Category: Islamophobia


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Dressed in black shirts with faces hidden by helmets, ten men on motorbikes came to find him on a Saturday, after darkness fell.

Finding the door bolted at his home in a pot-holed Athens side street, they smashed the windows, broke in and trashed the place. Then, their dirty work done, the neo-Nazi gang roared away into the hot evening. It had taken less than a minute for them to sound an ugly warning that foreigners were not welcome in Greece.

Their target was Imam Shahbaz Siddiqi, a 42-year-old spiritual leader of the Greek capital’s 500,000 Muslims. ‘I was at the mosque praying when they searched for me the other night,’ he told me yesterday. ‘I thank God for that, or else I might now be dead.

‘During the night I went three times to the police station to report the break-in. At the desk I was told that the officers did not have time to investigate my complaint. They were too busy. There is one law for the Greek people and another for us immigrants.’

The attack on Imam Siddiqi is the latest racist outrage by neo-Nazis in a country riddled with xenophobia. In an era of crushing debt and poverty, the immigrant is blamed for almost every Greek ill.

On the same weekend, a young Pakistani immigrant, Hussein Abbas, was viciously attacked outside his home in Elefsina on the outskirts of Athens by the men in dark shirts. He ended up in hospital, his face smashed to a bloody pulp.

So dangerous are the streets for foreigners that the U.S. State Department has sent out a warning to dark-skinned American visitors that they must be careful of their safety when they leave their hotels.

A shocking internet video shows leaders of the anti-immigrant Far-Right Golden Dawn party — which has 18 MPs — marching into an ethnic street market at Rafina, an hour’s drive from Athens, destroying the stalls with wooden clubs and scattering the merchandise to the ground.

‘We found a few illegal immigrants selling their wares without permits,’ says Giorgos Germenis, one of the party’s MPs. ‘We did what our party has to do and then went to church to pay respects to the Madonna.’

Of course, it is not just immigrants who are subject to the fury of the Greek masses. Last week German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Athens to taunts from 50,000 protesters, many waving swastikas and dressed in Nazi uniforms.

There were banners proclaiming ‘From Hitler to Merkel’, which harked back to the hated Nazi occupation of Greece during World War II — and which surely made a mockery of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU last week.

The German Chancellor, too, is blamed for the social turmoil crippling this country, which faces further austerity cutbacks on her orders and those of eurozone finance ministers.

The descent of Greece into chaos could not be more different from the halcyon days after the country joined the European Union 31 years ago, and then milked the system for all its worth.

Early retirement, generous state-paid pensions, countless millions on the public payroll and institutionalised tax fraud were a way of life. Hairdressers, for example, were listed among the 600 ‘professions’ allowed to retire at 50 with a state pension of 95 per cent of their final year’s earnings on account of the ‘arduous and perilous’ nature of their work.

Now the big, fat EU gravy train has hit the buffers, drastic austerity measures mean pay rates and pensions have been slashed and taxes are going sky high in a frantic bid to balance the books. The retirement age is to be raised to 67.

Greece is in its fifth consecutive year of recession, something that no European country has endured in the past 65 years, except in wartime. Half of the young are jobless and a third of stores in Athens have closed.

And yet the EU is demanding a further £12 billion of spending cuts before they will hand over another emergency bailout of £35 billion to stop the country going bankrupt.

Soup kitchens are feeding once well-to-do Athenians and homeless hostels are full of the middle class who have been forced to sell their homes and are struggling to take in what has befallen them so fast. Little wonder there is such anger on the streets.

Some speculate that civil breakdown and the unravelling of democracy in Greece may be just around the corner.

Last week as Chancellor Merkel visited, protests were outlawed in Athens. No one took the slightest notice of the rules, as Molotov cocktails were hurled by rioters at police guarding parliament and ordinary people cheered them on.

It is from this cauldron of bewilderment and fury that the neo- Nazis and their triumphant party, Golden Dawn, have emerged with such sudden popularity.

As 71-year-old Doukas Thanassis, queuing for lentils in a smart grey suit at a church-run soup kitchen in central Athens, told me defiantly: ‘I voted for the party. They are the only ones who help us in this time of trouble.

‘Every Wednesday you can buy the party’s newspaper at the local street kiosk. It prints a list of places where Golden Dawn hand out food and even medicines to the Greek people. They pay for ambulances to take us to hospital if we are ill.’

Mr Thanassis, the former head chef on a Greek cruise line who lives in a homeless hostel, adds: ‘These free gifts are only for us Greeks, not for foreigners. The meat in the sandwiches they give us is pork so the Muslim migrants don’t come and scrounge it. These foreigners shouldn’t be here anyway.’

Beside him, others in the queue nod approvingly.

Even Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, leader of the New Democracy party (Centre Right) running an unruly coalition with Left-wingers, blames Greece’s woes on ‘waves of illegal immigrants’ from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and north and sub-Saharan Africa, who smuggle themselves over the Turkish border for a new life.

Mr Samaras says that with 1.5 million recent arrivals in a country of 11 million Greeks, the immigrants are ‘creating extremism’ and feeding the extraordinary popularity of Golden Dawn.

When I visited Greece in May, Golden Dawn was a name that was barely whispered. Today the party has a foothold in parliament — with 18 of the 300 seats — and talk of the neo-Nazi party’s popularity is on everyone’s lips.

In cafes, taxis and bars, Greeks of all ages and social backgrounds discuss the latest official poll prediction that Golden Dawn would claim 22 per cent of the vote — rather than the 6.9 per cent it garnered in June’s national poll — if a general election were called tomorrow. Almost a quarter of those under 25 support the party.

If the same political swing was happening in Britain, it would mean that 60 Parliamentary seats would be in the hands of extreme Right-wingers.

‘And don’t compare these people to the British National Party or the English Defence League,’ a Greek professor warned recently. ‘They make the BNP look like Julie Andrews.’

It is an open secret that a Greek who thinks he has a problem with migrants can call a special number at Golden Dawn to get their brutal style of help.

I was told the disturbing story of an Athenian lady of 60 whose central city apartment with wood floors and fine drapes was taken over by Pakistani and Bangladeshi squatters while she visited her family in Crete.

She returned to find the door barred and graffiti at the entrance to the block telling the owner to stay away.

She called the special number. A man on the line told her to stay with friends for a week and everything would be all right, so she took the advice.

Seven days on, she went back to her apartment. The place was empty of the interlopers. The curtains had been cleaned, the floor polished, and she moved back in. Urban myth, ethnic cleansing or proof that Golden Dawn gets things done? Many Greeks prefer to believe the last of these.

As 54-year-old Agnes Bakas, sitting in the sun at a coffee bar in Attika Square, Athens, said: ‘Every Athenian knows Golden Dawn will send their people to help a Greek.’

On the white wall behind her, a Nazi swastika is painted and the kiosk selling newspapers under the trees is a known meeting place for young Golden Dawn supporters who gather menacingly with their motorbikes and black shirts.

But this does not bother Agnes. She says: ‘This square was full of immigrants, but Golden Dawn cleared them out. I was robbed seven times before that near my home down the road. Even my necklace was pulled from me by an African. I could not have sat here safely, even in the day, a year ago.’

Whatever the accuracy of her story, Golden Dawn has taken full advantage of claims of immigrant crime. The party has widespread support among the rank-and-file Greek police (the Golden Dawn vote soared at the polling booths near police stations in Athens) and peddles the line that 37 Greeks have been killed by immigrants in the past few years.

A vicious attack and rape of a 15-year-old Greek girl by a Pakistani illegal migrant aged 23 on the island of Paros this summer played into the party’s hands. The Pakistani admitted the crime and the girl, battered over the head with a rock, is still in intensive care in a hospital near her home in Athens.

Academics in Greece warn of disturbing parallels between the rise of the Right today in an economically crippled country indebted to the EU and the rise of the Nazis in the Thirties after hyper-inflation in Germany’s Weimar Republic led to economic collapse.

Between the wars, you may recall, an indebted Germany was forced to make huge reparation payments to the victorious Allies of the Great War as a punishment for starting the conflict. The German people felt humiliated, just as the Greeks feel hostile to their eurozone masters and Mrs Merkel today.

The Nazis claimed their first parliamentary seats even as they were garnering the local support of Germans by sending out gangs of ‘storm troopers’ to terrorise Jewish and immigrant communities and blame them for the troubles of the time. It sounds horribly familiar.

As Nickos Dermetzis, a professor of political science at the Athens University, explains: ‘We have a major socio-economic crisis in which native Greeks are losing ground. You also have a rising number of immigrants, many illegal.

‘This is a volcanic situation where all the classic parameters for the flourishing of a Far-Right force such as Gold Dawn are present.’

Of course, it does not help that police are struggling to cope with the huge numbers of illegal immigrants arriving daily in Greece. Their sweeps of immigrants happen regularly in Athens and the port of Patras, a three-hour drive away, where a thousand immigrants doss down in disused factory buildings near the promenade. They wait, hoping to smuggle themselves on to freight and passenger ferries going to Italy.

Ten days ago, 350 Afghanis, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis were picked up in Patras and put in holding centres. As one disgruntled resident, a man in his 50s living near the promenade, said: ‘They only took a few and so many are here. I am no racist, but this town used to be paradise. The police sweeps are a merry-go-round. The ones they took today will be back next week, wait and see.’

It is a viewpoint supported by Andreas Nicolacopoulos. The 59-year-old architect is a leading light in the Patras Golden Dawn party.

‘The Greek people don’t want illegal immigrants,’ he says. ‘They have to be deported to their own countries. We have to stop them coming in, too. We will lay landmines at the Turkish-Greek border to blow them up so they do not enter our country. We have promised our voters this.’

Golden Dawn also wants to make immigrant criminals serve double the prison terms of their Greek counterparts and introduce capital punishment for foreign murderers.

Back in Athens, I meet Golden Dawn’s spokesman, MP Iliopoulos Panagiotis, at the Greek Parliament building.

The face of this 34-year-old former internet marketing executive can be seen clearly on the video of immigrants being attacked at the market by Golden Dawn’s louts.

Mr Panagiotis is in bullish form. He boasts that the party is so popular that at the next election it will be the second biggest in Greece. ‘In a few years, we expect to be the biggest of them all,’ he says.

The party’s MPs arrogantly puff on cigarettes even though smoking is banned inside the parliament building. They wear black shirts with the word ‘Hooligans’ emblazoned in orange on the sleeve. They have tattoos on their arms.

And on the walls are the blue flags stamped with the party’s swastika-style logo, an ancient Greek symbol.

The official Golden Dawn line is that they are not Nazis, even neo-Nazis, but nationalists wanting to save Greece for the Greek.

So what does Mr Panagiotis plan for illegal immigrants? ‘We will fly every one of them home,’ he says.

‘Even Pakistan would not dare shoot our planes down when their own people are on board and would be killed.’

And what does he think of the racist Golden Dawn gangs that systematically beat up those who were not born Greek?

‘We have a million supporters, some of them wilder elements. We cannot control them all,’ he says with a smirk.

It is hard to believe that his words are those of an elected MP in the Parliament of a modern democracy. Yet anything is possible now in Greece, as the unpalatable face of fascism makes an unwelcome return to Europe.

