Eliana Benador Goes Beyond Islamophobia to Raving, Paranoid, Lunacy!
by Sheila Musaji
Yesterday, I read a remarkably bigoted article by Eliana Benador on The Washington Times site. She titled her article “Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin: Married to a Muslim agenda?”. The title got my attention. What possible “Muslim agenda” could there be in a tawdry sex scandal that will probably destroy an interfaith marriage?
I bookmarked the article so that I could go over it carefully today, however, it no longer comes up on The Washington Times site. When I discovered that the article had disappeared, I did some searching . Fortunately, I did find a few articles Neocon flak: Weiner may have converted to Islam by Justin Elliott, Was SMERSH Behind the Weiner-Abedin Wedding? by Jeffrey Goldberg, Was Anthony Weiner An Unwitting Pawn Of An Islamic-Socialist Plot? by Right Wing Watch, and Here’s Your Sharia Paranoiac Take On Weinergate by Jason Linkins discussing Benador’s article. This means that even though the article seems to have been pulled from The Washington Times site, there are still enough quotes that had already been copied to piece together the basic premises of the original article.
While I was writing this, Jason Linkins article was posted on the Huffington Post and makes a PDF of the original article available here.
A quote from the original Benador article may be found in Justin Elliott’s article:
Regardless, those are words of compromise offered by a leading Muslim Imam trying to make us forget that the Koran actually advocates stoning wives for adultery while turning a blind eye toward the sexual mis-deeds of the husband.
It is also important, when looking at this situation, to remember that observant Muslims practice Taqiyya , an element of sharia that states there is a legal right and duty to distort the truth to promote the cause of Islam. ...
Given the defense articulated by the Imam, which would be offered only for a Muslim man, we must believe this opportunity to remove this Muslim woman from a union with an non-believer would be quickly taken. Therefore we must consider that Mr. Weiner *may* have converted to Islam, because if he did not, we have to consider the unlikely, that being that Ms. Abedin has abandoned her Muslim faith, even while she still practices.
After listing this quote, Justin Elliott then comments as follows:
Benador also wonders in the column if Huma has “been groomed to access leading political movers and shakers to advance the cause of Islam in America, including a politically positioned marriage to Congressman Anthony Weiner?”
Benador is no random blogger. She was the president of the now-defunct Benador Associates, a public relations firm that was active in the run-up to the Iraq war getting media exposure for such influential hawks as Michael Rubin, Richard Perle, Laurie Myrloie, and former CIA director Jim Woolsey. An article in the Guardian described pictures of her at a party with Joseph Lieberman. And one of her clients famously (and falsely) claimed in a 2006 newspaper column that Iran had instituted a Nazi-style dress code for Jews.
The bottom of the “Communities” section notes that “contributors are responsible for this content, which is not edited by The Washington Times.” But an editor did apparently delete one paragraph from Benador’s column, leaving this note: “(Correction: Paragraph removed for inaccuracies. Apologies are issued and we regret the error. The Communities).”
I’ve asked the Communities editor for comment on what that error was.
Jeffrey Goldberg includes this quote from Benador’s article
When looking broadly at the Anthony Weiner-Huma Abedin union, we have to wonder if the coupling of a Jewish American man and a Muslim woman of her pedigree was fostered by love or by a socialist political agenda.
In Benador’s article an Imam from a NY mosque became “The Imam of New York” and “a leading Muslim Imam”, and his simple advice takes on a sinister hue. According to one news report this Imam is Omar Abu-Namous, Imam of the 96th Street Islamic Cultural Center.
There is no such thing as an Imam of New York. There is no Muslim plot to take over the U.S. by marrying off Muslim women to politicians. There is no finishing school somewhere grooming attractive Muslim women to ingratiate themselves with powerful men. Observant Muslims don’t practice Taqiyya. And Weiner, like Barack Obama is not a “secret Muslim” (although if you take insanity like Yerushalmi & Kedar’s recent Sharia report seriously, perhaps you should check which hand he wears his watch on). Please read What everyone “knows” about Islam and Muslims for a long list of such ridiculous claims made by Islamophobes with links to responses. This includes a response to the lie about Iran planning to have Jews wear yellow badges which Benador promoted
Right Wing Watch pretty much sums up the insanity of Benador’s article
Did Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, marry disgraced New York Rep. Anthony Weiner to usher in an Islamic, socialist, Alinskyist plot to takeover America? So says conservative Washington Times blogger Eliana Benador, who posits (in an article since pulled from the website) that the power-hungry Abedin may have married Weiner to advance the “pro-Muslim political agenda” backed by President Obama, George Soros, and her close friends Bill and Hillary Clinton, whose actions “signal their socialist agenda, which includes domination of the U.S. by a Muslim ruled world.” But their nefarious plans could be ruined by the congressman’s recent scandal.
