Islamophobes Spencer & Geller are confused about who are the “brownshirts” - updated 7/9/13

Islamophobes Spencer & Geller are confused about who are the “brownshirts”

by Sheila Musaji

Robert Spencer has been invited to speak at a Northern California Catholic home school conference, and is listed as a confirmed speaker on their Facebook page.

Nathan Lean heard about this and wrote a letter to the school saying:

It has come to my attention that Mr. Robert Spencer, a prominent anti-Muslim blogger and activist, will appear at the Northern California Catholic Family Home School Conference in Sacramento, California on July 26/27, 2013. Spencer is listed on the website and Facebook page as a confirmed speaker.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League list Spencer as a “hate group leader.” The U.S. Government has rejected the trademark application for his group, Stop the Islamization of America, on the grounds that it disparages Muslims. Spencer regularly appears in public with members of the neo-Nazi street gang, the English Defence League, a group whose leaders have been arrested for assault, passport fraud, and other infractions. More alarmingly, Spencer was cited by the Norway terrorist Anders Breivik 162 in his manifesto; Breivik noted that Spencer inspired his views on Islam, which led him to slaughter 77 youth in the summer of 2010.

Why Kolbe Academy would knowingly host a man with these associations is unclear.

I have alerted several major civil rights organizations and watch groups about this and they have informed me that they are investigating the invitation and will respond. I have also contacted major national interfaith organizations. Additionally, I have spoken with news media outlets, both in the state of California and nationally, who regularly cover religion, politics, and civil rights issues. They were unaware of this speaking engagement and many are interested in pursuing stories about it.

While the work that Kolbe Academy does may impact young learners in a positive way, the invitation of a designated hate group leader to appear as part of a distinguished group of speakers is unacceptable.

Please contact me for further details or questions. The following five weeks will be devoted to shining a bright light on this important issue.

Robert Spencer is furious about this and writes Aslan Media chief Nathan Lean threatens California Catholic school to drop Robert Spencer from conference—or else.

In his article, Spencer stoops to what he constantly decries in others - ad hominem attacks and calls Nathan Lean “thuggish”, “creepy”, a “jihad enabler”, a “stalker”, a “goon”, etc.  He accuses Lean of lying about Spencer’s record, engaging in defamation, making libelous claims, and says this letter is a “threat” and “Consistent with the ongoing Leftist/Islamic supremacist war against the freedom of speech, and desperate fear that anyone will hear the truth about Islam and jihad.”  Spencer also refers to Nathan Lean as “aka Garibaldi” referring to Spencer’s unsupported claim that Lean is actually Garibaldi of Loonwatch. 

Spencer’s attempt to make this a free speech issue is laughable.  Robert Spencer and his partner in hate, Pamela Geller 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.

Spencer counters the fact that the SPLC & ADL have classified him as a hate group leader by questioning the SPLC’s authority, and saying nothing about the ADL.  He says that SIOA is appealing the rejection of their trademark application.  None of this counters the facts that Lean has stated.  Is Robert Spencer, as Lean claims “a prominent anti-Muslim blogger”?  Although Spencer claims that he is not anti-Muslim, his record says otherwise.  See Spencer and Geller’s “Defense”: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing and Islamophobes Attack CAP Fear Inc. Report - More Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing for information on Spencer including direct quotes.  As noted in the TAM Resources for dealing with Islamophobes and Islamophobia Spencer, Geller, and their associates in AFDI/SIOA/SION/SIOE/EDL feature in just about every major report on Islamophobia from multiple organizations. 

Spencer says that Lean “claims falsely that I “regularly” team up with the English Defense League; in reality, I have done so twice – but I do not reject the association.” He then goes on to attempt to defend the EDL.  Actually, this is a ridiculous argument as Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll of the EDL are part of the SION (a spinoff of SIOA which is a spinoff of AFDI) President’s Council along with Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.  Spencer and Geller announced the formation of this council saying: “the President’s Council is a steering committee. It functions 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.” Sounds like regularly teaming up by any standards.  See AFDI/SION’s Leadership: Arrests & Scandals for lots of details.  Update:  Spencer and Geller were both recently banned from entering Great Britain to participate in an EDL event.  They attempted to deny the charges against them that had led to this ban, but failed miserably as their own words and actions proved those charges. 

