Islamophobic Politics| Allen West
Three Fatal Political Movies Made by Allen West
Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq
Recently there was an article suggesting that unscrupulous Islamophobic politicians who attempt to use strong anti-Islamic rhetoric as a way to win votes actually do themselves a disservice. Along these lines, Rep. Allen West(R-FL) seems to have made three fatal political moves/mistakes. In the drive to see Islamophobia made mainstream, we are going to see many more alliances between elected, but Islamophobic, politicians and the leaders of the Islamophobesphere.
It is both saddening and ironic to see a member of an oppressed “minority” group envisioning himself as a staunch “defender” of Western Civilization, a term purposely left undefined. Perhaps what ideologues mean by this purposely ambiguated term is White, Euro-American, globalizing, imperialistic, hegemonic, Secular Humanist and Judaeo-Christian Civilization? The same Western Civilization that virtually annihilated the civilization of both our ancestors(Allen West’s and the author’s, and possibly yours)? The same Civilization that has displaced us from our homelands to live forever with the stigma of being the descendants of African slaves? The same Civilization that has made many of our African-descended brothers and sisters, in the West and even in the Motherland itself, the sufferers of a self-destructive Stockholm Syndrome? We should be working to reform the societies generated by this Civilization, not becoming blind, staunch supporters and defenders of it! Allen West and all of his allies, including Hanan Tudor aka Brigitte Gabriel should be ashamed of themselves.
First, Allen West gave the Keynote Speech at the ACT! for America National and Legislative Conference in Washington DC. on June 23, 2011. ACT! for America is an obvious anti-Muslim hate group. Secondly, during the week of July 24, 2011, Allen West sponsored an event involving the presentation of “Homegrown Jihad in the USA: Culmination of the Muslim Brotherhood’s 50-year History of Infiltrating America,” as presented by one Peter Leitner of Citizens for National Security (CFNS), in the Rayburn House Office Building, located in Boca Raton, Florida, the town of my very own University. And finally, and most recently, West is planning to host a screening of a controversial film on Capitol Hill about attempts to build an Islamic Center near Ground Zero in Manhattan. The film, “Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mosque,” was produced by the conservative Christian Action Network (CAN).
During ACT! for America’s meeting, headlined by Rep. Allen West we are privy to some of West’s notorious anti-Muslim rhetoric. He never strayed from the usual fearmongering themes of “All Muslims are suspicious“, “All Muslims want to take over the World” and, ““Real Americans” should be fighting “them” instead of “surrendering”.” The scarier part of this incessant panic mongering and anti-Muslim incitement is the fact that West is an elected public official with a cultic following among Conservatives,
“I like Irish Spring, but I don’t much care for Arab Spring”
“If you’re going to act for America first you have to be like America…the America in which there was an understanding and a seeking of a merciful god…a Judeo-Christian God”
“We are not out of the woods yet, it’s something totally different, it’s called lawfare, a new line of attack. We have long seen such victories in Europe and its backdoors (inaudible), over thirty years Europe has traveled down that path, appeasement, obfuscation and cultural abdication in pursuit of short sighted political and economic gain and benefits, she observes that ‘today, Europe has evolved from a Judeo-Christian civilization with post-Enlightenment secular elements to a simple nation of dhimmitude Eurabia, a secular Muslim transitional society with its judeo-christian mores rapidly declining
“where is the outrage from millions of peaceful Muslims and Muslim nations when their religion is supposedly hijacked?”
“the Quran is longer than the Bible”
“In order to act for America, you have to act like Americans”
“you have to ask yourself, is our liberty important enough to fight for?”
“Is Western civilization worth saving?”
“We stand at the brink of a new dark age”
“Find out if Muslim Student Associations are terrorizing students on university campuses”
“Help our European brothers and sisters, there are a number of organizations fighting back in this clash of civilizations”
“War is an ugly thing, but it is not the ugliest thing”
“Act like Americans, not the poor timid soul who would surrender the greatest nation the world has ever known.”
A little bit of background is in order here. BRIGITTE GABRIEL is the Founder and head of ACT! for America and American Council for Truth. She is the Author of “Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America” (2006) and “They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It” (2008), two virulently anti-Islamic tomes, full of lies about Islam as well as her personal life and background story. she is also Co-producer and co-host of weekly ACT! for America television show, an anti-Islamic TV show. Gabriel views Islam in absolute terms in order to present it as a monolithic threat to the United States, Israel and the West.
According to the SPLC, “she is prone to sweeping generalizations and exaggerations as she describes a grand, sophisticated Muslim conspiracy bent on world domination. Of the people profiled here, she alone has focused on building a grassroots organization, claiming 155,000 members and 500 chapters around the country. Questions persist about the accuracy of her autobiographical account of being a victim of Muslim militancy in Lebanon“.
