Stop Trying to Split Gays and Muslims

Geller is attempting to pinkwash Islamophobia, but many in the LGBT and Muslim communities will not allow it to happen.

Chris D. Stedman, a humanist, who is also homosexual has been an outspoken fighter against anti-Muslim bigotry and takes on Geller and her cohorts’ claim that they have support from the gay community head on.

Homosexuality is a controversial topic in many Muslim American communities in which there is heated debate about the topic, but there appears to be a consensus that despite disagreements on homosexuality, respect and support for equal rights before the law, especially in the case of the marginalized has to be part and parcel of securing ones own rights.

Stop trying to split gays and Muslims

Anti-Islam crusader Pam Geller’s effort to foment hate between the two groups is based on lies and doomed to fail

BY 

I have an earnest and sincere question for the LGBT community: Do you support Pamela Geller?

Geller, who is one of the most active proponents of anti-Muslim attitudes in the United States, rose to notoriety as one of the key instigators of the Park51 backlash, misrepresenting a proposed Islamic Community Center (think a YMCA or Jewish Community Center) by calling it the “Ground Zero mosque” and engaging in dishonest rhetoric and blatant fear-mongering. Her organization, Stop the Islamization of America, was identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, alongside extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis. And it’s earned that label — Geller and her allies have dedicated countless hours and millions upon millions of dollars to drum up hatred, fear and xenophobia toward Muslims.

Last week I learned that Geller and one of her biggest allies, Robert Spencer, are hosting a fundraiser for their anti-Muslim advertisements on the website Indiegogo. This disturbed me for a number of reasons, but particularly because Indiegogo’s terms explicitly prohibit “anything promoting hate.” (Despite reports from me and many others, Indiegogo has so far declined to remove the fundraiser; if so inclined, you can let them know what you think about that here.)

While I was looking into this, I discovered that Geller recently announced plans to run a series of anti-Muslim advertisements in San Francisco quoting Muslim individuals making anti-LGBT statements. Why? Because members of San Francisco’s LGBT community criticized other anti-Muslim ads she has run there.

I tweeted my appreciation that the LGBT community in San Francisco is standing up against her efforts to drive a wedge between LGBT folks and Muslims. Soon after, Geller retweeted me, claiming that she in fact has “huge support in Gay community.” Immediately, her supporters began to lob insults and even threats at me; Spencer himself suggested that I should be rewarded for supporting Muslims by someone “saw[ing] off [my] head.” (Meanwhile, though Geller, Spencer and their supporters kept tweeting at me that Muslims “hate gays” and want to kill me, many Muslim friends and strangers alike tweeted love and support for LGBT equality at me.)

As things settled down, I realized that Geller had stopped responding to me when I requested more information to back up her assertion that she has “huge support in Gay community,” after the only evidence she provided was a link to a Facebook group with 72 members. I’ve since asked her repeatedly for more information, but have not gotten a response.

I couldn’t think of a single LGBT person in my life that would support her work, but I didn’t want to go off of my own judgment alone. So I started asking around. It wasn’t hard to find prominent members of the LGBT community who do not share Geller’s views.

“The idea that the LGBT community should support Islamophobia is offensive and absurd,” said Joseph Ward III, director of Believe Out Loud, an organization that empowers Christians to work for LGBT equality. “[American Muslims] are our allies as we share a common struggle to overcome stereotypes and misconceptions in America.”

“Trying to drive a wedge between the LGBT community and other communities is old, tired and [it] doesn’t work,” said Ross Murray, director of News and Faith Initiatives for GLAAD. “Pitting two communities [like the Muslim and LGBT communities] against one another is an attempt to keep both oppressed. Wedge strategies are offensive and, in the long run, they do not work. Geller is not an LGBT ally — she’s posing as one because it is convenient to her [anti-Muslim] agenda.”

“As with any attempts at a wedge, these efforts seek to erase the real and powerful reality of LGBT Muslims and seek to create a false dichotomy: All the LGBT people are non-Muslim/Islamophobic and all the Muslims are straight and homophobic,” said Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, program director of the Institute for Welcoming Resources at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “Particularly given the oppression, marginalization, hatred and violence visited upon the LGBTQ community, it is critically important that we use our spiritual, communal and political power to speak out against the victimization and vilification of any other community. As a Christian lesbian, I must stand against any attempts to victimize another because of their personhood.”

