Making a Massacre into a Lesson

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22 July is among the most interesting films in recent years. It is a dramatisation of the 2011 attacks in Norway that were committed by lone terrorist Anders Behring Breivik against the government and a Workers’ Youth League Student summer camp. The title comes from the day Breivik murdered 77 people and injured hundreds more.

Paul Greengrass wrote, directed and produced the film and he presents a unique perspective on objectivism. Instead of the usual banal presentation of a killer as a psychotic character removed from any recognisable human path, we meet Breivik, a cold, calculating person who is fully aware of his actions. Motivated by a political call, he takes the lives of dozens. The film examines the logos behind the deadliest attack in Europe since World War II by giving us an intimate look into the mind of an ideological cold blooded mass murderer and exploring his political mantra.

In this profound effort at cinematic objectivism, Greengrass breaks out of the clichéd liberal universe that is limited to a regime of correctness and obscene name-calling. The film invites us to look closely at Breivik’s universe: to examine his logic, to face his lethal boldness, to be horrified by his inhumanity but also to accept that he could easily be our next door neighbour. In his introductory  meeting with his lawyer Geir Lippestad, the latter asks Breivik to  explain his actions. In the coldest possible manner, Breivik answers,

“I have started a war to take control of Norway and the West.”

Of the innocent kids that were massacred by him Breivik says,

“they were traitors, children of the elite, leaders of tomorrow…”

Later, facing a detective investigation, Breivik says it as he sees it.

“We want Islam out of Europe.”

Breivik never shows remorse. To the question ‘why kids?’ Breivik answers

“I wanted to hit them (the liberals, the elite, etc.) where it hurts the most.”

Breivik doesn’t feel sorry for his victims, he sees himself as a freedom fighter.  For him it is a war of life or death. He insists upon defending his actions in court despite the fact that his lawyer suggested that he might be able to use an ‘insanity defense’  to be institutionalised instead of imprisoned.

We live in a world in which mass shooting are daily news. They are not just an American symptom associated with the availability of ‘automatic weapons;’ political terror is at least as common.  Such killings mark a new development that must be related to a significant global cultural shift. This is not merely an anecdotal battle over the 2nd Amendment, it demands a profound study of the transition in our human conditions that has made mass killings everyday events. I believe the shift has something to do with people growing up in a universe with no prospect of a future. It has something to do with the reduction of the working class into a workless mass. It has a lot to do with the collapse of the family and the war against family values. It has a lot to do with the war against the church. It may also have something to do with the fact that our governments are wiping out countries and people in the name of immoral interventionism and Ziocon interests.  And of course, it has a lot to do with the internet and game culture. If people do not go to work, they must be kept busy, and this is done by the internet, computer games and free drugs.

22 July is a crucial document because Breivik is not alone. In fact, Breiviks have won many battles since  2011. They won the Brexit referendum, they won the election in the USA and Breivik’s mantra (as opposed to his actions) has transformed into a popular political stand that is winning ground in the West and for a reason.

To cure our society and to save the West is to roll back time to identify where we lost our ability to listen, to be compassionate, to care for each other and to understand the crucial role of the church and the family. Unfortunately, so-called liberals and the new left aren’t helpful in this goal. Instead, they separate us into self centred identitarian factions dominated by a strict Jerusalemite regime of correctness and righteousness. What we must do is to reinstate the Athenian ethos of true pluralism, governed by the search for truth, beauty, ethics and the universal.

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Boris (the clown) Johnson slammed over Islamophobic comments

UK: Boris Johnson slammed over Islamophobic comments

New calls for Islamophobia inquiry in Johnson’s party after he says…

New calls for Islamophobia inquiry in Johnson’s party after he says women wearing face veils resemble ‘letter boxes’.

Boris Johnson

Johnson resigned last month as foreign secretary [File: Reuters]

Boris Johnson, the former British foreign secretary, has come under fire after Islamophobic comments targeting Muslim women wearing face veils.

In an opinion piece published in Monday’s Daily Telegraph, the Tory politician and leading figure in a campaign for Britain to leave the EU said that Muslim women wearing the veils look like “letter boxes” and compared them to “bank robbers”.

His comments prompted Muslim groups in the UK to renew calls for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

“Boris Johnson’s latest racist insults cannot be laughed off, like they often are,” said Naz Shah, the opposition Labour Party’s shadow equalities minister.

“Saying Muslim women look like letterboxes, comparing them to bank robbers and describing Islam as a ‘problem’ was a calculated attack and published in a national newspaper,” she added.

“[Prime Minister] Theresa May must condemn this blatant Islamophobia and Boris Johnson must apologise,” Shah said.

Many remarked on Twitter that Johnson has been in contact with Steve Bannon, former campaign manager for US President Donald Trump, and accused him of “pandering to the far-right” amid speculation over a future leadership contest within the Conservative Party.

 

David Lammy, a Labour MP, wrote on Twitter: “Muslim women are having their burkas pulled off by thugs in our streets & Boris Johnson’s response is to mock them for ‘looking like letter boxes.’ Our pound-shop Donald Trump is fanning the flames of Islamophobia to propel his grubby electoral ambitions.”

