Archive for Stealth Jihad

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.

Latest Conspiracy Theory: ‘In Allah We Trust’

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

In God We Trust

Just when you thought the loons couldn’t get any loonier…

Latest Conspiracy Theory: Muslims Altering US Dollars to Read ‘In Allah We Trust’

Cross-posted from Right Wing Watch (H/T Believing Atheist)

Self-proclaimed “ex-terrorist” Kamal Saleem tells quite a story about his life, claiming that he worked for late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, Hamas, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and fought with Al Qaeda in Tora Bora, all before coming to the United States in order to carry out the “culture jihad.” Sure his entire story is a fabrication, but that hasn’t stopped this descendent of the imaginary “Grand Wazir of Islam” from getting speaking gigs across the country where he criticizes Islam and warns of impending Sharia law in the United States. Yesterday, Saleem sat down again with fellow anti-Muslim activists Jerry Boykin and Rick Joyner on Prophetic Perspectives where he warned that as part of the effort of Muslim-Americans to usher in an Islamic theocracy, they are replacing the words “In God We Trust” on the dollar with “In Allah We Trust”:

Move Over Zagat: The NYPD Guide to Newark’s Best Muslim Restaurants

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , on February 27, 2012 by loonwatch
Restaurant Jihad
Tasty Eats or Stealth Jihad?

Lots of tasty stakeouts…and there’s even a Dunkin Donuts!

The NYPD Zagat Guide to Newark’s Best (and Most Threatening) Muslim Restaurants

Cross-posted from Gawker

Last night, the AP broke the news that the New York Police Department had spent months spying on Muslims in Newark, N.J. “The result was a 60-page report,” AP reporter Adam Goldman writes, “containing brief summaries of businesses and their clientele.” But was it a surveillance file… or just a guide to Newark’s best Muslim restaurants?

“Such surveillance has become commonplace in New York City in the decade since the 2001 terrorist attacks,” Goldman rightly points out. “The documents obtained by the AP show, for the first time in any detail, how those efforts stretched outside the NYPD’s jurisdiction.”

But as he himself acknowledges, “[t]he report cited no evidence of terrorism or criminal behavior.” Indeed, it’s just “a guide to Newark’s Muslims.” Nothing creepy about NYPD spending months monitoring Muslims outside their jurisdiction, at all. And what could be more helpful to the aspiring gourmand than a handbook of the best Halal joints in Newark? With that in mind, we’ve re-arranged some of the dry NYPD “notes,” Zagat-style, to bring you: The NYPD Guide to Newark’s Best Muslim Restaurants.

Newark Fried Chicken
942 Broad St., (973) 824-1780
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: A “medium size fast food restaurant” with “fried chicken, pizza and cold drinks” on its menu, Newark Fried Chicken is said to be “in good condition,” with “seating for 10 to 15 customers.”

*****

Kansas Fried Chicken
183 Market St., (973) 242-8844
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: This “medium size takeout restaurant” is known for its “fried chicken, pizza and cold drinks.” “Location is owned by persons of Afghani descent,” notes one reviewer.

*****

Mecca’s Halal Restaurant
4 Branford Pl., (973) 824-5600
Yelp Rating: Four stars. (“Shockingly good,” writes Andrew B. of Evanston, Ill.)

NYPD says: A “small restaurant” “in close proximity of Islamic Cultural center” “owned and operated by African-Americans,” Mecca’s Halal Restaurant gets another thumbs-up from our reviewers. It “has seating for 10-15 customers” and “serves Halal food.”

*****

Amin’s Halal Restaurant
57 William St., (973) 621-1111
Yelp Rating: Three and a half stars. (“Very clean,” says Jeff M. of Jersey City, N.J.)

NYPD says: Our reviewers say Amin’s Halal Restaurant, “location below the former Muhammads Mosque” (now closed), is “medium sized” and “owned and operated by Muslims of Chinese descent.” “During visit 3 African Muslim males and an Egyptian male customer were observed dining within,” writes one reviewer. Wild!

*****

Dunkin Donuts
806 South Orange Ave., no phone number
Yelp Rating: No rating. (Average rating of Newark Dunkin Donuts: Three and a half stars.)

NYPD says: “Good condition,” observes one reviewer, who notes that the “store… has a capacity for 15 to 20 customers.”

*****

Utah Fried Chicken
653 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., (973) 792-1993
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: Convenience is the name of the game at Utah Fried Chicken, which our reviewers note is “in close proximity of Masjid Rahman.” One drawback: the restaurant is “small.”

*****

Detroit Fried Chicken and Pizza
685 Springfield Ave., (931) 375-0013
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: Come to Detroit Fried Chicken and you might be welcomed by its owner, “Egyptian male,” who’s set up “seating for approximately ten customers” right “next door to Masjid Al-Haqq.” “Fast food restaurant,” writes one reviewer, with what we imagine to be enthusiasm.

*****

West Indian American Halal Restaurant
347 Sandford Ave., (973) 373-7333
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: “Poor condition” at this restaurant “owned and operated by persons of West Indian descent,” lament our reviewers. Nevertheless, it “has seating for 8-10 customers” and “is in close proximity of Masjid Fallahee… and Al Muslimaat academy.”

*****

Jordan Halal Restaurant
1008 South Orange Ave., (973) 399-7980
Yelp Rating: Four and a half stars. (“Great breakfasts,” writes Karol R. “OMG I would come here everyday if I could!!!!” adds Candy B. of Newark.)

NYPD says: Options for “takeout and dining in” at this “small restaurant” “owned and operated by persons of Jordanian descent.” But be aware that it is “small.”

*****

Chicken Holiday
1036 South Orange Ave., (973) 373-2009
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: Reviewers didn’t have much to say about this “small size takeout location” “owned and operated by persons of Pakistani descent” “that serves Halal food” — but their affection was clear nonetheless.

*****

Crown Fried Chicken and Deli
231 Lyons Ave., (973) 923-4466
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: Watch out at this “small fast food restaurant” serving “fried chicken and deli sandwiches”: “Location does not have any chairs or tables inside for customers.” Hope you like standing!

*****

Amin’s Halal Restaurant
430 Chancellor Ave., (973) 926-6150
Yelp Rating: No rating.

NYPD says: Get ready for some food after prayers at this “medium sized Chinese Halal restaurant” “located across the street from Masjid Ibrahim”! “Owned and operated by Muslims of Chinese descent,” Amin’s “has approximately three tables.”

*****

Kings Family Restaurant Inc.
327 Lyons Ave., (973) 926-2177
Yelp Rating: Three and a half stars. (“Sizeable portions,” says Ron B. of Denver.)

NYPD says: How about a party at Kings Family Restaurant Inc., “a large restaurant with seating for 45-50 customers”? This “traditional Halal diner” is “owned by persons of Turkish descent” — and don’t forget to bring some extra change: “location has a donation box inside for unknown Masjid.”

Lowe’s Pulls Ad from “All American Muslim” Due to Pressure From Islamophobes

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2011 by loonwatch

It is interesting to note the strange things Islamophobes take umbrage at. For instance think about the google doodle they thought hid the ulterior motives of Islamic stealth jihad, don’t you see the crescent hiding under the US flag:

or who can forget the crusade launched by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer against Campbell’s Soup:

or casting Ms.USA Rima Fakih as Hezbollah’s secret Muslamic ray-gun weapon who would secretly spell the doom of the West:

then recently there were the calls to boycott Butterball Turkey for being certified as halal, according to Islamophobes the halal certification was evidence of the Islamization of America!

There are other instances of such stupidity, (just check out our archives) but one has reared its ugly head anew and this one can’t be so easily laughed off. Far right Christians and anti-Muslim bigots hate a new show on TLC called All American Muslim. According to them it humanizes Muslims, and we can’t have that! Robert Spencer for instance wanted to see a “terrorist Muslim family” included.

The hate brigade has been campaigning advertisers to withdraw their ads from the program. Now one company, Lowe’s has supposedly taken the bait (hat tip: H.). According to the campaigners, the “show riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values” and they are claiming success:

Supporters’ emails to advertisers make a difference.Florida Family Association sent out a third email alert on December 6th which reported The Learning Channel’s new program called All-American Muslim.  All-American Muslim is propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.  The email alert encouraged supporters to send emails to the companies (including Lowes) that advertised during the December 4th and 5th episodes.   

Lowes sent the following email to Florida Family Association stating that All-American Muslim “does not meet Lowe’s advertising guidelines.”  If you have not sent your email to All-American Muslim advertisers click here.