Some choice words from her:
“America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America. They have infiltrated us at the C.I.A., at the F.B.I., at the Pentagon, at the State Department.”
— Quoted in The New York Times, March 7, 2011
“The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arabic world is quite simply the difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s the difference between good and evil and this is what we’re witnessing in the Arab and Islamic world. I am angry. They have no soul! They are dead set on killing and destruction.”
— From a speech delivered to the Rev. John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel Convention, July 2007
“Tens of thousands of Islamic militants now reside in America, operating in sleeper cells, attending our colleges and universities, even infiltrating our government. They are here — today. Many have been here for years. Waiting. Preparing.”
— ACT! for America website, undated
During the week of July 24, 2011 Rep. Allen West (R-FL) sponsored an event in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Homegrown Jihad in the USA: Culmination of the Muslim Brotherhood’s 50-year History of Infiltrating America,” presented by Peter Leitner of Citizens for National Security (CFNS), located in Boca Raton, Florida. According to TAM, Eli Clifton has pointed out that CFNS also has a questionable history
While the CFNS’ prejudice against American Muslims is barely hidden, the group’s cofounder Peter Leitner, who will appear at the July 25 Capitol Hill event, also founded The Higgins CounterTerrorism Research Center, which offers counterterrorism training to first responders. A document hosted on their website offers what could only be described as extremely prejudiced, if not outright racist, profiles of Arab psychology. It reads [DOC]: …[The] Western concept of cause and effect is rarely accepted by Arabs who may not necessarily see a unifying link between events. They do, however, maintain a long-term memory over actions and events. It is important to point out that it is memory, not necessarily history that is important.
TAM also reported that Media Matters reported that:
According to its press release, CFNS’ briefing, titled “Homegrown Jihad in the USA: Culmination of the Muslim Brotherhood’s 50-year History of Infiltrating America,” will present “an unprecedented list of individual members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S., and the people and organizations with which they are associated.” The report was compiled by the organization’s “volunteer members”.
CFNS gives no indication as to the qualifications of those members/volunteers, whether they are scholars, experts in counterterrorism , or hold degrees in Islamic studies from accredited Universities, or just laymen. It also never discloses the methodology behind how the list itself was compiled.
Here is a passage from the press release, again from TAM:
“It details exactly how the Muslim Brotherhood’s deliberate, premeditated plan is now reaching maturity in this country in the form of homegrown Jihad,” explained Dr. Saxton, CFNS Chairman. A highlight of the briefing will be an announcement by Dr. Leitner of CFNS’s development of an unprecedented list of individual members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S., and the people and organizations with which they are associated. “Thus far, this database contains thousands of names and hundreds of organizations, and is growing each day as the CFNS research project expands. It will soon be made available to the public,” noted Leitner.
Justin Elliott checked out the groups website and I urge readers to do the same: Here is what he found:
One section describes the group’s “task forces,” which “focus on, or support, the academic community, Congress, the media, and other establishments and professionals where intelligence and national security issues are in play.” Some of the six are devoted to tracking what the group calls the “Muslim Brotherhood in North America.” And then there’s this: TASK FORCE 4. Identify “Islamic” businesses, social and religious organizations, schools, etc. throughout North America. Note that’s not qualified as “extremist” or “terrorist”—just “Islamic,” with inexplicable scare quotes. Can this be described as anything other than outright bigotry?
An anti-Muslim Congressperson plans an event in which a relatively unknown, obviously Islamophobic organization will present its findings collected by “volunteers” to prove that American Muslims are dangerous collaborators of a notorious Ikhwani/Hizbi group. I wonder if these ‘phobes even know the meaning of these terms? And since when did the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that has consistently failed to gain political control of nations like Egypt(where it originated), and Syria and Jordan(where it supposedly flourishes), gain the power to become an omnipresent, all-powerful “Islamic” organization and political party, capable of infiltrating and subverting the American political system and ushering in the Strawman Sharia? This group, the CFNS, is collecting the names of individuals they believe are dangerous – 6,000 so far, but more being added each day, and they will make these names available to the public. We have seen what Anders Breivik has done with Islamophobic propaganda. What will the lunatics here do with this type of publicly available information? Au’dobillahi mina Shaytan-ir rajeem!
West opened the meeting with this statement: “This is about the protection of each and every American citizen who ever resides within our borders”. That is a bold-faced lie similar to “we don’t hate Muslims, just radical Islam” or “This is not about Islam but “radical Islam”.
