Belen Fernandez: Honour Crimes and Islamophobia

Ilisha has written several seminal articles for Loonwatch on the relationship between honor killings and Islamophobia that have gone a long way in debunking the prevailing narrative frame propagated by the looniverse that casts Islam as inherently supportive of “honour crimes.”

Belen Fernandez’s article on AlJazeera English is a welcome addition to this discussion which she analyzes in light of the propensity of certain Zionist organizations and individuals/Right-wingers who adopt “honour killings as a pet topic” to further their own agendas.

I will add that the adoption of such “pet topics” is not limited to only certain Zionists and Right-wingers but also seeps into the discourse of self-declared Liberals who are employed in the business of Empire.

Honour crimes and Islamophobia

by Belen Fernandez (AlJazeera English)

On December 11, the University of Rochester in western New York state will host an event ”[t]o shed sorely needed daylight on the complex issue of honour crimes in our community”.

Organised by an assistant professor from the Rochester Medical School’s Psychiatry Department, the event will consist of various discussions with “community leaders, academics, members of law enforcement agencies, legal professionals and health providers” and will feature an Arab Israeli keynote speaker from “an organisation that works to end honour killings in Israel”.

The “complex issue” requiring psychiatric attention appears even more complicated when we consider that honour crimes don’t seem to constitute an overwhelming problem in the community. Though it could be argued that this is simply because sorely needed daylight has yet to be shed on them, it is worthwhile highlighting the ease with which daylight can be manufactured.

For example, when teenager Faheem Abdul Jaleel apparently stabbed his female cousin in a Rochester suburb in June 2011, the anti-Islamic vanguard headed by the preposterously influential commentator Pamela Geller wasted no time in decrying an “attempted honour killing”, based entirely on the ethnic connotations of the perpetrator’s name.

Also in 2011, NPR reported that the Muslim community in Buffalo, New York, had been “fighting the stereotype” of honour killings since a spontaneous misdiagnosis in the press regarding the 2009 murder of a Muslim woman by her husband.

As is meanwhile quite clear from domestic violence and homicide statistics among the 99 per cent of the US population that is not Muslim, such crimes generally take place independent of Islam.

Israel’s non-criminal killing of Arabs 

By adopting honour killings as a pet topic, Zionists and other right-wing forces seek to delegitimise and even criminalise Arab and Muslim society in general.

Consider an August 2012 essay in the neo-conservative FrontPage Magazine asserting an “Arab cultural and Islamic propensity of violence toward women”.

The author characterises the fatal stabbing of a 27-year-old Palestinian woman by her husband as a “death sentence which tragically has been shared by a long and ever-expanding list of Palestinian women and girls”. He does not care to explain why it is not also tragic that an even longer expanding list of Palestinian women, girls and all other varieties of human beings happen to share the fate of obliteration by Israeli munitions. Nor does he delve into what this might indicate about Israeli cultural propensities or those of Israel’s preferred ally and automated teller machine.

Without downplaying the obvious tragedy of honour crimes, we must ask why it is that we are supposed to be horrified by the idea that “in the past two years, 25 [Palestinian] women have been subjected to honour killings” but not by the fact that 1,400 Palestinians were wiped out in three weeks during Operation Cast Lead.

FrontPage claims that, although “honour killings have long been a staple byproduct of Palestinian society”, the world’s foremost anti-Israel institution – that is, the UN, which nonetheless somehow manages never to enforce resolutions against the Jewish state – has deceitfully implicated non-Palestinians in said byproduct:

“Not surprisingly, for some, this pervasive [Palestinian] violence has been laid at the feet of the usual suspects, namely the Israelis. This scapegoating was summarily expressed in a 2011 report by the United Nations Economic and Social Council which blamed harsh economic and social conditions created by the Israeli ’siege’, an occupation which has led to high levels of poverty, unemployment and, thus, ’violence, within families’.”

The article’s allegation that “in Muslim countries throughout the Mideast, South Asia and Africa… men more often than not treat women little better than livestock” is meanwhile followed by the suggestion that “[c]hanging that dismal equation will take more than just a cultural revolution”. This seems to prescribe further state violence as a means of ending individual violence, which is itself often inextricably linked to state violence in the first place.

Islamic imperialism and mind control 

Conveniently located to one side of the article on the FrontPage website is an advertisement for another stellar example of scapegoating: A pamphlet entitled, ”Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future“.

Penned by FrontPage founder David Horowitz and co-conspirator Robert Spencer, the pamphlet promises – for a mere three-dollar donation – to explain how Islamophobia is an invention of the Muslim Brotherhood and to expose the UN’s role in the Brotherhood’s project to “destroy the American civilisation from within” by criminalising criticism of Islam.

