Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer Discover “Movie Theater Jihad”

Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer Discover “Movie Theater Jihad”

by Sheila Musaji
A recent fake story about patrons being refused entrance to a movie theater in Britain because they weren’t Muslim was completely debunked by Bob Pitt on Islamophobia Watch.  He noted:

…  the arrival of Eid provided the pretext for yet another round of anti-Muslim scaremongering. According to a rumour that quickly spread across the internet, the Vue cinema in Birmingham’s Star City entertainment complex was only allowing Muslims who were celebrating Eid to enter the venue and had turned away non-Muslims.

This transparently ludicrous story would appear to have been kicked off by a comment posted on the Birmingham Mail Facebook page by one Emma Noakes, who accused Birmingham City Council of colluding with Vue in implementing a discriminatory admission policy:

You’ll note that Ms Noakes’ accusation wasn’t based on her own experience of being turned away from the cinema but on a second-hand and probably garbled account by a friend. As for her suggestion that the local authority was co-operating with Star City in banning non-Muslims from the venue, this was clearly nonsense.

Nevertheless, it was enough to provoke a predictable spate of outraged comments denouncing the supposed ban as further proof of an Islamic takeover of Britain and the subjugation of the indigenous people. A Facebook page was set up to rally opposition to the discrimination against non-Muslims, under the title “Boycott star city – racist shithole”. The accusation of racism was particularly ironic, given that the page is clearly a far-right initiative, as the photos below demonstrate.

Unsurprisingly, Birmingham City Council denied any involvement, telling those who inquired about the issue: “This has nothing to do with the council and is simply not true.” The Birmingham Mail, a newspaper not averse to engaging in a bit of anti-Muslim scaremongering itself, also dismissed the rumour as baseless, stating: “We have fully investigated these allegations and can find no foundation for them.”
Star City management too was adamant that there was no discriminatory policy against non-Muslims on their part, and issued the following statement:

“Star City is a family entertainment centre open to and enjoyed by all. Star City has enjoyed growing success in recent months and we have a proud record of community involvement. Over the past few days Star City has been extremely busy and the volume of traffic has been very high, causing significant traffic congestion and delays in getting some visitors access into the Centre. During the busiest times some visitors have been turned away and there has been some disappointment for some, for which we apologise. However, there is simply no truth in the recent allegations – the nature of which have no place at Star City.”

Although the statement doesn’t mention Eid, this was obviously a major contributory factor to Star City being very busy last week. It is hardly surprising that the festival should result in large numbers of Muslim families visiting the entertainment complex – according to the 2011 census, 21.8% of the population of Birmingham is Muslim, while Star City itself is situated in the Nechells area of the city, where 43.5% of the population is Muslim. Presumably what happened at the Vue cinema was that tickets sold out and disappointed visitors were told they were unable to get a seat because of Eid, which they took to mean that only Muslims were allowed in.

This silly rumour would probably have fizzled out, had it not been taken up and given legitimacy by the Daily Mirror, who reported it under the headline “Vue apologises after families ‘barred from cinema for not being MUSLIM’”. (The Mirror‘s story was then picked up by the Daily Mail, who went for the headline “Vue cinema apologises after friends ‘are turned away by security guard because they were not a Muslim family celebrating Eid’”, while the Daily Star also ran a piece on it, entitled “Lads turned away from busy cinema ‘because they weren’t Muslim’”.)

The Mirror used Emma Noakes’ Facebook post as evidence of discrimination at the Vue cinema and even referred to the “Boycott star city – racist shithole” as an example of public concern about the situation – without mentioning the name of the page or bothering to inform readers that it is run by anti-Muslim bigots. But the Mirror‘s star witness was an individual named Leon Jennings, who told the paper that a “burly security guard” at the Vue cinema informed him and his friends that they “couldn’t go in because it was only couples and families celebrating Eid”. Jennings accused the guard of “making assumptions about my religion and banning me based on my skin colour” and said the cinema’s action amounted to “blatant racism”.

Now, it may be that Jennings failed to understand the reason he was given as to why he couldn’t attend the screening at the cinema, or perhaps the guard failed to explain the situation coherently. Or it could be that Jennings is an attention-seeking self-publicist who contacted the Mirror with a cock-and-bull story with a view to getting his name in the papers. Then again, perhaps Jennings is someone who just has a problem with Muslims. Anything is more likely than the possibility that the cinema actually operated a ban on non-Muslims.

If Jennings genuinely does believe he was barred because he wasn’t a Muslim, then he should go to the police and report it. Discrimination on religious grounds in the provision of goods and services is a criminal offence under Part 2 of the Equality Act 2006. The problem, of course, is that the police would subject Jennings’ claims to considerably more scrutiny that the Mirror did, and if he were found to be making false accusations he could be charged with wasting police time.

The Mirror‘s article was posted on the “Boycott star city – racist shithole” Facebook page as proof that their paranoid accusations were true (“To all the people claiming this is false please read…..”) and was also taken up by the English Defence League and Britain First (see screenshots below). As Steve Rose points out, the Mirror‘s irresponsible reporting resulted in an outburst of online far-right hatred including threats of violence (“Let’s just blow it up? See how they like it”). The Mirror should be ashamed of itself. …

Of course, Pamela Geller jumped on this and published UK: Families barred from cinema for not being Muslim, and she added her own comments:  The islamization of the UK is now approaching dizzying speed. I cannot imagine that it will be recognizable in five to 10 years.  Good thing the UK banned Robert Spencer and me from the UK — we might want to go to the cinema, and that would surely not be “conducive to the public good”: Muslims might riot. It seems, though, that it’s no longer confined to those of us who oppose jihad ….

Geller’s partner in hate, Robert Spencer also posted UK: Families barred from cinema for not being Muslim and added his own comments “This time the cinema apologized. Next time they won’t. Leon Jennings and everyone else in Britain better get used to this sort of thing, because it is going to keep happening. They better get used to their new overlords. And if they don’t like it, they can take it up with Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Jacqui Smith, Jack Straw, Theresa May and their ilk.

Pamela Geller’s Collateral Damage

Spencer’s and Geller, the leaders of “AFDI” are up to their tired advert Crusade again.

Collateral Damage

San Francisco Foghorn

If you are planning on riding the 14L bus this week, keep your eyes open for the newest ad taken out by Pamela Geller, founder of the American Freedom Defence Initiative. In response to the recent Islamophobia surrounding ISIS, Geller depicts Muslims as a radical group of extremists showing how one’s devotion can only be measured by their radical acts of aggression. Geller’s ad deserves the triple crown for not only being polarizing, but also for being uninformed and mistargeted as well.

Two years ago, Geller made headlines when she took out similar ads on New York buses equating Muslims to savages. When her ads were pulled by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Geller sued the MTA, and with the federal court ruling in her favor, was able to continue to promote her proudly anti-Islamic views. With the recent obsession with ISIS and Ebola, how could Geller not capitalize on the state of fear that the mainstream media is perpetuating?