Philip Weiss wrote an article Same Islamophobic Bloggers And Pundits That Influenced Norway Killer Also Influence Congress discussing this event and its implications that I would like to draw attention to here. A few key passages, via TAM:
What’s particularly frightening about all of this—the event, Daniel Pipes, Breivik’s manifesto—is not that right-wing radicals exist. That’s not news to any of us. But we should take note of the political influence these lunatics somehow manage to have, and the fact that our nation’s Congresspeople support events like “Homegrown Jihad in the USA.” Ignoring these trends would be dangerous.
The goal of the CFNS event was to present an “in-depth, 18-month long research project” revealing the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence in America. The presentation’s first slide, “THE WAR IS REAL,” introduced the “one-sided war” the Brotherhood has waged against America and the West for the last 50-years. Graphic representations of intricate networks of Muslim Brotherhood “affiliates”—a cast of super-nefarious organizations like the Muslim Students Association, the Muslim American Society, and the North American Islamic Trust—allegedly show the extent to which the Muslim Brotherhood has not only infiltrated America but has transformed every Muslim-American into a raging terrorist, intent on waging “jihad” (a term undefined by the speaker of course) against the West, threatening the “inherently secular” nature of the American political climate (this statement was then contradicted, or perhaps unintentionally retracted, by the speaker after I posed a quite simple question regarding his opinion on the potential threat of other groups that conflate religion and politics, like Evangelical Christians or even lobbying organizations like AIPAC).
Even more bizarre than the “in-depth” research project is the absolute absence of citations or statistics in the pamphlet distributed at the briefing. The only citation is from the Center on Law and Security at NYU which offers graphical representation of prosecutions of “homegrown terrorists.” The goal was to show a linkage between “homegrown terrorists” and “Islam,” clearly to vilify Islam to such an extent that CFNS’s hideous conflation of Muslim and Terrorist would seem somehow grounded in scholarship or reality. In this clear misappropriation of important academic data, CFNS used a statistic about prosecution of terrorist activity to implicate the Muslim Brotherhood and Muslim-Americans in general.
And what are we to make of the database of 6,000 names generated by CFNS’s “in-depth research?” When asked whether or not the names on said database were based on action or association, the speaker paused, and then confirmed that all individuals (and organizations, for that matter) marked as linked to the Muslim Brotherhood (and identified as alleged threats) were listed solely based on (unproved) “affiliation” rather than “terrorist activity.” The prospect of Congress having access to a database of 6,000 names of allegedly dangerous individuals is alarming and should serve as a red-flag for the possibility of violence against the American-Muslim community. If this isn’t McCarthyite, I’m not sure what is.
CFNS’s rhetoric should not be taken lightly. Although many of the attendees at the conference only came to witness its absurdity and get a free lunch, some took heed to the ludicrous message CFNS was trying to convey. The presence of Islamophobia in America and on a global scale is certainly alarming. The identification and data-basing of Muslim students should be a warning sign. This is not benign hatred. When an American politician sponsors an event clearly grounded in racism, anti-Muslim rhetoric and fear-mongering, conscientious individuals and organizations aimed at fostering understanding at peace should take action.
Tim Murphy of Mother Jones wrote Rep. Allen West’s (Very, Very) Stealth Jihad in which he said:
The Brotherhood’s membership, was not, Leitner took pains to note, drawn simply from vulnerable immigrant groups like the Somalis of east Minneapolis. “They’re drawn from very smart classes: teachers and lawyers and medical professionals,” he said. “These are not simple people.”
It was a tangled web—Leitner conceded that his diagrams are “kind of like looking at a plate of spaghetii”—but that was precisely the point: According to Leitner, the Muslim Brotherhood made the plot so vast and multifaceted as part of a campaign of “intentional denial and deception through intentional complexity.” In other words, the conspirators made their conspiracy so big and so omnipresent that the public lost its ability to see the forest for the treason. But don’t call Leitner a black-helicopter type: “You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to understand there really are conspiracies in the world,” he said.
Citizens for National Security’s report was preceeded by a big announcement that the group would be releasing the names of 6,000 active members of the Muslim Brotherhood. But when the big day came, the group stated that the names would actually be kept under wraps and only released to select “responsible parties.” In a response to a query from Wired’s Spencer Ackerman, Leitner conceded that the people on his list had not necessarily been charged with any crimes. Instead, they were just people who are involved with organizations he had connected to the Muslim Brotherhood—like the Muslim Students Association.
