Archive for Washington Post

Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin Promotes Call for Palestinian Genocide

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2011 by loonwatch

Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin promotes call for Palestinian genocide

by Max Blumenthal (Al-Akhbar English)

In a blog post cheering the release of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, neoconservative activist Rachel Decter Abrams descended into a twisted call for genocide, calling for Israel to throw released Palestinian prisoners whom she described as “child sacrificing savages” and “unmanned animals” — along with “their offspring” — “into the sea, to float there, food for sharks.”

Abrams is the half-sister of Commentary editor John Podhoretz, the wife of Iran-Contra felon and former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, and the daughter of Midge Decter and step daughter of neocon founding father Norman Podhoretz. She is also a board member of the right-wing Emergency Committee for Israel, which recently produced baseless ads claiming the Occupy Wall Street movement is anti-Semitic.

The Washington Post’s neoconservative “Right Turn” blogger Jennifer Rubin is one of Abrams’ closest allies in the media. As soon as Abrams tweeted out a link to her exterminationist blog post, Rubin — whose Twitter account is “JRubinBlogger” — retweeted it to her followers, clearly approving of its content. Indeed, Rubin is not known for retweeting material she does not endorse. Hours later, Rubin deleted the tweet from her account, hoping that no one would notice it — and tacitly admitting she had crossed a bright red line.

Unfortunately for Rubin, I grabbed a screenshot of her tweet promoting Abrams’ call for mass murder. Here it is:

In July 2010, the veteran CNN correspondent Octavia Nasr was fired for writing on Twitter that she was “sad” to hear of the death of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a figure instrumental in the foundation of Hezbollah whom she said she “respect[ed] a lot.” Despite apologizing and explaining that she merely admired Fadlallah’s strong stance against honor killings and support for women’s rights, CNN heeded calls from pro-Israel groups for her termination.

An Ottawa-based diplomat from the Palestinian Authority, Linda Sobeh Ali, was reassigned by the Canadian government last week after she retweeted a link to a Youtube video that included a call for a war “against the soul of Zionism.” Pro-Israel groups in Canada were responsible for bringing the retweet to the government’s attention, and for pressuring it to act.

In the case of Nasr, CNN took full responsibility for what she wrote and promoted on her personal Twitter account. The news organization saw her tweet as a reflection on its reputation and credibility, and took action. The Washington Post has done nothing, however, about Rubin’s approving promotion of her friend’s call for genocide.

Does the Washington Post have a policy on the promotion of mass murder by its staffers? It is up to Post Ombudsman Patrick Pexton to explain if Rubin’s act was permissible according to his paper’s ethical guidelines, and if so, why.

Pexton can be reached at 202.334.7582 or ombudsman@washpost.com

Anya Cordell: Hate Speech Against Muslims Incites Violence

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on October 4, 2011 by loonwatch

Hate speech against Muslims incites violence

By Anya Cordell (WashingtonPost)

Hatred is a current ‘cool’ fad—but a terribly dangerous one.

Four days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, three innocent men, (Sikh, Muslim and Egyptian Christian) were murdered. The killer of the Sikh victim vowed to “kill the ragheads,” shooting the first person he saw wearing a turban.

A Hindu man was murdered October 4, 2001, and we just marked the 10th anniversary of the day an extraordinary young Muslim, Rais Bhuiyan, was blinded in one eye and left for dead.

Even now, most articles mentioning Muslims continue to elicit strings of comments, many of which genocidally proclaim, “Kill them all.” The anti-Muslim cloud permeates our atmosphere; coloring perceptions, inciting bullying, assaults and policies.

Bhuiyan worked arduously, though unsuccessfully, to prevent the execution of his would-be killer, Mark Stroman, a swaggering self-avowed “red-neck patriot.” At his trial, Stroman raised his middle finger at the two grieving widows, whose husbands he had slain.

But Bhuiyan’s compassion, transformed the murderer. “At that time here in America everybody was saying ‘let’s get them’—we didn’t know who to get, we were just stereotyping,” Stroman told a reporter. “I stereotyped all Muslims as terrorists and that was wrong.” Moments before being executed, Stroman said. “Hate is going on in this world, and it has to stop. Hate causes a lifetime of pain.”