Spencer sees Lean’s statement that he has alerted “several major civil rights organizations and watch groups,” as well as “news media outlets, both in the state of California and nationally” to this appearance by Spencer at this event as “threatening”.  It’s curious that Spencer assumes that if civil rights groups, interfaith groups, or media outlets were aware of this event that what they would print would be “defamation and lies about me”, and create an “avalanche of negative publicity”.  If he is such a defender of all that is good, why would that be?

Spencer closes with “This letter shows yet again how authoritarian and thuggish the Left and their Islamic supremacist allies have become. In the early years of the Third Reich, National Socialist brownshirts would show up at events where anti-Nazis were speaking, shouting down the speakers and physically menacing the people in the audience. Nathan Lean, his boss Reza Aslan, and their allies are the true sons and heirs of those brownshirts.”  As Colm O’Broin has pointed out, there are striking parallels between statements made by Robert Spencer about Muslims, and statements made by Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher an actual “brownshirt”. 

Spencer’s partner in hate, Pamela Geller adds her own two cents worth, saying: “Look how the machine has grown. Look at this coalition of destroyers. Once they were on the margins of society, where they belong. But now, because of the Obama administration and media sanction, they have risen to a power like that of the SS and SA in prewar Nazi Germany. I urge freedom lovers (Atlas readers) to support Kolbe Academy in standing strong against this neo-fascism. Nathan Lean is a goon, and we will not be bullied or intimidated by thugs and goons. We know where that leads.”

These comments are not only wrong, but incredibly hypocritical coming from the two individuals who are fresh from organizing a reprehensible protest in Tennessee at a Muslim community event to which representatives of the DOJ were invited to discuss hate speech.  See Freedom of speech under attack by Islamophobes in Tennessee for a complete outline (and link to full video) of this event and the behavior of Spencer, Geller, and the mob they incited.  They shouted down the speakers,  menaced people, and made hateful comments in a display that truly mirrored the behavior of the Nazi brownshirts that Spencer describes.  Here is a brief passage from an article in The Tullahoma News on this event:

...  Organized and sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory Council, headquartered in Murfreesboro, the event, called “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society,” was billed as an educational opportunity for the public to learn about American Muslims, as well as how the civil rights of all citizens are protected under the United States Constitution.

It was the result of a recent Facebook reposting by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West in which a man is pictured pointing a gun at a camera with words that read, “How to wink at a Muslim.” West has since apologized for the post and removed it, but not before the story about his posting went viral.

...  Wrapped in American flags and waving Bibles, the protesters shouted, “speak English” at a Muslim man who has been in the United States for three decades. They cheered and clapped at photos of a burned mosque in Columbia, Tenn. They booed at photos of American Muslim soldiers killed while serving their country in the United States military. They accused all Muslims of being terrorists and yelled at them to “go home.”  Those who couldn’t get inside for the presentation due to overcrowded conditions called law enforcement officers “communists.” One man, who donned a confederate soldier’s cap, shouted, “Mohammed was a pedophile!”

There is no doubt that the majority of the people in Coffee County are embarrassed and ashamed by the actions of the people gathered at this assembly, and that many, if not the majority, of those in attendance, were from out of town. ...

UPDATE 6/26/2013

Spencer and Geller have cross posted Hate Stalker on the loose .... again.  This installment of their diatribe includes this “defense” by Spencer of a few other points raised by Nathan Lean in an article titled Kolbe should rescind invitation to controversial speaker:

... Lean claims that a board member of our organization once “recommended burning all mosques and sending Muslim immigrants ‘back to their countries,’” trying to give the impression that these are positions of our organization. They are not, and no board member has advocated such positions.

Does the name John Joseph Jay ring a bell Mr. Spencer?

  As Richard Bartholomew has reported, Jay was a co-founder of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), and according to Spencer (in a statement he has since retracted) he was also a board member of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA).  Further:

...  Jay is referring to the controversy which has followed a recent post on his blog in which he called for the killing of “talking head media”, of “every self avowed socialist and communist in congress”, and of “the faculty senates at harvard, yale, columbia, nyu and university of california at santa barbara”. This was of wider interest due his formal association with Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer: he was a co-founder of their American Freedom Defense Initiative, and according to Spencer (in a statement he has since retracted) he was also a board member of Stop Islamization of America.