Geller is painting an entire religion, culture, and region of the world as terrorists causing fear against Muslims in the United States. This xenophobic response to war is not new and it is a stark reminder of how little has changed since the Japanese Internment camps of the 1940s. Geller has the attention of many Americans peaked because of the recent military gains ISIS has made, as well as the footage they released of their executions of American and British citizens. The association then becomes jaded; if Muslims are only mentioned for their acute actions of violence then one would assume it is a culture inherently full of bloodshed. This could not be more wrong. Associating an entire religion, an entire culture, and entire region of the world with these small organized radical groups causes harm to the Muslim Identity and further alienates Islam from other religions.

These ads — not only harmful to Muslims, but lump Sikhs and Hindus into the same group because of slight similarities in their religious clothing — further perpetuate an intolerant stereotype. It is religious collectivism that is not grounded in any sort of number, statistic, or study. With every religion, there is a radical minority that defaces the tradition in order to gain political leverage and a larger following. But the association that has been made between Muslims and violence must end.

Geller is subject to fear, just as we all are. This fear has caused her to demonize and destroy what she believes is a threat — Islam. Is she wrong? Definitely. But this is no different than it has ever been. This fear comes from an unrealistic view of what Muslims are and what their culture consists of. As for every group that we are fighting, there is propaganda created by fear that leads to a radical view from those who would otherwise be neutral. However, these ads do not condemn ISIS. They attack every man in a turban and every woman in a burka. They fuel the growing Islamophobia in the United States instead of substantiating Islamic culture and beliefs. They are ignorant of any cultural identity as well as ethnic background. They perpetuate violence and hatred where understanding is necessary.

Ads like this and organizations like the American Freedom Defence Initiative will never disappear. It is within their constitutional rights to exist and espouse their views in whatever nonviolent way they choose. But, these ads are misleading and wrong in scope. These ads do nothing to stop ISIS. They do nothing to further defend the United States from their aggressive advances, and do nothing to stop the terrorist organization’s rapid recruitment. These ads instead perpetuate hatred and ignorance — hatred for those who do not deserve it and ignorance in regards to why they do not.

Racist David Horowitz Says ‘There Is No Community More Racist In America Than The Black Community’

RightWingWatch

Discussing the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on Phyllis Schlafly’s “Eagle Forum Live” radio program this week, conservative commentator David Horowitz argued that liberals are overly eager to brand conservatives as racist and, in doing so, have wrongfully maligned the police officer accused of shooting unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

“[Protesters] destroyed a city to get a cop who was defending himself. Look at the picture of him in the hospital with his eye socket practically blown out,” he said of Officer Darren Wilson, in reference to a bogus photograph that is confirmed to be of a completely unrelated person.

Insisting that Brown was “just a thug” who suffered the consequences of his actions, Horowitz complained that white people have been vilified in matters of law enforcement and criminal justice. “They’re not interested in waiting for a trial and its result. If you’re white, you’re guilty; that’s the attitude,” he said of the Ferguson protesters. “They’re racist, for crying out tears. There’s no community that’s more racist in America than the black community. And everybody knows it, but nobody will say it.”

Discussing the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on Phyllis Schlafly’s “Eagle Forum Live” radio program this week, conservative commentator David Horowitz argued that liberals are overly eager to brand conservatives as racist and, in doing so, have wrongfully maligned the police officer accused of shooting unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

“[Protesters] destroyed a city to get a cop who was defending himself. Look at the picture of him in the hospital with his eye socket practically blown out,” he said of Officer Darren Wilson, in reference to a bogus photograph that is confirmed to be of a completely unrelated person.

Insisting that Brown was “just a thug” who suffered the consequences of his actions, Horowitz complained that white people have been vilified in matters of law enforcement and criminal justice. “They’re not interested in waiting for a trial and its result. If you’re white, you’re guilty; that’s the attitude,” he said of the Ferguson protesters. “They’re racist, for crying out tears. There’s no community that’s more racist in America than the black community. And everybody knows it, but nobody will say it.”

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/172307470″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Geller And Spencer Remove Picture of James Foley From Ads But Continue to Use Image Of Aqsa Parvez

It seems they had no compassion for the family of Aqsa Parvez who asked Geller to end their use of their dead daughters image for their Islamophobic agenda.

James Foley Photo Removes From NYC Anti-Islam Ads Following Complaint From Family

Reuters

A photo of American journalist James Foley shortly before his beheading by the Islamic state militant group is being removed from anti-Islam advertisements appearing on Monday on 100 New York City buses and two subway stations.

In response to a complaint from the Foley family, the advertisement is being altered to include an unidentifiable severed head held by the masked militant seen wielding a knife in the video of Foley’s beheading, said David Yerushalmi, lawyer for Pamela Geller, whose group is sponsoring the ads.

“The use of Mr. Foley’s photo in your advertisement will cause profound distress to the Foley family,” family lawyer J. Patrick Rowan said in a letter to Geller.

Geller writes a blog criticizing Islam. Her group, American Freedom Defense Initiative, paid for a six-ad series scheduled to run for a month on the city’s mass transit system.

The ads, including one showing Foley in the video of his beheading released in August, suggest that Islam is inherently violent and extremist, and call for the end of American aid to Islamic countries.

“Having lived in and reported from communities in which nearly everyone was of Muslim faith, he had great respect for the religion and those who practiced it,” the Foley family lawyer wrote, referring to the journalist.

“The advertisement you are preparing to run seems to convey the message that ordinary practitioners of Islam are a dangerous threat. This message is entirely inconsistent with Mr. Foley’s reporting and his beliefs.”

Foley, 40, was kidnapped by armed men in Syria in 2012. Islamic State has seized parts of Syria and Iraq.

Geller’s lawyer said the image will be replaced out of “compassion for the family’s pain and anguish.”

New York City politicians and religious leaders last week criticized the ad campaign, saying no faith should be subject to attack ads and calling it an attempt to divide the city.

Geller was behind a similar ad campaign in 2012 on the city’s transport system, which was initially rejected by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a state agency. A federal judge later decided that the MTA’s rule against ads that demeaned race, gender, religion or several other categories was unconstitutional.

The MTA has since revised its standard, and so-called viewpoint ads like Geller’s now run with a large disclaimer saying the MTA does not endorse the views expressed.

Vicious Hate Preacher, Deacon Robert Spencer Attacks Cardinal Theodore McCarrick


Deacon Robert Spencer is clearly outside of mainstream Catholicism, it’s a shame he is ordained at all. Recently, he unleashed his medieval hate on respected Catholic leader and theologian, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

What was Cardinal McCarrick’s offense according to Spencer? Simply speaking at an Anti-ISIS press conference organized by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) where he supported Muslim Americans against hate and reiterated his belief that Islam and it’s social message cherishes peace and compassion.

For this offense, the right-wing rag “The Daily Caller” headlined their article with the absurd title, “Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam.” Hyperbole much?

During his speech Cardinal McCarrick used the phrase “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate.” He also said “Peace Be Upon Him,” after quoting Prophet Muhammad.

Spencer responded by scornfully asking,

“Has Cardinal McCarrick converted to Islam?”

“‘Peace be upon him’ is a phrase Muslims utter after they say the name of [their reputed] prophet… [so] probably he is unaware of the unintended Islamic confession of faith he has just made,”said Spencer.

