A Lavish Feast: Hatemongers, Hypocrites, and the Hate Du Jour

Bart Simpson

In a daring display of “investigative journalism,” Loonwatch was recently “outed” as a site, “pretty much exclusively concerned with exposing the perceived enemies of Islam…” This jealously guarded secret was previously known only to tech-savvy visitors clever enough to click the link to our About page:

Loonwatch.com is a blogzine run by a motley group of hate-allergic bloggers to monitor and expose the web’s plethora of anti-Muslim loons, wackos, and conspiracy theorists…..

Isn’t that a fancy way of saying pretty much the same thing?

Throughout the screed ”exposing” our “super secret mission,” there are numerous ludicrous and fact-less assertions, which have been refuted here and here. A garden variety bigot isn’t of much interest to us here, but amid the baseless accusations, fuzzy logic, and shameless self-promotion, there is a question that warrants a response:

Does Loonwatch really shun all criticism of Islam and immediately silence our critics by branding them as loons?

Similar accusations have been made repeatedly, against Loonwatch and other sites devoted to fighting Islamophobia. The short and simple answer is “no.” As American Muslim civil rights activist Ahmed Rehab has said:

One thing we must never allow is for the bad amongst us – terrorists, extremists, ideologues of exclusion and hate – to succeed in turning the rest of us against each other. We must condemn them, ostracize them, and disempower them. The way to do that is to strengthen our relations, and stand with one another. That is the only way to spell defeat for the agents of hate.

We must emerge from our comfort zones and stand together as one against all forms of violence, ignorance, and intolerance….

Islam should be subjected to its fair share of constructive criticism and we have said as much in a significant number of articles. In fact several of our writers have severely criticized the theological premises of certain violent and regressive trends within the worldwide Muslim community. The problem is that there’s nothing fair or constructive about the ocean of half truths and outright lies that are routinely spread about Islam and Muslims by a well-funded network of pseudo scholars, grassroots activists, media amplifiers, serial fabricators, and other assorted anti-Muslim crackpots.

Legitimate criticism is truthful, proportionate, and in accordance with fair standards.

One of our most popular recent articles, Fake Nigerian Christians Burnt Alive Photo Resurfaces on Facebook, exposes anti-Muslim bigot and serial fabricator Pamela Geller trying to pass off a photo from a tragic accident as an incident of Muslims burning Christians alive.

Legitimate criticism is truthful. 

There is a constant barrage of  propaganda that says “Islamic terrorism” is the world’s greatest threat. Hate sites far and wide trumpet brash and baseless claims, which we routinely expose as lies: 17,000 “Islamic terrorist” Attacks Exist in Fevered Islamophobic Brains.

Yet meticulously documented statistics on the website Unknown News put the figures in proper context:

About 303 times as many people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than in the ghastly attacks of September 11, 2001.

More than 130 times as many people have been killed in these wars and occupations than in all terrorist attacks in the world from 1993-2004, according to data compiled by the US State Department.

Every life is sacred and precious, and reducing individuals to statistics is a grisly calculus. However, we must make the point that war consistently kills far more innocent civilians than terrorism. What justifies the myopic focus on the latter?

Legitimate criticism is proportionate.

Another favorite trick of anti-Muslim bigots is to cherry pick violent and intolerant passages from Islamic scripture and juxtapose them next to relatively peaceful passages from Jewish or Christian scripture. Loonwatch has a whole series of articles addressing this inconsistency: The Understanding Jihad Series: Is Islam More Likely Than Other Religions to Encourage Violence?

The most recent additions are here and here. We repeatedly expose this unfair tactic and insist that all religions be measured by the same set of standards.

Legitimate criticism is in accordance with fair standards.

Our mission is to expose the lies, exaggerations and double standards employed by anti-Muslim bigots, and our articles do exactly that. We advocate universal human rights, and refuse to give anyone a free pass.

We condemn all acts of terrorism and the killing of innocent civilians, no matter who is responsible.

