Wired.com: US Media Helped anti-Muslim Bodies Gain Influence, Distort Islam

A very interesting article on an important study by Christopher Bail of the University of North Carolina.

One important finding that jumped out at us was the incestuous relationship between various anti-Muslim organizations,

“In the US all not-for-profit or non-governmental organisations are required to file documentation that describes the names of people who are on their board. My research team collected these names and created a social network map that describes overlapping board membership among the organisations. This social network analysis enabled us to determine precisely which groups are connected to each other, and how these relationships evolved over time.”

US media helped anti-Muslim bodies gain influence, distort Islam

by Liat Clark (Wired.co.uk)

A study published by a sociologist has revealed that fear-mongering non-governmental anti-Muslim organisations have been heavily influencing US media since 9/11, their messages seeping into news articles and television reporting and drawing their ethos from the fringes, straight into the mainstream.

What’s perhaps most troubling about the results is how these minor groups, which would ordinarily receive little or no air time, have gained an element of respect that has led to them receiving more funding and coupling with influential bodies. Their influence is such that they have even been able to paint mainstream Muslim organisations as radical, says the study.

“The vast majority of organisations competing to shape public discourse about Islam after the September 11 attacks delivered pro-Muslim messages, yet my study shows that journalists were so captivated by a small group of fringe organisations that they came to be perceived as mainstream,” the paper’s author, University of North Carolina assistant professor of sociology Christopher Bail, told Wired.co.uk.

“Anti-Muslim fringe organisations dominated the mass media via displays of fear and anger. Institutional amplification of this emotional energy, I argue, created a gravitational pull or ‘fringe effect’ that realigned inter-organisational networks and altered the contours of mainstream discourse itself.”

Bail and his team used plagiarism detection software to compare 1,084 press releases produced by 120 different organisations with more than 50,000 television transcripts and newspaper articles produced between 2001 and 2008. The software picked up damning similarities between the releases and stories from news outlets including the New York TimesUSA Today, the Washington Times, CBS News, CNN and Fox News Channel.

“We learned the American media almost completely ignored public condemnations of terrorist events by prominent Muslim organisations in the United States,” Bail told Wired.co.uk. “Inattention to these condemnations, combined with the emotional warnings of anti-fringe organisations, has created a very distorted representation of the community of advocacy organisations, think tanks, and religious groups competing to shape the representation of Islam in the American public sphere.”

Read the rest…

“Exclusive”: U.S. groups helped fund Dutch anti-Islam politician Wilders

How much of this is really “exclusive?” That the Islamophobia industry has been funding Wilders and his cronies across the Atlantic has been known now for quite some time. It is a good development however that Reuters is picking up on this. (h/t: Wilfredo A. Ruiz)

Also see: NETHERLANDS/USA | Conservative US groups helped fund Dutch far right politician: Reports (h/t: Jai)

Exclusive: U.S. groups helped fund Dutch anti-Islam politician Wilders

By Anthony Deutsch and Mark Hosenball

AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Anti-Islam groups in America have provided financial support to Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an anti-immigration campaigner who is seeking re-election to the Dutch parliament this week.

While this is not illegal in the Netherlands, it sheds light on the international connections of Wilders, whose Freedom Party is the least transparent Dutch parliamentary group and a rallying point for Europe’s far right.

Wilders’ party is self-funded, unlike other Dutch parties that are subsidized by the government. It does not, therefore, have to meet the same disclosure requirements.

Groups in America seeking to counter Islamic influence in the West say they funded police protection and paid legal costs for Wilders whose party is polling in fourth place before the Sept 12 election.

Wilders’ ideas – calling for a halt to non-Western immigration and bans on Muslim headscarfs and the construction of mosques – have struck a chord in mainstream politics beyond the Netherlands. France banned clothing that covers the face in April 2011 and Belgium followed suit in July of the same year. Switzerland barred the construction of new minarets following a referendum in 2009.

The Middle East Forum, a pro-Israeli think tank based in Philadelphia, funded Wilders’ legal defense in 2010 and 2011 against Dutch charges of inciting racial hatred, its director Daniel Pipes said.

