Archive for Third Jihad

Watch Rep. Peter King Lie Through His Teeth: “NYPD, Doesn’t Profile Muslims”

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by loonwatch

That the NYPD was profiling Muslims based on their religion is an indisputable fact, but King of course can’t and won’t admit it. His entire political career at the moment hinges on the “radicalization of Muslim Americans” myth:

The lies are not a surprise, but reporters need to do a better job at challenging politicians like King.
Rep. Peter King On NYPD Muslim Surveillance: ‘There Is No Profiling‘


Representative Peter King (R-NY) said Monday during an appearance on CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien that “there is no racial profiling” by the New York Police Department.

The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza asked King first what he thought of profiling as a practice, and then insinuated that perhaps King’s staunch defense of everything NYPD is problematic.

House Democrats Thursday introduced a resolution calling on the NYPD to end programs that infiltrated mosques and spied on innocent muslims.

King responded to Lizza, “First of all, there is no profiling. And that’s the absolute nonsense that people like you and others are propagating.”

Lizza quickly defended his question. “I’m not propagating anything,” he said. “I’m just telling you that there’s been some very good questions raised about what the NYPD’s doing. ”

King replied, “I’m telling you there is no profiling. So, I want you to take that back…. You have no evidence of profiling at all. They use terms like profiling, spying, casually and cavalierly. And you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

And when guest anchor Brooke Baldwin interjected that Izza was just brining up some valid points, King responded emphatically, “They’re not valid points!”

King and fellow New York Republican Rep. Bob Turner demanded Democrats apologize for the resolution Friday, issuing a statement that read, “We are utterly dumbfounded and shocked that after such a slanderous attack, the overwhelming majority of congressional Democrats and the entire Democratic leadership voted for the Holt amendment and against the NYPD. We believe the Democrats owe New York and the NYPD an explanation for their shameful surrender to political correctness.”
This isn’t the first time King–who chairs the House’s Homeland Security Committee and who has held hearings on the radicalization of Islam in the US– has defended the NYPD from criticism over its surveillance of muslim communities.

In March, when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie criticized the NYPD’s operations in Newark, King responded, “It’s really disturbing and disappointing to have someone like Chris Christie join on this politically correct bandwagon. I wish Chris Christie was more concerned about keeping people alive than he is about trying to score cheap political points.”

Also in March, King joined the narrator of “The Third Jihad” at a rally held by muslims in defense of NYPD surveillance of muslims.

Raphael Shore: Director of Clarion Fund’s “Third Jihad” Upset NYPD Won’t Be Showing His Anti-Muslim Movie

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2012 by loonwatch
Raphael_ShoreRaphael Shore

It was revealed in January 2011 that the NYPD was using an anti-Muslim documentary entitled “The Third Jihad” in its counter terror training courses. At the time “a top police official denied it, then said it had been mistakenly screened ‘a couple of times’ for a few officers.”

It turns out that the police official was lying, it had been screened for thousands of police officers:

A year later, police documents obtained under the state’s Freedom of Information Law reveal a different reality: “The Third Jihad,” which includes an interview with Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was shown, according to internal police reports, “on a continuous loop” for between three months and one year of training.

During that time, at least 1,489 police officers, from lieutenants to detectives to patrol officers, saw the film.

We exposed the Third Jihad way back in 2009 when it was first released! We clearly laid out the facts: (1) Clarion Fund is an arm of Aish HaTorah, an Israeli advocacy and educational organization:

According to the Delaware Department of Corporations, Robert (Rabbi Raphael) Shore, Rabbi Henry Harris and Rebecca Kabat incorporated Clarion Fund. All three of whom are reported to serve as employees of Aish HaTorah International.

(2) Clarion Fund’s free mass distribution of the anti-Muslim movie, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War on the West (also directed by Shore) a few months prior to the 2008 presidential election was an attempt to sway the election in John McCain’s favor:

Unless you were sleeping in a cave during the 2008 Presidential election you’re probably aware that the mysterious Clarion Fund is the same organization that distributed 28 Million DVD’s of their controversial film Obsession, which compares Islam to Nazism, in newspapers in swing states across America.