Benador believes that Weiner may have even converted to Islam to marry Abedin, noting that no one can trust anything they say anyway because “an element of sharia that states there is a legal right and duty to distort the truth to promote the cause of Islam.” Good thing that Benador is asking the question everyone’s been thinking, “has Huma been groomed to access leading political movers and shakers to advance the cause of Islam in America, including a politically positioned marriage to Congressman Anthony Weiner?”
This sort of article shows nothing but a disgusting hatred of Islam and Muslims that is reminiscent of Nazi propoganda. Eliana Benador and all the other Islamophobes should be ashamed, and a publication like the Washington Times should be ashamed of publishing such hateful trash!
All of this is par for the course for Islamophobes who are now regularly going beyond Islamophobia to raving, paranoid, lunacy and insanity!
UPDATE 12/24/2011 Her Islamophobic take on the “All-American Muslim” controversy here
She decries the producers presenting “‘ordinary’ Muslims, who initially seem quasi-assimilated but who in the end “go back” to a more “fundamental” approach to their religion whether it’s adopting the hijab or head-cover or by fasting during Ramadan, that involves daily abstinence from food and water, from sunrise to sunset… and more.”
Does any ‘ordinary’ Muslim only “seem” assimilated? What would be required to be fully assimilated rather than “quasi-assimilated in her view? A Muslim wearing a head-cover or fasting is for Benador, a sign of fundamentalism? Would Orthodox Jews fasting on Yom Kippur, or wearing head covers “... and more” also be a concern? Does fasting and wearing particular religious clothing constitute not being assimilated. Perhaps Ms. Benador has never visited Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in New York and elsewhere, or the Amish for that matter.
She sees the Muslim high school football coach in the series attempting to encourage his players to win as something sinister “There is a conspicuous effort to aim for “victory” even if it is in the context of sports, which they train for in almost a military manner: “... we must win…” Perhaps, in order to show that they are “assimilated”, Muslim coaches are supposed to encourage their players to lose.
She sees the Muslim police officer in the series as an example of “The subtle takeover of law enforcement in “their city” of Dearborn, where the police is mostly made out by Muslims and is headed by a Muslim, who try to show how ‘fair-minded’ they are in applying justice while they protect their own… “
She goes on in this bigoted vein and then comes to these gems which can only be called hate speech “Sure America’s First Amendment protects freedom of religion. But the Founding Fathers and signatories of the Constitution undoubtedly would not have included rights in it for members of a religion that demands the destruction, persecution and invasion of the United States of America -and at best, the establishment of a shadow Constitution parallel to the American one, namely Islamic sharia law. No, that most certainly was not in the minds of America’s Founding Fathers.”
Benador as a “real American” believes that American Muslims should not have rights under the Constitution as do other citizens.
“Americans should also consider a connection of cause and effect, between Muslim terrorists and so-called moderate Muslims. First of all, because of strong Muslim family values, there is no way that families and/or friends may not know when someone is a terrorist and ready to give their lives to explode themselves in the middle of innocent civilians or any other kind of attack.”
Benador believes that “strong Muslim family values” are dangerous and lead inexorably to condoning or covering up terrorist activity. Surprisingly, she also believe that whenever someone commits a crime, “there is no way that families and/or friends” wouldn’t know about that. Perhaps, she would like to see a law passed that any time a violent crime is committed, their families and friends will immediately be arrested for not having been aware and come forward to turn them in before the crime took place.
And, what does she think should be done about this? “All American Muslim is manipulating our social conscience and debilitating our patriotic approach to defend America -for, what is there to defend when they choose to present us unusually “assimilated” Muslims. But in reality we know that the truth is the black-burqa style of women, matching the most fundamental version of Islam. This is not about “Islamophobia”. No. This is about defending our rights to make sure our country has the necessary safeguards to protect our life values upon which America was founded. So, it is now necessary to stand up and defend Lowe’s, support them and support all other industries that could be targeted by the imposition of retrograde mores in our country. Employees and family members of employees working for Lowe’s as well as, for instance, the alcohol industry, the fashion industry and others, should rally for the survival of the American dream.”
She is saying that “we” must “defend America” from “the truth” that all Muslims are dangerous and those who appear “assimilated” are just attempting to fool us. “We” must “defend our rights” against “those people”.
This is Islamophobia. This is bigotry. This is blind hatred of an entire religion. This is rabble rousing to stir folks to do their “Patriotic duty” and defend themselves against any ordinary Muslim they happen to come across.
Arabic for right-wingers, Justin Elliott http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/06/16/right_wing_arabic_glossary/
James Woolsey’s Former PR Agent Outlines “Anthony Weiner is a Muslim” Conspiracy Theory, Richard Bartholomew http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/james-woolseys-former-pr-agent-outlines-anthony-weiner-is-a-muslim-conspiracy-theory/
Originally published 6/13/2011