The Hypocrisy of the Alarm Over ‘Right-Wing Terrorism’

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In, is now available.


peter_bergen_manhunt_the_search_for_bin_ladenIn covering the killings in Las Vegas by Jerad and Amanda Miller this week, mainstream media commentators once again displayed their hypocrisy and double standard regarding Islamic terrorism and terror attacks that are supposedly “right-wing.”

CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen wrote Tuesday the Millers “appear to have been motivated by extreme far-right views. The couple left a flag at the scene of the crime with the words ‘Don’t Tread on Me,’ a Revolutionary War symbol used by some anti-government extremists.”

Bergen went on to emphasize that “countering violent extremism cannot simply be a demand placed on Muslim communities to prevent jihadist violence. In the decade since 9/11 right-wing extremists have demonstrated their ability to be just as deadly as their homegrown jihadist counterparts.”

Yet while Bergen is ready to equate “right-wing terrorists” with jihadists, he is much less ready to examine the motivating ideology of the latter. While he readily ascribed the Millers’ murders to “extreme far-right views,” when writing in 2006 about the root causes of the 9/11 jihad attack, Bergen stated:

In the many discussions of the “root causes” of Islamist terrorism, Islam itself is rarely mentioned. But if you were to ask Bin Laden, he would say that his war is about the defence of Islam. We need not believe him but we should nevertheless listen to what our enemies are saying. Bin Laden bases justification of his war on a corpus of Muslim beliefs and he finds ammunition in the Koran to give his war Islamic legitimacy. He often invokes the “sword” verses of the Koran, which urge unprovoked attacks on infidels. Of course, that is a selective reading of the Koran and does not mean Islam is an inherently violent faith, but to believers the book is the word of God.

He has demonstrated no similar anxiousness to exonerate “right-wing” beliefs from responsibility for the violence supposedly committed because of them. And at the Daily Beast, “Muslim comedian” Dean Obeidallah went even farther in a piece entitled “Home-Grown, Right-Wing Terrorism: The Hate the GOP Refuses to See.” Obeidallah was certain that conservative views led to violence, and that that was why Republicans had ridiculed the idea of “right-wing terrorism” when the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about it in 2009. “The actual reason Republicans won’t investigate right-wing extremists,” Obeidallah claimed, “is that it would not only anger their base, it would actually indict some parts of it. Let’s be honest: In a time when establishment Republicans are concerned about getting challenged in primaries by more conservative Tea Party types, calling for hearings to investigate right-wing organizations could be political suicide.”

This is the same Dean Obeidallah who recently wrote this about the jihadists of Boko Haram, the Congregation of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad: “The Nigerian terrorist group that kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls has nothing to do with Islam, and it’s grotesquely irresponsible of the media to suggest it does.”

So an avowedly Islamic group that has repeatedly proclaimed that it is fighting in order to establish an Islamic state is not Islamic, and it’s “grotesquely irresponsible” to suggest otherwise. The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, must have been “grotesquely irresponsible” when he declared: “The reason why I will kill you is you are infidels…The Koran must be supreme, we must establish Islam in this country.”

Obeidallah, who has produced and starred in a “comedy” film about “Islamophobia,” claims that the jihadists are twisting and hijacking his peaceful religion, and that only non-Muslim “Islamophobes” would dare think that anything they do has any justification in Islamic texts and teachings. But the possibility that murderers such as Jerad and Amanda Miller are twisting and hijacking peaceful conservative principles that do not in any essential or legitimate way incite to violence does not cross his mind.

Bergen, Obeidallah and others like them also believe that those who sound the alarm about Islamic terrorism are motivated by “hatred” and “bigotry.” Are they, then, also motivated by hatred and bigotry when they sound the alarm about “right-wing terrorism”? Obeidallah claims that when Republicans passed anti-Sharia laws designed to protect Americans from a political system that subjugates women and non-Muslims and destroys the freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, they “intended to demonize Muslims.” So if legislation designed to protect Americans from “right-wing terrorism” were passed, could its framers and advocates be characterized as “intending to demonize conservatives”?

Why, yes, of course. That is the goal of this hysteria about “right-wing extremism” and “right-wing terrorism”: to demonize and marginalize legitimate opposition to the Obama agenda, as well as to minimize the real threat of jihad terror. Likewise, the goal of the hysteria about “Islamophobia” is to demonize and marginalize legitimate opposition to jihad terror, so that terror can advance unopposed and unimpeded. To trumpet both these hysterias, however, entangles Leftists like Bergen and Islamic supremacists like Obeidallah in a contradiction: they say that the stated beliefs and goals of Islamic terrorists are of no importance whatsoever, and it is “hateful” to point them out. Yet at the same time, they maintain that the stated beliefs and goals of “right-wing terrorists,” or even beliefs and goals that are ascribed to them by analysts and have no connection to what they actually believed, matter a great deal, and it is the nation’s duty to address them and institute remedies.

