Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester cancels speech by anti-Muslim Bigot

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An invitation for Robert Spencer, a leader in the Islamophobia Movement to speak at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester has been rescinded according to the Boston Globe. It is a good sign that many are realizing that his hate has no place at a respectable institution.

The Boston Globe report has a couple of issues, first the title, describing Spencer as a mere “critic of Islam” is misleading, he is not a “critic,” he is a bigot who delves into and spreads deeply paranoid falsities/smears about Islam and Muslims daily. The article also unfortunately alludes to Jihad being defined as “holy war.” I’m also curious why the ADL is solicited for expertise on the subject when their record has been rather mixed in the fight against Islamophobia.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester cancels speech by critic of Islam

by Lisa Wangsness (Boston Globe)

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester rescinded an invitation Wednesday to Robert Spencer, a Catholic whose work depicts Islam as an inherently violent religion, to speak at its annual Catholic Men’s Conference in March.

The invitation was withdrawn after Muslims in Massachusetts expressed concerns to the diocese about the appearance of Spencer, scheduled to be a featured speaker at the DCU Center on March 16.

Spencer is director of the blog Jihad Watch and a leader of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, both of which are seen as anti-Muslim groups by some organizations that monitor extremism.

His books include “Stealth Jihad: How ­Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs,” “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant ­Religion,” and “Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics.” On his blog, he has argued that jihad is a central tenet of the faith.

After the Globe sought comment on his scheduled appearance from the diocese and from Muslim organizations Wednesday, the Islamic Council of New England sent an e-mail urging Catholic leaders to cancel ­Spencer’s appearance. The diocese agreed to do so shortly ­after receiving the e-mail.

“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 conference is a religious and social gathering for Catholic men, as well as their male friends and relatives, that typically includes talks from prominent Catholic men, a Mass said by the bishop, and the opportunity to attend confession.

Dr. Abdul Cader Asmal, cochairman of communications for the Islamic Council of New England, called the cancellation of Spencer’s speech “very reassuring” and said it was consistent with longstanding good relations between the Muslim and Catholic communities in Massachusetts.

“Somebody may have been blindsided by Robert Spencer, not knowing exactly what kind of hatemonger he was,” he said.

Spencer, in an e-mail late Wednesday afternoon, said the diocese had not notified him of the cancellation.

“If it does turn out to be true,” he said in another e-mail, “it is new evidence of the cowardice of Roman Catholic officials in confronting the reality of Muslim persecution of Christians and their inability to grasp the importance [of] basing genuine dialogue between religions on truth, however ­unpleasant, rather than on wishful thinking and comforting fictions.”

In an earlier e-mail, he ­defended his work.

“There is nothing hateful or bigoted about what I say,” he said. “My work is in defense of the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law.”

In September, the American Freedom Defense Initiative posted ads in the New York subway system that referred to ­Islamists who opposed the state of Israel as “savages.” The group is now running a second series of ads featuring photographs of the burning World Trade Center alongside a quotation attributed to the Koran: “Soon we shall cast terror into the hearts of unbelievers.”

Spencer was a leading opponent of the Park51 project to build a mosque and Islamic ­cultural center in lower ­Manhattan, which he has referred to on his blog as the ­“Islamist supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero.”

He has also raised alarms about multiculturalism and what he believes to be the threat of Sharia, Islamic religious law, undermining American courts and civil rights across the world.

Oren Segal, codirector of the Anti-Defamation League’s ­Center on Extremism, called Spencer “the godfather of the anti-Muslim movement in this country.”

Segal said there are legitimate concerns about people motivated by radical interpretations of Islam, which he said his organization has spoken out about forcefully. But Spencer, he said, is part of “a cottage ­industry . . . that under the guise of fighting radical Islam is actually demonizing an entire religion.”

Spencer, in another e-mail, said that the Anti-Defamation League “has unwisely ventured into leftist advocacy politics, spending more time combating friends of Israel on the right rather than enemies of Israel on the left. Its record in this is nothing short of shameful.”

Spencer says on his blog, ­Jihad Watch, where he posts many times a day, that he does not believe all Muslims espouse violence or that Islam is a monolithic faith.

But he calls ­violent jihad a “central element of Islamic theology,” citing a Koranic verse that says, in part, “Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them [captive] and ­besiege them and prepare for them each ambush.”

Omid Safi, an Islamic studies scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that there are indeed references like that to holy war in the ­Koran and that some ­Muslims in different periods of history have used them to justify their actions.

That does not mean, he said, that most modern ­Muslims accept them literally.

“If we go flipping through each other’s scriptures to persuade ourselves that other people’s scriptures contain violent elements, then that’s a losing game for all of us,” Safi said. “The question is: How do we make sense of them, and which ones do we call upon to live our lives today?”

In the Gospel of Matthew, he notes, Jesus says, “I come not to bring peace, but the sword.”

Safi also said that Spencer has no formal training in Islamic studies or Arabic.

Asked about his credentials, Spencer replied that his critics’ real problem is not his training.

“What I say about Islam is not unusual or eccentric,” he said. “Numerous scholars who have the credentials that those you have spoken with require, and many ex-Muslims, have made the same observations about Islamic doctrine that I have.”

Amjad Bahnassi, a member and occasional spokesman for the Worcester Islamic Center, said the Muslim community in the city generally has an excellent relationship with the ­Catholic Church.

Bahnassi said he counts a number of priests as friends and regularly speaks at ­Catholic churches about Islam. Next month he is scheduled to speak at Anna Maria College and Assumption College.

“I would have liked for them if they wanted to know about Islam’s view of Christianity to ask a Muslim,” he said of the ­organizers of the Catholic Men’s Conference.

