What Elephant? What Room?

tnjihadGates of Vienna, by  Baron Bodissey:

An organization known as the Religious Communicators Council will be meeting next week in Nashville. Based on their agenda, they represent the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, with the usual suspects from dhimmi mainstream Christian and Jewish groups providing the necessary veneer of “interfaith dialogue”.

There’s a discussion of this important event in latest newsletter from the Tennessee Council for Political Justice:

What the Religious Communicators Council WON’T Talk About in April

The Religious Communicators Council (RCC) will hold their annual convention in Nashville on April 3-5. According to their speakers schedule, they won’t be talking about:

 

  • the recent Pew Study findings of Christian oppression in the Muslim majority countries of Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen
  • the BDS campaign against Israel being waged by U.S. based Hamas supporters, college campus Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Students Associations groups

Introductory speaker Remziya Suleyman will likely tell her same old embellished story of how she organized all the Muslims in Tennessee to beat back alleged anti-sharia legislation. She likes to portray herself as having “defeated the bill” when in fact the key provisions are now in state law. Bet she won’t bother to tell her audience that it was actually an anti-terrorism/material support bill based on the jihad murder perpetrated by Muslim convert Carlos Bledsoe. Bet she also won’t bother to explain to her audience that she is the one who equated anti-terrorism and material support with sharia!

For sure she won’t disclose to her audience that before she started her pro-sharia campaign, she admitted that “she never knew the concept of sharia…” In fact, she continues to remind us how little she knows about her own doctrine as she continues to promote the idea that anything violent or negative associated with Muslims and Islam is simply “culture” because it is not taught in the Quran. So how about those verses in the Quran that make wife beating sacred?

Daoud Abudiab is also a scheduled speaker. He is a Palestinian now living in Spring Hill, Tennessee who serves as the President of the Columbia Islamic Center. He will use the left’s double standard to tell the story about how an Islamophobe burned down his mosque like what every other Islamophobe out there would try to do. He’ll paint anyone who questions whether the U.S. should follow the U.K.’s example of allowing a parallel sharia system to thrive as an Islamophobe.. But when a Muslim like Bin Laden or Nidhal Hassan commits murder he characterizes it as a hijacking of the religion.

The RCC will get their victimhood mileage out of both of these speakers because they wear many hats. Both are involved with the progressive leftist organization Religions for Peace USA. Suleyman is the director of the Muslim American Center for Outreach and a CAIR/Muslim Brotherhood promoter. She also keeps her hand in refugee issues that augments her “American Muslim yearning for her Kurdish homeland.”

Abudiab is involved with the Tennessee American Muslim Advisory Council, the far left anti-American TN Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and the open borders group Clergy for Tolerance. It would be interesting to hear Abudiab’s response to the pro-Palestinian student group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) newly established at UT-Knoxville, whose sister chapter was recently suspended at Northeastern University and cited for aggressive intimidation of Jewish students at University of Michigan.

The heavy representation in the RCC by the United Methodist Church (UMC) makes it highly unlikely that they will ever take up the issue of the anti-Israel Jew-hating BDS campaign. The UMC has been entangled with Israel hating Islamists not only through Mercy-USA, but also through the cozy “God Box” otherwise known as the United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C. In 2012 the UMC General Conference voted to recommend boycotts and sanctions. UMC is a vocal and active participant in boycott initiatives, including the recent one against Soda Stream.

The Newseum Institute, (part of the TN Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt), represented by Gene Policinski, has been a long-time Islamic apologist. The institute has spent considerable resources and used their credibility as an advocate for “unbiased” media while defending the Muslim Brotherhood organizations and their sharia driven agenda. (read parts 1 -7 starting here.)

Bud Heckman from Religions for Peace USA (RFPUSA) will facilitate a discussion about the refugee propaganda film “Welcome to Shelbyville.” It seems fitting that an organization like RFPUSA would be involved with this film because of its own ties to leading Islamist Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the U.S.

The RCC’s convention focus is about Muslim victimhood. Anyone who knows anything about the magnitude of Christian persecution and the Jew-hating anti-Israel BDS campaign knows that these issues are mutually exclusive with Muslim victimhood. In fact, Christian persecution and the anti-Israel BDS campaign are the result of Islamist aggression, a topic the progressive leftists at the RCC wouldn’t want to be caught dead admitting.

What else can you expect from an organization whose Nashville chapter is headed by a Scientologist, Rev. Brian Fessler whose religious cult is based the arrival of the extraterrestrial warlord Xenu?

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:

Hate Crime Stats Deflate ‘Islamophobia’ Myth

Police investigate anti-Semitic graffiti in Edison, New Jersey, in 2009.

