Archive for Turkey

Pamela Geller Watch: “The 2012 Islamic Olympics” Conspiracy

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by loonwatch

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller

We haven’t covered Pamela Geller‘s bumbling, semi-coherent and illogical rants in quite some time now, mostly because she has become increasingly marginal and is viewed as, The Looniest Blogger Ever.

Geller has been consigned to the fanatical anti-Islam Right-wing though she is invited quite regularly on Conservative radio shows and networks. She gets airtime on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program (she was on this weekend talking about Obama’s “Muslim upbringing”) as well as with her buddy Eric Bolling.

So, for some comic relief we put up Geller’s most recent conspiracy creation, something she is calling “The 2012 Islamic Olympics”:

sick

Notice the prominence of all the Islamic nations’ flags. No Greek flags. The country that started the Olympics and whose existence is also an offence to the Ummah. (flag hat tip Armaros)

UPDATE: TRTD points out they are also using the old Saddam Hussein era Iraq flag. (on the right)
Also, the Democratic Republic of Congo (on top) is no longer in use as well.

Brilliant!

Barely visible are the US and UK flags. So why even ask about an Israeli flag? (hat tip Armaros)

Did Muslims know that the “existence” of Greece is an “offence to the Ummah”? Is there a verse in the Qur’an that I am missing relating to how God is displeased with Greece? Now, I know Greece and Turkey have some historical rivalry, but the whole “Ummah”?

Boy, that sure would be news to all those Greek Muslims, like this American Muslim scholar of Greek heritage, Hamza Yusuf:

Declaring War on ‘Political Islamism’

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2012 by loonwatch
William KristolWilliam Kristol

The neocons have been around for decades, first to mobilize support against Soviet-led communism, and then, in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to wage a so-called “Global War on Terrorism.”

As the architects of the spectacularly disastrous Iraq War, the necons should have been thoroughly discredited and relegated to the political fringe. Yet it seems these foreign policy hawks have simply retooled their message, founded a new think tank, and are poised to wreak havoc once again.

By Robert Parry

Like George W. Bush, Mitt Romney has responded to his lack of foreign policy experience by surrounding himself with clever neoconservatives who are now looking forward to expanding Bush’s “global war on terror” into what neocon ideologue William Kristol calls a U.S. “war with political Islamism.”

In a Washington Post op-ed on Thursday, Kristol dismissed President Barack Obama’s phased military withdrawal from Afghanistan – and his statement that “this time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end” – as foolish wishful thinking.

“It would be wonderful if Obama’s view of 9/11 and its implications were correct,” Kristol wrote. “But if it’s not going to be true that Afghanistan is where ‘this time of war … will end’ — even if Afghanistan is pacified and we’re no longer fighting there — then the American people should know that.”

What the American people should know, in Kristol’s view, is that a post-Obama administration – presumably headed by Republican Mitt Romney and staffed by neocon hawks – will undertake a grander “war with political Islamism,” a conflict whose full dimensions even “war president” George W. Bush shrank from.

“This isn’t a pleasant reality, and even the Bush administration wasn’t quite ready to confront it,” Kristol wrote. “But President George W. Bush did capture the truth that we are engaged in — and had no choice but to engage in — a bigger war, a ‘global war on terror,’ of which Afghanistan was only one front.

“There are, of course, problems with ‘global war on terror’ as a phrase and an organizing principle. But it does capture what we might call the ‘big’ view of 9/11 and its implications.”

As part of an even “bigger” view of 9/11, Kristol called for engaging in a broader conflict, ranging “from Pakistan in the east to Tunisia in the west, and most visibly now in places such as Iran and Yemen and Somalia.”

In other words, Kristol and the neocons expect a President Romney to let them refocus the United States onto a “war” not simply against al-Qaeda and its affiliates but against nations where “political Islamism” gains power, which could include Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and many other Muslim countries.

One might as well say the United States will be at war with the Muslim world, though Kristol hastily added that this “war with political Islamism” does not always have to involve open warfare.

He wrote: “This doesn’t mean we need to be deploying troops and fighting ground wars all around the globe. [But] unfortunately, the war in which we are engaged won’t end with peace in, or withdrawal from, Afghanistan.”

A Romney Presidency?

Most political analysts say the November elections will turn on the economy with foreign policy a second-tier issue. In addition, many progressives have denounced Obama and his more targeted approach of relying on drone strikes to kill alleged terrorists as unacceptable, with some on the Left vowing not to support his reelection.

But it shouldn’t be missed that a President Romney would reinstall the neocons, including many who worked for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, at the levers of American power. Indeed, Romney’s foreign policy “white paper” was largely drafted by neocons. Even the name, “An American Century,” was an homage to the neocon manifesto of the 1990s, “Project for a New American Century.”

Romney’s foreign policy advisers include:

Cofer Black, a key Bush counterterrorism official; Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of Homeland Security; Eliot Cohen, a neocon intellectual; Paula Dobriansky, a former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs; Eric Edelman, a national security aide to Vice President Cheney; Michael Hayden, the ex-director of CIA and the National Security Agency who defended Bush’s warrantless spying program; Robert Kagan, a Washington Post columnist; former Navy Secretary John Lehmanand Daniel Senor, spokesman for Bush’s Iraq occupation.

Romney’s foreign policy also would restore George W. Bush’s “with us or against us” approach to the world – except that Romney, like Kristol, advocates even a more confrontational style, essentially a new Cold War against “rogue nations,” a revised “axis of evil.”

“A special problem is posed by the rogue nations of the world: Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba,” Romney’s white paper declares. “Their interests and values are diametrically opposed to our own and they threaten international peace and security in numerous ways, including, as in the case of North Korea and Iran, by seeking nuclear weapons, or by harboring criminal networks, exporting weapons, and sponsoring terrorists. …

“Mitt Romney would work to protect and advance America’s interests by employing all the instruments of national power at the president’s disposal. He will defend our country, defend our allies, and restore American leadership around the world. It is only American power — conceived in the broadest terms — that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies. …

“A Romney foreign policy will proceed with clarity and resolve. The United States will clearly enunciate its interests and values. Our friends and allies will not have doubts about where we stand and what we will do to safeguard our interests and theirs; neither will our rivals, competitors, and adversaries. …

“The United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. In defending America’s national interest in a world of danger, the United States should always retain a powerful military capacity to defend itself and its allies.”

No Apologies

The Romney “white paper” also treats any recognition of past American errors as unacceptable “apologizing” and calls any notion of seeking multilateral consensus on a problem as an admission of weakness.

“A perspective has been gaining currency, including within high councils of the Obama administration, that regards that United States as a power in decline. And not only is the United States regarded as in decline, but that decline is seen as both inexorable and a condition that can and should be managed for the global good rather than reversed.

“Adherents of this view argue that America no longer possesses the resources or the moral authority to play a leadership role in the world. They contend that the United States should not try to lead because we will only succeed in exhausting ourselves and spreading thin our limited resources.

“They counsel America to step aside, allow other powers to rise, and pursue policies that will ‘manage’ the relative change in our national fortunes. They recoil from the idea of American Exceptionalism, the idea that an America founded on the universal principles of human liberty and human dignity has a unique history and a special role to play in world affairs.

“They do not see an international system undergirded by American values of economic and political freedom as necessarily superior to a world system organized by multilateral organizations like the United Nations. Indeed, they see the United Nations as an instrument that can rein in and temper what they regard as the ill-considered overreaching of the United States.

“This view of America in decline, and America as a potentially malign force, has percolated far and wide. It is intimately related to the torrent of criticism, unprecedented for an American president, that Barack Obama has directed at his own country. …

“Among the ‘sins’ for which he has repented in our collective name are American arrogance, dismissiveness, and derision; for dictating solutions, for acting unilaterally, for acting without regard for others; for treating other countries as mere proxies, for unjustly interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, for committing torture, for fueling anti-Islamic sentiments, for dragging our feet in combating global warming, and for selectively promoting democracy.

“The sum total of President Obama’s rhetorical efforts has been a form of unilateral disarmament in the diplomatic and moral sphere. A President who is so troubled by America’s past cannot lead us into the future. … Mitt Romney believes in restoring the sinews of American power.”