—– Original Message —– 
From:
 Andrew
To:
 davidcaton@floridafamily.org 
Sent:
 Tuesday, December 06, 2011 12:57 PM 
Subject:
 RE: Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc. advertised during All-American Muslim

Hello David,

Thank you for contacting Lowe’s.  We work hard to listen to our customers and respond to their concerns.  Lowe’s has strict guidelines that govern the placement of our advertising. Our company advertises primarily in national, network prime-time television programs and on a variety of cable outlets.  Lowe’s constantly reviews advertising buys to make certain they are consistent with its policy guidelines.

While we continue to advertise on various cable networks, including TLC, there are certain programs that do not meet Lowe’s advertising guidelines, including the show you brought to our attention.  Lowe’s will no longer be advertising on that program.

Our goal is to provide the best service, products and shopping environment in the home improvement industry.  We appreciate your feedback and will share your comments with our advertising department as they evaluate future advertising opportunities.

If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to call 1-866-900-4650, or email execustservice@lowes.com.  You may also contact us by mailing your correspondence to Lowe’s Companies, Mail Code CON8, 1605 Curtis Bridge Rd., Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28697.

Thank you,

Andrew
Lowe’s Executive Support

Update (h/t JD):

Here is a list of companies that they claim to have succeeded in convincing to cancel their advertising based on this bigoted, hateful, anti-Muslim reasoning:

3M (Command, Scotchbrand tape),
Airborne Vitamin,
Amway,
Anheuser Busch Inbev (Select55),
Art Instruction Schools,
Bamboozles,
Bank of America (Cash Rewards),
Bare Escentuals,
Brother International (Ptouch),
Campbell’s Soup,
Capital One,
Church & Dwight (Oxi Clean, Arm & Hammer),
City Furniture,
Conagra (Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes),
Corinthian Colleges (Everst411),
Cotton, Inc.,
Cumberland Packing (Sweet’N Low),
Dell computers,
Diamond Foods (Kettlebrand Chips),
Estee Lauder (Clinique),
ET Browe (Palmer’s Cocoa butter),
Gap,
General Motors (Chevy Runs Deep),
Good Year,
Green Mountain Coffee,
Guthy Renker (Proactiv),
Hershey kisses,
Home Depot,
Honda North America,
HTC Phones,
Ikea,
JC Penney,
JP Morgan Chase (Chase Sapphire),
Kayak.com, Kellogg (Special K),
Koa Brands (John Frieda),
Leapfrog Enterprise (Leapster Explorer),
Lowe’s
Mars (Dove Chocolate),
McDonald’s,
Nationwide Insurance,
News Corp (We bought a zoo movie),
Nintendo (Mariokartz.com),
Novartis (Theraflu),
Old Navy,
Pernod Ricard (Kahlua),
Petsmart,
Pier One,
Pfizer (Centrum vitamin),
Procter & Gamble (Align Probiotic, Crest, Febreze, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, Pur, Tide),
Progressive Insurance,
Prudential Financial,
Radio Shack,
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse,
SC Johnson (Drano, Glade, Scrubbing Bubbles),
Sears ,
Signet (Kay Jewelers),
Sonic Drive-ins,
Subaru, T
HQ (uDraw),
T-Mobil,
Toyota (Camry),
Volkswagen,
Vtech (Mobi Go, V Reader),
Wal-Mart
Whirlpool (Maytag)

Did this program not meet Lowe’s advertising guidelines because it showed a Muslim policeman who self-identifies as an American? Was it because Muslims and Arabs were not portrayed as evil villains who are not “real Americans” and have no right to act as if they are normal human beings with families, mortgages, jobs, etc. From here it looks like the MuslimPhobes are winning the undermine anything Islamic and Muslim as evil PR war.

Muslamic Ray Guns Being Used in Stealth Jihad

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2011 by loonwatch
Well it is green you know?

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller’s heroes, the EDL at it again, lets watch this genius:

Obviously the bloke is a little drunk…at least I hope he is. At the end of the day this group is a nativist, racist organization that doesn’t want to see any non-Whites or Muslims around.

Of course you know that it had to be autotuned:

The Onion Spoofs Fox News? Hilarious!

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2011 by loonwatch

Do you think The Onion is spoofing Fox News in this video clip? It would be hilarious if it wasn’t scary how real it is! OK fine, it is hilarious. But it is also scary. One would think that only in a spoof could anybody actually claim that there exist “decoy Muslims” but in fact the Islamophobes fear-monger about so-called “stealth jihad” all the time, which is essentially the exact same thing!

Pamela Geller Watch: Arabic Language not to be Trusted or Taught

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2011 by loonwatch
Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller was on Fox Business News, or as some know it Circus TV advocating her wacky conspiracy theories. Her response might have elicited the Pamela Geller Quote of the Year or at least a candidate (the year is still young),

“Well Bob, there is conspiracy theory and then there is conspiracy fact, there is a global Jihad, (mumble)…Robert Spencer’s book, (mumble), there is a stealth Jihad, there is a war and you can avoid reality Eric but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”

Pamela Geller, Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling and others on Fox Business/Circus News:

Islamophobia Today has a good rebuttal of the tripe from Geller on this subject:

Pamela Geller: Islamophobia/Arabophobia

Written by Admin of IslamophobiaToday.com

Pamela Geller’s Islamophobia has gotten so bad that she assumes the Arabic language is inherently “radical Islam” despite its existence well before Islam.  By this, she is implying that Arabs are only Muslims. I am not sure if Geller forgot or if she is plain ignorant but there are more Arab Christians in America than Arab Muslims:

Based on Zogby International Survey (200)

Not only does Geller exalt in her bigotry against Islam and Muslims (as the website LoonWatch has documented), but she is clearly manifesting her racist tendencies:

Good job, freedom lovers. You fought back against mandatory Arabic Classes in Public Schools in Texas.

“It shows how we mischaracterized, we willfully misunderstand Islam. Yes, on the face of it, yes, Arabic is a language. In a sense there would be no difference between opening a foreign language school — a Spanish language school or a french language school — but in fact Arabic is more than a language. It is explicated the language of Islam, so in that sense it is part of the Islamic religious imperial project. Radical Islam advances through the Arabic language. And you go all kinds of places that aren’t in the Arab world now, like Pakistan, Indonesia, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada and the United States, and you will here those Imams preaching in Arabic. Arabic is not just another language like French or Italian, it is the spearhead of an ideological project that is deeply opposed to the United States.”

In Geller’s post, she selectively quotes from Mandatory Arabic Classes in Public School In Texas, omitting the fact that Arabic is not only the language being taught at the school:

The University of Texas, working with the Mansfield district, identified Cross Timbers Intermediate as a target since 10 percent of the district’s Arabic-speaking population attends the South Arlington school.

“The federal government sees Arabic, Chinese and Russian as critical,” Escovedo said. “Our country has a deficit in Arabic speakers and people who understand the Arabic culture.”

The Mansfield district also offers Chinese and Russian, among other languages. Students may begin taking language classes in middle school to fulfill their high school requirement of two years of foreign language.

Geller does not make any comment about learning Russian, Chinese, or any other language, but for some reason, Arabic is the language of terrorists. So her logic, or as I like to call it the Gellerian/Spencerian logic is as follows:

1)       Muslims are Evil

2)      They speak  Arabic

3)      Arabic is Evil

The semi-coherent ramblings of the uber-racist Pam Geller once again, betray her false claims towards being an advocate of freedom, equality, and justice. For Geller, Arabic equals Islam and Islam equals total absolute evil and therefore by extension Arabic speakers are likewise evil.

Arabic is a rich, classical language like Latin and Greek, branding it as an ideology is beyond ridiculous, it is a call to prepetual ignorance where by Geller wishes to deprive the coming generations of an experience that not only will enrich their lives, increase their knowledge but will also prove useful in their future careers. In reality what she is afraid of is the normalization of Arabs and Muslims in American society, and she will go to any lengths to ghettoize the former.

 

Islamophobic Tsunamis Engulf the Washington Times

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by loonwatch

Coexistence with Islam will destroy America because the Moozlims are sinisterly planning to undermine Western civilization. That is the message of a new editorial in the Washington Times. Yes, the stealth jihad conspiracy turns its ugly head again as we are warned – without any academic studies or proof – that the imminent “Islamic tsunami” and “Islamic tidal wave” are threatening everything we hold dear.

Is an Islamic tidal wave coming? “There is a plan to take over Western civilization,” warns David Rubin, “and we need to recognize it for what it is.” Mr. Rubin is a native New Yorker who served as mayor of the Israeli town of Shiloh. He spoke to The Washington Times about his new book, “The Islamic Tsunami: Israel and America in the Age of Obama.”

Who is David Rubin and what are his credentials to speak as an expert on Islam? Well, none, unless you consider rave reviews by far-right extremist demagogues like David Horowitz and Pat Robertsonsomething to be proud of.

The entire editorial speaks of a monolithic, singular-minded, totalitarian Islam bent on destroying America. Not just extremists, but Islam itself. This perfectly fits the accepted textbook definition of Islamophobia by the Runnymede Trust:

1.      Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.

2.      Islam is seen as separate and ‘other’. It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.

3.      Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.

4.      Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a ‘clash of civilizations’.

5.      Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.

6.      Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.

7.      Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.

8.      Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

Islamophobia (irrational fear of Islam) is exactly what the Washington Times is spreading when they speak of the menacing hoards of Saracens secretly teaming up with Democrats to undermine Western civilization. The Times continues:

Confronting the growing threat to Western civilization first involves admitting the problem exists, something President Obama not only refuses to do but strongly denies. The administration has censored any discussion of the problem in these terms within the government, preferring to focus on ill-defined “violent extremism” when the real extremist threat is only partly violent and wholly Islamicist. Mr. Rubinnotes that Mr. Obama‘s vaunted outreach effort to the world’s Muslims has been “a total failure in generating respect for the Judeo-Christian world.” The president keeps reaching out, but Islam is not reaching back.

It is very strange to see how “Islam” (1.5 billion people) can be collectively accused of snubbing President Obama’s outreach. Never mind the research which shows most American Muslims are mainstream moderates citizens. Ignore their insidious attempts at interfaith peace! We can only assume our government officials should stop using the term “violent extremism” and instead declare outright holy war against Islam. The Times continues:

Instead of pandering to Islam in hopes that somehow the threat will go away, Mr. Rubin says the United States needs to rediscover its roots. “The United States is a country built on Biblical foundations,” he said. “The United States needs to cease apologizing for what it is and where it comes from.” That America is a pluralistic nation in which people from many cultures may live, work and flourish doesn’t overshadow the fact that the country was founded on a specific set of ideals that enabled this pluralistic culture to take root. Islamism constitutes a mortal threat to those ideals, just as fascism and communism did for previous generations.

Despite what moral relativists believe, all belief systems are not created equal. A moral defense of the American ideal is possible and increasingly necessary. Mr. Rubin believes Americans “do not have to be ashamed” of the religious basis of the country’s founding. “America is built on freedom of worship, but of a particular religious root,” he says. The United States has to reclaim and defend the civilization on which it is based or risk declining into second-rate status and being overwhelmed by the tsunami steadily building on the horizon.

Now we are told the “threat” will not go away until we stop “pandering to Islam,” whatever that means. We can only assume that America should immediately stop all diplomacy with Muslim nations and forego any attempt at peaceful interfaith coexistence. If we don’t stand up now, the Moozlim hoards will quickly achieve the ¾ majority of states needed to change the Constitution into Sharia law!

So there you have it. Western civilization is under immediate existential threat by a shadowy, vague Islamic tsunami. The sky is falling! How exactly the religion of Islam will bring Western civilization crashing down is left to the imagination. No specific prescriptions are given to deal with this allegedly clear and present danger, so worried readers are left to find their own ways of saving their doomed civilization; such as attacking random Imams, bullying the local Muslim school boy, vandalizingor pipe bombing a random mosque, stabbing a random Muslim cabby, or agitating to nuke Muslim cities.

What can we do to save our civilization? We can only assume.

 

Salman Khan: Person of the Week or Person of Interest?

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2010 by loonwatch

According to the logic of Robert Spencer this guy is probably a Stealth Jihadist working on a plot that steals mathematical teaching techniques from Dhimmis and then uses it to brainwash children into becoming radical Mooslim mathematical Jihadists.

Person of the Week: Salman Khan: Bill Gates’ Hero
http://abcnews.go.com/assets/player/walt2.6/flash/SFP_Walt_2_65.swf

 

Fethullah Gulen: Despite Attacks Good Works Shine Through

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Blogs, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2010 by loonwatch

An interesting report on Sufi leader Fethullah Gulen and the wild conspiracies thrown out against him and his Hizmet (Service) movement. Conspiracies of “militants” being trained at a Pennsylvania retreat that houses Gulen are debunked, though unfortunately space and weight is given to anti-Muslim bigots and Islamophobes Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson, whose commentary is near worthless on these matters.

Daniel Pipes argues from conspiracy, essentially asserting that Gulen is a “stealth Jihadist” while Emerson who is well known as being in the anti-Muslim game for cash money can at most offer the meek “we don’t know” if Gulen is a radical. Sorry to burst your bubble Emerson, but we do know –Gulen is NOT a “radical.” Only in your cerebral world in which every Muslim is guilty until proven innocent can we entertain the question of whether Gulen, a Sufi leader of an inspirational organization that fosters interfaith dialogue, ecumenicism, opens exceptional schools for the poor be considered “radical.”

Imam who lives in rural Pennsylvania arouses praise, concerns

By Andrew Conte

SAYLORSBURG — Just a short drive on a two-lane road from the Dunkin’ Donuts here, the Golden Generation Retreat Center hardly seems like the home of one of the world’s leading Islamic thinkers.

A metal gate at the driveway stands open, and no fences or walls protect the 25-acre property from suburban homes and rolling hillsides nearby. Officials recently invited their neighbors to celebrate the opening of a three-story meeting center and share a Thanksgiving feast.

“They’re friendly people,” said Rod Schreck, 74, who lives within walking distance.

“Put it this way,” his wife, Maxine, 69, said, “they’re better to us than we are to them.”

Still, mystery surrounds the center’s most famous guest, Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish imam who has lived here for 11 years after arriving in the United States for medical treatments. Gulen practices Sufism, a mystical form of Islam that requires strict religious observation, austerity and abstinence, according to one of his more than 60 books.

“We are for one thing: peace and prosperity in the world for everyone,” said Bekir Aksoy, president of the retreat center. “There is no ‘them’ for us. All humanity is one.”

After coming here, Gulen was tried — and then acquitted — in Turkey on charges related to inciting an overthrow of the government. He might face criminal charges again if he returned home, a supporter in Istanbul said. And that could trigger chaos.

So Gulen remains in this rural community about 30 miles northeast of Allentown and less than a two-hour drive from Manhattan. He lives alone in one room of the large main house and owns only the toiletries and small possessions in his bedroom, Aksoy said.

Debilitated by health issues — he has heart, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure problems — Gulen, 69, was not well enough to meet with a reporter during a recent visit, Aksoy said.

The ongoing mystery around Gulen breeds suspicion, particularly since the 9/11 terror attacks added to Americans’ unease with Islam. Some research groups raise questions about Gulen’s real intentions. Yet, some contend he is no different from any other religious leader.

Concerns in the United States about Gulen and the spread of Islam are rooted in ignorance and misunderstanding, said Terry Rey, chair of the Department of Religion at Temple University, which co-hosted a conference on Gulen with his supporters this month.

“Any religious movement that begins to draw people is a threat to someone,” Rey said. “As a scholar of religion, I can contextualize it, and I cannot see it as anything fundamentally different from what has always gone on.”

AN ENIGMA

Internet rumors say the retreat center was used as a militia training ground and schools started by Gulen’s admirers are brainwashing children.

An article published last year by the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based policy group, suggested Gulen’s supporters control $25 billion and could be plotting a religious takeover of Turkey’s government, a secular republic.

Daniel Pipes, the nonprofit’s director, called Gulen dangerous. Pipes said he could be “perhaps the most sophisticated Islamist leader in the world” for eschewing violence and extremism but still seeking to apply Islamic religious law.

“He’s a bit of a mystery,” said Steven Emerson, an expert on Islamic extremists. “The question is, is he a radical or not?”

Michael Werz, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank, described Gulen as a moderate who spoke out against terrorism and supported interfaith dialogue.

“He’s a pretty middle-of-the-road guy,” said Werz, who plans to speak Tuesday at an event hosted by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

The government allowed Gulen to remain in the country as an alien worker with “extraordinary ability” since he won a court ruling in 2008 that overturned an initial denial by immigration officials.

Rumors that the retreat center is being used to create an army are unfounded, said Howard Beers Jr., chairman of the board of supervisors in Ross Township in Monroe County, home of Golden Generation. His construction company built the retreat center’s facility.

“That’s so far-fetched,” he said. “People love to make up crap, and they know if they make that up, someone will believe them.”

A state police supervisor in nearby Lehighton said the retreat center has not created problems or generated emergency calls. Gulen cooperates during FBI visits, said J.J. Klaver, spokesman in the agency’s Philadelphia field office.

“We have no reason to believe anything other than what he says is going on there, is going on,” Klaver said.

Nothing obvious about the retreat center suggests that it could be a training ground for militants, either.

Newly constructed guest houses surround the meeting center. The houses hold up to 80 visitors, who come from around the world and stay for days at a time, said Steve Sablak, vice president of the retreat center.

The buildings appear clean and modern, with a granite countertop and plastic furniture in one kitchen. Visitors’ clothes spilled out of small suitcases in a room lined with Turkish futons, and children’s toys, including a Bob the Builder doll and a plastic ball, sat on the floor.

‘FANTASTICALLY DISORGANIZED’

The understated campus belies the wide reach of Gulen’s teachings.

Readers of Foreign Policy magazine voted Gulen the world’s leading public intellectual in 2008. A report by Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst last year called him a polarizing figure in Turkey.

The number of people inspired by Gulen is estimated at more than 5 million.

Gulen’s supporters belong to a “fantastically disorganized organization,” said the Rev. Walter Wagner, a Lutheran minister and adjunct professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. They do not report to a central authority or maintain membership lists.

These people often refer to themselves as “volunteers” rather than followers. The movement — another term they shun — is typically known in the United States as hizmet, for the Turkish word for service. Turks refer to the group as cemaat, the word for a religious community.

Gulen’s influence emanates from the schools founded by those inspired by his words, said Yvonne Haddad, a professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in Washington. The schools, located in 120 countries, typically emphasize math and science over religion, with the goal of educating young people in poor areas.

“Conspiracy theories are everywhere,” Haddad said. “I have looked at the material and interviewed people. As far as I know, it’s no different than any other” school connected to a religious group.

Huseyin Gulerce, a columnist in Istanbul with the pro-Gulen Turkish newspaper Zaman, said the movement stresses three points: education, dialogue and communication.

“The first thing when I think about Fethullah Gulen and his movement is their schools,” said Emin Kahveci, 25, a graphic designer in Istanbul.

Gulen’s admirers started a school in Monroeville, called the Snowdrop Science Academy, in 2005. But the school closed four years later because it did not have enough students, a former administrator said.

Americans, like all people, could learn from Gulen’s sermons, said Mahmut Demir, president of the Turkish Cultural Center Pittsburgh in Dormont. The center typically draws 100 to 200 people for dinners and events related to Turkey and interfaith communication.

“(Gulen) is open to all different ideas,” said Demir, a doctoral candidate in physics at the University of Pittsburgh. “He respects people’s choices. … Everybody can learn something from this man who teaches nothing but peace and tolerance.”

Free-lance writer Ali Abaday in Turkey contributed to this report.

 

Eugene Robinson: Sharia as the new red menace?

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2010 by loonwatch

Eugene Robinson picks apart the right-wing’s new scare tactic.

Sharia as the new red menace?

By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Boy, I really hate it when American judges try to impose harsh Islamic sharia law. You know, with all those grisly lashings, stonings and beheadings. What’s that you say? No such thing is happening, and you wonder where I got such a crazy idea? Why, Newt Gingrich told me.

On Saturday, speaking at the conservative Values Voter Summit, Gingrich issued a thunderous call for action against an imminent threat that exists only in his fevered imagination — or, perhaps, in his political machinations.

“We should have a federal law that says sharia law cannot be recognized by any court in the United States,” Gingrich declared, to a standing ovation.

Okay, but would this include Judge Judy? Because I’ve always suspected that when she gets really mad, and she snaps the heads off both the plaintiff and the defendant, she might be slipping a little sharia into the American subconscious — you know, preparing an unsuspecting nation for the real deal. Maybe we need another law that covers fake judges on daytime television, with punishments that begin with flogging.

But seriously, folks, Newt says we have to halt the insidious encroachment of sharia law, and we have to halt it here and now. In July, speaking at the American Enterprise Institute, he went on at great length about the supposed sharia menace, which he sees as part of a “stealth” campaign to impose Islam on all of us.

“Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence,” Gingrich said at AEI. “But in fact they’re both engaged in jihad, and they’re both seeking to impose the same end state, which is to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of sharia.”

He threw in a perfunctory disclaimer — that there is “a sharp distinction between those Muslims who live in the modern world and those Muslims who would radically change the modern world” — and then proceeded with a speech that essentially paints Islam as the new Red Menace. The “stealth jihadis,” I suppose, must be like the “known communists” on the list in Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s hand.

Along the way, in the July speech, Gingrich painted liberals as a bunch of fellow travelers. “How we don’t have some kind of movement in this country on the left that understands that sharia is a direct mortal threat to virtually every value that the left has is really one of the most interesting historical questions,” he said.

Where to begin? First, I guess, by stating the obvious: There is no left-of-center movement dedicated to fighting the steady, stealthy insinuation of sharia into America’s legal system because no such thing is happening. Gingrich invents an enemy and then demands to know why others haven’t sallied forth to slay it.

Gingrich and the Islamophobes have found one solitary case to bolster their “sharia is here” theory. In June 2009, a family court judge in Hudson County, N.J., denied a restraining order to a woman who testified that her husband, a Muslim, had forced her to have non-consensual sex. Judge Joseph Charles Jr. said he did not believe the man “had a criminal desire to or intent to sexually assault” his wife because he was acting in a way that was “consistent with his practices.”

The judge was clearly in error, as a state appeals court two months ago reversed his decision. The man’s religious beliefs, the court ruled, do not exempt him from state laws. Thus ended the one and only instance of stealth sharia that anyone has been able to find.

Andrew Silow-Carroll, the editor in chief of the New Jersey Jewish News, cited that case in a column last month blasting Gingrich’s “sharia-phobia.” Silow-Carroll pointed out two things: First, the system worked — the judge made a boneheaded call, and he was overturned. Second, our system already allows some civil matters — but not crimes — to be settled through other means of arbitration. “Among those alternative mechanisms is the beit din, or rabbinic law court,” Silow-Carroll wrote. “Every day, Jews go before batei din to arbitrate real estate deals, nasty divorces and business disputes.”

If Newt were aware of this, would he blow a gasket? Somehow, I doubt it. His objection seems to be faith-specific.

And his purpose seems to be political. If Muslim-bashing draws a rise — and apparently it does — then he’s not going to be outdone. Watch out, Judge Judy. He may be coming for you next.

eugenerobinson@washpost.com

 

Newsweek: “Stealth Jihad” is Paranoid Speak

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , on August 30, 2010 by loonwatch

Robert Spencer popularized the term “Stealth Jihad,” and some in the Conservative wing such as Newt Gingrich have ran with it and are using it all the time. As has been exposed on Loonwatch and other sites, “Stealth Jihad” is paranoid speak and just another anti-Muslim conspiracy theory.

Lisa Miller takes on this term in her recent article which no doubt will have Spencer, whose site is described as “a hyperventilating anti-terror blog,” in fits.

The Misinformants

By Lisa Miller

Here is the latest semantic assault from the party that brought you “Islamo-facism” (circa 2005) and “Axis of Evil” (2002). The term “stealth jihad” is suddenly voguish among politically ambitious right wingers who see President Obama’s approach to terrorism as insufficient. If it sounds like a phrase from a military-fantasy summer blockbuster, that’s on purpose: in its cartoonish bad-guy foreignness, “stealth jihad” attempts to make the terrorist threat broader and thus more nefarious than it already is. The only thing scarier than an invisible, homicidal, suicidal enemy with a taste for world domination is one who’s sneaking up on you. In the words of former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich at a July speech at the American Enterprise Institute, “stealth jihad” is an effort “to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of Sharia.”

The term wasn’t Gingrich’s invention. It’s the title of a two-year-old book by Robert Spencer, whose hyperventilating antiterror blog, Jihad Watch, is cited and circulated widely on the far right. But the recent vicious debate over the proposed community center and mosque near Ground Zero gives Gingrich an excuse to use “stealth jihad” and its variants frequently—not just at the AEI but in an interview with this magazine. (In an essay on the conservative Web site Human Events, he referred instead to “creeping sharia.”) Gingrich’s like-minded peers have seized on the language, too. “Muslim Brotherhood operatives, like [Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the center’s founder and leader] are extremely skilled at obscuring … their true agenda,” said Frank Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy, on FOX’s Glenn Beck show. “It’s part of the stealth jihad.”
‘A Little Intolerant, But Good Reason To Be’ Protesters for and against the building of a Muslim community center near Ground Zero talk about their reasons for supporting or opposing the project.

