Archive for The Three Stooges

Tawfik Hamid: The Shemp of the Three Stooges

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2009 by loonwatch
Tawfik Hamid

Tawfik Hamid

In one of our earliest features we wrote about the Three Stooges of Islamophobia: Walid Shoebat, Zachariah Anani and Kamal Saleem who represent Larry, Curly, and Mo, but in the same way as there is Shemp, there is also Tawfik Hamid.

Tawfik Hamid, like his counterparts, describes himself as an “ex-terrorist” but as we will come to see his claims are as vacuous and silly as the other three.  The difference between the other three and Tawfik Hamid is that the other three claim to be converts to Evangelical Christianity while Hamid vacillates between claiming to be not only a Muslim and an Islamic Reformer but also a follower of Judaism and Christianity and in other instances a non religious person.

In 2007, Hamid served as a keynote speaker for the neo-Conservative  Intelligence Summit and now sits on their advisory board. Amongst the other speakers at the summit, such as Steven Emerson, Joe Kaufman, Nonie Darwish and Walid Phares, there was David Gaubatz, a white supremacist, who led the now defunct Mapping Sharia project (under the tutelage of Society of Americans for National Existence or SANE) which stated that Black people are predisposed to violence,

Is there something unique about the Black American…that leads him to murder so disproportionately and to most often kill and victimize his own? Do we see patterns of Black culture that arise out of Africa and the wanton murder of blacks by blacks there? Why have the colonized blacks of the African continent, after having acquired their freedom and independence, so willingly slaughtered their own and live in despicable disease and squalor despite a land of enormous riches while Indians of the Indian sub-continent have successfully moved from British rule to democracy and relative civility even in a country that still maintains social inequalities as a fact of their culture?

Gaubatz, in 2007, was a leading member of SANE which declared on its now password protected site that, “adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US.” It wants the government to ban adherence to Islam and put Muslims under surveillance as stated in its rules, “It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Islam.”

If this sounds unbelievably deranged, that’s because it is. We don’t make these facts up. Why would any sane, normal Muslim let alone Muslim reformer as Tawfik proclaims himself to be — speak at a hostile summit in which one of the participants wants to ban him from practicing his faith and make it a punishable offense? One answer is that Tawfik isn’t a Muslim and in fact hates Islam and Muslims which would also mean he is a charlatan. The other answer, which is related to the first, is that this is just part of the strange and twisted world that is produced when those chasing the Islamophobic cash cow converge together and let their strange and contradictory pathologies manifest like an insane asylum having a picnic (apologies to insane asylum’s).

Hamid says that he is a former member of the terrorist organization GI (Gamaa’ Islamiyya) and was a friend of Ayman Al-Zawahri, the number two man in Al-Qaeda. A claim that is not corroborated by any independent sources or governmental law agency. Again the million dollar question is, If this guy is a former terrorist then why aren’t the CIA and FBI all over this guy, watching his movements and interrogating him? Wouldn’t it be a point of interest for our government that someone who was a friend of Ayman Al-Zawahari, the number two of Al-Qaeda, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is roaming around the country giving speeches? Either Tawfik is lying or our government has missed a big one.

On his new website, Tawfik identifies himself as “a Muslim by faith…Christian by the Spirit…a Jew by heart…and above all I am a human being.” This is a sharp departure from his previous statements in which he stated, “I am a Muslim by birth, a Christian by spirit, a Jew by heart, and above all I am a human being.” Someone must have told Tawfik that it might help his claim to be a “Muslim reformer” if he actually claims Islam as his “faith” instead of just something he was “born” into.

Richard Silverstein, who runs Tikun Olam, did a piece on Hamid after getting an email from Walid Shoebat’s list-serve that Tawfik Hamid would be speaking at Georgetown University. In it he devastatingly highlights the contradictions as well as obvious hate that Tawfik Hamid has for Islam and Muslims.