I wish Stroman were alive to preach his epiphany to those who are writing, yelling, garnering votes and cashing in on the ongoing smear campaign against all Muslims. Like Stroman, their commentary targets without care for the true nature of those they would harm, or inspire others to harm. Their victims are considered guilty by virtue of being born Muslim.

Last month, I was the only Jewish speaker at a predominantly Muslim conference (United for Change). Every speaker condemned 9/11 and all attacks on innocents. Each acknowledged atrocities by some who have falsely usurped Islam and distanced themselves from those criminals. This is something that Christians and Jews do not seem to need to do when members of their faith commit crimes.

At the closing, we read the Charter for Compassion . The other woman on the podium was wearing a headscarf. Some clerics were wearing long robes and the dome-shaped turbans routinely caricatured in anti-Muslim cartoons. The image was made for Islamophobes, who rail against all things Muslim.

Yet the woman looked like Mother Theresa or Mary, and the clerics were dressed no more strangely than the Pope.

A young woman at the conference told me that if one were devout, it would seem as if there was an air-conditioner under one’s scarf on hot days. I think the same magic device must be under Sikhs’ turbans, the anachronistic black coats and fur-trimmed hats of orthodox Jewish men and orthodox Jewish women’s wigs and the Pope’s mitre. Maybe the Dalai Lama has a magic heater under his saffron cotton for cold climates, and clothing challenges, including looking “different,” are something around which this unlikely group could form an alliance.

We have to be allies for one another. I received the Spirit of Anne Frank Award; for my programs and work as an ally, post 9/11–my story is at “Where the Anti-Muslim Path Leads” and (My) Life, Etc. (Post 9/11). I credit the non-Jewish friends who hid and supported Anne’s family for inspiring me to espouse the necessity of crossing gulfs on behalf of people of other religions, ethnicities, etc. I know Rais and the families of the hate-crime victims would be my ally if the tables were turned.

If those who are invested in smearing Muslims took a break from yelling and judiciously listened, I believe they would no longer be knee-jerk anti-Muslim. Islamophobes, however, deny Islamophobia while they foment it. And they seem untroubled by violence, unless it is perpetrated by Muslims.

Those whom the perpetrator of the Norway massacre credited for inspiring his vicious attacks dismissed any influence, casting aspersions instead on the victims, smearing them as Muslims and “multi-culturalists”. (A site that tracks anti-Muslim attacks, daily, is www.IslamophobiaToday.com ).

As with Holocaust deniers, evidence does not deter those who smear all Muslims. But just because many people scream something does not make it true. Similar smear campaigns by intellectuals, social and political leaders targeted Native Americans, African Americans, Jews and Japanese Americans. These cases wrought untold destruction, until they were revealed as false and horrifying in the extreme. In the wake of racism, murder and genocide, profound lessons have often been realized, but too late to reverse the irreversible.

Though I continue to hold hope, logic seems lost to Islamophobes. Since Muslims are roughly 1/5 of the world’s population, they would be wrecking massive havoc, worldwide, if their nefarious goal was domination and destruction of all non-Muslims. It clearly isn’t.

At the conference, I heard absolutely no evidence of hatred directed at anyone. Yet, Muslims are chronically impugned as haters, and, therefore, worthy of hate, according to Islamophobes.

The Charter for Compassion reminds us what makes the most sense in this crazy world: That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. I cannot top the Golden Rule, but I would also ask this question:

If hate is the problem–as it was on 9/11–how can hate be the solution?

Anya Cordell is recipient of the Spirit of Anne Frank Award, for her work against the designation of any group as “Other.” She is the author of RACE: An OPEN & SHUT Case, and presents programs against “appearance-ism” (appearance-based judging of ourselves and others), xenophobia, stereotyping, teasing, bullying, racism and all forms of bias. Following 9/11 Anya reached out to strangers and founded The Campaign for Collateral Compassion to raise awareness of the backlash against Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and others. See http://www.Appearance-ism.com

In response to Norway attacks, right-wing bloggers suddenly demand nuance

Posted in Loon Sites, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by loonwatch
Anders BreivikAnders Breivik

In response to Norway attacks, right-wing bloggers suddenly demand nuance

American anti-Islam bloggers aren’t to blame for the Norway Massacre. But their response to the attacks is nonetheless revealing, in that they are now demanding the kind of nuanced analysis of the Norway shootings that they’ve always failed to offer when implicating jihadism or all Muslims for terror attacks.

