Islamophobes Attack CAP Fear Inc. Report - More Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing
by Sheila Musaji
Note: 11/26/11 update brought to you by Daniel Pipes
When the CAP report Fear Inc., the Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America was released yesterday, I noted that it would not be long until the Islamophobes responded. They began responding within an incredibly short time after the report was released. In fact, I assume that they must have all attended speed-reading classes in order to have actually read the report so quickly.
PAMELA GELLER wrote a hysterical article Fear Inc. Fears Truth.
She called the report a “blood libel”, a “pile of dung masquerading as research”, “part of the leftist/Islamic war machine on freedom, truth and ... America”, “Goebbels attacking the Jew”, which “reads more like a Mein Kampf treatise”, and a “stealth jihadists’ condemnation of blasphemers”, “a predictable misfired missile by Islamic supremacists and leftist useful idiots”.
She called the reports authors “killers”, “quislings”, “the enemy”, and “seditionists” who “fear my work”, and “mean to destroy this country” and “crush anyone who gets in their way”.
Geller objected to the fact that Michelle Boorstein had asked her for a comment on her reaction to the CAP report for an article Boorstein was writing. Curiously, Geller refused to comment, and managed to turn that refusal into this statement “What nerve. Think about this. The mainstream media give us no opportunity for fair play, much less an opportunity to rebut the lies. NONE. And they want me to “comment” on the blood libel.” Logically, Boorstein’s asking Geller to comment qualifies as giving Geller an opportunity to “rebut the lies”, but logic is not Geller’s forte.
Geller’s hysterical defense contained lot’s of ad hominem attacks and vitriol, but only one actual statement seeming to rebut any of the facts presented in the report. Geller claims that she has never received “even one dime” from any of these donors. The report did not mention any money going to Geller from any of the donors, so that is a response to an issue that was not raised. However, I am not so certain that when all of the financial details are unravelled, her claim of not receiving “even one dime” is only true on a technicality. Whether Atlas Shrugs, SIOA, AFDI, Stop the Madrassa, or any of her organizations, publications, films, or projects has received any funding through, for example, the David Horowitz Freedom Foundation (which does receive funds from the donors mentioned in the report) is an open question.
DAVID HOROWITZ posted an article Think Progress Witch-Hunt
Horowitz called the reports use of the term “Islamophobia” a “smear category designed to silence critics of Islamic terror, Islamic misogyny and Islamic hatred of Jews, gays, Christians, Hindus and other “infidels.” He says that “On Monday Frontpage will post a new pamphlet we have written called “Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future” which documents the creation of the term “Islamophobia” by the Muslim Brotherhood as a weapon designed to silence its critics.”
He also says that this report is “a typical fascistic attempt to silence critics and scare donors from supporting their efforts to inform the American public about the threats we face from the Islamic jihad. Needless to say all Muslims are not jihadists or terrorists or bigots. But too many are. Muslim terrorists have a vested interest in accusing their critics of being anti-Muslim. Think Progress has joined them as enablers. This is a sad day for American liberalism and a troublesome day for America.”
Horowitz’ claims are dealt with below.
DANIEL PIPES said regarding the CAP report “The report makes no distinction between those who are anti-Islamic and those (like me) who are anti-Islamist. I am not against the religion of Islam but am very much against the political ideology of Islamism, which I see as the third great totalitarian movement after fascism and communism. This lack of distinction points to the intellectually shoddy premise of the report,” Source
The problem with Pipes argument is that his definitions of what constitutes an Islamist, an extremist, or a “moderate Muslim”, etc. are incredibly broad. For example, Pipes published an article “Militant Islamic Intentions for the United States”. In this article he found fault with the logo of The American Muslim. Pipes said “Militant Islamic Intentions for the United States. I frequently meet with disbelief when I explain that the Islamist goal is to take over the United States and replace the Constitution with the Koran. Well, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and here is that picture, culled from “The American Muslim” website: http://www.theamericanmuslim.org See Daniel Pipes, Islam 2.0 and Islamophobia 3.0 for much more information and links to other articles discussing Pipes views about who is and is not a moderate or an Islamist. See also There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim?, an article I wrote back in 2007 discussing the fact that if even Muslims like myself are considered “Islamists” by people like Pipes, then their definitions are impossibly broad. In that article I said:
And yet, according to some of those who have made it their life’s work to “educate” Americans about the “reality” of Islam and Muslims, I am not only not a “moderate” Muslim, I am judged to be an Islamist (Daniel Pipes); misinforming Infidels as to the true nature of Islam (Hugh Fitzgerald - Dhimmi Watch); an Islamofascist (Northeast Intelligence Network); a contemporary Islamic apologist (Religion of Peace?); a defender of the Muslim Brotherhood (Weasel Zippers); a quiet jihadist, Fifth Columnist and terrorist apologist. And, The American Muslim is accused of being a fundamentalist American Muslim magazine.
