Thursday, December 22, 2011

Remembering Homeless that Died

Robbyn Mitchell | Tampa Bay Times | [Full Article]
TAMPA - A name was said. Then a candle was lit.
At the end, 61 candles had been lit in memoriam for the people without homes who died in Hillsborough County in 2011....
Some 100 people prayed, listened and remembered those who may have been forgotten by everyone else.
Elizabeth Ann Kain, 30, was among the names called - one of five Salvation Army residents to die in 2011. She was found naked and stabbed to death in a check-cashing store parking lot Dec. 15.
"This service brings closure to the clients," said Maggie Rogers, 36, a program director at Tampa's Salvation Army.
The Homeless Coalition said the average age of death was 55. Only six of those who passed away this year were women.
Speakers at the memorial urged the crowd to take action.
"Each time a person dies homeless on our streets, a part of our humanity dies with them," said Hassan Shibly, executive director of Tampa's Council on American Islamic Relations...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Interview with Hassan Shibly: Our Constitution


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tampa Islamophobes: Hating "All American Muslim" for "All the Wrong Reasons"

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The Florida Family Association (FFA), David Canton's Tampa based organization has exposed itself as an anti-Muslim hate organization by calling on advertisers not to support TLC's "All American Muslim" because they claim the show "is propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values. "

See: The Daily Show (Sample Clip Above, Full Coverage Here)

The assumption of the FFA is that the majority of American Muslims are not "ordinary" but rather subscribe to an anti-American "agenda;" That belief in Islam is inherently tantamount to supporting extremism; that Islam is not compatible with American values; and that a balanced show on Muslim's should focus on extremists, terrorists, and woman-abusers.

This is clearly an affront on the entire American Muslim community and is no different than conspiracy theories promoted against Jews by Anti-Semites, or racist attacks against African Americans by white supremacists.

The FFA cites Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, both of whom have been labeled as extremist hate group leaders by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In its profile on extremism the Jewish Anti-Defamation League states that Spencer's and Geller's hate group, Stop Islamization of America, "promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam. The group seeks to rouse public fears by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and asserting the existence of an Islamic conspiracy to destroy "American" values."

While such bigoted remarks by hate group leaders would not normally merit media attention, the fact that a major corporation, Lowe's, caved into pressure by the hate groups and legitimized their claims, raises the concern of the Muslim community that conspiratory anti-Muslim rhetoric is increasingly becoming acceptable in the public discourse


CAIR Tampa therefore calling on the community at large to use this as an opportunity to engage in dialog and to get to know your Muslim Neighbor. Contact the CAIR Tampa office to arrange an interfaith program, mosque visit, or civic engagement collaboration. Email info@tampa.cair.or call 813-541-4321 9am-2pm.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Department of Defense: Islam is NOT the Enemy

At today's Capital Hill Hearing on extremisim, despite Rep. Dan Lungren's instance, assistent secratary of the Department of Defense, Paul Stockton made it clear that Islam was not the enemy and that saying so simply feeds al Qaeda's narrative.


LUNGREN: Sec. Stockton, are we at war with violent Islamist extremism?

STOCKTON: No, sir. We are at war with al Qaeda, it’s affiliates, and adherents --
LUNGREN: My question is, is violent Islamic extremism at war with us?

STOCKTON: No, sir. We are being attacked by al Qaeda and it’s allies.

LUNGREN: Al Qaeda – can it be described as a component of violent Islamic extremism?

STOCKTON: Al Qaeda are murderers with an ideological agenda --

LUNGREN: That’s not what I’m asking. My question was ‘Is al Qaeda acting out violent Islamist extremism?

STOCKTON: Al Qaeda is a violent organization dedicated to overthrowing the values that we intend to advance –

LUNGREN: Yes or no?

STOCKTON: Can I hear the question again?

LUNGREN: [awkward pause][disgusted look]

STOCKTON: I’ll make it as clear as I can: We are not at war with Islam.

LUNGREN: I didn’t ask that. I did not ask that, sir. I asked if we’re at war with violent Islamist extremism. That’s my question.

STOCKTON: No. We’re at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates.

LUNGREN: How does al Qaeda define itself? Are they dedicated to violent Islamist extremism?