Words matter, and if you say them often enough and with enough authority, they start to sound true—even if they’re not. Abdul Rauf, for instance, has no affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood and is an “operative” (another nefarious word) only in the sense that running a small, progressive interfaith nonprofit is an “operation.” As for his “stealth jihad,” it’s virtually impossible to imagine how such an event would—logistically—occur. Would the construction of an Islamic prayer site near Ground Zero inevitably lead American women to wake up one morning and find themselves veiled and confined to their homes? “The term is ever-so-slightly goofy,” says Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist at the University of California, Berkeley. The paranoia conveyed by “stealth jihad” brings to mind the anticommunist campaigns of Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, Nunberg adds. Just as McCarthyites imagined a communist behind every lamppost, the word “stealth” conflates all Muslims with terrorists. In a stealth campaign you never know who your friends are.

Also, simply put, foreign words freak people out. “Jihad” and “Sharia” reinforce the sense among Americans that Muslims in general have an unfathomable world view. During World War II, formerly obscure words like “hara-kiri” and “kamikaze,” which suggested the “warlike ferocity” of the Japanese, became common parlance, Nunberg says. “There was this sense of being confronted with this hostile, alien culture.” The Japanese were “literally demonized,” he says.

Gingrich has already used the mosque debate to evoke many of America’s historic enemies, comparing Muslims indirectly with Nazis and communists and even the Japanese. “We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor,” he said on FOX recently.

But that is not true. Fourteen percent of Hawaiians call themselves ethnically Japanese, according to the U.S. Census, and dozens of Japanese temples stand near Pearl Harbor—as they have for decades. One of them, the Buddhist Aiea Hongwanji Mission, is less than half a mile away. “You can see Pearl Harbor from the roof, maybe. We’re really close,” says Wade Yamamoto, the temple’s treasurer. The temple allows people “to practice their religion from back home,” he says. Gingrich, a historian, might take a lesson here. After the attacks of Dec. 7, 1941, more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent—two thirds of them American citizens—were interned in camps in a shameful episode that later legislation called the result of “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” Last week, a New York City cab driver was stabbed for answering the question “Are you a Muslim?” in the affirmative. Our enemies are dangerous. Let’s be clear about who they are.

With Johannah Cornblatt

 

Robert Spencer Watch: Elena Kagan Ignorantly Promoting Shariah Law

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2010 by loonwatch
Robert Spencer next to his Perpetual Serf Pamela Geller

Robert Spencer contradicts himself once again. In a recent article in the Daily Caller, Spencer is quoted as saying,

“[Kagan] would knowingly and wittingly abet the advance of Sharia, but she wouldn’t do it understanding anything about Sharia. She would do it out of her ignorance.”

Yes, because the only one who understands Sharia is Robert Spencer.

What a convoluted way of saying what he really wants to say, “Kagan will ‘advance Shariah.’”

So will she “knowingly” or “ignorantly” advance Sharia?

Spencer attributes Kagan’s fondness for Sharia to naïveté and liberalism. “There is a general tendency on the part of political liberals in the United States today to take a benign view of Islam and Islamic law,” he said. “They are generally uninformed and share a hatred of the West and Western civilization.”

Essentially, if someone disagrees with Spencer they are cast as either “ignorant” or “taking a benign view of Islam and Islamic law.” This woman has devoted her whole life to the study of law, does he not think for a second that Kagan might know more about Islamic law than himself?

Spencer’s wild-eyed conspiracy theories are then exposed,
According to Spencer, Kagan will be a willing accomplice in the ongoing stealth jihad — or the institution of Sharia into non-Muslim societies via non-violent means, such as the courts and mainstreaming Islamic customs — currently underway against the West. “The goal of the jihad is to assert the primacy of Islamic law over non-Muslim society and over Muslim societies where it is not fully enforced, and that can take place either through violent or non-violent means and the goal is the same,” he said.

More of the same old conspiracies. On Spencer’s hate blog, he posted this article with the comment, “Ignorance and naivete, mixed in with the fashionable Leftist contempt for America.” Is he referring to the reporter or to Kagan? He doesn’t dispute anything the reporter wrote and instead finds it fit to criticize liberals as being “accomplices in the ongoing stealth jihad.”

 

Exposing David Wood: Of Mosques and Men, Pt. 1

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2010 by loonwatch

David Wood is a Christian apologist who attempts to save Muslim souls through his organizationActs 17 Apologetics and http://www.answeringmuslims.com. In the past Wood and his entourage, including ex-Ahmadi Muslim* Nabeel Qureshi have targeted the Dearborn Arab Festival in Michigan for proselytism.

At the 2009 Arab Festival, David Wood made a controversial, and some claim one sided video that received over a million hits on YouTube which showed them getting kicked out of the festival. They claim that they were just engaged in free speech, whereas security at the festival stated that they were insulting and harassing festival goers.

Other Evangelical Christians criticized Wood and his group as being agitators,

“The Rev. Haytham Abi Haydar, a Christian evangelical convert from Islam with Arabic Alliance Church in Dearborn, said that a Christian group called Acts 17 Apologetics caused the problems at this year’s Arab festival.

They put cameras in their faces and were very antagonistic,” Abi Haydar said of the group that produced the controversial video that has drawn almost 1.4 million views on YouTube.

Just recently at the 2010 Dearborn Arab Festival, David Wood, Nabeel Qureshi and two others were arrested for disorderly conduct. Obviously intending to make a scene in an attempt at more YouTube success by portraying themselves as being persecuted.

Now David Wood, whose “love of  Muslims” seems to be akin to Pamela Geller’s (who he links to favorably a number of times) is joining arms with the anti-Muslim hate group SIOA in opposing the mosque and cultural center that is to be built a few blocks away from Ground Zero.

In the following video, filled with disinformation, falsehood and inaccuracies he expounds his reasons as to why he is against the mosque, and why he sees Muslims as a lurking evil attempting to take over the West. We expose it all in this series.

Of Mosques and Men

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxFzFIDbKpg 350 300]

10 years later, two groups of Muslims, the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement are planning to build a Massive 13 story mosque right here behind me.

Right off the bat we see the disinformation at work, this isn’t a “13 story mosque,” (why would Muslims need 13 stories to pray in the middle of Manhattan?). The fact is this is a cultural center, that along side a space for a mosque will contain a theater, swimming pool, restaurant and other facilities with the expressed goals of promoting tolerance and mutual co-operation between people of different and varying backgrounds.

“Understandably, many people here in the West are concerned…”

WTF? Many people in the “West” are concerned? I highly doubt the masses of people in Europe or Canada really care about this particular Islamophobia-driven agitation, unless the “many people” he is referring to is the small hate group SIOE (Stop the Islamization of Europe and parent organization of SIOA) whose main campaigns revolve around opposing mosques and other anti-Muslim initiatives.

“…this isn’t an attempt to honor the victims of 9/11 instead, it may be an attempt to build a symbol of Islamic victory. Now, I have the same concern, but mine is slightly different, my concern is slightly different, it is based on a photograph I saw, while I was still in College.

While I was in College my best friend was a Muslim named Nabeel Qureshi. Nabeel showed me some photographs shortly after the September 11th attacks, and I found them quite surprising. Muslims were passing these photographs around and Nabeel thought they were absolutely hilarious. The first photograph was a picture of George W. Bush as a Muslim, and I have to admit that was actually pretty funny,

The second photograph wasn’t so funny, it was a photo shopped picture of the Statue of Liberty covered in a full veil.

Now, this one bothered me a little bit. The Statue of Liberty, the symbol of freedom and justice, covered by a full veil, a symbol of oppression and Shariah Law, now these two pictures actually worked their way around the internet and lots of people are familiar with them.

The third picture, is the one that disturbed me however, it was a photo shopped picture of New York City covered in mosques and minarets, in the bottom corner it said New York City 2006.

The idea was that the terrorist attacks had cleared the ground for the construction of new mosques.

David Wood makes some audacious claims that we are supposed to take as veritable truth upon his word. First, that the photographs he saw originated with Muslims. Second, that Muslims at his College were passing them around, (ostensibly in “celebration of 9/11″). Third, that a burka is a symbol of Shariah Law, and fourth, that the third picture was meant to convey the “idea that the terrorist attacks had cleared the ground for the construction of mosques.”

The truth is that all three of the photographs originate from a comedy website called “www.joe-ks.com,” (a fact conveniently hidden by David Wood in the video) which claims to be the “largest source of internet humor.” The site is definitely not Muslim or terrorist sympathetic, essentially it is a website that has jokes about everything, and a lot of the jokes lampoon terrorists and extremists, and some of them even lampoon whole countries such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.

For example one of their posts is titled Afghan Humour:

Q: What do Kabul and Hiroshima have in common?
A: Nothing,…. yet.