Who might be judged by these pundits to be a moderate Muslim? Daniel Pipes has a test and I’m proud to say, that I like Hamza Yusuf would fail. David Horowitz has a petition for Muslim students to sign to prove their “moderation” as part of his recent “Islamo Fascism Awareness Week” whose four key principals any Muslim could agree with, but which would require any Muslim signing the petition to agree with the mischaracterization of terrorists and extremists as “Islamo Fascists” thus blaming the religion of Islam for their criminal acts. But Hugh Fitzgerald’s suggestion that “Sheila Musaji needs to read Ali Sina, Ibn Warraq, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan. They were all born into Islam. They were all raised in Muslim milieus. They have all testified as to what Muslims say in front of Infidels, and what they say when they think they are among only fellow Muslims.” really shows up what they are after - the bottom line for these folks is that in order to be a “good Muslim” or a “moderate Muslim” you must be an ex-Muslim. If that is what it takes to be a “moderate” then count me out.
All of these folks claim that they have no problem with “moderate Muslims” only with extremists, but their definition of moderation requires nothing less than becoming a non-Muslim. And, their tactics and rhetoric stirs up those who are much more extreme including the “Muslims are not real Americans”, the “intern Muslims” and “the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim” crowd.
And, if these Islamophobes succeed in alienating and degrading all American Muslims, including those who are working to change the hearts and minds of the extremists, then they are only helping bin Laden.
Pipes also wrote a brief response on his site The Center for American Progress Gets the Financials Wrong in which he calls the report “the predictable leftist-Islamist alarmism”. Although the title of his article sounds as if he has turned up some major problems with the reports facts, after looking into funding received from the foundations mentioned for his organization, the Middle East Forum, he found only that I learned that CAP got two right (Bradley and Becker) and four wrong (Donors, Berrie, Anchorage, and Fairbrook). To give one example, CAP lists Donors Capital Fund providing $2.3 million to us during the period 2001-09; in fact, the correct number is $2.6 million. Hardly worth an article.
11/26/11 UPDATE - Pipes has misrepresented the CAP report in a fundraising plea. As Loonwatch reports “Pipes begins his solicitation: The Center for American Progress, in a much-ballyhooed study, deemed me one of the five most influential thinkers shaping the public discussion of Islam. The study Mr Pipes is talking about is “Fear Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” and the actual words used to describe Mr Pipes in the report are “Islamophobia misinformation expert” and not “influential thinker” as he is claiming.”
ROBERT SPENCER wrote an article The Islamic supremacist propaganda machine cranks out another “Islamophobia” report in which he called the CAP report “highly distorted and markedly unfair, twisting the facts and cooking the data in order not to enlighten but to manipulate, not to educate but to propagandize.”
As usual, rather than sticking to the facts, he throws in everything but the kitchen sink in order to confuse the actual issues. he brings up CAIR, the OIC, other reports, etc. that have nothing to do with this report and the issues that it raises.
He objects to being referred to as “anti-Muslim” and says “The term “anti-Muslim” is immediate evidence of the manipulative, propagandistic nature of this report: my work, and the work of the other scholars and activists demonized in “Fear, Inc.,” has never been against Muslims in the aggregate or any people as such, but rather against an ideology that denies the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people.”
He sees this and other similar reports as being attempts to “criminalize any honest discussion”.
Spencer mentions the unfairness of linking his ideas in any way with the ideas expressed by Anders Breivik. After the terrible terrorist act carried out by Anders Breivik in Norway, many noted that Breivik’s views had a great deal in common with the views expressed by Islamophobes in the U.S. I pointed out at that time in an article titled Spencer and Geller’s “Defense”: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing, their “defense” had little substance. Their “defense” of their work in regards to the CAP report bring up many of the same points they brought up at that time. Spencer said then: ”... no one has come up with any gotcha quote from me — no incitement to violence, no broad-brush demonization of all Muslims (although it is routinely alleged that I do this), and not even anything false.” And, he said: “No one I know has ever accused the “entire Muslim community of complicity in terrorism.” I have never done that, and challenge Scott Shane or anyone else to show that I have.” Spencer and Geller said in a joint article: The constitutional protection of the freedom of speech is designed to protect controversial speech, including political dissent. Innocuous speech needs no protection. The truths that we enunciate are inconvenient for many to acknowledge, and the principles of freedom for which we stand are increasingly assailed. For that reason alone, the international media should be more circumspect in its demonization of us and our perspective; otherwise they may find, after having silenced all dissenting voices, that there is no one left who is able to stand up for the freedoms they now enjoy.
Spencer’s “defenses” are dealt with below.
As to the question of financing, Spencer says “The chief indication of that dishonesty is the wildly misleading presentation of financial data – making the sums involved appear much greater than they actually were by lumping together donations given to disparate organizations over a period of many years.” Actually, the CAP report is very clear that the amounts listed were for an 8-year period. There was no attempt to lump anything together or to disguise this fact.
He mentions the CAP reports reference to the Amman Message saying “Fear, Inc.” likewise trumpets the 2004 Amman Message as a “Sharia-based condemnation of violence from the world’s leading Islamic authorities.” The report deceptively fails to mention, however, that the Amman Message forbids Muslim-on-Muslim violence based on takfir, or declarations by one Muslim group that another is apostate. The Amman Message’s three points, mentioned in “Fear, Inc.,” do not address violence or non-violent jihad activity against non-Muslims at all, and the Amman Message’s website actually endorses an undefined “legitimate jihad.”