The movie was widely discredited for its cast of radical and extreme pundits, some of whom (Daniel PipesBrigitte Gabriel, Walid ShoebatSteven Emerson) we have featured on LoonWatch.  As our articles showed, these Islamophobes have a history of bigoted and derogatory statements regarding Muslims and Islam.

The film itself was compared to Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 pro-Nazi film Triumph of the Will. Broward-Palm Beach New Times called it “misleading and dangerous.” Jeff VanDenBerg, director of Middle East Studies at Drury University, called the film “a blatant piece of anti-Muslim propaganda.”

During the campaign to distribute Obsession, news reports at the time quickly revealed that their main motivation was to shift the focus during the Presidential election from the Economy to the issue of National Security, the area in which John McCain led in polls.

Shore and his cohorts efforts failed as they over-reached in their attempt to paint the radical-stealth-Islamic boogeyman menace to America as similar to Nazism during WWII. They changed tactic with the Third Jihad and attempted to redirect the hate, though they only offered a thin vanilla (Zuhdi Jasser) covering for the bigotry that is clearly all over the film:

Third Jihad paints a picture of a nefarious plot by a cabal that includes all mainstream Muslim organizations to take over and dominate America. The movie, reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, centers around the purported discovery of a document describing a strategic secret plot by Muslims to undermine Democracy and replace it with Sharia’ laws.

The recent exposes in the mainstream media showing that thousands of NYPD officers have watched the anti-Muslim films, coupled with Ray Kelly himself being interviewed in the film has caused much embarrassment to the NYPD, which is already suffering from poor relations with the Muslim community. The NYPD and Ray Kelly have apologized, (Kelly now calls the movie “inflammatory”), but many are calling for Kelly to be fired.

In a press release Raphael Shore complained about his anti-Muslim film being dumped from the training of NYPD officers:

“We regret that the film has been taken out of the counterterrorism training program of the NYPD.  The New York Times stories are proof positive that the Clarion Fund’s high-quality and impactful documentaries touch very sensitive nerves.

“Those that have blasted the film are attempting to stifle an important debate about the internal state of the Muslim community in America, and whether politicized Islam and indoctrination pose tangible security threats.

Yes, Raphael is concerned with the “internal state of the Muslim community in America”/sarcasm. He’s as concerned about it as Pamela Geller is no doubt. The truth is Raphael, your hate work on Islam is no longer going to get a free pass. People can see the nexus that aligns Right-Wing Islamophobes abroad and at home and they are tired of it.

The Truth About ‘The Third Jihad’:

The Third Jihad is essentially an updated and reconfigured version of Obsession or as some have called it “Obsession on steroids.” Instead of the overt comparisons of Islam with Nazism, or of a cosmic battle between good and evil, the object this time is to warn against a threat they term  “Cultural Jihad” carried out from within by American Muslims.

In Third Jihad, just as in Obsession, there is the cliche disclaimer at the start of the film that the movie is not about the vast majority of Muslims who are peaceful, yet in Third Jihad just as in Obsession, the rest of the film quickly and completely trumps what becomes an empty disclaimer.  Both films fail to make consistent distinctions between Islam and Radical Islamism, and at times conflate the two.  As the IPS (Inter Press Service) notes:

Radical Muslims, by having children, spreading their faith, and ensuring their ability to practice Islam as they see fit, are working a ‘demographic jihad’ in which they see themselves emerging as a majority and making Islam the dominant religion of the U.S. – eventually to take over the nation altogether – contend Jasser and the films creators.

But that prospect seems unlikely in the U.S., where Muslim Americans are generally regarded as well-assimilated and not radicalised.

The film itself also contains inconsistencies in terms of differentiating between Islam and radical Islam.

For example, the graphic that the film used to demonstrate the spread of an Islamic state across the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe used a tiled picture of a green crescent with a star between its points. The crescent and star are the symbol of Islam in general.

