David Horowitz’s anti-Muslim rhetoric has been well-docmented as he is featured prominently in CAP’s report last year on the Islamophobia network in the United States. So it’s no surprise then that on Fox News today Horowitz pushed the right-wing conspiracy theory that Huma Abedin, top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is a Muslim Brotherhood plant.
Fox Host Megyn Kelly referred to Horowitz as a “civil rights activist” and asked what he thought of the police questioning of the man behind the anti-Islam film that caused recent protests in the Middle East. “This is one of the most disgraceful moments in the history of the American presidency,” Horowitz said (the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, answered police questions voluntarily). Horowitz then brought up Abedin:
HOROWITZ: An American ambassador has been raped and tortured and murdered and the White House is focusing on or the Justice Department is focusing on a filmmaker. And you have to ask yourself, isn’t it not the fact that the chief adviser on Muslim affairs for Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State is a Muslim Brotherhood operative and the Obama administration has turned over Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood which is a Nazi organization –
At this point, Kelly interrupted Horowitz, not to say he was wrong about Abedin but only to say “there are questions” as to whether she is a Muslim Brotherhood plant. Watch the clip:
Lately, though, AEI’s influential and often respectable scholarship is becoming involved with a fringe undercurrent of right-wing anti-Muslim bigotry. This month, anti-Muslim AEI scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali delivered a speech airing Norwegian anti-Muslm terrorist Anders Breivik’s grievance that censorship of his views drove him to violence (see part one of this report). Now, ThinkProgress has learned The David Horowitz Freedom Center, named for right-wing activistDavid Horowitz, is organizing a trip to Turkey featuring AEI’s Michael Rubin and Robert Spencer, an Islamophobic blogger featured in the Center For American Progress report “Fear, Inc..”
According to a flier for the trip [PDF], participants can pay $4,650 (not including airfare) to spend ten days in Turkey with Rubin, Spencer, and journalist Claire Berlinksi. The flier reads:
Where Turkey goes in the next decade may well determine the future of the Middle East and the future of Europe. [...] Today, in 2011, it stands athwart history once again, as Turkey decides whether or not to throw off the secularism that has been its hallmark since the 1920’s and return to the rule of Islamic law.
Rubin is widely considered a mainstream pundit. Before his work at AEI, Rubin served in government during the George W. Bush administration, both in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans and the Coalition Provisional Authority, the American-ruled governing authority in occupied Iraq.
AEI declined to comment on Rubin’s trip to Turkey with Spencer. But a public affairs official at AEI wrote seperately to ThinkProgress, “AEI does not take institutional positions on policy issues. When our scholars speak, they speak for themselves.”
When asked about the trip by ThinkProgress, Rubin said, “My lectures will discuss contemporary Turkish politics.” In a separate query, ThinkProgress asked Rubin if he felt comfortable participating in such a forum with someone who holds views like those of Robert Spencer. He responded:
I don’t know anyone with whom I do not have serious disagreements on one issue or another. I’ll defend my own writing and research. The best person to ask about Robert Spencer’s views would be Robert Spencer and the best person to talk about Claire Berlinski’s analysis would be Claire Berlinski.
Hirsi Ali’s remarks about Norwegian anti-Muslim terror attacks, Rubin’s jaunt to Turkey with Robert Spencer, and even Romney adviser John Bolton’s dalliances with Spencer and Geller, highlight AEI’s relationship with these extremist views and raises questions about whether bigoted anti-Muslim sentiment should hold even a tangential place in the Washington discourse.
After this post was published, Claire Berlinski contacted ThinkProgress and said she was not on the trip. “I haven’t heard a thing about this,” she wrote in an e-mail. She said she received an invitation in May 2011 from the trip’s organizer at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and, after replying that her schedule was uncertain, never heard back. “I’m happy to lecture if invited, by the way–but in this case, I wasn’t,” she wrote.
But while the National Review has decided to very publicly purge itself of white supremacists and racists, bigotry toward Muslims appears to go unchallenged in the pages of the magazine and on its blog, National Review Online (NRO). NRO contributing editor Andrew McCarthy, who accused President Obama of standing with the Muslim Brotherhood against 9/11 families in his post “The President Stands With Sharia,” told Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims:
What “radicalizes” Muslims is Islam — the mainstream interpretation of it. The “radicals” propagating it do not need the “captive audience” provided by the prison environment. The “radicalization” is happening in plain sight.
The denigration of Islam and Muslim Americans isn’t limited to McCarthy’s screeds. A number of noted Islamophobes are regularlygivenfreerein to guest post on NRO’s site or write in the magazine, including:
Robert Spencer, who just last month concluded that “Islamic supremacists” may have subverted the “U.S. defense against jihad terror,” because the man who heads the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center — and is credited with crippling Al Qaeda and other militant networks in Pakistan — was identified as a Muslim in a Washington Post profile.