The Middle East Forum has a stated goal, according to its website, of protecting the “freedom of public speech of anti-Islamist authors, promoting American interests in the Middle East and protecting the constitutional order from Middle Eastern threats”. It sent money directly to Wilders’ lawyer via its Legal Project, Pipes said.

Represented by Dutch criminal lawyer Bram Moscowitz, Wilders successfully defended himself against the charges, which were brought by prosecutors in Amsterdam on behalf of groups representing minorities from Turkey, Morocco and other countries with Muslim populations.

The case heard in October 2010 was filed in response to Wilders’ comments in the Dutch media about Muslims and his film “Fitna”, which interlays images of terrorist attacks with quotations from the Koran and prompted protests by Muslims in Islamic countries worldwide. The court found he had stayed within the limits of free speech.

Pipes declined to say how much his group paid for Wilders’ defense.

Moscowitz declined to discuss payments for Wilders’ defense, citing client confidentiality.

Wilders said in an emailed statement that his legal expenses were paid for with the help of voluntary donations from defenders of freedom of speech.

“I do not answer questions of who they are and what they have paid. This could jeopardize their safety,” Wilders said.

VISITS TO THE UNITED STATES

Wilders, 49, first became a member of the Dutch parliament for the pro-business Liberal Party before winning nine seats for his own Freedom Party in 2006, campaigning against Islam, which he calls a threat to Dutch culture and Western values.

He called Islam a violent political ideology and vowed never to enter a mosque, “not in 100,000 years”. His party won 24 seats in the 150-seat lower house in June 2010.

He has been under 24-hour security for eight years after receiving death threats from radical Muslim groups in the Netherlands and abroad. Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik cited anti-Islamic comments by Wilders in an online manifesto that sought to justify his crimes. Wilders has denounced Breivik and his actions.

David Horowitz, who runs a network of Los Angeles-based conservative groups and a website called FrontPage magazine, said he paid Wilders fees for making two speeches, security costs during student protests and overnight accommodation for his Dutch bodyguards during a 2009 U.S. trip.

Horowitz said he paid Wilders for one speech in Los Angeles and one at Temple University in Philadelphia. He declined to specify the amounts, but said that Wilders had received “a good fee.”

When Wilders’ Philadelphia appearance sparked student protests, Horowitz said, he paid a special security fee of about $1,500 to the Philadelphia police department. Horowitz said he also paid for overnight accommodation for four or five Dutch government bodyguards accompanying Wilders on the trip.

Wilders said in response: “I am frequently asked to speak abroad. Whenever possible I accept these invitations. I never ask for a fee. However, sometimes the travel and accommodation expenses are paid. My personal security is always paid for by the Dutch government.”

Pipes and Horowitz denied funding Wilders’ political activities in Holland. Both run non-profit, tax exempt research and policy organizations which, under U.S. tax laws, are forbidden from giving direct financial backing to any political candidate or party. U.S. law does allow such groups to support policy debates financially.

During Wilders’ visit to Los Angeles, where Horowitz runs an organization called the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Horowitz said he organized an event at which Danish cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed were auctioned. He said he did not remember how much money this event raised or what happened to the proceeds.

Horowitz agreed with the Dutchman’s repeated, public comparison of the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Comparing the two works was a “fair analogy,” Horowitz said. He said Wilders was “fighting the good fight.”

Horowitz said U.S. backers helped Wilders raise money to pay legal fees to fight a ban from visiting Britain in 2009, where he planned to screen Fitna. The British government said at the time: “The Government opposes extremism in all its forms. The decision to refuse Wilders admission was taken on the basis that his presence could have inflamed tensions between our communities and have led to inter-faith violence.”

Wilders won an appeal in the British courts in October 2009 when the ban was overturned.

Wilders has other supporters in the United States, such as Pamela Geller, who runs Stop Islamization of America and has backed Wilders in public statements. Geller remains a supporter. She says she does not provide Wilders with financial assistance.

Wilders has not revealed how his political activities are paid for. Former Freedom Party officials have said he has no personal funds and almost entirely relies on foreign donations.

Like other Dutch political parties, members of parliament for the Freedom Party have been allocated 165,000 euros ($211,200) per year for expenses. Former Freedom Party officials speaking on condition of anonymity said the money, nearly 4 million euros per year, went to the party and has not been accounted for.

Wilders said in his emailed response that former Freedom Party officials making such allegations were bitter and spiteful. “These people have other motives than telling the truth,” he said.

“Our party has a sixty euro annual budget. The rumors about millions of euros in sponsoring are complete nonsense. A Freedom Party-related foundation receives donations from Dutch or foreign sources, but these are modest amounts of money and certainly never millions,” it continued.

The Dutch government turned down requests for additional information about Freedom Party finances.

“I do not possess relevant information or documents” about the Freedom party finances or campaign contributions because the party does not receive subsidies, Dutch Minister for Internal Affairs Liesbeth Spies said in a written response.

(Editing by Janet McBride)

The Sikh Temple Carnage, White Supremacy and Islamophobia

Sikhs pray at the funeral for those killed by White Supremacist terrorist, Wade Michael Page.

by Garibaldi

Friday, in Oak Creek, Wisconsin six Sikh Americans, five men and one woman, victims of a terrorist attack were laid to rest “surrounded by men and women singing traditional Punjabi hymns.” They were killed in their house of worship, the Gurdwara, where they had gathered for prayer and celebration. The six fallen are as follows: Sita Singh, 41; Ranjit Singh, 49; Prakash Singh, 39; Paramjit Kaur, 41; Suveg Singh, 84; and the temple’s president, Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65.

When news of the terrorist attack on the Sikh Temple was breaking I unreservedly reported it on Loonwatch, it had all the hallmarks of an attack rooted in hate and Islamophobia. Considering the underreported increase in hate crimes and bias attacks against Sikhs, many of which are motivated by attackers’ “misplaced Islamophobia,” I highlighted that,

At the moment we do not know who the shooter was, or his motivation, but in light of the rise in bias attacks and incidents against Sikhs, who are often mistaken for Muslims, this story may be related to violent anti-Muslim Islamophobia and general xenophobia.

Immediately, Islamophobic critics, most of whom are keen on downplaying the effects of racism and bigotry took offense, claiming we were trying to score “points.” This is nothing more than their own projection, as any crime, real or perceived, possibly committed by a Muslim would forthrightly be blamed by them on “Islam.” As Wajahat Ali points out, questions about whether Wade Michael Page actually mistook Sikhs for Muslims are “irrelevant.”

We have yet to determine if Page mistook Sikhs for Muslims, but such questions are irrelevant. In today’s Islamophobic atmosphere, there has been increased marginalization of all AMEMSA (Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, South Asian) communities. In particular, Sikh Americans have faced the brunt of post 9/11 hate crimes and backlash, with Sikh men often being mistaken for Muslims. The first, post 9/11 hate crime murder was of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh gas station owner in Arizona, whom the murderer chose because he was“dark-skinned, bearded and wore a turban.”

What has largely been missing from this discussion however is the relationship between White Supremacists and Islamophobia; their is a nexus that links the two. White supremacy is not new to the Islamophobia Movement. White Supremacist groups and ideologues on both sides of the Atlantic have latched onto the rhetoric of Islamophobic anti-Muslim hate, which they find to be an altogether more easier, accommodating and acceptable vehicle of bigotry to express their agendas and policies. This approach was summed up by Nick Griffin of the BNP (heirs of the White Supremacist National Front), his quite public attempt to break with the BNP’s anti-Semitic past was revealed for the fraud that every one suspected it was. At a conference in the USA, Griffin spoke about the BNP’s strategy and true attitude towards Jews,

“The proper enemy to any political movement isn’t necessarily the most evil and the worst. The proper enemy is the one we can most easily defeat.”

The enemy he talks about most “easily” defeating are Muslims.