Robert Spencer needs to learn to do a fact check

Spencer is working hard to disassociate himself from one of his fans

Robert Spencer needs to learn to do a fact check

by Sheila Musaji

An individual using the twitter name @LearningKoran posted two hateful and unacceptable tweet on the #MyJihad hashtag.  Here are those tweets:

 

Many Muslims involved with the #MyJihad campaign responded to him as soon as we saw the tweets.

The MyJihadOrg account administrator tweeted him and told him they don’t condone such talk and consider himself blocked.

I posted a reminder that Sheikh Ali Gomaa said Violence is never an acceptable answer to provocation.  I told him that such a statement was totally outside the bounds of Islam, and that I found it fascinating that the #MyJihad campaign angers Musim extremists & Islamophobes.

Angie Emara posted a series of reminders:  calling him a hypocrite and an extremist and someone trying to sabotage the campaign.  She told him that it’s funny how you & Islamophobes share the EXACT sentiment towards majority Muslims!  She asked him “what’s wrong w u? Islam was never ever by force. U ruin the beauty of Islam picking ayat out of context 4 ur benefit”.  She asked him to “change the condition of your heart” and told him “you have major issues.seek therapy. That’s not Islam.”

Within hours he stopped posting, and when his twitter name was clicked on it said he was suspended.

No one involved with #MyJihad knows who this person was, whether he/she is a Muslim, or why he would make such a hateful post. Sad little incident, but handled as well as anyone connected with #MyJihad could handle unsolicited tweets.

However, that was not the end of the saga.  Robert Spencer posted an article with a screenshot of the tweet and Spencer’s own comments.  Spencer said “The deceptive and misleading #MyJihad campaign has apparently attracted at least one persistent Misunderstander of Islam. No doubt Hamas-linked CAIR’s Ahmed Rehab is in deep talks with this fellow already, explaining to him that jihad doesn’t really involve killing anyone, but is really just romping through the daisies.”

He is correct that the individual misunderstands Islam.  The rest is simply an attempt to cast aspersions on the #MyJihad campaign as if they can control individuals tweeting using that hashtag.  Spencer also does not mention any of the responses to this individual.  Not only do Islamophobes not know how to do a “search”, they also don’t know how to follow a conversation on twitter.

All Spencer would have had to was to follow the conversation, and he would have seen that the individual was immediately called to task and condemned for what he had said, asked to stop, and ultimately suspended.

But, Spencer is too busy demonizing Islam and Muslims to be concerned about facts.  He used this non-incident to stir up a frenzy among his readers.  The comments under Spencer’s article show how easily they are influenced.  Here are a few:

— John Spielman “These pagan muslim’s blind devotion to their demon god Allah’s cult of death is getting tiresome.” — Meryl Petkoff “The psychological projection of pedohammedans is f’ing SURREAL!. Poe’s Law is all that comes into mind when i read verbiage like that.”— Iloveport “I say, bring it on!!! You camel urine drinking numbnut maniacs.  I’m ready and able. You’re not kidding when you say this is getting tiresome. I’m so tired of the major a**kissing going on to appease these bozo’s.  Let’s dance….

And since he began the title of his article with the #MyJihad hashtag, many of these folks are tweeting this, again overwhelming the hashtag with hate.

Anyone who visits the hashtag can see over the course of any day how many Islamophobes come there and post hateful messages.  Some individuals post scores of messages each day, many of them repeat whatever is the current meme in an article on Pamela Geller or Robert Spencer’s sites that begins with the #MyJihad hashtag.  Some post the exact same comment over and over.  See the article Anti-Muslim Propaganda Against #MyJIhad Campaign for many of the claims made and responses to them.  Sometimes 20 or 30 of them will retweet or repeat the same comment over the course of a few minutes.  It is amazing that there are human beings who can find so much time to do nothing except spread hatred.

Some are more hateful than others one calling himself @pissedizard calls Muslims “vermin”, “demons” and “disgusting”, says “all Muslims smell like ass. Dead,rotting ass”, and has made a number of tweets suggesting directly that Muslims should be killed.  One of his tweets appears at the top of this article.

Robert Spencer would never notice such hatred directed at Muslims.  And, that is not surprising, since there has been plenty of it from his own AFDI/SION board and he has made no condemnations.  He also does not remove hateful comments from his site.

I wish we knew how the solitary nut job @LearningKoran was suspended by twitter, as the gang of about 30 Islamophobic nut jobs who are serial spammers of the hashtag should also be suspended, but continue with no problems.

All of this is very frustrating, but the Muslims involved with the #MyJihad campaign are resolute and committed to taking back Islam and the term jihad from both the Muslim extremists and Islamophobes.

It would be wonderful if not only more Muslims, but also any non-Muslims who believe in mutual respect, bridge building, and understanding would visit the hashtag and help to keep it from being overrun by haters.

It is amazing that projects such as #MyJihad through which American Muslims are attempting to counter extremist interpretations are seen as so threatening to those who say they wish Muslims would speak up.  Whatever claim or catch-phrase is put out by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer becomes the meme of the day, endlessly repeated by their followers on the #MyJihad hashtag and drowning it in hate.  All they are doing is making it more difficult for American Muslims to counter actual extremism.  They are a painful distraction.
UPDATE 1/28/2013

David Wood on a site called Answering Muslims posted an article about these tweets from @LearningKoran.  He titles his article “Muslim Tries to Educate Me about Peaceful Islam, Then Calls for the Execution of Critics!”.

