MENTAL ILLNESS, ONE OF MANY CAUSES OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

Bennett editorial cartoon
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From The New York Times; Ms. Menendez’s years of inner and outer turmoil culminated in the deadly assault on an unsuspecting man who was waiting for a train on Thursday. Beyond stirring fear among riders on crowded platforms across the city, the attack also raised new questions about the safeguards in a patchwork private and public mental health system that is supposed to allow mentally ill people to live as freely as possible in the community while protecting them and the public.
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“How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died?”
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The following from Mondoweiss deals with the latest incident …
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After Islamophobic hate crime in New York City, mayor wants public to ‘keep death in perspective’

by Annie Robbins and Alex Kane
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The Passport photo of 46-year-old Sunando Sen, pushed to his death because a woman thought he was Muslim (Photo: Christie M. Farriella for New York Daily News)
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A horrific crime if we’ve ever seen one–and a reminder that Islamophobia affects many communities outside Muslim ones.

From the AP:

A woman who told police she shoved a man to his death off a subway platform into the path of a train because she hates Muslims and thought he was one was charged Saturday with murder as a hate crime, prosecutors said.

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“I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up,” Menendez told police, according to the district attorney’s office.

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday urged residents to keep Sen’s death in perspective as he touted new historic lows in the city’s annual homicide and shooting totals.

“It’s a very tragic case, but what we want to focus on today is the overall safety in New York,” Bloomberg told reporters following a police academy graduation.

What kind of perspective is Bloomberg referencing? If someone said “I shoved a Jew in front of a train because I hate Jews,” would Bloomberg be touting drops in the city’s annual homicide and shooting totals? Quite an insensitive comment, at the very least.

After this news broke, Twitter was aflutter with people pointing to Pamela Geller as one culprit pushing anti-Muslim sentiment in the city. Geller’s organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, recently put up a new crop of ads that features the World Trade Center burning with a Qu’ran verse printed to the right of the towers. 

Geller’s role in promoting anti-Muslim sentiment of the sort that leads to Islamophobic hate crimes should not be in dispute. But what should also be highlighted is how New York City’s own police force has promoted anti-Muslim bigotry time and time again, from surveillance of Muslims that places the whole community under suspicion to training officers with an Islamophobic flick. 

Friend of Mondoweiss Lizzy Ratner made this point in her excellent piece on Geller in The Nation:

Though Geller and her crew are fringe elements, they are not random or spontaneous, idiopathic lesions on the healthier whole. They are, quite sadly, part of this country, outcroppings of something big and ugly that has been seeping and creeping through the body politic for years. In the decade since September 11, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry has become an entrenched feature of our political and social landscape. It lurks in the hidden corners of everyday life—in classrooms and offices and housing complexes—as well as in the ugly scenes that occasionally explode into public consciousness. In the special registration of Middle Eastern men after 9/11. In the vicious campaign against Debbie Almontaser, the American Muslim school teacher who tried to open the Arabic-language Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA) and was tarred as an extremist. In the attack on the Park51 Islamic center, more commonly (if less accurately) known as the Ground Zero mosque. In the New York Police Department’s selective surveillance of Muslim communities. And that’s just New York City. All of these instances should have called on our horror and outrage, and in all too many of them, society hasn’t lived up.

This crime appears to be the latest manifestation of New York City’s Islamophobia. This time, it cost a life.

AN ISLAMOPHOBIC CHRISTMAS GREETING FROM ISRAEL

Christmas is officially here, so is Islamophobia!
See and hear for yourselves in his own words…
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Full text of message
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Today, Christian communities throughout the Middle East are shrinking, and many of them are endangered. This is, of course, not true in Israel. Here there is a strong and growing Christian community that participates fully in the life of our country. Israel is proud of its record of religious tolerance and pluralism, and Israel will continue to protect freedom of religion for all. And we will continue to safeguard places of Christian worship throughout our country. We will not tolerate any acts of violence or discrimination against any place of worship. This is not our way, and this is something we cannot accept.

So as you celebrate Christmas and your holy holidays, we hope that you will recall the places where Judaism and Christianity emerged, and then come see our ancient land with your own eyes: visit Nazareth and Bethlehem, wade into the Jordan River, stand on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
And next year, come visit our eternal capital, Jerusalem.

Happy holidays to all of you. May you all be blessed with a year of security, prosperity and peace.

‘FREEDOM LOVING’ ZIONISTS FUND THE HATRED ON NEW YORK’S SUBWAYS

Geller told me in an e-mail that “many clear-thinking and freedom-loving Jewish groups approve of my work.” 
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Who funds Pamela Geller? In 2010, it was a former Israel Project board member
 Alex Kane

Geller at 9/11 Conference
Pamela Geller speaks at a September 11, 2012 conference (AP Photo/David Karp)

The nation’s leading anti-Muslim blogger and activist is back at it again in the New York City subway system. On December 17, Pamela Geller, who runs the blog Atlas Shrugs and is the head of Stop Islamization of America and the American Freedom Defense Initiative, had inflammatory ads put up in 50 subway stations at a cost of over $10,000. The ads picture the World Trade Center burning on September 11 and quote a Qu’ran verse–tying the religion of Islam to the terrorist attacks.

And in September, she put up another round of anti-Muslim advertisements at a cost of thousands of dollars. Many of them were altered and defaced by activists.

All of this begs the question: who is paying for Geller’s antics?

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The latest advertisements that went up in the subway December 17.

It remains unclear who exactly is funding the ad buys. In an e-mail to Mondoweiss, Geller said “all the money for the ads comes from supporters’ donations.” On the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s website, a donation button urges readers to “fund the fight.” But the word “supporters” is not exactly revealing. (It’s also worth noting that Geller won a $4 million divorce settlement and $5 million in life insurance.)

Tax records, though, show who partly funded Geller two years ago, when she first made a big name for herself leading the fight against the Park 51 Islamic center in lower Manhattan. These details have not been reported by other media outlets.

A foundation called the Alan and Hope Winters Foundation gave $5,000 to the American Freedom Defense Initiative in 2010, the Geller-led outfit behind the anti-Muslim advertisements. The foundation also gave money to a host of other anti-Muslim outfits that year, including the neoconservative Hudson Institute ($25,000) and David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence ($115,000).

Geller said that the Winters’ money went to her activism around Park 51. But the fact that a big-pocketed foundation gave cash to Geller’s group raises the question as to whether other foundations are likewise funding Geller’s ad buying spree.

Regardless of the answer to that question, the Winters donation is interesting in its own light. Hope Winters was on the board of The Israel Project in 2006 and 2007, according to 990 tax forms reviewed. It is the clearest example yet of how members of the Israel lobby are tied to Geller, a woman who told The New York Times that “a very good guide” to how she sees the world is the “prism of Israel.” Indeed, her last ads read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” And next to those words were the following: “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

The Israel Project (TIP) is a thoroughly-mainstream and well-connected shop that seeks to put “a more positive public face of Israel” out for everyone to see. TIP works with journalists to inform–or spin– the American public about the region. The group’s influence can be seen in the fact that a number of Senators and Representatives from both parties sit on its “board of advisors.”

Currently, TIP is headed by Josh Block, a former spokesperson for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. TIP did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

So what’s a former board member with TIP doing funding Geller’s hateful crusade against an Islamic center? Winters did not respond to inquiries relayed to her through an associate who helps handle her foundation’s finances. But it’s not too hard to guess.

TIP’s and Geller’s goals converge when it comes to Israel. They both support hawkish right-wing Israeli governments bent on colonizing the West Bank. They both want aggressive U.S. or Israeli action against Iran. Geller’s whole shtick is to cast Israel as a Western outpost in a sea of Arab and Islamic barbarism–the first line of defense in the “war on terror.” More subtly, TIP sees the Middle East in that way as well.

And TIP has other links to well-known Islamophobes. As the Institute for Policy Studies’ Right Web project notes, the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney spoke at a 2007 TIP-organized press conference about the “Iranian threat.” When Gaffney is not pushing for aggressive action against Iran, he’s pontificating about the threat of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the U.S. government and how sharia law is slowly taking over. Crazy stuff, but TIP has no problem with it.

The explicit links between Geller and TIP are a sharp contrast to how other mainstream Jewish groups have reacted to her anti-Muslim ad buys. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Jewish Community Relations Council condemned Geller’s September ads, which conflated Muslims and Palestinians with “savages.” But these groups have themselves dabbled in explicit Islamophobia. A Dallas branch of the ADL, for instance, once held a screening for the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.”

Geller told me in an e-mail that “many clear-thinking and freedom-loving Jewish groups approve of my work.” 

While Geller remains a step too far for some groups, like the ADL, she operates within the larger context of Islamophobia that has been aided by Israel lobby groups. Think of her as the tip of the big spear pushed by more mainstream pro-Israel groups. And her links with The Israel Project bring the Geller tip that much closer to the mainstream establishment.

 

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PAMELA GELLER’s NEW ROUND OF HATRED ON THE WALLS

Once again Pamela Geller takes her hatred to the walls of the New York subway system. Despite MTA’s disclaimer, the ads are scheduled to appear today ….
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Anti-Islam Subway Ads By Pamela Geller Feature Exploding World Trade Center, Quote From The Quran (PHOTO)

New York City’s resident Islamophobe is back with yet another anti-Islam subway ad. Pamela Geller‘s latest features a photo of the World Trade Center exploding in flames next to a quote from the Quran that reads, “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers.”

When Geller last bought ad space in the NYC underground, New Yorkers didn’t react too kindly. Nearly all of the signs– which read “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad“– werevandalized.

As a result, The Observer reports Geller doubled her ad buy this time, and that “the new ads will be plastered across at least 50 different locations.”

“I refuse to abridge my free speech so as to appease savages,” she said.

Additionally, Geller’s latest bout of vitriol will come with a MTA disclaimer:

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“A cost of opening our ad space to a variety of viewpoints on matters of public concern is that we cannot readily close that space to certain advertisements on account of their expression of divisive or even venomous messages,” the MTA stated at the time of the “savages” ad. “The answer to distasteful and uncivil speech is more, and more civilized, speech.”

 

Source    

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A new group, Jews Against Islamophobia added the following;

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Jewish Groups Condemn (Yet Again) Ads

Promoting Hate and Anti-Muslim Bigotry:

Call for Unequivocal Repudiation of Islamophobia

 

Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 The Jews Against Islamophobia (JAI) Coalition condemns the latest hate-mongering ads, sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), that are scheduled to appear in New York City subway stations today. “New York residents have already demonstrated that we don’t want such ads in our city. In a month when many people gather with their loved ones for Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and other seasonal celebrations, Jews must recommit ourselves anew to standing up against these ads and all forms of Islamophobia,” pledged JAI Coalition member and director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), Marjorie Dove Kent.