Q: How do you play Taliban bingo?
A: B-52…F-16…B-1…

Q: What is the Taliban’s national bird?
A: Duck

Q: How is Bin Laden like Fred Flintstone?
A: Both may look out their windows and see Rubble.

Q: Why does the Afghanistan Navy have glass bottom boats?
A: So they can see their Air Force.

Q: What do Osama Bin Laden and General Custer have in common?
A: They both want to know where those Tomahawks are coming from.

Q: Why aren’t there any Wal-Marts in Afghanistan?
A. Because there’s a Target on every corner.

David Wood must have seen the original post on Joe-KS which would put the pictures above into their proper context instead of the deceptive context that he has created. The pictures weren’t created or disseminated by Muslims after 9/11 as a means of celebrating or “dealing with the tragedy through humor”, in fact the post that first contained the pictures was lampooning terrorists. The post published in October 2001 was titled, If the Taliban wins the War #1#2, #3.

David Wood makes a claim that Muslims were passing these pictures around when the truth is they were created by and disseminated by non-Muslims who were making fun of terrorists and extremists. He doesn’t provide any evidence of Muslims passing these pictures out, instead we are supposed to take him at his word.

In reality it is a clever ploy that omits the fact that not only were Muslims also victims of 9/11 but all major American Muslim organizations condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms. However, he wants to caste Muslims in a dehumanized image: ‘they are not part of our suffering, in fact they are mocking our suffering and enjoy and support 9/11.’

His disingenuous claim that the third picture is meant by Muslims to convey the idea “that the terrorist attacks had cleared the ground for the construction of mosques” is a cynical attempt to link the humor piece deriding the Taliban to the current construction of the Cordoba Cultural Center.

He attempts to instill in the minds of his watchers the idea that this was the plan all along. In doing so he asserts the interesting, if off the wall conspiracy theory that Osama Bin Laden was somehow in cahoots with the founder of the Cordoba Initiative Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, (a Sufi Imam who has condemned Bin Laden and supported the War in Afghanistan).

You see, the plan all along to subvert and take over the West was that Bin Laden’s goons would fly planes into the Twin Towers, then ten years later Imam Abdul Rauf, (who has never spoken to or met Bin Laden) would telepathically (through secret Muslim Taqqiyah radar) communicate with Bin Laden to receive orders to stealthily build a gigantic 13 story Mosque a few blocks away from Ground Zero!

Stay tuned for part 2…

*Disclaimer: “Ahmadi Muslim,” otherwise known as “Qadiyanis” or “Mirzai,” are a heretical sect who are considered outside the fold of Islam by both Sunnis and Shias because of their belief that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a Prophet. This negates the fundamental Islamic creed agreed upon by the majority of Islamic schools of thought and sects that Prophet Muhammad was the last and final Messenger from God. A similar parallel amongst Christians would be groups such as the Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses. (Hat tip: Nazam, Jansen and Zaytoon)

 

Tariq Ramadan, “stealth jihadist,” exposed!

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by loonwatch
Tariq RamadanTariq Ramadan

As you know, Dr. Tariq Ramadan – Muslim scholar, writer, and thinker – has had his visa to enter the country reinstated, and he used this to his advantage: speaking at various engagements across the United States. We here at LoonWatch alerted our fellow citizens of the arrival of the “stealth jihadist,” coining the terminology of Robert Spencer. Yet, we didn’t want to stop just there. We wanted to report on what this man was saying.

So, we were able to secure a confidential LW operative to infiltrate the CAIR-Chicago Annual Banquet, his first public speaking engagement since being allowed to come to the U.S., to report on his speech. This operative approached us initially, telling us that he would be attending Dr. Ramadan’s speech.  He posed as a regular member of the Muslim community and took clandestine notes and reported them back to us. This was a unique opportunity as Dr. Ramadan was speaking to an audience largely composed of Muslims, and so he can “let loose” and not show his “taqqiya,” as he would if he were speaking to non-Muslims. We could not pass this up.

In the beginning of his speech, he thanked those who helped him come back to the United States, such as the ACLU and others, and he said that he was blocked from coming to the United States because he spoke his mind, especially about the war in Iraq (on which, it turns out, he was correct). He said that people cannot confuse a government with its people.

He mentioned that there was one Islam: unified in its principles and beliefs, but many different cultures, interpretations, and schools of thought. It is an accepted diversity in Islam’s application. At the same time, however, he noted that there was a crisis in the understanding of Islam among Muslims, and that there were many challenges within the Muslim community that needed to be addressed. The main problem with Muslims is psychological in his opinion: he affirmed the need of Muslims to examine what is wrong with themselves, but they should also acknowledge the enormous strides Muslims – especially those in the West – have made in the last 30-50 years.

He urged Muslims to become more involved in their communities and differentitate between victimhood and having a “victim mentality.” He urged his listeners to struggle (aka “jihad”…dah dah daaaaaaah!!!!) against the victim mentality. He reminded the audience that whenever you work for justice, you will be opposed. Whenever you talk about love, he said, people will respond with hate.

Dr. Ramadan also touched upon spirituality, which is more than just praying. It is being strong from within. He quoted the verse about the parable of a good word:

Are you not aware how God sets forth the parable of a good word? [It is] like a good tree, firmly rooted, [reaching out] with its branches towards the sky, yielding its fruit at all times by its Lord’s permission. And [thus it is that] God propounds parables unto men so that they might bethink themselves [of the truth]. (14:24-25)

The roots of the tree are your heart, and the fruits of the tree are your actions, he said. An activist without spirituality is an agitated man, he said. He then gave advice about how to speak to fellow Americans: speak to them softly, and he advised the audience to behave like the “The Servants of the Most Merciful”:

And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk on the earth with humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!” (25:63)

God is Beautiful, and He loves beauty, Dr. Ramadan said. Muslims’ mantra must be this: By serving the people, I serve Him. He also said that he does not like defining Islam as “submission.” In his understanding, Islam is entering into God’s peace, as the verse proclaims:

O you who believe! Enter into Islam [“peace”] whole-heartedly, and follow not the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you an avowed enemy. (2:208)

One of the first things the Prophet Muhammad said, he reminded the audience, when he entered Medinah is, “Spread peace.” That is what Muslims should do. No Muslim should say that you can’t love your neighbor if he is not Muslim. This is your home, he told the American Muslim audience. Americans are your people; you cannot call fellow Americans as “them.” When American Muslims say “we,” it must be an inclusive “we,” including all Americans. Spreading peace, justice, and ethics is the purpose of Muslims in America, not to convert non-Muslim Americans to Islam. Muslims are here to make society better; the hearts of the people are not their concern. That is the realm of God.

Now comes the “smoking gun” (pun intended): Dr. Ramadan spoke of Jihad! (dah dah daaaaaaah!!!)
Jihad, he said, did not start with fighting, or qital. The first act of Jihad in the Qur’an was knowing how to use the Qur’an against those who opposed the message:

Hence, do not defer to [the likes and dislikes of] those who deny the truth, but strive hard against them, by means of this [divine writ], with utmost striving. (25:52)

He then ended his speech by turning a critical eye toward the Muslim community itself, which, he said, is very important. He bemoaned the many divisions in the Muslim community: divisions along ethnic lines, cultural lines, class lines, and economic lines. He said that there should be “Americans” in the mosques: people from all cultures. Muslims from different cultures should mix together, he said. He pointed out that many African-American Muslims feel like they are second class Muslims, and many converts feel they have to Arabize, and he criticized both phenomena. Muslims must also improve in their treatment of women, as well. If you want America to be better, he said, then Muslims must start in their own communities.

His final words were this: Never forget that you Muslims are American. He urged them to speak about Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, and do so as Americans, not Muslims. Moreover, Muslims need to institutionalize their presence in America: Muslims need institutions, and they must work with all people. The key is confidence and humility: be confident about your position, but be humble at the same time.

There you have it, folks. Those were the words (paraphrased by our operative) of Dr. Ramadan at his speech to the CAIR-Chicago banquet. As you can see, it was full of intolerance, hatred, Islamism, and Jihadism. What was the American government thinking when it let him in?

 

Chicago Tribune Fail: Quotes Robert Spencer on Tariq Ramadan

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2010 by loonwatch
Manya BrachearManya Brachear

The Seeker, Manya Brachear’s blog about religion on the Chicago Tribune website has a post,Chicago welcomes once-banned Muslim Scholar, about the upcoming trip of Islamic scholar/reformer and Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan to the United States (hat tip: iSherif).

You may remember that Tariq Ramadan had his visa revoked by the Bush administration, ostensibly because he donated money to a charity organization that it was later charged had links to Hamas. The charge was clearly fallacious as the organization was not listed as a banned charity in America at the time that Tariq Ramadan made his contribution.