“There’s no doubt that there’s a great deal of religion-based bigotry against LGBT people, although it’s hardly limited to Islam. The Hebrew Scriptures also prescribe the death penalty for some homosexual conduct, but you don’t typically see people using this to inflame anti-Semitic or anti-Christian sentiment,” said John Corvino, author of “What’s Wrong With Homosexuality?” and coauthor of “Debating Same-Sex Marriage.” “To single out Muslims in this way is both unhelpful and unfair.”

Despite her claim, the work of Geller and her colleagues has plenty of opposition in the LGBT community. Why?

For starters, it’s wrong.

As Junaid Jahangir writes in a recent piece at the Huffington Post, “[Geller’s] selective references provide a misguided view of the current Muslim position on queer rights issues.” He rightly notes that her advertisements lift up the views of a controversial Muslim cleric, but ignore the “over 2,500 Muslim intellectuals from 23 countries [that] not only called for an international treaty to counter such clerics, but also called for a tribunal set by the United Nations Security Council to put them on trial for inciting violence.” In his piece, which is a must-read, Jahangir goes on to quote many influential, pro-equality Muslim leaders. Pointing to the activism they are doing to support LGBT rights, he demonstrates that Geller is unfairly — and dangerously — presenting a skewed picture of Muslim views on LGBT people.

“There’s no question that homophobia is rampant among the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims — but that doesn’t negate the fact that there are huge groups of Muslims who have easily reconciled their faith and sexual orientation, like LGBT people in other faith communities,” said Reza Aslan, author of “No God but God” and “Beyond Fundamentalism,” in a recent phone interview. “For a woman who leads an organization that has been labeled a hate group to try to reach out to a community like the LGBT community, by trying to make a connection based on bigotry, is harmful and ridiculous. Bigotry is not a bridge.”

Of course, members of the LGBT community are right to be concerned about the dangers of religious extremism and totalitarianism — whether it is Christian, Muslim or any other expression. But demonizing another community won’t help reduce the influence of religious fundamentalism.

You can be honest about your disagreements without being hateful. I’m a queer atheist, and I believe that there are ideas and practices promoted by Muslims in the name of Islam that are not only false — they’re extremely harmful. But to rally against Muslims and Islam as if they and it are some monolithic bloc is counterproductive; it creates enemies where we need allies. There are many Muslims who oppose cruelty and violence done in the name of Islam and favor equality for all people, and they are positioned to create change. We should be working with them, not standing against all of Islam. Based on my own experiences, I know that this is a much more constructive approach. In my book “Faitheist,” I tell several stories about Muslim friends who are not only accepting of my sexual orientation, but are also fierce allies for LGBT equality.

That’s the problem with Geller’s advertisements, and with sweeping, generalizing statements about entire groups of people: They don’t account for the diversity of ideas and traditions that exist within any given community. Geller focuses on a ridiculously tiny minority of Muslim extremists in order to paint her picture of Islam, and in doing so she neglects to account for the rich and varied traditions of generosity, selflessness, social progress and forgiveness present within Islam. Not only that, but her efforts alienate key allies — Muslim and non-Muslim alike — who share her concerns about Muslim extremists, but who also recognize that her narrow approach is unfair and dishonest.

Instead of adopting Geller’s approach, LGBT people should focus on building relationships. After all, support for marriage equality more than doubles among people who know a gay person. The Pew Research Center reports that of the 14 percent of Americans who changed their mind and decided to support gay marriage in the last decade, 37 percent (the largest category) cited having “friends/family/acquaintances who are gay/lesbian” as the primary reason. The second largest group in this astounding shift, at 25 percent, said they became more tolerant, learned more and became more aware.

In 2011, I wrote an essay encouraging more cooperation and solidarity between the LGBT community and the Muslim community:

[In 2009], a Gallup poll demonstrated something the LGBTQ community has known for some time: People are significantly more inclined to oppose gay marriage if they do not know anyone who is gay. Similarly, Time Magazine cover story featured revealing numbers that speak volumes about the correlation between positive relationships and civic support. Per their survey, 46 percent of Americans think Islam is more violent than other faiths and 61 percent oppose Park51, but only 37 percent even know a Muslim American. Another survey, by Pew, reported that 55 percent of Americans know “not very much” or “nothing at all” about Islam. The disconnect is clear: When only 37 percent of Americans know a Muslim American, and 55 percent claim to know very little or nothing about Islam, the negative stereotypes about the Muslim community go unchallenged.

