The Real Agenda Behind the Push for “Islamophobia”

by Raheel Raza:

Islamists have been successful in building the Islamophobia industry: it diverts attention from activities they would probably prefer not be noticed, such as promoting sharia law in the West, stealth jihad, and a push to implement a global Islamic caliphate, among many others.

What is ironic and hypocritical about the Islamophobia hype from members of the OIC is their double-standards when it comes to minorities in their own lands. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Iran are among OIC members that have appalling human rights violations against minorities.

Islamophobia has almost become a fad for a certain group of academics and Muslims across North America. 2013 was a bumper year for Islamophobia conferences in America and abroad.

  • “Islam, Political Islam, and Islamophobia: an International Conference” was held at Indiana University, Bloomington on March 29-30, 2013.
  • Islam, Politics and Islamophobia,” an international conference of the Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Chair, took place at the Indiana Memorial Union Faculty.
  • International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media“, hosted in Istanbul, was organized by the Directorate General of Press and Information, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and under the auspices of Mr. Bulent Arinc, the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, and took place in September, 2013. The website starts off by stating “Islamophobia, which is a term used to express the groundless fear and intolerance of Islam and Muslims, has swept the world, becoming detrimental to international peace especially in recent years.”
  • The IWIC’s 2013 conference on “Women in Islam,” in Atlanta, Georgia from November 22 to 24, used the theme, “Eradicating Islamophobia.”

One would think that four conferences in one year would be enough for the International group of speakers to discuss, debate and hash out that, in their view, there is an epidemic of Muslim-bashing taking place in North America.

However it seems that these are not enough to complete the agenda of the Islamists. Therefore this year the University of California, Berkeley is hosting its fifth annual International conference on the study of Islamophobia, from April 14 to 19, 2014.

It is frightening to realize that this is their fifth such conference; the website states, “the obsessive pre-occupation of everything related to Islam and Muslims, congressional and parliamentary hearings criminalizing Muslims and violations of their civil liberties and rights, domestic and international surveillance programs exclusively on Muslims and Arabs, extra-judicial use of force on Muslims and Arabs, interventions, military campaigns, and policies rationalizing its exercise, are, in essence, what we see and bear witness in the Muslim world. These are the direct effects of latent Islamophobia.”

University of California, Berkeley is home to Professor Hatem Bazian, who directs the school’s “Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project,” and teaches a course titled, “Asian American Studies 132AC: Islamophobia.”

Seriously? A course on Islamophobia? Recently, Professor Bazian told 100 students in his class to tweet about Islamophobia – all being done to promote an agenda of “victimhood.”

 

UC-Berkeley Professor Hatem Bazian speaks on “Promoting Islamophobia” at the Occupy AIPAC Summit in 2012. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Obviously the Islamophobia conferences, the courses and the tweeting professor must find support for their self-serving propaganda somewhere. Part of this support comes from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an international organization consisting of 57 Arab and Muslim member states, including the entity of the Palestinian Authority. The organization states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.” The term “Muslim world” is offensive: no one speaks for all Muslims, and for the OIC to consider itself the “voice of the Muslim world” is dictatorial in the extreme.

No surprise, then, that on their website they have an Islamophobia Observatory, where they mention their support of Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, adopted in 2011, on “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief”.

What is ironic and hypocritical about all the Islamophobia hype by members of the OIC is their double standards when it comes to minorities in their own lands. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Iran are among OIC members that have appalling human rights violations against minorities, and are routinely ignored under UNHRC Resolution 16/18.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Also see:

UC Professor Forces Students to Tweet About Islamophobia

UCBBY TAREK FATAH:

In 2002, when Prof. Daniel Pipes launched his “Campus Watch” initiative to monitor “the mixing of politics with scholarship” on American universities with regard to the Mideast, he was condemned as engaging in “McCarthyesque” intimidation.

His initiative was derided as a “war on academic freedom.” One Islamist group labelled Pipes the “grandfather of Islamophobes”.

However, 12 years after Pipes first raised the flag of Islamist penetration of U.S. universities, it appears that Pipes, a scholar of Islam with a dozen books to his credit, was right to be concerned.

Two weeks ago, I received a panicked message from a student enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley.

He wrote: “I’ve been told by one of my professors I will be required, as part of my grade, to start a Twitter account and tweet weekly on Islamophobia. I can’t help but feel this is unethical. This is his agenda not mine.”

The professor conducting this exercise was Hatem Bazian as part of a course titled, “Asian American Studies 132AC: Islamophobia”.

When I asked him to elaborate on his concerns the student wrote:

“There are 100 students in the class, all of us forced to create individual Twitter accounts. I’m not wholly clear on what our final project is yet (I find it very interesting that he excludes both the Twitter account requirement AND the final project from his official syllabus), but we have to meet with a group in San Francisco, and our class will be surveying people of color on the impact of some ads put out by (anti-Sharia blogger) Pamela Gellar. Now I’m no Pamela Gellar fan, I think she’s nuts, but I feel … between the Twitter stuff and the final project he’s basically using us as unpaid labor to work on his agenda.”

See Clarion Project’s article about Hatem Bazian:

 CAIR Gives Award to Anti-American Islamist

I wrote to Prof. Bazian, who co-founded “Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)” at Berkeley, asking why he was using his students to pursue what appeared to me to be a political exercise meant to propagate a specific message to the Twitterverse.