The real reason seems to be that Tariq Ramadan was banned by Bush due to a policy of ideological exclusion and Ramadan’s fierce opposition to the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was further confirmed when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered Ramadan’s visa to be reinstated.

Unfortunately the blog post quoted Robert Spencer, one of the leading Islamophobes in the West today.

But author Robert Spencer says that popularity is dangerous. In interviews, he has criticized Clinton for making an exception to U.S. law that prohibits supports of terrorist groups from entering the country. Spencer said Ramadan should still be barred for donating money to a group that funds Hamas.

Spencer contends that the scholar has the same goals as Osama bin Laden–to impose Shariah law in the West. While Ramadan paints himself as a moderate intellectual, Spencer said, he is actually a “stealth jihadist.”

It is a severe lapse in judgement for Brachear to quote Spencer’s claims since they are false on their head. It is an attempt on Spencer’s part to “poison the wells.” The fact is Ramadan has never supported Hamas or terrorism, in fact he has been one of the most outspoken critics of both. “Stealth Jihad” is just paranoid new speak that serves bigots who wish to cast normal, law abiding Muslims as evil villains who are secretly working behind the scenes to take over the West. It is in fact the new “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Our website has copiously dissected many of Robert Spencer’s blog posts exposing his unsavory associations, pseudo-scholarship and blatant bigotry against Muslims and Islam. One of our premiere contributors, Danios has gone through whole chapters in Spencer’s books and revealed how shoddy and inaccurate a lot of his work has been. To quote Robert Spencer on Muslims and Islam is equivalent to quoting David Duke on Judaism or Jews.

One instructive point in regards to all of this is that one of Spencer’s closest friends and a co-founder with Spencer of The Freedom Defense Initiative, Pamela Geller has gone to the extreme (and insane) level of calling Tariq Ramadan, “a cold blooded Jihadists.” An exercise in hyperbole that the worst enemies and strongest critics of Ramadan won’t even engage in. However, one must ask Spencer if he agrees with that characterization by his friend Geller who he cross-posts from regularly? It also seriously puts into doubt the objectiveness of Spencer and whether he should ever be quoted by mainstream media.

I urge our readers to contact Manya and to politely express their disappointment at the inclusion of a bigot such as Spencer on a professional blog such as hers.

Contact: mbrachear@tribune.com

Here is some information that may be helpful to share with Manya (remember to be polite and topical):

The fact is Spencer is not taken seriously by academia especially in the field of Islam: He has been repudiated over and over. Take a glance at our archives:

Academics and members of the American Library Association condemn Spencer and his work: Robert Spencer Rejected by Academics, still Supports Geert Wilders

DePaul Law Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni condemns Spencer

His former friend and ally Charles Johnson has also condemned Robert Spencer as an “Anti-Islamic Bigot:”

Robert Spencer goes postal on Charles Johnson

Spencer’s association and fervent support for anti-Muslim European neo-Fascists and supremacists also disqualifies him from being mentioned as a true neutral observer and commenter on Islam or radical Islam:

Robert Spencer Teams up with Euro-Supremacists Again

Spencer has also joined a genocidal Facebook group which called for the extermination of Turks:

Robert Spencer: Wanna be Conquistador

Robert Spencer’s arguments have been shown to be filled with errors and excessive prejudice:

The Church’s Doctrine of Perpetual Servitude worse than Dhimmitude

Robert Spencer Misrepresents Facts — Again

Robert Spencer Worried about ticking ‘Muslim Demographic Time Bomb’

There is more information exposing the bigotry and anti-Muslim motive that mars the work of Robert Spencer in our archives, if Manya Brachear truly cares about the information she wishes to present to readers then she should take a serious look at who she chooses to quote as an expert.

 

A Christian Stealth Jihad in the United States?

Posted in Feature, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2010 by loonwatch
Christian Stealth Jihad?Christian Stealth Jihad?

A favorite theme of the right-wing nutjob community in the US is to fantasize about the threat of an Islaimc Shariah takeover of the United States.

They accuse every effective Muslim leader and every successful Muslim organization in one way or another of scheming to institute Islamic law (Shariah) as the official law of our government.

The pictures they paint in their books, radio shows, and blogs range from Muslims conspiring for a hostile takeover (through violent Jihad) to Muslims conspiring for a peaceful takeover of the United States (through perfectly legal means).  The latter is what the sages of the nutjob community – yes I am aware that’s an oxymoron – are terming stealth Jihad.

Stealth Jihad of course is the take over from within, the slow and gradual but forced transformation of American government from our current constitution to Shariah (Islamic law), a process to be achieved through the system, in the light of day, in a perfectly legal and peaceful manner.

There are many problems with this old wife’s tale of which the following are a few:

  • – Muslims constitute less than 3 million people according to the Pew Research Center, that’s less than 1% of the United States. So whatever effort they are going to invest in, it had better subdue more than 99% of the American people, that’s 297 million free, discerning, intelligent people.
  • – If Muslims indeed are working on a peaceful takeover of the country, what does that assume about the 3 million, that they have superhuman ability to influence and brainwash everyone else? And what does it assume about the 297 million others, that they are hapless, helpless, gullible morons that can easily be brainwashed?
  • – There is in fact not a single Muslim organization of note that has as its mission “the Islamization of our legal system” or anything even close to suggesting replacing the US constitution with the Shariah. Not ISNA, not CAIR, not MPAC, not MAS, not MSA. The claim originates from lifelong detractors of American Muslim organizations and leaders and their efforts to enfranchise their minority communities, never from the mission statements of Muslims themselves. (I challenge any of those detractors to point LoonWatch to any of the mission statements of the above organizations that would prove us wrong.)

So far so good.

Well so what about working to replace our secular constitution that separates between Church and State with some religious canonical rules and regulations that does not? Are there any organizations out there that in fact claim such a thing as their mission?

The answer is yes.

One such organization is a radical group by the name of Reclaim Oklahoma For Christ(reclaimoklahoma.org). Here is the mission statement from their website:

To educate our pastors, legislators, educators, students and all citizens as to the truth about America’s Christian Heritage and the role of fundamental, Biblical Christianity in the establishment and function of our legal, legislative and educational systems; and to work towards the successful reestablishment of these values in our society today.

Hmm, America’s Christian Heritage? So America only has one heritage? There are no Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, Buddhist Americans, Atheist Americans, etc? We are all one big homogeneous group with a single religious heritage determined for us by this group. If you are anything but Christian, tough luck for you, drop your heritage and get in line to assume THE American heritage as this group sees it.

More importantly, notice the explicit language involved in the phrase: the role of fundamental, Biblical Christianity in the establishment and function of our legal, legislative systems.

So basically, the goal of this group is not just see the US government, schools, universities and society at large dominated with their religion and it’s holy book, the Bible, but with a “fundamental” interpretation thereof.

So, here’s a pop quiz, what does one call working to subject America – its “legal, legislative, and educational systems”, as well as “all citizens” to the “fundamental” teachings of someone’s religious holy book, its values, rules, etc? Oh yes, “working to dominate America with Sharia via a stealth Jihad!”

That’s right folks, there is an ongoing stealth Christian Jihad out there for Christian Shariah to dominate US government and society.

Mind you, unlike with the Muslims, it’s not a mother population of 3 million mostly struggling immigrants we are talking about here, but a mother population of 70 million linguistically native, religiously fervent, politically savvy mainstream looking citizens. Talk about stealth.

And guess what? The “reclaiming America for Jesus” bible-thumping bunch ARE in fact in full “infiltration” (to use a favorite Spencer term) of our government, our educational system, and society at large. It’s a population that does not just have 2 members in congress like with the Muslims, but dozens in congress and the senate, not to mention the sprawling mega-churches, the business tycoons, media conglomerates, universities, and well-funded lobby groups. Their tangible effect can be seen from changing tax-payer funded school curricula and student history books in Texas to affecting our federal laws on abortion, to influencing our foreign policy (including the push for misguided wars in the Middle East some of which have occurred like Iraq and others for which they are still pushing).

Hutaare (Christian Warriors) Militia Hutaare (Christian Warriors) Militia

And guess what, it turns out it’s not all stealth. There are pockets of this population that is willing to go the violent terrorist route to reclaim America for Jesus!

Where is the excitable hairball known as Robert Spencer? Why the silence, Bob? This is totally up your ally if indeed your beef is with “stealth jihad” and “religious shariah” taking over the US, and not necessarily Muslims per se as you often claim? Do you see why people think you are a blabbering hypocrite?

