Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Funding of Hate Groups, NGOs, Think Tanks: Is Money Free Speech?

Are corporations people?  Do constitutional guarantees of free speech apply to corporations spending money to shape public policy? The United States Supreme Court has answered both of these questions in the affirmative in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission case.



Even before the  US Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case, the United States government and various interest groups have been spending vast sums of money to promote "free speech" and buy influence around the world for a long time. This money is given to non-government organizations (NGOs) and various think tanks, either directly by the USAID or through various private American foundations with the blessings of Uncle Sam.

Funding of Hate Groups' "Free Speech": 

Free Speech is a useful cover for many hate groups that are spewing venom against minorities. Such groups, particularly anti-Muslim groups in the United States, are very well funded. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights group, estimates that these groups have raised and spent over $100 million in recent years.

Spending on Islamophobia is having a significant effect on Americans perception of Muslim Americans. Results differ by political party, with the majority of Republicans holding negative views of both Arab-Americans and Muslims. Democrats gave Arab-Americans a 30 percent unfavorable rating and Muslim-Americans a 33 percent unfavorable rating, while Republicans gave Arab-Americans a 54 percent unfavorable rating and Muslim-Americans a 63 percent unfavorable rating, according to public opinion survey conducted by Zogby Analytics.


US Support of NGOs, Think Tanks:

There has been extensive documentation of US government funding of NGOs for the purpose of pushing US agenda around the world. The most detailed description of it became public with revelations contained in "Who Paid the Piper" by Frances Stonor Saunders. More recently, an investigative reporter Robert Parry has documented the role played by US-funded National Endowment for Democracy in destabilizing Ukraine in a piece titled "A Shadow of US Foreign Policy".

In "The Mask of Pluralism", author Joan Roelofs describes certain CIA-designated organizations, using the funds from the “dummy” foundations, funding pro-American NGOs to advance US policies.

Many countries, including India, have made several attempts to regulate foreign funding of NGOs. Just recently, Modi government has frozen the accounts of Green Peace India and put Ford Foundation on its watch list.

There are hundreds of foreign-funded NGOs operating in Pakistan. Many of them provide much needed service but some are likely being used as cover to push foreign agendas. It has been established that the CIA used one such organization to fund a fake polio vaccination campaign in Abbotabad as part of its hunt for Usama Bin Laden.

Role Reversal:

In a strange twist, Americans are now complaining about foreign funding of Washington NGOs and Think Tanks. New York Times has named several foreign governments from Asia, Europe and the Middle East providing tens of millions of dollars to American think tanks to push "United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities".

Since 2011, at least 64 foreign governments have contributed to a group of 28 major US-based think tanks and NGOs, according to disclosures by the institutions and government documents.

As the New York Times puts it: "The money is increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington. And it has set off troubling questions about intellectual freedom: Some scholars say they have been pressured to reach conclusions friendly to the government financing the research."

Foreign-Funded US Think Tanks:

Here are three of many examples of foreign government funding of think tanks cited by New York Times:

1. Japanese government is a major donor to Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) for the purpose of promoting free trade treaties, particularly the Trans Pacific Partnership, in recent years.

2. United Arab Emirates is a major donor to the Atlantic Council. Michele Dunne was forced to resign the head of its center for the Middle East after calling for the suspension of military aid to Egypt in 2013 after the military coup that overthrew the democratically government of President Mohammad Mursi.

3. Norway has given at least $24 million to several Washington think tanks over the past four years, according to a tally by The New York Times, transforming these nonprofits into a powerful but largely hidden arm of the Norway Foreign Affairs Ministry. Documents obtained under that country’s unusually broad open records laws reveal that American research groups, after receiving money from Norway, have advocated in Washington for enhancing Norway’s role in NATO, promoted its plans to expand oil drilling in the Arctic and pushed its climate change agenda.