The hypocrisy is as obvious and stunning as the mainstream media’s cheerful and unapologetic eagerness to traffic in it.

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  • HiPlainsDrifter

    A really smart commenter in Vegas posted this two days ago…

    “Next news flash will be the Miller’s were down on their luck, anti-gubermint, 2nd Amendment, TEA party supporters who, ‘shockingly’ (not), took their beliefs to an extreme…
    When NOTHING could be further from the truth… If anything, they were amoral, lo-info, 6bama supportin’, ‘Occupy’-type nihilists criminals, who saw a chance to make a name, and took it…”

    • Uba

      Don’t be surprised if we find out they were mushlims.

      • BagLady

        I would be extremely surprised!

        • JoanneSchoturd

          like Jacqueline implied I’m
          taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month on the computer . see
          post F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

          • Habbgun

            Thanks for letting Baglady know. She is otherwise unemployable.

          • BagLady

            I am otherwise in the dark! The HiPlainDrifter speaks an English alien to my own. Does he drift around California and the outlying deserts by any chance?

    • Gee

      From what I see those that support the 2nd Amendment are law-abidding types. Obviously he wasn’t law-abiding.

      • HiPlainsDrifter

        Right….executing two cops while they eat dinner is definitely not what law-abiding TEA people do.
        These two sick crazies were more along the lines of most every one of the other insane shooters of the past… All in the atheistic, commie camp.

        • Americana

          Sorry, if they’ve declared their allegiance, they can’t be sent off to commie exile and banishment just because you want to dump ‘em there. They gave every indication in their writing they were ultra-ultra anti-government independent libertarians.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “They gave every indication in their writing they were ultra-ultra anti-government independent libertarians.”

            “Libertarian” revolutionaries are not conservatives. OK? They’re on the left, even if they hate the established leftist parties. They’re so far to the left that they don’t have any inkling where they are on the political spectrum.

          • J.B.

            They think that without a government and rule of law that everybody would have to cooperate together and form a magical land of prosperity. Extreme Libertarians are nutjobs.

          • Americana

            That’s not how Libertarians consider they’re placed on the political spectrum. It’s not up to you to disavow their choice of placement.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Americana objectivefactsmatter • 35 minutes ago: “That’s not how Libertarians consider they’re placed on the political spectrum. It’s not up to you to disavow their choice of placement.”

            They can vote and caucus however they want and I can call it like I see it.

          • Gislef

            It is if they’re wrong.

          • disqus_Imoi7LGhwf

            Are you kidding me or you’re delusional? Exactly how is capitalism a left-wing tenet? That is exactly what true libertarians stand for. Come on.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Are you kidding me or you’re delusional? Exactly how is capitalism a left-wing tenet? That is exactly what true libertarians stand for. Come on.”

            You can’t run a simple litmus test on someone by asking generally what economic system they favor and then say “conservative” because “capitalism.” It doesn’t work that way at all. Although of course conservatives favor capitalism, there’s more to it than that.

            Think about what the word “conservative” means and the history of conservatives in America or even in Europe. Conservatives might shoot a pig for a meal, but don’t “shoot the pigs” because of “oppression” or something like that.

            Calling “the pigs” oppressors enough to put you on the left. I’m sorry. That’s just the way it is. The “pigs” do what the establishment wants them to do. If you’re against police for doing their job, you’re anti-establishment. That’s totally different from being completely unhappy with current leadership.

          • BagLady

            Must I repeat myself.

            the boxes she sings of for the right are exactly the same as the boxes you sing about for the left.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUoXtddNPAM

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Do you understand what deception is?

          • martin

            Americana, if they were ‘ultra-ultra anti-government’, wouldn’t that make them anarchists? There is a clear and unmistakeable line between libertarian and anarchist.

          • Americana

            No, they’re not anarchists because they don’t want to eliminate ALL government, they simply want to influence, if not DICTATE, the size and shape and role of an American government they find acceptable. I should have been more specific about what their anti-government stance is.

          • BagLady

            I thought the Bundy Bunch were anti everyone unwhite. Dumping them left and right is just plain silly. They are in a class of their own. Put them with the nihilists who are springing up everywhere at an alarming rate as we reduce ourselves to ant status.