Even David Wood notes that @LearningKoran became angry when he was condemned by individuals involved in the #MyJihad campaign, and before he was suspended by twitter posted this tweet:

 

Wood is one of the individuals who has been a serial tweeter of anti-Muslim messages, so not surprisingly his view of this exchange casts blame on Muslims and Islam.

The reality is that no one knows who this person @LearningKoran is, or whether or not he is a Muslim.  He could be anybody.  One of the difficulties with social media like twitter is that individuals can set up an account and a screen persona using any name they wish and post anonymously.

Whoever @LearningKoran is, he deserves condemnation as does @pissedlizard and others who have posted such messages threatening Muslims.  You can see screen shots of a few of these hateful anti-Muslim posts at the bottom of the page.

Creative Zionist Coalition: Jessica Felber and Orit Arfa to Award Racist Pamela Geller

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The founders of the Creative Zionist Coalition, Jessica Felber and Orit Arfa are going to award Pamela Geller, the looniest blogger ever with what they are terming the “Queen Esther Award for Jewish Heroism” and Robert Spencer with the “Shushan Award for Righteous Gentile.” Apparently if you pay $180 for a ticket to the event you can be a “Royal Courtier” and $306 makes you a “Royal Adviser.”

I nominate all four of these loons get the “Gimpel Award” for their contribution to hate, racism, Islamophobia and general buffoonery in making up awards in obscene displays of self-congratulatory egotism.

Who is Jessica Felber:

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Felber works as the West Coast Director of JerusalemOnlineU.com and holds the volunteer position of YP Chair with the Zionist Organization of America. She was involved in a lawsuit in which she claimed that she was assaulted by Pro-Palestine protesters at Berkeley, her lawsuit was thrown out.

Who is Orit Arfa:

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Orit Arfa lived in Israel from 1999-2008, where she worked in both non-profit PR and journalism. Orit returned to Los Angeles in 2008 and served as Executive Director of the Zionist Organization of America, Western Region. Her main tasks were to whitewash Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, policies of Occupation and apartheid. She describes herself as an “advocate on behalf of victims of Arab terror.” She is also the author of a novel that romanticizes land theft titled “The Settler,” which bemoans Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

It seems as though the Creative Zionist Coalition is related to the Zionist Organization of America.

Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer: Far-right terrorists are “ordinary Americans” & “patriots”

Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer:  Far-right terrorists are “ordinary Americans” & “patriots”

by Sheila Musaji
A 148 page report titled “Challengers from the Sidelines Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right” PDF here was released by THE COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER AT WEST POINT ( http://www.ctc.usma.edu ).

The Atlantic Wire reported:

Aren’t conservatives supposed to be hawkish on terror? They tend to be when it comes to foreign terrorists, but many are taking umbrage at a new West Point report on violent far-right extremists home-grown right here in the U.S. Earlier this week, the Combatting Terrorism Center (CTC) at America’s leading military academy published an extensive report on the “dramatic rise in the number of attacks and violent plots originating from individuals and groups who self-identify with the far-right of American politics.” Christian fundamentalists, Militia movement groups, Skinheads, neo-Nazis, and violent anti-abortionists were all cited in the report, titled Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right. These factions may harbor different ideological goals, but as this chart shows, they’ve all ramped up their violent tactics in trying to achieve them:

“Although in the 1990s the average number of attacks per year was 70.1, the average number of attacks per year in the first 11 years of the twenty-first century was 307.5, a rise of more than 400%,” writes Dr. Arie Perliger, Director of Terrorism Studies at the CTC.

In short, this report makes a convincing case about extremists trying to inflict harm upon innocent Americans, and it’s full of alarming data and clear policy recommendations. Conservatives love appealing to these kinds of studies when arguing that we need to get tough on terror, right? Well, not in this case. One Republican congressional staffer—who thinks only Muslims can be terrorists—told The Washington Times’ Rowan Scarborough:

If [the Defense Department] is looking for places to cut spending, this junk study is ground zero. Shouldn’t the Combating Terrorism Center be combating radical Islam around the globe instead of perpetuating the left’s myth that right-wingers are terrorists?

The National Review‘s John Fund also wants to change the subject to terrorists in other parts of the world:

The world is beset by terrorists—witness the American hostages taken in Algeria this week—but portions of our federal government continue to obsess about alleged home-grown threats from the “far right” … My sources inside Congress tell me they continue to worry that efforts to monitor domestic Muslim extremists as well as interdiction efforts against radical Islamists crossing the U.S. border are sometimes put on the back burner. The government denies this, but it seems to me its protestations would be more persuasive if it spent less time producing half-baked warnings about the danger of “right-wing extremists.”

World Net Daily’s Michael Carl extensively quotes blogger Pamela Geller in his article on the report. “This is another appalling attempt to demonize loyal Americans and whitewash the Islamic threat,” Geller says. “West Point probably is working on orders from higher ups. Or else it has bought into the dominant PC culture.” Over at Newsmax, Christiana Lilly buries the lede—turning a story about far-right terrorists into a story about liberals:

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point released a paper calling far right groups anti-federalists while describing liberals as “future oriented,” the Washington Times reports.

And yes, you better believe Drudge sirened it:

West Point cites dangers of ‘anti-federalists’ in U.S…. drudge.tw/WnbwBW

— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) January 18, 2013

The Atlantic Wire mentioned Pamela Geller in passing, but she and her partner in hate, Robert Spencer, went far outside of anything that could charitably be called rational.

West Point targets believers in “individual freedoms” as terrorists is the title of Geller’s screed.  Geller says: “As the country (and the free world) face increasing threats and acts of war from jihadists both here and abroad, America’s leading military academy is focusing its military training on the enemy’s (and fifth column’s) obstacle to enslaving the union: Americans who believe in individual rights.”

