Posted tagged ‘Clarion Project’

Is Muslim Reform Even Possible?

March 15, 2017

Is Muslim Reform Even Possible? Clarion Project, Elliot Friedland, March 15, 2017

(I corresponded with Clarion Project yesterday, calling their attention to an article by Robert Spencer which I consider an unwarranted and nearly incoherent ad hominem hit piece directed at Dr. Jasser and the Muslim Reform Movement in general. I suggested that “A coherent and temperate response is needed.” Clarion responded this morning with this article. Please see also, The Grand Mufti of the Stealth Jihad: Zuhdi Jasser Says “There’s No Greater Threat” Than Pamela Geller and Her Colleagues— DM)

Jasser clearly enunciated in his podcast that the debate on whether Islam is compatible with modernity is an important debate that can be had. But he objects to alt-jihadists whom he says “push an extreme singular interpretation of Islam as the only Islam that prevents and dictates to the Muslim world and to Muslims like myself who is and is not a Muslim.” He slams this line of argument as being akin to the takfirism practiced by jihadists who excommunicate those who disagree with their vision of Islam.

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Clarion advisory board member Dr. Zudhi Jasser has hit out of critics who claim that Muslim reform movements are bound to fail because they are not accepted within the Muslim community.

He made his comments during an hour- long episode of his podcast Reform This! on The Blaze, titled “Alt-Jihadists: Useful Idiots of the Global Islamist Establishment.”

You can listen to the full episode here:

(The audio is at the link. — DM)

Jasser named specific figures as “alt-Jihadists:” Stephen Kirby, Diana West, Robert Spencer, John Guandolo, Clare Lopez and Pamela Geller.

Jasser clearly enunciated in his podcast that the debate on whether Islam is compatible with modernity is an important debate that can be had. But he objects to alt-jihadists whom he says “push an extreme singular interpretation of Islam as the only Islam that prevents and dictates to the Muslim world and to Muslims like myself who is and is not a Muslim.” He slams this line of argument as being akin to the takfirism practiced by jihadists who excommunicate those who disagree with their vision of Islam.

“The key to alt-jihadism,” Jasser writes, is the belief that reform is not possible that Islam is etched in stone as being theocratic, as being supremacist and totalitarian and that the sharia state, the Islamic State of Islamic jurisprudence is fascistic and borne out of theocracy and is unreformable.”

Robert Spencer responded to Jasser’s podcast in a lengthy piece on his website Jihad Watch.

Spencer’s argues, “… in the fifteen years since 9/11 it has become clear that supporting Muslim reformers is nice identity politics and makes some people feel as if they’ve headed off charges of ‘racism’ and ‘Islamophobia’ from the Left, but where are the Muslims who are saying, “I supported the jihad and was about to join ISIS until I heard Dr. Jasser”? There are no such people.”

Spencer later adds, “I’d love to see Islamic reform succeed. I’m just not willing to kid myself or others about its prospects, or pretend that it has a greater standing in Islamic doctrine or tradition than it does.”

These are important questions that must be addressed honestly.

But Spencer misses the point in three key ways:

Firstly, Spencer’s arguments belie the fact that Islam has already changed many times throughout the centuries. It has seen intellectual flourishing, such as in the Abbasid House of Wisdom, and iconoclastic destruction, such as that meted out against Hindu India by the Ghaznavid Empire, or, of course, the contemporary Islamic State (who cited the exploits of Mahmud of Ghazni in the latest issue of their propaganda magazine Rumiyah). Just like Christianity has gone from the charity of St Francis of Assisi to the torture chambers of the Inquisition to fighting for both the abolition of and the maintenance of slavery in the 19th century.

To take but two recent examples: In 2016, the Marrakesh Declaration saw more than 250 scholars from around the Muslim world convene at the request of the King of Morocco (a direct descendant of Muhammed himself and hardly a marginal figure) to “AFFIRM that it is unconscionable to employ religion for the purpose of aggressing upon the rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries.”

