they started talking about things like the Stealth Jihad, or learned that they had their “scholarly” work published in the same series of books that promoted creationism and other forms of pseudoscience.

When I learned that Spencer’s, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades,” had been published by the same people who published “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Creationism and Intelligent Design,” it should have set off some red flags, but I had allowed myself to become too convinced that he was correct by then, and that he was a “real scholar.”

I was shocked when secularist groups like American’s United For the Separation of Church and State actually came out against the anti-Sharia’ legislation. I assumed they would support such laws, because in my mind it was fighting for secularism. The problem was that since I believed in those nonsensical anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, I actually believed that Muslim fanatics were a greater threat to our freedom than the religious right.

Like all bigots I was closed minded, but maybe not as closed minded as some. Part of the problem was that I was getting most of my information on Islam and Muslims from right-wing sources and they were incredibly biased. It made it look like there was a large number of Muslims out to take over the world. While I’m certain there are some blogs out there run by genuine right wing anti-loons, I didn’t come across too many. When I happened to come across a video debunking the claim that Muslims were likely to become the majority through immigration I began to doubt it for the first time.

Earlier, I came across another more “moderate critic” of Islam who went by the user name, “Klingschor.”  He started out as a supporter of Robert Spencer and at one time had favorited the ridiculous “Three Things You Probably Don’t Know About Islam” video on his YouTube channel.  However, as Klingschor got more educated, he eventually turned against Spencer. He created a video supporting the “Ground Zero Mosque,” and Imam Rauf, where he viciously attacked Spencer and Geller for being bigots.  (The video is no longer on his channel, although now I wish he’d repost the original or remake it).  I admired Spencer and Geller and I was convinced that Rauf was a “stealth jihadist,” so this shocked me, since I admired Klingschor as well and he didn’t seem pro-Islam to me. I wondered why he wasn’t convinced as I was that Rauf was up to no good and why he had suddenly turned on Spencer and Geller.  I had trouble explaining it.

In addition, I began to realize that if things did not change, a lot of innocent people were going to get hurt, and not by Muslim jihadists. I knew that not all Muslims were our enemies, and I would sometimes get into arguments with other people who held worse views than I did; people who wanted to nuke Mecca and kill every single Muslim on the planet.

Even when I pointed out to them how innocent people would be killed, it did not phase them. These nuke Mecca/kill all Muslims people were so bad that I saw them as anti-Muslim bigots even when I was an anti-Muslim bigot. That’s how bad they were.

Then something else happened, something that was somewhat of a watershed moment.

Most people in the “counter Jihad movement” assumed Anders Breivik was a Muslim when news of his rampage first came out. I was not really that shocked by the fact that he was not a Muslim, since I knew non-Muslim terrorists existed, but I was shocked by his motive.

He went on his rampage and murdered innocent people including many children, believing it was necessary to stop the Islamization of Europe. Of course excuses were made for Spencer and Geller not being responsible, and I bought into them at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that their rhetoric did nothing to discourage a Breivik.

Even if Breivik got his beliefs from somewhere else, he idolized Spencer and Geller and was an avid supporter, not to mention other prominent figures in the “counter Jihad Movement.” If anything, they encouraged his behavior even if they did not specifically tell him to commit violent acts.

It was also about this time that I found out that a couple of the lesser known Islamophobes that I admired were racists.  No one you’ve probably heard of, just a couple of nobodies really, but I had admired them and thought they were smarter than they actually were. This was another shock to my system because I had really respected them, and I had always regarded racism as abhorrent and stupid. I instantly lost respect for them.

Plus I saw a video by Coughlin 616, called “Pamela Geller Busted.” Although at the time I thought he was wrong to oppose Geller and believed he was far too concerned with neo-Nazis as compared to Jihadists, I decided to watch the video. After watching it, and checking Coughlin’s sources, I realized that he had proven that Geller was a liar. What’s more she might have been covering for Breivik or someone like him. I suddenly had a lot more respect for Coughlin and a lot less respect for Geller.

In the meantime, I saw more videos by Klingscor, and another Youtube atheist critic of Islam, CEMBadmins, that actually debunked some common Islamophobic claims. One of them was taqiya, both of them made videos on the subject thoroughly debunking the claim that taqiya is lying for Islam and that Muslims are more likely to lie than non Muslims.