She then cherry picks one sentence out of the West Point report, ignoring the rest of the report, and uses that out of context sentence justify this gem:  “The founding principle of this once-great nation is individual rights. The very reason for our existence. Everything magnificent and noble that we are acheived as a nation was a consequence of that founding principle. And now those patriots who adhere to that fundamental belief are the enemy.  …  This is war against who and why we are. And it seems it is “perishing” without so much as firing a shot.”

She is saying that American non-Muslim far right terrorists are an “obstacle to jihadists enslaving the union” and therefore they are “patriots”.  West Point in targeting these “patriots” is helping “the enemy”.   This is what happens to reason and decency when pathological hatred of any minority becomes the sole focus of an individuals worldview.

She then references an article by her partner in hate, Robert Spencer to reinforce her position West Point brands believers in “individual freedoms” as terrorists.  Spencer says “The U.S. Government has long since abandoned any realistic discussion of the Islamic jihad threat, and now is focusing on ordinary Americans who believe in individual rights as terror threats. And so the descent continues, ever more rapidly.”

The satire site Wonkette pretty well nailed this one Pamela Geller: Why Is America Being So Mean To Domestic Terrorists?:

Vision of loveliness Pamela Geller has taken a break from inciting crazy people to push Sikh dudes into the path of oncoming trains to wonder why West Point is being so mean to “loyal Americans” who just want to violently overthrow the United States government and/or kill some mud people! It is not like the oaths of office we just heard Barack Obama and Old Handsome Joe Biden swear include anything about enemies “foreign and domestic.” And our domestic terrorists loyal Americans just happen to be committing an average of 307 violent attacks per year lately, according to a new report from West Point! So what does Pamela Geller think of loyal Americans using violence to make their needs known?

“This is another appalling attempt to demonize loyal Americans and whitewash the Islamic threat,” Geller said. “West Point probably is working on orders from higher ups. Or else it has bought into the dominant PC culture.”

It’s true, Pamela Geller. Everyone knows that Timothy McVeigh was a loyal American, just watering that good old tree of liberty. And you couldn’t ask for nicer guys than the ones who shoot up temples if’n they are worshiped at by non-whites. West Point is a communist. Go to jail, West Point! Go directly to jail.

Such lunacy is par for the course for Geller and Spencer.  Their comments on the Hutaree Christian Militia arrests, and their shameless attacks on Anders Breivik’s Norway terror victims are an example of their one-dimensional worldview.  They are concerned only with Muslim criminals, any one else pretty much gets a free pass.

SEE ALSO:

New Study Highlights Threat From Far Right-Wing Groups In U.S., Hayes Brown http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/01/18/1467741/west-point-study-right-wing-threat/

West Point Report Warns of Violent Far-Right Groups http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/west-point-report-warns-of-violent-far-right-groups-130120?news=846803

AFDI/SION’s Leadership: Arrests & Scandals

AFDI/SION’s Leadership: Arrests & Scandals

by Sheila Musaji
On September 11, 2012, AFDI/SIOA/SIOE/SION/EDL/BF held what they called a Global Alliance Event in NYC.  These groups are so inter-connected and have so many acronymns and give each other so many titles that it is difficult to keep up.

Here from their own announcements are the leaders

International Activist Leadership Team to be called the SION President’s Council. The initial members of the President’s Council are:  SIOE’s Anders Gravers; Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll of the EDL; Debbie Robinson of the Q Society of Australia, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.  The members of the newly formed council unanimously voted to elect Pamela Geller Council President.

… The President’s Council differs from the SION Board, which includes:  Swiss parliamentarian Oskar Freysinger; Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media; Ashraf Rameleh of Voice of the Copts; Ali Sina of FaithFreedom.org; Wafa Sultan, Stefan Herre of Politically Incorrect in Germany; the Israeli author Dr. Mordechai Kedar;  Babu Suseelan; and Anders Gravers of SIOE.

This Board functions in an advisory capacity, while the President’s Council is a steering committee. It functions as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.

Most of these characters have profiles in our TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  Let’s look at just a few of these “leaders”.  Two have been arrested, one has previous serious convictions, one has made genocidal statements about Muslims, etc..  We have discussed the “top leadership”, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer previously.  They are also in the “who’s who” and mentioned frequently in the “Resources for dealing with Islamophobia Summary” at the bottom of the page.
KEVIN CARROLL of the EDL

Bob Pitt of Islamophobia Watch reports that

The joint leader of the far-right English Defence League has been arrested on suspicion of a race hate crime.

Kevin Carroll, cousin of the anti-Islam group’s founder Stephen Lennon, was arrested on Saturday morning by officers investigating allegations he posted a message inciting racial hatred on Facebook.

Mr Carroll, who recently stood unsuccessfully for election as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, is also the joint leader of the nationalist British Freedom Party.

A message posted on Facebook by a group which supports the EDL read: “Kev was arrested in Luton Town Centre for Religious & Racial Hatred, following on from screenshots being provided to the OB of FB comments ‘allegedly’ made.

“He has now been bailed with conditions and has to sign in at the Police Station twice a week. He was on his way to a meeting in Luton when he noticed he was being followed, Kev says it was something out of the sweeney as they all pulled up around him, pepper spray, flashing lights, well over the top.”

The EDL was dealt a blow last week when its founder and leader Stephen Lennon – who also uses the alias Tommy Robinson – was jailed for 10 months for entering the USA illegally.

A spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said: “a 43 year old was arrested on Saturday morning on suspicion of ‘Display threatening abusive/insulting written material with intent/likely to stir up racial hatred’.”

