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Archive for the category “Robert Spencer”

6 Degrees of Anders Breivik

Occasionally I like to indulge my immature side and post something a bit more light hearted than usual, but as ever, there’s always a message.

1. Anders Breivik

Far right extremist, anti-Muslim terrorist, perpetrator of 77 murders in Oslo & Utoya. EDL supporter.

2. Daryl Hobson

EDL organiser & logo designer, Facebook friend of Breivik & recipient of his infamous manifesto.

3. Stephen Lennon

EDL leader & founder, despite denying knowledge of Hobson they have been photographed together.

Daryl Hobson & Tommy Robinson/Stephen Lennon

4. Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer

Namechecked 64 times in Breivik’s manifesto, eminent Islamophobe, co-founder of SIOA and EDL endorser.

5. Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray

Heads conservative think tank Centre for Social Cohesion, has liaised with Spencer on ‘counter terrorism’ issues, EDL sympathiser, influential in formulating David Cameron’s Prevent strategy addressing Islamic extremism.

6. David Cameron

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, denouncer of multiculturalism, Muslim scapegoater.

Despite this being a slightly mischievous post, it’s not entirely frivolous. The issue that has caused these people’s paths to cross socially or professionally is Islam. The thought that the work of Robert Spencer could influence both the acts of a terrorist and government policy on dealing with the Muslim community is worrying to say the least, and is yet another reason to put these hatemongers under the microscope and blow their industry wide open.

The Day Islamophobia Exploded

Many observers, bloggers and commentators have been monitoring and logging the rise of Islamophobia in recent years. I, myself, have expressed concern on more than one occasion that unless the acceptability of anti-Muslim sentiment is challenged it will take a tragedy on a large scale to wake people up to the rise of far right extremism. I have been working on a blog post addressing what I see as an impending tipping point for the EDL at their proposed Tower Hamlets demonstration. I’ve been sitting on it due to further developments and partly because I feared my theory would be considered slightly hysterical. In light of events in Norway this week, it appears that my, and many others fears were well founded.

This is part of the post I was going to title ‘The EDL and their East end Crossroads’.

With EDL demos mainly consisting of congregating, drinking, singing the same few songs and leaving, they achieve absolutely nothing in their quest of halting the Islamic jihad. Tower Hamlets could be the one where the violent online rhetoric is transferred into actions. The consequences of this could spell the beginning of the end for them as an organisation. How much longer will they be allowed to disrupt communities, waste police time and tax payers money? The rise in their profile means that more and more members of the general public are becoming aware of their reputation and what they stand for. Some will sympathise, the majority see them for what they are and reject them.

I predict that the Tower Hamlets event will further drive a wedge between the EDL and mainstream society and many members will have to choose which direction they wish to take. If there is large scale disorder I can see harsher restrictions being put on their marches or total bans. This will lead to frustration among the more moderate members who will become disillusioned and abandon the group. If the demo passes without incident due to kettling or lack of reaction from the locals, the more extreme element within the EDL will also be frustrated that what was supposed to be their showpiece demo failed to live up to its billing. Their resentment towards the government, local authorities, the Muslim community and the ‘left’ will grow, and their already unhealthy paranoia will force them to become more militant to satisfy their appetite for action and to achieve their goals. It will be the end of the EDL as we know it.

The organisation will have shed any illusion of inclusiveness and adherence to an obsolete mission statement, and ‘ordinary’ members will be marginalised. There is a real danger that regional divisions could evolve into underground urban militias, stockpiling weapons in readiness for the civil war that will never materialise. Nevertheless the ever changing demographics of the UK will fuel their paranoia and result in sporadic violence and possibly even terrorist attacks. This may sound like pure fantasy, but it’s already happening. In the UK, the last 2 years have seen over 30 recorded incidents of arson, vandalism or attempted bombings of mosques, assaults on individuals outside mosques or vandalism of Muslim graves. This is more than one incident a month, and many incidents go unreported due to fear of reprisals. I don’t see this stopping anytime soon unless serious action is taken or something tragic happens. Islamophobia and far right extremism are on the rise in Europe, and until they are both addressed on a governmental level they will keep on growing, and only a catastrophic event will cause people to treat the issue with the seriousness it warrants.

Maybe I’m being melodramatic, maybe the EDL will just amble along on the fringes of mainstream society until they realise they serve no purpose, and the movement will fizzle out naturally. But the level of hatred and violent rhetoric that comes from a hardcore of members indicates that they won’t go down without a fight. They actually believe they are fighting a domestic war to win their country back. These people won’t just stop feeling the way they do and will exist in some shape or form, EDL or not. This is the reason I feel things will inevitably escalate before they improve. How quickly they escalate will be decided in no small part on September the 3rd 2011. Hopefully then we can help things improve.

I posted an article recently highlighting the relative scarcity of jihadist attacks in Europe and the US compared to other ideologies and how we need to change the perception regarding terrorism and terrorists. The reluctance to acknowledge the threat of domestic terrorism in order to chase the Islamic bogeyman has caused the powers that be to take their eye off the ball with catastrophic consequences.

Here’s an extract from an article I wrote back in April 2011.

In 2011, no one in the mainstream media would dare espouse openly anti-Semitic views akin to those above. No one would express their wishes to return blacks to the status they had in the Jim Crow era, whether they held them or not. Why then, in the 21st century is it acceptable to do both of these with Muslims?

It worries me to imagine how far this could go before it is seen for what it is. Where is the tipping point? What will be the catalyst that forces people to say enough is enough? Unfortunately it will likely be a tragedy on a large scale. It scares me to imagine how large. People are dying daily in Yemen, Syria and Bahrain. Hundreds of detainees remain in Guantanamo Bay without charge. The civilian death toll in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is in the hundreds of thousands. The people of Palestine are still living in a state of apartheid under siege. How much suffering needs to be inflicted before a watershed occurs?

As long as the GWOT continues, as long as Palestinians resist, and as long as there is oil in the middle east, there will be a need to demonise Muslims and Arabs. In recent weeks we have seen anti-Muslim hearings being held and anti-Sharia laws being passed in America. We’ve seen France criminalise 0.003% of it’s population by banning the niqab. Belgium have already done this. Holland is considering the issue of Halal slaughter. Switzerland has already banned the erection of minarets. Gaza has lost women and children with no media outcry, western condemnation or political debate for a no fly zone.

My hope is that making it as uncomfortable as possible to carry out this demonising will go some way to accelerating it’s demise. Don’t let anyone tell you they can’t be racist towards Muslims, because they can and they are. From the lowliest EDL member, to Republican Senators and Heads of State. Let’s not allow them to hide behind the false claims and propaganda. It’s a huge challenge due to the semantics and misinformation in use and the political implications. The influence of the Conservative Christian right and Pro Israel lobby also cannot be underestimated. But the court of public opinion will always hold considerable power. Public opinion needs to be informed to be able to pass judgement. That’s where we come in. Let’s take this opportunity in the age of social networks and internet revolutions to help raise awareness and stop the hate. Forward, share, join, like, tweet and retweet. Let’s become the generation that said ‘Never Again’ and really meant it.

I blogged this in June 2011.

The acquittal of Geert Wilders in an Amsterdam court yesterday was a victory for free speech. It was also a victory for hate and hypocrisy……What will this mean for Muslims in Holland, across Europe and the West? A report from Belgium shows that Islamophobia is at an all time high there, while anti-Muslim attacks are on the rise in the UK and US, ranging from verbal abuse, to mosque vandalism and physical attacks. France and Switzerland have also introduced legislation that infringe on Muslims practicing their faith. This legal victory will no doubt fortify those who share his views, and I would venture that we can expect some attention seekers to attempt to capitalise on it.

