Archive for The American Muslim

Ali Sina vs. Sheila Musaji: Will the Real “Savage” Please Stand Up?

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by loonwatch
Sheila Musaji

Ali Sina has really been saber-rattling against The American Muslim’s Sheila Musaji.  As Musaji documents, Sina has received the support and blessing in this regard from the King and Queen of Islamophobia, Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs.

For those of you who don’t know, Sina is one of the oldest and most nefarious Islamophobes to troll the internet–if Spencer is the King, Ali Sina is the Last Emperor of Islamophobia.  It makes sense then that Sina, Spencer, and Geller would find themselves in bed together.  They are truly a hateful trio.

Ali Sina has defended his view that “Muslims are savages”.  Sheila Musaji, after carefully documenting her exchange with him, quips:

I leave it to the reader to decide who is civilized and who is savage in this discussion.

This was the thought that went through my mind when I read the exchange between the two: not only does the foaming-at-the-mouth, hateful, and maniacal Ali Sina look completely loony compared to the thoughtful, tolerant, and intelligent Sheila Musaji, but the exchange between the two also typifies the difference between “their side” (loons) and ours (anti-loons and loon-watchers).

To be clear, when I make this dichotomy between “their side” and “our side”, it doesn’t have anything at all to do with “Muslims” and “non-Muslims”.  “Our side” includes people of all faiths (or no faith at all) dedicated to spreading peace, tolerance, and mutual coexistence, whereas “their side” includes, well, loons.

Read Sheila Musaji’s record of the exchange and decide for yourself which side you are on:

Ali Sina Launches Sharpened Olive Branch of Hate – updated 1/29/12

by Sheila Musaji

Today I received this email from Ali Sina with the heading “Sending you an olive branch”:

Dear Ms. Sheila Musaji

I read s [sic] few of your articles and see you have dedicated your efforts in [sic] maligning apostates, those who are fed up with Islam and want to protect the non-Muslim world from its onslaught. Of course you don’t see it that way. That’s okay. Maybe one day you will.

I have an offer for you. How about I send you a copy of my book, Understanding Muhammad? You read it. I promise by the time you are done you will no longer want to be a Muslim.

Now you may think this is ridiculous because nothing in the world can change your views about Islam. That is okay. Read it anyway. Read it, not with an open mind but with hatred in your heart against me. Read it with close mind and strive hard to deny all the evidences I present and try to find errors in it. Resist all my claims. By the time you are done reading the book you’ll lose your faith.

And what if you don’t? I promise you will. I have sent my book to hundreds of Muslims. They all promised to read it and get back to me showing my errors. I told them that I will publish their rebuttal. A percentage of them wrote back to thank me for opening their eyes. They are now fighting alongside me helping other Muslims leave Islam. Another group wrote to say I have a diabolic ability to induce doubt in Muslims and hence they stopped reading further. But most of them never replied. Not a single person has wrote [sic] back to do what they promised they’d do, i.e. refute me and show my errors. Not one person! Isn’t that something? Are you willing to take this challenge?

Should you agree to read the book I promise and refute it, I will publish your rebuttal and if you are correct I will withdraw my book from circulation, my membership from SION, and will stop my sites faithfreedom.org and alisina.org. There is also a financial reward of $50 K that I would give to you so you can donate to the charity of your choice.

If you are sincere you’d admit that by doing that you’d achieve a lot more than writing against me, Wafa Sultan (who is by the way my spiritual daughter) and other people in anti-Islam movement. After all these years I have gained some “notoriety.” If you refute my book I will stop my anti-Islam activity and people will notice. I’ve led thousands of Muslims out of Islam. Maybe many of them will want to take another look at Islam. Don’t say I am insignificant. Maybe in real life I am, but in the anti-Islam movement I have a name and a reputation. You’ll lose two days reading a book that you hate. In exchange you may eliminate a “notorious” enemy of Islam and in fact may even win him to your side. You know the story of Islam. Many of its great supporters were originally its staunch enemies. I could be one of them. Why not!  Don’t you believe in Allah’s power? All you’ve to do is read my book, which I will send to you in hard copy or in PDF, whatever is your choice. You can get help from your Muslim husband or imam or anyone you wish.

I am not going to publish this email, unless you ignore it. If you ignore it, will be evidence of your lack of sincerity. My offer to you is sincere and generous. I’ve dedicated 14 years of my life fighting Islam. I am ready to stop and even apologize publicly, should you read my book and prove it wrong. Your investment is only two days of your time. You have nothing to lose except your faith in a lie. That is not bad at all.

If you ignore my offer, I will publish this email. Since you’ve dedicated your life to malign SION and its members I want the world to know you are not a sincere person. But if you reply and read my book, we’ve opened the line of dialogue. You’ll either leave Islam as I predict, or you’ll refute it and I will join Islam. I will also publish your rebuttal, which will help others to see the truth.

I am sending you an olive branch. The ball is now in your court.

Kind regards, Ali Sina

Dear Ali Sina (whoever that might be),

The book that you are offering to send to me has been in print since 2008 (4 years) and is published by your own Faith & Freedom Publishing company.  It is sold at Amazon.com, and it is listed as selling for $157.71.  Another of your books Understanding Islam & Muslims is listed as having only one new copy available for $999.99 although it was published in November of 2011.

If you are such an effective voice speaking against Islam that you can GUARANTEE that any Muslim reading your book will leave Islam, it would seem that you would want your books to be widely disseminated.  At these prices, that isn’t likely.  Perhaps this one on one method of soliciting readership from particular individuals is how the book was meant to be distributed.

I think that this offer is just a ploy.  I would not provide you with my mailing address, any more than you would provide me with yours.  Why would any sane person provide their mailing address to a total stranger who hides behind a pseudonym?

Ali Sina is a pseudonym, and not your real name.  I have no idea who you are.  I only know you by your writings, and in your own words I find evidence that you are an individual I would be wise to fear, not because of your ideas, but because of your hatred.  Here are a few of your own statements:

—  “We strive for the unity of Mankind through the elimination of Islam, the most insidious doctrine of hate. Islam can’t be reformed, but it can be eradicated. It can’t be molded, but it can be smashed. It is rigid but brittle. That is why Muslims do not tolerate criticism of it. To eradicate Islam, all we have to do is tell the truth. It’s that simple. The truth about Islam is out. It’s all here in this site. Now it is up to you to spread it. With truth, the decent Muslims will leave Islam and with each Muslim that leaves, we gain a new soldier in our fight against terrorism. We are growing exponentially. The days of Islam are numbered and world peace is around the corner. Many of us will see that day. We might have to go through very tough times meanwhile. The storm is approaching.

— “We do not want to reform Islam. We want to eradicate it. Just as cancer cannot be reformed and the only way to cure the patient is to eradicate it, Islam cant be reformed either and it must be eradicated for the world to be saved.”

— “Islam, like fascism, appeals to people with low self esteem and low intelligence. Both these ideologies are irrational. They disdain reason, and hail devotion and submission to a higher authority. Like fascists, Muslims are triumphalists. They seek power, domination and control. They pride themselves in their strength of number, in their mindless heroism, in their disdain for life and in their willingness to kill and die for their cause. Islam is political and political Islam is fascism.”

— “Tarek Fatah proves my point that there is no such thing as moderate Muslim … Every “moderate” Muslim is a potential terrorist. The belief in Islam is like a tank of gasoline. It looks innocuous, until it meets the fire. For a “moderate” Muslim to become a murderous jihadist, all it takes is a spark of faith.”

— “I promise that if we continue this campaign of discrediting Islam and Muslim scholars, in no more than a quarter of century, Islam will be defeated. Islam will fall, like communism fell. Mark my words today, even if you think I am nuts. If we all work together, especially the ex-Muslims, we can get rid of Islam sooner than anyone can imagine. Iran is already anti Islamic. More than half of Iranians do not call themselves Muslims anymore. We are demolishing Islam from its foundation. The edifice seems to be intact. But don’t let appearances deceive you. This high tower of lies will come down at once.

— “If any city in the West is nuked I am 100% for nuking tens of cities in Islamic countries. I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin. It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.”

— “We love you Muslims because you are humans like us. We are all related to each other. We are all limbs of the body of mankind. But you are diseased. You are infected by a deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a limb infected by flesh eating disease, now you are a threat to the rest of mankind. We will do everything to save you, to make you see your folly, and to make you understand that you are victims of a gigantic lie, so you leave this lie, stop hating mankind and plotting for its destruction and it domination. But if all efforts fail and if you become a threat to our lives and the lives of our children, we must amputate you. This will happen, not because I say so, but I say so because this is human response. We humans are dictated by our survival instinct. If you threaten me and my survival depends on killing you, I must kill you. Please come to your senses. Muhammad was not a prophet of God. He was an instrument of Satan to divide mankind so we destroy each other. It is a demonic plot to end humanity. Muhammad lied. He brought hate. Wake up please. You are putting the world, including your own lives in danger for a lie. Read my book and learn the truth about Muhammad. … Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway? Does it mean you are moderately diseased? This makes as much sense as saying, I am a moderate Nazi, or I am culturally a fascist. I only participate in their rallies. Let us call you by your name. You are a hypocrite. You are a useful idiot. You are part of the problem. In fact you are THE problem. If it were not for you, we would easily recognize our enemy and eliminating it, would be easy. But you shield the enemy. You muddy the waters. You confuse us to hide the beast among you. You do not fool me, even though you may fool the non-Muslims. I know your hypocrisy. I know how you hide and support the terrorists secretly but publicly you denounce him and portray yourself as our friend.

If these words were not enough for me to form a judgement about whether or not I would want to interact with you, your email is filled with statements that make my decision very clear.

You open with a false accusation that I “malign apostates”.  I don’t malign people that you call apostates and that I call people who have chosen another faith than that they were born into. Actually, I strongly uphold freedom of faith, and am a signatory to a statement initiated by Muslims declaring our commitment to that freedom.

I have no problem with anyone, including yourself, choosing whatever religious path (or no path) for themselves that they find meaningful.  I am puzzled by the fact that some converts from one belief system to another find it necessary to disparage the faith that they have left.  Forty years ago, I chose Islam.  That was a very personal and private decision, and I feel no need to defend that choice by in any way disparaging my former faith.  In fact, to behave in such a manner would cheapen my choice.  There are different paths that are suitable for different people.  God will judge, not any human being.

I do respond, and respond strongly to those individuals who malign the faith of others whether through anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Mormonism, anti-Hinduism, or any other form of religious bigotry.  I respond particularly to Islamophobes because I believe that the poison that they spread directly endangers the safety and security of American Muslims including my own children.  Islamophobia is real and dangerous.  You can repeat “Islamophobia is a fallacy” as often as you want, and that won’t make it a fact.

You make an offer that you call “sending an olive branch” that includes a veiled threat “If you ignore my offer, I will publish this email … I want the world to know you are not a sincere person”.

Your patronizing statement You can get help from your Muslim husband or imam or anyone you wishshows your contempt for women and their ability to make their own choices and decisions.  I don’t need someone else to help me make my choices.

Your assumption that I might be motivated either by some need to gain notoriety by engaging in a polemical debate with a person who has attained “some notoriety” or by greed in considering the possibility of financial gain as an incentive is offensive.

I decline your offer. I have no time or interest in writing a rebuttal of your book. I am not interested in convincing people to leave whatever faith they have. I don’t need your help to distribute my writings on any topic that I choose to write about.  I don’t care what faith you hold.  I don’t care if your site is online or not, in fact it is good it is there so that people can judge for themselves what sort of poison you are spreading.

I don’t believe that declining your “challenge” proves my insincerity, but the challenge itself provides even more evidence of your own insecurity.  There is something wrong with a worldview that promotes the idea that demonizing others somehow increases your own stature.

I am ignoring your veiled threat and publishing your email myself.  Others can judge for themselves the meaning of your offer and of my rejection of that offer.

“If it had been the will of your Lord that all the people of the world should be believers, all the people of the earth would have believed! Would you then compel mankind against their will to believe?”  [Qur’an 10:99]

“There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.”  [Qur’an 2:256]

”(O Prophet Muhammad) proclaim: ‘This is the Truth from your Lord. Now let him who will, believe in it, and him who will, deny it.’”  [Qur’an 18:29]

“Say, O Muhammad.  I worship not that which you worship, nor will you worship that which I worship.  And I shall not worship that which you are worshipping, nor will you worship that which I worship.  To you be your religion, and to me my religion.”  [Qur’an 109:1-6]

UPDATE 1/25/2012

I was just sent a link to an article that Ali Sina posted about a twitter argument he participated in with someone calling themselves @Rabbi.Shaul.  Sina is an atheist and they debated whether or not reason can prove that God exists.  Sina attempted to provoke the Rabbi into debating with him in a more formal format that would be published, and ultimately another Rabbi responded to Sina in a Youtube video saying that such a debate will not take place, and calling Sina on the carpet for his ego.

The whole thing is extremely lengthy, but Sina shows much about himself in his response.  He repeats his claims about Prophet Muhammad, and then says

But there was another element in shaping his character: The influence of Rabbis.

Judaism and Islam have a lot in common. They have basically the same eschatology and very similar teachings. For example few people know that stoning adulterers that is widely practiced in Islam originates from the Bible. Muhammad did practice stoning but he did not insert it in his Quran. But he said when a law is not clearly stated, Muslims should look into the Bible for guidance.

These are all secondary influences of Judaism on Islam. The main common feature between these two faiths is their intolerance. This intolerance in Judaic texts gave the narcissist Muhammad the power to do as he pleased. He could make his claim without needing to prove it and expect others to believe without questioning him. If they didn’t, he would threaten them with hellfire.

How could he get away with that? Why would people believed in his unproven and often irrational claims? The answer to this question is in Judaism. The Rabbis in Arabia had laid the psychological foundation for Islam among the tolerant pagans. For 2000 years they had preached that Yahweh, their god, is beyond reason, i.e. he is irrational, that his ways are different and they may appear unjust and even evil. But it is not up to humans to question God’s wisdom.

That kind of authority and power is a narcissist’s wet dream. By claiming to be the messenger of God, the same intolerant god of the Jews, Muhammad did not have to prove any of his claims. The reason Arabs fell into his trap was because of the groundwork laid by the Rabbis in Arabia.

Sounds as if he is not only Islamophobic, but also anti-Semitic.  And, a little later in this article this gem appears which shows that at the very least, he is a racist: We Persians are of the same genetic stock as Germans and we had a far superior civilization than Arabs.

It is both surprising and not surprising that Ali Sina has now been named to the Board of Directors of the newly formed Stop the Islamization of Nations SION which is a coalition SIOA, SIOE, and other hate groups, and which will be led by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.  It is not surprising because of the animosity towards Islam that he shares with Geller and Spencer.  It is surprising because of the fact that Geller herself is Jewish, and Ali Sina seems to have as much animosity towards Judaism as he does against Islam.