This is the sort of idiocy that we are facing from the Islamophobia Movement’s experts! Merely reciting a well known Islamic phrase positively makes a Catholic Cardinal a Muslim! I know Cardinal McCarrick is unphased by such idiotic mendacity but the fact that Spencer would resort to these gutter antics to feed his unhinged Far-Right, White Supremacist base is doubly egregious when one considers that the 84 year old Cardinal was recently rushed to the hospital with a heart problem.

Spencer sees the “threat” of Muslims and Islam everywhere, from Barack Obama to Cardinal McCarrick, the tent of Muslims-According-to-Spencer keeps on growing.

Clearly Spencer is anti-Catholic. Maybe a stealth Protestant?

Freedom of speech under attack by Islamophobes in Tennessee

Freedom of speech under attack by Islamophobes in Tennessee

by Sheila Musaji, TheAmericanMuslim.com

I’ve noted before that Pamela Geller Does Not Understand Freedom of Speech when she found fault with American Muslims and others for denouncing her hate ads.  This she called an attempt to “impose blasphemy restrictions on free speech”.  She does not understand that   Freedom of speech does not include freedom from condemnation of that speech.  She showed this same lack of understanding of freedom of speech when Al Jazeera came to the U.S.  In that case Pamela Geller Defended Free Speech By Calling for Censorship.  When a number of students at UC Irvine disrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s talk, The Irvine 11: Freedom of Speech and Double Standards – 11 of those students were arrested and stood trial and the MSU on campus was censured for coordinating the protest.  Pamela Geller called the MSA suspension for disrupting the ambassador’s talk “a giant stop sign to the Islamic supremacism and jackbootery increasingly found on college campuses. America is waking up to the enemy in our midst.” 

Geller and her partner Robert Spencer actively promoted the recent protest in Tennessee.  In fact, Geller posted on Twitter  “Thousands gather at AFDI free speech demo in Tennessee”.  This means she is taking responsibility for this shameful display of bigotry.  Unless she believes that the organizers and participants in this protest should be censured or arrested just as those who disrupted Ambassader Oren’s talk were, then she is truly hypocritical when it comes to freedom of speech.  This protest was an egregious example of selective freedom of speech.

The background:  Last month, Coffee County, Tennessee commissioner Barry West posted a photo on Facebook of a man squinting down the barrel of a gun, with a caption reading, “How to wink at a Muslim.”  The Muslim community in Tennessee and across the nation was outraged, and many were frightened by the implications of the photo and caption, especially coming from an elected official. The photo below is a capture of the Facebook page by the Mail Online.  There is no way to see this as anything but threatening.

As Elizabeth Plank noted in an article on this incident:

… An endorsement of Islamophobia by an elected official can only make matters worse for a state that is the home of a frightening amount of anti-Muslim violence. “We know that these lead to discrimination and hate crimes in the Muslim community, and we are very wary of that,” said Sabina Mohyuddin. “I am a second-generation American. My children are third generation. We don’t see ourselves as anything but American,” she continued.

Daniel Tutt, an Episcopalian interfaith activist and a research fellow at the nonprofit Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, told USA Today that the best thing Barry West can do is publicly apologize and privately meet with Muslim families living in Coffee Country. “The initial reaction from Muslims will be, ‘This is unfortunate, but we’ve seen a lot of this.’ But it’s not acceptable. If the same thing were done to the Jewish or African-American communities, it would not be tolerated.” …

West ultimately issued a half-hearted apology after first denying that there was an issue and claiming it was only a joke. Look at this photograph and caption, and simply scroll through the article collection below containing many references to previous incidents in Tennessee, and consider whether or not a community that has seen so much hate directed towards it would see this as a joke.  In fact, simply change the wording and replace the word “Muslim” with a word descriptive of another community and see what your reaction would be.

how_to_wink_at_a_muslim

The American Muslim Advisory Council decided to host a meeting to allow local Muslims to share with their neighbors about who the Muslim community is, and to talk about American Muslims and public discourse, and they invited a representative of the DOJ and the FBI to attend and talk about what’s considered free speech and what’s illegal hate speech, and where the line is where speech can be prosecuted.    The situation in Tennessee was that there was a lot of tension between the Muslim community and their neighbors.  There had been a series of anti-Muslim incidents, and an elected official had posted something that the Muslim community believed to have crossed the line between protected speech and hate speech.  This is exactly the sort of situation that the DOJ’s community outreach program is designed to address.  Bill Killian, U.S., Attorney of the Eastern District of Tennessee was to speak about the Constitution, the first and fourteenth amendments, and to clarify what constitutes hate speech, and what are the existing legal consequences.

A meeting was arranged and publicized and the Islamophobia network freaked out.  They made a number of ludicrous claims and totally misrepresented the meeting.

An article by Janet Levy titled The Not-So-Veiled Threat to Non-Muslims in Tennessee contains most of the misrepresentations that were repeated endlessly by the Islamophobia echo chamber.

Levy opened by saying that “Claims that American Muslims are loyal citizens, partners in counterterrorism investigations, part of radicalization prevention efforts, and an integral part of American society for centuries fell flat, especially coming from the host organization that was formed only two years ago in response to anti-shariah legislation in the Volunteer State.  A well-informed crowd responded with calls of “taqiyyah” when members of AMAC, a group that bills itself as “a bridge between the Muslim community and law enforcement,” touted Muslim contributions to U.S. society and their dedication to upholding American values. (Taqiyyah doctrine obligates Muslims to deceive infidels as part the required effort or jihad to institute Islamic doctrine or shariah). In actuality, Muslim organizations have specifically instructed Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement and have demanded that all counterterrorism-training materials be expunged of critical references to Islam and Muslims, as well the training instructors fired or retrained who fail to follow along.”

So, according to Levy, we are to understand that well informed people know that if American Muslims claim to be loyal citizens and an integral part of American society – they are lying (practicing taqiyya) and required to lie by their evil religion.

From there she goes on to make false claims about Muslims being forbidden to befriend non-Muslims, being required to wage jihad to establish a global Islamic government under Sharia, having aspirations to replace the Constitution with shariah, etc.  She also claims that no other group in the United States has been the focus of such a degree of attention and outreach, no outreach to Jews or other communities, the DOJ and FBI have not scheduled meetings addressing the concerns of any other group but Muslims.

This is the usual ploy of the Islamophobes.  No matter what the particular issue at hand, rather than dealing with facts, they throw in every negative aspersion they can to demonize the religion of Islam, and Muslims in general.  It is exhausting to have to constantly respond not only to the particular issue at hand, but to all the bigoted claims added on to prove to their audience that Muslims are somehow unique and dangerous.  All of the claims that Levy makes in her despicable tirade have been previously addressed.  Here are responses to specific charges made by Levy in this article:

— Qur’an 5:51 Can Muslims Have Non-Muslims as Friends? – The Concept of Wilaya in the Qur’an; — How mainstream Muslims understand the term “jihad”;— Islamic Sharia and Jewish Halakha Arbitration Courts;— The Return of the Caliphate?;— The Taqiyya Libel Against Muslims;— American Muslims must defend the Constitution of the United States;— Muslims are a part of our American heritage;— Historic events and people that shaped the American Muslim community;— Does CAIR tell Muslims not to talk to the FBI?The False Claim that Muslims have no programs to counter radicalization;— A defense of free speech by American and Canadian Muslims;— Where is the U.S. Government Getting It’s Information on Islam and Muslims? (training scandals);— FCNA Resolution: On Being Faithful Muslims and Loyal Americans

As to all the other constantly repeated claims about Islam and Muslims, the meaning of terms, interpretation of scripture, etc. please see Resources for dealing with Islamophobia and Islamophobesfor responses to these and numerous other claims.

