Belgium, Islam, and the Boomerang of Loon Idiocy

Belgium VigilFrancois Lenoir/Reuters Women lit candles on Wednesday in memory of victims at the site of a gun and grenade attack in Liege, Belgium.

On Tuesday, after the grenade attack in Belgium, Loonwatch exposed Robert Spencer’s feeble attempt to pin it on Muslims here.  He immediately jumped to the conclusion that the perpetrator, Nordine Amrani, was a Muslim with sinister Islamic motives. Spencer wasn’t alone.

All the usual suspects also jumped the gun: Belgium, Islam and the Boomerang of “Multiculturalism” (Frontpage Magazine – thanks for the title idea), Belgium Grenade Attack by Muslim[s] 4 Dead, 75 wounded (Atlas Shrugs),  Belgium: Honor Killing Trial Causes Jihad With Hand Grenades (Winds of Jihad).

Apparently the loons are unaware that Amrani is typically a Mizrahi Jewish surname. It is reckless to guess because names can be deceiving, but if Amrani’s Jewish origin is confirmed, will the loons suddenly agree with us that the religious and ethnic heritage of the perpetrator shouldn’t be relevant?

As the bigots are fond of pointing out, Nordine Amrani is of Moroccan extraction, though he was born and raised in Belgium. According to an article in the New York Times, Amrani considered himself Belgian, didn’t speak a word of Arabic, and was not a Muslim.

In the absence of facts, it seems anti-Muslim bigots just manufacture whatever sensational headlines suit their hateful agenda. Authorities say the attack is not religiously motivated:

‘No religious motive in Liege rampage’

The Belgium grenade attack which killed three people and injured 123 has sent shockwaves through the country. However, Glyn Ford, a former Member of the European Parliament, stresses that individual motives are the key to understanding such attacks.

After Nordine Amrani, who also died in the blast, went on a rampage in a central square in the city of Liege on Tuesday, there has been much speculation as to what led him to throw three hand grenades toward a bus shelter and opening fire on the crowd.

Speaking with RT, Glyn Ford said that despite earlier reports, this was not a repeat of the July 22 Norwegian massacre that left 77 dead.

Well, we don’t know, but it would appear that it was an individual incident. Earlier reports that there were three or four gunmen involved have since been discredited and it equally appears that he wasn’t targeting anybody in particular… so in a sense it’s not a replica of what happened in Norway.

Ford was also quick to counter any allegations that Amrani’s attack was religiously motivated.

Earlier reaction in many senses seems to be rather racist. He was not being identified as a Belgium when he was a Belgian citizen. Because of his Moroccan origins, people are talking about killing the Muslims;  it’s all the fault of the Muslims, and the new socialist government that’s been in office now for nearly a week is being blamed for being soft on immigrants and not reacting hard enough.

It was also reported that a rightwing extremist had gone on a shooting spree in Florence, Italy, killing two African traders and wounding three others before taking his own life. While Ford recognizes that these tragic events in Europe are a cause for concern, he argues that the European Union has done a much better job of curbing such violent crimes than the United States.

In a sense, the European track record is far better than that in the United States. The United States has these kinds of rampage attacks happening fairly regularly in schools and elsewhere. I think it’s the rather tougher gun laws that we actually have in the European Union that’s kept it down to the low level that it is, because essentially Europeans are no different than American. It’s the lack of weapons that’s kept this under control to a degree.

Ultimately, Ford says that when confronted with such events, it is better to investigate individual motives rather than jump to any immediate conclusions.

****************************

The latest Europol Data confirms that less than 1% of terrorist attacks in Europe are perpetrated by Muslims. Shooting sprees and violent rampages are usually said to be the work of a “lone wolf” with no religious motive, and they don’t count as terrorism, unless the perpetrator is Muslim. In that case, it’s terrorism done “in the name of Islam,” regardless of actual motive.

The Telegraph compiled a list of similar incidents over the last 10 years, and it appears Amrani would be the token Muslim if the loons were right about his background:

Liege shooting and grenade attack: previous European incidents in last 10 years

September 27, 2001 – SWITZERLAND

A man bursts into the local assembly in the central Swiss town of Zug and opens fire, killing 14 members of parliament and local government then turning the gun on himself.

‘Grudge’ behind Swiss gun massacre

Fredrich LeibarcherFredrich Leibarcher

March 27, 2002 – FRANCE

Eight local councillors are killed and 19 injured when a man opens fire on members of the municipal council of Nanterre, outside Paris. He kills himself the next day while in police custody.

The perpetrator in the shootings was Richard Durn, 33, who was originally from Slovenia.

Richard DurnRichard Durn

April 26, 2002 – GERMANY

Sixteen people, including 12 teachers and two students, are gunned down at a school in Erfurt in eastern Germany by a 19-year-old former student, apparently in revenge for having been expelled, who then killed himself.

Robert SteinhuserRobert Steinhuser

November 7, 2007 – FINLAND

An 18-year-old goes on a shooting rampage in a school in the southern Finnish town of Tuusula, killing eight people before shooting himself.

A Deadly School Shooting, This Time in Finland

Pekka-Eric AuvinenPekka-Eric Auvinen

September 23, 2008 – FINLAND

Eleven people, including the 22-year-old gunman, die in a massacre at a training school at Kauhajoki, Finland at the hands of Matti Juhani Saari

Matti SaariMatti Saari

March 11, 2009 – GERMANY

Nine pupils, three teachers and three passers-by are killed in a school shooting at Winnenden in southern Germanyby Tim Kretschmer a former pupil who then kills himself.

Tim KretchmerTim Kretchmer

June 2, 2010 – ENGLAND

Twelve people are killed when Derrick Bird, a 52-year-old taxi driver, goes on a shooting spree in the English region of Cumbria, before killing himself.