The documentary was produced by the Clarion Fund, a U.S.-based non-profit that was embroiled in controversy last year when it distributed its last movie, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” to nearly 30 million homes in the ‘swing states’ that normally decide U.S. presidential elections.

Its 501(c)(3) status as non-profit means the group is legally exempt from paying taxes and is prohibited from involvement in electoral politics.

IPS investigations also tied the production and distribution of “Obsession” to right-wing Israeli groups and U.S.-based neoconservatives.

The central focus of the film is the purported discovery of a document which claims Muslim organizations are seeking to “destroy” the West from within and replace Democracy with Islamic law worldwide. This ploy is similar to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion which is a tract alleging a Jewish and Masonic plot to achieve world domination. Purportedly written by a secret group of Jews known as the Elders of Zion, the document underlies 24 protocols that are supposedly followed by the Jewish people.

The movie also suffers from a lack of credibility with most of the pundits it chooses to interview.  For example one of the pundits is Tawfiq Hamid (!) who is labeled an ex-terrorist. Tawfiq’s story is not corroborated by any independent sources, he has also made blatant statements describing Muslims as terrorists and Islam as evil. On the Orla Barry Show he stated, “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.” He is also featured on radical Islamophobe Walid Shoebat’s website  and has appeared with him on talk shows and other venues.

This hate movie is available online and its central protagonist is Zuhdi Jasser who is also the narrator of the film. Jasser is cast as an all American hero, clips of him having moments with his family are reminiscent of episodes out of Full House, complete with sentimental  muzak equivalent to the quality one hears in elevators. Jasser is the lone American Muslim (all the others are either “scared” or “silent”) standing up against radicals. He is the “moderate” who is seeking to reform Islam while at the same time save America from the ignored threat of “homegrown radical Muslims.”

Is Jasser an unbiased chronicler of American Islam, and is he the right advocate to counter radical Muslims?

Considering his radical associations and partisan attachment to the far right wing of the Republican party, the answers are no.

As Richard Silverstein writes, “To put it plain and simple, Jasser is a Muslim neocon.” He created a 501c3 designated organization AIFD (American Islamic forum for Democracy) whose agenda is a “barely concealed” form of radical Republicanism. 501c3 designated organizations are not allowed to meddle in partisan politics.

Jasser has himself publicly participated in the political process. In this endorsement of a far-right pro-Israel Colorado Republican legislative candidate, he strangely takes aim at the candidate’s Republican American Muslim opponent:

“A brief word about Mr. Sharf’s primary opponent. Mrs. Rima Barakat Sinclair has no apparent record, prior to this election of…any traditional conservative issues. Previously, her sole political agenda seems to have been anti-Israel activism. Her candidacy seems to be more a product of Islamist politics than of ideas central to conservative American principles and activism. Sadly, candidates out of this mold, who conflate the Israeli-Palestinian crisis with their Islamic identity actually harm more than they help the genuine pluralistic advancement of American Muslims. Most Muslims are actually quite diverse in their domestic and foreign policy politics and do not accept the collectivist agenda of political Islam (Islamism).”

It is certainly no accident that Sinclair’s opponent, Joshua Scharf, is a right-wing pro-Israel militant.

In this National Review interview, Jasser enthusiastically promotes a Republican agenda:

“Lopez: Do you like what you’re hearing out of any of the presidential candidates?

Jasser: (First a necessary caveat – the following is my personal opinion only and in no way that of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy).

Yes, I think most of the Republican presidential field is much more honest than the Democrats in articulating the real stakes in this war of ideas of the free world versus the Islamists. While most of the Republican candidates are in the right anti-Islamist arena, only a few have been able to articulate it clearly enough and with enough candor to get my attention. I am far from making up my mind on a candidate yet, but am encouraged by a lot of what I see from some of the candidates.

I am most heartened by what I am hearing from Rudy Guliani’s campaign, with Governor Mitt Romney very close behind in my mind. Mayor Guliani understands the toxicity of the Saudis and their Wahhabis…He is not afraid to articulate the conflict in ideas between Western freedom and Islamist theocracy…He names our enemies by name, and is not afraid to stand for principle and substance in foreign policy over diplomatic platitudes (i.e. against the Saudis, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood), and other Islamists.

Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign has also demonstrated a willingness to mince no words when discussing the ideologies we are facing. He identifies jihadists as our enemies and uses his important position of national and global leadership to clearly frame the debate as one between the ideology of Islamism (Caliphism, jihadism, and theocracy) versus freedom.

…John McCain’s articulation of the stakes in the Iraq war has always been very impressive, and I hope that other candidates can look to his clarity on the issue as an example of principle.”

His disclaimer is a laugh since the group’s website lists him as founder and president. Only one other individual is listed on the entire website as a staff member of the group. No board members are listed (though he refers to the existence of one). So Jasser IS AIF. If Jasser is a right-wing Republican, so is AIF. Which makes a 501c3 designation problematic.

Jasser is also a member of the Middle East Forum created and ran by neo-con Daniel Pipes as well as “the pro-Israel and neocon Committee on the Present Danger. He has spoken before the Hudson Institute. He writes for Family Security MattersMiddle East Quarterly, and other far-right websites.”  If this doesn’t give you a hint about the agenda that drives Jasser and the purpose of this film nothing will.

Ana and Cenk do a better and more succinct job in eviscerating Third Jihad and the NYPD’s attempted cover-up:

Mark Halawa, Aish’s Manchurian Muslim

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on December 7, 2009 by loonwatch

Richard Silverstein, has this excellent piece up at his site Tikun Olam, on the newest right-wing “conversion” creation; Mark Halawa. Halawa, published a piece on how he was in the dark his whole life about his Jewish roots and now is a firm Likud-Israel backer. He published his “testimonial” on the Aish HaTorah website, Aish HaTorah you might remember was the organization that funded the anti-Muslim film Obsession. There used to be a great website that debunked the Obsession movie, hopefully it will be running again, Jews on First also have a great rebuttal.

Mark Halawa, Aish’s Manchurian Muslim by Richard Silverstein

A few days ago I received a seemingly polite, deferential e mail from someone named Mark Halawa telling me I might be interested in a post he’d just written.  When I saw the website I knew there was a lot more there than met the eye.  He had published at the Aish HaTorah website.  Anyone who knows anything about Aish or me knows that we don’t exactly see eye to eye on anything related to Judaism or Israel.  So I realized there must be something hinky about Mark’s e mail:

My name is Mark, and I’m very much impressed with your message.

Below is a link for my article that was published on last week. Feel at liberty to use it, and let me know how I can be of help.

When I read his post I knew there was.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this when I initially received his e mail and assumed it was a personal message.  On further review, this likely was an e-mail spam blast sent to scores or hundreds of sites.  The wording is vague enough that it could be sent as a mass mailing.  So it’s possible Halawa didn’t even know who he was dealing with when he e mailed me.

It seems that Mark is following in a long line of dutiful “moderate” (or “good”) Muslims who far-right pro-Israel groups use to impeach Islam.  The list is long and fascinating: Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish, Tawfiq Hamid, Walid Shoebat, Zuhdi Jasser, etc.  What all these have in common is that they’re trotted out by Aish HaTorah via their Islam hate movies.  Being a relatively new recruit, Halawa hasn’t yet been featured.  But he will be.  If not in a movie, you can be sure he’ll be visiting a Hillel or synaoguge near you warning about the evils of Islam and the wonders of Judaism Aish-style.

Mark Halawa dreaming of a Third Temple 

Mark Halawa dreaming of a Third Temple

Since we know that a good number of the Muslim turncoats especially Walid Shoebat are frauds it’s useful to dwell on a few of Mark’s claims.  Now, I’m not claiming that Mark is one.  But the possibility exists based on previous bad faith shown by Aish and similar groups using these people for their own political ends.

Though this story is less lurid, it does remind me somewhat of the account of the so-called former Hezbollah intelligence agent turned Haredi Jew and follower of one of Israel’s most racist anti-Arab rabbis, Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu.  Now that one was a real whopper!