Hawks in the Middle East

As for the Middle East, Romney’s team advocates unquestioned support for Israel both regarding its treatment of the Palestinians and toward Iran:

“Israel is the United States’ closest ally in the Middle East and a beacon of democracy and freedom in the region. The tumult in the Middle East has heightened Israel’s security problems. Indeed, this is an especially dangerous moment for the Jewish state. …

“To ensure Israel’s security, Mitt Romney will work closely with Israel to maintain its strategic military edge. … The United States must forcefully resist the emergence of anti-Israel policies in Turkey and Egypt, and work to make clear that their interests are not served by isolating Israel.

“With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Romney’s policy will differ sharply from President Obama’s. President Obama and his administration have badly misunderstood the dynamics of the region. Instead of fostering stability and security, they have diminished U.S. authority and painted both Israel and ourselves into a corner.

“President Obama for too long has been in the grip of several illusions. One is that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is the central problem in the region. This has been disproved repeatedly by events, most recently and most dramatically by the eruption of the Arab Spring.

“But it nonetheless led the administration to believe that distancing the United States from Israel was a smart move that would earn us credits in the Arab world and somehow bring peace closer. The record proves otherwise. The key to negotiating a lasting peace is an Israel that knows it will be secure. …

“[Under President Romney] the United States will reduce assistance to the Palestinians if they continue to pursue United Nations recognition or form a unity government that includes Hamas, a terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

“The United States needs a president who will not be a fair-weather friend of Israel. The United States must work as a country to resist the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel. We must fight against that campaign in every forum and label it the anti-Semitic poison that it is. Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is not up for debate.”

Regarding Iran, the Romney “white paper” repeats many of the canards about Iranian intentions that have been debunked even by Israelis, such as the mistranslation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement regarding “wiping Israel off the map.” But Romney’s neocon foreign policy team even suggests using that mistranslation to indict Ahmadinejad for war crimes:

“Romney will also push for greater diplomatic isolation of Iran. The United States should make it plain that it is a disgrace to provide Iran’s Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the trappings and respect offered to responsible heads of state. He should not be invited to foreign capitals or feted by foreign leaders.

“Quite the opposite. Given his calls for Israel to be wiped off the map, Ahmadinejad should be indicted for incitement to genocide under Article III of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

So, even Americans disappointed in Obama’s foreign policy should recognize what the stakes are in November. They include whether to put hard-line neocons back in charge of U.S. foreign policy and the American military.

[To read more of Robert Parry’s writings, you can now order his last two books, Secrecy & Privilege andNeck Deep, at the discount price of only $16 for both. For details on the special offer, click here.]  

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there.

Turkey’s Top Muslim Cleric Slams Saudi Mufti Over His Call to Destroy Churches

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature with tags , , , , , , on April 6, 2012 by loonwatch

The Saudi “Grand Mufti,” Shaikh Abdul Aziz Aal-Al-Shaykh caused outrage a few weeks ago when he said all churches in Kuwait should be “destroyed.” It must be pointed out that the Grand Mufti is not popularly elected by a consultative body, nor did he gain the position through any merit, such as being the highest learned Islamic scholar in Saudi Arabia.

The position of Saudi Grand Mufti is actually a political one, harking back to the alliance between the House of Saud and the House of Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab in the 18th century.

The Saudi Grand Mufti received his position through inheritance, the suffix appended to his name, “Aal-Al-Shaykh” in fact means “family of the Shaikh,” i.e. indicating he is a descendant of the 18th century Muslim reformer and founder of the Saudi Salafi/Wahhabi trend, Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab.

It is for these reasons that he is considered a lightweight when it comes to Islamic scholarship and is in fact derided by many Saudis from all walks of life.

Now Turkey’s top Muslim cleric has publicly condemned the Saudi Grand Mufti, declaring his statement to be invalid and a contradiction to Islam and its relations with other faiths (H/T: Ibn Abu Talib):

Turkey’s Top Muslim Cleric Slams Saudi Mufti Over His Call to Destroy Churches

ABDULLAH BOZKURT (Today’s Zaman)

Turkey’s top imam blasted the Saudi grand mufti’s call to “destroy all the churches” in the Gulf region, saying that the announcement is in total contradiction to the peaceful teachings of the Muslim religion.

Speaking to Today’s Zaman, Mehmet Görmez, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, said he cannot accept the Islamic religious order –fatwa — issued by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh, adding that the mufti’s remarks run contrary to the centuries-old Islamic teachings of tolerance and the sanctity of institutions belonging to other religions.

He emphasized that Islam has always respected religious freedom. “The opinion of the grand mufti also obviously contradicts the agreements that the Prophet of Islam signed with the non-Muslim communities both in Medina and in the region. It also plainly overlooks the right of immunity given by Islam to the holy shrines and temples of other religions on the basis of the rule of law throughout its history,” Görmez explained.

Sheikh Abdulaziz reportedly made the controversial statement during a meeting with a delegation from the Kuwait-based Society of the Revival of Islamic Heritage in response to a query about Shariah law concerning the construction of churches in Muslim countries.He issued the fatwa in March, saying that further church building should be banned and existing Christian houses of worship should be destroyed.

Görmez slammed Abdulaziz, stating, “We strongly believe that this declaration has left dark shadows upon the concept of rights and freedoms in Islam that have always been observed on the basis of its sources, and it will not be recorded as an opinion of Islam.”

He also added, “We, therefore, entirely reject the aforementioned opinion and hope that it will be amended as soon as possible.”

Turkey’s top Muslim cleric challenged the Saudi grand mufti’s assertions on the established principles in Islam. “We believe that the mentioned opinion is evidently against the aims of Islam, especially in a region that witnessed the descent of the Holy Quran and the first application of the Sunnah of the Prophet. It is against the Muslim tradition’s established practice of respecting non-Muslims’ rights as well,” he noted.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Tells Sarkozy Not to Incite to Islamophobia

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by loonwatch

Erdoğan takes a shot at Sarkozy’s crass populist antics:

PM tells Sarkozy not to incite to Islamophobia

(Today’s Zaman)

PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed on Tuesday that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is inciting racism and Islamophobia in France in order to get re-elected in the upcoming presidential elections. Erdoğan said resorting to xenophobia, particularly Islamophobia, to win elections is very irresponsible.

Depicting a recent bill Sarkozy’s center-right UMP initiated seeking to penalize the denial of Armenian claims of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 as an act inciting the French to xenophobia, Erdoğan said the current president adopted a more aggressive stance after the bill was passed into law but then overruled by the French Constitutional Council, which deemed it unconstitutional. Erdoğan said the council had corrected a historic mistake by cancelling the law.

Valerie Boyer, a deputy from the UMP, initiated the genocide bill criminalizing the denial of the so-called Armenian genocide in December 2011. The bill was approved in the lower house of the French Parliament and in the French Senate in January. However, the constitutional council deemed it unconstitutional, stating that it violated the freedom of expression.

“Sarkozy is making xenophobia a matter of domestic politics, and issuing threatening remarks against foreigners in his country. This is in violation of the EU’s universal values and fundamental principles,” Erdoğan said. The French presidential elections will take place between April and May.

Is “Creeping Shariah” Coming to Hollywood? Liam Neeson Moved by “Mosques” and the “Call to Prayer”

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2012 by loonwatch
Liam_Neeson
Liam Neeson in “The Clash of the Titans”

Islamophobes and anti-Muslim haters are all in a tizzy about some kind words that Liam Neeson had to say about Islam and the “beautiful mosques” he encountered in Turkey. The Sun magazine, a British tabloid ran the sensational headline, Liam Neeson: I May Become a Muslim.

Apparently this is the statement they are basing his consideration of Islam on:

“The Call to Prayer happens five times a day and for the first week it drives you crazy, and then it just gets into your spirit and it’s the most beautiful, beautiful thing.

“There are 4,000 mosques in the city. Some are just stunning and it really makes me think about becoming a Muslim.”

To me it sounds like Liam is being nice and appreciating the beauty that he most likely is able to find in various cultures and traditions. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think his words are just hollow sentiment, I think he probably was truly impressed and perhaps he is considering Islam, but of course those who take perpetual offense cannot concede that anyone, let alone a “celebrity,” could see anything beautiful within Islam or Muslim countries.

