I wrote this long critique of the liberal-turned-right-wing filmmaker Eric Allen Bell back in March, but never published it anywhere. After this, I will be writing articles non-related to him or any of his antics.
Eric Allen Bell's new and improved website for his documentary, touts the sensationalist headline, "the Movie CAIR Does Not Want You to See." There is a link to the short version he already made, headlined as "THE OLD DIRECTION OF THE MOVIE:", "THIS IS A SHORT OF THE OLD VERSION BEFORE I DID A 180 ON THIS ISSUE", etc. He hosts videos of infamous Islamophobes, and of bearded Muslim men saying crazy things. A 60's style wavy graphic saying, "Let's Pretend Islamofascists Are Not At War With Us?" links to his Facebook profile where his charming new friends such as "BlowUpTheKoran.com" post an appeal for people to, well, blow up the Koran. "Christos Palmer" writes in the comments section, "I've blown it up twice, not as much fun as playing Doom 3, but still, can't complain too much :)", then later follows that up with, "Shame there wasn't a muzzie holding that satanic koranic krap when it blew..."
A blogroll of the most recent JihadWatch (a Mcarthyesque watch list) articles gently rest on the bottom of the page. Standard fare for a typical Islamophobe, except one problem. The Eric Allen Bell of just a year and a half ago would have cringed at all of this. What happened to turn the liberal film-maker who sympathized with Muslims that were being screamed at for wanting to expand their Mosque, to the right-leaning Islamophobe who now believes the very conspiracy theories he recently mocked?
For those of you who don't know who Eric Allen Bell is, he is a film-maker who sparked some interest in the mainstream media when he began to make a documentary about the "controversy" (Muslims wanted to expand their Mosque) surrounding Mufreesboro, Tennessee's small Muslim community. The town's Muslims committed the crime of wanting to expand their Mosque, and some people didn't like that. And in our misguided media culture of "fairness", the crazies were given a platform to provide "nuance", thereby providing the stamp of legitimacy to opinions that normally would be relegated to the chicken-scratch handwriting on cardboard boxes, or conspiracy theory forums. They said that the Muslims were going to start cutting off people's heads for Allah, or some other Antisemitic (oops, I mean "anti-Jihad") non-sense.
This aroused the ire of some of the public who either didn't know anything about their Muslim neighbors, or had received their information about Islam from Islamophobes such as Robert Spencer, Brigitte Gabriel, Walid Shoebat, Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish, Daniel Pipes, Steven Emerson: if they read at all. The town's bigots tried to prevent their Muslim neighbors from getting an expansion permit on the grounds that sharia' law was antithetical to American law, and that Islam was not a religion, but a "political ideology" bent on supplanting the Constitution with the sharia'. Granted, there are a few crazy American Muslims who want to accomplish this, but you can find more American Christian Theocrats who want the same thing (and have much more influence.)
Eric Allen Bell found himself in the midst of this after moving to Mufreesboro to take a break from making films. Fighting against his personal desires to stay out of it and refresh his creative energies, he decided to make a documentary after he saw the words, "Not Welcome" spray-painted across the sign of the Mufreesboro Mosque; which became the working title of the film. He tried to be objective at first, and simply film the events as they transpired. But he soon began to sympathize with the Muslim community, as they were clearly the ones under attack for no other reason than their Islamic faith. In his words, he slowly began to "hate the haters" and became a participant in the film by mocking some of the protesters over misspelling important words on their protest signs, and other gaffs.
After shooting over 300 hours of footage, he edited it down to a 25 minute short-film to pitch to various film companies to finance its release. All seemed to be quiet for a year and a half, until this same Eric Allen Bell wrote a completely unprovoked screed for the Daily Kos in mid-January of 2011, titled "Loonwatch.com and Radical Islam." At first, Danios, a writer for Loonwatch thought this may have been a different person sharing the same name, but after doing some digging around he was forced to conclude that the filmmaker and the screed writer were one and the same.
In this article, Bell claimed that the Islamophobia Watchdog website, Loonwatch, was guilty of deflecting all "legitimate" criticisms of Islam by calling anyone who disagrees with Islam, "a loon."; a claim he has not been able to prove almost two months after said article's publication. Throughout the article, he also posted single verses of the Qur'an out of context, to "prove" how violent and evil the Muslim holy book is, along with videos from the Middle-East translated by MEMRI. MEMRI stands for the Middle East Media Research Institute, and is an extremely biased organization.
Their whole modus operandi is to take anything bad said by any Arab in any Arab country, (mis)translate it to English, post it on their website and YouTube channel, and pretend to be sober, objective observers of the news coming from the Middle-East, which coincidentally happens to be nothing but anti-American/Israeli/Jewish polemics; or the occasional "moment of clarity" where an Arab of "conscience" is forced to admit how evil and barbaric his own people are. And, you know, it's also a coincidence that the president and founder of said organization is a man steeped in Israeli politics and was a colonel in the Israel Defense Forces. A book could be written on said "strange occurrences."
The Daily Kos is a left-leaning website, so it is not surprising that most of the comments on the article displayed a disapproval of its content. Some were surprised that this was the same man who made the documentary defending Muslims' right to build a Mosque. Loonwatch refuted Bell's allegations and thought it would be over, but then Bell wrote another article on the Daily Kos, this time claiming that Loonwatch has "ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas", reasoning that the Muslim Brotherhood was the early impetus of Al-Qaeda and Hamas (which isn't true, because Israel financed Hamas into existence), and since the Council on American Islamic Relations had a member who knew someone affiliated with Hamas at one time, and since Loonwatch sometimes gets its source material from C.A.I.R., that therefore means Loonwatch is a branch of Hamas and is a "terrorist spin-control network."
