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Showcase: The Neo-Cons, the BNP and the Islamophobia Network

Adrian Morgan

The Neocons, the BNP and the Islamophobia Network

Tom Griffin, 17 September 2009

Events in London in recent weeks have highlighted the growing collusion between American neoconservatives and the European far right in stirring up hatred of Muslims.

Richard Bartholomew has details of a meeting at the George Restaurant in east London in August attended by Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer and Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion at the invitation of the Christian Action Network. Also invited were the English Defence League, the group responsible for a number of recent violent anti-Muslim protests.

Robert Spencer says on his blog that he and Murray refused to meet with the EDL, and cites Adrian Morgan as a witness to this version of events. But the presence of Morgan, who did meet the EDL, is itself evidence of the emerging relationship between the neocons and the far-right.

Morgan is a contributing editor to Family Security Matters, which has been described as a front for the Center for Security Policy, a Washington think-tank run by the ultra-neoconservative Frank Gaffney.

He is also the author of Western Resistance, a defunct blog on which he laid out his view of the BNP:

I am slightly ambivalent about the British National Party, on account of its racist past. Nowadays, under the leadership of Nick Griffin, a skilled politician, the racist agenda has become replaced by an agenda which is highly focused against Islam. With this aspect of its policies, I am in agreement. Islam poses a more serious threat to every aspect of British democracy than anything previously encountered. (via the Internet Archive)

Ambivalent or not, Morgan’s interest in the BNP is reciprocated, according to Searchlight Magazine, which reported in 2007 on the efforts of BNP idealogue Alan Goodacre to tap support from right wing bloggers:

Goodacre also stated his intention to try and gain the help of Adrian Morgan who writes regularly for the Western Resistance website and has previously contributed to The Guardian and New Scientist and was once a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society. Morgan also contributes to the “Islam Watch” website – “Islam under scrutiny by ex-Muslims” – which would explain Goodacre’s interest in him.

It might also be explained by Morgan’s membership of the 910 Group, an offshoot of the Center for Vigilant Freedom (CVF), which ran the CounterJihad Europa conference in October 2007.  Among those speaking alongside Robert Spencer at this Brussels event were representatives of European far-right parties such as Filip Dewinter of the Vlaams Belang and Ted Ekeroth of the Sweden Democrats.

The CVF’s Christine Brim suggested in November 2007 that the strategy of embracing such parties could be extended to Jean-Marie Le Pen and the BNP:

We suggest looking for the possible movement of Le Pen’s political party Front National towards the center-right, as they may change their platform to pro-active support to improve the situations of European Jews and Israel. The same trend is happening in Austria, and with the BNP in the UK (also not invited and did not attend the conference). If such parties specifically state pro-Israel positions, and take real actions opposing anti-semitism and disavowing previous positions – and reach out to Jewish constituents and encourage Jewish participation in party positions – these are real actions to observe, and to approve. They have not done this yet – but are starting. (via the Internet Archive)

Indeed they were. Alan Goodacre had written to the Jewish Chronicle in 2006 (much to the bemusement of its readers):

We hope that our future behaviour may in time bring you to understand that our repudiation of antisemitism is genuine. We are the only party in Britain that is truly serious about fighting the Islamofascist threat.

Morgan, Brim and Goodacre have each employed the same sleight of hand, attempting to present the embrace of Islamophobia as some kind of atonement for anti-semitism, rather than another manifestation of the same underlying racism. If this strategy seems crude, it may yet take neo-fascist Gianfranco Fini to the Italian premiership.Time Magazine describes the process:

To fulfill his big ambitions, Fini understood in the early 1990s that he had to distance himself from his past. Eventually, he came to believe that the shortest path from marginal Mussolini nostalgic to mainstream political power was unwavering support for the state of Israel. The decisive moment came when Fini traveled to Israel in November 2003, declaring his affection for the Jewish state and his “shame” for Italy’s racial laws under fascism. The following year, Silvio Berlusconi made him foreign minister, where the longtime leader of the National Alliance party stood out amongst his European partners for his pro-Israel policy.

This conversion even impressed some on the ‘Decent Left‘. Harry’s Place wrote of Fini:

He is pro-European Union and pro-US – neither of which fit easy with the claim that he is still a fascist. After September 11, AN posters across Italy declared ‘Solidarity with the United States’ – Italian fascists despise the US for obvious historical reasons.

He is also explicitly in favour of capitalism and the free market. Again this is a break not only with old style Italian corporatist fascism but also the later post-war concept of the ’social right’ which believed in large scale state ownership and nationalisation etc.

AN also supported the liberation of Iraq, a position that I am not aware of any of Europe’s genuine fascists taking.

As Time noted “having “Israel” stamped in your passport and publicly condemning anti-Semitism cannot alone remove lingering doubts about extremist tendencies.” Yet the attempt to prove otherwise has some influential backers.

In addition to being a key player in the CVF, and secretary of another counter-jihad outfit, the International Free Press Society, Christine Brim is a senior vice-president at Frank Gaffney’s Washington think-tank, the Center for Security Policy (CSP), and director of its Victory Coalition Fund, an incubator for anti-Islamist projects.

The CSP is open about its involvement in political warfare and even has a vice-president for information operations who blogs on the subject. Its General Counsel David Yerushalmi heads up the Society of Americans for National Existence, whose material found its way into last year’s Policy Exchange briefing against the Global Peace and Unity event in London.

Gaffney’s sister Devon Cross, a member of the CSP advisory council, heads up the Policy Forum on International Security Affairs, a neoconservative briefing operation for European journalists which was run for some time out of Annabel’s nightclub in Mayfair.

The CSP and the Policy Forum have been endorsed by some of America’s wealthiest conservative foundations. The Philanthropy Roundtable recommended both organisations in its 2006 publication, The Struggle Against Radical Islam: A Donor’s Guide (pdf) which criticised the US Government for failing to develop political warfare and public diplomacy programmes modelled on those of the Cold War, and called on private sector donors to fill the gap.

Neoconservatives had repeatedly come up against resistance in attempting to run political warfare programmes through their powerbase at the Pentagon during the Bush administration. One such proposal was leaked to the New York Times in 2004:

Pentagon and military officials directly involved in the debate say that such a secret propaganda program, for example, could include planting news stories in the foreign press or creating false documents and Web sites translated into Arabic as an effort to discredit and undermine the influence of mosques and religious schools that preach anti-American principles.

Some of those are in the Middle Eastern and South Asian countries like Pakistan, still considered a haven for operatives of Al Qaeda. But such a campaign could reach even to allied countries like Germany, for example, where some mosques have become crucibles for Islamic militancy and anti-Americanism.

A private sector version of that strategy is clearly visible in the smears and secret briefings directed at British mosques, a campaign which has now taken a step further with the recent wave of street protests by provocateurs like the BNP-connected English Defence League and the Counter-Jihad Europa affiliate Stop the Islamisation of Europe.

Communities Minister John Denham last week announced plans to address issues alienating white, working-class people at risk of being exploited by the far-right. If that approach is to succeed, the wealthy right-wing propagandists who are actively trying to set working-class communities against each other must be exposed.

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  • %9 duffer

    the bnp are a joke, have you seen this? http://bnpbabes.co.uk/

  • mph

    Robert Spencer is a paleo-conservative (ala Pat Buchanan) in every sense of the word. You might want to get your definitions down. The paleocon alignment with euro-fascists is nothing new.

  • WDSF

    Interesting. Newsweek also had an analysis of Eurabia and its falsehood. The lies are usually propagated by the far-right. Hopefully people will open their eyes.

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  • SoobyDOO

    Spencer Busted! Birds of a feather flock together.

  • Suleyman

    To all readers, bloggers, and the management here, please see this website and it’s exposing of “Obsession”. It is relevant to the article above about Islamophobia, because it has profiles of Caroline Glick, Nonie Darwish, Robert Spencer, Itamar Marcus, Daniel Pipes, and the other Islamophobes who were used in the film and explains their distortions and why they did it.
    —————-

    Obsession vs. the Facts

    http://www.jewsonfirst.org/Obsession/announce.html

    JewsOnFirst, an organization dedicated to the protection of the separation of church and state under the First Amendment, has published Rebutting Obsession: Historical Facts Topple Film’s Premise that Violent Muslim Fundamentalists are Nazis’ Heirs, Expose its Fear-mongering , a devastating critique of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West. Obsession, a 2005 film that, in the name of exposing violent fundamentalism, casts suspicion on all Muslims, experienced increased exposure this fall, when the mysterious Clarion Fund initiated the unsolicited distribution of millions of DVD inserts inside swing state newspapers.

    In support of the rebuttal, JewsOnFirst also offers a web-based slide presentation summarizing the key arguments, as well as profiles of the supposed experts interviewed in the film. (The slide presentation will soon be available for download as a PowerPoint presentation next week.)

    Key arguments made in JewsOnFirst’s Rebutting Obsession are:

    Obsession and the “expert” viewpoints presented in it represent the ideology of the far right wing within the Republican Party, which seeks to intervene in the Presidential election with a distraction from the current economic turmoil.
    Obsession ignores the geopolitical environment in which radical Islam was cultured, and makes a baseless argument that such fundamentalism is the ideological descendent of Nazism.
    Obsession seeks, at a time of economic pain and cultural division to permit the viewer to project all real or imaginary fears and anxieties onto Muslims, as an alien and externalized enemy. This propaganda mirrors the situation faced by Japanese Americans during World War II and non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants in the 20th century. Such divisiveness actually weakens America by threatening our principles of cultural coexistence and religious freedom.
    The “experts” presented in Obsession have limited experience in the Middle East, few speak Arabic or Farsi and most have limited or no academic background in Islam or the Koran. They represent a fringe group of Middle East “specialists” who align themselves with the Likud party in Israel and Christian evangelical and pro-settler lobbies in the United States.
    Finally, Obsession, despite its half-hearted disclaimer that radical Muslims are a small minority, seeks to promote the concept of a violent clash of civilizations instead of cultural coexistence and religious pluralism.

    http://www.jewsonfirst.org/Obsession/announce.html

  • Samar

    To Loonwatch moderators,

    Please expand upon this, and rebut Andrew Bostoms lies. I am giving you material below to use.