It seems insensitive to say I told you so at a time like this, but many of us did. The only surprise for me was the fact that the attack didn’t focus on Muslims. But something else that has struck me recently is that if there is one set of people the far right despise more than Muslims, it’s ‘the left’. Whether it’s because they see them as dhimmis, traitors, enablers or the manufacturers of the multicultural society they abhor. In some perverse way, the fact that white Europeans were the victims could be less damaging in the long term. It may sound callous, but with Caucasian natives being murdered it may bring home the gravity of the threat to the ruling elite, the media and general public in a way that the deaths of immigrants couldn’t. Also, the bombing of a mosque or immigration centre, with an equal number of Muslim casualties could spark continent wide race riots with dire implications for community relations which could take a generation to rebuild. The most fitting tribute the people of Europe could pay to these innocent kids and their families is to promise not to let this happen again, to anyone.

The only way we can do this is by ensuring that politicians, the media and anyone else with influence are aware of the problem. A good start would be to shine the spotlight as brightly as possible on the anti-Muslim ideologues that inspired Breivik’s imagination and actions. Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, Daniel Pipes, Fjordman, Bat Ye’or, Brigitte Gabriel, Frank Gaffney, Walid Shoebat, Andrew Bostom, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Melanie Phillips, David Horowitz and Front Page, Steve Emerson, Ibn Warraq, Gate of Vienna, SIOE among others all need to feel the heat. Whilst not directly responsible for the atrocity, their influence is undeniable. Whilst each and every one of them attempts to distance themselves from Breivik’s actions, their words of hate towards Muslims and liberals are freely available to observe on the world wide web.

Robert Spencer“The girl is right: do not fear. Fight back against the jihad. Fear hands the jihadis a weapon.”

Pamela Geller“And I pray dearly that in the ungodly event that Tehran or its jihadi proxies (Hez’ballah, Hamas etc) target Israel with a nuke, that she retaliate with everything she has at Tehran, Mecca, and Medina…………… Not to mention Europe.” 

Geert Wilders“We need a spirit of resistance, because resistance to evil is our moral duty.”

Daniel Pipes“Western European 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.”

Walid Shoebat“Kill them (Muslims)… including the children … “

Bat Ye’or“Those churches know perfectly well the dire condition of Christians in Muslim lands. But instead of denouncing it, they adopt the militancy of the Janissaries, those Christian slave militias that were the spearhead of the Islamic war against Christianity.”

Mark Steyn – “The Serbs figured that out–as other Continentals will in the years ahead: If you can’t outbreed the enemy, cull ‘em. The problem that Europe faces is that Bosnia’s demographic profile is now the model for the entire continent.”

David Horowitz“What other people wouldn’t be stringing up the people who were responsible or who they thought to be responsible.”

Brigitte Gabriel –  “America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam.”

“It is not yet politically correct to talk about a religious war. But this is exactly what we are facing: a religious war declared by devout Muslims….It’s not radical Islam. It’s what Islam is at its core.” 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali – “No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.  I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. You look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.”

This is just the tip of the Islamophobic iceberg. So far, this warmongering rhetoric has gone without the disapproval that would greet similar sentiments about blacks or Jews. Despite the rise in Islamophobic incidents, this brand of hate speech has been tolerated or ignored. Many of us who have been casting a more critical and analytical eye over developments have suspected it would only be a matter of time before some radicalised extremist took the only step left to take. Now it’s happened, we’ll see whether they will continue their irresponsible hate mongering. The attack by Breivik is seen by him as the start of a war, one that the aforementioned ‘counter jihadists’ have been using to spread fear and paranoia for years. The reaction of many of them has been one of surprise, as if the holy war they predicted was just a propaganda tool that they never seriously envisaged happening. Well, whether it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy or not, it’s here now and the words and actions of these figureheads and their disciples will be scrutinised to the nth degree. They need to be held accountable and made to answer. If they truly condemn and regret the horrific events of last Friday, they must now enter meaningful dialogue to prove it. Does their humanity outweigh their hate? Are they willing to put their selfish agenda’s aside for the sake of peace? We shall see, as somehow I doubt this is the last I’ll blog on this subject.

For more articles on the threat of the far right and its ideologues I’ve linked some below.

http://yellow-stars.com/blog/2011/07/23/norway-attack-islamophobic-reaction/

http://yellow-stars.com/blog/2011/07/23/norway-and-europe-new-terrorist-threat/

http://yellow-stars.com/blog/2011/06/19/wrong-dangerous-directions-counter-terrorism-western-world/

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/07/25/rise_of_the_radical_right

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2011/07/26/europe_right_wing_extremism

http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/07/loonwatch-has-been-warning-about-a-anders-behring-breivik-for-years/

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/07/26/what-are-people-like-melanie-phillips-calling-for-then/

Response to lancastrian_EDL

This is a response to a response to an earlier blog post of mine.

Firstly I have to say I’m amazed that someone who’s clearly an intellectual cut above the usual </aEDL thug is attempting to make a case for said organisation being a human rights group. Either you are being monumentally naive or extremely dishonest. Secondly I’ll address the charge that I imply “we can ignore Islamic human rights violations” and I “would prefer them to be quietly swept under the carpet”. This is a typical right-wing response to what is simply pointing out the hypocrisy and double standards, of a group highlighting the wrongdoings of a certain section of society, whilst the same crimes are being committed within their own. I’m not the one demonising an entire community of people here, if it wasn’t for the EDL and their ilk being hellbent on creating a fear of a non-existent threat, there would be no need for people like me to redress the balance.

Next, and this is a good one, is the feeble attempt to absolve the EDL of any semblance of guilt by association or incitement. The claim that “the EDL doesn’t have any members, it only has supporters” will come as a huge surprise to the thousands of people who believe they are members of a movement, not just supporters of an abstract concept or political ideology. Unless you are part of the leadership you have no authority to make such a claim. And what of the leadership? Are the people who actually founded and lead the EDL members or merely supporters of an intangible set of ideals (sharia?)? What if we just use them as a measure of how credible the claims to be a human rights organisation are?

Courtesy of Exposing Racism and Intolerance online & Hope not Hate.

The leader and founder Steven Yaxley Lennon

In 2004 he joined the BNP with a family membership. In the same year he assaulted an off-duty police officer who intervened to stop a domestic incident between Yaxley-Lennon and his partner Jenna Vowles. During the scuffle Yaxley-Lennon kicked the officer in the head.

http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/The-BNP-past-of-EDL-leader

He was convicted on 18 April 2005 for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, for which he was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, and assault with intent to resist arrest, for which he received a concurrent term of three months.

Vowles, also a BNP member, was cautioned for possession of cocaine. She told the court that the she found two empty bags in her house and was taking them out so that her parents did not find them.

Kevin Carroll

Kevin Carroll is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the EDL. In July he lost his appeal against his conviction for shouting abuse at Islamic protesters at the Luton homecoming parade for the Royal Anglian Regiment. It was the events in Luton in March 2009 that prompted the EDL’s formation.

He insists he is not racist, yet he revealed in a BBC documentary, Young, British and Angry, that he had signed the nomination papers in the 2007 Luton council elections for Robert Sherratt, a BNP candidate and activist in the tiny nazi November 9th Society. Carroll apparently was very keen to stand as a BNP candidate himself but was prevented by his partner’s intervention.

Guramit Singh

You know what, ive got an inkling the profit muhammed was really a bit of a adultering, raping, hate preaching looting Cunt!! Anyone agree, or is it just me????

The muzzies wanna keep away from me im just looking for an excuse im fucked off at the mo fuck the pakis … i just think we shud burn the cunts now!!

[Comment aimed at a Muslim who insulted the EDL] hey amir how many times have u fucked your sister today, ure all a bunch of pedos, piss off back to pakistan!!

