One Factor in the Defeat of Allen West: High Muslim Turnout

A belated post but a necessary one.: (h/t: hsmoghul)

LEADING ISLAMOPHOBE ALLEN WEST LIKELY DEFEATED DUE TO HIGH MUSLIM AMERICAN TURNOUT

(Progressive Change)

Yesterday, right-wing House Republican Allen West finally conceded in his race against Democrat Patrick Murphy. West had made himself notorious for his anti-Muslim attitude. He argued that Islam is “not a faith” but a “totalitarian theocratic political ideology,” and that terrorism is inherent to Islam. He even said that Muslim congressman Keith Ellison (D) of “represent(ing) the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”

But in an America that grows increasingly progressive and tolerant, bigotry can be a major electoral liability. Murphy’s margin of victory is roughly 1,900 votes. I talked to Imran Siddiqui, who works for the organization Empowering Motivating Educating Resourceful Grassroots Entities, which registers Muslim voters in the area. He mentioned that his organization had 2,500 Muslim voters in their database in the district and that they witnessed 80 percent turnout. That means roughly 2,000 Muslim-American votes — a little bit higher than Murphy’s margin of victory.

West’s loss should be a lesson to all those in Congress who would try to use bigotry to their political advantage. Sometimes the targets of your ire get out and vote, and when they do, you lose.

Margaret Hassan and Thomas Hassan: Targets of the Islamophobic Looniverse

Daniel Greenfield, operative of the extremist SultanKnish blog, paid shill of David Horowitz and regular trafficker in “genocide” talk about Muslims recently blogged about Margaret “Maggie” Wood Hassan, who is running as the Democratic candidate for Governor in New Hampshire. Hassan has been endorsed by Bill Clinton and other bigwigs in the party and has a good shot at winning the election. (h/t: Michael Elwood)

Maggie’s husband, Thomas Hassan is principal of the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy. Phillips Exeter Academy has invited Muslims to speak at the school in the past about Islam and American Muslims, a couple of whom are associated with CAIR. This has set off alarm bells in the panicked minds of Islamophobes such as Greenfield. As Michael Elwood noted, Maggie and her husband Thomas are “being portrayed as stealth jihadis.”

Greenfield writes,

Margaret Hassan is married to Thomas Hassan, principal of the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy, that some are beginning to describe as the Phillips Exeter Madrassah.

As principal, Mr. Hassan is culpable for enabling members of radical Islamists organizations like CAIR, MSA, and the Muslim Brotherhood, to propagandize the impressionable student body at the Student Assemblies.

Will Margaret Wood Hassan do New Hampshire what her husband did to Phillips Exeter Academy?

The “some” who are describing Phillips Exeter Academy as “Phillips Exeter Madrassah” are well known anti-Muslim loons in the Islamophobia echo chamber, the likes of AtlasShrugsPamela Geller and JihadWatch‘s Robert Spencer. No reputable news agency worth its name would describe Phillips Exeter Academy as a “maddrassah” unless they wanted to be laughed off the presses.

It is not all too clear whether Maggie or Thomas Hassan are Muslims (Update: They aren’t Muslim. H/T: JSB), not that it would matter to Islamophobes, the name “Hassan” would be sufficient to create a fevered hysteria in the same crowd horrified that the president’s middle name is “Hussein.” Also, as has been repeated ad nauseum about other “Muslimish” politicians, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with Maggie Hassan being a “Mooslim” if she were one. Is it too much to ask that their records as civil servants and educators be examined and critiqued instead of what religion they follow and with who they’ve shared a podium?

Of course the tendentious “guilt by association” and fear-mongering tactics about mainstream Muslim organizations being “Muslim Brotherhood” fronts or setup by “Hamas” are not only libelous but a propaganda tool that has been exhausted. How long do those in the Islamophobia movement believe they can employ these tactics? It is just not as effective anymore.

Such desperate attempts on the part of right-wing Islamophobes and their allies to smear and character assassinate individuals such as Margaret Hassan and Thomas Hassan who have devoted their lives to civil service and education reminds us of the stark difference between Islamophobes and their targets: Maggie Hassan and Thomas Hassan work to build the USA up, the Greenfield’s, Geller’s and Spencer’s work to destroy and divide it.

Adam Hasner: Islamophobe for Congress

Loonwatch has been reporting on Adam Hasner since 2009 when he first came across our radar screen for his alliance with Pamela Geller and endorsement of Geert Wilders. Not long ago he was pontificating about “Civilization Jihad” and other nonsense,

“We are not in a War on Terror,” Hasner said. “This is a civilizational struggle against an ideology of Sharia Islam.”