Independent, 14 January 2013

According to the British Freedom party, of which Carroll is now chairman, he was arrested in connection with a Facebook post from October in which he described Muslims as “all fukin backward savages, a devil spawned death cult worshiping all that is unholy and barbaric, pure evil”.

It is of course welcome news that Carroll has been arrested in connection with this blatant incitement of hatred. However, it is difficult to see how a prosecution under the racial hatred law (Part 3 of the Public Order Act) could succeed, as Muslims (unlike Jews and Sikhs) are defined as a multi-ethnic faith community and except under exceptional circumstances are not protected by that legislation.

A charge under the religious hatred law (Part 3A of the Public Order Act) would also fail, as that legislation is completely useless, requiring both proof of intention and that the words should be threatening (which in this case they are not).

What this underlines is the need to amend the religious hatred law so that Muslims have the same protection against incitment to hatred that mono-ethnic faith communities do.

As things stand, the Crown Prosecution Service might be better advised to charge Carroll under Section 127(1) of the Communications Act 2003, which makes it an offence to send over a public electronic communications network a message that is “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”. The offence carries a possible 6-month prison sentence.

TOMMY ROBINSON aka Stephen Lennon of the EDL

In October he was arrested on a charge of entering the United States illegally on someone else’s passport to speak at the AFDI/SION Conference on 9/11/12.  In November,  Richard Bartholomew reported that Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer were raising funds for Robinson’s legal defence.  Geller called Robinson’s arrest “darkness descending in England” and “sharia inspired victimization!” and described Robinson as “part of our international team, members of SION’s President’s council, key players in the worldwide struggle for freedom.”  Earlier this month, Robinson was found guilty and sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Sky News reports that Robinson has been found guilty by a British court and sentenced to 10 months in prison.

… The court heard that he was previously jailed for assault in 2005 and also has previous convictions for drugs offences and public order offences.

Sentencing the 30-year-old, Judge Alistair McCreath, told him: “I am going to sentence you under the name of Stephen Lennon, although I suspect that is not actually your true name, in the sense that it is not the name that appears on your passport.

“What you did went absolutely to the heart of the immigration controls that the United States are entitled to have.  “Had it been known in this country that you were proposing to leave under a false passport, you would not have been accepted on to the plane and you would not have been permitted to leave this country on a false passport.  “It’s not in any sense trivial.”

Bob Pitt of Islamophobia Watch asks a pertinent question: “Is Geller asking us to believe she didn’t realize that her star guest, who as the Sky and BBC reports note had previously been barred from entering the US, could only have secured entry to the country by illegal means? Hopefully the US authorities will be investigating Geller’s role in this.”

Actually, the authorities should be investigating both Geller and Spencer’s role in this, as they both lead the organizations involved.

And, of course, Geller has already posted an article calling this “political imprisonment in the UK”.  She says that “It is stunning that the UK has degenerated to such depths. Freedom is no longer a reality, but a defeated idea undone by cowardice and capitulation of Islamic thuggery and violence.”  And that Robinson was “imprisoned for standing up for freedom and equality of rights under the law. I stand with Robinson.”

BABU SUSEELAN of Indian American Intellectuals Forum

You can read our full TAM profile on Suseelan Babu Suseelan, the Hindu face of AFDI/SION.  Here are the highlights:

…  The SPLC says about Susseelan:  “Babu Suseelan, a Hindu nationalist who believes that Marxists and jihadists are “in collusion” to “deconstruct [Hindu] society with apocalyptic ideas” and who has called on India’s Hindu population to “unite together and work towards the goal of Establishment of ‘Divine Hindu Kingdom’”

…  At the AFDI/SIOA/SIOE/SION/EDL/BF Global Alliance Event held on 9/11/2012 in New York, Aaron Labaree at Guernica Magazine, attended and reported on the Conference.  He provides “A few choice words by Dr. Babu Suseelan:

“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.”

Spencer laughed, but Geller covered her face, as if witnessing the antics of a naughty child.  There is no way to understand this except as a call for genocide.  And, covering your face with your hands or laughing, are not appropriate responses for individuals who claim not to hate Muslims.

Geller and Spencer both describe this SION board member as a “Hindu human rights activist”.

ALI SINA of Faith Freedom International

You can read the full TAM profile on Ali Sina here.  A few quotes are enough to explain how hateful this individual is:

— ”We strive for the unity of Mankind through the elimination of Islam, the most insidious doctrine of hate. Islam can’t be reformed, but it can be eradicated. It can’t be molded, but it can be smashed.
— “At FFI, we do not want to reform Islam. We want to eradicate it. Just as cancer cannot be reformed and the only way to cure the patient is to eradicate it, Islam cant be reformed either and it must be eradicated for the world to be saved.””
— ”Islam, like fascism, appeals to people with low self esteem and low intelligence. Both these ideologies are irrational. They disdain reason, and hail devotion and submission to a higher authority.
— there is no such thing as moderate Muslim … Every “moderate” Muslim is a potential terrorist. The belief in Islam is like a tank of gasoline. It looks innocuous, until it meets the fire. For a “moderate” Muslim to become a murderous jihadist, all it takes is a spark of faith.”
— “If any city in the West is nuked I am 100% for nuking tens of cities in Islamic countries. I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin. It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.”
— But you are diseased. You are infected by a deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a limb infected by flesh eating disease, now you are a threat to the rest of mankind.  …  Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway? Does it mean you are moderately diseased?