It was very hard to follow his train of thought. Much of it sounded like the mad ravings of the King and Queen of American Islamophobia, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. Spencer is Catholic and Geller is Jewish; isn't it nice how people can come together to fight a "common enemy?" What's next, homosexuals teaming up with British nationalists to fight the Muslims? That's just crazy talk!
His final article for the Daily Kos was a survey asking Daily Kos readers if they support human rights in all aspects; implying that Daily Kos readers only care about the "perceived" prejudice Western Muslims face, but not about the Christians and other minorities who suffer under the brute hand of the Eternal Muslim in the Middle-East: A strawman argument.
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Since the Daily Kos has a "community" voting policy, Eric Allen Bell was voted off the website because they resembled right-wing talking points rather than a liberal news commentary website. Bell claimed this was censorship, and defected to Frontpage Magazine, a right-wing website owned by the Marxist-turned-Neo Conservative Hawk, David Horowitz, who ("coincidentally", again) pays Robert Spencer a handsome sum to write his "scholarly" anti-Islamic books. Here, Bell was given a platform to "expose" all of the inner-workings of the "Liberal-Islamic Conspiracy" (Antisemites claimed that Communism and Judaism were "working together.")
One of his first articles there was his "tell-all" tale about how his beliefs shifted from a typical liberal embrace of all-things Islamic, to a hatred of Islam as a religion but a liking toward many Muslims as people. This is where it all starts. "I don't hate Jews, I just hate Judaism", which shifts to, "I don't hate all Jews, just the bad ones", to "Most Jews are okay, but the bad ones have all of the power and control", to "some Jews are okay, but most are bad", to "all Jews are bad." I realize that is a slippery slope argument, but adopted prejudices often follow that pattern.
He then played the persecution card, bemoaning how he was dumped from the Daily Kos for refusing to be an apologist for Islam, how Loonwatch smeared his name (when it was him who started the whole fiasco by writing an unprovoked screed, making accusations against Loonwatch that he couldn't substantiate with evidence.)
If there is any doubt that Bell has completely thrown in his lot with the "other side", let's take a look at his most recent article, titled "What Is Right About Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer." Keep in mind that Pamela Geller is the person who claimed that President Obama is the "love-child" of Malcolm X, that Muslims tried to convert Americans by stealth this past Thanksgiving by convincing Butterball to sell Halal turkeys without using the label, that the Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke has sex "five times a day" (not sure how the birth control argument has anything to do with Islam in America), that she "loves" the American soldiers who urinated on the dead corpses of Afghan Muslim "insurgents", who used the murder of a devout Muslim woman by her obsessed stepfather, against her own mother's wishes to promote a conference saying that Islam commands so-called "honor killings, that "Obama's Gay Transgender Prostitute Nanny Led to Sandra Fluke's Rampant Promiscuity" (I don't know what that means), that she's "Had It Up to Here with Sandra Fluke's Obama-Endorsed Vagina." I could write a whole article just linking to her loony blog posts. It takes a certain kind of person to defend Pamela Geller, but that's not saying much. For good measure, please also keep in mind that Robert Spencer joined a Facebook "fan page" for an extremist Anatolian Christian organization that promotes the mass extermination or banishment of all Turkish Muslims from Turkey (mind you, Turkey is 99.8% Muslim), and the return of Christians to the original boundaries before being conquered by the Ottomans, not to mention his constant twisting of Muslim scripture and traditions to make Islam look like Satan himself; or the fact that he believes Muslims in government should have to take a special "loyalty test."
He (Bell) starts out with a false conciliatory tone, claiming that this article is for his "liberal friends" who have "good hearts", but "just don't know any better." Because he has all of the answers now that he's David Horowitz's lapdog. He then goes on to say,
And if there is one thing Hollywood loves (almost as much as congratulating itself), it’s the story of an innocent minority group being wrongly persecuted, preferably in the South, especially if the antagonist happens to be the Religious Right. And as my editor and I assembled the first 25 minutes, of the 300 hours of footage shot, this film promised to deliver just that. “Wow, I really wasn’t expecting this. I would like to thank the members of the Academy, Michael Moore and the Prophet Mohammed for making all of this possible…”Now the Prophet Muhammad is personally overseeing all of the films made in Hollywood. Message received. Reminds me of the theory that "the Jews" run the entertainment industry. Just another indication that Islamophobia is Antisemitism with a new name, which many Jews and Muslims have been saying all along. Oh, and Sean Stone who recently converted to Islam, is just having a great time finding work in Hollywood after embracing Islam.
He goes on,
I took a second and more critical look inside Islamic scripture, comparing and contrasting the countless acts of Islamic terrorism, with specific commands to carry out these violent and barbaric attacks on innocent infidels as ordered in the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sunnah. And after much difficult soul searching I had realized I was making more than just a documentary. I was making a terrible mistake. So I went back to my backers and told them how I had changed the outline of the documentary, to include a critical examination of the violent dimension that informed so much of the Islamic world today, and throughout history, and how desperately this story needed to be told, and I consequently lost the backing to my film.Explanation: He read a translation of the Qur'an (in English), and discovered that he knew more about Islam than people who study it full-time, professionally for often a minimum of 14 years before being "authorized" to teach as a scholar. So when they say that Mr. Bell misunderstands some things, all he has to do is post YouTube videos from MEMRI (a pro-Zionist, anti-Arab outfit) of some angry Shaykh denouncing Jews or Americans, and Viola, that cancels out the 1500 years of Islamic tradition debating with itself over the best meanings of the Muslim scripture, hadith and the sunnah.
