We have done our fair share of coverage of the loony House representative from Florida, Allen West, but this guy is just amazing sometimes in the nonsense he spits out. West has made some seriously Islamophobic remarks in the past, arguing in point blank statements that Islam is not a religion, but an ideology:
“We already have a 5th column that is already infiltrating into our colleges, into our universities, into our high schools, into our religious aspect, our cultural aspect, our financial, our political systems in this country. And that enemy represents something called Islam and Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals that stand up and say that.”
So said West back then, in the company of other right-wing loons, that “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion.” It seems pretty clear to anyone with half a brain that he was not trying to say “radical Islam” is wrong, or that he is against “extremist” versions of Islam, or “Islamism” or anything else. He makes it very clear in that speech he is against Islam, period. He also makes it clear that he does not think Islam is a religion.
In early February 2011, West was contacted by religious leaders who became aware of West’s rhetoric against Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim Congressmen in the House of Representatives. West said that Ellison represented “the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established”:
Several religious leaders told South Florida Congressman Allen West on Wednesday they have “deep concern” over his recent comments about a Muslim colleague in Congress and about “your tendency to offer intemperate comments about Islam.”
In contrast to the blunt comments about Islam he made during the right-wing program mentioned above, West changed his tune:
“It is the extremist, radical element that has hijacked Islam that presents a dangerous threat to both our country and our allies throughout the world,” West said in a return letter. “This radical jihadist movement has no place in the United States of America or anywhere on earth.”
So now it was the “extremist, radical element” that had “hijacked Islam” that West was concerned about. I would like to offer a more cogent and intellectual analysis of West’s statements, but let’s be real here folks. It isn’t required. He is changing his tune because he does not want to appear to be the bigot that he clearly is. West was speaking from his heart to his like minded loons last year at that right-wing program where he said that “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology.” But when respected religious leaders contacted him after his verbal attack on Rep. Ellison, West backtracked to save face. West, it could be argued, is practicing the definition of “taqiyya” that so many anti-Muslim loons claim that Muslims practice. West is hiding his true beliefs about Islam from civil society because he knows it can only serve to make him look like a bigot. Meanwhile, the Congressman ramps up the anti-Islam rhetoric once he’s in front of his fellow Muslim-bashing compatriots.
However, West’s true face was shown once again when he felt pushed into a corner about his views on Islam. On Monday, Feb. 21, West got into a heated exchange with the director of CAIR Florida, Nezar Hamze. Hamze had the audacity to question West’s knowledge about Islam. How dare he! It’s quite obvious that someone of West’s stature, being a Congressman and all, would have the requisite knowledge to speak about Islamic theology and history. I mean, don’t most U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen know a whole lot about Islamic theology and history? Isn’t that why they are elected to Congress – because they know a lot about Islam?
Well, of course not. But, Hamze stood before the bigoted Congressman and asked West to point out where in the Qur’an it says to attack Americans or innocent people. This gave West the opportunity to show how prolific his knowledge of Islamic history was (and how big of a wise guy he is). West told the lowly Muslim that of course there’s no mention of attacking Americans in the Qur’an because America was not even around when the Qur’an was written.
Duh, you stupid Muslim!
West then made mention of certain battles in early Islamic history. LoonWatch is currently working on a lengthy response to West’s dubious claims, one that he and other Islamophobes constantly refer to in order to argue that Islam is violent. Stay tuned for that response – it will be posted soon. However, make no mistake that West’s alleged understanding of Islamic law and history is way off base, as is his understanding of the Muslim American community today.
In response to the question Hamze asked, West alleged that Maj. Nidal Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar” when he killed those innocent people at Fort Hood and that the 9-11 hijackers also yelled “Allahu Akbar” when they flew planes into the Twin Towers, as if to show that these people represent Islam. Of course, West is attempting to link all Muslims to what Nidal Hasan and the 9-11 terrorists did through the use of common Islamic terms. Just because some extremists shouted out a religious term when committing acts of violence against innocent people does not mean that others who also use those religious terms share in the guilt of those atrocities or that Islam somehow would condone these actions because these murderers attempted to “Islamicize” these heinous actions. West is treading on a slippery slope. One that will make him fall on his face. Which brings us to his final statement at the town hall event that fateful evening.
Hamze told West that he was ashamed that West was attacking his religion, whereupon West burst out and yelled “You attacked us! You attacked us!”
This is a United States Congressman? This is not only an absurd statement to make, because for one Hamze obviously had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks, but two, West is essentially laying guilt for 9-11 on every single Muslim American. By saying “You attacked us,” West is telling us what he truly believes. That Muslim Americans, like Nezar Hamze, are co-conspirators in the 9-11 attacks. That Muslim Americans are guilty people (sounds like West is applying Robert Spencer’s definition of dhimmi on Muslim Americans).
And you know what that means. It means West’s followers will associate every Muslim living in America with terrorism and make them worthy of ridicule, contempt, distrust, and then eventually this type of thinking will lead to violence against innocent Muslims in America. You can already see the type of vitriol that is being practiced against Muslim Americans when viewing the anti-Muslim protest in Orange County, CA.
This is disgusting behavior on the part of a U.S. Congressman. West is not clever. He’s not smart. He doesn’t know squat about Islam or Islamic history. He’s the worst of what America has to offer. He is a disgrace to his constituents and a danger to law-abiding Muslim Americans who simply want to live a normal life in America. He is simply an un-American fake tough guy who loses his temper when questioned about things he knows nothing about. The fact that this jerk is a U.S. Congressman speaks volumes about the state of Islamophobia in America today. He’s also clearly practicing “taqiyya” by saying one thing to his right-wing constituents about Islam and then saying another thing to religious leadership in order to hide his bigoted views of Islam and Muslims. But never fear, Loon Watch is here – to expose loony frauds like Allen West and put them in their rightful place of shame.