Police investigate anti-Semitic graffiti in Edison, New Jersey, in 2009.

by David J. Rusin
National Review Online
January 11, 2013

A detailed analysis of FBI statistics covering ten full calendar years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks reveals that, on a per capita basis, American Muslims, contrary to spin, have been subjected to hate crimes less often than other prominent minorities. From 2002 to 2011, Muslims are estimated to have suffered hate crimes at a frequency of 6.0 incidents per 100,000 per year — 10 percent lower than blacks (6.7), 48 percent lower than homosexuals and bisexuals (11.5), and 59 percent lower than Jews (14.8). Americans should keep these numbers in mind whenever Islamists attempt to silence critics by invoking Muslim victimhood.

The federal government defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.” Though statutes mandating harsher punishments for hatred-inspired acts raise the specter of thought crimes, emphasize group identity over the individual, and seemingly favor certain victims over others, the FBI’s tracking of such deeds shines important light on the state of the nation. Annual reports assembled from local law enforcement data are accessible on the website of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Especially useful is Table 1 of each compilation, which summarizes the number of incidents, offenses, victims, and known offenders for hate crimes committed against members of different groups.

No class of hate crimes has seen more fluctuation than anti-Muslim ones. The norm was a few dozen incidents per year in the late 1990s, but the number jumped from 28 in 2000 to 481 in 2001, a spike attributed to post-9/11 backlash. However, it dropped to 155 in 2002 and held remarkably steady through 2006, before falling again to 115 in 2007, 105 in 2008, and 107 in 2009.

Anti-Muslim incidents rose to 160 in 2010, an increase that Islamists and their mouthpieces eagerly blamed on rampant “Islamophobia,” particularly opposition to a proposed giant mosque near Ground Zero. Based on freshly released FBI data, there was little change in 2011, with 157 incidents, 175 offenses, 185 victims, and 138 known offenders. Mark Potok of the reliably leftist Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which puts foes of radical Islam in the same category as Klansmen and neo-Nazis, has declared that “hate crimes against perceived Muslims … remained at relatively high levels” as a result of “Islam-bashing propaganda,” anti-Shari’a legislation, and ongoing resistance to new mosques, relaying that “several were attacked by apparent Islamophobes.” Note the key word: “several” in a country with at least 2,106 mosques, a few million Muslims, and 300 million–plus non-Muslims.

As hinted above, the dark portrait of America as a nation of violent bigots uniquely hostile to Muslims does not withstand quantitative scrutiny. To smooth out year-to-year variations, consider the past decade (2002–11) of FBI-recorded hate crimes. There were 1,388 incidents against Muslims during this span, compared with 25,130 against blacks; 12,030 against homosexuals and bisexuals; 9,198 against Jews; and 5,057 against Hispanics. Even majority whites endured 7,185 incidents, while Christians (Protestants and Catholics combined) were targeted in 1,126 incidents. Adherents of “other religions” faced 1,335, very close to the anti-Muslim tally.

Due to the different sizes of minority groups, however, raw numbers cannot tell the complete tale. More insightful are per capita rates. Some back-of-the-envelope calculations follow.

The U.S. Census Bureau derived the total, Hispanic, and black populations for 2000 and 2010 from direct counts. Approximating their evolution with linear models, one can obtain estimates for any non-census year and, most important, the 2002–11 averages: total (299.2 million), Hispanic (45.2 million), and black (37.4 million). Surveys indicate that around 3.5 percent of American adults identify as homosexual or bisexual; applying this percentage to the total population gives a 2002–11 average of 10.5 million. Two studies have pegged the number of American Jews at about 6.5 million in 2010. Figures for 2000 vary (5.3–6.2 million), so for simplicity we set the average Jewish population between 2002 and 2011 at 6.2 million to account for moderate growth. As for Muslims, whose population estimates have a convoluted history, reputable recent numbers have been provided by the Pew Research Center (2.75 million in 2011) and the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (2.6 million in 2010; full data extractable here), which agree on the current size and growth rate (around 100,000 per year). The 2002–11 average is roughly 2.3 million Muslims.

Adding the FBI data yields per capita frequencies of hate crimes for the past decade. Of the five main minority groups discussed above, Jews were most likely to experience hate crimes, with 14.8 incidents per 100,000 Jews annually. Homosexuals and bisexuals (combined) came next (11.5), followed by blacks (6.7), Muslims (6.0), and Hispanics (1.1). Rates for majority whites and Christians were much smaller.

With hate crimes befalling Muslims far less often than they do Jews or homosexuals and bisexuals and slightly less often than they befall blacks, it is clear that anti-Muslim incidents are disproportionate to those targeting other minorities only in terms of the hype generated on their behalf. A closer look reinforces this conclusion.

First, despite claims about a surge of prejudice, anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2010 and 2011 merely returned to the typical post-9/11 (2002–06) pace of 150–160 incidents per year. Further, a similar number of hate crimes in 2002 and 2011 implies a lower per capita rate in 2011 because of strong population growth.