Derrick BirdDerrick Bird

April 9, 2011 – THE NETHERLANDS

A gunman opens fire in a packed mall in the Netherlands, killing six people before shooting himself dead.

Lone gunman shoots six dead in Dutch shopping mall

Van der Vlis left a farewell letter, found by his mother, in which he mostly talked about his suicidal feelings. But it did not give a clear motive for the killings, the town’s mayor Bas Eenhoorn told Dutch television.

Tristan van der VlisTristan van der Vlis

July 22, 2011- NORWAY

A bomb attack on government buildings in Oslo that kills eight is followed by a shooting which kills 69 at a summer holiday camp organised by the ruling Labour party on the island of Utoya, near to the capital. Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing extremist is arrested for carrying out both attacks.

Anders BreivikAnders Breivik

December 13, 2011 – BELGIUM

Three people, plus the gunman, are killed when a man, armed with grenades, opens fire on a square packed with children and Christmas shoppers in the eastern Belgian city of Liege.

Nordine AmraniNordine Amrani

December 13, 2011 – ITALY

In ITALY a far-right militant kills two Senegalese street vendors and wounds three people in a shooting spree in Florence after which he apparently kills himself.

Gianluca CasseriGianluca Casseri

Among all the anti-Muslim hate sites, the most novel is the Roman Catholic Imperialist, which claims Anders Breivik is also a Muslim convert. Notice how frequently the word “Muslim” is repeated [emphasis mine]:

In the Belgian city of Liege known for its love of the Muslim – a Muslim kills 4 in a terrorist attack and wounded at least 75. It is not official that the terrorist is a Muslim, but all bets are that he is. The Modus operandi is the same as in all other Muslim terrorist attacks. This attack is similar to the attack in Norway by the Muslim convert Anders Behring Breivik.

First: the bomb.

Second: the gun.

The Muslim terrorist lobbed grenades into the crowd. After his hands were free the Muslim terrorist pulled out a hand gun and started firing. The Muslim aimed to kill.

The Belgian interior Ministry said the incident was not terrorism-related. Meaning of course that the man was most likely a Muslim.

No Muslims were killed ‘cept of course for the Muslim terrorist who later blew his brains out.

Breivik described himself in his Manifesto as a “culturally Christian” agnostic who wanted to restore the Knights Templar. Breivik despised Islam and viewed himself as a foot soldier in the war against the Muslim hordes. In fact, the site looks like something Brievik could appreciate.

So why does the Roman Catholic Imperialist say Breivik is a Muslim convert? An anonymous comment suggests, “All terrorists are Muslims, therefore all Muslims are terrorists.” Breivik is a terrorist, therefore Breivik is a Muslim.

Take another look at the photos above, folks. According to loon (il)logic, they’re all Moooslems!

Robert Spencer Attempts to Falsely Link Belgian Attacker to Islam, Based Solely on His Muslamic Sounding Name

There is no denying the uptick in right-wing terrorism in Europe, Anders Breivik being the most glaring example of this violence. The ties between fanatical right-wingers in Europe and in the United States is well known, Robert Spencer being a prominent figure in such circles. Of course, right-wing Islamophobes are in denial about the resurgent xenophobia and anti-Muslim hysteria they have helped foster and which is now having deadly consequences.

Now, Robert “Police Blotter” Spencer is at it again, resorting to his well worn modus operandi of trying to link any possible crime “allegedly” committed by a Muslim to Islam.

He does this of course to dehumanize Muslims, inflate and exaggerate the stealth-Muslamic-Islamization threat and also to deflect from any negative news regarding the so-called “counter jihad” movement.

This is clear when we learn that just today a man with links to extreme right-wing groups in Italy murdered two Senegalese traders. This is the sort of violence that is usually applauded amongst the “internet counter jihadis,” including on Spencer’s own site as well as that of his friends.

Spencer quickly jumped on a Telegraph report about an attack in Liege, Belgium, in which four people were killed and dozens injured. According to the Telegraph report, the attacker was identified as Nordine Amrani citing (without a link) something called the “Karachi Post,” saying the attack was linked to an “honor killing.”

To say the least, this whet Spencer’s enormous anti-Muslim Islamophobic appetite. Spencer went on to write,

…the Telegraph notes a link to an honor killing case that could indicate that this was yet another act of violence by Misunderstanders of the Religion of Peace.

Spencer’s own fans took issue with his jumping the gun, cautioning him not to make a fool out of himself:

GnaeusNaevius | December 13, 2011 7:01 AM | Reply

Be careful before attributing this to Islamic terror. We don’t know for sure yet.If it transpires that it has nothing to do with Islam, it makes Jihad watch look bad.

Spencer responded by blaming others, as well as saying that “GnaeusNaevius” criticism sounds “like something out of the looniest Islamic supremacist foes of this site.”

Gnaeus goes on to have another exchange with Spencer,

GnaeusNaevius | December 13, 2011 7:15 AM | Reply

Hi Robert,

Thanks for your reply. Your point is well taken, but I would rather you had held back until we had CONCRETE evidence of the motivations of this attack. Otherwise, it does make you a bit too keen to pin things like this on Muslims. It’s happened before.

My advice is for your benefit, not mine.

Best Regards,

Will.

Gnaeus

Actually, I am not keen to “pin things like this on Muslims,” and whatever you think has “happened before,” in reality I have always done what I have done here: report available evidence.

If the Telegraph reports on the honor killing link, and the Flanders News gives the attacker’s name (the Telegraph has it as well now) why is it all right for them to report these things but wrong for me to do so?

Your assumptions are completely baseless.

