Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Saudi Prince Funding Hate in America?

The cynical exploitation by Rupert Murdoch of the extraordinary power of his media empire has received much attention in parts of the British press recently. The reports in media outlets not owned by News International show how Mr. Murdoch influenced British elections, intimidated top politicians, bribed government officials, and made a lot of money doing it. However, there has been little talk about Saudi Prince Walid Bin Talal, the News Corp biggest shareholder, who is at least partly responsible for funding Murdoch owned media's hateful agenda against Muslims and other minority groups in America and elsewhere.

Murdoch's Fox News is home to some of the most bigoted TV hosts in the United States. Recently, Fox News Cable channel took the lead in promoting an Islamophobic campaign of hysteria against what it calls the "ground zero mosque" project, also known as Park 51, in New York City. The fact is that "ground zero mosque" is not at ground zero. Nor is it just a mosque. It’s in fact an Islamic cultural center containing a prayer room.

One of the main rallying points pushed by Fox News against the proposed project has been the possibility of partial Saudi funding of it. Such an objection is clearly hypocritical given the fact that Fox News itself is partly funded by Saudi Prince Walid as a major investor, as are some other large US media corporations, including Walt Disney which owns ABC, and Time Warner which owns CNN.



The relationship between Murdochs and Prince Walid is quite close. According to a December 2009 Variety article, Rupert Murdoch struck a deal giving News Corp. a 10 percent stake in Al-Waleed's media conglomerate, Rotana. Variety reported that the deal "deepens the strategic partnership between Rupert Murdoch and Prince Waleed, who is a substantial investor in News Corp." and that Fox and Rotana "have a long-standing relationship."

As the News International cell phone hacking scandal has unfolded in Britain, Prince Walid has now also emerged as one of the biggest defenders of the Murdochs. The Prince has been quoted by the BBC as saying about Rupert and James Murdoch: "Speaking of my dealings with them there has been nothing but high ethics for the past 20 years."

The current revelations about the behavior of Murdoch's media operations in the UK are now beginning to raise questions of similar practices by the company in the United States and elsewhere. There are reports that News Corporation newspapers tried to obtain phone records of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001. I hope a serious criminal investigation by the US Justice Dept into these allegations will also help expose the venal nature of The News Corp and its cynical strategy to get high ratings for profit by promoting hate against minority groups in America.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Exposing King's Hypocrisy

FBI Entrapping Young Muslims

Duke University Study on Muslim Americans

How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation

Early Anthrax Probe of Pakistani-Americans

Violence Against Indians in Australia

First Haji in US Congress

Inside the Mind of Times Square Bomber

Home-grown Terror Plots Seen as FBI Entrapment

Milgram's Experiments on Obedience to Authority

22 comments:

Rashid said...

If the Saudi link to Foxnews becomes established - then Tea Party
folks - who treat Foxnews as Gospel - will lose some of their faith.
This will be good news to Pres Hussain. This is the reason for the
prominence given to this story by the Liberal media.

It will be amusing to see the discomfiture of the diehard Teabaggers -
as this story grows and gets exploited

Mayraj said...

Well! Saudis do not think ordinary Muslims have a right to their sympathy because they are not Wahabis.

Shams said...

Riaz,

Good article, for a change ;-)

Most Droid, Apple and WinC phones get hacked every once in a while. Best, do not download any f---- ringtones or apps other than what the manufacturer supplies.

Mayraj said...

http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/07/18/what_the_newscorp_scandal_really_means
What the NewsCorp scandal really means (and why you should hope it implodes)

The media sector is a critical part of any society, and keeping ownership divided as much as possible is essential for a healthy democracy. If ever there were a part of our society where aggressive anti-trust policy is essential, it is right here. Having a "free press" means little when a handful of voices predominate, and healthy democracy requires a political diverse ecology of editors, reporters, and commentators.

