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When Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, Wajahat Ali posted a roundup of Muslim reactions on his blog, one of which said, “Bravo Obama! Now while you’re at it, why not get Bush and Blair as well…”
Matt Duss, another author, also has a special focus on attacking Israel, and in one post urged more nuance in viewing Hamas and linked to an article which suggested that Hamas supporters are not actually dangerous radicals.
Eli Clifton is in the same line of work, and his attempt to spread conspiracy theories to sabotage the bipartisan support for sanctions on the Iranian regime showed a disturbing willingness to bend the truth in order to support one of the world’s ugliest tyrannies.
Shakir made much of how often Robert Spencer’s name was mentioned in Breivik’s 1,500-page screed, but in Shakir, Ali, Duss, Clifton, Keyes and Fang’s 130-page report, “Israel” shows up 27 times and “Jew” shows up 30 times.
The message is subtle, but not very. The majority of the experts blamed in the report for the spread of Islamophobia are Jewish. The report also emphasizes the Jewish foundations over the non-Jewish ones. Even when the targets, like Brigitte Gabriel or Nonie Darwish, aren’t Jewish, the report finds ways to associate them with Jews or Israel. In a report that claims to denounce scapegoating as bigotry, the Center for American Progress hypocritically practices it instead.
But the report isn’t really about Israel or Jews — it’s about silencing critics of Islamic extremism. Shakir, Ali and company tip their hand when they don’t limit their attacks to non-Muslims, but go after moderate Muslim critics of Islamic extremism as well.
How can a Muslim be accused of Islamophobia? He can’t, but Zuhdi Jasser and Tawfik Hamid are among the report’s targets.
The CAP report states that Zuhdi Jasser, the head of the Islamic Forum for Democracy, “dangerously and incorrectly labels mainstream Muslim American organizations as subversive.” One of those mainstream groups that Jasser is accused of labeling is the Islamic Society of North America.
Jasser, whose family built several mosques, is not a good enough Muslim for the report, because he refuses to endorse the Ground Zero Mosque. But the Islamic Society of North America, which emerged from the Muslim Brotherhood, is.
“Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America” isn’t really about denouncing bigotry against Muslims. Its real purpose is to denounce scrutiny of Islamic extremism.
“This isn’t playing games. We want to end Islamophobia,” Shakir said. And by Islamophobia, he means anyone who stands up to Islamic militancy in America — whether they’re Christians, Jews, atheists or even Muslims.
Any report on Islamophobia that scapegoats Jews is not a report on bigotry, it is an act of bigotry. And any report that denounces moderate Muslims is not moderate, it is an attempt to silence critics of extremism.
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