STOCKTON: Al Qaeda would love to convince Muslims around the world that the United States is at war with Islam. That’s a prime propaganda tool, and I’m not going to aid and abet that effort to advance their propaganda goals.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Those who support democracy must welcome the rise of political Islam

The Guardian | Wadah Khanfar | Read Full Original Article
...the uproar that has accompanied the Islamists' gains is unhelpful; a calm and well-informed debate about the rise of political Islam is long overdue.
First, we must define our terms. "Islamist" is used in the Muslim world to describe Muslims who participate in the public sphere, using Islam as a basis. It is understood that this participation is not at odds with democracy. In the west, however, the term routinely describes those who use violence as a means and an end – thus Jihadist Salafism, exemplified by al-Qaida, is called "Islamist" in the west, despite the fact that it rejects democratic political participation (Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida, criticised Hamas when it decided to take part in the elections for the Palestinian legislative council, and has repeatedly criticised the Muslim Brotherhood for opposing the use of violence).
This disconnect in the understanding of the term in the west and in the Muslim world was often exploited by despotic Arab regimes to suppress Islamic movements with democratic political programmes. It is time we were clear.
Reform-based Islamic movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, work within the political process. They learned a bitter lesson from their armed conflict in Syria against the regime of Hafez al-Assad in 1982, which cost the lives of more than 20,000 people and led to the incarceration or banishment of many thousands more. The Syrian experience convinced mainstream Islamic movements to avoid armed struggle and to observe "strategic patience" instead.
Second, we must understand the history of the region. In western discourse Islamists are seen as newcomers to politics, gullible zealots who are motivated by a radical ideology and lack experience. In fact, they have played a major role in the Arab political scene since the 1920s. Islamic movements have often been in opposition, but since the 1940s they have participated in parliamentary elections, entered alliances with secular, nationalist and socialist groups, and participated in several governments – in Sudan, Jordan, Yemen and Algeria. They have also forged alliances with non-Islamic regimes, like the Nimeiri regime in Sudan in 1977....
The region has suffered a lot as a result of attempts to exclude Islamists and deny them a role in the public sphere. Undoubtedly, Islamists' participation in governance will give rise to a number of challenges, both within the Islamic ranks and with regard to relations with other local and international forces. Islamists should be careful not to fall into the trap of feeling overconfident: they must accommodate other trends, even if it means making painful concessions. Our societies need political consensus, and the participation of all political groups, regardless of their electoral weight. It is this interplay between Islamists and others that will both guarantee the maturation of the Arab democratic transition and lead to an Arab political consensus and stability that has been missing for decades.


Updated Europol Data: Less Than 1% of Terrorist Attacks by Muslims

Taken from Islamophobia Today [Read Full Original Article Here]
The most popular article ever published on LoonWatch was released in January of 2010: that article showed that, according to the official FBI website, only 6% of terrorist attacks in the United States from 1980-2005 (the only years where data was available) were committed by Muslims.
I published a follow-up article to look at the picture across the pond: I cited official data from Europol, which releases an annual terrorism report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT). The first available such report was for the year 2006.  The data from 2006, 2007, and 2008showed that about 0.4% of terrorist attacks in the European Union were committed by Muslims–less than 1% (actually, less than half of 1%).
Today, I’d like to update our readers with new Europol data: the data for 2009 and 2010is now available.
Once again, a minuscule percentage of terrorist attacks in Europe were committed by Muslims.  In 2009 and 2010, there were a grand total of 543 terrorist attacks, of which only 4 were committed by Muslims.  This means that only 0.7% of terrorist attacks–again, less than 1%–were committed by Muslims.
In spite of this fact, all we ever hear about in the media and national discourse is the threat of “Islamist terrorism.” The data, however, does not support such fear-mongering.   Yet, it is amazing how many people will persist in the belief that “Islamist terrorism” is an existential threat to America and Europe.

...Muslims are arrested at a rate that does not correlate with the actual number of terrorist acts committed by Muslims simply because the majority of them are arrested not for actual, attempted, or even planned terrorist attacks.  Rather, they are arrested for “providing material support for terrorism”–the absolutest vaguest of charges, one that I suspect a future generation will be smart enough to prohibit by law.  Using such Gestapo style laws, Muslims can be arrested for mere suspicion of being part of an unknown terrorist organization, with little or no proof needed to levy such charges; alternatively, they can be arrested for “financing terrorism,” which often just means donating to charities that even the government hasn’t banned yet.  Other offenses for which Muslims are arrested for include producing “propaganda”, which here in the U.S. would be considered Constitutionally protected freedom of speech (but is now prosecuted due to the curtailing of freedoms of speech in the War on of Terror) or even for merely expressing unpopular political views...
We’ve all heard the oft-repeated saying of Islamophobes that “all Muslims might not be terrorists, but (almost) all terrorists are Muslims!”  Without any shadow of doubt, this mantra is patently false.  Not just that, but certainly in the case of Europe it’s completely reversed from reality: all Muslims aren’t terrorists, and almost no terrorist attacks are committed by them–less than 1%.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Non-Muslim with "Israel" tattoo fires on White House -- nothing to see here - move along

A man with a tatoo saying "Israel" fired bullets at our nation's White House, trying to kill the president.