Geller and Spencer have known about Jay’s sanguinary views for some time: in 2008, Jay left a comment on Geller’s blog on the need for “old fashion war with wholesale slaughter including indiscriminate death of innocents and babes. down to the last muslim, if necessary.” In 2010, a statement about the need to kill liberals and Muslims came to general attention thanks to the Daily Kos - Spencer’s response was to claim that Jay had been misrepresented in some unspecified way by “Hamas-linked CAIR and dhimmi Leftist jihad-enablers”.

That, though, was before the Anders Brevik massacre; Geller and Spencer are today rather more circumspect about being linked to someone who fantasises publicly about mass killings. Think Progress has a new quote from Geller:

Jay helped me out so I could get the incorporation papers filed, but was never a Board member or a part of the organizational structure in any way. He was gone almost as soon as he was there, and is not a member of AFDI.

This contrasts with a 2010 reference made by Geller to “my associate, the attorney John Jay”.

Spencer, meanwhile, has backtracked from the claim that Jay was ever a SIOA board member:

“He was never a board member. I don’t recall saying he was, but if I did, it was in error.” That was “was a mistake on my part,” Spencer wrote in another email after ThinkProgress provided a link to his post.

This belated cutting of ties following bad publicity fits a pattern – Spencer and Geller formerly worked with the Christian Action Network, and broke with the group only when its anti-gay rhetoric caused political embarrassment to Gert Wilders. ...

Alex Seitz-Wald also reported on the connections between AFDI and John Jay (with lots of links to documentation)  Pam Geller Linked Anti-Muslim Activist Calls For Mass Murder Of Congressmen, Muslims, Liberals And Journalists

The anti-Muslim activist John Joseph Jay has issued a call for the mass murder of the leadership of both parties in Congress, the governors of seven states, and prominent academics, along with a demand to “burn all mosques. period.”

Jay helped in the founding of anti-Muslim activist Pam Geller’s group American Freedom Defense Initiative. AFDI is the umbrella organization of the prominent Stop the Islamization Of America (SOIA). Jay’s signature can be seen below those of Geller and fellow arch anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer on AFDI’s incorporation document (PDF), as Charles Johnson at LGF pointed out. The P.O. Box listed for Jay is also the same as Geller’s.

But while those organizations have stopped short of calls for violence, Jay crossed way over that line in a rambling post on his blog called “start the revolution,” which fantasizes about the painful medieval deaths of perceived enemies (screenshot here, cached version here):

1.)take out the talking head media, and burn the new york times, the los angeles times and the washington post to the ground.  draw and quarter the media, and shoot their remains from canons in the four directions of the prevailing winds.

rinse, lather, repeat as needed.

2.)take out all the incumbent leadership of both parties in the congress, and every self avowed socialist and communist in congress.  give them all proper muslim burials at sea, just like osama bin laden.

eliminate pensions for congressional service.  rinse, lather, repeat as needed.

3.)eliminate the faculty senates at harvard, yale, columbia, nyu and university of california at santa barbara.  boil bill ayers, bernie dorhn and angela davis in canola oil, and feed their remains to the fishes.

they are all physical cowards.  they should fall into line pretty quickly.  repeat every ten years as a prophylactic, on general principle. 


4.)now that the “arab spring” has brought enlightenment to the middle east, send all of the muslim immigrants back to their native countries, in boxes or tourist, their choice.

burn all the mosques.  period.

In a post script, he adds that he wants to “burn the editors and contributors” to the Daily Kos, throw “the living governors of new york, california, ohio, illinois, washington, florida and massachusetts into the fiery pits… from which there is no escape,” and writes, “i’ll think of something suitable for hilary clinton.”

In an update to the post, Jay responds to LGF’s Johnson “breathlessly announcing that i am advocating mass murder.” Jay makes no denial of advocating mass murder, and writes of Johnson’s charge, “even the blind hog finds an occasional acorn.”

According to the organization’s website, Geller is the executive director of American Freedom Defense Initiative, which seems to be an umbrella organization for SIOA and other anti-Muslim groups. In a post on the American Thinker from the August of last year, Geller refers to, “my associate, the attorney John Jay.”

When Jay got in trouble last summer for a separate blog post advocating the mass murder of Muslims and liberals, Robert Spencer wrote of “John Jay, a member of the SIOA Board.” Still, Spencer wrote that Jay is “not a founder or co-founder of SIOA. He has no role in the running of the organization.”