The ever hysterical Debbie Schlussel for instance thinks Neeson should change his name to Al-Moron. Failed comic book writer Bosch Fawstin is also offended, as are are a plethora of other Islamophobes.

Perhaps they will chalk it up to the secret-Muslamic-creeping-Shariah take over of Hollywood?:

Liam Neeson: I may become a Muslim

(The Sun)

HOLLYWOOD star Liam Neeson is considering giving up his Catholic belief and becoming a Muslim.

The actor, 59, admitted Islamic prayer “got into his spirit” while filming in Turkish city Istanbul.

He said: “The Call to Prayer happens five times a day and for the first week it drives you crazy, and then it just gets into your spirit and it’s the most beautiful, beautiful thing.

“There are 4,000 mosques in the city. Some are just stunning and it really makes me think about becoming a Muslim.”

Liam was raised in Northern Ireland as a devout Catholic and altar boy and was named after the local priest.

But the star — whose wife Natasha Richardson died aged 45 in a skiing accident in 2009 — has spoken about challenges to his faith.

He said: “I was reared a Catholic but I think every day we ask ourselves, not consciously, what are we doing on this planet? What’s it all about?

“I’m constantly reading books on God or the absence of God and atheism.”

Liam was criticised in 2010 after claiming Narnia lion Aslan — voiced by him in the movies — is not based on Christ as CS Lewis had claimed but in fact all spiritual leaders including Mohammed.

His latest film The Grey, about an oil drilling team who crash in freezing Alaska, is released in the UK on Friday.

Fox News GOP Primary Debate: “1400% Increase in Murder Rate of Women in Turkey” Due to “Islamist Oriented” Government

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2012 by loonwatch

Women_Murdered_Turkey

It is an understatement to say that violence against women is a serious issue today, as I wrote in a previous article titled, Rampant Sexual Harassment of Women…in the West, “women are mistreated across the globe, across cultures, races, and religions at unfortunately high and gross levels.” This was proven with empirical evidence and scholarly analysis from various studies.

In the intro of the article I reminded readers that Islamphobes,

love to trot out the talking point that Muslims (due to Islam of course) are unique in harassing and oppressing women. According to them, anytime a Muslim man harasses or otherwise assaults a woman it is considered a result of Islam or somehow encouraged by “Islamic behavior.”

This belief, however, is not limited to anti-Muslim bigots but has also crept into the popular imagination and perception of the mainstream.

It is within that context that we review another recent manifestation of this “anti-Muslim talking point” creeping into the mainstream. As many of those who watched the recent South Carolina GOP Presidential Primary debate are aware, Fox News’s Brett Baier asked Gov. Rick Perry about Turkey’s “Islamist oriented” government, and what our relationship should be towards them (Turkey is one of our oldest allies). He set up the question this way,

“Since the Islamist oriented party took over in Turkey the murder rate of women has increased 1400% there…”

My jaw dropped when I heard that, what an astronomical and frankly unbelievable number! The clear implication was that the “increase in violence” was related to the rule of the so-called “Islamist oriented” AKP party. Once again something “Islam” or “Islam” related was being cast as the source and cause of violence.

Imagine the effect this had on those watching the debate? It either reinforced or created the perception that Islam and Muslims are incredibly violent towards women, and that any “Islam” oriented political party will result in a degradation of women’s rights.

Brett Baier’s question was extremely misleading to say the least. It provided no context or evidence linking the AKP party to the “increase” in murders. To say that the AKP is “Islamist oriented” is misleading as well, a more appropriate analogy may have been to the “Christian Democratic” parties in Europe.

I have found conflicting origins on the source of the “1400% increase” statistic. On some news outlets we learn that the figures were released by Women’s Rights lawyer Aydeniz Alisbah Tuskan,

The figures are based on data issued by lawyer Aydeniz Alisbah Tuskan, Co-ordinator of the Istanbul Bar Association Centre for Women’s Rights.

while others claim it was the Ministry of Justice,

According to the data of the Ministry of Justice, the number of women murders increased by factor 14 between 2002 and 2009. While 66 women were killed in 2002, this figure raised to 953 women murders in 2009. The development of the increase was documented as follows: 83 women murders in 2003; 128 in 2004; this figure more than doubled in 2005 with 317 women killings; again a sharp increase with 663 in 2006; a peak of 1011 women murders in 2007 and a small decrease in numbers in 2008 with 806 women murders.

Regardless of the source there seems to be agreement on the numbers. Tuskan in her report also added another startling fact regarding violence towards women,

The data revealed an additional startling dimension of the problem: 85 percent of about 2000 annually registered divorce applications in Istanbul are based on violence.

According to Tuskan the reason for this explosion in the number of divorce applications stemming from violence is, “based on the fact that women do not endure violence as they used to do in the past.”

This however does not address the increase in the number of murders. As Elif Shafak asks in her Guardian article, Turkey Opens it’s Eyes to Domestic Violence,

Are violent incidents against women on the rise in Turkey? Or is it just that we are finally getting a clearer picture of something that has been happening at the heart of Turkish society for some time?

If one were to listen to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it has been his government that has started compiling these statistics, whereas before his administration statistics on the issue were not even “calculated,”

While numerous sources argued over the last week that violence against women increased by 1,400 percent in the past seven years, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said earlier this week that the issue was presented as if violence against women was on the rise. Highlighting that they would not ignore a single act of violence, Erdoğan said: “Before we started keeping track of this, statistics on the issue were not even calculated and no one was aware of these incidents. … I expect a responsible approach from both the opposition and the media over the matter and I say that, with solidarity and responsibility, we can decrease violence to the lowest level.”

I don’t see any reason to doubt Erdoğan’s assertion, however it would be vital to verify.

Either way, the statement from Erdoğan clearly contradicts Brett Baier’s misleading assertion that the so-called “Islamist-oriented” AKP which Erdoğan heads is the cause or root of the violence.

Erdoğan also went on to say,

“Violence against women is remorselessness, ruthlessness and, I say this without hesitation, contemptible”

Not really the evil, misogynist Islamic terrorist that Baier and Rick Perry thought ruled Turkey, aye?

Since the stats came out on the number of murders and incidences of violence directed against women there has been an intense debate on the subject in Turkey. It is no longer a taboo subject locked behind closed doors. There have also been massive grassroots campaigns and new legislation countering the violent trend,

In recent months, both print and visual media in Turkey have been running story after story about domestic violence: ex-husbands who shoot their ex-wives in front of their children, abusive husbands who come back to kill, boyfriends or fiancés who cannot forgive being dumped and seek revenge.

As disheartening as the situation is, there is also a growing reaction and a grassroots movement to stop it. Nowadays it is widely acknowledged that violence against women is not only confined to a few uneducated families in remote undeveloped regions. More importantly, until today, it was mainly assumed that such cases were a “family affair”. If a husband was beating his wife, this was their problem. Now this assumption is fully debunked. More and more public figures are coming out to say that domestic violence is everyone’s business and we should, as a society, interfere.

Family and social policies minister Fatma Sahin has announced that abusive husbands will be kept away from their homes with the help of electronic handcuffs. A group of men in the eastern province of Van have organised a significant march to protest at male violence. The group’s speaker proclaimed: “We are ashamed of men who attack women and do so in the name of manhood.”

University students are marching on the streets, women’s organisations are collecting signatures. Through blogs, websites, magazines, fanzines, panels and conferences activists are raising their voices, singers give concerts to honour women who have been victims of killings, writers and poets condemn the violence openly and contest it with their words. And yet, all this is not enough. Unless we change the way we raise our sons and discard our belief that they are superior to our daughters, unless we mothers stop treating our sons as the sultans in the house, nothing will be enough.

Lastly, it should be highlighted that Brett Baier’s misleading question is damaging most of all because it obfuscates the true issue of violence directed at women. It deflects from the root causes (cultural norms, cultural traditions, patriarchy) in exchange for the easy Orientalist scapegoat–Islam.