Closer to America, since 2013 the Muslim Leadership Initiative has seen Muslim leaders from America come to Israel to learn about Jews and Zionism, abandoning the decades long opposition to any interaction at all with the Jewish state within the establishment leadership in the Muslim community. Although this provoked a massive backlash, the fact that it happened at all is monumental in showing that it is possible to have a dialogue and move towards solutions to some of the seemingly intractable inter-communal problems that we face.

Secondly, Spencer does not acknowledge the damage done by rejecting Muslims like Jasser. When Muslims like Jasser are not seen as authentic by non-Muslims, it makes it that much harder for him to pitch to Muslims that his path will lead to acceptance. Fear is an incredibly powerful factor in politics. If Muslim communities fear they will be excluded no matter what, that non-Muslims have no interest in protecting them or their rights and are only interested in them as opponents of jihad, they have little incentive to speak out.

Thirdly, Spencer does not recognize that these things take a long time. Even within living memory, the West has seen monumental cultural shifts, on women’s rights, on gay rights, on race relations. These changes have pushed the contemporary West further in the direction of upholding human freedoms than any other civilization in the history of the world.

But those changes, begun with the French and American revolutions, took a long time. In France, a jealous husband could legally murder a cheating wife and her paramour on the spot (if he caught them in his house), as recently as 1975. Switzerland didn’t give women the right to vote until 1971 in federal elections. The last canton to grant women’s suffrage on local issues did so in 1991. The last state to criminalize marital rape was North Carolina, in 1993. Technically speaking, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is ruled “by the grace of God” by a hereditary monarch who is also the head of the established church and styled “defender of the faith,” the clergy of which sit in the national legislature.

Culture is no excuse for abuse. But equally it is unreasonable to expect monumental societal shifts to take place in a few short years. The Syrian Civil War is still raging, protests across the Muslim world recur frequently. Saudi women now have the right to vote in municipal elections. Prince Alwaleed said they should be permitted to drive. Baby steps yes. But steps nonetheless.

Muslim Reform is happening. Just slower and more quietly than Robert Spencer would like.

Do you agree or disagree? Join the conversation on Twitter using #AltJihad or write to us at info@clarionproject.org

An Islamofascist Assault on Free Speech

January 23, 2017

An Islamofascist Assault on Free Speech, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, January 23, 2017

clarproj

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center are part of an alliance of haters who seek to intimidate anyone daring to question the Islamofascists’ supremacist ideology and their strategies to implement it. Their tactics of choice include race-baiting and a campaign of economic coercion akin to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.  For example, JVP and the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center have ganged up with other like-minded so-called “inter-faith leaders and organizations” to harass a non-profit organization, the Clarion Project, they have falsely accused of being “an anti-Muslim hate group.” JVP boasted how it was successful in pressuring a real estate firm, Tishman Speyer, into throwing out the Clarion Project from offices they were renting in Tishman Speyer’s Washington D.C. building.

“The turning point in the campaign came when JVP DC-Metro partnered with leaders from the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church Virginia,” JVP declared. “The Islamic and Jewish organizations collaborated to challenge a major Tishman Speyer development project that was before the Fairfax County Planning Commission.”

The Fairfax County Planning Commission was considering the development project this month at what should have been a routine meeting. Instead, JVP and Dar-Al-Hijrah attempted to turn it into a referendum on the Clarion Project.  Alison Glick, coordinator of JVP DC-Metro, said at the hearing, “If Tishman Speyer is going to keep doing business with Clarion, then Fairfax County should stop doing business with Tishman Speyer. Let Tishman Speyer know that hate groups are not welcome in Fairfax County.”

Colin Christopher, Deputy Director for Government Affairs at Dar-Al-Hijrah, complained to the Fairfax commissioners how the Clarion Project allegedly promoted hatred and bigotry. “We like most others see this development as a good thing,” said Colin Christopher.  “But we were deeply troubled when learning about the ongoing business relationship that Tishman Speyer have with one of the most well financed hate groups in the United States, the Clarion Project.”