 

Others noted that this sort of language would not be tolerated against other minority groups.

 

Dehumanising remarks

Tell MAMA, an NGO tracking hate crime targeting Muslims in Britain, said in a statement that Johnson’s comments “dehumanise” Muslim women.

“He [Johnson] has little idea of the emotional, mental health and sometimes physical suffering these women feel when they are targeted for hate,” the statement said.

“Maybe he needs to spend some time with us Tell MAMA to understand the impact of dehumanising words on the lives and families of people who suffer hate.”

Islamophobia within the leading Conservative Party has been under scrutiny in recent months as calls to look into the problem have mounted.

Sayeeda Warsi, a senior Tory member, last month called for an inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia in the party.

Warsi, a member of the House of Lords, highlighted the acute issue surrounding Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric in her party in an open letter published by The Guardian in July.

“There should be a forensic, wide-ranging and transparent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party,” Warsi said, adding “the process should be published, those who are found wanting should be publicly named and membership withdrawn”.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) wrote two letters to the Conservatives this year urgently calling for an inquiry, as have groups such as the National Union of Students, the Union of Jewish Students, and institutions representing over 200 mosques in the UK.

 

“We need responsibility and action from our politicians, not pandering to the far-right,” the MCB said on Monday, in reaction to Johnson’s latest comments.

“Mr Johnson’s remarks also underscore the Muslim Council of Britain’s call for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party,” the council said on Twitter.

Johnson resigned last month as foreign secretary amid disagreement with May over her Brexit plans on future relations with the EU

American Islamophobia’s Fake Facts

Image by By Natasa Adzic via ShutterstockImage by By Natasa Adzic via Shutterstock

by Arnold R. Isaacs

Anti-Muslim activists in the United States were operating in a “post-truth era” and putting out “alternative facts” long before those phrases entered the language. For the last decade they have been spreading provable falsehoods through their well-organized network of publications and websites.

A major theme of those falsehoods is telling the U.S. public that Islam is inherently dangerous and that American Muslims, even if they do not embrace extremist religious beliefs or violent actions, are still a threat to national security. To back up that conclusion, the well-funded Islamophobia publicity machine incessantly repeats two specific assertions.

The first is that Muslims in this country have been engaged in a “stealth” or “civilizational jihad” — a long-term, far-reaching conspiracy to infiltrate the U.S. legal system and other public institutions and bring America under Islamic law. The companion claim is that mainstream Muslim-American organizations are effectively “fronts” for the Muslim Brotherhood and so secretly controlled by international terrorists. In fact, the Brotherhood has not been designated as a terror organization by the U.S. government, and there are not the slightest grounds for thinking it, or any other secret force, controls any national Muslim-American group.

The Islamophobes offer only two pieces of supporting “evidence,” one for each of those claims. Exhibit A is a document falsely called the Brotherhood’s “master plan” for the clandestine effort to establish Muslim dominance in the United States. Exhibit B is a list of several hundred “unindicted co-conspirators,” including the Council on American Islamic Relations and other mainstream national Muslim organizations, that federal prosecutors put into the record during a 2007 terrorism-financing trial in Texas.

If you look at the exhibits themselves, instead of the descriptions of them by anti-Muslim groups, it’s obvious that neither is what the Islamophobes say it is or proves what they allege it proves.

The Secret Plan That Wasn’t

Let’s start with the so-called master plan, a memorandum written nearly three decades ago that is not just the centerpiece but essentially the sole source for the tale of a “civilizational jihad” conspiracy.

The Islamophobia network unfailingly refers to the memorandum as an official declaration of Muslim Brotherhood strategy. Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy and perhaps the country’s most prominent Islamophobe, called it “the Muslim Brotherhood secret plan for taking down our country.” Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, two other leading voices in the anti-Muslim chorus, have written that “the Brotherhood lays out a plan [in the document] to do nothing less than conquer and Islamize the United States.”

Those statements are, however, unsupported by facts of any sort. The document, dated May 1991 and titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” is real, but there is no evidence that it represents the views of anyone other than the single Brotherhood member who wrote it. For that matter, no one has ever found any indication that anyone other than the author even saw the text, written in Arabic, until 13 years after it was completed, when it was coincidentally unearthed in a storage box during an FBI search of a home in Annandale, Virginia. No other copy is known to exist. Its wording makes it unmistakably clear that the writer was proposing a strategy to the Brotherhood’s leadership, not presenting a plan approved by any authority. No evidence has come to light that suggests his proposals were ever considered, let alone adopted, by the Muslim Brotherhood leadership.

Gaffney and the many other Islamophobes who cite it as proof of a “stealth jihad” threat against the United States have never presented additional documentation of any kind. No known Muslim Brotherhood correspondence or records refer to the memorandum, as one would expect if there had been a formal discussion of it or even an exchange between the author and any Brotherhood governing body.

After a careful search of available Brotherhood records, researchers at Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, which combats Islamophobia, determined that neither the memorandum nor its specific proposals appear in any documents they found. That includes records from the Brotherhood Shura Council’s 1991 meeting, where the memorandum’s author had specifically asked to have it put on the agenda. Other investigators have similarly failed to find any trace of the memorandum in other records. David Shipler, who wrote about it at length in his book Freedom of Speechcalls it an “orphan document” — and a childless orphan at that.

Taking Down Our Country? Not Exactly…

As well as falsely representing the memorandum’s status, the Islamophobes are also notably less than accurate in describing its contents.

They regularly quote a single sentence that refers to “destroying the Western civilization from within” so that “God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” But that’s the only line in 18 pages of text that even comes close to suggesting the idea of “taking down our country,” as Gaffney puts it. Aside from that single reference there is no other mention of destroying Western civilization, no discussion of when that downfall might come about or how it might be achieved “from within.” There’s not a word about penetrating government structures or the legal system, nothing about clandestine action or a secret plot to take power.

Instead, the plan’s dominant concept — similar to the evangelical vision preached in many religions — is achieving Islamic supremacy through proselytizing and conversion. Virtually the entire text focuses on believers, not non-believers, and how to organize and strengthen the Muslim community in the U.S. so that it will be better able to carry out that effort.

“It is not a plot. It is a missionary strategy,” Edward Curtis IV, professor of religious studies and editor of the Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History, told me in an email after reading the memorandum. The document comes much closer to that description than to Gaffney’s. At its heart is a long list of specific ideas for establishing — openly, not secretly — Muslim structures in many areas of public life: education, law, media, financial institutions, art and culture, social and charitable work, and so on. A recommendation to create “clubs for training and learning self-defense techniques” is the only item on the list that even glancingly touches on any sort of violent action.

The purpose of such an organizing effort, the author explains, is to pursue the Brotherhood’s declared goal of “enablement of Islam in North America,” which he says has these components: “establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.”

When those aims are achieved, the writer argues, Muslims will be more united, politically and economically stronger, truer to their faith, and more committed to dawa (proselytizing), which will eventually realize the Prophet’s vision and establish Islam as the universally accepted one true religion. For many believers, dawa (also spelled dawah) has political as well as spiritual goals, including the ultimate establishment of an Islamic state. But the Brotherhood has traditionally conceived of it as a nonviolent process, conducted through persuasion and grassroots organizing, not a violent one carried out through acts of terror or sabotage.

The memorandum’s message is consistent with the Brotherhood’s conservative theology and its dream of an Islamized world. But it is not the sinister conspiracy the Islamophobes keep talking about without providing any evidence that it exists.

The Co-Conspiracy Theory Is Missing Any Facts

The other main thread in the anti-Muslim narrative — the charge that mainstream Muslim-American organizations generally, and CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) in particular, have “terror ties” — is similarly based on a single piece of “evidence.” Like the Brotherhood’s “master plan,” it, too, is misleadingly presented and does not prove the Islamophobes’ allegations.

The document that supposedly verifies the claim that CAIR and other groups are linked to Islamist terrorism is a list of “unindicted co-conspirators” attached to a pre-trial brief submitted by prosecutors in 2007 in the Holy Land Foundation case. (By the way, that’s the same trial where the “explanatory memorandum” first surfaced.) In that case, five leaders of a Texas-based Islamic charity were eventually convicted of donating to charitable programs linked with Hamas, the group that now controls the Gaza Strip and is a U.S. government-designated terrorist organization.

That list was not submitted as evidence and, despite the ominous sound of that label “co-conspirator,” it was not accompanied by any specific allegations of terrorist involvement or of an explicit conspiratorial act by any of the organizations or individuals named on the list. Rather, the prosecutors filed the brief for purely tactical reasons. Their aim: getting around the usual ban on hearsay testimony, which can be introduced when an out-of-court statement comes from someone officially named as a co-conspirator.

In the Holy Land case itself, the defendants were not accused of directly aiding any terrorist activity, and no specific violent act is mentioned anywhere in the charges. The U.S. government itself acknowledged that some of the donated funds supported legitimate humanitarian projects.

The connection with CAIR is even more tenuous. The only link: that CAIR’s founder, Omar Ahmad, was associated with the U.S. Palestine Committee, an umbrella group for Holy Land and other organizations. Ahmad’s activities, however, took place in the early 1990s before Hamas was declared a terrorist group.

In a 2009 ruling on a motion from CAIR and two other organizations seeking to be removed from the list, a U.S. district judge held that the co-conspirator designation was “unaccompanied by any facts” indicating possible terrorist connections. Strongly criticizing the prosecutors for putting it into the open record in the first place, he ordered the list sealed. It had, however, already been so widely circulated that no order could keep it from public view. Meanwhile, after reviewing the list, the Justice Department concluded that no criminal investigation of any sort was warranted.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the two other organizations named on the list — the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) — prosecutors made no claim that the “co-conspirators” had actually conspired in any way to help terrorists or engaged in any other criminal activity. In a press releaseaccompanying one of its court filings, the ACLU noted that “the government conceded… that it had absolutely no evidence proving that either ISNA or NAIT had engaged in a criminal conspiracy.” The lead prosecutor in the Holy Land case, the ACLU statement went on, told the organizations’ lawyers that they “were not subjects or targets in the HLF prosecution or in any other pending investigation.”