CEMBadmins really made it hard for me to continue to believe in the taqiya conspiracy since he was not only a critic of Islam, but an ex-Muslim. In his video, he talked about a poll taken of members of the Council of Ex-Muslims (his organization) and it turned out that most of them had never even heard of taqiya, and those that had regarded it as a defensive mechanism to protect themselves from persecution, not lying to promote Islam like I had been taught by others in the “counter jihad movement.”

I thought to myself, “Why would ex-Muslims lie for Islam?” It slowly began to hit me just how wrong people like Spencer were on the subject.

Soon, I saw a couple of videos on Muslims who helped save Jews during the Holocaust. At least one of them I came across on Loonwatch. Although I always knew there were at least some rare instances when Muslims helped non Muslims, I had no idea that so many Muslims had done so much at one time to help a large group of non-Muslims. I was slowly realizing just how much the evil done by Muslims to non Muslims like myself in the name of Islam was exaggerated by people in the “counter jihad movement,” and how much they ignored the good done by Muslims in the name of Islam.

The final nail in the coffin for my support for those “counter jihad” blogs and Spencer and Geller was when I realized that Islam has not traditionally endorsed terrorism.  When I found Loonwatch and looked at the actual statistics for the first time I realized that very few terrorists in the United States and Europe were even Muslims.

I came to realize just how wrong I was, and I felt an odd combination of happiness and relief as well as guilt and shame, simultaneously.

LW: Why do you spend so much time trying to help fight anti-Muslim bigotry now?

CD: For one thing, ever since I allowed myself to see the light, I have come to realize just how wrong I was. I’ve come to see that the people I once admired and supported like Geert Wilders are actually a greater threat to our freedom than the threat they claim to be fighting.

Since Stealth Jihad and Islamization are myths, there’s no need for any legislation to fight them. If anything, a lot of innocent people are going to be hurt by “counter jihadists” including innocent Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and for what? To fight imaginary conspiracy theories?

Also, the Christian religious right is more likely to turn America into a theocracy. With Muslims at less than one percent of the American population, they don’t have the numbers to do so, even if they all wanted to. In fact, I now understand that as someone who normally wouldn’t support the religious right, by trying so hard to fight the imaginary threat of Islamization, I made myself a useful idiot of the religious right. The same is true for any secularist who supports them out of fear of Jihadists taking over and turning the West into an Islamic theocracy.

Finally, I want to make up for the mistake of supporting the “counter jihadists.” The only way I can clear my conscious now is to actively oppose the people and organizations I once endorsed. I feel a lot of guilt, I did and said a lot of things that I regret now.

LW: Do you have any suggestions for those who still admire bloggers like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller?

CD: If you want to hear people criticize Islam, look for people who are not bigots, and do not believe in nonsensical conspiracy theories, like “the stealth Jihad.” Make sure they reject the idea that Islam teaches Muslims to lie to promote their faith and that Muslims are more likely to lie than non Muslims. Find people who are at least trying to be objective and who avoid making sweeping generalizations about Muslims.

Also listen to what Muslims have to say about themselves, their politics, their philosophy and their faith. In many cases it will be completely counter to the negative stereotypes. Let me use someone who appears on Loonwatch from time to time as an example.

When I first saw “Dawah Films”  respond to “Thunderf00t,” I saw it only through the eyes of “Thunderf00t.” I thought he was threatening to kill him for criticizing his religion, but when I actually watched other videos he made, and talked to him about it, years later, I realized how radically different his motives actually were. Contrary to the way “Thunderf00t” portrayed him, he supported free speech and he even defended another YouTuber, “ZOMGitscriss,” against death threats from genuine Muslim extremists, when she made some minor criticisms of Islam.

In addition to listening to Muslims and moderate, rational critics of Islam, you should also take an Islamic Studies course at an accredited university, if you have the time. I’m hoping to do that, since contrary to what I used to believe, I don’t know much about Islam, and if I’m going to fight anti-Muslim bigotry, I’m going to have to know more about Islam and its history. If you can’t do that, or even if you can do that, in addition, try to find a few books about Islam written by genuine scholars who studied Islam within academia.

LW: How did you find Loonwatch?

CD: I believe I first heard about Loonwatch on a conservative blog that I used to visit from time to time.

The person behind the blog wrote a story critiquing something you wrote, but I don’t remember if I read it or not, but either way, I didn’t check his sources, so I didn’t find out what Loonwatch was until much later, after I left the “counter Jihad” movement.

After I stopped being an Islamophobe, I wanted to fight anti-Muslim bigotry and I started looking around and I came across Loonwatch and its sister site, SpencerWatch. However, I did notice that “Dawah Films” recommends you guys on his channel, but I can’t remember if I clicked on his link before or after I did a Google search.