One could argue that the digital revolution is creating a far more heterogeneous information ecosystem, and gradually reducing the power of old-style media barons like Murdoch. There may be some truth in that, but the power of major news organizations like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist, etc., remains formidable and some of them are bound to emerge as major players in the digital media world over time. Notice that this blog isn't my own operation: Foreign Policy is itself a subsidiary of the Washington Post Corporation. And a lot of other blogs I read operate under the umbrella of larger organizations like the Daily Beast/Newsweek, the New Yorker, or the Atlantic.

I hope the scandal keeps widening, and that the NewsCorp eventually breaks into lots of tiny little pieces. Moving forward, I hope that government officials and the public will learn from this sorry episode and take a more assertive approach to regulating media conglomerates in the future. But based on what I think I know about politics and human nature, I'm not betting my retirement account on it.

Khalid said...

From Veterans Today:

What he is not is an Australian “right wing” billionaire. Murdoch, though born in Australia is an Israeli citizen and Jewish. Why is this important?
Murdoch is now admitted to have controlled the political systems in Britain and America for two decades. He has had the power to choose national leaders, make policy, pass laws at will. Where did the power come from?
We now know it came from spying, blackmail, bribery and propaganda.
What is his agenda? Ah, there’s the rub.
Was it about selling newspapers using scandals or spying in the name of Israel to push Britain and the United States into wars for Israel? There is a simple answer.
Murdoch’s primary motivation isn’t even that he is “for Israel.” Murdoch is, perhaps, the most influential Israeli, more powerful than Netanyahu. The problem with that is that his beliefs are what we call “ultra-nationalist.”
This makes him a threat. Ultra-nationalists are known to support wars, plan terrorist acts, manipulate populations into strife and racism, foster fear and panic, even financial ruin.
What are we describing here?
If you aren’t totally brain dead, you realize I am describing Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.
Murdoch owns Fox News and so much else you may not have a time to look at the list. If he doesn’t own it he doesn’t want it.
Fox is a network and Murdoch, owning so many newspapers across America and being a foreigner shouldn’t be able to control such a thing. How did he do it?
Reagan “appointed” Murdoch an American citizen. Murdoch promised to have Fox News support Republicans and say whatever was needed, no matter how false, how stupid or, as we have seen now for decades, how genuinely evil.
What he really did, however, was use Fox as a base to allow Israel to run spy operations.
These went two ways:
1. Israel got lots of military technology and secrets they could sell to America’s enemies for money. This is good “Murdoch” business sense, as we all see now.
2. Murdoch helped Israel gain control of congress. They literally run the United States. The tools? As in Britain, bribery and blackmail, police, military and congress.
No surprises for anyone.
Murdoch has, in fact, engineered the last 20 plus years of American history, picking politicians, throwing elections, establishing policies. Were the decisions his own?
I don’t think so. I think Murdoch represents a group, mostly financial, making up the Rothschild family, the Federal Reserve Banks and organized crime.
There is an Israeli or Jewish aspect to some of this but not in the sense of being “pro” or “anti” Semitic. The Murdoch empire, married to the “lily white” “no Jews allowed” Republican Party simply put their own very powerful spin on the good old “New World Order,” pushing it into drug running, arms and human trafficking, manipulated international currencies and debt on a massive scale, ran America and the European Union into economic collapse, worked with oil companies to set up price fixing schemes…
This is what Murdoch and his friends have done, all the while pointing their fingers at Osama bin Laden and the evil “liberals.”

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/07/13/a-murdoch-note/

Riaz Haq said...

There is growing concern among the Jewish community about the effect of Murdoch's trpubles on Israel, according to The Jewish Week:

Murdoch’s Mess, Israel’s Concern
Share
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One of the ripple effects from the phone hacking scandal that has gripped Britain is concern over whether the Rupert Murdoch media empire’s strong support for Israel would continue if the founder of News Corp. loses his clout.

The 80-year-old media baron has been humbled in recent days, apologizing for the scandal that has prompted outrage in Parliament and among many in Britain for its wide and nasty reach, illegally probing the private lives of royalty, celebrities and even a young murder victim, and spreading to charges of bribing the police for confidential information.