  • nomoretraitors

    “In the decade since 9/11 right-wing extremists have demonstrated their ability to be just as deadly as their homegrown jihadist counterparts”
    Let’s do the math:
    Oklahoma City — 168 dead
    Neo Nazi/Aryan Nations — 25-50
    9/11: about 3000.
    Not to say right wing extremists shouldn’t be watched, but I think the numbers speak for themselves

    • J.B.

      Rightwing extremists? Are you a lunatic? Timothy McViegh, neo socialists and islamopithecines have never been conservative, and share no values with the Tea Party. Not only that but only the islamic attacks were terrorist. The others were simple murder of targeted groups: federal workers and abortion workers.

      Leftwing terrorism, however, is as real as islamic jihad. The Columbine shooters, Seung Hui Cho at Virginia Tech, Jared Loughner in Tucson, James Holmes in Aurora, Adam Lanza in Sandy Hook, Chris Dorner in CA, John Zawahiri in Santa Monica, Elliot Rodger in Santa Barbara – leftists all. There have been more than thirty multiple killings in the last ten years. List any you think were commited by conservatives. (There is no such thing as a right winger.)

      • Gislef

        He’s saying those acts were perpetuated by jihadists, not right wing extremists.

      • BagLady

        Such acts are all carried out by madmen. Schizophrenics will always align themselves with one god or another.

        Suggesting such people belong to anything but their own disturbed and usually very lonely world, is absurd.

      • nomoretraitors

        Timothy McVeigh was anti-government and also white supremacist.
        The point in my post, in case it escaped you, was to point out the difference in casualties between right wing terrorism and Islamic terrorism. The numbers certainly favor Islamic terrorism

    • BagLady

      Amen to that.

      However, our naive — or should that be devious — leaders poked the sleeping tiger by slaying many millions of their ambush and now, according to Hillary, will stand back to see what happens. Ghoulish and pretty costly in terms of human life. Still, one way of dealing with the population problem.

      When your government is spending outlandish amounts on ‘inland security’ the occasional atrocity is a must to justify those NGO salaries.

  • nomoretraitors

    “The hypocrisy is as obvious and stunning as the mainstream media’s cheerful and unapologetic eagerness to traffic in it”
    Nothing suprises me with these people anymore

    • CapitalistPig

      Did you see any of these geniuses equating OWS rioters & those OWS wingnuts implicated in attempting to blow up that bridge in Cleveland with left wing ideology or calling that “left wing hate”? How about that cop Doener–the big Obamabot who went postal & shot the place up out in California? ………………..neither did I.
      They were all “mentally disturbed” or “one offs not indicative of the left as a whole” —that kind of commentary.
      You’d swear these 2 cement heads in Nevada were the co-chairmen of the Republican Party listening to the coverage.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    I’ve heard the Bergen’s were neo-Nazis, i.e., new National Socialists. The last time I checked National Socialism is a form of Marxism, and since Marxism in one form or another comprises what the Progressives actually are, then the Bergen’s were instead radical Marxists. Thus, I can understand why the Marxist totalitarian media wants to propagandize that they are radical right-wingers.

    While I agree that the Bergen’s acts were terrorism, I disagree that Muslim violence also constitutes terrorism, although it is universally mis-characterized as being terrorism throughout the media.

    Terrorism is violence perpetrated by extremists for any number of different political causes, and it is universal in the sense that all cultures and societies produce terrorists. However, in the case of Islam, violent jihad is different in that it is not the product of extremists, as jihad is a fundamental holy obligation incumbent upon all mainstream orthodox Muslims in one form or another, either violent as in AQ, or non-violent as in the millions of Muslims that have migrated to the infidel world with all of their excess baggage for the nefarious purposes of mass Muslim infiltration and eventual demographic conquest.

    It is different because jihad is not only waged by mainstream orthodox Muslims as opposed to extremists like in the case of terrorism, it is also always and only in the cause of Allah to ultimately make Islam supreme throughout the world, as opposed to terrorism which is perpetrated for all kinds of various political causes.

    In other words, jihad, whether it is the violent variety or the non-violent stealth and deceptive variety is war by any and all means. As a matter of fact, the word jihad means a holy war waged in the cause of Allah to ultimately make Islam supreme throughout the world. Thus all violent forms of jihad and non-violent forms of jihad are always and only in the cause of making Islam supreme, as opposed to terrorism, which can be for any number of political causes. Not to mention that only Muslims wage jihad, while terrorism is perpetrated by all cultures and societies.

    In addition, violent jihadists take their level of violence to far greater extremes. For example, they often lop off the heads of their victims while alive and conscious, smear their victims’ blood all over their hands and bodies, and then drag their victims’ bodies through the streets. Moreover, they love to film the entire episode to relive again. Indeed, they have often been filmed drinking up the blood of their victims. Thus, this kind of extreme perversion far and away surpasses the violence inflicted by terrorists.