Lest doubts remain that Islamophobia is anything but a disease afflicting the authors themselves, the summary of the essay posits a pattern of “Islamic imperialism” in the West. Apparently, the Islamic empire is being erected on the foundations of valid complaints of Western anti-Muslim discrimination rather than, say, ubiquitous military bases and the exploitation of humans and resources that characterises other better-known forms of imperialism.

The summary also denotes as a “notable opponent of Islamic terror” the late Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, whose anti-terror efforts included vows to explode a mosque slated for construction in Tuscany and hysterics over the reckless American policy of permitting persons by the name of Mustafa and Muhammad to study chemistry and biology at university despite the threat of Muslim-waged germ warfare.

Clearly, Horowitz and Spencer’s purported attempt to contribute to “the global struggle against religious intolerance and totalitarianism” is an example of hypocrisy in the extreme. However, endeavours such as Rochester University’s symposium on honour killings can prove similarly problematic, providing as they do a venue for the incubation of racist and paranoid delusions and the targeting of a single religious group that has already been disproportionately subjected to civil rights violations by the New York Police Department.

Read the rest…

Note: I expect the predictable type of criticisms of the sentence in which Belen says, “By adopting honour killings as a pet topic, Zionists and other right-wing forces…” I will just say that it appears to me she is speaking about “right-wing” forces and not stating “all Zionists” adopt “honour killings” as a pet topic.

Police Remove Muslim Women From Pam Geller’s ‘Human Rights Conference’

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer only preach to their minions, and anyone else is not accepted.

Police Remove Muslim Women From Pam Geller’s ‘Human Rights Conference’

By Eli Clifton on Apr 30, 2012 at 9:30 am, ThinkProgress

Yesterday in Dearborn, Michigan, noted anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer hosted a conference promising to advocate for “human rights” in one of the largest Muslim communities in the United States. Geller, writing on her blog on Sunday, warned, “We will meet fierce resistance by Islamic supremacists who will do anything, say anything to impose the sharia and whitewash the oppression, subjugation and slaughter of women under Islamic law.”

But surprisingly, Muslim women found themselves denied entry to the conference and, after patiently waiting in the corridor after being told to wait, were removed from the Hyatt Hotel by the Dearborn Police Department and Hyatt security.

Several of the young women commented that they shared a similar appearance with Jessica Mokdad, the young women who Geller and Spencer claim was murdered in an “honor killing” (a conclusion not shared by Mokdad’s family or Michigan prosecutors).

ThinkProgress attempted to attend the event and was turned away, and eventually removed from the Hyatt by the police, along with the young women. One of the women commented, “I tried emailing [Pamela Geller to register] and I literally couldn’t get any kind of response back.” That comment seems to contradict Geller’s claim that she wants to help Muslim women and that the conference was in defense of the human rights of Muslim women.

Another woman who tried to attend the conference told ThinkProgress:

Coming in, I was asking where the human rights conference is. [Hyatt Security and Dearborn Police] were like, ‘what are you talking about?’ I’m like, ‘the human rights conference on the second floor.’ They were like, ‘the anti-Islam conference?’ That’s what they’re calling it now.

And another woman expressed surprise that Geller, who has asked to hear from more Muslim voices on human rights issues, was denying Muslims access to her event. “I watched an interview with her […] and she said, ‘Where are the Muslims?’ Well, we’re here!” Watch it (police arrive to escort the women off the Hyatt premises at 3:58):

Pamela Geller emailed ThinkProgress, “They didn’t register. We’ve been announcing for weeks that only registered attendees would be admitted.”

Geller and Spencer play prominent roles in the Islamophobia “echo chamber,” as detailed in the Center for American Progress’s report “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.”

LGF: Anti-Muslim Bloggers Invent Another ‘Honor Killing’

Robert “police blotter” Spencer Inventing “Islamic” Crimes

Inventing “Islamic” crimes has been one part of the hatemongers consistent methodology of smearing Islam and Muslims.

For instance, in the past month Spencer and Geller falsely accused Islam and Muslims as the perpetrators of invented Jihad attacks at least twice to our count:

*Recently Spencer tried to tie a Belgian shooter to Islam: Belgium, Islam and the Boomerang of Loon Idiocy

*Pamela Geller Turns Hollywood Shooting Tragedy into Islamophobic Hate-Fest

And now we can add a third:

Anti-Muslim Bloggers Invent Another ‘Honor Killing’

by Charles Johnson (LGF)

The so-called “counter-jihad” bloggers are covering themselves in glory again, slobbering and ranting and trying to take advantage of a terrible crime to advance their un-American agenda.

Same bigotry, different day.