    Here is a rebuttal to a big lie that Andrew bostom propogates.

    Maimonides and the �Meshugga� Prophet

    December 26th, 2007 by Andrew Bostom |

    http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/2007/12/26/maimonides-and-the-%E2%80%9Cmeshugga%E2%80%9D-prophet/

    In this fabrication of Bostom’s, he says that Maimonades called Prophet Mohammed a Meshuga. (madman) But Maimonides didn’t direct that comment at Mohammed the Prophet. He directed it at a Jewish apostate who had converted to Islam, and was now calling himself the Messiah. He wanted the Jews to convert to Islam and accept him as the Messiah.
    Maimonades directed that “meshuga” comment at that false Jewish Messiah claimant in Yemen, that lived during that era of history. A jewish convert to Islam, started calling himself the Messiah and telling Jews to convert to Islam. Rabbi Jacob al-Fayumi asked Maimonides for advice on how to deal with this apostate, and Maimonides wrote back telling them to keep their Jewish faith and not listen to the “Meshuga” messiah. Maimonides, wrote an epistle in which he described the Jewish apostate Messiah as a “meshuga” and that the Muslims didn’t believe what he claimed they did and that Jews should be faithful to their own religion.

    Andrew Bostom distorts this, and pretends that Maimonides directed the comment at Mohammed the prophet.

    He does this to discredit the known fact that Maimonides was pro-Islam.

    Anyway, maybe Loonwatch moderators can research this more and post a rebuttal to Bostom and see what he says. Maybe you can get him to correct, or retract or write to sites that use his nonsense as a source.

    +++++++++++++++++
    The Rambam

    The Epistle Concerning Yemen

    http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/107783/jewish/Responsa.htm

    Rabbi Jacob al-Fayumi during a period of violent persecution and religious
    intolerance in his country. About the year 1168, the Jews of Yemen were
    confronted with a three-pronged agonizing problem. A fanatical Moslem cleric became the ruler of this distant, primitive South Arabian land and decreed that his Jewish subjects convert to Islam under the threat of harsh punishment and suffering.

    Their agony was compounded by a Jewish apostate who embraced Mohammedanism. To demonstrate his zeal for his newly adopted
    faith, he began preaching to the Jewish communities that Mohammed was a
    divinely sent prophet alluded to in the Bible and that Islam was a new,
    divinely revealed religion superseding Judaism. Hence, the apostate argued, the Jews should yield to the ruler’s demand and embrace Mohammedanism.

    Furthermore, at just about this time, an impostor appeared proclaiming
    himself to be the Messiah, adding to the confusion of the poor wretched
    masses. Rabbi Jacob al-Fayumi turned to Rambam for advice and counsel.

    Rambam advised that the self-proclaimed Messiah is nothing but an impostor
    and no doubt a madman. He urged them to remain firm in the belief that G-d
    will send the true Moshiach to redeem the Jewish people from suffering in
    exile at the proper time.

    The epistle accomplished its purpose – the Yemenite Jews remained faithful
    to their religion in the face of their bitter suffering. Rabbi Moshe ben
    Maimon used his influence at the court of Saladin in Egypt to intervene in
    their behalf, and the persecution came to an end.

    The Jewish community of Yemen gratefully appreciated both the spiritual advice as well as the actual help of Rambam in the hour of their distress and honored him by including his name in the Kaddish prayer, saying: “May He establish His kingship… in your lifetime and in the lifetime of the entire House of Israel and in the lifetime of our teacher Moshe ben Maimon,” an honor heretofore reserved for the Resh Galutah (Jewish Exilarch) in Babylonia.

    ————–

    Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemenite_Jews

    When Saladin became sultan in the last quarter of the twelfth century and
    the Shiite Muslims revolted against him, the trials of the Yemenite Jews
    began. There were few scholars among them at that time, and a putative
    prophet arose; he preached a syncretic religion that combined Judaism and
    Islam, and claimed that the Bible foretold his coming.

    Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Rambam)

    One of Yemen’s most respected Jewish scholars, Jacob ben Nathanael
    al-Fayyumi, wrote for counsel to Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as
    Maimonides. Maimonides replied in an epistle entitled Iggeret Teman (The
    Yemen Epistle). This letter made a tremendous impression on Yemenite Jewry.

    It also served as a source of strength, consolation and support for the
    faith in the continuing persecution. Maimonides himself interceded with
    Saladin in Egypt, and shortly thereafter the persecution came to an end.

    —————-

    http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/arabia.html
    Down to the 19th cent. Yemenite Jewry experienced a number of messianic
    movements, the best-known of which occurred in the late 12th cent., when a false prophet proclaimed the amalgamation of Judaism and Mohammedanism; to counter him, Maimonides wrote his Epistle to Yemen (1172) in which he
    exhorted the Jews to abide by the faith of their fathers despite compulsion and persecutions.

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