Cordially
Robert Spencer

Others also took issue with Spencer:

Vagn Henning | December 13, 2011 7:49 AM | Reply

I think Gnaeus’s advice is wise. Reproducing other peoples’ speculation harms JW’s credibility if they turn out to be baseless. No-one is questioning JW’s right to quote the Karachi Post, only the wisdom in doing so.

So what ended up happening? It blew up in Spencer’s face. He would have done well to listen to his brethren, but such is the condition of the fuzzy guru of Islamophobes; he cannot countenance any criticism or even advice.

It turns out the attack had nothing to with “honor killing,” as loonwatch commenter RDS put it:

“Update, 9:00 a.m. EST/3:00 p.m. CET:

Pakistani Twitter account Karachi Post claims the attack was linked to a sentence in an honor killing case. (Officials later said the case was in no way linked to the attack, and the Karachi Post admitted they used the attacks as efforts “highlighting the evil of honor killing.”)”

So the so-called Karachi Post is a twitter dude, and yet his statement supersedes statements by Belgian officials. Use of disingenuous links to bolster a non-credible claim? You don’t say…

bboyblue also updates us that Nordine Armani was actually a gun freak, drug peddler and a felon:

A convicted gun fanatic threw hand grenades and opened fire on a square bustling with Christmas shoppers in the centre of the Belgian city of Liège, killing at least six people, including himself, and wounding dozens, some critically.

Hours after failing to show up for police questions about his preoccupation with guns, the 33-year-old unleashed a lunchtime attack on Place Saint Lambert, which was hosting a Christmas market that attracts 1.5 million visitors a year.

Police said there were no indications that the dead assailant, a local man, had been involved with terrorism. Nor was there evidence of any ideological motivation for the murders.

The gunman was named as Nordine Amrani, a 33-year-old Liègeois who was known to be a “gun freak”, according to the police. He was given a jail term of almost five years after police officers raided his metal workshop three years ago and found a dozen firearms, including an AK-47 machine-gun, and 9,500 gun parts. He was also found guilty of drug dealing after cultivating 2,800 marijuana plants.

He has a North African sounding name so naturally he’s being framed as a jihadist by the Islamophobes. But this looks like the actions of a man who was desperate not to go back to jail, and would rather take his own life and as many others as possible than be incarcerated again. There don’t appear to be any political or religious motivation behind his actions. He’s obviously well known to the police, and they are satisfied that there are no links to a terrorist network. But, he’s from an Arabic background and possibly a Muslim one, and that’s all the right wingers need to know.

Put this down as example number 1,000,342,784,678 in the annals of #EpicRobertSpencerFail.

Extreme Right-Winger, Gianluca Casseri Kills Two Senegalese Men

Gianluca Casseri
Gianluca Casseri

Over 90% of Senegalese are Muslims, is it shocking that this fanatical right-winger from Florence targeted them? Don’t expect the likes of Robert Spencer to speak about some one such as Casseri who likely shares in his ideology, he’s too busy trying to link crimes committed by random Muslims to Islam.

Florence street vendors shot dead by lone gunman

Police said the gunman, Gianluca Casseri, 50, was known to have sympathies with Italy’s extreme Right.

He first opened fire on a group of Senegalese street traders at a market in Piazza Dalmazia, on the northern outskirts of the Tuscan city, killing two, seriously wounding a third and causing panic among shoppers and pedestrians.

He then jumped into a white car and drove off. Witnesses said the owner of a newspaper stall tried to block him but the gunman told him that unless he got out of the way he would be the next victim.

Casseri appeared a short time later at San Lorenzo market, in the centre of Florence, where he opened fire again with a .357 Magnum hand gun, wounding two more Senegalese hawkers.

He then turned the gun on himself, shooting himself in the chest.

“I heard the shots but I thought they were fireworks. Then I turned around and I saw three men on the ground surrounded by blood,” a vendor at the scene of the first shooting told the Italian news agency Ansa.

Senegalese traders were quoted as saying that they had worked in the city for years, had never had any trouble, and could not understand the motive for the attacks.

Florence and other large Italian cities host a shifting population of African street vendors who sell traditional handicrafts and fake designer handbags to tourists.

After the shootings, a group of West African traders staged a peaceful demonstration at the scene of the first shooting, shouting “Shame, shame”, before marching on the city centre.

Pamela Geller Turns Hollywood Shooting Tragedy Into an Islamophobic Hate Fest

Pamela Geller
Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller Turns Hollywood Shooting Tragedy Into an Islamophobic Hate Fest

by Sheila Musaji

On Friday, there was a tragic incident in Hollywood, California.  A man began shooting people randomly near the corner of Hollywood and Vine, and injured two men, one critically, before he was finally shot and killed by police.

Pamela Geller had an article online right away titled HOLLYWOOD JIHAD: SHOOTOUT, GUNMAN CALMLY TARGETED DRIVERS AND PEOPLE WHILE SHOUTING ALLAHU AKBAR!  She said in her lede “What is most disturbing about this story, apart from the obvious horror, is that not one news account reported what one witness said the shooter was screaming: “allahu akbar.” Not one news account. The media is the enemy.”

The initial local news video about the incident did include one witness saying that the shooter shouted “Allahu Akbar!” but at this point no other witness has confirmed that.  Whether or not that one witness was accurate about what he thought he heard, no one yet knows, and none of the cell phone videos of the incident as it happened at this point confirm this allegatioin.  Other witnesses said that they heard the shooter shout “Is this the end?”  and “kill me” and “I’m gonna die” during the rampage.  Witnesses also identified the shooter variously as “white” and as “hispanic”.

