Anti-Islam Filmmaker Becomes a Martyr to the Right

(h/t: CriticalDragon)

Anti-Islam Filmmaker Becomes a Martyr to the Right

by Adam Serwer (Mother Jones)

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the Egyptian-born Coptic Christian who appears to be behind the amateurish anti-Islam film that sparked violent protests at Western embassies in Arab and Muslim countries around the world last week, doesn’t exactly have a family-friendly background. His criminal record includes financial fraud and drug convictions. But spurred on by conservative web king Matt Drudge, conservatives have turned Nakoula into a martyr for free speech.

As Roy Edroso documents in the Village Voice, conservatives are now claiming that Nakoula’s recent arrest for potentially violating the terms of his probation is proof the Obama administration is caving to violent protests around the world. Popular conservative blogger Glenn Reynolds demanded Obama resign for “sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration[.]” The “brownshirts” are the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, whom Reynolds is comparing to militia of the Nazi Party in Germany. Powerline blogger Scott Johnson declared ”I am Nakoula Basseley Nakoula,” (a reference to the anti-Red Scare film Spartacus). Pajamas Media blogger Roger Simon wrote ”Hillary Clinton, I insist that you have me arrested. I am thinking of making a movie about Mohammed.”

Speakers at the annual Values Voters gathering of mostly Christian religious conservatives on Saturday were drawing similar conclusions. “The big headline this morning is ‘federal authorities investigate Christian filmmaker because of this film,” Fox News commentator Todd Starnes told attendees during a panel on religious freedom. “Where are the federal investigations into shows like South Park which has denigrated all faiths?” During another Values Voters panel, titled “Islam 101,” the Christian Broadcast Networks’ Eric Stalkelbeck warned that “things continue the way they’re going with the infringement on free speech, this panel we’re having today, you might not have it in a few years. We might get lead out in cuffs.”

The common claim here is that criticism of Islam is somehow becoming illegal. But very few of Nakoula’s conservative fans note that he is being investigated not because he made a film critical of Islam but rather because his production of the movie under the pseudonym “Sam Bacile” may have violated the terms of his probation. After being convicted of bank fraud in 2010, Nakoula was “banned from using computers or the Internet or using false identities as part of his sentence.” Starnes and Stalkelbeck conventiently omitted this fact from their jeremiads about persecution of Christians. Reynolds mentions it in passing and dismisses it as pretext. Johnson and Simon don’t mention it at all.

The irony here is that Americans can and do say just about anything they want about Muslims. Broad, simplistic criticisms of Muslims, while usually more sophisticated than Nakoula’s film, are actually pretty frequent in American society (seeNewsweek‘s latest cover). Some Muslims, by contrast, do face restrictions on their free speech: Those who express extremist ideaswithout engaging in violence may find themselves subject to prosecution for materially supporting terrorism. You don’t often see conservatives complaining about that.

Some of the Obama administration’s decisions do raise free-speech concerns, however. Thegovernment’s inquiry to YouTube about whether the video violated the site’s terms of service was potentially coercive. So was the call that Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made to a fringe Florida pastor to urge him to stop supporting the film. It’s also fair to ask whether or not Nakoula’s probation terms could be used as pretext to punish him indirectly, and to note that Nakoula is not responsible for the actions of those who have reacted to the video’s content with violence.

Those are all fair points. What’s not fair is to claim Nakoula was arrested for criticizing Islam without noting that he very well might have violated the terms of his probation. It’s possible that the Obama administration is influencing the LA County Sheriff’s Department in order to restrict Nakoula’s freedom of speech. The burden of proof for that claim lies with the people making it, and thus far conservatives haven’t offered much more than rage-filled speculation.

But conservatives who already believe the Obama administration is persecuting Christians and kowtowing to Islamists don’t need to see proof to know that Nakoula is a free-speech martyr. ”In this assault on religious freedom in this country, is Christianity being singled out?” Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Center, asked Starnes’ panel at Values Voters on Saturday. The audience laughed knowingly. “That was kind of a softball question” Perkins acknowledged. “That was so easy the audience could answer it.”

Frank Gaffney Thinks Some Conservatives are Muslim Brotherhood

More wackiness from Gaffney who has swallowed Spencer’s Stealth Jihad and other conspiracies hook, line and sinker.

Conservatives claim anti-tax crusader secretly leading Muslim indoctrination

(RAWstory)

Are a growing cross-section of American conservatives really secret Muslims bent on destroying western civilization?

Answer: No.

But that’s not stopping right-wing activist Frank Gaffney from claiming the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) had been infiltrated by radical Muslims because of the inclusion of Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist and former Bush staffer Suhail Khan.

American Conservative Union (ACU), the oldest conservative lobbying organization in the country which hosts CPAC, is involved in a “stealthy effort to bring Shariah” to the United States, according to Gaffney.

“This is a ticking time bomb for the conservative community,” he told the conservative conspiracy website WorldNetDaily. “An influence operation is contributing materially to the defeat of our country.”

Gaffney alleges that Norquist and Khan are secretly working for the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamist group, and trying to influence conservative groups in a plot to “Islamize” America. Both Khan and Norquist are ACU board members.

Khan, a conservative activist who previously worked for the Bush administration, allegedly has ties to the radical Islamists from his time as consultant for The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He has also served on committees at the Islamic Society of North America, according to Gaffney.

Gaffney also claimed that Khan’s father was a founding member of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. In a report by Talking Points Memo, Khan called the allegation “laughable” and said his father was from India, noting that the Muslim Brotherhood was formed in Egypt.

He is now a senior fellow for Christian-Muslim Understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement.

Norquist, founder of the conservative Americans for Tax Reform, was also accused of secretly providing the Muslim Brotherhood with access into the highest reaches of the conservative movement.

“Grover Norquist is credentialing the perpetrators of this Muslim Brotherhood influence operation,” Gaffney said. “This is part of tradecraft, to get people who have standing in a community to give it to people who lack it, so they can do what they’re assigned to do in terms of subversion. We are in a war, and he has been working with the enemy for over a decade.”

Gaffney is no stranger to making wildly unsubstantiated claims. He said in 2009 that there was mounting evidence that President Barack Obama “not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.”

“The man now happy to have his Islamic-rooted middle name featured prominently has engaged in the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Chamberlain over Czechoslovakia at Munich,” he added.

CPAC was facing a boycott from a number of conservative groups for inviting the conservative gay Republican group GOProud to the conference. The Family Research Council, Concerned Women For America, American Values, the American Principles Project, the Capital Research Center, the Center for Military Readiness, Liberty Counsel, and Liberty University have said they will not attend the conference in February.

Jon Stewart Takes on the anti-Muslim Discourse in the Media

Jon Stewart is one of the last men out there with the moral courage to do the kind of reporting the mainstream media just won’t do. A beautiful segment, that skewers Fox News, and the likes of Steven Emerson and Robert Spencer. Spencer no doubt will be howling at the moon about Stewart being a dhimmi. Nothing makes him more upset than being portrayed like the clown that he is.

Enjoy!

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Wish You Weren’t Here
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller to the Right of Glenn Beck?

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck

I guess when you are a supporter of fascists you are to the right of some of the most hardline and dogmatic Conservatives. It looks like Glenn Beck is going to be getting some grief from the extreme Right-wingers of the Horowitz-Geller-Spencer axis if he doesn’t take back his statement that Geert Wilders is a fascist. Sit back and enjoy!

From the Atlantic Wire:

Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician and outspoken critic of Islam, sparked outrage across Europe last week when he showed his anti-Islamic film in the UK’s House of Lords. Though the backlash against Wilders from America media has also been harsh, some of it has come from the unlikeliest of sources: Fox News. The conservative network ran a special report from Bret Bauer on Wilders, and Glenn Beck indirectly lumped him in with French politician Jean Marie Le Pen as members of a rising fascist movement in Europe (starting at the 13:00 mark).

Beck’s comments were relatively benign–at least for him. But that didn’t appease hardline conservatives, who slammed Beck and Fox in general for denigrating Wilders. The backlash has taken on several forms, but the one consistent theme on the right is anger.

  • What’s Up, Glenn? “What is he doing?” asks a befuddled Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs. “Was Beck saying that the UK was right to ban Wilders in the interest of ‘community harmony?’ And the fact that he was allowed to enter the UK last week was a dire sign?” After extolling Wilders’ virutes, Geller warns Beck to think twice in the future. “Is this going to be be Beck’s narrative? If so, he is wrong. And he ought to be silent until he learns everything.”
  • Next Time, Know Your Stuff At Power Line, Paul concludes Beck was simply uninformed. “It was apparent to me that Beck was out of his depth with Wilders. […] I’ve said before that the European ‘right’ is a complex phenomenon that does contain fascist elements. It takes a little bit of work to identify those elements.”
  • Denigrating a ‘Hero’ “Shame on you, Glenn,” chastises The RightScoop’s Cubachi, who proceeds to heap praise on Wilders.

Geert Wilders. A hero, a man who is risking life and limb to rescue the Netherlands and Europe from radical Islamization and communism taking grip of his country and continent. Everyday he has to wear a safety vest and hide his family and give them 24-hour security because he is willing to say the unpopular thing to protect and defend his nation.

  • No More Beck for Me Vowing never to trust Beck again, iOwnTheWorld’s BigFurHat embarks on a screed-worthy tirade to set the Fox News host straight. “Glenn – there is NO MODERATE ISLAM. This is what you get when you go out on a limb with a guy that is largely fueled by emotion rather than brains. I’m not saying Beck isn’t smart, but he is a bit Howard Bealish for me, and this is what you will have to endure with him.”