Islamic Radicals Citing Anti-Mosque Arguments In Propaganda

Not surprisingly, Radical Islamists are taking notice of the tone of debate in the United States over the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque."

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that Islamic radicals overseas are starting to tap into the anti-mosque rhetoric in the United States in their threats and propaganda:

Islamic radicals are seizing on protests against a planned Islamic community center near Manhattan’s Ground Zero and anti-Muslim rhetoric elsewhere as a propaganda opportunity and are stepping up anti-U.S. chatter and threats on their websites.

One jihadist site vowed to conduct suicide bombings in Florida to avenge a threatened Koran burning, while others predicted an increase in terrorist recruits as a result of such actions.

“By Allah, the wars are heated and you Americans are the ones who…enflamed it,” says one such posting. “By Allah you will be the first to taste its flames.”

White House homeland security adviser John Brennan told reporters Friday that he had seen no evidence that the debate over the proposed Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, other mosque protests or the planned Koran burning had affected U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

(…)

A U.S. official on Sunday said the administration was taking the upswing in anti-U.S. chatter seriously. “Terrorists like al-Qaeda and its violent allies are motivated already to try to attack the United States, but when it comes to propaganda, extremists are pure opportunists. They’ll use whatever they can,” the official said.

And, in the case, of anti-Muslim rhetoric from American politicians, what they get is, in their view, a propaganda gold mine:

Jarret Brachman, director of Cronus Global, a security consulting firm, and author of the book Global Jihadism, said al Qaeda and other groups have long used imagery from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to recruit new members. But the U.S. position has been that those wars are not against Islam and that the U.S. has Muslim allies in the fight.

Anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S is different, since jihadists can use Americans’ words to make the case that the U.S. is indeed at war with Islam. The violent postings are not just on al Qaeda-linked websites but on prominent, mainstream Muslim chat forums, Mr. Brachman said.

“We are handing al Qaeda a propaganda coup, an absolute propaganda coup,” with the Islamic-center controversy, said Evan Kohlmann, an independent terrorism consultant at Flashpoint Partners who monitors jihadist websites.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t speak out about the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” if they have an opinion, nor am I saying that terrorists should have a veto power over Freedom of Speech in the United States. In fact, if the “Dove World Outreach Center” in Florida wishes to burn the Koran on September 11th, I will defend to the hilt their right to do so and condemn those who have issued death threats against them.

At the same time, though, people should remember that words have consequences. When Muslims overseas hear Americans political leaders equating Islam with Nazism, as Newt Gingrich as, or burning their holiest book, as the Church in Florida plans to, then it is going to be easier for extremists like Anwar al-Awlaki, who say things like this on a regular basis, to convince their fellow Muslims that we are an irreconcilable enemy:

Mr. Awlaki, whose Web diatribes calling for attacks on the United States have turned up repeatedly in terrorism investigations, has sought to counter the notion that American tolerance extends to Muslims.

In a March posting, Mr. Awlaki, who lived in the United States for nearly 20 years, predicted that America would become “a land of religious discrimination and concentration camps.”

“Don’t be deceived by the promises of preserving your rights from a government that is right now killing your own brothers and sisters,” he wrote. “Today, with the war between Muslims and the West escalating, you cannot count on the message of solidarity you may get from a civic group or a political party, or the word of support you hear from a kind neighbor or a nice co-worker. The West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens!”

It is to counteract rhetoric like this that the U.S. State Department has sent men like Imam Rauf to the Middle East several times since 9/11 to try to explain to their fellow Muslims that America is not a land of intolerance against their faith. It’s worth noting, then, that the people who tell us that Muslims per se are suspicious simply because of the actions of a small portion of their faith are basically playing into the hands of bin Laden and al-Awaki and undermining the mission of the United States in nations like Iraq and Afghanistan.

That’s something worth thinking about, because unless your goal is to create generations of conflict with a religion of a billion people, demonizing Islam accomplishes nothing positive at all.

FILED UNDER: Islam, Religion, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    Duh! Of course they are. America hates us, we’re handing it to them on a plate. And the WSJ aught to know since they are owned by the same outfit who created this controversy. But none of this matters to Gingrich et al, a few more muslims are motivated to become terrorists, a few more Americans are killed, none of it matters just so long as he and those like him gain some political capital. But linking cause and effect has never been their strongpoint has it.