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By Liz Fekete

On 24 September, as part of a forty-strong delegation of observers, I was in Morocco at the appeal hearing in the Rabat-Salé court of the Belgian-Moroccan dual national, Ali Aarrass. Aarrass’ conviction and fifteen-year sentence on terrorism charges rested solely on evidence extracted under torture. No representatives of the Spanish or Belgian governments were in court that day to observe the appeal of a European citizen, despite both governments’ complicity in his subsequent torture. (Spain had extradited Ali, a resident in Melilla, to Morocco, in contravention of a UN request to stay his removal, while Belgium had done nothing to protect the basic human rights of its citizen.) In a statement after the verdict, which merely upheld the conviction (while reducing the sentence to twelve years), Aarrass’ lawyers pointed out that the judges had ‘failed to maintain even the appearance of a fair hearing. Two of the judges were obviously sleeping, while the presiding judge was consulting his mobile phone.’ Furthermore, Ali Aarrass’s evidence was cut short and he was not allowed to describe the torture he had been subjected to.[1]

Collusion with torture

No words can express the powerlessness I felt in that court, knowing that a man sitting in the same room, in a glass cage, had been tortured, brutalised by appalling acts to sign a confession into crimes he had consistently denied, and was locked in an inhumane system I can only describe as a nighmarish hell. I imagine what I felt was something akin to the sense of personal failure that US death penalty campaigners must feel every time they stand outside a prison, knowing that someone inside has been condemned. So that when I woke up on the morning of 6 October, and heard the news that both Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan had been extradited to the United States of America, after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, had refused, once again, to bring a prosecution against them in the UK, my thoughts immediately turned to the families and legal team of these two British citizens and to the defenders of their basic rights. Like them, I was horrified that our government could send its own citizens to a country in the full knowledge of the living hell they would most probably endure, literally entombed in the special solitary confinement regime of a supermax prison. Here, incarceration is within a concrete single cell with remote-control solid-steel doors designed to cut off all sound and visual contact with others. And punishments are meted out via electric shock devices such as stun guns and cattle prods, restraint chairs and the ‘five-point restraint’ which leaves prisoners ‘strapped to a steel bed and lying in their own waste for up to 48 hours’.[2]

Whether Babar Ahmad, or Talha Ahsan (who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome and is gifted with a unique and surreal poetic mindscape – as recognised by, among others, the Koestler Trust) were guilty of providing material support for terrorism from 1997-2004 and other crimes of conspiracy through their website Azaam.com, should have been a matter for a British court to decide. For Britain is a country which, for as its prime minister now assuredly knows, prides itself on Magna Carta.

No Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseized of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land.

The double standard

The sense of injustice grows when the cases of these three Muslim citizens are juxtaposed to cases of non-Muslim men who have not even been charged with providing material support for terrorism, despite compelling evidence. Many of the Muslims who have been rendered to torture states in the name of the war on terror appeared on the radar of the intelligence services because they were believed, prior to September 11, to have raised funds for or actively supported the ‘jihad’ in Afghanistan (during the Soviet Occupation, or subsequently worked alongside the Taliban), Chechnya (remember the devastating Russian offensive and siege of Grozny), or fought in Bosnia, or aided the resistance to Israeli occupation in the Palestinian Territories.

What of the white/indigenous soldier adventurers of Europe’s far Right, some of whom dabbled in exactly the same asymmetric wars (in their case, on the side of the military powerful), but are not considered pariahs, or extradited to legal black holes as ‘enemy combatants’?