The Southern Poverty Law Center published a report citing Geller for hate speech.  The AFDI has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The American Freedom Defense Initiative is the parent group of the SIOA.  Spencer, Geller, and Yerushalmi are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.

Pay Pal at least temporarily suspended Geller’s site Atlas Shrugs for being a hate site.

Spencer and Geller attempted to patent the SIOA trademark, but were refused by the U.S. patent office The government response, posted on the site, states, “The applied-for mark refers to Muslims in a disparaging manner because by definition it implies that conversion or conformity to Islam is something that needs to be stopped or caused to cease.  “The proposed mark further disparages Muslims because, taking into account the nature of the services (‘providing information regarding understanding and preventing terrorism’), it implies that Islam is associated with violence and threats,” the government agency said.  Again, Loonwatch has more here which include a number of hateful screen grabs from the SIOA facebook page.  Geller says that I engaged David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center to pursue this matter legally. Once again, these legal warriors did not hesitate to take the case pro-bono.

The Center for American Progress released a groundbreaking report Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.  The key researchers for this report were Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir.  The report itself is the result of a six month investigative project, and is 132 pages in length.  Geller is cited as part of this network.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notes in a backgrounder about the SIOA “Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), created in 2009, promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam. The group seeks to rouse public fears by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and asserting the existence of an Islamic conspiracy to destroy “American” values. The organization warns of the encroachment of shari’a, or Islamic law, and encourages Muslims to leave what it describes as the “falsity of Islam.”

Abraham H. Foxman of the ADL wrote an article The new shape of anti-Muslim hatred in which he calls out Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller (the co-founders of SIOA) by name as purveyors of this hatred.

Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism, and the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State, and the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.
UPDATE 1/26/2012

Ali Sina posted a response to this article rejecting his demand that that I engage in a debate with him.

There are only a few points in his response that I consider to be worth discussing, because they are about me personally.

He says

I read a few of your articles. You write exclusively about people in the anti-jihad movement. You don’t refute them. You vilify them. You engage in ad hominem. All your articles are personal attacks. I haven’t seen once you refute what we say. You are a Muslim and this is how the brain of a Muslim works. Muslims ignore the criticism made against Islam. Instead they focus on the person criticizing Islam and try to discredit them. This is a pattern.

Obviously he has read very few of my articles or he would know that I do not write exclusively about Islamophobes.  Here is a link to a list of articles that I have written.  This is not difficult to find as I refer to this list of my articles right on the main page of TAM.  It would be impossible for anyone to simply read through the titles of my articles and still make the claim with a straight face that I “write exclusively” about Islamophobes.

He says

You have written many articles maligning the critics of Islam. Show us one where you have condemned your own brethren for disparaging other faiths. Show us where you have stood for the rights of the victims of Islam. Did you write any article sending it to an Egyptian media denouncing the Muslims for killing the Coptic Christians? Did you write anything for Pakistanis denouncing them for their blasphemy law? Of course not! Your goal is not to stop the barbarity of Islam. Your goal is to bambuzzle your own people so they lower their guards and not see Islam as a threat. There have been many fools and traitors like you in history. We Persians had the Salman.

Yes you have written articles claiming Islam allows freedom of religion. Those articles are for the consumption of non-Muslims and to deceive them. You never call upon Muslims to be tolerant. You know that they will laugh at you if you do. First of all you are a convert and secondly you are a woman. Will Muslims listen to you and ignore their own scholars, and ignore the Quran and the hadith? They tolerate you for now. You serve their purpose. To borrow a term from Lenin, you are a useful idiot for them. They let you say what you want and pull the wool over the eyes of their targeted victims. You are a deceived woman and the best person to deceive the westerners.

Again, reading my articles would show that this statement is very simply not only wrong, but a lie.

Here on The American Muslim, I have published thousands of articles, many of them discussing issues such as:

— speaking out against the repulsive customs of – child marriage  including discussion ofparticular cases, – and punishments for victims of rape, – and female genital mutilation, etc.
—against the views of extremist clerics like Anjem Choudary, or Sheikh Abdullah El-Faisal, orAnwar Al AwlakiAyman Zawahiri, etc.
— against the views of extremist groups like Hizb-ut-TahrirMajlis, South Africa, etc.
— against particular actions of Islamic organizations like the Canadian Shia Muslim Organization (CASMO) publishing an article by David Duke, or some British Muslims threatening Imam Usama Hasan because of his views on the compatibility of the theory of evolution with Quranic teachings regarding God’s creation of the world and human beings, or the Arab European League (AEL) publishing an offensive cartoon against the Jewish people on their website
— against extremist interpretations or translations of particular Qur’anic verses, e.g. Qur’an 4:34 or the Hilali-Khan or translation of the Qur’an, or the Saudi’s “revised” edition of Yusuf Ali’s translation
— against individuals or organizations promoting extremist views about various issues like – Salwa Al Mutairi suggesting that sex-slaves are allowed in Islam, – or the Malaysian Catholic Herald being told that it could no longer use the word “Allah” to mean God, – or Dr. Zakir Naiksaying that Muslims can’t wish Christians a Merry Christmas, – or the Darul Uloom Deoband’sdivorce by phone fatwa, , – or the Saudi forced divorce case, etc.
— about particular individuals or organizations accused of particular crimes,  – like the Florida Imams arrested for aiding the Pakistani Taliban, etc.
— publishing condemnations of particular acts of extremism and violence such as – the attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt, – or the killing of U.N. workers in Afghanistan, – or attacks on Christians in Muslim countries, – or the Fort Hood massacre, – or the deaths of 15 Saudi schoolgirls in a fire because they weren’t “properly dressed” etc.
— or publishing condemnations of extreme reactions to various current issues like the South Park cartoonMolly Norris and “Draw Muhammad Day”, Opus cartoon
—publishing statements and articles advocating for   – protection of religious minorities and houses of worship, – and guardianship reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pertaining to male control or ‘guardianship’ over women, – and confronting online radicalization of Muslim youth, – and freedom of faith and right to change one’s faith, – and freedom of speech, – and a spiritual jihad against terrorism, – and welcoming LGBT Muslims in mosques, – and a moratorium on all corporal punishment, including the death penalty, – and responsibility of Muslims to defend the Constitution of the U.S., – and condemning holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, – and promoting the value of being faithful Muslims and loyal Americans, – and against any laws for blasphemy – including Pakistan’s blasphemy law,  etc.
— publishing and regularly updating Muslim condemnations in statements, fatwas, articles, etc. of every form of extremism and terrorism as a major part of the work of The American Muslim

On TAM, we regularly call out those within the Muslim community that I identify as the “lunatic fringe”, discuss various interpretations of aspects of Sharia, condemn any interpretations that violate human rights.  The list above is a very short list of the thousands of articles on such subjects that we have published, many of which I have written myself.

He says

This is the truth about “no compulsion in religion.” You converted 40 years ago when you were young and inexperienced. We all did stupid things when we were young. Most of us gained wisdom as we aged. But once one converts to Islam the brain becomes numbed. Although others recover from their youthful follies a Muslim is trapped. But there is no reason to despair. My book can help. Whether you are old or young, when you learn the truth, you can no longer cling to lies.

This is simply a nasty, speculative, and meaningless attack on me as an individual that deserves nothing but contempt.

He closes his article with

Will you also publish my response to you?  Or if not, will you provide a link to this page in your site letting your readers see my response?  That would prove your sincerity.

In case anyone is in doubt about the sort of person attracted to and in agreement with Islamophobes like Ali Sina, here are a few comments at the bottom of his response article

— Sundried Atheist Why this maniacal obsession about Islam. Christianity and Judaism are just as dangerous and poisonous as Islam is. Their actions are just as diabolic.  In fact Islam owes its existance to the founders of Christianity and Judaism. So really, it is the Jews we should be taking it out on. All the silly rituals and barbaric rules, human/animal rights abuse all stem from Jewish laws. Jews are suibhuman, less evolved primates who should be eliminated in a peaceful manner. Such as by spraying them with mega toxic pesticides like you try to eliminate locusts and other field posts.
— Enlightened 25 “You’re not a racist, you’re a critique. You criticize those ideologies.” I am not talking about ideologies obviously it is absurd to hate the Koran, it is just a book (though a vile one). I am talking about the people that believe in those ideologies. Do you hate Nazis and communists? If you don’t then you should. If I am asked do I hate Muslims? Then my honest answer is yes. I cannot say I hate everything you believe in, everything you value, everything you stand for, but I don’t hate you personally, that would be a lie as well as self-deception on my part. Once I had a Muslim saying I should be put to death. Should I love that beast? Hell no, that person is my mortal enemy and I should hate him and if I was given the chance and was able to do it, I would destroy him. I say openly to the Muslims if you don’t hate me then you should, because I am out to destroy everything that is sacred to you.
— Ali Sina If your son becomes a Monster (or a good Muslims) you still don’t hate him. But you will allow him to be locked up for the protection of others. Your duty as a parent is to love your children. This does not mean you have to condone their evilness. Let the socity deal with your son according to the law. You don’t hide or protect him, but also you don’t have to hate him.  We humans are all sons and daughters, brothers and sisters in a large scale. Yes we have to stop the monsters among us, and if necessary eliminate them so they can no longer harm others. This does not mean we should hate them.

I have now responded to his attacks on me personally, and provided a link to his response which he says would show my sincerity.

UPDATE 1/28/2012

Today, Ali Sina wrote wrote a response to my comments of yesterday.  He objects to my saying that some of his previous statements seem to show that he is not only Islamophobic but also anti-Semitic and racist – and his response just makes his attitudes more clear.  This is part of what he said:

It seems that Ms. Musaji has some difficulty in comprehension. Or maybe she just pretends it, hoping she may confound her readers. I am against Islam. That does not make me Islamophobe. Islamophobia is a fallacy. You can say Islam-hater. That I agree. But one can’t be “phobic” of a belief. This is a deception. But as Hitler said, if a lie is repeated often it will be believed as truth eventually.

A good example is the word homophobia. This is also a deception. I believe homosexuality is a disorder no different from eating disorder or a personality disorder. Homosexuality is a sexual disorder, like sadomasochism, fetishism, zoophilia and pedophilia. Now these disorders are not all the same and have different implications, but they are all disorders. I am not a homophobe for considering homosexuality a disorder. Homo means same. I don’t have an irrational fear of men. But this lie was repeated so much that today most people have fallen for it. The idea was to stifle any criticism about this disorder and they succeeded. Now they even have gay pride parades, as if there is something to be proud of a disorder. This is how masses are manipulated through propaganda. They even shame you into silence. Few people dare to say homosexuality is not normal. They even gave it a chichi name “gay”, meaning happy. This is also a lie. Homosexuals are not happy.

Muslims are using the same deceptive tactic.  They want to stifle the legitimate discussion about Islam.  So they invented this lie and with the help of their leftist lackeys who gave us the fallacy of homophobia and they will repeat it until it is seen as truth.  But Islam is an ideology. No one can have an irrational fear of an ideology. You can strongly disagree with an ideology and you can even hate it, but you can’t be phobic of it.  Ideologies don’t have fangs. It is their believers who may have fangs. Now, it would be more logical to say Muslimphobia.  Muslims can hurt you. If you see a group of Muslims coming out of a mosque, you would be wise to run as fast as you can.

…  All cultures are not equal. Cultural relativism is another fallacy. We Persians had a much more superior culture that the Arabs. But after the invasion of Islam we were reduced into barbarians. We became like them. Now we are all barbarians. The first charter of human rights was written in Persia more than 2500 years ago.

…  It is not racist to say Muslims are savages any more than to say Nazis were savages. Islam is an ideology. It is not hacked into our genes. We can give it up and regain our civility. That is the whole purpose of what I do. Muslims are drowning in the cesspool of Islam. Just look at the pictures of Muslims when protesting in the streets. They are savages. I want to pull them out of Islam and restore their humanity.

Most Jews have given up their belief in the nonsense of their religion a long time ago. Most of them don’t believe in religion anymore. Those who do are like those rabbis, filled with bigotry and hate.  But they are the minority. Even when Jews go to synagogues it is for ceremonies. Religion can be a cohesive force. It brings out the spirit of fraternity and builds community.

The emphasis is mine.  Here is the gist of his argument:  I hate Islam, but that is not Islamophobia. I believe that “Muslims are savages”, but I am not a bigot.  I believe that “Homosexuality is a sexual disorder, like sadomasochism” but I am not homophobic.  I believe that Judaism is a religion of “nonsense”, those who believe in it are “filled with bigotry and hate”, but I am not an anti-Semite.  I believe that my culture is superior to others, but I am not a racist.  Terms like Islamophobia or homophobia are lies, there is no such thing.  I am sorry, but there is such a thing as anti-Semitism, there is such a thing as Islamophobia, there is such a thing as homophobia, there is such a thing as racism.  You can object to the use of one or all of those words, but the bottom line is that no matter what you call this ideology, it is hateful bigotry.

He also objected to my pointing out that the SPLC, ADL, PFAW, CAP, etc. have characterized SION and its leaders Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer as promoting an anti-Muslim agenda.  He refers to all of these organizations as “moon-bats”, “traitorous leftist organizations”, “lackeys”, who hate “the Judeo-Christian western values”, and “minions” of Muslims, that “are either run by Muslims or are sympathetic to Islam”.  He says that Paypal was “duped” and the U.S. government has been “misled” into believing that Islam is a religion.

Sina says that Pamela Geller “should be awarded the Nobel Prize for her humanitarianism and for her compassion.  Alas the Nobel Prize committee is so politicized that they think charlatans like Arafat, Obama and Al Gore are more deserving for that prize than good humans who truly serve mankind.”

He closes with “More on this subject tomorrow!”

Pamela Geller posted an article today titled Takedown which is a short introduction to Sina’s article by Geller.

I urge all Atlas readers, twitter followers, and facebook friends to go over to Dr. Ali Sina’s site and read this takedown of the nasty, libelous shill, Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim.

,,,  I have not fisked this liar and dissembler, because everything she has written about me, pages and pages, are lies, defamation and smear. All of it.  She serves the fourth reich, and she serves them well. And frankly, I was loathe to give her the notoriety and the traffic she so desperately craves. But Sina has been battling her lies (there is more here, Sheila Musaji and Fear of Freedom).

A minor point, but Paypal never suspended me. They sent me notice that complaints were lodged (by vicious trolls like Musaji no doubt), but they never did. Just another Islamic lie.

Dr.Sina honors me in his defense of my work.

Actually, Geller has written about me in the past, and shown herself in that case as in so many others to be confused about the meaning of truth-telling, and ready to attempt to conceal evidence of outright lies.