Murdoch, his son, James, and Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of the shamed and shuttered News Of The World, testified before Parliament on Tuesday. They said they had no knowledge of the illegal hacking.

While Murdoch may be deeply resented in England, his longtime and outspoken support for Israel has made him a respected figure there and in the U.S. Jewish establishment.

“My own perspective is simple: We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews,” Murdoch said last October at an Anti-Defamation League dinner in his honor.

In 2009, on being honored by the American Jewish Committee, he noted: “In the West, we are used to thinking that Israel cannot survive without the help of Europe and the United States. Tonight I say to you, maybe we should start wondering whether we in Europe and the United States can survive if we allow the terrorists to succeed in Israel.”

Now Jewish leaders are wondering if the pro-Israel stance of Murdoch’s media empire, including, in this country, the Wall Street Journal, New York Post and Fox News, can survive a post-Murdoch era.

Truth is, the above news organizations and others in the Murdoch fleet have long been pro-Israel.

The more pressing question of the moment is whether Murdoch can succeed in distancing himself from a scandal for which he has apologized and expressed humility but refused to accept responsibility. In the meantime, a seamy side of tabloid journalism has been exposed. But it should be noted that it was the press – not Parliament or Scotland Yards – that brought the scandal to light, underscoring the influence, for good or evil, the media can wield.

Anonymous said...

pak is better off keeping its distance from saud's Bedouin ruling clan. Petro-dollars look tempting but do long-term harm to culture, religion.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Haq Saudi prince is a business man do you think he really cares about inciting hatred towards muslims

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Mr. Haq Saudi prince is a business man do you think he really cares about inciting hatred towards muslims"

Rupert Murdoch is a businessman too; in fact a much bigger businessman than Prince Walid. And yet, by his own admission and by the news coverage of the Middle East by his media properties, he shows that he cares deeply for Israel and Jews.

Haseeb said...

Yes, Saudi Prince Walid as a major investor in FoxNews. Just look at financial reports filed by foxnews. It is correct and not a secret.

Moin said...

Interesting how after decades of his existence the FBI and the rest of the world now finds out the background of Rupert Murdoch .... why has it become so important at this stage....perhaps Murdoch 'contributions' are no longer needed -- the needful damage has been done to the world. Wake up World!?
Must read and listen to this amazing revelation!



http://mycatbirdseat.com/2011/07/a-murdoch-note-gordon-duff/

Riaz Haq said...

A suspected far-right gunman in police uniform killed at least 84 people in a ferocious attack on a youth summer camp of Norway's ruling Labor party, hours after a bomb killed seven in Oslo, according to Reuters.

Witnesses said the gunman, identified by police as a 32-year-old Norwegian, moved across the small, wooded island of Utoeya in a lake northwest of Oslo Friday, firing at young people who scattered in panic or tried to swim to safety.

Police detained the tall, blond suspect, named by local media as Anders Behring Breivik, and charged him for the killing spree and the bombing of government buildings in Oslo.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, capturing the shock this normally quiet nation of 4.8 million is experiencing, said: "A paradise island has been transformed into a hell."

Deputy Police Chief Roger Andresen would not speculate on the motives for what was believed to be the deadliest attack by a lone gunman anywhere in modern times.

"He describes himself as a Christian, leaning toward right-wing Christianity, on his Facebook page," Andresen said.

Initial speculation after the Oslo blast had focused on Islamist militant groups, but it appears that only Breivik -- and perhaps unidentified associates -- was involved.

