The Hamas Smear: How Islamophobes Use Six Degrees of Separation to Smear Muslims

The Hamas Smear: How Islamophobes Use Six Degrees of Separation to Smear Muslims

obama

Even President Obama is not safe from the Hamas smear

Lauren Green’s interview of Reza Aslan backfired on Fox News.  Green’s obvious bias generated sympathy for Aslan.  Many Americans were horrified at her blatant display of Islamophobia.  Yet, Lauren Green’s statements were actually very mild compared to the anti-Muslim smears that Reza Aslan and other prominent Muslims are routinely subjected to–which few Americans speak out against.

Perhaps the crudest attack–used almost invariably against a Muslim who reaches any form of prominence whatsoever–is the Hamas smear.  Its ubiquity is such that we ought to name a law after it.  We’ve all heard of Godwin’s Law:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

The Hamas smear deserves its own law.  For vanity’s sake, let’s call it Danios’s Law.  And, it goes something like this:

As a Muslim person becomes more prominent, the probability of anti-Muslim bigots linking that Muslim to Hamas* approaches 1.

*Or some other extremist group

It may not sound as elegant as Godwin’s Law, but it’s equally true.

How commonly the Hamas smear is used against Muslims became painfully obvious when I read Salon essayist Wajahat Ali’s guest article he wrote for LoonWatch.  Ali masterfully used comedy to make impotent the very ugly “stealth jihadist” accusations levied against Muslims.  Then, I realized that Muslims in general tend to have a running joke about this, since the Hamas smear is so prevalent against them.  They have re-appropriated the smear, much as black Americans have re-appropriated the n-word.  That’s how common (and hurtful) the bigoted slur has become.

Front Page Magazine and other right-wing media outlets tied Wajahat Ali to Hamas by pointing out that Ali was a member of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) during college.  This, even though his joining the MSA during college is as intuitive as a black, Mexican, or Jewish person joining the black student union, the Mexican-American Student Association, or the Jewish Student Union respectively.

Islamophobes often use the MSA or CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to play a connect-the-dots game back to Hamas.  CAIR is the largest and most respected American Muslim civil rights organization.  Once again using dubious connections, CAIR is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, and in turn, to Hamas.  With both the MSA (the largest American Muslim college organization) and CAIR (the largest American Muslim civil rights organization) connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and from there to Hamas, it is only a matter of connecting an American Muslim to the MSA or CAIR in order to link that individual to Hamas itself.

Sooner or later, any prominent Muslim is bound to be smeared in this way and linked to Hamas or some other radical organization.  Even Rima Fakih, the Arab-American beauty pageant contestant who won Miss USA, was not safe from the smear.  She stood accused of being tied to Hezbollah.  The Hezbollah smear is a modified version of the Hamas smear, often employed against Shi’ite Muslims.  (Hamas is a Sunni organization, whereas Hezbollah is a Shi’ite one.)  In other words, being a bikini-clad beauty pageant winner is not enough to insulate oneself from being called a radical “Islamist.”

After the now notorious Fox News interview, the Daily Caller published an article claiming that Reza Aslan has “ties to extreme Islamists” and “is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.”  Elsewhere Aslan was called a “Khomeinist” and tied to the Iranian regime (yet another Shi’ite-centric version of the Hamas smear).  These six degrees of separation sort of accusations are far more pernicious than anything Lauren Green said to Reza Aslan.  They reek of McCarthyism, with “Islamism” being substituted for communism.

The list of American Muslims libeled with the Hamas smear is endless.  But, what’s interesting is that not even non-Muslims are safe from this smear.  President Barack Obama, who has a Muslim-ish enough sounding name, has been tied to both the Muslim Brotherhood and, in turn, Hamas.

I write for LoonWatch.com, arguably the internet’s most popular Islamophobia watchdog website.  And, lo and behold, it did not take long for the Hamas smear to come along my way.  The Islamophobes don’t even know my faith but they are certain that I am an “Islamist” and Hamas supporter.  Whether a Muslim or simply a “Muslim sympathizer”, one can automatically be linked to Hamas using the Islamophobic approach.