Summary:

"Free Speech"is extensively being used as a cover to promote special interests and spew hate speech in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

Foreign funding of NGOs and Think Tanks is a reality.  This fact must be acknowledged.  As Saleem Ali, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, put it to New York Times: “If a member of Congress is using the Brookings reports, they should be aware — they are not getting the full story.”  Ali said he had been told during his job interview that he could not take positions critical of the Qatari government in papers. “They may not be getting a false story, but they are not getting the full story.”

The Clinton Foundation, headed by former US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary, the former secretary of state, has come under severe criticism for accepting millions of dollars from foreign contributors. American media are demanding full disclosure and transparency from the couple. Shouldn't it also apply to foreign donations flowing into NGOs in Pakistan?

With growing Pakistan-China cooperation, trade and investment, Indian and western governments and spy agencies will try and ratchet up the pressure on the two countries by further fueling the insurgency in Pakistan. The issue will be played up by western and Indian media and some foreign funded NGOs in Pakistan as the work on China-Pakistan corridor proceeds and Chinese investment in Pakistan materializes.  This cynical effort could claim more innocent and well-meaning victims like Sabeen Mahmud who get caught up as pawns in the cross-fire of  international geopolitics. Pakistani leaders and people need to be aware of it and be prepared to deal with it intelligently.

Here's a video discussion on this subject:




https://vimeo.com/126093896



Who killed Sabeen Mahmud? NA-246 Results prove what. Yemen from WBT TV on Vimeo.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2o3uj0_who-killed-sabeen-mahmud-what-do-na-246-results-prove-yemen_news


Who killed Sabeen Mahmud- What do NA-246... by faizan-maqsood

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Who Killed Sabeen Mahmud? Why? 

Pak-China Industrial Corridor

American Hypocrisy on Dr. Afridi's Sentence

Post Cold War World: Pakistan-China-Russia Vs India-US-Japan

How Strategic Are China-Pakistan Ties?

Alaska Permanent Fund: A Model For Balochistan?

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Covert War in Pakistan?

Serious Issues Undermining Baloch Insurgency

26 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Geert Wilders, the champion of 'free speech' in #Texas, wants to ban the #Koran in #Holland. #Islamophobia #Garland http://wpo.st/JmoF0

A mass shooting tragedy may have been averted late on Sunday, when two gunmen were killed in Garland, Tex., outside an exhibition for drawings of the prophet Muhammad. The two men apparently had hoped to kill attendees, but after they shot an unarmed security guard, police officers returned fire.

In an e-mail to The Washington Post, Pamela Geller, an anti-Islam activist who organized the event, blamed "Islamic jihadis" who were "determined to suppress our freedom of speech violently." That sentiment was echoed on Twitter by another high-profile, if seemingly out-of-place, guest: the Dutch politician Geert Wilders.

It may seem odd that a Dutch politician was attending an event in Texas, but Wilders has long been an ally of Geller. As far back as 2010, he was attending rallies organized by the native New Yorker against a proposed Muslim community center near the site of the World Trade Center. Along with Geller, he was one of the organizers of Sunday's event and had presented a check to one attendee for his drawing of Muhammad.

Yet while the presence of Wilders -- an elected member of the Dutch parliament and the leader of the fourth-largest party in the Netherlands -- may seem like a legitimizing factor for a clearly controversial event, Wilders's involvement is more complicated than that. For one thing, the Dutch MP might be standing up for free speech in Texas, but in his native Netherlands, he has repeatedly called for the Koran to be banned.

Syed said...

Your post is right on the money.

Pamela Geller, a 56 yr old MILF who would otherwise have been working for the porn industry, and others like her have made a career out of Islamophobia. This woman has received significant funding from not only JDL and AIPAC, but also from the Republican party in hosting events like the recent Mohammad (pbuh) cartoon contest.