No matter how many times we condemn terrorism, “critics” insist we haven’t condemned terrorism, and have even had the audacity to smear us a terrorist spin control network. It’s become almost laughable and reminiscent of a famous scene from the 1979 British comedy film, Monty Python’s Life of Brian:

Brian: …Will you please listen? I’m not the Messiah! Do you understand? Honestly!

Woman: Only the true Messiah denies his divinity!

Brian: What? Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right, I am the Messiah!

Crowd: He is! He is the Messiah!

Will you please listen? We do condemn terrorism! Do you understand? Honestly! …

It’s time to resort to a more potent weapon: common sense. When some halfwit sets his underwear on fire in a failed terrorist attack, anyone with the slightest stake in the Muslim community instantly thinks, “Please, please…don’t let it be a Muslim!”

If it turns out the perpetrator is a Muslim, it is an unmitigated disaster for Muslims everywhere. Besides being morally repugnant, terrorism is self-defeating.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks paved the way for the US to bomb, invade, and occupy one Muslim country after another, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Syria and Iran may be next.  The Islamophobia that germinated in the aftermath of the attacks has rooted itself in the public imagination and continues to deepen and expand, despite the loons’ absurd claims it doesn’t exist.

The blatantly obvious, self-evident truth is that terrorism hurts Muslims and damages the fight against bigotry.

In fact, it’s hard to imagine anything that sets back the cause of fighting anti-Muslim bigotry more than a terrorist attack that is in any way associated with Muslims. The loons delight in reporting terrorist attacks because their interests are served, not ours. In fact, anti-Muslim hatemongers and outrage peddlers are so eager to publish news of “Islamic” terrorist attacks, they don’t even care if there are no Muslims involved, as we’ve reported here and here.

We condemn all acts of terrorism and the killing of innocent civilians, no matter who is responsible. 

Our question to critics: Do you? 

As Danios said in his recent article, We’re at War!” — And We Have Been Since 1776: 214 Years of American War-Making:

The objects of American aggression have certainly changed with time, but the primary motivating factor behind U.S. wars of aggression have always been the same: expansion of U.S. hegemony.  The Muslim world is being bombed, invaded, and occupied by the United States not because of radical Islam or any inherent flaw in themselves.  Rather, it is being so attacked because it is in the path of the American juggernaut, which is always in need of war.

The evidence that radical Islam is the justification, but not the catalyst, for US invasions is simply historical precedent. Decades before the War on Terror, the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out against the war in Vietnam, and his words are no less relevant today:

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through non-violent action; but they ask and rightly so, “What about Vietnam?” They ask if our nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems…and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government…

This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death…

The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins…

Even as we commemorate Dr. King’s eloquent and timeless truths, it seems we’ve missed his essential message.

The US dominates the world through military power, maintaining over 700 bases in more than 130 countries, and is still bombing and invading nations with impunity. How is it that we view Muslims as the ones who are exceptionally violent and hellbent on taking over the world?

pro·jec·tion

: the attribution of one’s own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety.

The US has been variously bombing and starving Iraqis for more than two decades, which begs the question:  What did the nation of Iraq ever do to the United States? The answer: nothing.

How is it possible to fixate on acts of terrorism while simultaneously ignoring the colossal crimes the US has visited on the once prosperous nation of Iraq?

dou·ble stan·dard

: a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another.

de·ni·al

: negation in logic

: a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.

Iran hasn’t attacked another country in over 200 years. Even as the US threatens to launch a war against this relatively peaceful nation, many Americans continue to view their country as peace-loving  and standing firmly on the moral high ground.

What accounts for this resilient sense of self-righteousness?

pro·pa·gan·da

: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person

: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect

ra·tio·nal·ization

: to attribute (one’s actions) to rational and creditable motives without analysis of true and especially unconscious motives.

de·lu·sion

: a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also : the abnormal state marked by such beliefs.

How can our critics remain virtually silent on the Western violence and simultaneously assert, ”Loonwatch is protecting Jihadists and terrorists through lies of omission.”

hy·poc·ri·sy

: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.

Defense mechanisms and relentless propaganda are the “psychological cataracts” that embolden us to criticize others and remain blind to our own faults. Refusal to take a good look in the mirror is also a lie of omission.

We condemn all acts of terrorism and the killing of innocent civilians, no matter who is responsible.

Again, our question to critics: Do you? 

Of course, the so-called “counter-jihadists” could reasonably argue that they too have a limited focus, and are, “pretty much exclusively concerned with exposing the truth about Islam…” That’s fine, as long as their criticism is truthful, proportionate, and in accordance with fair standards.

Read the following excerpts and decide if they constitute hate speech or merely tell the unvarnished truth about Islam:

The cultured peoples, both today and in the past, create and build, proving their worth as the creators and advancers of culture. Islam was and remains only the corrupter and destroyer of culture… Islam can never be great, can never create culture, for it is not a people, but rather only a corrupt mixture of inferior desert tribes with no national life or longing, with no proud and famous past.

And:

In this war for the very existence of the American people, we must daily remind ourselves that Muslims unleashed this war against us….

There is nothing cruder than the Muslim religious books: the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the Hadith…The whole is a collection of ghost hunting and mysticism, blind cursing and the crassest egotism, an unimaginable superiority complex, sick perversity, the overturning of all natural laws, lust for murder, terror, and horror.

The Crusades, with their enormous sacrifices in the blood of northern peoples, were the result of Muslim insanity.

And:

One feels horror at the unique depravity of the Muslims, at the crimes they have committed, at the devilish hate they have from the beginning directed against all those who did not want to bow to the yoke of Islam! This horror becomes terror when one reads the Qur’anic writings and reads such outbursts of Muslim rage as one finds in the Sunnah and Hadith…..

The term “kafir” expresses the deep antipathy Muslims feel toward infidels. Despite its inferiority, Islam was able to survive over the millennia because of its satanic hatred against infidels.

Muslim hatred today is as strong as it ever was. He who does not submit is their enemy. The Muslim hates the enemy with all his heart and with all the strength of his satanic soul….

Deep and boundless hatred is an essential characteristic of Islam.

Now there is war! The Muslims forced us into a struggle for life and death. The war has forced us to give up much we formerly thought was necessary. It has also forced us to give up the “politeness” that in reality is a weakness. A boxer in the ring must use his fists to defend himself against his opponent. A fencer can only win when he uses his sword. We as a people will survive this war only if we eliminate weakness and “politeness” and respond to the Muslims with an equal hatred. We must always keep in mind what the Muslim wants today, and what he plans to do with us. If we do not oppose the Muslims with the entire energy of our people, we are lost. But if we can use the full force of our soul that has been released by the new crusade, we need not fear the future. The devilish hatred of the Muslims plunged the world into war, need and misery. Our holy hate will bring us victory and save all of mankind.

Common themes include the cultural inferiority of “desert tribes,” crude scriptures, boundless hate for infidels, unique depravity, a superiority complex, sick perversity, and lust for murder, terror, and horror. Muslims pose an existential threat, and their collective insanity is even responsible for the Crusades.

This is pretty standard fare for hate sites like Jihad Watch, Atlas Shrugs, and Frontpage Magazine. Can you guess the source?

It’s a trick question because none of these excerpts came from contemporary hate sites. All are from articles published decades ago by Nazis. Every word in bold has been modified so the passages appear to refer to Muslims instead of Jews.

You can view the original versions here, here and here. We previously published an article comparing specific statements from pre-Nazi era Antisemitic propagandist Julius Streicher and Robert Spencer, here.

That brings us to the next part of the Loonwatch mission statement:

While we find the sheer stupidity and outrageousness of the loons to be a source of invaluable comedy, we also recognize the seriousness of the danger they represent as dedicated hatemongers…

Muslims have not (yet) been subjected to pogroms or rounded up en mass and herded into internment camps, and the point is to make sure that doesn’t happen. We have learned the lessons of history.

During the Nazi era, Antisemitic propaganda resonated with many “good Germans,” just as many “good Americans” once accepted slavery and thought of Native Americans as “savages.”  Everyone outside the lunatic fringe recognizes the monstrous injustices of the past, but far fewer have the moral fortitude to recognize and speak out against the socially sanctioned injustices of the present day.

