AFDI/SION bigoted, anti-Muslim 18-point platform - update 11/2/13

AFDI/SION bigoted, anti-Muslim 18-point platform

by Sheila Musaji


Pamela Geller has just made an announcement American Freedom Defense Initiative Announces Platform for Defending Freedom.  Here is some of the drivel she is spewing:

...  The Platform for Defending Freedom is the fruit of the International Freedom Defense Congress of the international group Stop Islamization of Nations (SION), which was held in New York City at the UN Millennium Plaza Hotel on September 11, 2012, and is rendered urgent in the wake of the Boston Marathon jihad bombings.

AFDI Executive Director Pamela Geller said in a statement: “After deliberation and consultation with our international SION President’s Council and our colleagues, we have developed these eighteen points to help freedom fighters focus on solution to the threat at hand. At the International Freedom Defense Congress, which was held across the street from the United Nations in New York City, representatives of European nations, as well as India, Israel, Malaysia, and Egypt’s Coptic community were present. World-renowned authorities in legal strategy and political action addressed the attendees.”

...  AFDI calls for the U.S. and other non-Muslim governments to recognize officially that Islam is a political movement and so not solely religious in the strict sense of the U.S. Constitution. AFDI recognizes that Islam in it mainstream theological formulations and its dominant form throughout its history, not “extremist Islam” or “hijacked Islam” or “Islamism,” but Islam in the Qur’an and Sunnah as understood by Islamic jurists and theologians, can and should be regarded as an authoritarian and supremacist political system as well as a religion, and thus that Muslim groups should be subject to all the scrutiny and legal requirements of political organizations, without being able to shield their political activities behind the protection of religious freedom. ...

Blah, blah, blah, full 18 points - which include:  “AFDI calls for profiling of Muslims ... AFDI calls for immediate investigation into foreign mosque funding in the West and for new legislation making foreign funding of mosques in non-Muslim nations illegal ...  AFDI calls for surveillance of mosques and regular inspections of mosques in the U.S. and other non-Muslim nations ...  AFDI calls for curriculum and Islam-related materials in textbooks and museums to describe the Islamic doctrine and history accurately, including its violent doctrines and 1,400-year war against unbelievers ...  AFDI calls for a halt of foreign aid to Islamic nations with Sharia-based constitutions and/or governments ...  AFDI calls for an immediate halt of immigration by Muslims into nations that do not currently have a Muslim majority population ...” 

Any American who doesn’t understand that what AFDI is calling for in their first point (which I have highlighted in bold) is for Muslims to be excluded from the religious freedom protection of the U.S. Constitution.  Geller, Spencer, and their cohorts join a group that just doesn’t understand how important it is to defend the Constitution of the U.S. from such assaults.

Mixed in with all of this bigoted claptrap are some items that everyone could agree on, but overall it is simply another of Spencer & Geller’s anti-Muslim propaganda efforts.

These folks at the AFDI hate group just can’t stop demanding that all Muslims “prove” something to bigots.  Not surprising when their “international SION President’s Council” who came up with this latest nonsense consists of individuals like these.  And, that AFDI/SIOA/SIOE/SION/EDL/BF Global Alliance Event held at the UN Millennium Plaza Hotel on 9/11/2012 (where they came up with this nonsense) was nothing to be proud of

As with many other past stunts meant to influence their base, this 18-point platform is a red herring.  Just a few previous examples of this game of pretending that they are stepping in to right wrongs not being addressed by American Arabs or Muslims are: — The Former Muslims United Freedom Pledge Against Punishment for Apostasy issued a full two years after American Muslims had initiated a statement Apostasy and Freedom of Faith in Islam initially signed by 100 Islamic scholars and activists.  When Muslims refused to sign their pledge, they were outraged. — Their Jessica Mokkdad Human Rights Conference which was just another anti-Muslim/anti-Arab hatefest. 

Shameful behavior by people without any shame.

Originally published on 4/24/13


UPDATE 11/2/2013

Imagine 2050 has just published Pamela Geller Calls on “Moderate Muslims” to Prove It & Endorse Islamophobic 18-Point Platform.  They report that:

In a column last week, anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller focused on how Muslim communities and organizations respond to acts of extremism. Geller, as she so often does, begins her piece depicting extremist acts as being reflective of Islam and its adherents as a whole. “There is a problem in Islam,” the column reads, “[s]o what is the response of the Muslim community?” According to Geller the only appropriate response by Muslims would be to endorse all points found in the extremist platform her organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), drafted earlier this year. Among other points, AFDI’s platform calls for “an immediate halt of immigration by Muslims into nations that do not currently have a Muslim majority population.”