 

The ad shows a picture of the World Trade Center in flames, next to a quote from the Koran, and reads: “Soon shall we cast terror into the heart of the unbelievers.”

 

“But, of course, a bigot can play this game of selective quotation with any religion. Find a picture of horrifying violence committed by some Jews or Christians — there are a depressingly large number — and juxtapose it with one of the following quotes from scripture: “I come not to bring peace, but a sword” [Matthew 10:34] or “Only in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes” [Deuteronomy 20:16]),” notes JAI Coalition member Alan Levine.

 

The AFDI ad—which cost about $70,000—is part of a nationwide campaign to demonize Muslim and Arab Americans. In the past six months, AFDI has funded hate ads in Westchester, New York City, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. In each of these cases, a wide range of interfaith and civil rights groups came together to denounce the ads and to stand up for unity and solidarity. The AFDI’s Pamela Geller is co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

 

“Geller’s ads contribute to creating an even more hostile climate than already exists for the Muslim community, many of whom are already living in fear of street harassment, bullying, and other forms of verbal and physical violence,” says JAI Coalition member Jon Moscow. “We all have a responsibility to make sure this does not continue. We call on New Yorkers to respond individually and collectively to repudiate this vicious attempt to divide our city and to strongly condemn these ads.”

 

This anti-Muslim ad campaign takes place in the context of a post-9/11 atmosphere of fear, hate, and bigotry in the United States that targets Muslims, Arabs, Middle Easterners, Sikhs and other South Asians.  “While we find shocking the blatant Islamophobia in the ads and strongly condemn this vicious hate speech, we also condemn ongoing governmental policies of racial and religious profiling,” emphasized director of Jewish Voice for Peace, Rebecca Vilkomerson, whose group is also a member of the JAI Coalition. “For example, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has been engaged in police surveillance of Muslims that has flagrantly violated the community’s civil and human rights. These Islamophobic acts help make possible the hate-filled atmosphere in which people like Geller thrive.” Despite the NYPD commitment of time, money, and personnel to its widespread surveillance and spying program in the Muslim community, it has not, according to the Commanding Officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division, generated a single lead or triggered a terrorism investigation.Communities have organized in response to NYPD surveillance and spying, including groups coming together to support City Council bills that would begin to hold the NYPD accountable for these actions.

 

People across New York City are once again joining the Muslim community to oppose these ads and to ensure that the rights of all our communities are fully protected and that no group is subjected to any form of harassment or racism. The JAI Coalition pledges to continue to be part of that movement for justice.

 

FREE SPEECH AND HATE SPEECH

hate-speech-is-not-free-speech
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In a nutshell, free speech, though not an absolute value in itself, is a positive value and ought to be protected and defended; but hate, malicious and vulgar speech is a negative value that ultimately leads to bloodshed and war.
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My response to America’s fanatical libertarians
Just as American libertarians insist that no other value should be more paramount than freedom of speech, Americans should understand that other peoples have equally paramount values
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Khalid Amayreh 
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In some recent internet articles, a number of American writers criticised and ridiculed me for arguing that Muslims have a legitimate right not to be offended by Islamophobes and other provocateurs just as Americans have a constitutional right to free speech, including the right to offend and despise others.

One writer argued that there was no such right not to be offended. Claiming “no one has the right to a world in which he is never despised,” the writer went as far as arguing that attacking free speech was even a greater blasphemy than a slur on the divine.

Furthermore, the writer went on, saying that “Amayreh doesn’t truly comprehend American core values when he says that ‘in the final analysis, a Muslim’s right not to be offended and insulted overrides a scoundrel’s rightto malign Muslims’ religious symbols.’ “

A second writer urged President Obama to refute my defence of Muslims’ rights not to be offended.

Well, Americans seem to have a world of their own just as we have a world of our own. Moreover, many Americans seem to harbour a certain subconscious conviction that non-Americans should unreservedly adopt, or subject themselves to, American values. That was the tacit message communicated ad nauseam by numerous Hollywood movies for many decades.

This condescending perception, often encapsulated in the Yankee slogan, “The American way,” is a natural symptom of American cultural imperialism and megalomania. 

Americans constitute a mere five per cent of humanity, and as such have no right to impose their values on the rest of humanity, however logical and rational these values may sound. There are other peoples in this world, including some 1.6 billion Muslims who adore and love their religion and Prophet.

I know freedom of speech is a sacred value in the United States and many other countries. However, just as American libertarians insist that no other value should be more paramount than this value, we expect the same Americans to understand that other peoples in other parts of the world have equally paramount values, including religious values.

In Matthew 5:29, it is said that “and if thy right eye offends thee, pluck it out, and cast it away from you.”

This biblical quotation should demonstrate that my argument about the right not to be offended is not far fetched and inherently incompatible with Western thinking.

Jesus never really maligned the religious symbols of other people. And the Quran urges Muslims not to “insult those whom they (disbelievers) worship, idols besides God, lest they insult God wrongfully without knowledge” (Al-Anaam,108).

Interestingly, blasphemy laws appeared in Western societies long before they appeared in the lands of Islam.

But all this talk may be virtually inconsequential to self-absorbed libertarians who think they are correct and everyone else is wrong.

According to America’s fanatical libertarians, Americans have an inherent and absolute right to free speech, which conceivably includes hate speech, incitement to murder, defamation and besmirching people’s images and reputation. 

Yet, we see American culture and media have a zero tolerance for critics of Israel and Zionism, particularly in the American arena, which really draws a huge question mark over Americans’ commitment to true freedom of speech.

I am not an advocate of hate speech even under the rubric of free speech. Hate speech could easily lead to mass murder and genocide. We should all remember that before there were Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen and Treblinka, there was Mein Kampf as well venomous anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda.

Needless to say, it was this virulent propaganda that desensitised Europe and much of the Western world to the systematic extermination of European Jewry and others.

In my humble opinion, free speech that is likely to lead to the loss of life is not worth protecting and defending. In the final analysis, a human being’s right to life is more important than a human being’s right to absolute, vulgar hate speech.

Yes, the two rights need not always be in a state of conflict. However, when a purported right has the potential of decimating the other more natural right, the right to life, there should be no question as to where our attention should be focused.

And as we all know, the matter is not merely academic, as recent events in parts of the Middle East have demonstrated.

There are, of course, those who claim that hate speech wouldn’t have to lead to bloodshed. Well, this might be true if the rest of the world adopted the American value system and believed in the First Amendment as God-incarnate. But to the chagrin of our American friends, the world is too diverse to adopt the American way and adhere to the American Constitution as the ultimate religion of mankind.

This shouldn’t mean though that the world is doomed to everlasting cultural confrontations. Conflicting cultural values need not evolve into wars of cultures or even worse, religious wars. A certain compromise solution ought to be found whereby a delicate balance is struck between the world’s various value systems, including the right to free speech versus the right not to be offended by hate speech.

In the final analysis, we have to give due consideration to the magical word: Respect. I realise how difficult it would be to legislate “respect” among heterogeneous communities let alone among diverse cultures.

Nonetheless, the present situation between Islam and the West where one group of people must be offended and insulted on the grounds that another group of people has an allegedly absolute right to free speech cannot be maintained. The global village has become too small to allow fanatical and unbridled American libertarianism to demean and insult other cultures.

In a nutshell, free speech, though not an absolute value in itself, is a positive value and ought to be protected and defended; but hate, malicious and vulgar speech is a negative value that ultimately leads to bloodshed and war.

 

ISLAMOPHOBES LOSE OUT IN CONGRESSIONAL RACES

Key members of what has been termed Congress’ “Islamophobia caucus” went down in their re-election fights last night, dealing a blow to anti-Muslim activists’ efforts to influence policy and the national discourse. National Muslim organizations celebrated their victories today.
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Key members of the Congressional ‘Islamophobia caucus’ swept from Congress
By Alex Kane
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West and Geller
Former Florida House Republican Allen West poses with anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller (Phota via DownWithTyranny.blogspot.com)
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Key members of what has been termed Congress’ “Islamophobia caucus” went down in their re-election fights last night, dealing a blow to anti-Muslim activists’ efforts to influence policy and the national discourse. National Muslim organizations celebrated their victories today.

Allen West (R-FL), Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Adam Hasner (R-FL) were three Republicans that had used anti-Muslim rhetoric throughout their elected careers. But now they’re out of a job (though Hasner was running for a Congressional seat he did not hold).

“Folks in their districts wanted to send a message: we will not allow divisive politics, we will not allow extremism to run our political conversation,” said Haris Tarin, the director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Washington, D.C. office. “It also tells people that trying to divide Americans, by using anti-Muslim rhetoric, will not work in the long run.”

West, a former U.S. Army colonel, went down in Florida’s 18th Congressional district after Patrick Murphy squeaked by in a slim victory. West’s political career from the outset was marred by controversy; he is alleged to have threatened an Iraqi prisoner with death during an interrogation and to have fired shots near the prisoner–something that Murphy attacked him for in the campaign.

The Daily Beast’s Ali Gharib has more background on West’s Islamophobia:

In the House, West earned a reputation as a ferocious right-wing attack dog. The unfounded accusations that dozens of Communists populate the Congress’s Democratic caucus were nothing new, but his most novel legacy may be West’s inflammatory rhetoric about Muslims. Along with Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN), West used his time in Congress to press his case that Islam is “not a religion” but a “totalitarian theocratic political ideology,” and that terrorism is inherent to the faith—not radical Islam, but Islam, writ large. He’s accused a fellow Member of Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a Muslim, of “represent(ing) the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”

If all that wasn’t bad enough, West has shared a stage with America’s foremost anti-Muslim activist, Pamela Geller (who was recently in the news again). When he was called out for his ties to bigots like Geller and asked to respect Muslims’ right to worship freely, his one-word response made an apparent comparison between the request and Nazi overtures for an American surrender in World War II.

Illinois’ Walsh lost his Congressional seat to Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth. “With 93 percent of the unofficial vote counted, Duckworth had 55 percent, with 45 percent for Walsh,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Walsh, in addition to his far-right advocacy on the Israel/Palestine conflict, has also spewed anti-Muslim rhetoric.