“God bless the Christians, Jews, Sikhs, even God bless the Muslims – they’ll need it when they’re burning in fucking hell.”

http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/guramit-singh-in-anti-muslim-tirade/

http://www.thesamosa.co.uk/index.php/news-and-features/society/218-dear-edl-is-this-how-you-want-muslims-to-observe-british-law.html

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/03/defence-league-parliament

Jeff Marsh

Has served three jail terms for violence, including a two-year sentence in 1989 for stabbing two Manchester United fans.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1338080/Special-Investigation-English-Defence-League-hooligans-spreading-hate-High-Street.html

Joel Titus – EDL Youth Division Leader

A prominent member of the English Defence League admitted his part in a mass brawl between Brentford and Leyton Orient fans in London. Joel Titus, was among rival supporters who clashed in a a pre-arranged meeting on the final day of last season, on May 8, at Liverpool Street station.”

http://www.24dash.com/news/communities/2011-04-19-English-Defence-League-youth-facing-jail-over-mass-brawl

Joel Titus gets ASBO preventing him from attending EDL protests for the next three years.
http://content.met.police.uk/News/Man-banned-from-attending-EDL-protests/1260268914243/1257246745756

Richard Price

A leader of the English Defence League who was described as a “political prisoner” after being jailed for violence at a march had already been placed on the sex offenders register for downloading indecent images of children.

Price, 41, had been convicted in June 2010 of making four indecent images of children, and possessing cocaine and crack cocaine.

An earlier arrest in 2009 for public order offences believed to have been connected with EDL marches.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-12024824
http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/newsevents/newsevents-pressreleases/newsevents-pressreleases-item.htm?id=160275
http://news.uk.msn.com/forum/thread.aspx?board=00000071-0328-0000-0000-000000000000&thread=9edd7c2e-3ef1-4d75-bfa4-d98cae6db122

Roberta Moore

Roberta Moore, notorious Kahanist , Islamophobe and close ally of Zionist Federation Co Vice-Chair Jonathan Hoffman, announced that her three-member strong “Jewish Division” is now closely working with American far-right group, the Jewish Task Force (JTF), whose leader Victor Vancier served a five-year prison sentence for bomb attacks against Soviet targets in America in response for the USSR’s alleged mistreatment of Soviet Jews.

http://londonbds.org/2011/03/06/ahava-another-goal-for-bds/

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/45704/edl-dismisses-jewish-arm-too-extreme-0

Show me another human rights organisation with a leadership structure with these types of characters. If these are the most senior and influential members of the EDL how does that fit into the ethos of a human right group?

Here’s another beauty.

“As the mission statement  makes clear, the changes required need to come largely from within  the Islamic community.”

Not once, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, television or radio interviews, from ‘supporters’ and leaders alike have I ever seen or heard the suggestion that the solution must come from within the Muslim community. In fact I have yet to see any constructive advice at all. I have seen chants of “Burn a poppy, we’ll burn a mosque”, “We all hate Muslims”, “Who the fuck is Allah”, “Allah is a paedo”, “Muslim paedos off our street”, “We want our country back”, “You’re not English any more” etc. Divisive and offensive slogans sang by hundreds of ‘supporters’ at every demo without the intervention of other ‘supporters’ or stewards.

This one is a peach.

“Suggestions that as an entity, EDL should  present recommendations would only be construed as imposing things.”

The EDL don’t want to be seen as imposing things on the Muslim community? How very British. Let’s just take that in for a moment. The EDL, out of meekness or diplomacy don’t want to impose, but feel it’s their place to call for a ban on the burka? They don’t want to be construed as treading on anyone’s toes, but will protest halal food outside KFC for a whole week? Their leader is happy to call for the halt of mosque building and Muslim immigration, but doesn’t want to impose? Why organise demos in Luton, Bradford or Oldham where there are large Muslim communities, at huge expense to the taxpayer and against the wishes of the locals if you don’t want to impose? As I said your either being naive or dishonest.

“The mention of origins of majority of Muslims shows that once again racism is being used (wrongly again) as a charge to try and stifle any debate.”

*Sigh* This tired old right-wing cliché again. This one is wheeled out every time the truth becomes a little too uncomfortable. The irony is that it’s this statement that usually leads to the end of the debate, not the accusation of racism. It never seems to be followed by any convincing argument for why they couldn’t possibly be racist. Is it a just wild coincidence that a group formed and lead by BNP members, convicted hooligans and terrorist sympathisers attracts other violent racists as supporters.

“As for  the ‘type of people’ the EDL attracts, some people are less  articulate than others (that is more a reflection on the British school system over the past decades) on the subject of Islam but they  have a right to their opinion and it is still valid.”

This is a weak and disingenuous argument. Don’t try to pass off the failure of people to express their objections to a ‘barbaric, totalitarian, political doctrine’ as a lack of education. Have a browse of the 1,300 screen captures compiled here if you honestly think it is to do with anything other than racism. Before you use the Muslims aren’t a race card, read my thoughts on that first.

I’m not sure how you’re defining the ‘Muslim problem’, but here is my take. This is what I had to say about Cameron’s multiculturalism speech. Some thoughts on collective guilt here. You have already read my piece on sharia.

Another question for you to consider. If the EDL genuinely advocate human rights, how do they explain throwing their support behind Israeli and Zionist organisations? Israel has perpetrated more violations of international law than every other nation combined, and consistently ignore UN rulings. The EDL would be the only human rights organisation on the planet that not only don’t condemn Israeli expansion but actively support it.

“Also, some of the sources quoted by you are hardly what one might  describe as impartial. Most have fairly extreme agendas of their own  and that has certainly influenced the presentation.”

This one is going to be fun. The sources I have quoted are either concerned with news or opposing bigotry. Any agenda they have is either in reporting fact or exposing racial hatred. If you think that’s extreme, that says more about you than it does about them. If the details were libelous action would have been taken. As you say, the presentation may be influenced, but you don’t challenge the veracity of the contents. Speaking of impartial sources with extreme agendas, I notice that you provide a link to Jihadwatch in your twitter profile. You may not see the irony here so I’ll do my best to make it obvious. Let’s start with Robert Spencer himself, the anti-Muslim ideologue who runs the site. Here’s what some renowned scholars and experts have to say about him.

“Spencer’s readers are carefully steered away from all contact with the Islamic interpretative tradition, which equals or exceeds that of any other religion, because any scholarly knowledge about Islam would expose all his extremist interpretations to ridicule.”

- Robert Crane, (Ex-Nixon Aide, author)

______________________

“[Robert Spencer] has no academic training in Islamic studies whatsoever; his M.A. degree was in the field of early Christianity”

“The publications of Spencer belong to the class of Islamophobic extremism that is promoted and supported by right-wing organizations, who are perpetuating a type of bigotry similar to anti-Semitism and racial prejudice. They are to be viewed with great suspicion by anyone who wishes to find reliable and scholarly information on the subject of Islam.”

- Carl Ernst (Islamic Scholar UNC)

______________________

“[Robert Spencer] uses the Internet to spread misinformation and hatred of Islam and presents a ‘skewed, one-sided, and inflammatory story that only helps to sow the seed of civilizational conflict’.”

Benazir Bhutto (Late Prime Minister of Pakistan)

______________________

“When it comes to Robert Spencer scholars of Islamic studies outright dismiss him and his body of work. They call him an unreliable ideologue at best and a divisive bigot at worst.”

- Michael Kruse (Writer St. Petersburg Times)

______________________

“After looking at your website, I was quite surprised to see how much hate, venom and misunderstanding you are fostering.”

- M. Cherif Bassiouni (Law Professor, Scholar, Humanitarian)

______________________

“Robert Spencer is an extremist, right-wing anti-Muslim rabble rouser.”

