The Islamophobes Discover Aaron Alexis’ “Webpage Jihad”

The Islamophobes Discover Aaron Alexis’ “Webpage Jihad”

by Sheila Musaji

As I pointed out in a previous article Washington Navy Yard Tragedy Shamelessly Exploited by Islamophobes, the Islamophobia echo chamber jumped to wrong conclusions about the perpetrator before the facts were in, and before most of the victims had even been identified. 

Now we have a lot more information.  Hundreds of interviews have been conducted with friends and family, and thousands of articles have been written about the man.  All confirming that he was a Buddhist and regularly attended a Buddhist Temple, had served in the military, had mental health issues, previous run ins with the law, etc.  But one article and one passage in that article is what has focused the Islamophobia echo chamber on the “real” issue. 

An NBC News article on Aaron Alexis included this brief passage:

“Law enforcement officials told NBC News that Alexis created a webpage with the name “Mohammed Salem,” but they said he never did anything with it. They said they had found nothing else that might indicate any interest in violent jihad or even in Islam.”

That’s it, one brief passage in a long list of what we know about the perpetrator of the Navy Yard shooting.  He once created some sort of webpage which he never used, and used a Muslim name to do so.  No one knows why he chose that name, or what he planned to post on that page.  For all anyone knows, he planned to use it like Werner Reimann who has a much used webpage under the name Sheikh Yer’Mami where he posts anti-Muslim propaganda.  That is at least in the realm of possibility since many news reports have noted that Aaron Alexis told his friends that he had been in New York when the 9/11 tragedy happened and was distressed by that event.  We have no facts, and any thoughts on the why of this webpage are only speculation.

Not having facts never stands in the way of the Islamophobia echo chamber. 

Robert Spencer wrote Navy Yard murderer Aaron Alexis created webpage with name “Mohammed Salem” saying: “There has been no other published indication that Aaron Alexis was a Muslim or had any interest in Islam. It may be, however, that in his delusional madness, he began to identify with the jihadists who have committed mass murder in the name of their bloodthirsty god.”

Libertarian Republican wrote Confirmed! Aaron “Mohammed Salem” Alexis saying:  ”...  We now learn, 5 days after the attacks, that Aaron Alexis at one time, at the least, actively flirted with Islam.  ...  Building a web page is no small task.  Most times it takes hours, sometimes it can take days, and even weeks.”

Pamela Geller wrote Navy Yard murderer Aaron Alexis created webpage with name “Mohammed Salem” in which she says:

Law enforcement officials told NBC News that Alexis created a webpage with the name “Mohammed Salem,. This is the first I am hearing of this and have seen no media mention of it (although the fact that he had been a Buddhist has been headlined and recounted numerous times, despite the fact is that there is no compulsion to violence, oppression and ethnic cleansing in the teachings of Buddhism.)

It is striking that he would create a page “Mohammed Saelm [sic].” Perhaps as he became more violent he identified with the homicidal doctrine of jihad. I do not expect the jihad-aligned media to look into this aspect of the case.

Clearly, Muslim Brotherhood groups were concerned it was jihad. Hamas-CAIR canceled a press conference on Tuesday that was going to expose the funding of the “islamophobia” industry. What funding? I mean, really.  And devout Muslims cheered and suggested responsibility for Navy Yard shooting that killed 13. And many jihadists “expressed their joy” that the Nazy shooting was a response to Muslim leader Ayman al-Zawahiri ‘s strikes in America.

Actually, CAIR rescheduled a press conference planned for Tuesday the 17th because they, like other Americans were mourning the Navy Yard shooting that happened the day before. The day after such a national tragedy would not have been an appropriate time for a press conference.  What funding of the Islamophobia industry was CAIR going to release?  CAIR has now released the report exposing that funding of at least $119 Million between 2008 to 2011.  It is titled “Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States” and can be read here in PDF format

Using a name doesn’t prove that Aaron Alexis “actively flirted with Islam” unless the same can be said for Sheikh Yer’Mami and many others.  In fact, Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs was listed as a team member on a webpage called “Muslims Against Sharia”, and somehow I doubt that that means she is really a Muslim.  You would have to be even less tech savvy than me to think creating a basic webpage is a major accomplishment.  Almost anyone who can follow simple directions can put up a basic Wordpress or other webpage in a very short time. 

