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Anti-Loons of 2011: Profiles in Courage

From Molly Norris, one of the Anti-Loons of 2010

(A List of the anti-Loons of 2010.)

That time where we recount and reflect upon the events and happenings of the past year is upon us. A review of 2011 is due in short order, but before we post that piece we will consider the anti-Loons of the year. This time around it would only be fair to allow loonwatchers to vote for the Anti-Loon of the Year. As we can’t create a poll, we present those we found deserving of such a consideration.

It goes without saying that we feature and cite many of Glenn Greenwald’s articles. His research is almost always exhaustive and thorough. The facts he uncovers are intertwined with phenomenal analysis that very often exposes the hypocrisy of the US government, attacks on the rule of law, double standards in media and much more.

A perennial Anti-Loon, Stephen Colbert has joined his creative prowess with biting political satire that is only challenged by his arch-nemesis Jon Stewart. Colbert lent his enormous talents quite a few times in brutally exposing the stupidity of Islamophobia.

 

 

We freakin’ love Jon Stewart! We have his image on the side of our website linking to his page on Comedy Central. He is an inspiration, and what he has done to combat Islamophobia in this country is, in my opinion, equal to the efforts of a Glenn Greenwald.

Wajahat Ali has made an extraordinary contribution towards, on the one hand, “humanizing Muslims” and “Islam” through the arts, and on the other hand factually taking apart the funding of the Islamophobia apparatus in this country. His contribution to the Center for American Progress report entitled Fear, Inc. was one of the biggest stories of the year. For this, co-authors Matt Duss and Eli Clifton deserve an honorable mention as well.

Sheila Musaji has for a long time been taking anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia to task through her website The American Muslim. She has been a premiere defender of justice, equality and freedom, and for her strong stance she draws the ire and scorn of the hatemongers. Keep up the indispensable and valuable work Sheila!

 

Sherrif Lee Baca has been a consistent defender of religious freedom and pluralism. He is someone who actually interacts with Muslims and has taken the effort to understand Islam. In his amazing testimony in front of Congress during the Peter King McCarthyesque hearings he displayed his intricate knowledge of not only Islam but the smears leveled at Muslim leaders and organizations. He provided curt, substantial, factual and logical replies to leading anti-Muslim questions that too often are not rebutted in the mainstream.

Ahmed Rehab is a consistent and seemingly tireless voice for rationality and harmony in our society today. He is one of a handful of Muslims who manages to receive airtime to annihilate any and all Islamophobes he encounters in debate; various Fox News interviews attest to that reality. His participation in the Arab Spring highlights the diversity of his activism. Recently, his article on the “Radical Right” threat to America garnered much attention and is a necessary corrective to the exaggerated focus on conspiracies of “Islamization” and “terrorism.” A point we have been making on this site for quite some time now.

Reza Aslan is one of our favorite scholars. When he is not demolishing Islamophobes in debate he is traveling the country speaking at various venues about Islam, the Muslim world and its interactions with the West. He is also a powerful voice for peace and his exclusive interview with Loonwatch was one of the highlights of the year for us:

 

 

Sarah Posner is one of the foremost writers on religion in America today. Her articles are carried widely across the country in many different venues. Her skill at in-depth analysis of religious trends makes her an important voice when she turns her attention to anti-Muslim and Islamophobic bigotry.

Haroon Mughal is a great writer, with tremendous insight and piercing analysis. He went into the lion’s den when he attended a radical Christian gathering in Detroit that was aimed at having Jesus “invade” the dreams of Muslims and turn them into Christians.

Richard Silverstein is an ally and a friend of Loonwatch. His work detailing the hate amongst extremist Zionists in Israel and their American counterparts has been significant and vital. He is a promoter of peace and is continuing the Jihad of Tikun Olam, “repairing the world.”

 

Cenk Uygur is another perennial favorite of ours on Loonwatch. His show, the Young Turks provides us with much material in exposing the fallacies of right-wing loons:

 

Aasif Mandvi is a special reporter for the Daily Show and one of the shining lights of Muslim comedy in the America today.