As Ilisha pointed out in her article on Honor Killing, by focusing on Islam, anti-Muslim Islamophobes are actually doing a disservice to those who are truly challenging violence towards women. Brett Baier’s question had the added effect of dehumanizing a whole nation, and I echo Ilisha’s call that Islamophobes, “give up their vicious campaign against Islam and join us in the struggle to end violence against women from all cultural and religious backgrounds.”

UPDATE I:

For further information on this topic I suggest reading The Journal of Turkish Weekly, which conducted an exclusive interview with Dilek Karal, a specialist at USAK Center for Social Studies regarding violence against women. According to Karal, there is no way to solidly identify whether murders against women have increased or decreased,

How should we read violence against women in Turkey? How accurate is it to say that violence has drastically increased in recent years?

D. Karal: There are a lot of factors which can trigger violence such as sociocultural factors, economic factors, and psychological factors in the environment where people grow up. We need to look at what conditions they become prominent under. The efforts shall target eliminating the roots of these factors. However this is not limited to the motto which is liberally used in Turkey—“education is a must”. Educated people also beat their spouses or commit different kinds of violence against them. Education is just one dimension. The issue should be tackled with integrated multi-agency policies. It is compulsory to operate family and child services efficiently, and formalize different environments where boys and girls grow up to not normalize the violence. All in all, violence as a phenomenon needs to leave our lives altogether.

For instance, Turkish Ministry of Justice 2010 data shows violence against women has increased 1400% during the last seven years. This is a very big number. According to some other data during the first seven months of 2010; 226 women were murdered while 478 women were raped and 722 women sexually abused. There are a lot of similar cases. Over 100,000 women suffered from sexual attacks. Although the numbers are as such, they cannot present us solid data regarding whether the violence has increased or decreased. This is because there are certain problems in evaluating statistical data in Turkey. The fact that they are being presented in a systematic fashion in recent years can be interpreted as the invisible tip of the iceberg slowly surfacing.

In other words, violence against women existed before as well but can now be better measured with in-depth research, which has made the issue more apparent. Without longitudinal studies it is very difficult to understand if the violence has increased or not. However, we need to underline that the existing circumstances in the context of this issue are already too tragic. According to Hacettepe University’s research, 39% of the women in this country (more than a third) are victims of physical violence and 15% are victims of sexual violence. 42% of women say that they have experienced a form of one or the other. The interesting part is the women who experienced violence did not make appeals to official units or to non-governmental organizations. More than half of them shared the situation with just close relatives. Only 8% of the women requested help from official units. This rate is very low. In a society where violence is skyrocketing, this low rate points to ignorance. Women either do not see themselves sufficient socioeconomically or they normalize violence in a sociocultural sense.

UPDATE II:
I also came across figures on murders of women since 2009 in the article, “This is a Civil War…” There is a large discrepancy between 2009 (1,126 murders) and 2010 (217 murders). If one were to be disingenuous regarding the issue, one could claim a massive decrease in murders!:

Here is the number of women murdered by year:

2002 – 66

2003 – 83

2004 – 164

2005 – 317

2006 – 663

2007 – 1,011

2008 – 806

2009 – 1,126

2010 – 217

Wajahat Ali: How turkey came to our Thanksgiving table

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from Salon)

Once shunned by my Muslim family, the bird finally found a place in our home, just like so many American traditions

By: Wajahat Ali

My Pakistani and American Muslim social circles celebrate Thanksgiving each year alongside our Eid festivities and Super Bowl Sunday parties, featuring homemade guacamole dip, chips and samosas. But it wasn’t always like this. For my family, this marriage between East and West was three decades in the making.

The 1980s:  An “Amreekan Holiday”

As a child, I often asked my mother what we were eating for Thanksgiving.

“Food,” she replied matter-of-factly.

“Are we eating a turkey?” I asked.

“No, only Amreekans eat turkey.”

Any immigrant or child of immigrants understands that “Amreekan” is a code word for “the mainstream,” which really means “white people.” In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving with a turkey, here are some other things we learned only “Amreekans” do:

  • Wear shoes inside the home
  • Receive “time out” as a valid form of punishment for unruly behavior
  • Talk back to elders
  • Have sex before marriage
  • Put grandparents in senior homes
  • Sleep over at friends’ homes
  • Tattoos
  • Christmas trees
  • Cable television
  • Shop at stores other than Ross, K-Mart, outlet stores, Marshalls and Mervyns (RIP)

Now, I don’t begrudge my parents their position toward turkey. It’s a confounding bird for most immigrants, who are generally more comfortable with the bleats of a goat or a lamb, the squawks of the simple-minded chicken. The turkey was an enigma: a heavy, feathered bird with its “gobbledygook” mutterings, freakish red wattle and vast supply of dry, juiceless meat.

“Do the Amreekans realize it is dry?” ask my still perplexed relatives living in Pakistan. “Where is the masala? The taste? The juices? Why do they eat this bird?”

Besides, most first-generation immigrants in America retain the romantic, deluded concept that “We will eventually go back home to the Motherland.” They will never be “Amreekan.”

Of course, they never do go back and instead firmly plant their familial, cultural, economic, religious and political roots in this foreign yet welcoming “Amreekan” soil. They have second-generation kids — yours truly — who are as “Amreekan” as apple pie, burritos and biryani.

And so Thanksgiving traditions began to leak into our old-school immigrant mentality. I watched the annual Macy’s parade, hoping to see a Spider-Man float. I played Super Mario on my Nintendo and looked forward to spending the evening with Snoopy, Linus, Charlie Brown and the gang, all the while eating a traditional Pakistani dinner. No turkey — yet.

The ’90s: Introducing the Thanksgiving Chicken

In my teen years, I discovered hair in new places and found the courage to demand authentic “Amreekan” requests from my parents.

“Give me turkey, woman!” I once commanded my mother for the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities.

“Here’s some money. You buy it and make it yourself if you like it so much,” she replied.

Foiled again. She knew my inherent culinary uselessness and overall laziness far too well. Well played, Mother. Well played.

During this decade of grunge and Bill Clinton, the immigrant generation in our family gradually replaced the “We will go back to the motherland” mantra with disillusioned rants about how “The motherland is going to hell” after they returned from visiting.

American pop culture effortlessly coexisted within the confines of our Pakistani-American home. Visiting from college one day, I descended the stairs to Nusrat belting out a qawwali in Punjabi. Moments later my father changed the track to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” He was in the kitchen rubbing traditional South Asian spices into pieces of steak he would later cook on his brand-new George Foreman grill.

My mother relented to my requests and made a meal on Thanksgiving. Instead of cooking a turkey, though, she insisted on roasting two whole chickens.

“What’s the point of having a chicken on Thanksgiving of all days?” I asked. “It’s like passing out omelets to kids on Easter instead of colored eggs.”

“I like chickens. I can cook a chicken. Chickens are tasty,” my mother replied. “I’m not wasting my time cooking a dry bird.”

She ruled the kitchen with an Iron Ladle.

But the consumption of “some form of a bird” on Thanksgiving was remarkable progress toward fully celebrating this Amreekan holiday. Furthermore, the religious clergy in our communities realized the obvious: Thanksgiving dinner is actually harmonious with Muslim values. After all, aren’t we reconciling with our family and communities and being thankful and grateful for all of our blessings? Isn’t that what Muslims are supposed to do on a daily basis?

Score one for theology in supporting rational arguments to consume dead birds.

That night, we ate two fully roasted whole chickens (quite tasty), and my mother also made basmati rice, daal (lentls), chicken khorma (curry) and kheema (South Asian ground beef.)

It wasn’t perfect — but it was a start.

The new century: Let there be turkey

The 21st century opened the culinary floodgates. It was a brave new world. Turkeys were unleashed to South Asian and Muslim American homes on Thanksgiving with wild abandon. No American holiday would be left unattended and no holiday sale would be forsaken by the immigrant communities! The musings of “going back to the motherland” have now transformed into semi-annual visits to see relatives and nothing more.

Even Muslim butchers are readily selling Halal turkeys in their local community shops. (Halal meat refers to animals slaughtered according to Islamic custom similar to Kosher slaughtering practices for Jews).