Of course, as soon as Geller posted her story, the Islamophobic echo chamber reposted her story with their own sensational headlines.  Geller’s partner Robert Spencer posted his own article referring to Geller.  Sheikh Yermami called it “Hollywood Jihad”,  Bare Naked Islam called it “Sudden Jihad Syndrome”.  Debbie Schlussel called it a “terrorist attack”.  Free Republic re-posted,  Creeping Sharia re-posted.  Even the Grant County Tea Party site re-posted Geller’s article.  Gateway Pundit said“Once again the media hid the truth from the American public.” The Muslims are Terrorists site posted the headline Muslim goes on shooting spree in Hollywood! Shouts allah akbar, media omits that detail to protect jihadists! with the lede “Thankfully one less muslim is wandering the streets tonight!”

More often than not, Geller is the first to churn out some anti-Muslim meme, and then her willing accomplices echo her message and pass it on.  It takes on a life of its own.  Geller is one of the key players and in our Who’s Who of Islamophobes and it is almost impossible to keep up with her rantings and update our backgrounder on her as fast as she can churn out her hateful messages.

On Saturday the identity of the shooter was released by the authorities.  According to KTLA News“The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has identified the man police shot and killed Friday after he opened fire on unsuspecting cars in the middle of a busy Hollywood intersection.  The 26-year-old man was Tyler Brehm.  Few details about the man are available but a Facebook page belonging to a man bearing the same name reveals that man ended a relationship four days ago. It has not yet been confirmed that the Tyler Brehm depicted on the Facebook page is the same Tyler Brehm involved in Friday’s shooting, but the Facebook page indicated its owner lives in Hollywood and was originally from Carlisle, Penn. The Baltimore Sun reports that Brehm’s ex-girlfriend, Alicia Alligood, told KTLA 5 she and Brehm dated for four years before breaking up this month.  The end of their relationship may have acted as a trigger that led to Friday’s fatal events, she said in a phone interview with KTLA 5’s David Begnaud. …  She said Brehm was “really stressed out lately.” He met a woman he thought was a pharmaceutical saleswoman, who had given him some kind of pills, Alliegood said. He began taking the pills, which was alarming because he never took drugs before. One of Brehm’s neighbors described him as unstable.

The actual story as far as what anyone knows to date is that a young man named Tyler Brehm went on a shooting spree.  Witness reports are varied.  The police are investigating.  Little is known about the shooter beyond his name, the fact that he is from Pennsylvania, is unemployed, and recently broke up with his girlfriend.  He may have been emotionally distressed.  He may have been taking drugs.  The Hollywood Reporter has the most recent information and an interview with one of the victims..

Outside of law enforcement, only Pamela Geller and her echo chamber “know” more than this.  Publishing such baseless speculation is irresponsible, and only proves that the only motivation is pure hatred.

This sort of behavior on the part of Geller and her cohorts in the Islamophobia echo chamber is not new, and we even have a collection of some of Geller’s previous false claims here and of the attempts by Geller and friends to cover up evidence of their false claims here.  Here is just one example of this pattern of jumping to false conclusions

In July of 2011, Pamela Geller published a post titled Vehicular Jihad in Arizona which was Geller’s take on a simple story about a terrible car accident in Arizona in which the driver of a vehicle crashed into 3 parked vehicles in a parking lot and was killed.  The man was a physician named Ajaz Rahaman.  As soon as the man’s name was released, Geller posted her article.  This was before there were any autopsy findings released,  before police investigations were completed – before anyone knew what happened.  The name of this man sounded as if he might be a Muslim.  However the name Walid Shoebat might also be identified as a Muslim name.  That’s all the proof Geller needed to call this “vehicular jihad”.  I published an article giving the facts titled “Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer Discover Muslim Vehicular Jihad Plot” and within a day Geller pulled the original article from her site but that the article still exists on google cache.  Why did they try to cover this up.  Because the doctor simply had a heart attack and died at the wheel which is why the car crashed.

This gleeful rush on the part of the Islamophobes to connect any violence to Muslims is also a pattern, as happened with the Virginia Tech shootings.  Pamela Geller, the Queen of the Islamophobes promoted the non-existent Muslim connection in the Virginia Tech massacre, in an article Ismail Ax and the Prophet Moe with the lede “Release the damn transcripts. Enough with the cover up. Don’t the dead and America, a country at war, deserve to know was is really happening? As I wrote here previously, we know Ismail Ax was written in red (color of blood) on his arm, we know he signed his suicide note Ismail Ax and sent an overnight package to NBC from A Ishmail, he made sure he had no other ID on his person after he martyred himself so you can be sure he wanted to be remembered as Ismail Ax. This is in and of itself very telling. Shaving his head and from what I can see in his pictures and martyr video- his body (that’s what they do – remember the 9/11 hijackers?) , must have added to law enforcement’s suspicions, which is why it so damning that they would say so early on that horrible day that “it was not tied to terrorism.” And, she comments The tie-in is carefully explained at Prophet of Doom here. It’s lengthy – read it. I’ve excerpted here. “Every aspect of Cho’s rage, every nuance of his twisted and inverted morality, was lifted from the pages of Islam.” Geller never did post an apology or a correction.

The only effect that all of this propaganda has is to stir up the readers of these sites into a frenzy of anti-Muslim hatred.  And, it works.