On April 30, 2008 Geller posted an article titled “Attacking Chesler: American Muslim Female Takes on Chesler”.  As could be expected she didn’t understand how I could possibly say anything negative about Chesler’s anti-Muslim writings.  Geller called me a “tool of jihad” who is tearing a “truthteller apart” while “doing nothing for my sisters”.  However, she did not directly address any of the specific points that I made in my article.  (Note:  Geller’s article still comes up on a Google search, and in a search of my name on her site, but if you click on the link you will only get an error message.  The article has been pulled).  My response to Geller’s claims in her article was the first item in a collection of information on Geller, who along with her partner Robert Spencer seem to be the most prolific Islamophobes. Please see my article   Pamela Geller Attempts to Make a Point, Muslims Shrug (SIOA/AFDI/Atlas Shrugs) for a complete background on this.

On May 2, 2008 Geller published an article titled Blah, blah, blah in which she accuses me of“deception, taqiyya- the deliberate dissimulation about religious matters that may be undertaken to protect Islam. And while this kind of double talk has the left doing the Islamists bidding, many of us know exactly what this shiz is. You can fool some of the infidels some of the times, but you can’t fool all of the kufirs all of the time.”

She opens this article with “Musaji over at American Muslim didn’t like my defending Phyllis Chesler.”  And she has included this link ( http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/04/attacking-chesl.html ) embedded in the words “defending Phyllis Chesler”.  This is a link to the now removed article that was written by Geller on April 30th.  Geller herself is sayng that she had written an article to which I responded, but the article is not there?  Why was the article removed?

As to my reference to PayPal, on June 12, 2010 Geller posted an article which she titled Paypal Cuts Off Atlas: Truth is the New Hate Speech in which she posts a copy of the email from Paypal which includes the statement However, after a recent review of your account, it has been determined that you are currently in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy.  Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime.  In Geller’s article and in PayPals email there is nothing about complaints being lodged, simply this statement that she is in violation of their acceptable use policy.  Geller’s own title says that PayPal had cut off Atlas Shrugs.  Although Geller and Ali Sina seem to want to blame me for some involvement with this PayPal incident, I had nothing to do with it.  So, if there was any confusion about exactly what happened with PayPal, that confusion came from Geller’s own statement.

And, of course Robert Spencer has to jump in and also post Ali Sina’s article with a short introduction by Spencer which doesn’t really add much to this saga.  Spencer does add one more insult by calling me an established liar and linking to a previous article of his attacking me by making this false claim.  Actually, if you read my article that Spencer is referring to Hutaree Christian Militia, Not an Isolated Phenomena you can make your own decision about this charge.  Spencer, like Geller has shown himself in that case as in so many others to be confused about the meaning of truth-telling, and ready toattempt to conceal evidence of outright lies.

I have just checked the comments on the article that I mentioned in my update of 1/26, and they are still there.  Calling Christianity, Islam, and Judaism “diabolic”, calling Jews “suibhuman [sic], less evolved primates who should be eliminated in a peaceful manner. Such as by spraying them with mega toxic pesticides like you try to eliminate locusts and other field posts”, saying “I hate Muslims”, suggesting that you “will allow him (i.e. Muslims) to be locked up for the protection of others” — these are comments that go beyond the pale of any sort of civilized discussion.  This goes beyond bigotry into the realm of hatred.  Allowing such statements to remain on his site is a choice that Ali Sina has made, and that choice does reflect on him.  I am most concerned about the comments clearly calling for a genocide against Jews, and for locking up Muslims…

Goebbels would be proud, and Ali Sina and the other Islamophobes’ tactics show all to clearly theremarkable similarities between Islamophobic and anti-Semitic propaganda.  Geller’s baseless claim that I “serve the fourth reich”, must be projection.
UPDATE 1/29/2012

Sina is still carrying on a debate with himself on his site.  He is still demanding that I answer his questions about the interpretation of some particular Qur’anic verse, or what some Muslim scholar has said, or some hadith, or (the list goes on and on).  This is nonsense.  I have no obligation to discuss any of these issues with him.  And, I have provided him with links to all of my writings over the past many years, many of which have already discussed many of these issues.

Just as Muslims have given lengthy explanations for example of why particular verses of the Qur’an have been taken out of context to “prove” false points – Jewish scholars have had the need to explain particular aspects of their religion that have been misunderstood – for example what the Talmud says about the permissibility of killing non-Jews.   Rabbi David Eidensohn has a site devoted to defending the Talmud against various accusations.   The fact that there are verses in the Qur’an that can be interpreted variously is also not unique –  that there are verses that be seen as cruel and violent in the Bible (Old and New Testaments) cannot really be disputed.   What can be done is to attempt to marginalize those who continue to promote extremist interpretations of religious texts, and to promote false worldviews like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion or the Protocols of the Elders of Islam.

You might want to read Hussein Ibish’s article Religion and violence: another look at Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, and the 2003 ADL report on The Talmud in Anti-Semitic Polemics  and ask yourself if you don’t see how closely Ali Sina’s tactics mirror classic anti-Semitic tactics.

There is a site that maintains an archive of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda.  It is depressing reading, but over and over again I found examples of claims and statements that mirrored claims now being made by people like you Ali Sina against Muslims and Islam.  Here are a few examples:

– Nazi propaganda maintained that all Jews were responsible for the act of any Jew “The murder of Ernst vom Rath did not slow legal measures aimed at solving the Jewish Problem, but rather sped them up. The Jews living in Germany had to pay a fine of a billion marks to discourage them from repeating the cowardly murder.”http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/imbild1.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that Judaism was not a religion. “Argument 1: “You say that religion is a private matter. But you fight against the Jewish religion!” Counterargument: “Actually, the Jewish religion is nothing other than a doctrine to preserve the Jewish race.” (Adolf Hitler). “In resisting all government attempts to nationalize them, the Jews build a state within the state (Count Helmuth von Moltke). “To call this state a ‘religion’ was one of the cleverest tricks ever invented.” (Adolf Hitler). “From this first lie that Jewry is a religion, not a race, further lies inevitably follow.” (Adolf Hitler).” http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/responses.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that the Jews hated all non-Jews and they wanted to destroy the Gentiles and dominate the world http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ds15.htm  Further “Whether or not there is an organized Jewish government recognized by all the Jews is less important that the fact that there is a unified and conscious Jewish desire for world power. This is proved by a variety of political events that are taking place in plain sight today.” http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/aufkla01.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that a war against Judaism was a war against the devilhttp://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ds15.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained by distortions of the Torah and Talmud that Judaism teaches hatred http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ds3.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that “The goal of the Jew is to make himself the ruler of humanity. Wherever he comes, he destroys works of culture. He is not a creative spirit, rather a destructive spirit.”  http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/catech.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that “Nearly all major inventions were made by Aryans.”  The Jews had no real creativity http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/catech.htm  Further “Wherever Jewry has appeared, it has never built anything. It has always and everywhere destroyed or torn down, sucking others dry to fill itself. From the days of the Romans to our day, Jewry in every century, in every people, was and remained a foreign body, a destroyer of real and ideal values, a denier of any upward progress, a plague for body and soul. It sneaks in through deceit and treachery, trickery and slyness, murder and assault, understanding how to establish itself.”  http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/esser.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that A GOOD JEW COULD NOT BE A GOOD GERMAN, that it was impossible for a Jew to honestly say “I am a “good German” and a “decent Jew”! Only a Jew has the insolence to make such a claim. I answer it only to reach the public and finally dispatch the absurd notion of the “decent Jew.” The fable of the “decent Jew” is not a German fable that has been handed down by our people and therefore something with educational value, but rather it is a shameless lie designed to lull the host people to sleep and appeal to hysterical weaklings.”  http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/oberlindober1.htm  And further “And you think you can be a “good German”! True, you do speak German, just as your racial comrades in other countries speak English, French, Spanish, and Polish, but you are no more a German than they are Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards, or Poles, since Jews are a foreign body in every people.” http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/oberlindober1.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained “Each Jew individually, and Jewry as a whole, is without a home. Jewry undermines every people and every state that it infiltrates. It feeds as a parasite and a culture-killing worm in the host people. It grows and grows like weeds in the state, the community, and the family and infests the blood of humanity everywhere.  In brief, that is the pestilential nature of Jewry, against which every people, every state, every nation must, should, and wants to defend itself if it does not want to be the victim of this bloody plague.” http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/esser.htm

It is not possible for any decent human being not to see the incredible similarities between this Nazi propaganda and the propaganda of the Islamophobes.  In fact, many passages from Ali Sina’s work read as if he has simply taken one of these statements and changed “Jew” with “Muslim” or “Judaism” with “Islam”.

The Islamophobic echo chamber is reproducing Ali Sina’s articles and claiming that he has totally crushed me with his rapier wit.  Let the bigots continue discussing this among themselves, andcontinue stirring up a hornets nest of bigotry, and engaging in their what everyone “knows” distortions about Islam and Muslims, and following Baron Bodissey/Edward May’s Islamophobia manifesto and Nazi propaganda as their guide.

I leave it to the reader to decide who is civilized and who is savage in this discussion.  I will get back to reading the Qur’an.

“If your Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one people: but they will not cease to dispute.” [Qur’an 11:118]

“And do thou be patient, for thy patience is but from God; nor grieve over them: and distress not thyself because of their plots. For Allah is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good.” [Qur’an 16:127-128]

Oh mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (Not that you may despise each other). [Qur’an 49;13]

NOTE:  I do thank Ali Sina for correcting my spelling of pseudonym.
SEE ALSO

A Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industryhttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a_whos_who_of_the_anti-muslimanti-arabislamophobia_industry

Islamophobia:  Real or Imaginedhttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/islamophobia_real_or_imagined

Ali Sina and Faith Freedom International, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/ali_sina

SION:  Hate Groups Unite to Form an International Hate Coalition, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/sion

Sheila Musaji: Rational and Legitimate Concerns are not the Same as Bigoted Stereotypes

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2012 by loonwatch

Rational and Legitimate Concerns are not the Same as Bigoted Stereotypes

by Sheila Musaji

In a recent article Eric Allen Bell Chooses to Retain “Ridiculous Prejudice”, I discussed an article this individual posted on Daily Kos claiming that the Loonwatch site was “in fact a terrorist spin control network.”  I discussed his arguments and the reasons that I believe them to be Islamophobic.  In about a week, he has posted a total of three such articles, and been joined in his rantings by Robert Spencer.  You can see all of the updates with links at the bottom of my article about this saga.

In his second article Eric Allen Bell says:

But what about the rational and legitimate concerns that people, such as myself, voice about the theology of Islam and some of the ways it is practiced, in certain parts of the world, which violate human rights? Is the expression of such concerns something that should be dismissed and branded as yet more “Islamophobia”?

According to Loonwatch.com – a well known Islamophoiba [sic] watchdog site – there is no distinction. Loonwatch unconditionally attacks criticism of Islam but they refuse to criticize the many, many Islamic clerics and terrorists who are hurting people in the name of Islam. Should a person have something to say publicly questioning the funneling of monies from Islamic charities to Islamic terrorist networks, Loonwatch is there to call them a “Loon” for even raising the question. That’s quite a clever system – a form of radical Islamic McCarthyism it seems – with the first line of defense being a blogoshere of misinformed infidels who will blurt out the word “Islamophobe” at the slightest mention that within Islam there might be a problem brewing. What a clever design.

Should an article be written about forced marriages of Muslim child brides overseas or the stoning to death of a Muslim woman as punishment for being raped, or the many young boys who are brainwashed in Islamic madrasas only to become radicalized Islamic militants, or the Muslim men who were arrested in the UK for distributing fliers to Londoners saying that Homosexuals should be punished by hanging because their lifestyle is against Islam – any article written to express concern about these developments will likely lead the writer of such article to be branded a “Loon” by Looonwatch.com and have his name put out on the street.

Bell also said “But for LoonWatch.com any criticism of the Koran or of violent Jihad – even those criticisms that might have some legitimacy to them – even of radical Islam, are branded as Islamophobia and anyone who dares to raise questions about the nearly constant acts of Jihad going on increasingly around the world today is labeled a ‘Loon’ – thus the title of their blog, LoonWatch.com.”

And, his new friend Robert Spencer found this statement to be “entirely true observation”.

This particular claim is often made by Islamophobes, and it is becoming tiresome.  Voicing legitimate concerns is not a problem, bigotry is a problem.

In this case, a claim was made first about Loonwatch whose sole purpose is narrowly focused on discussions of anti-Muslim bigotry.  However, by Bell’s third article, and in the course of Spencer’s entire career, it is obvious that the claims are actually being made against the entire Muslim community and all of Islam.

However, even though Loonwatch is not in the business of themselves publishing anything other than information on Islamophobia, is it true that they would not tolerate criticism of Muslims?

Would writing or publishing articles raising any criticism of extremism or terrorism within the Muslim community lead to being labeled a “loon”?  Would any criticism of extremist interpretations of Islam lead to being labeled a “loon”?

Here on The American Muslim, we have published thousands of articles, many of them discussing issues such as:

— speaking out against the repulsive customs of – child marriage  including discussion ofparticular cases, – and punishments for victims of rape, – and female genital mutilation, etc.
—against the views of extremist clerics like Anjem Choudary, or Sheikh Abdullah El-Faisal, orAnwar Al AwlakiAyman Zawahiri, etc.
— against the views of extremist groups like Hizb-ut-TahrirMajlis, South Africa, etc.
— against particular actions of Islamic organizations like the Canadian Shia Muslim Organization (CASMO) publishing an article by David Duke, or some British Muslims threatening Imam Usama Hasan because of his views on the compatibility of the theory of evolution with Quranic teachings regarding God’s creation of the world and human beings, or the Arab European League (AEL) publishing an offensive cartoon against the Jewish people on their website
— against individuals or organizations promoting extremist views about various issues like – Salwa Al Mutairi suggesting that sex-slaves are allowed in Islam, – or the Malaysian Catholic Herald being told that it could no longer use the word “Allah” to mean God, – or Dr. Zakir Naiksaying that Muslims can’t wish Christians a Merry Christmas, – or the Darul Uloom Deoband’sdivorce by phone fatwa, , – or the Saudi forced divorce case, etc.
— about particular individuals or organizations accused of particular crimes,  – like the Florida Imams arrested for aiding the Pakistani Taliban, etc.
— publishing condemnations of particular acts of extremism and violence such as – the attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt, – or the killing of U.N. workers in Afghanistan, – or attacks on Christians in Muslim countries, – or the Fort Hood massacre, – or the deaths of 15 Saudi schoolgirls in a fire because they weren’t “properly dressed” etc.
— or publishing condemnations of extreme reactions to various current issues like the South Park cartoonMolly Norris and “Draw Muhammad Day”, Opus cartoon
—publishing statements and articles advocating for   – protection of religious minorities and houses of worship, – and guardianship reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pertaining to male control or ‘guardianship’ over women, – and [http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/confronting_online_radicalization_of_muslim_youth]confronting online radicalization[/url] of Muslim youth, – and freedom of faith and right to change one’s faith, – and freedom of speech, – and a spiritual jihad against terrorism, – and welcoming LGBT Muslims in mosques, – and a moratorium on all corporal punishment, including the death penalty, – and responsibility of Muslims to defend the Constitution of the U.S., – and condemning holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, – and promoting the value of being faithful Muslims and loyal Americans etc.
— publishing and regularly updating Muslim condemnations in statements, fatwas, articles, etc. of every form of extremism and terrorism as a major part of the work of The American Muslim

On TAM, we regularly call out those within the Muslim community that I identify as the “lunatic fringe”, discuss various interpretations of aspects of Sharia, condemn any interpretations that violate human rights.  The list above is a very short list of the thousands of articles on such subjects that we have published, many of which I have written myself.