David Horowitz, who, in an interview last year, stated, “What has the Arab world contributed except terror?…The theocratic, repressive Arabic states do no significant science, no significant arts and culture.”
Daniel Pipes, who, in the pages of The National Review in 1990, wrote, “All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.”
The National Review has been notified of the Islamophobic statements made by a number of their contributors in the past. To date, they appear to have decided to do nothing. Perhaps now is the time for The National Review to take a hard stance against all bigotry, intolerance and racism.
A contentious CNN interview by Soledad O’Brien with Breitbart.com editor Joel Pollak set off a firestorm of vitriolic name-calling against O’Brien from the far-right, with some critics going so far as to falsely accuse the CNN anchor of anti-Semitism.
In a March 8, interview, O’Brien challenged Pollak’s assertion that a video from 1990 showing President Obama, then a law student, hugging late Harvard Law Professor Derrick Bell was a “smoking gun” for Obama’s true beliefs on “racial division and class warfare.” Pollak’s manufactured controversy hinged on characterizing Critical Race Theory (CRT) as “hold[ing] that the Civil Rights Movement was a sham and that White Supremacy is the order and it must be overthrown.” Prodded by Pollak to define CRT, O’Brien accurately characterized it as a theory that “looks into the intersection of race and politics and the law.” (Watch it here.)
While Pollak in his eagerness to hype his “bombshell” video mischaracterized CRT as a radical theory that calls for a war against white people, animosity on the far right has been pointed at Soledad O’Brien for correcting his inaccurate statements. Chris Loesch, husband of CNN contributor Dana Loesch, tweeted (HT: Little Green Footballs):
And Michelle Malkin, writing on David Horowitz’s FrontPageMag.com, claimed that O’Brien defended CRT and Bell because “she masks her political activism under the banner of corporate media ‘diversity.’” Malkin continues:
…[L]iberal minority journalists simply can’t resist carrying water for Obama. That’s because their journalistic unity demands political unanimity. If you don’t accept the left-leaning agenda of “social change” journalism, you’re enabling racism. If you don’t support the pursuit of racial hiring goals as a primary journalistic and academic goal, you’re selling out.
Noticeably, neither Loesch and Malkin offer any evidence that CRT calls for “war against white people” or that O’Brien’s comments were rooted in anti-Semitism or racism. Indeed, the increasing politicization of anti-Semitism accusations has raised eyebrows among many in the Jewish community. Sarah Wildman, a columnist for the International Herald Tribune and PBS, wrote in The Jewish Daily Forward last January:
…[W]hen anti-Semitism is falsely applied, we must also stand up and decry it as defamation, as character assault, as unjust. That is why when we debase the term by using it as a rhetorical conceit against those with whom we disagree on policy matters, we have sullied our own promises to our grandparents. For if we dilute the term, if we render the label meaningless, defanged, we have failed ourselves, our legacy, our ancestors, our children.
While Loesch and Malkin are quick to throw around incendiary accusations, it might be helpful for them to explain why they believe O’Brien’s defense of CRT and critical questioning of Joel Pollak justify accusing an award winning CNN anchor of racism and anti-Semitism.
Now, journalist Max Blumenthal unearthed a 2007 speech Santorum gave to a Washington conference at the invitation of David Horowitz. In the speech (audio can be found at anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller‘s site), Santorum outlined the “war” against “radical Islam”:
What must we do to win? We must educate, engage, evangelize and eradicate. …
The other thing we need to do is eradicate, and that’s the final thing. As I said, this is going to be a long war. There are going to be pluses and minuses, ups and downs. But we have to win this war to — fight this war to win this war.
Santorum insists that he’s “not suggesting that we have to go in there and blow them up.” But, later in the speech, he compares the “long war” to World War II, adding, “Americans don’t like war. They don’t like suffering and dying. No one does.”
Both in this speech and in other writings and remarks, Santorum often specifies that he’s speaking of “radical Islam.” But what does “radical Islam” mean to Santorum? In fact, the former senator often times conflates extremists with the entire Muslim faith at-large and, at other times, he states outright that radicals dominate Islam. In the 2007 D.C. speech, Santorum compared Muslim wars from hundreds of years ago to 9/11: “Does anybody know when the high-water mark of Islam was? September the 11th, 1683,” he said to gasps from the audience.
As to what “losing” the war with “radical Islam” looks like, Santorum discussed Europe. “Europe is on the way to losing,” he said. “The most popular male name in Belgium — Mohammad. It’s the fifth most popular name in France among boys.” The other data point he cited was larger birthrates among “Islamic Europeans” as opposed to “Westernized Europeans.” Nowhere did he indicate a growing “radical” threat in Europe.