Home-grown right-wing militancy has generated occasional attacks elsewhere, notably in the United States, where Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people with a truck bomb at a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/23/us-norway-blast-idUSTRE76L2VI20110723

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting opinion by economist Jeffrey Sachs. about budget politics in America:

..Every part of the budget debate in the U.S. is built on a tissue of willful deceit. Consider the Republican Party's double-mantra that the deficit results from "runaway spending" and that more tax cuts are the key to economic growth. Republicans claim that the budget deficit, around 10 percent of GDP, has been caused only by a rise in outlays. This is blatantly untrue. The deficit results roughly equally from a fall of tax revenues as a share of GDP and a rise of spending as a share of GDP.
On both sides of the ledger -- spending and taxes -- part of the shift results from the weak economy ("cyclical factors") and part from long-term trends. Spending, for example, is higher in part because of unemployment compensation, food stamps, and other federal spending to help the downtrodden in a weak economy. That's the "cyclical" component. Part of the higher spending reflects long-term patterns, such as rising health care costs and an aging population, as well as America's chronic addiction to wrongheaded wars and military occupations in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Taxation is lower also because of short-term factors and long-term factors. The short-term factors involve reduced federal revenues in an economy with high unemployment. The long-term factors involve repeated tax cuts for companies and high-income individuals that have systematically eroded the tax base, giving unjust and unaffordable benefits for America's millionaires, billionaires, and multinational corporations.
The Republicans also misrepresent the costs and benefits of closing the deficit through higher taxes on the rich. Americans wants the rich to pay more, and for good reason. Super-rich Americans have walked away with the prize in America. Our country is run by millionaires and billionaires, and for millionaires and billionaires, the rest of the country be damned. Yet the Republicans and their propaganda mouthpieces like Rupert Murdoch's media empire, claim with sheer audacity that taxing the rich would kill economic growth. This trickle-down, voodoo, supply-side economics is the fig leaf of uncontrolled greed among the right-wing rich.
The truth is that we need more federal spending to create good jobs and remain globally competitive, not as some kind of short-term "stimulus" but as a long-term investment in education, job skills, science, technology, energy security, and modern infrastructure. I travel around the world as part of my job, and I can say without doubt that America has failed to modernize the economy and is steadily losing its international competitiveness. No wonder the good jobs are disappearing and the pay is stagnant, unless of course you are a CEO who can keep grabbing stock options and profits from the shareholders (who are anyway enjoying record incomes because of stagnant wages and high profits earned overseas).
The Democrats of the White House and much of Congress have been less crude, but no less insidious, in their duplicity. Obama's campaign promise to "change Washington" looks like pure bait and switch. There has been no change, but rather more of the same: the Wall-Street-owned Democratic Party as we have come to know it. The idea that the Republicans are for the billionaires and the Democrats are for the common man is quaint but outdated. It's more accurate to say that the Republicans are for Big Oil while the Democrats are for Big Banks. That has been the case since the modern Democratic Party was re-created by Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin.
Thus, at every crucial opportunity, Obama has failed to stand up for the poor and middle class. He refused to tax the banks and hedge funds properly on their outlandish profits;...

Riaz Haq said...

It appears that the Norwegian white supremacist terrorist Brevik shared the thinking of Nazi-loving Hindu Nationalists like Golwalkar and his Sangh Parivar buddies. Here's an excerpt from a Tribune Express story:

"While Breivik’s rhetoric against Muslim immigration into Europe is not unusual, he cites many names that might be familiar to Pakistanis, including Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, as well as prominent human rights activist Hina Jilani and Dawn columnist Irfan Hussain.
He seems to believe that Iqbal, in particular, was sympathetic to communism and views multiculturalism as a Marxist concept. He quotes Iqbal as saying “Islam equals communism plus Allah.”
Breivik also claims that Pakistan is systematically annihilating all non-Muslim communities. He claimed that Hindu girls are being forced to convert to Islam in Sindh. In this context he even quotes Hina Jilani as saying: “Have you ever heard of an Indian Muslim girl being forced to embrace Hinduism? It’s Muslims winning by intimidation.”
He goes on to describe the situation for Christians in Pakistan as being no better, citing Father Emmanuel Asi of the Theological Institute for Laity in Lahore as saying in 2007 that Pakistani Christians are frequently denied equal rights.
Jamaat-e-Islami founder Abul Ala Maududi is also quoted in the manifesto, though in a manner that would imply that the stated objective of an Islamic state is to kill or subdue all non-Muslims around the world.
Breivik seems to be a fan of Daily Times columnist Razi Azmi, whom he calls “one of the more sensible columnists of Pakistan”. He mentions one of Azmi’s pieces where the columnist asks whether it was possible to imagine a Muslim converting to Christianity or Hinduism or Buddhism in a Muslim country, using it to support his view of Islam as an intolerant religion.
He also cites Dawn’s Irfan Hussain’s column criticising Hizb u-Tahrir’s vision of a caliphate.
His ire against Pakistanis and Muslims seems to have at least partial origin in personal experience. He speaks at length about his childhood best friend, a Pakistani Muslim immigrant to Norway who, despite having lived several years in Europe still appeared to resent Norway and Norwegian society. “Not because he was jealous… but because it represented the exact opposite of Islamic ways,” Breivik conjectures.
The inability of Muslim immigrants to assimilate into European society seems to bother him, which he blames on Muslim parents not allowing their children to adopt European ways. He also asks why Muslim girls are considered ‘off-limits’ to everyone, including Muslim boys, and why Muslim men view ethnic Norwegian women as ‘whores’.
He also seems to believe that the Muslims in Europe who collect government benefits view it as a form of jizya, a medieval Islamic tax charged on non-Muslim minorities."


http://tribune.com.pk/story/216830/oslo-attacker-feared-pakistanisation-of-europe/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Washington Post report on advertisers pulling out of TLC's "All-American Muslim" reality TV show:

Lowe’s, the national hardware chain, has pulled commercials from future episodes of “All-American Muslim,” a TLC reality-TV show, after protests by Christian groups.

The Florida Family Association, a Tampa Bay group, has led a campaign urging companies to pull ads on “All-American Muslim.” The FFA contends that 65 of 67 companies it has targeted have pulled their ads, including Bank of America, the Campbell Soup Co., Dell, Estee Lauder, General Motors, Goodyear, Green Mountain Coffee, McDonalds, Sears, and Wal-Mart.

“’All-American Muslim’ is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law,” the Florida group asserts in a letter it asks members to send to TLC advertisers.

“The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to the liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish,” the FFA’s letter continues.

It was not clear whether the companies cited by the Florida Family Association, which has also targeted shows like MTV’s “Degrassi,” stopped advertising on “All-American Muslim” because of pressure or for other reasons.

Emails from Home Depot and Sweet’N Low posted on the Florida Family Association’s website suggest the companies had simply bought one commercial spot, and didn’t cancel any commercials.

A spokeswoman for Amway, also cited by the Florida group, denied the company pulled advertising from “All-American Muslim,” and said those reports were “misleading” and “falsely named” Amway.

Lowe’s acknowledged pulling commercials from “All-American Muslim” following consumer complaints, but denied they came from one group.

“We understand the program raised concerns, complaints, or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show,” said Katie Cody, a Lowe’s spokeswoman.

Cody declined to specify whether the complaints were anti-Muslim, and whether Lowe’s advertises on shows with Christian, Jewish, or other religious characters or themes. “It is certainly never Lowe’s intent to alienate anyone,” Cody said.

“Shame on Lowe’s, and shame on every one of these companies if they really did cave in to such bigotry and hatred,” wrote Sheila Musaji, who blogs at theamericanmuslim.org. If the Florida Family Association and other reports are misrepresenting these companies, she added, “then they need to speak up.”

The first of eight weekly episodes of “All-American Muslim,” which follows five Lebanese families in Dearborn, Mich., premiered on Nov. 13.

A TLC spokeswoman, Laurie Goldberg, said the network could not comment about the alleged advertising defections, but that the show maintained “strong” advertising. “There are no plans to pull the show. The show is going to continue as planned,” said Goldberg.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/companies-pull-ads-from-muslim-reality-tv-show/2011/12/09/gIQANywmiO_story.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times story of a police training video promoting hatred against Muslims:

Ominous music plays as images appear on the screen: Muslim terrorists shoot Christians in the head, car bombs explode, executed children lie covered by sheets and a doctored photograph shows an Islamic flag flying over the White House.