Bazian replied, without referring to Islamophobia:

“My course is designated as an American culture community engagement scholarship class … Students are asked to send at least one posting per week on something related to the course content, be it from the actual reading or anything they read or came across.”

When I asked him why all the tweets by his students so far are about Islamophobia, he replied:

“The class is titled De-Constructing Islamophobia and the History of Otherness … (Students) are asked to post based on … examining Islamophobia through looking at earlier historical examples.”

The fact remains Prof. Bazian appears to be using his position of authority to make 100 students — mostly non-Muslims — tweet about Muslim victimhood in America, irrespective of how it’s defined or whether it exists.

Read more at Clarion Project

Tarek Fatah, is a Canadian writer, broadcaster and anti-Islamist Muslim activist. He is the author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State and the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress.

Also see:

UT-Knoxville’s Newest Student Anti-Israel Hate Group

sjp“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr., Harvard University 1968.

By :

In 2013, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced its status as an official student organization at UT-Knoxville.  With about 100 chapters at last count, SJP organizes extreme hate-filled anti-Israel activity on college campuses around the country, including:

  • Israel Apartheid Week – typically held between February – March and involves:
    • Staging mock checkpoints where they stop students and yell “Are you Jewish?”
    • Erecting “Apartheid Walls” with “Hamas posters describing Jews as baby-killers and maps showing the Jewish state erased and replaced with ‘Palestine.’”
  • Posting eviction notices on dorm room doors to simulate housing demolition in Israel.
  • BDS resolutions (boycott, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel), calling for economic warfare agains the Jewish state. (The first divestment campaign was launched at UC Berkley on Holocaust Remembrance Day.)
  • Hosting extremist/radical anti-Israel speakers who support terrorism against the State of Israel.
  • Protesting pro-Israel groups, events and speakers. (SJP members at University of California, Irvine heckled Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren throughout his speech until they were removed by campus security.)
  • Disrupting campus Holocaust memorial events and even worse, their perversion of the famous Holocaust quote “never again.”

Reports about vandalism of campus Jewish facilities, harassment of Jewish professors and students and even physical attacks by members of SJP have been reported at some schools.

If this is what SJP is reported to do, is this what UT-Knoxville can expect?

UT-Knoxville SJP’s Faculty Sponsor is Dr. Brian K. Barber, a 1996-97 grant recipient from the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine (CPAP), renamed the Palestine Center, which is the educational arm of the Jerusalem Fund.

The chairman of the Jerusalem Fund is Samar Ali’s father, Subhi Ali.  The Jerusalem Fund’s Executive Director openly advocates BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against the State of Israel. (See, “Samar Ali: Her Father’s Organization Wants to Destroy Israel.”)

About SJP

Like Jerusalem Fund founder Hisham Sharabi and community organizations that support “radical Palestinian terror groups,” SJP gives voice to student members who refuse to condemn terrorism.

SJP was founded in 2001 by co-founders Hatem Bazian, the Islamist, and Snehal Shingavi, the socialist — a “leftist-Islamist” alliance (also referred to as a “red-green” alliance).  This joinder has allowed the SJP to appeal to a broader coalition, which includes left-wing activists and religio-cultural political groups like the Muslim Students Association.

Hatem Bazian Brought His Middle East Hate to School

  • Virulently anti-Semitic Jew-hater who came as a college student to the U.S. from the Hamas stronghold of Nablus in the West Bank.
  • Served as President of the General Union of Palestinian Students, the student arm of the PLO and an organization that was banned in Germany after the Munich Olympics massacre.
  • Served as Muslim Students Association (MSA) president at Berkley
  • Was a fundraising speaker for Kindhearts, a Hamas front closed by the US government after being considered for designation as a terrorist organization
  • Co-founded Zaytuna College with Zaid Shakir, a repeat visitor to Nashville who tells his college audiences that, “under Islamic law the kafir won’t be equal with the Muslim.  The Christian or the Jew will be a dhimmi.  They won’t be equal with the Muslim.”  He was quoted in the New York Times as saying that “he still hoped that one day the United States would be a Muslim country ruled by Islamic law.”
  • Founded and chairs the national extremist anti-Israel organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) which helps train and support SJP activists.  SJP’s 2002 national convention was sponsored by the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), with guest speaker Sami al-Arian.

The IAP was created by a Hamas leader to be its U.S. propaganda arm and raise money for Hamas. IAP was listed as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s likeminded organizations in the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategic plan for North America. IAP’s leadership founded CAIR – the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Sami al-Arian was the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the U.S. In 2006 when he was sentenced to 57 months in prison in connection with PIJ activities, the judge described him as a “master manipulator.” This past December, he was on Capitol Hill advocating for the restoration of Morsi’s ousted Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Al-Arian also founded WISE (World and Islam Studies Enterprise).  Hisham Sharabi, founder of the Jerusalem Fund, was a WISE Board member. Subhi Ali, Samar’s father, served alongside Sharabi until taking over as Chairman of the Jerusalem Fund.  WISE was named in a federal indictment as part of a “criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in acts of violence including murder, extortion, money laundering, fraud and issue of visas, and operated worldwide,” including in Florida.

Read more at Front Page

Also see: Discover The Networks profile on Hatem Bazian

 

In the spirit of interfaith dialogue and “building bridges” perhaps Bazian should entertain Andrew Klavan’s proposal:

An Islamist Thanksgiving

american-muslims-for-palestine-ad-metro-northby Ryan Mauro

Islamists even see Thanksgiving as a time to advance their cause. In the morning, Islamists exploited the parade and in the evening, Islamists assembled in Illinois for the “Conference for Palestine in the U.S.” And one of their favorite evangelicals was there to join them.

The organizer of the event was American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and it took place at Crowne Plaza O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois from November 28 to December 1. The Islamist group often works with interfaith coalitions and one of its very partners is Presbyterian Reverend Donald Wagner, former director and current board member of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding.

Last year’s AMP conference had at least 13 Islamist speakers with pro-Hamas and pro-Muslim Brotherhood agendas and had education for children about their cause. Reverend Wagner was also on the speaker’s roster and is back again this year.

The AMP explicitly says that he “works internationally to educate Christians about the problems of Christian Zionism.” He falsely states that evangelicals support Israel only to trigger an Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. To put it another way, Wagner and his group see them as the Christian equivalent of Ahmadinejad.

And his group isn’t just talking among themselves and to Islamists that don’t need convincing. In November 2012, Wagner’s group held a Middle East briefing at the Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College. The speakers were hostile to Israel and support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

Wagner’s fellow speakers at the Thanksgiving Weekend conference are prominent Islamists whose backgrounds are simple to find. He and the other non-Muslim speakers like Max Blumenthal and Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, have no excuse. They are either don’t care about the conference’s extremism or don’t care to know.

AMP Chairman Hatem Bazian is one of the Islamist co-founders of Zaytuna College in California. In 2004, he was videotaped calling for an “intifada” in America to “change fundamentally the political dynamics here.” He told Muslims to follow in the footsteps of Palestinians fighting Israel and Iraqis fighting U.S. forces.

Osama Abu Irshaid is a board member of the AMP. He used to be the editor for a Muslim Brotherhood front in the U.S. and legitimized Hamas’s attacks on Israel in 2010 as legally justifiable. He also has called Hamas “the resistance.”

Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University is well-known for his incendiary comments. He says he is a “severe critic” of Hamas but described the killing of Israeli soldiers as “resistance” in 2002. His wife also worked for the PLO when it was officially designated as a terrorist group by the U.S.

Abdelfattah Mourou is a co-founder of the Ennahda Party that currently leads Tunisia. The population that once elected it to power has since turned against it. It is essentially the Brotherhood’s branch there and he co-founded it with Rachid Ghannouchi, a prominent Islamist with a long record of extremism.

Sheikh Kifah Mustapha is an imam and Associate Director at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois. He is an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation.

The U.S. government specifically listed him as an elite operative of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood as a member of its secret Palestine Committee. These operatives covertly advance the interests of Hamas through a web of fronts. He was even in a pro-Hamas band.

According to AMP, Mustapha is the chairman of the Quran Institute of the Chicago chapter of the Muslim American Society. He is also the President of the Shura of Islamic Family Counselors of America and chairman of the Illinois Council of Imams and Scholars. Several other positions are listed in his bio, reflecting the success the Brotherhood has had in building and infiltrating Islamic institutions in America.

Read more at Front Page

Spies in the Classroom: CAIR vs. Campus Watch

Nihad Awad, Director and founder of CAIR

Nihad Awad, Director and founder of CAIR

By :

When on October 1, 2013, Samantha Bowden crept unannounced into the classroom of University of Central Florida communications professor Jonathan Matusitz, she wasn’t hoping to advance her education on the sly. Rather, Bowden, the communication and outreach director for the Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL), was doing something of which Campus Watch has been frequently accused, but has never done: spying on a professor in an effort to embarrass him and, with luck, even harm his career.

Since its inception in 2002, Campus Watch (CW)—a project of the Middle East Forum that reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them—has been charged with an array of outrageous calumnies. They include paying students to infiltrate classrooms as “spies” or “informers”; targeting “pro-Palestinian” professors; and tracking “anti-Israel” comments.” (Click here for a full collection of examples.)

Writing at his blog in 2005, University of Pennsylvania teaching assistant David Faris claimed to have been dogged by a Campus Watch “spy” for months: “At Penn, one of my semesters as a teaching assistant was deeply marred by an undergraduate Campus Watch spy . . . .” Faris flatters himself, as Campus Watch has never heard of him, then or since.

Hatem Bazian, a Near Eastern studies lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, declared in a 2006 interview that “he knew of students in his classroom who attended just so they could write down what he says, essentially spying on him.”

Ben-Gurion University political geography professor David Newman, in 2010, fantasized that Campus Watch “turns students into spies in the name of a specific political ideology.”

In 2010, Dorit Naaman, a film and media professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, wrote that Campus Watch “asked students to spy on their professors and track their ‘anti Israel’ record on a public website.”

Meanwhile, in a 2012 interview, University of Pennsylvania political science professor Ian Lustick maintained that “he has had students in his classes act as ‘spies’ for Campus Watch.”

While such colorful tales of intrigue make for a gripping story, Campus Watch defies anyone to provide proof that it ever sent paid “spies” into university classrooms. Can one of the accusers make available a paycheck stub or other written evidence to indicate that Campus Watch staff sought to infiltrate a professor’s classroom? Have any Campus Watch employees actually been apprehended sneaking into classrooms in the manner of CAIR’s Bowden?

Indeed, CAIR has been caught red-handed doing exactly that with which academia and its allies have fallaciously charged Campus Watch and instead of outrage, the incident has been met with silence.