According to Bell any article written to express concern about these developments will likely lead the writer of such article to be branded a “Loon” by Looonwatch.com and have his name put out on the street.

And yet, what has been the result of my discussion of all of these concerns on TAM been?  Loonwatch named me one of the “Anti-Loons of 2011”.

Muslims themselves discuss all of these issues and are more than happy to align with others who are concerned about a particular human or civil rights issue to work cooperatively to solve the problem.  As one example among many, Muslims are working actively with representatives of other faith groups as part of an Interfaith Coalition against domestic violence.  We are not interested in giving any credence to those who are not really concerned about a particular issue, but only in using it to further their bigoted Islamophobic agenda.

We have seen this sort of devious tactic too many times.  Just one example was that two years after American Muslims had initiated a statement Apostasy and Freedom of Faith in Islam initially signed by 100 Islamic scholars and activists, a group called “Former Muslims United” produced their own pledgeand demanded that Muslims sign it.  And, as I said at that time “This FMU pledge is simply another attempt to create propoganda (planting the idea that American Muslims have not taken a position against punishments for apostasy) and to attempt to make it seem as if only former Muslims can stand for what is right, and frankly to attempt to increase the visibility of the FMU at the expense of the Muslim community.  This is shameful behavior (although typical of members of this group who go beyond denouncing Islamic radicalism to denouncing all of Islam) and is simply another example of attempting to marginalize the Muslim community and bolster the false claim that Muslims don’t speak up against injustices, extremism, etc.”

There is a reason that many outside of the Muslim community see such behavior as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL (A Jewish anti-defamation group) has said that Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) is a “group that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.  There is a reason that they are featured in our TAMWho’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

These people consistently promote what I call the what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims.  They generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.  When they are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

This particular claim that “truth tellers” are being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia is nonsense.  The further claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews also proves that Islamophobia doesn’t exist is more nonsense.

The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.  The Islamophobia of these folks is very real.

On the Outlandish Claim That “There is No Islamophobia”

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2012 by loonwatch

The FBI released hate crime statistics for the year of 2010, which showed that anti-Semitic crimes topped the list of religiously motivated hate crimes.  Islamophobes have latched on to this fact to claim that “there is no Islamophobia.”  For example, Robert Spencer of JihadWatch asked: ”What do you have to say about the fact that FBI statistics show that there is no ‘Islamophobia’?”

The American Muslim’s Sheila Musaji published a response to this argument, pointing out that it’s a non-sequitur: it does not follow that “there is no Islamophobia” just because there were more anti-Semitic hate crimes reported than anti-Muslim ones.  This would be like arguing that “there is no anti-Semitism” because there were more anti-black hate crimes reported than anti-Semitic ones.

In fact, Musaji points out that there was a 50% increase in the number of reported anti-Muslim hate crimes.  Any reasonable person would think this trend to be concerning and ask: what is causing this steep rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes?

There is another issue here: it’s a well-known fact that ethnic minorities are less likely to report hate crimes.  One of the common reasons cited for this is that such minority groups tend to distrust police and authorities–which is certainly the case for Arabs and Muslims, who have every reason to feel this way.

Islamophobia penetrates law enforcement and government on all levels, starting from the police: the Washington Monthly had a very eyeopening article on the subject: How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam.

The FBI, the governmental institution responsible for monitoring hate crimes, is itself brimming with Islamophobia (see here, here, here, here, here, and here).  Many Muslims in America don’t trust the FBI, and wouldn’t report hate crimes to them, for fear of being accused of something themselves.

This is exactly what happened to a female Muslim student at the University of Bridgeport who reported to authorities that a man was sexually harassing her; not only was the man not investigated, but the female Muslim student herself ended up being investigated by the FBI after the accused molester called her a terrorist.  That’s how vulnerable Muslims are in this country: accuse them of being a terrorist and the FBI will come knocking at their door.

The chain of anti-Muslim bigotry goes even higher to the Department of Homeland Security.  The House Committee on Homeland Security is led by the fervently anti-Muslim Congressman Peter King.  It is Muslims, not Jews or people of any other religion, who are subjected to such hearings.  If King had suggested holding anti-Jewish hearings, the comparisons to Nazi Germany would be quickly invoked (rightfully so) and the Congressman’s career would come to a swift end (again, rightfully so).  Yet, when this bigotry is leveled against Muslims, the reaction is far more mild.

This brings me to my second (and main) point: it is Muslims, not Jews or people of any other faith, who are the number one victims of institutionalized bigotry in America.  This is something more pernicious than lone-wolf hate crimes, because the effects of it are more far-reaching.

It is Muslims, not people of any other religious faith, that were (and continue to be) detained by the hundreds–without trial or charge–and holed away in the hell-hole known as Guantanamo Bay detention camp.  This, even though it was known by the government that “the vast majority of detainees at Guantanamo were innocent.”  Most Americans fail to realize the gravity of this injustice, and continue to believe–like mindless sheep–that the Gitmo prisoners are “the worst of the worst” and are evil Magneto-style villains.  People of the future will be horrified that any sane person would think that this is necessary:

Who but the sickest and most deranged person could think this is OK?

Can you imagine the outcry had it been a Jewish person who had been imprisoned like so by our government?  Even the idea is considered ludicrous.

Gitmo is just the tip of the iceberg.  Thousands of Muslims have been imprisoned in Bagram (“the Other Guantanamo”) and there are probably tens of thousands Muslims that have been detained by the United States, without trial or charge, around the world.  They are subjected to typical American forms of torture:  solitary confinement (considered by human rights experts to be one of the worst forms of torture) and sexual harassment (including sodomy, rape, and having their testicles electrocuted).  Mentally deranged guards routinely used dogs to torture the inmates.

Yes, it is Muslims who are the victims of these horrific crimes.

These abuses are carried out because the institution that is supposed to protect American citizens (including American Muslims)–the U.S. Armed Forces–has instead been, in the words of the hawkish Jeffrey Goldberg, ”waging a three-decade war for domination of the Middle East.”  Quite predictably, the U.S. Armed Forces as an institution is rife with Islamophobia.

It is Muslim civilians who are being incinerated by our bombs, missiles, and drones.  Over the course of the last two decades, the United States has directly or indirectly caused the deaths of over a million Muslims.  America is dropping bombs on multiple Muslim countries (the list just keeps getting longer and longer); Americans feel comfortable dropping bombs on countries they can’t even locate on a map.  These are Islamophobic wars that kill way more people than hate crimes do.

It is Muslims, not Jews or people of any other religion, who are the victims of civil liberty assaults and Endless War.  Glenn Greenwald writes:

[W]ho are the prime victims of America’s posture of Endless War? Overwhelmingly, the victims are racial, ethnic and religious minorities: specifically, Muslims (both American Muslims and foreign nationals).  And that is a major factor in why these abuses flourish: because those who dominate American political debates perceive, more or less accurately, that they are not directly endangered (at least for now) by this assault on core freedoms and Endless War…

To see how central a role this sort of selfish provincialism plays in shaping political priorities, just compare (a) the general indifference to Endless War and the massive civil liberties assaults… (ones largely confined to Muslims) to (b) the intense outrage and media orgy generated when a much milder form of invasiveness — TSA searches — affected Americans of all backgrounds. The success of Endless War and civil liberties attacks depends on ensuring that the prime victims, at least in the first instance, are marginalized and easily demonizable minorities.

It is Muslims who are the victims of such governmental abuses:

Assassination of U.S. citizens; Indefinite detention; Arbitrary justice; Warrantless searches; Secret evidence; War crimes; Secret court; Immunity from judicial review; Continual monitoring of citizens; and Extraordinary renditions.

It is absolutely crass to argue that there is more anti-Semitism in America than Islamophobia. There would be nothing less acceptable in our country than anti-Jewish Congressional hearings.  One could simply not imagine imprisoning hundreds of Jews–without trial or charge–in Guantanamo Bay.  If the United States caused the death of over a million Jews, people would be calling this the next Holocaust.  Such things are simply unthinkable, except when Muslims are the intended victims.

Certainly, lone-wolf hate crimes are worrisome, and Jews are one of the most targeted groups in this regard.  This is a serious concern that needs to be addressed–as does the fact that there has been such a steep rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes.  But, we shouldn’t ignore institutionalized bigotry in America, which is even more worrisome.  Muslims are the most vulnerable minority in this regard: they are the absolute lowest on the totem pole and get the dubious distinction of being the number one victims in this regard.

Lastly, it is very morbid the way the anti-Muslim cyber-world is pitting the Jewish community against the Muslim one.  This is not a competition or game.  Hate crimes are not points or goals.  Jews, Muslims, and people of all faiths (or no faith at all) should unite together to fight bigotry and intolerance.  After all, Jews are well aware of the tactics that were once primarily used against them but are now used against Muslims: it may be a different minority, but it’s the same message.

*  *  *  *  *

I encourage everyone to read Sheila Musaji’s take on the subject.  It was her article that prompted me to weigh in on this issue.

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

Zaid Jilani, a Victim of False Anti-Semitism Charges

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on January 22, 2012 by loonwatch
Zaid Jilani

(cross-posted from The American Muslim)

by Sheila Musaji

In August, the Center for American Progress, CAP released a significant report “Fear Inc., the Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America”

Within days of the release of this report, Ed Lasky at the American Thinker wrote an article The Soros-supported Center for American Progress blames rich Jews for stoking Islamophobia which seems to be the first to have made the false claim (lie) that the CAP report was anti-Semitic, or that individuals at CAP are anti-Semitic.

Lasky said that since many of the funders or anti-Muslim activists named happen to be Jewish:

By “outing” the people involved, the report puts endangers them.  Furthermore, this “report” relies on the conspiracy and age-old anti-Semitic trope that Jews fan prejudice towards others and promotes divisions for their own nefarious purposes (to support Israel in this case). This mindset is straight out of Mein Kampf.  The report also stokes the view that rich Jews operate behind the scenes and use their wealth to control the media and government policy (politicians are also mentioned as being ensnared in this web).  …  Clearly, this is a well-funded effort to chill legitimate criticism of Islamic extremism in America. There are also political motivations behind this report since it also tries to refute allegations of ties between Muslims and Barack Obama.  But what is most shameful about this “report” is that it employs classic anti-Semitic tropes,  blaming conspiratorial Jews for stoking fear and hatred of Muslims. 

This will work its magic in the Muslim world, a substantial fraction of which believes that “defaming” Islam is legitimately punishable by death at the hands of any righteous Muslim.  By thoughtfully providing a hit list, the CAP does its part to spread fear and—yes—terror among the opponents of radical Islam.

Actually, Lasky is the one who “outs” or mentions the religion of those named in the report, the report itself does not identify these folks by their religion.  I was surprised that Lasky said that Steven Emerson is Jewish, as I had never heard that before.

This attempt to cast the authors of this report as anti-Semitic and as blaming Jews for Islamophobia is reprehensible, and already being repeated on the anti-Muslim blogsphere.  Pamela Geller called the report “Goebbels attacking the Jew”.  A Pipeline News article calls the report shades of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. and a functioning part of a greater – subversive – Islamist narrative.  Daniel Greenfield aka Sultan Knish, in an article on David Horowitz’s FrontPageMag wrote “Any report on Islamophobia that scapegoats Jews is not a report on bigotry, it is an act of bigotry.” 

Eric Boling on Fox News reinforced this false anti-Semitic meme by outright lying on air in a segment devoted to attacking the CAP report.

Bolling invited a three-member panel to comment, who all agreed that there isn’t an Islamophobia network in America. Bolling set up the discussion by making this outlandishly false statement:

I need to point this out – I’m reading directly from this report: “The Obama-allied Center for American Progress has released a report that blames Islamophobia in America on a small group of Jews and Israel supporters in America, whose views are being backed by millions of dollars.”

Boling has now issued a clarification, but not really an apology.  Boling’s clarification said

I want to correct something from a segment we did the other night on Follow the Money regarding Islam in America. The topic was a report from the Center for American Progress. At one point, I read a brief passage which said the group blamed Islamophobia on “a small group of Jews and Israel supporters in America”.    You need to know that I was reading aloud from an American Thinker magazine article critical of the group’s report and not from the report itself. Sorry for the confusion.

The American Thinker article he was referring to was the one by Ed Lasky.  As Faiz Shakir (one of the CAP reports authors) noted about this whole incident If there is one key takeaway from this incident, it’s that observers have witnessed how the Islamophobia network generally operates: 1) Produce a blog post with false anti-Muslim information, 2) promote that blog post through Fox News, 3) have so-called “experts” tout the information as if it’s credible, and then 4) stand by your mischaracterizations even when they are shown to be lies. In this case, we successfully fought back against this misinformation network. That’s what it’s going to take to end Islamophobia.

An editorial in the Jewish Forward also notes that a number of those named in the report happen to be Jewish, although to their credit, they discuss this in an entirely different context, one of disappointment:

There is, unfortunately, one disturbing way that a small number of Jews are contributing to the unfair characterizations and discrimination of Muslims. A new study by the Center for American Progress reveals that seven foundations have spent more than $40 million in the last ten years to spread misinformation about Muslim Americans. And who leads those efforts? Far too many Jews, including blogger Pamela Geller, co-director of the group Stop Islamization of America; David Yerushalmi, whose attempts to promote anti-Sharia laws were detailed recently in the Forward; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum, which gave a platform for Yerushalmi’s dangerous ideas; Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, who has even criticized President George W. Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for being soft on Muslims.

Philip Weiss notes that Lasky did not mention the fact that George Soros whose think tank he claims is fostering anti-semitism, is himself Jewish.

In December, Ben Smith at Politico published an article which included the following paragraph regarding an article by Eric Alterman at CAP

“There’s two explanations here – either the inmates are running the asylum or the Center for American Progress has made a decision to be anti-Israel,” said Josh Block, a former spokesman for AIPAC who is now a fellow at the center-left Progressive Policy Institute. “Either they can allow people to say borderline anti-Semitic stuff” – a reference to what he described as conspiracy theorizing in the Alterman column – “and to say things that are antithetical to the fundamental values of the Democratic party, or they can fire them and stop it.” (Alterman called the charge “ludicrous” and “character assassination,” noted that he is a columnist for Jewish publications, and described himself as a “proud, pro-Zionist Jew.”)