 

 

Russel Simmons has been out in front fighting bigotry against all people especially Muslims. He was a prominent voice supporting Park51 and recently bought all the Ad space for the All American Muslim reality show.

The Peter King hearings while bringing forth the ugly populism that lies at the heart of much of our politics also highlighted some courageous and forthright politicians who were willing to take a stand against demagoguery and hatred.

Rep. Keith Ellison’s testimony at the Peter King hearings was heart wrenching. Ellison did a good job over the past year of humanizing Muslims and being a progressive voice for justice and equality in the nation.

A friend and ally of the site, Lesley Hazleton is an erudite scholar with a tremendous sense of humor.

This by far has not been an exhaustive list. Please add any names you think are important to see here and we will update the piece. Below are some more individuals deserving of anti-Loon consideration (*not in any particular order):

*Update: Bob Pitt of Islamophobia-Watch, Muhammed Malik, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, Chris Christie, Charles Johnson of LGF, Faiz Shakir, Mikey Weinstein, William Coley, Tariq Jahan.

Max Blumenthal

Spencer Ackerman

Charles Kurzman

Kenny Irwin Jr.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Andrea Elliot

Justin Elliot

Alex Pareene

Zubiru Jalloh

Rais Bhuiyan

Kari Ansari

Mevludin Oric:

Richard Bartholomew:

John Esposito:

Alan Colmes:

Two Young Chechens:

Prof Risa A. Brooks:

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  • question

    ummm how do you vote?

  • sarah burns

    My vote is for William Coley.

  • William Coley

    Wow alhumdulillah, thanks for mentioning me in your contest. I am truly honored. A little update Muslims for Liberty is producing a video series now on Islam and Liberty. I will also be giving a lecture at MTSU in Murfeesboro TN on Islam and Liberty. Discussing Islamic origins of “Western Liberty”. Hopefully ,iA, i don’t get shot lol.

  • Sir Stephen writes (regarding 9/11): If you want to know my reasons, and find links that go into a whole lot more detail about the evidence, take up my recommendation in the previous comment to check out certain of my blog articles.

    I was unable to find the links, but did read one of your recent articles on this topic. You’re missing some facts. You can write me at hajj (at) muslimamerica.net and I’ll send you some reading material, or you can come by ~ just north of Spokane ~ and we’ll show you more. This forum, I agree, is not the place for such a discussion. When you see a few more of the puzzle pieces, the picture will come into much better focus for you.

  • Sir Stephen writes: I’m pretty sure that neither Hajj Dawud nor I (nor anyone else on this loonwatch site – in the USA or elsewhere) justifies – even for a minute – the atrocities committed by the USA against the “American Indians.”

    Actually I don’t pass judgment on that continent-wide war between those nearest genetic cousins ~ the Red Man and the White Man ~ on the northern Lost Continent, the cut-off lands of the western hemisphere. I have different views of the European savagery in South America, but they are just as irrelevant as any views I might have of the European savagery in North America. My Wind River Shoshoni ancestors did not join Pocatello’s war against the settlers in Wyoming, Montana and Utah, and their Chief Washakie was buried with full military honors as a Captain in the Army of the United States. My views regarding that history of North America derive in part from this:

    You will go on counting coup and living beneath the sun and the moon at one with the Great Spirit Who is beyond the skies until there come to you, in boats that ride the winds, a people with the voices of spring and eyes of the summer skies and hair of the rays of autumn sun and faces of the winter moon;

    and with long knives and thunder they will spoil the land and its life and corrupt your young braves with fiery drink and carry away your squaws to tend their cookfires and make your maidens great with children that are neither yours nor theirs;

    and they will rob you of your faith and pretend they have come from the Great Spirit and speak untruth without reason or sense.