As the news of terrorist attacks in Oslo broke on Friday, the conservative media were quick to place the blame on al Qaeda even though the details weren’t fully known. Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin wrote that the attacks were “a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists.”

At first, it wasn’t unreasonable to reach that conclusion. Given the way the attacks unfolded — multiple targets being hit within a short time period — it was reasonable to assume that Islamic extremists were responsible, rather than anti-Muslim extremist Anders Behring Breivik.

When the truth became known, Rubin, like many others on the right, tried to downplay the right-wing anti-Muslim ideology driving the alleged shooter. She was suddenly far more generic in how she describedBreivik’s motive, referring to it as “undiluted evil.”

What’s notable about the response by conservatives to the attack is that their primary worry was that the anti-Islam cause might be tarnished. Bruce Bawer, writing in the Wall Street Journal, was beside himself that “this murderous madman has become the poster boy for the criticism of Islam.” He then casts Breivik’s concerns, if not his actions, as defensible, describing “the way he moves from a legitimate concern about genuine problems to an unspeakably evil `solution.’”

It would be hard to imagine a conservative showing such empathy for Hamas, concluding that while terrorism is evil, they are nevertheless acting out of legitimate concerns about Palestinian suffering. What’s pathetic is not so much their reasoning, but the knowledge that their arguments would be the same in substance, if more enthusiastic, had Muslim extremists been responsible.

The most telling reaction was from the anti-Muslim bloggers Breivik cited by name in his manifesto.

Pamela Geller, who along with Professional Islamophobe Robert Spencer has been active in opposing the construction of mosques in the U.S., wrote: “This is just a sinister attempt to tar all anti-jihadists with responsibility for this man’s heinous actions.” Spencer, for his part,wrote: “as if killing a lot of children aids the defense against the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, or has anything remotely to do with anything we have ever advocated.”

Most of Geller and Spencer’s blogging consists of attempts to tar all Muslims with the responsibility for terrorism. At CPAC last year, Geller and Spencer drew a large crowd for their documentary referring to the proposed community center near Ground Zero as “the second wave of the 9/11 attacks.” Yet they’re now pleading for the world not to do what they’ve spent their careers doing — assigning collective blame for an act of terror through guilt-by-association. What’s clear is that they understand that the principle of collective responsibility is a monstrous wrong in the abstract, or at least when it’s applied to them. They are now begging for the kind of tolerance and understanding they cheerfully refuse to grant to American Muslims.

These bloggers are not directly responsible for the actions of Anders Behring Breivik. But make no mistake: Their school of analysis, which puts the blame on all Muslims for acts of terrorism perpetrated by Islamic extremists, has been fully discredited — by their own reaction to the Oslo attacks. While it’s obvious that few if any of them will take this lesson to heart, the rest of us should — terrorist acts are committed by individuals, and it is those individuals who should be held responsible.

Jordan Sekulow: WaPo Blogger “Proud” to Have Shared Stage with Geert Wilders

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

An interesting blogpost by Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches.

WaPo Blogger Jordan Sekulow is proud to stand with Geert Wilders, if Washington Post has any self-respect they will fire him.

Washington Post Blogger “Proud” To Have Shared Stage With Geert Wilders

by Sarah Posner (Religion Dispatches)

After Matt Duss called out new Washington Post blogger Jordan Sekulow at Think Progress and on Twitter for saying at a demonstration against the Park51 project, “Imam Rauf, America rejects you,” Sekulow responded by tweeting: “Enjoyed that speech!”

And in response to Duss pointing out that Sekulow shared the stage with far-right nationalist, anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders, Sekulow tweeted, “proud to.”