Justin Elliott published an article documenting that Josh Block had sent out an email to a private listserv called the Freedom Community, in which he throws around accusations of anti-Semitism against liberal bloggers and calls on other list members to “echo” and “amplify” his assault and “use the below [research] to attack the bad guys.”

Elliot also notes in this article that Block was quoted in Ben Smith’s Polito article of accusing CAP columnist Eric Alterman of writing “borderline anti-Semitic stuff,” a charge Alterman (who is himself Jewish) dismissed as “ludicrous.”

In a follow-up article, Elliot notes that two think tanks that Block is associated with, the Progressive Policy Institute and the Truman National Security Project — were apparently rattled by the incident:

PPI head Will Marshall privately told Block that the think tank would sever ties with Block if he didn’t retract the charges detailed in Salon, according to a source familiar with the discussions. Block subsequently offered Politico a statement on the charges, claiming he had never accused people at CAP in particular of anti-Semitism, but not walking back or apologizing for the gist of what was reported in the Salon piece. It’s still unclear how PPI — which declined to comment — will proceed at this point.

Meanwhile, at Truman, top officials privately debated via email whether to cut ties with Block after the Salon story broke, a source says. They had already been unhappy with Block’s attacks on critics of Israel, and the Salon piece exacerbated tensions, I’m told.

Eric Alterman noted that after these events:

The decision in late December by Rachel Kleinfeld, founder of the Truman National Security Project, a defense-oriented Democratic think tank, to sever publicly all ties with former fellow and ex-AIPAC spokesman, Josh Block, brought to an end what was an ugly episode in Washington’s Israel-focused policy community. Block had orchestrated a sloppy smear campaign against a group of progressive writers and bloggers with the aim of painting their dovish views on Israel as beyond the pale of acceptable discourse. His specific target was two left-leaning think tanks, Media Matters and the Center for American Progress, where I have been a senior fellow since 2003.

…  In Kleinfeld’s email cutting off ties with Block, she wrote, “This has nothing to do with your policy views, and is a decision solely made on the basis of the need for this community to privilege the ability to debate difficult topics freely, without fear of mischaracterization or character attacks.”

What were the comments that were found in emails or tweets from individuals at CAP that were worthy of the charge of anti-Semitism?  The two terms that are considered beyond the pale of civilized conversation are “Israel-firsters” (or dual loyalty) and “Israeli apartheid”.  (See Philip Weiss commentary on Jews using this term here)

Jason Isaacson, the AJC’s director of government and international affairs, told the Jerusalem Post by e-mail that “think tanks are entitled to their political viewpoints – but they’re not free to slander with impunity. References to Israeli ‘apartheid’ or ‘Israel-firsters’ are so false and hateful they reveal an ugly bias no serious policy center can countenance.”

The ADL, told the Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal it considered two specific comments from CAP bloggers to be anti-Semitic, including the “Israel Firster” remarks and claims the Israel lobby had pushed the U.S. into the Iraq war.

Ali Gharib issued a clarification and apology for his Kirk comment on Twitter:  One my tweets several months ago, a crude characterization of a senator is being seized upon by critics branding me as an anti-Semite. While the accusations are completely false and contemptible, I do apologize for the crudeness of the flippant tweet in question.

Alana Goodman reported that she had “asked the Truman Project today whether it believed the ADL and AJC were also wrong for calling the comments from CAP bloggers anti-Semitic. The center’s spokesperson, Dave Solimini, declined to answer the question directly:

I think our position has been very clear on this. Josh was removed from our community because he was unable to differentiate between an honest debate and damaging personal attacks. There is real anti-Semitism in the world and we cannot debase the term by using it for everyone who disagrees with us on Israel policy. We are a community of trust, and his actions have caused too many to fear discussion within our community.

Okay – so in other words, the Truman Project doesn’t believe that the comments from CAP bloggers about dual-loyalty and “Israel-Firsters” rise to the level of “real” anti-Semitism?

Philip Weiss notes that Even Saturday Night Live is talking about Israel firsters.

It is now January of 2012, and this continuing saga continues to get more and more convoluted.

Eric Alterman’s article on the supposed end of this controversy included this statement But just as McCarthy’s tactics wore themselves out over time, so, too, does Jewish McCarthyism appear, by virtue of this incident, to be on its last legs. Everyone so accused by Block still has a job and the confidence of his or her respective employer. Block, on the other hand, has seen one think tank gig end and seen himself denounced by his own business partner. A third employer, the Progressive Policy Institute, has distanced itself from his comments but has not so far seen fit to let him go. Score one, therefore, if not for the “pro-Israel” side, then at least for the right to keep arguing about what it really means.

If only that were true. Glenn Greenwald reports that the “anti-Semitism” smear campaign against CAP and Media Matters rolls on.  In this detailed and lengthy article, Greenwald gives a lot of background and provides many links documenting the history of these false anti-Semitism charges.  Greenwald also notes

Is this not the most blatant evidence yet that these organizations and their adherents are manipulating and exploiting charges of anti-Semitism in order to stifle and punish perfectly legitimate political and policy debates about Israel? They are effectively admitting that “anti-Semitism” does not mean irrational hatred or animosity toward Jews — its actual definition — but rather now means: challenging or even questioning the policy assumptions and preferences of certain Jewish groups and the Israeli government. They are literally decreeing that you are barred from challenging the dubious premises of those who crave war with Iran, are further barred from questioning their fear-mongering about the Iranian nuclear program, are also barred from assigning blame to the settlement-expanding Israelis for the lack of a peace agreement, and are even barred from condemning the increasingly unsustainable and anti-democratic treatment of the Palestinians — all upon pain of being formally condemned as anti-Semitic.

…  What’s really going on here is as obvious as it is odious. The primary factor in AIPAC’s astonishing success has been ensuring that its mandated policies are fully bipartisan, that there are zero differences on Israel between the two parties, so that election outcomes change nothing. They are most petrified that some actual dissent may seep into the mainstream of the two parties; that’s why Bill Kristol has demanded that Ron Paul be expelled from the GOP, and it’s why these CAP and MM writers are being attacked so savagely. Especially with a possible war with Iran on the horizon, the last thing they want — especially in the mainstream of either party — is a permissive environment where one can freely debate the accuracy of their fear-mongering premises about Iran and challenge the wisdom of that aggression.

They are particularly panicked by their eroding power to monopolize the discourse. When Time Magazine’s Joe Klein is warning of “Israel-Firsters” and pointing out the role they played in bringing about the Iraq War and now trying to repeat that feat with Iran, and when The New York Times‘ Tom Friedman is warning that U.S. policy is “held hostage” by the Israel Lobby and the U.S. Congress is “bought and paid for by the Israel Lobby,” it’s clear that things have changed. Being able to display a new scalp on their wall will enable them to exhibit that they can still dictate debate limits and punish heretics. The problem, though, is that Joe Klein and Tom Friedman are too protected (to say nothing of being too Jewish and too devoted to Israel) to bring down with anti-Semitism smears (though they certainly have tried).

So what they do instead is target young, relatively obscure writers — especially ones with names like “Zaid Jilani” and “Ali Gahrib” — in order to make an example of them. This is a truly disgusting spectacle: these commentators — all of whom are writing well within the range of mainstream opinion on Israel — are being publicly smeared early in their careers as anti-Semites as part of a coordinated, ongoing campaign planned by Josh Block and carried out by numerous journalists with large media platforms, and aided and abetted by Jewish groups trading on their credibility to suppress debate.

These accusers know that their institutional employer (CAP) — dependent both upon White House access and funding by Jewish donors — can ill-afford to be smeared as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic regardless of whether those allegations are valid or not. And that’s exactly why they’re doing it: because they sense that these young CAP writers in particular (who, revealingly, have not been heard from in their own defense since the accusations against them were first voiced) are vulnerable to character assassination and career destruction. Unsurprisingly, CAP has alternated between distancing itself from and even repudiating their writings to desperately assuring everyone that they are fully on board with standard “pro-Israel” orthodoxies.

So this smear campaign not only threatens to suppress legitimate debate about crucial policy matters in the U.S., but it also is aimed at the reputations and careers of numerous young liberal writers who have done absolutely nothing wrong. As Wildman put it about those who “debase the term by using it as a rhetorical conceit against those with whom we disagree on policy matters”: “When anti-Semitism is falsely applied, we must also stand up and decry it as defamation, as character assault, as unjust. . . .There comes a time when we must insist on common sense. We must reject the absurd. There comes a time when we must say, ‘Enough’.” We are way past that point now: both with the general smearing of Israel critics as anti-Semites and the specific, baseless attacks on these writers.

Early in January, the Jerusalem Post published an article E-mail reveals anti-Semitism at US think tank.  Here is their “proof” of the charge made in the title In the e-mail that the Post obtained exclusively from the CAP account of Faiz Shakir, who serves as editor-in-chief of the ThinkProgress.org website and is a vice president at CAP, he wrote, “Yes, I agree ‘Israel Firster’ is terrible, anti-Semitic language. And that’s why that language no longer exists on Zaid’s personal twitter feed, because he also knows and understands the implications.”    Zaid Jilani wrote on his Twitter account, where he identifies himself as a “Reporter-Blogger for ThinkProgress,” that “…Obama is still beloved by Israel-firsters and getting lots of their $$.” 

Obviously, the Jerusalem Post is thrilled that the anti-Semitism charges seem to be accepted even by those targeted.  Also, obviously, all of the propaganda is having an effect on CAP.

This week, the Jerusalem Post reported that

According to a Washington Post online article on Thursday, Jarrod Bernstein, the new White House liaison with the Jewish community, told Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, that what was unfolding at CAP was “troubling,” and, “that [the attitude toward Israel at the think tank] is not this administration.

…  Zaid Jilani had blogged for the Center for American Progress’s ThinkProgress website; he used Twitter to call US supporters of the Jewish state “Israel Firsters” and compared Israel to the former apartheid regime in South Africa.  A CAP employee who said her name was Amanda told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that Jilani was no longer employed by ThinkProgress.  Jilani’s biography and photo no longer appear on the ThinkProgress website “About” section. His Twitter feed no longer identifies him as a reporter for ThinkProgress. His last CAP blog posting was on January 12.

It is very difficult watching all of this unfold not to lose hope that free speech still exists.  It seems that simply charging an individual with anti-Semitism, whether or not there is any truth to that charge, particularly if that individual is a Muslim is enough to destroy their career.

At the beginning of this article I quoted Faiz Shakir’s statement If there is one key takeaway from this incident, it’s that observers have witnessed how the Islamophobia network generally operates: 1) Produce a blog post with false anti-Muslim information, 2) promote that blog post through Fox News, 3) have so-called “experts” tout the information as if it’s credible, and then 4) stand by your mischaracterizations even when they are shown to be lies. In this case, we successfully fought back against this misinformation network. That’s what it’s going to take to end Islamophobia.

Faiz Shakir’s most recent statement seems to contradict those noble principles, and CAP’s throwing of Zaid Jilani to the wolves doesn’t speak well for their courage or integrity.  It is possible that there is some other explanation for Zaid Jilani’s departure from CAP, but it doesn’t look good.

It’s a shame that CAP didn’t have the courage of their convictions to fight back against the misinformation network.  As, in the end, they will have been seen to have been on the right side of history to begin with.  Americans for Peace Now who identifies themselves as “a Jewish, Zionist organization that is dedicated to achieving peace and security for Israel” said in a statement

We are deeply concerned about the ongoing attacks against staff of the Center for America Progress (CAP). We believe that these attacks do not reflect genuine concerns about anti-Semitism, or even the use of language that some people may find offensive. Rather, they appear to be part of an effort to stifle discussion on America’s Middle East policy, while using Israel as a partisan wedge issue, both inside the Democratic Party and between Democrats and Republicans.

As a non-partisan organization, we have no interest in CAP’s political identity or its relationship to the Obama Administration. However, as a Jewish, Zionist organization that is dedicated to achieving peace and security for Israel, we believe that a vibrant public debate over issues related to peace and security for Israel and the Middle East – the kind of debate that takes place every day in the Israeli press – is vital for both Israel and the United States. We believe that the current charges of anti-Semitism are intended, cynically, to have a “chilling effect” on such debate. Such attacks cannot be allowed to succeed.

We recognize that the tone adopted by many commentators – on both sides of these very contentions issues – has grown uglier in recent years. This is especially true in blog posts and tweets. All of us operating in this sensitive policy sphere would do well to de-escalate the tone. Intemperate rhetoric only distracts from the important policy issues that, for the sake of both Israel and the U.S., deserve serious debate. Name-calling has no place in policy discussions and, as has been seen in the current context, can pave the way for both unintended offense and for manufactured controversy.

CAP and its staff have a long record of pro-Israel, pro-peace work. This includes hosting numerous Israeli security and policy experts, in addition to providing timely, thoughtful analysis and commentary on the issues. It includes a long record of support for peace, Israeli security, and the two-state solution. Such positions are consistent with the policies of successive U.S. presidents from both parties and with the aspirations of most Israelis and their leaders.

This sounds remarkably similar to Zaik Shakir’s original statement, and it is just a shame that it seems that in Shakir’s case, it may have been only talk.  It will be interesting to follow further developments and statements.

What is most ironic about all of this is that just yesterday, I wrote an article about Andrew Adler, owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times who had published an article calling on the Israeli Mossad to assassinate President Obama.

I thought about the term “Israel-firster” when I was writing that article, as it seemed to me that he is a perfect example of the fact that there really are individuals for whom this is a factual statement of their ideology.  Interestingly, I am not the only one who had that thought.  Chemi shalev wrote onHaaretz:

It is ironic that Adler’s despicable diatribe comes against the backdrop of a fierce blogosphere debate that flared up yesterday about the term “Israel-firsters” and whether it is a legitimate critique or an anti-Semitic slur. Adler, for his part, has provided an example of a sub-specie of “Israel-firsters” that have not only lost track of where their loyalties lie, they have gone off the tracks altogether. He has pleased anti-Zionists and delighted anti-Semites by giving them the kind of “proof” they relish for accusing American supporters of Israel not of “double loyalty” but of one-sided treachery, plain and simple.

… There is something eerily familiar in all this, of course, for anyone who was present 16 years ago at Tel Aviv’s Kikar Malchei Yisrael, as it was then known, on the night that Yitzhak Rabin was murdered. One can already envisage how Adler will be disowned, described as a “wild weed,” depicted as a lone wolf who does not represent anyone in his or in anyone else’s community and used as a springboard for a righteously indignant, preemptive counteroffensive that will show how his solitary case is being exploited to score points against anyone who legitimately criticizes Obama.

Eric Allen Bell Chooses to Retain “Ridiculous Prejudice”

Posted in Loon Blogs, Loon Sites, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2012 by loonwatch
Eric Allen Bell
Eric Allen Bell

Eric Allen Bell Chooses to Retain “Ridiculous Prejudice”

by Sheila Musaji

This past week Eric Allen Bell posted an article on Daily Kos attacking the Loonwatch site

I was startled when I read the article, and sent an email “heads up” to Danios at Loonwatch in case he hadn’t seen the article yet.  He replied that he had not seen it, and he was equally surprised at the content and at the venue in which the article was printed.

I had previously heard the name Eric Allen Bell only in relation to a documentary he had made One Mosque Too Many on the Murfreesboro Mosque.  That documentary was well received in the American Muslim community, and in the interfaith community.  Bell said himself about this documentary and why he made it

It was on this past 4th of July that I decided to make a documentary about the backlash against the building of a new Islamic Center here in Mufreesboro, TN. At that time I had no idea that a chilling wave of anti-Islamic hysteria was about to sweep over the country, strengthen the far right and send the civil rights movement several decades backwards all in the matter of just a few short weeks.

The documentary is titled “Not Welcome” and chronicles events in Murfreesboro concerning the backlash against the Mosque from the 4th of July to 9/11 of 2010. I have interviewed nearly everyone on all sides of this issue here. And along the way I have been threatened repeatedly but I have also made many new friends. I have learned a lot about how my own ridiculous prejudices about the South have distorted my point of view. I have been surprised repeatedly at how often the most unlikely of people can defy their stereotype with acts of kindness, courage and compassion. I have come to know many members of the Islamic community here, known them as friends, broken bread with them and watched as they faced persecution without striking back, without getting consumed with anger, watched as they prayed for those who oppose them, asked for God’s mercy on them and trusted that, in the end, whatever happens will be God’s will.

Because of that background, this current article of Bell’s was particularly puzzling. How could the person who said I have learned a lot about how my own ridiculous prejudices about the South have distorted my point of view. also be the person who showed ridiculous prejudice against the same American Muslim community he seemed to respect?  I thought that perhaps there are two different individuals with the same name – one opposed to bigotry, and one encouraging it, and so I did a little research.

There is only one Eric Allen Bell.  He has a website, and one of the sections of that site is Freedom From Religion.  Scrolling through the posts in that section, it became obvious that this individual is not fond of religion.  Bell’s posted comments are not just anti-Islam, but anti-all religion.  One of his posts is titled “God” is part of the 1 percent, and seems to sum up Bell’s position:

Once upon a time a very, very angry man named “god” created the world, got pissed off at everybody and killed them all with a flood, except for his buddy Noah and his 2 live crew. Later God decided everyone is so lame that he chose his “chosen people” to give a plot of real estate to while telling everyone else to f*ck off, ordered some ethnic cleansings to clear out the area and so forth. Still finding nearly all people to be unbearable (and who can blame him, really?) this god person decided, out of the kindness of his heart, to send his only son to be brutally tortured and savagely murdered so that he won’t have to send us all into a lake of hell fire for all eternity, because he loves us.

About 600 years later, god met this slave owner named Mohammed who also hated most people and the two of them really hit it off. God told Mohammed to wipe out the Jews, the Christians, basically everyone who did not see the the world the way that he did, and together they decided to call this new way of thinking, “the religion of peace”. But now the religion of peace wants to wipe god’s chosen people off of their plot of real estate and the followers of god’s poor brutalized son – whom the chosen people killed (oops, epic fail there guys) see this as a good thing because it will bring about the end of the world, and god’s son will appear in the clouds while the rest of us can go to hell. What does this all mean? It means god must be stopped and his followers need to give us back our planet before they blow the whole damned thing up in one big rapturous apocalyptic orgasm of self fulfilling prophecy. In other words GOD IS PART OF THE 1 PERCENT. “He” must be stopped.

On his site he promotes films like “Islam, What the West Needs to Know” about which he says “I cannot say that I am in 100% agreement with everything said in this documentary. However, having read the Koran, visited a few mosques and produced a documentary on Islamophobia in the Bible Belt, it is my feeling that fundamentally what is being put forth here in “Islam – What the West Needs to Know” is correct.”

As Colm O’Broin has pointed out about this particular “documentary”

The documentary Islam: What the West needs to know, which features many of the most influential anti-jihad writers, makes this point clear. A short TV ad is shown of ordinary Muslim Americans describing their backgrounds and finishes with the statement that “Muslims are part of the fabric of this great country and are working to build a better America.” The contributors to the documentary warn ominously however that the Koran allows Muslims to deceive non-believers in the service of Islam.

This is possibly the most reprehensible claim made by the anti-Muslim writers. If you accepted what they say it would mean that you can’t trust your friends, relatives, neighbours or work colleagues if they happen to be Muslim. In fact, all Muslims are suspect according to this poisonous allegation.

Bell’s admiration for films like this, and for individuals like Robert Spencer of the hate group SIOA makes some sense after scrolling through Bell’s site.  Although Spencer is a devout Catholic, and Bell would have no more respect for his religious beliefs than he would have for my religious beliefs, in Bell’s war against religion, it seems that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is his philosophy.

I had been working on a detailed response, but Devon Moore, also on Daily Kos posted an article yesterday Daily Kos Being Used to Further Classic Right-Wing Propaganda Against Loonwatch which does an excellent job of refuting the nonsense in Bell’s original article.

Bell begins his article by saying that,

The newly coined term Islamophobia describes an irrational fear of Islam.  But for LoonWatch.com any criticism of the Koran or of violent Jihad – even those criticisms that might have some legitimacy to them – even of radical Islam, are branded as Islamophobia and anyone who dares to raise questions about the nearly constant acts of Jihad going on increasingly around the world today is labeled a €œLoon.

What does Bell provide as way of evidence for the claim that Loonwatch opposes “any criticism of the Koran or of violent Jihad?” Does he provide quotes or statements from Loonwatch articles or writers? You know, facts?

The answer is a glaring and resounding, NO.

Instead, Eric relies on guesswork. According to him Loonwatch doesn’t speak out against “Islamic Terrorism,” that, to him, is enough to declare that it is “in fact a terrorist spin control network.”

A pretty bold and probably libelous claim when measured next to the absence of facts Bell provides.

When one takes a look at the mission statement of Loonwatch, it becomes clear that their focus is on challenging bigotry against Muslims,

Loonwatch.com is a blogzine run by a motley group of hate-allergic bloggers to monitor and expose the web€™s plethora of anti-Muslim loons, wackos, and conspiracy theorists.

What’s wrong with that? As many commenters pointed out to Bell there are “thousands” of sites tracking “terrorism” and “jihad.” In fact there is a whole “Terrorism Industry” that is in existence feeding off of the fear of “Islamic Terrorism,” to make sure that Americans have a new “green” menace to replace the old “red” menace. Prof. Charles Kurzman, who has actually done empirical evidence on this topic gives us some perspective on this exaggerated threat,

As it turns out, there just aren€™t that many Muslims determined to kill us. Backed by a veritable army of fact, figures, and anecdotes, Kurzman makes a compelling case. He calculates, for example, that global Islamist terrorists have succeeded in recruiting fewer than 1 in 15,000 Muslims over the past 25 years, and fewer than 1 in 100,000 since 2001. And according to a top counterterrorism official, Al Qaeda originally planned to hit a West Coast target, too, on 9/11 but lacked the manpower to do so.

Bell seems to have a schizophrenic personality, on the one hand he defends religious liberty (such as in the case of Murfreesboro Mosque) but on the other hand he agrees with many of the irrational attacks leveled at Islam and Muslims:

1.) He conflates Radical Islam and Islamic Fundamentalism with Islam. In the comment section he made clear that he believes “Islam IS Islamic Fundamentalism.”

2.) He believes that“Islam is still in the dark ages” and that most Muslim countries are“barbaric” His evidence for this? Youtube videos and Wikipedia.

3.) He believes Muslims who are peaceful are so not because of “Islam” but in spite of Islam, as he says “Lets not confuse Muslims with Islam.” That is similar to the statement of Robert Spencer that “The only good Muslim is a bad Muslim.”

4.) He cherry picks verses, quotes them out of context, and when it is pointed out that the same could be done with other scriptures he resorts to a popular argument amongst Islamophobes; stating that while it may be true that other scriptures hold violent passages they “are rarely carried out” in contrast to Islam. There is nothing further from the truth as the website, WhatIfTheyWere Muslim.com? details quite vividly. All the crimes that are considered uniquely “Islamic” are still committed by Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc.

5.) He also casts SPLC designated hate group leader Robert Spencer in a positive light writing,

Spencer, whom I don’t see eye to eye with either entirely, presents himself in a rather rational, sober and scholarly fashion and I might add that neither he nor the other “Loons” have bombs strapped to them – only words.

Either Bell is very ignorant or he is disingenuous. Robert Spencer is not a rational person. Someone who joins a group wanting to annihilate Anatolia, who denies the genocide of Bosnians, who thinks “Obama may be a Muslim,” is neither a scholar or a rational individual.

Also where is Eric Allen Bell’s outrage when polling shows that Americans and Israelis are more likely to support the killing of innocent civilians than Muslims in every Islamic nation:

Percentage of people who said it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians:

Mormon-Americans 64%
Christian-Americans 58%
Jewish-Americans 52%
Israeli Jews 52%
Palestinians* 51%
No religion/Atheists/Agnostics (U.S.A.) 43%
Nigerians* 43%
Lebanese* 38%
Spanish Muslims 31%
Muslim-Americans 21%
German Muslims 17%
French Muslims 16%
British Muslims 16%
Egyptians* 15%
Indonesians* 13%
Jordanians* 12%
Pakistanis* 5%
Turks* 4%

Now, should we likewise, per the logic of Mr. Bell, be afraid of the scary Christian Americans, and make broad sweeping generalities about Christianity? Or Jewish Americans? Or Israeli Jews?

This is just a slither of what I found wrong with Eric Allen Bell’s article. It was reliant on not only a highly dubious methodology of critique, sourced poorly, but also filled with Orientalist and prejudiced tropes that ironically were the same ones used by the anti-Mosque opponents Bell documented in Murfreesboro, TN.

Danios of Loonwatch has also posted the following response

In 2009, the Daily Kos published a positive review of our website.  So imagine my surprise whenThe American Muslim emails me a link to a recently published article on Daily Kos which is nothing short of a hatchet job against LoonWatch.  This article was authored by Eric Allen Bell and is entitled Loonwatch.com and Radical Islam.  Bell had the temerity to accuse LoonWatch of being “a radical Islamic front, covering up for terrorism”; he writes: “Loonwatch.com is in fact a terrorist spin control network.”

We would hardly bat an eye at this loony stream-of-consciousness article–Islamophobes have been accusing us of this since our site launched–except that this screed was published on the Daily Kos.  Why would a fellow progressive website take a swipe at us out of the blue?

This mystery solves itself when you look into who wrote the article.  His name is Eric Allen Bell, and he professes a soft spot for Robert Spencer, a man who was ranked by FAIR as the #2 leading Islamophobe in the country (losing out the number 1 spot to his boss, David Horowitz).  Spencer is the leader of the SIOA group, deemed by the SPLC to be a hate group.  Spencer’s organization has links to Neo-Nazi and skinhead groups in Europe.  Among other things, Robert Spencer joined a genocidal Facebook group and posted a genocidal video on his website.  This is the man that Eric Allen Bell calls “rational, sober and scholarly.”  Bell imagines some difference between  Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller even though they are close friends and colleagues-in-crime:

That explains why Bell’s article looks like something out of a loony anti-Muslim blog likeBareNakedIslamAtlasShrugs, or JihadWatch.  Bell uses the exact same talking points against us.  His main gripe seems to be why our site “ignores” the violent acts of terrorism committed by Islamic terrorists.  The answer to that is painstakingly obvious: our website’s mission statement is to document and expose Islamophobia.  To ask us why we don’t document Islamic terrorism would not be very different from asking us: why doesn’t your site talk about world hunger?  Whereas this might be a worthy topic to bring attention to, it is simply not part of our mission statement.  Surely, Bell understands that websites oftentimes specialize in one particular topic and simply do not have the resources to dedicate to every noble cause.

Bell’s accusation itself is steeped in his Islamophobia.  Imagine, for instance, if some white guy accused the NAACP of being “a black supremacist group” because they only fought racism against blacks instead of documenting violence and crime committed by blacks.  What would anyone call such a person but racist?

Eric Allen Bell tries to shield himself from accusations of bigotry by pointing out that he made some documentary about a mosque in Murfreesboro.  Yet, this would be like someone being opposed to segregated schools for black people on the one hand but on the other hand becoming absolutely livid against anyone who dared to deny that blacks are more violent than white people.  Readers can go to the racist website Stromfront to find plenty of people compiling lists of black violence and criminality just like Bell reproduced his list of Muslim violence and terrorism.

Bell argues that Muslims are more violent than people of other religions, which is in fact the exact same argument raised by–you guessed it–Robert Spencer.  My response to this is two-fold:

1) The threat of Muslim terrorism has been extremely exaggerated (in order to justify our wars in the Muslim world).  According to the FBI’s own database (available from 1980-2005), of the terrorist attacks in America less than 6% were committed by Muslims.  Readers should also refer to my May 2010 article which noted that since 9/11, there have been zero U.S. civilians killed from Islamic terrorism.  The situation is the same in Europe.  For the past several years, Europol has released an annual terrorism report, which showed that Islamic terrorism accounts for less than 1% of terrorism in Europe and has resulted in zero deaths.  In the half decade documented in these reports, the only injuries sustained from Islamic terrorism were to a security guard who “was slightly wounded.”

For the past several years, zero civilians in America and Europe have been killed by Islamic terrorism.  Yet, we are indoctrinated into thinking that Islamic terrorism represents some existential threat: you should be scared out of your wits and be losing sleep over Islamic terrorism.  This is war propaganda at its finest.  The reality is that you have a far greater chance of dying from being struck by lightning (about 67 Americans die of lightning every year) than being killed by an Islamic extremist (a whopping average of zero).

When confronted by this reality check, Islamophobes are quick to shift gears and insist that they are talking about Islamic terrorism in the “rest of the world.”  Yet, almost all of this Islamic terrorism takes place in countries that have been bombed, invaded, and occupied by the United States or its proxy Israel.  (India is the notable exception, although it should be noted that India has sustained a brutal occupation of Kashmir for many decades.)  Iraq currently leads the list.  If you look at Iraq before we started dropping bombs on it, Islamic terrorism was virtually non-existent in that country.  Is it Islam then that is to blame for this terrorism or our bombing, invasion, and occupation?

2) The type of terrorism that is included in such comparisons is what I call Amateur Terrorism (strapping a bomb on yourself to injure a security guard and kill yourself); it excludes the greater form of terrorism: Professional Terrorism (carpet-bombing an entire civilian population).  This is the violence committed by nation-states.  The United States and Israel are guilty of committing, in the words of the Nuremberg trial, “the supreme international crime”: waging wars of aggression.  When this form of violence is factored in, then the argument that Muslims are more violent seems untenable.  As Prof. Steven Walt noted, Americans have killed anywhere from 30 to 100 times as many Muslims as Muslims have killed Americans.  