- Robert Dreyfuss (Nation Magazine Editor, Contributor to Rolling Stone and Mother Jones)

______________________

“Mr. Spencer espouses a view of Islam as a system of belief which is essentially violent, undemocratic, totalitarian, exclusive and at war with all non-Muslims. Mr. Spencer in fact goes as far as to equate Islam with fascism.”

- Group of ALA Librarians, scholars and academics

______________________

“There is no doubt The Little King [Robert Spencer] ‘plagiarized,’ and therefore is a ‘plagiarist’.”

- Andrew Bostom (Close friend, ally and blog collaborator)

______________________

“Robert Spencer is an anti-Muslim blogger…And yes, I do mean ‘anti-Muslim’ — Spencer long ago crossed the line from simply criticizing radical Islamists to relentlessly demonizing all Muslims. And the bigoted, hateful comments he allows at his website are beyond disgusting.”

Charles Johnson (Former Ally, Friend and Blog Collaborator)

______________________

“Spencer’s historical argument is dubious. It emphasizes violent passages in the Koran, while downplaying the passages that urge peace and goodwill. It applies a moral standard to Islamic empires that certainly could not be met by the Roman empire or the empires established by the Portuguese, the Spanish, the French and the British. In the Spain of Ferdinand and Isabella, for example, Jews had three choices: convert to Christianity, leave the country, or be killed. No Muslim empire legislated or systematically enforced such a policy toward its religious minorities.”

“Spencer glibly jumps over entire centuries in linking, say, the savagery of the Ottomans in Constantinople with the savagery of Hezbollah in Lebanon or the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

- Dinesh D’Souza (Conservative scholar, pundit and author)

______________________

“According to Mr. Spencer, Judeo-Christianity is fundamentally and qualitatively superior to Islam, so to suggest that there could be a degenerative least-common-denominator into which all three religions could converge under any conditions, reeks of cultural relativism, because it denies Judeo-Christianity’s irreducible superiority.”

“I find it curious that Robert Spencer closes both eyes to atrocities perpetrated by Serbs, because if it had only been Muslims on their receiving end, I would understand now (but of coursenot justify it) seeing where Spencer is coming from, but Serbs have also fought against Croats and Slovenes —their fellow Christians. Yet he takes the side of the most historically aggressive representatives of his own ‘Religion of Peace.’ Could it be that while ostensibly and quite irrationally denying any violence within Christianity, he in fact secretly and perhaps subconsciously admiresviolent Christianity?”

- Kejda Gjermani (Commentary Magazine author)

______________________

“Robert Spencer, a prolific anti-Islam writer and a leading Islamophobe who is bent on distorting Islam and demonizing Muslims, has persistently argued that violence and terrorism employed by Muslim extremists is rooted in the Quran and its message. Spencer calls the Quran, a book sacred to Muslim, ‘the jihadists’ Mein Kampf,’ in reference to Hitler’s memoir.”

- Louay M. Safi (Islamic Scholar)

______________________

“The widespread ignorance about Islam in the West makes many vulnerable to Spencer’s polemic; he is telling them what they are predisposed to hear. His book is a gift to extremists who can use it to ‘prove’ to those Muslims who have been alienated by events in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq that the west is incurably hostile to their faith.”

- Karen Armstrong (Author)

______________________

“Spencer thinks, ‘Islamist fundamentalist drive European politics’.”

“Spencer and Bat Ye’or “lack academic seriousness.”

- Ivan Jablonka (Scholar)

______________________

“Words like Islamophobia and phrases like anti-Muslim bigotryare bandied about too liberally…But the real thing does exist, and it frequently takes the cover of anti-jihadism. Jihad Watch…traffics fairly openly in such stuff.”

- Cathy Young (Writer with Reason Magazine)

Hasn’t started well has it? What about the content of the site.

Well there was that time when a series of bomb attacks hit India in 2007 & 2008. Without hesitation or a shred of evidence, Spencer claimed it was the work of a Bangladeshi jihadist group. Lo and behold, it then transpires that the attacks were carried out by a Hindu group, with no retraction or correction on Jihadwatch.

Then there was the case of the Muslim terrorist on a Maltese flight last year, who was praying in the aisle with a suspect package. Except it turns out he was a Christian. A West Indian, dreadlocked Christian with a funny accent, but a Christian all the same. This particular story was deleted from Jihadwatch.

What about the infamous Gaza mass child bride extravaganza? Who could forget that? A field day for Islamophobes and Zionists. A photograph emerged in which numerous grooms were accompanied by primary school age girls dressed as brides. You can imagine the headlines. Yet again, this myth was busted by someone who was actually present. The young girls were the cousins and nieces of the grooms. But hey, they’re Muslims, you wouldn’t put it past them would you?

There’s the fact that Spencer uses a bogus translator to manipulate Arabic texts to suit his agenda. In one instance he reported a Fatwa giving Muslims permission to have sex with pre-pubescent girls, when in fact the true translation showed that the Fatwa was intended to do the exact opposite. The full read is absolutely ‘you couldn’t make it up’, facepalm material.

There was the time Spencer was revealed to be the owner of ‘hate URLs’ fuckislam.com and fuckallah.com only to delete them when exposed. Impartial source?

Don’t forget the time he accidentally joined a genocidal Facebook group. That could have looked really bad.

There are volumes upon volumes of work, comprehensively debunking Spencer’s dishonesty. Here is a start.

Robert Spencer and the disappearing articles

Robert Spencer’s “Scholarly” Credentials

On Spencer’s Credentials and Methodology

Understanding Jihad – Answers to Spencer’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)

“Fascist-Islamophobia”: A Case Study in Totalitarian Demonization – Five part series debunking Spencer’s written work.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Robert Spencer – A huge resource of responses and rebuttals of Spencer’s statements.

It seems to me that you are either oblivious to the reality of what the EDL is or just trying to pull the wool over my eyes. It won’t work. If you truly believe that the EDL mission statement is sincere, and a representation of what they stand for maybe I have overestimated your intelligence. I wonder if you can even see the irony of an EDL member using a piece of text as the true representation of what they believe in when an extreme element of their membership is found to be violent and bigoted, and the whole organisation comes under fire? Does it sound familiar?

Some areas of Islam may indeed be in need of reform, and the will to do so must come from within the community. But if the EDL mission statement is the true reflection of its values, intentions and actions, I argue that they are in need of larger reforms, from top to bottom. Either that or you need to admit that it’s just an exercise in disingenuous public relations, get off the bandwagon, and start your own peaceful human rights organisation. All the EDL has succeeded in doing is driving a wedge between themselves and the Muslim community, and creating further hostility. If Islam is going to reform some of its aspects, young, Westernised Muslims will be at the forefront. The EDL is only alienating them at present, and fostering a climate of suspicion, resentment and hate.

Never Again?

I’ve made the point on previous occasions that the likes of the EDL seem to think they can smear and abuse Muslims with impunity, and counter any accusations of racism with the ‘Muslims aren’t a race’ clause. Let’s ignore for the time being the fact that the discrimination and persecution of a minority on ANY grounds is abhorrent, regardless of the spin you put on it.  The anti-Muslim phenomenon has more than a whiff of déjà vu about it. The language, the fear, the paranoia. We’ve seen it all before. More than once.

We in the West have a habit of creating a bogeyman using the same formula in cyclical fashion, this time it’s the Muslims turn. Whether they want to admit it or not, the Islamophobes are guilty of an offence on a par with racism and anti-Semitism. They might have different names, but they are all part of the same beast. Islamophobia deserves the same legitimacy as any other discriminatory ideology. As if to highlight this fact Microsoft Word is leaving a wavy red line every time the word is typed, and it will be the same when I copy this onto my blog. It’s not recognised as a valid word, so it can be dismissed as a manufactured phrase concocted by the leftist dhimmis of the PC brigade. What we’re witnessing has glaring similarities with the demonising of Blacks and Jews in the past. History will show this, but that’s no consolation to Muslims today. Can we hasten the process by opening people’s eyes? I believe so.

Let’s start with anti-Semitism first, as unfortunately, the most powerful and influential figures within the Islamophobic industry seem to be pro-Israel Zionists, be they Christian or Jewish.

This is the Wiki definition.

Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is prejudice against or hostility towards Jews often rooted in hatred of their ethnic background, culture, and/or religion. In its extreme form, it “attributes to the Jews an exceptional position among all other civilizations, defames them as an inferior group and denies their being part of the nation[s]” in which they reside. A person who holds such views is called an “antisemite”.

The word was in use long before the Nazi era, but only after the end of WWII and the full extent of the Holocaust was realised did it become a pejorative term.

Here’s the corresponding definition of Islamophobia.

Islamophobia is prejudice against, hatred or fear of Islam or Muslims. The term seems to date back to the late 1980s, but came into common usage after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States to refer to types of political dialogue that appeared prejudicially resistant to pro-Islamic argument.

In 1997, the British Runnymede Trust defined Islamophobia as the “dread or hatred of Islam and therefore, to the fear and dislike of all Muslims,” stating that it also refers to the practice of discriminating against Muslims by excluding them from the economic, social, and public life of the nation. It includes the perception that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion.

Already we can see striking similarities between the two, which shouldn’t be a huge surprise.  Let’s compare.

Antisemitism is prejudice against or hostility towards Jews often rooted in hatred of their ethnic background, culture, and/or religion.

Islamophobia is prejudice against, hatred or fear of Islam or Muslims.

Give or take a few words they’re virtually interchangeable. Notice that prejudice against Judaism and Islam, the faiths themselves, in the definition. If anti-Semitism is considered a form of racism why not Islamophobia?

A number of accusations are made against Muslims and Islam in order to justify Islamophobic sentiments or actions. One angle is the use of the Qur’an and Hadith to prove that any criminal, violent or deviant behaviour from Muslims is the norm due to their adherence to the word of Allah and the example of Muhammad. The Anti-Defamation League produced a document in 2003 addressing the issue of misusing the Talmud to propagate anti-Semitism. It highlighted 5 common claims made.

Hussein Ibish, an agnostic secularist, addresses each one in relation to Islam.

• “Jews are intent on subjugating non-Jews around the world and even on committing genocide against them”this finds obvious and clear parallels in the constant refrain that Islam is bent on world conquest and the subjugation of all non-Muslims as “dhimmis” or worse, and in the frequent allegation that Islam has a genocidal attitude towards non-Muslims.

“Jewish law enjoins or permits Jews to murder non-Jews whenever feasible”one of the most familiar charges against Islam and Muslims is that “infidels” may or must be killed.

• “Jews are permitted to lie without moral or religious compunction” Islamophobes frequently claim that Islam authorizes, permits or even encourages Muslims to deceive non-Muslims, as in the calumnies about taqiyyah I have written about in previous Ibishblog postings.

“Judaism condones the sexual molestation of young girls”obviously the charge of pedophilia against the Prophet Muhammad is closely echoed here, as are a whole slew of charges that Islam permits, mandates or does not forbid a wide range of sexual perversions and abuses. More on this from the Ibishblog will be forthcoming.

• “Judaism is ‘more of a crime syndicate than a religion.’”in Islamophobic discourse, it is frequently alleged that Islam is “more of an extremist political movement” (recall statements to this effect by Ayaan Hirsi Ali cited In a recent Ibishblog post, for example) or some such bizarre formulation, than a religion.

The fact that so many Jews and others that hold Israel dear are some of the most prolific exponents of this dishonest fear mongering is perhaps the most depressing aspect of it.

One of the standard tactics in demonising the ‘other’, and creating a ‘them’ and ‘us’ divide, is the process of dehumanising the target. It’s designed to ease the act of victimisation as the victim is deemed to be sub-human. Its ultimate purpose in war-time propaganda is to make mass murder and genocide more palatable or even necessary. Hitler’s Nazi propaganda machine was ruthless and relentless in this aspect.

Here are a few examples of how the language used by Nazi propagandists is mirrored by today’s Islamophobes.

“Of course the Jew is a human being too. None of us has ever doubted it. But a flea is also an animal. But not a very pleasant one. Since a flea is not a pleasant animal, we have no duty to protect and defend it, to take care of it so that it can bite and torment and torture us. Rather, we make it harmless. It is the same with the Jews.” Joseph Goebbels

Jewry in every century, in every people, was and remained a foreign body, a destroyer of real and ideal values, a denier of any upward progress, a plague for body and soul. It sneaks in through deceit and treachery, trickery and slyness, murder and assault, understanding how to establish itself. Hermann Esser, Die jüdische Weltpest

Just as a goat does not become a horse, even if his father and grandfather were in the same stall, a Jew can never become a German, even if his ancestor came to Germany as a peddler in Varus’ army. Unattributed

The Jews are a parasitic race that feeds like a foul fungus on the cultures of healthy but ignorant peoples. There is only one effective measure: cut them out. Goebbels

There are differences between people just as there are differences between animals. Some people are good, others bad. The same is true of animals. The fact that the Jew still lives among us is no proof that he belongs among us, just as a flea is not a household pet simply because it lives in a house. Goebbels

“Muslims don’t eat during the day during Ramadan” and “fast during the day and eat at night,” they are “sort of like cockroaches.” Neal Boortz

Not all Muslims from the Middle East and southeast Asia want to kill us, but those who do blend in with those who don’t. Would anyone tolerate a slow-spreading cancer because it wasn’t fast-spreading? Probably not. You’d want it removed.” Cal Thomas

They’re all brainwashed, though. That’s what it is. And they’re stupid to begin with, but they’re brainwashed now. Stinking animals. They ought to drop the bomb right there, kill ‘em all right now. Sid Rosenberg, MSNBC

She said Western culture was superior to Islam and Muslim immigrants in the West had “multiplied like rats”. Oriana Fallaci

The Arabs are donkeys and beasts. They are inferior. What do they want? To take our women. They say we are racist. In reality, they are the wicked and cruel ones. They are imbued with the filth of the snake. There are pure and impure, and they are impure.” Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri

“The establishment of this school is an act of abomination and impurity. One can’t mix impure and pure. Of course we must stay apart from all the nations. You must stand in the breach and prevent this. It is forbidden to mix darkness with light. The nation of Israel is pure. The Arabs are a nation of donkeys. They are an affliction, a demon, a pestilence. “Why, one may ask, did God not create them to walk on all fours, since they are donkeys? The reason is that they must build and clean, but must always understand that they are donkeys. There is no room for them in our schools.” Rabbi David Batzri

One of the most infamous pieces of wartime propaganda was the film ‘The Eternal Jew’.

One of the shots early in the film shows a pack of rats emerging from a sewer, juxtaposed with a crowd of Jews in a bustling street of a Polish city. Close-ups of individuals show sickly, malformed facial features. The narration says that, as rats are the vermin of the animal kingdom, Jews are the vermin of the human race and similarly spread disease and corruption. (Wikipedia)

Here’s the introduction from the official Nazi Party review.

The Eternal Jew is the first film that not only gives a full picture of Jewry, but provides a broad treatment of the life and effects of this parasitic race using genuine material taken from real life. It also shows why healthy peoples in every age have responded to the Jews with disgust and loathing, often enough expressing their feelings though deeds. Just like rats, the Jews 2000 years ago moved from the Middle East to Egypt, at that time a flourishing land.

A cursory glance at the comments on the EDL Facebook pages will reveal that one of the most common names given to Muslims is ‘Muzrat’, and is usually used in conjunction with vermin or some comparison to disease or plague. The newest labels that seem to be doing the rounds are ‘Koranimals’ or ‘Islanimals’. All designed to relegate Muslims to subhuman status.

In 1941 Goebbels wrote an article called ‘The Jews are Guilty’ which was issued to every German. It was at a time when all Jews were forced to wear a yellow star and the holocaust was underway. It included 10 points that he urged needed to be remembered. I have re-produced them below with comparisons to statements made recently about Muslims and Islam.

1. The Jews are our destruction. They started this war and direct it. They want to destroy the German Reich and our people. This plan must be blocked.

Followers of the Islamic culture believe in one religion and one opinion meant to overtake the world through a Muslim crusade of blood and infidel bodies. Shlomo Engel

The real threat we are facing today is that Islam has a strategic plan to conquer and occupy AmericaRev. David Clippard

2. There are no distinctions between Jews. Each Jew is a sworn enemy of the German people. If he does not make his hostility plain, it is only from cowardice and slyness, not because he loves us.

A direct equivalent to the ‘no such thing as a moderate Muslim’ mantra, and topped off with a taqiyya disclaimer.

Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies. I’m not accusing you of being an enemy, but that’s the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way. Glen Beck

To believe that a good Islam and a bad Islam exist goes against all reason. Oriana Fallaci

We need to…keep pressing these people until we defeat or chase them back to their caves or in other words get rid of them. I don’t subscribe to the principle that there are good Muslims and bad Muslims. John Deady, co-chair of the New Hampshire Veterans for Rudy

Moderate Muslims are those who watch non-Muslims being killed, but still say Allah u Akbar when the killing is happening. Anders Gravers, founder of Stop the Islamization of Europe (SIOE)

3. The Jews are to blame for each German soldier who falls in this war. They have him on their conscience, and must also pay for it.

This can be seen in the media coverage given to deaths and attacks occurring in Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine. The reporting we witness in the West is only half of the story. We’re notified of each tragic death of young British soldiers, but hear nothing of the thousands of innocent women and children killed by drone attacks in Waziristan or by Israeli forces in Gaza. On the rare occasions they do get coverage, we’re told the targets were ‘insurgents’ or ‘militants’. Because of the unbalanced media coverage and demonization, we’re encouraged to believe that what happens in a war zone is acceptable and necessary.

4. If someone wears the Jewish star, he is an enemy of the people. Anyone who deals with him is the same as a Jew and must be treated accordingly. He earns the contempt of the entire people, for he is a craven coward who leaves them in the lurch to stand by the enemy.

All Muslims in the United States should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo or a distinctive arm band. Jerry Klein

A feature of these 10 points is the tarring of anyone who doesn’t stand against the Jews as enemies. It echoes the accusations made by Islamophobes of the ‘leftist elite’, ‘marxists’ or dhimmis that constitute anyone not sharing their viewpoint. The ‘you’re either with us or against us’ stance.

5. The Jews enjoy the protection of our enemies. That is all the proof we need to show how harmful they are for our people.

The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and other media outlets bow in subservience to Islamic fear mongers, warmongers and terrorists. Randall Terry

Robert Frost said of liberals that they’re incapable of taking their own side in a fight. We will see how deeply a degenerate form of liberalism has penetrated our souls. Randall Terry

We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors. Anne Coulter

I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to GuantanamoAnne Coulter

Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do. They don’t have the energy. If they had that much energy, they’d have indoor plumbing by now. Anne Coulter

6. The Jews are the enemy’s agents among us. He who stands by them aids the enemy.

Stealth Jihad and dhimmitude anyone?

With this said, what will America do about the enemies in our midst? Continue to put our heads in the sand and ape the idiotic rantings from the propaganda press? – “Islam is a religion of peace”; “Islam welcomes all faiths”; “George W. Bush is the biggest enemy of freedom, not al-Qaida”; and other asinine babblings of the political left, or will real men rise up, demand that the FBI put every mosque and imam in America under constant surveillance. Ellis Washington

I’ll stand by that number of 85 percent. This is an enemy living amongst us. Rep. Peter King

7. The Jews have no right to claim equality with us. If they wish to speak on the streets, in lines outside shops or in public transportation, they should be ignored, not only because they are simply wrong, but because they are Jews who have no right to a voice in the community.

To me, “inclusion” means “tolerance,” nothing more…. They can be a part of our cultural traditions if they choose to be, but we will not recognize their traditions as equivalent to ours because in our eyes, they aren’t. They can be included, but that means that their traditions will be tolerated. Z. Dwight Billingsly

There is a depressingly extensive list of statements made that express the wish for Muslims to be treated as 2nd class citizens. The parallels between them, the Nazi view of Jews and the laws of Jim Crow era America are clear. More on this later.

8. If the Jews appeal to your sentimentality, realize that they are hoping for your forgetfulness, and let them know that you see through them and hold them in contempt.

Taqiyya again.

America must come to the realization that you cannot trust anything these radical Islamic followers may say to you. After all, they endorse lying to non-believers. Walid Shoebat

Hearing Walid Shoebat say that radical Islamic followers do not have to follow ANY agreement made with a non-believer proves to me that we cannot negotiate with these terrorists and they will lie to us anytime they want to lie to us. Don Swarthout, President of Christians Reviving America’s Values

9. A decent enemy will deserve our generosity after we have won. The Jew however is not a decent enemy, though he tries to seem so.

The enemy is Fundamental Islam and all who support it and they all must be destroyed. Consequently we must adopt a new paradigm – THE ONLY GOOD MUSLIM IS A DEAD MUSLIM! A few innocents shall perish, but who really cares? Muslims multiply like rodents so it’s no big deal. George m weinert V

All Muslims are programmed to kill and we can thus never negotiate with any of them. John Hagee

10. The Jews are responsible for the war. The treatment they receive from us is hardly unjust. They have deserved it all.

Muslims killed us on 9/11. Bill O’Reilly

What did we do to the Arabs? I believe Americans are the victims in that relationship. Anne Coulter

We’re not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. Franklin Graham

9/11 is used as the justification for any discrimination or persecution of Muslims. Its image is also invoked to ease any guilt over civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq or Palestine. It seems to me that Americans and Europeans alike see 9/11 as the trigger for hostilities, rather than the culmination of a decade of American and Israeli aggression in the Middle East. Anything that happens post 9/11 can be wholly justified as they see it as a declaration of war.

One of the other accusations that the Nazi and ant-Muslim propaganda have in common, is the claim that Judaism and Islam are not religions.

Actually, the Jewish religion is nothing other than a doctrine to preserve the Jewish race. Adolf Hitler

To call this state a ‘religion’ was one of the cleverest tricks ever invented. Adolf Hitler

From this first lie that Jewry is a religion, not a race, further lies inevitably follow. Adolf Hitler

I don’t know how we can call it a religion in the traditional sense. It should be called a murderous organization that’s out to kill people. Jackie Mason

Ladies and gentlemen, we have to recognize that Islam is not a religion. It is a worldwide political movement meant on domination of the world. And it is meant to subjugate all people under Islamic law. Pat Robertson

The most ugly and offensive lie perpetuated by neo-Nazi sympathisers and the most extreme anti-Semites is Holocaust denial. To the extent that it is now actually a crime to peddle this myth. The reason that anti-Semitism is acknowledged as being as serious as classic racism can probably be attributed to this. This makes it even more sickening to hear Jews and Christian Zionists indulging in similar denial when it comes to Muslims. Step forward Pamela Geller.

Geller claims that the death camps in which thousands of Bosnian Muslims were rounded up and murdered, were fake, that they were hoaxes created by the “Western liberal media.”  As many have noted, this sounds much like holocaust denial, and is just as reprehensible.

A little earlier I mentioned that there are alarming similarities between the Jim Crow laws of latter-day America and the restrictions that many commenters want to impose on Muslims today. Even if you’re not familiar with the term Jim Crow, I have no doubt you’ll be aware of that period of American history. African-Americans were not permitted to vote, not permitted to use the same restaurants, water fountains, schools, churches, public transport and interracial relationships were illegal. Think burning crosses, think lynch mobs, think KKK.

American TV evangelist and political candidate Pat Robertson has stated that only Christians and Jews should be allowed to hold public office.

There is no escaping the unfortunate fact that Muslim government employees in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps need to be watched for connections to terrorism. Rev Franklin Graham

It’s time to have a Muslims check-point line in American airports and have Muslims be scrutinized. You better believe it. It’s time.
radio host. Mike Gallagher

Arrest every Muslim that comes across the state line. Rep. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga)

Muslims and Arabs will be looking through a razor wire fence at the West … when things heat up, the profiling will only get worse, and the razor wire will be coming. Glenn Beck

Would it be wise of Western countries, in the present state of affairs, to “fence off” Islam — that is, to deny entry to foreign Muslims, to expel — regretfully, politely, and humanely, but firmly — resident foreign Muslims, and to restrict the activities of Muslim citizens (preventing them, for example, from proselytizing in our jails, or working in defense establishments)? John Derbyshire

You asked me what I would do about American Muslims. Answer is I’d put a cop in front of every mosque until I was completely satisfied nothing was going on there. James Pinkerton

Every Muslim immigrant to America who holds a green card, a visa, or who is a naturalized citizen [should] be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times,  the government should bug their places of work and their residences and monitor all mosques and community centers. If they don’t like the idea, or if they refuse, throw their asses out of this country. “Gunny” Bob Newman


Clear calls in mainstream American media for Muslims to be monitored, profiled, segregated and victimised.

The always on point Max Blumenthal drew comparisons in a recent article following the disgusting abuse spat at Muslims by Tea Party bigots in Yorba Linda. An event organised by none other than Pamela Geller.
I could not help but think of Elizabeth Eckford, the African-American student who was forced to walk through a phalanx of violent white racists chanting “Lynch her! Lynch her!” during the federal government’s first attempt to integrate Little Rock Central High School. This iconic image was immediately recalled by the video of Muslim-American children walking through a crowd of protesters calling them terrorists, threatening them, and chanting “Go home!” as they proceeded towards a local community center for a charity event. Eckford was badly scarred by her experience; the trauma affected her life for decades. I wonder how the children who had to be marched through the gauntlet of racists in Yorba Linda will remember their experience. Back in 1957, in Little Rock Central High, an awkward, acne scarred boy sat behind Elizabeth Eckford every day in class, muttering in a low drone, “Nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger.” Harassment from him and scores of white students would eventually drive Eckford to attempt suicide several times.

Not convinced that this brand of polemics could lead to the violence perpetrated against African-Americans in the Jim Crow era? Here is a list of close to 300 acts of violence towards mosques reported in the USA, Europe and elsewhere. They range from verbal abuse and vandalism, to physical assault, fire bombings, tear gas attacks, acid bombs, shootings, cross burnings, and various acts committed with faeces and pigs blood. It also includes numerous acts of vandalism carried out on Muslim graves and cemeteries.

Add to that this list of acts against individuals. In the UK alone a woman was assaulted with her own hijab, another was wrapped in a carpet and set on fire after a burglary at her home, the robber said “This is your Eid present, you Muslim.” A teenage Muslim girl was burned and cut with glass, a Muslim man was tied to railings, hosed with water and force-fed bacon by work colleagues, an Iraqi asylum seeker was mowed down by a racist hit and run gang, and the corpse of a Muslim woman was desecrated with bacon by a hospital employee. Elsewhere on the list are numerous human & civil rights abuses, stabbings, shootings, assaults and murders, all with anti-Muslim motives. Are these crimes racist or Islamophobic? Is assaulting a woman due to the colour of her skin different and more serious than assaulting a woman due to her religion? Is burning down a Mosque in Britain today any different to burning down a ‘black’ Church in Bible belt America in the 1950’s?

The United Shades of Britain website has an excellent FAQ section that addresses numerous Islamophobic myths. Here’s an extract from an article by Aoife Tobin.

This racialisation of Islam (and Judaism), is not particularly about the concept of them as an inferior ‘race’, as it was with ‘blacks’, but it is about an antipathy towards the group, a bigotry and hostility towards people because they are part of this supposedly physically identifiable group. The traits associated with Islam are often those we have seen in ‘classic racism’ that they are dirty, promiscuous, licentious, violent and so forth. These are almost common characteristics in racialised groups, and racist epithets. The racialisation of Islam embodies all those that follow it, and ascribes them negative characteristics, that are seen as intrinsically connected to having that religion, and as immutable as skin colour. Racialising Islam is also about how you can be a Muslim but not ‘look like’ a Muslim, and you can ‘look like’ a Muslim, but not be one. The entire concept that there is a Muslim ‘look’ (which can be testified to by anybody who’s received different treatment because of the assumption they are Muslim), is a racialised concept.

Karim (America’s Media Coverage of Muslims: The Historical Roots of Contemporary Portrayals’, 2006) describes four primary representations of Muslims in the media: “having fabulous but underserved wealth”, “being barbaric and aggressive, indulging in sexual excess and the most persistent image of ‘the violent Muslim’”. This twinned with racial profiling at airports for example, and a common sense of thinking one can identify a Muslim by appearance or visual clues means they are thought of as a homogeneous group, just as ‘blacks’ were. It brings things we know, or think we know, about Islam, and cultures in Islamic countries and peoples, and gives it an essence of nature. That Muslims are ‘just like that’, rather than a very diverse group with no common feature beside Islam (and even then, different branches and practices).

So making a sweeping judgement against Islam or Muslims is wrong for the same reasons that a sweeping judgement against ‘black’ people or ‘white’ people would be, and so on that basis is formed in the same way as racism and there is no significant difference between the two.

This isn’t an issue that has just affected Blacks, Jews and Muslims though. The dehumanising, demonising and stereotyping of other peoples has been a feature of Western, Christian civilization since the dawn of time. No matter who has been demonised, or why, there is a recurring theme of playing on religious fears, the threat to ‘our’ women and portraying the ‘other’ as being barbaric, savage and primitive.

In 2011, no one in the mainstream media would dare espouse openly anti-Semitic views akin to those above. No one would express their wishes to return blacks to the status they had in the Jim Crow era, whether they held them or not. Why then, in the 21st century is it acceptable to do both of these with Muslims?

It worries me to imagine how far this could go before it is seen for what it is. Where is the tipping point? What will be the catalyst that forces people to say enough is enough? Unfortunately it will likely be a tragedy on a large scale. It scares me to imagine how large. People are dying daily in Yemen, Syria and Bahrain. Hundreds of detainees remain in Guantanamo Bay without charge. The civilian death toll in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is in the hundreds of thousands. The people of Palestine are still living in a state of apartheid under siege. How much suffering needs to be inflicted before a watershed occurs?

As long as the GWOT continues, as long as Palestinians resist, and as long as there is oil in the middle east, there will be a need to demonise Muslims and Arabs. In recent weeks we have seen anti-Muslim hearings being held and anti-Sharia laws being passed in America. We’ve seen France criminalise 0.003% of it’s population by banning the niqab. Belgium have already done this. Holland is considering the issue of Halal slaughter. Switzerland has already banned the erection of minarets. Gaza has lost women and children with no media outcry, western condemnation or political debate for a no fly zone.