In the more than 11 years since the list was made public, no new information has emerged that corroborates the inflammatory assertion that CAIR or the other Muslim-American groups are terrorist organizations or fronts for Hamas. Nor have researchers who track homegrown terror cases turned up any known link between a national Muslim-American organization and any violent incident. David Sterman, who manages the think tank New America’s extensive Terrorism in America database, says flatly, “Neither CAIR nor any other major American Muslim organization has played a role in jihadist terrorist plotting in the United States.” (That’s true of the Muslim Brotherhood, too. Internationally, some Brotherhood offshoots have engaged in terrorism. But despite overwrought claims from the anti-Muslim set, the Brotherhood has never been implicated in any violent act of terror in the United States. Even the Trump administration has decided not to add it to the list of officially designated terror organizations.)

Proving a negative is always a hard proposition, but one strong backup for this one is what the Islamophobes themselves say — or, more precisely, don’t say. While they unceasingly slam CAIR’s alleged terrorism ties, Gaffney, Geller, and their cohorts have not offered a single plausible example of an incident of Islamist terrorism in which CAIR or one of the other organizations on their smear list was involved.

If the Islamophobes had even one actual case, they would certainly have proclaimed it nonstop, at top volume. So its absence from their rhetoric is a clear sign that they have no such evidence — in all likelihood because, like the Muslim Brotherhood’s “civilizational jihad,” it doesn’t exist.

Inventing Make-Believe Enemies Helps the Real Ones

Those untruths are not just bigoted and dishonest but dangerous. In the struggle against the real threat from violent Islamic extremism, the Islamophobes’ false statements and overall message help the terrorists, not the security of Americans.

Falsely demonizing all Muslims, their beliefs, and their institutions is exactly the wrong way to make Americans safer, because the more we scare ourselves with imaginary enemies, the harder it will be to find and protect ourselves from real ones. As New America’s David Sterman points out, “The vast majority of jihadist activity today is not even organized by radical clerics, returned fighters, or militant operatives but instead is mediated online or via small peer groups of friends.” Those threats will not be detected by pursuing nonexistent conspiracies. The surest way to find them will be through information from relatives, neighbors, religious teachers, fellow worshippers — that is, in the great majority of cases, fellow Muslims.

The vast majority of American Muslims oppose extremism and violence by Muslims or anyone else and have no wish to live under the brutal rule practiced by jihadist fanatics. As a religious minority in a country where their faith makes them potential victims of hate crimes, Muslims have stronger reasons than most Americans for believing in and practicing religious tolerance, not holy war. Keeping Muslim Americans as allies and maintaining their trust in our common values and political and legal institutions will be critical in successfully opposing extremist violence. Losing that trust and driving them away, as the Islamophobes’ ugly falsehoods inevitably will, can only help the terrorists.

Reprinted, with permission, from TomDispatch.

Arnold R. Isaacs, a journalist and writer based in Maryland, is the author of From Troubled Lands: Listening to Pakistani and Afghan Americans in Post-9/11 America and two books relating to the Vietnam War. He is a TomDispatch regular. His website is www.arnoldisaacs.net. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Books, Beverly Gologorsky’s novel Every Body Has a Storyand Tom Engelhardt’s A Nation Unmade by War, as well as Alfred McCoy’s In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II, and John Feffer’s dystopian novel Splinterlands. Copyright 2018 Arnold R. Isaacs

Dr. Kevin Barrett and Gilad Atzmon on Phobias and Politics

July 18, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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https://www.patreon.com/

Introduction by Dr. Kevin Barrett

In his new article “Silencing Diversity in the Name of Diversity” Gilad Atzmon argues Frankfurt School driven identity politics represents “a well-orchestrated attempt to obliterate our Western Athenian ethos in favor of a new Jerusalemite regime of ‘correctness.’”

Gilad’s new article was inspired by the Deep Truth Conference Zionism panel that he and I participated in. (Here is the link to the whole conference.)

In the new article, Gilad writes:

‘Phobia’ is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. Accordingly, the notion of ‘Islamophobia,’ attributes irrationality or even madness to those who oppose Muslims and Islam….But fear of Muslims might be rational. As things stand, we in the West have been actively engaged in the destruction of Muslims and their countries for at least a century.”

Gilad’s point—that we need to distinguish rational from irrational elements of Islamophobia, Judeophobia, homophobia, etc.—is well taken. But if we accept his invitation and ask ourselves “how rational is the Islamophobia around us” we discover that it is almost entirely irrational. While the West has indeed been “actively engaged in the destruction of Muslims,” the chances that any given Western person will suffer or die in a Muslim revenge attack are essentially zero. (Terrorism is statistically a non-threat, far less dangerous than bathtubs and lightning, and Muslims commit less than 5% of the terrorist attacks in the West.) An American who fears Muslims because the West has been destroying Muslims is just as crazy as an American who fears Native Americans or Blacks or Chinese or Hindus or Buddhists because of the crimes of the West against those groups.