    And many moons of summers will pass and the faith of your fathers will be only a dim memory; and as a people you will not be except scattered and vagabond;

    and the Great Peace will come and move throughout the land and dwell among those children who were neither yours nor theirs; and they will return, your distant sons and daughters, to the Great Spirit of the faith of your fathers; and theirs will be the Great Peace.

    And so it has been told of the Great Spirit from the first day of our Migration after the coming of the Great Waters that divided the land.

    My ancestors did not lose their faith or suffer those trials, because those with Chief Washakie were guided in a different path, as witnesses.

    I am very reluctant to judge people involved in events that I did not witness, that were prophesied so many thousands of years before those people ever existed that the memory of the prophecies was all but lost. I understand why the brothers and cousins of my Red ancestors fought against the brothers and cousins of my White ancestors, but those people have returned to their Lord and their descendants today will not be asked about what their forefathers did, but about what they do today.

    What is happening today in Palestine ~ and in America, and in Europe, and everywhere else ~ was prophesied so long ago that almost all traces of those prophecies are gone, except those in today’s Bible, those preserved among the muslims, and some preserved from Noah’s time remembered by the children of his oldest son Japheth (ancestor of both the Red and the White). Those in the Bible have been hidden beneath priestly “interpretation” and false “supplements” to favor Israel; those among the muslims have been “supplemented” with false prophecies and “interpreted” to favor the Arabs. We (of Muslim America) find those prophecies quite interesting, and have been watching undeniable and unmistakable clear Signs appear for half a century, all over the world.

    Do we like to see this? No. But we accept that we are witnesses to it, partly because we have no alternative, but mostly because it strengthens our reliance on God and His Word. Whether that Word is the Qur’an or Jesus, it is all one Word from Him; and it is utterly, absolutely, and completely reliable, and so clear and plain that anyone can be informed by it, even those who deny it and falsify it. Everyone ~ certainly including us ~ is impotent against God’s Word, only His Will becomes manifest and we’re seeing it, and His Judgment is true.

  • @ Believing Atheist – Their are a couple of reasons why I didn’t give evidence for my belief that 9/11 was done by USA and Israeli “Intelligence” Agencies in that comment. One was simply that my statement was intended merely as a backdrop for another statement: if it was Muslim terrorists who did the 9/11 attacks, their reason was not because “they hate our freedoms”; rather it was because they hate our wars of aggression against Muslim countries. Being a straightforward person, I didn’t want to make that hypothetical statement without preceding it with the fact that I don’t actually believe it was Muslims who carried out that terrorist attack. (If it was, though, it was still wrong whatever their personal justifications may have been).

    The second reason for not presenting evidence was that I don’t consider loonwatch comments section to be a proper forum for me arguing my ‘conspiracy nut’ beliefs about 9/11. When I do make a statement about my belief on that subject, it is just a backdrop for something else. So I don’t try to defend it; I just state it.

    If you want to know my reasons, and find links that go into a whole lot more detail about the evidence, take up my recommendation in the previous comment to check out certain of my blog articles. It is on my own blog site that I explain “where I’m coming from”.

    You are definitely entitled to believe what you think is right on this matter or any other. I won’t attack you – or even call you a ‘loon’ 😀 – because you disagree with me. But my blog is where you should go if you want to find my reasons for my beliefs on such controversial subjects – particularly where I know my position is contrary to the loonwatch position. Probably the only time I might make an exception is if Danios, Garibaldi, or one of the other writers at loonwatch wrote an article seeking to prove that 9/11 was carried out by “Muslim” terrorists. Then I MIGHT argue a bit with them. But I would try to keep it respectful, arguing “only in the best way”.

  • Believing Atheist

    @Stephen G. Parker,

    I went back to our Ron Paul Imagine discussion and I saw that the last discussion on that topic between you and I was you saying that you believe 9/11 was done by the mossad and Israel. Yet you offered zero evidence for this assertion. I don’t like your demonization of Israel because I believe in its right to exist and the two-state solution.

    That is why I can’t support you anymore and I was mistaken in praising you initially. I learned a lesson from this though. I should know a person as completely as possible before I issue praise.

  • Believing Atheist

    @Shaykh,

    Shaykh you deserve to be loon of the year. You’re still clinging onto the false notion that the Bible is history, and “falsified history,” if it is falsified it is not historical but pseudo-history.

    Your so called Biblical historians have been refuted a long time ago. If you don’t believe me just browse through all the articles in this site
    http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/

    You may change your mind and return to rationality and empirical understanding.

  • @ “Inspired by Muhammad” – The reason that Ahmadinejad’s question (as to why Palestinians are being punished for what Nazi Germans did in WWII) is valid is that the “Holocaust card” is one of the main excuses repeated over and over by Zionists as to why Jews should be allowed to either kill or drive out the Palestinians in order to form their own “Jewish State” in Palestine. Can you really deny that this is so? We are told over and over that Jews DESERVE to have their own country because of all the persecution they’ve experienced – especially the Nazi Holocaust. “Playing the Holocaust card” is one of the things that really ticks Norman Finkelstein off, for instance – and he certainly does not deny that the Holocaust happened.

    The Zionists give 3 main reasons why they should have their own “Jewish State” in Palestine: (1) The land was given to them by God; (2) The land actually belonged to them for a relatively short period of time, until the Romans drove them out; and (3) if the former 2 reasons are not enough, the Holocaust is the winning ‘card’ which can’t be disputed.

    I certainly don’t dispute that Jewish people had lived in Palestine for centuries before they formed their “Jewish State” with the connivance of Great Britain and then of the USA. And they lived in peace for all that time. The Zionists changed all of that by murdering or driving out the Palestinians – whom they blatantly said were not a people. And the Holocaust is one of the primary excuses they give for their right to do so.

    As for your statement (actually in the form of a question) that at least the Israelis have not killed the native Palestinians like the USA killed the Native Americans, all I can say is “You gotta be kidding!” We’ve just been remembering “Operation Cast Lead” of a couple of years ago; and that’s just one instance of many of the slaughter of Palestinians by Zionist Israeli thugs – going on for over 60 years so far. The whole modern history of “the Nation of Israel” has been nothing but killing of Palestinians in the name of YHWH and the land which is supposedly the Jews by “right”.

    I’m pretty sure that neither Hajj Dawud nor I (nor anyone else on this loonwatch site – in the USA or elsewhere) justifies – even for a minute – the atrocities committed by the USA against the “American Indians”. We think it is a cause for shame for our country; but we certainly don’t think it constitutes a just reason to turn a blind eye to – or remain silent about – the Palestinian slaughter currently going on. Nor will we excuse any of the other wars and slaughters going on in the name of “Democracy” and U.S. hegemony, or in the name of Israel.

  • Well, “Believing Atheist”, you certainly know how to make a person dizzy and disoriented with your constant back-and-forth-like-a-tennis-ball statements. 😆 First you’re practically giddy with praise for someone (such as Shaykh Hajj Dawud and me), and then at the first hint of something with which you disagree you flip flop to demonization and pompous arrogance. Perhaps you’re just still young and “full of yourself” and will mature and gain wisdom as you grow older.

    Your flip flopping about me was particularly humorous, since all it took for you to change your mind was the mere accusation of the knee-jerk Zionist Tabetha that I am “anti-Semitic”. It would appear that you did not even make an attempt to read any of my blog posts to verify her accusation. She just uttered that ‘frightening’ word and suddenly you can’t disassociate from me fast enough. 😆

    I challenge you to look up my blog and read some of my posts. From the “Categories” on the right side of the page, check out “Zionism” for instance. You’ll find that I re-posted (with their permission) two articles from Neturei Karta (Orthodox Jews Against Zionism). You’ll find that I never speak hatefully of the Jewish people, although I strongly denounce the “Jewish supremacism” of Zionism. That supremacism is clearly evident in the very slogan the Zionists adopted from the beginning of their campaign to form their “Jewish State” in Palestine: “A people without a land for A LAND WITHOUT A PEOPLE”. By that very phrase they declare that the Palestinians are not even people; they’re just animals to be slaughtered or bugs to be crushed!

    Yes, I abhor the ideology and practice of Zionism; but I have no such abhorrence for Jews themselves – any more than the Hebrew Prophets did. They strongly castigated the nation of Israel of their time, and declared that though the Israelites might rival the sands of the seashore for number only a very small remnant were truly the people of God. Were those Prophets “anti-Semites”? I certainly agree with them and declare that today also even though the vast majority of Jewish people may be atheists and Zionists, there is still “a remnant according to the election of grace” (even though it may be very small) who truly believe in and obey the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are the ones who are not just Jews “according to the flesh”, but who are worshipers of God “in spirit and in truth”.

    There are apparently many Jews today who have come to believe that Jesus the son of Mary (peace be on him) was indeed a (very human) Prophet of God, and that Jews as a whole need to begin to reevaluate their reaction to him. In my article “The Olivet Discourse: Further Thoughts” ( http://mystic444.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/the-olivet-discourse-further-thoughts/ ), beginning about half way down the page, I have given a number of quotations under the heading “What Jews Say About Yeshua/Jesus”. Others have also embraced fully the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be with him and his family), such as Muhammad Asad. The Orthodox Jews Against Zionism, although they perhaps don’t actually recognize the Prophethood of Jesus and Muhammad, totally reject the repulsive ideology of Zionism and Jewish supremacy. They seem to believe that when the Jewish people are truly ‘redeemed’ by God, it will also bring ‘redemption’ and blessing for all the nations of the world. They get along well with Muslims and non-Zionist Christians. I welcome such Jews, and do not require that they ‘convert’ to my way of thinking in all things in order to get along with them.

    As for my “conspiracy theories”, as I said in a previous comment to “Tabetha”, I have never sought to hide this fact. Sometimes the ‘set-ups’ and ‘false flags’ are blatant; other times the events are simply ‘highly suspicious’. If you wish to see the evidence and reasons I present for my ‘conspiracy theory’ beliefs, check my blog under the “‘Muslim’ Terrorism” category, and look especially for the articles ‘FBI Incites “Muslim” Terrorism’ and ‘Are “Muslim Extremists” Bombing Churches and Mosques?” If you want to just be like an Ostrich and bury your head in the sand, pretending no evidence exists for ‘false flag’ terrorist attacks, by all means don’t read what I have written, or the sites to which I refer for evidence in those articles.

  • @ Tabetha – You seem to be quite pleased with yourself that you were able to persuade the loonwatch staff to remove my link from their blogroll. So I’ll congratulate you on your success. 😀 It was their choice to include me to begin with – I had not solicited them to do so, but I was quite honored that they did. To remove me is their right; and it’s not anything I consider worth getting upset about.

    I flatly deny the charge that I am “anti-Semitic”; and anyone who fairly reads my blog articles can see that. But I say without the least hesitation that I am “anti-Zionist” and believe that the Prophet Jesus’ (peace be with him) statement that the Jewish leaders of his day were of their father the Devil – and performed the Devils lying and murderous works – is equally applicable to Zionists of today. I make a definite distinction between being “Jewish” and being “Zionist”. In this I agree with such Jewish people as the Orthodox Jews Against Zionism (Neturei Karta).

    I have never – on my blog, or in comments on loonwatch or any other blog – disguised the fact that I believe there is nothing ISLAMist about those terrorist attacks blamed on “Muslims”. Some of those supposedly Muslim attacks (including especially 9/11) I say are manifestly the work of non-Muslim “Intelligence” Agencies (USA, British, and Israeli particularly) made to appear to be “Muslim”. About others (such as the recent church bombings in Nigeria) I say I am highly suspicious because they are such flagrant violations of very clear and explicit statements of the Qur’an and Sharia. It is inconceivable to me that “ISLAMists” seeking to establish Sharia would think they could accomplish their aim by outrageously violating the very Sharia they claim to be supporting. And the acts themselves bear a very strong likeness to ‘false flag’ acts which have been carried out in the past.