However, do note that this kind of tirade also goes against the Catholics. For example, when Mel Gibson was just about to release The Passion of the Christ, the JDL sent Mel a list of 26 cuts in the movie before it was released. Mel was pissed off and still went out with the movie and made over $600 million, mostly from abroad (Syria had highest foreign revenue). But Mel has been kicked out of the Hollywood circle. Similar issues occurred with Tom Cruise but he I guess apologized and is now okay.

Riaz Haq said...

“PEN honors & defends ‘freedom of expression’ but not all ‘expression’ – it is selective,” she added. “Not antisemitic, for instance. Seems reasonable.”

“To some, cartoons depicting black women as monkeys are just so offensive we resent ‘award’. But would defend freedom of expression. If we are ‘offended’ we can just look away, not censor. But we are reluctant to give ‘award.’ (Realize others disagree),” Joyce Carol Oats

More than two dozen writers including Junot Díaz, Joyce Carol Oates and Lorrie Moore have joined a protest against a freedom of expression award for Charlie Hebdo, signing a letter taking issue with what they see as a “reward” for the magazine’s controversial cartoons.

In their letter the writers protest against the award from PEN America, the prominent literary organization of which most of the signatories are members, accusing the French satirical magazine of mocking a “section of the French population that is already marginalized, embattled, and victimized”.

Twenty-six writers, including Pulitzer and National Book Award winners, joined six others – Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi – who had previously withdrawn from the PEN gala celebrating the award. The letter condemns the murder of 12 Hebdo staffers by Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, two extremists enraged by the magazine’s cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

But the writers also criticize the decision to give an award to Charlie Hebdo.

“There is a critical difference between staunchly supporting expression that violates the acceptable, and enthusiastically rewarding such expression,” the letter reads.

“The magazine seems to be entirely sincere in its anarchic expressions of disdain toward organized religion. But in an unequal society, equal opportunity offense does not have an equal effect.

“Power and prestige are elements that must be recognized in considering almost any form of discourse, including satire.”

The writers go on to say that to the certain segments of French society – “a population that is shaped by the legacy of France’s various colonial enterprises, and that contains a large percentage of devout Muslims” – Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of the prophet “must be seen as being intended to cause further humiliation and suffering”.

Joyce Carol Oates, who has herself provoked outrage with comments about race, class and gender, tweeted her qualified support for PEN although she signed the letter: “Important to support PEN even if one does not always agree with individual awards. Suggest polling membership re ‘controversial’ decisions.”

“PEN honors & defends ‘freedom of expression’ but not all ‘expression’ – it is selective,” she added. “Not antisemitic, for instance. Seems reasonable.”

“To some, cartoons depicting black women as monkeys are just so offensive we resent ‘award’. But would defend freedom of expression. If we are ‘offended’ we can just look away, not censor. But we are reluctant to give ‘award.’ (Realize others disagree),” she continued.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/apr/29/writers-join-protest-charlie-hebdo-pen-award

Riaz Haq said...

Massive ‘Islamophobia industry’ flourishes in US

There is a burgeoning industry provoking non-Muslims in Europe and in the US to attack Muslims and other ethnic minorities which is disproportional and only breeds further hatred, Mohammed Ansar, political and social commentator, told RT.

RT: There's been a whole string of incidents in Europe similar to the attack in Texas, in which two gunmen were killed Sunday outside a controversial art event depicting the Prophet Muhammad cartoons and dedicated to free speech. Has a new threat now arrived in America?

Mohammed Ansar: Clearly what we have seen is that the attacks have been going on in Europe is the opening of a long-held debate around freedom of expression, against freedom to offend. Now we’ve seen this being picked up by what they call the counter-jihadists movement here in America. And there is an estimated $200 million Islamophobia industry now in the US. And so we’ve seen - shortly after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo - there was a stand by the Prophet Mohammed conference at this exact same conference center in Garland, Texas, and now we’ve seen hate preachers who have been banned from coming to Europe like Geert Wilders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, now have something which will ostensibly incite hate and violence. Now we’ve seen a reaction and I think it’s to be deplored on all sides – the right to offend, the right to incite violence and hatred, but also the violence and hatred that ensues. At this time our thoughts and concerns have to be with the families of those people who were slain.

