Rep. Trent Franks and Robert Spencer Indulge in “Obama is a Secret Muslim” Conspiracy Again

Rep. Trent Franks and Robert Spencer Indulge in “Obama is a Secret Muslim” Conspiracy Again

Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona was one of the politicians  involved in promoting the book, “Muslims Mafia,” by the now retired and disgruntled racist Islamophobe, David Gaubatz.

Franks recently shared a panel with the former adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahoo, Caroline Glick and Rev. Deacon Robert Spencer who, not for the first time, indulged in the “Obama is a Muslim” conspiracy theory–Franks agreed with him.

Trent Frank Agrees That Obama Is Either A Secret Muslim Or Acting Just Like One

Right-Wing Watch

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) appeared at a David Horowitz Freedom Center function last month where he agreed with a co-panelist who said Obama may be a secret Muslim, or is at least acting like one. Franks sat on the panel with anti-Muslim activists Robert Spencer, Erick Stakelbeck and Caroline Glick. A member of the audience asked Spencer — to laughter and applause — that if the Quran dictates that apostates must face execution, “If so, how does this apply to Obama? And if so, what should we do about it?”

Spencer replied that the president’s religion is “murky, probably intentionally so.” He went on to say that because you don’t hear Muslims “calling for Obama to be executed as an apostate” for leaving Islam for Christianity, then it is likely he is still a Muslim.

“With so many hotheads and firebrands and hardliners, you would think that somebody would say that, unless maybe they know something,” Spencer said.

He went on to argue that Obama’s Christian faith is further proof that he’s a Muslim, explaining that he can still be a Muslim while he identifies as a Christian. Spencer added: “Whatever his personal beliefs are, certainly if he were a secret Muslim, he wouldn’t be acting any differently from how he is anyway.”

“That’s exactly right,” Franks said. “He wouldn’t be any different.”

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 The Christian cross has been replaced by the Islamic crescent.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 )

Dear Robert Spencer: Yes, I’m Being Paid

Anti-Muslim hate group leader Robert Spencer got very upset at my post pointing out that his partner in bigotry Pamela Geller had simply lied in a recent piece for Breitbart.com, and dashed off a quick rant about me with the usual dark hints of conspiracies and a massive load of projection: In Wake of London Jihad Murder, Hamas-Linked CAIR Spreads Hatred and Lies About Pamela Geller – Jihad Watch.

The poisonous duo

They were linking to a hit piece by Charles Johnson at the blog Little Green Footballs. Longtime Jihad Watch readers may remember Johnson as a once-prominent counter-jihad blogger who, for reasons still unknown, betrayed all his principles and began devoting his time to smearing his former friends and associates. His site still exists, although it is now just a bitter, spiteful hate site wholly dedicated to defaming and destroying those who are trying to defend freedom. Having proven himself thoroughly untrustworthy, Johnson is shunned by the Left and despised by the Right. The only people who still take him seriously are the stealth jihadis at Hamas-linked CAIR, who find his hate screeds useful to demonize voices of freedom and clear away all obstacles to the advance of the bloody jihad that just struck on the streets of Boston, London and Paris.

He’s playing dumb, but Spencer knows very well the reasons why I got the hell away from him and his crazy, hateful friends, as does anyone else who’s paid attention to this saga. Spencer knows that I find his associations with groups like the English Defence League repellent and disgusting, and he knows that I’m on to his poisonous rube-fleecing hate speech.

This is far from the first time Spencer and Geller have hinted around about secret Muslim conspiracies that are paying me off to attack them and their noble, freedom-fighting cause. See: Geller and Spencer Spew Conspiracy Theories at Your Humble Narrator.

But I have to admit something — Spencer is right. I am being paid. Not by CAIR, though, and not in cash.

I’m being paid with the peace of mind that comes from knowing I did the right thing by renouncing him and his divisive, hateful agenda, and knowing that I’m continuing to do the right thing by exposing him and Geller when they lie, smear, promote fascist groups and ideas, and encourage the ugliest forms of xenophobia.

You can take that to the bank.

Little Greenballs

Dear Rightwing Catholic Islamophobes: Pope Francis just washed the feet of a Poor Muslim

Dear Rightwing Catholic Islamophobes: Pope Francis just washed the feet of a Poor Muslim

by Juan Cole (Informed Comment)

Pope Francis on Maundy Thursday declined to address enormous crowds. Instead he went to a prison to emulate Jesus’s act of humility before his crucifixion in washing the feet of his 12 disciples. The pope washed and kissed the feet of 12 inmates, two of them women and two of them Muslim (one of the women was Muslim). It is reported that some of the prisoners broke down in tears.

CNN reports ,

Pope Francis’s willingness to wash the feet of a Muslim woman shows his concern for the very lowest stratum of society. Europe has millions of Muslims, and some are well off and well integrated into society. But many Muslims who immigrated into France and Italy for work got caught when the jobs dried up, and live in poor areas of the cities, being excluded from mainstream society or much hope of betterment. Women have lower status than men in such communities, so a poor Muslim woman in jail is just about the bottom of the social scale.

Pope Francis is from Argentina, which has a large, successful Arab-heritage community that includes Muslims, and he is said to have deeply disagreed with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, over the latter’s Regensburg speech in which he said things that Muslims found insulting.

The thing that strikes me about all this is that there is a small strand of American Catholic conservatism that frankly despises both the poor and Muslims, and is one of the pillars of prejudice against Muslims (some call it Islamophobia) in the United States. Most Catholics in opinion polls have a more positive view of Islam and Muslims than is common among evangelical Protestants, but the rightwingers among them have a thing about Muslims (and about poor people).