Pamela Geller Defends British Fascist Imprisoned for Entering the US Illegally

Tommy Robinson of the English Defense League (EDL)

Tommy Robinson of the English Defense League (EDL)

Documenting the craziness. (h/t:CriticalDragon)

Pamela Geller Defends British Fascist Imprisoned for Entering the US Illegally

by Charles Johnson

I hadn’t looked at Pamela Geller’s site in a while, but I just did, and wow. She’s always been a swivel-eyed loon, but the hate is just off the charts now. Non-stop rage and bigotry. Really ugly stuff.

One of her latest crazed posts defends the leader of the fascist English Defense League, calling him a “political prisoner:” POLITICAL IMPRISONMENT IN THE UK: EDL LEADER TOMMY ROBINSON JAILED FOR 10 MONTHS!!!

It is stunning that the UK has degenerated to such depths. Freedom is no longer a reality, but a defeated idea undone by cowardice and capitulation of Islamic thuggery and violence.

Tommy Robinson, my colleague and board member of SION, is a political prisoner in the UK, imprisoned for standing up for freedom and equality of rights under the law. I stand with Robinson.

Tommy Robinson has been rotting in a UK jail under gruesome conditions awaiting trial for months.

Actually, Robinson isn’t his real name, and his prison sentence has nothing to do with standing up for anyone’s freedom. Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (his real name, or possibly another alias) pleaded guilty to using someone else’s passport to illegally enter the United States, in order to speak at one of Geller’s anti-Muslim rallies. And he resorted to this ruse because he was previously barred from the US due to his violent criminal record.

I wonder what Pamela would have to say about a Muslim who entered the US with someone else’s passport?

ALSO SEE:
Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion: Geller and Spencer OK With Passport Fraud

Robert Spencer discovers a Salafi that doesn’t like democracy

Robert Spencer discovers a Salafi that doesn’t like democracy

by Sheila Musaji
Robert Spencer is incensed about another “evil Muslim.  He found an article about some Salafist in Jordan who doesn’t believe in democracy.  The article from which he got this earth shattering revelation said that the man was the leader of a “hardliner Salafi” group, so that is about what anyone would expect from such an individual. Not much of a revelation.  Spencer titles his article “Jordan: Muslim leader says democracy is forbidden in Islam”.  This gives the impression that this is an important person in Jordan.  He is only a leader of a small extremist group, much as Spencer is a leader of the small extremist group AFDI.

Spencer says in his usual sarcastic way: “He must have been reading Islamophobic literature—after all, Muslim spokesmen in the West constantly tell us that only greasy Islamophobes believe such things. They never explain, however, how so many Muslim clerics misunderstand Islam in the same ways.”

Actually some, “greasy Islamophobes” do believe the same thing as this Salafist.  It is amazing how many things Muslim extremists and Islamophobes are in agreement about.

According to The Jewish Week Spencer’s colleague and attorney, David Yerushalmi has condemned “democracy in the United States and, in comments that evoke classical anti-Semitic stereotypes, says he finds truth in the view that Jews “destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite.” … In a message to a pro-Israel rally last June he asked: “What interest does America have in a strong Israel? If your answer is democracy in a liberal or western sense, know you have sided with the Palestinians of Hamas.”

Yerushalmi’s hate group SANE has declared itself “dedicated to the rejection of democracy and party rule”.

Yerushalmi also said “While our constitutional republic was specifically designed to insulate our national leaders from the masses, democracy has seeped up through the cracks and corroded everything we once deemed sacred about our political order. Prior to the Civil War, the electorate, essentially white Christian men, had access to local government. It was here, where men shared an intimacy born of family ties, shared religious beliefs, and common cultural signposts, that representative government was meant to touch our daily lives. With the social and cultural revolution which followed the emancipation, man’s relationship to political order was radically nationalized and democratized. Today, there is simply no basis to resist “democracy” and the “open society”.

There really is no puzzle here at all, extremists of all stripes really don’t have a lot of respect for their fellow citizens.  Yet another, so what article that only a “scholar” of Spencer’s caliber could come up with.

About that “wear a veil or be raped story”

image

About that “wear a veil or be raped story”

by Sheila Musaji
Pamela Geller posted another of her articles distorting reality beyond reason.  In the article #MyJihad: Egyptian Cleric Warns Christian Women: If You Don’t Wear a Veil You’ll Be Raped she links to an article titled Egyptian Cleric Warns Christian Women: If You Don’t Wear a Veil You’ll Be Raped by Sharona Schwartz on Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.  Geller also tweeted a link to her article using the hashtag #MyJihad in her ongoing effort to undermine that campaign by Muslims to take back the term jihad from both Muslim extremists and Islamophobes.

Both Schwartz and Geller come up with their alarmist titles and conclusions from their misreading of a Reuter’s article which is compounded by their hatred of Muslims.  They both link to this article, but obviously didn’t understand it.

What is the actual story?

The Reuters article says that Hisham el-Ashry, that they describe as an “obscure preacher”, and a very unsavory character, said in a television interview that “I was once asked: If I came to power, would I let Christian women remain unveiled? And I said: If they want to get raped on the streets, then they can.”

The Reuters article goes on to note the negative response to this man’s statements from ordinary Egyptians, and then says:

…  Egypt’s top Islamic institutions, such as al-Azhar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, and Dar al Ifta, the central authority for issuing religious rulings, have long said religious practices should not be imposed on people.

Egypt’s Grand Mufti, the country’s most senior Islamic legal official, has dismissed the self-styled preacher’s views.  “This sort of idiotic thinking is one that seeks to further destabilise what is already a tense situation,” Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa said in a statement to Reuters.  “Egypt’s religious scholars have long guided the people to act in ways that conform to their religious commitments, but have never thought this required any type of invasive policing.”