Here are a few of the readers comments on this Hollywood shooting incident from Gateway Pundit –The “sudden” jihad syndrome began months or years ago with the satanic infestation of this man’s soul by islam.  – Unless you want US cities to look like Kandahar…the Muslim cancer in the US must be dealt with swiftely and forcefully. Allowing these morons to bring their terror onto our soil should not be tolerated. Here are a few comments from Geller’s site – Muslims don’t need a motive..they are born as murderous scum!  –  This is just the beginning. This will most likely be the false prophet of Rev 13. Watch out, it will be coming to your town sooner than you think. Resist now or forever hold your peace. Here are a few comments from Creeping Sharia – Now we are seeing these MUSLIM THUGS going after any AMERICAN here in the U S A yelling ALLAHU AKBAR so why not retaliate with ALLAUH AKBAR with there MOSQUES OF HATE and NEUTRALIZE THEM AND THERE IMAM’S!!!! Lock AND LOAD. – Who do we have to blame for the growth, and infiltration of these terrorist? I would prefer to classify them as Muslim dirt bags. .The filth and actions connected with this group are beyond human comprehension. God help us to destroy the filth that is invading our country.Lord expose the plan behind the intent and people involved in the overall desire to introduce this religion. What would America have to gain by acceptance of these people? We must determine who, why. and what. – Joke what God has a name like Allah. You insult God with that handle.Your god has made a pact with the devil to destroy those he fears the most.Christians and Jews are the friends of GOD . Your so called Allah is a prophet that is dead and burning in hell with the rest of his Muslim buddies.Thank God that many Muslims are being visited by the Son of God Jesus in dreams and visions, and are bending their knees, and being set free. Protect them Lord, and allow them protection from the crazies.

And, here is an email that I received from one of these folks who takes this sort of hateful anti-Muslim propaganda as “real journalism”:  We dont want your kind here..we dont need your radical opinions..we want you out of our beautiful country and back to your camels and women beating and hostile islamic bullshit..you arent part of the human race as far as we’re concerned..you belong on another planet where you can blow shit up…LEAVE!!!!  I hope and pray that all you radical assholes are buried in hell…you are not welcome or wanted in U.S. soil, unless its 6 feet under..go back and wash your fucking camels and beat your women..die motherfuckers, die!!!!

This is the effect the sort of hate spewed by the Islamophobia echo chamber has on the “minds” of their readers.  I have by the way saved this email along with lots of others provoked by previous Islamophobic rants.

There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they published Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle by Robert Steinback in their Summer 2011 Intelligence Report.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

And, no matter what the actual facts turn out to be, it won’t make any difference for most of these folks who so desperately need someone to look down on.  After all, they and only they know the “truth”.  I would hope to see some of these folks stop for a moment and really think about what sort of effect their words have on others, and perhaps reconsider or even feel some shame.  But, I don’t think I’ll hold my breath.

Lowe’s Pulls Ad from “All American Muslim” Due to Pressure From Islamophobes

It is interesting to note the strange things Islamophobes take umbrage at. For instance think about the google doodle they thought hid the ulterior motives of Islamic stealth jihad, don’t you see the crescent hiding under the US flag,

or who can forget the crusade launched by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer against Campbell’s Soup,

or casting Ms.USA Rima Fakih as Hezbollah’s secret Muslamic ray-gun weapon who would secretly spell the doom of the West

then recently there were the calls to boycott Butterball Turkey for being certified as halal, according to Islamophobes the halal certification was evidence of the Islamization of America!

There are other instances of such stupidity, (just check out our archives) but one has reared its ugly head anew and this one can’t be so easily laughed off. Far right Christians and anti-Muslim bigots hate a new show on TLC called All American Muslim. According to them it humanizes Muslims, and we can’t have that! Robert Spencer for instance wanted to see a “terrorist Muslim family” included.

The hate brigade has been campaigning advertisers to withdraw their ads from the program. Now one company, Lowe’s has supposedly taken the bait (hat tip: H.). According to the campaigners, the “show riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values” and they are claiming success:

Supporters’ emails to advertisers make a difference.Florida Family Association sent out a third email alert on December 6th which reported The Learning Channel’s new program called All-American Muslim.  All-American Muslim is propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.  The email alert encouraged supporters to send emails to the companies (including Lowes) that advertised during the December 4th and 5th episodes.   

Lowes sent the following email to Florida Family Association stating that All-American Muslim “does not meet Lowe’s advertising guidelines.” If you have not sent your email to All-American Muslim advertisers click here.

—– Original Message —– 
From:
Andrew
To:
davidcaton@floridafamily.org
Sent:
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 12:57 PM 
Subject:
RE: Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc. advertised during All-American Muslim

Hello David,

Thank you for contacting Lowe’s.  We work hard to listen to our customers and respond to their concerns.  Lowe’s has strict guidelines that govern the placement of our advertising. Our company advertises primarily in national, network prime-time television programs and on a variety of cable outlets.  Lowe’s constantly reviews advertising buys to make certain they are consistent with its policy guidelines.

While we continue to advertise on various cable networks, including TLC, there are certain programs that do not meet Lowe’s advertising guidelines, including the show you brought to our attention.  Lowe’s will no longer be advertising on that program.

Our goal is to provide the best service, products and shopping environment in the home improvement industry.  We appreciate your feedback and will share your comments with our advertising department as they evaluate future advertising opportunities.

If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to call 1-866-900-4650, or email execustservice@lowes.com.  You may also contact us by mailing your correspondence to Lowe’s Companies, Mail Code CON8, 1605 Curtis Bridge Rd., Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28697.

Thank you,

Andrew
Lowe’s Executive Support

Member of Robert Spencer’s Favorite UK anti-Muslim Organization Sentenced for Burning Mosque

Simon Beech

Simon Beech sentenced to prison for ten years was a member of the EDL and the BNP, any surprise?

Hanley mosque arson accused’s links to far right parties

One of the men accused of setting fire to a Stoke-on-Trent mosque was a member of the British National Party (BNP) and English Defence League (EDL).

Simon Beech was a serving soldier with the 2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, based at Weeton Barracks near Preston, Lancashire, when he is alleged to have set fire to the City Central Mosque in Regent Road, Hanley, in the early hours of December 3 last year.

He is accused of entering the mosque, which was still under construction, with his co-accused Garreth Foster. The Crown Prosecution Service allege the pair were responsible for starting a blaze on the ground floor and feeding a gas pipe upstairs, from a neighbouring property.

Beech, of Hilton Road, Hartshill, and Foster, aged 28, of Hartshill Road, Stoke, deny arson.

Yesterday at their trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court the jury heard Beech, aged 23, subscribed to Facebook and the EDL.

Peter McMaster, an intelligence researcher with Staffordshire Police, said on November 10, less than a month before the arson, Beech posted comments including “Let’s start bashing skulls, dirty, rotten rodents, they breed like rats here, they need to die like rats” and “I say we need to start taking things into our own hands because they are running the place”.

The next day he posted “Get as many heads as we can, go and smash some skull and take over Shelton”.

And Beech said he “liked” a comment someone else posted – “Nuke all mosques”. He also posted comments including “Time we took things into our hands,” and “I say we put a stop to it before it’s too late.”

Also on November 11, Beech said: “The time has come we burn their place, burn the lot of them.”

The Sentinel, 7 December 2011

Click to read more …

How the Henry Jackson Society promotes anti-Muslim bigotry

Robin ShepherdRobin Shepherd

(via. Islamophobia-Watch)

We’ve taken on the issue of Honour Killings in the past and exposed the hypocrisy and double standards of the anti-Muslim brigades who seem to think it is a “Muslim only” problem. The piece below eviscerate a recent smear by the likes of Robert Spencer and his echo chamber in the Islamophobe-sphere that was making the rounds, claiming that there was an “alarming rise of ‘Muslim honour attacks in the UK.”

How the Henry Jackson Society promotes anti-Muslim bigotry

Media coverage of the police figures for so-called “honour” crimes in the UK, revealed by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation in association with the Guardian, was generally fairly balanced, avoiding the Islamophobic stereotyping of the Muslim community that you might have anticipated. Even the Daily Star managed to report the issue without blaming Muslims.

The exception was the Daily Mail, which headlined its report “Alarming rise of Muslim ‘honour attacks’ in the UK”. This irresponsible accusation against British Muslims was predictably endorsed by Robert Spencer atJihad Watch (“The Daily Mail headline goes straight for the elephant in the room: this is largely a phenomenon within Muslim communities in Britain”), while his friend Pamela Geller of course agreed (“As Muslim immigration increases, so does sharia, misogyny and gendercide”).

The ignorance and bigotry underpinning such views hardly need underlining. As a Metropolitan Police spokesperson told the Mail: “Honour-based violence cuts across all cultures, nationalities and faith groups – it is a worldwide problem.” Honour attacks are a problem in Hindu-majority India, for example, but are not evident in the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia. Even contributors to a discussion thread on the Mail‘s own website were able to make the obvious point that honour-based violence is a cultural rather than a religious phenomenon.

It was notable that the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation itself made no claim that Muslims were mainly or disproportionately responsible for honour crimes in the UK. This was by no means because IKWRO suffers from over-sensitivity towards Muslims and their faith. It is a hardline secularist organisation that lines up with the Islamophobic right on a number of issues – supporting the French ban on the veil, for example, andbacking the anti-sharia bill tabled by Geert Wilders’ ally Baroness Cox. But IKWRO is sufficiently familiar with the situation on the ground to know it makes no sense to depict honour attacks as a specifically Muslim problem.

There are no official figures for honour crimes in the UK broken down according to the faith of the victims and perpetrators. However, IKWRO director Diana Nammi has been quoted as saying that honour-based murders in the UK occur mostly in the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities, with Muslims responsible for around two-thirds of these crimes. Based on the last available census, the total Muslim-Hindu-Sikh population of the UK is 2,485,000, of whom 1,591,000 are Muslims – 64% of the total. Which would indicate that Muslims are no more likely to carry out such murders than Hindus or Sikhs are.

You might think that all of this was pretty obvious, and that nobody with half a brain or a shred of intellectual honesty would buy the Islamophobic myth that Muslim communities are inspired by their faith to commit acts of violence against young women. You should try reading a piece posted by Robin Shepherd on his website The Commentator. Entitled “BBC reveals huge scale of honour attacks in Britain, fails to mention the word ‘Islam’”, this poisonous article is worth quoting at length, in order to convey how deeply unpleasant it is:

The families giving the orders, as well as the victims, are in all, or almost all, cases Muslim. Surprised? No, of course you’re not. Honour attacks ranging in brutality from beatings to murder are commonplace in many parts of the Muslim world.

Since Britain, like many other European countries, has imported sizeable Muslim communities, which are to a significant degree unassimilated, the cultural practices of the old country have survived the transition to the new….

Enter the BBC, which reported on the matter in a lengthy, 700-plus word article and failed to mention the words “Muslim”, “Islamic” or “Islam” even once.

As I write this I am flicking back to the story itself so I can double check using the Find function. Could I be mistaken?

Here goes: “Islamic”? “No Matches”. “Muslim”? “No Matches”. “Islam”? “No Matches”.

This is how societies go down: when matters of the profoundest significance to their character, and potentially their very existence, have been rendered undiscussable by the people that set the terms of public debate.

Clearly the people who wrote and edited that story should be dismissed.

They won’t be of course because the mind-numbing, multiculturalist narrative that demanded censorship of the salient evidence is effectively institutionalised as the dominant narrative across the BBC as well as the wider liberal establishment.

So be it. Go ahead and have a conversation about deep-seated problems inside the fastest growing demographic group in Europe without mentioning what that group is. The quality of your discussion will be moronic. But you reap what you sow.

Shepherd goes on to berate Sky News and the Daily Telegraph, not generally known as warm supporters of the UK’s Muslim community, for following the BBC in its “politically correct” suppression of the supposed link between Islam and honour crimes.

This is the kind of foam-flecked rant you might expect to read on some extreme “counterjihadist” blog of the sort that inspired Anders Breivik. But Shepherd is Director of International Affairs at the Henry Jackson Society, which is advertised as a sponsor of The Commentator site. Nor is Shepherd the only raving anti-Muslim bigot to hold a prominent position in the HJS. Douglas Murray(“Why is it that time and again the liberal West is crumpling before the violence, intimidation and thuggery of Islam? … All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop…. Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board”) is anAssociate Director of the organisation.

Yet the Henry Jackson Society serves as the secretariat for two All-Party Parliamentary Groups – on Homeland Security andTransatlantic & International Security. The former’s objective is to “provide parliamentarians with up-to-date information and analysis on homeland security and national resilience issues”, while the latter provides the same service in connection with “international security issues, global defence concerns, international incidents and the efforts being made to comment and react to them in Britain and abroad”.

Do MPs and peers really think it appropriate that an organisation like the HJS should hold the position of secretariat to officially recognised parliamentary groups which seek to influence government policy on domestic and international security issues? Andrew Gilligan, Paul Goodman and the Jewish Chronicle waged a vicious campaign to remove ENGAGE as the secretariat to the APPG on Islamophobia, falsely accusing them of political extremism and antisemitism. But Gilligan, Goodman and the JChave nothing to say about the parliamentary role of an organisation headed by real extremist bigots like Robin Shepherd and Douglas Murray.

At RJC Forum, Gingrich says he’ll Appoint John Bolton as Secretary of State

At RJC Forum, Gingrich Says He’ll Appoint John Bolton As Secretary of State

by Charles Johnson Wed Dec 7, 2011

Speaking today at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Presidential Candidates Forum, Newt Gingrich announced that for Secretary of State, his pick would be John Bolton.

Yes, that would be the same John Bolton who wrote the foreword for the deranged anti-Obama book by hate bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, and who appeared in a recorded message at Geller’s ugly “Ground Zero Mosque” hatefest last year. (Newt, in typical Gingrich fashion, agreed to speak too but then bailed out.)

Iranian Book “How to Eliminate Israel from the Planet” No Different than Israeli Publications

The anti-Muslim blogosphere operates as an echo-chamber: one Islamophobic site publishes a story and then the other ones quickly reproduce it.  The latest story to get the Islamophobic juices flowing was with regard to a book that was supposedly published by religious students in Iran.  I wrote about it earlier:

Iran: Yet Another Case Study in Robert Spencer’s Hypocrisy and Double Standards

JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer just posted an article with the following title:

How to Eliminate Israel from the Planet: Iran promotes genocidal book by Muslim seminarians, published by Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance

He’s taking exception to an anti-Israeli book supposedly written by some religious students in Iran, called “How to Eliminate Israel from the Planet.”  Spencer calls this a “genocidal book.”

This is why LoonWatch exists.  We’ve been documenting what loons like Robert Spencer say so that we can pull Jon Stewart moves like the one I am going to pull now…

The reader is referred to Robert Spencer’s post in March 2010 wherein he promoted a “genocidal video” calling for “wiping Pakistan off the map” and nuclear annihilation of Pakistan:

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer: Wipe Pakistan Off the Map

And my article on the topic back then:

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller Promote Video by Militant and Genocidal Group

When Iranians/Muslims call to “wipe Israel off the map” or “eliminate Israel from the planet”, then it is a “genocidal book” and all freedom-loving people must be outraged by this.  When anti-Muslim extremists call for the same against Muslims, then that’s a “genocidal freedom-loving video” that all freedom-loving people must support.  As George Orwell put it: “Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them.”

Robert Spencer’s hypocrisy and double standards are of course shared across the Islamophobic spectrum, from the mild-mannered Jeffrey Goldberg to the foaming-at-the-mouth website BareNakedIslam.

For now, I am assuming that Robert Spencer et al. are accurately reporting the story–a huge assumption considering: (1) I have not found the story reported by any reputable sources; (2)  Loons like Robert Spencer aren’t exactly known for accurately and truthfully reporting anything about Islam or Muslims. (3) Spencer cited Pajamas Media as his source (note: Remember how Robert Spencer and his minions scoff at using a source with silly names like “LoonWatch” or “Danios”…)

Leaving aside for now matters of accuracy, I’d like to expose even more hypocrisy and double standards from not just Robert Spencer but by the Islamophobes in general who are reporting this story in an effort to warmonger against Iran on Israel’s behalf.  They are trying to argue that the anti-Israeli book was not just written by a couple random students, but was in fact endorsed by the Iranian government; their evidence for this is the claim that the “book has been published by the Khorasan branch of the Ministry of Islamic culture and guidance.”

If this is proof of how evil Iran and Islam are, then what about this:

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is a part of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and “is recognized by law as the supreme halakhic and spiritual authority for the Jewish people in the State of Israel.” During the Gaza War (Massacre) in 2009, the Chief Rabbinate “gave soldiers fighting in Gaza pamphlets urging them to show no mercy.” Other pamphlets elaborated on the Chief Rabbinate’s orders, spelling it out in no uncertain terms: kill the civilian population because “it is not innocent.”

Haaretz, the oldest and one of the most established of Israeli newspapers, reported:

An overview of some of the army rabbinate’s publications made available during the fighting reflects the tone of nationalist propaganda that steps blatantly into politics, sounds racist and can be interpreted as a call to challenge international law when it comes to dealing with enemy civilians.

Robert Spencer wrote that the Iranian book was a “book filled with genocidal hate, rooted in the Qur’an”; he bolded the parts of the passage that mentioned the Islamic holy book.  His purpose in doing so is obvious: to smear the entire faith of Islam.