The people who were reported as cheering the Navy Yard shooting tragedy were NOT “devout Muslims”, but al-Qaeda criminals.  Some of them also falsely claimed responsibility for this action.  That’s pretty much what is to be expected from criminals.  Such a criminal action could never be a jihad, no matter what criminals claim.

It is important to remember that these are the same Islamophobes who thought the fact that Seung-Hui Cho the Virginia Tech shooter’s father had worked in Saudi Arabia before he was born, and that Cho had written the words “Ismail Axe”  were meaningful facts.  These are the same people who thought the fact that Joel Henry Hinrichs, the University of Oklahoma bomber walked through the parking lot of a mosque was a meaningful fact. These are the same people who tried to connect Tyler Brehm, the Hollywood shooter to Islam.  In fact, they consistently try to find any tenuous connection to Islam in any criminal act.  If they can’t find anything, they simply make something up, and if their lies are exposed they attempt to conceal the evidence

The resources below are a useful place to begin understanding why these individuals can’t be trusted.



The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films.  They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally.   They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”

Sadly, the Islamophobic echo chamber has been aided by some in the Jewish and Christian clergy, and even by some of our elected representatives, particularly in the GOP.

These individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses, and distorting the meaning of Islamic terms such as taqiyya, jihad, sharia, Abrogation (Naskh) in the Qur’an, etc.  Hundreds of examples with responses here

Islamophobes falsely claim to see “JIHAD” PLOTS everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist.   They, like Muslim extremists, don’t understand the true meaning of the term jihad.  The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking”, non-existent Muslim jihad plots.  You can find detailed information about and responses to these false claims here

Islamophobes generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.    Islamophobes consistently push demonstrably false memes such as:  - we are in danger from creeping Sharia,  -  most or all terrorists are Muslims  - the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, - 80% of American Mosques are radicalized,  -  There have been 270 million victims of “jihad”  -  There have been 17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks since 9/11   - Muslims in government are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be MARGINALIZED or excluded.  Muslim and Arab organizations and individuals are connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or the unindicted co-conspirator label, or accused of not condemning Hamas, Hamas linked, or are Jew haters.  When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims or omitting key facts,  they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence often by “disappearing” articles. 

Islamophobes do not understand freedom of speech or that freedom of speech does not include freedom from condemnation of that speech and they are quick to call for censorship and repression of speech they don’t like.

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences

You would never know from listening to any of the members of the Islamophobia Industry that Muslims have defended  freedom of speech, participated in interfaith dialogue, defended freedom of faith against apostasy laws,  condemned blasphemy laws, condemned holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, promoted non-violent solutions to the many problems we face, called for protecting all houses of worship and condemned any attacks on churches or synagogues anywhere, condemned violent responses to numerous incidents including the response to the Innocence of Muslims film, spoken out against child marriage, are working to stop domestic violence in our community, have many active programs and efforts in the community to counter radicalization and extremism and to work to protect minority rights in Muslim majority countries etc.  Type condemn into the TAM search engine and 145 statements of condemnation come up in addition to the collections in our lengthy section Muslim voices against extremism terrorism and violence  Muslims speak out loudly and clearly condemning our own extremists, and their extremist statements and actions.  Type “lunatic fringe” into the TAM search engine for many such articles condemning particular extremists and extremist groups and activities.

You would never know that Muslims are decent, hardworking, productive citizens, making a positive contribution to this society.  Muslims haven’t just spoken out against abuses carried out anywhere in the world that dishonor Islam, but also worked doing positive things.   See our TAM collection of good news stories about Muslims 2012 for many examples.

The claim that the Islamophobes are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence”, or that nothing that they say could have had anything to do with any act of violence are nonsense.  The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,  or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense

The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle. , and that the SPLC calls Pamela Geller “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead. She’s relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam. There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.   There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.   There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. 

  There is a reason that Spencer and Geller were both recently banned from entering Great Britain to participate in an EDL event, and that their own words and actionsproved the charges against them. 

Click on the logo “Muslims denounce extremism and terrorism” on the front page of TAM for an extensive resource listing not only Muslim responses to extremism.  See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes & Islamophobia for information about the Islamophobia industry as well as a detailed listing of false claims and responses to those false claims. See the TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry for links to resources about particular individuals and organizations.  See the TAM collection of Existing Reports, Polls, and Studies on Islam, Muslims & Radicalization.  This collection includes many reports relating specifically to the Islamophobia Industry.