Like the BNP, the Islamophobes in the EDL are following a similar course, showing faux respect and solidarity with other groups while bashing Muslims and Islam. Frequently, one will see Israeli flags at EDL protests, a cover that ironically masks a number of Neo-Nazis and sieg heil saluters at the core of the EDL grassroots. In Germany, a story layered with Islamophobia from the lowest to the highest levels exposed a severe security blunder on the part of authorities; for over ten years a cell of Neo-Nazis targeted and murdered German Muslims of Turkish and North African descent. Throughout Europe, Muslim places of worship, community centers and graves have been desecrated with swastikas. Geert Wilders (PVV), Marine Le Pen (FN), Vlaams Belang, Italy’s Northern League, Greece’s Golden Dawn are just some of the supremacists whose rhetoric echoes closely their more open and unabashed White Supremacist and fascist predecessors.

In the United States one must recall the godfather of Islamophobia, Daniel Pipes who bemoaned ‘brown-skinned Muslim people’s exotic customs,’

“Western societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene…All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.”

Pipes’ Jewishness in this regard did not impede him from hurling such racist sentiments akin to what we expect to hear from the Grand Wizard of the KKK. The revelation here is that while some White Supremacists are eager to mask their old prejudices for more convenient “new” ones, there are some individuals from minority backgrounds who are all too eager to reciprocate. This is likely why you saw a Jewish Defense League division of the EDL, and Rabbi Nachum Shifren taking up the rhetoric of White Supremacism,

… I AM an Islamophobe, and everything we need to know about Islam, we learned on 9-11! I believe in peace and justice for everybody – but that’s not why they’re here…. We’re getting sucker-punched because we as white – yes I said it! – as white, Christian Americans are being taught that somehow WE are to blame for all the problems.

White Supremacism’s nexus with Islamophobia is even more vividly on display when we encounter the curious case of White Supremacist, David Yerushalmi. Yerushalmi, one will note, is the chief architect behind the anti-Sharia legislation drive that has swept dozens of US states over the past several years. Yerushalmi’s oxymoronic identities of Orthodox Jew and White Supremacist reminds one of the case of young Israeli-Russian Jews who turned Neo-Nazi, and afterword went on an anti-Semitic binge in Tel Aviv.

Yerushalmi is a co-founder of the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE); an organization that seeks to criminalize the practice of Islam. Islamophobe David Gaubatz‘s Mapping Shariah Project was conducted under the aegis of SANE, it’s main claim that over 80% of mosques in the USA are hotbeds of radicalism and terror is a viral talking-point with the Islamophobia Movement. This fake claim about US mosques has been reproduced by such prominent bigots as Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Daniel Pipes, Frank Gaffney and has even found its way into the mouths of numerous politicians, including Rep. Peter King, the McCarthyist chair of the current witch-hunt hearings on American Muslims. The number of “80%” has also been used to delegitimize and impede the construction of mosques. It was a frequent trope that was pulled out by anti-Mosque activists during the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy.

We know that bigots have, since 9/11, wedded the rhetoric of Islamophobia and White Supremacism. The Twin Towers, a building that was targeted by terrorists, has been transformed by the cynical in the Islamophobia-White Supremacist nexus into a symbol to be manipulated and exploited for their own agendas. Was it a coincidence that the terrorist Wade Michael Page had a 9/11 tattoo?

Maybe not.

9/11 and The Twin Towers have unfortunately become part of the iconography of hate amongst the Islamophobia Movement. The Twin Towers are all over the Islamophobes’ websites and blogs and even in their emblems, for instance, take Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller’s SIOA image:

Long before the SPLC labeled SIOA a hate group, Loonwatch did. Loonwatch exposed not only how Islamophobic the SIOA is but how its membership is filled with racists, many who espouse White Supremacist views, with frequent talk of “ragheads” and “sandniggers” on their official Facebook membership page.

In a clear example of the union of Islamophobic and White Supremacist iconography take Douglas Story, a White Supremacist who adorned his pickup truck with the Confederate flag; the Neo-Nazi code numbers of 14 and 88 on his license plate; as well as an image of the collapsing Twin Tower’s with the words, “Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Islam, I Learned on 9/11.”