In August, Walsh warned that radical Islamists were “trying to kill Americans every week” and that the next 9/11 was inevitable. Walsh also claimed that radical Islam “was here” in the Chicago suburbs. Shortly after Walsh’s remarks made waves, two Chicago-area Muslim centers were violently attacked.

Hasner was a former Florida state representative until 2010, and decided to run for a Florida House seat in 2012. But he lost to Lois Frankel last night. He was an up and coming Jewish Republican who is really cozy with Pamela Geller, the nation’s leading and most virulent anti-Muslim activist. Hasner also was a leader in ginning up fear over the non-existent threat of Sharia law coming to the U.S, and once invited notorious anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders to a “free speech” conference.

“These encouraging results clearly show that mainstream Americans reject anti-Muslim bigotry by candidates for public office and will demonstrate that rejection at the polls,” Nihad Awad, executive director for the Council on American Islamic Relations, said in a statement. “This election witnessed an increased political awareness and mobilization effort among American Muslims that dealt a major blow to the Islamophobia machine.”

And while Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the undisputed leader of Islamophobia in U.S. government, ultimately won her race last night, it was extremely close. Despite spending 10 times the amount her opponent Jim Graves did, Bachmann only won by a few thousand votes. Bachmann is the woman who claimed, with no evidence, that there was Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government. MPAC’s Tarin said that the message voters in Bachmann’s district sent was, “if you continue to use this anti-Muslim rhetoric as your main platform issue, to divide Americans, it’s not going to work.”

In a press release, CAIR also noted some other races where anti-Muslim politicians went down: “In Arkansas, Rep. James McLean defeated Republican Charlie Fuqua, a candidate who advocated the deportation of all Muslims in a self-published book. In Minnesota, Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) lost his seat. Cravaack was a key supporter’s of Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) series of anti-Muslim hearings.”

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ISLAMOPHOBIA HAS BECOME A FULL FLEDGED INDUSTRY

 
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But the Islamophobia industry does not just exist in the fever swamps of the online world. There’s real on the ground work being done. And there are disparate players in this industry. They come, principally, from right-wing Zionism and evangelical Christianity, uniting to form a Judeo-Christian front in their battle against Islam. Their funders, too, come from these worlds–though the right-wing Zionist world has fueled the majority of anti-Muslim activists.
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An ‘industry’ built on hate: How the right-wing successfully brought anti-Muslim bigotry into the American mainstream

by Alex Kane

Ahmed Sharif was a 44-year-old Muslim Bangladeshi taxi driver in New York City. It was August 24, 2010, a time that marked the height of vitriolic protests against a planned Islamic center to be located in lower Manhattan, a few blocks away from the site of Ground Zero. Sharif picked up 21-year-old Michael Enright for an early evening ride. Everything was going smoothly until Enright, three blocks away from his stop, yelled at Sharif, “this is a checkpoint, motherfucker, and I have to bring you down.”

Enright, a filmmaker who kept a diary filled with strong anti-Muslim sentiment,pulled out a knife and slashed Sharif across the throat, face and arms. Enright tried to escape, but was arrested by the New York Police Department. Sharif survived, but he packed up and moved to Buffalo, in upstate New York. It was a crime that seemed to fit in with the general climate of hysteria over Muslims that developed that summer.

 

This is how Nathan Lean begins telling the story of how a small group of bigots seized upon the frustrations and fears of post-9/11 America and exploited those feelings to create a circular industry of hate. Lean’s new book, The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims, is a compact and punchy look at this industry stretching across continents that has sowed hatred of Muslims into the fabric of Western society.

The book, written by the editor-in-chief of Aslan Media, comes at an opportune time. Released in September 2012, the book landed just one month after American Muslims witnessed a stark increase in hate attacks during the holy month of Ramadan. A report by the Council on American Islamic Relationsdocumented that the Ramadan of 2012 “saw one of the worst spikes of anti-Muslim incidents in over a decade.”

From the beginning of 2012 to July 20, which is when Ramadan began, there were 10 incidents in which Muslim places of worship were targeted. During Ramadan–specifically over 13 days in August–“Muslim places of worship were targeted eight times.” These incidents include the destruction of a mosque in Missouri by fire; the leaving of pig legs at a planned mosque site in California; and the firing of air rifles outside a mosque in Illinois.

How, exactly, did we get here? By the time Ramadan of 2012 rolled around, it had been almost 11 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks were carried out by a group of Islamic fundamentalists part of Al Qaeda. You would expect anti-Muslim bigotry to decrease after the wounds of 9/11 healed, after it became clear that the vast majority of American Muslims have no inclination to attack their own country. You would be wrong.

Jumping from the U.S. to Israel to Europe, Lean traces the arc of the Islamophobic sentiment that has exploded in the West. The foreword from scholar on Islam John Esposito lays out the importance of Lean’s work: “It exposes the multi-million dollar cottage industry of fear mongers and the network of funders and organizations that support and perpetuate bigotry, xenophobia, and racism, and produce a climate of fear that sustains a threatening social cancer.”

Lean properly places anti-Muslim bigotry in the context of American hysteria over religions and ideologies that refused to conform to mainstream standards. Before jumping into the contemporary context, he reminds readers that Catholics were once the target of acceptable religious bigotry. The conspiracy theories spun out of thin air about Catholics would ring a familiar bell to those consuming Frank Gaffney’s utterly insane theory that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. government and is subverting it from within.

But by far the most important contribution Lean makes is his unmasking of the bigots who have infused American politics with virulent anti-Muslim sentiment. Lean zeroes in on a number of high-profile episodes and figures to make his points, from the pro-settler Clarion Fund’s distribution of an anti-Muslim film to the 2010 Values Voter summit to Anders Behring Breivik’s killing spree in Norway. Lean points to an “industry” of hate mongers that have gone to “great lengths to sell its message to the public.” The difference, though, between this industry and others is that “in many cases the very networks that spread their products are themselves participants in the ruse to whip up public fear of Muslims….It is a relationship of mutual benefit, where ideologies and political proclivities converge to advance the same agenda.”

The most important nodes in this industry are the online peddlers of hate. The author particularly focuses on Pamela Geller, the blogger at the front of the network of Islamophobes in the U.S. You can see Geller’s fingerprints in many of the public battles over Islam in this country, most prominently the ginned-up hysteria over the Park 51 Islamic center. Currently, Geller is in the spotlight for a series of anti-Muslim ads she has put up in New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.–with more on the way. She has used her celebrity, boosted by Fox News (a principal player in the Islamophobia industry), to create cross-continental activist networks against Islam. Robert Spencer, Geller’s partner in crime, is also a focus of Lean’s. “People such as Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, or Martin Kramer, all online Islamophobes, spread each others’ postings and write-ups to their own audience,” writes Lean. “With each new click of the mouse, the story grows.”

But the Islamophobia industry does not just exist in the fever swamps of the online world. There’s real on the ground work being done. And there are disparate players in this industry. They come, principally, from right-wing Zionism and evangelical Christianity, uniting to form a Judeo-Christian front in their battle against Islam. Their funders, too, come from these worlds–though the right-wing Zionist world has fueled the majority of anti-Muslim activists.

Right-wing Christian ideology places Muslims beyond the pale. “The idea that Muslims may also be in possession of God’s revelation and truth, is not only unacceptable, it is an offense so blasphemous that it must be stopped,” Lean notes. Evangelical Christians, as a core part of the Republican base, have actively pushed their ideas about Islam into the mainstream of American politics. They have been aided by figures such as Newt Gingrich, who while reinventing himself as an ardent Christian conservative has also spread panic about Sharia law taking over the United States. Many Christian conservatives are also, of course, Christian Zionists who see Israel as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy that will continue until the Messiah comes down again.

It is this Christian Zionism that closely binds right-wing evangelicals with strong supporters of the Jewish state. The Zionists who spread anti-Muslim bigotry can be placed in three camps, according to Lean: religious (Jewish) Zionism, Christian Zionism and political Zionism. “For Religious Zionists, prophecy is the main driver of their Islamophobic fervor. For them, Palestinians are not just unbidden inhabitants; they are not just Arabs in Jewish lands. They are not just Muslims, even. They are non-Jews–outsiders cut from a different cloth–and God’s commandments regarding them are quite clear,” he writes. And there is the political Zionism that sheds religious language but is still hostile towards Muslims. As Max Blumenthal wrote, these figures, some of whom are neoconservatives, believe that “the Jewish state [is] a Middle Eastern Fort Apache on the front lines of the Global War on Terror.”

Lean’s spot-on analysis about how Zionism is connected to Islamophobia is a refreshing departure from other works and institutions that shy away from examining the connection. The most prominent investigative reporting on Islamophobia and its sources of funding has come from the Obama-linked Center for American Progress (CAP). But the Zionist motivations of many of the funders CAP highlights are not interrogated. You have to turn to this piece by activists Donna Nevel and Elly Bulkin on those connections to get the full picture.

Lean also pinpoints how anti-Muslim bigtory has spread from the Internet world to the very heart of some government policies on terrorism. From the New York Police Department’s surveillance program to Peter King’s hearings on “Muslim radicalization,” anti-Muslim bigotry has become institutionalized in some quarters of government.

But Lean’s discussion of how parts of the U.S. government have become infused with Islamophobia does not tell the full story–and this is the main critique I have of an otherwise excellent book. Lean correctly focuses on how the right has manufactured fear and hatred of Muslims. But it would be wrong to leave out the other side of the equation: how liberals in this country who are part of the Democratic Party have also helped anti-Muslim sentiment to spread.

This is not to say that Democrats spew Islamophobia in their election campaigns. No, the Democratic Party does not go that far. But they are largely silent when ugly anti-Muslim bigotry comes into play, which allows the right to step into the vacuum in a debate over Islam in the U.S. When the Democrats run away from the issue, there is no one left in the mainstream to challenge the right’s Islamophobia.

As Deepa Kumar, author of her own book on Islamophobia, pointed out in The Nation, Islamophobia is a “bipartisan project.” Liberal Islamophobia, Kumar writes, “may be rhetorically gentler but it reserves the right of the US to wage war against ‘Islamic terrorism’ around the world, with no respect for the right of self-determination by people in the countries it targets.” You can see this liberal Islamophobia in action when you look at the fact that “Obama has continued Bush’s policies of torture, extraordinary rendition and pre-emptive prosecution. American Muslims continue to be harassed and persecuted by the state.” And then there was Obama counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan pronouncing that the NYPD’s targeting of Muslim in their surveillance program was legitimate. “My conversations with Commissioner [Ray] Kelly indicate he’s done everything according to the law,” Brennan told reporters.