In Richard’s piece we also see a description of Tawfik on Shoebat’s website that is not there anymore. Notice the similarities between the biographies of Tawfik and Walid,

Here’s what Shoebat’s website tells you about Hamid:

Born in Egypt to a secular Muslim family. At the age of 16 young Hamid started to search for answers to the universal questions about creation and life’s meaning.

Later on, Tawfik started to read the bible as an attempt to criticise it in the ongoing religious debates between Muslims and Christians, but ended up studying the Bible with increased vigour and genuine interest.

If you compare that last paragraph to Shoebat’s own biography at the same site you have to wonder whether a single person is writing their ad copy:

Walid studied the Tanach (Jewish Bible) in a challenge to convert his wife to Islam. Six months later, after intense study, Walid realized that everything he had been taught about Jews was a lie. Convinced he was on the side of evil, he became an advocate for his former enemy.

It seems that these two “ex-terrorists” weren’t creative enough to come up with differing stories and instead didn’t think anyone would see the similarities in their testimonials. As Richard wrote, “you have to wonder whether a single person is writing their ad copy.”

Tawfik Hamid at the time of Richard’s article was charging $13, 500 for “speaking out against Islamic Fundamentalism that prevails in the world today.”

Yet it seems that Tawfik like his Christian Zionist counterparts doesn’t stop at speaking out against Islamic Fundamentalism but instead also speaks out against mainstream Muslims. For instance on the Orla Barry Radio Show he stated that,

There are different degrees of evil [within Islam]. Jemaah Islamiya represents the active evil or active terrorists let us call them who are ready to commit violent acts and all such atrocities. But the majority of Muslim are all passive terrorists. They believe in this evil. They support it either by money or emotionally they are not against it.

According to Tawfik the majority of Muslims are what he terms passive terrorists. This reveals a great contempt for Muslims who he views as nothing more than terrorists in one form or another. For him most Muslims are not law abiding individuals and even if they don’t commit violence or preach it then secretly they are still terrorists. This trope that is used by Islamophobes pretty much assumes Muslims are all guilty before proven innocent and that they are inherently violent.

Tawfik’s bumbling and inconsistent story in which at times he is a Muslim reformer, at other times a Muslim only by birth, then a Christian and a Jew or his declarations that most of his coreligionists are passive terrorists, his sharing the stage with white supremacists and well known Islamophobes and becoming a member of their advisory council is hard to follow let alone comprehend. It is contradictory and as we see quite lucrative — he fits in perfectly as Shemp to the Larry, Curly and Mo of Islamophobia.

The Three Stooges Coming to a Campus Near You!

Posted in Feature, Loon Busters, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by loonwatch

shoebat

If you live near to, or are a student at a university you might be interested in knowing that the Three Stooges are touring college campuses nationwide, but before you get your hopes up just know that it’s not the three stooges that you might be familiar with.

We’re talking about the three stooges of the Christian Right: Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zachariah Anani.

These three aren’t comedic geniuses in the usual sense but rather are funny in the same way that televangelists who steal money from gullible viewers searching for a cure to their ills give you fits of laughter while at the same time making you feel sick to your stomach. You know its a charade, a concocted myth but you watch to see the theatrics of the show and the usual ‘planted’ caller who declares how the televangelist’s powers cured them of their incurable disease.

So now we have another group of individuals using and abusing Christianity in the name of profit. Former New York Times Middle East Bureau Chief and expert on Christian Fundamentalism Chris Hedges describes them to a tee:

These self-described former Muslim terrorists are regularly trotted out at Christian colleges—a few days ago they were at the Air Force Academy—to spew racist filth about Islam on behalf of groups such as Focus on the Family. It is a clever tactic. Curly, Larry and Mo, who all say they are born-again Christians, engage in hate speech and assure us it comes from personal experience. They tell their audiences that the only way to deal with one-fifth of the world’s population is by converting or eradicating all Muslims.Their cant is broadcast regularly on Fox News, including the Bill O’Reilly and Neil Cavuto shows, as well as on numerous Christian radio and television programs. Shoebat, who has written a book called “Why We Want to Kill You,” promises in his lectures to explain the numerous similarities between radical Muslims and the Nazis, how “Muslim terrorists” invaded America 30 years ago and how “perseverance, recruitment and hate” have fueled attacks by Muslims. (emphasis added)