  2. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non Muslims…”

    “What complicates the discussion, intra-Islamically, is the fact that the West has not been cognizant and has not addressed the issues of its own contribution to much injustice in the Arab and Muslim world.” -Feisal Abdul Rauf, 2005

    These are the verbatim words of the Moderate Imam. I guess those we saved in Kosovo do not count. A few muslims are motivated. F**k off! 20% of Muslims think suicide bombing is ok if it is for Jihad. Since the number of Muslims in the world is over a billion that mean 200 million people think that act is ok.. When did being a Muslim become a race? I somehow thought it was like a religion with political overtones.

  3. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    BJ, your grasp of issues leaved much to be desired. Since the U.S.s first incounter with Islam was from Tripoli Pirates, Just how is it our actions have hurt Islam? The fact you blame America first indicates your lack of honest education. Did we keep Kuwait, Lebanon, Iraq or any other place Americans lost their lives defending the freedom of others? But Communists like yourself hate our country and our system. Move to a nation of your choice. But we will eliminate you if you try to change us here. That is a promise.

  4. sam says:

    @Zels

    Jeez, Zels, let me amplify that:

    Rauf: “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more
    Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non
    Muslims. You may remember that the US-led sanctions against Iraq led to
    the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been
    documented by the United Nations. And when Madeleine Albright, who has
    become a friend of mine over the last couple of years, when she was
    Secretary of State and was asked whether this was worth it, said it was
    worth it.”

    (IPT fact check: A report by the British government said at
    most only 50,000 deaths could be attributed to the sanctions, which were
    brought on by the actions by former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.)
    [IPT = Investigative Project on Terrorism]

    (http://www.investigativeproject.org/2121/rauf-lecture-reveals-radicalism

    Has al Qaida killed more than 50,000 nonmuslims? Has it?

  5. sam says:

    @Zels

    “But we will eliminate you if you try to change us here. That is a promise.”

    More physical threats, Zelsdorf

    (Hey, here’s an idea, “Zelsdorf on Terror” a la “Dorf on Golf” — without any of the latter’s insight.)

  6. Brummagem Joe says:

    “The fact you blame America first indicates your lack of honest education.”

    I’m not blaming anyone but just endorsing Doug’s contention that we’re handing anti American muslim activists a stick to beat us with. The fact you can’t comprehend a fairly basic causal link comes as no surprise and merely serves to confirm the accuracy of my previous comment about cause and effect.

  7. Michael says:

    The irony being that so many people in Muslim countries will now be judging all Americans by the actions of a small, angry fringe.

  8. Stan says:

    Assuming that Zels reads this, I wonder if he can explain to me how opposition to the Islamic Center to be built near Ground Zero helps us in the Global War on Terror.

  9. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    It makes no difference what we say and do, or not say and don’t do, these Muslims will hate us regardless. I would prefer to preserve my First Amendment rights and have them hate me rather than give up those rights and have them hate me.

  10. sam says:

    Pat, who’s asking you to give up your rights?

  11. Drew says:

    Boy, I yearn for the good old days, before the Mosque controversey……………….when they loved us.

  12. Stan says:

    My guess is that there are Moslems who hate us, Moslems who love us, and a lot in between. I’d like to decrease the number who hate us. Patrick T. McGuire and Drew have a different opinion. They feel that the important thing is expressing your emotions. They have a right to their opinions, but I can’t help feeling that they’re fools.

  13. Franklin says:

    Pat, who’s asking you to give up your rights?

    Nobody is. But don’t interrupt him, he’s on a roll.

  14. Juneau: says:

    @ Sam

    “Pat, who’s asking you to give up your rights?”

    You mean like the people arrested in Detroit for disturbing the peace because they were handing out Christian tracts outside a stadium where there was a muslim convention going on?

    No, muslims don’t expect special protection against being offended by certain types of speech – no impact on the First Amendment at all. Nope. Move along, nothing to see here, move along….

  15. Alex Knapp says:

    @Juneau –

    Are you referring to the Act 17 Apologetics, who were arrested for disturbing the peace at the Arab Cultural Festival in Dearborn? According to the police reports, they weren’t simply handing out tracts. They were actively confronting people and not letting them leave while they were being harangued and having obscenities shouted at them. That’s my recollection of the matter. I haven’t had a chance to look it up. I remember that their videos were confiscated.

    Now, maybe the police report is true and maybe it isn’t. I don’t know. But I know that, sadly and wrongly, having video cameras out at a public event is likely to get you busted by the cops. Radley Balko has a long list of this happening. So I doubt that was so much a religious issue so much as it is a “cops being assholes” issue. (Assuming, of course, that the police reports are erroneous. If the 4 folks really were accosting people and shouting obscenities at them, that would be disturbing the peace and they would deserve to go to jail.)

  16. Juneau: says:

    @ Brummagen

    “’m not blaming anyone but just endorsing Doug’s contention that we’re handing anti American muslim activists a stick to beat us with.”

    This mentality – i.e. that I am responsible for the actions of those who wish me harm – is completely ineffective when walked out in real life. One only has to draw an analogy between this situation and a childhood bully and their favorite target to see that the attitude of is not a sign of responsibility and maturity, it is merely accommodating the violent tendencies of the bully.

    The target does everything they can to not upset the bully, the bully interprets this as weakness and becomes even more disdainful of the right of the target to live life undisturbed. This is just pop-psychology dressed up as foreign policy analysis; a rabid dog does not need a rational reason to be violent – any reason will do.

    What this really boils down to is the US support of Israel’s right to exist. Since the Progs don’t like Israel, they feel that the Islamist terrorism has a justifiable root cause. This article is just another way of saying we need to be careful of our behavior so that homicidal maniacs don’t try and kill us.

    I’s rather shoot the rabid dog than tell my children they should always be afraid a dog will attack them if they don’t tip-toe around quietly. You can’t give in to a bully, and you can’t reason with a madman. Both will always find a way to get violent because it was all in their head to begin with.

  17. Alex Knapp says:

    @Juneau –

    So ALL Muslims are equivalent to bullies/madment/rabid dogs?

  18. Juneau: says:

    @ Alex Knapp

    You may find this video illuminating to the situation. Imagine Christians doing this to Muslims and the outcry that would ensue.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEPod-hxD7g&feature=player_embedded

  19. sam says:

    Dearborn Free Press

    Trial of Acts 17 Apologists Begins

    July 12, 2010

    Dearborn, Mich – Four Christian apologists affiliated with the Acts 17 Apologetics ministry appeared before Judge Mark Somers of the 19th District Court in Dearborn for arraignment this morning at 8:00, represented by Robert Muise, Senior Trial Counsel with the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor. Local attorney Majed Moughni (who is running for Congress) sat next to Mr. Muise and conferred with him.

    Attorney Muise requested that the missing video tapes (confiscated by the Dearborn Police on June 18th at the time of arrest) be admitted as evidence for the trial. The date of August 3rd was set to admit evidence for the trial. A pre-trial hearing is set for August 30th at 8:00am, with a possible trial date of September 20th, 2010.

    Michigan State Representative Tom McMillin was also at the arraignment this morning and indicated he was concerned about about what appeared to be a violation of First Amendment rights.

    Majed Moughni indicated he was also concerned about protecting freedom of speech for all citizens, including the rights of the four Christian apologists — whom he met with on Sunday night before the arraignment.

    Moughni is a Republican. I guess he believes in the First Amendment and fighting terror, because from Answering Muslims: The Islamoblog of Acts 17 Apologetics Ministeries (http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2010/01/not-in-name-of-islam-majed-moughni-and.html):

    “Wednesday, January 13, 2010
    Not in the Name of Islam? (Majed Moughni and other Muslims Rally against Terrorism)
    On January 8th, 2010, Muslims and their non-Muslim friends gathered in Detroit, Michigan, to protest terrorism in the name of Islam. Majed Moughni, the event’s organizer, predicted that thousands of Muslims would join together and condemn violence committed by Muslim terrorists. Unfortunately, Muslims aren’t quite that disturbed by terrorism.”

    It’s clear for the rest of the blog entry, the Acts 17 folks didn’t really believe him, then. Wonder how they feel about Muslims now, or at least some Muslims?

