A call for support from a former critic.
[Editor's note: The article below is written by Eric Allen Bell, a filmmaker who was recently banned from blogging at the “Daily Kos” because he wrote three articles that ran afoul of the mindset there, specifically naming “Loonwatch.com” as a “terrorist spin control network.” This article first appeared in our Feb 29th issue and we have decided to rerun it due to the massive interest and reaction it has received. To see the original article and all the comments it attracted, click here. Don't miss Eric Bell on Frontpage's television program, The Glazov Gang. Visit his Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/
I write this mainly for the benefit of so many of my Liberal friends. I know you have good hearts, but have been badly deceived by your peers and leaders when it comes to the threat of Jihad, and the character of those few brave individuals, who have had the courage to risk everything, to stand up for liberty and human rights…
In the summer of 2010 I was invited to write an article for Michael Moore. I was in production on a documentary I was calling “Not Welcome” regarding the backlash against construction of a 53,000 square foot mega mosque in the middle of the American Bible Belt. His endorsement gave me a huge boost with the Hollywood crowd. Having worked in the entertainment industry for years, this was not my first film, but it was to be my first documentary. So when I went on to write a few more articles for MichaelMoore.com the wheels were greased for me to get into a room with the right people, and secure the finishing funds I needed to complete post production. 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…”
But then the winds changed direction. It seems that fate had issued a Fatwa against my perfect plan. The Arab Spring sprang into action and ruined everything, as it degenerated disappointingly into the Islamist Winter. It was as if I had been slapped upside the head by reality, thus knocking off my blinders and causing me to ask a lot of inconvenient questions. I was left wondering if there was perhaps more to the story of so-called “revolution” than what had been portrayed on Al Jazeera and “Democracy Now with Amy Goodman”. You can read more about this in an article I wrote for Front Page Magazine here: “The High Price of Telling the Truth About Islam”.
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.
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.
In the weeks that passed I received many “goodbye” texts and emails from friends letting me know that we were no longer friends. I saw my name get smeared in print – lies, misquotes, distortions, character assassination. Loonwatch.com named me the “Loon At Large”
(UPDATE: Since appearing on the Michael Coren show and telling my story about how Loonwatch put my name out on the street in the Islamic world, Loonwatch has since pulled that article from their site. Thank you very much Michael Coren!).
My friend count on Facebook took a hit. My blog, which has had over 23 million visitors and usually receives at least a million visitors per month, got hacked over and over for weeks before my traffic rebounded. And, many of my subscribers left the site, telling me that I was “spreading intolerance and ignorance”. On donations and ad revenue I took a massive financial hit. For so many who had known me for so long, I had become nothing more than an “intolerant hate monger”
In the process of defending myself from all of these accusations, in a desperate attempt to distance myself from those names that had become synonymous with “Islamophobia” at least in my circle, I made critical remarks about Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller – comments meant to distinguish myself from the real “hate mongers” but comments that turned out to be uninformed and just simply just not true. I thought they were true at the time. But having only recently sipped from the well of knowledge, I had not yet flushed all of the Kool Aid out of my system.
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.
It is amazing, the human capacity for seeing only what we want to see. And it is especially humbling, I can tell you, when one identifies that unattractive quality within oneself. But the freedom that comes with trading in your cozy conclusions for difficult questions is well worth the cost. Everything is up for grabs. You evolve.
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.
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”).
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.
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”?
As an advocate for cultural sensitivity for the American people (we could use more of those), Pamela Geller gave numerous television interviews. She was hammered and grilled mercilessly as an intolerant fanatic by a highly biased media, but she did not back down. She kept her cool and she stuck to the facts. For instance, fragments of a hijacked airliner had reportedly landed on the Burlington Coat Factory (the piece of Ground Zero real estate which was swooped up using questionable sources, to become the Victory Mosque). She asserted that the proposed site was in fact sacred ground, a war memorial, and not at all an appropriate place to build a $100 million “shrine to the very ideology that inspired the attacks of 9/11”.
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”.
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.
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.
For a religion that is so easily offended by the simplest slight, such as drawing a cartoon or burning a book, one would hope that a Muslim cleric with a hundred million dollars behind him could find another location – one that does not offend millions of Americans. And this was a point that Pamela Geller never backed down from, even though she knew that she could be risking her life.
There were two defining incidents that caused me to eventually do a full 180 on my views concerning Islam as a mostly peaceful religion with a few bad apples. The first one I have already mentioned in “The High Cost of Telling the Truth About Islam”. Briefly:
“I flew back to Nashville to shoot a conference on whether or not Islam was conducive with Democratic Values and on the way to my hotel room I learned that my cab driver was from Egypt. I asked him how he felt about the fall of Mubarak, a dictator worth over $70 billion dollars while so much of his country was living in poverty and he told me he was concerned. Concerned? Wasn’t this good news? The cab driver was a Coptic Christian and he told me that he feared for his family back home. “If the Muslims take control, and they will, it will be very dangerous for my parents and my sisters. I’m scared for them right now”. After that conversation, I started to pay more attention to the news coming from the Islamic world in the Middle East. Over the coming months I watched as the Muslim Brotherhood gained political power in Egypt. I saw that cab driver’s worst fears come true as Coptic Christians were attacked by Islamic mobs. I saw Tunisia institute Sharia, the brutal Islamic Law. After Libya fell, the Transitional Council also instituted Islamic Law. The nuclear armed Islamic government of Pakistan arrested and punished those who cooperated with the United States in killing Osama Bin Laden. A woman under the Islamic government of Afghanistan faced execution for the crime of being raped. Similar news stories emerged from Iran. A man who typed “there is no god” as his Facebook status in Indonesia, the largest Islamic country in the world, was arrested for blasphemy.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
From there I watched a documentary that Robert Spencer was featured prominently in (which I very highly recommend) called “Islam: What the West Needs to Know”. Again, I did my homework and it all checks out. From that point I watched nearly everything I could find on YouTube with Robert Spencer in it. Then I read “The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran”.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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”.
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.
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.
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.
What is right About Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer - is what is right about America.
Eric Allen Bell
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
To get the whole story on why the Left demonizes truth-tellers about Islam like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, read Jamie Glazov's book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.