In recent weeks, the terror group calling itself the Islamic State (aka ISIS and ISIL) has beheaded journalists and social workers, burned a pilot alive, and forced hundreds of captive women into sex slavery – all while citing Islamic texts to justify their actions and appeal for new recruits. A Muslim in the latest Islamic State beheading video cited two Qur’an verses (8:12 and 47:4) to refute “those who say [beheading] is cruel.” In New York Wednesday, a Muslim was found guilty of plotting to bomb the New York subway system. The previous day in London, a woman from Nigeria pleaded for asylum, as she faces certain death if she returns to her homeland: an Islamic court has sentenced her to die for being a lesbian.
All this and a great deal more like it – a daily horror show of jihad attacks and plots, boasts of coming catastrophic attacks in the West, declarations of imminent conquest, and more, all carried out by people claiming to represent the truest and purest form of Islam – is why, according to a poll released last summer, only twenty-seven percent of Americans have a favorable view of Muslims. Yet as far as the hard-Left Center for American Progress (CAP) is concerned, people aren’t suspicious of Muslims and Islam because of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, but because of “the efforts of a small cadre of funders and misinformation experts” which were “amplified by an echo chamber of the religious right, conservative media, grassroots organizations, and politicians who sought to introduce a fringe perspective on American Muslims into the public discourse.”
This claim appears in the CAP’s new edition of its “Islamophobia” report, “Fear, Inc. 2.0: The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts to Manufacture Hate in America,” by Matthew Duss, Yasmine Taeb, Ken Gude, and Ken Sofer. It might seem to be peculiarly tone-deaf of the CAP to release this report while the Islamic State is horrifying the world and attacks by lone jihadis (and regular threats that more are on the way) are becoming more frequent in the West, but that is most likely why they felt they had to release it now: with reality threatening to break through their fog of disinformation, they have to pour on more dry ice.
It wasn’t accidental that Hitler’s Reich had an entire Ministry of Propaganda: lying to the public is a major job, as the cleverest of propaganda constructs is always threatened by the simple facts. CAP is trying to compel non-Muslims to disregard what they see every day — Muslims committing violence against non-Muslims and justifying it by referring to Islamic texts — and instead embrace a fictional construct: Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance. This takes a relentless barrage of propaganda, and “Fear, Inc. 2.0” is just the latest in a steady stream from CAP and its allies, which are exponentially wealthier and better-funded than the groups CAP vilifies in this report.
“Fear, Inc. 2.0” is filled with assertions that white is black, and that your lying eyes are deceiving you. We’re told that I myself am “the primary driver in promoting the myth that peaceful Islam is nonexistent and that violent extremism is inherent within traditional Islam.” CAP doesn’t offer any evidence for this being a “myth” – it doesn’t have to, as its Leftist constituency takes that as self-evident.
But CAP flatters me, as it flatters all of us named in “Fear, Inc. 2.0,” simply by suggesting that we have such persuasive power that we can create a nationwide climate of hate and fear against Muslims. I cannot accept their proffered honor of being the “primary driver in promoting the myth that peaceful Islam is nonexistent.” Innumerable others have noted the same reality, including Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Shari’ah and Law of the International Islamic University in Islamabad. In his 1994 book The Methodology of Ijtihad, he quotes the twelfth century Maliki jurist Ibn Rushd: “Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting with the People of the Book…is one of two things: it is either their conversion to Islam or the payment of jizyah.” Nyazee concludes: “This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya] is to be exercised only after subjugation” of non-Muslims.
But neither Nyazee nor Ibn Rushd are prominent enough to claim the role of “primary driver in promoting the myth that peaceful Islam is nonexistent.” How about the Ayatollah Khomeini, who said: “There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.” Better yet, how about Muhammad himself, who is depicted in a hadith saying: “I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought.” (Bukhari 1.31).
Another “don’t believe your lying eyes” moment in “Fear, Inc. 2.0” occurs when the report charges the David Horowitz Freedom Center with promoting "the myth that Muslim extremists infiltrated an array of political organizations on both the left and the right.” How about the White House? In December 2012, while the Muslim Brotherhood was still in power in Egypt, the Egyptian magazine Rose El-Youssef boasted that Brotherhood infiltrators in the Obama Administration had changed American policy “from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
It may have been an empty boast, but that would be hard to prove in light of Barack Obama’s foreign policy. Similarly, the CAP report claims (quoting Nathan Brown, a George Washington University professor) that the notorious captured internal Muslim Brotherhood document detailing U.S. Muslim groups’ strategy to work toward “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, and sabotaging its miserable house” was “the daydream of one enthusiast.” Brown doesn’t explain why a copy of this “daydream” turned up in the offices of the Holy Land Foundation (once the largest Islamic charity in the United States, shut down for funding Hamas) years after it was first written, but an even more telling indication that Brown and CAP are the enthusiasts doing the daydreaming when they dismiss this report is the fact that the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim groups work indefatigably to oppose virtually every counter-terror measure that has ever been proposed or implemented. Stigmatizing defense against the jihad threat as “bigotry” isn’t trying to “sabotage its miserable house”? Pull my other leg.
I hope the next CAP report will focus on how the “Islamophobes” are so devastatingly effective that they have even been able to infiltrate mosques and Islamic schools, so as to convince young Muslims that the Islamic State is authentically Islamic and has a claim on their loyalties: over 20,000 foreign Muslims have now traveled from all over the world to join the Islamic State, indicating either that imams and other Muslim authorities are singularly failing to communicate to all too many young Muslims the true, peaceful Islam that CAP will charge you with “hatred” and “bigotry” for not believing exists, or that the “Islamophobes” have a reach far greater than Matthew Duss, Yasmine Taeb, Ken Gude, and Ken Sofer ever imagined even in their worst fever dreams.
I also hope that new CAP report will address motive. Nowhere does “Fear, Inc. 2.0” explain why these fiendish “Islamophobes” would care to devote their lives to spreading hatred and fear of a noble, oppressed minority group. Apparently they want us to believe that it’s for the money, but since CAP’s budget is so very much larger than those of all the “Islamophobic” groups combined, if money is all it’s about then the “Islamophobes” would be well-advised to run up the white flag and pick up a copy of How to Get Rich By Betraying One’s Friends and Principles, by David Brock. So is it racism? Then where are the supposedly well-organized, well-heeled groups of smear and fear merchants who are dedicating their time to vilifying Hindus, or Buddhists, or Mormons, or Hard-Shell Baptists?
The effect, intended or not, of the CAP report and others like it is clear enough. When CAP and its cohorts smear those who speak out against jihad and Islamic supremacism as “bigots” and “hatemongers,” they intimidate others into backtracking, apologizing, and looking the other way when they should instead be pressing the Muslim community to address the jihad problem realistically and back up its pro-forma condemnations of terrorism with honest work against the Islamic teachings that jihadists use to justify terror.
The perfect world for the likes of Matthew Duss, Yasmine Taeb, Ken Gude, Ken Sofer and other Islamophobia-mongers would be one in which no one speaks up against jihad violence and Islamic supremacism: they have never, ever seen a counter-jihadist for whom they had any positive words. This would render the U.S. and the West in general mute and hence defenseless before the advancing jihad. As the blood and chaos spreads, will Duss and his cohorts stand up and take a bow?
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