The Muslim and LGBTQ communities face common challenges that stem from the same problem—that diverse communities don’t have robust and durable civic ties. This is why the Muslim and LGBTQ communities ought to be strong allies.

I continue to believe this, and Geller’s work isn’t helping. Geller, Spencer, and their supporters are wrong to try to pit the queer community against Muslims. Their efforts to force a wedge between us and the Muslim community are little more than fear-mongering — a tactic that has long been used to keep the LGBT community marginalized and oppressed.

Read the rest…

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

FBI-director-J-Edgar-Hoov-001

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

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

Trevor Aaronson (AlterNet)

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

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

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

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

The government was setting the trap.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest…

Racist Geert Wilders Promises to “Step Up International Anti-Islam Campaign”

geert-wilders (1)

After his party, the PVV completely failed to deliver anything to the Dutch people, Wilders is resorting to the tried and true method of attacking minorities in Holland and promising more war against Islam. He also made the hilarious comment that it is “Moroccan racism that they do not rob one another.”

Keep chugging away Geert! You will really take care of Islam this time, really!

Wilders to step up international anti-Islam campaign

(Dutch.News.nl)

PVV leader Geert Wilders is to step up his campaign against Islam in 2013, the parliamentarian told Nos television in an interview.

The fight against Islam is a mission for life, Wilders told the broadcaster.

Wilders said he would step up his fight against ‘the biggest sickness’ the Netherlands has had at home and internationally, ‘from Australia to America, from Switzerland to wherever.’

Wilders also again renewed his statement that the Netherlands has a ‘Moroccan problem’. It is Moroccan racism that they rarely rob each other, Wilders said.

Michigan City: Judge Bans Pamela Geller’s anti-Muslim Ads

Sounds like a lot of legal minutia that could have gone either way. At the end of the day I don’t think it would be a big issue if Pamela Geller‘s ads about “Leaving Islam” were to go up. I find her racist Ayn Rand “Savages” ad more problematic and likely to be rejected.

Of course Geller is going bonkers over the issue, framing it as “Shariah law” submission and the whole lot, when it has to do with technical legalese rather than any impending “dhimmi” capitulation to “Islamization.” But what do you expect?:

Michigan City Bans Anti-Islam Bus Ads

(Opposing Views)

CINCINNATI (CN) – The public transit authority in southeastern Michigan has the right to ban advertisements that it deems political for targeting Islam, the 6th Circuit ruled.

Though a federal judge in Detroit had previously granted the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) an injunction, a three-judge appellate panel upheld the viewpoint-neutral ban on political advertising enforced by the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART).

AFDI, a nonprofit that “acts against … government officials, the mainstream media and others,” had said that SMART violated its First Amendment rights in refusing to run its ad promoting the website RefugeFromIslam.com.

The ad read as follows: “Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get Answers! RefugefromIslam.com.”

In granting the injunction last year, U.S. District Judge Denise Hood noted that SMART had allowed an atheist advertisement by the Detroit Coalition for Reason.

The appellate panel rejected this comparison, however, because “the atheist advertisement could be viewed as a general outreach to people who share the Detroit Coalition’s beliefs, without setting out any position that could result in political action. The fatwa advertisement, however, addresses a specific issue that has been politicized.”

Advertising space on SMART buses is a nonpublic forum, according to the ruling. “SMART … has completely banned political advertising, showing its intent to act as a commercial proprietor and to maintain its advertising space for purposes that indicate that the space is a nonpublic forum,” Judge John Rogers wrote for the court. “Allowing the discussion of politics would likely decrease SMART’s revenue,” he added. “For example, if a fast-food restaurant sold advertising space on the side of its store to a neo-Nazi political group for a campaign advertisement, the restaurant would be likely to lose business. Similarly, SMART’s ridership likely would diminish were SMART to allow political advertisements.”

AFDI argued that the ban on political advertising was unconstitutional, but Rogers countered by citing the 1974 case Lehman v. City of Shaker Heights, writing that “an outright ban on political advertisements is permissible if it is a ‘managerial decision’ focused on increasing revenue to limit advertising ‘space to innocuous and less controversial commercial and service oriented advertising.’”