Actually, having representatives of the DOJ, FBI, or other government agencies speak to minority groups about issues of particular concern to various groups, and about civil rights and constitutional issues is not at all unusual.  Just last month, Attorney General Eric Holder of the DOJ spoke at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Centennial Summit.  In his speech he discussed the history of the fight against anti-Semitism, against discrimination, and for civil rights.  The fact that such work remains unfinished, and that challenges and threats still lie before us.  “And the path to ensuring equality, opportunity, and justice for all – regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or walk of life – still stretches beyond the horizon.”

In fact, a statement Mr. Holder made to the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applies equally to this meeting in Tennessee (just replace Jewish community with Muslim community):

That’s why gatherings like this one are so critical. By fostering constructive dialogue, by standing firm against discrimination, by monitoring hateful activities, by studying the roots of extremism, by defending the security of Jewish populations around the globe, and by educating policymakers, law enforcement leaders, and members of the public – ADL is proving every day that the changes we seek are possible. You’re showing that the results our citizens deserve are not beyond our reach. And you’re strengthening the ability of our nation’s Justice Department to advance these vital efforts.

More than three decades ago, ADL stepped to the forefront of this work – pioneering a model hate crime law that has since inspired similar statutes in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Across the country, you’ve helped guide the implementation and enforcement of these and corresponding federal laws – including right here in Washington.

During the 1990s – when I served as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia – I worked closely with David Friedman to create a Hate Crimes Working Group to build engagement between community leaders, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and the D.C. residents they were sworn to serve. Under my predecessor, Attorney General Janet Reno, this approach was widely replicated across the country. And, on an even larger scale, ADL’s efforts to support and educate law enforcement with innovative training programs – in partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum – have helped to reinforce the values of tolerance and respect for our nation’s diverse population.

To date, more than 80,000 law enforcement officials – including all new FBI agents – have taken part in this training. At every level of today’s Justice Department, my colleagues and I have been proud to work with ADL in broadening the impact of your efforts. We’ve partnered with you to develop cutting-edge resources like the FBI’s new Hate Crime Training Manual. And we’ve been fortunate to stand together in calling for the passage of important legislative tools, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that has enabled us to take these comprehensive efforts to new heights.

…  We can all be proud of the Justice Department’s comprehensive civil rights enforcement efforts – and our ongoing work to bring about long-overdue reforms. We can be encouraged by the results of our close collaboration with ADL – in building new safeguards for vulnerable populations and securing needed changes to help guard against bigotry. Together, we’re upholding the values that have defined this organization over the past century, and the principles that lie at the heart of our justice system.

…  We must also continue to move forward in preserving our democratic ideals and ensuring fair treatment for all – even, and especially, in moments of great difficulty.

…  In July of last year, the Department filed suit against a Tennessee county for discriminating against local Muslims by refusing to allow a new mosque to open. ADL wrote and filed a brief to aid in this case, on behalf of a broad interfaith coalition. The congregation encountered vandalism, threats of violence, and steep public opposition. But the Department obtained a court order requiring county authorities to stand aside and honor First Amendment rights – and the congregation was permitted to worship in their new facility.

This action, and many others like it, prove the Department’s determination to safeguard the core Constitutional protections that stand at the center of who we are as a nation – and that have always empowered the ADL to bridge divides and promote cooperation over conflict. As Americans, we must not allow any group to be stigmatized or alienated. We must not tolerate acts of hatred. And we must reaffirm every day – through our actions as well as our approach – that justice and public safety are not in tension. They rely upon one another.  …

This meeting in Tennessee was exactly the same sort of effort against Islamophobia as previous and continuing efforts against anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry.

Here are just a few examples of such community meetings and presentations by U.S. Attorneys and other DOJ officials to many different minority communities:

— In Ohio “the office hosts meetings open to the broader community to discuss a wide range of topics. In the past year alone, the U.S. Attorney has spoken to community groups about hate crimes, hosted meetings focused on ways to reduce bullying in schools and convened a meeting a local mosque to hear concerns to security restrictions at airports and border crossings, to name a few.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI convene quarterly meetings with community leaders, interested stakeholders and members of Northern Ohio’s minority communities. The office has partnered with The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio and holds the meeting in important locations in the community, from a Sikh gurdwara to a center of Cleveland’s Vietnamese community. By sharing our collective experiences and stories, we hope to continue to creat understanding and respect between all our various cultures.”  [url=http://www.justice.gov/usao/ohn/programs/outreach.html]***[url]
— In California “Scams targeting seniors and the elderly are on the rise in the Internet Age and consumer protection experts advise that education is the most important element of a successful fraud prevention program. With that goal in mind, on November 13, 2012, the Central District of California teamed up with Bet Tzedek Legal Services of Los Angeles to produce a short program to educate local seniors on scams and how to avoid being victimized by fraud. U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr., Sandy Samuels of Bet Tzedek and Debbie Deem of the L.A. Regional Office of the FBI led an interactive presentation for seniors.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office participated in a community meeting in conjunction with the “Stand UP and Speak Out Against Bullying” Campaign.  Hosted by the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Valley Division, the Reseda Neighborhood Council and the Reseda Magnet School, the meeting at Reseda H.S. brought together more than 200 students, parents, teachers and other interested parties. ***
— In Alabama, A meeting in Birmingham, Alabama between FBI officials and representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Birmingham-area les­bian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations.
—- In D.C. U.S. Attorneys, and Police addressed a neighborhood meeting of the Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission to discuss urban crime and violence ***.  The D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office staff attend approximately sixty community meetings and events a month. These meetings are held by civic associations, local government, and the Metropolitan Police Department. During these meetings, in an effort to improve transparency in the criminal justice system, community prosecutors educate the community about our Office including giving insight on our bond determinations, charging decisions, and sentencing allocutions. We also educate the community about the inter-workings of the criminal justice system. In an effort to formalize this educational component, we have piloted a new program called “Witness for the Prosecution” Over a period of several sessions, this program educates the community about the criminal justice and our Office’s role in the criminal justice system. In the coming year, we should look towards expanding this program to marginalized communities, such as the Muslim, Ethiopian, Hispanic and Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered communities. Moreover, during these community meetings we receive various nuisance abatement complaints. In an effort to address and document these complaints, we have drafted a Nuisance Abatement form which standardized how we receive complaints and disseminate these complaints to the appropriate agency.  ***  On October 3, 2012, the Civil Rights Division and the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the Department of Justice hosted a Roundtable on Religion-Based Hate Crimes at the Robert F. Kennedy Main Justice Building Conference Center. Representatives from 22 religious and interfaith organizations representing a broad array of religious communities participated in a discussion about data collection and reporting relating to religion-based attacks on individuals and places of worship, and the adequacy of current categories in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.  Diverse religious groups presented anecdotal and survey evidence about hate crimes against Sikhs and Hindus, as well as against Arab Americans, and recommended that these be added as categories in the Uniform Crime Reports to help better understand religious and ethnicity-based hate crimes. Changes to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports are considered by the Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board, a board made up of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials and subject matter experts. The Board then makes recommendations to the FBI Director. ***
— In Arizona, the Southern Arizona Hate Task Force met with elected officials, the acting U.S. Attorney and members of the FBI in forums designed to inform the public about how they can report allegations of police misconduct, about the elements of a hate crime, and what to do if they have been a victim of a hate crime. They’ve even launched a website designed to provide community members with factual information about hate crimes and links to important local resources.  ***  U.S. Attorney Burke’s civil rights focus has been instrumental in addressing community conflict by recognizing that some communities, particularly those of color, race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity, are at higher risk of discrimination and the possible threat of violence. The office has held community civil rights forums to ensure that people are aware of their civil rights and know whom to contact if they or someone they know is a victim of a hate crime. U.S. Attorney’s Office personnel have also reached out to local law enforcement and provided training on the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, forging partnerships that have facilitated better communication among state, local, and federal agencies.  Through the efforts of its Civil Rights Unit and Community Outreach component, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona has held community forums with Latino and African American communities to address issues of immigration and police misconduct. The office has also conducted community forums that target faith-based groups, including interfaith groups, boards of Rabbis, and outreach to Arizona’s Islamic centers. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona also regularly holds forums with sexuality and gender identity-based communities to build trusting relationships with law enforcement.  ***
— In Minnesota, in the aftermath of the burning of an Amish barn, CRS worked with Amish leaders and local police to develop an agenda for a town hall style meeting. The town hall meeting provided non-Amish community members with an understanding of the history and background on the Amish way of life in an effort to prevent future misunderstandings, biased-based incidents, and hate crimes. ***
— In Connecticut, Civil rights outreach by US Attorneys of the DOJ included:  Visits to two New Haven schools in celebration and recognition of Black History Month. Our presentations to students at Micro Society Magnet School and Hill Central Music Academy began with a discussion of prominent African Americans in recent history and important moments in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. We then engaged the students in a discussion about hate crimes by using the example of a civil rights prosecution handled by this office, asking the students “What would you do?” and “How would you feel?” if you were a victim of or witness to the offensive conduct. We finished with a vibrant discussion about bullying and its consequences. They joined with the FBI’s Atlanta Division to host the nation’s first community conference to discuss implementing and enforcing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We recognized that members of the community, and particularly those citizens who the new law is primarily designed to protect, may not be knowledgeable about the changes in the law. Moreover, we believed that state and local officers, who are the first responders to incidents that might qualify as hate crimes, needed training not only on the changes to the statute, but also on enhancing their community outreach efforts so that victims are empowered to report violations. Consequently, we convened members of community groups along with hundreds of officers and agents from local, state and federal law enforcement organizations for a day-long event at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Through speakers and panel discussions, participants shared important information about investigating, prosecuting and preventing hate crimes, while also encouraging communications and building trust between law enforcement and these community groups. ***

This meeting, unlike the hundreds of other meetings across the country with various minority groups, did not go smoothly, and was overwhelmed by the followers of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer who had posted appeals to meet in Tennessee for a protest against what they termed an attempt to take away their right to freedom of speech and “impose Sharia blasphemy laws” in the U.S.

Here is what then took place:

Nashville Scene posted the entire 1 hour and 39 minute VIDEO of the event.

Charles Johnson reported Pamela Geller at Tennessee Anti-Muslim Protest: “Without Freedom of Speech We Must Resort to Violence”.  He includes a video that Geller posted of her speech to the crowd outside the meeting and he notes that “Geller even hints around about using violence against Muslims, starting at about 4:50 into the video.  Geller says:  There are no Jews, they’re all leaving Norway. They’re fleeing France, they’re fleeing the UK. Christians can’t wear a cross in the UK. For us, Europe’s a cautionary tale. We are only five to ten years behind Europe.  And I will tell you that freedom of speech is a line in the sand because, without freedom of speech peaceful men must resort to violence. [shouting] AND WE DON’T WANT TO!  Right, you don’t want to. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)”

Other statements by Geller in the course of her tirade:  – The first amendment protects all speech, not just speech that we like – We’re speaking out against the most brutal and oppressive ideology on the planet – Truth is the new hate speech – The justice dept under the Obama admin has become a de facto legal arm of the Muslim Brotherhood – We need an army, the time is now to stand up …

NEWS21 reported Muslim group’s TN forum with feds disrupted by heckling  “During the keynote speech given by Bill Killian, U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Tennessee, audience members continually interrupted, making it difficult to understand what was said. Killian brought a PowerPoint presentation that covered the First and 14th amendments and what constitutes a hate crime, among other things. He read the First Amendment verbatim, between interruptions. …  Former “Saturday Night Live” star Victoria Jackson was among the protesters.  “The Constitution and Sharia cannot coexist,” she said. “Islam is evil.”

A Times Free Press article U.S. Attorney Bill Killian greeted by hostile crowd at Manchester, Tenn., free speech event included this strange statement:  “Some people at the impromptu rally were handing out anti-Islamic literature, other patriotic materials and some Christian materials as several speakers were using a megaphone to work up the crowd.  One man’s sign read: “In America, you are free to practice your religion, and I am free to insult it.”  I would hope that this was a typo, and that they did not actually mean to say that “anti-Islamic literature” is equivalent to “other patriotic materials”.

Pam Strickland wrote in the Knox News Irony goes over protesters’ heads.  She gives a detailed description of events during the meeting including:  “… During the outdoor rally, one woman with a bullhorn declared that “Islam does not deserve the protection of the First Amendment.” Others carried anti-Muslim signs.  None of the signs spoke of religions other than Islam, but the underlying theme was that Christianity was the preferred religion the First Amendment was written to protect. If that were the case, why would we need the First Amendment? Some would say to protect different Christian denominations. Only that’s not what the First Amendment says. It says religion, and it doesn’t have any exceptions written into it. It protects all religions — period.  … ”

An editorial in the Tullahoma News Actions at diversity meeting shameful  noted that:

There was no door to stand in front of that kept black students from entering, and there were no police officers arresting black citizens as they attempted to eat at a counter with the words “whites only” emblazoned on the wall above their heads.  But little else distinguished Tuesday night’s event at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center from those hate-filled, racist gatherings of days past.

Organized and sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory Council, headquartered in Murfreesboro, the event, called “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society,” was billed as an educational opportunity for the public to learn about American Muslims, as well as how the civil rights of all citizens are protected under the United States Constitution.

It was the result of a recent Facebook reposting by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West in which a man is pictured pointing a gun at a camera with words that read, “How to wink at a Muslim.” West has since apologized for the post and removed it, but not before the story about his posting went viral.

While, undoubtedly, some of the nearly 1,000 people who attended the event and preceding anti-Muslim and “free speech” rally were there to listen and learn, the overwhelming majority had another intention in mind – to intimidate, undermine and disrupt the event.