I find it difficult to lecture Muslims about how violent they are when my own government, with the backing of its people, have killed so many Muslims (and continue to do so on a daily basis).

In a way, our violence is worse than theirs, because ours is sanctioned by us: our duly elected members of government are the ones who launch these wars, with our blessing and support.  It is our uniformed soldiers who kill those Muslims.  Meanwhile, Al-Qaeda and such groups operate without governmental authority, without any sanction or permission from the Muslim population.  In fact, the Muslim population is often the victim of such terrorist groups.

Since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years, or 91% of her existence. Meanwhile, the country in the Muslim world we vilify the most, Iran, has not initiated a war since 1795, over 200 years ago.  (It was, however, attacked by its neighbor with the aid and encouragement of the United States.) Who is the more violent one again?

Here is a map of the Greater Middle East, showing countries that the U.S. has bombed or has bases in:

Meanwhile, the modern state of Iran has never attacked any of its neighbors or any other country in the region (or world).  But, Eric Allen Bell wants us to say that Islam and Muslims are the violent ones?

These two points constitute my argument, and if Eric Allen Bell wants to produce something more than a screed that belongs on Pamela Geller’s AtlasShrugs, that’s what he needs to refute.

One should also recognize that I am making a radically different claim than the Islamophobes when I point to American aggression.  There is nothing intrinsically different between the United States and the rest of the world that makes it more violent–or, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”–other than the fact that it has the power to do so.  I truly believe that absolute power corrupts absolutely: those vested with great power almost invariably abuse it, and it is for this reason that they must be held to account the most.

Compared to the United States, the forces of Radical Islam have virtually no power.  Since 9/11–more than a decade ago–the collective strength and resources of the “worldwide jihad” have been unable to kill a single civilian on American soil.  That’s how powerful they are.  In the grand scheme of things, Islamic terrorism is a nuisance of modern day existence, a threat akin to that of gang violence or drug cartels–it is not an existential military threat as it is made out to be.

There is no doubt that Radical Islam is repugnant to the senses and must be intellectually fought.  But attacking all of Islam and Muslims in general–targeting their religion and labeling Islam as uniquely violent–is the most counter-productive way of doing so.  More than that, it’s intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt.

Danios vs Spencer: 18 months and Spencer still avoiding a debate

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from The American Muslim)

by Sheila Musaji

Danios of Loonwatch has had an ongoing online discussion with Robert Spencer in an effort to set up a debate.

Spencer has regularly challenged Muslims to debate him, but seems to prefer limiting those debates to marginal figures or useful idiots. As Danios has said in the past Spencer’s modus operandi: engage in debate with those who are weak debaters, fastidiously avoid debating with those who are skilled debaters (and who have solid grasp of the subject matter), and then crow in victory over one’s supposedly undefeated record.

Spencer has also shown a pattern of setting impossible conditions on even something as simple as a request for an interview, let alone a debate, as Dean Obeidallah found out just last month.

In the case of Danios attempt to accept Spencer’s challenge to debate, Spencer displays both of these propensities —  avoiding a genuine debate, and attempting to hide that avoidance by setting so many conditions that the other party will just give up.

First, a little background on the Spencer vs Danios debate saga, In June of 2010, Spencer stated thatThe list of the Leftist and Muslim academics and apologists who have refused my challenge to debate is very long; they know they can’t refute what I say on the basis of evidence, so they resort to broad-based smears and personal attacks — and haughty refusals to debate.

Danios of Loonwatch immediately responded to Spencer I accept your challenge, Spencer.  I agree to a radio debate with you on the topic of jihad and “dhimmitude”, namely chapters 1-4 of your book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  It will then be seen if you can defend your own writing, which I argue is a load of sensationalist crock.  Will you accept my challenge to debate or cower in fear?  My guess is that you “know [you] can’t refute what I say” and will “resort to…haughty refusals to debate.”

Ahmed Rehab in an article stating why he personally was not interested in debating Spencer reminded Spencer of Danios acceptance of his challenge to debate:  And now for some irony. Spencer, you are claiming you are ready to debate anyone but that alas no one wants to debate you because no one can. But, is this actually true? Does the name Danios of Loonwatch ring a bell Spencer? You may be burying your head in the sand hoping no one will notice, but a simple Google search on “Robert Spencer debate” reveals your hypocrisy. How come you are ignoring an invitation from another blogger who has challenged you numerous times and whose articles shredding your arguments to pieces are all over the web without a peep of a rebuttal from you? Are you conceding defeat? Are you “running away?”

Robert Spencer at first said that I am willing: if “Danios of Loonwatch” reveals his real name, finds a university willing to host the debate and contracts an impartial moderator, I’m ready when he is.  Spencer expanded on the issue of Danios pseudonymn saying Sorry, I don’t debate fictional characters or pseudonyms. “Danios of Loonwatch” can go debate Scot Harvath or Harold Robbins.

ROUND 1:  Danios agrees to debate Spencer in a radio debate.  Spencer sets conditions:  Danios must reveal his real name, hold the debate at a university, and find an “impartial” moderator.

Danios responded Of course, Spencer’s two conditions–both of which involve revealing my identity–are completely bogus.  I have offered to debate Spencer on the radio. Does Spencer not do radio interviews?  In fact, Spencer has appeared on the radio countless times …   Danios also said This is of course strange since Hugh Fitzgerald, the Vice President of JihadWatch since 2004, himself operates under an anonymous pseudonym.  Fitzgerald is a co-administrator of the site, alongside Spencer.  Is Fitzgerald then a “fictional character” who is only worthy of debate with Scot Harvath or Harold Robbins?  If that is the case, I challenge Hugh Fitzgerald–co-administer and Vice President of JihadWatch–to a radio debate.  The topic will be Jihad, “Dhimmitude”, and Taqiyya (Stealth Jihad), namely chapters 1-4 of Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).

ROUND 2:  Danios says that if Spencer doesn’t want to debate an individual using a pseudonym, then he will agree to debate Spencer’s Jihad Watch site’s Vice President, Hugh Fitzgerald, who also uses a pseudonym.  (Note: Spencer’s fellow Islamophobes whose work he publishes and promotes often use pseudonymns — e.g. Hanan Qahwaji, Nour Semaan, Rachael Cohen and Brigitte Gabriel are the same person.  Nonie Darwish and Nahid Hyde are the same person.  “Sultan Knish” is actually Daniel Greenfield.  “Baron Bodissey” of Gates of Vienna is actually Edward May.  “Bonni” of Bare Naked Islamis actually Bonni Benstock-Intall.  Fjordman is actually Peder Jensen.  Hugh Fitzgerald has been writing for Jihad Watch since 2004, although no biographical information on this individual appears anywhere else, and no photographs exist even on Jihad Watch.  No one knows who Jihad Watch contributorsHugh Fitzgerald or ]Henry Rochejaquelein, or Marisol actually are.)

Now, we jump forward to January 10, 2012, and the Spencer vs Danios debate saga heats up again.  Here is what Danios posted on Loonwatch about this development

Just yesterday, Robert Spencer posted an article with the title of “Why can’t Muslims debate? (Again)”, saying:

For example, an Islamic supremacist hate site that defames me and lies about what I say regularly charged that I was refusing to debate them:

I responded by repeating yet again something I had reiterated several times in the preceding weeks, when other Muslims had thrown up this site to me:

No response to that at all.

A simple Google search will reveal how this is a great big lie.  Spencer has adamantly refused to engage in a radio debate with LoonWatch and me in particular, using my anonymity as a face-saving excuse.

Do his recent tweets reflect a change in attitude or is he still cowering in fear of me?  Spencer, are you willing to back your words with action and “debate [me] anytime”?  I will debate the accuracy of your book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), with regard to the topics of jihad, “dhimmitude”, and taqiyya.  Are you ready to defend your arguments or not?

I think most of us anticipate “no response to that at all.”

This time, it didn’t take months for Spencer to respond.  Two days later, on January 12th, Danios posted this

When I first read Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) a couple years ago, I knew I could not just refute it but (proverbially speaking) blow it out of the water.  After I penned my first few articles against it, I also knew that Spencer could not issue any substantive reply.  Soon, I began to detect fear in Spencer’s eyes.  It is no wonder then that he has refused to debate me for so long.  I have documented Spencer’s evasion here.

Yet, Robert Spencer is also keenly aware of the fact that his refusal to debate the one site that is dedicated to refuting him–and was voted by his “target population” to be the number #1 non-Muslim blog with the number #1 writer–makes his fear obvious to the world.  When his fear of debating me was pointed out in a recent Twitter war, Spencer finally agreed to debate me.  (Of course, in true Spencer fashion, he accused us of “lying” when we said that he had been refusing to debate us for almost two years.)

Even so, I had predicted–as had many others–that Spencer would try to weasel his way out of the debate.  Lo and behold, this now seems to be the case.

Initially, Spencer sent me an email saying “[t]here needs to be a thesis…So propose one.”  I proposed the following thesis:  Islam is more violent than other religions, specifically Judaism and Christianity.  This is not only the central argument in Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) but is also the title of another book of his: Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t.

Yet, Spencer emailed me back and said:

Actually, I am not interested in debating about Judaism and Christianity. I am only interested in debating regarding Islam and Jihad.

Spencer, the title of your book is a comparison between Christianity and Islam.  So, are you saying that you can’t defend the central tenet and title of your book!?

He goes on:

Your tu quoque arguments are silly and have had abundant airing already. Propose another.

When you write a book titled “Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t”, then to you that’s a valid comparison, but when someone refutes that comparison by pointing out how Christianity, by the very same standards you apply to Islam, couldn’t be considered a “religion of peace,” then you cry “tu quoque”!

If my arguments “are silly,” then why don’t you debate me on them and show me how silly they are?  Do you accept my counter-argument that “Judaism and Christianity are just as violent as Islam, if not more so”?  If yes, then please state it openly so that we can declare victory and move on; otherwise, if you disagree with it, then refute it in debate with me.

The entire premise of Spencer’s book, the one I have been refuting all along, is the thesis I have proposed.  It represents the fundamental difference of opinion I have with Robert Spencer and JihadWatch, so why should we debate something else?  Does Spencer think we should debate on just any topic?  Maybe we can debate the following thesis then: Arrested Development should never have been canceled because it is the single best comedy show ever.

I have never said or believed that the Islamic tradition does not have its violent aspects to it.  I have only argued that Islam is not alone in this and that the religious tradition of the dominant group (the Judeo-Christian tradition) is just as bad in this regard, if not worse.  That is my central argument, so why should we debate something else?

To be clear: I will only debate this thesis (Islam is more violent than other religions, specifically Judaism and Christianity) and no other, since (1) it is the central tenet of Robert Spencer’s book and (2) it represents the fundamental difference I have with him.  The fact that Robert Spencer cannot defend his central tenet (and the fundamental difference between us) indicates that he knows he doesn’t stand a chance in defending the thesis.  That’s why he must insist on “propos[ing] another.”

*  *  *  *  *

Additionally, there is an issue regarding “venue.”  He has suggested we debate on ABN SAT–a Christian channel.  Ludicrously, he calls them “neutral,” even though the channel airs a show (the one Spencer debated on) called Jihad Exposed, with the email addressjihadexposed@abnsat.com. Yeah, real “neutral.”

I had earlier complained that Spencer tends to debate only on Christian or conservative channels, to which Spencer accused me of “lying.”  In any case, he asked that I propose another venue other than ABN and in the same email adamantly stated: “I will debate anywhere.”  OK, if that is the case, how about we debate on Salon?

Initially, Spencer responded (bold is mine):

I have no problem with Salon but I guess you mean a print debate, in that case.

I actually had meant Salon Radio, so it would be a recorded audio debate that they could reproduce on the Salon site.  In any case, I emailed somebody at Salon, only to later get this follow-up email from Spencer (bold is mine):

Also, Salon in print is not what I had in mind. If you have a radio show in mind, I wasnt aware that Salon had one, but in that case Salon is not a neutral forum with a neutral moderator.

ABN — they offer a completely neutral forum. Let’s do it there.

Initially, he will “debate anywhere” and he has “no problem with Salon,” only to follow-up with an email rejecting Salon as a venue.  And then he goes back to the same silly Christian channel as an option.

Whether or not Salon will agree to host the debate is still up in the air, but if they accept will Spencer stick by his word that he will “debate anywhere” and that he has “no problem with Salon”?  Spencer?

ROUND 3:  Spencer asks Danios to set a topic, Danios does, Spencer rejects that topic and asks for another.  Spencer agrees to a radio debate “anywhere”, but then refuses the venue proposed by Danios and demands a different venue, ABN and with ABN’s moderator.  (ABN, by the way is a Christian TV ministry whose mission statement says:  ABN is a non-denominational ministry committed to presenting the Word of God and its transforming message of Jesus Christ to Arabic and Aramaic speaking people worldwide through media.  Their approach to this missionary work is not to set a good example of what Christianity is, but to attack Islam.  I could find nothing on their site except such biased attacks.)

This attempt by Danios to arrange a debate with Robert Spencer has now gone on since June of 2010, but perhaps, we are actually getting close to seeing this debate happen.  Here is what Danios posted today, January 15, 2011:

A few days ago, it looked like Robert Spencer of JihadWatch had stopped running away from me and finally agreed to debate me.

But then (surprise, surprise), Spencer tried weaseling out of the debate.

One of Spencer’s sticking points was the issue of venue and moderator.  I had recommendedSalon Radio, whereas he suggested ABN Sat (a loony anti-Muslim Christian channel with shows like Jihad Exposed).  In our email exchanges, Spencer kept insisting that ABN is “neutral” (ha!).

The funny thing is that in my initial email to Spencer I pointed out that he always tends to only debate on Christian or conservative channels.  This observation angered Spencer to no end, who insisted that he would “debate anywhere.”  He even seemed to accept Salon as the venue for the debate.

Spencer then had an about-face, rejecting Salon, and once again bringing up ABN, reinforcing what I said earlier: Spencer’s M.O. has been to debate Muslim floozies on Christian or conservative channels, only to then thump his chest when he wins.  The fact that I suggested Salon (a respectable and award-winning site) and Spencer kept insisting on ABN Sat (a loony anti-Muslim Christian channel) speaks volumes about what company we prefer: I like the legendary Glenn Greenwald, whereas he likes loony Christian bigots.

The choice of ABN was designed to stack the cards in his favor.  That’s fine.  I am so utterly confident in the searing truth of my argument–and the absolute falsity of his–that I acceptABN as the venue and moderator of the debate.  

[Naturally, I would insist that they give me equal time to speak, reproduce the debate in its full, unedited form, and give our website (and any other website) the right to reproduce our own recording of the debate.  (Spencer has already agreed to a 2-3 hour long debate; if this is too long for ABN to air on their show, they can do what the Daily Show does by airing the first part of the debate and then putting the rest of it online.)]

