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"Kill them...including the children."

That's how to solve the threat of militant Muslims?

This quote is from what one official involved in homeland security said was the theme of a speech by Walid Shoebat at an anti-terrorism training in Las Vegas in October 2010.

Our source had turned around after Shoebat's speech and asked the woman in the chair behind them at the conference what she thought was the solution offered by Shoebat.

"Kill them...including the children...you heard him," was the full response.

Shoebat's Las Vegas speech was described by our source as "frightening."

Bigoted trainers including Shoebat are highlighted in a Washington Post article on "Monitoring America." Much of this information is new. Some of it was previously documented in a PRA Report, "Platform for Prejudice."

Shoebat and the larger issue of how "Right-Wing Firms Train Public Servants on Terror Threats" is the topic of a new report to be issued in January by Political Research Associates (where I work). OK, not credited for our work by the Washington Post and then partially scooped on this topic just as we are about to release our report. Sigh. That's real life. Back to Shoebat.

George D. Little, Director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS) at Texas State University, in San Marcos, TX, also attended the Shoebat speech at the Las Vegas training. When first contacted by e-mail after the ICTOA conference, Little responded "I believe there are good Muslims like there are bad ones just like there are good Christians and bad ones."  Little, however, dodged repeated questions about what he specifically thought of the content of Shoebat's speech, and now refuses to comment altogether.  

Shoebat is popular in Texas, having helped organize an anti-Islamic event near Fort Hood; spoken at an evangelical church; and conducted a statewide law enforcement training, "Preparing Law Enforcement Executives for the Future," co-sponsored by the state's Attorney General, Greg Abbott. Shoebat is also periodically interviewed as an expert on Islam on Fox News and is extensively quoted by the right-wing conspiracy website, World Net Daily.

Another Las Vegas conference attendee, Edwin Urie, praised Mr. Shoebat's ICTOA speech. "From my perspective, Mr. Shoebat's presentation was so much on the mark, so specific, and so correct that I was concerned that he would be the target of those about whom he spoke. Maybe the objections are merely a part of that," wrote Urie in an e-mail. Urie is an adjunct professor at Henley-Putnam University and a specialist in counterrorism.

Watchdogs like Bartholomew and several Muslim and human rights groups have been complaining about this problem for some time.

Last month on HuffPost I wrote about Shoebat and his allies, and included the next two paragraphs.

Shoebat has said that "Islam is not the religion of God -- Islam is the devil." According to religion writer Richard Bartholomew, "Shoebat is a pseudo-expert on terrorism, Islamic extremism, and Biblical prophecy, and he teaches that Obama is a secret Muslim and that the Bible has prophesised a Muslim anti-Christ." This means for some apocalyptic Christians that Muslims then would be allies of Satan in the End Times battle between good and evil. This battle ends when Jesus returns and with a vengeful God kills all these deemed to be non-believers in Christianity. This bloody and bigoted version of apocalyptic prophesies is rejected and condemned by the Catholic and Orthodox churches and every major Protestant denomination.  

Abdus Sattar Ghazali wrote about Shoebat and other anti-Islamic bigots on the website of Muslim Military Members, an organization that serves as a network for Muslims serving in the US Armed Forces. "Walid Shoebat has built a lucrative speaking career by manipulating the fears and whipping up hatred between Jews and Muslims," wrote Ghazali.  

Keith Davies, Director of the Walid Shoebat Foundation, disagrees.  Davies claims that the Islamic "definition of Jihad quoted in Sharia law is clear and means struggle but is used in context of holy war to conquer infidels."  

Davies continues:

This is the standard interpretation recognized by all schools of thought in Sunni and Shia Islam." [Not] every Muslim practices his religion to the letter but all that do are required to practice Jihad....So if say for argument 10% of Muslims actually practice their religion properly ( figure is probably much higher) that would be 150 million terrorists. Even if it were 1% that is 1.5 million terrorists.

This interpretation of Islamic Law and its religious demands is an outlandish distortion; and yet it is being taught to our homeland security personnel. Davies, disagrees with me, and had a suggestion for me. Wrote Davies, "If you hate this country and its constitutional values of individual freedom and respect Islamic people so much, maybe Saudi Arabia could be a good place for you to live...."