And comparing the violent verses of the Qur'an to violence committed by Muslims and concluding that the Qur'an "must" endorse that behavior, is such a lazy way of engaging the texts. Would he say the same thing about the Hebrew Bible, which is far, far, more violent than Islamophobes dream the Qur'an could be? Whereas the Qur'an permits violence in some cases, it imposes many limitations on warfare; the Torah on the other hand not only permits but commands the Israelites to commit genocide against the people of Canaan, and demands that even livestock and trees be destroyed in the process. "Islamic" warfare forbids the cutting down of trees as an act of war.
Does this mean that all modern day Jews are bloodthirsty, and ready to "kill the infidels?" Of course not; the proposition is completely ridiculous, and Mr. Bell would have (rightly) been called an Antisemite for making such a leap of logic. But when he says it about Muslims, he can be sure that his Sugar-daddy David Horowitz, and creepy Uncle Robert Spencer will protect him from Muhammad's Monsters under his bed.
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Bell continues his diatribe,
As a writer who had written over a hundred articles for The Daily Kos, a liberal blog which receives about a million visitors a day, I wrote 3 articles outlining what I had learned about Islam, it’s execution of homosexuals and how hundreds of millions of women around the world were living under Islamic gender apartheid. I called attention to this as a human rights issue, human rights being in theory a big concern among Liberal audiences. The warm reception that followed included being labeled a “bigot” a “right winger” and an “Islamophobe” in the hundreds of subsequent reader comments, demanding that my “hate speech” be banned. And after that the Islamophobia watchdog site, Loonwatch.com created a link for readers to write directly to the editors of DKOS, demanding my voice be silenced. And I was immediately banned from ever writing for The Daily Kos.He wrote a hate-filled screed, claiming that all violent Muslims were exclusively inspired by the Qur'an, while ignoring all other factors that could drive a person to violence; like, you know, when the death of your children are being celebrated by those who are occupying your land. Bell sarcastically refers to the "warm reception" he received from a liberal audience on a liberal website, to his polemic that had a tone which you can find on most right-wing blogs. Should he really have been surprised that they wouldn't greet him with open arms and boxes of candy? He outright lies in the last sentence. Loonwatch never attempted to get him "banned" from the Daily Kos. As mentioned earlier, the Daily Kos has a "community voting" policy, whereby if a writer gets an extremely negative review, their article automatically gets taken down, and sometimes the user is banned entirely. I don't entirely agree with the policy, but it's not my website.
For example, in a Daily Kos piece (before my excommunication for blasphemy) I wrongly lumped Pamela Geller in with Pastor Terry Jones, a religious zealot who preaches burning the Koran. A simple YouTube search will yield no shortage of remarks made by Geller, stating she opposes the burning of books, all books, and that furthermore she is not anti-Muslim, does not advocate persecution or hatred of Muslims, and even goes so far as to point out that it is in fact Muslims themselves, who are the biggest victims of Islamic violence. The number of times she has spoken out for the hundreds of millions of Muslim women, who suffer under gender apartheid alone, is evidence that Pamela Geller is not a hate monger, but rather a fearless advocate for human rights – including the rights of Muslims.Right. Pamela Geller doesn't hate Muslims, she just hates Islam. She just loves those Moozlims to death, emphasis on death. Geller is the co-founder of an organization called, Stop the Islamization of America, which is the American branch of Stop the Islamization of Europe, and apparently the two are coming together for a "three-peat" to form Stop the Islamization of Nations. She is also a huge fan of the right-wing Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, who tried (unsuccessfully) to ban the Qur'an in the Netherlands. Everything this woman says about Muslims or Islam, is completely filled with hate. Bell talks about "not drinking the Kool-Aid of the Liberal Elitists", but fails to mention that he has willingly swallowed the explicitly labeled poison of the Far Right.
It is amazing, the human capacity for seeing only what we want to see.Exactly.
In taking the time to really get to know who Pamela Geller is and what she has done to earn this sensational media status, as some sort of evil hate monger, this intolerant fanatic who opposes religious freedom, I finally did some long overdue research of my own. And soon after simply scratching the surface, it was immediately clear that the bold stance Pamela Geller took publicly against the Ground Zero Mosque was absolutely right. Spot on, in fact damned near clairvoyant.Yes, the "Ground-Zero Mosque" which is neither a Mosque nor at Ground Zero, is a "shameless shrine" commemorating the "Jihadist attacks on 9/11." This is so blatantly obvious because Imam Rauf is a Sufi, and the terrorists who flew the planes that day were Wahhabis, and Wahhabis kill Sufis and blow up Sufi shrines in Pakistan and other countries, and beat them with clubs when they make their pilgrimage to Mecca, (for performing some rituals that Wahabbis don't like), and destroy historic Islamic holy sites to spite said Sufis, and for profit.
This shameless shrine, this 13 story Islamic gloating tower was to be financed with $100 million from the “Cordoba Initiative” an organization with very questionable ties to Jihadi interests – to be ran by Imam Raouf and promoted by his wife Daisy Khan (pronounced “Con”).
So it makes perfect sense that a pluralistic multi-faith organization who hired a Sufi Imam to oversee its community center, would build a "victory mosque" commemorating the very people who not only killed thousands of innocent Americans, but kill thousands of innocent Muslims throughout the world (sarcasm.) I honestly would like to know how the thought-processes of some people operate. Oh, and the "evil funder" (Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal) of said "shameless shrine" that Fox news was railing against, also owns 7% of Newscorp (the Number Two shareholder), the company that owns Fox News! Oops. Sorry about that.