Spencer really should read the entire Amman Message which is a lengthy series of documents, statements, and fatwas. The 3-points mentioned cover some aspects of the hirabists excuses for their criminal terrorism, but are not the only points raised by the Amman Message. If he would go to the Amman Message website he would find the following points also taken from the message:
— Islam honors every human being, regardless of his color, race or religion: We have honored the sons of Adam, provided them transport on land and sea, sustained them with good things, and conferred on them special favors above a great part of our creation. (17:70)
— Islam confirms the principle of justice in interacting with others, safeguarding their rights, and confirms that one must not deny people their possessions: And let not the hatred of others make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is closer to piety; (5:8) God commands you to return trusts to their owners, and if you judge between people, you shall judge with justice; (4:58) So give [full] measure and [full] weight and do not deny the people their goods, and work no corruption in the land, after it has been set right. (7:85)
— Islam requires respect for pledges and covenants, and adhering to what has been specified; and it forbids treachery and treason: Fulfill the covenant of God when you have entered into it, and break not oaths after they have been confirmed and you have made God your surety; truly God knows what you do. (16:91)
— Islam recognizes the noble station of [human] life, so there is to be no fighting against non-combatants, and no assault upon civilians and their properties, children at their mothers’ bosom, students in their schools, nor upon elderly men and women. Assault upon the life of a human being, be it murder, injury or threat, is an assault upon the right to life among all human beings. It is among the gravest of sins; for human life is the basis for the prosperity of humanity: Whoever kills a soul for other than slaying a soul or corruption upon the earth it is as if he has killed the whole of humanity, and whoever saves a life, it is as if has revived the whole of humanity. (5:32)
— The source of relations between Muslims and others is peace; for there is no fighting [permitted] when there is no aggression. Even then, [it must be done with] benevolence, justice and virtue: God does not prevent you, as regards those who do not fight you in religion’s [cause], nor drive you from your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: truly God loves the just; (60:8) Then if they cease, let there be no aggression, save against the oppressors. (2:193)
— On religious and moral grounds, we denounce the contemporary concept of terrorism that is associated with wrongful practices, whatever their source and form may be. Such acts are represented by aggression against human life in an oppressive form that transgresses the rulings of God, frightening those who are secure, violating peaceful civilians, finishing off the wounded, and killing prisoners; and they employ unethical means, such as destroying buildings and ransacking cities: Do not kill the soul that God has made sacrosanct, save for justice. (6:151)
— We condemn these practices and believe that resisting oppression and con-firming justice should be a legitimate undertaking through legitimate means. We call on the people to take the necessary steps to achieve the strength and steadfastness for building identity and preserving rights.
— We realize that over history extremism has been instrumental in destroying noble achievements in great civilizations, and that the tree of civilization withers when malice takes hold and breasts are shut. In all its shapes, extremism is a stranger to Islam, which is founded upon equanimity and tolerance. No human whose heart has been illumined by God could be a radical extremist.
This seems pretty clear, and is one among MANY fatwas, statements, and articles against extremism, violence, and terrorism made by Muslim scholars which he could find by simply clicking on the Muslims Denounce Terrorism logo on the front page of The American Muslim.
Frank Gaffney wrote a response Center for American Progress defends Shariah, charges America with ‘Islamophobia’ in which he said The “Shariah Defense Lobby” whitewashes and protects political, legal, military and religious doctrines of Shariah law (Islamic law) from scrutiny. One of its major goals is to silence all criticism of Islamist aggression, jihadist violence, or Shariah violations of human rights and civil liberties.
He doesn’t have anything to say about actual facts, and brings up the claim that this report and others like it are “attempting to silence” those who express “legitimate concerns”. This claim is dealt with below
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENTS BY THE ISLAMOPHOBES DEFENDING THEIR WORK
NOT EVEN ANYTHING FALSE?
In the article Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller Attempt to Conceal Evidence of “Truth-Telling” numerous examples are given of instances where false, inaccurate, or damning information was simply altered, scrubbed, or disappeared from their sites.
Geller and Spencer and the other members of the Islamophobia network see an awful lot that doesn’t exist anywhere except in their fevered minds. The problem is that they pass these bigoted assumptions on to their readers as “facts”. They are responsible for most of the false - what everyone “knows” ideas about Islam and Muslims that are causing so many to look at every Muslim with suspicion. Answers to these false claims here
They have made false claims to having “discovered” a lot of things that are untrue:
— Iranian yellow badge story
— August 22, 2006 Iranian “Doomsday” story
— all rapists in Norway are Muslims,
— nefarious plot by New York City cabdrivers to impose Sharia on America.
— spit jihad,
— employment jihad,
— vehicular jihad
— marriage to important men jihad plots.
— Muslim plot to kill the Pope
There are so many of these false claims that it would take a book to list them all. Many examples of such false claims and responses to them can be found in the article What everyone “knows” about Islam and Muslims.
NO GOTCHA QUOTES, NO BROADBRUSH DEMONIZATION OF ALL MUSLIMS, NOTHING AGAINST MUSLIMS IN THE AGGREGATE, NOTHING AGAINST MUSLIMS QUA MUSLIMS, NO SUCH THING AS ISLAMOPHOBIA?
A FEW GELLER QUOTES: [see here for links to sources]
— ”Devout Muslims should be prohibited from military service. Would Patton have recruited Nazis into his army?”
