Posted tagged ‘Crusades’

Virginia Church Hosts Lecture on “Islamophobia,” Professor Claims It’s Driven By “Imperialism”

January 28, 2017

Virginia Church Hosts Lecture on “Islamophobia,” Professor Claims It’s Driven By “Imperialism”, Jihad Watch

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“I have lots of relationships with Muslims. They have taught me compassion and peace,” stated Luther College Professor Todd Green during a January 22 presentation at McLean, Virginia’s Lewinsville Presbyterian Church (LPC). Here this self-proclaimed “scholar of Islamophobia” and “anti-Islamophobia activist” reiterated his fantasy that interpersonal relationships with Muslims can refute supposed “Islamophobic” prejudices arising from Western sins like imperialism.

Green, author of the 2015 book The Fear of Islam:  An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West, is currently a Franklin Fellow at the United States Department of State, where Green “assesses and analyzes Islamophobia in Europe.” He has had ample opportunity to expound the book’s themes in various appearances in radio (see here, here, and here) and online, as well as public presentations such as at the 2016 Peacestock conference of the leftwing Veterans for Peace. He also writes for left-leaning publications such as the Huffington Post and Sojourners.

Without specific definitions, Green has concluded that “Islamophobia is an irrational fear, hostility, or hatred of Muslims and Islam” and is “one of the most acceptable prejudices in the United States today.” This presents a “cultural racism” in which “Muslims are essentialized; they are treated as a race,” he elaborated at LPC. Nonetheless, he has previously vaguely qualified that critical study of any such posited bigotry “is not an attempt to cut off critical conversations about Islam.”

Green has assessed that “imperialism is one of the main factors driving Islamophobia in the past and in the present,” resulting from historical “imperial tension and imperial competition” between Christians and Muslims. “In the seventh century when Islam came on the scene, it spread very quickly and Islamic empires developed quite quickly,” he has stated, while leaving unmentioned the Islamic supremacist jihad doctrine that propelled such conquests. With shifting power balances between Western and Islamic civilization across the centuries, Islamic empires gave way to the European colonialism that subjugated many Islamic lands.

Westerners colonizing Muslims, Green has argued, realized that “with imperial projects there must be some ‘other’, and this ‘other’ must be demonized and dehumanized in order for the imperial nation to galvanize popular support.” The “neo-imperialism” of rival Cold War superpowers followed European colonialism. Even post-Cold War, “much of U.S. foreign policy is incomprehensible apart from understanding that we are still engaged in the imperial project.”

Casting Muslims as passive victims of Western aggression, Green believes that such stereotypes influence Americans today who “have seen and continue to see Muslims in many parts of the world as obstacles to our imperial ambitions.” In the Huffington Post, he emphasizes the “history of Western interventionism in Muslim-majority contexts, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. exploitation of energy resources in the Middle East, the legacy of European colonialism.” The oft-debated question “Is ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and (Greater) Syria] Islamic?” is merely a “thinly veiled form of Islamophobia intended to heighten our fears of Islam while absolving the U.S. of its own responsibility in contributing to the rise to ISIS.”

“Religion is rarely the driving force behind terrorism,” Green’s article claims, befitting his oft-disproved analysis that socioeconomic disadvantage, not Islamic doctrine, lies behind jihadist violence. At LPC, he described Muslims joining ISIS because of factors like discrimination in Europe or oppression from Middle Eastern dictatorships, just as socioeconomic factors might influence Westerners to join rightwing movements. “White Christians have an empire to hide behind.  Many of these young men joining ISIS don’t.  When you are politically disenfranchised you will sometimes find other ways to find power.”

In identifying “Islamophobia’s” past and present purveyors, Green resorts to well-worn, hackneyed tropes. He embraces the fraudulent Edward Said’s Orientalism thesis that “knowledge about Islam coming from Orientalism was being distorted by the imperial project.” Past Western Islamic studies served not intellectual inquiry, but rather “knowledge for the sake of control” over Muslims.

Green today castigates “professional Islamophobes” supposedly motivated by pure malice, such as Pamela Geller, Daniel Pipes, Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer, and Geert Wilders. “From the time they wake up in the morning to the time they go to bed at night, their job is to figure out ‘how can I better demonize Muslims today.’” While “Islamophobia” often appears among conservatives, it is “more dangerous in the way it manifests itself among those who claim to be liberal,” such as talk show host Bill Maher, Green noted at LPC. He meanwhile makes the common yet baseless claim that “Islamophobia” forms a well-funded “powerful industry,” while the “anti-Islamophobia side does not pay quite as well” for individuals like him.