Their stated reason for being there? To protest what bloggers had called the government’s attempts to take away an individual’s First Amendment rights to post whatever he or she chooses on social media sites without repercussion.  The real reason, however, became apparent shortly after the presentation began.

Wrapped in American flags and waving Bibles, the protesters shouted, “speak English” at a Muslim man who has been in the United States for three decades. They cheered and clapped at photos of a burned mosque in Columbia, Tenn. They booed at photos of American Muslim soldiers killed while serving their country in the United States militaryThey accused all Muslims of being terrorists and yelled at them to “go home.”  Those who couldn’t get inside for the presentation due to overcrowded conditions called law enforcement officers “communists.” One man, who donned a confederate soldier’s cap, shouted, “Mohammed was a pedophile!”

There is no doubt that the majority of the people in Coffee County are embarrassed and ashamed by the actions of the people gathered at this assembly, and that many, if not the majority, of those in attendance, were from out of town. …

And finally, Hate Comes to Manchester, Tennessee by Drost Kokoye.  This is a first-hand account by one of the Muslim attendees/organizers of the “Public Discourse in a Diverse Society” forum, that was disrupted by anti-Islam hate groups in Manchester, TN. Although this incident was widely reported on in various media, many outlets left out the depth of hate that was on display Tuesday evening.

In recent years, there has been an alarming surge in anti-Islam hate group activity in Tennessee, especially in areas such as Rutherford and Coffee Counties.  This virulent hate was fully on display Tuesday night at the “Public Discourse in a Diverse Society” forum in Manchester.

Since 2010, our community has seen a concerted effort being made to demonize the religion of Islam and its adherents, with hate groups from all over the nation using our state as a staging ground for spewing negative propaganda.  This includes the effort to block the construction of the Murfreesboro Mosque, to the faux-outrage created when an elected official mistook a mop-sink in the state legislature for a “Muslim foot-bath.” Legislators who have fallen under the influence of these groups introduced an “anti-Sharia bill,” which would have made the practice of Islam punishable by up to 20 years in prison.  Additionally, we have seen a normalization of increasingly violent rhetoric – such as a Facebook posting by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West, depicting a gun being pointed at Muslims.

Commissioner West’s posting “How to Wink at a Muslim” garnered national attention, due to the overt call to violence against a specific minority group.  Local Muslim groups such as the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) and the American Center for Outreach (ACO) immediately asked West to issue an apology, due to the aggressive nature of the post in addition to Mr. West being a public official.  As this story went viral on social media, many key players in the Islamophobia industry latched themselves to the story, criticizing AMAC and ACO for demanding an apology.  Much to the chagrin of the anti-Islam groups, Mr. West issued an apology for his irresponsible post the next day.

Tuesday evening, the American Muslim Advisory Council hosted about “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” in Manchester, TN, as an open forum to discuss the dangerous effects of the rhetoric that was espoused by Mr. West in his post.  Those within well-funded Islamophobia Industry – such as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) saw this as an ideal opportunity to fan the flames of hate in our back yard.  And while their so-called protest was done so under the guise of “defending free speech,” the reality is that the public is unaware of the nefarious affiliations of such groups.

Geller and Spencer and their organizations are listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “hate group leaders.”  They hold close affiliations with the English Defense League – a Neo-Nazi affiliated group that has employed violent tactics against the Muslim community in the UK.  Both Geller and Spencer were cited extensively (174 times between the two) in mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik’s manifesto, which was written shortly before he murdered over 80 people in Norway.  To put it plainly, these individuals recognized widely as being extremists – therefore it is highly concerning that so many citizens of Tennessee have bought into their overt message of hate and bigotry.

Groups like the TN Eagle Forum and ACT for America (also listed as nativist and hate groups, respectively) called for thousands of their followers to come to this public forum to “stand up for their first amendment rights” that they claimed AMAC is trying to limit. These groups turned out people from all over Tennessee. Personally, I spoke with folks from Bristol, Sparta, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Tullahoma. They showed up in front of the Manchester Coffee County Conference Center hours before the forum. Geller and Spencer joined in around 5:30pm, ensuring the crowd was primed and riled up – including rhetoric that alluded to justifying violence.

After the outdoor protest, waves of people flooded the hall at 6:20pm.  All the seats were taken with in the first five minutes so people started to post up along the walls, near the doors, outside the doors, in the lobby, and all the way out to the entrance of the building.

The AMAC program had yet to begin, when Eagle Forum members (who also brought their own American flag) took it upon themselves to stand up and recite the “Pledge of Allegiance.”  Everyone else in the room, Eagle Forum member or not, joined them, for one of the most aggressive recitations of the Pledge that I’ve ever heard, followed by a long and loud applause.

At 6:30 pm, Zak Mohyuddin, an AMAC Board Member and long time resident of Coffee County, began the forum with an introduction to who and what AMAC is.

Before he could even get a sentence out, he was interrupted by a comment from the audience, “speak English!”

The panel continued as follows:

Zulfat Suara – AMAC Board Chair

Dorothy Zwayyed – AMAC East Tennessee Coordinator

Sabina Mohyuddin – AMAC Board Member and long time Coffee County resident

Bill Killian – U.S. Attorney DOJ Eastern District of Tennessee

Kenneth L. Moore – special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division

Throughout the program, the speakers were plagued with interruptions, jeers and epithets being lobbed at them. Whenever examples of cooperation between the American Muslim community and law enforcement were highlighted, the crowd would yell, “Infiltrators,” Terrorists,” and “go home! 

As a representative of the Muslim community who was participating in the forum, the words of hate that I heard spoken on this day are something that I will not forget for a long time.

As I stood up to gather index cards for the Q&A session, a man from the crowd said, “Watch out, she might blow up!”  – Which was met by rousing laughter, rather than disgust.

As one of the Muslim speakers from the event finished, another individual exclaimed “FINALLY!  Can we burn her at the stake now?” – which was also met by laughter and cheers.

When bullying and discrimination that kids face in schools was brought up, one woman yelled,“Leave our children out of this. They hate you.”

Finally, during a portion of the presentation – a picture of a mosque, which had been destroyed by arson, was shown.  Rather than responding with compassion, the hateful attendees responded with applause and cheers.

Although the goal of the forum was to foster dialog and positive engagement – it is clear that Geller, Spencer and the hate groups came to cause divisiveness and hate.  It is saddening that some Tennesseans have succumbed to this temptation, as it brings back dark memories from our nation’s past.  On a positive note, many in attendees from the community greeted us with goodwill and assured us that the haters do not represent them or the majority of people out there.  Though a small gesture, this helped end an otherwise tense night on a positive note.  As we move forward from this eye-opening evening – the hope is that Tennesseans will take the lead in denouncing and marginalizing these fringe groups, while fostering an environment of positivity and inclusion.

Crowdfunding Hate: Indiegogo Profits From Anti-Muslim Campaign by Nathan Lean

Crowdfunding Hate: Indiegogo Profits From Anti-Muslim Campaign

by Nathan Lean

Indiegogo may sound like the name of a 1970s funk band, but it’s actually one of the fastest growing crowd-funding sites on the Internet. Founded in 2002 by a former Wall Street analyst, the funding platform allows inspired individuals to grow projects or personal campaigns by pooling money from donors. If you desire, you can drop a few bucks to help a startup bakery. You could also help finance new stables at a therapeutic horse ranch or sponsor an orphanage in Haiti.