— “Al-Qaeda is a manifestation of devout Islam ... It is Islam. And by refusing to name the enemy, Obama has perpetrated yet another devastating attack on American security.”
— “We are witnessing an Islamized America. This is well beyond political correctness. We are enforcing Shariah. We will not insult Islam. That is Shariah. We self censor. That is Shariah. We disrespect ourselves, our nation, so that we might respect Islam. This is dhimmitude.”
— Gen. Petraeus was pushing “jihadist rhetoric of Islamic anti-semitism”.
— She called Obama “President Jihad” and said about him “America has no clue what she is dealing with. The President of the United States is advancing jihad against the oath of office that he took. If he is agitating Muslims against Jews, will he declare war on Israel?”
— “I would like to feel all warm and fuzzy and embrace the moderate Muslim/ meme but they show no evidence of their existence - not in any real number anyway. The only voices of reason in the Muslim world are lapsed Muslims or apostates. Many of Pipes’ “moderates” speak out of both sides of their mouths and if perhaps we could point to one rally, one incident, one moment when we saw Muslims in any number come out and protest against terror, jihadi violence - perhaps then we might believe in Muslim miracles. Why hasn’t there been one, ONE, Muslim rally denouncing the attacks of 9/11? We can pretend or we can strategize on how to defeat our mortal enemy.”
— ”Muslims have no right to invoke Moses and Abraham. This is a delegitimization of Judaism. It is offensive and vile. And while Jesus is not my guy, the same thing goes for him. It is a delegitimization of Christianity. These are not Muslim prophets.”
— “The dome has got to go. It is sitting atop the great Jewish temple. The dome has got to go. It’s time to push back and stop indulging evil. Evil is made possible by the sanction you give it. Withdraw your sanction.”
— “The enemy has infiltrated every department, every division of the federal government and the Obama administration, including the White House. The State Department, essentially being run by Islamic supremacists, has issued a travel alert to American citizens traveling to Europe, to “exercise vigilance and caution in traveling.”
— “Obama is a third worlder and a coward. He will do nothing but beat up on our friends to appease his Islamic overlords.”
— “Hitler WAS inspired by Islam”
— “Islam is a mental illness”.
— “Now I also believe that a true translation, an accurate translation of the Koran, is really not available in English, according to many of the Islamic scholars that I’ve spoken to. That’s deeply troubling. And I don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day. I don’t think they know that.”
— “Nazis adopted the Muslim idea of Jihad – total destruction and complete annihilation in the spirit of a Holy War.”
— Park51 Is ‘The Second Wave Of The 9/11 Attack’
— “Hussein [meaning President Obama] is a muhammadan. He’s not insane … he wants jihad to win.”
— Regarding proposed Arabic language classes (as well as classes in Chinese and many other languages) at a school in Texas, Geller said “It shows how we mischaracterized, we willfully misunderstand Islam. Yes, on the face of it, yes, Arabic is a language. In a sense there would be no difference between opening a foreign language school — a Spanish language school or a french language school — but in fact Arabic is more than a language. It is explicated the language of Islam, so in that sense it is part of the Islamic religious imperial project. Radical Islam advances through the Arabic language. And you go all kinds of places that aren’t in the Arab world now, like Pakistan, Indonesia, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada and the United States, and you will here those Imams preaching in Arabic. Arabic is not just another language like French or Italian, it is the spearhead of an ideological project that is deeply opposed to the United States.”
— “How dare they use the word “extremists”? That is islamophobic! These are devout Muslims. There are no moderates. There are no extremists. Only Muslims.”
— When an American Muslim woman was named as Director of the Holocaust Center at Manhattan College, Geller published an article railing against the appointment in which she said “This confounds all human decency. Islamic Jew-hatred is the leading cause of the worldwide record levels of anti-semitism. From Europe to the Middle East to Latin America and now America. And nothing is being said or being done to address the religious mandate of Islamic Antisemitism (Khaybar, Khaybar, ya yahud!) Or retribution for the Muslim world’s evil role in the Holocaust. The Jews are allowing this to happen again. It doesn’t matter who this Muslima is. What matters is the message. The first holocaust didn’t happen overnight either. Israel suffers from these subversives, too. It’s a drip, drip, drip, and then the unthinkable. Where are our warriors in the information battle space? This is war. Six million dead Jews are weeping and screaming from their graves. And the Islamic supremacists are howling and rubbing their hooves together in anticipation. Such stupidity is without equal.”
— ”Islam is not a race. This is an ideology. This is an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth.” Geller said “I do believe that if you’re a follower of traditional Islam, of pure Islam, then you support jihad. ... I understand that people say, you know, “don’t broad brush all.” I don’t. But by the same token, forgive me for not patting every single person on the back who doesn’t take up—doesn’t strap one on. I don’t think it’s necessary to do that. I expect people not to kill other people. I expect a certain modicum of humanity. Yes, and respect for the Golden Rule. Even though there’s no Golden Rule in Islam, I do believe that do unto others is a basic human—irrespective of religion—a basic tenet of humanity, okay. I don’t believe in patting people on the back for not killing me.”
A FEW HOROWITZ QUOTES: [see here for more and links to sources]
— “What has the Arab world contributed except terror?” he exclaims. “The theocratic, repressive Arabic states do no significant science, no significant arts and culture.”