While the White House walked back his comments, Brennan’s continued presence in the administration tells you all you need to know. Liberal Islamophobia’s march continues ahead–and ignoring how the Obama administration has failed to combat anti-Muslim bigotry is setting people up for failure. The way to combat Islamophobia is through activism and coalition-building, but if you ignore its manifestations no matter where they emanate from, you won’t get very far.

Besides that oversight, though, Lean’s The Islamophobia Industry is a vital contribution to the still-growing body of literature on anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. If you want to understand the genesis of the right’s toxic Islamophobia and how it has spread, pick up Lean’s book. You won’t regret it.

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CASHING IN ON ISLAMOPHOBIA

Some national Jewish organizations joined a coalition of religious groups calling on the Washington Metro system to donate profits from an anti-Islam ad to charity. 

Jewish Groups Want Anti-Islam Ad Profits for Charity

Joint Effort To Pressure Washington Subway Over ‘Jihad’ Ads

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Some national Jewish organizations joined a coalition of religious groups calling on the Washington Metro system to donate profits from an anti-Islam ad to charity.

“The placing of offensive, anti-Muslim ads in the D.C. Metro system is an important opportunity to affirm our commitment both to free speech and to a society that deplores hate and hate speech,” said Rabbi Batya Steinlauf, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington’s director of social justice and interfaith initiatives, and president of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington.

“We are all part of one community,” she said.

The ad, currently running in four train stations throughout the Washington area, reads, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” It was sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

Monday’s news conference was organized by the 28-member Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims, Upholding American Values and United Methodist Women. The coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups released a letter signed by 168 religious clergy members.

The letter states that the “ads espouse inaccurate and inflammatory stereotypes about American Muslims. These ads equate generalized ‘savages’ with ‘jihad,’ dangerously painting all Muslims as savages and suggesting that these generalized ‘savages’ must be defeated.”

Major Jewish organizations participating include Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Union for Reform Judaism.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority had sought to delay posting the four ads, calling for a one-month cooling-off period following the worldwide violence that followed the showing of the film “Innocence of Muslims.”

However, a U.S. District Court Judge in Washington cited the First Amendment’s right to free speech in denying Metro’s request.

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BLOOMBERG’S ANTI ARAB INTERESTS IN JERUSALEM

To any reasonable person who believes in humanism, democracy and the basic dignity of man, it is clear that Eliyahu is not fit to be a public figure or a religious leader, and less so one associated with an organization like MDA. Regrettably, MDA has not heeded calls to cancel this appointment.

This is where MDA supporters and all Israelis could use Mayor Bloomberg’s help. In the commemoration ceremony Bloomberg spoke of his father, a man who believed in “a world where your last name would not be cause for discrimination… where his son and daughter would have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.” These are powerful words. Eliyahu’s words and actions are the exact antitheses of such beliefs. Should Bloomberg step up and object to Eliyahu’s appointment and revoke his donation until Eliyahu is relieved, he will have earned his own place worthy of commemoration in the annals of Jerusalem and Israel.

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Michael Bloomberg and Magen David’s Anti-Arab Rabbi

Mayor Should Object to Shmuel Eliayhu as Board Head

GETTY IMAGES

By Zohar M. Nevo*

When one enters Jerusalem, two structures immediately catch the eye. The first is a digital sign informing the traveler when the next Sabbath begins and ends. The second is a building bearing a sign identifying it as the William H. Bloomberg MDA Jerusalem Station.

The building is the Jerusalem headquarters of Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency ambulance and blood bank service. The Bloomberg Station is a state-of-the-art facility renovated and expanded thanks to a donation made by the family of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and dedicated in October 2011 in memory of Mayor Bloomberg’s father.

 

Michael Bloomberg

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Michael Bloomberg

At the dedication ceremony, Bloomberg told the audience that his family had been attracted to MDA due to “…its spirit of volunteerism and its commitment to treating all people, of all religions and nationalities, absolutely equally.” Indeed, MDA prides itself on the treatment it provides during emergencies to both Jews and Arabs. It now seems, however, that MDA may need some rescuing of its own.

MDA has recently made a new addition to its ranks, and this time it is not a volunteer seeking to save lives. The ultra-Orthodox community had been critical of what it perceived as inappropriate mixing of the men and women volunteers, with a number rabbis even going so far as to issue an edict forbidding followers from volunteering. In response, MDA agreed to establish a rabbinical committee which would have the authority to dictate religious guidelines for the organization. The chairman of the committee, which started operating in June, is Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Safed.

Eliyahu is the son of the deceased Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who was chief rabbi of Israel from 1983 to 1993. In the last decade, it is the younger Eliyahu who has made a distinct, if infamous, name for himself.

In 2002, following a terrorist attack near Safed, Eliyahu called for the expulsion of Arab students from the local college. In a radio interview in 2004 he warned against the seduction of Jewish girls by young Arab men and called upon Jewish apartment owners not to rent to Arabs.

Following these statements, Eliyahu was charged by Israel’s attorney general with incitement to racism, a crime under Israeli law. The attorney general dropped the charge after Eliyahu agreed to release a statement claiming his remarks referred only to Arabs who actively supported terror and that he was otherwise respectful of all people.

In 2010 Eliyahu was at it again. Amid his concerns that a new medical school to be opened in Safed would attract more Arabs to the city, he published a letter, along with other rabbis, contending that selling or leasing land to non-Jews was prohibited according to Jewish religious law. He reinforced this message by organizing a conference to address the “danger of assimilation” in Safed. Eliyahu was not satisfied, however, by merely issuing statements, and later that year he personally visited an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor and veteran of the 1948 war who had rented out an apartment to Arab students in order to persuade him to terminate the lease. Once again, following calls by civil society organizations, Israel’s attorney general opened an investigation, which was recently dropped for lack of sufficient evidence to satisfy the burden of proof.

To any reasonable person who believes in humanism, democracy and the basic dignity of man, it is clear that Eliyahu is not fit to be a public figure or a religious leader, and less so one associated with an organization like MDA. Regrettably, MDA has not heeded calls to cancel this appointment.

This is where MDA supporters and all Israelis could use Mayor Bloomberg’s help. In the commemoration ceremony Bloomberg spoke of his father, a man who believed in “a world where your last name would not be cause for discrimination… where his son and daughter would have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.” These are powerful words. Eliyahu’s words and actions are the exact antitheses of such beliefs. Should Bloomberg step up and object to Eliyahu’s appointment and revoke his donation until Eliyahu is relieved, he will have earned his own place worthy of commemoration in the annals of Jerusalem and Israel.

*Zohar M. Nevo is a Jerusalem based attorney whose opinion pieces have appaeared in Haaretz and The Marker.

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STOP SPYING ON MUSLIMS

In this Jewish season of renewal and rebirth, in which we celebrate the universal value of equality of human rights, the New York Jewish community supports the local American Muslim community effected directly by this surveillance program. Every one of us should stand in solidarity when it comes to protecting the civil liberties — regardless of faith, ethnicity or race.
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Stop Spying on Muslims

Why the NYPD Needs Oversight

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By Rachel Kahn-Troster and Marjorie Dove Kent

What would it look like to have your movements and your friendships tracked simply because of your religion or where you prayed? Syed Farhaj Hassan knows. He stopped attending his mosque in New Jersey after discovering that the New York City Police Department had it under surveillance. Hassan, a specialist in the Army Reserve, told The Associated Press that he worried about his name, or the name of one of his mosques, turning up in a police intelligence dossier and jeopardizing his military security clearance or job prospects. He is one of eight American Muslims who filed a federal lawsuit in early June against the NYPD to force the department to change its surveillance tactics, which are aimed at singling out our Muslim neighbors and colleagues.

As Jews, we are just emerging from the Yamim Noraim, the High Holy Days, when our lives metaphorically become an open book before God and our year of deeds good and bad are examined and explained. But this examination is between God and us, not God and the state. Imagine if we worried that by going to synagogue for Yom Kippur, we would end up in the NYPD’s ledger of right and wrong. Under this aura of suspicion, the significance of the holy days would be replaced by mistrust and fear.

This is what the New York Muslim community must face. As Jews and as New Yorkers, we’ve been angered over the past year to read about targeted surveillance of Muslims by the NYPD. Numerous reports have shown that the NYPD has spied on Muslim student organizations, taken down the license plate numbers of people attending services at mosques and showed the inflammatory film “The Third Jihad” to hundreds of police trainees — targeting the Muslim community as a whole rather than acting on specific intelligence about individuals.

One NYPD practice that hit particularly close to home was the surveillance on college campuses, including infiltrating a student whitewater-rafting trip. For those of us who thrived in Hillels during our student years, it is unthinkable that those communities would cease to be safe spaces.

Jews have a historic vulnerability to abuses of power, and we feel especially responsible to ensure civil liberty protections for all New Yorkers. We know that the Jewish communities of New York City, like all communities, want to be assured that we are being kept safe against those who would do us harm. Keeping us safe, however, means that law enforcement should target suspects based on actionable evidence, not on those suspects’ religion, place of birth, race or ethnicity.

Two New York City Council members have introduced a bill that will create an Inspector General for the NYPD, which would have independent, broad authority to conduct investigations of the police department. Law enforcement officers would be required to report problems to the Inspector General and would also be protected from retaliation.

Inspectors General are a standard feature of government agencies — including the CIA, the FBI, and the U.S. Department of Justice — and most New York City agencies. While there are agencies that investigate individual cases, no mechanism exists to provide for independent investigations of NYPD policies and procedures to ensure that they are operating effectively and consistently with the law.

We encourage the City Council to adopt the Inspector General bill and its four companion bills, which would create additional safeguards against inappropriate NYPD surveillance and stop-and-frisk abuses. This includes prohibiting profiling by the NYPD, protecting New Yorkers against unlawful searches, and requiring officers to identify and explain themselves to the public.

In this Jewish season of renewal and rebirth, in which we celebrate the universal value of equality of human rights, the New York Jewish community supports the local American Muslim community effected directly by this surveillance program. Every one of us should stand in solidarity when it comes to protecting the civil liberties — regardless of faith, ethnicity or race.

Marjorie Dove Kent is the executive director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster is the director of North American programs for Rabbis for Human Rights — North America.


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THE ZIONIST WAR AGAINST ISLAM

Don’t you think I am speaking about some rare cases of crazy rabbis hallucinating about ancient religious texts inside their parochial circles… These criminal rabbis are prominent and respected in their communities and have numerous followers, many with high college degrees from prestigious universities.
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The Jewish war on Islam
 
By Khalid Amayreh
 

There is an undeclared but ferocious Jewish war against Islam going on these days. One would have to be blind and deaf to deny this brazen fact.