Whilst researching the IRR report Pedlars of Hate: the violent impact of the European far Right I began to see a pattern amongst our intelligence services and police: failure to bring prosecutions against far-right extremists, and even, as is currently being exposed in the ongoing German parliamentary investigation into the National Socialist Underground, collusion with neo-nazis via totally inappropriate informer schemes. I began to ask myself why were there no prosecutions against those fascists who provided material support for Serbian terror in Bosnia or who ‘glorified’ the ethnic cleansing of Muslims at Srebrenica? Nowadays, EU apparatchiks are deeply concerned about the rise of Golden Dawn in Greece, especially now that the level of collusion between the police and the neo-Nazis is becoming so apparent. But where was the EU and intelligence services’ concern when neo-Nazis in Greece and elsewhere were glorifying the massacre of 8,000 men women and children in Srebrenica, the worst massacre in Europe since the second world war? Surely, our politicians and intelligence services were not unaware of claims that a 100-strong unit of Greek volunteers (the Greek Volunteer Guard, some of whom, it is alleged, were supporters of Golden Dawn) fought in Bosnia on the side of the Bosnian Serbs and that some may even have participated in the Srebrenica Massacre, reportedly, on Ratko Mladic’s instigation, hoisting a Greek flag over the town.[3] Today, Golden Dawn has eighteen seats in the Greek parliament; it is not unknown for members to carry out acts of violence, even in front of TV cameras – and yet somehow they avoid arrest and prosecution.[4]

But the story does not end with Golden Dawn. Mass murderer Anders Beiring Brevik declared himself inspired by the Serbian Christian cause, as does Roberto Fiore, another fascist who flies the flag of a ‘Greater Serbia’. He was notorious for fleeing Italy in the 1980s to avoid prosecution following the massacre at Bologna railway station which left eighty-five dead and two hundred wounded. After Fiore, who had fled to London, was convicted in absentia for subversive conspiracy and membership of an armed gang, Her Majesty’s Government repeatedly refused to countenance Italian extradition requests. (It is widely suspected that Fiore was recruited by MI6, and was given full rein to continue his ‘Third Position’ fascist activities, particularly in Libya, in exchange for information.) When in 1998 the Italian appeal court declared that Fiore’s sentence had expired under the statute of limitations, Fiore returned to Italy and resumed his fascist career, even enjoying a stint in the European Parliament as an MEP from 2008-2009 as a representative for the coalition Social Alternative (Alternativa Sociale). Now, he leads Forza Nuova, and hangs out with the Serbian Radical Party which subscribes to the idea of a Greater Serbia and glorifies Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić as ‘Serbian heroes’.[5]

It is hard to know where Europe’s complicity with human rights abuses starts and ends. We extradite one set of citizens to torture states, while we appear to shield another set of citizens from prosecution altogether. ‘After such knowledge, what forgiveness?’

RELATED LINKS

IRR report: Pedlars of Hate: the violent impact of the European far Right

Read an IRR News story: ‘Poetry prize for Talha Ahsan

Free Talha Ahsan

Free Babar Ahmad

[1] Press release, Cabinet D’Avocats Jus Cogens, 3 October 2012. [2] See Frances Webber, ‘The imminent extradiction of Khalid Al-Fawwaz: a lawyers reflections’, Cageprisoners, 2 October 2012; see also, SACC press release, ‘Extradition – Home Secretary must step in to prevent torture’, 4 October 2012 and CagePrisoners press release, ‘CagePrisoners hosts New York press conference in response to extradition cases’, 3 October 2012. [3] Johannes Jakobsson, ‘Valskrällen’, Expo, No. 3, 2012; Helena Smith, ‘Greece faces shame over role in Serb massacre’, Observer, 5 January 2003. [4] In June, Ilias Kasidiaris, who is Golden Dawn’s official spokesman, and a former commando in the Greek army, punched a female Communist MP during a live TV debate. There is speculation that the police protected Kasidiaris by failing to arrest him within the 48-hour time-frame needed to fast-track him through the courts on assault charges. (It is a peculiarity of the Greek system that an arrest warrant expires after 48 hours.) Kasidiaris also faces prosecution for complicity in a 2007 attack when he allegedly drove a car carrying several people who attacked a student. Veteran activist Petros Constantinou told the Guardian on 9 June that the police have facilitated Golden Dawn. ‘Without police cover and protection Golden Dawn would not have survived … And the proof of that is the failure to capture Kasidiaris.’ [5] ‘Roberto Fiore held a meeting with the “Russky Obraz” movement’, Right World. For a description of the Serbian Radical Party, see here.