  20. sam says:

    Wait, I can answer that, love the people, depise the religion: “Our approach to answering Muslims is simple: love the people, hate the lies.” (http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2009/04/answering-muslims-website-faq_24.html)

    So, basically a very zealous, Christian evangelical group with a particular focus on Islam. Nothing extraordinary. And they certainly have a right to evangelize as they see fit, consistent with the freedom of others.

  21. Juneau: says:

    @ Knapp

    “So ALL Muslims are equivalent to bullies/madment/rabid dogs?”

    Don’t be ridiculous – nobody is saying that. Just as in any religion you have those that are more serious about following religious precepts and those that are not. Its just that with Islam those that are “fundamentalists” kill people who don’t believe the same way they do and actively pursue a condition where theocratic rule is the way a society should be governed.

    Out of curiosity, are you sincerely not aware of the extreme restrictions on “others” rights present in all muslim nations, or do you simply think that these preferred ways of behaving will forever be tempered by our western society? If the latter, I encourage you to do a bit of reading about the schism which has manifested itself between western society and sharia law in France and Great Britain.

  22. Juneau: says:

    @ Sam

    “Nothing extraordinary. And they certainly have a right to evangelize as they see fit, consistent with the freedom of others.”

    As all do. But the reality is that Islam cannot stand to be criticised, examined by outsiders, or made fun of. They kill people in muslim countries for doing that because sharia law demands it. Islamic religious freedom inherently includes a preference for all other religions to be forbidden. Not overcome through reason, faith, or miracles – forbidden. And there is no such thing as a “Western Sharia” law variant for use as a devout muslim living in a foreign country.

    The point is simply this; religious freedom is for all including Park51. But most Americans know that this is not the neighborhood knitting club moving into the building, and they know that any group that sincerely cared more about “dialogue” than dogma would decide to build in another location.

  23. mantis says:

    Since the Progs don’t like Israel, they feel that the Islamist terrorism has a justifiable root cause.

    I love Israel, but it’s a fact that Arab Muslims have legitimate beefs with that nation (and vice versa).

    But please, continue to smear all progressives as anti-semites. I’m sure it makes you feel better about yourself.

  24. mantis says:

    But the reality is that Islam cannot stand to be criticised, examined by outsiders, or made fun of. They kill people in muslim countries for doing that because sharia law demands it. Islamic religious freedom inherently includes a preference for all other religions to be forbidden.

    Yet somehow millions of Muslims live right here in the US and manage to not kill everyone for criticizing, examining, or making fun of Islam. Curious, that.

    I guess it’s possible that blanket statements about what certain religions “demand” don’t mean jack, when you are forced to consider what religious people actually do in practice.

    On that note, I would encourage you to read this story from the Middle East and tell us more about what Islam “demands.”

  25. sam says:

    Juneau, go take a look at this entire piece:

    A Course on Islam by M. Zuhdi Jasse
    http://www.mzuhdijasser.com/7773/course-on-islam

    On the surface, the Bureau of Jewish Education was perceptive and timely in its offering this summer of a course titled “Islam 101.” However, knowing the materials distributed by the course instructor, Carl Goldberg, a Ph.D. in Russian history, a more fitting title would have been “Islam: The totalitarian ideology.”

    Goldberg conflates various oppressive theocratic interpretations of Islam as “the Islam.” A recent missive he sent me stated, “Only by deviating from Islamic doctrine can Islam become compatible with democracy. But, that is logically absurd because then Islam would cease to be Islam.”

    Goldberg defends his claims by stating that he is simply reporting the “truth” as taught by “leading” Muslim scholars. When presented with alternative modern scholarly interpretations of the Quran and Hadith, he ignores them as contrived, illegitimate or hopeless. His responses to Muslim reformists would certainly make Bin Laden and Imam Al-Awlaki proud.

    This is not about Goldberg or the Bureau of Jewish Education. This is about understanding both our enemies and our friends. They are both Muslim, and they both practice a form of Islam. By inexorably linking supremacist ideologies to the entire faith, we are surrendering one-quarter of the world’s population to a supremacist mind-set that leaves nothing for the future but a global clash of religions.

    We need to recognize the validity of devotional anti-Islamist Muslims and marginalize the ideas of political Islam. We need not one but many courses on Islam, political Islam, salafism and jihadism to name a few. But these courses must teach about the debate going on within the faith. The House of Islam is not monolithic. It has a diversity wherein lies the future of its own political modernization and thus our security.

