John Bolton Has Long Standing Ties To Anti-Muslim Blogger Pamela Geller
Not surprisingly, John Bolton has some links to particularly shady people on the right.
Incoming National Security Adviser John Bolton has a long association with a notorious anti-Islamic bigot:
John Bolton, Donald Trump’s pick to be the next national security adviser, has a decade-long history of associating with anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller.
The former UN ambassador wrote the foreword to Geller’s 2010 book that she coauthored with fellow anti-Islam activist Robert Spencer titled “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.” Bolton also appeared twice on Geller’s internet radio program “Atlas on the Air” and twice on her video blog.
Geller is well-known for her inflammatory public comments about Muslims and Islam and has long peddled the conspiracy theory that Muslims are attempting to impose Sharia law in the US. She once ran an ad campaign in New York City with taglines like, “It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism” and “End all aid to Islamic countries.”
Geller emerged in 2010 as a leading opponent of the mosque and community center that was then planned for a site near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. She also organized a “Draw the Prophet” contest in Garland, Texas, in May 2015. The contest, which occurred in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris that year and which Geller argued was an event in defense of free speech, was disrupted by two gunmen who attacked it and were ultimately shot dead.
Geller has long been a booster of Bolton, dating back to at least 2005 when she strongly supported him as President George W. Bush’s pick to be the US ambassador to the United Nations.
Geller declined to answer CNN’s questions about her relationship with Bolton and instead asked for corrections on past CNN coverage of her. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Bolton did not respond to a request for comment.
Bolton would make his first brief appearance on Geller’s video blog in June 2006 while serving in the UN post, where he told Geller he was trying to keep UN bureaucrats from making decisions for the American people.
Bolton appeared on Geller’s “Atlas on the Air” Internet radio show in November 2007, speaking for nearly an hour to promote his book at time, though the interview evolved into a wide-ranging discussion on Bolton’s worldview.
Bolton agreed with Geller that the United Nations was an anti-Semitic institution. Geller also pressed Bolton on his thoughts on the alleged threat of “creeping Sharia,” a conspiracy that she and other anti-Muslim activists hold that Muslims in America are stealthily trying to implement religious law in the United States courts.
Bolton answered, “I don’t see it as much as a threat in the United States as it is Europe. Because I think in the United States, uh, we have made the melting pot into something that’s unique in the world. And the melting pot means you can come from anywhere. You can come from any background, any ethnic group, any geo geographical region, any religion, any culture. And you can become an American. You don’t have to lose your heritage, but you have to go through a process of assimilation.”
Bolton then said it was a problem in Europe, and that European courts were in a crisis because they don’t know how to handle Muslims who argue “Sharia should apply to Muslims and some other law should apply to everybody else.”
After Geller pushed the subject further, Bolton said it was a problem in parts of the United States as well. “I think there are problems that we’ve seen in parts of the United States. I don’t mean to say it doesn’t exist, but I think we face a qualitatively different situation than the Europeans.”
In his 2010 foreword to Geller’s book, Bolton wrote, “This book carries forward the ongoing and increasingly widespread critique of Barack Obama as our first post-American president.”
In the book, Geller and Spencer argued that America and Europe face “creeping Sharia” and that “Europe is committing slow cultural and demographic suicide.” The authors paint a picture of Obama as unwilling to confront the country’s problems because he was “influenced and indoctrinated by many who despised America.”
Geller and Spencer’s critique of Obama is closely intertwined with their fear of Sharia law infiltrating the United States.
“His statements about meeting the challenge of the global jihad, however, were a de facto form of submission, an implementation of a soft Sharia: the quiet and piecemeal implementation of Islamic laws that subjugate non-Muslims,” they wrote.
Given that they have long traveled in the same conservative circles over the years, I suppose it’s no surprise that Bolton and Geller would have crossed paths so many times. Additionally, it’s not very surprising that Geller would be a strong supporter of Bolton’s, or why Bolton would be so open to associating with Geller given that they seem to have similar views about Islam and about issues such as the proper way to handle Iran. That being said, to the extent we judge people by whom they associate with this is certainly not an argument in Bolton’s favor.