Everything is fair game, as long as you play by the rules. And the rules are clear: User terms stipulate that you can’t promote hate.

Strange, then, that among those partaking in Indiegogo’s services is the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), an organization classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. They are using the platform to raise money — and lots of it — to put out another batch of their now-infamous anti-Muslim metro and bus ads. Led by bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, AFDI has come under fire in recent months for waging a culture war in subway stops withad campaigns that single out Muslims and the religion of Islam and conflate them with the actions of a fraction of extremists. The latest placards, which to date have raised $22K of a $50K goal, urge the cessation of aid to “Islamic countries” and feature a fierce quotation sprawled across a Palestinian flag which reads, “It’s Saturday, so massacre the Jews; on Sunday massacre the Christians.” The obvious missing group — the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims — is thought to be doing the massacring. “Our dead in the cause of Islam have taught us plenty,” the description on the group’s Indiegogo campaign page reads. “Over 20,000 jihad attacks around the world since 9/11, each with the imprimatur of a Muslim cleric, have taught us all we need to know.”

It’s that type of language that caused the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reject the application of Geller and Spencer’s group, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA). It’s also that type of language that the Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik digested in the summer of 2011 before he went on a shooting rampage and killed 77 youths. Breivik cited Geller and Spencer dozens of times as informing his views on Muslims and Islam. Recently, several organizations have canceled the duos speeches, including the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), aMassachusetts Diocese and a New York synagogue.

Erica Labovitz, Director of Strategic Programs at Indiegogo commented in an email exchange that, “The views reflected by the campaign owners are not necessarily those of Indiegogo.” That may well be the case. But it does little to explain how a campaign that singles out the followers of an entire religious faith with incendiary associations and stereotypes does not violate the company’s “no hate” policy. Would an antagonistic ad campaign directed at Jews or Catholics receive a pass too? What does Indiegogo classify as hate?

Several activists have reached out to Indiegogo with little success. In an essay at Salon, Chris Stedman, an interfaith leader, assistant chaplain at Harvard, and author of the memoir “Faitheist,” urged the company to reconsider its support for provocative AFDI ads that pitted Muslims and gays against each other. Emails sent through the company’s website were unanswered as were tweets to company execs. Geller and Spencer’s followers, however, were more vulgar. Dozens of them bombarded Stedman with homophobic insults and slurs, while also leveling derogatory attacks at Muslims. The reaction underscored precisely the nasty consequences of AFDI’s program to cleave society into warring factions.

Also troubling is that not only does Indiegogo offer its fundraising services to AFDI’s minority-bashing crusaders, but it also gives them a discount. As a non-profit organization, AFDI is entitled to a 25 percent reduction in platform fees. Beyond that, Indiegogo is profiting from anti-Muslim hate. The company charges a 9 percent fee on funds raised. If the group reaches their goal, Indiegogo gives 5 percent back, leaving them with a profit of 4 percent. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s a cool couple of grand to pocket from prejudicing a minority population.

AFDI should be afforded their rights to free speech, but that doesn’t mean that organizations like Indiegogo are obligated to host these campaigns. Enabling divisive and hurtful rhetoric against Muslims or any community is something that they can and should refuse to do. Indiegogo has an opportunity to be a force for good in the world, empowering those who desire to bring about positive change with the means to realizing their goals. The vilest of hate groups should not be among them — even if there is a profit involved.

You can contact Indiegogo the following ways:

On Twitter: @Indiegogo

Slava Rubin, CEO | slava@indiegogo.com | Twitter: @gogoSlava

Danae Ringelmann, Founder | danae@indiegogo.com | Twitter: @gogoDanae

Erica Labovitz, Director of Strategic Programs | erica@indiegogo.com | Twitter: @gogoErica

Pamela Geller Wrong About “Sexual Jihad” Fatwa

Pamela Geller Wrong About “Sexual Jihad” Fatwa

by Sheila Musaji

Pamela Geller has published Islamic ruling encouraging “Sexual Jihad”: Prostitution for the holiest in which she introduces an article from Al Monitor Tunisians Raise Alarm on Possible Fatwa Encouraging ‘Sexual Jihad’

Of course, Geller opens with her her own comments (as did her partner in the hate group AFDI), Robert Spencer): “That’s one wild and crazy religion you got there. Islamic religious authority has sanctioned prostitution for terrorists as “sexual jihad.” Who said there is no feminism in Islam?  Daniel Greenfield quips that jihadists have found a way to legalize prostitution by calling it “Sexual Jihad,” giving Muslim women three life paths. 1. Staying indoors 2. Killing themselves 3. Becoming Islamic prostitutes.”

Key points from the Al Monitor article on which she bases her faulty observations:

– it is a possible fatwa (i.e. may not even exist) and was circulated anonymously on the internet
– when Tunisian people heard about it they were upset
– the Tunisian Minister of Religious Affairs Noureddine al-Khadimi rejected any such “sexual jihad” fatwas, saying that the Tunisian people and state institutions are not obligated to adhere to them.
– the reports that such a fatwa even existed came from the internet, primarily Syrian regime websites, the goal of which may be to tarnish the image of the Islamic fighters.
–  this fatwa was not issued by a Tunisian cleric or a religious institution — whether official or civil
– News websites and social networks in Tunisia circulated a fatwa attributed to Sheikh M. A., in which he calls upon “Muslim women” to perform jihad through sex. However, sources close to the sheikh denied that he had issued the fatwa, stressing that anyone who circulates or believes it is insane.

So, a simple reading of the article would tell anyone with basic reading skills that no “religious authority” had issued this fatwa, actual religious authorities condemned any such fatwa, there may not even have been a fatwa issued by anyone, there is no “Islamic ruling encouraging sexual jihad”.  None of this reflects on Islam as a “wild and crazy religion”.

All of this sounds remarkably like a series of recent “fatwa alarms” spread by these same Islamophobes as if they represent mainstream Islam and Muslims.  Here articles responding to these claims:

About that Supposed Egyptian Necrophilia Law & fatwa, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/about-that-egyptian-necrophilia-law
Crucifixions in Egypt & Al Azhar Fatwas Encouraging Violence?: More Islamophobic Nonsense, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/crucifixion-story
Cucumber “fatwa” seems to be only shoddy reporting, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/cucumber-fatwa
Exhibit A in How an Islamophobic Meme Can Spread Like Wildfire Across the Internet, (fabricated story of a Saudi cleric issuing a fatwa condoning gang rapes in Syria) Sanam Naraghi Anderlini http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/exhibit-a-in-how-an-islamophobic-meme-can-spread-like-wildfire-across-the-i
Holier than thou: extremism against Islam, Sheikh Musa Furberhttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/holier-than-thou-extremism-against-islam
How AlterNet and Salon fell for Saudi “gang rape” fatwa peddled by Islamophobes, Ali Abunimahhttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/how-alternet-and-salon-fell-for-gang-rape-fatwa-peddled-by-islamophobes
Islamophobes See “Jihad” Everywhere, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/jihad-everywhere
Resources for dealing with Islamophobes, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/there-is-a-reason/0019403
What everyone “knows” about Islam and Muslims, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what_everyone_knows
Yes, MEMRI, there is a Fatwa from Khamenei forbidding Nukes, Juan Colehttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/yes-memri-there-is-a-fatwa-from-khamenei-forbidding-nukes
What is a fatwa? Who can give one? (supposed Al Azhar fatwa authorizing violence against protestors), Sheikh Musa Furber http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/what-is-a-fatwa-who-can-give-one

What sort of human being spends their life looking for anything that can even remotely be used to defame an entire religion, and spreading those stories without any fact-checking?  And, when even their creative minds can’t find something to distort, simply make up lies.  This behavior is an example of pure Islamophobia.