Readers should understand this decision of mine (i.e. accepting such a hostile venue and moderator) as a reflection of my low regard for Robert Spencer’s arguments and views.  This is especially bold of me, considering the fact that he has engaged in numerous debates whereas I am a novice in this field: I prefer written medium.  Even so, I have absolutely no doubt that I will trounce him in debate.

Now that I have accepted Robert Spencer’s own choice of venue and moderator–one that is heavily slanted in his favor–what excuse will Spencer come up with to avoid debating me?

*  *  *  *  *

I must, however, insist on the following thesis:

Islam is more violent than other religions, specifically Judaism and Christianity.

As I stated before, this is not just the main theme in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), but it is even the title of one of his booksReligion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t.  More than this, it reflects the fundamental differencebetween he and I: whereas I accept the violent and intolerant aspect inherent in all religious traditions, Spencer specifically targets Islam.

Under this thesis, I will individually debate the following sub-points:

1.The Islamic prophet was more violent and warlike than the Judeo-Christian prophets.  This is the main argument in chapter 1 of Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), entitled “Muhammad: Prophet of War”. On p.4, Spencer compares Muhammad to Jesus and to all other prophets in order “to emphasize the fallacy of those who claim that Islam and Christianity–and all other religious traditions, for that matter–are basically equal in their ability to inspire good or evil…[T]hrough the words of Muhammad and Jesus, we can draw a distinction between the core principles that guide the faithful Muslim and Christian.”  In fact, throughout his book Spencer has sidebars that compare Muhammad to Jesus.  (Yet, somehow when you refute this, it’s a “tu quoque fallacy!”)

2. The Quran is more violent and warlike than the Bible.This is the focus of chapter 2, which he entitles “The Qur’an: Book of War”.  On the very first page of this chapter (p.19), Spencer states unequivocally: “There is nothing in the Bible that rivals the Qur’an’s exhortations to violence.”  (When I want to refute this claim, then “tu quoque, tu quoque!”)  He says on the same page: “The Qu’ran is unique among the sacred writings of the world in counseling its adherents to make war against unbelievers.”  On pp.26-31, Spencer explains why the Quran is far more violent and warlike than the Bible.  (But refute this claim and you are guilty of committing a “tu quoque fallacy.”)

3. The Islamic religious tradition was more violent and warlike than the Jewish and Christian traditions.This is what chapter 3 of his book is about, entitled “Islam: Religion of War”.  This argument is also spread throughout his book and blog.  For example, on p.31, Spencer argues that in Judaism and Christianity there have been “centuries of interpretive traditions” that have moved away from violent and warlike understandings, whereas “ in Islam, there is no comparable interpretative tradition.” Chapter 14 of his book is entitled “Islam and Christianity: Equivalent Traditions?”  (But if you question this point by showing that yes indeed the two traditions are at least equally violent, then get ready to be accused of committing “tu quoque!”)

4. Contemporary Muslims interpret their religion in a much more violent and warlike way than Jews and Christians. Again, this claim is found throughout his book and blog; on p.31, for example, he argues that, unlike Muslims, “modern-day Jews and Christians…simply don’t interpret [their scripture] as exhorting them to violent actions against unbelievers.”

5. Jews had it much better in Christian Europe than the Muslim world.This is addressed in chapter 4 of Spencer’s book, in which he talks about “dhimmitude.”  On the very first page of this chapter, he states: “The idea that Jews fared better in Islamic lands than in Christian Europe is false.”  (OK, so are you ready to defend this statement of yours, Spencer?  Or do you cry “tu quoque, tu quoque” when asked to do so?)  Spencer quotes “[h]istorian Paul Johnson” (a conservative Christian ideologue–surprise, surprise) who says: “the Jewish dhimmi under Moslem rule was worse than under the Christians,” and Spencer himself says that “the Muslim laws were much harsher for Jews than those of Christendom.”  (But ask Spencer to defend that statement and see how it’s automatically a “tu quoque fallacy” to do so.)

6. Islamic law, unlike Judaism and Christianity, permits lying and deception against unbelievers. This is the import of chapter 6 of Spencer’s book, entitled ”Islamic Law: Lie, Steal, and Kill”.  On the very first page of this chapter, Spencer argues that “Islam doesn’t have a moral code analogous to the [Judeo-Christian] Ten Commandments” and that “the idea that Islam shares the general moral outlook of Judaism and Christianity is another PC myth.”  On p.84, he writes that Islam is alone among religions and civilizations in that it fails to espouse “universal moral values.” On the very next page, Spencer bellows: “This is what sets Islam sharply apart from other religious traditions.”  (Try to disagree and suddenly you will hear chants of “tu quoque, tu quoque!”)

7. Islamic history was more violent and warlike than Jewish and Christian history. This argument is found in chapter 9 of Spencer’s book, entitled “Islam–Spread by the Sword? You Bet”.  On the first page of this chapter, Spencer writes: “The early spread of Islam and that of Christianity sharply contrast in that Islam spread by force and Christianity didn’t.”  On p.116, Spencer rejects the “myth” that “Christianity and Islam spread in pretty much the same way.”  (Reject that claim–and yep, you got it: “tu quoque, tu quoque!”)

8. In the modern day (twentieth and twenty-first century), Muslims are more violent and warlike than Jews and Christians.  This is of course the general theme found not only throughout Spencer’s book but also on his blog.  This is the ultimate fall-back argument of Islamophobes, who routinely ask: “why are there no Jewish or Christian suicide bombers?”

Spencer claims these are “tu quoque fallacies” (his favorite phrase), but in fact he himself is the one making these comparisons.  He makes such comparisons, and then shields himself from all counter-attack by invoking “tu quoque, tu quoque!”  How very convenient.

There is a very important reason that Robert Spencer refuses to debate me on this topic and thesis–he knows that he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.  Even when I let him choose the venue and moderator (one that slants the debate in his favor), he still cannot–at all costs–debate me on the central theme of his book and ideology.  That’s why Spencer is not a real scholar: he has never been forced to defend his thesis, nor had his work peer-reviewed, challenged, and intellectually critiqued.  I’m merely asking Spencer to defend the substance of his book.  This refusal in and of itself is a very powerful reminder of how his ideology is fraudulent, how he himself is nothing more than a hateful ideologue and huckster, and how he is so scared that I will expose him.

The fact that I want to debate him–and that he wants to run away from me–is now self-evident: I have removed any possible barrier by agreeing to his venue and moderator.  So, what excuse will Robert Spencer come up with now to chicken out of this debate?  Will he continue to run away from me on the one hand and on the other hand continue to lament why no liberal or Muslim will debate him?

Don’t hold your breath for a debate: Spencer can’t debate me.  It would be the end of him.  So, he will continue to run.

ROUND 4:  Danios accepts ABN as the venue even though it is not “neutral” but hostile, but insists on the original topic.

Spencer has said in an article bemoaning the fact that Muslims just won’t debate him:

…  other Muslims claimed they wanted to debate me, but never followed up on my invitation to email me and set a topic, date and venue.  … So the real reason why no Muslims will debate me is this:

They know that what I say about Islam and jihad is true, and don’t want that fact to be illustrated to a wider audience.

Why can’t Muslims debate? Because the truth is something they don’t generally wish the Infidels to know. So they do all they can to shut down those Infidels by other means.

There is an ancillary reason also: Islam doesn’t encourage critical thinking. It has no natural theology, only a series of laws declared by fiat. In some contemporary forms of Islam, hardly any premium is put on reasoning—after all, the Qur’an itself warns Muslims not to question (5:101). Consequently, even superficially intelligent Islamic supremacists such as Reza Aslan and Ibrahim Hooper are abjectly incapable of building a cogent intellectual argument and defending it. All they and so many others like them can do, as is clear from their track record, is heap abuse upon those who oppose them.

It seems as if Danios has followed up on all of Spencer’s demands.  Now all that is left is to set a date.  I am holding my breath to see what ROUND 5 will be.

TAM: Cucumber “Fatwa” Seems to Be Only Shoddy Reporting

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2011 by loonwatch
Sexy BananasSexy Bananas

The loons are having a field day spreading a ridiculous rumor about an Islamic cleric who supposedly issued a fatwa warning women not to get near bananas and cucumbers because long, slender fruits and vegetables might inspire “sexy thoughts.” Supposedly he also added carrots and zucchini to the list of forbidden foods for women.

Various anti-Muslim hate sites seized the opportunity to ridicule Muslims, including the infamous Jihad Watch and Atlas Shrugs. In No Cucumbers or Bananas for you, Slut!, Pamela Geller makes a nauseating attempt at humor at the expense of Muslims:

Obama say, “Respect it!” Jay Leno’s wife Mavis say, “The Qur’an is more liberal with women than the Bible.” Geller say, “One banana split, please, and a side of cukes, with extra whipped creme, thankyouverymuch.

Hell knows, whenever I am feeling lonely or blue, I head down to D’Agostinos and I perk right up again.

Seriously, this is a war on women, about women and ultimately to control women. Women are the ultimate booty, the spoils of war, chattel.

Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim investigated and concluded the rumor was unsubstantiated and a result of “shoddy reporting”:

Cucumber “fatwa” seems to be only shoddy reporting

by Sheila Musaji
There was supposedly a fatwa written which would deserve ridicule if it exists.  The original article about this was posted on Bikyamasr, an Egyptian news site, and the article was written by an individual named Manar Ammar.  Manar Ammar is identified as a Senior Reporter and Women’s Editor for Bikyamasr.com.

The article quotes an UNNAMED Islamic Cleric residing in Europe who “has banned women from touching bananas, cucumbers and other elongated fruit and vegetable due to their sexual resemblance”  The Bikyamasr article refers to the source as “The unnamed sheikh, who was featured in an article on el-Senousa news”.

I tried searching for el-Senousa news, but got nowhere.  There is no site for any such entity.  I can find nothing about them searching the net except for hundreds of articles reposting the article from Bikyamasr which mentions el-Senousa as its source.

Muna Khan at al Arabiya reports the same problems I had in finding the actual source of this story, and says “According to the Canadian news site Straight.com, it’s been difficult to find the El-Senousa site on which Bikya Masr based its article on. A simple search of the website takes you to a list of articles on the story being quoted but not to the main site itself.”  She points out that there have been enough of what I call “stupid fatwas” to make anything easy to believe, but, it is an irresponsible rush to judgement to just assume something is true and publish it without any fact checking.

I found the article from Straight here, and it says “That’s some pretty good flame-bait, but is it legit? According to the article in bikyamasr.com, the story originally appeared on something called “el-Senousa news”, but good luck finding it. In fact, a Google search for “el-Senousa news” only points back—many times over—to the article in bikyamasr.com.  Between that and the somewhat intangible location and identity of the “unnamed sheikh” in the article, the tale of the vegetable-fearing Mullah is starting to look a little short on authenticity. What’s more likely is that the independent news service bikyamasr.com is reacting to the troubling emergence of the hard-line Salafi Al-Nou party in Egypt’s (reportedly fraud-ridden) election—a story that, sadly, isn’t so cockamamie.

This article was immediately picked up and posted with appropriate anti-Muslim comments by just about every site in the Islamophobic echo chamber.

Robert Spencer posted the “story” from Bikyamasr on Jihad Watch and included in his lede “It’s all about controlling women, like so many aspects of Islamic law. Sharia Alert from Eurabia”.

The always ladylike Pamela Geller posted this on Atlas Shrugs under the heading No cucumbers or bananas for you, slut!  and included in the lede “Obama say, “Respect it!” Jay Leno’s wife Mavis say, “The Qur’an is more liberal with women than the Bible.” Geller say, “One banana split, please, and a side of cukes, with extra whipped creme, thankyouverymuch.”

Weazel Zippers simply posted the article with no lede, but the comments their readers posted in response are truly hateful.  For example: — ALL of Islam is a plague, a disease of the mind and soul.Folks there is going to be a war—-I mean a real war where winner takes all and these animals will gladly die for their cause so we better get ready to do the same…..and I don’t ever again want to hear the term moderate muslim….my reply to that is show me one—just one.

You get the idea about the response to this article, and that response is not to a particular unknown shaikh, but to all Muslims.  Perhaps the author of the article and the Egyptian site that posted it are unaware that there is a problem with Islamophobia out there.

Why would anyone post an article about an unnamed person residing somewhere in one of the 47 countries of Europe who had supposedly issued a stupid fatwa without any corroborating evidence that this was even true.  What is the point of raising this issue in such a thoughtless way?  This is not a satirical article making fun of the stupidity involved in such a fatwa.  This is not an article that provides concrete facts about the author of the fatwa, or that provides any counter arguments.  There are no facts here that others could use to counter the fatwa, or to make a judgement about the author.

Whatever the reason that Bikyamasr had for posting this bit of unsubstantiated nonsense, the only effect it has had was to give the Islamophobes yet another item to use for years to come to bash Muslims.  This article was not just irresponsible, it was as stupid as the supposed fatwa would be if it in fact exists.

I would like to see either a clarification of the article with actual information about the supposed fatwa and its supposed author (that can be verified), or an apology for engaging in reckless speculation and passing on of rumors.

It’s not as if we don’t have enough actual members of the Muslim lunatic fringe that need to be countered, that we need to make them up.

UPDATE 12/10/2011

I received an email from the Founder and Editor of Bikyamasr:

Thank you for your email. I am Joseph Mayton, the Editor and Founder of Bikyamasr.com. I would like to bring your attention to the corrected version of the article, which now has the appropriate name of the publication where the information first appeared in Arabic, with a link.

We take full responsibility for this error and have stated so on the article. It is unfortunate that it has been taken out of context, but we feel that by talking about the anger it initially sparked was properly done. At the end, these places are going to take any little bit of information for their own purposes. It is sad.

I hope you will understand that we do our utmost to source anything from a third party, as any other news website would.

If you have any other questions, or would like to interview me, or our staff, please let us know.

Thank you very much for the email, Joseph

The article now lists the source of this “fatwa” as el-Sawsana news and the link takes you to a site that is only in Arabic.  I don’t speak Arabic, so am unable to make out what the original article of this “news” item might have been.

I received a second email from Joseph Mayton asking me to check out a follow up article that they have now posted Cucumber sheikh “far from the truth,” says Egypt Islamic leader.  This new article quotes Sheikh Gaber Taye’ Youssef, identified as “An Islamic scholar and chairman at Egypt’s Religious Endowments Ministry said this sheikh could not be more “far from the truth.” …  He expressed serious doubts that the sheikh sourced is even qualified for his position.  “Nonesense and wrong, such talk is empty of any logic or sense and has no roots or relations with Islam or its belief system,” said Youssef when Bikyamasr.com interviewed him over the phone early on Saturday.

Sheikh Youssef’s opinion is exactly what any mainstream Muslim already knew.