2002 was the “Great Turkey Explosion,” when Chandni, the neighborhood South Asian restaurant/wedding reception hall/religious ceremony hall/miscellaneous space used for all celebrations, started offering an “authentic Thanksgiving buffet” for $11 on Nov. 24-25. I had heard rumors of this awesomeness, but I had to drive there and witness morsels of turkey flesh swimming in a broth of fat and oil to believe it myself. And, lo and behold, in front of the South Asian buffet table — which featured lamb karahi, chicken tikka masala, and saag ghosht (spinach with meat) — there was “Thanksgiving” buffet table with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and bread rolls.

In our home, my father made the official decree that the Ali family would now and forever more eat turkey on Thanksgivings – provided he could successfully cook it, which meant “Not cooking it like the Amreekans who always make it too dry.” He felt ambitious in his old age and wanted to test his expanding baking skills by finally tackling the Gobbling-Goliath.

His initial attempt in 2003 was conservative, baking the turkey over several hours as per custom. There was also corn. The mother made some chicken khorma as emergency along with Basmati rice. Some cans of mango and lime pickle achar (relish) were opened just in case. The turkey was both edible and tasty. The family had successfully conquered the mythical bird and stuffed it with so much masala juice it developed a South Asian accent, bhangra dance moves, good credit and IT tech support skills.

A few years later, the family decided to up the ante and “brine” the turkey after some intense Googling sessions researching “Best Way to Cook + Turkey.” This time, we added gravy, mashed potatoes and soft rolls to the menu, along with corn.

Some Thanksgiving staples, however, remained foreign. Yams could only be justified if it was added with meat to a curry. Pumpkins were still regarded as an “exotic vegetable” only to be seen and carved on Halloween. Cranberry sauce was something you drank out of a bottle as a juice concentrate and never ate on the side. “Stuffing” was still only understood as a verb and not an edible noun.

Fast-forward a few years to 2011, and lo and behold, our turkeys have been successfully baked, roasted, brined, deep fried — and thoroughly enjoyed. The annual turkey now sits on a large dining table next to homemade sweet yams, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn bread, rolls, corn on the cob, and store-bought pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. And yes, there is always a South Asian curry dish just in case.

We also wash down the gluttony with the American Muslim version of Cristal: Martinelli’s Apple Cider.

But this isn’t just a story about how we integrated a strange-looking bird into our dinners. It’s how my American Muslim Pakistani family integrated into the American cultural fabric. It’s the same messy, colorful but inevitable way immigrants all over enter the American narrative, bringing their own flavors to collide, merge and spill outside the pot.

It’s as Amreekan as turkey and chicken khorma.

Wajahat Ali continues to awkwardly pray in Gap stalls.  He is a playwright, attorney and journalist.  His first play, “The Domestic Crusaders,” was recently published by McSweeney’s.  He is currently writing an HBO pilot with Dave Eggers.

Anti-Muslim Geert Wilders and Government Ally Opposes Turkish President Visit

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by loonwatch
Geert Wilders

I think it rocks Geert Wilders mind that Turkey and the Netherlands have had a relationship for 400 years.

Dutch anti-Islam politician and government ally opposes Turkish president visit

Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, a key ally for the ruling Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition, said on Saturday he opposed a planned visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gul because Turkey is an “Islamist regime”.

Wilders, whose party is the third-largest in the Dutch parliament and opposes closer ties between Europe and Turkey, backs the Dutch minority government in return for tougher immigration and integration rules.

Gul has been invited to visit the Netherlands next year, when the two countries will celebrate 400 years of relations.

Wilders said in a commentary in the Dutch daily De Volkskrant that Gul should stay in Ankara.

“There is nothing to celebrate. The Islamist regime of Gul and his party member and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is not a true friend of the West and therefore neither of the Netherlands,” Wilders said.

“Everywhere Erdogan comes, he calls on Turkish immigrants to not adapt. Turkey does not want to become European but wants to islamise Europe,” Wilders said.

While Erdogan heads a political party with roots in political Islam, Turkey is a constitutionally secular democracy.

A Dutch parliamentary committee cancelled a visit to Turkey in 2009 after Turkish government officials refused to meet Wilders, who has compared Islam to Nazism but was acquitted of hate speech in June.

In 2009, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted by Dutch public broadcaster NOS as calling Wilders a racist who was not welcome in Turkey.

Wilders said in his article that Islam was “fundamentally intolerant” of Judaism, Christianity and humanism.

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said that Gul’s visit was in line with the long relationship between the nations and the celebrations would focus on mutual economic interests.

Officials at the Turkish embassy in The Hague were not immediately available for comment.

Greek parliament approves Athens’ first mosque plan in decades

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2011 by loonwatch
The mosque plan was included in an environment ministry bill regulating illegal construction, another long-running concern in Greece. It calls for the renovation of an existing state building – a disused military base – in the run-down Athens industrial district of Elaionas.The mosque plan was included in an environment ministry bill regulating illegal construction, another long-running concern in Greece. It calls for the renovation of an existing state building – a disused military base – in the run-down Athens industrial district of Elaionas.

Greek parliament approves Athens’ first mosque plan in decades

Greece’s parliament on Wednesday approved the construction of a new mosque in Athens to satisfy a long-standing demand by thousands of Muslim residents, a government source said.

The project to build the Greek capital’s first official Muslim place of worship in decades was supported by 198 deputies from the centre, right and left (out of 300) against the objections of 16 nationalist MPs.

The mosque plan was included in an environment ministry bill regulating illegal construction, another long-running concern in Greece. It calls for the renovation of an existing state building – a disused military base – in the run-down Athens industrial district of Elaionas.

Thousands of Muslims from Arab nations, Africa and the Indian subcontinent live and work in Athens without official prayer sites or a cemetery, despite years of promises by successive Greek governments.

Muslim faithful have crafted mosques out of rented flats and disused warehouses which are regularly targeted in racist attacks.

Anger towards migrants and attacks have escalated on the streets of Athens in recent months as the debt-hit country battles a growing recession that has brought thousands of job layoffs.

A staunchly Orthodox state with bitter memories of nearly four centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule, Greece currently offers sanctioned Muslim religious sites only near its northeastern border with Turkey where a Muslim minority of Turkish origin lives.

All traces of Islam were eradicated in Athens in the early 19th century when Christianity was restored, and bureaucratic wrangling and opposition from local church leaders and mayors have since stalled plans for a mosque and cemetery.

Udo Ulfkotte and Fecal Jihad: Asymmetric Warfare or Crazy Conspiracy Theory?

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2011 by loonwatch

Russell Blackford recently wrote a piece on Islamophobia that was reproduced by Richard Dawkins, in which he said,

“attacks on Islam..made opportunistically..cannot be dismissed out of hand as worthless.”

We responded on Twitter by saying that most attacks can be dismissed as worthless. Exhibit A: Conspiracy Theories.

Now here is a perfect example, from one Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, who thinks the recent E.coli outbreak in Germany is linked to Muslim immigrants’ importation of “fecal jihad.” After this, I don’t know who could compete for “the craziest conspiracy theory of the year award.” (hat tip: Sphinx and Jake)

Ulfkotte: Turkish women’s poor hygiene to blame for E.coli/EHEC outbreak

The writer and “Islam expert” Dr. Udo Ulfkotte has made a nice career for himself in Germany by spreading hate and fear against Muslims.  In a recent interview he fantasized about all the “living space” (Lebensraum) ethnic Germans could have if only they could conduct forced deportation of all the Turkish and Arab people living in Germany. No matter that nearly all of Dr. Ulfkotte’s hateful diatribes are based on lies: he is a much sought-after guest for TV talk shows and discussion panels.

But even Dr. Ulfkotte may have outdone himself with his mostrecent piece on the right-wing Truther site of Kopp Verlag(with thanks to Politblogger). Germany is facing a health crisis due to vegetables tainted with E.coli. Naturally, Udo Ulfkotte seizes the opportunity for yet another attack on immigrants from Turkey:

Im »Erdbeerland« in Pottenstein und auf mindestens zehn weiteren Erdbeerplantagen erfand man den Hosenzwang, weil Türkinnen, die dort saisonal gearbeitet hatten, bei der Arbeit auf die Erdbeeren uriniert und zwischen den Pflanzen auch noch andere »größere Geschäfte« verrichtet hatten. … Bestimmte Migranten haben eben völlig andere Vorstellungen von Hygiene und der Einhaltung von Hygiene-Richtlinien als wir Europäer.