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Bell turns up the "heat",
Cordoba, by the way was at one time the capital of an Islamic Caliphate and the city where Muslims had converted a Cordoba church into the third largest mosque in the world – an inconvenient truth that those of us in the Liberal world were told was simply misunderstood. But when the spin doctors at CAIR failed to convince the skeptics, this mysterious $100 million Islamic fund rebranded the name of the victory mosque, to simply “Park 51”. It kind of sounds like an exclusive night club from the seventies, except without the liquor or cocaine, and where the women must throw a sheet over their heads and keep their mouths shut.That's not why they named it the Cordoba Initiative, and Bell knows it. Cordoba was known as one of the most "liberal" places in the world for it's time, where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived side by side in relative peace and security with each other; where Jewish, Christian and Islamic scholars would try to solve political, scientific, and social issues in a relatively open atmosphere. This doesn't mean Cordoba's ancient liberalism would match today's so-called Western liberalism (which is slowly being replaced with right-wing nationalism at any rate), but that's not how history works. If you're serious about learning history, you're supposed to compare and contrast what was going on in that time and place, to make a conclusion about whether or not a certain event or environment was "oppressive."
It was the spirit of Cordoba that this organization was invoking, not its literal implementation into the modern world. They changed the name of their organization, because there was so much manufactured backlash from the right-wing media and blogosphere, which manifested into real-life problems. During these "anti-Ground Zero Mosque" protests, there were people who were so full of incoherent rage that they didn't even have the attention span to start and finish the pledge allegiance; they just trailed off somewhere in the middle because they got bored.
There was another man who built a prop of a "Jihadist" sitting on top of a missile, and he wanted to "shoot" it in the direction of the "mosque." Other protesters surrounded and intimidated a non-Muslim black man who just happened to be walking by the scene, because he "looked Muslim." Does this sound like a "rational critique of Islam as a religion, but not hatred of Muslims" as a people? I don't think so. According to the journalist Bill Weinberg, "Christian extremists killed more Muslims at Srebrenica on July 11, 1995 than Muslim extremists killed in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Maybe we should start banning churches too?" But I'm sure Mr. Bell would call this a "false equivalency."
No matter how the Cordoba Initiative tried to spin this story, Pamela Geller kept on insisting this was a mosque. According to press releases parroted by left leaning media outlets, “Park 51” was more like a YMCA, where old people could play bingo or shuffle board or whatever they do. There would be Mommy and Me classes and the center just happened to have a prayer room on the top two floors for Muslims to pray. (also known as a mosque). Never mind that this mosque would overlook the site of the collapsed World Trade Center, where thousands of innocent people lost their lives after Islamic terrorists struck on 9/11. And never mind that construction of a mosque this close to Ground Zero was perfectly consistent with 1,400 years of Islamic conquest. This was to be a victory mosque the whole family could enjoy. And if you don’t like it, then you’re a racist and a bigot and a right wing Islamophobe. Did I mention that the new facility was designed to “bring the whole community together”?The most popular definition of a mosque is not simply a place where one could pray. That would make any "clean" surface in the world, a "mosque." In a spiritual sense this is true, but that is stretching the word to its most extreme meaning in order to make the false claim that this was/is intended as a "victory mosque", where those evil Moozlums will get to overlook the site of the fallen towers, and celebrate what their coreligionists who hate Sufis did, while dipping the blood of the goyim children in their matza bread or whatever Jews ("oops, I meant Muslims") do in their secret mosque. Since we're talking about sensitivity and what not, I'll make Mr. Bell a deal. I don't have a lot of influence in this world, but I'll call my one token Muslim friend and ask him to get the word out (since all Muslims know one another) and I'll try to convince the people behind Park51 to not build their "victory mosque"; under one condition.
All Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, and religious temples of any other faith that are standing on or near the ground where Native Americans were slain by the Europeans and Americans, must be dismantled - you know, to be sensitive to the feelings of Native Americans. Sound good?
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Bell's got them in his crosshairs,
I used to think that this was too broad a statement to make. I used to think that connecting Islam to 9/11 was somehow unfair. I used to not think, and think that I was thinking. And it seems for many of us Gen X’ers “educated” in government run schools, this type of not thinking was how we were taught to think. And the institutions of “education” told us that this type of not thinking was called “tolerance”. Applied evenly, one could learn to tolerate Communism, Nazism or even the President of Iran. See Oliver Stone’s son and recent convert to Shia Islam as Exhibit “A”.Yes, he used to use logic and reason, but decided to trade that in for right-wing conspiracy theories. What could be the reason why? He's also opposed to "liberal" education (so there goes all universities and colleges, which are run by the "evil liberals"), and tolerance for Muslims is the same thing as tolerating Nazism and Communism. Oh, and where did Sean Stone claim that he had converted to Shi'a Islam? I know he embraced Islam in Iran, but the version of the shahada (declaration of faith) that he recited in Iran, was the one said by Sunni Muslims. Converting to Islam in Iran doesn't automatically make him a Shi'a Muslim; not that there's anything wrong with that.