— “Islamists are worse than the Nazis, because even the Nazis did not tell the world that they want to exterminate the Jews,” he said. In another comparison to Nazis, he added, “there are good Muslims and bad Muslims just like there were good Germans and bad Germans.”
— “Osama bin Laden is a very good Muslim - a model one, in fact, and one of the most devout in the 1400 years of Islam.”
A FEW DANIEL PIPES QUOTES [see here for more and links to sources]
— “Fears of a Muslim influx have more substance than the worry about jihad. West European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and not exactly maintaining Germanic standards of hygiene.”
— the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims” entail “true dangers” for American Jews.
— “To borrow a computer term, if Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden, and Nidal Hasan represent Islamism 1.0, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (the prime minister of Turkey), Tariq Ramadan (a Swiss intellectual), and Keith Ellison (a U.S. congressman) represent Islamism 2.0. The former kill more people but the latter pose a greater threat to Western civilization.” ... “In conclusion, only Islamists, not fascists or communists, have gone well beyond crude force to win public support and develop a 2.0 version. Because this aspect of Islamism undermines traditional values and destroys freedoms, it may threaten civilized life even more than does 1.0’s brutality.”
A FEW SPENCER QUOTES: [see here for links to sources]
— “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.”
— “Ever since I began doing this work publicly my point has been simple and consistent: that the jihad terrorists are working from mainstream traditions and numerous Qur’anic exhortations, and that by means of these traditions and teachings they are able to gain recruits among Muslims worldwide, and hold the sympathy of others whom they do not recruit. This explains why there has been no widespread, sustained, or sincere Muslim outcry against the jihad terrorist enterprise in general. The mainstream media, both liberal and conservative, does not want to face these facts.”
— “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”
A FEW QUOTES FROM THE ISLAMOPHOBIC NETWORK
— “Absolutely. If a Muslim who has—who is—a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day—this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.” Brigitte Gabriel
— Westerners “don’t want to judge anybody based on their [religion]. [But] Islam is not a religion. Islam is a very dangerous political ideology…. There is no such thing as radical Islam and regular Islam or spiritual Islam….There is only one Islam.” Wafa Sultan
— ““On the so-called Global War on Terrorism, GWOT, we have been quite clear along with a few other resolute souls. This should be a WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful…At a practical level, this means that Shari’a and Islamic law are immediately outlawed. Any Moslem in America who adopts historical and traditional Shari’a will be subject to deportation. Mosques which adhere to Islamic law will be shut down permanently. No self-described or practicing Muslim, irrespective of his or her declarations to the contrary, will be allowed to immigrate to this country…” David Yerushalmi
It is impossible not to see a broadbrush demonization of Islam and Muslims in such statements. Spencer said that no one he knows has made such statements. Here is a list of key Islamophobes most of whom Geller and Spencer regularly work with. Read what some of these folks, whom Spencer certainly “knows” have said and see if it is even conceivable that he could have made such a statement with a straight face.
NO INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE?
Spencer posted an article by Roland Shirk on his Jihad Watch site about the Egyptian Revolution. The article closed with this sentence: “If I could have Mubarak’s ear, I would whisper just two words of wisdom: Tiananmen Square.” Clearly a call to violence against the Egyptian people. That sentence was later removed, presumably after its inexpediency was realised, but you can see a screenshot of the original here thanks to Loonwatch. As Loonwatch notes: “This is a very serious charge which Spencer must answer. Yes, the offending line has been removed but who uploaded the original article – Spencer or someone else? If not Spencer, then who? And, perhaps most damning of all, why has Roland Shirk continued to post articles on Jihad Watch since calling for the massacre of countless Egyptians as they demonstrated against one of the Middle East’s most brutal regimes?”
In a 2007 interview on Front Page magazine, Spencer said “There will be civil war in Europe,” he says. “The European citizenry, for the most part, are not ready to accept Islamic law and there will be armed conflicts. Across Europe there seems to be one opinion among the elite and one among the people; the mainstream political parties are going to have to start representing this, otherwise they’re going to be shunted aside by the neo-fascists.” ... “Fascism lasted 25 years, Communism for 75; Islam is 1,400 years old, the imperative to make war against unbelievers is 1,400 years old and they believe they are fighting a 1,400-year-old struggle. And jihad will destroy us if we don’t do anything about it.”
Charles Johnson reported that Spencer had joined a genocidal Facebook group called Campaign for the Reconquista in Anatolia. As Johnson noted “white nationalists who advocate conquering Turkey and expelling/slaughtering the entire Muslim population—150 million people.” And, when this was brought out, Spencer claimed that he didn’t know what the group was about when he joined, and was “duped” into joining. It would be impossible to read anything the group had published without understanding clearly what they were about.
THE REPORT AND/OR ITS’ AUTHORS ARE ANTI-SEMITIC?
Ed Lasky at the American Thinker wrote an article The Soros-supported Center for American Progress blames rich Jews for stoking Islamophobia which seems to be the first to have made the false claim (lie) that the CAP report was anti-Semitic.