Contrastingly, in Green’s estimation Islamic belief seemingly can cause no harm, as he rejects “misconceptions” that “sharia law is somehow incompatible with democracy or with the West.” “The overwhelming majority of Muslims” globally “really are trying to practice their religion that helps them and their fellow human beings flourish,” he has argued. At LPC he added that “I hate the language of ‘radical Islamic terrorism’” and its “simplistic understanding that Islam programs people to be violent.”

Islamic rule past and present thus raises few concerns for Green while he condemns the United States for having supported dictators like Iran’s shah. Like many academics, he whitewashes Islam’s often brutal, subjugated “status of dhimmis or protected minorities” for non-Muslims, stating that “for much of the history of Islam Christians and Jews were protected and lived in peace with Muslims.” Today Americans in the Middle East should “be very consistent when it comes to supporting democratic movements, even if that means risking losing an alliance with an autocratic government,” irrespective of such “democratic” results in 1979 Iran and 2011 Egypt.

More often than not, non-Muslims draw Green’s criticism. Writing in Sojourners, he approved of President Barack Obama’s regurgitation of the common canard that the Crusades were unjustified aggression, not a just war defensive response to jihadist conquests. “Obama did his best at the National Prayer Breakfast in February [2015] to address the legacy of violence carried out in the name of Christianity.” Green also has falsely relativized that the “Bible has its fair share of violent texts” along with the Quran, thereby ignoring fundamental differences between violent verses in these two scriptures.

Green’s Huffington Post writings betray a less than stirring defense of free speech against jihadist censorship. Geller and Spencer’s 2015 Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, where security guards killed two Muslim assailants, merely exemplified “hate rallies that engage in Muslim-bashing under the pretense of defending freedom of speech.” Reviewing Iran’s 1989 blasphemy death sentence for British writer Salman Rushdie, Green mused that “minorities rarely have possessed the same opportunities to shape public opinion as those with political power or cultural capital.” Therefore, “Rushdie and some of his more outspoken supporters adopted a fairly uncritical approach to freedom of expression, assuming at times that this freedom benefits all members of Western societies equally.”

For Green, individual relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims are the antidote to what he has called a “perfect storm of Islamophobia” in a French television interview. He laments supposedly skewed media representations emphasizing Islam’s violence while “there simply are not enough strong relationships in the West between Muslims who are in the minority and the non-Muslim majority.” As one venue for interfaith outreach, he advocates the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)-derived Muslim Students Association (MSA), which he addressed in 2010 at Minnesota’s St. Cloud State University.

One of Green’s book interviewees, Muslim congressman Keith Ellison, currently under fire for his anti-Israel statements and extremists Islamist affiliations, presents for Green the kind of Muslim people should befriend. “If you have a really jaded, negative view of politicians and think that they are intellectually disengaged, you should have a conversation with Keith Ellison, and you will change your mind,” Green has stated about the Minnesota representative. Accordingly, Green’s wife and fellow leftist, Tabita, has written about how he took Luther College students from their Iowa campus on a field trip to Ellison’s Minneapolis mosque, where the radical imam Siraj Wahaj has been a featured speaker. Tabita also noted that the field trip included a visit to the Minnesota chapter of the Hamas-derived Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) “to learn about their civil rights work.”

Green’s tweets round out his Islamist sympathies. In one, he calls the radical, anti-Semitic Woman’s March on Washington organizer Linda Sarsour a “shining star in the battle against racism and bigotry” and therefore “#ImarchwithLinda.” In another, his CAIR and MSA affiliations apparently make him worry that “[d]esignating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist org. will open the door to witch hunts aimed @ Muslim civil liberties groups.”

Yet even Green recognizes that interfaith relations with Muslims are not without their pitfalls. “You want to see a nonstarter happen,” he has indicated in his various appearances, including at LPC, then introduce the subject of “Palestine” between Jews and Muslims. Before tackling such hot topics, he recommends that interfaith groups undertake noncontroversial community projects like Habitat for Humanity homebuilding; “I tend to prefer more organic relationships to evolve,” he has stated. Apparently then, Jewish legal legend Alan Dershowitz should build a house with Ellison before deciding to leave the Democratic Party if he becomes the Democratic National Committee chairman.