Douglas Story was later arrested by the FBI for purchasing an AK-47 from an undercover agent. Robert Spencer defended Douglas Story and has never issued a retraction or an apology for his defense of Story.

I have only scratched the surface when it comes to the nexus between White Supremacism and Islamophobia in this article. There is much more to discuss. While Islamophobia is a multi-varied phenomenon, White Supremacism is a virulent and pungent trend within the ranks of the Islamophobia Movement. A further, more detailed article discussing all of the various Islamophobic-White Supremacist hate organizations, web sites, blogs, and political parties is necessary for a full treatment of this dangerous racism.

TheReligionOfPeace.com: Working to Streamline the American Empire’s “War on Terror”

The_Religion_of_Peace.com

by Garibaldi

Before Loonwatch launched in 2009 the web was inundated with a plethora of anti-Muslim Islamophobes, who for a full 8 years (since 9/11) organized and propagated their narratives on Islam/Muslims largely unopposed (notable exceptions). A cornerstone narrative that was developed and used by the Islamophobia Movement during this time was the myth that “All Terrorists are Muslim.” This narrative had wide circulation until it was debunked by Danios.

The fallback arguments that Islamophobes have since tried to amplify are two: 1. even if all terrorists aren’t Muslims, the overwhelming majority of terrorists are, and 2. most terrorist attacks worldwide are committed by Muslims, hence, in a further leap of logic, Islam is to blame. This argument conflates the tactic of terrorism with the religion of Islam, a claim whose proponents don’t even consider Islam a religion but rather a “political ideology.” More on this later.

TheReligionOfPeace.Com and the Faulty “Islamic Terrorism Ticker”:

If you visit JihadWatch, AtlasShrugs or any of the too numerous to count anti-Muslim hate sites and blogs, you are likely to find on the sidebar a hyperlinked image claiming that “Islamic Terrorists have carried out more than _____ Deadly Terror Attacks Since 9/11.” The image was created by the anti-Islam hate site, The Religion of Peace (TROP), associated with Islamophobe Daniel Greenfield, aka “SultanKnish,” who you will recall earns a pretty penny from the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

(as of July 7,2012)

The clear visual intent of this “Islamic terrorism ticker” is to provoke an emotive fear and anxiety of a global, monolithic, totalitarian Islam (read: Muslims), that is waging terror everywhere through thousands upon thousands of unmitigated and random attacks. On TROP the “terror ticker” serves as ammunition for the site’s stated missionary proposition of portraying “Islam” as “the world’s worst religion.” It also aids in the attempt to tie terrorism to Islam.

Even a cursory glance at TROP’s list of so-called “Islamic terrorist attacks” reveals it to be nothing more than a deeply biased, propagandistic spin-job that conflates:  real terrorist attacks, (semi)religious/culturally motivated crimes, attacks on military personnel and attacks by secular groups with no ideological basis in Islam — all in theaters of occupation, civil war and separatist conflict.

Sheila Musaji comments on this aspect of TROP’s list, writing,

This site lists acts committed around the world – some in wars, some having nothing to do with Islam, but to do with nationalist or political struggles, some in civil wars. No links are given. No sources for any of this just a list of supposed attacks carried out by “Islamic terrorists”.

Musaji’s complaint about their lack of links or citations to attacks holds true, however, one can generally glean where they grab their information. Some of it is likely from verifiable news sources while other sources are Right-Wing Christian/Zionist sites and news aggregators such as World Net Daily, BosNewsLife and Arutz Sheva.

A sampling of the entries on TROP’s “terrorism attack ticker” list  is quite revealing. One of their most recent entries is an attack near Turbat, Pakistan. This is how TROP spins this nationalist/separatist attack:


According to most reports Balochistani nationalist separatists are suspected (via. CNN),

Attackers on motorcycles killed 18 Pakistani day laborers traveling through Pakistan’s Balochistan province on their way to Iran on Friday, according to Home Secretary Naseebullah Khan Bazai.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Bazai said authorities suspect Baloch insurgents who have been fighting Pakistan’s government over economic, political and human rights issues.