(In the “strawberry region” in Pottenstein (Austria) and on at least ten other strawberry farms workers are required to wear pants because Turkish women who were working there seasonally were urinating on the strawberries and even defecating among the plants….Certain migrants have a completely different concepts of hygiene than we Europeans.)

Dr. Ulfkotte goes on to describe a “fecal Jihad” being waged by Muslims against Europeans.

Thus far, there is zero evidence that the E.coli outbreak has any connection with strawberries, much less strawberries from Austria.  Authorities believe rather that cucumbers from Spain may be to blame.  But don’t look for a retraction or an apology from Dr. Udo Ulfkotte.  He has never once retracted any of the numerous lies he’s published at Kopp Verlag or elsewhere.

Again, Ulfkotte is free to publish whatever he wishes, even if it’s mostly lies.  What concerns me is that he is viewed by the German media as an “expert” and frequently appears on German television.  They are lending to this fraud credibility he in no way deserves.

Simchon Shwartz Charged with Felony Hate Crime after Attacking ‘f—ing Arabs’ Living Next Door

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by loonwatch

A Hasidic man, Simchon Shwartz shouted racist epithets and violently assaulted his neighbor, calling them “F—ing Arabs,” “F—ing Terrorists.”

“F—ing Arabs! F—ing terrorists!” Schwartz screamed when he grabbed his neighbor, Selda Turan, 27. He shoved the woman against her car and poured beer on her head, a police source said.

This disgusting assault will most likely not be covered much by the media, we will hear deafening silence from Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, or silly equivocation along the lines of, “but…no..he was drunk,” etc.

Imagine for a second if a Muslim had done this? We all know that this would be immortalized as a terrorist attack and Islam would be blamed for the attack. (hat tip:Peak of Elephants)

Brooklyn Hasid charged with felony hate crime after attacking ‘f—ing Arabs’ living next door

BY Rocco ParascandolaKerry Burke and Bill Hutchinson
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

A boozy Brooklyn man was hit with hate crime charges Sunday for pouring beer on a newlywed neighbor, calling her an “Arab terrorist” and pummeling her husband, police sources said.

Following the seemingly unprovoked attack Saturday night in Mill BasinSimchon Schwartz, 46, hid in a local synagogue and tried to fight off cops when they came to arrest him, sources said.

The Hasid even kicked out a window of a police cruiser as he sat inside, whining that “the cuffs are too tight,” a source said.

“F—ing Arabs! F—ing terrorists!” Schwartz screamed when he grabbed his neighbor, Selda Turan, 27. He shoved the woman against her car and poured beer on her head, a police source said.

Turan’s husband of 13 months, Mustafa Turan, rushed out of their house to protect his wife, but Schwartz punched him in the face, the source said.

Neighbors said the Turans moved into the heavily Jewish neighborhood about a month ago. They said the victims were from Turkey; it wasn’t clear if they were Muslim.

Schwartz was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court on charges of felony assault and felony criminal mischief, both as hate crimes. He was also charged with resisting arrest, obstructing cops, menacing and harassment. He could get up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

“They arrested the wrong person,” Schwartz’s attorney, Lance Lazzaro, said Monday night.

He said his client was attacked by Mustafa Turan, 32, after Selda Turan complained about Schwartz’s children being noisy. He said Mustafa Turan called Schwartz a “dirty Jew” and hit him.

Cops said they found no physical evidence supporting Schwartz’s counterclaim, while Mustafa Turan needed three stitches to close a gash on his nose. The ordeal erupted at 7 p.m. Saturday when Schwartz began harassing Selda Turan on their E. 70th St. block, a criminal complaint charges. Schwartz opened a can of beer and poured it on Selda Turan, grabbed her by the the arm, pushed her into the side of her car and called her an “Arab terrorist,” the complaint said.

Selda Turan was left with scratches and bruises. Schwartz was released without bail.

A judge rejected a prosecution request to hold Schwartz on $60,000 bail, but granted the Turans an order of protection barring him from contacting them.

The Turkish couple live in a townhouse that shares a common wall with Schwartz’s home.

Cops said that following the fisticuffs, Schwartz scratched the Turans’ car with a key.

Once Schwartz, a car dealer, bolted from the scene, the Turans called 911. Schwartz’s son led cops to a Chabad House on nearby E. 69th St., where they found the suspect. Cops smelled alcohol on his breath, a source said.

Schwartz struggled with cops as they dragged him out of the synagogue in handcuffs. They drove him to his house, where his neighbors identified him as the culprit. As Schwartz threw a tantrum in the police car, his wife made a veiled threat to the victims, sources said.

“This is a majority Jewish neighborhood. We’re going to get you back,” Esther Schwartz told the Turans, the sources said.

While Schwartz was in jail over the weekend, his wife circulated a petition demanding the Turans’ landlord evict them, neighbors said. About 20 neighbors signed it, but the Turans’ landlords, Rusden and Saadet Dolan, refused.

“That’s their opinion,” Rusden Dolan told the Daily News.

With Amir Khan and Oren Yaniv

rparascandola@nydailynews.com


Robert Spencer Goes Bonkers for Austrian Fascist Ewald Stadler

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2010 by loonwatch

Birds of a feather flock together and in Robert Spencer’s case it seems that he has latched onto a fellow Catholic in Austria by the name of Ewald Stadler.

The only problem is that Stadler is a politician with the BZO, a group that he found along with Jorg Haider, a neo-fascist. Stadler has also made some controversial statements on Nazism.

Here is the video Spencer posted on his site and his comments, it has been reposted by the BNP since,

Austrian MP Ewald Stadler, addressing the Turkish ambassador to Austria, here dares to tell the truth about Islam in Turkey and in Europe. It’s breathtaking. Ewald Stadler surely deserves to be nominated for Anti-Dhimmi Internationale of 2010.

(Video thanks to Pamela Geller.)

Here is his bio translated from the German (hat tip: Leonora),

Ewald Stadler is an Austrian politician and was a member of the Austrian Freedom party until 2007. He was counted among the so-called “German National” wing of the FPÖ (Austrian Freedom Party/ freedom party Austria) but was also a proponent of the (previously less known) conservative catholic views in his party. Stadler constantly attracted attention with his controversial statements on the Nazi era. He asserted that the end of the National Socialist(nazi) command in Austria would not give any relief/liberation.  In the European elections in Austria in 2009 he was the top candidate of the BZÖ .

Bündnis Zukunft Österreich(BZÖ)= Alliance for Austria’s Future (BZÖ) is an Austrian party . It was founded in April 2005 by members of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) by Jörg Haider. It is classified as right-wing (right-populist).

Is it any surprise that Spencer is so awe struck by Stadler? A fascist whose party is classified as right-wing (right-populist), and who has made borderline Nazi favorable comments? In reality it once again peels away at the facade that Spencer has created as a defender of the West when in reality he is nothing more than an anti-Freedom fascist.

It also adds to the list of Fascists that Spencer has supported and spoken with:

-EDL (English Defense League), SIOE (Stop the Islamization of Europe), Geert Wilders, Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa, Ewald Stadler, BZO, Sergei Trefkovic (Serbian Nationalist, genocide denier), etc.

 

Fethullah Gulen: Despite Attacks Good Works Shine Through

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

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

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

Imam who lives in rural Pennsylvania arouses praise, concerns

By Andrew Conte

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AN ENIGMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘FANTASTICALLY DISORGANIZED’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Germany: Reinhard Werner’s Anonymous Mosque Watchers

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by loonwatch

Reinhard Werner belongs to the not so Anonymous Mosque Watchers group. Supposedly a group who observes Mosques to make sure there isn’t any terrorism going on. This article is a hoot. (hat tip: Kashmiri Nomad)

Germany’s Anonymous Mosque Watchers

By Hauke Goos

Reinhard Werner doesn’t trust Islam. The 70-year-old German is part of a group which keeps tabs on mosques across Germany, monitoring them for what he calls an “intolerant Islam of terror.” Over the years, he has gained a certain amount of notoriety.