LW: Do you regularly visit any other anti-bigotry sites, and if so, which ones?

CD: I really think the Southern Poverty Law Center is an excellent resource, especially if you include their blog “HateWatch.” The anti-Defamation League is also generally a good anti-bigotry organization. I know the American Civil Liberties Union does not specialize in fighting bigotry, but they do a very good job of protecting civil liberties including the civil liberties of minorities. More recently I started exploring Sheila Musaji’s “The American Muslim,” which also does a good job debunking anti Muslim myths as well.

I’d also recommend more than a few Youtube channels that have done a lot to fight irrational hatred and bigotry. I’ve already mentioned Coughlan and Ujames1978Forever’s channels, and would like to add EvoGenVideos and HannibaltheVictor13. EvoGenVideos is a genetics student who sometimes uses his scientific knowledge to debunk racists. HannibaltheVictor13 is an anthropologist who has also debunked racists.

LW: Is there any meaning behind your nickname, Critical Dragon1177, that you’d like to share?

CD: When I realized how wrong I was to support the “counter Jihad” movement, I also realized that I had said some incredibly stupid and often bigoted things that I was ashamed of. Plus I wanted to disassociate from those bigoted anti-Muslim blogs that I used to visit.

In order to do what I wanted to do, I needed a new user name. I made a new years resolution to be a better skeptic.

I realized that the biggest reason that I fell for what Islamophobes were telling me, and continued to believe them for so long, despite the overwhelming evidence against what they were saying was my lack of critical thinking on the matter. My story is really about the danger of not thinking critically, and of giving into your emotions.

That’s where the first part of my user name comes from. I added ‘Dragon’ because I like fantasy, and I love fantasy creatures. The numbers were added just in case someone else had that name.

LW: In conclusion is there anything else you would like to share with the LW audience?

CD: I’ve read a book called A World Without Islam that I highly recommend. It’s by Graham E. Fuller.

According to his biography over at Amazon.com,

“Graham E. Fuller is a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, a former senior political scientist at RAND, and a current adjunct professor of history at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of numerous books about the Middle East, including The Future of Political Islam. He has lived and worked in the Muslim world for nearly two decades.”

In his book, “A World without Islam,” Fuller goes a long way to debunk the claim that we are at war with Islam, and that Islam is the cause of terrorism and our problems involving Muslims and Muslim majority societies.

I haven’t read any of his other books, but based on this one, he’s largely anti Robert Spencer, and he has far better credentials than him. In fact if I had read something like this book just after 9/11 instead of going to all those bigoted “counter jihad” sites, I don’t think I would have taken people like Spencer seriously at all.

It was recommended to me by my friend, Klingschor, along with another book by Tamim Ansary called “Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes,” which I’ve started reading as well.

I also have a friend on Youtube that I would like to introduce, he goes by the user name, Ramio1983. He’s made at least one video fighting anti-Muslim bigotry, and I think he’s working on another one, maybe someone here could help him.

LW: Thank you, CriticalDragon, for sharing your story here on Loonwatch, and for joining the fight against bigotry.

CD: You’re Welcome.  I’m pleased to be able to share my story.  My hope  is that it will help someone else to see the truth.

Round 2: THE 99 Superheroes Vs. The Loons

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on April 22, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Wham! Bam! Islam!

By Ilisha

Last October, the loons were celebrating a small victory in their epic battle against THE 99 Comic Stealth Jihad:

THE 99 is an animated series featuring superheroes inspired by Islamic culture and society. The series was scheduled to launch in the US last week on the The Hub children’s television network, but producers have since announced the broadcast will be postponed indefinitely. Vicious anti-Muslim bigots everywhere are gleeful, boasting that their small but boisterous outcry may have prompted the delay.

The New York Post published a scathing article by outrage peddler Andrea Peyser criticizing the series and calling on anti-Muslim bigots to protest loudly so they can “cancel THE 99 before it starts.”  Peyser says the series will indoctrinate impressionable young children with Sharia-compliant Muslim superheroes “masquerading as the good guys.”

For Peyser the Hateful, Muslims are always super villains, so characters who represent the 99 virtues of God in the Qur’an will naturally use their powers to wage the ultimate jihad. She conjures up fearsome images of Jabbar the Powerful dishing out a mean stoning, and Darr the Afflicter venting his rage on hapless dhimmis

…Despite all the controversy, Dr. Al-Mutawa remains optimistic.  He has faced many hurdles in the last eight years, and his frustrations have been chronicled in the PBS documentary Wham! Bam! Islam!  ”One way or the other,” he says, “‘The 99′ will get on air in the U.S.”