In occupied East Jerusalem, government-backed Messianic Jews have been attacking and desecrating Islamic and, to a lesser extent, Christian holy places.

In the last few days, millenarian Jews, protected by para-military Israel police, have been attacking and beating peaceful Muslim worshipers at the Aqsa Mosque esplanade. The Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest Islamic site in the world.

According to observers of Israeli behavior in Occupied Jerusalem, the audacity and frequency of Israeli provocations at the Islamic sanctuary increased dramatically in recent weeks.

Sheikh Ikrema Sabri, the former head of the Supreme Muslim Council, warned that Messianic Jewish groups were “hell bent on provoking bloodshed on a wide scale in Jerusalem.”

“These religious maniacs believe that by inciting violence and causing bloodshed, they would expedite the appearance of a mythical Messiah who would create a world-wide Jewish empire ruled from Jerusalem.”

The extremists, who are backed by powerful religious and manifestly fascist parties in the Israeli Knesset or Parliament, don’t deny these accusations.

Moshe Feiglin, a Nazi-like Israeli politician who believes non-Jews should be stripped of their national and political rights, including the right to vote, this week led dozens of extremists to the Aqsa Mosque esplanade where he called for the demolition of Islamic Holy places.

Feiglin, also a prominent figure in the ruling Likud party, was arrested for a few minutes and then released to make further provocative statements against Islamic shrines.

The brief arrest had nothing to do with his incitement, according to an Israeli police spokesman.

Meanwhile, Jewish religious leaders continue to make statements and religious sermons offending Islam and Christianity. Some of the rabbis have even ruled that the status of non-Jews in general is not higher than that of animals such as donkeys.

Interestingly, such brashly racist statements don’t raise many eyebrows in Israel, neither among intellectuals nor politicians and religious leaders.

Those who dare criticize the so-called “rabbinic sages” for indulging in this Talmudic hallucination don’t do so out of rejection of Halakha or Jewish religious law, which views goyem or non-Jews, as animals walking on two feet, but rather because what is being said is politically wrong as could generate hostility for Jews among Gentiles.

Jewish incitement against Islam and Muslims is by no means confined to the Palestinian arena. This week, Jewish circles posted anti-Islam posters in four subway stations in Washington D.C.

The provocative add read:

“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man,” the ad reads. “Support Israel/Defeat Jihad.”

The very same add was posted in a New York subway station two weeks ago, generating disgust and anger among Muslims.

Well, Jews are urged to thoroughly and honestly read and examine their Talmud and Old Testament in order to find for themselves who is Civilized and who is savage.

Anyone, Jew or gentile, can easily quote pornographically barbaric texts from both scriptures, underscoring the utter savagery and wickedness of religious Jewish thinking.

Jews should examine their ancient and recent history before hurling epithets of savagery and terrorism at Muslims.

Indeed, any honest comparison between Islam and Judaism would put Islam on a decidedly higher moral ground. In the final analysis, those living in glass houses, don’t throw stones.

But the anti-Islam Jewish circles, who unfortunately seem to represent a majority among Jews, have little concern for truth and honesty. Their ultimate goal is to spread lies, hatred, vindictiveness and malice.

In fact, Jews, especially those supporting Zionism or Jewish Nazism, are probably the last people on earth who are qualified to lecture humanity on civility and savagery.

The Jews were probably the first people on earth to carry out an organized genocide against another people for religious reasons. The Old Testament contains detailed records of this genocide.

Some Jewish apologists might argue that is grossly unfair to blame contemporary Jews for controversial religious scriptures written more than 3000 years ago.

Well, such a defensive reflex would probably be listened to were it not for the fact that for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Jews around the world, this genocidal mindset is still relevant today as it was 3000 ago.

Don’t we see and hear numerous rabbis out there who teach, even openly, that the life of a goy (non-Jew) has no sanctity and that a Jew might murder a gentile in order to harvest his or her organ if the Jew needed one!

Don’t you think I am speaking about some rare cases of crazy rabbis hallucinating about ancient religious texts inside their parochial circles… These criminal rabbis are prominent and respected in their communities and have numerous followers, many with high college degrees from prestigious universities.

Today, Jews incite against Islam and Muslims on five continents. Their tacit message is “hate, hate, and hate.”

When you call people “savages” and “terrorists” and other names just because they are fighting for their freedom and human rights, you are effectively inciting to murder. Vilification and demonizing always precede murder. Murder, including mass murder, is the ultimate fruit of mass hatred and incitement.

Jews ought to remember in case they have forgotten that before Auschwitz and Treblinka and Bergen Belsen, and even Kristalnacht, there was a Mein Kampf, the Nuremberg laws and the anti-Jewish mass hysteria.

In light, one might ask: Is this anti-Islam mass hysteria what Jews are trying to generate and produce? Are Jews trying to affect a holocaust for Muslims in Europe, North America and Australia in order to allow Israel to build more colonies for fanatical Jews in the West Bank ?

Jews reject both Islam and Christianity. The main reason for this illogical rejection is the timeless Jewish desire to retain and maintain the dubious prerogative of the “chosen people”

But Jews can’t be more deserving of heavenly salvation than other people just because some ancient Israelites worshiped God whereas other peoples and nations were pagans and worshipped idols. The Almighty doesn’t calculate matters this way. God deals with men on an individual basis. There are “chosen” individuals, not chosen people, and it doesn’t matter what ethnicity one belongs to.

Today many Jews worship power, money and sex, while others, and they are too many, worship the new Golem of Zionism, or Israel.

In the past, Jews tried and failed to poison and murder the Prophet of Islam. They also tried to decapitate and destroy the fledgling Muslim community in Madina by joining forces with the pagans of Arabia. Today’s Jews are doing the same thing by joining ranks with hysterical Christian Zionists seeking world domination. This coalition of evil, too, will fail and Islam will triumph.

But when Islam ultimately prevailed and Muslims built a huge Muslim state based on justice and tolerance, Jews enjoyed religious, political and economic freedoms.

Jews didn’t survive all these centuries because of their power. They survived because Islam catered for them and protected them from danger, near and distant. It is sad that Jews are now expressing their gratitude to Muslims by urging and instigating Westerners in America and Europe and elsewhere to hate and kill them.

 

‘NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT, IT’S JUST THE MOHAMMED CARTOONS’

All images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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PAMELA GELLER’S HATE ADS MOVE TO THE NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY SYSTEM

 SUPPORT CIVILIZED ISRAEL!  MURDER AND OCCUPATION ARE CIVILIZED??
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Anti-jihad ‘savage’ ads going up in NYC subway

 A provocative ad that equates Muslim radicals with savages is set to go up in the city’s subway system as violent protests over an anti-Islamic film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad sweep over much of the Muslim world.

A conservative blogger who once headed a campaign against an Islamic center near the Sept. 11 terror attack site won a court order to post the ad in 10 subway stations next Monday. The ad reads, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

 

Read the full report from AP HERE

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ISLAMOPHOBIA TO GET ITS DAY IN COURT

 “This lawsuit is not an attack on the First Amendment nor on the right for Americans to say what they think, but does request that the offending content be removed from the Internet,” the lawsuit said.
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Actress sues California man behind anti-Muslim film
Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress in the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Islam,” sues the California man linked to the film’s production for fraud and slander. (Al Arabiya)
Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress in the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Islam,” sues the California man linked to the film’s production for fraud and slander. (Al Arabiya)

By ALEX DOBUZINSKIS
REUTERS/LOS ANGELES

An actress in an anti-Islam film that triggered violent protests across the Muslim world sued a California man linked to its production on Wednesday for fraud and slander, saying she had received death threats after the video was posted on YouTube.

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia, who also named Google Inc and its YouTube unit as defendants, asked that the film be removed from YouTube and said her right to privacy had been violated and her life endangered, among other allegations.

It was the first known civil lawsuit connected to the making of the video, which depicts the Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer and a fool, and helped generate a torrent of violence across the Muslim world last week.

The violence included an attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed. U.S. and other foreign embassies were also stormed in cities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East by furious Muslims.

Garcia accused a producer of the movie, whom she identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and said he used the alias Sam Bacile, of duping her into appearing in a “hateful” film that she had been led to believe was a simple desert adventure movie.

“There was no mention of ‘Mohammed’ during filming or on set. There were no references made to religion nor was there any sexual content of which Ms. Garcia was aware,” said the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

For many Muslims, any depiction of the prophet is blasphemous. Caricatures deemed insulting in the past have provoked protests and drawn condemnation from officials, preachers, ordinary Muslims and many Christians.

“This lawsuit is not an attack on the First Amendment nor on the right for Americans to say what they think, but does request that the offending content be removed from the Internet,” the lawsuit said.

A representative for Nakoula’s criminal attorney declined to comment on the lawsuit. A Google spokesman said the company was reviewing the complaint and “will be in court tomorrow.”

Apparent dubbing

Garcia, who had a relatively small part in a trailer available online, has said that her character was forced to give away her child to a character named “Master George” in one scene. An expired casting call available online describes a character named George as a “strong leader” and a “tyrant.”

But in the English-language trailer at YouTube, Garcia’s character appears to be dubbed over in that scene, with a voice-over for her character referring to Mohammad instead of George.

Garcia’s lawsuit said her voice was also “dubbed into Arabic” in another version of the trailer.

She said the film, which has circulated online as a 13-minute trailer, had prompted her family to refuse to allow her to see or babysit her grandchildren, fearing for their safety.

The suit accuses Nakoula, Google and YouTube of invasion of privacy, unfair business practices, the use of Garcia’s likeness without permission and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

U.S. officials have said authorities were not investigating the film project itself and that even if it was inflammatory or led to violence, simply producing it cannot be considered a crime in the United States, which has strong free speech laws.

But Nakoula, a Coptic Christian California man who pleaded guilty to bank fraud in 2010, was interviewed by federal probation officers on Saturday probing whether he violated the terms of his release while making the film.

Nakoula, who was released from prison in 2011, is prohibited from accessing the Web or assuming aliases without the approval of his probation officer, court records show. Violations could result in him being sent back to prison.

Nakoula, 55, did not return to his house in the Los Angeles suburb of Cerritos following his interview with federal probation officers, and his whereabouts are unknown. Last week, he denied involvement in the film in a phone call to his Coptic bishop in Los Angeles.