Shoebat's speech in Las Vegas was sponsored by the International Counter Terrorism Officers Association (ICTOA). Michael Riker, president of the ICTOA, said that "Numerous public safety personnel along with military personnel heard from Walid Shoebat" at the event. Then Riker defended Shoebat's bigoted tirade in a comment to my earlier Huffpost article (it's near the earliest).

What you hear from Walid is the TRUTH. The attendees were glued to what [Shoebat] had to say and the majority of them agreed. The liberal media is afraid to hear what the truth really is. Who has been planning attacks on our country? We are in a war of ideology and if you don't know that you need to get you head out of the sand. Before you make judgment see what is really going on then make an educated decision for yourself.

Federal and state agencies have turned to right-wing "experts" on "subversion" throughout U.S. history. These experts have included informers who have surfaced to spin their tales in public; or converts who claim to have been involved in skullduggery and now are sounding the alarm. In both cases, the alarmist stories these self-dramatizing demagogues tell tend to be exaggerated or even invented.

The fear that there is a conspiracy to undermine the government emerges periodically throughout our history as a nation. This hunt for an exaggerated subversive enemy "Other" is dubbed a "countersubversion" panic.  

One government official involved in deporting thousands of innocent Italians and Russians during the "Palmer Raids" panic in the 1920s described it as a "delirium." Most of us just call it a "Witch Hunt." Whatever we call it, this countersubversion tendency has fueled episodes of political repression by government agencies and right-wing "patriotic" groups.

Shoebat may be the most outlandish example of the coterie of anti-Islamic bigots and fear mongers who are training law enforcement officials and anti-terrorism agents, but the problem is corrosive. Why are tax dollars being spent to peddle prejudice against Muslims in the United States? The Washington Post report will get much needed attention drawn to this matter. The upcoming report by Cincotta documents the problem in even greater detail.  

The solution will depend on a thorough and public review of this sad situation by government officials, elected representatives, a vigilant media, and public outrage.

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More details here


[Originally filed on Huffington Post]

= = = = = = = = = =  

In the original post a typo snagged the name Edwin Urie. Apologies. -cb

Originally posted to cberlet on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 05:16 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  thank you for this diary (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hazey, samddobermann, capelza, JDsg

      but I want to ask a question; who is Walid Shoebat and who made him an expert in Islamic faith? What are the qualifications to obtain or to have in order to be named an expert?
      And what does Keith Davies know about Islam to speak about Jihad and Sharia Law?
      All I can tell that he knows nothing but manipulating the words and distorting the facts because the struggle that he was talking about and that every Muslim has to practice is not the struggle against the infidels but that you struggle your bad thoughts and manners and recall your sayings and doings, it is like you work hard on yourself to improve yourself and fight your bad habits and actions to make yourself a better person. That is the Jihad that every Muslim has to practice.  It is the Jihad that you have to indulge within yourself to make your good spirit defeat your bad spirit.

      Your cream of the crop in pet-sitting in Washington State is: MyNeighborhoodBuddy

      by dibsa on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 07:00:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Kill them...including the children" (7+ / 0-)

    Who exactly are the terrorists, again?

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." -- Dom Hélder Câmara

    by SLKRR on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 05:44:01 AM PST

  •  and the solution is: (5+ / 0-)

    First of all, DADT repeal will also mean that the worst flaming homophobes, who are also more likely to be flaming bigots in other directions as well, will be scared away from joining the military.  That removes one possible career track that leads to training gigs.    

    Second, the standards for DHS and suchlike trainers need to be tightened to exclude anyone with a prominent track record of promoting bigotry and unlawful violent acts against any identifiable minority.  What we need in this field are squares and straight arrows who stick to the facts and the law and theories that have wide academic and professional support.  

    Third and most important: competition from progressives.   There's a large number of progressives in and retired from the military, intel, law enforcement, and relevant academic disciplines.  Someone needs to go out there and organize them into an effective consulting & training firm that can compete for the federal contracts.  And since progressives aren't greedy by nature, we can win those bids by underbidding the rightie extremists.

    If we don't take advantage of the first, and promote the second, and organize the third, all we have left is complaining, which for the most part accomplishes exactly nothing.  

    •  I have also wondered if (4+ / 0-)

      dadt and anti-muslim bigotry in the Army could be related. If you create the atmosphere in which bigotry is officially acceptable in any context, it stands to reason it would send a message that it is more widely acceptable. And since DADT was disproportionately targeted at female soldiers, it was both an anti-gay and anti-woman policy.