Reinhard Werner is a few minutes early, but because he doesn’t want to be noticed, he stands outside on the sidewalk in front of the mosque, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible.

 

It’s Friday afternoon in Munich’s Pasing neighborhood and men are scurrying past Werner on their way to Friday prayers. All of them, in Werner’s eyes, are enemies. He claims that the mosque is spreading what he calls an “intolerant Islam of terror.”

“Do you see the sign over the entrance?” he says.

The letters “DITIB” are printed on the sign. DITIB, an acronym for the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, is the umbrella organization for roughly 900 mosque congregations in Germany. It is controlled by a Turkish government organization based in Ankara, the Office for Religious Affairs, making it indirectly answerable to the Turkish prime minister. “A military mosque,” says Werner.

“Do you see that the letter ‘I’ in DITIB resembles a minaret? And that the minarets look like missiles?” he asks, beseechingly. It isn’t always easy for Werner to make himself understood.

Feeling a Kinship

Werner is a member of the “Anonymous Mosque Observers,” a group of Muslims who fled to Germany from Muslim countries because they came into conflict with religious rules.

Although Werner is not a Muslim himself, nor is he fleeing anything, he feels a kinship with Muslims who have fled their native countries. These Muslims trust their more settled Muslim counterparts about as much as former US President George W. Bush trusted terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. They keep tabs on what goes on in mosques because they want to be sure that they are still safe in Germany.

Werner came to the group in a somewhat roundabout way. For 30 years, he was a teacher at a secondary school in Munich, where some of his classes consisted entirely of foreign students. According to Werner, most of the Turkish students had a negative-to-hostile attitude toward the West. They were hard to reach and difficult to convince, he felt.

Since then, he has been fighting for religious freedom, but insists that it should come with certain conditions. The most important of those, he says, is that Muslims, like members of other faiths, pledge to uphold the German constitution.

Of the 36 mosques in Munich, nine are in Werner’s “observation area.” He reports everything he sees and hears to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence agency. The BfV, however, doesn’t seem to be taking him very seriously, or at least it hasn’t found his reports to be sufficiently convincing to take any action.

Blood-Soaked Tyrants

After a while, Werner slips into the mosque. In the lobby, about 25 men are drinking tea and eating pita bread as they wait for the service to begin. Werner orders tea, drops three cubes of sugar into his cup and points to a picture next to the tea station. It depicts Ottoman leaders from six centuries. Blood-soaked tyrants are being glorified here, Werner whispers. He points to the second picture from the right in the bottom row and identifies the man depicted as Abdul Hamid II, known abroad as the “Great Assassin.”

A portrait of Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic and the Turkish army, hangs on another wall, next to a television set. According to Werner, the state and the church are not truly separated in Turkey because the state influences the church and the military influences the state. “Turkey is a theocracy,” says Werner.

Then he walks up the stairs to the prayer room. The sermons, says Werner, are often about rejecting the Western way of life.

Just before Werner reaches the door to the prayer room, a young man approaches him and asks him whether he is Mr. Werner. Werner nods.

“You are banned from the premises,” the young man says, looking serious. He tells Werner that he must ask him to leave the mosque immediately. It is moments like this that show Werner that his work is at least being taken seriously.

He has acquired a certain amount of notoriety over the years, years marked by the attacks of Sept. 11, the Taliban, the Danish cartoon controversy, the ban on minarets in Switzerland and opposition to the construction of new mosques in Germany. Werner, now 70, had studied the Koran. Suddenly he was considered an expert, and he was in demand.

A Little Disappointed

He is sometimes asked to speak to Christian congregations, but he is hardly ever invited back. Perhaps it’s because Werner is so combative. Germans don’t like conflict.

And perhaps everything would be easier if social coexistence could be organized the way teams are organized on the football field. Then there would be agreements and rules, and anyone who broke the rules would be penalized. Second-time offenders would be sidelined. But that isn’t the way society works, which is why Werner has been fighting his battle for more than two decades.

There are many movements within Islam, he says. The most aggressive, he says, is “Mohammedan Islam,” — and, he claims, it is also the only movement that is building mosques. This, Werner argues, is why it is not the construction of minarets which should be banned, but the construction of mosques.

 

On his way home, Werner stops at the mosque again to ask why he has been banned from the premises. He hopes to somehow use the ban to reinforce his message. He — as a representative of Germany, the West and democracy — feels excluded.

This time an older man with white hair and a white beard is waiting for him. The ban was a misunderstanding, the old man says, and smiles.

A minute later, Werner is standing on the street below the mosque again, relieved that he will be able to continue observing the mosque in the future. But he also seems a little disappointed.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

 

Gaza Flotilla Massacre: Israeli Pirates of the Mediterranean

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by loonwatch

The Memorial Day weekend is a time for many to sit with their families, barbecue and remember those soldiers who sacrificed their lives in wars. However, news headlines delivered shocking news of Israeli commandos attacking a ship in international waters carrying aid to Gaza, killing at the very least nine peace activists while other reports put the figure higher at 16 and injuring dozens more.

The ship, known as the Mavi Marmara was part of a fleet of six ships that embarked from Greece with the goal of heading to Gaza to break the suffocating siege that Israel has placed on the Palestinian territory. Israel expressed that it would deal harshly with the flotilla and viewed it as an “attack on its sovereignty”. Those were the exact words of Israel’s right wing foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The ship never got a chance to get close to Gaza, as Israeli commandos on dinghies and helicopters intercepted the ship. Israel claims it was acting in self-defense, saying the commandos were attacked with wooden batons, metal rods and knives. Yet, Israel imposed a media blackout immediately after the attack and only now are we learning about events from first hand sources.

“This was not an act of self-defence,” said Mr Paech, a politician, as he arrived back in Berlin wrapped in a blue blanket.

“Personally I saw two and a half wooden batons that were used… There was really nothing else. We never saw any knives.

“This was an attack in international waters on a peaceful mission… This was a clear act of piracy,” he added.

Fellow German activist Inge Hoeger said they had been on the ships “for peaceful purposes”.

“We wanted to transport aid to Gaza,” she said. “No-one had a weapon.”

She added: “We were aware that this would not be a simple cruise across the sea to deliver the goods to Gaza. But we did not count on this kind of brutality.”

Activist Bayram Kalyon, arriving back in Istanbul, had also been a passenger on the Mavi Marmara.

“The captain… told us ‘They are firing randomly, they are breaking the windows and entering inside. So you should get out of here as soon as possible’. That was our last conversation with him.”

Condemnation of the attack came from all over the world with leaders from Europe, Africa and the Middle East united in one way or another in deploring the raid and mourning the victims. Turkey was the strongest in its condemnation, labeling the Israeli attack as a “massacre” and an act of”barbarism” and “piracy,” the strong condemnation made sense considering many of those on board the ships were Turkish.

Breakdown of those on board the ship,

Australia 3; Azerbaijan 2; Italy 6; Indonesia 12; Ireland 9; Algeria 28; United States 11; Bulgaria 2; Bosnia 1; Bahrain 4; Belgium 5; Germany 11; South Africa 1; Holland 2; United Kingdom 31; Greece 38; Jordan 30; Kuwait 15; Lebanon 3; Mauritania 3; Malaysia 11; Egypt 3; Macedonia 3; Morocco 7; Norway 3; New Zealand 1; Syria 3; Serbia 1; Oman 1; Pakistan 3; Czech Republic 4; France 9; Kosovo 1; Canada 1; Sweden 11; Turkey 380; Yemen 4.

However, the media has unfortunately in some ways portrayed this as a Turkish-only venture which it certainly was not, it had nationals from all over the world, noble peace laureates, a holocaust survivor, a former US ambassador,  prize winning authors, philosophers, politicians and activists from all walks of life. This diversity of backgrounds came together for the sole purpose of bringing relief to besieged Gazans, but instead they were met with violence.

Israelis burn Turkish flag

This fact also belies the cynical attempt by Israeli PR propagandists to paint this flotilla of peace as an armada of terror. Mark Regev, a face familiar to many during the information blackout that Israel enforced during the 2009 Gaza war was at it again, this time claiming that this flotilla was led by “Islamic Extremists.”