    Hence, jihad and terrorism are not one and the same thing, as jihad is holy war to ultimately make Islam supreme, surpasses the level of violence perpetrated by terrorists, while also manifesting to a far greater extent non-violently, in stark contrast to terrorism, which is always and only violent, and is only waged by mainstream orthodox Muslims as opposed to extremists from all cultures and societies as in the case of terrorism.

    • PerceiveToBeWise

      No. You are being an apologist for Islam. That is sickening. I don’t think the differentiation you stated between jihad and terrorism matters to the woman raped, the child killed or dismembered, or the innocent beheaded all in the name of Allah. Don’t judge them on what they say but what they do!

      • ObamaYoMoma

        And you are mentally incompetent fool.

    • Americana

      Not in any way, shape or form are the Bergens National Socialists or Nazis. As for your leap-frogging from one political movement to another, they may be related in one individual here and there but they’re not synonymous. As for the Marxist totalitarian media, you must not know anyone in the media.

  • wileyvet

    Mr. Spencer, I don’t know how you do it. You’ve been studying this for 20 years and you are still sane. Me, only a short while, and I am almost ready to pull my hair out. I do not speak Arabic so rely on English material. I have most of your books which got me started. However I have been reading things like “Early Development of Mohammedism” by D.S. Margoliouth, “Life of Muhammad” by Alfred Guillaume, as well as his translation of ibn Ishaq. Also “Life of Muhammad” by William Muir, al Misri’s “Reliance of the Traveller”, “23 Years” by Ali Dashti, the Sunnah of Bukhari and Muslim, and “The History of the Prophets and Kings” by al-Tabari. There is some nasty stuff in all of this, and it is quite difficult to determine what to make of it all. One thing seems to be clear; it is the religion of Muhammad, and the Koran, Sira and Sunnah are the basis for Islam. Therefore what is contained therein, is what Muslims believe or are expected to believe. The Imams, clerics and other Islamic scholars know this; Islam is intolerant, inherently violent and completely inverts morality because of its founder. Sadly, the general population and those we elect to safeguard our nations are ignorant of what Muslims know themselves to be the true nature of Islam.

  • Johnny Palestine

    Bergen is British. The British elites love to malign anybody who is not an avowed communist, socialist of Palestinian supporter. British elitsm thrives on big fat government. In Britain one can only jokingly criticize the concept of an obese all knowing all seeing government.

    The government took control of Gibraltar in part due to bigotry and arrogantly built an extension of Britain in Gibraltar again due to British arrogance and bigotry.

    The British, through their involvement in the African Slave trade and the forcing Opium onto the Chinese in addition to their brutal treatment of Africans ( although no worse than that of the Portuguese ) and perhaps of Indians, are some of the most bigoted people in the history of the world. Their reluctance to even discuss it is evidence of it.

    • Drakken

      Bergen is Nordic you dumbazz. You equate the Brits with everything that is wrong in the world and could not be more wrong, as usual.
      So stick you leftist regressive bullsh*t where the sun don’t shine.

      • Americana

        If you’re talking about Peter Bergen, he actually hails from Minneapolis, MN.

      • Johnny Palestine

        Bergen was born in Minneapolis, but grew up in London.[2] He attended Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire before receiving an Open Scholarship to New College, Oxford, in 1981, where he earned a Master of Arts inModern History

        I equate the Brits with many an evil thing. CORRECT!

  • Demetrius Minneapolis

    I seem to remember during the 90′s that the Clinton often placed infiltrators into the militia groups in attempts to encourage illegal acts. With these two morons, (who were thrown out of the New Mexico situation), it wouldn’t surprise me if they got cut off and went rogue. Only speculation on my part, but stupider things have occurred with this admin. ie. Fast and furious.

  • Habbgun

    Isn’t it funny how they talk about right wing threats and conveniently
    forget how the neo-Nazis and White Supremacists have the same viewpoints
    as our illustrious administration? Remember ZOG? Zionist Occupied
    Government? Remember rants about Jewish power in media? Jewish Control
    of the Banks? Remember dual loyalty of Jews against whites? Remember all
    these things? Now that stuff is a college course taught by third
    generation red diaper babies with a book of Marx in one hand and a
    brochure about Islamophobia in another. Yesterday’s so called right wing extremist is today’s media darling Occupier.

    Basically all this is a false flag against conservatives.

  • tagalog

    “Bergen went on to emphasize that ‘countering violent extremism cannot simply be a demand placed on Muslim communities to prevent jihadist violence.’”