  26. john personna says:

    We seem hostage to our crazies, though not quite to the degree Muslims hare hostage to theirs.

    … wouldn’t it be a nice world if the non-crazy led on both sides?

  27. Joe R. says:

    “Let me be clear, I’m not saying that….”

    You’ve been listening to Obama for too long.

  28. Juneau: says:

    @ sam, mantis;

    You are still disputing the singular, and refusing to acknowledge the aggregate. Individual Muslims are not the issue; like all people their actions deserve to be judged on a case-by-case basis. Islam is the problem, and the wholesale blanket defense of Islam is the blind spot.

    Again, for an example, observe the video link I provided above. If a Christian group had conducted themselves in such an aggressive manner there would be investigative reporting and days – if not weeks – of stories about “secretive, violent Christians” picking on poor Muslims. I mean please, at least acknowledge the reality – a Christian preacher can’t even talk about Islam in a negative fashion without generating a public ( and documented) complaint from CAIR. Complaints which are picked up and discussed in newspapers and magazines.

    You can state that any given Muslim is a normal, sane, and reasonable person who does not strictly follow religious edicts, or fatwas, and sharia law and I freely grant that there are many. What you absolutely cannot state with any honesty is that the fatwas or sharia law are compatible with American values, the Constitution, our freedoms, or tolerance.

    All you are really trying to say is that all Muslims are not terrorists. To which I would respond, “Absolutely – they are human beings with their own levels of commitment to Islamic teachings.”
    But forget about getting me, or the majority of Americans, to accept some blanket assumption that all Muslims have nothing but the best intentions.

    The Progs on here have absolutely no problem castigating all Catholics because of the abuse issues, but yet you revolt, point a trembling finger of righteous accusation, and cry “religious freedom’ if someone speaks bluntly about the STATED opposition of Islam to Jews, Christianity, Constitutional government rule, and modern western society. Go figure…

  29. mantis says:

    You are still disputing the singular, and refusing to acknowledge the aggregate. Individual Muslims are not the issue; like all people their actions deserve to be judged on a case-by-case basis. Islam is the problem, and the wholesale blanket defense of Islam is the blind spot.

    Shorter Juneau: I don’t care what individual Muslims do, as I have declared their religion to be evil.

    Again, for an example, observe the video link I provided above. If a Christian group had conducted themselves in such an aggressive manner there would be investigative reporting and days – if not weeks – of stories about “secretive, violent Christians” picking on poor Muslims.

    I watched your video of security guards aggressively ejecting a group of provocative assholes out of an event. So what? That happens at all kinds of events, all the time, everywhere in this country. This is your evidence that all Muslims are not to be trusted?

    I mean please, at least acknowledge the reality – a Christian preacher can’t even talk about Islam in a negative fashion without generating a public ( and documented) complaint from CAIR. Complaints which are picked up and discussed in newspapers and magazines.

    I’m pretty sure Christian preachers in this country say negative things about Islam all the time, and neither CAIR nor the news pays any attention. By the way, do you feel the same way about the Anti Defamation League? They put out complaints about that kind of thing all the time.

    What you absolutely cannot state with any honesty is that the fatwas or sharia law are compatible with American values, the Constitution, our freedoms, or tolerance.

    It depends, on the fatwa, the sect, and the interpretation of sharia law. Sharia is practiced differently all over, and depending on what flavor of sharia you are talking about, can be quite compatible with US law (I won’t address your idea of what American values, freedoms, or tolerance are). Fatwas, as you may or may not know, are rarely about anything that would violate US law if followed. And of course how they are followed depends a lot on sectarian and cultural factors as well. As has been repeatedly pointed out, the Christian and Judaic texts “demand” many practices which would be illegal or unconstitutional in the US. People just don’t follow those these days. If Muslims want to move here to live within their faith and our laws, I welcome them. Same goes for all other religious folk.

    But forget about getting me, or the majority of Americans, to accept some blanket assumption that all Muslims have nothing but the best intentions.

    No one’s trying to get you to assume that all Muslims have nothing but the best intentions. So consider it forgotten.