So why did Pamela Geller call Islam an “Ideology” and not a religion? Perhaps this was because Islam is only a small part religion. In large part Islam is a tyrannical political system, and very much a barbaric legal system (the Sharia) practiced by hundreds of millions of Muslims in Islamic countries around the world and growing. And all three components go together to form what is known as “Islam” the so-called “religion of peace”. And yet so many in the mainstream media twisted Ms. Geller’s words to make it sound as if she were a crackpot, who actually thought that a mosque was going to be built on the site of the actual Twin Towers, while ignoring her valid points, or else cutting her off before she could finish making a valid point. And this is what so many of us wanted to believe, what we needed to believe – because the alternative meant that maybe she was right, and this went against a culture that raised us to believe all belief systems are of equal value and must be respected equally because anything less was unfair.So by that logic, would Judaism be an "ideology" and "not" a religion? "The Sharia" is not a book or a specific code of laws written down in a book. It is a 1500 year long tradition of trying to ascertain God's Will as revealed in the Qur'an and the teachings/actions of the Prophet Muhammad. It is an extremely complex and complicated discipline to master, and only a few scholars in Islamic history have been regarded as having done so. Having the ability to quote a verse from the Qur'an or a tradition from the hadith collections, does not make one a scholar. Admittedly there are a lot of Muslim "shaykhs" like that, but that does not mean all Muslims in the entire world are to blame for these people's lazy scholarship. That would be like saying all Christians are to blame for the Lord's Resistance Army.
A huge portion of American culture is dominated by a naïve and usually well-intentioned view – that one must always side with the perceived victim in any conflict. And terrorist-linked organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) have done a masterful job of manipulating this predisposition in painting a picture of Islam in America as the victim. Never mind the fact that Islam itself is perhaps the greatest victimizer in the world today. The perception that Islam is the underdog in America has allowed CAIR to bully and infiltrate the media, either by calling them out whenever they feel that Islam has been slighted or, more recently, creating an atmosphere where media outlets such as the New York Times are voluntarily censoring themselves.Riiight. Because Islamophobia in America is just one big myth. Oh, and the bit about Islam being the "greatest victimizer in the world today" is just classy. Never mind how many Muslim countries the U.S. has bombed in the past thirty years, how many military bases we have created there, how many times we have imposed economic sanctions on their countries for not bowing to our interests (and how many innocent children starve/d to death from said sanctions), how many innocent young men and women have been thrown into military prisons with no due process, the physical/mental/emotional/spiritual torture inflicted upon them, the racist jokes they are forced to hear (probably without understanding) from the invaders, etc.
No, none of that is a problem. Islam is the problem; and if you don't accept that, you are a "Leftist-Dhimmi" or an "Islamic supremacist." See? I can play this game too. But these are all "evil liberal" sources, so they can't be trusted due to their subservience to the future Muslim Overlords. So what sources can be relied on? Right-wing conspiracy theories. The old, "just trust us, we wouldn't lie to you" grift. Furthermore, the New York Times is not exactly "pro-Muslim." If Muslims are not facing some form of persecution in America, then perhaps Mr. Bell can explain to me why anti-Muslim hate groups have jumped from 20 to 30 during Obama's Presidency alone. It must just be the evil Muslims fault for being so Muslimee.
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Bell is locked and loaded,
Also, I read a book by Robert Spencer called “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion”. I knew his reputation for being an “Islamophobe” as I had been a reader of Loonwatch.com for over a year – a site which is obsessed with Robert Spencer, and is aligned with another site called SpencerWatch.com – both of which go to great lengths to depict him as the worst human being in the world.Perhaps not the worst person in the world, but that doesn't make him a great guy either. Robert Spencer is not a scholar of Islam, he can't read Arabic, has no training in any of the traditional fields of Islamic scholarship, does not understand how hadith are in/authenticated or that various interpretations (sometimes contradictory) of the same Qur'anic verse or hadith can co-exist because at one time or another each view was "correct" depending on the context. But that would make Islam appear to be an actual religion with history, instead of an Eternal monolithic cult bent on the destruction of everything sacred to the Western world. It's not just Loonwatch and Spencerwatch that take objection to Spencer's "scholarship", by the way.
Bell fires and misses,
When I picked up “The Truth About Mohammed” I kept waiting for that moment when he would reveal himself to be the “Loon” they said he was and I could stop reading. But that moment never came. As it turns out, all of these horrible things I was reading about Mohammed could not possibly be “Islamophobic” because they were all coming directly from Islamic scripture. Everything he said was based on what Islamic sources, the Koran, the Hadith and the Sunnah, were saying about Mohammed. There was very little editorializing. Spencer was merely reporting in a very non-sensational way, what Muslims are taught about the life of their prophet.That's because Robert Spencer's "style" is to play the "sober observer of plain facts" role. It's just a tactic. Being able to contain one's rage and hatred does not mean that one is without either. Again, anyone can quote the Qur'an (or Bible for that matter) and say, "see how evil this is?!" And it may very well turn out that religion even practiced "correctly" does play some role in engendering prejudice in human beings. I think that is a fair debate worth having.
But the study of religion takes more time and effort than just simply reading the scriptures in question. You have to read how the earliest people understood those scriptures, but then you have to read how the interpreters of the earliest people understood it, because they could have just been imposing their own views onto their predecessors and claim that that is what they thought. Then it becomes a very complex study that lasts a lifetime for people who want to commit to it. This is what it takes to "study" a religion.
I checked this out for myself. Not only did I want to disbelieve what I was reading, but I needed to disbelieve it. If what Robert Spencer was saying about Mohammed was true, then I had to rework my entire documentary, rethink my entire worldview, possibly lose backing (that hurt) and even have to go back and admit to my readers that I had it all wrong. I really, really wanted Robert Spencer to turn out to be a “Loon”. But he simply is not.I would posit that Mr. Bell did in fact want to believe what he was reading. Perhaps it's just me, but I have been noticing a disturbing trend within recent years where people are beginning to accept the premise that "what is bad must be true", and "what is good must be a lie." Changing his worldview from a "Islamophile Liberal" to an opponent of "Islamofascism", would not mean that he had to change the film because the facts were still the same; Muslims were hated by their neighbors because of their religion. Whether their religion is "agreeable" or "disagreeable" should have nothing to do with how people should be treated by others. We all can find something we think is objectionable about another (or all) religion, but that doesn't mean we should taunt, abuse, and attempt to coerce them into our way of thinking. The Qur'an by no means has a monopoly on violent texts.
