Last weekend US Congressmember Michele Bachmann went on the radio to tell Americans that the President of the United States is actively aiding Islamist attempts to impose Sharia law in America.
Bachmann also recommended that Americans study Islamic materials and documents, suggesting they were analogous to Hitler's Mein Kampf (the book that outlined his hateful ideology and plans for conquest.)
What sort of Muslim-authored documents give a "Mein Kampf"-like clue to Islamist plans for conquest of America? In the radio interview Bachmann references one example. In October various American Muslim civil rights organizations sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security protesting the use of bigoted teaching materials in law enforcement training. Bachmann says this letter protesting government use of anti-Islam training materials "is 'proof positive' that the Obama administration wants to introduce Sharia law to the U.S."
You can probably spot "the gaps" in Bachmann's logic, there. First: the letter isn't authored by the Obama administration--it's a letter to the Obama administration. So the letter she cites can't be "proof positive" of the Obama adminstration's intentions about anything.
Second: the letter doesn't call for or even suggest the imposition of Sharia law in America. Instead it's a plea to the US government to end any national security training teaching that "Islam is essentially evil and anti-American." The authors' aim is to prevent law enforcement from targeting Americans simply because they happen to be Muslim.
Thank God some people are still monitoring Bachmann on conservative evangelical radio, one of her favorite forums for disseminating paranoid conspiracy theories. Bachmann makes her claims about an Obama Sharia law conspiracy during an interview with Eric Barger and Jan Markell.
Markell is an End Times broadcaster and a close ally of Bachmann, who attended her “Understanding the Times” conference this year. She has previously claimed that Mattel’s Little Mommy Cuddle ‘n Coo doll is promoting Islam to children, demanded the government begin monitoring mosques and in 2007 predicted a terrorist attack as a result of a Hindu prayer in the U.S. Senate. Markell has also suggested that a tornado in Minnesota was a “warning from God” meant to punish the Lutheran Church for affirming gay pastors and alleged that the deadly 2011 earthquake in Japan was divine judgment.In 2006 a profile in the Minneapolis weekly The City Pages reported that Bachmann denied knowing Markell. If that's what she said--it was a lie. Bachmann had appeared as a featured guest on Markell's radio program more than once, to spout homophobia and encourage listeners to attend her 2004 "stop gay marriage" rally in St. Paul. At that time Markell's radio show was called "Prophetic Views in the News."
Last night on its Political Animal blog the St. Paul Pioneer Press ran a post about this latest Markell interview with Bachmann. Their reporter identified Markell's show as a "conservative radio program." Strictly speaking, that's not so. Host Markell certainly prefers Christian conservatives to liberal Democrats. But her program (renamed "Understanding the Times") is more properly described as "a radio program providing apocalyptic analysis of current events in light of Bible prophecy."
Markell's "end times" audience will have no problem believing Bachmann's charges--including the charge that the Obama administration is complicit in a Muslim plan to end the right to free speech in America.
BACHMANN: ...it is game over if we who are in the non-Islamist world lose the right to criticize what the Islamist does, because the Islamist tries to advocate Islamic Sharia law and so anything that we would say in the future, once you criminalized anti-Islamic speech, anything that we would say that would be critical in any way of anything Islam does would be considered criminalized. That’s why I say it is game over; the Islamists will have won everything.What about that letter Bachmann cites? The "October 19th document," the letter authored and signed by Muslim civil rights groups?
BACHMANN: The only conclusion you could make is that (the Obama administration is) embracing the ten year plan (to silence any form of dissent from Islam) and are supporting it and that’s why this October 19 document is so important because that is proof positive that every piece that is put into place is leading to one direction, this isn’t deviating it’s leading to one direction, and that ultimate goal it seems to be is to allow for mandating, following, every demand of the Islamist and we know what their ultimate demand is.If you go to that October 19th letter from Muslim civil rights groups expecting to see some kind of "Islamist Mein Kampf"--you're going to be very disappointed. There's no plan for conquest of non-Islamists in there. There's no call for imposition of Sharia law on the United States. There isn't even a demand to end the right of free speech for Americans who criticize Islam.
BARGER: Sharia law.
BACHMANN: That’s right. That’s why we need to know what their belief system is; we need to know what they truly believe. That’s why the most important thing a person could do in WWII was to read the book that the leader of Germany wrote.
BARGER: Mein Kampf.
BACHMANN: Because he laid out very clearly what his intention was, he wasn’t hiding it, the Islamist does the same thing. They do not hide it, they lay it out very clearly. But what we’ve never seen before is the United States aiding and abetting that goal.
Instead, the letter requests the White House to form "an interagency task force" to address "the federal government’s use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims and Islam." That's it, that's the letter is about. Contrary to what Bachmann told the radio audience: no suggestion of an Islamist Mein Kampf in this document, no "proof positive" of an Obama administration plan to impose Sharia law.
There are plenty of details in the letter. But they're not details proving the existence of a "radical Islamist agenda in the Obama administration." They're details suggesting that current law enforcement training may lead to the targeting and investigation of Americans because "they're guilty of being Muslim."
The letter cites about fourteen different examples of federal government sponsorship for teaching "Islamophobia." Here are two examples mentioned by the authors:
A 2006 FBI intelligence report stating that individuals who convert to Islam are on the path to becoming “Homegrown Islamic Extremists,” if they exhibit any of the following behavior:1
• “Wearing traditional Muslim attire”
• “Growing facial hair”
• “Frequent attendance at a mosque or a prayer group”
• “Travel to a Muslim country”
• “Increased activity in a pro-Muslim social group or political cause”
A report, authored by Army Command and General Staff at the Fort Leavenworth School of Advanced Military Studies, dated May 21, 2009, includes statements such as:You can see why the authors of the letter are pissed off about this kind of thing. These are the kind of official views that encourage authorities to view every American Muslim as a potential enemy and possible suspect. You wouldn't like the cops and military viewing you that way on the basis of your belief system--would you?
• “Moderate Muslims are not exercising moderation; they are simply applying other means to accomplish the same goal of establishing global Islamic dominance.”
But Bachmann objects to the objections and identifies them as part of a "master plan" for Islamist domination of the US. Thus: Bachmann signs on to the view that all American Muslims are potential enemies of the state--because they're Muslims, dummy.
That lie, and the other lies told in support of it--qualify this episode for a place on "the top Bachmann lies of 2012" list.
Below is a link to an article at Right Wing Watch, dated today (December 12.) It features audio and transcript from the Bachmann appearance on radio program broadcast last weekend.
LINK: PiPress takes note of Bachmann conspiracy claims on one of their blog; who knows if it will make the print edition.