Read the rest: THE 99 Superheroes Vs. The Loons

Now it seems professional outage peddler and hate sophisticate, Daniel Pipes, has at last detected THE 99 Comic Stealth Jihad and taken up the battle in his alarmist article, Islam’s Cartoon Missionaries:

Comic books as a method of missionizing for Islam (da’wa)?

Yes. One year ago, Harvard University hosted a workshop to teach comic book artists how to address Americans’ “unease with Islam and the Middle East.” And later this week, Georgetown University will air a PBS documentary, Wham! Bam! Islam! celebrating a comic book called The 99.

The 99 sounds innocuous. Adweek describes its topic as “a team of multinational superheroes [who] band together to fight the forces of evil.” The American children’s network Hub more fully explains that, “Created by noted Middle East scholar and clinical psychologist Dr. Naif al-Mutawa, [it consists of] superhero characters who must work together to maximize their powers. Each member of The 99embodies one of 99 global values such as wisdom, mercy, strength or faithfulness, and they hail from 99 different countries on seven continents. The series’ superheroes portray characters designed to be positive role models, representing diverse cultures, who work together to promote peace and justice.”

Who can object to the promotion of “global values … representing diverse cultures”?

But a closer look reveals the Islamic nature of the comic book. The title, 99, refers to Islam’s concept that God has 99 names, each of which appears in the Koran and embodies some attribute of His character: the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Kind, the Most Holy, and the All-Peaceful, but also the Avenger, the Afflicter, and the Causer of Death.

The comic book, produced by the Teshkeel Media Group of Kuwait, tells a partly-factual, partly-fantastical tale that begins in 1258 A.D., when the Mongols besieged Baghdad. Librarians supposedly saved the wisdom of the city’s main library by encoding it in 99 gems that get scattered around the world. The heroes must find these “gems of power” before an arch-villain does. Each of them is an ordinary Muslim who, through contact with a gem, achieves superhuman powers and represents one of God’s 99 attributes.

The superheroes are all Muslims (i.e., not Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist), some of whom come from Western countries like the United States and Portugal. In contrast, villains are primarily non-Muslims….

….Likewise, Barack Obama praised the comic books for having “captured the imagination of so many young people with superheroes who embody the teachings and tolerance of Islam.” An Islamic investment bank whose products “fully comply with Shari’ah principles” invested US$15.9 million in Teshkeel and complimented it for “highlighting Islam’s rich culture and heritage.”

In short, The 99, available in both Arabic and English, contains overtly Islamic content and explicitly promotes Islam. Granted, its Islam has modern aspects, but among non-Muslims the series engages in surreptitious da’wa.

In addition to the comic books, Al-Mutawa has developed some spinoffs (online comics, games, lunch boxes, and theme parks) and envisages others (newspaper comics, stickers, and perhaps toys). But most of all, he wants an animated cartoon. Although the Hub network planned in 2011 to air The 99, this never happened, largely because criticism caused it to shy away from a show instilling “Islamic values in Christian, Jewish and atheist children.”

In short, to the Islamic indoctrination of Western children, already present in schools through textbooks ,additional school materials, and classroom trips, now add comic books and their many spin-offs, actual and potential. The 99 might be fine for Muslim children but, support from Georgetown University notwithstanding, non-Muslim children should not be exposed to missionizing propaganda of this sort.

Will THE 99 Comic Stealth Jihad succeed and lure our children into the clutches of the Mooslem supervillains?!? What are we to do now that Pipes the Courageous has revealed that even our Secret-Mooslem-President, Barak HUSSEIN Obama, is in on the plot?!?

Quick! Someone call Spencer Man and Geller Woman

The 19The 19: Spencer Man and Geller Woman..ugh.

…or before you can say derka derka Mohammed jihad, ”our children” will be snubbing pork rinds, and Mooslamic theme parks will be springing up like mosques in the heartland.

SpencerWatch: Bank Robbing: Hard to Kick the “Habit”

Posted in Loon Blogs, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Bank Robbing: Hard to Kick the “Habit”

Robert Spencer writes in a blog titled, “Philadelphia: Police hunt niqab-wearing bank robbers”:

Here is still more reason why Western countries should take off the multiculturalist straitjacket and ban the burqa and niqab.