    When has any such demand been placed on Muslim communities? Anywhere? My principal impression over the past 13 years has been that the dominant opinion-makers in the West have taken great pains, bent over backwards, indeed contorted themselves into the most painful of shapes to deny that the Muslim communities in the West have had anything to do with jihadist violence, that jihadist violence is an outlier and a deviation from ordinary Muslim beliefs.

  • liz

    Thanks for pointing out this blatant hypocrisy. It cannot be overstated.

  • herb benty

    They were Democrats, as have been all mass shooters in recent history. They left the “Don’t tread on me” flag, to further the leftist cause of gun control. Disarming America is worth a few lives to these leftist animals.

  • UCSPanther

    It is a common left wing tactic to call conservatives “N azis” and other related slurs, but anyone who understands politics will know that it is a blatant and very pathetic form of hypocrisy.

    The N azis were socialists, and practiced a form of Marxist collectivism, all the while masking it in Nationalism, racial/ethnic supremacy and a false front of free enterprise. They were very ferocious when it came to dissent and freedom of speech, and worked to disarm their political opponents and “undesirables” for ease of domination and extermination.

    As such, many of your so-called “progressives” have way more in common with the N azi Party than any Conservatives…

  • Americana

    There’s no point in disavowing this faction (or FRACTION!) of Libertarians who are this militant. Both the Right and the Left political parties of all stripes have fractional factions that are capable of taking up arms because they don’t want to let politics take its sweet time arriving at wherever it’s going to fetch up.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      That’s true. But facts matter. Conservatives don’t kill “the police” because the police are following the law.

      Maybe if some illicit police action was going on and a conservative saw the need to defend or even to retaliate we could argue that conservatism was influential.

      And it’s also possible that some of the misunderstood rhetoric from “the right” influenced them emotionally.

      But the facts as I understand them show that this guy was not conservative no matter what anyone wants to say. Maybe he saw himself that way, but paranoid lunacy is not really a fundamental plank in the conservative platform.

      I agree that POTUS is (as well as others going along with him) going overboard, but there is no good reason to think that armed conflict is needed now or any time soon. That’s not to say never or to say that people should not be prepared. But this lunatic we’re discussing already killed people.

      • BagLady

        I was of the opinion that ‘conservatism’ stands for the preservation of the status quo. By very definition it is the huffing stuffed shirt, outraged at the suggestion of change. Old school. Old money that falls into that category.

        The problem, and the cause for much hot air on this site, is the varying value of the status quo. A ‘conservative’ in one society may be considered a leftie in another.

        I should now present the mathematical ‘proof’ of probability to back up my argument but can’t be arsed. I’d rather go listen, yet again, to the wonderful rusty voice of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUoXtddNPAM I am transported to my personal vision of The Bronx (which I will never have the pleasure of visiting)

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “I was of the opinion that ‘conservatism’ stands for the preservation of the status quo. By very definition it is the huffing stuffed shirt, outraged at the suggestion of change.”

          Preservation of the status quo in government until there is evidence for sound reasoning for policy change. It’s not the “status quo at all costs” doctrine. It’s “conserve what is good before destroying it for the sake of change” movement. It’s anti-nihilism.

          The status quo already has mechanisms for justice, upward mobility, liberty, actual progress in human development and so forth. Get it?

          Neo-liberals have delusional ideas about liberty. They use the same language as though we didn’t already have a libertarian revolution about 24 decades ago.

          OK?

          Delusional maniacs are not conservative even if they coopt the rhetoric.

  • BagLady

    The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, must have been “grotesquely irresponsible” when he declared: “The reason why I will kill you is you are infidels…The Koran must be supreme, we must establish Islam in this country.

    You are quoting the village idiot and you know it. No wonder these illiterate people get above themselves when they suddenly find themselves on the world stage thanks to the media. Prior to this they were sitting under a tree threading beads for tourists on a dollar a day, dreaming of owning a pair of American trainers and a basketball t-shirt. . Get real. These are thugs not soldiers.

  • BagLady

    Bin Laden bases justification of his war on a corpus of Muslim beliefs
    and he finds ammunition in the Koran to give his war Islamic legitimacy.
    He often invokes the “sword” verses of the Koran, which urge unprovoked
    attacks on infidels”

    Extremists from all faiths manage to find passages from their preferred ‘book’ to legitimize their gross behaviour.

    “So an avowedly Islamic group that has repeatedly proclaimed that it is fighting in order to establish an Islamic state”

    An Islamic state as interpreted by that esteemed Islamic scholar Akubaker Shekaci?