It is, of course, conceivable that some Muslim or Muslims (or Native Americans, Blacks, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.) will one day manage to wreak such massive revenge against the West, perhaps though a bioweapon targeting white people, that in retrospect fear of whichever group the “terrorist” emerged from will seem rational. But obviously hating on people today will not prevent such an attack tomorrow! On the contrary, it will make it more likely. Considered rationally, the Islamophobic discourse, which is actually a discourse of hate more than fear, is obviously counterproductive in terms of defusing the rather vague, nebulous, and improbable potential threats that might emerge from “angry Muslims” (or angry Native Americans, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.)

While ordinary Western people have no rational reason for Islamophobia, Zionist and neoliberal elites have good reasons to fear Islam. Muslims are the backbone of opposition to Zionism and usury, both of which are crucial to the neoliberal financier elites. To the extent that Islam triumphs, the Zionists and usury banksters will lose their ill-gotten gains along with most of their power and privileges. So the Zionist elite’s decision to orchestrate 9/11 in order to brainwash ordinary people into irrationally hating Islam was indeed rational, given that elite’s desire to maintain and expand its power and privileges.

 

political correctness

Silencing Diversity in the Name of Diversity

July 16, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

In my latest book, Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto, I explored different tactics used by the New Left – a loose collective of Frankfurt School graduates — to destroy political diversity and intellectual exchange.  I concluded that the ‘new order’ is maintained by ensuring that so-called ‘correctness’ dominates our vocabulary.  We are drowning in jargon, slogans and sound bites designed to suppress authentic thinking and more important, to suppress humane intellectual exchange. As I finished writing the book, I understood that this new language is a well-orchestrated attempt to obliterate our Western Athenian ethos in favor of a new Jerusalemite regime of ‘correctness.’

Yesterday I was interviewed  by Pakistani Journalist Tazeen Hasan. She was interested in my take on Islamophobia.  Hasan, I guess, expected me to denounce Islamophobia.  Since I am opposed to any form of bigotry*, hatred of Muslims is no exception. Though I am obviously troubled and strongly disagree with the views that are voiced with the so-called ‘Islamophbes,’  I am also troubled by the notion of ‘Islamophobia’. As opposed to the Identitarian Left, I contend that we humans should seek what unites us as humans. We should refuse to be shoved into biologically oriented (like gender, skin colour, sexual orientation etc.) boxes. I was probably expected to criticise Islamophobia by recycling a few tired slogans, but that was not my approach to the question. Instead of dealing with ‘Islamophobia,’ I decided that we should first dissect the notion of ‘phobia.’ I asked why some activists attribute ‘phobic’ inclinations (Islamophobia, homophobia, Judeophobia, etc.) to those with whom they disagree.

‘Phobia’ is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. Accordingly, the notion of ‘Islamophobia,’ attributes irrationality or even madness to those who oppose Muslims and Islam. It suggests that ‘fear of Islam’ is an irrational hatred. This turns Islamophobia into a crazy fear of Islam that doesn’t deserve intellectual scrutiny, let alone an intellectual debate.

But fear of Musilms might be rational. As things stand, we in the West have been actively engaged in the destruction of Muslims and their countries for at least a century. We plunder their resources, we invade their lands, and we even gave some of their land to the so called ‘people of the book,’ and when those people committed a brutal ethnic cleansing, consistent with their ‘book,’ the West turned a blind eye. For the last three decades this genocidal war against Muslims and Arabs has intensified and become an official Western policy. This transition is the achievement of the Neocon school, who have attempted to redefine Zionism as the struggle for a promised planet instead of just a promised land. 

 Within the context of the global war we have declared on Muslims and Arabs on behalf of Zion, in the name of Coca Cola and Gay Rights, it is rational to expect that at some point Muslims may retaliate. So those who fear Muslims are not necessarily crazy or mad, they may even be more ethically aware or even guilt ridden than the progressives who castigate them for having ‘phobias’.’ If we are looking to dismantle ‘Islamic danger’  then we should find a rational and peaceful solution to the war we declared on Muslims. It will be probably more effective not to drop bombs on Arabs than to label fear of Muslims as irrational. Obliterating Israel’s nuclear facilities could also be a reasonable path to peace. A total embargo on Israel would probably be  the most effective way to calm the Middle East. That would certainly induce some deep thinking in the Jewish State that has been the catalyst in this developing global war.

It seems the term ‘phobia’ is routinely attached to anyone who disagrees with the new order. Are all those who oppose gay rights driven by ‘phobia’? Is it really ‘irrational’ for pious people (Christians, Muslims and Jews, etc.) to detect that gay culture may interfere with their churches or family values? Instead of addressing these conservative concerns, the New Left prefers to employ tyrannical abusive language designed to delegitimise the opposition. Similarly, those who look into organised Jewry and its political lobbying are reduced to ‘Judeophobes.’  But given the growing number of studies of the domineering effect of the Jewish Lobby in the USA, Britain and France, is it really ‘irrational’ or an act of ‘madness’ to scrutinise this lobby’s activity and the culture that fuels it?