This has been the most racist administration ever…from the start. Bolton only makes it more so.
Upside: trump’s enmeshed in so much legal jeopardy, so many ways, that he has less time to affect policy. Downside: Bolton wants war with Iran, “preemptive” war with North Korea, probly war with fückin Eskimos for all we know.
Bolton being connected to Pam Geller hardly seems surprising. Nor can I see what difference it will make. To Trump it’s a plus. And it won’t convince anyone Bolton’s nuts who hadn’t already reached that conclusion. Just more reason to fear War Against Islam will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Always remember, kids, crazy conspiracy theories and guilt by association are only bad when OTHER people indulge in them!
By the way, is female genital mutilation included in “creeping Sharia?” You might want to check the intertubes on that.
only by ignorant a**hole bigots and racists. And deliberate trolling scum liars.
For the edification of the Non Trolling readers: What is usually called FGM is an African custom, specifically essentially a Nilotic – East African one in origin that emerged it would appear in the Pharoanic period in the Nile valley. In NE Africa, Egypt down through the Horn of Africa it’s sadly been a nastily dominant practice – across Muslim and Orthodox & Coptic Christian populations right to this day.
There’s no proper Quranic or solid Hadithic support to the practice, it’s unknown in most of the Islamic world (and considered in the Maghreb, in Turkey, etc) to be a weirdo Egyptian thing. It’s also found in the Sahelian Muslim populations – black African but not Berber (e.g. Taureg), where peculiarly given European anthro documentation, one can trace and detect a modern spread of the practice (relatively modern) that was absent in ‘original Islamicized’ populations converted by Maghrebine & Berber traders, but picked up via Saharan to Nile influences.
But of course the nasty, ignoramus religious bigots, they do like to try to use this as a religious smear, in a nature or style of usage rather similar to the nasty blood-libel type smears used against Jews.
And Bunge, you’re a vile liar of a troll, worthy only of disgusted contempt.
I upvoted your post because I agree with the general point and you do a good job of disposing of Bung’s despicable non sequitur, but I must take exception to your analogy here. There is no credible record of Jews ever engaging in ritual murder; it was pure fantasy concocted by superstitious Christians during the Middle Ages. It’s wrong to describe FGM as an Islamic ritual per se, but FGM is unquestionably a real ritual practiced by millions of Muslims as well as millions of Christians. (Heck, Ethiopian Jews used to practice it before they came to Israel, where the practice is banned.) Bigotry is usually based on overgeneralization, but there are times when it is manifested through outright hoaxes, of which Jewish ritual murder is one example.
“This young lady, at various times over that time period was subjected to some pretty bad abuse because she didn’t want to be married to this person,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said on Friday, according to KSAT.
“Several times it was reported to us that this young lady was abused with hot cooking oil being thrown on her body. She was beat with broomsticks,” Salazar added. “At least one point, she was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness.”
The teenage girl and her five siblings, between the ages 5 and 15, were placed under Child Protective Services custody.
The parents face charges of continuous violence against a family member. They were taken into custody on Friday.
Police said the man who was arranged to be married to Al Hishmawi may also be charged in the case.
Yeah. Nothing to see here, move along.
Jim Napora, 56, says he was abused by two priests and both of their names are on the list of 42 that the Buffalo Diocese released.
“Our priests were our authority figures, so you looked up to them as that authority figure and if a priest were to tell you this is between you me and god, you didn’t speak of it,” Napora said.
Wayne Bortle says he, too, is victim of abuse by a now-deceased priest in Pavillion. He hid his story for nearly 40-years. Now he’s telling it…
“One night he asked me to come over and watch tv,” Bortle said and then remembers telling his mother, “I said, ‘Mom he was touching me everywhere and he wouldn’t stop.”‘
Bortle and Napora say they are no longer Catholic.
“I do believe in a higher figure, but I don’t believe in the catholic church,” Napora said.
It is possible that more names could be added to the Diocese’s list of 42.
Nothing to see here, move along.
Unfortunately, that’s not entirely accurate. FGM occurs in most Islamic countries, even if it’s often only practiced by a small minority. While it’s seen only rarely in the Maghreb, most Islamic countries, including Turkey, tend to have (smallish) communities where FGM is practiced.
FGM is not only prevalent in the Nile valley and the horn of Africa, but also, for instance, in Oman, Malaysia, Indonesia, and parts of the Philippines.
While this is true, followers of one of the four major schools of Islamic law, the Shafi‘i school, generally hold that FGM is obligatory, which largely explains the custom’s current geographical distribution.
Thus, even though the majority of Muslims reject FGM, quite a few believe the procedure is religiously mandated – notwithstanding the fact that it is a pre-Islamic custom that is also practiced by members of other religious communities.
It’s worth remembering that Bolton served as a paid lobbyist for the People’s Mujaheddin of Iran (MEK), which, at the time, was a designated terrorist group.
@john430: So this is why Mississippi just refused to outlaw forced child marriage? Because the state is secretly controlled by Muslims?
Female genital mutilation is rightly criticized for being a barbaric practice and yet, many in this country tolerate male genital mutilation…
There are twice as many Native Americans in the US as their are Muslims. Worrying about sharia llaw makes about as much sense as worrying about your home getting attacking by an indian raiding party while you’re at work.
I wouldn’t even go that far. I’d put it this way: worrying about Muslim Sharia makes as much sense as worrying about Jewish Halakha. They’re both more or less the same thing–it’s just a general term for the set of religious laws in each religion.
One of the things I find remarkable about Pamela Geller is that she does not seem to realize that many of her attacks on Islam could just as easily be applied to her own religion–and often have been. For example, she has spread conspiracy theories about what she calls “stealth halal” food, which pretty much parallels similar conspiracy theories that anti-Semites have spread about the kosher industry.
Sharia law, amirite?
From the Louisville Courier-Journal:
Racist is connected to another racist. No news here.
FGM is also largley practiced in Indonesia, the most populous muslim country in the world.
There is something that I have the impression that some people forget in this discussions about what is and not is “islamic”: Islam is not a kind of Lutheranism-with-beards, working by a “Sola scriptura” thing (with the Quran in the place of the Bible); in Islam, what centuries of tradition and interpretation says is, in practice, more important than what the Quran says; then, if your local imam, mullah or ulema says that something is islamic, that thing is islamic, final point.
As noted in other comments, FGM predates Islam. It is also practiced in certain Jewish and Christian groups. It seems to be yet another case of culture trumping religion.
Fair point but a better description would be Protestants-with-beards. Plenty of Protestants *claim* to be Sola Scriptura but have an awful lot of “traditions” they fall back onto that have no Biblical basis other then the “preacher said so”. The local branch/ denomination/ sect declares X isn’t “christian”, part of the group disagrees and breaks off to form their own sect where X is totally kosher. That’s how you get things like woman wearing pants is sinful because it shows their figure and yet somehow skirts that flash (a tiny amount of) skin isn’t. Some random verse of the Bible will be yanked to justify it but really it’s because the men in charge of the church just don’t think women should wear pants and thus Jesus agrees.
Most Americans can’t be bothered with understanding the details of their own fractured faith and it’s divisions so why in the world would they bother to learn about another? It’s easier to just say “oh, they’re like Lutherans and just follow the Quran” and thus attribute *everything* bad to the faith instead of culture.
@An Interrested Party: many in this country tolerate male genital mutilation…
Male circumcision is comparable only to the mildest form of FGM, in which just the clitoral hood is removed. Other forms cut out the clitoris itself as well as the labia. In many cases, the vulva is then sewn shut, with only a narrow hole for urine. It’s more like cutting off the penis.
That said, there’s no reason to cut men, either.
Modern Christianity is just as susceptible to local interpretations as any other Religion — even within sects that claim to subscribe to “Sola scriptura.” That can run from extreme forms of Mormonism, to speaking in tounges and pentacostalism, snake handling, to African Christian Churches integrating ancestral spirits, to the Prosperity Gospel, to local churches beating out evil (to the point of hospitalizing and killing congregation members, as recently happened in Syracuse NY).
The reality is that academic study of religion (including fieldwork done at modern gatherings across the globe) demonstrates over and over again that all religious practice is colored by local interpretation.
As Edward Siad points out as part of his theory of Orientalism, Western religions are able to use concepts like “Sola scriptura” to wave away their more radical interpretations as being fringe cult groups, while “eastern” religions are always define by their most radical versions.
Speaking of genital mutilation, it’s often asked, “What practices that seem normal to us today, will seem barbaric in 50 years?”
History student, 2068: “Wait a minute…they did what?”
History teacher: “Up until a few decades ago, it was common in the West to cut a piece of your male baby’s penis off.”
Student: “Cut…a piece of their penises off.”
Student: “Fucking psycho idiots…”
@An Interrested Party: Factually speaking, the two have virtually nothing in common. One has demonstrated health benefits and is not done out of a desire to harm or diminish the child. The other is deliberately hurting the child in a permanent way.
@teve tory: Unless you think Jews are going to be gone in 50 years and/or that the practice of circumcision, which approximately 80% of families in the United States choose today, will suddenly go away overnight, you are in for a real reality check. In fact, I’d suggest that you were the “psycho idiot”….
BTW, the science for male circumcision indicates that it is healthier to do so – but not by such an amount as to suggest that it must be universal. Another reason it is highly unlikely that circumcision would (A) stop happening or (b) be considered the product of “psycho idiots”
There is no such science indicating *any* health benefits for FGM. Stop comparing the two.
You need to read gooder. I never compared the two. As to your contention that not cutting baby penises is the action of a psycho idiot, i’ll let the people in 2068 decide that.
First, my comment on the comparison was in response to A.I.P.’s comparing the two. Which he did.
Second, If you took from my post that I was saying that choosing not to circumcise makes someone a “psycho idiot”, you do need to “read gooder”.
Third, I don’t have to wait 50 years to tell you that I think people who choose to insult large swathes of people, including two entire religions, as “psycho idiots” are assholes and/or bigots.
An important distinction between male circumcision and FGM, is that male circumcision removes the foreskin, not the entire glans. If the glans was lopped off, then they would physiologically equivalent.
Not saying that male circumcision is a good thing; they are of a type, but FGM is a different category.
@de stijl: Indeed, the very term “female genital mutilation” (FGM) was coined as an alternative to the earlier term “female circumcision,” which misleadingly implied an equivalence with male circumcision.
Never was common in “the West”, I think – in Portugal, it is an almost unknown practice, and I imagine that is the same in almost every “western” country, beside US and Israel.
Regardless of whether it is done to harm or diminish a child or to supposedly provide some kind of health benefit, mutilation of any child, regardless of sex, is inappropriate in that it violates one’s right to autonomy and physical integrity…
That hardly seems like the “health benefit” that its proponents declare…
when was the last time an entire nation of christians rioted over cartoons? cause it happened in pakistan
FGM and male circumcision are certainly far different in scale of harm. FGM is an abomination, whereas male circumcision is merely unnecessary surgery on an infant. They are, at least in the US, originally for similar purposes. As far as I can tell, male circumcision for other than religious purposes is exceedingly rare outside of the US. In the US the trend was started by Kellogg for the purpose of reducing sexual sensitivity in the vain hope that it would keep boys from masturbating. It wasn’t begun for any potential tangential benefit and virtually all of the potential benefits are accomplished equally well by regular hygiene.
@Miguel Madeira: Let’s just say I have some theories on why the circumcision rate in Christians varies based on location…
@An Interested Party: Lots of judgmental words there that obscure reality. Your choice of the word “mutilation” kinda gives away the game. Is ear piercing mutilation?
More to the point, your source claiming decreased sensitivity is scientifically inaccurate.
@Grewgills: Nice handwave away of the demonstrable health benefits by pointing to a perfect world that doesn’t actually exist. You can avoid the health benefits of wearing sunscreen too if no one goes out into the sun without all their skin covered…
Ultimately, the health benefits and the health risks are both relatively small. It ultimately comes down to cultural factors and familial preferences. Anyone trying to claim that it should be mandatory or forbidden aren’t basing their claims on science but on feelings. And feelings shouldn’t be used to pass laws or compel behavior.
That analogy fails. Applying sunscreen or wearing hats, rashguards, etc are sun protection hygiene. If there were an elective surgery performed on infants that slightly increased melanin production that might make an equivalent action for an analogy.
In a modern setting where virtually everyone has indoor plumbing, soap, and the ability to teach their children to wash themselves any health benefits are miniscule. On the other hand, in a primitive society of migratory herdsmen that were not always able to wash thoroughly and regularly the benefits would be greater.
Sometimes practices are developed for valid practical reasons continue for cultural reasons well after the practical reasons diminish or disappear.
Male circumcision is elective surgery on infants (and more rarely adults) that caries with it some risks for some potential small benefit. Do I think it should be outlawed? No. Do I think parents should be better educated about it, so they don’t continue to have it done to little boys just because that is what has been done? Yes.
The scientific studies are recent and in countries with running water and modern hygiene. The health benefits are demonstrable. You don’t get to ignore or hand wave them away. Uncircumcised boys & men have higher rates of infection, sexually transmitted diseases (systematic review of 26 studies found that circumcised men are at a lower risk of syphilis or chancroid.) and cancer today. Now the absolute increase in risk is small (though the relative rate differences are fairly large) and I’m *not* saying that circumcision should be mandatory but you aren’t entitled to your own set of facts.
Also calling a circumcision a surgical procedure is more than a little deceptive.
Or do you think cutting the umbilical cord or getting ears pierced are also surgeries?
@Grewgills: Also, it is more than a little obnoxious to presume that parents who choose circumcision just need to be educated to choose differently. I’m very well educated and informed on the topic and was before my sons’ circumcisions.
Indeed, despite the fact that so many laws do seem to passed based on feelings…as for compelling behavior, right there is an argument against male genital mutilation…the male himself should decide if he wants parts of his body to be sliced off, after all, it is his body…
@An Interested Party: Except waiting does actually increase the health risks so… no.
Parents make tons of irreversible decisions for their children. It goes with the job. You don’t get to single this one out because you personally don’t like it.
And again, from a science perspective, there are more health arguments in favor of circumcision than against it.
The vast majority of parents who choose to circumcise their infant boys in the US do it because it’s just what’s done, or so their boy will look like the other boys.
If you chose it because you honestly weighed the risks vs benefits prior to the procedure, then you are part of a vanishingly small minority. If you chose it for religious reasons fine. Choosing it just because it’s done or for aesthetic reasons is stupid.
As for the stats. Let’s take an honest look at them.
Syphilis in the US: in 2016 (the highest year on recent record) the rate was 8.7 cases / 100,000. That is a 0.0087% chance of contracting syphilis.
Chanchroid in the US: in 1950 (the highest rate in the last 75 years) the rate was 3.3 cases / 100,000. That is less than half of the already tiny chance of syphilis.
Arguing that lowered rates for syphilis and chanchroid is sufficient to choose this procedure is silly. The procedure has relatively low risk, so choosing it for religious reasons is fine. Choosing it for health and safety reasons is pretty questionable and seems more like a rationalization for the choice.
As far as calling it surgery, it is. A piece of the penis (yes, the foreskin is a piece of the penis) surgically removed. Removing it other than surgically would, in my opinion, not be ethical in a modern setting, even with religious freedom concerns being weighed. It certainly wouldn’t be justifiable based on health concerns.
Ear piercing and cutting the umbilical cord are not surgeries, however removing an earlobe, or cutting out a portion of the navel to completely and immediately remove all of the umbilical cord, would be surgeries. Let’s keep the analogies apt.
Oh, so if parents want to cut off other parts of their babies it must be justifiable because it goes with the job…
Slicing off skin from one of the most sensitive parts of a male baby for religious reasons…I wonder how many other barbaric acts from the past were done for religious reasons but are now rightfully no longer performed…