So an obscure member of the Muslim lunatic fringe made a misogynistic statement and was immediately condemned by Egypt’s Grand Mufti and other mainstream Islamic scholars.  He is obviously an extremist, and deserves to be condemned.  However, he didn’t threaten anyone with rape.  He expressed his stupid opinion that somehow “inappropriately dressed” women are responsible for men’s criminal actions towards them.  A despicable opinion, but not a threat or “warning”.

Before either Geller or Schwartz get so self-righteous about focusing attention on such a marginal figure spouting hateful, misogynistic nonsense, I would remind them that they are certainly aware that he is not alone in holding such hateful views.  You can find such lunatic fringe figures in any community.  Here are just a few examples found in a very short search:

In the Satmar Orthodox Jewish village in Williamsburg, NY there is a group called the Va’ad Hatznius (modesty patrol).  According to the Jewish Forward: “…  most of their energies are directed towards ensuring that women and girls dress and behave modestly.  Their reasoning is clear: When a female wears revealing clothing or chats with the opposite sex, it could entice the men, and lead to dire consequences. In other words, the goal of their injunctions is to inhibit the sexual impulses of the male population.”

A Catholic priest in Italy said that women were partly to blame for encouraging domestic violence by failing to clean their houses and cook properly and for wearing tight and provocative clothing.

An immodestly dressed woman was stoned by Haredi Jews in Beit Shemash, Israel.

An 8-year-old girl was called a ‘whore’ and spat on as she walked to school through an ultra-orthodox settlement in Israel because she was “improperly dressed”.

A modesty patrol in Jerusalem was indicted for cruelly beating and threatening a woman with death after taking it upon themselves to interrogate her about her relationships with men.

A 14-year-old girl was hospitalized in Jerusalem after a “modesty guard” spilled acid on her for wearing pants. The attack occurred in Beitar Illit, a Jerusalem suburb where tensions between religious and secular residents are on the rise. Paramedic Dror Eini said the girl told them that “the modesty guards have been threatening her for quite some time.”

Unless they are going to become just as incensed over all such displays of misogyny the they are only proving once again that their motivation is not concern for protecting women, but only a pathological need to denigrate Muslims and Islam.

“#MyJihad” Brings Out Anti-Muslim Rage Amongst Hypocritical Islamophobic Warmongers

Social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz with the anti-extremism campaign MyJihad: Reclaiming Islam. On Twitter the trending hashtag #MyJihad has been quite lively as the reclamation of this very central theological term and concept has been met with a warm welcome from audiences, specifically Muslims who have long felt misrepresented by the misappropriation and manipulation of the term “Jihad” in the public conscience (due in large part to the actions of extremists such as Bin Laden and their counterparts, the self-described “counter-Jihad” extremists like Anders Behring Breivik, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.)

According to the MyJihad website the campaign officially kicked off on Tuesday, December 11. We first got wind of the campaign back in September when it unofficially launched on Facebook and twitter. Back then, Garibaldi wrote about the campaign,

It is clearly an attempt to reclaim the meaning of Jihad from the extremists and absolutists in both the “West” and the “East,” who feed off of each others hate.

Garibaldi’s article focused on a Twitter exchange between the founder of the MyJihad campaign Ahmed Rehab and JihadWatch director Robert Spencer in which Spencer inadvertently admitted that Jihad means more than “warfare” or as he likes to paint it “terrorism” against innocents, which proves the campaign’s purpose:

Robert_Spencer_Ahmed_Rehab_My_Jihad

The campaign is now displaying ads on buses that essentially have Muslims explaining how they relate to Jihad in their daily lives, a reality that has long gone missing from the overall discussion which tends to take the side of the extremists and the sensational.

Jihad in the face of personal loss:

MyJihad1

Jihad has to do with making friendship across the isle:

MyJihad2

A Muslim man with prayer beads and a Jewish man with Hebrew on his shirt (which I can’t really make out) building friendships:

MyJihad3

This Jihad has to do with the challenge of wearing a veil and judging those who “cover”:

MyJihad4

These advertisements challenge the prevailing idea about Jihad being foremost about “Holy War,” a view which is most enthusiastically propagated by the hate group AFDI/SIOA and their founders Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer (whose Ad campaigns this past year have sent an opposite message of hate and racism.)

In response to the bus ads Islamophobes are going berserk, which is understandable as they have pegged their careers and lives on demonizing Islam and Muslims. The question I would ask is: If Muslims are telling you that they don’t believe in the “Jihad” of Bin Laden why tell them they have their religion wrong? What interest does it serve Geller and Spencer to propagate the Jihad of Bin Laden as the correct Jihad? That seems to be the height of absurd Islamophobia.

Of course Geller and Spencer are resorting to conspiracy theory, pushing the idea that this is all “Taqiyya,” and that the non-Muslims who are involved are a bunch of “dhimmi” half-wits. It seems that in response they want to reproduce their own Ad which essentially copy the MyJihad campaign but emphasize the voices that MyJihad is pushing against:

BinLaden_GellerAd

It is apt, here, to highlight what MyJihad founder Ahmed Rehab has said about his motivations in initiating this campaign. He remarked in a tweet that he was inspired by the words of a South Side Chicago Imam who said that,

“When you have a glass of dirty water on the side of the road all you have to do is put a clean glass of water next to it and let the people decide which one to choose.”

Belen Fernandez: Honour Crimes and Islamophobia

Ilisha has written several seminal articles for Loonwatch on the relationship between honor killings and Islamophobia that have gone a long way in debunking the prevailing narrative frame propagated by the looniverse that casts Islam as inherently supportive of “honour crimes.”

Belen Fernandez’s article on AlJazeera English is a welcome addition to this discussion which she analyzes in light of the propensity of certain Zionist organizations and individuals/Right-wingers who adopt “honour killings as a pet topic” to further their own agendas.