Mark, who was raised as a secular Muslim in Kuwait, claims that his maternal grandmother is Jewish.  On meeting an alleged Orthodox former philosophy professor, the latter tells him that means he is Jewish.  I’m trying to check out the halacha on this claim.  Of course, Orthodox Judaism is based on matrilineal descent, but I’ve never heard of some claiming to be Jewish based on a grandmother being Jewish.  At best, this is a very tenuous claim to being Jewish since his mother clearly wasn’t raised Jewish.

But the proof he posits for his grandmother’s Jewishness seems flimsy:

I recalled how my grandmother had a funny name on her documents, Mizrachi, which I never heard before. She also had a small prayer book with Hebrew letters, and she prayed in the dark crying. (I thought the Wailing Wall was so named because crying was a part of prayer.)

Aside from a vague family legend, my grandmother never mentioned anything about being Jewish — but now the pieces were fitting into place…

I went to my room and called my mother. She rebuffed the story, saying, “Don’t listen to people like that. We are Muslims and that’s that.”

I decided to call my grandmother myself and bring up the subject.

I beat around the bush a bit — after all, she’d been denying it for the past 50 years — and then finally blurted out, “Grandma, are you Jewish?”

She didn’t answer the question directly, but she started crying and spoke about the years of Arab-Israeli conflict. She told me how her brother Zaki had been killed in Jerusalem before the rebirth of the State. To me that was sufficient confirmation of her Jewishness and I decided to leave it at that.

Well that seals it, her brother was killed in 1948, therefore she must be Jewish.  There may be more family history here that he’s not telling us, but this isn’t in the least convincing.  If this guy isn’t lying, he’s really digging deep to prove something he desperately wants to be true.

This passage too seems suspect to me.  Keep in mind that he’s describing a supposedly Jewish Palestinian girl in the pre-1948 period falling in love with a Palestinian Arab in Jordanian army uniform:

My mother’s parents met in Jerusalem when my grandfather, an Arab from the West Bank, was serving in the Jordanian army fighting the Zionists. He was 18 years old and my grandmother was 16. Her father ran a school in Jerusalem — the same school where she would jump off the wall to meet my handsome, uniformed grandfather. They fell in love, got married, and lived for a number of years in Shechem (Nablus).

How likely would it be for any Jewish girl to fall in love with a Jordanian soldier “fighting Zionists?”  Again, I can’t say for sure that this is a sack of lies, but it sure smells funny.

Halawa claims that his suspicions about his grandmother’s origins made him predisposed to feel sympathetic to Israel:

Whenever we were on vacation in Amman, Jordan, I used to constantly watch the Israeli channel — when my parents weren’t around. My favorite was the Israeli national anthem, and I would stay up late waiting to hear them play it at the end of the TV transmission.

How touching that Mark knew at that early an age he was an Arab Zionist.  But explain to me this, Mark: how would this have gone over in a household in which your father was allegedly a Pan-Arab Nasserist??  Once again, there’s something wrong here.

The scene Mark describes of visiting a synagogue for the first time is absolutely priceless.  I tell you the guy should be writing for television.  He takes one look at the Black man, Indian and Egyptian all praying together and pfffft! he knows this is where he’s meant to be his whole life.  And don’t you know the tears fell like rain (even I almost shed one about as crocodile as the ones he was shedding).

There is another tell-tale sign that all might not be well in Mark’s story.  Keep in mind this is the first time he’s ever visited a synagogue and he presumably knows no Hebrew:

“I can’t believe I’m here, singing and praying in Hebrew. I could never have imagined it.”

Nor can I.  No one who has never been to a Jewish religious service and knows no Hebrew could “sing and pray in Hebrew” the first time he’s done it.  For someone to master the prayers and the language requires years of deep immersion.  The language is difficult to master and quite archaic in places.  It simply beggars belief that he could feel so at home in the language and music of the Shabbat service from the get go.