In fact their tour isn’t simply limited to Christian colleges but extends to colleges and universities that have no affiliation with religion. As noted above they have spoken at the Air Force Academy and most recently (minus Anani) at Western Michigan University.

The fundamentally obvious question that seems to escape people is, “If these guys really are ‘ex-terrorists’ why are they allowed to roam free, campus to campus, lecture hall to lecture hall without being monitored or questioned by the FBI?” The logic of a lot of their supporters in answering this concludes that: if a terrorist repents and accepts Christianity they should be spared prosecution for any crimes committed beforehand.

The looniness in the case of these stooges doesn’t require a great deal of research but can be gleaned from their own words as the best material for their hilarity comes from their own mouths.

For instance, Zachariah Anani claim’s in his biography posted on Shoebat’s hate-site that:

“Every time I killed someone and two or three fighters witnessed it, they would give me a point on my chart. I carried 223 points.”Even his comrades feared him. “Although we had a sense of loyalty to each other,” he says, “we were ready to take out enemies or friends.” When a fanatical Muslim joined his regiment and began knocking on doors to wake the others for prayer at 3 A.M., Anani warned him: “I don’t want to pray. Don’t come and wake me.” When he heard the knock early the next morning, Anani picked up his gun, shot him, and went back to sleep.

LoonWatchers, we can’t make this stuff up!

According to his own admission he has killed at least 223 people and that’s only in those cases in which there were two or three witnesses. You’d think the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security would be all over this murderer but no one knows who he is or what he’s talking about. Also, what kind of insane and pathological individual non-chalantly shoots someone and then simply goes back to sleep; Anani it seems!

The other two stooges are just as bad if not worse in attempting to sell their outlandish and fantastical stories.

Kamal Saleem and Walid Shoebat

Kamal Saleem and Walid Shoebat

Kamal Saleem claim’s to be the descendant of someone called the “The Grand Wazir of Islam,” which  Hedges points out is “a title and a position that do not exist in the Arab world.” It can be further noted that the religion of Islam has no clerical hierarchy similar to the Catholic Church with defined positions such as the Pope, Bishops, Priests, etc. Kamal’s blooper in his bio is either a result of an ignorance of Islam and its structure or an attempt to manipulate the ignorance of his audience.

Shoebat may be the most outlandish of them all, he is also the most well known. He has in the past equated Islam with “Satanism” and “Nazism.” He also stated in front of an audience at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee that “Palestinians keep Jewish testicles and breasts in jars.”

He claim’s to have planted a bomb at Bank Leumi in Bethlehem but his story has been debunked by several sources including the Jerusalem Post and Shoebat’s own family members. Bank Leumi itself states that they have no record of a bomb attack for the time period asserted by Shoebat.

Simon Altaf, a former Muslim and a convert to Christianity was a close friend of Shoebat and along with him co-authored a book titled This is our Eden, This is our End. Altaf states that,

Walid wanted to be an ex-Terrorist to make money, pure and simple.

In the end the goal is to make money off of these speaking engagements, television appearances, and Church gatherings. This is an easy sell, after 9/11 many Americans were rightly afraid of another terrorist attack;  in this climate Anti-Muslim and Islamophobic sentiment grew making it a ripe time for someone to capitalize on the growing fear and paranoia in the country.

These three stooges hit on the jack pot and saw that there was a cottage industry developing to bash Muslims and Islam and so jumped on the bandwagon, taking their loony lies and hate-caravan all the way to the bank.