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2010: The Year of Islamophobia

2010 has been an unbelievable year! Can we say that we are happy that it is finally over? Only if that means that the wacky anti-Muslim Islamophobia that reached unprecedented and at times demented levels will recede. However, it doesn’t appear as though that will be happening any time soon.

Looking at the year in review we see that right-leaning and populist anti-Muslim/xenophobic organizations and party’s increased their power/influence across Europe while also initiating and passing discriminatory legislation in their countries.

  1. Rise of Geert Wilders and the Freedom Party
  2. EDL (English Defense League)
  3. Sweden Democrats
  4. Switzerland’s banning of Minarets
  5. BZO Austria
  6. Pia Kjaersgaard (DF)
  7. France and the face veil controversy
  8. Belgium’s banning of the face veil
  9. Catalonia face veil proposal

In the United States we saw the convergence and solidifying of a network of Islamophobes across the nation who joined arms with their brethren across the Atlantic ocean. We were also treated to the Republican party’s instrumentalization and usage of Islam for purposes of fear-mongering during the the run-up to the 2010 elections; add to this mosque controversies, hate crimes, anti-Muslim rallies and your run of the mill nuke Mecca suggestion and you had 2010.

The beginning of the year saw a slew of hate crimes, it also saw our piece, “All Terrorists are Muslim…Except the 94% that Aren’t,” go viral and become one of our most popular pieces ever, getting picked up by various mainstream media outlets.

Joseph Stack's attack

Events picked up shortly after that with Joseph Stack flying his plane into a IRS office kamikaze style and the failure of many, especially on the right to equate the act to terrorism.

Such double standards were consistently exposed by us throughout the year, particularly in our “What if they were Muslim?” segment. We documented the colossal double standards that exist both in media and popular perception when it comes to judging crimes committed by Muslims against those committed by individuals of other faiths. Invariably, when a Muslim commits a crime it is blamed or linked to Islam, whereas if someone else does it his or her faith is not mentioned — even if it was the motivation.

Of course we would be remiss if we did not mention the biggest story of the year; the Cordoba House, i.e. Park51 or as it has come to be known by many, “the Ground Zero Mosque controversy.” This was a story that raged for months and was “whipped up into a frenzy by a pair of bigoted anti-Muslim bloggers, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, two individuals who should be summarily dismissed as loons that have zero influence in the mainstream media or amongst any of our politicians.”

The Republicans latched onto this story and attempted to make it the wedge issue that they could use to ride to victory during the elections. A dozen or more candidates incorporated this issue into their platform with some making it their sole selling point, (un)surpirsingly a handful actually came out victorious, most prominently the looniest of them all, Allen West.

This was also the issue that catapulted Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer into their 5 minutes of fame. We had been reporting on these two, their financiers, networks and supporters ever since we started Loonwatch, our pieces on both of these goons especially “Pamela Geller: The Looniest Blogger Ever” was picked up by mainstream media outlets including the New York Times, Salon.com, Christian Science Monitor and the Washington Post.

Both Geller and Spencer were irked to no end by this and though they attempted to play the silent game were forced at some point to respond to Loonwatch, but they did so only with ad hominem attack and zero interaction with the substance of our articles. Geller resorted to calling us a “Goebbels-style hate site” while Spencer wished to inflict “100-101 lashes” on Danios who he labeled a “slick liar” while continuing to run-away and evade Loonwatch’s open challenge to a radio debate.

Today the controversy over Park51 is still simmering though the rhetoric and verbiage on it has cooled down quite a bit to the chagrin of Spencer and Geller. The spill over from Park51 left a terrible residue and sparked controversies around the nation.

It seemed that the issue with mosques (i.e. Muslims) was not simply about proximity to “hallowed ground,” but the right to build and freely worship was being challenged all over the country.