RT: How do you put an end to such attacks? What is fuelling them in the first place?

MA: The answer to hate is not more hate. The answer to hate has to be to increase love, peace, tolerance and coexistence in society. In the US they have a far more difficult situation. In the UK and in Europe we have Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights which talks about the freedom of expression. Much is then held in Article 10, part 2, which talks about limitations on freedom of speech. So we have nation states in Europe who are quite used to putting certain limitations around hate speech, around attacking minority groups and spreading hate and fear and incitement of violence even in the national interest in certain instances. In the US, in their Conventions, they do have a constitutional right to freedom of expression. However we’ve seen three Democratic Congressmen, I think we saw Keith Ellison, Andre Carson, and Joe Crowley who came forward and asked the Homeland Security and also the Secretary of State, John Kerry, to put limitations on this. They said that there is bedrock of freedom of speech in the US; however what we don’t want to have is incitement of violence and hate speech.

RT: Incidents like this do breed hate for Islam, while there are millions of Muslims who are non-violent law abiding citizens all across Europe and in the US. How can governments address those tensions?

MA: Hate preachers like Geert Wilders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer will want to give the idea that there are millions of Muslims who have radical and extremist ideas. Muslims have been living, co-existing and integrating in communities. They are in fact the bedrock of the European civilization whether it’s science or learning or education. So I think the first thing we have to do is to stop the provocation and stop the hate speech. There is no kind of apology for the retaliation through violence. So people have the right of freedom of expression. People also have the right not to be limited by taboos of other people in the society. However there is a burgeoning industry now in provoking non-Muslims in Europe and in the US to attack Muslims. And this is disproportional. We saw the argument with Charlie Hebdo before: they are not equal opportunities offenders; they are targeting disproportionally ethnic minorities and Muslims. So I think we have to restate what the ground rules are.
http://rt.com/op-edge/255701-us-texas-shooting-islamophobia-industry/

Rais said...

US funding of Pakistani media is a documented fact as well. This is part of what the US calls Information War. There are paid-journalists, funding of channels/newspapers, and users on social media (forums, twitter, comment sections, etc.) who are working on behalf of "information war". Information is Orwellian speak for propaganda.

Riaz Haq said...

The true lovers of Islam, like Rumi, twist and turn, twirl and burn for Allah. The free-speech jihadis, led by Geller, fume and bluster, excoriate and desecrate. Absent love, they lust for fame, to see their names in headlines yet again, a trophy of ill gain, their only glory but a fleeting fantasy.

(Bruce B. Lawrence is emeritus professor of Islamic studies at Duke University and author of the book “Who Is Allah?”) http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/the-jihad-of-pamela-geller-commentary/2015/05/06/a091d53a-f41f-11e4-bca5-21b51bbdf93e_story.html

Riaz Haq said...

Group Behind Muhammad Cartoons Increased Assets by 15,000 % in 2013
In one year, AFDI’s total assets increased by 15,199%. In its 2012 tax filings, the group reported just $3,721.00 in end of year resources. AFDI’s firebrand president, Pamela Geller, didn’t even draw a salary. In 2013, though, the group reported its end of year assets at $569,288.00. Geller drew a salary of $210,870.00.

http://bridge.georgetown.edu/group-behind-muhammad-cartoons-increased-assets-by-15000-in-2013/

Riaz Haq said...