An example is former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Rep. Peter King of New York also comes to mind. Robert Spencer has made a career of defaming Islam and Muslims. Then there is professional bully Sean Hannity of Faux News. Paul Ryan uses the insulting language of “Islamic fascism” (fascism is a Western invention; most fascists in history have been of Christian heritage; and it has nothing to do with the Muslim faith). Ryan, far from serving the poor, wants to cut social services to them by savaging the government budget, and openly boasts of following prophet of selfishness Ayn Rand.

These purveyors of hate speech against Muslims claim to be Catholics, and some of them are annoyingly Ultramontane, insisting on papal infallibility and trying to impose their values on all Americans.

Yet the person they hold to be the vicar of Christ has just given humankind a different charge, of humility and of service to the least in society, many of whom are Muslims.

So when will we see Rudy Giuliani, Sean Hannity and the others go to a prison to comfort inmates, and serve the Muslims among them? When will we see them kiss a Muslim’s feet? Or are they cafeteria Catholics, parading only the values that accord with their Ayn Rand heresy?

JihadWatch Zombie Eric Allen Bell Returns and Adds Antisemitism to the Islamophobia

Eric_Allen_Bell_Jamie_Glazov

The “Glazov gangbangers”

by Garibaldi

Eric Allen Bell (aka Eric Edborg), who has been mostly silent over the past few months, (no doubt taking a “sabbatical” from his self-proclaimed “jihad against jihad” again), returned to the looniverse of hatemongering and kooky conspiracy theories.

This time Bell is relishing in antisemitism and putting forward ideas picked straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Bell got into it with some of his assumedly now “former” Facebook followers. Bell tells “Clark Banner” that he is just speaking truth to power, exposing the social taboo surrounding “Jewish control of banking and media,”

EAB jew conspiracy #1

Bell clearly doesn’t know what conspiracy theories are either, they are not simply “theories without evidence.” What he is referring to is just one category of the obvious phony and fake conspiracies that exist. Usually conspiracy theories are based on some evidence, though such evidence varies in degree of reliability, factualness and the way it is framed and contextualized to create a narrative.

Bell also believes the Oscars are part of a Jewish supremacist conspiracy,

EAB jew conspiracy #3

“Erick Morgan” used to “look up to” the old bigot Eric Allen Bell when he railed against Muslims being intellectually and genetically inferior and called for the nuking of Muslim holy places but now he finds Bell repulsive:

EAB jew conspiracy #4

This protege of Rev. Deacon Robert Spencer has exposed himself to have some very kooky and racist beliefs not only about people of Muslim background and the religion of Islam but also about Jews and Judaism. Will we hear swift condemnations from Rev. Deacon Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller who hailed Bell as a former “liberal” who saw the light of “Counterjihad?” Aren’t they embarrassed and ashamed of supporting and allying with someone who supports this vile antisemitic nonsense?

Don’t hold your breathe. They will likely continue their strategy of pretending such views aren’t held by their friend.

Related:

Eric Allen Bell discovers that ‘Jewish supremacists’ control the media and the banks

“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

Right-wing runs with “John Brennan-is-a-Muslim” theory

brennan-cia.jpeg3-620x412

Islamophobes run with the theory that John Brennan is unfit-for-duty because he’s a “secret Muslim.” The real reason Brennan is unfit for duty is because of his track record in support of torture and drone warfare.

Right-wing runs with “John Brennan-is-a-Muslim” theory

by Jillian Rayfield (Salon.com)

A disgraced former FBI agent and anti-Islam activist claims that John Brennan, President Obama’s pick to head the CIA, is “unfit for duty” because he just might be a secret Muslim.

As Salon reported, John Guandolo claimed last weekend that “Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on behalf of the United States when he served in Saudi Arabia” and it “was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him” by foreign operatives.

The theory, which was picked up by conspiracy-theorist central World Net Daily, has an eager audience on the right. Here’s a rundown:

Glenn Beck: ”I don’t know if this is true or not, I will tell you that there is so much in John Brennan background that should be questioned, that this is plausible. He added: ”If somebody makes a charge like that, shouldn’t we at least explore it?” Watch:

Former Rep. Fred Grandy, R-Iowa, also of Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy: “The influence of Islam as a religion among top intelligence authorities in this country is not limited to John Brennan. Whether or not that influenced his political determinations probably has more to do not so much with Islam but to what degree has been co-opted by Saudi authorities.”

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association: “Well I think the proof is in the pudding. When he redefines jihad to mean something that it doesn’t mean, to water it down; when he rewrites the training manuals for our law enforcement, for those that would protect the United States; it’s all very, very frightening and suspicious to me.”

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association: “[Obama] wants a guy to be the director of the CIA who may be a Muslim covert. There’s a highly-placed source, I can’t verify this because it’s only come from one source but John Brennan who President Obama wants to be his CIA director, there’s a well-placed source that says everybody understands in the intelligence community that he converted to Islam when he was on an overseas assignment. He’s allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate his administration.”

Guandolo left the FBI after the corruption case for former Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson, amid revelations that Guandolo had sexual relationships with agents and a government informant on the case. He has since been traveling the anti-Islam speech-making circuit, occasionally arguing that Muslims “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.”

 

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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

robert_spencer_exposed (1)

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?

pentecost-kneeling-vespers-05-4fc4c67a2786f

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

robert_spencer_exposed (1)

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.