As ThinkProgress reported, Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik was influenced by American anti-Muslim activists. He cited Spencer and his blog 162 times, and Pam Geller and her blog 12 times. The two play are key players in a network of Islamophpbia, explored our recent report, Fear Inc.

Alex Seitz-Wald did a follow up article Spencer And Geller Disavow Anti-Muslim Activist’s Call For Violence, Say He Was Never A Board Member with more documentation after the dynamic duo of hate attempted to weasel out of their connections with Jay.


Does the name Babu Suseelan ring a bell Mr. Spencer?

  Suseelan said at an AFDI/SIOA/SIOE/SION/EDL/BF Global Alliance Event (He is a board member): “If we do not kill the bacteria, the bacteria will kill us. Otherwise, Muslims will breed like rats and they will be a majority.  Islam can be stopped! And it can be wiped out.” See more on this individual here.

Does the name Ali Sina ring a bell Mr. Spencer?

  He is also on the SION board.  Ali Sina said: — ”We strive for the unity of Mankind through the elimination of Islam, the most insidious doctrine of hate. Islam can’t be reformed, but it can be eradicated. It can’t be molded, but it can be smashed.  — “If any city in the West is nuked I am 100% for nuking tens of cities in Islamic countries. I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin. It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.” — But you are diseased. You are infected by a deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a limb infected by flesh eating disease, now you are a threat to the rest of mankind.  ...  Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway? Does it mean you are moderately diseased?

Does the name Pamela Geller,  your partner in all your anti-Muslim efforts ring a bell Mr. Spencer?  As Bob Pitt reported Pamela Geller advocates banning Islam, demolishing mosques, deporting and killing Muslims.  Pitt reports on Geller’s posting of a response to a “Muslim patrol” video on YouTube.  He notes:

... More significant, however, is that Geller crossposts, with evident approval, an article from another Islamophobic blog called The Muslim Issue commenting on the video. It reads in part:

If a government wants to learn how to manage growing Islamic problems, take some advice from Ottoman army officer Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk abolished Islam by putting a complete ban on Islamic materials, demolishing mosques, and removing any traces of Islam in his country to get rid of the evil. Those who tried to revolt were put in their place, or basically killed….

It is time for the UK to stop wasting their military abroad, but bring them to patrol their own streets and begin to remove Muslims. And it is vital time to plan and arrange deportation programs – and even arrange new deportation programs for practicing Muslims born in England to be deported to their parent’s country of origin.

This goes way beyond anything that even the English Defence League or the British National Party would officially support. They are the sort of policies advocated by the most extreme neo-Nazi elements of the far right in the UK. Are US Republican Party organisations and mainstream media outlets going to continue providing a platform for a woman who posts material like this on her blog?

You can read more about statements by other board members, advisory members, etc. in the article AFDI/SION’s Leadership: Arrests & Scandals.  They are an unsavory bunch of individuals. 

Spencer also points to this statement by Nathan Lean - “Spencer has argued that there is no distinction between American Muslims and radical, violent jihadists” and counters with: “This is sheer misrepresentation. What I actually said was that U.S. Muslim organizations have been slow to expel violent jihadists or report their activities. They move freely among peaceful Muslims.”

Actually, that is not what Spencer said!  Do these direct quotes from you ring a bell Mr. Spencer?

— “I have maintained from the beginning of this site and before that that there is no reliable way to distinguish a “moderate” Muslim who rejects the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism from a “radical” Muslim who holds such ideas, even if he isn’t acting upon them at the moment. And the cluelessness and multiculturalism of Western officialdom, which make officials shy away from even asking pointed questions, only compound this problem.”

— “I have written on numerous occasions that there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists. While Americans prefer to imagine that the vast majority of American Muslims are civic-minded patriots who accept wholeheartedly the parameters of American pluralism, this proposition has actually never been proven.”

Spencer says: “Lean claims that our ads “equated Muslims with savages.” In reality, the ad said, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”  Clearly, there is a disconnect with what most reasonable people believe is the message of these ads and what Geller and Spencer claim they believe.  On TAM, we published a whole series of articles on the “savage/civilized/jihad/Islamorealism” ad wars - those articles include responses by members of other faith groups, mainstream media, academics, etc.  It is clear that Nathan Lea is not alone in believing that these ads “equated Muslims with savages.”  If there is a misunderstanding, it is widely shared.