In October 2007 at his alma mater Penn State, Santorum gave a speech and failed to break out the radical strain from the faith at-large: “Islam, unlike Christianity, is an all-encompassing ideology. It is not just something you do on Sunday. … We (as Americans) don’t get that.” The quote is particularly ironic from someone who, among other such statements, has said, “[O]ur civil laws have to comport with a higher law: God’s law.”
In a January 2007 speech, Santorum suggested Islam at-large was responsible for religious freedom issues and put the onus Muslims to deal with these issues to end the “war”:
Until we have the kind of discussion and dialogue with Islam — that democracy and freedom of religion, along with religious pluralism, are essential for the stability of the world and our ability to cohabit in this world. Unless Islam is willing to make that conscious decision, then we are going to be at war for a long time.
If Santorum’s discourse sounds like some of the Islamophobia network outlined in CAP’s Fear, Inc. report, that should be no surprise. Horowitz has repeatedly hosted Santorum for “Islamo-fascism Awareness Week” events and Geller and her associate Robert Spencer cite his work approvingly.
In a 2008 appearance at the Christians United For Israel confab, Santorum outflanked even Daniel Pipes. When Pipes mentioned that radicals only constituted about 10 to 15 percent of Muslims worldwide, Santorum, before wondering whether Muslims are capable of making moral decisions at all, challenged him:
It’s not a small number. OK? It’s not a fringe. It’s a sizable group of people that hold these views. [Pipes' notion of 'moderate' Islam] is the exception, I would argue, of what traditional Islam is doing.
No decent American — or anyone across the globe — should oppose “eradicat(ing)” extremist ideologies like militant, “radical Islam.” But Santorum’s history of statements raises questions about just exactly what and who he’s targeting for eradication.
Listen to the relevant clips of Rick Santorum’s 2007 Washington conference speech (captured from anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller’s site) here:
Phares at Lebanese Forces press conference, 1986 (photo obtained by Mother Jones)
When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romneyannounced his foreign policy advisers earlier this month, one of the names raised some eyebrows among Middle East watchers in Washington: Walid Phares, a self-styled terror expert, who had made the rounds of the burgeoning U.S. anti-Muslim crowd. But an exposé from Mother Jones sheds new light on some of Phares’ older associations with an ideological Lebanese militia implicated in mass slaughter during that country’s civil war.
But now, Mother Jones’ Adam Serwer has a richly detailed piece about Phares’ past with right-wing Lebanese Christian militias — a political association that goes hand-in-hand with his anti-Muslim sentiments. Phares has played down his long-rumored links to the Lebanese Forces, an umbrella group of sectarian militias, but former associates painted a different picture of Phares’ role as major ideological force in the group. Serwer reports:
According to former colleagues, Phares became one of the group’s chief ideologists, working closely with the Lebanese Forces’ Fifth Bureau, a unit that specialized in psychological warfare.
Régina Sneifer, who served in the Fifth Bureau in 1981 at the age of 18 [...and] now an author in France who wrote a 1995 book detailing her experiences in Lebanon’s civil war, recalls that in his speeches, Phares “justified our fighting against the Muslims by saying we should have our own country, our own state, our own entity, and we have to be separate.” [...]
“[Militia leader Samir Geagea] wanted to change them from a normal militia to a Christian army,” says [Toni] Nissi, Phares’ former associate. “Walid Phares was responsible for training the lead officers in the ideology of the Lebanese Forces.”
With Christian-sectarian ideology underpinning Phares’ opposition to Islam, he was well-suited to the U.S. anti-Muslim movement, and it led to gigs relating to counter-terrorism. He, for a time, ran the “Future of Terrorism” project at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and has consulted for law enforcement groups. But one former U.S. counter-terror official questioned if Phares’ knowledge was appropriate for the industry: “He’s part of the same movement as Pamela Geller,” the official told Serwer. “He’s viewed as a mainstream scholar of jihadism, but he doesn’t know a lot about the actual movement.”
Phares’ ties to the Romney camp — which is hawkish in the Middle East, especially on Iraq and Iran (an area where another adviser has ties to a controversial, formerly-armed group) — are long standing. Nissi, the sometime associate of Phares’, told Serwer that during the 2008 presidential campaign, Romney “promised Phares a high-ranking White House job helping craft US policy in the Middle East.”
The combination of his ideological past and current anti-Muslim “counter-terror” bent, though, have led to questions about Phares’s motivations. Another Maronite Christian with Lebanese roots, Arab American Institute president James Zogby, wondered about Phares to Serwer: “Is he serving Mitt Romney, or is he serving the politics of a group in Lebanon that was fighting for their sectarian hegemony in a civil war that took over 100,000 lives?”
Unfortunately, that accuracy and thorougness has proven a challenge for many of the Islamophobes mentioned in the report. With no serious factual errors with which to attack the authors, they’ve fallen back on attacking straw men and offering vitriolic, if at times colorful, ad hominem attacks.
Here’s the top ten list of right-wing responses to “Fear, Inc.” Read more
The Bradley Foundation has a reputation as a supporter of right-wing causes and its philanthropy is intended to “support limited, competent government; a dynamic marketplace for economic, intellectual and cultural activity; and a vigorous defense, at home and abroad, of American ideas and institutes,” according to the foundation’s website.
But the Bradley Foundation’s idea of defending “American ideas and institutes” has meant funding Islamophobes within the U.S. and promoting the militant foreign policy which left the U.S. military overextended in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When not funding some of the key groups responsible for propagating misinformation about Muslim-Americans, the Bradley Foundation uses its financial resources to promote a militarist foreign policy, most notably through their $1.2 million in support for the Project for the New American Century, a highly influential group which helped promote a neoconservative foreign policy during the Bush administration.
Indeed, the Bradley Foundation has played an instrumental role in bringing neoconservatives into the halls of power in Washington. Irving Kristol, one of the movement’s key intellectuals, commented that AEI’s efforts to recruit neoconservatives in the 1970s and 1980s was “facilitated by the appearance on the scene of a rejuvenated Bradley Foundation and John M. Olin Foundation.”
While both Lynde and Harry Bradley are deceased, the foundation is run by a board comprising an influential list of American conservatives.
Board members include: columnist George Will; Terry Considine, Chief executive of AIMCO Apartment Homes, who serves as the foundation’s chairman; David V. Uihlein, president of Uihlein-Wilson Architects; Michael W. Grebe, the foundation’s president and chief executive officer; Princeton University Professor Robert P. George, whom the New York Times describes as “his country’s most influential Christian thinker; Marshall & Ilsey Corporation Chairman Dennis J. Kuester; Wasau-Mosinee Paper Corporation Chairman San W. Orr Jr.; attorney Thomas L. Smallwood; and the president of Milwaukee’s Messmer Catholic Schools, Brother Bob Smith.
With a staggering $622,913,819 in assets at the end of the 2009 tax year, it’s safe to assume the Bradley Foundation will have a lasting impact on the American political debate for years, if not decades, in the future.
Think Progress — an organization created by George Soros and the Clintons — has joined the Muslim Brotherhood, the Hamas-spinoff CAIR and assorted Marxist groups in issuing a report on “Islamophobia,” which is a smear category designed to silence critics of Islamic terror, Islamic misogyny and Islamic hatred of Jews, gays, Christians, Hindus and other “infidels.” […]
The Think Progress report is a typical fascistic attempt to silence critics and scare donors from supporting their efforts to inform the American public about the threats we face from the Islamic jihad.
Who is David Horowitz? A former New Left radical of the 1960s-turned-right wing enthusiast, he heads the “David Horowitz Freedom Center” which boasts two anti-Muslim online magazines, FrontPage Magazine and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch. These publications have claimed Obama is a practicing Muslim and that Obama’s outreach to global Muslim majority countries is proof of his radical Islamist agenda.
Horowitz attempts to distort Islam and Arabs with such quotes as:
“Osama bin Laden is a very good Muslim – a model one, in fact, and one of the most devout in the 1400 years of Islam.” [Source]
“We already have a lot of infiltration of Islamic jihadist doctrines into our K-12 school systems.” [Source]
“What has the Arab world contributed except terror?…The theocratic, repressive Arabic states do no significant science, no significant arts and culture.” [Source]
In a hate-filled rant at Brooklyn College, Horowitz yelled: “The problem is when you have a religion which preaches war and violence and hate, rationality is never gonna take land for the [Muslim] Brotherhood in America, and as I said, the mission is to destroy the American civilization.” Watch him in action:
Horowitz also uses his websites to promote the center’s Terrorism Awareness Project. Built on the fear of an Islamic crusade against the West, the center and Horowitz have been organizing Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week programs on hundreds of campuses across the country. It’s all documented in our report.
He is funded in part by grants from the Donors Capital Fund, Richard Mellon Scaife foundations, Bradley foundation, Newton and Rochelle Becker foundations, Anchorage Charitable Foundation and William Rosenwald Family Fund, and the Fairbrook Foundation. One wonders if those foundations understand what they are funding and whether they agree with Horowitz’s hate language.
Former Bush speechwriter Josh Trevino sarcastically tweets, “The Center for American Progress ‘Islamophobia’ report is really useful, in that we may disregard every person who takes it seriously.”