Islamophobia is the hate du jour, and hatemongers and hypocrites are enjoying a lavish feast.

Robert Spencer: Loonwatch, One-half of the Leftist-Mooslim Alliance

Robert Spencer with loon Pamela Geller

Robert Spencer with loon Pamela Geller

Loonwatchers, it seems the big bad blogger himself, Robert Spencer, is beginning to worry about our little blog over on Jihad Watch (hat tip: Mallorcaman). In a blog titled, Daily Kos Sides with Islamic Supremacists Who Want to Extinguish Free Speech and Oppress Women and Non-Muslims (how many stereotypes can you fit in a single title?), Spencer targets Daily Kos contributor Devon Moore who has written comments on our site previously and has linked to us on his site.

Spencer’s post is interesting both for what Spencer writes as well as the comments which end up proving the depths to which Spencer has sunk. I don’t know if Spencer is giddy at the mere fact that he received some mention on Daily Kos or if he is truly fuming in his traditional, up-tight and conspiratorial way that “stealth jihad” is being perpetuated under the guise of some dreaded and fanciful “leftist-Mooslim” alliance. There is probably an element of both in his paranoia, but as in his attempt to pick a fight with Bassiouni it looks as though it is more of the conspiracy card.

The title itself is quite perplexing and makes bold the fact that Spencer has a penchant not only for melodrama (to stroke his ego) but also misinformation. Whenever anyone disagrees with Spencer or disputes his claims (and the list of people is ever increasing) he takes it personally, and reacts with violently worded blog posts that sling innuendo to-and-fro.

The question is: why is it that Spencer can dish out the criticism but is unable to take it? Is it the hallmark of an objective scholar to think that he or she is above any criticism? That everyone outside of the choir he sings to is wrong and part of some Leftist-Mooslim alliance? The ALA is wrong? Muslim scholar and International Law expert Cherif Bassiouni is wrong? Chicago activist Ahmed Rehab is wrong? Islamic scholar Carl Ernst is wrong? Islamic scholar John Esposito is wrong? Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is wrong? Religious scholar Karen Armstrong is wrong? Islamic scholar Khaleel Mohammed is wrong? Academic historian Ivan Jablonka is wrong? Journalist and neo-Con Stephen Shwartz is wrong? Conservative ex-boyfriend of Ann Coulter Dinesh D’Souza is wrong? Spencer’s former friend Charles Johnson is wrong? Blogger and columnist for Commentary Magazine Kejda Gjermani is wrong? The list goes on and on.

Of course, the plain truth is that all of these diverse individuals are neither wrong or incorrect but they are on to something: Spencer is not an objective scholar, he is not in fact very scholarly, in fact he traffics in some of the oldest and well abused stereotypes about Islam and Muslims out there, while all at the same time putting up a front that he is objective and part of the elite vanguard safe-guarding Western values such as freedom of religion and free speech.

This methodology of Spencer is belied by the fact that he takes umbrage at other people expressing their right to free speech which is exactly what Devon Moore did. He stated his opinion (one shared by many), yet according to Spencer what he did was the equivalent to teaming up with “Islamic Supremacists who want to extinguish free speech and oppress women and non-Muslims.” Say what?

Spencer really should go through our website, especially the articles relating to him. He will see that all we do is report the facts — his instances of Islamophobia and anti-Muslimism. Like when he joined the genocidal Facebook group which called for the reconquista of modern day Turkey and its transformation through ethnic cleansing of the whole peninsula; driving out its Muslim Turkish inhabitants and replacing them with Christians.

Malkin's Book

Malkin's Book

We don’t have time to go through a detailed list of the odious friends and individuals of a very anti-Muslim bent that Spencer calls allies, but they include: Michelle Malkin of In Defense of Internment fame, Geert Wilders a neo-Fascist European politician (though Spencer thinks he is not a “genuine” neo-fascist) who wants to ban the Qur’an, Muslim immigration and deny religious freedom to Muslims, Serge Trifkovic one of the leaders of the Bosnian Serbs during the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims, the Gates of Vienna website which advocates an end to Muslim immigration and the dominance of the original indigenous White Europeans, and more. One day we will list all his buddies but just this small oeuvre should be a chilling reminder of who Spencer is: a biased, self proclaimed scholar who does not view Islam from a dispassionate and objective lens.