In one of the State Department cables released by WikiLeaks, a U.S. embassy official in the Netherlands summed up Wilders for President Obama as “no friend of the U.S.”:

The Wilders Factor: Golden-pompadoured, maverick parliamentarian Geert Wilders, anti-Islam, nationalist Freedom Party remains a thorn in the coalition’s side, capitalizing on the social stresses resulting from the failure to fully integrate almost a million Dutch Muslims, mostly of Moroccan or Turkish descent. In existence only since 2006, the Freedom Party, tightly controlled by Wilders, has grown to be the Netherlands second largest, and fastest growing, party. Recent polls suggest it could even replace Balkenende,s Christian Democrats as the top party in 2011 parliamentary elections. Wilders is no friend of the U.S.: he opposes Dutch military involvement in Afghanistan; he believes development assistance is money wasted; he opposes NATO missions outside “allied” territory; he is against most EU initiatives; and, most troubling, he forments fear and hatred of immigrants.

Let’s sum up: the Post’s On Faith, which has a stated mission to promote “intelligent, informed, eclectic, respectful conversation,” has hired a blogger who describes himself as a “human rights attorney” yet is proud to share a stage with someone who “calls Islam ‘the ideology of a retarded culture’ and likens the Quran to ‘Mein Kampf.’”

 

Keith Ellison: Should We Fear Islam?

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by loonwatch

Keith Ellison discusses the interesting if seriously flawed show that Christiane Amanpour held this past week. He rips into the format and discusses what would happen if we replaced Islam with Black or Jewish and proceeds to call for a heightened more intelligent discourse.

Should we fear Islam? (Washington Post)

by Congressman Keith Ellison

At a time when our nation is seeing a rise in intolerant behavior, crossing every cultural line, whether based on race, religion or sexual orientation, we seem simultaneously stuck with a national news media that is preoccupied with conflict and controversy when we desperately need one that weighs facts and reports fairly. A recent national news program reinforced these concerns. Let me explain what I mean.

Imagine a respected TV show or news magazine article with the title, “Should Americans Fear Black People?”

Imagine staccato hip-hop music for the teaser, with clips of black gang members toting guns, hanging around urban scenes, looking scary. Imagine the zoom-in close up of a shoulder tattoo, proclaiming “Thug for Life.”

As the host (some household name) opens the show, imagine that the white expert opining about the root causes of urban decay is a nationally recognized racist, like for instance, David Duke. With a straight face, and no sense of irony, the host solicits Duke’s views, who proceeds to declare, “when the American people saw the LA riots, they received a peek into their future.”

Imagine the television cameras going in search of voices of ‘real’ black people. Where do they go? The ‘hood of course! I mean, where else do black people live?

The intrepid host invites regular Americans to ask the experts to explain black pathology: “Why is their rap music so degrading to women?” Cynthia from Wyoming wonders. “Why are so many blacks at the bottom of the economic and educational ladder?” Chuck from New York State muses.

Is this starting to get a little uncomfortable? Of course, it is. Just ask Don Imus about the wisdom of indulging in racial stereotyping against blacks. Add Jews, Catholics, gays and others as well. Not a good idea.

Now replace black with Muslim, and that’s just about how ABC News treated Islam and Muslims this past weekend, on 20/20 and This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

There were the obligatory clips of terrorist training camps, the planes flying into the twin towers, the victims of so-called ‘honor killings.’ The Muslim experts – looking officially ‘Islamic’ in their long beards and hats – included one declaring that one day the flag of Islam would fly over the White House. The non-Muslim experts – Robert Spencer(leading anti-Muslim advocate in the Park51 Project controversy), Ayaan Hirsi Ali (prolific anti-Muslim writer), and Franklin Graham (said Islam “is a very evil and wicked religion”) – are well known, even famous, for spewing anti-Muslim hate. Of course, these characters emphatically agreed with the caricatures with long beards and white hats, repeating the propaganda that Islam requires its adherents to dominate people. Among the ‘normal’ Muslims interviewed were a woman in niqab (fewer than 1% of Muslim women in America wear the full face veil and accompanying robes), and Muslims in the Muslim ‘hood’, cities, like Dearborn, MI, and Patterson, NJ.

Do some Americans fear black people? For sure. But we don’t validate those fears by allowing them to be expressed with fake innocence on respected news shows. Why are fears of Muslims validated by television airings?