    The Progs on here have absolutely no problem castigating all Catholics because of the abuse issues

    Really? Point out one instance where all Catholics are blamed for the child abuse perpetrated by the clergy.

    but yet you revolt, point a trembling finger of righteous accusation, and cry “religious freedom’ if someone speaks bluntly about the STATED opposition of Islam to Jews, Christianity, Constitutional government rule, and modern western society.

    Who STATED this opposition, exactly?

  30. Juneau: says:

    @ mantis

    “I watched your video of security guards aggressively ejecting a group of provocative assholes out of an event. So what? That happens at all kinds of events, all the time, everywhere in this country.”

    I’m sorry – I was under the mistaken impression that this was a convention where the “peaceful” religion of Islam was being celebrated. I didn’t realize it was a rock concert in disguise – then I would have simply chuckled perhaps at the camera holders being struck, slapped, and herded away from the area.

    Your defense of this is, in a word, pitiful. And thank you for making my point, with your complete lack of any objectivity or balance. After all, they were Christian assholes, weren’t they – deserve what they get. Never mind that your idea of “provocative” appears to be filming in a public place.

    Your staunch defense of statements made by the guards, such as ” Your place is over on such-and-such a corner”, ( place to do what, talk?) is also pathetic.

    You’re all for freedom. Sure.

  31. Juneau: says:

    @ mantis

    “Who STATED this opposition, exactly?”

    I’m sorry to be blunt but, get a frickin’ clue, would you? See your own statements above as an example – i.e. provocative a$$holes. While folks get hustled out of a public place because the muslims might be offended, you state it is fine because they were provocative. Do you mistakenly think that filming pubic events in public places is against the law? Or do you just feel that if someone doesn’t like it very much they should be free to slap and strike the person with the camera?

    Usual Prog – freedom for me, but not for thee….

  32. mantis says:

    Your defense of this is, in a word, pitiful

    I didn’t defend it. I just didn’t draw the same conclusion from it as you did.

    Your staunch defense

    Point out my staunch defense. In detail. By the way, you ignored a bunch of other, much more relevant things I wrote above in response to you. Wonder why.

    You’re all for freedom. Sure.

    I am. And for the record, I’m not a fan of asshole security guards. I’ve met plenty, but I don’t think they’re a sign of the apocalypse.

  33. Juneau: says:

    @ mantis

    “As has been repeatedly pointed out, the Christian and Judaic texts “demand” many practices which would be illegal or unconstitutional in the US.”

    Judaic (historical), yes, Christian , no. Your knowledge of the applicable doctrines is lacking. Additionally, your point of comparison is skewed; you are comparing historical (non-applicable) practices for Judaism with modern practices of Islam. For example, the religious ruling class (Sanhedrin) at the time of Christ utilized stoning for blasphemy. But you can’t find any recorded instances of this punishment being used in almost 2,000 years. It still happens today under Islamic law. There is no such comparison between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as you suggest. To state that there is such a comparison is to make a desperate and unsupported link between the ancient behaviors under Judaic law and the current behaviors under Islamic law..

  34. sam says:

    @Juneau

    You are still disputing the singular, and refusing to acknowledge the aggregate. Individual Muslims are not the issue; like all people their actions deserve to be judged on a case-by-case basis. Islam is the problem, and the wholesale blanket defense of Islam is the blind spot.

    We’re at loggerheads here. Many of us think your blanket condemnation of Islam is the problem.

    As Jasse said of Goldberg,

    [He]defends his claims by stating that he is simply reporting the “truth” as taught by “leading” Muslim scholars. When presented with alternative modern scholarly interpretations of the Quran and Hadith, he ignores them as contrived, illegitimate or hopeless. His responses to Muslim reformists would certainly make Bin Laden and Imam Al-Awlaki proud.

    You, for whatever reason, refuse to acknowledge that Islam is not a monolith. That there are different interpretations of Islam at play in the world. And, I suspect, you think those of us who do acknowledge this are deaf and blind the threat of terror practiced in the name of (some interpretation) of Islam. How you arrive at that last is a mystery to me. None of us are saying we ought not to be vigilant and resistant to terror.

    Finally, I really don’t understand what kind of a defense we can mount based on the premise that Islam (in every single one of it manifestations from Wahabi to Sufi) is altogether evil and worthless short of total war between ourselves and the whole of the Islamic world. That is insanity, but it’s the logic of your position.