… Folks like West and the CFNS want to have it both ways. They cast as wide a net as possible and call for the Muslim Students Association to be classified as a terrorist group. But then they tell the handful of MSA members who attended Monday’s presentation that no one is calling them terrorists. Islam isn’t the enemy—except for when it is. Large groups aren’t responsible for the actions of a few fringe members—except for when they are.
If the Muslim Brotherhood seriously intends to implement Shariah law over the United States, the group faces long odds. Ninety-eight percent of Americans are not Muslim. Of the remaining sliver, the overwhelming majority seem pretty satisfied with our current system of constitutionally protected religious freedom. For a conspiracy that’s been operative since 1962, things sure are moving slowly. But there was one gaping omission from Leitner’s report that might have redeemed the whole thing.
Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy* alleged last summer that Americans for Tax Reform founder Grove Norquist was secretly an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. And it’s Norquist, along with a host of influential conservative leaders like RedState’s Erick Erickson, who are leading the charge against any sort of reasonable deal on the debt ceiling—sending the federal government careening toward a default, which would crush the economy and cause tens of millions of Americans to lose whatever remaining faith they had in the nation’s core political institutions. And then, boom—Shariah. It’s almost too perfect.
Why has Rep. West not already reported and provided the information contained in this Center for Security Policy “study” to the authorities. Maybe West should become the subject of a Congressional investigation, if not a criminal investigation? It is similar to the experts who claim to have knowledge of home grown jihadi organizations and individuals, yet this is never reported to law enforcement. Yet, it has been consistently proven that Muslims identify, report and thwart many, many homegrown terrorist plots; definitely more than the self-proclaimed defenders of the “Free World” and Western Civilization.
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is, lastly, planning to screen a controversial film on Capitol Hill about attempts to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero in Manhattan. The film, “Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mosque,” was produced by the conservative Christian Action Network (CAN) and has begun to garner criticism from such groups as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). According to Loonwatch:
The 45-minute film is largely focused around a series of interviews conducted with survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and members of their family. The interviews, according to CAN’s website, delve into the feelings they experienced last summer when a group proposed building an Islamic center blocks away from where the World Trade Center towers once stood.
CAN attempted to get permission to show the film in New York City parks over the week leading up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but it was denied out of concern for the content.
According to CAN’s website, West plans to host the event during the week Congress returns from recess, on Sept. 8
We all remember when Allen West came under fire in 2010, commenting, during a conference, that terrorists were fulfilling mandates laid out by the Qur’an. The question to be asked presently is will all these political moves designed to gain support from radical right-wing Republicans and Tea-Partyers backfire on West? Does West really believe in his own rhetoric or is this the shrewd calculation of an evil-minded politician? I live in Florida, and I have seen much Islamophobia to the extent that I call Florida one of the Loon States. And I am convinced that politicians such as West are simply pandering to this base for the votes that will garner political power. But the majority of non-Muslim Floridians will not fall for this garbage. And our very sizable Muslim population will continue to stem the tide of this Islamophobic nonsense becoming mainstream. Insha’Allah.
9/11 created more converts to Islam than Islamophobes are comfortable admitting. I believe that west demagoguery will create awaken sensible Americans to the ludicrous fearmongering, devoid of facts, of politicians like Allen West. In my opinion, West has made three political mistakes that will prove fatal for his career in politics, especially if he wants to extend his career to a national level. I leave you with some of the words of Allen West as collected by TAM(The American Muslim):
— “We are in a war against a political, theocratic, authoritarian ideology and it is called Islam!”
— West also said that the Bible proves that the Arabs are “wild” and “against everyman” quoting Gen 16:11-12. West won in a campaign that included frequent “history lessons,” teaching, among other things, that “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology. It is not a religion.”
— He also said that people who display the popular “Coexist” bumper stickers, which use various religious symbols as font, are those who would “give away our country” and “our rights and freedoms and liberties because they are afraid to stand up and confront that which is the antithesis, anathema of who we are. … that Islam is a “very vile and very vicious enemy that we have allowed to come in this country because we ride around with bumper stickers that say ‘coexist.’”
— He said “We already have a 5th column that is already infiltrating into our colleges, into our universities, into our high schools, into our religious aspect, our cultural aspect, our financial, our political systems in this country. And that enemy represents something called Islam and Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals that stand up and say that.”
— He said I think one of the critical things that we must come together is that there is an infiltration of the Sharia practice into all of our operating systems in our country as well as across Western civilization. So we must be willing to recognize that enemy.
— West also criticized Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison saying that he “really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”
Update: It seems that Allen West has made four political gaffes, aligning himself with the likes of Frank Gaffney, calling him a “mentor”.
Allen West spoke at a Center for Security Policy event in New York City on the national security threats America faces, specifically in the Middle East.