Robert Spencer Discovers Chess Set Jihad

Islamized Chess

by Ilisha

In the widely used Staunton chess set, the king is topped with a Christian cross. At this years’s World Youth Chess Championship in the United Arab Emirates, a new design has been introduced. The Christian cross has been replaced by the Islamic crescent.

Robert Spencer is outraged. He has accused “Islamic Supremacists” or “forcing” non-Muslim children to play with the “Islamized” chess sets. The horror!

Judging from Spencer’s outrage, one might think European Christians invented chess, and the Muslims are trying to co-opt “their” game.

In fact, Chess was brought to Christian Europe by Muslims. 

The precise origins of chess are unknown, but the game is thought to have originated in ancientIndia or Central Asia, and from there, spread to Persia. When the Arabs conquered Persia, chess was taken up by the Muslim world and subsequently spread to Europe.

One of the world’s oldest chess sets was found in Afrasaib, near Samarkand in Uzbekistan. The set included a king, chariot, vizier, horse, elephant, and 2 soldiers.

The traditional Staunton chess set Robert Spencer is defending as sacred is actually the product of European “Christianization” of earlier designs.From

The original Indian and Islamic game was adapted to reflect medieval European society, so that the Indian war elephant was replaced with the figure of the bishop. The rooks biting their shields resemble the Viking berserkers of Norse myth, while the pose of the queens is derived from depictions of the grieving Virgin Mary. The pawns, lacking any human features, reflect the abstract pieces used in the Islamic version of the game.

Are Muslims reclaiming the game of chess in the Name of Islam? Of course not. Many cultures have influenced chess over its 1500 year history, and unless you’re a paranoid “counter jihadist,” there’s no reason to view those contributions as divisive or sinister.

World Youth Chess Championships in UAE using Islamized chess sets

Jihad Wartch

..The photo above of some of the chess sets being used in this year’s tournament in Al Ain are just the icing on the cake. Traditional chess kings have a cross on the top (a design that has been in use for centuries). But this year in the UAE, they’ve removed the cross and replaced it with an Islamic crescent. A veteran chess player tells me: “In my entire life playing chess I have never seen such a thing.”

Some of the children in this year’s tournament are being forced to use these sets:here are some photos from the actual playing hall with participants using the Islamized sets..

…As you will see, only some of the sets have this Islamic design — probably because few have been made as yet, and the organizers need thousands of sets for such a huge tournament. So the majority of sets under use are “normal” style. But even so, the Islamic supremacist implications of the new design are self-evident. This is not a big deal, but obviously it was to the Emiratis who went to so much trouble to alter the set. Why not leave it as it was? Was it because of Islam’s abhorrence of the cross?

UPDATE: The Islamized sets are in wide use…

Pamela Geller has cross posted Spencer’s article on her blog Atlas Shrugs, and added her own paranoid twist:

Robert Spencer has broken the story that in the UAE, the World Youth Chess Championships are listing Israeli players as from the country “FIDE” (World Chess Federation), and are using Islamized chess pieces (above). If the Jews win the tournament, there will be a worldwide terror alert! All free nations must go to Defcon 5 — expect embassies to burn and millions to march and call for death to the Jews. The magic Islamic chess pieces will have lost their mojo — Allah is not pleased. Allah may be akbar, but these chess pieces will have proved not to be.

Yes, Pam, climb onto your broom and head to the UAE. You and your minions must save the world from the Muslim rage that will no doubt follow if the “magic Islamic chess pieces” fail to defeat “the Jews.”

Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller discover “puppy bomb jihad”

Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller discover “puppy bomb jihad”

US anti-Islam activists Pamela Geller (L

Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller discover “puppy bomb jihad”

by Sheila Musaji

Pamela Geller posted ‘Puppy Bombs’: Puppies being used as living firebombs by Muslim Brotherhood

Her partner in hate, Robert Spencer, posted Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood using “puppy bombs” dipped in gasoline and set on fire.

Geller and Spencer both list the same article from Arutz Sheva Israel National News ‘Puppy Bombs’ Rescued from Egyptian Violence as the source for their information.

The Arutz Sheva article by Ari Yashar refers to “Robyn Urman, a pet rescuer in Tenafly, New Jersey, as reported by CBS 2” as the source for his article.

I found the article on CBS 2 Refugee Puppies From Egypt Looking For New Homes In U.S.  This article on CBS 2 New York says nothing about gasoline, bombs, the Muslim Brotherhood, or anything else except that homes are needed for puppies from Egypt.

Two dogs from Egypt are in need of a good home here.

Robyn Urman, a pet rescuer in Tenafly, N.J., said she received a Facebook message from an animal rescue volunteer in Egypt, who said two puppies, Cleopatra and Cairo, needed homes.  The volunteer asked if Urman be willing to take the dogs.  Urman agreed and the pooches were on a flight to New York. …

 

I was puzzled as to how this story had morphed, but Bob Pitt of Islamophobia Watch reports that the original article on CBS 2 is not the same as the article that I found that now appears there.

He has saved a screen image of the original article here posted on 10/28 at 8:00 a.m. (Note, the story now appearing on CBS 2, with all the propaganda removed was posted 10/29 at 1:04 p.m.).

In that original article, the source for the “gasoline, bombs, the Muslim Brotherhood” part of the story is given as a Facebook message to Urman from someone named Mervat Said in Egypt.  But, all the aspects of the story supplied by this individual are now removed from the story that remains online.