The Clarion Project is, in reality, in the truth-telling business. It has put into practice what it states as its mission: “exposing the dangers of Islamist extremism while providing a platform for the voices of moderation and promoting grassroots activism.” It exposes the Islamofascists’ true agenda with their own words, while giving more moderate Muslims who are disaffected by Islamofascism the chance to express their feelings in their own words. That is not hate. It is education.

For example, Ryan Mauro, Clarion Project’s national security analyst, wrote a highly informative article based on his interview with a Pakistani Muslim activist named Anila Ali. Ms. Ali, now living in the United States, recounted what it was like trying to live the life of a moderate Muslim while being subjected to threats and hate messages from Islamist groups like the Taliban.  She condemned radical Islamic groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). She said, “I don’t subscribe to the views of any Muslim organizations or individuals who teach extremism or hate for my country, its institutions, and for the men and women in uniform that keep me and my family safe. I don’t subscribe to any Muslim organization that teaches that women and minorities don’t have equal rights in Islam. And I don’t subscribe to any organization that teaches hate against any other human being.”

In providing truly moderate Muslims in the United States a public platform to denounce the Islamists’ messages of hate and the opportunity to provide their alternative positive vision, the Clarion Project is setting an example for people, in its words, “to step up for justice, tolerance and moderation.”

JVP claims to be “inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights.” In practice, they are nothing of the kind. For example, while all too eager to condemn “Israeli war-crimes,” they have little to say regarding Hamas’s use of human shields and its firing of rockets aimed at Israeli civilian population centers.

JVP has received funding from the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust (which also has supported Electronic Intifada). JVP and CAIR are joined together at the hip. For example, CAIR even presented one of its inaugural “Defender of Liberty” awards to JVP last December. As an Algemeiner article discussing the “love” relationship between JVP and CAIR put it, “The relationship between CAIR and JVP is a witches’ brew — a diabolical concoction of anti-Israel hatred and Islamic terrorist connections. Rather than ‘defenders of liberty,’ they are defenders of the Islamic agenda.”

Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center claims to “[P]romote better relations and understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.” Just like their partner, JVP, they are nothing of the kind. According to the Department of Treasury’s Enforcement Communications System (TECS) records, as quoted by the Investigated Project on Terrorism, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is “a mosque operating as a front for Hamas operatives in U.S.,” and “is associated with Islamic extremists.”

The Clarion Project has written about the Islamic extremist organizations and individuals linked to the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center. It has provided both direct quotes from affiliated extremists and references to U.S. government findings to back up its claims. Pointing out incontrovertible facts is not hate speech. Again, it is education in the truth.

The Clarion Project has also written about JVP’s involvement in pro-Islamist, anti-Israel causes. For example JVP supported the cause of a former member of the terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, whom had reportedly moved to the United States under false pretenses. Rasmieh Yousef Odeh was indicted for omitting from her immigration papers the material fact that she had been arrested, convicted and imprisoned in Israel for her involvement in a terrorist attack that killed two Israeli students. JVP joined with the Chicago chapter of CAIR, American Muslims for Palestine and various pro-Palestinian “interfaith” groups in seeking an exoneration for this terrorist who falsified her background in order to reside in this country. The Clarion Project linked to JVP’s letter in which JVP said it “stands in solidarity with Rasmea Yousef Odeh” and opposes what it called “unwarranted and draconian enforcement of our immigration laws.”

Neither Jewish Voice for Peace nor the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center have chosen to address the Clarion Project’s fact-based reports head on. Instead, they have dressed up the Left’s time-honored tactic of race baiting to accuse the Clarion Project of hate-filled Islamophobia.  Their “source” for this calumny is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). SPLC’s October 2016 publication, “A Journalist’s Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” purported to profile 15 “anti-Muslim extremists.” The Southern Poverty Law Center took a swipe at the Clarion Project as part of its highly distorted “anti-Muslim extremist profile” of the Clarion Project’s national security analyst, Ryan Mauro.

The SPLC has been found to have inflated its numbers on so-called “hate groups” in general, and has a distinctly anti-conservative bias.  Any journalist who relies on SPLC’s shoddy work does so at his or her peril. It spliced together out-of-context quotes to portray its targets in the worst possible light. And it grossly distorted its targets’ full records of accomplishments. In Ryan Mauro’s case, for example, SPLC left out of its “profile” his extensive efforts to reach out to more moderate Muslims such as Anila Ali, whom he interviewed for the article mentioned above. SPLC included Maajid Nawaz on its list of supposed anti-Muslim extremists. Mr. Nawaz is a practicing Muslim, whom has spoken out against both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamic extremism. SPLC included ex-Muslim critic of radical Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose life has been threatened for speaking out about her own first-hand experiences with Islamist hatemongers. And SPLC’s hit list included experts on jihad such as Robert Spencer, whose thoroughly researched books and articles are nuanced in defining the problems that radical Islam poses for Western societies. In all these cases, SPLC is conflating legitimate moral and intellectual criticism of Islamist doctrine with hate speech. As Mr. Nawaz said in his rebuttal to the accusations leveled at him, members of “the regressive-left” have set themselves up as “self-appointed inquisitors.” And as Mr. Spencer said, the point of SPLC’s hit list was “to demonize and silence everyone who dares say something about Islam that is not warmly positive.”

The leftwing SPLC has given the Jewish Voice for Peace and Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center the propaganda ammunition they need to try and intimidate the critics of Islamist organizations and individuals into submission.  They must not succeed. Bullying businesses into cutting their ties with patriotic American groups such as the Clarion Project, whom are unfairly smeared as hate groups, is an Islamofascist tactic that must be firmly resisted in defense of free speech.

1. The Third Jihad – 9/11 and Muslim Silence

January 8, 2017

1. The Third Jihad – 9/11 and Muslim Silence, Clarion Project via YouTube, January 5, 2017

 

The blurb beneath the video states,

In episode 1 of The Third Jihad, Clarion Project exposes the US Islamic leaderships overwhelming silence over condemning and publicly mourning the tragedy of 9/11. It highlights CAIR and other groups unwillingness to specifically condemn the terrorists of 9/11. Get TTJ to direct your inbox every week http://www.clarionproject.org

The e-mail I received this morning states,

As a member of Clarion’s top tier group, we’re excited to send you an advance copy of episode 1 of our film series The Third Jihad.

In 2007, Clarion Project completed this landmark film highlighting radical Islamists’ engagement in a “multifaceted strategy to overcome the Western world,” waging a “cultural jihad” to “infiltrate and undermine our society from within.”

On the film’s 10th anniversary you will be astounded at how accurately we predicted the future, in a world where radical Islam was allowed to flourish, in a world where political correctness silenced Islamist detractors and in a world where ‘cultural sensibilities’ trumped free speech.

(video embed)

Week by week we will unfold the story of radical Islam, unveiling its historic, cultural, religious and militant roots and show how they manifest themselves in today’s society.

As ever, we would ask two things from you: Please send us your comments and please share this video with as many people as you can.

Thanks for your support,

The Clarion Team

Islamist Organization Threatens Violence against the Trump Administration

November 28, 2016

Islamist Organization Threatens Violence against the Trump Administration, Dan Miller’s Blog, November 28, 2016

(This article is based in part on a Clarion Project article posted here earlier today. The views expressed here are mine, and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

An article posted today by The Clarion Project — which supports the reformation of Islam and opposes Sharia law and Islamic jihad — states that an Islamist organization named “Muslims of America” is planning violent confrontations with the Trump administration.

Khalifa Hussain Abdallah, (foreground) known as ‘K1’ within the group for his top ranking as an original founder, is said to be a key supervisor of these preparations for armed conflict.

Khalifa Hussain Abdallah, (foreground) known as ‘K1’ within the group for his top ranking as an original founder, is said to be a key supervisor of these preparations for armed conflict.

Here’s an interview by Bill O’Reilly with Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro.  Presented on January 15, 2015, it deals with Muslims of America and other Islamist groups active in Obama’s America:

The Clarion Project article published today states that,

Multiple confidential sources inside of a powerful jihadist group within the United States have informed the Christian Action Network and the Clarion Project that members have been told to arm themselves in anticipation of raids by the Trump Administration.

It seems odd that sources inside the organization would give advance warning of its intentions, but they appear to have done so. The organization seems well motivated, equipped and trained to carry out its threats.

The members believe that President-elect Trump is part of a satanic-Zionist conspiracy to destroy Islam, and that he is fulfilling apocalyptic End Times prophecies. Any action taken against MOA is seen as part of a war on Islam, a situation that permits violent jihad.

The preparations for armed confrontation are described as “self-defense measures,” but one source cautioned that the group could decide to take “offensive” action if it believes armed conflict is imminent. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

The Pakistan-based spiritual leader of Muslims of America (MOA), Sheikh Gilani, told top MOA officials (known as “khalifas”) to order all unarmed members to obtain firearms, licenses and hunting permits in order to resist raids on the group’s approximately 22 compounds that they expect to happen under the Trump Administration. Additional “security” was also called up and assault rifles have been mentioned as desirable.

The group now expects the FBI “to reopen its cases against them as a homegrown terrorist organization,” one of the confidential sources told Martin Mawyer of the Christian Action Network and Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project.

The sources independently stated that members across the country were told of instructions from Sheikh Gilani to “be prepared to fight.” The message reportedly relayed to members was to “hear and obey,” using language identical to the oath of allegiance members sign when they join the group. He predicted, “You will be tested.” [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

MOA members have a long history of terrorism, extremism and criminal activity including weapons trafficking. A 2007 FBI report obtained by Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project states:

“The documented propensity for violence by this organization supports the belief the leadership of the MOA extols membership to pursue a policy of jihad or holy war against individuals or groups it considers enemies of Islam, which includes the US Government.” [Emphasis added.]

It warned that MOA “possesses an infrastructure capable of planning and mounting terrorist campaigns within the U.S. and overseas.”

According to an article posted by The Clarion Project in 2013,

A secret Canadian intelligence report described al-Fuqra as a “militant Sufi sect” that believes “there is a Satanic Zionist conspiracy to destroy Islam and that the Fuqra is God’s chosen instrument to defeat the enemies of Islam.” Among those they say are complicit in the conspiracy are Jews, Hindus, other Muslims and the governments of the U.S. and Canada.[5] Gilani has said, “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are America.”[6] He says that the “U.S. has become a pawn of hidden hands that use America’s wealth and the innocent blood of their sons and daughters to wage their wars against Muslims.[7] [Emphasisadded.]

MOA says it has 22 settlements across the United States.[8] A 2006 report for law enforcement put the number at above 35 and estimated that the organization has 3,000 members. It said that the organization is set up like “classically structured terrorist cells” and that Gilani is “now known as an international terrorist.” It said that at least seven of the communes are used for paramilitary training and that members are also sent to Pakistan for further instruction. [9]There are unconfirmed reports of members being trained in Sudan.[10]

A former high-level MOA operative that was a NYPD informant says that MOA also has set up operations in Trinidad, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Venezuela. He said that the paramilitary training is now only given to a select group. He describes MOA as being cult-like and said that most of the children are taught privately on its premises and are illiterate. He says he witnessed vicious punishments, including the beating of a 50-year old woman, for violating the strict moral code set by Gilani.[11] Two former female MOA members were interviewed by a filmmaker in 2011 and told stories of abuse, polygamy, forced marriages, brainwashing and terrorist activity.[12]

MOA believes that Gilani is a miracle-making representative of Allah. He claimed he exited his body to meet Jesus and the forthcoming Mahdi in 2009. Khalid Khawaja, a former pilot for Osama Bin Laden and a close friend of Gilani’s, says that “One white American [follower of Gilani’s] told me that there are thousands of people in America, who, if they are asked to cut off one limb so that they can stay with him, they are ready to do that.”

“If you push him to that stage, that he has no option but to declare jihad on America… it will blow like a volcano,” he said.[13]

He also said, “I am sure of one thing, Osama does not have even one of his followers as committed as Sheik Mubarak Gilani. Osama does not have even one as committed as the least of his people.”[14]

Gilani says that Jews are “an example of human Satans”[15] and that “I have never seen, in the whole of my life or even in the past thousand years, a Jew who will tell the truth.”[16] In making that case for Muslim-Christian relations, Gilani says, “the Jews tried to murder Jesus, son of Mary.”[17]

MOA believes that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were part of a Satanic-Zionist conspiracy to wage war on Islam and stop Muslim-Christian unity. Gilani has referred to Osama Bin Laden as a “Saudi activist.”[18] MOA’s newspaper, the Islamic Post, praised Iranian President Ahmadinejad when he called for an independent investigation into 9/11 at the United Nations.[19]

The MOA also believes that evil “jinn beings” possess human beings. It says that the movies Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, The Exorcist and Harry Potter were part of “jinn” plots to corrupt minds and spread Satanic influence.[20]

Jamaat ul-Fuqra has a history of terrorist and criminal activity. At least a dozen members have been convicted and its members have been accused of involvement in at least 10 assassinations and 17 firebombings since 1980.[21]

A 2004 report funded by the Justice Department said that “members of the Fuqra group have raised money by taking advantage of a variety of social service programs, including worker’s compensation, public health care, welfare, and food stamps programs. Other crimes committed by Fuqra members include the creation and use of false identification cards, birth certificates, and other forged documents.”[22] The group recruits heavily from those with criminal backgrounds.[23] The group is also known to use security companies as fronts. [Emphasis added.]

A secret tape made by Gilani’s followers in Pakistan in the 1980s proves that the purpose of the camps in the U.S. is to facilitate paramilitary training. In the video, Gilani boasts of having “one of the most advanced training courses in Islamic military warfare” and invites interested Muslims to contact MOA offices in Pakistan or in several states in the U.S.

The film shows Gilani followers receiving the training and practicing the hijacking of vehicles, use of firearms, hand-to-hand combat, setting off explosives and other violent acts. In one scene, an instructor says, “Act like you are a friend, then kill him.”[24]

In 1989, the FBI raided a storage locker in Colorado Springs used by a Fuqra member and discovered weapons, explosives and plans for terrorist attacks, including the murder of Imam Rasad Khalifa in Arizona. He was a Muslim that was branded an apostate for his interpretations of the religion.[25] He was killed in 1990 exactly as the plans described.

The FBI discovered that the Fuqra members had to pledge, “I shall always hear and obey, and whenever given the command, I shall readily fight for Allah’s sake.”

The biggest Fuqra terror plot was attempted in 1991 and it aimed to kill 4,500 people. Five operatives tried to bomb a Hindu temple and an Indian cinema in the Toronto area during the Hindu Festival of Lights. The terrorists possessed a book authored by Gilani that says, “The mission of this Jamaat ul-Fuqra is to lead Muslims to their final victory over Communists, Zionists, Hindus and deviators.”[26]

In October 1992, law enforcement authorities shut down Fuqra’s 101-acre commune at Buena Vista and discovered that it was essentially a terrorist training camp financed through crime. A poem was found that reads, “Come join my troops and army/Says our Sheikh Gilani/Prepare to sacrifice your head/A true believer is never dead/Say ‘Victory is in the Air’/The kafir’s blood will not be spared.”[27]

One terrorist involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Clement Rodney Hampton, was a Fuqra member and had been trained by the group near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was convicted for his role in another campaign to bomb several New York City targets.

In December 1993, Sheikh Gilani reportedly attended a terrorist conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Among the groups represented were Hamas, Hezbollah, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and others. [28] Some reports say that Osama Bin Laden was present, a believable claim as he lived in the country at the time.[29]

In 2001, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and executed in Pakistan when he was on his way to interview Gilani. He has never been charged and denies involvement but says that Pearl was sent to assassinate him.