Source

Key findings of the report include:

– EDL attempts to recruit among faith communities

– Christian leaders should publicly stand up to EDL

– UK government should examine group’s international funding

– Jewish Defence League should be banned

Christian organisations should be doing far more to combat the appeal of far-right groups such as the English Defence League (EDL), according to counter-extremism organisation, Faith Matters.

The comments from Faith Matters coincides with the launch of research into the appeal of the EDL among faith communities, particularly among a small element of Christian, Jewish, Sikh and Hindu figures.

“Christian institutions on a national level have not been robust in condemning the EDL,” said Faith Matters’ director, Fiyaz Mughal OBE. “There is no national voice from the Church of England for example, universally condemning the actions of the EDL despite the fact the EDL disrupts and attempts to divide Christian and Muslim communities. Why?”

Mughal also said that the UK authorities need to examine how hate groups such as the EDL, which have the capacity to cause huge disruption on our streets, receive international funding.

“Links with Pamella Geller’s Stop the Islamization of America campaign and the ability to raise funds from the US need to be put under the spotlight,” he said. “People in the US promoting street-based social unrest in the UK by donating to the EDL is simply not on.”

Main Findings

– The EDL uses mainly Christian symbolism in its promotion and publicity material,

– Some within faith communities believe that by allying with the EDL they can marginalise and stigmatise Muslims,

– Building community resilience against such hate is vital – anti-hate groups in other faith communities, such as the Luton Faiths Forum, Community Security Trust, the Turban Campaign and Sikhs Against the EDL, should be more fully supported,

– The UK government needs to look at how groups such as the EDL are financed internationally, via a network of supporters in the ‘counter jihadist’ network (particularly the USA),

– The Jewish Defence League needs to be effectively outlawed in the UK for inciting extreme hatred against Muslims.

Part 1

Part 2

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Last night, I had the unfortunate opportunity to engage with Robert Spencer via twitter. After coming across one of his tweets in reply to (I think) the EDL Manchester division I sent Spencer a tweet suggesting that he debate with someone like Hamza Yusuf but, as Spencer usually does to throw off his critics, Spencer asked me to arrange the debate. This lead to a series of tweets back and forth between me and spencer where, I will acknowledge this publicly here, I stated Spencer’s lack of scholarly credentials on Islam and how he uses extreme opinions to justify his own claims (‘cherry picks’ is the term used by Karen Armstrong). This led to Spencer asking me for proof that he was wrong about Islam, that if he was proven wrong he will retract his opinion publicly, as you can see below

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As you can see in the middle tweet in the above picture he said he will publicly retract his opinion but this is actually a lie. Robert Spencer won’t retract his opinion and do it publicly on his website because his website is a project funded by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a far right organisation that aims to tackle the left and the Islamists both in America and Worldwide. Spencer will NOT jeopardise his funding by retracting his opinion on an Islamic issue publicly on his site. What Spencer was attempting to do is 1)stop the debate, 2) Not acknowledge the refutation but 3) upload the refutation to the refutation on his site. That was my reply to that as you can see below to which he still has not responded too

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But this was just one lie amongst many lie’s by Spencer during the course of our conversation. Due to Spencer’s constant demand of actually seeing a refutation of his work I, as i couldn’t be bothered to go through his rubbish site and read his rubbish, sent him a loonwatch article about some remarks that were made by Spencer

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Below are Spencer’s replies to the link that I sent him

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As you can see he claims that the article was ‘outright lies’ before saying

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That the Loonwatch article claims that he said things that he didn’t say but then as the debate continued, he referred back to the Loonwatch by saying

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That he was not writing about him which is an admittance of the fact that the claims made by the Loonwatch article are accurate – from the words of Mr Spencer himself. Below is my reply to him

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There you go folks! Mr Robert Spencer…Liar extraordinaire!!!

Robert Spencer is the Director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center , The associate director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an initiative that is headed by Pamela Geller that also came out with those racist ‘savage’ anti-Jihad subway ad’s aswell as being an author and commentator on Islam.

Such an author on Islam should have the relevant credentials as well as a proven track record of studying the Islamic Sciences for a number of years in a well recognised reputable institution but according to his own website spencer only has an MA in religious studies at the University of North Carolina.

Spencer gently alludes to his lack of a proper islamic education on his own website

“I began to study early Islamic history, since some of these groups ended up in Arabia and may have influenced Muhammad. In the intervening years I continued these studies of Islamic theology, history, and law out of personal interest.

This led to my consulting privately with some individuals and groups about Islam, but I had never intended to do such work publicly

Ahmed Rehab states, in his article for the Huffington post,

“Spencer postures himself as an “Islamic Scholar.” But unlike most people we tend to call “scholars,” Spencer did not burden himself with the traditional scholarly route that puts an emphasis on objectivity and academic rigor.

There is a good reason for this: his “scholarly” methodologies would not jive in any of our nation’s accredited PhD programs let alone a path for tenure where he would have to get his papers peer-reviewed and have his methodology checked by notable scholars for objectivity and a lack of bias (unless, of course, David Horowitz decides to build the David Horowitz Freedom University).

Spencer dismisses such criticism as follows: he is right, and all of the tenured professors of Islamic studies, with their inconvenient knack for unbiased scholarship, are wrong. After all, universities are the establishment of the left-wing liberal conspiracy.

Besides who needs peer-reviewed papers, Spencer seems content to receive rave reviews from Weasel Zippers, Nice Doggie, Atlas Shrugs, Muslims are Terrorists, and of course, frontpagemag.com, that other gem of a creation, and bastion of objectivity, by the guy who cuts his checks.

Now, I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of problems in the Muslim world. I welcome an honest and responsible critique any day. But honest and responsible Spencer’s agenda-driven hatemongering is not. I am not not the only one to take issue with Spencer’s technique. Most objective scholars and professors of Islamic studies dismiss the guy as laughably fraudulent and amateur.”

Spencer tried to refute the allegation of him being ignorant in this article but again, there is no real substance behind the main arguments behind his article. Trying to refute the claim by stating that the charge of ignorance is in actuality a ‘tactic’ used by Muslims. In order to refute the claim of ignorance in the article he uses the issues of ijtihad and the Quranic order of the Surah’s to prove how he is not ignorant of Islam. Howver from his response we can easily see that he cherrypicked his evidence that suits his argument and again since spencer cant use any quranic verses or hadeeths to back up his arguments shows how limits of spencer as a so-called scholar and a commentator on Islam. IF spencer learnt Islam in a credible institution, learnt a credible course on Islam, spencer would have gladly mentioned it to back up his credentials, but he hasn’t and that is why he cant say that he publicly learnt Islam. Spencers lack of knowledge and sound Islamic scholarship is shown in many of his debates. Spencer aims to back up his arguments by highlighting current issues that are affecting the Muslim world (i.e using pakistan as an example of sharia law enforced) rather than using the classic islamic texts while applying the ruling to actually derive rulings from Sharia law. Spencer uses none of these and only uses comments from the most extreme elements of the Muslim world to justify his argument.

spencer declares himself as a non-racist when he goes on to answer the question of whether he is or not a white supramicist

“No. I have consistently opposed racism and supremacism of all kinds — otherwise, I wouldn’t oppose the global jihad”

This in itself is a another lie. As stated above Jihad Watch is a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Robert Spencer and David Horowitz both authored a book together called Obama and Islam, from which as one can already tell from the title alone, that the book is comprised of material that is largely nonsense.

Below is an example of David Horowitz’s racism towards the Palestinians which is just full of 100% rehashed lies

According to its website, The David Horowitz Freedom Center “combats the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values and disarm this country as it attempts to defend itself in a time of terror. The leftist offensive is most obvious on our nation’s campuses, where the Freedom Center protects students from indoctrination and political harassment

In his article the Cologne conference and European Fascism spencer states

“As far as fascism goes, I oppose all authoritarian governments, and believe in the freedom of speech and other freedoms that historically have never thrived in fascist settings”

but this is again another lie, one cannot say that they are not racist but then associates oneself with a racist (David Horowitz). One cannot say that they are for free speech and against totalitarianism when they are part and parcel of an organisation that wants to actually eradicate free speech and eradicate all forms of dissent. In short Robert Spencer is nothing but a liar who is deeply connected to the racist islamophobic network that aims to bring about worldwide totalitarianism

Liz Fekete talks about whether Islamophobia serves a function; drawing on her recent research into the Oslo massacre and the European-wide assault on multiculturalism, Liz contextualises Islamophobia in terms of the policies that give credence to the new politics of hate. She warns that as austerity measures begin to bite, processes which scapegoat and stigmatised foreigners, vulnerable minorities and anyone deemed ‘different’ for society’s ills are strengthened and the politics of fear and the manipulation of division are part and parcel of wider pro war, neo-liberal and neo-conservative agendas

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[source]

WITH THE RISE OF “stealth jihad,” “creeping Sharia,” “Islamofascism,” and “terror babies” in places like “The United States of Islamica,” “Eurabia,” and “Londonistan,” who wouldn’t be scared? Fear sells and the Islamophobia Industry — a right-wing cadre of intellectual hucksters, bloggers, politicians, pundits, and religious leaders — knows that all too well. For years they have labored behind the scenes to convince their compatriots that Muslims are the enemy, exhuming the ghosts of 9/11 and dangling them before the eyes of horrified populations for great fortune and fame. Their plan has worked. The tide of Islamophobia that is sweeping through Europe and the United States is not a naturally occurring phenomenon. It is their design. In recent years, Muslim-led terrorist attacks have declined yet anti-Muslim prejudice has soared to new peaks. The fear that the Islamophobia Industry has manufactured is so fierce in its grip on some populations that it drives them to do the unthinkable. This powerful and provocative book explores the dark world of monster making, examining in detail an interconnected, and highly organized cottage industry of fear merchants. Uncovering their scare tactics, revealing their motives, and exposing the interests that drive them, Nathan Lean casts a bright and damning light on this dangerous and influential network.

Product Description

The Islamophobia Industry is a disturbing account of the rising tide of Islamophobia sweeping through the United States and Europe.

Nathan Lean takes us through a world of conservative bloggers, right-wing talk show hosts, evangelical religious leaders and politicians, all united in their quest to exhume the ghosts of 9/11 and convince their compatriots that Islam is the enemy. Lean uncovers their scare tactics, reveals their motives and exposes the ideologies that drive their propaganda machine.

Situating Islamophobia within a long history of national and international phobias, The Islamophobia Industry challenges the narrative of fear that has for too long dominated discussions about Muslims and Islam.

About the Author

Nathan Lean is Editor-In-Chief of Aslan Media and a contributing writer at PolicyMic. He is the co-author of Iran, Israel, and the United States: Regime Security vs. Political Legitimacy (2011).

Below is a video of an egyptian activist Mona Eltahawy arrested for defacing a ‘savage’ anti-Jihad ad and therefore protesting against its racism connotations

EDL sympathiser the Christian Defence League reblogged a post from my blog on the arrest of EDL supporter Kenneth Holden who was charged with anti-Muslim rants. Holden sent public messages on Facebook inciting terrorism via pipe bombs and threatening to do the Muslim community ‘Oslo’ style. This is clear incitement but as you can see from the picture below

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According to the Christian Defence League, incitement with threats of terrorism and violence is basically free speech