*********

RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA SUMMARY

The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifestofor 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.”

Currently, the Islamophobia Industry is engaged in a full-scale, coordinated,  demonization campaign against American Muslims and Arabs. In just the past few months we have seen a series of inflammatory provocations:    There was the Innocence of Muslims film Titanic, a German satire magazine plans an “Islam” cover article to be published later this month.   Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine published an issue with inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.   Newsweek published their ‘Muslim Rage’ cover.  Terry Jones held a “trial of Prophet Muhammad”.  SION held a “global” gathering in NYC to plan propaganda strategy.  A group in Toronto publicized a “walk your dog at the mosque” day.   AFDI/SIOA has run a series of anti-Muslim ads on public transportation across the country.   AFDI/SIOA are planning to run 8 more anti-Muslim ads.  There are three more films on Prophet Muhammad in the works by Ali Sina, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Imran Farasat.   They are even bringing their hate messagesinto public schools.

Daniel Pipes is encouraging publication of “A Muhammad cartoon a day”, and says “So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: Display the Muhammad cartoon daily, until the Islamists become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”.  Pipes joins Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) who published an appeal on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’?.  And, both are following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Pamela Geller, who promoted just such a plan back in 2010 with her promotion of Draw Muhammad Day, even after the cartoonist who drew the first cartoon and suggested the idea, Molly Norris apologized to Muslims and asked for the day to be called off, and American Muslims had issued a defense of free speech.    None of this is surprising as one of the Islamophobes laid out their strategy as “The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the questionable (though unquestioned) character of the ‘Prophet’ himself. We need to satirise and ridicule baby-bonking Mo until the Muslims fly into uncontrollable tantrums, then ridicule them even more for their tantrums, and repeat the process until they froth at the mouth and steam comes out of their ears.”

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences.   The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

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.

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.

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 taqiyyajihadsharia, etc.).

The most commonly repeated false claims about Muslims and Islam are that:

Everyone “knows” that most or all terrorists are Muslims, and there are no Christian and no Jewish terrorists (or terrorists of any other religious stripe), and that Muslims are all militant, inherently violent, more likely to engage in violence against civilians, and more likely than other Americans to be radicalized.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not interested in dialogue.  That Muslims don’t helpChristians in need.  That Muslims can’t have Christians as friends, and are anti-Semites,Holocaust deniers, and intolerant of other faiths.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t unequivocally denounce terrorism, that American Muslim leaders have not responded to radicalization in their community,  that mosques are the sourceof radicalization, that 85% of mosques are run by radicals, that Muslims don’t cooperate with law enforcement.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not equivalent to real Americans, that they are the enemy within, and a fifth column,  that good Muslims can’t be good Americans, that Muslims are notloyal to America, that they are not a part of our American heritage,

Everyone “knows” that Islam itself is the problem and makes Muslims “backward”, that Muslims have made no contribution to the West, that Islam is “of the devil”, a Crescent menace, a“green peril”, that was spread by the sword,  an “evil encroaching on the United States”, andnot a religion.

Everyone “knows” that this is a Christian nation, which the Muslims are trying to take over, starting with getting an Eid stamp which is the first step towards shariah law which is a threatto America, and a threat to our judicial system, by purposefully having more children than others to increase their numbers, and they will be the majority in this country in 20 years.  Muslims are a threat to America

Everyone “knows” that Muslims have no respect for the Constitution, they don’t obey the laws of the United States,  that they are opposed to freedom of speech, don’t allow and freedom of religion.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are given a pass by the elite media.  It’s “us versus them”.

Everyone “knows” that the Muslims’ goal is world domination under a Caliphate, and the proposed Cordoba House in NYC is a demonstration of supremacism and triumphalism, and that Muslims planned to open it on the anniversary of 9/11.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t speak out against extremism or terrorism, and even those Muslims who do speak up or seem moderate are simply lying or practicing taqiyyah.

Everyone “knows” that the Qur’an is uniquely violent, that the Islamic concept of God doesn’t include God’s love, and does not include the concept of a Golden Rule,  that Allah is a moon god.

Everyone “knows” that Islam is a monolith and all Muslims are the same, like the “Borg”.  This means that every act committed by an individual who is a Muslim is directly attributable to Islam, and never because the individual is crazy, criminal, or perverted.

Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t have a sense of humor

Everyone “knows” that Muslims are like the Fascists and Nazis and that in fact they supported those movements.

The problem is that what “everyone knows” is wrong.  These self-righteous and incorrect statements are usually followed by a demand that the Muslim community do something about whatever is the false flag of the day or face the inevitable consequences.

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.

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, – 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 theunindicted co-conspirator label, or accused of not condemning Hamas, telling American Muslims not to talk to the FBI, of being “Jew haters”, etc.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

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 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.  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 and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU reportReligious 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.

See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes for many more reasons that these people cannot be trusted.

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 )

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

Ahavath_Torah_Congregation

by Emperor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#MyJihad: San Francisco Tells Hate Group Leaders Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer To Hit The Road

MyJihad4

We covered the #MyJihad ad campaign back in December, a campaign that seeks to reclaim the term Jihad from Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists alike. The response from Islamophobes has been nothing short of shrill, quixotically they want nothing more than to highlight and advance the “Jihad of Bin Laden as the correct Jihad.”:

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.

Recently, Geller and Spencer have put up response ads to the #MyJihad campaign, however not only have they been shown to be the kooks that they are but the money they spent on the ads are being used to fund Human Rights research on discrimination against Muslims!

Controversial ad campaign appears on San Francisco buses

by Claudine Zap

Bus ads many believe are anti-Muslim have roared into San Francisco. The campaign, sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), includes one running on 10 of the city’s Muni buses with an image of Osama bin Laden, the burning twin towers and the tagline, “That’s his jihad. What’s yours?”

The ads supposedly quote from extremists. One attributes a statement from the militant group Hamas, which reads: “Killing Jews is worship that brings us closer to Allah.”

AFDI had beat back an attempt by New York City’s transit authority to block a similar campaign in that city’s subway system. Comparable ads have run in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

San Francisco officials have condemned the campaign, but they have allowed them to run. The $5,000 the group paid to Muni will go to the Human Rights Commission to study discrimination against the Islamic community, according to the city.

“These offensive ads serve no purpose than to denigrate our city’s Arab and Muslim communities,” District Attorney George Gascon told local ABC News on Monday. The city has also created a campaign of its own to counter the ads.