However, in spite of these Orwellian ‘phobic’ tactics, awareness of its effects has grown. Increasingly, people see that the New Left corrosive agenda is driving these divisive Identitarian tactics. The tyrannical regime of correctness is a Machiavellian operation that in the name of ‘diversity,’ attempts to eliminate diversity all together. It dismisses the concerns of the so called ‘enemy’ by labelling them as irrational fears.

My message here is simple. The war against us is facilitated by cultural means. We are constantly subjected to terminological manipulations. To win this war we must first spot the terminological shifts as they appear. Then we have to identify those who put such manipulative tactics into play.

To support Gilad’s legal costs

The Israeli Government Role in Promoting Islamophobia Internationally

May 11, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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by Paul Larudee

Much of the study of Islamophobia is directed at the social and political causes and manifestations, including religious and political dimensions and racist characteristics.  However, Islamophobia is also used as a strategic tool or weapon; i.e., in pursuit of national agenda.

Many of us are familiar with Islamophobic movements within the Buddhist majority in Myanmar (against the Rohingya minority), and within Hindu nationalist parties in India. It is important to note, however, that it is characteristic of these movements that they direct their Islamophobia against particular groups of Muslims within their own societies, and are less concerned with creating an international movement against Islam.

This is what makes the case of Israel unique.  Although Israel, like Myanmar and India, seeks to marginalize and ultimately eliminate a specific population of Muslims – in this case the mostly Muslim Palestinians – part of its strategy for doing so includes encouraging and fostering Islamophobia internationally.  Thus, for example, Israel has successfully pursued strong military and diplomatic ties with the governments of Myanmar and India, and especially the Islamophobic movements within those countries.

It is clear, therefore, that Islamophobia within Israel is not only a matter of organized bigotry and social hatred, which one finds in other societies, but also of instrumentalizing or weaponizing Islamophobia as a strategic tool to legitimize and justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the territories under Israel’s control, as well as to support Israeli aggression towards other mostly Muslim countries in the region. Promoting and fostering Islamophobia internationally helps to increase and solidify international support for the Zionist genocidal project.  It is therefore treated as an important tool of Israeli and Zionist international influence.

My attention was first brought to this fact in casual but unusual circumstances. In early 1993 my family and I were on vacation at a Club Med in France where there were also Israeli intelligence officers and their families.  I got into a discussion with one in particular, who said that with the fall of the Soviet Union, Islam would replace communism as the new enemy.  It sounded a bit far-fetched, but in retrospect he knew what he was talking about, and more important, he was in a position to help make it happen, which of course it did.

The groundwork was laid much earlier.  As Deepa Kumar at Rutgers University reports, the effort to tie Islam to terrorism started at a Zionist funded neoconservative conference on international terrorism in 1979. Then, after a second such conference in 1984, “both US neocons and Zionists worked together to convince Western policy makers that ‘Islamic terrorism’ would replace communism as the West’s next great threat. By tying Islam to terrorism, neocons would gain political cover for their imperialistic ambitions in the Middle East, and Zionists would benefit from garnering Western sympathies for their struggle against Palestinian ‘terrorism.’”

Since then, researchers like Sarah Marusek, David Miller and others have cataloged international Zionist networks that sponsor Islamophobic propaganda and policies.  The work of Pamela Geller and the so-called American Freedom Defense Initiative is one of the well-known examples.  Geller’s anti-Islam billboards and bus advertisements are familiar to many, as well her so-called “Muhammed Art Exhibit and Contest” in Garland, Texas in 2015, resulting in the police killing of two armed men.

Geller is hardly alone, however.  According to the Center for American Progress, the US has six major organizations that manipulate Islamophobia in order to further US support for Israel. These are the Center for Security Policy, the Society of Americans for National Existence, the Middle East Forum, Jihad Watch, Stop Islamization of America, and the Investigative Project on Terrorism.  Sarah Marusek includes even more groups in her paper entitled “The Transatlantic Network: Funding Islamophobia and Israeli Settlements”, published in the anthology, What is Islamophobia?

These organizations constitute a network, as Marusek says, but the complete network is much wider and more diverse than the assets concerned with promoting Islamophobia.  They are known as the sayanim, the Hebrew word for helpers or assistants, and are composed of Zionists who have achieved important and useful positions in societies from which they can exercise powerful initiatives, especially when they operate in concert. Thus, for example, friendly journalists can work with lobbyists and others to quickly and massively spread influence, information, analysis and disinformation that are useful to Israel.

Such initiatives require coordination, intelligence, strategic planning, covert action, technical assistance, and other expertise.  For many years, the sayanimwere coordinated by the Mossad. However, following a 2010 report from the influential Reut Institute (a prestigious strategic think tank in Israel), organizational changes were made that moved such responsibility to the Ministry of International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs – better known as the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.  The report also notes that there are as many as 4000 sayanim in each of the major centers of power and influence, such as London and New York. A concentration of sayanim in important sectors of society that inform the public, such as film, entertainment, journalism, education and social media permits them to help shape public opinion.