Are there criminals in America who are African-American? Yes, again. But they’re not presented as representative figures of the community by reputable news programs. Why do such shows go out of their way to find the scariest, most cartoonish Muslims possible and present them as spokespeople for Muslims?

No serious journalist would ask a random black guy with a briefcase on the street to explain the pathology of an African American criminal because of the coincidence of shared skin color. But serious journalists called on ordinary Muslim Americans to explain the behavior of homicidal maniacs and extremists, thereby making the link between the crazies and the mainstream community.

Are there people willing to offer all sorts of racist theories about black crime, from problems in black genes to deficiencies in black culture? Plenty. But the only time they show up on mainstream news shows are as examples of racism, not as experts on race.

We are having a national conversation about belonging. The threatened Qur’an burning in Florida and the controversy over the proposed Islamic Center in lower Manhattan are examples of this national conversation about whether America can stretch her arms wide enough to embrace Muslims too. Irresponsible and sensational depictions of Muslims in the popular media are not the cause of Islamophobia, but they certainly can make it worse. Recent news shows and media reports do nothing to shed light or understanding on this national conversation, which is too bad.

But the conversation must continue. And I hope it continues in our mosques, churches, synagogues and other holy places, with Americans of all faiths talking face to face about differences and about our shared humanity – free of the stereotypes that, lately, are so prominent in our TV shows and magazines.

 

Eugene Robinson: Sharia as the new red menace?

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

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

Sharia as the new red menace?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

eugenerobinson@washpost.com

 

Dejected Robert Spencer Crows over being Exposed in Chicago Tribune

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Sites with tags , , , , on August 21, 2010 by loonwatch

Spencer with fellow anti-Muslim writer Bostom during happier days.  (Bostom too has accused Spencer of fake scholarship since).

Robert Spencer is indeed a strange breed. He has curiously thin skin for someone who is a career bigot and hatemonger. He freely throws punches (that mostly miss) but cries to the heavens when any are thrown back (maybe because they usually land).

I mean if you are going to put yourself out there as a bigot, you may not want to cry yourself to sleep every time someone calls you out as one.

Grow some gonads.

Robert Spencer, “the acclaimed scholar”, makes a living painting Muslims as murderers, terrorists, misogynists, liars, hypocrites, thugs, and bloodthirsty savages.

But then when the Washington Post’s Michelle Boorstein correctly characterized him as anti-Muslim, he throws a hissy fit, arguing that she “smeared” and “maligned” poor little Spencer, and even put his life in danger.

You could not make this stuff up. The man is plain bonkers. (Spencer’s tearjerker of a schoolboy letter to Boorstein is a riot to read and is a must see for every Silly-Spencer lover.)

Now, his feelings are hurt again.

This time the ego-bruised Mr. Spencer goes after the Chicago Tribune’s Manya Brachear, one of the few objective religion reporters left in the newsroom business. Spencer is reeling from Tribune religion blog contributor Ahmed Rehab outing him as:

“a long-time anti-Muslim goon from the annals of the hate blogosphere.”

Sounds like an apt characterization of Spencer alright.

Browsing Spencerwatch.com you will find plenty of evidence that corroborate this description of Robert Spencer.

Browse Spencer’s very own Jihadwatch.com and you will find it bursting with a thousand more examples of Spencer’s anti-Muslim loonieness, personal megalomania, and general creepiness.

And yet Spencer apparently is soft in the center and needs to shed a tear for his hurt feelings when people call him “mean things.”

But here’s the best part:

Spencer has the wool pulled so deeply over his eyes that he utters the name of “David Duke” to describe someone who criticizes him, apparently while completely oblivious to the irony of the analogy: Spencer’s rabid Islamophobia being an identical counterpart to David Duke’s brand of anti-Semitism.

Perhaps the “scholar” Mr. Spencer, can heal the pain inflicted upon him by truth tellers Ms. Brachear and Mr. Rehab by singing himself a soft lullaby filled with his heartwarming bigoted and hateful rants against Muslims.

Here’s the Tribune article, enjoy (hat tip: Jihadwatch.com):

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/religion_theseeker/2010/08/untold-story-behind-the-mosque-at-ground-zero.htm