  1. Murfreesboro, TN.
  2. Temecula, CA.
  3. Sheepshead Bay
  4. Sheboygan County, Wi
  5. Florence, KY
  6. Selden, LI
  7. Ohio

Ahmed H. Sharif

There are about six more places from our count where mosque controversies were raging, but the above sampling gives you an idea. The worst spillover of the mosque controversy undoubtedly manifested itself with the near fatal stabbing of New York City cab driver Ahmed H. Sharif. Passenger Michael Enright entered his cab, asked him “Are you a Muslim?” and when the cabdriver replied, “Yes,” slashed his throat.

There were other notable Islamophobiapalooza moments during the year as well. For instance Rima Fakih, the first Muslim Miss America drew the ire of right-wingers and Islamophobes who didn’t like seeing a brown lady with the crown, let alone a Mooslim. There was also the South Park/Revolution Muslim controversy and the resultant Everybody Draw Mohammed Day on Facebook which descended into an orgy of bigotry and hatred. Later this would reveal the epic double standards and failure of the moribund perception-makers in the media when contrasted with the way it dealt with the story of Pastor Terry Jones and his wacky Dove Outreach Church’s “International Burn the Koran Day on 9/11” (Read: Islam and the Media in the Age of Islamophobiapalooza).

The final focal point with which Islamophobes and their cynical cohorts in the Republican party attempted to garner populist support through anti-Muslim fear-mongering was surrounding the buzz word: Sharia’. Sharia’ is the boogey monster that Muslims, 1% of the population of America is going to impose. Forget the fact that most of those advocating this conspiracy theory are themselves woefully ignorant of the Constitution, a document that they subvert with every statement and move they make. It got so bad that Oklahoma overwhelmingly passed a measure banning Sharia’ which has (thankfully) been overturned for being unconstitutional, it should also have been overturned for being unbelievably stupid.

This leads us to consider the biggest Islamophobic conspiracies of the year, which could be a feature piece on its own:

  1. Sharia take over of the United States
  2. Park51 being a “victory mosque” for “Islamic supremacism”
  3. Barack “Hussein” Obama being a secret “Mooslim”
  4. Muslim Congressional Spy Interns
  5. Rep. Keith Ellison working for Hamas
  6. Google’s “e” as an Islamic crescent

At the end of the day, all hope was not lost. There were many whose eyes were opened and Loonwatch helped by being picked by prominent and diverse bloggers as well as media venues as varying as AlJazeera, NPR, Christian Science Monitor, The Independent, AlArabiya etc. Many concerned citizens spoke out eloquently to reject and counter Islamophobia, our segment “Anti-Loons” vividly  showcased the best of those who opposed bigotry and were sincerely and effectively working to counter hate and ignorance on all levels, especially against Islam and Muslims. Lesley Hazelton’s profound lecture describing her experience with the Quran left us with hope, that those who make an effort may come to see beyond the stereotypes, the ignorance that shackles us and fosters animosity between humanity.

“Part of the problem I think is we imagine that the Quran can be read as we usually read a book. As though we can curl up with it on a rainy day with a bowl of popcorn in reach, as though God, and the Quran is entirely in the voice of God speaking to Muhammad, were just another author on the best-sellers list. Yet it is precisely because so few people read the Quran that it is so easy to quote, that is to misquote, phrases and snippets taken out of context, in what I call the highlighter version, which is the one favored by Muslim fundamentalists and anti-Muslim Islamophobes.” —Lesley Hazelton

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  • http://www.inspiredbymuhammad.com/ Inspired By Muhammad

    LOL, thanks for nailing this liar Mosizzle,
    The bible pleasing the Devil must leave HP speechless…Priceless:)

  • Mosizzle

    Why do you avoid all of my questions? Obviously, you can’t answer them.

    Robert Morey is a liar and lying is against the Christian religion. Therefore, he is a bad Christian. Also, why is it, according to you, the devil quotes the Bible but he doesn’t quote the Quran? Are you saying that the Bible contains things that please the devil?