Spencer is unable to make legitimate criticisms about Islam or Muslims because underlying all of his half-baked arguments is a weak, fact-less, and hate-mongering core.

In this instance, in order for Spencer to attempt to make his point he succumbs to a baseless ridicule-centered argument by calling the niqab and/or burqa a “multiculturalist straightjacket”.

If one were to go along with Spencer’s logic of why the burqa and niqab should be banned, then he would paradoxically also be an advocate for banning the “habit,” i.e. the traditional catholic garb for nuns.

Just as the burqa/niqab has been used by criminals during bank robberies so has the habit:

The two suspects were both dressed in black sweat pants and sweatshirts and wore nuns’ habits and identical ghoulish rubber masks, with small slits for eyes.

No one calls for the banning of the habit. No one ridicules that religious garb as a symbol of oppression because that would be illogical.

Of course, when Spencer wants to make an anti-Islam/Muslim point he won’t allow common sense or logic to get in the way. This is just another instance of silly Spencer.

LGF: Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s Friend Freely Admits to Beating and Stabbing Muslims

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by loonwatch

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer‘s thugish friend exposed as violent anti-Muslim hate-mongering psychopath, freely admits to targeting, beating, cutting and stabbing Muslims.

Rodan Exposed: The Shocking Audio

by Gus (Little Green Footballs)

CONTENT WARNING: Listener discretion is advised. The following video (audio) contains explicit language, hate speech, racial slurs, and violent rhetoric including descriptions of past incidents of violent crimes as described by the subject.

ADDITIONAL WARNING: Rodan also drops the N-Word towards the end of the audio.

The following is an audio recording of Rodan (real name: Rick Martinez) as described in the captioned text below the audio. The subject is Rodan (aka Trajan 75, Emporer Palpatine, et al). Rodan began as webmaster for Think Progress Watch and is currently the webmaster and primary functionary at The Blogmocracy and The Diary of Daedalus.

The Diary of Daedalus is a site dedicated to the tracking and harassment of Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs and members of Little Green Footballs. It has been previously cited in blogs or on Twitter by Andrew Breitbart; Dan Riehl of Riehlworldview; Donald Douglas of American Power; R.S. McCain of The Other McCain; Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch; and others.

Please note that I am not the creator of said video nor am I affiliated with the uploader of said video on Youtube. This is not an endorsement of his or her beliefs whatever they may be. Also note that this is all public information and this video/audio has been present on Youtube since 2009. The purpose of this information herein is to reveal the true nature and background of the creator and webmaster for The Blogmocracy and The Diary of Daedalus most commonly known as Rodan.

The Diary of Daedalus most commonly known as Rodan. (Click here to view the video)

This description is from the original post at YouTube; Rodan and his followers reported the video for “hate speech” and got it pulled from YouTube. (Yes, they reported their own founder for hate speech.) It’s now hosted at LGF so they can’t make it disappear.

Rodan a.k.a. Emporer Palpatine shares his thoughts on Muslims, and gives anecdotes in regards to the Muslims he “sliced and diced” in the early 90’s.

The recording you are about to hear was recorded on the morning of June 6th, 2009 at approximately 3:40 AM.

It was recorded in “Wine Drinkers kick ass”; the room of Emporer Palpatinea.k.a. Rodan.

The following rant given by Rodan is recorded as it was, with the exception of a pause to insert Marlen2008’s text.

This, although heard by a select few, is being released after 6 months. We feel that it is time for this recording to be made public.

The subject matter may be shocking. Listener discretion is advised.

Terrorist Inspirer Robert Spencer Compares Muslims to Nazis, Says Muslims Can’t Be Trusted

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2012 by loonwatch

Spencer is working hard to disassociate himself from one of his fans-Anders Breivik

Even if you’re a Muslim who is heading and escalating the drone program against the enemies of the USA (killing many innocents in the process), you risk Spencer labeling you an “evil suspect Mooslim.”

That’s exactly what Spencer did recently on his blog in response to a Washington Post profile on the leader of the CIA’s drone program, “Roger” who also happens to be Muslim. (H/T: BA, JD)

A rational individual may actually criticize the substance of the Washington Post profile of “Roger.” A rational individual may choose to point out that the drone program has killed thousands of innocents, destabilized whole regions, and probably endangered the security of the USA further, maybe for years to come.

Instead, the irrational loony Spencer chose to criticize the “Muslamic” nature of “Roger,” considering the wild possibility that he could actually be an “undercover terrorist.”