My hope is that making it as uncomfortable as possible to carry out this demonising will go some way to accelerating it’s demise. Don’t let anyone tell you they can’t be racist towards Muslims, because they can and they are. From the lowliest EDL member, to Republican Senators and Heads of State. Let’s not allow them to hide behind the false claims and propaganda. It’s a huge challenge due to the semantics and misinformation in use and the political implications. The influence of the Conservative Christian right and Pro Israel lobby also cannot be underestimated. But the court of public opinion will always hold considerable power. Public opinion needs to be informed to be able to pass judgement. That’s where we come in. Let’s take this opportunity in the age of social networks and internet revolutions to help raise awareness and stop the hate. Forward, share, join, like, tweet and retweet. Let’s become the generation that said ‘Never Again’ and really meant it.

Why you’ll never win an argument with an Islamophobe

When I say win an argument, I mean actually prove them wrong and change their mind. There are obviously many reasons why this is so unlikely to happen, primarily due to the fact that prejudice of this nature is deep-rooted and engrained, and likely to be the result of parental or peer influence. In extreme cases it goes beyond casual racism and xenophobia, and is based on unpleasant political and ideological racial views.

Argue with an Islamophobe and you’ll consistently come up against the same obstacles every time. The first one is the claim that they’re not being racist, because ‘Muslim’ isn’t a race. Factually correct of course, but this is obfuscation and an excuse so flimsy that it’s transparent to anyone with an ounce of intelligence. Taking the EDL as an example, you don’t have to spend too much time watching footage of their demos and screenshots of their Facebook pages to realise that the word Muslim has simply replaced the word ‘paki’ as a catch-all term for someone of Asian or Arab descent. In many cases the word ‘paki’ is still used freely and unashamedly. If you analyse the accusations made and the language used, they mirror the age-old formula used by racists to demonise and dehumanise black people. They’re violent, savage, dishonest, lazy, thieving, misogynistic, they’re after our women etc.

The second obstacle you’ll encounter is the claim that they don’t hate Muslims, just Islam. They’ll tell you it’s a religion of hate, that it was spread by the sword, that the Qur’an and the examples of Muhammad teach them to kill non-believers, subjugate women, carry out jihad to gain global dominance and implement sharia law. They might even be able to recite a couple of misquoted, decontextualised extracts from the Qur’an or Hadiths to prove their point.

If you’ve done your homework you can counter every one of these claims using the same sources, and a bit of common sense. At this point it can go one of two ways. You could get called an appeaser followed by a few choice insults and the argument will end, which in itself is a victory. But Islamophobia has become a cottage industry run by some particularly devious and hateful people. At some point in the evolution of Islamophobia there must have been a realisation that misquoting, decontextualising and deliberately misinterpreting texts wouldn’t fool everybody, and could be countered by more knowledgeable opponents. They needed something else, something you can’t argue against, the ultimate get-out clause.

If you’re up against one of the more dedicated, conscientious Islamophobes you need to know two words. Dhimmi and Taqiyya. To be able to progress onto the next level and do battle with this more sophisticated foe, one must first learn about Dhimmitude and Taqiyya. Dhimmi is a personal favourite of Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs and SIOA. It’s a condescending insult that implies that a non-Muslim is being used as a doormat or being accommodating to Muslims. Implying that to oppose Islamophobia, or to actively support and sympathise with mainstream Muslims means that some form of coercion or manipulation must have taken place. Offensive not only to the accused but Muslims too.

The word Dhimmi originates from the Arabic word dhimma, meaning contract or security. Ahl al-dhimmah is Arabic for ‘the people of the contract’, linguistically dhimmi means ‘one whose responsibility has been taken’. It refers to the status offered to non-Muslim subjects living in an Islamic state, and dates back to the time of Muhammad. A non-Muslim in the early years of Islam was required to pay a tax, the jizya. In return the Muslim state was obligated to protect dhimmis in civil and military matters. Dhimmis were exempt from military service, but if they chose to fight they would then not be required to pay jizya. The jizya was actually lower than the zakat tax which was used as a charity donation to the poor and needy, and only paid by Muslims.

In the grand scheme of things it’s hardly the worst insult in the world. The insinuations far more offensive to Muslims than the ‘dhimmis’. The implication that some form of pact or treaty should be required for non-Muslims to feel safe, and a suggestion that the West has been Islamised when Muslims quite clearly are an oppressed minority. It also allows the delusional bigots to justify their prejudice with their concience, if they actually have one.

Taqiyya is the top trump of get out clauses, and the last resort for Islamophobes in the face of overwhelming facts and evidence. Quite simply, Taqiyya is the Shi’a practice of concealing ones faith in the face of threat, persecution or compulsion. It merely gives the person the permission to deny their faith to avoid possible death without insulting Allah or Muhammad. Unsurprisingly, Islamophobes have distorted and exaggerated its meaning and usage. For example here’s Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch:

“When Shi’ite Muslims were persecuted by Sunnis, they developed the doctrine of taqiyya, or concealment: They could lie about what they believed, denying aspects of their faith that were offensive to Sunnis…Closely related to this is the doctrine of kitman, or mental reservation, which is telling the truth, but not the whole truth, with an intention to mislead…Remember that the next time you see a Muslim spokesman on television professing his friendship with non-Muslim Americans and his loyalty to the United States. Of course, he may be telling the truth–but he may not be telling the whole truth or he may be just lying.”

The assertion is that Muslims are permitted, no, required to lie and deceive in order to further the cause of Islam. And as we all know, that cause is world domination.

Hussein Ibish:

“It has even been implied by some on the ultra-right that President Obama is “practicing taqiyya” when he “poses as a professed Christian.” Agnostics and secularists such as myself may thereby also, as both Robert Spencer and Daniel Pipes have claimed about me, be accused of being secretly or objectively a “jihadist cadre.” Since this understanding of taqiyya began to develop in Islamophobic and “counterterrorism” circles post-9/11, it has increasingly served as little more than a code word for the idea that Muslims, and even anyone with any Muslim heritage, are all actual or potential liars.”

Rev. Frank Julian Gelli in an open letter to Geert Wilders:

“When a ‘Russia Today’-TV interviewer told you that an imam had just issued a fatwa condemning suicide bombing, you came up with a smart repartee: ‘Yes, but Muslims believe in taqiya.’ Therefore you cannot trust the good Imam is telling the truth.”

The gullible and devious alike will use these words whether they know the reality or not. It’s ultimately an admission that they have already lost the argument. It’s a tactic used to stop any rational debate dead in its tracks. How can you possibly convince someone who’s got the taqiyya conspiracy to fall back on? It can be used to reduce any acts of compassion or nobility, and any positive statements from Muslims to ‘Stealth Jihad’. It makes the spoof video below scarily accurate.

I have provided several links that debunk, rebut and counter the dhimmitude and taqiyya slurs below. If there is a way to silence or stifle the lies, it’s with truth and knowledge.

To get the lowdown on the truly bat-shit loon that coined the phrase dhimmitude Bat Ye’or check the link below.

Here’s an example of her lunacy:

http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/09/anti-muslim-loon-with-a-crazy-conspiracy-theory-named-eurabia/

Dhimmitude

http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/05/the-politically-incorrect-guide-to-robert-spencer/

http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/11/the-churchs-doctrine-of-perpetual-servitude-was-worse-than-dhimmitude/

http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/part_3/0014839

Taqiyya

http://spencerwatch.com/2010/08/15/silencing-spencer-taqiyya-and-kitman-are-part-of-judeo-christian-belief/

http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/08/taqiyya-the-ultimate-intellectual-cop-out/

http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_taqiyya_libel_against_muslims/

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