After confirming that SMART’s policy against political advertising is permissible, the panel concluded that “it was reasonable for SMART to conclude that the content of AFDI’s advertisement – the purported threat of violence against nonconforming Muslims in America – is, in America today, decidedly political.”

The panel cited AFDI’s own complaint for evidence of its political agenda, writing that “the complaint explains that AFDI ‘promotes its political objectives by, inter alia, sponsoring anti-jihad bus and billboard campaigns, which includes seeking advertising space on SMART vehicles.’”

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.

Class Materials from Military’s anti-Islam Class Repeatedly Cite Islamophobic Authors

When it was first revealed that anti-Islam classes were being taught by the US military we were pretty certain that the anti-Muslim authors that we are so familiar with were likely heavily cited, now it has been confirmed:

Class materials from military’s anti-Islam class repeatedly cite Islamophobic authors

A class taught by the military to officers at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, came under fire when a report on Wired’s Danger Room blog last week exposed it for teaching soldiers to engage in a “total war” on Islam and taking a war on Islam “to the civilian population wherever necessary.”

The full set of course materials, hundreds of documents and slide shows obtained by ThinkProgress, reveal just how deep Islamophobia ran through the military instruction. The material contained dozens of citations to the work of some of America’s best known anti-Muslim bigots.

Not all of the material in the course, however, was anti-Muslim. Materials from reputable sources such as the Brookings Institution and RAND corporation also appeared among the readings, and only some of the presenters to the class used blatantly Islamophobic material. (The public affairs officer of the Joint Forces Staff College didn’t respond to repeated inquiries by press time.)

But the “Islamophobia network,” discussed in the Center for American Progress’s report, “Fear, Inc.“ played a prominent role in many of the 266 documents acquired by ThinkProgress.

ThinkProgress, 15 May 2012

The Islamophobes named are Robert Spencer, David Yerushalmi and Daniel Pipes, along with Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy. Right-wing anti-Muslim publications like the Washington Times and the National Review are also cited numerous times in the documents.

Anders Behring Breivik’s destructive actions will not define a nation’s response and the lesson’s learned: (h/t: Roger via. Islamophobia Today)

In Norway’s Tragedy and a Nation’s Response Lies a Lesson For Us All

International media has been gripped by the trial of Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik. A self-declared ‘Knights Templar Crusader’ who believed he was acting in ‘defense’ of Norway by killing a future generation of aspiring Leftist leaders he accused of abetting the ‘Islamization’ of Europe.

During the initial reporting of the rampage the speculation of who or what could be behind the attack was rife, most media outlets zeroed in on Muslims with many (mis)attributing the attacks to ‘Islam.’

“AlQaeda”… “the Muslims, who else,” many thought and were told. The rush to judgement was swift.

When the culprit was captured, Breivik’s Scandanavian features and anti-Islam manifesto belied the narratives swirling in the media, shell shocking a media-world expecting the arrest of a “disgruntled, unintegrated, bearded ‘brown’ emigre” from a Muslim majority nation.

Breivik’s ideology was formed in the far recesses of the internet, within the chambers of the blogosphere, where anti-Islam rhetoric coupled with conspiracies about the pending decline of the West created a toxic lethal cocktail of xenophobia and violent bigotry.

Ironically, Breivik claimed to be acting in the name of “Christianity,” claiming to be a scion and reviver of the medieval “Knights Templar” order of Crusaders, defending Europe from Islam while preserving its “Christian” culture and identity.

In the swift “rush to judgement” and the resultant revelation that the actual perpetrator of the atrocities in Oslo and Utoya was a man claiming to act in the interests of “Christianity” lies a lesson for us all.

It is well known that Christianity is a religion that promotes peace. The overwhelming majority of Christians in the world are averse to violence against innocents and view murder in the name of “Christ” as both illegitimate and unchristian. Just as we must recognize that the great religion of Christianity cannot be besmirched by the actions of a lone man, we must also ask the opinion-makers to be consistent and declare that Islam should not be essentialized as a “religion of violence” because of the actions of a lunatic fringe.

There is also another lesson that we can take away from the violence in Norway, and it relates to the response of the Norwegian people to the attacks.

