by Haroon Moghul
Muslims are subversive jihadists. The Middle East is perpetually unstable. “Islam has bloody borders.” If you’ve already made up your mind, you’ll find a way to twist the facts to support your conclusion. And if the facts don’t do the job, you can always hire new ones.
In the last year, American anti-Muslim hate groups have increased threefold. As playwright Wajahat Ali and others have found, the farther we move away from the September 11 terrorist attacks, the worse discrimination, prejudice and violence against Muslims become.
There’s a simple enough reason for this: Islamophobia has become an industry. In the absence of alternative narratives, which can make sense of Muslim extremism, place it into context and guide American domestic and foreign policy, we are stuck with the voices we have – too often, these have been unqualified and uninformed.
It will take us a long time to get past the damage done by years of well-funded Islamophobes, who have dominated the media landscape (finally answering, incidentally, why it is that “Muslims don’t do more to condemn terrorism” – nobody was listening). But the resistance to bigotry has already begun and has already scored a number of successes.
There is only so long, after all, you can lie to people.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE AMERICAN MUSLIM
By NBC News staff and wire reports
“Innocence of Muslims” — the crude and provocative anti-Islam film blamed for a wave of deadly violence against U.S. diplomatic outposts — was promoted by a small band of Christian extremists, according to reports, but the true identity of its director remained unclear.
A trailer for the amateurish film, posted on YouTube in July and later reposted after being translated into Arabic, portrays Muhammad, believed by Muslims to be God’s prophet, as a womanizer, a homosexual and a child abuser. A man who said his name was “Sam Bacile” claimed to have made the film in an interview on Tuesday.
The translated clip, shown repeatedly on Egyptian television stations in recent weeks, sparked protests across the Middle East and North Africa and was blamed for inciting an attack in Libya on Tuesday that killed the U.S. Ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans.
FULL ARTICLE FROM MSNBC
There is not a shred of truth to the rumor that President Obama is not really an American citizen, or that he’s secretly a Muslim. And yet the stories won’t die, because people keep repeating them and unscrupulous politicians are happy to capitalize on them.
Those who want to fan the flames sometimes try the grudging acceptance trick. It goes like this: “Well, if Mr. Obama says he’s a Christian, then I have to take him at his word.” Rick Santorum pulled that one last month. After questioning Mr. Obama’s Christianity, he said: “I wasn’t suggesting the President’s not a Christian. I accept the fact that the president’s a Christian.” How very generous of him.
And yet, I was a bit surprised to see a PPP poll showing that 45 percent of Alabama Republicans think Mr. Obama is a Muslim, and only 14 percent know that he’s actually a Christian. In Mississippi, the same poll showed that a majority of Republicans, 52 percent, believe the Muslim lie.
While there’s no question that far too many people buy into this propaganda, I’m not ready to condemn a majority of Mississippians based on this survey. PPP is a partisan organization that conducts automated surveys. That means it’s not clear who answered the questions and whether the sample is statistically representative.
Current law prohibits automated dialers from calling cellphones. So PPP is likely missing a big chunk of the population. (The latest research shows that about 25 percent to 31 percent of people now use cellphones exclusively.)
My point is that not all survey organizations are created equal, and it’s worth keeping that in mind when you come across polling data in news articles.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
New York (CNN) — Two prominent Muslim civil liberties groups called for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to resign on Thursday because of his participation in a film that they say paints all Muslims as terrorists.
“Involvement with ‘Third Jihad’ sends a clear message that the NYPD’s dealings with New York’s diverse Muslim communities are based on bigotry and blanket suspicion,” the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) stated in a press release.
Muslim activists say “The Third Jihad,” a documentary about radical Islam, vilifies the American Muslim community and teaches police officers to suspect Muslims as terrorists.
Muslim activists are also calling for Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Brown to resign, saying that he first denied and only later admitted that Kelly was interviewed for the film.
“They were not telling the truth about their involvement in the propaganda film against Muslims,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), adding that New York “deserves people they trust who do not discriminate against people.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK POST
Last January investigative journalist Tom Robbins broke the story of how the NYPD endorsed the scaremongering Islamophobic documentary The Third Jihad. The film was funded by the pro-Israel non-profit group The Clarion Fund, and it contends that few, if any, Muslims can be trusted. “Americans are being told that most of the mainstream Muslim groups are moderate,” says the narrator, “when in fact if you look a little closer you’ll see a very different reality. One of their primary tactics is deception.” Newly released documents show the NYPD knows a thing or two about deception as well!