The fact that CAIR—an Islamist outfit posing as a defender of civil rights, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial (among other terrorist ties), and a recipient of illegal foreign funding—has been embraced by the Middle East studies establishment (click herehereherehere, and here for just a few examples) likely has something to do with it. It turns out the only “spies” Middle East studies specialists are truly concerned about are those that threaten the politically-correct view of the Middle East; when it’s one of their own, they turn a blind eye. This the height of hypocrisy, not to mention a textbook example of projection.

Campus Watch challenges these professors to denounce CAIR’s harassment with the same fervor they’ve demonstrated over the years leveling spurious accusations of spying against CW. To do otherwise would be to demonstrate the hollowness of their concerns.

Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at stillwell@meforum.org.

Don’t miss Jamie Glazov’s video interview with Steven Emerson on “The Sordid World of CAIR”: 

Berkeley Prof: Anti-Morsi Egyptians Are Islamophobic

 

 Hatem Bazian

Hatem Bazian

IPT, by John Rossomando:

‘Islamophobia’ in the Bay Area?

images (95)By Stephen Schwartz:

According to “The Bay Area Muslim Study: Establishing Identity and Community,”  (BAMS) the San Francisco Bay Area, long known for its tolerance towards minorities and adherence to multiculturalism, is a hotbed of “Islamophobia.”

Its principal author is Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley’s Near Eastern Studies Department, director of Berkeley’s Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, which advertises BAMS at its website, and “Academic Affairs Chair” at Zaytuna College in Berkeley. Bazian’s co-author is Farid Senzai, an assistant professor of political science at Santa Clara University, a Jesuit school, and a faculty member (subject undisclosed) at Zaytuna. Senzai is also director of research at a little-known entity originating in Detroit, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), which co-commissioned the May, 2013 Bay Area study.

BAMS is the latest effort by Islamists to use their stature in academe to deceive the Western public about their extremist agenda and the interests of Muslims in general. It is fatally flawed in its methodology, the evidence it musters does not support its conclusions, and it is little more than propaganda to use as a political bludgeon against anyone who objects to radical Islam. No scholarly tool for understanding the Muslims of the Bay area, it will be used to silence critics and stifle debate.

Read more at American Thinker

Berkeley Profs: ‘Islamophobia’ Greater Threat Than Islamic Terrorism

Hatem Bazian

Hatem Bazian

By Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene:

The false narrative that “Islamophobia” is a growing threat received a boost at the “Fourth Annual International Conference on the Study of Islamophobia: From Theorizing to Systematic Documentation,” which took place at the University of California, Berkeley on April 19 and 20, 2013 under the chairmanship of its foremost conceptual proponent, Hatem Bazian. A senior lecturer in UC Berkeley’s department of Near Eastern studies, Bazian directs the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP), a program of the school’s Center for Race & Gender, and sits on the editorial board for the Islamophobia Studies Journal. The IRDP is heavily invested in promoting the belief that “Islamophobia” is on the rise globally and its annual conferences (click here and here to read about previous years) never fail to ratchet up the hysteria.

The conference opened just as a massive manhunt was launched in Boston for the two Islamic terrorists, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who bombed the Boston Marathon earlier in the week. Predictable anticipations of a coming “backlash” against Muslims—which never developed—were repeated throughout the event. Ironically, actual violence against Muslims came at the hands of Turks against Syrian refugees after a car bombing killed 52 people in Reyhanli, Turkey on May 11, 2013.

An audience of approximately sixty-five students, many of them women in hijab (head scarf), attended the second day of the conference, eager to learn about the “‘Othering’ of Islam,” the “racialization of Muslims,” and the definition of “Islamophobia”:

A contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure, which rationalizes the necessity to deploy violence as a tool to achieve ‘civilizational rehab’ of the target communities (Muslim or otherwise).

In other words, it was a day of mind-numbing jargon delivered by academics bent on creating the very panic and division they claim to decry.

Read more at Front Page

‘Israel Lobby’ Threatening Free Speech at Berkeley?

Hatem Bazian

Hatem Bazian

By :

The title of a recent panel discussion at the University of California, Berkeley was ominous: “SHHHH! Don’t Talk About Palestine: Chuck Hagel, Judith Butler, and the Israel Lobby’s Threat to Free Speech on Our Campus.” Taking place in Boalt Hall at UC Berkeley’s School of Law and sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, the event drew what appeared to be sixty hardcore anti-Israel activists—most in their early twenties—eager to embrace the notion that UC Berkeley is under siege by “pro-Israel advocates seek[ing] to silence debate about Palestinian human rights and divestment from Israel’s occupation.”

Although the event was billed as a discussion about the (nonexistent) efforts by the “Israel Lobby” to delay the appointment of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense and its criticism of the political science department at Brooklyn College for co-sponsoring a recent talk on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) by UC Berkeley rhetoric professor and anti-Israel activist Judith Butler, neither subject arose. Instead, the panel engaged in paranoid fantasies about being “silenced,” which, given that this was a well-publicized event at a prestigious law school on a campus where the Palestinian narrative is constantly promoted both inside and outside the classroom, were patently and even hilariously false.

Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer in the departments of Near Eastern and ethnic studies, was introduced as the main speaker, one the “500 most influential Muslims in the world,” and, in a false claim, the originator of the term “Islamophobia.” While the latter is untrue, Bazian does have the dubious distinction of directing UC Berkeley’s Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project.

Announcing that, “I come first to discuss this subject as a Palestinian and a Muslim,” Bazian launched into the usual accolades surrounding the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley during the 1960s. Far from being a free speech advocate facing censorship, Bazian is an activist who uses his academic position to advance an anti-Israel agenda. A promoter of the BDS movement and executive director of the Holy Land Foundation-linked American Muslims for Palestine, he is infamous for having called for an “Intifada in this country!” at a San Francisco anti-war rally in 2004.

Read more at Front Page

Contact information for the office of UC-Berkeley’s chancellor, Robert J. Birgeneau:

Email: chancellor@berkeley.edu
Phone: 510-642-7464
Fax: 510-643-5499

Lee Kaplan is an investigative journalist and columnist who writes forIsracampus.org.il, Israel National News, and the Northeast Intelligence Network. He is a Fellow at the American Center for Democracy and the founder of DAFKA.org and StoptheISM.com. He wrote this article for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

Manufacturing ‘Islamophobia’ at UC Berkeley

razieh20100831063916560By Cinnamon Stillwell

Scholars of the Middle East would do well to follow the lead of the Associated Press (AP), which last year struck the political term “Islamophobia” from the new edition of its widely used Stylebook, explaining that “‘-phobia,’ an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness should not be used in political or social contexts, including ‘homophobia’ and ‘Islamophobia.’” Given that the word was invented in the early 1990s by a Muslim Brotherhood front organization, the Northern Virginia-based International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), in order to silence critics of Islamism by branding them as irrational racists and hate-mongers—according to former IIIT member Abdur-Rahman Muhammad who was present at the time—AP made a wise decision.

In contrast, the field of Middle East studies—in partnership with organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an Islamist outfit linked by the United States government to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood posing as a defender of civil rights—has become one of the key proponents of the myth that “Islamophobia” is sweeping the nation. Professors of Middle East studies regularly use the phrase in both public lectures and the classroom, while producing books, op-eds, reports, and programs devoted to the promulgation of this deliberately misleading term.

At the forefront of this effort is the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP), a program of the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender directed by Near Eastern studies senior lecturer and notorious anti-Israel activist Hatem Bazian. Bazian, co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), has links to Hamas through his work with KindHearts and through SJP’s sister organization, the Muslim Students Association. In addition to annual conferences devoted to the subject beginning in 2010 (information is available here and here), the IRDP produced the inaugural edition of its Islamophobia Studies Journal in late 2012.

As with IRDP conferences, the journal was fashioned in collusion with CAIR and Berkeley’s “Islamic University,” Zaytuna College. Zahra Billoo, executive director of CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter, and Zaid Shakir, Zaytuna College cofounder and senior faculty member, serve on its advisory board, along with controversial Oxford University Islamic studies professor Tariq Ramadan and University of California, Davis anthropology and women’s studies professor Suad Joseph. Editorial board members include Rabab Abdulhadi, San Francisco State University associate professor of ethnic studies and race and resistance studies, and a senior scholar in the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative;  Munir Jiwa, founding director and assistant professor of the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley; and Hatem Bazian. All share the dubious achievement of furthering the politicization of Middle East studies.

In keeping with the postcolonial, postmodern, racialist language that characterizes UC Berkeley’s Center for Race & Gender, the Islamophobia Studies Journal is filled with the sort of ideological jargon that radical academics habitually substitute for reasoned debate. In the table of contents and the editorial statement alone, terms such “Otherness,” “social justice,” “speak truth to power,” “racial formations,” “the Muslim Other,” “the ‘inferior’ global other,” and “Western epistemic racisms” numb the mind and deaden the senses. Ahistorical and culturally relativistic comparisons to the Jewish experience serve to comfort those inclined to view all “Others” in the same light. Bazian’s contribution, “Muslims – Enemies of the State: The New Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO),” paints Muslim-Americans as victims of a persecutory fervor he likens to anti-communism—a trope he has been hawking furiously since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Read more at Front Page

Brotherhood/Hamas-Linked Activists Gather in Illinois for Extremist Event

by: Ryan Mauro

On November 22-25, activists with links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas will come together at the Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort in Illinois for American Muslims for Palestine’s (AMP) Conference for Palestine in the U.S.: A Movement United. The event also highlights the Islamists’ success in forging interfaith partnerships with Reverend Donald Wagner of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding as one of the speakers.

The AMP conference logo

American Muslims for Palestine isn’t just about Palestinian statehood. It’s about the elimination of Israel. Michael Rubin points out that “Its home page depicts the conference logo—a map of Palestine made from birds showing the Palestinian state encompassing all of Israel. So much for the two-state solution.”

AMP conferences promote Islamist thought. In 2004, its chairman, Hatem Bazian, praised the “uprising in Iraq” (which was against U.S. soldiers) and the “intifada in Palestine” and said an American intifada is needed to “change fundamentally the political dynamics here.” He boasted, “They’re gonna say some Palestinian [is] being too radical – well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet.”

In June, Bazian described the U.S. as a racist country that tries to get “darker people [to] fight our war.” He teaches that the “military-industrial complex” is promoting “Islamophobia” and is persecuting Muslim leadership in the U.S. in order to build support for wars against Muslims overseas.

AMP board member Osama Abu Irshaid, another speaker at the conference, describes the firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas as a form of “legitimate resistance.” He used to be the editor of an Arabic publication made by the now-defunct Islamic Association for Palestine, which the American Muslim Brotherhood’s internal documents identify as having been one of its fronts set up to support Hamas.

Another board member is Salah Sarsour. His brother was arrested by Israel in 1998 and informed his interrogators that Salah was financing Hamas through the Islamic Association for Palestine and the Holy Land Foundation. The latter was shut down by the U.S. government and five of its officials were convicting of funding terrorism. He even said that Sarsour transferred funds to a Hamas military commander.

The conference, which has Turkish Airlines as a sponsor, features some of the top Brotherhood-linked speakers, including:

Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The federal government named CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial, listing it among “individuals/entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee.” Awad declared his support for Hamas in 1994. In 2004, he refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah, instead choosing to call them “liberation movements.”

Safaa Zarzour, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Society of North America. Like CAIR, it was designated an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial and was listed by the government as a Muslim Brotherhood entity. FBI investigators identified ISNA as a Brotherhood front as far back as 1987. A 1991 American Muslim Brotherhood document also lists it as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.”

Jamal Badawi, who is listed in an American Muslim Brotherhood directory from 1992 and is a listed unindicted co-conspirator for his fundraising on behalf of the Holy Land Foundation. He is a founder of the Muslim American Society, a Brotherhood front. In 1999, he justified suicide bombings, saying, “So when an act of heroism like that is required to save others, it is self-sacrifice, you cannot really call it suicide.” In February 2009, he criticized the West for describing “martyrs” from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as terrorists.  In March 2010, he said Islam justifies the “combative jihad” of Palestinians.

Read more at Radical Islam

Profs. on Mideast Turmoil: Blame America, Israel, and Free Speech

John Esposito

By Cinnamon Stillwell:

In the wake of the al-Qaeda attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, the seizure of the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt, and the ensuing anti-American protests and riots throughout the Middle East—the latter ostensibly over an anti-Islam YouTube film trailer that originated in the U.S. months earlier—what do Middle East scholars have to say about the turmoil in the region?

As self-styled supporters of “academic freedom,” are they rushing to defend First Amendment rights instead of kowtowing to Muslim religious sensibilities? Are they denouncing the prospect of self-censorship rather than pushing YouTube to pull the “offending” video by claiming that it constitutes “hate speech?” Are they standing up for religious freedom instead of encouraging Americans to adhere to Sharia law-driven prohibitions on blasphemy? Are they putting aside their anti-Western biases and laying blame where it belongs instead of on America and Israel?

If the following quotes from Middle East studies academics are any indication, the answer to all those questions would be a resounding No!

Let’s take a look at what these “experts” have to say.

On First Amendment rights:

Bruce Lawrence, professor emeritus of religion and member of the Islamic Studies Center’s advisory board, Duke University:

But what about hate speech? Is hate speech not a category that impinges on, and limits, the practice of free speech?

Omid Safi, professor of Islamic studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:

In reality, pieces like the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ [sic] so-called film are best classified as ‘hate speech,’ as they seem to be of the same genre as anti-Semitic films of the 1930’s or Birth of the [sic] Nation KKK movies.

Tariq Ramadan, professor of contemporary Islamic studies, Oxford University:

[B]ehind the celebration of freedom of speech hides the arrogance of ideologists and well-fed racists who feed off the multiform humiliation of Muslims and to demonstrate the clear ‘superiority’ of their civilisation or the validity of their resistance to the ‘cancer’ of retrograde Islam.

John Brown, adjunct professor of liberal studies, Georgetown University:

Every culture or group of cultures has its own red lines. They might be legal red lines, but they are cultural red lines. There are taboos there are things people cannot say in public. In my experience, you just don’t speak badly of the Prophet Muhammad. It just does not happen.

John Esposito, director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University:

Indeed, it’s important to remember that, for Muslims, Mohammed is the ideal Muslim, as it was. He’s the living Quran. You know, he’s the model, you know. And so to go after him, OK, is to be the ultimate form, you know, the ultimate form of disrespect. It would be the ultimate blasphemy. . . . I think there’s a recognition of the freedom of speech, but you know, you still get into freedom of speech and then what are the consequences of it? . . . And so what you really have is a situation where this belongs to the genre of Islam-aphobia, which is just like [sic] anti-Semitic.

As’ad AbuKhalil, professor of political science, California State University, Stanislaus:

U.S. officials have been really insulting my intelligence all week with talk of the ‘freedom of speech’ that we have here in the U.S. that Muslims don’t understand. . . . They understand that the U.S. government has made it illegal for anyone to express support for Hamas and Hizbullah in the U.S.  Muslim[s] do understand that the U.S. has banned TV channels [Hezbollah’s Al-Manar and Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV] from the U.S. because they deemed them offensive to Israel. . . . We remember that the Bush administration asked all U.S. news media after Sept. 11 to refrain from airing any Bin Laden tapes.

Omid Safi, professor of Islamic studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:

Freedom of speech falls alongside other freedoms to live and be free from bombs falling on people’s heads and to be free from occupations . . . I will take free speech comments seriously when others take people’s freedom of life and dignity and to be free from occupation just as seriously.

On why YouTube should pull the video, “Innocence of Muslims”:

Hatem Bazian, Near Eastern studies senior lecturer, University of California, Berkeley:

Take the ethical high ground and say, ‘yes, I understand that I have the legal right to do it. But ethically, I need to actually say no to it, because it does not represent the best of our values.’ I would say even to put it in the recycling bin would be an insult to the recycling bin.

John Brown, adjunct professor of liberal studies, Georgetown University:

This movie reached new depths . . . I find it difficult that the most insulting thing ever made about the Prophet Muhammad in the history of Western civilization, as far as I know, doesn’t violate usage [Youtube usage] policy.

On blaming America, and Israel, and the West: Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and international studies and director of the Middle East studies program, University of San Francisco:

It is extremely unlikely that such vitriolic anti-American protests would have taken place were it not for decades of U.S. support, during both Republican and Democratic administrations, of allied dictatorships and the Israeli occupation, not to mention the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the ongoing military strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen.

John Esposito, director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University:

The terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three embassy staff, and the Cairo riots seem similar but share in common the incitement and exploitation of popular outrage among many Muslims, as we have witnessed during the Salman Rushdie and Danish cartoons affairs. They exploit deep seated popular anti-American sentiment, based on decades of resentment over US and European foreign policies in the Middle East.

Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan:

The touchiness of Muslims about assaults on the Prophet Muhammad is in part rooted in centuries of Western colonialism and neo-colonialism during which their religion was routinely denounced as barbaric by the people ruling and lording it over them.

Mark LeVine, professor of history, University of California, Irvine:

Muslims in Egypt, Libya and around the world equally look at American actions, from sanctions against and then an invasion of Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and sent the country back to the Stone Age, to unflinching support for Israel and all the Arab authoritarian regimes (secular and royal alike) and drone strikes that always seem to kill unintended civilians ‘by mistake,’ and wonder with equal bewilderment how ‘we’ can be so barbaric and uncivilized.

Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University:

Sam Bacile [the pseudonym for the alleged filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula] is integral to a pattern, an Islamophobic streak of racism that runs deep into American culture.

Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan:

From the 9/11 attacks to the embassy burnings of this past week, the U.S. pays the price for supporting the subjection of the Palestinians in widespread hatred for it from the Muslim world.

Read more at Front Page

 

PA, Islamists Push Blood Libel Against Israel

IPT News September 6, 2012

One of the most enduring anti-Israel slanders is the charge that it is persecuting non-Jews and destroying Muslim and Christian holy sites. These dubious claims continue to be made not only by international organizations, but by U.S. groups like American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Missouri Pro-Life Group Endorses Islamist 9/11 Truther

MD Rabbi Alam

by RYAN  MAURO

On June 14, the Missouri Right to Life  Political Action Committee endorsed  MD Rabbi Alam in the Democratic primary for Secretary of State to be held on  August 7. The letter  states that it “takes great care in choosing candidates to support in  elections.” The organization appears to have missed the fact that Alam has close  ties to Islamist groups and appears to have made a posting on an Internet forum  strongly suggesting that 9/11 was a Jewish conspiracy.

Alam was born in Bangladesh and served in the U.S. Army in Iraq until he was  honorably discharged. He is the National Chairman of the U.S.  National Democratic Party Asian American Caucus and the State Chairman of  the Missouri Democratic Party  Asian American Caucus. According to his campaign  website, his brother, Shere, is running for state representative. A Facebook  group has already been made promoting Alam as a Senate candidate in  2016.

On February 19, 2009, MD Rabbi Alam appears to have made a post  on a Topix.com discussion forum that asks, “Was 9/11 a conspiracy?” The post  links to a 9/11 conspiracy video titled Loose Change and then  states:

“Now, I can say this much which is a big yes from my own understanding and  own judgement. But there is always other side of the coin. Few question  to my readers, Why 9/11 was a official holidy for all jewish people worked  in the the WTC? Who can tell me how many of the Jewish people died on  the 9/11 tragedy? Finally, who can tell me why there was a closed-end  security and dog squad was implaced at the lower level of the WTC just a block  before the 9/11? What do you really think?”

The author  of the  post is listed as MD Rabbi Alam, is located in Kansas City and has a photo of  Alam in his army uniform.

Alam’s personal YouTube channel, which has videos of him rehearsing various  speeches (this one is, by far, my  favorite). One speech was uploaded  on February 1, 2010 and it is prepared for a February 7 event with American  Muslims for Palestine (AMP) where he declares his opposition to the War on  Terror. He decries how foreigners have been treated since 9/11, giving the  invasion of Iraq as an example. He says the “catastrophic War on Terror is  nothing but a horror suffering for us as an immigrant.” A second example he  provides is the conviction of Dr. Sami al-Arian, who is in jail for his  involvement with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. Alam says he was  “falsely accused and victimized by the War on Terror.”

“This country, it is true, that when you are not involved in the mainstream,  you are nothing but treated yourself as a stranger. It is as simple as it is,”  Alam says in the video. The event he was preparing for was titled, One  Year Later: Besieged Gaza–Still Standing Tall.”Alam is not listed as a  guest speaker on the flyer but that is the event he was preparing for.

AMP’s events feature extremist  rhetoric. One of the guest speakers at this specific event, Osama Abu  Irshaid, is a member of the AMP’s board. He has defended the firing of rockets  into Israel by Hamas as “legitimate resistance” under international law “because  they are under occupation.” In the same speech, he clearly refers to Hamas when  he talks about “the resistance.” On June 25, AMP’s chairman, Dr. Hatem Bazian, said,  “The United States wants India to balance China, because if there is a conflict  with China, we always like that the darker people fight our war and the more  these people die is better for the officers because racism can be manifested  across many sectors.” He also said that a “strategic and systematic process of  targeting the Muslim leadership of organizational structures by eliminating the  existing leadership” began after 9/11.

Alam’s colleagues at the Missouri Democratic Party Asian American Caucus  (MDPAAC) are closely tied to Viva  Palestina, another Islamist group with close  ties to Hamas and Palestinian  Islamic Jihad. MDPAAC’s website lists  the Campaign Director as Fadi Banyalmarjeh. Alam’s campaign website lists  him as its treasurer. He is originally from Syria and his Facebook page says he  “likes” George Galloway, the anti-American leader of Viva Palestina.

According to ZoomInfo.com,  he is also a Secretary at the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City and the  representative to the Islamic  Society of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate and designated as  an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Hamas-financing trial of the Holy Land  Foundation. He is also the registered  agent for the Islamic School of Kansas City.

Read more: Family Security Matters

 

UC Berkeley and the ‘Islamophobia’ Lobby

By Cinnamon Stillwell at Front Page:

The Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP)—a program of the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender (CRG)—recently held its third annual conference, “Critical Discourses on Islamophobia: Symbols, Images, & Representations.” As in previous years, speaker after speaker decried an imaginary racist, imperialist, Orientalist Western juggernaut, while disregarding the very real predations of Islamism.

The first day of the conference brought in approximately eighty people at its peak, including a number of women in hijab (head scarf), typing furiously on laptops. Others sported keffiyehs and dreadlocks; a smattering of Arabic and French could be heard; and a scruffy, bearded fellow wandered around with what appeared to be a journal under his arm, Historicizing Anti-Semitism, that one suspects is not exactly kosher. It was just another day in Berkeley.

Hatem Bazian, IRDP director, Near Eastern studies senior lecturer, and conference convener started out by apologizing for the forty-minute delay in kicking off the event. He chalked it up to “Muslim Time”—a reference to the popular phrase among African-Americans, “Colored People’s Time”—and joked that “Swiss watches run forward, but Muslim watches run backward.” He thanked the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)—an Islamist organization posing as a defender of civil rights— for its participation in the conference (Zahra Billoo, CAIR Northern California Executive Director, spoke the next day) and for partnering with CRG to produce the 2011 report, “Same Hate, New Target: Islamophobia and Its Impact in the United States”—a report that falsely accuses a number of public figures of perpetrating “Islamophobia.” Bazian also thanked “individuals who send us hate mail” for demonstrating “the need for this conference,” about which, he claimed, there had been “considerable chatter,” including “wild” and “threatening” statements. All this “despite the fact that we have the first Muslim president,” he added, chuckling. This sarcastic reference to the American public’s perception of Barack Obama’s Muslim background would be repeated throughout the day as incontrovertible evidence of “Islamophobia.”

Tariq Ramadan, the controversial Oxford University professor of contemporary Islamic studies and grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, demonstrated a capacity for what his critics have described as doublespeak with his keynote speech. Titled, “A Global Perspective on Constructing Muslim Otherness,” Ramadan’s talk was rife with contradiction. At one point, he acknowledged that the “victim mentality” is counterproductive for Muslims and other minorities:

People are relying on fear, mistrust, [and] nurturing the victim mentality. You can see this among Blacks, Latinos, [and] Muslims. Sometimes they play the victims. Victims are talking to each other. We are the victims of your colonization, legal colonization. It’s the way you accept the role given by the dominant: you become the victim.  

Yet pushing victimhood was the principal purpose of the conference. Moreover, Ramadan contributed to that narrative by implying that assimilation—the antidote to the balkanization caused by nurturing a victim mentality—was impossible in the U.S.:

At the end of the day, you might be a Muslim-American, Black, Latino, but not really. Us versus them. . . . After four generations, you are Muslim with an American background.

Ramadan admitted that something other than mere bigotry might be at the heart of what’s been disingenuously dubbed “Islamophobia”:

[S]ome of them are very sincere when it comes to being scared of the Muslim presence. . . . Try to understand the logic that is behind the whole thing . . . there is a great deal of mistrust towards our intentions as Muslims. We should go beyond the discussion of ‘we are discriminated’ towards a more comprehensive approach. . . . People can be genuinely scared; we have to face this.

He then added:

We have to get rid of this idea that the world is divided between the West and Islam. Instead of speaking about peace and living together, we respond with a discourse that is exactly the same.

But he went on to do just that, accusing both Republicans and Democrats of collusion—although he allowed that “some are less Islamophobic than others”—and claiming that “the people who are pushing it [are] the Tea Party and the Neocons.” Given that the Tea Party has focused exclusively on economic issues and that Neoconservatism is hardly a political force to be reckoned with of late, Ramadan’s rhetoric was hopelessly out of touch.

Ramadan eventually revealed why so many find him so dangerous by hinting at a belief in conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks and the Mohamed Merah shootings in Toulouse, France, which resulted in the deaths of three soldiers, a rabbi, and three children at a Jewish school. Acknowledging that “there is a new anti-Semitism in France, which is coming from Arabs and Muslims,” he then accused “strong Zionist groups” of complicity for somehow “nurturing this kind of racism.” As he put it:

I know about 9/11, but I still have some questions about behind the scenes, the way it was used . . . I still have questions about what happened in France [Toulouse]. We should try to understand the alliances we find behind old enemies.

To imply that “Zionists”  are benefiting from atrocities against Jews and others goes beyond the realm of conspiracy theory into classical anti-Semitism.

Read the rest

Read “Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future” by David Horowitz and Robert Spencer