According to Bazai, the day laborers from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa provinces were heading to Iran to seek work when four assailants on two motorcycles drew close and opened fire, killing 18 and injuring two.

The incident happened about 74 miles (120 kilometers) from Turbat, CNN affiliate GEO TV reported.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf’s office condemned the attack, saying in a statement that “the cowardly act will not weaken the resolve of the government and people to defeat the forces of evil.”

These facts are no hindrance for TROP’s propagandistic methodology, they likewise file this attack under “Islamic terrorist attack.”

Non-religious crime:


Criminal gangs as well as a low scale insurgency operate in Dagestan. No group has claimed responsibility for gunning down the cop. Interestingly enough if one searches Google for “off-duty cop gunned down,” one will notice many findings of such incidences occurring recently in the USA. Should such killings likewise be termed “American Terrorism,” or since the majority of Americans identify as Christians, “Christian Terrorism?”

Attack on Foreign Occupiers:


British soldiers who are part of a coalition force in Afghanistan are not civilians, therefore this attack is not one that falls under so-called “Islamic terrorism.” Terrorism in most definitions refers, in one way or another, to the targeted killing of civilians in the furtherance of a political cause.

Suspected non-religious motivated crime:


TROP seems to have taken this report from BosNewsLife, which according to its About page is a Christian news agency. News reports of this incident do not mention the religion of the two individuals who were killed. They are described as two musicians and brothers, and most reports say a “religious” motive is not suspected. Again, this does not fit the paradigm of so-called “Islamic terrorism.”

Tribal/Cultural crime:


A sad and despicable murder, but definitely not related to Islam or terrorism. TROP’s attempted spin here is to conflate Islam with the so-called cultural practice of “honor killing,” which exists in various cultures around the world.

Nationalist/Secular Attack:

The BLA are nationalists yet TROP labels them “Islamic Terrorists.”

TROP once again conflates separatist groups who have specific nationalist aspirations with so-called “Islamic terrorism.” The BLA (Balochistan Liberation Army) claimed responsibility for the attack,

QUETTA: The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on a passenger train, warning people to refrain from traveling on the Pakistan Railways coaches as “such attacks will continue until the independence of Balochistan.”

According to Meerak Baloch, a spokesman for the BLA, the portion of the train which was attacked actually carried Pakistan personnel of the Pakistan army.

“We have warned all people, including the Balochs, Sindhis and Pashtuns, to stop collaboration with the Pakistani army or traveling on Pakistani trains,” said the spokesman who called the media from an undisclosed location. The spokesman said such attacks on the Pakistani army would continue in the future as well.

Domestic violence:


A very sad story, related more to patriarchy and domestic violence than “Islamic Terrorism.” It also should be pointed out that instances of husbands beating or forcing their wives to vote the way they want is not limited to Muslim countries.

Honor killing:


Once again, a sad and despicable murder, but definitely not related to Islam or terrorism. TROP’s attempted spin here is to conflate Islam with the so-called cultural practice of “honor killing,” which exists in various cultures around the world.

Reprisal attack, inter-ethnic violence:


Myanmar is home to the displaced Muslim Rohingya peoples, a group that is considered one of the most oppressed in the world. The country is seeing some of its worst inter-ethnic violence in quite some time with the beleaguered Muslim minority facing the brunt of the violence. These attacks are better categorized under sectarian and reprisal violence, not “Islamic terrorism.”

Honor Killing:


Also an unbelievably sad and despicable triple murder, no doubt, but definitely not related to Islam or terrorism. TROP’s attempted spin here is to conflate Islam with the so-called cultural practice of “honor killing,” which exists in various cultures around the world.

Attack on Foreign Occupiers:


Once again, NATO soldiers are not civilians, this does not fall under the general understanding of “terrorism,” let alone the ephemeral concept of “Islamic terrorism.”