Eric Allen Bell, a former diarist for The Daily Kos (he was banned by the unanimous consensus of the Daily Kos community for being an unrestrained bigot), accused LoonWatch of being tied to Hamas.  Bell’s “connecting-the-dots” mentality and “math” prove how loosely the Hamas smear is used; Bell opined:

Loonwatch works with CAIR by broadcasting CAIR’s point of view. They are very consistent on this. Loonwatch is never in disagreement with CAIR. CAIR thanks Loonwatch in their “Hate Report”.

Connecting all of these dots is deeply, deeply concerning. Here is the math: Out of the Muslim Brotherhood come a number of terrorist organizations including Al Queda and Hamas. Out of Hamas comes C.A.I.R. and Loonwatch becomes a mirror for anything that C.A.I.R. wants to convey to Americans about how harmless Islam is.

All the evidence Eric Allen Bell needs is that “LoonWatch is never in disagreement with CAIR”, ergo LoonWatch must be working with CAIR.  Does it take a mathematician to figure out the flaw in his “math” and the logical fallacy here?

Alright, so LoonWatch is linked to CAIR because we are, according to him, “never in disagreement”–and because CAIR supposedly thanks us in their “Hate Report” (I wonder why an American Muslim civil rights group would thank a website that monitors Islamophobia?).  Ergo, LoonWatch = CAIR.  Since Hamas = CAIR, therefore LoonWatch = Hamas.  Oh yeah, let’s throw in Al-Qaeda into the mix as well.  You see, it’s so plain to see, LoonWatch = CAIR = Hamas = Al-Qaeda.

Searching “LoonWatch” on YouTube reveals a video entitled “Loonwatch and Hamas”, created by a regular commentator on JihadWatch.  The video is a painful ten minutes long, with a rambling “connect-the-dots” approach to smear me.  What’s interesting is that the Islamophobic narrator mentions that I specifically condemned and denounced Hamas (which is what right-wingers always demand of Muslims and their sympathizers: “Do you, sir, condemn Hamas?”), but then goes on to explain why my condemnation and denouncement of Hamas aren’t genuine.

Hamas and LoonWatch Video:

So, what’s his argument to make this claim?  The narrator intones: “A look at the numerous LoonWatch pages that come up from the term ‘Hamas’, we see that Danios and Hamas are quite compatible politically.”  Really?  I’m a strong supporter of pluralistic, secular, liberal democracy, whereas Hamas supports an ultra-conservative Islamic “Sharia state.”  How’s that for compatibility?

The narrator then points to an article I wrote about Debbie Schlussel.  In that article, I criticized Schlussel for insulting the victims of the Oslo terrorist attack in which seventy-seven innocent people were killed by a far-right wing extremist.  Schlussel called the child victims of this heinous attack “bitches.”  Interestingly, in the article I also pointed out that Schlussel linked the victims to Hamas, calling them “HAMASniks.”  (Here again we see the Hamas smear in action, this time against murdered children.)

I passingly mention the Freedom Flotilla in the article, because Debbie Schlussel accused the child victims of having sympathized with it.  (The Freedom Flotilla had attempted to provide humanitarian aid to the starving people of Gaza.)  There is the narrator’s hook!  He says that we should “place the Flotilla at the center of our discussion.”

The connect-the-dots is about to begin.  It’s confusing, but it goes something like this:

Danios writes an article where the Freedom Flotilla is mentioned –> The Freedom Flotilla was organized by the Turkish NGO IHH and the Free Gaza movement –> the Free Gaza Movement is made up of forty different groups and individuals –> Huwaida Arraf (an Arab-American Christianby the way) is one of these people –>  Arraf is the co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement –> The International Solidarity Movement’s website linked to the Free Marwan Barghouti campaign –>  Huwaida Arraf is dedicated to her beliefs so much so that she would die for them –> Martyrdom is a hallmark of Hamas, therefore –> Huwaida Arraf = Hamas.  Therefore, as you can clearly see, Danios = Hamas.  Don’t you see?

The rest of the video goes on to find more threads between the Freedom Flotilla movement and Hamas, then linking all of that somehow to me.  (I have nothing to do with the Freedom Flotilla, by the way.)