In the following passage, you finally get a glimpse of what Mark’s selling and it’s little more than the religious far-right anti-Muslim snake oil:

In the Arab world there are tons of misconceptions and misinformation regarding Israel. So I am working to develop a program to educate Arabs about Jews and Judaism, to dissolve the stereotypes propagated by the Muslim media and schools. I hope that my unique background can help bridge some of that divide.

Indeed.  Before Mark dissolves stereotypes and starts “truth-telling” to Muslims about Judaism he might want to come clean about himself and dispense with the fantasy he’s spun in this story.  Mark’s “program” reminds me of why I called him the “Manchurian Muslim” above.  For groups like Aish HaTorah, discoveries (or frauds) like Mark are pure gold.  They are secret weapons which Jews turn around and launch against the Muslims to undermine their cause.  They also serve to warm the cockles of the hearts of Jews who need to believe in the inherent superiority of Judaism to Islam.

Surprisingly, Mark addresses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict only obliquely and refers to it in terms that are not at all characteristic of the pro-Israel far right.  Again, either Mark hasn’t quite drunk the Aish Kool Aid, or he’s dissembling since this is far too Kumbaya for a real Aish follower:

It often seems like the Arab-Israeli conflict is intractable. Yet I believe in today’s world, there is a real opportunity for a breakthrough. Arabs today have a more universal education, which makes them more open and curious. Also they are meeting Israelis and Jews in their travels around the world, which breaks down misconceptions. And as we saw during the recent protests in Iran, many young people in the Muslim world are yearning for reform. On top of all this, they have high-speed Internet access which opens up all kinds of new avenues of communication, and the possibility of forming new friendships unrestricted by borders or political agendas. Perhaps this can be the basis of a grassroots movement to mend relations and hopefully one day achieve peace.

And perhaps Alan Dershowitz is Anne Coulter in drag.

Mark does have one classic Orthodox right-wing obsession–Arab men on the prowl for Jewish women.  According to Mark, it’s an epidemic:

The other issue that needs urgent attention is intermarriage in Israel. Unfortunately, a story like my grandmother’s is not so rare. Many young Jewish women are wooed by Arab men and brought back to live in their villages.

“Many” of course is an extreme exaggeration, which seems to characterize Mark’s entire story.  But it is true that for the Israeli far-right miscegenation is a deeply disturbing phenomenon much like it was in the Jim Crow South.  It’s also instructive that Meir Kahane used to rail about precisely the same issue, while concealing that he had an adulterous affair with an Italian-American woman who killed herself when he abandoned her.

Finally, this e-mail reply from Mark to the first e-mail I sent him, in which I warned him that Aish was a nasty organization, brought forth this reply containing some uncharacteristically naughty language for a supposed Orthodox Jew:

That’s a horrible message, Richard. You have lots of  hate blinding your eyes, and you run a site called Tikkun Olam!!!

You’ve exposed the real person you are; calling my people Nasty!

Its unfortunate, people like you use our religion for their own advancement, and financial gain.

Not a single Jew I’ve met in the past 7 years, ever spoke or incited against another religions.. Islam or other.

But here you are (a christian or messianic shit most probably) the first bigot! That knows nothing else but fowl [sic] thoughts and evil, for the lack of better education. You’re the nastiest person I’ve heard from, you’re [sic] own family probably hates you. What a scam!!!

Half of me wanted to report him to his Aish rebbe for fowl language!  But I was especially tickled by his accusation that I was “christian messianic shit” and that I was exploiting my religion for “financial gain.”

Curious also that Mark claims that he’s never met anyone at Aish who “incited against another religion.”  Keep in mind this is the same Aish (through its subsidiary Clarion Fund) which produced the two most hateful films about Islam in the past few decades: Obsession and Third Jihad.  Aish and their fellow partners in religious holy war, Ateret Kohanim want to rebuild the Third Temple where the Dome of the Rock now stands.  No incitement there either.  I don’t know whether Mark is a brainwashed ex-Muslim or an out-and-out fraud.  But whatever it is, he’s yet another sorry example of the Jewish religious right attempting to perpetrate fraud on any gullible parties who’ll listen to the message.