“This is the true agenda of much of Islam in America,” a narrator intones. “A strategy to infiltrate and dominate America. ... This is the war you don’t know about.”

This is the feature-length film titled “The Third Jihad,” paid for by a nonprofit group, which was shown to more than a thousand officers as part of training in the New York Police Department.

In January 2011, when news broke that the department had used the film in training, a top police official denied it, then said it had been mistakenly screened “a couple of times” for a few officers.

A year later, police documents obtained under the state’s Freedom of Information Law reveal a different reality: “The Third Jihad,” which includes an interview with Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was shown, according to internal police reports, “on a continuous loop” for between three months and one year of training.

During that time, at least 1,489 police officers, from lieutenants to detectives to patrol officers, saw the film.
---------------
The film posits that there were three jihads: One at the time of Muhammad, a second in the Middle Ages and a third that is under way covertly throughout the West today.

This is, the film claims, “the 1,400-year war.”

How the film came to be used in police training, and even for how long, was not clear. An undated memorandum from the department’s commanding officer for specialized training noted that an employee of the federal Department of Homeland Security handed the DVD to the New York police in January 2010. Since then, this officer said, the video was shown continuously “during the sign-in, medical and administrative orientation process.” A Department of Homeland Security spokesman said it was never used in its curriculum, and might have come from a contractor.

As it turned out, it was police officers who blew the whistle after watching the film. Late in 2010, Mr. Robbins contacted an officer who spoke of his unease with the film; another officer, said Zead Ramadan, the New York president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, talked of seeing it during a training session the previous summer. “The officer was completely offended by it as a Muslim,” Mr. Ramadan said. “It defiled our faith and misrepresented everything we stood for.”

When the news broke about the movie last year, Mr. Browne called it a “wacky film” that had been shown “only a couple of times when officers were filling out paperwork before the actual course work began.”
-----------
There is the question of the officers who viewed the movie during training. Mr. Browne said the Police Department had no plans to correct any false impressions the movie might have left behind.

“There’s no plan to contact officers who saw it,” he said, or to “add other programming as a result.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/nyregion/in-police-training-a-dark-film-on-us-muslims.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=third%20jihad%20&st=cse

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts of NY Times Op Ed on France's Sarkozy exploiting xenophobia:

Mr. Sarkozy may think it is smart politics to pander to racism and xenophobia. He has done it before. And, sadly, his harsh new tone has given him a quick boost in the polls. But it is damaging to French society. And it may prove a mixed political blessing in May. Many French voters already think that he lacks presidential dignity.

Times are tough in France, but Mr. Sarkozy could have run a more elevated campaign. He has domestic achievements (pension reform) and international achievements (Libya). His main opponent, Mr. Hollande, has vague ideas and unrealistic economic proposals.

Instead, Mr. Sarkozy has chosen the low road. At a packed rally on Sunday, he attacked European Union trade rules, which he said had opened French markets to “savage” competition, and called for a protectionist “buy European” rule for public spending that would raise costs and invite retaliation. He also threatened to suspend French participation in Europe’s 25-nation open border agreement unless others did more to keep illegal immigrants and refugees out of Europe. A few days earlier, he had attacked legal immigration, promising a 50 percent cut in admissions for family reunification.

In a particularly vile gambit from a man who already brags about banning the burqa in public and Muslim-style street prayer, Mr. Sarkozy now pledges to protect French consumers from unknowingly eating halal meat, slaughtered in accordance with Muslim dietary codes. He called for legislation requiring all meat labels to note the slaughtering methods used. This proposal originally came from Marine Le Pen, the presidential candidate of the unabashedly xenophobic National Front. Mr. Sarkozy first rightly called it frivolous. Then he adopted it.