Clearly this man represents nothing more than his own troubled self. Yet, imagine the uproar that would have ensued had his tatoo said "Palestine" or "Saudi"... Doube standard much?

Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI 'entrapment' questioned

Paul Hariss | The Guardian [Read Full Article]

...Even more shocking was that the organisation, money, weapons and motivation for this plot did not come from real Islamic terrorists. It came from the FBI, and an informant paid to pose as a terrorist mastermind paying big bucks for help in carrying out an attack. For McWilliams, her own government had actually cajoled and paid her beloved nephew into being a terrorist, created a fake plot and then jailed him for it. "I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone," she told the Guardian....

Some experts agree. "The target, the motive, the ideology and the plot were all led by the FBI," said Karen Greenberg, a law professor at Fordham University in New York, who specialises in studying the new FBI tactics....
But the issue is one that stretches far beyond Newburgh. Critics say the FBI is running a sting operation across America, targeting – to a large extent – the Muslim community by luring people into fake terror plots. FBI bureaux send informants to trawl through Muslim communities, hang out in mosques and community centres, and talk of radical Islam in order to identify possible targets sympathetic to such ideals. Or they will respond to the most bizarre of tip-offs, including, in one case, a man who claimed to have seen terror chief Ayman al-Zawahiri living in northern California in the late 1990s....
But things may not be that easy. At issue is the word "entrapment", which has two definitions. There is the common usage, where a citizen might see FBI operations as deliberate traps manipulating unwary people who otherwise were unlikely to become terrorists. Then there is the legal definition of entrapment, where the prosecution merely has to show a subject was predisposed to carry out the actions they later are accused of.
Theoretically, a simple expression, like support for jihad, might suffice, and in post-9/11 America neither judges nor juries tend to be nuanced in terror trials. "Legally, you have to use the word entrapment very carefully. It is a very strict legal term," said Greenberg.
But in its commonly understood usage, FBI entrapment is a widespread tactic. Within days of the 9/11 terror attacks, FBI director Robert Mueller issued a memo on a new policy of "forward leaning – preventative – prosecutions".
Central to that is a growing informant network. The FBI is not choosy about the people it uses. Some have criminal records, including attempted murder or drug dealing or fraud. They are often paid six-figure sums, which critics say creates a motivation to entrap targets. Some are motivated by the promise of debts forgiven or immigration violations wiped clean. There has also been a relaxing of rules on what criteria the FBI needs to launch an investigation.
Often they just seem to be "fishing expeditions". In the Newburgh case, the men involved met FBI informant Shahed Hussain simply because he happened to infiltrate their mosque. In southern California, FBI informant Craig Monteilh trawled mosques posing as a Muslim and tried to act as a magnet for potential radicals.
Monteilh, who bugged scores of people, is a convicted felon with serious drug charges to his name. His operation turned up nothing. But Monteilh's professed terrorist sympathy so unnerved his Muslim targets that they got a restraining order against him and alerted the FBI, not realising Monteilh was actually working on the bureau's behalf.
Muslim civil rights groups have warned of a feeling of being hounded and threatened by the FBI, triggering a natural fear of the authorities among people that should be a vital defence against real terror attacks. But FBI tactics could now be putting off many people from reporting tip-offs or suspicious individuals....
German said suspects convicted of plotting terror attacks in some recent FBI cases bore little resemblance to the profile of most terrorist cells. "Most of these suspect terrorists had no access to weapons unless the government provided them. I would say that showed they were not the biggest threat to the US," German said.


Watching No News Better Than Watching Fox News?

Fox News viewers less informed about current events, poll shows

By Michael A. Memoli | LA Times
A new survey of New Jersey voters comes to a provocative conclusion: Fox News viewers tend to be less informed about current events than those who don't watch any news at all.

Fairleigh Dickinson University recently questioned 612 adults in New Jersey about how they get their news, offering as options traditional outlets like newspapers and local and national television news, or blogs, websites and even Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."
They then asked a series of factual questions about the major events of the last year, from the "Arab Spring" to the Republican race for president.