      •  bigotry is contagious (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        decembersue, capelza, JDsg

        Emotions in general are contagious as hell.  

        Bigotry breeds more bigotry.  

        Thing is, humans are particularly well-adapted to play chimpanzee dominance games, and the purpose of bigotries is to do that at a group level.  So if it's not gays or Muslims, it'll be someone else.  Already it's Mexicans in the Southwest near the border.  

        As the climate crisis worsens, it might be scientists.  "Blaming the messenger" is another nasty little app that runs on the Human Operating System.  

        Ideally we get out ahead of this stuff by anticipating it and blocking it with counter-memes.  Religion is full of effective counter-memes such as Christ's commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself, and secular philosophies have their own versions; the hard part is to get those to block the nasty viral apps.  

      •  unfortunately being gay and being racist (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        samddobermann, JDsg

        are totally not incompatible. altho DADT repeal is hopeful and good.

        in fact--for those who are looking for it--  it provides another pseudo-basis for viewing poor muslim countries as backward and deserving of our civilizing efforts.

        why did Dan Savage support invading Iraq, again?

        there was a time when some idealistic folks believed that when women's suffrage was won, it would be the end of war. . .

        Human reason is beautiful and invincible --Milosz, Incantation

        by juancito on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 09:26:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Chip (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hazey, JDsg, al ajnabee

    Tipped and recommended. Keep shining the light of scrutiny on these people.

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 05:48:13 AM PST

  •  Maybe he is projecting from Biblical sources (7+ / 0-)

    might I here quote the final two verses of Psalm 137,  "By the waters of Babylon" --

    O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 05:50:07 AM PST

    •  It strikes me (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SLKRR, teacherken, capelza, JDsg, dibsa

      that those who accuse Islam of rampant violence love the OT and Revelation so much.  Not only is there lots of violence; some of the descriptions - dasheth thy little ones against the stones - are simply awful.

      I just get tired of all those who use faith to justify killing.  I don't know enough about Islam to opine, but I do know that these "Christians" love to ignore their founder, you know, the "Prince of Peace."  I cannot get my head around how they think.  I suppose it's my Catholic social justice thinking and coming of age in the 60 and 70s.  Or something...

      -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

      by luckylizard on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 06:31:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, Knarfc

    This is some pretty cryptic stuff.  While I do have a pretty large disdain for Islam, and Christianity, its really sobering to see how the sides are lining up.  

  •  A real expert (5+ / 0-)

    Uries is an adjunct professor at Henley-Putnam University and a specialist in counterterrorism.

    Henley-Putnam "University" is an online school specializing in churning out internet tough guys.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 06:25:25 AM PST

  •  This is sad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball Cross, JDsg

    because it taints the true threat we do face from radicalized Muslims.  Things like this only re-enforce their beliefs.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 06:28:16 AM PST

  •  Apparently (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, JDsg

    There are whole "security" bureaucracies in Washington staffed with people who believe this stuff.

    The promise of Social Security is not negotiable.

    by bink on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 06:30:14 AM PST

  •  Great article... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg

    And, if I may say, this D'kos'er is a huge fan of your important work.

    Hell hath no fury like a cat ignored...

    by Gatordiet on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 07:07:41 AM PST

  •  A photo of this Walid Shoebat might (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann, JDsg

    add to the diary.

    Also, if this is a true opinion

    What you hear from Walid is the TRUTH. The attendees were glued to what [Shoebat] had to say and the majority of them agreed. The liberal media is afraid to hear what the truth really is. Who has been planning attacks on our country? We are in a war of ideology and if you don't know that you need to get you head out of the sand. Before you make judgment see what is really going on then make an educated decision for yourself.

    perhaps Michael Riker would agree to release a video of the speech so that we may all have the opportunity to "make an educated decision".

  •  My retort would have been... (0+ / 0-)

    "If you hate this country and its constitutional values of individual freedom and respect Islamic people so much, maybe Saudi Arabia could be a good place for you to live...."

    "Maybe you should move to Saudi Arabia (or any other Muslim country) so that you'll understand what Islam is really about instead of relying upon that hateful fantasy of yours."

    Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

    by JDsg on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 02:08:02 AM PST

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