So, it seems that CBS 2 had some serious thoughts about the accuracy of this story and removed the original and replaced it with an article that includes none of the propaganda.  There is nothing at all printed that would inform anyone that the article has been changed, or why that has been done.

Shame on CBS for not being more careful about their sources in the first place.  This non-story became an excuse for Islamophobes to rant, and their readers got their message loud and clear.  Here is one of the comments under Geller’s article on Atlas Shrugs (and yes, it was written in all caps):

lovezion said… THERE’S NO PLACE ON EARTH FOR SUCH PRIMITIVE, BRAINLESS SAVAGES WHOSE INTELLIGENCE AND EVEN BRILLIANCE CONSISTS IN HATING, CUTTING THROATS, MAKING THEIR OWN WOMEN AND CHILDREN SLAVES AND MUCH MORE EVIL!
SO IF WE DON’T WANT TO CONTINUE BEING MURDERED BY THEM AND EVENTUALLY MADE SLAVES REGARDLESS OF WHAT RELIGION OR ANYTHING ELSE WE ARE, THEN THERE’S NO OTHER WAY BUT TO ANNIHILATE THEM ALL COMPLETELY, WITHOUT LEAVING ANY SEEDS AT ALL! OTHER THAN THIS, WE ARE PITIFULLY WASTING OUR LIVES, TIME, MONEY, ENERGY, TERRITORY AND….COMPLETE CONQUEST TO THEIR GLOBAL RULES!

I have placed the key point the Atlas Shrugs reader gives in his comment in bold.  This is a clear call for genocide.  Not surprising, since Geller has previously posted articles from her readers calling for genocide.  And, Babu Suseelan of Spencer & Geller’s AFDI/SION Board said at their 9/11/2012 “Global Alliance Event” in NY that ”“If we do not kill the bacteria,” the jowly Suseelan scolded the audience, “the bacteria will kill us.” Otherwise, he warned, “Muslims will breed like rats and they will be a majority.” Still, he concluded hopefully, “Islam can be stopped! And it can be wiped out.”  You can read about this statement, and others by other AFDI/SION “dignitaries” in the article AFDI/SION’s Leadership: Arrests & Scandals.

Interestingly, this Global Alliance event is where these hatemongers came up with their AFDI/SION bigoted, anti-Muslim 18-point platform which they have the nerve to describe as a “platform for defending freedom”.
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RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA SUMMARY

The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films.  They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally.   They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”

Sadly, the Islamophobic echo chamber has been aided by some in the Jewish and Christian clergy, and even by some of our elected representatives, particularly in the GOP.

These individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses, and distorting the meaning of Islamic terms such as taqiyyajihadshariaAbrogation (Naskh) in the Qur’an, etc.  Hundreds of examples with responses here

Islamophobes falsely claim to see “JIHAD” PLOTS everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist.   They, like Muslim extremists, don’t understand the true meaning of the term jihad.  The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking”, non-existent Muslim jihad plots.  You can find detailed information about and responses to these false claims here

Islamophobes generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.    Islamophobes consistently push demonstrably false memes such as:  – we are in danger from creeping Sharia,   –  most or all terrorists are Muslims  – the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, – 80% of American Mosques are radicalized,  –  There have been 270 million victims of “jihad”  –  There have been 17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks since 9/11    – Muslims in government are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be MARGINALIZED or excluded.  Muslim and Arab organizations and individuals are connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or the unindicted co-conspirator label, or accused of not condemning HamasHamas linked, or are Jew haters.  When Islamophobes are caught in the act ofmaking up or distorting claims or omitting key facts,  they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence often by “disappearing” articles.

Islamophobes do not understand freedom of speech or that freedom of speech does not include freedom from condemnation of that speech and they are quick to call for censorship and repression of speech they don’t like.

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences.

You would never know from listening to any of the members of the Islamophobia Industry that Muslimshave defended  freedom of speech, participated in interfaith dialogue, defended freedom of faith against apostasy laws,  condemned blasphemy laws, condemned holocaust denial and anti-Semitism,promoted non-violent solutions to the many problems we face, called for protecting all houses of worship and condemned any attacks on churches or synagogues anywherecondemned violent responses to numerous incidents including the response to the Innocence of Muslims film, spoken outagainst child marriage, are working to stop domestic violence in our community, have many active programs and efforts in the community to counter radicalization and extremism and to work to protect minority rights in Muslim majority countries etc.  Type condemn into the TAM search engine and 145 statements of condemnation come up in addition to the collections in our lengthy section Muslim voices against extremism terrorism and violence  Muslims speak out loudly and clearly condemning our own extremists, and their extremist statements and actions.  Type “lunatic fringe” into the TAM search engine for many such articles condemning particular extremists and extremist groups and activities.

You would never know that Muslims are decent, hardworking, productive citizens, making a positive contribution to this society.  Muslims haven’t just spoken out against abuses carried out anywhere in the world that dishonor Islam, but also worked doing positive things.   See our TAM collection of good news stories about Muslims 2012 for many examples.

The claim that the Islamophobes are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence”, or thatnothing that they say could have had anything to do with any act of violence are nonsense.  The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,  or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense.