  35. Brummagem Joe says:

    Juneau: says:
    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 18:06
    “This mentality – i.e. that I am responsible for the actions of those who wish me harm – is completely ineffective when walked out in real life. ”

    I have enough experience of real life to understand that if I start publicly maligning someone this is not likely to endear me to them. If you don’t get this it’s fine by me, but it hardly suggests you have a strong grasp of “real life”

  36. anjin-san says:

    >I suspect, you think those of us who do acknowledge this are deaf and blind the threat of terror practiced in the name of (some interpretation) of Islam. How you arrive at that last is a mystery to me

    Its not a mystery. Millions of Americans have outsourced their thinking to Fox News.

  37. sam says:

    Speaking of Sufis, I found an interesting web site: The Islamic Supreme Council of America. The council was founded by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani. Shaykh Kabbani is a very prominent Sufi scholar who is dead set against Wahhabism (see, Islamic Radicalism: Its Wahhabi Roots and Current Representation.

    The site is well-worth visiting if only to free oneself from the profoundly mistaken notion that Islam is a monolith, and I’m looking at you, Juneau.

  38. davod says:

    Sam:

    You are quite right that their are many different groups of Muslims in the USA.  And many of the non-radical groups have support organizations such as The Islamic Supreme Council of America.

    The problem is which groups have the ear of Government and the support of the media.  The main issue is that, at least since 9/11, the US Government has mainly been advised by supporters of Wahabi Islam and apologists for Radical Islam, such as CAIR and ISNA.

    This September 14, 2009 IPT report – State Department Website Panders to Radical Islamists
    http://www.investigativeproject.org/1411/state-department-website-panders-to-radical hi-lights
    the problem.
     
    I recomend reading the report but I have included some highlights here [The web site problem is symptomatic of many government departments including the FBI and DHS]:

    “The United States government’s stepped-up courting of Islamist groups is on display at the State Department web portal http://www.america.gov. The site bills itself as a place to “meet the people” and “explore the values and ideas that define the character of the United States.” But when it comes to American Muslim organizations, that often means providing a U.S. government stamp of approval to organizations linked to the Muslim Brotherhood such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) or apologists like the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).”

    “During the Cold War, government bureaus like the United States Information Agency worked to counter disinformation by driving home the point that freedom and democracy are superior to communism and tyranny. But Zuhdi Jasser, head of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, says that in today’s struggle with radical Islam, the United States government is doing something very different – even perverse.
    It is aiding and abetting the efforts of groups like CAIR and ISNA to anoint themselves representatives of all American Muslims – even though many Muslims want nothing to do with the Islamists.
    At a July 20 meeting on Capitol Hill with Farah Pandith, head of the State Department’s new office of representative to Muslim communities, Jasser criticized the 64-page booklet “Being Muslim in America” as an example of what is wrong. The publication is “like Pravda. It’s all about how Muslims in America are motherhood and apple pie,” Jasser said he told Pandith. “It’s like the Muslim community has no warts” or divisions.

    Nothing could be further from the truth, says Jasser. In presenting this monolithic, idyllic picture of Muslims, the State Department is ignoring inconvenient facts like the intra-Muslim debate over imposition of Sharia and Muslims’ larger relationship with non-Muslims, Jasser told IPT News.
    At the meeting, organized by Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus founder Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), Pandith reacted defensively when Jasser (accompanied by representatives of non-Islamist Muslim groups like the World Organization for Resource Development & Education and the Islamic Supreme Council of America) criticized the State Department for letting Islamists monopolize the debate.
    In interviews, Jasser and Khalim Massoud, head of Muslims Against Sharia (who did not attend the meeting organized by Myrick) emphasized that the State Department continues to assist anti-freedom elements in the Muslim community. As examples of what is wrong, they pointed to a number of items that appeared on the http://www.America.gov site in recent weeks:
    *An August 26 story by Carla Higgins entitled “Muslim Americans Mourn Death of Sen. Edward Kennedy” consisted almost entirely of an ISNA statement praising the late Massachusetts senator.
    * An August 26 story by Ahmed Mohamed (“Muslim Americans Launch Community Service Initiative”) which reported that “Muslim Americans are showing their support for Obama’s community service appeal by launching the Muslim Americans Answer the Call Campaign.”
    Like the September 4 podcast quoted above, Mohamed’s story noted that the campaign is led by Mogahed and quoted at length from her ISNA national convention speech in July. The article also included a list of seven bullet points outlining CAIR’s contribution to the President’s community service initiative. It quoted CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad praising the initiative as “a unique opportunity to tell their story through service to others.”
    * An August 20 story also by Ahmed Mohamed (“New Documentary Film Explores Muslim Experience in America”) that reads like a press release for “Journey into America,” a movie which premiered July 4 at ISNA’s convention. In making the film, a research team traveled to numerous American mosques. The story quotes ISNA President Ingrid Mattson praising the film as one that would allay Americans’ fears of “what might be going on behind the doors of these mosques.”
    Producers of the ISNA-endorsed documentary linked to Mohamed’s Aug. 20 article on their blog. They wrote that the story “not only gives our documentary an immense amount of publicity in the global arena of politics and international relations” but “also proves that high ranking American officials have endorsed the message which we communicated.”
     