Oh yes, and we are told that our website LoonWatch.com also links to the “Hamas apologist Glenn Greenwald.”  (Yet another “Muslim sympathizer” tarnished with the Hamas smear.)

The Hamas smear is an empty and meaningless line of attack, devoid of any intellectual substance.  Unfortunately, however, it is all too often an effective means of tarnishing a person’s character.  The only silver lining is that the Hamas smear is used so often and so flippantly by the Islamophobes that they might actually just wear it out.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Did you like this article?  If so, make sure to contribute to LoonWatch’s IndieGoGo campaign and we’ll send you Danios’s upcoming book.

Sheila Musaji: Pamela Geller and Other Islamophobes Need to Learn How to do a “Search”

Sheila Musaji on the inability of Islamophobes to do simple searches:

Pamela Geller and other Islamophobes need to learn how to do a “search”

by Sheila Musaji (TAM)

This week Pamela Geller published an article in which she said:

Why is it that Muslim groups never speak out against the sharia and/or the jihad against non-Muslims across the world? Look at CAIR’s website, or that of ICNA, MSA, MSU ….. nothing addressing the slaughter across the world in the cause of Islam? It is their sanction.

…  Stand against sharia and the death penalty for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, sentenced to death in Iran for apostasy.

… All the schools of Islamic law, without exception, mandate death for those who leave Islam. We’ve dedicated the Town Hall to Pastor Youcef because he is in imminent danger of being murdered for his beliefs, and we’ve invited numerous apostates from Islam to speak about the death sentence they must live under every moment because they have dared to leave Islam. We’re calling upon Hamas-tied CAIR to stand up for Pastor Youcef and other victims of Islam’s apostasy law at their so-called ‘Civil Rights’ conference so-called ‘Civil Rights’ conference [sic] and to stand for human rights for all. Under the guise of ‘civil rights,’ these subversive groups seek to undermine the unalienable rights guaranteed to every individual under the Constitution. Their ruse must be exposed, their Sharia agenda renounced. What Islamic supremacist groups in the U.S. speak for Pastor Youcef?

This refrain is repeated over and over again by the Islamophobia network, and this is only one of the most recent articles in which this specious claim is made that Muslims don’t speak out.  In this case, Geller specifically says that if you look at the websites of national Muslim organizations you will find NOTHING addressing violence or terrorism.

I went to the ISNA website and typed the words “ISNA condemns” into the search – and came up with the following:

ISNA Reaffirms Its Stance Against Violent Extremism
(Plainfield, IN, Sept 30, 2011) On the news of the death of Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen as reported this morning, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) reiterates its rejecti…
Ecumenical leaders condemn New Year church bombing in Alexandria
Jan 3, 2011Episcopal News Service Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and World Council of Churches General Secretary the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit are among international ecume…
ISNA Commends Efforts of Law Enforcement, Condemns Attempted Bombing at Times Square, and Lauds Alert Citizens
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESource: ISNA(Plainfield, IN 05/04/2010) – The Islamic Society of North Amer
ISNA CONDEMNS ‘DISPROPORTIONATE’ ATTACKS ON GAZA STRIP
(Plainfield, IN, 12/28/08) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) called on both the government of Israel and Palestinians to immediately end all violence in the region; as…
ISNA CONDEMNS ANTI-CHRISTIAN VIOLENCE IN INDIA
Religious Group Calls for ‘Calm’ In Multi-Religious India(Washington D.C., 10/20/08) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest umbrella Islamic organization in th…
ISNA Condemns Arkansas Killing
Plainfield, IN 06/ 02/2009 – The Islamic Society of North America condemns the fatal shooting of Pvt. William Long which took place in Little Rock, AK.  The use of violence…
ISNA Condemns Attacks in Nigeria
(Washington, DC – Dec 27, 2011) ISNA condemns and is outraged by the series of bombings which claimed the lives of at least forty innocent worshipers in Nigeria on Christmas Day…
ISNA Condemns Attacks on Christians in Nigeria on Christmas Day
(Washington, DC – Dec 27, 2011) ISNA condemns and is outraged by the series of bombings which claimed the lives of at least forty innocent
ISNA Condemns Attacks on Fort Hood Soldiers & Expresses Condolences to the Victims & Their Families
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Source: ISNA (Washington, DC, Nov. 5, 2009) The Islamic Society of North America condemns in the strongest terms the attack on soldiers at Fort Hood, res…
ISNA Condemns Attacks on Homes and Places of Worship in NYC
(Jan 4, 2012)  The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is extremely concerned and disturbed by a series of attacks perpetrated through
Search ISNA
ISNA CONDEMNS ATTACKS ON IRAQI CHRISTIANS IN MOSUL
ISNA Joins OIC in Calling for Prosecution of Perpetrators of Anti-Christian Violence(Washington D.C., 10/20/08) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest umbrella…
ISNA Condemns Attempt to Bomb U.S. Synagogues, Applauds Law Enforcement for Intercepting Explosive Packages
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Source: ISNA (Plainfield, IN Oct 30, 2010)  The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) applauds law enforcement and all other persons res…
ISNA Condemns Barbaric Attack and Murders of Catholic Worshipers in Iraq
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESource: ISNA(Plainfield, IN Nov 4, 2010) ISNA condemns in the strongest terms and is outraged by the recent barbaric attack which claimed the lives of fifty…
ISNA Condemns Barbaric Attack in Iraq
Source: ISNA(Plainfield, IN Nov 4, 2010) ISNA condemns in the strongest terms and is outraged by the recent barbaric attack which claimed the lives of fifty-eight innocent worsh…
ISNA Condemns Beijing’s Heavy-Handed Response to Uighurs’ Protests
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Source: ISNA(Plainfield, IN – July 10, 2009) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is troubled by the deadly ethnic clashes between the Hans and Uigh…
ISNA Condemns Brutal Violence by Syrian Regime, Asks President Obama for Leadership on Issue in U.N.
(Plainfield, IN, Feb 4, 2012)  The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is deeply disturbed by the news of the massacre committed in Homs, Syria by the regime yeste…
ISNA Condemns Gadahn’s Call for Mass Murder in America
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE(Plainfield, IN – March 7, 2010) Adam Gadahn, a “spokesman” for Al-Qaeda today called for terrorist attacks on American targets, including “mass transportat…
ISNA CONDEMNS INTRA-MUSLIM VIOLENCE IN IRAQ
Plainfield, IN 12/18/06 – The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) wishes to express its great concern about the unnecessary, daily bloodshed and other forms of brutality com…

This is just from the first two pages of results for the search “ISNA condemns”.

I then went to the MPAC site and entered the search “MPAC condemns”, and again came up with numerous condemnations going on for 10 pages

Since it is so obvious from my very first accuracy check on Geller’s statement, that she is wrong, I don’t feel obligated to check out each website to find out what they have.

In my article on freedom of faith  I note that CAIR published a position statement on Islam and Apostasy back in 2009.  In 2007, more than 100 Muslim Academics/Scholars/Imams/Professionals released a statement upholding the Freedom of Faith and the Freedom to Change one’s Faith.  In that article I also noted in a recent update about Pastor Nadarkhani

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s hate groups the AFDI/SIOA are planning another of their “conferences” and Geller has published one of her typical screeds promoting the conference.  It is to be held, as Geller says “to compete with CAIR’s ‘human rights’” conference in Southern California at the same time.  In the course of Geller’s promotion of her event and mud-slinging at CAIR, Geller says:

“We’re calling upon Hamas-tied CAIR to stand up for Pastor Youcef and other victims of Islam’s apostasy law at their so-called “civil rights” conference and to stand for human rights for all. Under the guise of “civil rights,” these subversive groups seek to undermine the unalienable rights guaranteed to every individual under the Constitution. Their ruse must be exposed, their Shariah agenda renounced.”

If Geller would actually keep up with what American Muslims are actually saying, she would have noticed that CAIR did issue a position statement on punishment for apostasy in 2009, and can find the full text in the 9/29/09 update to this article above.  She would also notice that in 2006 CAIR called on the government of Afghanistan to release Abdul Rahman, a man facing the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity, and she would find articles against any punishment for apostasy written by CAIR members in our TAM article collections.  For example, this one by Ahmed Bedier.

This is typical of the approach of Islamophobes like Geller and Spencer.  Just a month ago they held another phony conference, the Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference and made similar baseless attacks on Imam Qazwini of Dearborn.

The leaders of many Muslim organizations are working on all sorts of genuine human rights projects and issues, for example, Imam Mohamed Magid and Mohamed Elsanousi of ISNA are working with Religious Authorities in N. Africa to develop protocols to protect the rights of religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries across the globe.

Many Muslim organizations and activists have issued joint statements on many topics, for example, MPAC, ISNA, CAIR, and other Muslim organizations issued condemnations of attacks on Egyptian Churches in Egypt and Nigeria

The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) issued a Resolution: On Being Faithful Muslims and Loyal Americans.

In our TAM resource collection of Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism, here is the section in which you will find all sorts of statements by American Muslim organizations and their leadership:

MUSLIMS DENOUNCE TERRORISM

 

Simply click on the logo on the homepage to go to a lengthy collection of Muslim denunciations of terrorism, extremism, and violence.

– Qur’an & Hadith against extremism  (see also power point presentations)

– Part I Fatwas and formal statements by Muslim scholars and organizations.

– Statements by Organizations (has now been included in Part I)

– Part III Statements and Articles by Individuals (see also power point presentations)

– Part IV A Few Quotes A-K, and A Few Quotes L-Z

– Part V The Muslim Majority Who Don’t Get Publicity (see also power point presentation)

– Muslims and Arabs in the U.S. Military

– Selective Hearing of Muslim Voices Against Extremism

– Sunni Shia Unity Resource – collection of articles

– Muslim Voices Promoting Islamic Non Violent Solutions

This resource has been right on the main page of TAM for years.  Geller is certainly aware of this as she has visited the TAM site and made false comments about TAM and myself many times.

Geller’s “love” for Muslims is legendary, as is her “truth telling”.  As I’ve said before, if Muslims are so terrible why the need to tell so many lies?

There is a reason that many outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL (A Jewish anti-defamation group) has said that Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) is a “group that promotes an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.   There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that they are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islamand The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that Geller and Spencer are featured prominently in the Center for American Progress “Fear Inc.” report on the Islamophobia network in America.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the NYCLU reportReligious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.  There is a reason that they are featured in our TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  There is a reason that Geller is featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

These people consistently promote the what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims.  They generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.   When they are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

The claim that “truth tellers” are being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia is nonsense.  The further claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews also proves that Islamophobia doesn’t exist is more nonsense.

The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.   The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, and it isalso strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism.

Why Islamophobes Hate Ron Paul

(image from an Islamophobic website)

DISCLAIMER: LoonWatch has not endorsed any candidate for President of the United States.  This article should not be seen as such.

Islamophobes absolutely hate Ron Paul.  Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs–the King and Queen of Islamophobia on the internet–dedicate page after page on their hate blogs lambasting the Congressman and presidential hopeful.

Why do they hate Ron Paul so much?

There are three major reasons why they detest him:

(1) Ron Paul stands up for American Muslims against Islamophobia.  For example, he defended the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” arguing that the entire controversy was “all about hate and Islamophobia.”

(2) He has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Bush-Obama curtailments of civil liberties that specifically target Muslims.

(3) Paul is the only major presidential candidate to oppose America’s wars in the Muslim world.  Even more importantly, Ron Paul links reason #1 above (the Lesser Islamophobia) to reason #3 (the Greater Islamophobia), arguing that “in order to perpetuate this foreign policy…they have to perpetuate this hate toward Islam.”

This third reason is also why mainstream politicians and the mainstream media dislike Ron Paul and have tried their utmost to destroy him.  Fox political pundit Bill O’Reilly argued that Paul’s views on foreign policy “disqualifies him” as a candidate for president.  Here is exactly what O’Reilly said:

His foreign policy disqualifies him in my eyes as an American…

Bill O’Reilly has inadvertently touched upon something very deep and meaningful:  “As an American,” foreign policy must include waging war.  To do without war would simply be un-American.

One recalls the words of H. Rap Brown, the chairman of the civil rights group Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), who famously declared in 1967:

Violence is as American as cherry pie.

Brown uttered this statement during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.  While blacks were being beaten up and hosed down in the streets of America, the United States was raining death down upon the Vietnamese population halfway across the earth.