The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle. , and that the SPLC calls Pamela Geller “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead. She’s relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam. There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America andUnderstanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.   There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.   There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

There is a reason that Spencer and Geller were both recently banned from entering Great Britainto participate in an EDL event, and that their own words and actionsproved the charges against them.

Click on the logo “Muslims denounce extremism and terrorism” on the front page of TAM for an extensive resource listing not only Muslim responses to extremism.  See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes & Islamophobia for information about the Islamophobia industry as well as a detailed listing of false claims and responses to those false claims. See the TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry for links to resources about particular individuals and organizations.  See the TAM collection of Existing Reports, Polls, and Studies on Islam, Muslims & Radicalization.  This collection includes many reports relating specifically to the Islamophobia Industry.

Sheila Musaji is the founding editor of The American Muslim (TAM), published since 1989.  Sheila received the Council on American-Islamic Relations 2007 Islamic Community Service Award for Journalism,  and the Loonwatch Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage Award for her work in fighting Islamophobia.  Sheila was selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims published since 2009 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan.    Biography  You can follow her on twitter @sheilamusaji (https://twitter.com/SheilaMusaji )

Islamophobes exploit tragic stabbing incident at mosque in Britain

Islamophobes exploit tragic stabbing incident at mosque in Britain

by Sheila Musaji (The American Muslim)

A man who might be a Somali, and who was not known to any of the regular worshipers in attendance at the mosque in Britain, came into the mosque, became agitated and and attacked worshipers with a knife.  Three regular worshipers at the mosque were stabbed as well as a policeman answering the emergency call.  The policeman first shot the man with a Tazer but it seemed to have no effect.  Other worshipers helped the policeman who ultimately subdued the perpetrator.  A local doctor who was among the worshipers treated the injured until the emergency team arrived.

The perpetrator is being held in a mental health facility on suspicion of attempted murder after doctors deemed him unfit for questioning.  .

The brave police officer Pc Adam Koch said‘I owe those people a massive debt of thanks and if it wasn’t for their help, bravely running towards a man they’d already seen brandishing a large knife, I may not be here today.  ‘As soon as I’m back on my feet I intend to visit the mosque and ask the imam to pass on my gratitude to the worshippers who put their own safety in jeopardy to assist me.  ‘In the end it was a great community effort to overpower the man and arrest him.

The Islamophobes couldn’t resist an opportunity to make another mountain out of a molehill like the False Kodak bomb threat claim of two days ago.

Robert Spencer found this incident “Jihad Watch” worthy and he opines: “When you have a religion that teaches that human beings are the executors of the wrath and vengeance of the supreme being, and that apostates and heretics should be murdered, this kind of thing is going to happen.”

His partner in hate, Pamela Geller writes Muslim with Machete Stabs Police Officer and three men at a mosque in Birmingham and opines “A Somali Muslim repeatedly stabbed a police officer and three men at a mosque in Birmingham late last night. The police officer who was responding to a knife fight at the mosque was stabbed. The knee-jerk reaction from the Muslim community is grievance-mongering about islamophobia. It’s a pathology of a sort.”

What nonsense!  No jihad, no machete, no knife fight – just an obviously deranged man being held in a mental institution until he is capable of being interviewed carrying out an unprovoked violent attack on other people.  The fact that a tazer had no effect on him increases the chances that he was also on drugs.

The fact that the perpetrator may be a Muslim has no bearing at all on the incident.  There are no facts anywhere that would identify this individual as an “Islamist” or “radical Muslim” engaged in a “jihad plot”, or this event as a “jihad” or any of the other baseless suppositions and wild claims made by the Islamophobic echo chamber.  These folks just don’t understand the fact that Muslims can be crazy, criminal, or perverted too!.

Ahavath Torah Congregation and Great Neck Synagogue Give Platform to Hate Group Leaders

Ahavath_Torah_Congregation

by Emperor

It is sad and dangerous when a religious institution actively allows itself to be used as a platform for hate-mongers who have inspired terrorists and incite hatred and prejudice against Muslims.

Ahavath Torah Synagogue, led by the Betraying Rabbi Jon Hausman has a long history of allowing itself to be used in such a way, for instance making the pulpit available to the likes of Geert “no religious freedom for Muslims” Wilders and Wafa “nuke ‘em” Sultan.

Both Ahavath Torah Synagogue and Great Neck Synagogue should be ashamed of themselves; real embarrassments to Judaism.

Lars Hedegaard, Robert Spencer, Andrew Bostom, Tiffany Gabbay to speak on panel discussion regarding “Sharia’s Assault on Free Speech.”

Lars Hedegaard
Robert Spencer
Tiffany Gabbay
Dr. Andrew Bostom
Moderated by Michael Graham*

Each of these individuals possess deep knowledge forged by years of involvement. No doubt this will prove to be an enlightening evening.

*This event is co-sponsored by Act for America and Michael Graham’s “New England Talk Network”.

When: Wednesday March 20, 2013
Time: 7:00PM
Address: Ahavath Torah Congregation, 1179 Central Street, Stoughton, MA
Price: $15 per person in advance, $20/$25 at the door, $10 for students with valid student ID.

Pamela “the looniest blogger ever” Geller will be speaking to Great Neck Synagogue:

On Sunday Morning, April 14, at 10:00am, the Great Neck Synagogue Men’s Club presents Pamela Geller, Founder of the influential “Atlas Shrugs” blog and Executive Director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA).

Geller will be introduced by Greg Buckley, whose son, Lance Corporal Greg Buckley, Jr., was one of three Marines killed in a “Green on Blue” insider attack on his military base in the Helmand province, Afghanistan on Aug 10.

Related:
ACT! For America is Better Known as Hate! For America

Islam a ‘dangerous and totalitarian ideology’: Wilders

Wilders Melbourne meeting-1

Islam a ‘dangerous and totalitarian ideology’: Wilders

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders has called the Prophet Muhammad a murderer and used Anzac soldiers as an example of the courage needed to speak out against Islam at a speech to Melbourne supporters.

Tight security surrounded Mr Wilders’ hour-long speech to members of the ultra-conservative local group the Q Society of Australia at La Mirage reception centre in Somerton in Melbourne’s north on Tuesday night.

Fifty police, some on horseback, separated about 100 vocal but peaceful protesters standing on the Hume Highway verge outside the venue.

Protest organiser Feiyi Zhang said: “we’re here to show we will not stand for Wilders’ racism and Islamophobia”. She said his speech could incite violence against Muslims “and general fear of Islam”.

Protester Nadia Shamsuddin, a doctor and a Muslim, said she was “repulsed” by Wilders’ visit and views. “His promotion of oppression and racism is appalling in the civilised world”.

Her husband Raj Rao said: “Wilders accuses Islam of promoting hatred and violence but I think that’s what he’s doing.” Mr Rao said the message of the Qu’ran was of “peace and submission to God”.

Inside the venue, audience member Inez, a Dutch immigrant, said she had come from Ringwood to hear Wilders, “because we have built this country into something very, very beautiful but I can slowly see it getting spoiled by people who want to impose their beliefs and laws. When I hear Muslim people wanted to introduce Sharia law here, I shudder. I thought it too horrible to contemplate.”

Mr Wilders spoke to a ballroom usually used for multicultural weddings and debutante balls. The crowd met his speech with standing ovations, laughter at his jokes and applause.

Mr Wilders said the Prophet Muhammad was a savage leader of a gang of robbers that raped and murdered and mutilated its opponents including the Jews in 7th century Medina and violence had carried on to Islam’s modern day supporters.

He said anyone who criticised Islam “is in grave personal danger” and “we cannot continue to accept this”. European countries such as the Netherlands are “in the process of losing our cultural identity and our freedom and I am warning Australia about the true nature of Islam. It’s not a religion; it’s a dangerous and totalitarian ideology.”

The Age, 20 February 2013

By contrast The Australian – which has already given Wilders a platform to incite hatred of Islam, with a much wider audience than the tiny Q Society could ever drum up – accuses protestors of provoking violent clashes outside the venue.

In addition to providing extensive, and entirely uncritical, coverage of Wilders’ Melbourne speech, the Murdoch-owned newspaper also publishes an editorial (“Geert Wilders’s right to speak”) which states:

Mr Wilders’s views on the impact of large-scale Islamic immigration in Europe and the challenge that it presents to established cultures and the obligations of citizenship in Western countries are part of an important debate that Australians should be aware of.

Mr Wilders is the founder and leader of The Netherlands Party for Freedom. His political mission is to halt what he says is the “Islamisation” of his country. He argues that Islamism is a totalitarian political ideology enforced by violence and rigid adherence to it, quite different from the faith of Islam. In his article in The Australian earlier this week, Mr Wilders outlined his views that many will find challenging, but they were respectfully put and hardly deserve the vilification he has received from extremists.

Mr Wilders is welcome here, provided that he abides by the law, as all visitors must. Our laws include prohibiting racial vilification and inciting violence, but there is no suggestion he has come close to violating them. So far, it is his opponents who have displayed the illiberalism they accuse him of.

Wilders holds that “Islamism is a totalitarian political ideology enforced by violence and rigid adherence to it, quite different from the faith of Islam”? Where did they get that from? There are of course Islamophobes who claim to make a distinction between Islamism and Islam, but Wilders is emphatically not one of them. In his article for The Australian, he made his views quite clear:

Contrary to what many Westerners think, Islam, rather than a religion, is a totalitarian political ideology. It is an ideology because it aims for an Islamic state and wants to impose sharia on all of us. It is totalitarian because it is not voluntary: once you are in, you cannot get out. Unlike genuine religions, Islam also makes demands on non-Muslims. We, too, are marked for death if we criticise it.

You can only conclude that The Australian‘s editorial writers don’t read their own newspaper.

“Counterjihad” Connection to Sandyhook Massacre?: Anders Breivik’s Articles Found in Adam Lanza’s Bedroom

connecticut-lanza-_2430767b

Law enforcement sources have uncovered several articles about Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian anti-Muslim/Leftists terrorist in the bedroom of killer Adam Lanza.

Breivik killed over 60 children and young adults on Utoya island, but did Lanza have a motive that included an affinity to the ideology of “counterjihad?” Or was Lanza simply inspired by Breivik to murder children, to compete in killing the most people possible?

Were Sandy Hook Killings Inspired by Norwegian Massacre?

by Sarah Moughty (Frontline PBS)

New reports tonight suggest that Adam Lanza’s killing spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School may have been sparked by a July 2011 shooting and bombing attack in Norway that killed 77 people.

Law enforcement sources told The Hartford Courant that police investigators found several articles about Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian man convicted of the attack, in Lanza’s bedroom. However, those sources stressed that Lanza’s interest in Breivik is just one theory when it comes to the question of what motivated the massacre at Sandy Hook. CBS News reported Monday that Lanza “saw himself as being in direct competition” with Breivik.

Tomorrow night, The Courant and FRONTLINE team up to investigate the young man, his mother and the town he changed forever in Raising Adam Lanza.

The film is part of PBS’s “After Newtown” initiative, a series of documentaries, news reports and public affairs programs that provide thought-provoking context to the national conversation about gun violence in America. Check your local listings to find out when it’s on in your area.

Related:

Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza may have envisioned himself as Norwegian bomber Anders Breivik’s mass-murder rival

Most Terrorist Plots in the US Aren’t Invented by Al Qaeda — They’re Manufactured by the FBI

FBI-director-J-Edgar-Hoov-001

The FBI has manufactured the most terrorist plots in the USA.

Most Terrorist Plots in the US Aren’t Invented by Al Qaeda — They’re Manufactured by the FBI

Trevor Aaronson (AlterNet)

Antonio Martinez was a punk. The twenty-two-year-old from Baltimore was chunky, with a wide nose and jet-black hair pulled back close to his scalp and tied into long braids that hung past his shoulders. He preferred to be called Muhammad Hussain, the name he gave himself following his conversion to Islam. But his mother still called him Tony, and she couldn’t understand her son’s burning desire to be the Maryland Mujahideen.

As a young man, Martinez had been angry and lost. He’d dropped out of Laurel High School, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and spent his teens as a small-time thief in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. By the age of sixteen, he’d been charged with armed robbery. In February 2008, at the age of eighteen, he tried to steal a car. Catholic University doctoral student Daniel Tobin was looking out of the window of his apartment one day when he saw a man driving off in his car. Tobin gave chase, running between apartment buildings and finally catching up to the stolen vehicle. He opened the passenger-side door and got in. Martinez, in the driver’s seat, dashed out and ran away on foot. Jumping behind the wheel, Tobin followed the would-be car thief. “You may as well give up running,” he yelled at Martinez. Martinez was apprehended and charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle—he had stolen the vehicle using an extra set of car keys which had gone missing when someone had broken into Tobin’s apartment earlier. However, prosecutors dropped the charges against Martinez after Tobin failed to appear in court.

Despite the close call, Martinez’s petty crimes continued. One month after the car theft, he and a friend approached a cashier at a Safeway grocery store, acting as if they wanted to buy potato chips. When the cashier opened the register, Martinez and his friend grabbed as much money as they could and ran out of the store. The cashier and store manager chased after them, and later identified the pair to police. Martinez pleaded guilty to theft of one hundred dollars and received a ninety-day suspended sentence, plus six months of probation.

Searching for greater meaning in his life, Martinez was baptized and became a Christian when he was twenty-one years old, but he didn’t stick with the religion. “He said he tried the Christian thing. He just really didn’t understand it,” said Alisha Legrand, a former girlfriend. Martinez chose Islam instead. On his Facebook page, Martinez wrote that he was “just a yung brotha from the wrong side of the tracks who embraced Islam.” But for reasons that have never been clear to his family and friends, Martinez drifted toward a violent, extremist brand of Islam. When the FBI discovered him, Martinez was an angry extremist mouthing off on Facebook about violence, with misspelled posts such as, “The sword is cummin the reign of oppression is about 2 cease inshallah.” Based on the Facebook postings alone, an FBI agent gave an informant the “green light” to get to know Martinez and determine if he had a propensity for violence. In other words, to see if he was dangerous.

The government was setting the trap.

On the evening of December 2, 2010, Martinez was in another Muslim’s car as they drove through Baltimore. A hidden device recorded their conversation. His mother had called, and Martinez had just finished talking to her on his cell phone. He was aggravated. “She wants me to be like everybody else, being in school, working,” he told his friend. “For me, it’s different. I have this zeal for deen and she doesn’t understand that.” Martinez’s mother didn’t know that her son had just left a meeting with a purported Afghan-born terrorist who had agreed to provide him with a car bomb. But she wasn’t the only one in the dark that night. Martinez himself didn’t know his new terrorist friend was an undercover agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that the man driving the car—a man he’d met only a few weeks earlier—was a paid informant for federal law enforcement.

Five days later, Martinez met again with the man he believed to be a terrorist. The informant was there, too. They were all, Martinez believed, brothers in arms and in Islam. In a parking lot near the Armed Forces Career Center on Baltimore National Pike, Martinez, the informant, and the undercover FBI agent piled into an SUV, where the undercover agent showed Martinez the device that would detonate the car bomb and how to use it. He then unveiled to the twenty-two-year-old the bomb in the back of the SUV and demonstrated what he’d need to do to activate it. “I’m ready, man,” Martinez said. “It ain’t like you seein’  it on the news. You gonna be there. You gonna hear the bomb go off. You gonna be, uh, shooting, gettin’ shot at. It’s gonna be real. … I’m excited, man.”

That night, Martinez, who had little experience behind the wheel of a car, needed to practice driving the SUV around the empty parking lot. Once he felt comfortable doing what most teenagers can do easily, Martinez and his associates devised a plan: Martinez would park the bomb-on-wheels in the parking lot outside the military recruiting center. One of his associates would then pick him up, and they’d drive together to a vantage point where Martinez could detonate the bomb and delight in the resulting chaos and carnage.