Five million to six million Muslims now live in France, almost a tenth of the total population. It is cruel to keep family members from joining them and cruel and destructive to subject their religion to mockery. Ms. Le Pen is currently running third in the polls. Regrettably, Mr. Sarkozy has no problem being frivolous or cruel if it means he can peel away some of her voters.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/opinion/mr-sarkozy-on-the-low-road.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=sarkozy&st=cse

Riaz Haq said...

Here's NY Times blog post on McCain denouncing Congressional Islomophobes' attacks on American Muslims serving in Obama administration, including Huma Abedin based on her Muslim heritage:

Finally, today, on the floor of the Senate, he excoriated Rep. Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Tea Partier, for her McCarthy-esque claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the government. He singled out attacks on a senior aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin.

To say that the accusations “are not substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it,” he said. “It is far better, and more accurate, to talk straight: These allegations about Huma Abedin, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant.”


http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/whos-the-real-john-mccain/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/anderson-cooper-michele-bachmann-huma-abedin-muslims_n_1682281.html?utm_hp_ref=media

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a excerpt of a Aljazeera story on the acceptance of anti-Muslim bigotry in America:

There's an interesting and rather illuminating thought experiment you can perform when listening to media figures and politicians discuss Muslims. Take the recent interview on Fox News of the author Reza Aslan, where the host interrogated him at length about his religious background, at one point accusing him of having "gone on several programmes while never disclosing [he is] a Muslim".

Or take New Atheist ideologue Sam Harris, who has said "We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim", as well as his counterpart Richard Dawkins who has become famous for asking incisive questions like "Who the hell do these Muslims think they are"?

This is all above-board language in today's popular discourse. But as a simple test try replacing the word "Muslim" with "Jew"; or "Muslim" with "Black" in each of these quotes and see how it sounds in your head. Most likely, it sounds significantly less comfortable, normal, and acceptable than it did just a moment ago.

Indeed, it's difficult to imagine how Harris, Dawkins, or the Fox News host who questioned Aslan about his faith could continue as public figures were they to make the same types comments about any minority group other than Muslims. They would've in all likelihood won broad, well-justified, condemnation and even been drummed out of the public sphere for their frank bigotry.

Perhaps they'd have been taken up as martyrs by the fringe-right where such xenophobic language about Jews and Blacks is still commonplace. Instead they've so far been permitted to continue spreading hatred against one of the few minority communities it is still acceptable to negatively generalise, degrade and menace.
--------------
Richard Dawkins recently ignited a minor furor by pointing out that "All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge". His defenders rushed to point out that his statement was merely a fact and as such there was nothing bigoted about it whatsoever.

Dawkins declaration also happens to be true when you substitute the word "Hindus", "Blacks" or "Chinese" for Muslims here, but his admirers would have had a harder time defending the same statement made about any of these groups without being tarred as xenophobes.
------------
Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor explained the fallacies behind this crude chauvinism:

Dawkins, as an educated man, should be well aware of the legacy of colonialism and of simple poverty…. When the Nobel Prize was founded in 1901, the vast majority of the world's Muslims lived in countries ruled by foreign powers, and for much of the 20th century Muslims did not have much access to great centres of learning like Cambridge. The ranks of Nobel Prize winners have traditionally been dominated by white, Western men - a reflection of both the economic might of the West in the past century, preferential access to education for that class of people as well as a wonderful intellectual tradition .

The same reasons why Muslims are underrepresented in the halls of Western scientific achievement are also applicable to essentially every other group in the world besides white males living in Western countries. If there's nothing bigoted about saying it about Muslims, Dawkins and his defenders should come out and make the same unqualified and context-free statements about other groups in society whom they see as not stacking up. The fact that they refuse to do so signals that this has little to do with courageously speaking the truth and more about picking out which minorities it is still safe to bash. .....


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/08/201381112549657227.html

Riaz Haq said...