    What about that rubbish story you told us? Aren’t you going to comment on the blasphemy that you uttered or comment on how it disproved your earlier assertion that Allah and God are different?

  • http://www.inspiredbymuhammad.com/ Inspired By Muhammad

    Haram Pork,

    “Zakariya Ali Sher :First of all ,as a Shi’te,you can not speak for the Muslims because Sunnis who are 90% in number,do not consider you Muslims.You are just Kafirs in their sight”

    He certainly can! What a desperate divide and conquer strategy you poor demented soul,

    Extremist Shia and Sunni, (only a tiny minority) believe that the other is “kafir”, and they’re both equally xenophobic,

    Some of Islam’s greatest Caliphs were Shia, Salah al Din al Ayoubi (ask Richard the Lionheart who he was) was a Shia (Sufi) thus Shia’s have a lot to be proud of.

    What pray tell, have you to brag about?

  • http://Googlemail Halal pork

    @Mosizzle:As the saying goes:EVEN THE DEVIL QUOTES THE BIBLE;I am glad tha you have quoted King David’s Psalm 31:18 which says:Let the lying lips be put to silence.That is exactly what I am trying to do with you lot.

  • Mosizzle

    “I have read books by Dr.Robert Morey.”

    Oh, so that explains why you are such an idiot. Is this the same liar Robert Morey who made up a hadith because he couldn’t read Arabic.

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/12/three-white-men-with-improvised-explosives-what-if-they-were-muslims/#comment-45392

    Psalms 31:18, “Let the lying lips be put to silence;”

  • http://Googlemail Halal pork

    @Zakariya Ali Sher :First of all ,as a Shi’te,you can not speak for the Muslims because Sunnis who are 90% in number,do not consider you Muslims.You are just Kafirs in their sight.Read the book by Anwar Shaikh about Islam.He has proved Islam to be a political 7th century Arabian Ideology.For forty years,was Mohammad a Muslim or Pagan? Was Mecca not a shrine holding over 360 pagan Idols and controlled by Mohammad’s grandfather? ?Did he ever convert to Islam?Does the Quran not contain the Biblical stories and presented in distorted form and then blaming the Holy Bible being changed?Yes ,It was changed by Mohammad and it appeared in the form of Quran.It also contains so many ancient fables like a she camel coming out of the cave and some men sleeping for three hundred years.It is arranged in a weird manner.All hotch potch according to the size of suras.The ealiest suras are at the end and sura 9,which should have been the last,ended up as number 9.Lot of stories taken from apocryphal gospels in inserted in the Quran,like the gospel of Thomas and Sura Maryam is from the gospel of Infancy.Even the contemporary Arabs told Mohammad that he was a fraud and they had heard those stories before.Read Surah 25 to satisfy yourself.Unfortunately you are so brain washed that you would never learn.I have read books by Dr.Robert Morey.He has also written a few books on Islam after extensive research.He is not an apologist like Karen Armstrong.She is an ex-Catholic nun and a great prize for Muslims.I have got a book by her as well.You should watch the debate between Dr,Morey and Shabir Ally and draw your own conclusion.

  • Sir David ( Illuminati membership number 5:32) Warning Contains Irony

    Thanks Dawood I found the bite model interesting.
    It reminded me of the few times I have had a peek at Atlas shrugs, the name calling, the irrationality , the inability to question the leader ,the use of buzz or code words .

  • Farlowe

    I was only kidding about my wife using the BITE model to “control my behaviour”…but seriously the BITE model applies to real nut job cults like Koresh, People’s Temple, Hermetic Order of the Solar Temple, Heaven’s Gate, Aum Supreme Truth. It’s a matter of degree of fit. I imagine almost all flavours of Islam wouldn’t fit into the BITE model, as most types of Christianity or Buddhism don’t fit into BITE model either. I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness which has been described as a cult by some. I think it does not have sufficient fit to the BITE model to call it a cult.