Free Speech vs. Hate Speech


That distinction is critical because the conflicts that have erupted over depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, most notably the massacre of staff members at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in January by two Muslim brothers, have generated a furious and often confused debate about free speech versus hate speech. The current dispute at the American chapter of the PEN literary organization over its selection of Charlie Hebdo for a freedom of expression courage award is a case in point — hundreds of PEN’s members have opposed the selection for “valorizing selectively offensive material.”
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Some of those who draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad may earnestly believe that they are striking a blow for freedom of expression, though it is hard to see how that goal is advanced by inflicting deliberate anguish on millions of devout Muslims who have nothing to do with terrorism. As for the Garland event, to pretend that it was motivated by anything other than hate is simply hogwash.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/opinion/free-speech-vs-hate-speech.html?_r=0

Riaz Haq said...

U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Wednesday criticized India’s recent crackdown on non-governmental organizations, calling out the “potentially chilling effect” on civil society in India (Economic Times, NYT, Hindustan Times). In a rare public rebuke, Verma said: “I read with some concern the recent press reports on challenges faced by N.G.O.s operating in India” (Hindustan Times). Verma’s comments coincide with reports that India is investigating the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is a major donor to central and state governments, local charities, and academic institutions.

Also on the “watch list” among many dozens are Greenpeace India and the Ford Foundation, who was added last month and is now required to request approval before making grants to Indian organizations. The Ministry of Home Affairs claimed it was acting to prevent donations from threatening national security. Last month, the ministry cancelled nearly 9,000 registrations on the basis of unfiled annual returns. According to the Economic Times, the Modi-led government has cancelled more than 10,000 NGO registrations, frozen the bank accounts of 34 associations, blocked 69 groups from foreign contributions, and has placed 16 foreign donor agencies under the 'Prior Permission' category (Economic Times).

Riaz Haq said...

Geller gets paid pretty well to demonize Muslims. I’m talking to the tune of $200,000 a year. True, that might be walking around money for Donald Trump (who actually bashed Geller this week for her draw the Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest) but that puts her in her top 5 percent of all Americans in terms of annual income. Now, $200,000 doesn’t make a person rich these days (although the $9 million in combined divorce settlement and life-insurance payments she reportedly got certainly qualifies her). But for what she does, it’s handsome pay.

In fact, many of the people identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Center for American Progress (CAP) as the leaders of anti-Muslim industry in America are well paid for their efforts. I’m talking so much money I almost want to start hating on Muslims-and I’m Muslim.

In Geller’s case, her salary is paid from her organization the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), a group listed by the SPLC as an active “anti-Muslim organization.” In 2013, the AFDI reported $958,800 in gross receipts and paid Geller a base salary of $192,500 plus $18,750 in other income (PDF).
Not bad for a group created, per AFDI’s tax returns, to act “against the treason being committed by the national, state and local government officials, the mainstream media and others in their capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic Supremacism.” This is truly one step removed from tin foil hats and claims that the government has bugged your cheese.

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Well, Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP) in 2012 reported $3.2 million in revenue. And Gaffney, as president, paid himself $300,000 a year for his work in demonizing Muslims.

Then there’s David Horowitz, a man described by the SPLC as “the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement” He has also been denounced by the ADL for his work that ”promotes anti-Muslim views and features events with anti-Muslim activists.” (PDF)

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Being “the godfather” of anti-Muslim hate appears to pay well. Horowitz’s Freedom Center in 2013 saw over $7.2 million dollars in gross receipts and Horowitz was paid $525, 000 in salary (PDF). And Horowitz even bankrolls Robert Spencer, another other well known Muslim-basher with a $167,000 a year salary.

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And who can forget Brigitte Gabriel, another Fox News staple who demonizes Muslims at every turn. Gabriel runs Act for America!, which the SPLC has noted is part of the “anti-Muslim inner circle.” Gabriel has given us such anti-Muslim classics as “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.”

How much does Gabriel get paid to offer that type of garbage? Per Act for America’s 2012 tax returns, she was paid $132,000 base salary and $84,090 as a bonus (PDF). I wonder if she earns that bonus by dishing out such off-the-wall claims as “tens of thousands of Islamic militants now reside in America…attending our colleges and universities, even infiltrating our government.”