When Robbins’s story appeared in the Village Voice, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne initially said no cops had watched what he described as a “wacky movie.” Later, he said it had only been shown “a couple of times when officers were filling out paperwork before the actual coursework began. It was not approved for the curriculum. It’s not shown for any purpose now.” But one officer told the Voice his instructor “introduced it with a warning that some people found it offensive.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM GOTHAMIST.COM
After a prominent Baptist minister proclaimed last week that Mormonism is a non-Christian “cult” that would ideally disqualify adherents from the White House, Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney enjoyed a full-throated defense from people all over the political spectrum who considered the pastor’s remarks an ugly example of religious bigotry. But Romney, a practicing Mormon, may soon find himself facing allegations of intolerance from another religious minority: American Muslims.
The Daily Beast has learned that the nation’s leading Muslim advocacy group sent a letter to the Romney campaign late Tuesday calling for the ouster of the candidate’s recently appointed foreign-policy adviser, Walid Phares. In the letter, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) refers to Phares as “an associate to war crimes” and a “conspiracy theorist,” citing ties to a violent anti-Muslim militia. Scholars and leaders throughout the Islamic community are adding pressure on Romney to drop the adviser immediately. (The Romney campaign and Phares did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)
Following months of denials, the FBI is now promising a “comprehensive review of all training and reference materials” after Danger Room revealed a series of Bureau presentations that tarred average Muslims as “radical” and “violent.”
But untangling the Islamophobic thread woven into the FBI’s counterterrorism training culture won’t be easy. In addition to inflammatory seminars which likened Islam to the Death Star and Mohammed to a “cult leader,” Danger Room has obtained more material showing just how wide the anti-Islam meme has spread throughout the Bureau.
The FBI library at Quantico currently stacks books from authors who claim that “Islam and democracy are totally incompatible.” The Bureau’s private intranet recently featured presentations that claimed to demonstrate the “inherently violent nature of Islam,” according to multiple sources. Earlier this year, the Bureau’s Washington Field Office welcomed a speaker who claimed Islamic law prevents Muslims from being truly loyal Americans. And as recently as last week, the online orientation material for the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces included claims that Sunni Islam seeks “domination of the world,” according to a law enforcement source.
FULL STORY FROM WIRED
The FBI was teaching new recruits about Muslims with a PowerPoint presentation that recommended they read anti-Islam books, according to a grainy copy of the PowerPoint obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union’s Northern California chapter and the Asian Law Caucus, a San Francisco-based civil rights group.
The two groups filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year inquiring about government surveillance of American Muslim communities. The 62-page document, first reported by the Danger Room, was designed to help agents perform “successful interviews/interrogations with individuals from the Middle East.”
Spencer Ackerman of the Danger Room says as recently as January 2009, the FBI thought its agents ought to know the following crucial information about Muslims: (1) They engage in a “circumcision ritual.” (2) More than 9,000 of them are in the U.S. military (3) Their religion “transforms [a] country’s culture into 7th-century Arabian ways.”
FULL ARTICLE FROM OPEDNEWS
A few years ago, the respected Cambridge scholar T J Winter, also known by his Muslim name of Abdal Hakim Murad, gave a fascinating lecture to Humanities staff and students at the University of Leicester. The title was “Islam and the threat of the West”, turning on its head the more usual – then and now – “Islam and the threat to the West”.
It was a novel approach which, in a nutshell, illustrated that, historically, aggression has been directed more from Europe to the Muslim world than the other way round. His evidence for such a view was impeccably sourced.
I thought about Abdal Hakim’s talk this morning as I read the reports coming in of the dreadful bombing and shooting in Norway wherein, of course, there was speculation that these two events were “Islamic-terror related”. No doubt we will learn more over the coming days, but the early signs are, in fact, that the perpetrator was a “blond, blue-eyed Norwegian” with “political traits towards the right, and anti-Muslim views”. Not surprisingly, the man’s intentions were neither linked to these “traits”, nor to his postings on “websites with Christian fundamentalist tendencies”. Any influence “remains to be seen”; echoes of Oklahoma 1995.
Interestingly, this criminal is described by one unnamed Norwegian official as a “madman”. He may well be, but this is one way that the motivations for heinous crimes can be airbrushed out of the story before they have the chance to take hold in the popular imagination.
FULL ARTICLE FROM AL JAZEERA
In the immediate wake of the bombing and mass shooting inNorway that left at least 92 people dead Friday, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg declared that it was too early to say whether terrorism was involved.
Some interpreted the statement to mean it was unclear whether Muslim extremists were behind the attack.
Right-wing websites quickly pointed the finger at “jihadis,” and Pamela Geller, publisher of the website Atlas Shrugs and executive director of Stop Islamization of America, wrote on her site: “You can ignore jihad, but you cannot avoid the consequences of ignoring jihad.”
Counter-terrorism experts soon weighed in, implicating Al Qaeda.
Then Anders Behring Breivik, described by police as a “right-wing Christian fundamentalist,” was arrested in connection with the attacks.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES