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Loonwatch in the Media: NPR and Juan Cole’s Informed Comment

Loonwatch has been in the media quite a bit, The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, etc. and now NPR and Professor Juan Cole at his Informed Comment.

Muslims Try to Get Media-Savvy (go to 3:15)

by Arun Venugopal

Muslim intellectuals and activists appear to have a favorite source of TV news: “The Daily Show,” which reliably skewers critics of Islam and Islam-based hysteria, and is in all likelihood the only program with a Senior Islamic Correspondent, in Aasif Mandvi.

More serious, but equally edgy is LoonWatch, a relatively new Web site whose editors want to remain anonymous. The people behind LoonWatch (which bears the faux-alarmist tagline, “The Mooslims! They’re Heeere!”) said their mission is to expose “anti-Muslim loons, wackos, and conspiracy theorists” on the Internet.  One of their most widely-circulated articles was “All Terrorists are Muslims… except the 94% who Aren’t,” and was based on FBI statistics showing that only 6 percent of terrorists since 1980 have been Muslim.

DePaul University professor Laith Saud said LoonWatch is not only funny and incisive, but much better at addressing Islam and critics of Islam than the mainstream media.

“In terms of the intellectual claims being made by Islamophobes, those really go unchallenged,” he said. “What the mainstream media is really concerned with is how Islamophobia is playing out politically in this country, in terms of Republicans and Democrats, in terms of voter registration and voter drives.

Loonwatch’s beef it should be reiterated is not with mere critics of Islam but those who traffic in irrational fear of Islam and are pushing an anti-Muslim agenda. The reason we get it more than the mainstream media is because we are ahead of the game. We have been talking about Spencer, Geller and the anti-Muslim movement and its potential to create Islamophobiapalooza for a year and a half now, long before the mainstream media. We have knowledgeable people from all backgrounds, because in the end the fight against bigotry and hate is a universal fight.

Professor Juan Cole used the analysis we first published on the Europol report on terrorist attacks in Europe and also linked to us in a great blog piece on Informed Comment.

On Juan Williams’ Firing for Islamophobia and how Most European Terrorism is by European Separatists

A Europol report on terrorist attacks in Europe in 2009 [pdf] says that out of hundreds of terrorist attacks iin Europe in 2009, most were the work of ethnic separatists. About 40 were carried out by members of the extreme left. A handful by the European far right. See also this analysis.

One terrorist attack was carried out in 2009 in all Europe by persons of Muslim heritage (I do not say ‘by a Muslim’ because terrorism is forbidden in Islamic law).

That is right. Out of hundreds. Exactly one.

After all that nonsense spewed on the internet and Fox Cable News about the danger of Muslims to Europe, and all the ethnic profiling and other discrimination against Muslims, it turns out that not only is their religion not dangerous, even the persons who depart from it into extremism and terrorism are tiny in number. Now it would not be right to profile or generalize about Basques, the Real IRA, etc., either. But even by the lights of the bigoted, it would be a waste of time to obsess about Muslims on this evidence.

As for the European far left and far right, those it is all right to generalize about and to conclude that they are, like, very dangerous. Two words: Stalin and Hitler. Extremists of Muslim heritage have killed a few thousands of people over the past century. European political extremists have killed tens of millions.

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  • M

    Re: Bernard Lewis – academic, yes.

    However, his speciality was Turkey. How much of the rest of the Muslim world has he visited & when? The extrapolation on his part appears to unjustified.

  • Adam

    All in all, one man who i disagree with but respect his dissent is Bernard lewis. His arguements against islam are well thought out, and scholarly. He isn’t like Ibn warraq or pamela geller or Bobby Spencer.

    He actually seems sincere in his beliefs and is well read.

  • mike

    woooo wooooooo.. keep it up watchers of the loons… i have much love for you guys.. mike

  • Justin

    Go Loonwatch! Keep kicking butt!

  • Beautiful Muslim Doll

    Khusboo, I’d rather JihadBob didn’t come here and pollute the site with his garbage, because we have to waste time rebutting him, when there are more important issues to talk about and research. He has not yet responded to an invitation issued by Danios for a radio debate, and he always whines (assuming he is spencer) that nobody will debate him from the Muslim community. I guess he knows Danios will show him up to be the prize loon he is. That’s also why he won’t admit he is Spencer, but just drops hints. Coward to the core, or to borrow SirDavid’s golden word to describe him, “a judas”

    By the way, where is Danios? He hardly appears here these days. Last we heard, he met someone so I guess we have to take her to task for taking him away from here, LOL

  • Khushboo

    WOOHOO! Go Loonwatch! Thanks to all the contributors especially Danios, the intelligent repliers, and even our resident villain Bob for bringing in some comic relief.

  • Beautiful Muslim Doll

    Congratulations Loon Watch, 🙂

    I’m so glad, you’re going mainstream. Of course i’m not surprised 😉

    I like Juan Cole, and like i’ve nagged before please also include an Arabic section,

    Again congratulations! Jihad Bob must be really worried LOL, no wonder he spends his waking hours here

  • NassirH

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/04/suicide-terrorism-an-islamic-phenomenon/

    This Loonwatch article is actually related to Bernard Lewis–Spencer tried and failed to refute Lewis’ claim that suicide (and therefore suicide terrorism) is against Islam.

  • Dawood

    He also taught a generation of people in academia, some who support his general views, but many who disagreed with them and have continued to research in the field, showing many of his central ideas to be incorrect.

  • Schmorgus

    Bernard Lewis may not be an Islamophobe but he certainly is an Orientalist, and much of what he has written has been employed as fodder by bottom feeders such as Robert Spencer who gobble up the hate and then repackage it to an audience that Lewis can’t reach.

    Edward Said ripped Lewis to shreds in his epic work, “Orientalism.”

  • NassirH

    Bernard Lewis is definitely not on the side of Islamophobes. Pamela Geller even calls him an “apologist for Islam”–although that is obviously not the case.

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2006/08/bernard_lewis_a.html

  • Adam

    Think of it like this:

    Under the crescent and under the cross was written by Mark R Cohen. Guess who his mentor and idol is? Bernard Lewis.

    They anti-muslim crowd will prop bernard lewis up as a supporter of their views, will bash the hell out of Mark R Cohen’s book. Not realizing the powerful influence of Bernard Lewis on that book. Lewis himself supports the Thesis.

  • Mosizzle

    I agree, Bernard Lewis makes some criticisms about Islam and Spencer mentioned long ago on JihadWatch that Bernard Lewis was on his side. However, if anyone takes a closer look at Lewis’ writings, even he says that Islam is against terrorism and that Jews were treated better in Muslim Lands than Christian Lands up to the 20th Century. If a known “critic of Islam” arrives at this conclusion then we know Islam is not the way Islamophobes make it out to be.

  • Adam

    Bernard Lewis and many critics of islam are not talked about on Loonwatch, because their critiques are scholarly and non-polemical.

    Bernard Lewis compared to Ibn Warraq, has 60 years of experience studying islam, while Ibn Warraq is but a psychologist. Lewis critiques islam, but is not polemical. Warraq is very polemical.

    Critique is not the problem, it’s spreading misinformation and hatred. Fearmongering.

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