  • muhammad ‘abd-al haqq

    Dawood

    The BITE model regarding cult behaviour is some serious stuff, but i can only imagine that “jihadwatchers” thinks it applies to Muslims.

    Allahu A’lam

  • Farlowe

    My wife must have read the BITE model part 1 !

  • http://www.counterculture-jihad.com Zakariya Ali Sher

    @ Mosizzle:

    LOL. Speaking of which… of the voice of Shaggy, Casey Kasem IS Arab American and Druze (though whether you consider them “Muslim” or not is up to you). He IS very active in the Arab American community though, so I guess we’ve got another element of pop culture that robbie spencer is going to boycott.

    @ Dawood:

    HAhaha yeah… Actually, funny you should post that because it also applies pretty well to daniel pipes, who is somewhat scarier than spencer in that he actually wants to establish a network where students spy on their teachers and report them for not toeing in line with his views on Israel and the Middle East. That DEFINITELY applies here.

  • Dawood

    If you look at the BITE model regarding cult behaviour, JW and connected sites definitely exhibit some of those, especially parts II and III.

  • Mosizzle

    “Naturally the only people they can trust as “authorities” on Islam are robbie and his buddies. Who, of course, need to sell a new book every few months to keep the money and fame flowing in for them. It’s a brilliant scam really.”

    A perfect scam! He would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those “meddling Mooslims” and this awesome site.

  • Mosizzle

    “Spencer’s books are for public consumption, just as Karen Armstrong’s are.”

    Well *duh*, his books aren’t going to be for private consumption. But you are blatantly trying to avoid the question.

    Why would “scholar” Robert Spencer, whose hate site yesterday featured an article called “What we can learn from Justin Bieber”, not be accepted as a “scholar” by major universities? You try to answer the question in a childish way –“Well he didn’t want to have his books used to teach courses on Islam anyway!”.

    However, the truth is different. In an article called “Fitzgerald: A tribute to Carl Ernst”, Hugh Fitzgerald predicts that at least 1/4 of the scholars of MESA (Middle East Studies Association) will be “secretly delighted” by Robert Spencer’s pathetic biography of the Prophet (PBUH), the other 3/4 he predicts will dismiss it as “unscholarly”. But he says that the only reason the delighted scholars will not assign his book is because they are not brave enough (excuses, excuses!). Some he said may list it as “Other Reading” on their syllabi if they have enough courage. After all, Saudi Arabia owns all of these dhimmi universities (?) and the scholars don’t want to upset their masters.

    The fact that JihadWatch is even talking about whether Spencer’s book will be accepted by scholars, and is salivating over the possibility a few scholars may put it on their “Other Reading” list, refutes your point that his books are intended solely for public consumption and not for universities. The fact is that he is a fake scholar of Islam.

    http://spencerwatch.com/2010/08/11/is-robert-spencer-a-scholar-on-spencer’s-credentials-and-methodology/

  • http://www.counterculture-jihad.com Zakariya Ali Sher

    @ NassirH:

    > There you have it, Ibn Abu Talib. Universities have been hijacked by
    > Dhimmis and Mooslims, and that’s why everyone disagrees with Spencer.
    > As for Spencer’s numerous factual errors and distortions, his cult-like
    > following doesn’t seem to mind.

    Actually… you may be onto something there. Any good cult leader knows how to isolate his followers from the outside world, telling them that they cannot trust other authority figures. The government, churches, family members, businesses… any of these could be a “threat” to the cult leader’s control. Robbie and his followers have poisoned their readers minds by telling them that the government and schools are run by ‘dhimmis’ and ‘secret Muslims’ (still think ‘Secret Muslims’ would be an awesome name for a band by the way).

    Naturally the only people they can trust as “authorities” on Islam are robbie and his buddies. Who, of course, need to sell a new book every few months to keep the money and fame flowing in for them. It’s a brilliant scam really.