I will add that the adoption of such “pet topics” is not limited to only certain Zionists and Right-wingers but also seeps into the discourse of self-declared Liberals who are employed in the business of Empire.

Honour crimes and Islamophobia

by Belen Fernandez (AlJazeera English)

On December 11, the University of Rochester in western New York state will host an event ”[t]o shed sorely needed daylight on the complex issue of honour crimes in our community”.

Organised by an assistant professor from the Rochester Medical School’s Psychiatry Department, the event will consist of various discussions with “community leaders, academics, members of law enforcement agencies, legal professionals and health providers” and will feature an Arab Israeli keynote speaker from “an organisation that works to end honour killings in Israel”.

The “complex issue” requiring psychiatric attention appears even more complicated when we consider that honour crimes don’t seem to constitute an overwhelming problem in the community. Though it could be argued that this is simply because sorely needed daylight has yet to be shed on them, it is worthwhile highlighting the ease with which daylight can be manufactured.

For example, when teenager Faheem Abdul Jaleel apparently stabbed his female cousin in a Rochester suburb in June 2011, the anti-Islamic vanguard headed by the preposterously influential commentator Pamela Geller wasted no time in decrying an “attempted honour killing”, based entirely on the ethnic connotations of the perpetrator’s name.

Also in 2011, NPR reported that the Muslim community in Buffalo, New York, had been “fighting the stereotype” of honour killings since a spontaneous misdiagnosis in the press regarding the 2009 murder of a Muslim woman by her husband.

As is meanwhile quite clear from domestic violence and homicide statistics among the 99 per cent of the US population that is not Muslim, such crimes generally take place independent of Islam.

Israel’s non-criminal killing of Arabs 

By adopting honour killings as a pet topic, Zionists and other right-wing forces seek to delegitimise and even criminalise Arab and Muslim society in general.

Consider an August 2012 essay in the neo-conservative FrontPage Magazine asserting an “Arab cultural and Islamic propensity of violence toward women”.

The author characterises the fatal stabbing of a 27-year-old Palestinian woman by her husband as a “death sentence which tragically has been shared by a long and ever-expanding list of Palestinian women and girls”. He does not care to explain why it is not also tragic that an even longer expanding list of Palestinian women, girls and all other varieties of human beings happen to share the fate of obliteration by Israeli munitions. Nor does he delve into what this might indicate about Israeli cultural propensities or those of Israel’s preferred ally and automated teller machine.

Without downplaying the obvious tragedy of honour crimes, we must ask why it is that we are supposed to be horrified by the idea that “in the past two years, 25 [Palestinian] women have been subjected to honour killings” but not by the fact that 1,400 Palestinians were wiped out in three weeks during Operation Cast Lead.

FrontPage claims that, although “honour killings have long been a staple byproduct of Palestinian society”, the world’s foremost anti-Israel institution – that is, the UN, which nonetheless somehow manages never to enforce resolutions against the Jewish state – has deceitfully implicated non-Palestinians in said byproduct:

“Not surprisingly, for some, this pervasive [Palestinian] violence has been laid at the feet of the usual suspects, namely the Israelis. This scapegoating was summarily expressed in a 2011 report by the United Nations Economic and Social Council which blamed harsh economic and social conditions created by the Israeli ’siege’, an occupation which has led to high levels of poverty, unemployment and, thus, ’violence, within families’.”

The article’s allegation that “in Muslim countries throughout the Mideast, South Asia and Africa… men more often than not treat women little better than livestock” is meanwhile followed by the suggestion that “[c]hanging that dismal equation will take more than just a cultural revolution”. This seems to prescribe further state violence as a means of ending individual violence, which is itself often inextricably linked to state violence in the first place.

Islamic imperialism and mind control 

Conveniently located to one side of the article on the FrontPage website is an advertisement for another stellar example of scapegoating: A pamphlet entitled, ”Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future“.

Penned by FrontPage founder David Horowitz and co-conspirator Robert Spencer, the pamphlet promises – for a mere three-dollar donation – to explain how Islamophobia is an invention of the Muslim Brotherhood and to expose the UN’s role in the Brotherhood’s project to “destroy the American civilisation from within” by criminalising criticism of Islam.

Lest doubts remain that Islamophobia is anything but a disease afflicting the authors themselves, the summary of the essay posits a pattern of “Islamic imperialism” in the West. Apparently, the Islamic empire is being erected on the foundations of valid complaints of Western anti-Muslim discrimination rather than, say, ubiquitous military bases and the exploitation of humans and resources that characterises other better-known forms of imperialism.

The summary also denotes as a “notable opponent of Islamic terror” the late Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, whose anti-terror efforts included vows to explode a mosque slated for construction in Tuscany and hysterics over the reckless American policy of permitting persons by the name of Mustafa and Muhammad to study chemistry and biology at university despite the threat of Muslim-waged germ warfare.

Clearly, Horowitz and Spencer’s purported attempt to contribute to “the global struggle against religious intolerance and totalitarianism” is an example of hypocrisy in the extreme. However, endeavours such as Rochester University’s symposium on honour killings can prove similarly problematic, providing as they do a venue for the incubation of racist and paranoid delusions and the targeting of a single religious group that has already been disproportionately subjected to civil rights violations by the New York Police Department.

Read the rest…

Note: I expect the predictable type of criticisms of the sentence in which Belen says, “By adopting honour killings as a pet topic, Zionists and other right-wing forces…” I will just say that it appears to me she is speaking about “right-wing” forces and not stating “all Zionists” adopt “honour killings” as a pet topic.