H. Rap Brown was not the only one in the civil rights movement who linked the struggle of blacks in America to the struggle of the darker skinned peoples of the world.  For instance, Martin Luther King, Jr. called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” for its war-making:

The Soviet Union brought attention to America’s “Negro problem.”  Michael L. Krenn writes on pp.89-90 of Race and U.S. Foreign Policy During the Cold War:

By 1949, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, “the ‘Negro question’ [was] [o]ne of the principal Soviet propaganda themes regarding the United States.” “[T]he Soviet press hammers away unceasingly on such things as ‘lynch law,’ segregation, racial discrimination, deprivation of political rights, etc., seeking to build up a picture of an America in which the Negroes are brutally downtrodden with no hope of improving their status under the existing form of government.”  An [American] Embassy official believed that “this attention to the Negro problem serves political ends desired by the Soviet Union and has nothing whatsoever to do with any desire to better the Negro’s position.”

Apparently, only the United States is allowed to saber rattle and invade countries on the grounds that the “existing form of government” is discriminatory or unjust to part of its population.

With the world’s spotlight on America’s treatment of its darker-skinned citizens–and those same citizens linking their struggle to America’s foreign wars against darker-skinned peoples–the United States moved in the direction of racial integration in the 1970’s.  America’s longest war was also grudgingly brought to an end.

But today, despite the fact that we have been waging wars for two decades in the Muslim world and in just the last couple years bombed over half a dozen Muslim countries, the anti-war movement is, at least compared to the 1960’s and 70’s, all but dead.

Ron Paul is one of the only major political figures–and the only major presidential candidate–to oppose America’s wars.

And that is why he is in the cross-hairs of anti-Muslim bigots, who see the world in apocalyptic holy war terms: the jihad will bring an end to Western civilization as we know it so we must destroy them first! This is their fundamental world view, which is why sustaining and protracting the wars against the Muslim world is their greatest desire.

Ron Paul threatens that paradigm.  He dares to cogitate that it is our military interventions in the Muslim world that result in Islamic terrorism against the United States and her allies.  He had the chutzpah to include 9/11 in this: “They attack us because we’ve been over there. We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years.”

In the American national discourse, this is next to blasphemy.  But, in the rest of the world (especially in Muslim countries), this is not just common knowledge, it’s common sense.  In fact, nothing could be more obvious.

It’s precisely because this idea is so obvious and self-evident that it must simply never be uttered in the United States.  Anyone who does so must be condemned as unpatriotic and, worse, as Unserious.  Such a person’s character must be viciously attacked.

That’s exactly what is happening to Ron Paul.  Unfortunately, Paul deserves much of the blame for making himself such an easy target.  The racist newsletters are a gold-mine for his opponents.  Pamela Geller gleefully called them a “bombshell,” arguing that his presidential bid is now “unrecoverable” and that “[h]e is done.”

The evidence against Ron Paul, that he wrote those vile things against black people, is certainly very strong.  The only saving grace for Paul is the fact that those racist screeds do not sound anything like him.  Whether or not this alone can outweigh the proof against him, I do not know.  Whatever the case, Paul’s delay in disassociating himself from the letters, his ever-changing excuses, and his questionable associations are enough to condemn him.  (A balanced article on Ron Paul was written by the indefatigable Glenn Greenwald.)

Under normal circumstances, I’d have nothing but absolute contempt for Ron Paul.  In fact, even if he didn’t have such racism-related baggage,  a progressive like myself would have nothing to do with a man who wants to get rid of social welfare programs, the Department of Education, etc. etc.  When it comes to domestic issues, there is probably very little Ron Paul and I would see eye-to-eye on.  Worse yet, I find many of his views on such matters to be outside the realms of reasonableness–I’d go so far as to call them loony.

Yet, many progressives like myself are finding themselves inexorably drawn to Ron Paul.  That is because he is the only major presidential candidate to oppose America’s wars.  Stated another way: the rest of the candidates–including the incumbent president (who expanded the War on Terror)–are war-makers.  Ron Paul is the only peace candidate.

This says a lot about the state of our union more than it does about Ron Paul.  War-making has become such a staple of American life that the only man who stands a chance (and a slim one at that) of bringing an end to Endless War is a loony, fringe candidate with a questionable and possibly racist past.

I have been criticized by some Islamophobes for daring to say anything positive about Ron Paul.  But, the fact that a person of my views (a progressive peacenik) is forced to consider Ron Paul is indicative of how truly violent and warlike our country has become (or, rather, has always been).  This underscores my main counter-argument to the Supreme Islamophobic Myth: we, as part of the Judeo-Christian West, have been and are still, just as, if not more, violent and warlike than the Muslim world.

This fact is underscored even more by the fact that the reason why Ron Paul has been “disqualified” as a realistic candidate is because, in the words of Bill O’Reilly, of his peace-loving foreign policy.  Imagine, for instance, if an Iranian candidate for the Iranian presidency could never realistically win unless he advocated for war against other countries.  What would it say about Iranians if they, by convention and consensus, refused to elect someone who advocated peaceful relations with the rest of the world?

One would expect that progressive peaceniks like myself would have more options to choose from than just one candidate.  But because warmongering is an essential component of being president of the United States (and serving in the military is almost a prerequisite to getting elected–imagine if Iranians would demand that their leaders must have sometime in their lives fought jihad), there is virtually nobody to vote for.

In an earlier article, I wrote of how war has been a part of the American psyche since the very beginning, from 1776 all the way to the present.  We’ve never gone a decade without a major war, and no president in our history can truly be considered a peacetime president.  Yet, somehow even after waging wars for more than 91% of our existence, we look at ourselves as peace-makers and “those Moozlums over there” as violent and warlike.

A verse from the Quran is most fitting here: “When it is said to them: ‘Do not make mischief on earth,’ they say: ‘We are but peace-makers.’  In fact, they are the mischief-makers, but they realize it not.” (2:11-12)

*  *  *  *  *

Something else that reinforces my argument is the fact that even Ron Paul, the single peace proponent in the presidential race, does not seem to oppose war based on peacenik principles.  He usually raises financial and political arguments against the wars, instead of humanitarian ones: We’re bankrupting ourselves.  Or: These wars result in terrorism (against us).

Our moral compass should not be dictated by money or self-interest.  We should oppose these wars because killing innocent civilians is morally atrocious.  This is what should be the main argument:

Not this:

Let me clarify: there is nothing wrong with raising financial and political arguments as secondary reasons to end the wars.  In fact, I would encourage doing so.  But, the primary motivation behind opposing wars should be less self-centered (the war is costing us too much money, they may retaliate with terrorism against us, too many of our young soldiers are risking their lives over there), but more humanitarian towards the victims of our aggression: we are killing innocent civilians.

Ron Paul’s emphasis on financial and political reasons, as opposed to humanitarian concerns, seems to be consistent with his ideology.  (After all, he supported Israel’s bombing of Iraq in 1981 and seems unconcerned if Israel bombs Iran on its own accord.  This indicates to me that it is not the dead in Iraq or Iran that bothers him so much, but only that it would cost us money to kill them or would risk retaliation against us for doing so.)  What does it say about America if even the one and only supposed peace candidate is against wars not out of humanitarian reasons but financial and political concerns?

Even if I am being too harsh on Ron Paul and it’s just a political consideration to focus on financial and political reasons, what does it say about us Americans that we can only be convinced based on our wallets and not on our consciences?

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I don’t say this very often, but Pamela Geller was absolutely right when she said  about Ron Paul that “[h]e is done.”  He most certainly is.  And so dies the only candidate who could have ended America’s Endless Wars.

One should point out, however, that just because the Islamophobes have found the Kryptonite that will kill Ron Paul (the racist newsletters) this doesn’t change the fact that Paul’s foreign policy views were correct.

Let this be a lesson to groupies and fan boys of Ron Paul, a lesson that groupies and fan boys of Barack Obama should also heed: do not put your hopes in a man, because if you do, that man will often, if not always, disappoint you. Put your faith in a conviction instead.  If you hold on tightly enough to the conviction and not the man, it will persevere.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

DISCLAIMER: LoonWatch has not endorsed any candidate for President of the United States.  This article should not be seen as such.