Lasky says that since many of the funders or anti-Muslim activists named happen to be Jewish:
By “outing” the people involved, the report puts endangers them. Furthermore, this “report” relies on the conspiracy and age-old anti-Semitic trope that Jews fan prejudice towards others and promotes divisions for their own nefarious purposes (to support Israel in this case). This mindset is straight out of Mein Kampf. The report also stokes the view that rich Jews operate behind the scenes and use their wealth to control the media and government policy (politicians are also mentioned as being ensnared in this web).
... Clearly, this is a well-funded effort to chill legitimate criticism of Islamic extremism in America. There are also political motivations behind this report since it also tries to refute allegations of ties between Muslims and Barack Obama. But what is most shameful about this “report” is that it employs classic anti-Semitic tropes, blaming conspiratorial Jews for stoking fear and hatred of Muslims.
This will work its magic in the Muslim world, a substantial fraction of which believes that “defaming” Islam is legitimately punishable by death at the hands of any righteous Muslim. By thoughtfully providing a hit list, the CAP does its part to spread fear and—yes—terror among the opponents of radical Islam.
Actually, Lasky is the one who mentions the religion of those named in the report, the report itself does not identify these folks by their religion. I was surprised that Lasky said that Steven Emerson is Jewish, as I had never heard that before.
This attempt to cast the authors of this report as anti-Semitic and as blaming Jews for Islamophobia is reprehensible, and already being repeated on the anti-Muslim blogsphere. Pamela Geller called the report “Goebbels attacking the Jew”. A Pipeline News article calls the report shades of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. and a functioning part of a greater - subversive - Islamist narrative. Daniel Greenfield in an article on David Horowitz’s FrontPageMag wrote “Any report on Islamophobia that scapegoats Jews is not a report on bigotry, it is an act of bigotry.”
Eric Boling on Fox News reinforced this false anti-Semitic meme by outright lying on air in a segment devoted to attacking the CAP report.
Bolling invited a three-member panel to comment, who all agreed that there isn’t an Islamophobia network in America. Bolling set up the discussion by making this outlandishly false statement:
I need to point this out – I’m reading directly from this report: “The Obama-allied Center for American Progress has released a report that blames Islamophobia in America on a small group of Jews and Israel supporters in America, whose views are being backed by millions of dollars.”
Boling has now issued a clarification, but not really an apology. Boling’s clarification said
I want to correct something from a segment we did the other night on Follow the Money regarding Islam in America. The topic was a report from the Center for American Progress. At one point, I read a brief passage which said the group blamed Islamophobia on “a small group of Jews and Israel supporters in America”.
You need to know that I was reading aloud from an American Thinker magazine article critical of the group’s report and not from the report itself. Sorry for the confusion.
The American Thinker article he was referring to was the one by Ed Lasky. As Faiz Shakir (one of the CAP reports authors) noted about this whole incident If there is one key takeaway from this incident, it’s that observers have witnessed how the Islamophobia network generally operates: 1) Produce a blog post with false anti-Muslim information, 2) promote that blog post through Fox News, 3) have so-called “experts” tout the information as if it’s credible, and then 4) stand by your mischaracterizations even when they are shown to be lies. In this case, we successfully fought back against this misinformation network. That’s what it’s going to take to end Islamophobia.
An editorial in the Jewish Forward also notes that a number of those named in the report happen to be Jewish, although in an entirely different context of disappointment”
There is, unfortunately, one disturbing way that a small number of Jews are contributing to the unfair characterizations and discrimination of Muslims. A new study by the Center for American Progress reveals that seven foundations have spent more than $40 million in the last ten years to spread misinformation about Muslim Americans. And who leads those efforts? Far too many Jews, including blogger Pamela Geller, co-director of the group Stop Islamization of America; David Yerushalmi, whose attempts to promote anti-Sharia laws were detailed recently in the Forward; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum, which gave a platform for Yerushalmi’s dangerous ideas; Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, who has even criticized President George W. Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for being soft on Muslims.
Philip Weiss notes that Lasky did not mention the fact that George Soros whose think tank he claims is fostering anti-semitism, is himself Jewish.
ATTEMPT TO SILENCE FREE SPEECH?
I have seen no calls by anyone to take away the right of free speech from Geller or Spencer, or any of their Islamophobic cronies. They are welcome to say any hateful or crazy thing they want within the law. However, that doesn’t mean that those of us who see their speech as hateful and bigoted cannot also speak freely and tell them so. In fact, it is a moral obligation to do just that.
It is no longer socially acceptable for individuals to make openly racist or anti-Semitic statements publically. Most people know that they will be called for their racism and bigotry, and that is what needs to happen with Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice. They need to know that decent people don’t consider such speech acceptable, and won’t let it pass unremarked.
OTHER REPORTS ADDING CREDENCE TO THE CAP “FEAR” INC. REPORT
There have been a number of other reports released over the past few years that provided information on this topic, but this report gets to the heart of what appears to be an organized effort to demonize the American Muslim community. TAM has a list of these various reports on Islamophobia and radicalization here. Some of the critical reports adding substantiation to CAP’s report are:
Bureau of International Information Programs report MUSLIMS IN AMERICA: A STATISTICAL PORTRAIT
CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) reports: WESTERN MUSLIM MINORITIES: INTEGRATION AND DISENFRANCHISEMENT; THE STATUS OF MUSLIM CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE UNITED STATES 2009: Seeking Full Inclusion; THE MOSQUE IN AMERICA: A NATIONAL PORTRAIT; and CAIR and the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender (CRG) report Same Hate, New Target: Islamophobia and its impact in the United States 6/23/11
The Center for American Progress (CAP) report UNDERSTANDING SHARIAH LAW: Conservatives’ Skewed Interpretation Needs Debunking, by Wajahat Ali and Matthew Duss.