And where are the screeching wails of your foul-mouthed sidekick, Pamela Geller? Cat got your tongue Pam?

Where is Brigitte Gabriel, and Nonie Darwish and Wafa Sultan and the other sweaty cheerleaders of the big cry against the imminent “Islamic takeover”? No good book deals here for you ladies? No speaking tours opening up where you get cash bags and back pats from your ringmasters?

Where are the monitoring websites, and the blog craze, and the concerned members of congress, and the warnings of the expert talking heads, and the tell-all books? No money in this business? Thank God for the Muslims!

 

Our Muslim President’s Stealth Jihad against the Charlie Brown Special

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on January 25, 2010 by loonwatch
Russelll Wiseman, Republican mayor of ArlingtonRusselll Wiseman, Republican mayor of Arlington

We all know how Pamela Geller and company claim(ed) that Barack Obama is/was a Muslim.  Russell Wiseman, the Republican mayor of Arlington, Tennessee, believes not only that President Obama is a Muslim, but that he waged a calculated stealth Jihad against the Charlie Brown Special.  It never ceases to amaze me how such high level Republicans can think such insane stuff.

I know that this is a bit old, but better late than never:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cvxmkZEt-s 300 250]

What a loon.

Daniel Pipes Equates Keith Ellison to Hitler

Posted in Feature, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by loonwatch
The Moral ContortionistThe Moral Contortionist

On November 25th, we wrote about a wacky article that the failed academic and full time Likud apologist, Daniel Pipes wrote for the Jerusalem Post, in which he argued that US CongressmanKeith Ellison, intellectual Tariq Ramadan and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan were a greater threat to Western Civilization than Al-Qaeda.

We wrote at the time,

According to the illogic of Pipes the greatest threat doesn’t come from Al-Qaeda, Ayatollah Khomeini or Nidal Hasan but rather from people like Dr. Tariq Ramadanand Congressman Keith Ellison. He accuses the two of being part of something he terms “Islamism 2.0.” This ridiculous term translates essentially into what Islamophobe Robert Spencer calls “Stealth Jihad,” or the subtle takeover of the West by peaceful, law-abiding Muslims who have a secret, sinister (stealth) goal to takeover the West and replace Democracy with Shariah law: in other words it’s aconspiracy theory.

Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden, and Nidal Hasan represent Islamism 1.0, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (the prime minister of Turkey), Tariq Ramadan (a Swiss intellectual), and Keith Ellison (a US congressman) represent Islamism 2.0. The former kill more people but the latter pose a greater threat to Western civilization. (emphasis mine)

That Erdogan, Ramadan and Ellison can even be mentioned in the same sentence as equivalent to, or even more dangerous and threatening to the West than Bin Laden speaks volumes about Pipes’ preposterous agenda. Would Bin Laden have Turkey make peace with Armenia as Erdogan did? Would Bin Laden affirm Democracy as the way forward to better governance and equal rights as all three do? Would Bin Laden pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America on Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an as Keith Ellison did?

We never imagined Daniel Pipes would offer a response, as he usually isn’t too keen to get into a debate with anyone who challenges his weak and biased arguments. However, it seems this time Pipes couldn’t hold himself back. Prompted by a reader of his website, Aliya, who alerted Pipes to our rebuttal of his article, he responded by bringing the all too familiar response of those who have no arguments: comparing your subject to Hitler.

Submitted by Aliya (United Kingdom), Nov 27, 2009 at 06:49

Dr Pipes

Loon Watch, the Islamist Jewish/Eurabian (apparently George Soros and Saudi funded) website which wrote about your report

Daniel Pipes says Keith Ellison is a threat to Western Civilization

http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/11/daniel-pipes-says-keith-ellison-is-a-threat-to-western-civilization/

They’re asking, because Ellison is a Westerner, and Turkey will join the EU soon, Turks are European, Westerners already, so how can you say theTurkish President and Congressman Ellison are enemies of the West when they are westerners?

What would be your response to this?

Kind Regards

Aliya


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened for relevance, substance, and tone, and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome, but comments are rejected if scurrilous, off-topic, vulgar, ad hominem, or otherwise viewed as inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the Guidelines for Comments. For informational purposes, we identify countries from which comments are sent.

Daniel Pipes replies:

Hiitler was a Westerner too, and he arguably did more to destroy Western civilization than anyone else in history.

The questioner sounds like another loon that we know, Pamela Geller who surmised that Loonwatch was a George Soros funded website, but she takes it a step further and includes all the possible conspiracy theories she can think of, not only are we George Soros funded but we are an, “Islamist Jewish/Eurabian (apparently George Soros and Saudi funded) website.” I love these loons, if half of what they said were true (Alas, my meager pockets) we would be rolling in the dough!!  Soros and company we are still waiting on our checks!

Notice that Daniel Pipes really didn’t answer any of the arguments or questions in our article, my guess is he probably didn’t even read it. He looked at the way Aliya framed the question and answered it by equating Keith Ellison, Tariq Ramadan and Recep Erodogan, all fierce proponents of Democracy to the greatest mass-murderer of the 20th century. Quite despicable, and it seems to have become Daniel Pipes’ forte to side on the side of the despicable.

The real question however is, if Pipes is truly interested in “protecting Western Civilization,” why is he as silent as a mouse on the real threat: the new little Hitler’s springing up all over Europe? Why does Pipes ignore neo-fascist Geert Wilders who calls for the deportation of Mooslims, banning of the Quran, taxing the hijab, etc? Why does he not speak out against the fascist Northern League, why does he give his tacit approval of the minaret ban in Switzerland which he charachterizes as a vote against “Islamization?”

The new amendment also validates and potentially encourages resistance to Islamization throughout the continent.

The reality is ever clearer, Mr.Pipes doesn’t give two hoots about Democracy, for him Democracy is convenient when it fits his agenda but should be discarded the moment it is no longer of use.

 

Swiss Politician Calls for Ban on Muslim and Jewish Cemeteries; LW Proposes Ban on Shawarmas

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2009 by loonwatch
Swiss to Ban shawarmas, food source of terroristsOnly dhimmis eat shawarmas!

Fellow comrades, this week we sent a powerful message to the stealth jihadists by banning minarets in Switzerland.  This was truly a watershed issue, one which I believe saved the country from the imminent stealth jihadist takeover and their terrorist plot to store nuclear warheads in their minarets.

But we must not stop here.  Rather, it is time to ride this wave of awareness to pass further legislation to curb radical Islam–and by this, I mean Islam in general.

It has come to my attention that Muslims use cemeteries to bury suicide bombers–often plotting future attacks from such locations and other ground based areas.  Furthermore, several Muslim cemeteries were funded by groups connected to someone whose brother knew someone whose neighbor was an unindicted co-conspirator in the WTC bombing, who also attended the same mosque that the mother of a member of CAIR attended–and as we all know, CAIR is a part of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda, a Wahhabist-Hezbollah and Al-Baik run organization, headed by Tariq Ramadan, Usama bin Ladin, and Haifa Wehbe.

The Jewish news source JTA.org reports:

Swiss leader calls for Jewish cemetery ban

December 3, 2009

BERLIN (JTA) — A mainstream Swiss political leader is calling for a ban on separate Muslim and Jewish cemeteries.

Christophe Darbellay, president of the Christian Democratic People’s Party of Switzerland, made the statement in a television interview Tuesday, two days after Swiss voters passed an initiative to ban minarets.

The anti-minaret initiative came from the opposition ultra-conservative Swiss People’s Party and other right-wing political organizations. Critics say Darbellay is starting a “crusade” to attract voters by proposing similarly xenophobic measures.

Mainstream politicians and religious leaders across Europe have reacted with dismay to the anti-minaret vote.

According to the Swiss online daily Tagesanzeiger, Darbellay also wants to ban the wearing of burkas, head-to-toe veils worn by some fundamentalist Muslim women.

Darbellay reportedly said that existing cemeteries would not be affected by a ban, but that there should be no separate cemeteries in the future.

The Swiss People’s Party called for crackdowns on expressions of Muslim fundamentalism in 2006. Observers said the demand for separate cemeteries is an escalation.

Yesterday, the minarets.  Today, the cemeteries.  Tomorrow, shawarmas.  My research indicates thatshawarmas are the number one food source of terrorists, and cutting off this supply will cause them to suffer from severe hypoglycemia, which shall considerably weaken their capacity to commit terrorism.

Jewish bagels are very close to the burqa wrapped jihad-shawarmas, so those ought to be banned too.  We must not slacken in our resolve.

Cordially,
Obert S. Pencer.

Disclaimer: The letter by “Obert S. Pencer” is fictional but the news story about cemeteries is real.