Islamophobes 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.
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) 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.
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.”
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. ...
RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA SUMMARY
The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade. They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films. They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally. They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”
Currently, the Islamophobia Industry is engaged in a full-scale, coordinated, demonization campaign against American Muslims and Arabs. In just the past few months we have seen a series of inflammatory provocations: There was the Innocence of Muslims film Titanic, a German satire magazine plans an “Islam” cover article to be published later this month. Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine published an issue with inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Newsweek published their ‘Muslim Rage’ cover. Terry Jones held a “trial of Prophet Muhammad”. SION held a “global” gathering in NYC to plan propaganda strategy. A group in Toronto publicized a “walk your dog at the mosque” day. AFDI/SIOA has run a series of anti-Muslim ads on public transportation across the country. AFDI/SIOA are planning to run 8 more anti-Muslim ads. There are three more films on Prophet Muhammad in the works by Ali Sina, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Imran Farasat. They are even bringing their hate messages into public schools.
Daniel Pipes is encouraging publication of “A Muhammad cartoon a day”, and says “So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: Display the Muhammad cartoon daily, until the Islamists become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”. Pipes joins Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) who published an appeal on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’?. And, both are following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Pamela Geller, who promoted just such a plan back in 2010 with her promotion of Draw Muhammad Day, even after the cartoonist who drew the first cartoon and suggested the idea, Molly Norris apologized to Muslims and asked for the day to be called off, and American Muslims had issued a defense of free speech. None of this is surprising as one of the Islamophobes laid out their strategy as “The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the questionable (though unquestioned) character of the ‘Prophet’ himself. We need to satirise and ridicule baby-bonking Mo until the Muslims fly into uncontrollable tantrums, then ridicule them even more for their tantrums, and repeat the process until they froth at the mouth and steam comes out of their ears.”
The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences. The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.
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 jihad — Thanksgiving turkey jihad — paisley scarf jihad — marriage to important men jihad — spit jihad — fashion jihad — spelling bee jihad — rape jihad — defacing dollar bills jihad — population jihad — creeping Sharia jihad — mosque building jihad — terror baby jihad — “creeping Sharia” jihad — pedophilia jihad — bus driver prayer jihad — forehead bruise jihad — postage stamp jihad — soup jihad — banning alcohol jihad — fake hate crimes jihad — piggy bank jihad — tv reality series jihad — handshake jihad — prom jihad — interfaith jihad — Arabic language jihad — public school jihad — religious accommodation jihad — Crescent moon jihad — Christmas tree tax jihad — oath of office jihad — immigration jihad — community fundraiser jihad— public school/madrassa jihad — post office jihad — food jihad — pyramid jihad — crucifixion jihad in Egypt — fireworks jihad — computer donation jihad — civic participation jihad — Olympic “judo” jihad— stealth name jihad— pre-violent jihad — Love jihad — fashion jihad 2 — #MyJihad ad jihad — talk show host jihad — art museum jihad — Halloween jihad — DNC Muslim Prayer Jihad — cat crucifixion jihad in Ghana — Scottish Muslim women’s stealth jihad — anti-democracy jihad — un-neighborly Musims in Paris jihad — jihad on Christopher Columbus — Iranian smallpox jihad — Muslim Christmas grinch jihad — #MyJihad twitter jihad — Muslim 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.
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 ( https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )