On Conspiracy Theories and Islamophobia: Rep. Louie Gohmert and the Omnipresent Muslim Brotherhood Cobra

The Islamophobic characterizations rampant amongst the anti-Muslim movements are steeped in conspiracy theories.

by Garibaldi

Do we live in a conspiracy theory based culture?

Yes, and it is not just the United States but the globe which is affected by bad ideas/theories that gain significant or widespread social traction. This is not to say that one should be dismissive of all so-called “conspiracy theories,” there are some conspiracies that are well founded, buoyed by facts and proven to be true later.

Nicoli Nattrass notes in The Lancet that,

“Anthropologists and social psychologists typically interpret conspiracy theories as responses to powerlessness—as ways of making sense of the bewildering social, economic, and political context of modern life. But not all conspiracy believers are powerless.” (emphasis mine)

How does this explain Islamophobic conspiracy theories? In general I have observed that Islamophobic conspiracy theories are not responses to a real sense of “powerlessness,” but rather a false sense of powerlessness coupled with a pervasive victim mentality. Many of those involved in forwarding Islamophobic conspiracies are in fact part of an elite political and financial class or receive support from such quarters (see Fear, Inc.).

Take Rep. Louie Gohmert, one of many US Congressmen who regularly engage in strange ideas about Muslims and Islam. Gohmert recently spilled his guts to Frank Gaffney regarding his belief that the Obama administration is receiving advice from the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood has become a catch-all phrase which is used to fear-monger, as though the organization was some omnipresent worldwide machine capable of manipulating heads of state, and yes such conspiracies are a part of a political program by the Right to retake the government, and yes such conspiracies do provide a narrative for their base to swallow and make sense of a fast changing world.

It will be intriguing to see the foreign policy debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Will we see an appearance of the pervasive omnipresent-Muslim-Brotherhood-cobra-conspiracy-theory, with its venomous fangs biting into the USA?

(h/t: CriticalDragon)

Gohmert: Obama Administration is ‘Getting Advice’ from ‘People who are in the Muslim Brotherhood’

by Brian Tashman (RightWingWatch)

Fresh after his speech insisting that President Obama is reestablishing the Ottoman Empire, Texas congressman Louie Gohmert told anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney that the Obama administration is “getting advice on how to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood from people who are in the Muslim Brotherhood.” He claimed that the Obama administration is sending money to “radical jihadists” in order to “buy [them] off,” not understanding that they can only use “raw power” against those who worship “a radical, mean-spirited, hateful Allah that these people that twist Islam believe in.”

Gohmert, who signed letters with Michele Bachmann calling for an anti-Muslim witch hunt within the administration that were ultimately rejected but lauded by Gaffney and Newt Gingrich, charged that Muslim Brotherhood agents may be the ones shaping Obama’s foreign policy. Gohmert claimed that Muslim Brotherhood operatives are involved in Janet Napolitano’s “super-secret, trusted, Homeland Security advisory council” but said she won’t give him the names. He also criticized Napolitano for allowing an Egyptian lawmaker to meet with members of the U.S. government in Washington, even after he was vetted by Homeland Security, the State Department and the Secret Service, because he is a member of a political party tied to a listed terrorist organization that has since renounced violence.

Gohmert: This administration thinks they’re going to buy off bullies, radical jihadists who want to destroy our way of life, they don’t understand that when you try to pay off a bully that wants to hurt you, not only do they not love you but they don’t respect you, they have more contempt for you, and this administration does not get that the only thing they understand is raw power and response that kills them and their beliefs of a radical, mean-spirited, hateful Allah that these people that twist Islam believe in. It tells them, ‘ah, Allah must not like what we’re doing’ because the United States had just overwhelmed and kill all of those who were trying to kill them.

Gaffney: Congressman, I mentioned that Newt Gingrich called you one of the National Security Five. That was in connection with a series of letters that you and Michele Bachmann and others sent out back in June asking about people who are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the prime mover behind much of this jihadism around the world, inside our government. You’ve not gotten answers to those inquires as I understand it, but as I understand it against the backdrop of this bewildering response by the administration, do you think that that may have something to do with the influence operations that these sorts of people are running inside the wire of our government?

Gohmert: I think it tells us very clearly that we are getting advice from people who are either A) intentionally misinforming them or misadvising them, or B) they are getting information from people that don’t have a clue about how to deal with our problem. It certainly is consistent, Janet Napolitano as you recall could not even tell me how many of her super-secret, trusted, Homeland Security advisory council or counter-violent extremism working group were actually Muslim Brotherhood. She didn’t know. When I brought up the fact that immediately before that there was a member of a known terrorist organization that had been allowed in the White House, she wasn’t even aware of it, she said that wasn’t true, but the next day when she was testifying before the Senate all the sudden she’d become aware of it and was able to talk about it but said ‘oh well he was vetted a number of times.’ These people have no idea what’s really going on, they are getting terrible advice from whomever and it certainly consisted with them getting advice on how to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood from people who are in the Muslim Brotherhood.

Rabbi Jill Jacobs explains message behind New York subway ads

Rabbi Jill Jacobs explains message behind New York subway ads

Inae Oh of the Huffington Post interviews Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, which took out an advertisementurging New York subway users to “help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors”, in an effort to counter Pamela Geller’s notorious “savages” ad. Rabbi Jacobs explains:

“I was very concerned that people might think that these ads speak for the Jewish community, as Geller couches her anti-Muslim message in the language of supporting Israel. The suggestion that she is speaking only about terrorists, and not about Muslims in general, falls apart as soon as you read her writings, which are fear mongering about Muslims in the U.S. and in the world, and about Islam as a religion.”

She adds: “I want to spread the message that 1800 rabbis – along with the majority of the American Jewish community – believes in partnership with our Muslim neighbors. We, of course, oppose all acts of terrorism. We will not, however, allow the actions of a small minority to be an excuse for dehumanizing an entire people.”

MondoWeiss: Pamela Geller’s 9/11 gathering features speaker calling for Islam to be ‘wiped out’

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer cozy up to Islamophobes who echo their own sentiments about wanting to see “Islam wiped off.” Spencer laughs at Hindu nationalist speaker at SION 9/11 event who compared Islam to bacteria, Muslims to rats and said “Islam will be wiped out.”

A few choice words by Dr. Babu Suseelan, a Hindu activist in Pennsylvania, provided one of these occasions.

“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.

Pamela Geller’s 9/11 gathering features speaker calling for Islam to be ‘wiped out’

by Alex Kane (MondoWeiss)

On September 11, most Americans carried on with their day, perhaps pausing for a moment to reflect on the terrorist attacks in 2001. But not the crew of Islamophobes who have exploited the attacks as an opportunity to foment hatred of Muslims and profit off that hatred.

Leading anti-Muslim bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer held a September 11 gathering in New York City titled “D-Day in the Information Battle Space.” An initiative of what they call the International Freedom Defense Congress, the conference focused on “Islamic supremacist attempts to restrict the freedom of speech in the free world, and the smear campaigns against freedom fighters in newspapers and media institutions in the West,” in the words of Geller.

The gathering brought together speakers from anti-Muslim movements around the globe, including Tommy Robinson of the English Defense League, a violent far-right group. David Yerushalmi, the racist Orthodox Jewish lawyer who has lived in an illegal Israeli settlement, was a speaker as well. And David Storobin, the Brooklyn state senator who created some buzz after being photographed in an Israeli army uniform, spoke to Geller’s conference too.

It was the latest attempt by Geller and her cohort to forge cross-continental links to other anti-Muslim activists. The precursor to this event was a gathering in Stockholm, Sweden that likewise brought together a host of anti-Muslim activists from around the world. Before that, there was the founding of the Stop Islamization of Nations group, “designed to promote an umbrella network of counter-jihad groups across Europe and the US,” as The Guardian reported.

Brooklyn-based writer Aaron Labaree attended the New York September 11 gathering for Guernica Magazine. Labaree reports that Geller opened up the conference with a speech to attendees that called on “every single one” of them to “be a soldier” in the battle to “save the republic.”

By far the most disturbing aspect of Labaree’s report is this snippet:

A few choice words by Dr. Babu Suseelan, a Hindu activist in Pennsylvania, provided one of these occasions.

“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.

Geller may have covered her face, perhaps in slight embarrassment that the activists she cavorts around with have no problem calling for the “wipe out” of an entire religion. But these are her allies.

But the fact that this rhetoric was inevitable may have caused the most high-profile speaker scheduled, John Bolton, to decide it was against his better interest to attend the conference. Bolton is a top neoconservative and a former official in the Bush administration, and is now advising Mitt Romney.

Bolton is an ally of Geller, as The Nation’s Wayne Barrett noted. “Bolton, who has campaigned repeatedly with Romney, is so close to Geller and Spencer that he wrote the foreword to their 2010 book, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, and has done several interviews with Geller, cozily discussing Middle East policy in couch videos,” reports Barrett. In the midst of a campaign season, though, Bolton appearing at a conference like this was bound to attract attention that the Romney campaign could do without. So even though Bolton was advertised as being a speaker at the conference, he never planned on showing.

I emailed an assistant to Bolton, Christine Samuelian of the American Enterprise Institute, before the gathering took place. Samuelian told me that the event was “not on his calendar…He has done it in the past and they may have assumed he was going to do it again this year but he did not commit to anything.”

But think again if you take this as a sign that the GOP is trying to ditch its anti-Muslim wing. The optics of a Romney adviser meeting with people who call for Islam to be “wiped out” would not be good, but the larger alliance is still there. As Labaree explains:

National politicians generally don’t get photographed with anyone who talks like Geller or Spencer, but they are happy to be associated with them at just one level of remove. Last weekend, the Family Research Council held its annual conference in Washington, D.C. The FRC’s Executive Vice President, retired General Jerry Boykin, has gained notoriety for his paranoid rants against Islam, which he has called “the religion of Satan.” The FRC conference’s featured speaker this year was Paul Ryan. And the Ground Zero Mosque affair of 2010 drew plenty of politicians of national stature, including Newt Gingrich and Rep. Peter King, of New York, who made opposition to the “mosque” his signature issue.

These politicians take SION’s position because it’s popular. Most Americans don’t get high on outrage the way Geller and Spencer do, but many are receptive to their ideas about Islam. A recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution found that almost half of Americans surveyed believe the values of Islam are incompatible with American values; the same percentage would be uncomfortable with a mosque being built in their neighborhood. This is theoretical, of course. Most people don’t have a mosque in their neighborhood: as of 2011, Muslims made up less than 1 percent of the U.S. population (Jews account for 1.6 percent, Mormons 1.9 percent, atheists and agnostics 15 percent). So far, the struggle in which SION attendees are supposed to be soldiers is a fantasy. But if Israel and Iran go to war, if there’s a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil—counter-jihadists and their allies will likely see their star rise. Meanwhile, Geller instructed the troops assembled to keep on blogging.

Counter Ads: Jews and Christians Strike Back

Choose LoveCounter Ad: Rabbis for Human Rights, North America

Pamela Geller’s hate ads seem to have backfired. The latest round of  counter ads promoting love and tolerance are truly inspiring.

In addition to subway ads,  the progressive Christian group, Sojourners, is also sponsoring a billboard near the Toledo mosque that was the site of a recent arson attack. (H/T: Young & Free)

Pro-Muslim Subway Ads to Hang Near Anti-Jihad Ads

By ASHWAQ MASOODI, New York Times

Updated, 6:47 p.m. | Striking back against an anti-jihad advertisement in the subways widely perceived as anti-Muslim, two religious groups – one Jewish, one Christian – are taking out subway ads of their own to urge tolerance.

Rabbis for Human Rights – North America and the group Sojourners, led by the Christian author and social-justice advocate Jim Wallis, are unveiling their campaigns on Monday. Their ads will be placed near the anti-jihad ads in the same Manhattan subway stations, leaders of both groups said and transit officials confirmed. The groups said their campaigns were coincidental.

The ad by Rabbis for Human Rights turns the language of the earlier ad, placed by a pro-Israel group, on its head. The original ad says, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” The ad by Rabbis for Human Rights says, “In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.”

“We wanted to make it clear that it is in response to the anti-Islam ad,” said Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, whose members include rabbis from all streams of Judaism.

The Sojourners ad simply says, “Love your Muslim neighbors.”

Another Christian group, United Methodist Women, an affiliate of the United Methodist Church, has placed similar ads in the same 10 Manhattan stations where the anti-jihad appears. The ads, which went up on Wednesday, say, “Hate speech is not civilized. Support peace in word and deed.”

One of the Methodist group’s ads, in Times Square station, is posted right next to one of the anti-jihad ads.

The anti-jihad ads, placed by the American Freedom Defense Initiative in 10 Manhattan stations, went up only after the group successfully sued the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which wanted to ban them. They were posted late last month – in the wake, as it happened, of violent protests that had erupted in many parts of the Muslim world over an American-produced video ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad, and one of them was immediately defaced. They have been defaced at least 15 times since then, said Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the authority.

Last week, the authority changed its advertising rules to ban ads that could “imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”

Mr. Donovan said the new ads “are accepted and conform with our guidelines,” adding, “The M.T.A. doesn’t endorse any of the ads we carry.”

The executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, Pamela Geller, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new ads.

 A new subway ad by United Methodist Women is also a response to the anti-jihad ad.

Rabbi Jacobs said: “Geller thinks she is speaking for the entire Jewish community. We are a group of 1,800 rabbis and we want everyone to know that we have to work in partnership with the Muslim community and do not believe in dehumanizing them.”

Sojourners’ campaigns manager, the Rev. Beau Underwood, said, “An essential tenet of Christianity is to love our neighbors.” He added: “In the face of religious extremism, the best response is to treat others like we would want to be treated. Our ad campaign has a simple message that is at the heart of our faith.”

Sojourners, together with some local interfaith communities, recently put up “Love your Muslim neighbors” billboards in Joplin, Mo., where a mosque was burned in August.

Sojourners solicitation for donations says: “Hateful anti-Muslim ads only result in violence, hatred, and more fear. Everyone — regardless of race, religion, or creed — deserves to feel welcome & safe when riding public transit in the United States.”

Kevin Forts: U.S. Breivik Admirer Charged With Making Bomb Threat

We reported on Kevin Forts in April, as an example of the kind of effect that anti-Muslim ideologues/terrorists are having, as well as the profound double standards his correspondence with Breivik highlighted. He has now been charged for making a bomb threat.

Charge against Mass. backer of Norwegian killer

(Boston.com)

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A former college student who wrote letters of support to a man convicted of setting off a bomb and fatally shooting 77 people in Norway was charged on Tuesday with making a campus bomb threat last year.

The charge against Kevin Forts stems from literature found in September 2011 at Assumption College in Worcester, an hour’s drive west of Boston.

Forts, who was a senior at the Roman Catholic college, later was suspended for public statements he made in support of Anders Behring Breivik’s July 2011 attacks in Norway.

Breivik, after setting off a bomb in Oslo, went on a shooting rampage at a summer camp for youth for more than an hour before police arrested him. The self-styled anti-Muslim militant showed no remorse at trial, accusing his victims of betraying Norway by embracing a multicultural society, and was sentenced in August to at least 21 years in prison.

Police in Worcester said in a statement released Tuesday that they were called to a campus of Assumption College on Sept. 23, 2011, and were shown documents containing threatening literature that indicated that a violent act would occur that day.

‘‘A copy of the Norway massacre suspect’s manifesto was also found with the documents,’’ they said. ‘‘Two additional copies of these documents were found in other buildings on campus.’’

The buildings were evacuated, searched and cleared by police. An investigation ensued, and police said they established a probable cause to arrest Forts on Tuesday.

Forts, 23, turned himself in at police headquarters and was arraigned later in the day at Worcester District Court. A plea of not guilty was entered for him, said Tim Connolly, a spokesman for District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.

Forts, who’s from nearby Shrewsbury, was released on his own recognizance and was ordered to stay away from the college. He and his attorney did not promptly return calls seeking comment.

Robert Spencer’s Attacks on #MyJihad Campaign Debunked

Garibaldi of Loonwatch wrote about a recent twitter exchange between terrorist inspirer and pseudo-scholar Robert Spencer and Civil Rights activist Ahmed Rehab. Spencer was forced into undermining his career long effort to demonize Islam and Muslims, reluctantly conceding that the term Jihad means more than “terrorism” and “violence,” a position he is loathe to share on a daily basis with his readers since it doesn’t fit his scheme of evil Muslim hordes Islamizing the universe.

This fits a pattern of doublespeak on Spencer’s part: on the one hand he tells his audience that there are “no distinctions between peaceful and violent Muslims” and that the “only good Muslim is a bad Muslim,” yet when pressed in public about his positions he backtracks, and says things like, “Islam makes a lot of people be very moral and upright and live fine lives.”

This brings us to Spencer’s recent double speak, in which he tells his fans that the “true meaning” of Jihad is the one that is forwarded by radical Muslim preachers. Intriguingly, Spencer finds himself in the unenviable company of agreeing with extremists such as Omar Bakri, Anjum Chaudhry, Osama Bin Laden and others who believe that the targeted killing of innocents is a legitimate expression of Jihad in Islam.

Spencer’s article begins by first trying to delegitimize the #MyJihad campaign, he writes,

“The deceptive and misleading #MyJihad campaign…”

Off the bat one can see that Spencer has already made up his mind, for him anything that runs counter to the “Jihad is evil” mantra is unacceptable. That is why he is eager to hide the true import of the campaign: giving voice to how millions of Muslims relate to Jihad in their daily lives. The #MyJihad campaign also clearly states on both its website and Facebook page that its goal is, “taking back Jihad from anti-Muslim and Muslim extremists alike.”

One would think that if Spencer was honest about promoting peace and justice (words he bandies about meaninglessly), and not being anti-Muslim he would welcome such an initiative. Of course Spencer would be out of a David Horowitz Subsidized job if he welcomed the campaign. Spencer goes on to write,

This campaign is designed to foster complacency among Americans, and to blind them to the fact that Islamic jihadists are committing violence in the name of jihad around the world every day.

Spencer is worried by the educational potentiality of the #MyJihad campaign and attempts once again to obfuscate its message. Clearly Spencer missed the memo about what this whole campaign actually is about, let’s repeat it for him,

“taking back Jihad from anti-Muslim and Muslim extremists alike.”

Robert Spencer’s many faulty claims regarding Jihad have been directly debunked in Danios’ Understanding Jihad series. In this series Danios tackles Spencer’s assertions one by one, adding context and facts and also criticizing the enormous falsities Spencer forwards about Jihad, thereby putting “Jihad” in proper perspective. This may be the reason why to this day Robert Spencer refuses to reply to Danios’ rebuttals in the series and has also ran away from Loonwatch’s open invitation to debate.

Also read Sheila Musaji’s article: AFDI/SIOA Roll Out 8 More Anti-Muslim Ads

Islamophobia, Left and Right

(h/t: Jason perkins)

Islamophobia, Left and Right

by JEFF SPARROW
‘Koran discovered with coffee cup stain on the front cover, US marines deployed to all Starbucks franchises.’

The quip, retweeted by celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins, exemplifies the belligerent incomprehension with which so many, including self-proclaimed liberals, have responded to protests against the film The Innocence of Muslims.

Rioting over a YouTube clip that offends the Muslim sky fairy? How tremendously foolish! How childish; how superstitious; how very, very silly!

Well, we’ve certainly seen ignorance paraded over the last few days but it’s as much by smug progressives as anyone else.

Consider a historical analogy.

In 1857, Bengali soldiers (known as ‘sepoys’) shot their British officers and marched upon Delhi. The Great Indian Rebellion became very violent, very quickly. The rebels massacred prisoners, including women and children; the British put down the revolt with a slaughter of unprecedented proportions.

Now, that rebellion began when the troops learned that their cartridges, designed to be torn open with their teeth, would be greased with beef and pork fat, an offence to the religious sensibilities of Hindus and Muslims alike. Had Twitter been an invention of the Victorian era, London sophisticates would, no doubt, have LOLed to each other (#sepoyrage!) about the credulity of dusky savages so worked up about a little beef tallow. Certainly, that was how the mouthpieces of the East India Company spun events: in impeccably Dawkinesque terms, they blamed ‘Hindoo prejudice’ for the descent of otherwise perfectly contented natives into rapine and slaughter.

But no serious historian today takes such apologetics seriously. Only the most determined ignoramus would discuss 1857 in isolation from the broader context of British occupation. In form, the struggle might have been religious; in content, it embodied a long-simmering opposition to colonial rule.

That’s why those who pretend the protests against The Innocence of Muslims came from nowhere merely reveal their own foolishness.

‘Today, many Americans are asking — indeed, I asked myself — how could this happen?’ said Hillary Clinton after the riots in Libya. ‘How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding the world can be.’

The echoes of George Bush’s infamous query ‘Why do they hate us when we’re so good?’ suggests nothing whatsoever has been learnt from the last decade and the hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere.

For this is, of course, the same Hillary Clinton who, as recently as 2009, proclaimed Mubarak, Egypt’s torturer-in-chief, and his wife, ‘friends of my family’, acknowledging a relationship that exemplified the pally connections between the US elite and every dictator and despot in the region. Mubarak might have been crossed off the Clinton Christmas list but President Obama forges ever closer relations with the tyrants of Saudi Arabia, delivering the biggest ever arms deal in US history to fortify a reactionary and criminal government against its populace.

No, Hillary Clinton might not recall such matters. But the people of the Muslim world are considerably better informed – and that’s the context for their anger.

But what about the movie itself? Why should such a shoddy piece of amateur filmmaking become such a flashpoint?

Again, shift to a more familiar referent and the outrage becomes at once markedly less strange. The Protocols of Zion were, of course, also a bodged-up job, a childish forgery thrown together by racist cranks from the Tsarist secret service. But no-one’s surprised when Jews (and their anti-racist allies) mobilise against some fresh incarnation of that notorious document, since we all, quite correctly, recognise any new publication of the Protocols as a conscious and deliberate attempt to promote hatred.

The Innocence of Muslims should be understood in the same fashion. This is a film produced at a time in which, across Europe and the United States, the far right has developed an Islamophobic doctrine that replicates, almost exactly, the key tropes of traditional anti-Semitism.

Jews will not integrate. Jews are more fertile than Christians and are outbreeding them. Europe is becoming a province, a colony, of a Judaic entity. Europe will either be Judaicised or there will be a civil war. Most likely, Jews will resort to terrorism as part of their takeover. They are already spoiling for violence.

All of that sounds like the rantings of an old-school fascist. But replace ‘Jew’ with ‘Muslim’, and you’re left with a workaday opinion piece from any mainstream conservative paper.

The structural homology here is not accidental. Mattias Gardell notes how:

The tradition of Islamophobia is, like anti-Semitism, rooted in the medieval Christian hostility to the ‘enemies of God’, with these perceptions disseminated, expanded upon, restructured, rearticulated and reactivated in various social and political contexts, from the Turk scare in early modernity, via the colonial expansion, to the War on Terror.

Many stories told about Jews in medieval and early modern Europe were also spun around what were then termed Moors, Saracens or Red Jews: Muslims were devil-worshipping, sexually deviant, man-eating monsters; Muslims ritually defamed the cross and consumed the blood of ceremonially slaughtered Christian children in blasphemous communions. Church art portrayed Mohammed as the Antichrist, and Muslims as horned devils, Christ-killers, dogs or a hybrid race of dog-men. Lars Vilks – the Swedish artist who depicted Mohammed as a dog – may claim originality, but the dog motif goes back hundreds of years and is as old as the Judensau (the medieval depiction of Jews in obscene contact with a sow).

Elsewhere, the journalist Colm Ó Broin has produced a neat demonstration of the relationship between the old hate and the new hate, with a close comparison of the writings of the notorious Islamophobe Robert Spencer on Muslims alongside the propaganda of Julius Streicher, the editor of, Der Stuermer. Streicher, you’ll recall, went to the gallows at Nuremberg – but Spencer holds forth regularly on FOX News.

The labour leader August Bebel famously dubbed anti-Semitism the ‘socialism of fools’, since some supposed radicals subscribed to crackpot theories about Jewish finance. In a similar fashion, Islamophobia today often gets served up as an add lepated secularism by vulgar atheists, indifferent to how often their conversations about Muslim theology slide neatly into anguish about Muslim birthrates (an obvious giveaway of the racialised imagination and its biological concerns).

Should Muslims be worried about rising Islamophobia? Of course they should! As the recent report by the Institute of Race Relations, Pedlars of Hate, makes clear, anti-Islam bigotry is becoming a key element of the revival of the far Right – a Right that doesn’t merely slander Muslims but also takes action against them.

The Innocence of Muslims was, quite obviously, intended as a provocation, and many Muslims have argued that the minority of shrilljihadis who raised their sectarian and violent slogans at protests around the wold fell entirely into the intended trap.

Then, again, this too is familiar. Twentieth century race-baiters knew all about goading their victims into a certain response, and then using that response to justify a fresh pogrom. Not unexpectedly, German far-right extremists (who have some historical experience with this strategy) are now planning fresh screenings of the film.

Those who call themselves progressive might note that a certain Karl Marx followed the Great Indian Rebellion closely. While he acknowledged and decried the excesses of the rebels, he declared these were ‘only the reflex, in a concentrated form, of England’s own conduct in India.’

In other words, Marx, one of history’s more famous atheists, stood firmly with the ‘ignorant’ sepoys against their ‘enlightened’ opponents.

‘John Bull,’ he wrote, ‘is to be steeped in cries for revenge up to his very ears, to make him forget that his Government is responsible for the mischief hatched and the colossal dimensions it has been allowed to assume.’

Add ‘Uncle Sam’ to that sentence, and you have a remarkably apt assessment of what’s taking place today.

Jeff Sparrow is the editor of Overland magazine and the author of “Money Shot: A Journey into Porn and Censorship.

Horowitz: Obama ‘Would Never Be President if He Weren’t Black’

(h/t: CriticalDragon)

Spencer’s Boss, mouths off.

Horowitz: Obama ‘Would Never Be President if He Weren’t Black’

Far-right activist David Horowitz has been out promoting his new book, Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion, and told conservative talk show host Steve Deace yesterday that President Obama, much like professor Cornel West, is taken seriously simply because he is black. During an incoherent rant, Horowitz asserted that Obama “would never be president if he weren’t black” as no one with the same “curious background and radicalism would ever have been nominated, let alone elected president if he weren’t black.” “Part of the racism of our society is if you’re black you can get away with murder,” Horowitz concludes.

Cornel West is just symbolic of the corruption of our culture and not unlike Obama who would never be president if he weren’t black, no white person with his resume and his thoughts and curious background and radicalism would ever have been nominated, let alone elected president if he weren’t black. So Cornel West is an empty suit who has twenty honorary degrees and he’s taught at all these prestigious universities but is basically an airhead, most people who’ve seen him on TV they’ve noticed. Part of the racism of our society is if you’re black you can get away with murder.

Later, Horowitz repeated his smear of Huma Abedin and said that she is a “Muslim Brotherhood operative” and the “chief adviser to the American government right now on Muslim affairs.” Not only is patently it absurd to claim that Abedin is a secret agent for the Brotherhood but she is also not a policymaker.

After attacking Obama as someone who “sympathizes with our enemy” and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, Horowitz said that conservatives are much nicer and more open minded than liberals. But he couldn’t even make that audacious claim without attacking Obama: “we don’t set out to destroy the character of people. Obama is a Communist.” Not only is Obama a Communist, Horowitz explained, but so are his advisers David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, whom he says all serve this “evil cause” with religious zeal.

Obama basically sympathizes with our enemy and Hillary Clinton’s chief adviser, the chief adviser to the American government right now on Muslim affairs is Huma Abedin, who is a Muslim Brotherhood operative. The Muslim Brotherhood, for people who don’t know, that’s the organization that created Osama bin Laden, it’s the parent organization of Hamas, and it’s agenda — well they’re already doing it in Egypt — is to turn it into an Islamic, fascist state, meaning that everybody is under Islamic laws, this seventh century law.

People have to stop thinking of them as liberals. Conservatives are liberal people, we believe in two sides to a question, we don’t shut people up, when we have channels on television there is more than one viewpoint, we don’t set out to destroy the character of people. Obama is a Communist. Stanley Kurtz has written a really good book called “Radical-in-Chief” and his entire life has been spent in the same left that I came out of, which is the radical, Marxist left. Only it’s even worse. [David] Axelrod, his family is all—they’re communists. Valerie Jarrett, I mean literally members of the Communist Party. And I know as somebody who came out of the left, you know if you’re involved with an evil cause and you leave it, you denounce it, you tell people, particularly if you’re a political person, you warn people. These people are really dangerous but they haven’t done that, they are still committed to this cause. I think that’s the main thing, people have to suddenly awaken and realize, and that’s one reason I wrote this book “Radicals” because it’s a portrait of this mentality, it’s a very religious mentality.

Not two, but three more “films” coming our way

Sheila Musaji discusses the fact that not two, but three more films are in the works.

Not two, but three more “films” coming our way

by Sheila Musaji (TAM)

Daniel Greenfield noted appreciatively on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine that Ali Sina and Mosab Hassan Yousef have upcoming films on Prophet Muhammad.  He even includes a picture of what seems to be a poster advertising one of the films “Muhammad: The True Story of a False Prophet” and at the bottom “in theaters this summer”.  Not surprising that he would approve since he also published Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’? encouraging more films like “Innocence of Muslims.  Daniel Pipes and Pamela Geller have also encouraged publishing more cartoons/films etc. until as Pipes said Muslims “become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”  Daniel Pipes added an update to his article A Muhammad Cartoon a Day  noting that “The Los Angeles Times tells about two ex-Muslims, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Ali Sina, who have plans to make big-budget derogatory films showing Muhammad on screen.  To which I can add a third ex-Muslim with the same intent, Imran Firasat.”