Separatist attack on soldiers:


TROP leaves out the fact that there has been a separatist insurgency in Southern Thailand since 2004. The majority of the population in the South are Muslim Malay who feel marginalized and discriminated against by the predominately Buddhist Thai government. This does not fit under the rubric of terrorism. Those targeted by separatist insurgents were Thai soldiers and not civilians (via. AP).

Police Col. Samneang Luejeangkam says the attackers hurled a grenade into a school in Yala province’s Krongpinang district on Saturday while soldiers were taking part in a daily briefing in the schoolyard.

 Soldiers guard state schools in the area because teachers are often targets of the separatists, who regard them as representatives of the government.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces since an Islamist insurgency flared in 2004. Muslim residents have long complained of being treated as second-class citizens in the predominantly Buddhist nation.

Honor-related Crime:


Another terrible honor based crime.TROP’s attempted spin here is to conflate Islam with the so-called cultural practice of “honor killing,” which exists in various cultures around the world.

Honor Killing:


Once again, a horrific and despicable double murder, but definitely not related to Islam or terrorism. TROP’s attempted spin here is to conflate Islam with the so-called cultural practice of “honor killing,” which exists in various cultures around the world.

Assault:


While certainly falling under “assault” and disregard for freedom of religion/expression this has nothing to do with “terrorism.”

Possible Honor Killing:

A horrendous triple murder, but again, definitely not related to Islam or terrorism. TROP’s attempted spin here is to conflate Islam with the so-called cultural practice of “honor killing,” which exists in various non-Muslim cultures around the world.

The above is just a rough sampling of “attacks” over a period of a month that TROP included as terrorist attacks but that would not fit most definitions of terrorism, let alone so-called “Islamic terrorism.”

TROP also reports many incidents of attacks as the work of Islamist/terrorist groups when no group has taken responsibility or when law enforcement is unsure of the culprit. They omit facts, decontextualize, leaving out the fact that most of these attacks are part of larger insurgencies against the state. They also just plain lie about some attacks.

The Correlation Between the US “War on Terror” and the Exponential Increase in Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan:

It goes without saying that experts on terrorism, actually anyone involved in counter-terrorism does not rely on TROPs silly “Islamic terrorism ticker” in their listing of terrorist attacks. Most experts laugh off TROPs clear missionary attempt at maximizing “Islamic terrorism” by inflating the numbers with everything from nationalist attacks to so-called honor killings.

What TROP and other Islamophobic sites will also cover up is the obvious correlation between the US “War on Terror” and the exponential rise of terrorism in Muslim majority countries, specifically Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. These three countries account for more than roughly two-thirds of terrorist attacks over the past 7 years.

In Danios’ groundbreaking article, Most Victims of Islamic Terrorism are Muslim…And Why America is to Blame for it, he begins by pointing out that the threat of terrorism to Americans and Europeans is “very minimal.” The brunt of terrorist attacks around the world is absorbed by Muslims. One would think that this being the case Muslims would be at the forefront cheerleading the “War on Terror,” but they aren’t,

Muslims around the globe (including in Afghanistan and Iraq), overwhelmingly disapprove of the so-called War on Terror.  In fact, they hold very negative views of the United States (at least in regard its foreign policy), viewing “‘U.S. interference in the Arab world’ as the greatest obstacle to peace and stability in the Middle East.”  This, in spite of the majority holding very negative views towards Al-Qaeda and its tactics.

So why do Muslims hold such negatives views of US foreign policy and the “War on Terror” despite also holding overwhelmingly negative views towards AlQaeda and its tactics?

It’s because they know what is painfully obvious: it is U.S. military intervention in the region that is most responsible for creating the problem of terrorism.

Statistics and graphs illustrating the number of terrorist attacks pre-War on Terror and post-War on Terror highlight this point vividly.

Iraq:

In the year before the Iraq War (from 3/19/2002 to 3/19/2003), there were only 13 terrorist attacks and 14 terrorism-related deaths in Iraq.  In the year after the Iraq War (from 3/20/2003 to 3/20/2004), there were 225 terrorist attacks and 1,074 terrorism-related deaths.  In other words, the U.S. invasion of Iraq resulted in an over 1600% increase in terrorist attacks and an over 7500% increase in terrorism-related deaths in just one year.  