    Nevertheless, as I said on my recent blog post about the Nigerian church bombings, although I consider them highly suspicious, it’s true that I have only my suspicions – not verifiable evidence (at least yet). So I said that if indeed they were actually carried out by an “Islamist” organization (Boko Haram), they were nevertheless in clear and plain violation of the teaching of God and His Prophet, and are repudiated by God, His Prophet, and all true Muslims.

    So, I am not anti-Semitic; but I am definitely anti-Zionist, and a “conspiracy theory nut” :smile:. If that offends you, you are certainly under no compulsion to read my blogs.

  • “Believing Atheist” candidly announces his personal ad hominem assignment at LoonWatch: The Bible is not history.

    The Bible is history, future history, and falsified history. The Qur’an illuminates all three.

    A very informative book on the historicity of the Bible is The Promise of the Land: The Inheritance of the Land of Canaan by the Israelites, by Moshe Weinfeld (Berkeley: University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California and Oxford, England, 1993, ISBN 0-520-07510-2). Moshe Weinfeld of blessed memory (1925-2009) was Professor of Biblical Studies, and Professor Emeritus of the Bible, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; he had also held various positions at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, the University of California at San Diego, and the University of California at Berkeley. In The Promise of the Land, Professor Weinfeld identifies Biblical grants of land not made to Abraham and David, and the “histories” from which those “grants” were drawn ~ that is, it identifies some parts of the Bible of which it can be said that “The Bible is not history,” which would be more accurately stated as “The Bible contains some falsehood.” “The Bible is not history” is not even a half-truth, it’s merely a lie. It is history, true and otherwise.

    You make seemingly authoritative statements and offer opinions, interpretations, arguments, half-truths and lies as “evidence” ~ and when your sophistry is exposed by verifiable facts, you ignore that and return to your original false contentions. You characterize the questions of others as assertions in order to impute tangential motives in asking them, attribute to others what they did not say by pretending to misunderstand what they write, and otherwise use tricks of misconstruction of clear words of established meaning to set up contentions that have not been raised, diverting discussion away from the topics you do not want to see discussed. You’re fairly good at it ~ I took you at face value at first ~ but you’re far from professional.

    And your insipid “threat” …

    If you still choose to comment here that’s fine by me. I will still expose you for the charlatan that you are.

    … is laughable. You are no threat to the truth, but only to those who are so ignorant of the truth that they are unable to recognize it when it appears in a wasteland of fictions and fancies, false-light half-truths, and outright lies repeated so endlessly as mantras that people begin to believe them while knowing they can only be fundamentally false, even if temporally tenable.

    People fear that they are living in a fictional universe, and many are right ~ they do. Some of it is quite sophisticated ~ note the relationship to “sophistry.” The minds of some people are so bludgeoned into submission to some irrational “understanding,” by an overwhelming avalanche of what sounds reasonable as long as they have no time to think about it, that even simple truth is indistinguishable for them from the web of lies in which they live. They don’t know what to believe, and instead rely on “facts” such as those Professor Weinfeld exposes as pious fictions.

    But among the readers are a few whose instinctual skepticism has given them the habit of turning away from what is false ~ and this is the limiting factor on what you write. It’s easy to pretend to agree with “the common wisdom” (which usually isn’t) in order to gain credibility for sophisticated deception or reinforcement of common deception, which is what several writers at LoonWatch do with varying levels of competence ~ loons in peacock feathers, as it were.

    That you expose yourself does not suggest that you can “expose” what does not exist.

    But one who cries “Victory!” from a failed assault on demonstrable truth is merely a crow.

    If you still choose to comment here that’s fine by me. I don’t need to waste time “exposing” you ~ you’re quite the naked jaybird already. And no flock of cuckoos can change your feathers.

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