Anger, a natural fiery fuel with the potential to engulf was present early on, but its tide ebbed because of the response of a nation. They were resolved, resolute that their disposition was not going to suffer a paradigm shift because of the actions of one man.

Quickly, the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg who suffered his own personal loss in the attacks said, “we will respond to hate with our values.” A nation mourned, Christians and Muslims held joint services, healing songs were sung, and flowers left by citizens covered the destroyed, mangled concrete at the scene of the attacks.

A need to cover up the ugly…a need to respond to it with beauty. This characterized the essence of the collective Norwegian spirit, not a turn to fear and hate, but a response that said, ‘we will uphold our values.’ A reminder, it seemed to me, of the oft-repeated Quranic maxim, “return evil with good.”

Beauty will face ugliness and transform it, as the famous tradition relates, “God is beautiful and loves beauty.” In the response of the Norwegians to the nightmare of Oslo and Utoya lies a lesson for all of us, do not succumb to fear and hate, instead respond to it with justice, goodness and love of the most beautiful kind.

Anti-Islamism common amongst the over 60s

Anti-Islam_Blogs

Another reason people may be turned off and or leave the anti-Islam bandwagon may be because they appeal to an older, lonely, above 60′s year old crowd.

Youth really don’t seem to care about the ‘counter jihad’ so much, as Reza Aslan pointed out most youth are more interested in Snookie’s “underwear” than they are topics related to bigotry or geo-politics (via. Islamophobia-Today):

Anti-Islamism common amongst the over 60s

Men at home over 65, with little education and no children reportedly represent the average reader of anti-Islam websites.

Klassekampen writes it used Alexa to examine eight sites that allegedly inspired Anders Behring Breivik and his manifesto. It claims its investigations revealed readership groups to websites Gates of Vienna, Jihad Watch, The Brussels Journal, Islam Watch, Atlas Shrugged, Tundra Tabloid, Vladtepesblog and The Green Arrow showed a clear pattern.

When presented with the results, Andreas Malm, journalist and author of the book ‘The Hate against Muslims’, told the paper, “The typical profile of conspiracy theorists are elderly, lonely men, who become obsessed with a particular question, and who may be attracted to anti-Islamic conspiracy theories.”

“There is a preponderance of older men, often unemployed, who may feel ostracized from society, and seeking for an explanation and a scapegoat,” he declared.

Tor Bach, editor of the magazine ‘Vepsen’, is not surprised. He adds that the anti-Islam organizations’ groups of older members share a common “mistrust of society and the democratic system, sincerely believing someone wishes them harm.”

“These people [also] fully believe in the existence of a conspiracy, where the Arab world will take over the European one,” concluded Mr Bach.

Original post: Anti-Islamism common amongst the over 60s

As Geert Wilders Star Fades in Europe, He Hopes to Make it in America

I have the strange sense that Geert Wilders ‘star’ is fading. The momentum from Fitna, the anti-immigrant rhetoric, the calls for deporting Muslims has been blunted by the departure of his former friend Brinkman, the embarrassment over the anti-Polish site his party created and other such incidents. This does not mean that he is less of a force for bigotry but for the moment it seems we may have reached a downward curve in his rise.

In America Wilders will have more luck, and will make tons of money scamming not just poor Christian right-wingers but also the small, rich anti-Muslim cadre who hang on his every word.

If fake ex-terrorist Walid Shoebat can still rake in cold hard cash from Bible thumpers even when it is well known that he is a liar, how much better will the peroxide-dyed anti-Muslim politician do?

Update (via. Al-Bakrastani): The government his (Wilders) Fascist party supported has crashed and most likely new elections will decimate his party.

(via. Hugo Treeds) Today he blew up Dutch governement and yesterday his party blew itself up in his home-district of Limburg. Almost weekly party representatives now leave the party and decimate his powerbase in cities and provinces. So your analysis very probably is correct and he will try to flee the mess he made over here in The Netherlands. So America, beware!

Wilders’ new book aimed at US market may appeal only to his ‘small, rich and fanatical group of followers’

A new book by Geert Wilders aimed at the American market is not due to be officially launched until May 1, but details gleaned from advance and review copies are already doing the rounds.