Second, what of the Muslim population estimate? In hopes of inflating their presumed clout, Islamist groups routinely assert the existence of around 7 million American Muslims, three times as many as the more objective measurements. Note, however, that this Islamist-promoted figure actually would weaken their narrative of anti-Muslim hate crimes, because a higher population reduces the per capita frequency, thus painting them as even less significant in a statistical sense.

Third, though 2001, whose rash of hate crimes against Muslims was an outlier tied to a unique event, has been excluded from the above analysis, the 2001–11 rate for Muslims was just 7.4 incidents per 100,000 per year, still far short of that applying to Jews or homosexuals and bisexuals. Self-pitying Islamists also want us to forget that in spite of 9/11-related anger, anti-Jewish hate crimes outnumbered anti-Muslim hate crimes that year by more than two to one.

Fourth, could incomplete data affect the finding that Muslims are victimized less often than many non-Muslim minorities? Theoretically, yes, but evidence for this is scant. SPLC talking heads regularly cite a 2005 Justice Department study, using surveys of victims’ perceptions of whether prejudice had motivated crimes against them, to argue that the FBI underestimates overall hate crimes by an order of magnitude. Yet even if those claims are valid, nothing suggests that anti-Muslim crimes are more or less likely to be ignored than others, which would be necessary to alter the relative frequencies of hate crimes against different groups. Another source of incompleteness is that not all local law enforcement agencies take part in the FBI’s tabulation, but once again there is no obvious bias here that would preferentially diminish hate crimes against Muslims. Also note that the percentage of participating agencies (see the FBI’s Table 12) is large and slowly climbing, covering 86 percent of the U.S. population in 2002 and 92 percent in 2011, meaning that improved reporting could have helped elevate the number of FBI-recorded hate crimes in later years. Although this impact is probably small, it further chips away at the meme of rising hate.

Fifth, consider hate crimes with the worst possible outcome: death. The subject has been in the headlines after a deranged woman suspected of murdering a Hindu man, Sunando Sen, by pushing him from a New York subway platform on December 27 told police that she “hate[s] Hindus and Muslims,” whom she collectively blames for 9/11, and that she believed Sen to be Muslim. Following the initial rush to label Sen’s murder a hate crime, journalists have learned that the alleged murderer had a long history of severe mental illness, had received only intermittent treatment despite numerous pleas for help and warnings from the family, and had repeatedly gone off her medication.

As the usual voices fault “our oversaturated Islamophobic environment” and “growing anti-Muslim hate,” they neglect to mention how rare it is for an actual or perceived Muslim to die in a hate crime. By the FBI’s count, 74 people were killed in hate crimes (“murder and nonnegligent manslaughter” in Table 4) from 2002 to 2011, but not a single one in an anti-Muslim incident. Indeed, the FBI lists no anti-Muslim fatalities since 1995, corresponding to the earliest report available.

Why do Islamists obfuscate? The false picture of an epidemic of physical assaults on Muslims distracts Americans from Islamist hatred and enshrines Muslims as the country’s leading victim class, a strategy intended to intimidate citizens into remaining quiet about Islamic supremacism and lay the groundwork for granting Muslims special privileges and protections at the expense of others. In short, anti-Muslim hate crimes are a powerful Islamist weapon.

At its extreme, the desire to achieve victim status in this manner has fueled the phenomenon of fake hate crimes, through staging, blatant misrepresentation, or both. An illustrative example is the March 2012 murder of Shaima Alawadi, a hijab-wearing California woman found beaten to death at home with a note calling her a terrorist beside her body. Islamists and their credulous media allies pounced at the opportunity to condemn the supposed tidal wave of “Islamophobia,” even as marital problems emerged as a potential motive. In November, police arrested Alawadi’s husband.

Genuine hate crimes committed against any group are deplorable, but they must be placed in the proper context. First, hate crimes are uncommon across the board. Second, despite hyperbole about “anti-Muslim violence spiralling out of control in America” and producing “one of the most hostile moments that the Muslim American community has ever experienced,” the real story is the amazing tolerance and restraint of the American people. Imported Muslim fanatics murdered thousands on 9/11, the threat of homegrown jihad has crystallized, and Islamists abroad continue to slaughter innocents daily. Though Americans could find no lack of excuses to strike out at their Muslim neighbors, almost nobody does — and thankfully so. As such, the annual victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes average between three and four per U.S. state and would have trouble filling a decent-sized jetliner.

Many Americans take a critical view of Islam, but virtually all restrict their negative sentiments to the domain of words and ideas, as civilized human beings should. People are free to have opinions, including anti-Islamic ones, regardless of how Islamists long to muzzle them. Islamists, in turn, are entitled to their own opinions about life in America. But they are not entitled to their own facts.

David J. Rusin is a research fellow at Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.