  39. davod says:

    Is there a delay posting comments or am I being censored?  

  40. Davod,

    It looks like your comment got caught by our spam filter for moderation because it had a few links in it. I’ve approved it so you should be able to see it now

  41. davod says:

    Sam,

    You are quite right that there are many different Muslim groups, and most are peacefull and not in the business of suporting Wahabism and/or radical Islamists.

    The problem is which groups have the ear of the Government and the support of the media. It is unfortunate that since at least 9/11 the government has been accepting the advice of and are supporting supporters of Wahabism and /or radical Islam.

    This September 14, 2009 IPT report  State Department Website panders to Radical Islamists [ http://www.investigativeproject.org/1411/state-department-website-panders-to-radical ] is symptomatic of the wider government.  

    I should note that the Islamic Supreme Council of America is one of the moderate groups expressing criticism of the State Department’s actions.

  42. davod says:

    Doug,

    Thanks.  I posted a shorter version at 15:05 before reading your post.

    I am still new at this. I copied the data to MSWord then copied it into my post.

    Only the first link is mine.  The rest were part of the IPT report and survived the copying process.

  43. sam says:

    Davod
    I will read the report, but you do realize that on its face, this sounds kinda funny:

    It is unfortunate that since at least 9/11 the government has been accepting the advice of and are supporting supporters of Wahabism and /or radical Islam.
     

    You’d think that the Bush administration (you say “at least since 9/11”), Saudi connection aside, would have been chary of  any contact with radical Islamic elements. Let alone supporting those elements.

  44. mannning says:

    Since I have done quite a bit of research and questioning of both real and pseudo experts on Islam in the past weeks, I have come to a simple opinion: 1) Muslims have the right to build a community center/mosque near ground zero; 2) ,I.they should not do so as it shows gross disrespect for the sensitivities of many if not most Americans for them to flag the area near the GZ with permanent Muslim/Islamic trappings and gatherings</i>. That other longer-standing Mosques are also in the neighborhood is not of concern. That some Islamic sects are indifferent to the actions of their radical cousins and hence do not feel any sort of guilt over the 9/11 disaster is <i>their problem, not ours</i>, they will feel the heat anyway.

    We will most likely not even try to educate our entire population about the divisions within Islam and the differences between the sects in America.  The label is Muslim; The label is Islam; let them clean their own nest of radicals, or help our authorities do it, if they are truly Americans, and not Muslims that merely live in America.  

    You may believe otherwise, but in my opinion, Islam will now get way far more Anti-American points with this coup worldwide than we will get positive Islamic points within America, <i>whether the building is completed as a CC/Mosque or not</i>. So the net is greatly in favor of Anti-American sentiment worldwide, regardless!  We have been maneuvered into a no-win situation by the Muslims, thus we should look out for our own majority desires and show our displeasure that this issue has even arisen at all. Where in all of this argumentation have the Muslims shown the slightest concern for American sensibilities regarding the GZ?  Most distasteful and arrogant to say the least! 

  45. anjin-san says:

    > we should look out for our own majority desires
    The majority elected a President who ran on and passed health care reform, when is the right going to defer to majority desires?

  46. mannning says:

    @ angin-san

    Answer: When the majority is right! The majority you refer to no longer exists.