The next morning, the three men put their plan into action. Martinez hopped into the SUV and activated the bomb, as he’d been instructed, and then drove to the military recruiting station. He parked right in front. The informant, trailing in another car, picked up Martinez and drove him to the vantage point, just as planned. Everything was falling into place, and Martinez was about to launch his first attack in what he hoped would be for him a lifetime of jihad against the only nation he had ever known.

Looking out at the military recruiting station, Martinez lifted the detonation device and triggered the bomb. Smiling, he watched expectantly. Nothing happened. Suddenly, FBI agents rushed in and arrested the man they’d later identify in court records as “Antonio Martinez a/k/a Muhammad Hussain.” Federal prosecutors in Maryland charged Martinez with attempted murder of federal officers and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He faced at least thirty-five years in prison if convicted at trial.

“This is not Tony,” a woman identifying herself as Martinez’s mother told a reporter after the arrest. “I think he was brainwashed with that Islam crap.” Joseph Balter, a federal public defender, told the court during a detention hearing that FBI agents had entrapped Martinez, whom he referred to by his chosen name. The terrorist plot was, Balter said, “the creation of the government—a creation which was implanted into Mr. Hussain’s mind.” He added: “There was nothing provided which showed that Mr. Hussain had any ability whatsoever to carry out any kind of plan.”

Despite Balter’s claims, a little more than a year after his indictment, Martinez chose not to challenge the government’s charges in court. On January 26, 2012, Martinez dropped his entrapment defense and pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction under a deal that will require him to serve twenty-five years in prison—more years than he’s been alive. Neither Martinez nor Balter would comment on the reasons they chose a plea agreement, though in a sentencing hearing, Balter told the judge he believed the entire case could have been avoided had the FBI counseled, rather than encouraged, Martinez.

The U.S. Department of Justice touted the conviction as another example of the government keeping citizens safe from terrorists. “We are catching dangerous suspects before they strike, and we are investigating them in a way that maximizes the liberty and security of law-abiding citizens,” U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement announcing Martinez’s plea agreement. “That is what the American people expect of the Justice Department, and that is what we aim to deliver.”

Indeed, that is exactly what the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been delivering throughout the decade since the attacks of September 11, 2001. But whether it’s what the American people expect is questionable, because most Americans today have no idea that since 9/11, one single organization has been responsible for hatching and financing more terrorist plots in the United States than any other. That organization isn’t Al Qaeda, the terrorist network founded by Osama bin Laden and responsible for the spectacular 2001 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. And it isn’t Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Al-Shabaab, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or any of the other more than forty U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations. No, the organization responsible for more terrorist plots over the last decade than any other is the FBI. Through elaborate and expensive sting operations involving informants and undercover agents posing as terrorists, the FBI has arrested and the Justice Department has prosecuted dozens of men government officials say posed direct—but by no means immediate or credible—threats to the United States.

Read the rest…

Petition: Remove Hate Group Leader Robert Spencer as Catholic Deacon

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Loonwatchers please sign and spread this petition to remove hate group leader Robert Spencer as Catholic deacon to your friends and email lists.:

Remove Hate Group Leader Robert Spencer as Catholic Deacon

Target: Most Reverend Bishop Nicholas J. Samra and Eparchy of Newton
Sponsored by: Jenny Sessoms
Robert Bruce Spencer, an ordained Catholic deacon at Our Lady of the Cedars Catholic Church in Manchester, New Hampshire is classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center and other civil rights organiations as a “hate group leader.”

His writing, which targets Muslims and the religion of Islam, was cited extensively by the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who digested Spencer’s views on Islam and slaughtered 77 people, mostly youth.

Robert Spencer is one of the individuals behind the inflammatory anti-Muslim metro and bus ads in New York, California, and Washington.

His organization, Stop the Islamization of America, was refused a trademark by the Federal Government because the group engaged in what the government deemed “hate speech.”

As Catholics and people of all faiths, we believe that our religious traditions deserves better. We believe that Mr. Spencer’s constant provocations and inflammatory comments about Muslims and their religious beliefs, as well as his associations with radical nationalist groups such as the English Defence League, cast a negative and unncessarily poor light on Our Lady of the Cedars church, the Melkite Catholic tradition, and the religion of Catholicism.

We also believe that Deacons and clergy should represent the loving spirit of God and that they have a responsibility to build bridges with people of other faiths, not burn them. We recognize that while we may have faith differences with our brothers and sisters in other traditions, those differences must be respected.

Clergy must not engage publically in confrontational battles, ideological or political, and prejudice has no place in our tradition.

We call of the Most Reverend Bishop Nicholas J. Samra and the Eparchy of Newton to carefully examine the biography of Robert Bruce Spencer, his remarks about Muslims, his blog Jihad Watch, his associations with such groups and individuals as the English Defence League and Pamela Geller, his status as a “hate group leader” and his connections to the mass murderer Anders Breivik.

We call on the Eparchy to remember that Catholics were once subjected to religious prejudice and discrimination and thus they (and especially not their clergy) should be know of its harmful effects, and the pain caused by those who fearmonger and stereotype.