Communique Partners report Western Perception of Islam and Muslims 2005
The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding published A Portion of the People: Islam in a ‘Christian’ America
MAPOS The MUSLIM AMERICAN PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY by Matt A. Barreto, University of Washington and Karam Dana, Harvard University
MPAC published COUNTERPRODUCTIVE COUNTERTERRORISM: HOW ANTI-MUSLIM BIAS IS UNDERMINING AMERICA’s HOMELAND SECURITY Several myths abound regarding the role of American Muslims in counterterrorism policy, the most prominent and problematic of which paints the American Muslim community as a threat to America’s national security. In fact, the American Muslim community is an asset to law enforcement in their shared goal to root out terrorism and extremism. The source of suspicion of American Muslims stems from false accusations of American Muslim organizations.
New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) White Paper Religious Freedom Under Attack: The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State charts rising anti-Muslim trends. 8/2011
People for the American Way (PFAW) report The Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism 7/2011
Political Research Associates report MANUFACTURING THE MUSLIM MENACE: PRIVATE FIRMS, PUBLIC SERVANTS, AND THE THREAT TO RIGHTS AND SECURITY
Political Research Associates report Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, & Scapegoating by Chip Berlet
SPLC published Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle by Robert Steinback in their Summer 2011 Intelligence Report 6/11
Additionally, 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”. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group.
Are all of these organizations part of an “Islamic supremacist propaganda machine”? Are they all “quislings”, “traitors”, and “fascists” determined to destroy our country and take away free speech and destroy the Constitution?
As more and more people actually becoming informed and reject the vicious propaganda promulgated by these Islamophobes, they will need to apply such terms to a greater and greater number of people. Or, they might actually reflect and re-examine their worldview.
Download the report in PDF format FEAR INC.: THE ROOTS OF THE ISLAMOPHOBIA NETWORK IN AMERICA. Watch the video What is Fear Inc.? Also the video “Inside the Islamophobia Network” from Think Progress.
The $43 million Islamophobia machine, Julianne Hing http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/09/the_43_million_islamophobia_machine.html
An Assault On Religious Freedom, Sen. Kevin S. Parker http://www.huffingtonpost.com/senator-kevin-s-parker/religious-freedom_b_935364.html
Anti-Muslim Blogger Pamela Geller Lashes Out At Islamophobia Report: ‘Pile Of Dung Masquerading As Research’, Eli Clifton http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/27/305953/anti-muslim-blogger-pamela-geller-lashes-out-at-islamophobia-report-pile-of-dung-masquerading-as-research/
Case Study: How One New Yorker, David Yerushalmi, Got Texas And Other States To Push Anti-Sharia Legislation, Scott Keyes http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/09/03/310508/case-study-how-one-new-yorker-got-texas-and-other-states-to-push-anti-sharia-legislation/
Countering the Islamophobia Network, Faiz Shakir http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/31/countering-the-islamaphobia-network/
Exposed: Right-Wing Think Tanks and Bloggers Conducted Secret 10-Year Campaign to Fan Fear of Muslims, Jim Lobe http://www.alternet.org/world/152197/exposed%3A_right-wing_think_tanks_and_bloggers_conducted_secret_10-year_campaign_to_fan_fear_of_muslims/
Fear, Incorporated: Who’s paying for all that Islamophobic paranoia?, Stephen M. Walt http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/08/26/fear_incorporated
FEAR INC! Millions Being Spent To Spread Islamophobia Fear & Hate Of Muslims, Keith Olbermann video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um4v49dqFsI&feature=player_embedded#!