“It’s not just a threat on foreign soil,” he continued. “It’s also a threat from those who seek to destroy us from within. And we have a problem of domestic terrorism both in the violent form as well as in the civilizational jihad that we’re witnessing here in our own country and our own state.”

Adam Hasner: Islamophobe for Congress

BY 

Congress’s anti-Islam caucus will likely grow in November, and Florida’s Adam Hasner may be its worst new member

Rep. Michele Bachmann has gotten a lot of attention lately for her witch hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government, but she’s not alone. In addition to the four lawmakers who signed on to her letters, there are a handful of others who together might be called the Islamophobia Caucus — and their ranks are likely to swell after November, thanks in part to one of the caucus’ most outspoken members, Rep. Allen West.

After redistricting made West’s 22nd Florida congressional district slightly more liberal, he moved to the 18th. Running in his place is Adam Hasner, the former Florida House majority leader who abandoned a previous bid for the Senate. Hasner has already earned top-flight endorsers, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and West himself, as well as several major conservative organizations.

But perhaps a bit farther down the list is Pam Geller, the anti-Islam blogger and activist who spearheaded the effort against the so-called ground zero mosque. While she may not have officially endorsed Hasner, they’re clearly comrades in the fight against Shariah law. “Pamela [Geller] and I were on the front lines of that together, fighting to make sure that we kept her safe here,” Hasner told a Fort Lauderdale crowd in June of last year. For her part, Geller has written numerous blog posts praising Hasner, whom she declared to be “my friend.” “So many patriots and elected officials joined us, like Adam Hasner,” she wrote in June of last year. Here’s a photo of them posing together from her blog. (Hasner did not reply to requests for comment.)

As the Florida Independent noted in September of last year, Hasner has been involved in a “long-time crusade against the supposed threat of Sharia in the U.S.” In 2009, he appeared on a panel in D.C. with Geller and Frank Gaffney, the man behind Bachmann’s with hunt, according to a press release unearthed by the liberal research group American Bridge. Robert Spencer, another key figure in the Islamophobia cottage industry, called Hasner a “fearless truth teller” (here’s a photo them posing together via Spencer’s blog, Jihad Watch).

Before that, Hasner invited notorious Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders to Florida. “When I invited Geert Wilders to join me for a Free Speech conference in Palm Beach County, not only did the hotel cancel its plans to have him come in, but I was the one who was asked by the Hamas front group, the Council on Arab-Islamic Relations, to resign from the Florida House of Representatives, because I was an Islamophobe and a hater,” he said in the Fort Lauderdale speech. Wilders has made crusading against Islam his top priority. He was under house arrest for hate speech in Holland and is barred from visiting several countries.

When Hasner caught flak for the invitation, he was unperturbed. “These are the same people who have been attacking me all session. This isn’t about being anti-Islam, this is all about the right to free speech and they are trying to stifle it,” he casually told the St. Petersburg Times in April 2009. Wilders personally thanked Hasner in his speech, saying, “We need strong leaders like we have here today, Allen West and Adam Hasner. We need strong men like that.”

Within just a few days of the Wilders speech, it was an event that Hasner did not attend that raised eyebrows. He apparently boycotted an imam’s opening prayers at the state Legislature. The Palm Beach Post reported at the time:

As usual, the Florida House opened session today with a prayer. But for the first time this year (and possibly the first time ever), that prayer was led by an imam, Qasim Ahmed, from the Islamic Learning Institute in Tampa. The prayer was videotaped by Ahmed Bedier, United Voices of America director, who remarked on the absence of House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton. Bedier said he was videotaping the “historic” moment. “We did notice Hasner’s empty chair. That’s definitely noticed,” Bedier said… Hasner said he wasn’t on the floor this morning for personal reasons and noted the iman was in the House at the invitation of Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek. “It’s Jim Waldman’s right as a member to invite whomever he wants,” Hasner said.

In 2011, according to a YouTube video of a speech uncovered by American Bridge, Hasner boasted about the real reason for his absence two years earlier. “When the imam who was invited by a state representative who was a Democrat from here in Broward County, when he was invited to give the morning prayer at the Florida House of Representatives, and I boycotted the prayer, I was the one who was ridiculed,” he said.

In 2008, Hasner helped found an anti-Shariah group called Florida Security Council with an activist named Tom Trento. While Hasner was never an official member, he touted his involvement with the organization, which later changed its name to United West. “You cannot fight an enemy when you will not acknowledge that an enemy even exists, and that enemy has a name, and that is Shariah-compliant Islam,” Hasner told a local conservative group in March of last year. “We cannot allow political correctness and multiculturalism or appeasement to cripple our defenses at home or abroad.”

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon’s political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.
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