We call on the Eparchy and Bishop Samra to remove Robert Bruce Spencer as a Deacon of the Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Catholic Church in Manchester, New Hampshire. We pray that the Church will hold firm its moral obligation to be a beacon of hope and light, not division and mistrust.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Robert Spencer and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church

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Robert Spencer and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church

by Richard Bartholomew (barthsnotes.com)

News that Robert Spencer has been dis-invited from speaking at a Roman Catholic Men’s Conference in the US Diocese of Worcester has prompted renewed interest in Spencer’s own Catholicism; a comment posted to a short account of the cancellation derived from a Boston Globe article includes the following:

Posted by: Archpriest – Jan. 31, 2013 10:36 PM ET USA
Appalling! Robert Spencer is a Catholic deacon in good standing with [a] Melkite Diocese… To call Father Deacon Robert a “hate-monger” is unjust and adds further injury to the situation of Eastern Catholics – daily persecuted and even martyred in the Middle East. I am a retired military chaplain. Deacon Robert has addressed military staff symposia. Is the Diocese of Worcester so politically-correct that it would ignore the suffering of fellow Christians in the lands of Christ’s birth?

Spencer’s identification as a Melkite Greek Catholic is well-known, but the detail that he is a deacon is new, and can be confirmed via reference to other sites noted by Loonwatch. Spencer here follows the example of the late Paul Weyrich, whom he regarded as a mentor-figure, although Spencer’s Melkite affiliation also reflects his personal circumstances: he is of Greek Orthodox heritage (family displaced from Turkey) and married to a Catholic, and so a form of Catholicism that follows an Orthodox style has obvious attractions.

Some of Spencer’s books include the name of the priest of his church among the acknowledgements, although the church itself does not appear to promote the kind of anti-Islam polemicising for which Spencer is notorious. In 2006 Spencer promoted a report about a speech given by then-US Melkite leader Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, in which Bustros made criticisms of Islam; however, Bustros did not resort to the kind of rabble-rousing rhetoric and sloppiness that are Spencer’s hallmarks.

Spencer was less pleased with Bustros in 2010, when it was reported that Bustros had opined at a Vatican Synod that

We want to say that the promise of God in the Old Testament, relating to the ‘promised land’ … as Christians, we’re saying that this promise was essentially nullified [in French, “abolished”] by the presence of Jesus Christ, who then brought about the Kingdom of God. As Christians, we cannot talk about a ‘promised land’ for the Jews. We talk about a ‘promised land’ which is the Kingdom of God… Sacred scripture should not be used to justify the occupation of Palestinian land on the part of the Israelis.

The ADL described this as “the worst kind of anti-Judaism, bordering on anti-Semitism”, and argued that ”Archbishop Bustros contradicts decades of official Vatican and papal teachings which affirm God’s ongoing Covenant with the Jewish people at Sinai, and calls on Christians to appreciate the Jewish people’s religious self-understanding, including its spiritual attachment to the land of Israel.”

Spencer, while declining to disclose that Bustros was his clerical superior, explained that 

…he is strongly in the running to become the next Archbishop of Beirut, and could be trying to reassure Muslim leaders in Lebanon that his stint in the United States has not tainted him with Zionism, and he is still as anti-Israel as he was as Archbishop of Baalbek, before he came to America. It is a pity that a Christian leader would have to behave this way, and I am not saying he is not doing it out of conviction also, but in any case it is a reflection of the situation on the ground in Islamic countries: Christians who don’t echo the Islamic political line face hard going…

Accordingly, we cannot judge… Archbishop Cyril harshly.

Those anti-Israel comments formed the basis of a follow-up guest post by David Littman; Bustros had spoken to the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Rabat in 2002, and his words had been ugly and crude:

…Today, the Jews allege that Al-Quds belongs to them only. They have made it the capital of their Zionist state, arguing that it is the land of their ancestors since Ibrahim. If only they followed the example of this ancestor, who accepted to sacrifice his own son for the love of God. Instead, they have no qualms about killing the children of the others for the sake of their racist ambitions. John the Baptist, the great prophet who prepared for the advent of Jesus and called people to repent their sins to God, told the Jews: “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance, and think not to say within yourselves. We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham”[Matthew 3: 7-8]…

Littman, like Spencer, puts this down to the “dhimmitude mindset”, but the reference to “Al-Quds” for Jerusalem notwithstanding, in both 2002 and 2010 the Bustros appears to be drawing on long-standing independent Christian traditions of anti-Judaism.

However, Spencer then posted the following:

I owe the Melkite Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros an apology: when I wrote about his remarks at the recent Vatican Synod, I was relying on incomplete and inaccurate press reports, and did not fully understand his position. Now, in a Jihad Watch exclusive, Archbishop Cyril clarifies his remarks and explains his position.

Spencer does not explain how the press reports were “inaccurate”, although the statement that follows his introduction takes a more moderate line and calls for a two-state solution (this is also – surprisingly – Spencer’s own position). One wonders why the Archbishop thought it would be sensible to put things right through a exclusive statement to an opportunistic anti-Islam blog, rather than to issue a statement through more reputable channels; perhaps Spencer’s position as a “deacon in good standing” is the reason.

According to the Boston Globe, Spencer had been due to speak at the Men’s Conference in Worcester on the subject of Islam, and the paper quotes the Diocese on why the invitation was recinded:

…”Although the intention of the conference organizers was to have a presenter on Islam from a Catholic’s perspective, we are asking Robert Spencer to not come to the Worcester Catholic Men’s Conference, given that his presence is being seen as harmful to Catholic–Islamic relations both locally and nationally,” Raymond ­Delisle, a spokesman for the ­diocese, said in a statement ­issued to the Globe.