“AFDI has issued an 18-point platform for defeating jihad in America. If Muslim groups in the U.S. were genuinely ‘moderate,’ they’d endorse every point,” Geller concludes in her October 23 column. By claiming that Muslims cannot be moderate unless they support the virtual moratorium on Muslim immigration, Geller creates an absurd, wholly unrealistic standard and expectation for what can be and who is “moderate.” Subsequently, she can further demonize any “extremist” that does not meet such a standard – allowing her to further perpetuate bigotry and fear among communities under the guise of opposing extremism.

Attempts by those in the organized Islamophobia movement to depict “moderate Muslims” as a myth or fantasy is nothing new. This spring, when notable anti-Muslim activist Daniel Pipes wrote an op-ed discussing the distinction between Islam (moderate Muslims) and “Islamism” (extremists), he was chastised and depicted as delusional. Geller quickly took to her Atlas Shrugs blog to respond, saying everyone would “like to believe in unicorns and moonbeams but this fantasy is dangerous [sic] and Pipes has wasted too much time and money on a fallacy.” Many of Pipes’ other peers in the world of anti-Muslim activism took similar umbrage with his writing.

Geller also came to the defense of former English Defence League co-leader Kevin “Kev” Carroll earlier this year when he labeled all Muslims as “backward savages, a devil-spawned death-cult worshipping [sic] all that is barbaric and unholy. Pure evil.”

Other anti-Muslim activists such as ACT! for America’s Brigitte Gabriel opt to use deceptive rhetoric to conflate the terms “practicing Muslim” and “radical Muslim” to purportedly mean the same thing.

Such statements and standards for what does and does not constitute a “moderate” additionally ignore the persistent condemnations of extremism that so many Muslim groups and communities express. Rather than uphold and support these actions, Geller and others dismiss them as “denial and obfuscation.” The disingenuous efforts of those involved in the organized Islamophobia movement to obfuscate and downplay the presence of moderate Muslims are done to frame Muslims as a threat and alienate those in our communities they wish weren’t present. The nativist intentions of these efforts are clear-as-day. We as a society must expose this, continue to defend those that are targeted, and refuse to define extremism on extremists’ terms.


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RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA SUMMARY

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.”

Currently, the Islamophobia Industry is engaged in a full-scale, coordinated,  demonization campaign against American Muslims and Arabs. In just the past few months we have seen a series of inflammatory provocations:    There was the Innocence of Muslims film Titanic, a German satire magazine plans an “Islam” cover article to be published later this month.   Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine published an issue with inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.   Newsweek published their ‘Muslim Rage’ cover.  Terry Jones held a “trial of Prophet Muhammad”.  SION held a “global” gathering in NYC to plan propaganda strategy.  A group in Toronto publicized a “walk your dog at the mosque” day.   AFDI/SIOA has run a series of anti-Muslim ads on public transportation across the country.   AFDI/SIOA are planning to run 8 more anti-Muslim ads.  There are three more films on Prophet Muhammad in the works by Ali Sina, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Imran Farasat.   They are even bringing their hate messages into public schools.

Daniel Pipes is encouraging publication of “A Muhammad cartoon a day”, and says “So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: Display the Muhammad cartoon daily, until the Islamists become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”.  Pipes joins Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) who published an appeal on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’?.  And, both are following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Pamela Geller, who promoted just such a plan back in 2010 with her promotion of Draw Muhammad Day, even after the cartoonist who drew the first cartoon and suggested the idea, Molly Norris apologized to Muslims and asked for the day to be called off, and American Muslims had issued a defense of free speech.    None of this is surprising as one of the Islamophobes laid out their strategy as “The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the questionable (though unquestioned) character of the ‘Prophet’ himself. We need to satirise and ridicule baby-bonking Mo until the Muslims fly into uncontrollable tantrums, then ridicule them even more for their tantrums, and repeat the process until they froth at the mouth and steam comes out of their ears.”

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences.   The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

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.

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

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, etc.).  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.

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, - 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, telling American Muslims not to talk to the FBI, of being “Jew haters”, etc.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence. 

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 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.  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. 

See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes for many more reasons that these people cannot be trusted.

Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989.  Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.    Biography  You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji ( https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )


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