Mosab Hassan Yousef has gone through a number of ideological changes in the past few years.

Yousef’s conversion to Christianity was through the preaching of Father Zakaria Botros Henein.

In 2010 he published a book Son of Hamas.  The title refers to the fact that he is the son of a senior Hamas figure, although he became a spy for the Shin Bet.  At this time, Pamela Geller called Yousef “a brave heroic apostate out of Islam”.  He faced deportation hearingsdue to some claims in his book.  At this time, Alex Nowrasteh on David Horowitz’ Newsreal Blog said “Mosab is also the most valuable source of intelligence on Hamas that Israel has ever produced.”  Debbie Schlussel wrote about Yousef saying “I am very suspicious of Youssef. I don’t know how much he actually aided Israel as a spy …  And even if he did as much as he claims, so have many other anti-Israel Jew-haters Israel recruits as spies. There are no swans in the sewer. . . and the sewer is the general habitat of informants.”

In 2011, Walid Shoebat repudiated Yousef and Yousef and his former Shin Bet handler responded to Shoebat’s attack.  Pamela Geller also repudiated him and called him “a fraud”.

In June 2012, Yousef visited Israel and spoke at the Israeli Parliament  where he read a statement – he says he is now “free, loving, and forgiving” “truth and forgiveness are the solution for the Middle East’s problems”.  He visited Israel as a guest of Likud MK Ayoub Kara.  During that visit he announced that he was making a film on Prophet Muhammad that would reveal his “real nature” to Muslims.”  While in Israel he also spoke at an event in Jerusalem hosted by Media Central, a pro-Israel press relations organization.  Yousef isworking with Israeli film producer and actor Sam Feuer.  Feuer will produce both a feature film adaptation of Son of Hamas as well as the Muhammad movie.  Feuer said the movie has already interested sponsors and a major screenwriter who is in the process of creating the script.

The link Daniel Pipes provided about the film being made by Imran Farasat is to Farasat’s site in Spain, announcing that he will make a film and that it will be released in 2012 in 4 to 5 languages.  Based on the site, and on limited google searches, Farasat is a Pakistani ex-Muslim now living in Spain.  He seems to be a very marginal character who will produce something to be released on YouTube.

All of this adds credence to Justin Raimondo’s speculation about an Israeli connection behind at least some of these films.

SDL Flops, EDL Thugs Clash with Police at Walsall Protest

Another flop for the Scottish Defence League

The Scottish Defence League (SDL) held a static protest outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, while Unite Against Fascism organised its own counter-protest. Police said that around 60 people attended the SDL event, which lasted for around 45 minutes. The majority arrived by coach.

Meanwhile Unite Against Fascism said its march from the City Chambers on the Royal Mile to the Parliament attracted over 300 people. Police put the figure at around 250.

Lothian and Borders Police created a “sterile” area outside Holyrood, with the two groups separated by barriers and accompanied by police officers. Members of the public were kept away from the area.

Speaking after the event, Luke Henderson, co-ordinator for Unite Against Fascism, said: “The march was absolutely fantastic and we were very happy that we had a great turn out. Our march had representatives from the many diverse communities that make Edinburgh a vibrant and open city.”

Press Association, 29 September 2012

Update:  See also “Scotland and Islam”, Sunday Herald, 30 September 2012

Arrests at EDL Walsall protest after clashes with police

Police clashed with members of the English Defence League during protests in Walsall town centre today.

During speeches given by leaders of the EDL, the crowd surged towards police lines on Leicester Street. Officers with riot gear used batons and shields to hold back the demonstrators. Scores of missiles – including bricks, bottles and litter bins – were hurled at police.

At 3pm officers cleared Lichfield Street with a shields charge as members of the EDL were herded on to buses to transport them away from the town centre.

West Midlands Police said they have no power to ban a static protest and the right to protest peacefully was a sign of a healthy democracy.

Birmingham Mail, 29 September 2012

 

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