Reality belies Green’s “getting to know you” thesis in which individual relationships with Muslims dispel reservations towards Islam that actually come from the faith’s hard facts, not imagined prejudice. Numerous Christians from Muslim-majority countries have impressed upon this author Islam’s oppressive nature towards non-Muslims, even though these individuals lack no opportunity to meet Muslims as Green bemoans in the United States. Likewise Europe’s significantly larger Muslim populations, recently increased by an influx of “refugees,” have done little to improve Islam’s popularity.

The arguments of Green, who by self-admission is by training a student of American and European religious history, not Islamic studies, might impress his fellow leftists as indicated by his largely positive reception at LPC. Paralleling the Obama Administration’s State Department, LPC has made an appeal to “Actively Support the Boycott of Products Made in Israeli Settlements” and is pro-LGBT. Yet individuals like James Lafferty, head of Christians Against Radical Islam (CARI), indicated during audience questions why skepticism is warranted. He recalled a local presentation 25 years ago by Anwar al-Awlaki, an imam once feted as a Muslim “moderate” and later killed in Yemen as an Al Qaeda supporter by a 2011 American drone strike. “He said many times exactly the same words I have heard tonight,” Lafferty noted.

The Unserious West and the Serious Jihadists

April 15, 2016

The Unserious West and the Serious Jihadists, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, April 15, 2016

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The Obama administration and the “nuisance of terrorism.”

Instead of paying the price of aggression, partly because of the Cold War, more recently because of Western failure of nerve and civilizational exhaustion, Muslims have been the beneficiaries of billions in Western aid, Western arms, Western defense against enemies, Western lax immigration policies, Western appeasement, and Western suicidal ideas like cultural and moral relativism. In short, Muslims have never accepted their defeats, and have never experienced the humiliating cost of their aggression, because the modern West has never forced them to pay for it.

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In Terry Gilliam’s dystopian film-classic Brazil, London is under assault from a 13-year-long terrorist campaign that Londoners won’t stop and so just live with. A bomb goes off in a restaurant, and the waiters scurry to screen off the mangled and dying so survivors can continue eating. When reminded by a journalist that “The bombing campaign is now in it 13th year,” the Deputy Minister laughs, “Beginner’s luck!” The West today is rapidly approaching the surreal insouciance of Gilliam’s fantasy.

Think about Obama, hanging out with head of terror-state Raul Castro at a baseball game during the Brussels attacks that killed 34, including four Americans. Obama told Chris Wallace that the terrorists “win” if we don’t go about our daily business, like the diners in Brazil ordering dessert among the screams and moans of the dying and wounded. After all, ISIS is not an “existential threat,” as the president keeps saying, and more of us die in bathtub falls than are killed by terrorists. Obama apparently thinks he has achieved John Kerry’s goal during the 2004 presidential campaign to reduce terrorism to a “nuisance” like prostitution.

I suppose the absurd security measures we endure every time we board a plane is the sort of “nuisance” Kerry and Obama are talking about. I guess we “win” when we dutifully take off our shoes and coats, put our computers and three ounces of liquids in a tray, and submit to aggressive wanding by surly TSA functionaries. Are such silly measures now part of the daily life we should just get on with? Of course Obama’s attitude is preposterous, and he should know that it is the terrorists who “win” every time an 80-year-old has to endure being felt up by a federal worker. Meanwhile, in breach tests of TSA inspectors in 2015, 95% of fake explosives and contraband sailed through the screening process.

These inefficient and intrusive procedures have been put in place mainly to avoid stigmatizing Muslims. Such obeisance to politically correct proscriptions against “profiling” is just one of the myriad ways in which we tell the jihadist enemy we really aren’t serious about the latest battle in the 14-century-long war of Islam against the infidel West.

Take Obama’s Executive Order 1341, which banned waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” of captured jihadists. Now only those practices in the Army Field Manual can be used to question detainees, despite the fact that the document is public and so jihadists can use it to train terrorists how to resist. Forget that one technique, waterboarding, is legal under U.S. law, and generated actionable intelligence––according to former CIA chief George Tenet, waterboarding a few high-value suspects helped foil over 20 al Qaida plots against the U.S. Those facts cannot outweigh Obama’s need to preen morally and gratify international anti-Americanism.