UPDATE 7/9/2013

Robert Spencer had been scheduled to give two presentations in Sacramento.  One was to be on “the threat of Islam” at St. Stephen the First Martyr Parish, and the second was the Kolbe Academy Conference. 

It has now been reported that  Bishop Jaime Soto of the the Diocese of Sacramento has canceled the appearance at the Church, and any appearances on church property.  Spencer is still scheduled to speak at the the Kolbe Academy Conference, however the venue has been moved to a site that is not on church property.

Spencer has responded to these developments by accusing the Bishop of Sacramento of “caving in to a disingenuous smear campaign”.  Spencer also attacks Lawrence Swaim who wrote an article in the Napa Valley Register Kolbe Academy, Robert Spencer and religious liberty reporting on these developments.  Spencer repeats the same pitiful and false list of “defenses” of his efforts including the “He can’t produce a single “hateful” quote from me”, AFDI/SIOA has “never advocated or condoned violence”, etc.
Here are just a few hateful quotes from Robert Spencer:

— “Islam itself is an incomplete, misleading, and often downright false revelation which, in many ways, directly contradicts what God has revealed through the prophets of the Old Testament and through his Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh… For several reasons… Islam constitutes a threat to the world at large.” 
— “I hope there will be some who have the courage to point out that no American official should be taking an oath on the Qur’an, since—as we have been pointing out here for over three years now—there are so many elements of traditional and mainstream Islam that are at variance with our system of government, our Constitution, and our entire way of life. But since that is blandly denied and unexamined by the mainstream media and government officials, it is much more likely that Qur’anic oath-taking will be allowed without any discussion at all.” 
— “I have maintained from the beginning of this site and before that that there is no reliable way to distinguish a “moderate” Muslim who rejects the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism from a “radical” Muslim who holds such ideas, even if he isn’t acting upon them at the moment. And the cluelessness and multiculturalism of Western officialdom, which make officials shy away from even asking pointed questions, only compound this problem.”
— “It’s absurd” to think that “Islam is a religion of peace that’s been hijacked by ... extremists”
— “The misbegotten term “Islamo-fascism” is wholly redundant: Islam itself is a kind of fascism that achieves its full and proper form only when it assumes the powers of the state.” 
— “I have written on numerous occasions that there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists. While Americans prefer to imagine that the vast majority of American Muslims are civic-minded patriots who accept wholeheartedly the parameters of American pluralism, this proposition has actually never been proven.”
— “The EDL deserves the support of all free people”
—  “Islam constitutes a threat to the world at large.”

Spencer says “Swaim claims that at a recent conference in Tennessee “Geller and Spencer’s SIOA followers cheered at the mention of a mosque that was burned down.” We were actually at this conference, and saw no such cheering.”

Actually, many individuals who were at that meeting did hear such cheering - including a reporter from the Tullahoma News who reported”

... “Wrapped in American flags and waving Bibles, the protesters shouted, “speak English” at a Muslim man who has been in the United States for three decades. They cheered and clapped at photos of a burned mosque in Columbia, Tenn. They booed at photos of American Muslim soldiers killed while serving their country in the United States military. They accused all Muslims of being terrorists and yelled at them to “go home.”  Those who couldn’t get inside for the presentation due to overcrowded conditions called law enforcement officers “communists.” One man, who donned a confederate soldier’s cap, shouted, “Mohammed was a pedophile!” ...

  Hayes Brown of Think Progress also reported that

... “Arguably the worst moment in the proceedings was when Sabina Mohyuddin mentioned a mosque in Murfreesboro, TN, that was burned to the ground in 2007. The hecklers’ response? To break out into cheers. Watch the video here.  “Shame on you,” Mohyuddin can be heard scolding the hecklers over their applause. It wasn’t the first outburst against her during the forum. Earlier in her presentation, when she mentioned the high rate of citizenship among American Muslims, one of the hecklers shouted “Infiltration!”

And, if you don’t believe them, perhaps watching this video clip of the clapping and cheering which you somehow refused to hear will ring a bell Mr. Spencer.