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‘THE INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS’ Vs THE GUILT OF EXTREMISM

Meet The Right-Wing Extremist Behind Anti-Muslim Film That Sparked Deadly Riots

 

By Max Blumenthal
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"Innocence of Muslims" consultant Steve Klein is a veteran anti-Muslim organizer with close ties to the Christian right in California

*The US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three US diplomats were killed in attacks and rioting provoked by an obscure, low-budget anti-Muslim film called “The Innocence of Muslims.” The producer of the film is a real estate developer supposedly named “Sam Bacile” who claims to be an Israeli Jew. Bacile told the AP the film was made with $5 million raised from “100 Jewish donors.” He said he was motivated to help his native country, Israel, by exposing the evils of Islam.

While Bacile claims to be in hiding, and his identity remains murky, another character who has been publicly listed as a consultant on the film is a known anti-Muslim activist with ties to the extreme Christian right and the militia movement. He is Steve Klein, a Hemet, California based insurance salesman who claims to have led a “hunter-killer team” in Vietnam.”

Klein is a right-wing extremist who emerged from the same axis of Islamophobia that produced Anders Behring Breivik and which takes inspiration from the writings of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and Daniel Pipes.

It appears Klein (or someone who shares his name and views) is an enthusiastic commenteron Geller’s website, Atlas Shrugged, where he recently complained about Mitt Romney’s “support for a Muslim state in Israel’s Heartland.” In July 2011, Spencer’s website, Jihad Watch, promoted a rally Klein organized alongside the anti-Muslim Coptic extremist Joseph Nasrallah to demand the firing of LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, whom they painted as a dupe for Hamas.

Klein is also closely affiliated with the Christian right in California, organizing resentment against all the usual targets — Muslims, homosexuals, feminists, and even Mormons. He is aboard member and founder of a group called Courageous Christians United, which promotes anti-Mormon, anti-Catholic and anti-Muslim literature (including the work of Robert Spencer) on its website. In 2002, Klein ran for the California Insurance Commissioner under the American Independent Party, an extremist fringe party linked to the militia movement, garnering a piddling 2 percent of the vote.

Klein has been closely affiliated with the Church at Kaweah, an extreme evangelical church located 70 miles southeast of Fresno that serves as a nexus of neo-Confederate, Christian Reconstructionist, and militia movement elements. The Southern Poverty Law Center produced a report on Kaweah this spring that noted Klein’s long record of activist against Muslims:

Over the past year, Johnson and the church militia have developed a relationship with Steve Klein, a longtime religious-right activist who brags about having led a “hunter killer” team as a Marine in Vietnam. Klein, who calls Islam a “penis-driven religion” and thinks Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca is a Muslim Brotherhood patsy, is allied with Christian activist groups across California. In 2011, as head of the Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment, he worked with the Vista, Calif.-based Christian Anti-Defamation Commission on a campaign to “arm” students with the “truth about Islam and Muhammad” — mainly by leafleting high schools with literature depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a sex-crazed pedophile.

Klein, based in Hemet, Calif., has been active in extremist movements for decades. In 1977, he founded Courageous Christians United, which now conducts “respectful confrontations” outside of abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques. Klein also has ties to the Minuteman movement. In 2007, he sued the city of San Clemente for ordering him to stop leafleting cars with pamphlets opposing illegal immigration.

Like many other activists who fashion themselves as “counter-Jihadists,” Klein has organized against the construction of mosques in his area. While leafleting against a planned mosque in Temecula, California, which he claimed would herald the introduction of Shariah law to the quiet suburb, Klein remarked, “It all comes down to the first amendment. I don’t care if you disagree with me. Just don’t cut off my head.”

Klein appears to be allied with the National American Coptic Assembly, a radical Islamophobic group headed by Morris Sadik. Sadik claims to have discovered the film and began promoting it online. Once it went viral, the trailer was translated into Arabic, sparking outrage in the Middle East, and ultimately, to the deadly attacks carried out by Muslim extremists today.

Klein claims credit for inspiring “Sam Bacile” to produce “The Innocence of Muslims,” promising him he would be “the next Theo Van Gogh,” referring to the Dutch columnist who was murdered by a Muslim extremist. Of the attacks in Libya, Klein said, “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen.”

 

Written FOR

CROSSING THE ULTIMATE RED LINE

Similarly, we must not hold all Christians responsible for the disgusting behavior of one idiot who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ. After all, there are thousands of sincere Christians who have voiced their indignation and outrage at this outrageous act. We salute these courageous Christians for their solidarity and decency. They are our natural partners in the long and difficult battle for inter-religious fraternity and universal brotherhood.
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The Prophet: The Ultimate red line
By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Jerusalem

You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and in your persons, and you shall certainly hear much abuse from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) , and from the idolaters but if you persevere patiently, and observe the commandments of thy Lord, then verily, that will be an affair of great resolution.”V. 186-SuraIII

By now it is still unclear who exactly produced the despicable and malicious film “the Innocence of Muslims,” which defames and abuses the Prophet of Islam. The alleged producer has given many pseudonyms for himself, apparently to elude the public and escape possible retribution by angry Muslims.

However, by connecting the dots and in light of information provided so far, it is highly likely that the author of the disgusting feat is a Coptic Christian, named Nokola Baciley,  who harbors a pathological hatred of Islam. Earlier reports suggested that the hate-filled bastard was an Israeli Jew by the name of Same Baceil, but these reports have been discounted.

The author of the film seems to have received assistance and encouragement from some evangelical and Zionist circles, probably including Terry Johns, the Nazi-like Evangelical preacher who had threatened to burn the Quran, as if doing so would remove the Holy Book from the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world.

Other possible accomplices are Daniel Pipes, another notorious hater of Islam, and David Horowitz, an Israeli basher of Islam who spreads his anti-Muslim venom on American campuses. Both Pipes and Horowitz reportedly provided assistance to Geert Wilders, the extreme Dutch politician who has been disseminating his hateful anti-Islam propaganda throughout Europe.

The producer of the rubbish film was quoted as saying that his goal behind the film was to provoke and hurt Muslim feelings. If so, he seems to have succeeded to a large extent in realizing his goal.

Millions of Muslims, especially those who watched the preview of the promiscuous film, have been grieved, seeing the holiest and most saintly man ever to walk on earth, portrayed in such a bad light, to put it extremely mildly.

In several Muslim countries, angry Muslims have protested the sacrilegious feat. In Cairo, thousands surrounded the U.S. embassy, demanding the U.S. authorities to take action against those who abuse the religious symbols of Islam. Hundreds were reportedly injured from tear gas inhalation and flying stones

In Sana, the capital of Yemen, a close ally of the U.S. in the war against al-Qaida, at least four people have been killed so far as security forces tried to disperse protesters outside the American embassy.

In Libya, the American Ambassador and a number of the embassy staff suffocated to death following the torching of a nearby building to which the diplomats were previously withdrawn for their safety.

These are some of the provisional tragic consequences of the despicable act which infuriated Muslims around the world.

It is probably useless to express one’s sorrow for the death of these innocent Americans and Yemenis. However, we should have the moral courage to proclaim the truth and say what much of the Jewish-controlled American media wouldn’t say, namely that the blood of these victims is decidedly though vicariously on the hands of the fanatical criminal or criminals who concocted that piece of garbage about the Prophet of Islam who commands the veneration of over 1.6 billion human beings.

Some people might sharply disagree with me by arguing that nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies the killing of an innocent human being, especially when the victim or victims have personally nothing to do with the original provocation.

This is perfectly true and valid. However, things are not as simple as that. In the final analysis, it should have been known that vilifying and ridiculing the Prophet of Islam would provoke Muslims and lead to tragic consequences.

In other words, the killing of the American diplomats was almost inevitable, regardless of it being wrong and unjust. The American government and its various intelligence arms should have foreseen these developments before it was too late. Failing to anticipate these tragic reactions is an intelligence fiasco.

More to the point, enhanced security at US embassies throughout the Muslim world may help provide some security for the foreseeable future. However, it should be clearly understood by the wise men in Washington that a determined fanatic who feels deeply offended and hurt by this virulent act of blasphemy against the Prophet of God could elude all security precautions around American diplomatic missions. Muslims wouldn’t flinch from sacrificing their own souls in defense of their Prophet.

As Americans have their own idiots and fanatics, we, too, have our idiots and fanatics. And as Americans are utterly unable, probably unwilling as well, to stop their idiots, we, too, are even less able to rein in ours.

Yes, we understand the First Amendment and all of this stuff. But you must also understand that the Prophet is a million times more sacred than the American constitution.

You may argue that Freedom of speech and Expression is sacred in your country. Well, likewise, you ought to understand that for us Muslims the sanctity of our Quran and our Prophet is absolutely more paramount than the views and opinions of the founding fathers of the American constitution.

Now a word to Muslims. It is perfectly legitimate to be angry and furious about what happened. After all, Muhammed is the final and greatest messenger of God to humanity. And any Muslim that reacts with indifference to the sleazy film must check his faith.

However, our reactions must never exceed the bounds of what is acceptable from the Islamic perspective. We must not hurt innocent people under any circumstances; we must not target churches or institutions belonging to Christians.

Doing so would achieve the morbid goal of the author of that piece of hatred.

Similarly, we must not hold all Christians responsible for the disgusting behavior of one idiot who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ. After all, there are thousands of sincere Christians who have voiced their indignation and outrage at this outrageous act. We salute these courageous Christians for their solidarity and decency. They are our natural partners in the long and difficult battle for inter-religious fraternity and universal brotherhood.

THE INVISABLE ISLAMOPHOBE

 He just doesn’t exist! Believe it or don’t! Like 9/11, Israel had nothing to do with it ;)
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Anti-Islam Film’s Jewish Tie Crumbles

Film’s Creator Claims Israeli ‘Producer’ Doesn’t Exist

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Plot Thickens: Initial reports identified the maker of the anti-Islam film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’ as an Israeli living in California. That story is falling apart.
YOUTUBE
Plot Thickens: Initial reports identified the maker of the anti-Islam film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’ as an Israeli living in California. That story is falling apart.

WASHINGTON — An alleged tie between Jews and a film that sparked violence in the Arab world by insulting the prophet Mohammed, put Jewish activists on alert following the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans during riots against the film.

Jewish activists feared a widely reported role of Jews in funding and producing the film, which contains crude attacks on Islam, could stain the community as a whole as anti-Muslim.