Pamela Geller has already shot off a dozen or more blog posts and articles about the Israeli attack, in her world these were “war ships” that were sent in a “military operation from re-Islamicized Turkey,” where according to her the number #1 best selling book is Mein Kampf (she can’t miss a Hitler reference can she?). Robert Spencer on his site is not to be undone by his partner Pamela, and has also shot off a handful of posts that reproduce articles making the argument that the Israeli attack wasn’t about targeting humanitarian work but about Radical Islam vs. Liberal West, that those on board have possible ties to Al-Qaeda, etc. You get the picture, let the dehumanization begin!

In the end the attack on the ship seems to have served no purpose but to perpetuate violence, and I can only imagine that it will galvanize more people to want to partake in non-violently breaking the blockade of Gaza. As we speak, the Rachel Corrie, an Irish ship, is on its way in an attempt to break through the Israeli blockade. Here’s hoping that the Israeli military won’t react wildly once again and do something crazy like killing innocent civilians on a peace mission.

Ireland to Israel: Let the new aid ship break the Gaza blockade

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen urged Israel to let the vessel to finish its mission. The ship was carrying 15 activists including a northern Irish Nobel Peace laureate.

“The government has formally requested the Israeli government to allow the Irish-owned ship … to be allowed to complete its journey unimpeded and discharge its humanitarian cargo in Gaza,” Cowen told parliament in Dublin.

An Israel Defense Forces officer pledged that the newest ship would also be halted, setting the stage for a fresh confrontation after Monday’s deadly clash.

“We as a unit are studying, and we will carry out professional investigations to reach conclusions,” the lieutenant said, referring to Monday’s confrontation in which his unit shot nine activists aboard a Turkish ferry.

“And we will also be ready for the Rachel Corrie,” he added

But activists said they were determined to follow through with their plan. “We are an initiative to break Israel’s blockade of 1.5 million people in Gaza. Our mission has not changed and this is not going to be the last flotilla,” Free Gaza Movement activist Greta Berlin, based in Cyprus, told Reuters.

Israeli officials were continuing to deport the activists who were aboard the six-ship flotilla. One hundred and twenty of the nearly 700 passengers were transferred Tuesday evening to the border crossing with Jordan, from where they will be returned to their home countries.

Passengers on the MV Rachel Corrie include Northern Irish Nobel peace laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire and Denis Halliday, an Irish former senior UN diplomat, and several other Irish citizens.

Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin told parliament he had spoken with Halliday on Tuesday afternoon.

“We will be watching this situation very closely — as indeed will the world — and it is imperative that Israel avoid any action which leads to further bloodshed,” Martin said.

Israel’s Army Radio reported that the ship would reach Gazan waters by Wednesday, but activist Berlin said it might not attempt to reach Gaza until early next week.

“We will probably not send her till (next) Monday or Tuesday,” she said of the 1,200 ton cargo ship. The Israeli navy stormed aboard a Turkish ferry leading a six-ship convoy on Monday, killing nine people in what authorities said was self-defense but sparking a world outcry, a crisis in diplomatic relations with Turkey and condemnation from the United Nations Security Council.

The Rachel Corrie was carrying medical equipment, wheelchairs, school supplies and cement, a material Israel has banned in Hamas-ruled Gaza, organizers said.

Mark Daly, a member of Ireland’s upper house of parliament who had been due to join the convoy but was refused permission to leave Cyprus, told Reuters in Dublin that the ship had fallen behind the rest of the convoy because it was slower.

Passengers aboard it had heard about the attacks but decided not to turn back, he said.

“After having a discussion among themselves about what to do, they decided to keep going,” Daly said.

Nearly 700 international activists were processed in and around Israel’s port of Ashdod on Monday evening, where the six ships of the blockade-running convoy had been escorted.

Among the activists were many Turks but they also included Israelis and Palestinians as well as Americans and many Europeans.

The Interior Ministry said 682 activists were ordered deported, and that 45 left on Tuesday, while others were jailed as they challenged the orders, or in hospital being treated for injuries.

 

Daniel Pipes Equates Keith Ellison to Hitler

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

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

We wrote at the time,

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Pipes

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

Daniel Pipes says Keith Ellison is a threat to Western Civilization

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

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

What would be your response to this?

Kind Regards

Aliya


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

Daniel Pipes replies:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Daniel Pipes says Keith Ellison is a threat to Western Civilization

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by loonwatch
Daniel PipesDaniel Pipes

Daniel Pipes, the academic who dropped academia long ago to pursue anti-Islam polemics and apologia for Israeli policy is at it again. In a Nov, 24, 2009 article in the Jerusalem Post, Pipes writes about his favorite topic, “the Muslim threat to Western Civilization.”

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

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

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

All of the above are of course rhetorical questions because there is an obvious wide gulf that separates the likes of a Bin Laden and a Keith Ellison. Keith Ellison, is an American whose family history in the Americas goes back centuries, longer even than Pipes’ family history. He is a liberal Democrat who believes in Democracy, the rule of law, universal suffrage and equal rights for all. That is why his district in Minnesota overwhelmingly voted for him.

The most condescending aspect to the vile piece from Pipes and what he ignores or fails to mention is that Erdogan, Ramadan and Ellison are Westerners. In fact, they represent all that is good about the West, they are consistent on their values, are educated, active and participatory citizens: one doesn’t have to agree with their beliefs or ideas to see the common values in that. They call on their fellow citizens to be active and educated and they foster understanding between different communities while also being self-critical; that is more than we can say for Daniel Pipes.

Pipes goes on to state that “lawful Islamism” is growing in the West and may be worse than “violent Islamism” which is retreating,

Other once-violent Islamist organizations in Algeria, Egypt, and Syria have recognized the potential of lawful Islamism and largely renounced violence. One also sees a parallel shift in Western countries; Ramadan and Ellison represent a burgeoning trend.

In conclusion, only Islamists, not fascists or communists, have gone well beyond crude force to win public support and develop a 2.0 version. Because this aspect of Islamism undermines traditional values and destroys freedoms, it may threaten civilized life even more than does 1.0′s brutality.(emphasis added)

Instead of bizzarely bemoaning the fact that these once violent organizations have renounced violence, Pipes should see it as most sensible people do, a positive development which brings these groups into the system and opens them up to the scrutiny of checks and balances and eventually the electorate. Also notice the highly disingenuous way in which Pipes again lumps these once violent organizations onto the same wavelength as Ramadan and Ellison who, yes, are proud Muslims (not a crime by the way) but at the same time are staunch Democrats who are the fiercest and most affective opponents of the violent ideology that motivates groups such as Al-Qaeda.

Ellison and Ramadan stand as a strong counter example against Bin Laden and his cohorts for Muslims, especially young Muslims. They see two Muslims, strongly grounded in their faith, belonging to their society and giving back on various levels from the social to the political; instead of deriding them Pipes should be encouraging them. As more examples such as theirs increase in the West it will enable Muslims to better fight those minority elements within their faith that seek to cause chaos and violence and that is what really threatens Daniel Pipes who seems to be motivated by the paranoid fear that the “enfranchisement of American Muslims…will present true dangers to American Jews.”

So what does Daniel Pipes propose? How do we stop this “stealth Islamism 2.0?” Do we restrict the free speech of Tariq Ramadan and deny him entry into the US? ( Pipes does support that) Do we disallow Muslims such as Keith Ellison from holding public office? Do we not allow Muslims to enter into the military? Do we watch Muslim peoples’ every move? What practical solutions is Pipes proposing from this highly opinionated and doomsday scenario article?

We can only assume that he is in league with other believers in these conspiracy theories who do put forward pratical solutions to the “stealth Muslim problem.” Believers like Geert Wilders whose solutions include: no religious freedom for Muslims, banning the Quran, taxing Muslim women who wear the Hijab, deporting Muslim citizens etc.

One must ask Daniel Pipes, does he agree with such a program? Some of his colleagues and friends such as Robert Spencer have already given their backing to Wilders, where does Pipes stand? Does he stand for Democracy, equal rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion or is he a hypocrite cloaking himself as a champion of Western civilization when in reality with every word he undermines it?