The book is entitled Marked for Death, Islam’s war against the West and me and according to Wilders’ own website ‘tells the story of Geert Wilders’ fight for the right to speak what he believes: namely that Islam is not just a religion but primarily a dangerous ideology which is a threat to Western freedoms.’

The book will be officially presented at an as-yet secret location in the US, and is regarded by some as Wilders’ calling card to America. The Dutch MP has made no secret of his international ambitions and is keen to launch and International Freedom Alliance, he said last year.

Magazine HP/De Tijd looks at one incident in the book in which Wilders writes how he was robbed by “three Arab youths” in the Utrecht district of Kanaleneiland – an area of poor housing and high unemployment.

In fact, the robbery took place in a more upmarket part of town several kilometres away the magazine says, citing references to the incident in a biography of Wilders published several years ago.

Tom Kleijn, Washington correspondent for television show Nieuwsuur says the book is a dry, almost academic recount of “how Wilders has become what he is”. The book even contains an index and sources, he points out. “Wilders has a small, rich and fanatical group of followers in America,” Kleijn said. “But it remains to be seen if this book will boost Wilders’ popularity.”

Current Dutch president Mark Rutte is not mentioned once, but Wilders states five times that he and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch Somali Muslim critic who now works for a US think-tank, are of the same opinion, Kleijn points out.

Nos correspondent Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal describes how Wilders emphasises his admiration for former US president Ronald Reagan and states current president Barack Obama is a dhimmi – a submissive non-Muslim in a Muslim state.

Kevin Forts: One of Anders Breivik’s US Admirers

Imagine if a Muslim were corresponding with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, expressing support for his terroristic actions, wouldn’t he be locked up for material support of terrorism?

Kevin Forts is not the only US Breivik admirer out there:

Breivik’s US admirer

The young man has black hair and a piercing gaze, and poses with his arms behind his back. He wants to appear decisive and courageous for the photographer. His parents and friends have tried to dissuade him from taking this step, says Kevin Forts from Worcester in the US state of Massachusetts. “But I want to, so that I can represent the views of Anders Breivik that have otherwise been demonized by the mass media,” the 23-year-old told reporters from the Norwegian tabloid VG, the country’s most-read newspaper.

In a major story the newspaper reveals that Forts shares the views of mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik. “I represent a nationalist alternative, just like Breivik,” he says. Forts writes letters to the assassin and exchanges ideas with him. As proof he shows off one letter the mass murderer wrote him from his prison cell.

Breivik praises the somewhat haggard looking American. VG quotes from the letter Breivik reportedly sent to Forts, in which he writes: “I have received letters from supporters in 20 countries, but you appear to be someone who can write well. Yes, I am absolutely interested in discussing ideological issues with you and am thinking about how we can work together.”

It could be a craving for attention that is now pushing the young American into the public eye. Since the attacks of July 22, 2011, the right-wing, anti-Islam scene has largely retreated from the digital public sphere. Its protagonists, who until then had used the Internet for regular exchanges, have rushed to distance themselves from Breivik’s acts. Chief among them is Fjordman, a Norwegian blogger, who until the killings had regularly exchanged ideas with Breivik and is considered to be a kind of ideological mentor to him. “It should be painfully obvious by now that Breivik does not care for anything greater than himself,” the anti-Islam author wrote in his blog of the ongoing trial this week.

Most are distancing themselves from Breivik, but not Kevin Forts. In a video of the interview posted on the VG website on Wednesday in which he explained why he is defending the murders, Forts said: “I believe it demonstrates a sense of nationalism and a moral conscience. He’s fighting against cultural Marxism and the Islamization of Norway and he found that the most rational way to accomplish that was through terrorist actions on Utøya and in Oslo.”

When asked how one could defend the murder of innocent children, Forts added: “Because I believe that he used it as an unprecedented attack. I don’t believe that it should occur again, but I do believe that it was atrocious but necessary in that it has raised awareness for it and Breivik did that with the executions.”

Forts says he believes Breivik is a “nationalist and a patriot and not the terrorist neo-Nazi that the media portrays him to be.” He continues by saying, “Now, all you see is the shock and the gore on Utøya and in Oslo, but you do not see the actual political ramifications that will come true in the future. I believe that, at that point, it will be impossible to hate Breivik, and you will see that he was actually acting in a matter of preemptive war.”

Spiegel Online, 18 April 2012