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The most notable are the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Scaife Foundation which have donated over $5 million dollars each (PDF) to the David Horowitz’ Freedom Center. The Scaife Foundation also donated over $3 million to Frank Gaffney’s CSP.

Why do they fund these groups is a big question. Duss explained that in his view it’s “because a group of hawkish conservative funders clearly see a political benefit to stoking Americans’ fears and suspicions of their fellow citizens who are Muslims.” This means we may see even more money flowing to these anti-Muslim advocates in the 2016 presidential race.


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/08/muslim-bashing-can-be-very-lucrative.html?via=mobile&source=facebook

Riaz Haq said...

Are there Echoes of the old Anti-Semitism in today’s #Islam-Hatred? By Anne-Ruth Wertheim. #Islamophobia

http://www.juancole.com/2015/06/semitism-todays-hatred.html …

Recently, the head of the Dutch national police Gerard Bouman warned against the poison that was seeping into his organisation: Muslims were continually being forced to prove their loyalty. Has Islamophobia really come this far? And can what is happening now be compared to pre-World War II anti-Semitism? Some people consider comparisons like this an attempt to subvert criticism of Islam. But what is actually wrong in taking stock of the similarities and differences?
Many of the prejudices against Jews that circulated in Europe back then definitely have striking similarities with those against Muslims today. Both minorities are perceived to be disloyal to the state they live in and to be trying to dominate the world as the puppets of faraway powers. A falsified text from the nineteenth century was unearthed to substantiate these allegations against Jews; the text states that a bunch of sinister men, the Elders of Zion, were pulling the strings on a world stage. A similar thing is happening now to Muslims. They are thought to be henchmen controlled by the long arm of their countries of origin, urging them to introduce sharia law all over the world. Their dual nationality supposedly serving as proof.
Another similarity is that the majority of prejudices are horrific and brimming with distrust. They mainly allude to the culture of the minority in question and contain all kinds of horrors which are then randomly pinned onto various religious texts. For centuries, Jews were reproached for cheering at the crusifiction of Jesus. And they were said to put children’s blood in their unleaven bread. Likewise, Muslims are purported to be inclined to chop off hands and throw homosexuals from towers.
There are also differences. Lust for money, which has always been part and parcel of the package of prejudices against Jews, is not said about Muslims. However, what matters is that exclusionary mechanisms are set in motion as prejudiced rumours are passed on and repeated. They stick in the minds of well-meaning people and gradually undermine their willingness to resist excluding the minority group. That is precisely how the Nazis ensured they encountered less and less resistance to their measures against Jews.
Prejudices and exclusion have been familiar to me since my childhood. In the colonial Dutch Indies, I belonged to the white ruling class which excluded the Indonesian population from important rights. This was justified with dismissive prejudices, some of them about Islam which was, after all, professed by the majority of Indonesians. During the Japanese occupation, it was our turn to experience what it meant to be excluded. We were interned, as were all whites, behind barbed wire and realised that there was no point in escaping: as our skin colour would betray us immediately outside the camp. And as if that were not bad enough, our own family which had a Jewish background, was separated within the camp; the Japanese – following the example of the Nazis with whom they were allied – separated Jewish and non-Jewish white prisoners.

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As Jews were not recognisable enough in public, they were made to wear a yellow star. Muslims may only be recognisable if they wear the symbols of their religion. However, if it ever came to this, we should fear that anyone who looks like they may be Muslim will be in danger. Luckily we still have time to turn the tide for the best.

Riaz Haq said...

#UN removes two anti-#Pakistan #NGOs from its roster in spite of no votes by #India #Israel #USA. #Balochistan http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Jun-2015/un-removes-two-anti-pakistan-ngos-from-its-roster …A UN committee has voted to withdraw the roster status of two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOS) -- African Technology Development Link and African Technical Association -- which were engaged in anti-Pakistan propaganda, especially about the situation in Balochistan.