Recently, the National Catholic Register published an article The Christian-Muslim Gulf by a Father McCloskey praising Robert Spencer and his most recent book.  In the article, Spencer was referred to as “perhaps the foremost Catholic expert on Islam in our country”.  The author of the article is identified as “Opus Dei Father C.J. McCloskey is a Church historian and research fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington.”

This particular article and praise is being used by Robert Spencer as some sort of “proof” that those who have called him “anti-Muslim” are wrong.  The most recent example is this article by Spencer in response to Bishop Soto’s decision Bishop cancels “foremost Catholic expert on Islam in our country” from Catholic conference, but Kolbe Academy stands firm, will still host Robert Spencer talks.  In this article Spencer berates “bishops like Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts and now Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, both of whom canceled me from speaking…”  Robert Spencer was also disinvited from a speaking engagement by the Catholic Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts.  Spencer also accuses these bishops of “uncritically and without examination” “caving to defamation and demonization”, not listening to his “point of view”, “kowtowing to the heckler’s veto”, and being guilty of “moral cowardice” among other ludicrous claims.  As is clear from what has been documented in this article about Spencer’s statements and claims of innocence, anyone with the ability to do a little fact checking would be capable of discovering who is guilty of “defamation and demonization”. 

I found it puzzling that the National Catholic Register (the oldest Catholic newspaper in the U.S.) would publish an article praising Robert Spencer, and in fact, even Michael Sean Winters at the National Catholic Reporter questioned why.  He said: “Spencer is more accurately described as one of America’s foremost bigots. Last month, he and his colleague Pam Geller were barred from entering the United Kingdom because, as the Home Secretary said, their presence would “not be conducive to the public good.” Spencer has been denounced by the Anti-Defamation League, among others. So why, then, is a Catholic priest in a Catholic publication fawning over this man’s latest opus of hate?”  Beliefnet has a profile of Father McCloskey here, Slate has one here, Talk to Action has one here and Religion Dispatches here.

McCloskey is a controversial and very conservative Catholic priest.  As Frank Cocozzelli noted on Talk to Action: “But as both Fred Clarkson and I have documented, McCloskey is not a conservative in the mode of Barry Goldwater but a reactionary in the mode of de Maistre. In the early 1990s Catholic students successfully petitioned for him to be removed from the chaplaincy at Princeton University. As the Opus Dei Action Network reported in a story sourced from the Trenton Times, McCloskey counseled students not to take courses given by professors who he defined as “anti-Christian.” His more recent writings scorn non-Christians as “pagans” and openly hint at violent insurrection as a means of achieving political ends while predicting “We will convert those Moslems yet!” A picture emerges of a man who is not merely old-fashioned in his beliefs, but militantly so.”  Opus Dei, the organization that Father McCloskey belongs to has been called even by Father James Martin, S.J. in America: the National Catholic Review  “the most controversial group in the Catholic Church today.”

Robert Spencer is a Deacon at Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and also a very conservative Catholic.  That McCloskey and Spencer might see eye to eye on many issues is not surprising.  However, I believe that they are both more than a little to the left of mainstream Catholic opinion.  Richard Bartholomew has written about Robert Spencer and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church detailing Spencer’s relationship with Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros.

Bishop McManus and Bishop Soto join Cardinal McCarrick and a host of other religious and interfaith leaders and organizations in being scorned by Spencer, Geller, and their cohorts.  These include:

Karen Armstrong who was attacked by Robert Spencer for speaking at ISNA. — Auburn Seminary and its Center for Multifaith Education, Interfaith Center of New York, Intersections International, Odyssey Networks, Quest, and The Tanenbaum Center and its Religion and Diversity Education Program were accused of being part of a “leftist/Islamic machine”, and setting up “Goebbels-style propaganda websites” producing “jihadist propaganda” by Pamela Geller for an interfaith 9/11 program promoting healing and reconciliation. — The ADL Interfaith Coalition on Mosques was called a “dhimmi-Jew stunt” which was “kowtowing to the Islamic Jihad”. — Abraham Foxman of the ADL was called a “dhimmi Jew” “kowtowing to the Islamic jihad”. — Any Jew who suports, organizes, or fund raises for Pres. Obama was accused of being like Jews who had a gathering in 1933 Berlin in which uniformed Nazis participated. — J Street accused of being “Jewicidal” and “traitors and JINOs” “masquerading as a Jewish organization” for its positions on Israeli policy and the Palestinian issue. — The Los Angeles Jewish Federation were called “Dhimmi Jews” and “Jewicidal, JINOs” by Pamela Geller for not allowing her speak at their offices. — The Pope was accused of “engaging in dawah” for expressing respect for Islam — Cardinal McCarrick was attacked for his friendship with Imam Mohamed Magid — Rabbi Marc Schneier called a “dhimmi Rabbi” for his involvement in Jewish/Muslim dialogue. — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was attacked for signing an interfaith letter on anti-Muslim prejudice. —  Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz was attacked for writing an article against the anti-Sharia movement.  He was accused of “doing the bidding of Islamic supremacist Sharia” and an “enemy” of the Jewish people. 