It is true of course true that Trinity College's 32 Nobel Prizes are more than the 10 awarded to Muslims. But what makes this an "intriguing fact" to Dawkins? The fact that Muslim majority societies have been generally poorer than Western ones for centuries is well understood.

When the Nobel Prize was founded in 1901, the vast majority of the world's Muslims lived in countries ruled by foreign powers, and for much of the 20th century Muslims did not have much access to great centers of learning like Cambridge. The ranks of Nobel prize winners have traditionally been dominated by white, Western men – a reflection of both the economic might of the West in the past century, preferential access to education for that class of people and also, it must be added, a wonderful intellectual tradition. But one might as well be intrigued by the fact that Africans have fewer Nobels than Trinity (nine) or that Indians do (four) or that Chinese do (eight). Or perhaps Dawkins is "intrigued" that women have only won 44 Nobel Prizes, compared with 791 for men?

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2013/0809/Finally-something-that-Mike-Huckabee-and-Richard-Dawkins-can-agree-upon

Riaz Haq said...

Atheist Richard Dawkins has recently disparaged Muslims by pointing out that the entire Muslim world has had fewer Nobels (10) than Cambridge's Trinity College (34). While Dawkins is correct in that assertion, it;s important to recognize that the history of humanity is not just 100 years old. It did not begin with the launch of Nobels in 1901. It stretches much further back. The defining work of Muslims in earlier centuries included development of decimal number system (still called Arabic numerals), Algebra, the idea of algorithms, first camera, fountain pen, etc. In "Lost Discoveries" by Dick Teresi, the author says, "Clearly, the Arabs served as a conduit, but the math laid on the doorstep of Renaissance Europe cannot be attributed solely to ancient Greece. It incorporates the accomplishments of Sumer, Babylonia, Egypt, India, China and the far reaches of the Medieval Islamic world." Teresi by his description of the work done by Copernicus. Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, a Persian Muslim astronomer and mathematician, developed at least one of Copernicus's theorems, now called The Tusi Couple, three hundred years before Copernicus. Copernicus used the theorem without offering any proof or giving credit to al-Tusi. This was pointed out by Kepler, who looked at Copernicus's work before he developed his own elliptical orbits idea.

A second theorem found in Copernican system, called Urdi lemma, was developed by another Muslim scientist Mu'ayyad al-Din al-Urdi, in 1250. Again, Copernicus neither offered proof nor gave credit to al-Urdi. Columbia University's George Saliba believes Copernicus didn't credit him because Muslims were not popular in 16th century Europe, not unlike the situation today. http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/06/obama-islam-and-science.html

Riaz Haq said...

#US DoD changed rules on beards, turbans under pressure from #Sikhs, not #Muslims. #Islamophobes

http://ti.me/1oJNfpL via @TIMEPolitics

Once again, according to the headlines, the Pentagon has bowed to Islamic demands:

– “Caving to pressure from Muslim groups, the Pentagon has relaxed uniform rules to allow Islamic beards, turbans and hijabs,” Investor’s Business Daily reports.

– “At a time when the U.S. should at the very least be wary of those who openly wear their Islamic radicalism around their face and head—beards for males, hijabs for females—the U.S. Pentagon (of all places) is embracing them in ‘celebration of multiculturalism,’” says Raymond Ibrahim, a self-described “Middle East and Islam expert” in a column headlined The Pentagon’s Bow to Islamic Extremism.

–”As our troops in the combat zone contend with the release of Taliban killers and restrictive rules of engagement, they must contend with an Obama administration cowering to Islamic political correctness at home,” writes Allen West, a former Army officer and congressman, on the Fox News website.

Actually, no.

The Pentagon recently tweaked its rules on facial hair and turbans after years of pressure from members of the Sikh religion, not Muslims.

“The changes come after Sikhs pressed the military to allow members of their faith to grow beards, keep their hair uncut and wear turbans, as required by their faith,” the Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 22, the day the Pentagon announced the change. “In recent years, the military has begun to accommodate the religious requirement of Sikhs and the new directive extends that accommodation more broadly.”