More recently, his notoriously political CIA director John Brennan displayed once again this administration’s lack of seriousness about the war against Islamic jihad. In 2009 Brennan “corrected” 14 centuries of Islamic scripture, practice, and law by calling jihad a way “to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral good.” Obviously, the most revered Shi’a Islamic theologian, the Ayatollah Khomeini, was wrong when he said, “Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers,” or “Those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world.” That’s also the “moral good” for which ISIS wages jihad.

Brennan apparently learned nothing since 2009 about the nature of this war. Responding last week to Donald Trump’s promise to bring back waterboarding of detainees, Brennan huffed that should any president revoke Obama’s executive order and allow waterboarding and other EIT’s, “I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about, because this institution needs to endure.” Only someone profoundly unserious about his duty to protect the lives and safety of his fellow citizens would promise to disobey the Commander-in-Chief just so the bureaucracy he oversees can “endure,” whatever that means. The CIA has one job, protecting America’s security and interests, and it will “endure” only by successfully doing so, not by moral exhibitionism.

This lack of seriousness is endemic in this administration. Refusing to call ISIS “Islamic,” even going so far as to censor comments by French president François Hollande that used the word, bespeaks a dangerous frivolity. So too do symbolic tactics like droning an endless parade of ISIS “number twos” instead of committing enough forces and dropping enough bombs to make a strategic difference in the region. Instead, the American-led bombing campaign has averaged a mere seven strikes a day, with 75% of the planes returning with their bombs. Meanwhile Russia was averaging 60 strikes a day, freed from the squeamish rules of engagement that inhibit our forces from taking out an oil truck because it would kill the driver. Obama’s war against ISIS is a symbolic one typical of unserious politicians.

Our problem, however, goes beyond the politicians. Too many of us have failed to understand that this war did not begin on 9/11. It did not begin when al Qaeda declared war on us in the 90s and attacked our embassies and naval vessels. It did not begin in 1979, when our alleged neo-colonialist depredations supposedly sparked the Iranian revolution and created today’s Islamic (N.B., Mr. President) Republic of Iran, the world’s premier state sponsor of terrorism. It did not begin in 1948, when five Arab nations, all but one members of the U.N., violated Resolution 191 and attacked Israel. It did not begin when after World War I the victorious Entente powers exercised mandatory powers, granted by the League of Nations and codified in international treaties, over the territory of the Ottoman Empire that had sided with the Central Powers.

All these acts of aggression were merely the latest in a war begun in the 7th century when Islam attacked the eastern Roman Empire and began its serial dismemberment of the heart of Christendom, the old word for the West. For a thousand years the armies of Allah successfully invaded, conquered, occupied, enslaved, and raided the West, in accordance with its doctrine of jihad in the service of Muslim domination, and in homage to Mohammed’s injunction, “I was told to fight all men until they say there is no god but Allah.” This record of success began to end in the 17th century with the rise of the modern West and its technological, economic, and political advantages.

But the war didn’t end with that Muslim retreat, even after what bin Laden called the “catastrophe” –– the demise of the Ottoman Caliphate, and the division of its territory into Western-style nation-states. The West won that battle, but it did not win the war. One reason is the Muslim nations of the Middle East never suffered the wages of their aggression. They sided with the Central Powers in World War I. They sat out World War II––apart from the many thousands who fought on the side of the Nazis––and received fugitive Nazis as guests after the war. Their serial aggression and terror against Israel has never been repaid with bombed-out capitals or punitive postwar reprisals. Their governments have never been punished for funding and proliferating mosques and madrassas teaching hatred of the infidel and terrorist violence in the service of jihad.

Instead of paying the price of aggression, partly because of the Cold War, more recently because of Western failure of nerve and civilizational exhaustion, Muslims have been the beneficiaries of billions in Western aid, Western arms, Western defense against enemies, Western lax immigration policies, Western appeasement, and Western suicidal ideas like cultural and moral relativism. In short, Muslims have never accepted their defeats, and have never experienced the humiliating cost of their aggression, because the modern West has never forced them to pay for it.

Thus they look at our unserious, godless culture of consumption and frivolity, of self-loathing and guilt, and these serious believers are confident that 350 years of defeat in battle have not led to defeat in the long war. And so the war goes on. The frivolous Western dogs bark, but Allah’s caravan moves on.