In line with Reut Institute recommendations, the Strategic Affairs Ministry has grown in size and secrecy over the last decade.  Reut projected that Israel’s main strategic threat would no longer be to its military security but rather to its image and influence in other countries, especially the US and Europe.  According to this view, BDS was to be regarded as a serious threat, as well as the human rights NGOs, Palestine solidarity groups and the critical alternative press.  The Ministry of Strategic Affairs was therefore selected to coordinate a major new effort to combat this perceived threat.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry has informally been called the HasbaraMinistry, using the Hebrew word for explanation or propaganda. It certainly is that, but also much more.  The reorganization of the Strategic Affairs Ministry can be compared in scope to that of the Homeland Security Department.  A lot of security and intelligence functions were transferred from or shared with Mossad.  The Ministry became responsible for propaganda, influence and manipulation in other countries.  Coordination of the sayanim became part of its purview, as did thousands of students who were paid or received scholarships in return for haunting social media and the comments sections of websites.  The purpose was to dominate the media, insofar as possible, in countries vital to Israel’s plans and intentions, and to sway public opinion toward outcomes determined by Israel’s strategic goals.

Many readers are familiar with the “Brand Israel” campaign. Its function, suggested by the Reut Institute, is to mold Israel’s image in the media of the US and other countries.  Its tactics are PR on steroids, such as, for example, slipping subliminal questions into the Jeopardy quiz program and idyllic holy land vacations into Wheel of Fortune, but permeating nearly everything we see, hear and read in film, entertainment, journalism, education and social media for the purpose of molding public opinion.  With enough effort of this kind, we will presumably think of Israel as Disneyland.

Another example is Facebook and the personal collaboration between Mark Zuckerberg and Benjamin Netanyahu. After a meeting with Netanyahu, Zuckerberg hired a former employee at the Israeli embassy in Washington to be in charge of censoring so-called “fake news” on Facebook.  Only Facebook has the actual figures of who gets censored, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that a lot more anti-Zionists than Zionists are affected.  Similarly, Islamophobic postings and Tweets seem to be at least somewhat resistant to censorship compared to ones that are labeled anti-Semitic (which are often merely critical of Israel).

But it’s not just about making Israel look like the good guys. Demonizing and dehumanizing Muslims also helps to justify Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians, as well as its belligerent policies toward its mainly Muslim neighboring countries. A successful program of Islamophobia helps to support Israel’s pogroms of Palestinians in Gaza, its settlements in and economic strangulation of the West Bank, its invasions of Lebanon, its attacks against Syria, and its promotion of US wars against Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Libya and Syria.  Making the US military a proxy for Israel greatly multiplies Israel’s capability, which is why Israel and its US lobby are working hard to create a new international war against Iran.

In order to provide the Strategic Affairs Ministry with all possible means of making such operations possible and successful, it has been assigned some important intelligence functions, including black ops and psy-ops capabilities, which used to be the exclusive purview of the Mossad.  This gives the ministry greater capability to engage in digging up or inventing dirt about people it wants to harm or discredit, especially in the BDS movement and other pro-Palestinian groups.

The hand of the Strategic Affairs Ministry is not always obvious, and it takes care to shun the light.  But occasionally its actions become known, as with the Aljazeera exposé of Israeli operative Shai Masot, working from the Israeli embassy in London and coordinating the actions of British citizens working with Israel. He coached them on how to demonize and “take down” members of parliament, including the Foreign Office Minister, Alan Duncan, who was considered insufficiently supportive of the effort to suppress BDS.

Al Jazeera has produced a similar exposé on the workings of Israel and its US lobby, but the release has been indefinitely delayed, which may be an indication of Israel’s power and influence and the effectiveness of the operations coordinated by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.  Nevertheless, a glimpse of such operations can be seen in the 2004 espionage indictmentsagainst AIPAC lobbyists Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.  The indictments were ultimately dropped, partly because sensitive information would have to be revealed in order to successfully prosecute the cases (or perhaps that was just the excuse used to cover the fact that Tel Aviv gets to decide who gets prosecuted, not Washington).

France can be considered an extreme case.  People have been arrested there for wearing a Free Palestine T-shirt.  PayPal and several large banks in France recently closed the accounts of all organizations that support BDS, which has been ruled anti-Semitic.  Anti-Semitism is broadly defined, as you can see, and it is illegal in France.  You can be fined or jailed for practicing it.

But not for Islamophobia.  Islamophobia is free speech but anti-Semitism is racism. In fact, the French equivalent of AIPAC, known as CRIF, has publically declared that “Islamophobia is not a form of racism.  We have long drawn attention to the danger of conflating Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.  To do so would impede all criticism of Islam, such that the fundamental rights of [other] religions could not be respected. The CRIF will therefore block all resolutions against Islamophobia”.