In 2009, Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro obtained two MOA tapes. One showed women training at its Islamberg headquarters in military fatigue. Only the first two digits in the on-screen date could be seen, indicating it was made in 2000 or afterwards. The trainees were seen marching in formation, practicing hand-to-hand combat, learning to use knives and swords and firing guns into a lake.

A second video showed MOA leaders declaring that the U.S. is a Muslim-majority country and vowing to defend it from foreign and domestic enemies. The speakers said they would never declare jihad on their country but “will not sit idly by and let our country be destroyed by this hidden hand.”[30]

In February 2010, Pakistan refused entry to two high-level MOA members.[31] It was reported in early 2010 by multiple sources that a large number of MOA members had suddenly moved out of their communes.

The current threat by Muslims of America must be taken seriously. Although many of their notions are loony, that makes them more, not less, dangerous.

The Washington Post’s Chronic CAIRless Syndrome

June 30, 2016

The Washington Post’s Chronic CAIRless Syndrome, Camera.org, June 29, 2016

(Sad but hardly exceptional. The “legitimate” media rarely present facts to dispute the Obama administration’s propaganda machine. — DM)

Why do Washington Post reporters and editorial systematically keep relevant background about the Council on American Islamic Relations from readers?

CAMERA has questioned Post coverage of CAIR—an unindicted co-conspirator in the United States’ biggest terrorism funding trial to date—for years. No answer has been forthcoming, not even after CAMERA provided the newspaper’s last three ombudsmen with public record information casting doubt on CAIR’s self-portrait as a civil rights advocate for Muslim Americans.

The late Deborah Howell, Post ombudsman from 2005 to 2008, told CAMERA’s Washington office she had brought its complaint to the newsroom’s attention but, in essence, staffers rebuffed discussion of it. And The Post has continued citing CAIR as a credible source, virtually never telling readers that, among other things:

*In that 2009 federal case, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development retrial, five men were sentenced to prison for raising more than $12 million for Hamas. Hamas is the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, a U.S.-government designated terrorist organization. Receiving a 65-year term was Ghassan Elashi, co-founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter;

*In an out-of-court settlement of a suit it brought, the council reduced libel claims to omit contesting assertions it was founded by Hamas members, founded by Islamic terrorists and funded by Hamas supporters;

*Including Elashi, at least five former CAIR lay leaders or staffers have been arrested, convicted and/or deported on weapons or terrorism charges; and

*A council “media guide” to proper reporting of Islamic issues was “pure propaganda,” according to Investor’s Business Daily.

All this and more can be found in CAMERA’s 2009 Special Report, “The Council on American Islamic Relations: Civil Rights, or Extremism?” copies of which have been provided to Post staffers on numerous occasions.

Giving CAIR a pass. And another. And another

CAMERA has not urged The Post, or other news outlets, to ignore CAIR. Rather, it repeatedly has recommended that the newspaper and other media provide the minimum context necessary. Readers reasonably ought to be able to determine for themselves whether the council is, as it implies, a Muslim American version of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) or the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), or, as its history indicates, a Muslim Brotherhood derivative.

But no. When it comes to CAIR, The Post has its back. Among recent examples:

*“How the Trump campaign decided to target Muslims; Influenced by 9/11, candidate and aides focused on ‘radical Islam,’” June 22, 2016. CAIR’s Corey Saylor, director of its “department to monitor and combat Islamophobia” is quoted. No information about CAIR is included;

“After Orlando, anxiety fills Muslim congregations; Worshipers in nightclub shooter’s town, already enduring epithets, worry about what might come next,” June 19. This Post report cites “Omar Saleh, a lawyer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Florida chapter, which has offered free legal assistance to the Muslim community in which [Omar] Mateen [who committed the Orlando nightclub massacre] lived.” Again, no background on CAIR;

*“Trump’s broadside after massacre shakes Islamic group,” June 15. The feature leads with, and follows uncritically, CAIR’s claims of rising anti-Muslim sentiments and actions across the United States. Yet again, nothing in the article would flag the organization’s credibility for readers;