For example, respondents were first asked whether, to the best of their knowledge, opposition groups in Egypt had been successful in bringing down the Mubarak regime.

Among NPR listeners, 68% correctly said they had been; only 49% of Fox News viewers answered correctly. In fact, the survey found, Fox viewers were 18 percentage points less likely to answer correctly than those who watched no news at all.

"The results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don't watch any news at all," said Dan Cassino, a political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson.

Those who watched Sunday public affairs shows tended to be the best informed on current events, the survey found. Readers of national newspapers also were more likely to respond correctly.

And it seems Jon Stewart may be more reliable than cable news anchors. On Occupy Wall Street, the survey found viewers of "The Daily Show" were 12 percentage points more likely to say protesters were predominantly Democratic.MSNBC viewers were the most likely to say the protesters were mainly Republicans.

"Jon Stewart has not spent a lot of time on some of these issues. But the results show that when he does talk about something, his viewers pick up a lot more information than they would from other sources," Cassino said.

The overall survey, conducted from Oct. 17 to 23, had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. Because of the smaller sample size among those who selected a specific news source, the margin of error would be much higher.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Florida Tea Party Admits Supporting Anti-Islam Speaker

Amazing how Dahl denies that CAIR was invited and then uninvited from speaking at the event, when I have their invitation and uninvitation saved in email. The president of the Tea Party chapter wrote me in an email

I want you to understand that I will defend your right to speak no matter what your message is. You can say what ever you want whether it's at a hotel, a city park or a restaurant. The 1st Amendment permits this.
We will offer you the same protections at our Tea Party State Convention on Sunday and future events.
You will be given the same Constitutional protections and due respect as the other speakers at our event. We look forward to hearing your message. We will not permit your group to be intimidated and or harassed during your time at this function. All appropriate measures will be taken to ensure your safety and protection....
We will offer you the same protections at our Tea Party State Convention on Sunday and future events. We will not place pressure on organizations that support your cause and we expect you to offer the same protection in return to those people you disagree with.
Quite shocked at both the clear lies and double standards of the Florida Emerald Coast Tea Party!

Internet crusaders target all Muslims, not just extremists

 | Middle Class Dub

The brutal murders of 77 people in Norway in July by Anders Behring Breivik has drawn attention to so-called 'anti-jihad' writers and bloggers.

So far the focus has been on whether the writings of people such as Robert Spencer (above) and Pamela Geller 'inspired' Breivik's terrorist attack. It is virtually impossible to say if this is true, so they should be presumed innocent.

What is undeniable is that dire warnings about 'Islamisation' have become more frequent in Europe and America in recent years. Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders and US Republicans Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have now be joined by the first Irish politician to attempt to garner votes on the subject, co-opted Fine Gael councillor Joe O'Callaghan, who recently called forburkas to be banned.

Spencer and Geller are not marginal internet cranks however, they have appeared on Fox News, CNN and NBC in America. Spencer has advised the FBI on Islam and his best-selling books have been recommended for its agents by the FBI.

At first glance it would appear that their websites, Jihadwatch.organd Atlas Shrugs are committed to highlighting crimes and oppression by extremist Islamists. They claim to be defending human rights, religious tolerance, freedom of speech and equality for women from Islamic supremacists.

Articles posted on in recent months detail the scandalously short sentences handed down to Islamists for the brutal lynching of three members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim minority in Indonesia, despicable honour murders against Muslim women by their families, repression under Sharia law and the persecution faced by people around the globe who leave Islam. 

All very commendable, so far.

The more you look into the sites, however, the clearer it becomes that the 'anti-jihad' writers are not just targeting extremist and violent Islamists, but all Muslims.

Their argument, essentially, is that Osama Bin Laden is the true face of Islam (1) and that the root cause of extremist violence is the religion itself (2). Spencer, the intellectual heavyweight of the movement who regularly quotes from Islamic texts, derides the concept of 'moderate Islam,'(3) and claims that “there is no political Islam, no 'Islamism', no 'Islamists' -- there are only Islam and Muslims.” (4)

According to this school of thought, Muslims who say they don't agree with a violent campaign for world domination either don't understand their own religion or are lying and waiting until Muslims are in a strong enough position to reveal their inner fundamentalist.... [Continue Reading]

Islamophobia and Antisemitism: Same message, different minority

by Colm O’Broin

Below are quotes which highlight the disturbing similarities between Islamophobic and Antisemitic messages.