It should be pointed out to Spencer that in the case of the military rabbinate’s violent, racist, and genocidal publications, it was none other than the Bible and traditional Jewish law that was cited.  Haaretz noted:

Following are quotations from this material:

“[There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it.” This is an excerpt from a publication entitled “Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead,” issued by the IDF rabbinate. The text is from “Books of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner,” who heads the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Muslim quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.

The following questions are posed in one publication: “Is it possible to compare today’s Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David?” Rabbi Aviner is again quoted as saying: “A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land … They invaded the Land of Israel, a land that did not belong to them and claimed political ownership over our country … Today the problem is the same. The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence.”

The IDF rabbinate, also quoting Rabbi Aviner, describes the appropriate code of conduct in the field: “When you show mercy to a cruel enemy, you are being cruel to pure and honest soldiers. This is terribly immoral. These are not games at the amusement park where sportsmanship teaches one to make concessions. This is a war on murderers. ‘A la guerre comme a la guerre.’”

To be perfectly clear, if it is true that an Iranian book was published with such offensive material in it, we should condemn it wholeheartedly–just as we should condemn the Israeli publications I mentioned above.  But we shouldn’t vilify Islam as a whole, just as we shouldn’t vilify Judaism as a whole.  Neither should we beat the drums of war against Iran, just as no rational person would use the Israeli publications as a valid justification to attack Israel.

I would, however, point out that there is one major difference between the case in Iran and Israel.  If it is argued that the Iranian book endorses ethnic cleansing as our opponents claim, it should be pointed out that Iranians are not actively carrying out such a thing.  The belligerence is limited to mere words and rhetoric.

Meanwhile, the publications in Israel were handed out to soldiers deployed in a brutal war against Palestinians/Muslims, part of a long campaign of ethnic cleansing that first began in 1948.  Those instructions to show no mercy to the enemy population were actively executed and acted upon by Israeli soldiers.

Leading international human rights organizations condemned “Operation Cast Lead” (as it was called by the Israelis).  Amnesty International, for example, titled their report: “Operation Cast Lead: 22 Days of Death and Destruction”.  The report noted that Israeli forces committed “wanton destruction” and killed “[h]undreds of Palestinian civilians” (whereas Palestinian rocket attacks “only rarely caused civilian casualties”).

Meanwhile, no Iranian publication can be linked to actual Jewish or Israeli fatalities.

Iran cannot realistically go beyond anything more than mere words or rhetoric, because actual acts of violence will be met with overwhelming force and massive retaliation from Israel and/or the United States.  This is so much so that it is being reported, by the likes of none other than Jeffrey Goldberg, that Iran is already under attack by Israel and the United States, and yet the Iranians have not retaliated or declared war.

If bombing Iranian facilities, killing their scientists, and using drones in their territory cannot evoke a military response, then why would anyone assume that they would have the audacity to initiate an attack on Israel?  The reason Iran hasn’t responded to these acts of war against it are that it wants to avoid being “bombed into the stone ages” like Iraq was.  In other words, the last thing Iran would want to do is give Israel or the United States a smoking gun.  Angry but empty rhetoric earns Tehran popular support, whereas action would jeopardize the regime’s very existence.

The Iranian leadership is no doubt despotic, oppressive, and illegitimate; but it is also, like many dictatorships, tenaciously pragmatic when it comes to holding onto the reigns of power.  The desire for self-preservation is an amazing thing.

Meanwhile, Israel can afford to act unilaterally, and it does so quite regularly and with a great deal of impunity, thanks to Uncle Sam, who acts as a shield to any international response.

This is why dwelling on Iran’s rhetoric as opposed to Israeli action is misleading, but that of course is the essence of war propaganda.

Update I:

Prof. Juan Cole worded it best (h/t Believing Atheist):

Moreover, Iran cannot fight Israel. It would be defeated in 72 hours, even if the US didn’t come in, which it would (and rightly so if Israel were attacked). Iran is separated by several other countries from Israel. It has not attacked aggressively any other country militarily for over a century (can Americans say that of their own record?) It has only a weak, ineffective air force. So why worry about it?

What is really going on here is an old trick of the warmongers. Which is that you equate hurtful statements of your enemy with an actual military threat, and make a weak and vulnerable enemy look like a strong, menacing foe. Then no one can complain when you pounce on the enemy and reduce his country to flames and rubble.

Iran: Yet Another Case Study in Robert Spencer’s Hypocrisy and Double Standards

JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer just posted an article with the following title:

How to Eliminate Israel from the Planet: Iran promotes genocidal book by Muslim seminarians, published by Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance

He’s taking exception to an anti-Israeli book supposedly written by some religious students in Iran, called “How to Eliminate Israel from the Planet.”  Spencer calls this a “genocidal book.”

This is why LoonWatch exists.  We’ve been documenting what loons like Robert Spencer say so that we can pull Jon Stewart moves like the one I am going to pull now…

The reader is referred to Robert Spencer’s post in March 2010 wherein he promoted a “genocidal video” calling for “wiping Pakistan off the map” and nuclear annihilation of Pakistan:

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer: Wipe Pakistan Off the Map

And my article on the topic back then:

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller Promote Video by Militant and Genocidal Group

When Iranians/Muslims call to “wipe Israel off the map” or “eliminate Israel from the planet”, then it is a “genocidal book” and all freedom-loving people must be outraged by this.  When anti-Muslim extremists call for the same against Muslims, then that’s a “genocidal freedom-loving video” that all freedom-loving people must support.  As George Orwell put it: “Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them.”

(Image at the top of the page comes from an earlier article exposing Robert Spencer: LoonWatch Exclusive: Robert Spencer’s “f**kallah.com” & “f**kislam.com”)