This time they’ve seized on a story about a man in Texas who killed six members of his own family on Christmas morning while dressed in a Santa suit, then committed suicide. The man’s wife had left him, his home had been foreclosed upon, his business was failing, and he had filed for bankruptcy; with anyone else, these things would be considered strong motives for committing this massacre.

But because the man’s name was Aziz Yazdanpanah, and he was apparently unhappy about who his daughter was dating, these bloggers have decided it had to be an “Islamic honor killing.” And now they’re letting their bigotry run free again.

Hate group leaders Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are out in front, as always.

Geller: ISLAMIC HONOR KILLING IN TEXAS: “SANTA KILLER” WAS MUSLIM WHO HATED DAUGHTER DATING A NON-MUSLIM!!!!! – Atlas Shrugs

The mainstream media has reported this as the “Santa killer.” No mention that it was an Islamic honor killing until this Dallas Morning News story. Our daughters and granddaughters are going to be the ones who will suffer because of for this obfuscation and excusal of barbarism.

This has been going on for years. When Amina and Sarah Said were brutally murdered by their father, also in Texas, on New Year’s Day 2008 for the same reason — having non-Muslim boyfriends — I thought, this is it. This is going to break the dam wide open. America would not, could not possibly, ignore this horror caused by and sanctioned by Islamic beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes.

And yet America continues to ignore this horror. And more and more people are victimized every day.

Spencer: Islamic honor killing in Texas: ‘Santa’ who murdered family on Christmas morning was Muslim who didn’t like his daughter dating a non-Muslim – Jihad Watch

Again and again we have seen honor killings in which fathers kill daughters who are dating non-Muslims or have supposedly besmirched the family honor by some sexual indiscretion. Lt. Todd Dearing says that motive isn’t important — which is generally only the case when Islam is involved.

To recap: Yazdanpanah killed his family members while they were all celebrating Christmas and then committed suicide. He was wearing a Santa suit. His life was falling apart in just about every possible way.

But to these vile bigots, it had to be an “honor killing” — for no other reason than the man’s nominal Muslim faith. It’s almost unbelievably disgusting.

And the posts by these bloggers are just the tip of the iceberg; their followers have no restraint whatsoever. Some of the comments posted at “counter-jihad” blogs about this tragedy:

Satan and muzzies are two of a kind…..

[…]

savages

[…]

We can’t offend muslims with Christmas but a muslim can kill his whole family on Christmas day and the media won’t even go near the fact they were all muslims.
We only find out on the crazy right-wing internet.

Once again we have the media filtering out information they don’t think we need to know.

[…]

2 miles from my house, a stinkin’ Muslim is committing honor killings. Islam, the Koran, and all true followers need to burn.

[…]

Islam. Satan’s church.

[…]

We live in the same neck of the woods. My Granny lived there for a year, was a nice complex, but over the last few years has had more and more muzzies moving into it. The entire metroplex has had a huge upspike in moozlim population. But still the Media and the masses are lulled to sleep with the peaceful moozlim rhetoric.

[…]

These men who are Muslim and believe in this should never have children or be castrated.

[…]

Americans may wish to consider how safe it is to have Muslims in their neighborhoods, but that would make us bigots wouldn’t it.

Islam is a deathcult

[…]

Here’s an example of the double bladed sword of ” PC “. This piece of camel crap doesn’t deserve to be buried in the ground!!!! They should kill a pig and bury it with him!!!!

[…]

I AM surprised that this being a raghead, he didn’t rape his daughters first.

[…]

As sad as this event is it nonetheless points out the truth that a muslime can not be anything but a brutal, murdering, control freaking, inbred son of a muslime sex slave who-e.
No matter their public persona their heart and mind is convuluted and warped to commit atrocities.

[…]

Go figure, a sheethead dressed as santa kills everyone, and then himself.

[…]

Perhaps Mr. Yazdanpanah was suffering from the terrible disease known as “SUDDEN JIHAD SYNDROME” though I doubt an autopsy will be be of any help. If he was a faithful muslim the demons probably summoned him to butcher his family for rebelling against Allah.

[…]

What a waste of life. Islam = hate and murder. Islam offers NOTHING to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Absolutely nothing.

[…]

The satanic cult of death REQUIRES BLOOD SACRIFICE for any number of offenses: being non-muslim, apostasy, misbehavior, disobedience, insulting the pedophile prophet of death, drawing the pedophile prophet of death, dating, etc.

These are only pious demon worshipers practicing their demonic cult, fully protected, by an army of feds and prosecutors all of whom report to comrade holder, as a *religion*.

There are thousands of similar comments about this story, all over the right wing blogs. These people aren’t even trying to pretend they’re not hateful bigots any more — they’ve embraced their sickness.