*“‘It could get a lot worse for Muslims in America’,” a May 4 Op-Ed by Post columnist Dana Milbank. Writing “[Presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee Donald] Trump can’t be blamed for everything his followers do. But his ascent has coincided with a rise in the number of anti-Muslim incidents to the highest level the Council on American-Islamic Relations has ever found.” Readers are not told that CAIR has a history of exaggerated claims about anti-Muslim activity. Nor are they reminded that, the council’s old and new warnings of “Islamophobia” notwithstanding, according to FBI hate crime statistics Jews still are members of the religious group most likely to be targeted. In 2014, for example, of more than 1,100 reported hate crimes based on religion, nearly 57 percent aimed at Jews, 16 percent at Muslims.

Coincidentally, while The Post repeatedly presented CAIR as a credible source, including reporting its post-Orlando offer of legal assistance, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the council should be tried for fraud. The case involves hundreds of people who had relied on CAIR for legal aid. See “CAIR to Stand Trial for Massive Fraud; The Council on American Islamic Relations is now charged with fraud and cover-up perpetrated against hundreds of Muslims,” The Clarion Project, June 22. The project is a non-profit organization that describes itself as “fighting extremism, promoting dialogue.”

If a tree falls on you in the forest

The Post does not appear to have covered the appeals verdict. A Nexis search indicates no U.S. newspapers did.

The Clarion Project, like CAMERA, like historian and publisher of Middle East Quarterly Daniel Pipes, The Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Steven Emerson and many others have been listed, or better, putatively black-listed, in a CAIR report. The council tars them as key players in an imagined national network fostering Islamophobia. The report, referred to obliquely by The Post in its June 15 article, is risible, slanderous and potentially libelous.

Asked about it by KPFA-FM radio, Berkeley, Cal., CAMERA replied, in part:

“CAIR’s self-described study of ‘Islamophobic networks’ alleges ‘CAMERA is pervasively inaccurate and disguises its anti-Muslim agenda by omitting important information.” ‘Pervasively inaccurate’ sweepingly implies a pattern of error. Yet the study appears to supply not one example. The allegation itself is not only pervasively inaccurate, it is slanderously and perhaps libelously so.

“As to our supposed camouflaged ‘anti-Muslim agenda,’ again, where are the examples? The one specific mention is of our ISNA [Islamic Society of North America] Special Report—but nothing in the report itself is quoted. Perhaps because it can’t be; CAIR attempts a weak smokescreen, confessing ‘unlike other Islamophobic organizations, CAMERA does not communicate obvious bigotry in their literature.’ (See CAMERA’s Special Report, “The Islamic Society of North America: Active, Influential and Rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood,” 2012)

“In fact, CAMERA does not communicate bigotry at all. But it’s our contention, which we believe the public record amply supports, that CAIR’s objective is not so much to fight anti-Muslim prejudice but to use the cry of ‘Islamophobia’ to censor discussion and analysis of Islamic extremism.”

FBI Director James Comey said that last year the bureau had more than 900 active cases, some in each of the 50 states, into suspected Islamic State sympathizers or other potential terrorists. George Washington University’s Program on Extremism noted the arrests in the United States in 2015 of 56 individuals on suspicion of plotting on behalf of or otherwise supporting the Islamic State. (See “Washington Times Notes Record Terror Levels,” CAMERA, Dec. 7, 2015.) Islamophobia, or newsworthy information?

Islamic extremism short of terrorist radicalization also would seem to be newsworthy, by definition. But not apparently to CAIR, which purports to find “Islamophobia” everywhere. As the Clarion Project notes, “CAIR wages an unrelenting campaign to discredit its critics as anti-Muslim bigots and moderate Muslims as puppets of an “Islamophobia network” (“Special Report: The Council on American Islamic Relations; Fact Sheet”. The paper covers some of the same material as CAMERA’s Special Report on CAIR, but extends the period under review through 2013.)

In relying uncritically on CAIR as a source, The Washington Post and other news media undercut themselves and short-change readers, listeners and viewers. The question is why? The answer would be newsworthy.