The report adds that the Islamic Council of New England had urged the Diocese to cancel “after the Globe sought comment on his scheduled appearance from the diocese and from Muslim organizations”; Spencer now alleges, citing “sources”, that the article’s author, Lisa Wangsness, had asked Islamic groups to contact the Diocese (she denies it).

Of course, the problem with Spencer goes beyond “Catholic–Islamic relations”; the man is not a sensible speaker for any organisation that wants to be taken seriously. His blog frequently carries inaccurate and inflammatory items; sometimes, he quietly deletes material without making corrections if he knows that he can’t defend a claim (see here and here), but he also sometimes lashes out, accusing those who challenge an inaccuracy of supporting Islamic extremism. Spencer also identifies completely with the lurid claims and activism of the birther Pamela Geller. In 2009, Spencer cried “libel” when it was suggested he may have met leaders of the English Defence League; yet now, following Geller, he is an enthusiast for the organisation, appearing alongside Stephen Lennon (“Tommy Robinson”) and Kevin Carroll and opining that Lennon’s current imprisonment for passport fraud means that he is a “political prisoner”.

Exclusive: Reverend Deacon Robert Spencer of Our Lady of the Cedars Church

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by Garibaldi

For quite some time it has been known that Robert Spencer, according to his own testimony, is a Catholic of the Maronite Melkite tradition. However what has not been discussed has been the extent of his involvement with the Church. Spencer attempts to portray himself as a “freedom fighter” (nothing could be further from the truth), fighting “Islamization” and the “savage” Muslims. Presenting himself as an “objective” scholar (though he has no qualifications when it comes to Islam) and a blogger while downplaying his other prominent roles in life.

In light of the recent and welcomed news that the Catholic Diocese of Worcester uninvited Spencer from a speaking engagement at an upcoming Men’s Conference, it is clearer why he was invited in the first place: he is an active Catholic deacon.

In a 2002 article by Shawne K. Wickham, a certain Robert Spenser (his name is spelled wrongly) is cited as studying to become a Melkite deacon. Spen(s)er discusses the idea of “bringing heaven to earth,”

Robert Spenser, who is studying to be a Melkite deacon, recalls an old story of the emissaries who were sent out into the world by the Slavic king to investigate various religions, and happened upon a Byzantine church service in Constantinople. “We didn’t know if we were on heaven or on earth,” they would report back.

“I think the idea of bringing heaven to earth, and having a taste of heaven on earth is one of the reasons people come here,” Spenser said.

In 2002 Spencer (this time with his name spelled properly) is listed as “Associate director of Educational Services” at Our Lady of the Cedars Church:

Associate to the Director of Educational Services – Robert Spencer of Manchester, NH.
Robert Spencer is in the Diaconal Formation Program and has been active in the home-school movement.

A 2006 discussion thread titled “Deacon Robert Spencer on C-Span tonight” on the Byzantine Forum leaves no doubt that Deacon Robert Spencer and JihadWatch Robert Spencer are one and the same.

A 2011 official Melkite Greek Church directory lists Spencer as “Rev. Deacon Robert Spencer”

Spencer, Deacon Robert
Our Lady of the Cedars
E-mail :
robtspencer@myfairpoint.net

In 2011, Spencer also wrote an article for Crisis Magazine, a Catholic publication on his Church titled “We are Non-Roman Catholics.

A 2012 PDF document from Our Lady of the Cedars lists Spencer’s ordination at the top of the masthead.

This information also provides further insight into the reasoning behind Spencer’s anti-Muslim/Islam hate activism. What has been known for quite some time through Robert Spencer’s own statements and declarations (such as his 2003 interview with the Washington Times and his “debate” with his former college Professor Peter Kreeft) is that his Crusade against Islam and Muslims is colored by an extremist Christian supremacist theology that views Islam and Muslims as the ultimate existential threats to “Christendom.”

Additionally, and this is perhaps the real question, it speaks volumes about the Our Lady of the Cedars Church. Why would they have someone ordained who is designated as a hate group leader? Why would they have someone in their ordained clergy who makes a living telling people that Muslims are violent criminals bent on destroying the West?

Is this what the Catholic church is all about? I happen to believe it is not, especially considering that surveys of Catholic Americans show that the majority have positive views of Islam and Muslims. The fact that Spencer is out of step with mainstream Catholicism is also underscored by the fact that the National Catholic Reporter applauded the cancellation of his speech by the Worcester diocese.

If anyone should understand what it feels like to be discriminated against based on religion, it is Catholics. They have faced a history of prejudice in the United States, thus it is odd that such a hostile, and at the least, very controversial figure would assume a leadership role in their church.

And presumably, a portion of his income from his anti-Muslim rants goes to the church. There is one link that shows him as a “platinum” donator to a church function, and another one where he gives a “generous” gift to have a Pantocrator icon installed in the church.

Lastly, we must call out Deacon Spencer’s hypocrisy: In the Melkite tradition, women are not allowed to enter the Holy Place, where the altar stands, and girls are not allowed as altar servers. But of course Spencer rails about discrimination against women in Islam yet he doesn’t notice such blatant discrimination happening in his own tradition. A case no doubt of,

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5)

Update: Robert Spencer kneeling before the altar, decked out in full green regalia?

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