  • http://www.counterculture-jihad.com Zakariya Ali Sher

    @ Halalporker:

    > Mahatma Gandhi was a pagan polytheist and his remarks hold no value.

    And you wonder why we don’t like Christian fundamentalists? Could it be because you just go around spewing hatred and ignorance at everyone who doesn’t believe the exact same thing as you? Yesterday it was Jews and American Indians. Today it is Muslims. Tomorrow it will be Buddhists or Wiccans or Zoroastrians… or of course Hindus.

    Funny thing is that Hindus aren’t even really polytheists. No more so than Christians with the trinity. All the aspects of God in Hinduism are ultimately illusions. Hinduism is more like pantheistic monotheism than anything else. But don’t let facts get in the way of your good time.

    > Then he was a politician like Mohammad who initially tried to woo the
    > Jews and Christian who refused to acknowledge a true prophet from God.
    > Hence he turned their staunch enemy.

    Or it could be that Gandhi WAS a statesman and that India has a HUGE minority of Muslims but a small Christian minority and an even smaller Jewish one. Sure both groups came with Middle Eastern merchants long ago and the seven sisters are mostly Christian (and again a tiny Jewish minority in Mizoram; they weren’t there in Gandhi’s time though). Gandhi may have made overtures to the Muslim minority but obviously religious schisms in Asia were a big and complicated issue. Despite the hero worship Gandhi receives in India today there are plenty of Sikhs and Muslims and even Hindus who take issue with him.

    > because Mohammad came as an ANTI-CHRIST and not as one of the prophets
    > from GOD of ABRAHAM,ISAAC and JACOB,all being Jewish where as Mohammad
    > was an ARAB.

    Hmmm… is it true that you are Desi because that would explain alot. Don’t get me wrong. Indian Christians can be some of the nicest people out there but there are also plenty of kooks who got converted to some evangelical cult or another. It would explain your hatred for Islam and Arabs… and yourself because quite frankly you seem to hate everything non-western and non-Christian.

    You post about how all the “REAL Prophets” had to be Jewish… even though the Jews themselves believe no such thing. Judaism is silent as to the question of non-Jewish Prophets. As their religion tells the history and culture of the Jewish people this makes sense. It is not incompatible with say Persian Zoroastrianism or the short lived cult of Aten in Egypt. In Islam we accept that there were many Prophets though the Holy Qur’an only mentions a few – including a couple of explicitly non-Jewish Prophets from ancient Arabia like Hud and Salih.

    I think somewhere in the back of your mind that must offend you because it threatens your belief. It means that ancient India had its own Prophets and that the traditional beliefs and cultures of India were therefore “right.” It means that the Native Americans were “right”. It means that the Yoruba and Kongo were “right”. If you really are Asian, I can see why that threatens you, because you’ve spent so much time convincing yourself that you need to pretend at being “white” or “European.” The whole stability of your paradigm must be at stake…

    > Read Sahih Bokhari 4:52:220.

    You do know that there is much debate as to the validity of hadiths right? Not everyone accepts them as true or infallible. In particular we Shi’a have our own collections like al-Kafi and even then we believe that you need to interpret them.

    > Have you heard of the story that once God invited all the heads of
    > states to see Him.When they entered one by one,God left His chair and
    > shook hand with each one of them.When the turn of a Muslim head of the
    > State came,God held on to His chair.Satan appears on the scene and asks
    > God for that behaviour.God told him that if he left his seat,the Muslim
    > fellow will take that over and would never like to leave that.

    No I’ve never heard that story because you probably just made it up. Have you ever heard some of the stories about Nasreddin Hoca? Now that guy was HILARIOUS!

    > Stop being a SNAKES CHARMER for a few pennies for the Muslims and Islam

    Funny you should say that cuz I rather like snakes. My girlfriend – who is not Muslim btw – does a really good American tribal style snake dance with my Colombian red tail. Maybe you should see it some time. It’d probably get rid of some of your ignorant hatred.