The writings of Jacob Cohen are instructive in this regard. He has published a remarkable and very comprehensive exposé on the promotion of Islamophobia in France, including the actions of Israeli operatives and French Zionist organizations.  But there’s a catch.  In order to publish it in France without being arrested or sued, he has to disguise it as very thinly veiled fiction, in this case O.P.A. Kabbalistique sur les Nouveaux Indigènes. It is available only in French, but even in that language you have to know the persons and groups to which he refers with pseudonyms, and few outsiders know the French scene well enough to recognize more than a handful of them.

So what can we conclude from all this information about the involvement of Israel and the Zionist movement in sponsoring Islamophobia?  The point is that some sources of Islamophobia are not attitudes or social structures. We have to face the fact that there is a very potent, resourceful, well organized and well funded international movement that sees Islamophobia as a strategic tool in pursuit of its national interest. For this reason, it is largely impervious to education or negotiation or legal considerations.

In fact, Israel is also pursuing an apparently contradictory effort to encourage interfaith cooperation between Jews, Muslims and Christians, but with the same goal in mind.  That goal is to blunt criticism of Israel, whether by getting people to hate Muslims and thereby endorse Israel’s belligerence and ethnic cleansing, or by pressuring Muslims not to criticize Israel out of concern for potentially offending their Jewish brothers and sisters.  Since the two strategies are aimed at different populations, I suppose that they might be able to work simultaneously.  This is often how PR campaigns work.

The point is that in all the efforts at fostering tolerance and understanding we are faced with an adversary that is working quite diligently in the opposite direction for reasons that have nothing to do with how they view Islam as a religion or Muslims.  This is therefore a different type of challenge in trying to overcome Islamophobia.

• This article is a revised version of a paper read at the 9th Annual Islamophobia Conference in Berkeley, California, April 29, 2018.

Source: https://dissidentvoice.org

John Bolton, the anti-Muslim think tank (#Gatestone) and Brexit

Source

John Bolton, the anti-Muslim think tank and Brexit

President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser chaired a nonprofit that has promoted misleading and false anti-Muslim news, an NBC News review found.

From 2013 until last month, John Bolton was the chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a New York-based advocacy group that warns of a looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death.” The group’s authors have also appeared on Russian media, including Sputnik and RT News, criticizing mainstream European leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron.

The group has published numerous stories and headlines on its website with similar themes. “Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants,” warned one from May 2017, about a single apartment rental property in Hamburg that had gone into temporary trusteeship. Another from February 2015 claimed the immigrants, for instance, Somalis in Sweden were turning that country into the “Rape Capital of the West.”

Gatestone is “a key part of the whole Islamaphobic cottage industry on the internet,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group. Hooper added that Bolton being associated with Gatestone, “and in one of the most powerful positions on the planet, is very disturbing.”

The NBC report also says: Alina Polyakova, a Brookings Institution fellow who studies far-right populism and disinformation campaigns in the European Union, said Gatestone is “putting out content that was clearly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and was echoing some of the Russian disinformation propaganda” being spread by internet trolls and on social media.

 

Birmingham, England – The no-go zone

Gatestone has been a significant promoter of the disputed notion that “no-go zones” exist in the heart of major cities where Muslims rule by Shariah law. In January 2015, then-Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a Republican, cited Gatestone’s research in a speech in London.

In September 2015, Fox News contributor Steve Emerson, who’s also written for Gatestone, said in an appearance on the network that the British city of Birmingham is a “no-go zone” for non-Muslims. The claim prompted the British broadcasting regulator Ofcom to find the network in breach of its broadcasting code. Emerson later apologized.

 

Churches in London

One of the retweeted stories that Gatestone instigated claimed that 500 churches in London have closed while 423 new mosques have opened, which went viral and was picked up by numerous websites including Breitbart News. The fact-checking website Snopes.com said Gatestone used “shoddy research and cherry-picked data” for the story, which was clearly not true.

 

Cambridge Analytica/Trump/Brexit

Gatestone is in part funded by the William Rosenwald Family Fund, which funds a host of pro-Israel groups including the Middle East Forum.

Gatestone has also received financial backing from Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the billionaire father-daughter team who have supported conservative candidates in the U.S. including Cruz and Trump. The Mercers also co-founded Cambridge Analytica, the data company being scrutinized for its activities that have allegedly influenced the Brexit EU referendum. The British High Court granted the Information Commissioner’s Office a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s London offices in March. There are now a number of court action and libel cases currently in play.

In an archived 2017 web page, Rebekah Mercer was listed as a member of the Gatestone Board of Governors.

 

Notes via MediaBias/FactCheckThe Gatestone Institute, formerly Stonegate Institute, is a “not-for-profit international policy council and think tank based in New York City” with a specialization in strategy and defense issues. Gatestone Institute is  anti-Islamic, pro-Christian and Jewish/Israel. Many of the articles will link back to sites that don’t say what they claim or make the same rash judgments, without proof. Example: Obama tells Christians to not protest in Egypt then has no quotes or sources saying he said that. (M. Allen 12/30/2016)

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