But a search for a person presenting himself as responsible for the film who said his name was “Sam Bacile” led to a dead end. Eventually, another man involved in making the movie admitted Bacile’s name was a pseudonym and said that the alleged producer of the film is not Israeli and is probably not Jewish.

The claim that Jewish money was behind the film also lost ground as the partner, California Christian anti-Muslim activist Steve Klein, stated the movie was a low-budget project which he himself described as a “bad fifth grade production.”

An actress who appears in the film said she was duped and never knew it was about Islam or the prophet Mohammed.

Read the rest at the SOURCE
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Wait….. there’s more
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He doesn’t exist BUT…
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Report: Anti-Islam film director a convicted felon

ABC News says Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, is a convicted drug manufacturer who claims film’s funding came from wife’s family in Egypt

 
That report can be read HERE
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HaAretz adds its two Shekels to the madness …
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It wasn’t the Jews this time

False reports that an Israeli made the film that sparked the violence across the Middle East raises questions, and emphasizes some uncomfortable facts.

A screenshot of the film
A screenshot of the film ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ which incited an attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that left 4 dead. Photo by Screenshot
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On Wednesday afternoon a collective sigh of relief could be heard in cyberspace. Enterprising reporters from half a dozen newspapers and websites had finally done the research and reached a conclusion: It wasn’t the Jews.

The shadowy “Israeli-American real estate developer” who had supposedly received $5 million from “100 Jewish donors” to produce a movie portraying the Prophet Mohammed as a violent and stupid child-molestor was actually a convicted scammer from California belonging to another faith with a grievance against Islam – the Coptic Christian Orthodox Church.

So far, all those who have been identified in helping him produce and distribute the movie are not Jewish either. So there you have it, another blood libel against the Jews exposed in less than 24 hours, thanks to the power of the Internet.

We are left with a long list of factual and moral question marks. Who translated the film to Arabic and made sure that it would be seen by at least 1,000 times more Muslims than the number of Americans who had watched it a couple of months ago in a nearly-empty California movie theater? And why? Was it simply out of journalistic interest, was it for the purposes of rabble-rousing? Or was this all the work of Al-Qaida or another terrorist organization interested in creating a diversion that would enable it to carry out the fatal attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi?

And what of the movie’s producers? Why did they add inflammatory anti-Islamist remarks to the soundtrack? Were they trying to make money out of it or use it to raise funds for anti-Islamic activity in America? Are they connected to a wider network? And in a democracy, should we stand up and defend their right to disseminate whatever stupid and offensive material they produce?

The answer to the last question I hope is clear: we limit freedom of speech at our peril.

Salman Rushdie was protected by the British government and defended by a large part of the cultural establishment in the west when the Iranian regime issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death over the blasphemous “Satanic Verses” (though there were those who would claim to be democrats who, to their shame, placed the blame on Rushdie ).

Taking potshots at the prophet

The shyster Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, AKA Sam Bacile, has every much right as celebrated prize-winning author Rushdie – setting aside for a moment the comparative merits of either man’s artistic output – to take potshots at the prophet.

There is another question which should be asked of those media organizations, originally the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal, that swallowed Bacile’s story of Israeli citizenship and Jewish backing: Why were you so quick to run his version when reporting such a highly sensitive story, without first performing some elementary corroboration? The moment it was out there, the Jewish and Israeli angles were reproduced on 10,000 websites and established as facts. But there is a wider issue at play here than journalistic practice and ethics. (To their credit, AP and the WSJ made major efforts, after their initial reports, to pick apart Nakoula/Bacile’s story and to set the record straight. )

What if Sam Bacile’s real name was Shmuel Berkowitz, originally of Herzliya, Israel? What if he had received funding from a neo-conservative foundation bankrolled by Jewish billionaires? And let’s be honest now – for the few hours during which this was the accepted version, we either believed it, or if we harbored doubts, we at least thought it could be true.

The straight and simple answer should be that it doesn’t matter. Rushdie, Nakoula and Berkowitz – Muslim, Christian and Jew – should all enjoy the same rights to sling mud at Mohammed, Jesus or Woody Allen. But it never is that simple. Rushdie was forced into hiding for a decade and will forever be looking over his shoulder, until his last day. The Copts in Egypt certainly didn’t need this, as the second-oldest religious community in Egypt struggles to hold on to their precarious existence under the new Muslim Brotherhood administration. And as for us Jews, many of us haven’t abandoned the shtetl mentality of fear of being held to account for what one tribe-member may or not have done. A fear that is often justified.

There is another Jewish dimension at play. While AP is a fully respectable organization and no one in their right mind would even begin to accuse the Wall Street Journal of even a hint of Judeophobia, there were Jewish readers who felt there was something sinister about the way the first reports seemed perhaps to emphasize the “Israeli-American” angle. Not that there was anything in it; that is just the way our brains are wired – we immediately spot the Jew in every picture, and then start asking why he is there? Why has he been made to stand out?

And another uncomfortable fact. Jewish filmmakers have been heavily involved in producing the films “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against The West” and “The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America.” And prominent Jewish philanthropists have financed some of these films’ production and distribution costs. What the far-right views as necessary, truth-telling documentaries and the far-left regards as Islamophobic racism, can be seen by the rest of us as highly selective takes on reality – a neocon version of Michael Moore’s films, just without the buffoonery. Whether or not you agree with all or some or none of the content of these movies, a pattern has been established in which Jews have voluntarily placed themselves at the front line of the propaganda battle with Islam. That’s why it was so easy to believe that the producer of “The Innocence of Muslims” was Jewish and Israeli.

Why should we be concerned here? Whether or not Jews or Israelis are involved or at fault, they usually get the blame anyway. The last time an embassy was attacked in Cairo was following the death of Egyptian soldiers in a border attack carried out by Islamic Jihad. That didn’t prevent the mob from sacking Israel’s embassy. And if Jews think, rightly or wrongly, that radical Islam is an existential threat to the west, why should they keep silent? Surely that would be a capitulation to anti-Semitism.

But those Jews who have taken it upon themselves to uncover the “true face” of Islam have created the paradigm by which this war, with no clear battle lines, is increasingly being seen. Eleven years ago, the western world stood by the United States in its defense of democracy and freedom; much of that struggle has now been marginalized to a great degree. No longer is it the west defending its values and freedoms from Islamic fundamentalism. It is now Jews against Muslims, Israelis versus Arabs and brave Netanyahu taking on Iran single-handedly.

The self-appointed warriors against “Islamofascism” have every right to fight their fight. But their shrill daily cries of wolf, their willingness to embrace some of the darkest elements of Christian fundamentalism and European nationalism – as long as they share the same cause – have hugely contributed to the situation where decent people can shrug and turn away.

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Carlos Latuff’s take on the film…
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9/11 ~~ THE REBIRTH OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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As the years go by, the hatred grows internationally. What better way to continue this trend but to go directly to the source of Islamophobia itself?
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Looks like the trigger-happy NYPD is jet setting all over the world, exporting its particularly oppressive strategy of law and order. Among other offenses–such as killing unarmed African American children, stopping and frisking 700,000 (mostly black and brown) people a year and illegally surveilling thousands of Muslim Americans–the NYPD has recently come under fire for boasting in internal emails about how all the kick-ass, law-breaking, rogue work its recently been up to. (Taken FROM)
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From Mondoweiss
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NYPD Blue (& white)

by Adam Horowitz

The New York Police Department has opened a branch in Israel. From an Al-Monitor translation of an article in the Israeli newspaper Maariv:

The New York Police Department opened its Israeli branch in the Sharon District Police headquarters in Kfar Saba. Charlie Ben-Naim, a former Israeli and veteran NYPD detective, was sent on this mission. . .

Behind the opening of the branch in the Holy Land is the NYPD decision that the Israeli police is one of the major police forces with which it must maintain close work relations and daily contact. . .

It was decided, in coordination with the Israeli police, that the New York representative would not operate out of the United States embassy but from a building of the Sharon District Police headquarters, situated close to the Kfar Sava station. The NYPD sign was even hung at the entrance to the district headquarters, and Ben-Naim’s office is situated on the first floor of the building. One of the walls bears the sign: “New York Police Department, the best police department in the world.”

CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

Zionism, the main cause …
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The lies that are spread daily …
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Effects …
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In America: 
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In occupied Palestine:
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THE GUARDIAN: IN DEFENSE OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

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Guardian offers bizarre new defense for hiring Islamophobic murder-inciter Joshua Treviño

Submitted by Ali Abunimah

Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla — well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Gaza flotilla, on which I salute the IDF for doing the right thing, the right way.

The Guardian is offering a bizarre new defense for its decision to hire Joshua Treviño, an extremist Islamophobic ideologue who openly, repeatedly and gleefully incited murder and celebrated the deaths of unarmed civilian Palestine solidarity activists.

Because Treviño’s brand of extremism, hatred and incitement is “ascendant,” an editor claimed, the Guardian is somehow obligated to give it a platform.

At the same time, The Guardian continues to refuse to correct Treviño’s blatant lie that he never made such statements, despite a growing mountain of uncontradicted evidence to the contrary.

In this post I take you through Treviño’s shocking incitement to murder and how he lied about it in The Guardian and provide you with information if you want towrite to the editors.

The Guardian: a platform for extremism?

On 20 August, the Guardian published Treviño’s first branded column about the debate over Medicare in the United States. However, almost two hundred reader comments to date focused almost entirely on Treviño’s history of racist and violent statements.

Today, Matt WellsThe Guardian’s New York-based blogs editor, made the following statement in the comments section of Treviño’s 20 August article:

I completely understand the strong reaction against Josh [Treviño]. Much of what he has said in the past on Twitter and elsewhere is tasteless, to say the very least. But we have taken Josh on to write about the Republican side of the US presidential campaign because he represents a strand of thinking in the GOP that is in the ascendancy. Whatever we think about it, the Republican party has taken a significant lurch to the right in recent years and we should try and understand why that is, and what’s going on there. Josh is well placed to articulate that.

Who else deserves a column?

This is utterly bizarre reasoning. It is also true that extreme Islamophobia of the kind that inspired mass killer Anders Breivik “is in the ascendancy” in many parts of Europe. Indeed, many of Treviño’s columns have appeared in thevirulently Islamophobic Brussels Journal.

Does this require the Guardian to provide Pamela Geller or Geert Wilders with columns and to arrange media bookings for them in the name of helping us to “understand” their views? What about David Duke? If his brand of racism and anti-Semitism finds itself “in the ascendancy” can we expect to find Mr. Duke joining the team too?

For many years it was thought Osama Bin Laden style jihadism was “in the ascendancy” in many countries. I don’t recall the Guardian offering a branded column and a media-booking service to any members of Al-Qaida.

Surely when extremism of any kind is “in the ascendancy” you report about it using people who are genuinely knowledgeable, rather than providing its proponents a privileged platform and a media booking service.

Has The Guardian noticed that Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian extremism are central to US electoral debates and campaigns? Thus writing about “the Republican side of the US presidential campaign” is not separate from these issues and Treviño’s hateful and violent views are not irrelevant to them.

Treviño’s experience

Notwithstanding his violent hate speech, the claim that Treviño has something valuable to offer is not particularly convincing. He is a marginal figure with little influence or following. He has never been part on any significant conservative or right-wing platform – except for the website he co-founded – in the United States.

His known experience as a political consultant was primarily to work for the campaign of Chuck DeVore, a right-wing California state assemblyman who came third in his 2010 bid for the Republican nomination for a US Senate seat from California.

Treviño has not disclosed all his consulting clients – a major problem for someone who is supposed to be helping readers understand as Wells claims, and a possible violation of the Guardian’s editorial code related to conflicts of interest.

And while he’s sometimes described as a “Bush speechwriter,” according to his own Linkedin profile, Treviño was a speechwriter for the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, not for the president. He was hardly at the center of anything.

There are many more informed and influential conservative commentators in the United States who at least come without Treviño’s history of violent hate speech.

Refusing to correct a lie

As I detailed in a post yesterdayThe Guardian has ignored requests to issue a correction to a blatantly false statement Treviño made in a “clarification” theGuardian published on 16 August after the initial outcry over a June 2011 tweet in which he wrote:

Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.

In his “clarification,” Treviño claimed:

any reading of my tweet of 25 June 2011 that holds that I applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings, is wrong, and out of step with my life and record.

However, this is simply a lie, and one that Guardian editors have continued tospread in Treviño’s defense. There are numerous examples of tweets by Treviño in which “applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings.” Here are a few:

Incitement to murder and hate speech

You can find many more examples at Topsy.

Write to The Guardian and demand correction of Treviño’s falsehoods

The Guardian’s editors have so far been unresponsive to requests that they correct the blatant falsehood in Joshua Treviño’s “clarification,” detailed above, that he never “applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings.”

Here are the people to write to should you wish to add your voice:

Feel free to send a copy of your letter to me atfeedback@electronicintifada.net

Note: Guardian email addresses are public information.

More  

Written FOR
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There’s more …..
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How The Guardian’s Joshua Treviño injected anti-Muslim hate into 2010 California senate race

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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The growing outrage over The Guardian’s hiring of Joshua Treviño as a columnist has focused on his tweets inciting Israel to murder American citizens aboard a flotilla to Gaza in June 2011 and his celebration of the killing of passengers aboard the flotilla a year earlier.

What has escaped scrutiny — until today — is Treviño’s record as a political consultant. This is important because The Guardian has justified its hiring of Treviño on the basis of his experience.

Treviño evidently used his position as communications director for California Senate candidate Chuck DeVore to disseminate his personal message of hate, vilification of Muslims, and support for the Israeli killings of civilians on the flotilla.

DeVore, then a California State Assemblyman, ran unsuccessfully for the Republican party nomination for the United States Senate in 2010.

This role, once again, flatly contradicts Treviño’s claim published in theGuardian that any reading of one of his controversial tweets “that I applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings, is wrong, and out of step with my life and record.”

Israeli-government sponsored rally

On 6 June 2010 — a week after the attack on the flotilla — DeVore spoke at an Israeli-government sponsored rally outside the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles. Treviño posted a video of his candidate’s speech on his Vimeo account.

Even by the standards of an American politician, DeVore’s speech was vitriolic. It never mentioned the word “Palestinians” but focused exclusively on “Israel’s enemies” who were always described in vague terms as “Islamists” and directly compared to Nazis.

Although the words came out of DeVore’s mouth and he is politically and morally responsible for them, they were undoubtedly written by Treviño himself.

For DeVore, the only people in Gaza are “terrorists” and any support or solidarity with 1.6 million people there — half of them children — was support for a “terrorist” enemy.

“Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies,” DeVore declared to loud cheers, “They hate Israel for the same reason they hate America…. They hate the free society, they hate the religious liberty and they hate people who will not bow down to their oppression.”

DeVore claimed that the battle between Israel and America and their common “enemies” is the battle between “civilization” and “barbarism,” the same message that has recently emerged in the form of Islamophobic hate-ads on public transport in San Francisco placed by notorious anti-Muslim inciters Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.

DeVore “unequivocally” endorsed Israel’s attack on the flotilla. “There is only one thing about the Gaza flotilla that contributed to peace,” DeVore said, “and that is when the IDF stopped it dead in the water.”

DeVore’s hate-speech and Treviño’s tweets

The following excerpts are transcribed from the video of DeVore’s speech, and although offensive it is important that they be quoted at length. The blockquoted text are DeVore’s words at the 6 June 2010 rally. The tweets in between are Treviño’s from the days preceding the rally.

They are juxtaposed this way to show that the tweets make many of the same points and sometimes even use the same words or phrases that DeVore used days later:

Make no mistake, defending Israel is defending America. If Israel disappeared tomorrow, who believes that the terrorists would disband? Who believes that the target would not simply shift from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles?

Why do I support Israel despite not being Jewish, nor Israeli? Because the people coming for it are coming for me next. 

Let us say this unequivocally and unashamedly and emphatically, what Israel did to the Gaza flotilla was right, it was legal and it was moral. It is never wrong to blockade a terror state. It is never wrong to defend your existence. It is never wrong to starve a movement that thinks theHolocaust was simply a good start.

Let me be clear: even if the worst reports of Israeli actions on the are true — and I doubt that — Israel is still right.

Let’s not forget:  sought to open supply lines to Hamas, an entity that thinks the Holocaust was a good start.

The fight between Israel and Hamas is the fight between civilizationand barbarism. It’s as simple as that. Our grandfathers left their homes and families to travel half-way around the world to defend freedom and it was on this day 66 years ago that they landed at Normandy beach in their righteous quest to destroy the Third Reich. If this generation of Americans does not fight Islamists who seek to complete the Third Reich’s work we dishonor the memory and sacrifice of our grandfathers.

 also makes clear that murderous Jew-hatred in the West did not die with the Third Reich. It merely evolved.

Our very identity as Americans compels us to stand with Israel and against Israel’s enemies. America stands against Israel’s enemies for the same reason it stood against Nazism, Fascism and Communism.

I say clearly that the enemies of Israel are just as genocidal, just as tyrannical and just as savage as those defeated movements. The defenders of the Gaza flotilla say it was a humanitarian mission. They say they were peace activists. They lie!

If you support the , you support supplying Hamas. If you support supplying Hamas, you support genocide. Simple as that.

What humanitarian mission opens sea lanes to terrorists, to Hamas? What peace activists lynch Israeli soldiers? What humanitarian mission refuses to cooperate with lawful authorities? What peace activists chant about Muhammad’s massacre of a Jewish tribe?

If you’re defending the  effort to open sea lanes to Hamas, no, you don’t: RT @ebertchicago: I support Israel.

The Gaza flotilla was not about peace. It was about war! It was about establishing a supply route to Hamas. It was about supporting theeradication of the Jewish state. It was about seeking and gettingcombat with young Israeli men who earnestly desire peace.

Said it before and I’ll say it again: the  wasn’t about humanitarian aid. It was about opening a maritime conduit to Hamas.

Again, I would feel better about  supporters if it wasn’t so clear they think the eradication of Judaism is a valid policy option.

Defenders of the  cannot avoid the emerging truth that its participants sought, prepared for, and initiated violence.

The Gaza flotilla is in short the greatest international fraud since the plight of the Sudeten Germans. There is only one thing about the Gaza flotilla that contributed to peace, and that is when the IDF stopped it dead in the water.

 proves that the busybodies who worried about justice for the Sudetendeutsche are still with us.

And indicating that Treviño had electoral politics, rather than merely a selfless concern for the well-being of Israel at heart, he tweeted:

While  is hot, I’m going to remind you that @chuckdevore is the only  candidate who’s always stood strong for Israel.

These are Treviño’s words

There can be little doubt that the words DeVore uttered at the Israeli consulate rally were penned by Treviño.

According to Treviño’s Linkedin profile, Treviño worked as Communications Director for the DeVore for California campaign from March 2009 to June 2010.

Treviño was “Responsible for all media” and messaging for the campaign. Among his self-proclaimed achievements was that he:

Created and conveyed public narratives that highlighted the candidate’s manifest strengths — in particular his qualities of leadership, integrity, intellectual power and civic-mindedness — in media and journalism.

From 2001-2005, Treviño worked as a speechwriter, and then communications director for the US Secretary of State for Health and Human Services.

Tweets as tests of political message

Treviño also boasts about how he “leveraged new media” for the DeVore campaign. This casts his tweets in a new light. Perhaps he was simply testing a political message.

The Guardian claims that Treviño’s political work qualifies him to be an informed commentator on its pages.

In a 15 August press release (note The Guardian was caught doctoring parts of the release after it was published), Janine Gibson, Editor in Chief of Guardian US, said that Treviño “brings an important perspective our readers look for on issues concerning US politics.”

The release quoted Treviño himself claiming, “My background in communications and activism has given me insight into what works and what doesn’t in the digital age.”

Contrary to any claim that Treviño’s tweets are in the past and no longer relevant, they are actually central to the political experience that is to inform his column.

Why won’t the Guardian correct this lie?

Meanwhile, The Guardian continues to ignore requests to issue a correction to a blatantly false statement Treviño made in his “clarification” the Guardianpublished on 16 August after the initial outcry over a June 2011 tweet in which he wrote:

Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla – well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.

In his “clarification,” Treviño claimed:

any reading of my tweet of 25 June 2011 that holds that I applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings, is wrong, and out of step with my life and record.

It is now amply clear this is a lie. In recent days, even more vile tweets from Treviño have come to light in which Treviño gloated about and celebrated Israel’s violent attack on the Mavi Marmara on 31 May 2010 and his mockery of the 9 unarmed civilians who were shot dead.

He tweeted, for example that Furkan Dogan, an American teenager “deserved” to die. Yasir Tineh has compiled even more examples.

After viewing this video of DeVore’s speech, can there be any doubt that Treviño not only “applauded, encouraged, or welcomed the death of fellow human beings,” but used his role with the candidate to push his extremist views to an even wider audience?

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