Spencer’s blog post also reveals a bit more of the strange world he inhabits. He writes,  first quoting Devon Moore,

The anti-Muslims cover a wide spectrum though most can be found slithering in the Right-Wing. They range from academics such as Daniel Pipes, self-declared scholars like Robert Spencer and his JihadWatch, to open racists such as Debbie Schlussel, Pamela Geller and the blog Gates of Vienna.

“Open racists”? When the Left can’t argue (which is most of the time), they smear and lie. Schlussel and Geller are freedom fighters, warriors for human rights. Only to a Leftist would that be “racist.” They are not open racists or closet racists or any kind of racists.

Moore made the incontrovertible point that Pamela Geller and Debbie Schlussel are racists, he could have also added loony extremists. Yet, according to Spencer, Debbie Schlussel and Pamela Geller are “freedom fighters” and “warriors for human rights.”

Pamela Geller, you may recall is one of the bloggers who initiated and pushed (and still is pushing) the Birther conspiracy about Barack Obama. That Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and that he is a secret Muslim subverting America through Jihad. She also “uncovered” somehow that Barack Obama was the illegitimate son of Malcolm X. This is what her WikiAnswer page has to say about her,

Pam Geller’s blog has earned her a spot in the Conservative limelight. She frequently attacks Barack Obama, pushing and originating conspiracy theories that include: Obama is a secret Muslim, Obama is not American, Obama is the illegitimate son of Malcolm X, Obama is an anti-Semite. She writes in an August 1st blog about Obama’s travel to Pakistan in the 80’s, “I think he went for the drugs and came back with jihad.”

Debbie Schlussel

Debbie Schlussel

The other “freedom fighter” for Spencer is that delightful, if deranged blogger known as Debbie Schlussel. She gives us so much fodder that there should be a website devoted exclusively to her. Debbie Schlussel was the one who proclaimed after the Virginia Tech Massacre that the shooter was a Muslim, and when early reports came out that he was Asian, she wrote that “Pakis are considered Asian” and that the attack could have been “part of a co-ordinated terrorist plot by Pakistanis.” Even when it was revealed that the shooter was a Korean she persisted with her story that he could have been a secret Muslim. Not too long ago she was on the record making a genocidal joke about Palestinians, while writing about clashes between rival Palestinian forces which left six dead Schlussel stated, “As we say in lawyer jokes, that’s a start. Six down, a few million to go.”

Now with friends like those can we really take Robert Spencer seriously? Especially when he gives these crazies ringing endorsements as “freedom fighters” and “warriors for human rights.” It seems even some of his followers are a little queasy about his endorsement, one commenter on JihadWatch, JoeChill writes,

Sorry, Mr. Spencer–you make some excellent points, but Debbie Schlussel is a highly disturbed woman. Granted, the idiots at Kos don’t like her, but even a broken clock, etc.

Schlussel initially suggested that the VA Tech shooter was a Muslim (he wasn’t). She claims that one of the 9/11 victims, Jon Schlissel, was a “cousin” of hers (based on the idea that someone with a similar name had the same ancestor a few centuries ago) and she repeatedly attacks those she disagrees with by making unsubstantiated claims, or, more often, lies.

I agree with you that Islamic jihadists and those who follow Sharia law are little more than brutal thugs who are trying to remake the world into their own twisted image. But Schlussel’s pretty twisted herself, even though she opposes them. If conservative writers are guardians of the Constitution, Schlussel is a rabid German Shepherd. By espousing her, you weaken your otherwise excellent column.

Posted by: JoeChill [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 25, 2009 4:35 PM

It would be wise for Robert Spencer to take this advice from JoeChill, he should retract his endorsement of the racist Debbie Schlussel, apologize for it, condemn her and distance himself from her. Then he should do the same with Pamela Geller. That way he might be on the road to rehabilitating his image as an apologist for fascism and an endorser of racists, instead of boohooing about a fictitious “Leftist-Mooslim” alliance.