    > or learn more from:faith freedom.org and Islam-watch.org:

    You mean the fake atheist site that’s really a front for evangelical Christians? Nah. I’ve wasted enough of my time laughing at the Creation museum and prank phone calls to Fred Phelps.

    @ Jihad robbie:

    > Spencer’s books are for public consumption, just as Karen Armstrong’s
    > are.

    Then why hasn’t little robbie spencer written any academic books? You know, he CLAIMS to be a scholar… It seems pretty pathetic for him to only have two articles to his name, neither of which deals with Islam in even the peripheral sense. I still haven’t seen any evidence that he even SPEAKS Arabic or any other pertinent language. So what is he really worth as a “scholar” then?

  • Abdullah

    Sounds like “poisoning the well” fallacy to me.

  • NassirH

    Good point JihadBob: Spencer should stop calling himself a scholar, since his books are merely pieces of propaganda designated for right-wing extremists. And he certainly has less credibility than Karen Armstrong, since unlike Armstrong he advocates for discrimination against Muslims and has joined a genocidal Facebook group—among other things.

    Islamophobes don’t realize that in places like SOAS, the University of Chicago, Princeton, Yale, etc. the books written by Spencer et al are not used to teach courses on Islam at any level. Now why is that?

    Let’s hear what Hugh Fitzgerald of JihadWatch has to say.

    “…Government-sponsored centers to teach people about Islam outside of universities, which all over the Western world have been infiltrated, or rather captured by, apologists for Islam both Muslim and non-Muslim.

    There you have it, Ibn Abu Talib. Universities have been hijacked by Dhimmis and Mooslims, and that’s why everyone disagrees with Spencer. As for Spencer’s numerous factual errors and distortions, his cult-like following doesn’t seem to mind.

  • IbnAbuTalib

    JahilBob: Spencer’s books are for public consumption, just as Karen Armstrong’s are.

    So one cannot gain a scholarly, objective knowledge of Islam from reading either Spencer’s or Amrstrong’s books?

  • JihadBob

    Islamophobes don’t realize that in places like SOAS, the University of Chicago, Princeton, Yale, etc. the books written by Spencer et al are not used to teach courses on Islam at any level. Now why is that?

    Spencer’s books are for public consumption, just as Karen Armstrong’s are.

  • Imad

    @ Halal Pork

    Ali Sina has also written a book about the mental illnesses suffered by Mohammad,starting with EPILEPSY,Auditory and VISUAL HALLUCINATIONS,PSYCHOSIS and many more as detailed in his book.

    What about various other prophets, who heard/seen angels, and even God’s voice? Do they count for these mental illnesses?

  • IbnAbuTalib

    Islamophobes don’t realize that in places like SOAS, the University of Chicago, Princeton, Yale, etc. the books written by Spencer et al are not used to teach courses on Islam at any level. Now why is that?

  • Mosizzle

    Err, I don’t give a crap. Ali Sina could write a book about the effect of cinnamon on the behaviour of pigs like you but he isn’t a respected authority on anything so I don’t care what he has said. Most importantly, he isn’t a doctor so he is entirely unqualified to diagnose someone from 1400 years ago with a mental disorder.

    Answer my comments. No need to start promoting Ali Sina’s book like you work for him.

  • Jihad bobs dad

    Small sausage you really do make me laugh, I hope you had a good Diwali, my son was sad you didnt pop over for christmas this year, but I guess after what I caught you two doing last year with the cat, a tub of vaseline and two mangos I should have known you would,nt show your face.

  • http://Googlemail Halal pork

    @Mosizzle ;Ali Sina has also written a book about the mental illnesses suffered by Mohammad,starting with EPILEPSY,Auditory and VISUAL HALLUCINATIONS,PSYCHOSIS and many more as detailed in his book.

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