Fear, Inc.: America’s Islamophobia Network, George Zornick http://www.thenation.com/blog/163023/fear-inc-americas-islamophobia-network
Fear of Islam, A Study, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/fear-of-islam-a-study/2011/08/30/gIQAqkBhpJ_blog.html
Fighting the defamation of Muslim Americans, Wajahat Ali http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/aug/26/islamophobia-defamation-muslim-american
Former Mitt Romney Staffer Chris Slick Revealed As Key Player Behind Nationwide Islamophobia Push, Scott Keyes http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/30/302613/mitt-romney-chris-slick-islamophobia/
Fox Invites Anti-Muslim “Expert” Steven Emerson To Lash Out Against Islamophobia Report http://mediamatters.org/blog/201108310002
Fox’s Eric Bolling Fails Reading, Smears CAP report, Zachary Pleat http://mediamatters.org/blog/201108310012
Fox News Lies About CAP’s Islamophobia Report By Making Up False Anti-Semitic Quote, Faiz Shakir http://thinkprogress.org/media/2011/08/31/308650/fox-news-lies-about-islamophobia-report-by-making-up-false-quote/
Fox’s Eric Bolling Finally Comments On His Defamatory Remark: ‘Sorry For The Confusion’, Faiz Shakir http://thinkprogress.org/media/2011/09/02/310807/fox%e2%80%99s-eric-bolling-finally-comments-on-his-defamatory-remark-%e2%80%98sorry-for-the-confusion%e2%80%99/
Frank Gaffney Thinks ‘We Need A New House Anti-American Committee’ For Islam, Ali Gharib http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/09/01/310121/gaffney-mccarthyism-muslims/
Interview with Wajahat Ali on Fear Inc. report by Tim Murphy, video http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/38459
Islamophobia Inc. Targets GOP Muslims Too, Steve Clemons http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/08/islamophobia-inc-targets-gop-muslims-too/244309/
Islamophobia Network’s Robert Spencer: CAP Report Is Part Of ‘Islamic Supremacist Propaganda Machine’, Faiz Shakir http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/26/305941/islamophobia-networks-robert-spencer-cap-report-is-part-of-islamic-supremacist-propaganda-machine/
Islamophobia Network’s David Horowitz Responds To ThinkProgress By Calling Us ‘Fascistic’, Faiz Shakir http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/26/305505/david-horowitz-calls-tp-fascists/
Islamophobia: Real or Imagined - TAM article collection http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/islamophobia_real_or_imagined/0016131
Islamophobia’s Poisoned Wellsprings, Russ Wellen http://www.fpif.org/blog/islamophobias_poisoned_wellsprings
Map of the Day: The Anti-Sharia Panic, Tim Murphy http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/08/anti-sharia-panic-how-lie-becomes-bill
Meet An Islamophobia Network Funder: Richard Scaife, Eli Clifton http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/29/306691/meet-an-islamophobia-network-funder-richard-scaife/
Meet An Islamophobia Network Funder: The Varet And Rosenwald Family, Eli Clifton http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/09/02/310779/meet-an-islamophobia-network-funder-the-varet-and-rosenwald-family/
Meet An Islamophobia Network Donor: The Lynde And Harry Bradley Foundation, Eli Clifton http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/30/307525/bradley-foundation-islamophobia/
Meet An Islamophobia Network ‘Expert’: Steven Emerson, Eli Clifton http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/31/308537/steve-emerson-investigative-project/
Meet David Yerushalmi: Founder, Society of Americans for National Existence, Amanda Peterson Beadle http://thinkprogress.org/david-yerushalmi-founder-society-of-americans-for-national-existence/
Millions Donated To Islamophobic Groups Since 2001, Ryan J. Reilly http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/millions_donated_to_islamaphobic_groups_since_2001.php
Neocon Blogger, Ed Lasky, Cherry Picks Pew Report Data To Dismiss Islamophobia http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/08/30/308005/cherrypick-dismiss-islamophobia/
New Report Details Funding Sources Behind Anti-Muslim Fearmongers, Robert Steinback, SPLC, http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2011/08/26/new-report-details-funding-sources-behind-anti-muslim-fearmongers/
New Report Identifies Organisational Nexus of Islamophobia, Jim Lobe http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=104908
New report maps the roots of Islamophobia, Justin Elliott http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/08/27/islamophobia_report
Remember Who We Are, Editorial http://www.forward.com/articles/142155/
REPORT: $42 Million From Seven Foundations Helped Fuel The Rise Of Islamophobia In America, Faiz Shakir http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/26/304306/islamophobia-network/
Report aims to map funding to anti-Islamist groups, Michelle Boorstein http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/under-god/post/report-aims-to-map-funding-to-anti-islamist-groups/2011/08/26/gIQArbeqgJ_blog.htm
Report On Islamophobia Highlights Role Played By Right-Wing Media http://mediamatters.org/blog/201108260020
Report Reveals Underpinnings of Islamophobia in the U.S., Dilshad D. Ali http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Report-Reveals-Underpinnings-of-Islamophobia-in-the-US-Dilshad-Ali-08-26-2011.html
Right-Wing Foundations Behind Today’s Islamophobia Also Prop Up Anti-Gay Industry, Igor Volsky http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/08/26/305475/right-wing-foundations-behind-todays-islamophobia-also-prop-up-anti-gay-industry/
The Sharia Paranoia Industry is very lucrative, Adam Serwer http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-sharia-paranoia-industry-is-very-lucrative/2011/03/04/gIQALiKIgJ_blog.html
The Struggle Of Islamophobia, Imam Khalid Latif http://www.huffingtonpost.com/imam-khalid-latif/ramadan-reflection-day-26_b_938658.html
Top Ten Right-Wing Responses To CAP’s Islamophobia Report: ‘Cowards,’ ‘Straight Out of Mein Kampf,’ ‘A Pile Of Dung’, Eli Clifton http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/09/01/310223/right-wing-response-islamophobia-report/
Who funds all the Muslim baiting?, M.J. Rosenberg http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/who-funds-all-the-muslim-_b_937979.html
Who Gets Paid to Make America Hate? The Roots of the Islamophobia Network, Haroon Moghul http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/haroonmoghul/5022/who_gets_paid_to_make_america_hate_the_roots_of_the_islamophobia_network
Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry (with detailed responses to the work and claims of the key Islamophobes and organizations) http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a_whos_who_of_the_anti-muslimanti-arabislamophobia_industry/
Originally posted 8/27/11