At the height of the Iraq War, there were 3,968 terrorist attacks, resulting in 9,497 deaths–which amounts to an over 30,000% increase in terrorist incidents and over 67,000% increase in terrorism-related deaths as compared to pre-war years.
Here is a graphical representation to help visualize the data from RDWTI:

Afghanistan:

Using the data from RDWTI, we find that in the year just prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, there were only three terrorist attacks in the country, resulting in eight fatalities.  By 2008, the number of terrorist attacks had jumped to 450 and the number of terrorism-related deaths to 1,228.  In other words, the U.S. War in Afghanistan resulted in a 15,000% increase in both terrorism related incidents and deaths. 

Here’s what it looks graphically:

Pakistan:

The U.S.-led War in Afghanistan has created a worsening terrorism problem for Pakistan as well.  There are many complex reasons for this spike in violence within Pakistan (which are beyond the scope of this article), but all are ultimately rooted in America’s War on Terror.  Using the RAND Database of Worldwide Terrorism Incidents, we find that there was an over 650% increase in terrorism-related fatalities in Pakistan as a result of America’s war (568 deaths in 2008 as compared to 73 in 2000).

Don’t expect these sobering facts to make it onto any discussion about terrorism, let alone onto the Islamophobia Movement’s “terrorism ticker.” In their reflexive dash to demonize Islam and Muslims the Islamophobes stand exposed as the real dissemblers; those who work day and night to cover up the American Empire’s creation of the Middle East and South Asia’s “terrorism” nightmare.

The Conflation of the Strategy of Terrorism with Religion and Ideology:

Why are the Islamophobes so intent on their quixotic attempt to paint Islam as a political ideology instead of a religion? One reason has to do with the unwillingness of the Islamophobia Movement to differentiate between the tactic of terrorism and ideology.

This conflation of the tactic of terrorism as an inherent manifestation of certain political ideologies has its roots in the turbulent political environment of the 1970′s, when terrorism was almost “commonly regarded” as Left-Wing.

“Terrorism and guerrilla warfare have a history dating back many centuries, quite possibly one that predates the advent of conventional warfare. The study of this history is not an academic exercise; however, a true understanding of the terrorist phenomenon is impossible without at least some knowledge of what has gone before. To give but two examples: during the 1970′s it was common to regard terrorism as mainly, if not exclusively, left wing and revolutionary because the leading terrorist groups at the time in Europe, Latin America, and parts of the Middle East, implemented the terminology of the far left.

This focus on one specific trend was based on a profound misjudgment. It assumed that terrorism was an ideology whereas in actual fact it was a strategy used by the extreme right and the far left, by radical nationalist and fanatical religious groups alike. Understanding the history of terrorism on a world wide basis would have obviated such a fatal misreading. In a similar way, suicide attacks have struck many observers in recent years as something totally new and unprecedented, though it is an ancient tactic. In fact terrorists attacks predating the twentieth century were almost all suicidal in nature because with daggers, short range pistols and unstable bombs, the attacker’s prospects of survival were less than brilliant.” (emphasis added) Laqueur, W. (Ed.). (2004). Voices of Terror.

Absent from most discussions regarding terrorism is the role of state sponsored terrorism, especially the United States involvement in giving both “material” and “direct support” to groups that they themselves have designated as “foreign terrorist” organizations. Whether it is the Mujahidin-e Khalq (MEK), or the less well known relationship between NATO and the AlQaeda affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), or the current quagmire in Syria where US made arms and ammunition are finding themselves in the hands of rebels, some of whose ideological foundations mirror AlQaeda.

What is evident, and not altogether unsurprising, is that superpowers are willing to do business with terrorists whenever it suits their needs, all the while lying in the face of their apathetic citizenry. Indeed, they can always rely on bigoted zealots such as those at TheReligionOfPeace.com to cheerlead the enterprise of empire.