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.

Here are just a few ridiculous claims about nonsensical Muslim plots:

An Eid Celebration for Muslim Special Needs Kids was described as a “stealth jihad”.   A children’s page in a newspaper focusing on Eid was described as a toxic propaganda plot.  Joel Hinrichs (a Christian) had a beard and had walked through the parking lot of a campus mosque thus proving that his crime was an example of sudden jihad syndrome.  Leon Alphans Traille, Jr., the Arlington, Virginia Mall Bomber was accused of possible “sudden jihad syndrome” just because he had a beard, obviously, a case of beard jihad.   
Tyler Brehm who carried out the Hollywood shooting jihad was accused of “sudden jihad syndrome” because he shouted something that one witness from the Philippines said he might have shouted “Allahu Akbar”.  This report was not backed up by any other witnesses.  The awful April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech by a Korean student was also called Islamic jihad because Cho’s father had once worked in Saudi Arabia (before he was married and before Cho was born).    A Muslim doctor had a heart attack and died at the wheel of his car which then crashed into a shopping mall and this was described as “vehicular jihad”.   A Muslim cab driver objected to what he considered pornographic ads on the roof of his cab, and that became a stealth-jihad plot to impose Sharia on America.  Any Muslim who has sued an employer for violation of their rights under the EEOC is engaged in employment jihad, or litigation jihad.  Muslim environmentalists are said to be actually engaged in “civilizational jihad”.  A cartoon series “The 99” aimed at young Muslims was described as “cultural jihad”.  The victims of the terrorist attack of 9/11 included Muslims, they were accused of dying as martyrs in an act of jihad. Muslims hoped to open a Muslim hospital in the U.S. and that was called hospital jihad.

The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking” Muslim jihad plots.  They have uncovered:

bumper sticker jihadThanksgiving turkey jihadpaisley scarf jihadmarriage to important men jihadspit jihad —  fashion jihadspelling bee jihadrape jihaddefacing dollar bills jihadpopulation jihadcreeping Sharia jihad —  mosque building jihadterror baby jihad“creeping Sharia” jihadpedophilia jihadbus driver prayer jihadforehead bruise jihadpostage stamp jihadsoup jihad —  banning alcohol jihadfake hate crimes jihadpiggy bank jihadtv reality series jihadhandshake jihadprom jihadinterfaith jihadArabic language jihadpublic school jihadreligious accommodation jihadCrescent moon jihadChristmas tree tax jihadoath of office jihadimmigration jihad community fundraiser jihadpublic school/madrassa jihadpost office jihadfood jihadpyramid jihadcrucifixion jihad in Egyptfireworks jihadcomputer donation jihadcivic participation jihadOlympic “judo” jihadstealth name jihadpre-violent jihadLove jihadfashion jihad 2#MyJihad ad jihadtalk show host jihadart museum jihadHalloween jihadDNC Muslim Prayer Jihadcat crucifixion jihad in GhanaScottish Muslim women’s stealth jihadanti-democracy jihadun-neighborly Musims in Paris jihadjihad on Christopher ColumbusIranian smallpox jihadMuslim Christmas grinch jihad#MyJihad twitter jihadMuslim takeover of National Parks jihad


Nothing is too trivial to escape the eagle eyes of these “defenders of Western civilization” against devious Muslim stealth jihad plots.  Christina Abraham (a Muslim) has a name that is not recognizably Muslim enough and so we have stealth name jihad. And, if a Muslim somewhere is not doing anything at all suspicious, then they are engaged in pre-violent jihad.

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. 

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.

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 ( )