This was not the most flagrant looniness from Spencer, he also compared Muslims to Nazis, implying that Muslims are worse:

The question is this: some might liken Roger to a top American official joining the Nazi Party during World War II. Others would liken Roger to a top American official marrying a German immigrant during World War II, and coming under unjust suspicion as a result. German Americans, of course, could oppose and fight against National Socialism unequivocally, without any lingering allegiance to it; Muslims who profess to reject and abhor Islamic terrorism, however, still profess belief in a book and a prophet that have inspired Islamic violence and supremacism worldwide, even among believers who have no institutional connection to al-Qaeda or any other jihad group.

This goes back to the fact that Spencer wants Muslims to take loyalty tests.

Islamophobe Robert Spencer Questions Loyalty Of Top CIA Counterterror Official

(ThinkProgress)

The long Washington Post profile this weekend of a top Central Intelligence Agency official contained a remarkable number of details about the man that heads the Agency’s Counterterrorism Center — remarkable because the man remained shrouded in mystery, referenced only by the first name of his cover identity, “Roger.” Roger chain smokes, swears, worked in Africa, was “pudgy” in his youth, and — oh, yeah — he’s Muslim.

This last fact was too much for one of America’s foremost Islamophobes to bear: to an Islamophobe, Islamic extremist terrorism is inseparable from Islam at large, so how could a Muslim head up a counter-terrorism operation? Leave aside that Roger presides over a CIA unit that he expanded from three unmanned drone aircraft to an entire fleet firing missiles that have crippled militant networks — including Al Qaeda — in Pakistan.

Leave aside that Roger presides over a CIA unit that he brought from having three unmanned drone aircraft to a fleet of them that fire myriad missiles which crippled militant networks — including Al Qaeda — in Pakistan. Never mind that retired Gen. David Petraeus, who now heads up the CIA, said of Roger: “No officer in the agency has been more relentless, focused, or committed to the fight against al-Qaeda than has the chief of the Counterterrorism Center.”

None of that was enough to convince Robert Spencer, a long-time ally of anti-Muslim mainstay Pamela Geller, that “Roger” just might be a Manchurian candidate foisted upon the CIA by Muslim extremists looking to destroy America:

[I]f Islamic supremacists wanted to subvert the U.S. defense against jihad terror, they couldn’t do it more easily than by turning someone in a position like Roger’s. The worst part of this story is that no one is even examining that as a possibility.

Maybe the Post’s Greg Miller simply realized that a guy who blows up the actual dangerous “Islamic supremacists” on a regular basis would make an unlikely candidate to be a plant within the system. Perhaps that’s because, under Roger’s watch, “core al Qaida’s ability to perform a variety of functions — including preserving leadership and conducting external operations — has weakened significantly,” according to Capitol Hill testimony by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

But Spencer knows all that. He even says so:

The Washington Post, of course, follows the mainstream media line that Islam is a Religion of Peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists, and so takes for granted that “Roger” has no loyalty issues, and proffers the drone campaign and the killing of bin Laden as proof.

Why still the questions, then? Because, Spencer says, “It is impossible to tell from this how serious he is about Islam.” The obvious implication in Spencer’s thinking is that “serious(ness)” about one’s faith — when that faith is Islam — means disloyalty to the U.S. Spencer should consider that the “mainstream media” might be right about this one.

Hero Brinkman: Defector From Geert Wilders anti-Islam Party Says PVV is Bankrolled by US Supporters

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by loonwatch

Geert Wilders and David Horowitz Freedom Center

Geert Wilders and David Horowitz Freedom Center

Tell us something we didn’t already know (via. Islamophobia-Watch):

Wilders’ anti-Islam party is bankrolled by US supporters, says former MP

American lobbyists make large donations to a foundation set up by the anti-immigration PVV, Hero Brinkman, the MP who left the party on Tuesday, told a television talk show on Tuesday evening.

Brinkman said he could not rule out the money being used to pay for Geert Wilders’ defence on racial hatred charges but declined to comment further on what the money had been spent on. Nor would he comment on the size of the donations.

The PVV is thought to generate significant funding from Israeli and far-right supporters in the US.

Because the PVV has no members, it does not receive government subsidies to run the campaigning side of its operations and relies instead on donations.

Dutch News, 21 March 2012

Brinkman’s allegation about the PVV’s finances confirms what had already been revealed in the Dutch press. Last year Dutch Newsreported that the two main US sources for the PVV’s funding were David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.