Ten statements by ‘anti-jihad’ writer Robert Spencer and Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher are compared.

Julius Streicher was the editor of Der Stuermer, a Nazi paper that spread vicious Antisemitic propaganda from 1923-1945. As Nazi Party leader in Nuremburg he organized the destruction of synagogues in the city.

He was not directly involved in the Holocaust but was convicted of crimes against humanity after WWII. He was found guilty of inciting hatred against Jews in Der Stuermer and was executed in 1946.

Robert Spencer is a prominent critic of Islam who runs the website. He is the author of several best selling books on Islam and he has spoken on Fox News, CNN, NBC and other news channels.

He has organized protests against the construction of mosques in New York. He has advised the FBI on Islam and his books were recommended by the FBI for its agents.

The following is a comparison of their views on Muslims and Jews respectively.

1 Muslims/Jews have a religious duty to conquer the world.
“Islam understands its earthly mission to extend the law of Allah over the world by force.”

Robert Spencer.

“Do you not know that the God of the Old Testament orders the Jews to consume and enslave the peoples of the earth?” 

Julius Streicher.

2 The Left enables Muslims/Jews.
“The principal organs of the Left…has consistently been warm and welcoming toward Islamic supremacism.”

Robert Spencer.

“The communists pave the way for him (the Jew).”

Julius Streicher.

3 Governments do nothing to stop Muslims/Jews.
“FDI* acts against the treason being committed by national, state, and local government officials…in their capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism.”

(Freedom Defense Initiative, Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller organisation).

“The government allows the Jew to do as he pleases. The people expect action to be taken.”

Julius Streicher.

4 Muslims/Jews cannot be trusted.
“When one is under pressure, one may lie in order to protect the religion, this is taught in the Qur’an.”

Robert Spencer.

“We may lie and cheat Gentiles. In the Talmud it says: It is permitted for Jews to cheat Gentiles.”

From The Toadstool, children’s book published by Julius Streicher.

5 Recognizing the true nature of Muslims/Jews can be difficult.
“There is no reliable way for American authorities to distinguish jihadists and potential jihadists from peaceful Muslims.”

Robert Spencer.

“Just as it is often hard to tell a toadstool from an edible mushroom, so too it is often very hard to recognize the Jew as a swindler and criminal.”

From The Toadstool, children’s book published by Julius Streicher.

6 The evidence against Muslims/Jews is in their holy books.
“What exactly is ‘hate speech’ about quoting Qur’an verses and then showing Muslim preachers using those verses to exhort people to commit acts of violence, as well as violent acts committed by Muslims inspired by those verses and others?”

Robert Spencer.

“In Der Stuermer no editorial appeared, written by me or written by anyone of my main co-workers, in which I did not include quotations from the ancient history of the Jews, from the Old Testament, or from Jewish historical works of recent times.”

Julius Streicher.

7 Islamic/Jewish texts encourage violence against non-believers.
“‘And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter…’—2:191.”

Koranic verse quoted by Robert Spencer on

“‘And when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally: men and women and children, even the animals.’ (Deuteronomy 7:2.).”

Biblical verse quoted by Julius Streicher in Der Stuermer.

8 Christianity is peaceful while Islam/Judaism is violent.
“There is no Muslim version of ‘love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you’ or ‘if anyone strikes you on the right cheek turn to him the other also’.”

Robert Spencer.

“The Jew is not being taught, like we are, such texts as, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,’ or ‘If you are smitten on the left cheek, offer then your right one.’”

Julius Streicher.

9 Muslims/Jews are uniquely violent.
”(Islam) is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.”

Robert Spencer.

“No other people in the world has such prophecies. No other people would dare to say that it was chosen to murder and destroy the other peoples and steal their possessions.”

Julius Streicher.

10 Criticising Muslims/Jews is not incitement to violence against Muslims/Jews.
“There is nothing in anything that I have ever written that could be reasonably construed as an incitement to violence against anyone.”

Robert Spencer.

“Allow me to add that it is my conviction that the contents of Der Stuermer as such were not (incitement). During the whole 20 years, I never wrote in this connection, ‘Burn Jewish houses down; beat them to death.’ Never once did such an incitement appear in Der Stuermer.”

Julius Streicher.


Robert Spencer quotes;


Sources for Julius Streicher quotes;

This was published on Colm O’Broin’s excellent site Middle Class Dub.  He has done an excellent job of showing the similarities between Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism by way of examples