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In fact, Robert Spencer is one of the only people out there telling the truth about Mohammed and successfully getting through to a significant number of people. And although I had seen him appear on news shows that I don’t like, being interviewed by people that I don’t agree with, there was absolutely nothing in his book that promoted his religion or promoted a partisan political point of view. He was simply stating the facts. And if I could detect any kind of agenda from this at all, any hint of this being in any way personal for him, it was pretty clear that his concerns had to do with protecting human rights.He may have not "promoted his religion" (not that there is anything wrong with that) in that book, but one of his other book's title demonstrates the religious angle of his hatred for Islam. If Mr Bell has seen Robert Spencer on shows that he doesn't like, and being interviewed by people he doesn't agree with, shouldn't that have given him an indication of where Robert Spencer "stands" on most issues? Islamophobia is not just about demonizing Islam and Muslims, but it's being used to move the West further and further to the Right. Maybe Spencer does believe in human rights, for Christians. I don't buy the bit about this not being "personal" for him, when he is making "big bucks" from writing his books, grants from David Horowitz, and speaking engagements.
Since first sharing my change in perspective on Daily Kos and later on Front Page Magazine, I had the honor of speaking with Robert Spencer on a number of occasions. In fact it was he who reached out to me when my articles on Daily Kos got me banned. We have since been on radio programs together and I receive his JihadWatch.com email regularly. In keeping with the style of his books, Jihad Watch merely reports the facts concerning all the many acts of Jihad that have happened that day or week, with plenty of links to independent news sources from around the world, to substantiate what is being said. JihadWatch.com more than anything has been, and continues to be, incredibly eye-opening and an excellent source of reference material, for anyone who is serious about understanding the very real threat of Jihad – including Stealth Jihad, both here at home and around the world.JihadWatch reports the facts in the same way that Jew Watch (ok, JihadWatch is a little more subtle) obsessively reports the "facts" of every bad thing any Jew has done, while claiming that the Jews are commanded by the Talmud to stealthily take over their host nations, and that they have a religious commandment to lie to Gentiles. Sound familiar? With the world being filled with billions of people (about a billion of which are Muslims), of course there are going to be some Muslims up to no good on any given day. But that doesn't mean "Islamic hatred" is the biggest problem in the world today.
Countless millions of people fall victim to Jihadists every single day. This is perhaps the worst human rights nightmare facing the world in our time. And, there are tragically so very few people out there who are risking their neck, quite literally, to bring us accurate information concerning this. Quite frankly I find most (but certainly not all) of the sites that are critical of Islam to be either hateful or else too religiously motivated for me. And my sense is that this has a lot to do with maintaining the false perception that the Counter Jihad movement is partisan or religiously motivated. JihadWatch.com is the best, as far as I am concerned, when it comes to getting the facts in a reliable, non-partisan, non-proselytizing format.Millions? Every single day? I'm going to need to see a source for that one. Trying to cover up his hate with the "neutral" approach isn't convincing. When you have websites such as BareNakedIslam (which was temporarily shut down because too many lines in the comments section were literally calling for genocide against all Muslims in the world), Death to Islam, Religion of Peace, which are all rampant with unadulterated rage, it's not a stretch to assume what the overall "Counter Jihad movement" is about. And while Islamophobia is clearly a problem of the Left too, that doesn't change the fact that the Right have more or less "perfected" the craft. Still, Islamophobia is a prejudice that "the whole family can enjoy."
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So why would I have had such a wrong perception about Spencer and Geller? In the Liberal world, the world I now mostly just see in my rear view mirror when it comes to many issues I am reconsidering, there is not much tolerance for a diversity of opinion – something which was made abundantly clear when I was 86’d from Daily Kos, as punishment for not singing off the same sheet of music, when it comes to Islamic Supremacy. So I wrongly and naively thought that the Conservative world must work the same way. Huge mistake. The truth is, not only are there a wide range of views within the Conservative world, but even in the subculture of Counter Jihad there are many points of view as to what exactly the threat is and what to do about it.This "diversity of thought" that Mr. Bell has apparently found in the conservative worldview, can also be found among liberals and left-wingers. It's fine if he was looking for a new ideological home, and found it, but what he says about a so-called lack of diversity of thought in the "Liberal world" is all projection.
This simply does not exist so much on the Left. And that is unfortunate, because I believe that America could benefit from having a healthy dialogue between those who are more cautious, respectful of traditional values and those who question whether the way we have always done things is the best way to move forward.Source please? I have found people on the Left to be pretty tolerant of most people, except those who are rabidly intolerant. That is the paradox of tolerance. If you tolerate intolerance too much, intolerance will dominate tolerance because by definition, it is intolerant of tolerance. Only one can be "in control." I can't claim to have solved this paradox. The Left does tend to be more suspicious of religion and "traditional" values than the Right, but there are also atheists and secularists among the Right.
Perhaps no Americans understand better the threat of Jihad more than our brave men and women in uniform. Today as I write this article, in places such as Afghanistan, our troops face the very real threat of being shot in the back by a Muslim ally in uniform who is willing to murder them in cold blood because someone, somewhere burned a book. A book!This is a blatant prejudiced statement! No Muslim can be trusted, especially a fellow soldier, because he will stab ("shoot") you in the back once you have let your guard down. Keep your righteous hatred alive! Onward Christian Soldiers march! It's not just about burning the Qur'an (sometimes the Qur'an must be burned according to Muslim rituals, when it is no longer suitable to be read.) It's about how their culture has been disparaged and mocked by a foreign occupier for ten straight years (and sporadically among the region for over 200 years.) Then as some kind of sick joke, their most sacred "relic" is destroyed in a harrow of flames. Then when some of them hit their breaking point and react violently to this, commentators pontificate about how uncivilized and backward "those Muslims" are. If the tables were turned and this happened in the U.S., I am certain that some Americans would react violently and kill a few "innocent" foreign troops.
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What we are seeing is an escalating battle between the civilized world and uncivilized fanatical masses, shaking their fists yelling “Death to America! Death Israel” burning our flags, storming our embassies, beheading our journalists, developing nuclear bombs to point at our ally, Israel and blowing themselves up yelling “Allahu Akbar!” while killing innocent children because they are Jewish.Nice absolutes there, buddy. Are the Jewish extremists who spray-paint, "Arabs to the Gas Chambers!" on wall, and teach children that Arabs are "murderers", "snakes", "dirty", "animals", "killers" and "camel humps" in Israel, part of these "fanatical masses?" Or is it only fanaticism when some Muslims do it? I'd like to know.
Bar-Tal cites one children’s reader as saying, “We [first Israeli settlers] were lonely… pioneers surrounded by a sea of enemies and murderers.” In elementary school readers Arabs are “often” portrayed as “uneducated people and enemies.” Even the elementary school geography textbooks “stereotype Arabs negatively.” Among the approved junior high materials are books that “present a very negative picture of Arabs.”Per the logic of Eric Allen Bell and his new mentors, this must mean that Jews are a fanatical, intolerant bunch that must be watched very closely so that they can't impose their hateful culture onto our societies. See how far anyone goes with that mentality before (rightly) being called an Antisemite. No one is saying that Muslim terrorists don't exist, or that they shouldn't be caught and reprimanded just like other terrorists. But when someone crosses the line of outright bigotry and says (in so many words) that since a terrorist shares my neighbor Hakim's religion, that must mean Hakim sympathizes with said terrorism, or is possibly a terrorist himself, that person has become a bigot. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is.
Adir Cohen surveyed a group of 4th to 6th grade students for part of his study. He found: Seventy-five percent of the children described the “Arab” as a murderer, one who kidnaps children, a criminal and a terrorist. Eighty percent said they saw the Arab as someone dirty with a terrifying face. Ninety percent of the students stated that they believe that Palestinians have no rights whatsoever to the land in Israel or Palestine.
A first grade reader used in some Israeli classrooms relates the following story: The Holy One, Blessed Be He, came to the Ishmaelites and asked them: “Do you want to receive the Torah?” They said: “What is written in it?”
He said to them: “Thou shalt not steal.” They said to Him: “We cannot accept the Torah, it is difficult for us not to steal.” And so, the Holy One, Blessed Be He, went from nation to nation, and not one of them wanted to receive the Torah. When He went to the Jewish people, they immediately said: “We will do and we will hear."
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I often wonder if there are more Islamic Supremacists in the Middle East today who want to see the Jewish race exterminated than there were Germans who wanted the same thing during World War II. This is how serious the threat is from Orthodox Islam. And it is only getting worse.There's no doubt that some Muslim extremists want to kill all of the Jews, but as mentioned above, there are also Jewish extremists who want to kill all Arabs. If Muslim extremists = true Muslims, then Jewish extremists = true Jews. That attitude would never fly in the West, but the former (which is eerily similar to the latter) does, spectacularly so. And this also effects the latter, since Islamophobic conspiracy theories are often lifted from older Antisemitic theories. It doesn't take long before the "historic memory" awakens, and then it becomes okay to hate Jews again. What is "Orthodox" Islam, exactly?
The two main sects of Islam are Sunni and Shi'a, and both have numerous sub-groups, all competing for authenticity. Sunni Islam has four major "schools of thought/law" (madhhabs), namely the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali. These are merely the survivors of history. In the early days, there were over thirty competing schools of thought within Sunni Islam alone. The Shi'a's two main 'madhhabs' are the Ja'fari (which has two main branches, the Usuli and Akhbari), and the Zaidiyyah.
A new holocaust is brewing and it’s coming from Hamas, Hezbollah, state sponsors of terrorism such as Iran and it finds its roots in the history and the teachings of Orthodox Islam. And this is being taught in the Islamic schools of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories – but even more disconcerting is that the hatred of Jews is found in literature sent over to far too many American mosques, from Egypt and Saudi Arabia and published by the Muslim Brotherhood. Anyone who is not concerned about this, anyone who is saying nothing, doing nothing – anyone who thinks this whole thing is an overreaction, ask yourself, “How did Hitler pull off the Holocaust?” and then look in the mirror.Hitler pulled off the Holocaust by portraying the victims as the oppressors, and the oppressors as the victims; something Mr. Bell is very good at himself. That must mean he is Hitler (sarcasm.) Most of the issues he brings up have been mentioned by concerned Muslims themselves. It may be a surprise to him, but many Muslims are also concerned with the fanatics in our midst while still remaining "Qur'an Believing Muslims" (doesn't sound as good as "Bible Believing Christians") Mr. Bell seems to have a problem with nuance and complexity. For many Muslims, it's not a case of "either/or", but of "both/and." They can condemn, simultaneously, the corruption and fanaticism of the Saudi and Iranian governments, while still being opposed to Israeli and U.S. policy regarding the Palestinians and the Muslim "world."
Bell thinks you can only choose sides, which is why he uses phrases like, "doing a 180 on this issue." He is unable to oppose injustice everywhere, so he has to choose a side to fight for. He was fighting for the "Liberal side" for a while, and after getting bored with that, joined the "Conservative side." Much like his new mentor, David Horowitz, who was a committed radical Marxist for about thirty years before "doing a 180 on the issue", and became a hawkish conservative. There is no "new Holocaust" coming, at least for the Jews. This is another case of projection. Muslims are becoming "enemy #1" in the eyes of many people throughout the world, and anti-Muslim bigotry is becoming increasingly more mainstream by the day. As mentioned earlier, if Jew-hatred in Muslim textbooks = true Islam, then Arab/Muslim hatred in Jewish textbooks = true Judaism.
My fellow infidels, you are right to be concerned. No, you are not a bigot or an “Islamophobe” if you speak out. Yes, there are lots of peaceful Muslims all over the world who share our concerns – who are our partners in this effort, who tell their stories and love their children and love America just like we do. You do not need to hate or fear Muslims. Information is the number one enemy of Islamic Supremacy. Spread it!No, you are not an Islamophobe or bigot if you speak out against "radical Islam", while pointing out that you are only opposed to those radical elements, and that those radical elements do not "speak for" the entire Muslim population, and that other religious faiths have radicals and extremists too. But if you equate "Radical Islam" to "Islam" (which is what Eric Allen Bell does, saying "Islam IS Islamic Fundamentalism"), promote anti-Muslim bigot pseudo-scholars, and associate with people who host racist "IslamoFascism Awareness Week" events on college campuses, to "prove" that and claim that the only good Muslims are those who aren't very attached to their faith, that makes you an Islamophobe. Deal with it.
Mr. Bell may think he is "covering his bases" by being "anti-religious in general", but if he focuses the majority of his ire on a single faith-community, that by definition means he shows a special prejudice for said community, which makes him a "phobe" of said community. It's logic. "You do not need to hate or fear Muslims." How progressive.
Whatever I’ve lost, whatever I’ve endured is nothing at all compared to what Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer courageously endure, day after day, year after year, nonstop as they are pummeled by the media, their words distorted, their characters assassinated, portrayed as hate mongers, fear mongers, bigots and fanatics – their pictures pasted onto Islamic websites all over the world, constantly, with the very clear message that these people are the “enemies of Allah” and have “insulted Islam”.Yes, those two endure so much suffering by spreading hatred of Muslims. It is a very taxing activity. If they don't want their pictures posted on the internet, then they shouldn't upload them on the internet; simple. It's not like Muslim hackers got a hold of their photos by searching their computers. They willingly upload their own photos online. No sane person wants to put out a "hit" on either of them. Not only is it against Islam, it's against basic human decency, something neither of them are willing to show to their Muslim neighbors. But the beauty of faith is that you are to treat people as you want to be treated, not how you are treated.
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Whether protecting the rights of people abroad – their right to free speech, their right to leave their religion without facing the penalty of execution, the right not to be falsely imprisoned, the right to report if you have been raped and not be punished for it, by being stoned to death or forced to marry your rapist – make no mistake about it – these two courageous truth tellers are risking everything to protect what we all hold dear.Protecting the rights to freedom of speech and religion to all people, except Muslims. The freedom for bigots to voice their opposition to the "Islamic Menace", but not the freedom for Muslims to build community centers or expand their Mosques; because that would be, you know, "Islamic Supremacy." The bit about being forced to marry your rapist is an unfortunate irony, since Pamela Geller is Jewish, and the Torah is "quite clear" that a woman must marry her rapist.
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. - Deuteronomy 22:28-29I guess that makes her a 'Jewish Supremacist', but I'm sure that "it's different", somehow.
They will most likely have to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders, given the amount of violence so far that has been perpetrated on those who have been murdered in the past for simply speaking out against “the religion of peace”. And they risk their lives for you and for me, and for the liberty and the protection of human rights for billions of people around the world, every single day, year after year.Robert Spencer has been writing anti-Islamic books for ten years, some of them being "New York Times Best Sellers", and so far he hasn't been harmed by anything except his own ego. Pamela Geller has been writing her blog for a few years, has attempted to remove the rights of her Muslim neighbors of their freedom of religion because of her hate, and has co-written a book with Robert Spencer; she has also not been harmed by Muslims.
And although there are many people who are fighting this fight every day, many unsung heroes, when it comes to speaking out in the media, no one has lead the charge more effectively, with moral clarity and courage than Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.Sure :-)
What is right About Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer – is what is right about America.If that is the case, then I am frightened over the future of my nation.
Peace...And peace be upon you, Eric Allen Bell; it seems like you have lost it somewhere. I sincerely hope you find it again.
I won't be surprised when Bell releases his "new and improved" documentary, it's going to be promoting the very prejudices that he was mocking while filming the damn thing. I can see it starting out by showing how peaceful the Muslim community of Mufreesboro is, in contrast to the hateful mob attempting to stamp out their Constitutional rights. Then there will be a freeze frame, possibly with someone chanting the Azan in the background. Then a violent verse from the Qur'an will slowly fade in. Then a compilation of Muslims committing acts of violence throughout the world will be shown, possibly ending with Bell narrating, "Was everything these 'bigots' said about Islam, wrong?" Then the title appears, "Not Welcome", and what follows will be just a rehash of every Islamophobic documentary pretending to be "objective."