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organization, which has 19 members, vets applications submitted by non-governmental organizations, recommending general, special or roster status on the basis of such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime.
Organizations enjoying general and special status can attend meetings of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and issue statements, while those with general status can also speak during meetings and propose agenda items.

A recorded vote was held on a proposal by the delegation of Pakistan to withdraw the roster status of two accredited non-governmental organizations, African Technology Development Link and African Technical Association, with 13 members voting in favour of the withdrawal of the latter to 5 against (India, Israel, United States, Greece and Uruguay) and one member absent (Burundi).

As for African Technology Development Link, the Committee voted 12 in favour to 5 against (India, Israel, United States, Greece and Uruguay), with two members absent (Burundi, Sudan), to withdraw roster status.

Pakistan had called for consensus, not a vote but since US opposed the move, it went to a vote.

The decision will be confirmed when ECOSOC holds its session next month.

Diplomats noted that all African countries voted against these so-called African NGOs, whose credentials were dubious.
In fact, Guinea's delegate announced from the floor that the NGO "African Technology Development Link" was not registered in his country.

Taking the floor prior to the first vote, the Pakistani delegate said that the organizations in question were “maligning the good name of Africa”, as they had made false statements against other member states.
China and Sudan also supported withdrawing the consultative status of the organizations.
The Chinese delegate said that, while he was in favour of increasing the voice of civil society from developing countries at the United Nations, the organizations in question had conducted activities that smacked of political intentions and had launched “wanton political attacks” against other member states.

But the Indian representative said that a more detailed consideration was required.
“We still don’t know much about these organizations,” he said.
Every organization should follow the principles of the United Nations Charter, and India was against any organization that engaged in “naming and shaming”.
However, every group should be given a fair chance to respond to the queries of the Committee, and no decisions should be taken in a hasty manner.

The US delegate agreed that much was not known about the two organizations in question, but said withdrawing the status of two organizations from Africa — which was underrepresented — was a “drastic step”, and she wished to see the process undertaken in a more transparent manner.
The representatives from Greece, Israel and Uruguay said they shared those concerns.

Riaz Haq said...

How NGOs Became Pawns in the War on Terrorism

Independent humanitarian action, commonly if not entirely accurately thought to have begun with the so-called ‘French Doctors’ in Biafra in the late-'60s, was never as independent as either relief groups like Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, or the International Rescue Committee, themselves liked to claim or as the general public assumed them to be. U.S. organizations in particular, despite their efforts to develop an individual donor base, were always and remain too dependent on American government funding for the claim to stand up to scrutiny. Nor were the actions of relief groups ever as apolitical as many of them liked to pretend (often including to themselves, I think). To the contrary, the formative Biafra experience itself was an exercise in the NGOs taking sides, and following their own government’s agenda in the process. Bernard Kouchner, who would go on to be one of the co-founders of Doctors Without Borders and is now the (increasingly marginalized) French foreign minister, was as pro-Biafran secession as General De Gaulle’s government in Paris. Indeed, Kouchner’s original idea was not for Doctors Without Borders to be an independent group, but rather that it stand ready as a resource at the service of governments in times of relief ‘emergencies.’

And even in the so-called ‘golden age’ of humanitarianism, the identification of NGOs with military action dates back at least to the support relief groups gave to the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan between 1978 and 1989. In the 1990s, as Kouchner’s doctrine of so-called humanitarian intervention gained adherents in the capitals of the major NATO member states, aid in places like Somalia, Kurdistan (during and in the aftermath of the First Gulf War), and Kosovo was linked to Western political and military aims.

But not all linkage is created equal. Between the end of the Vietnam war, during which, the Quaker American Friends Service Committee apart, the mainline U.S. relief groups were largely instrumentalized to provide the ‘hearts and minds’ dimension to U.S. counterinsurgency operations, and September 11, 2001, it was not unreasonable to assume that there had been at least some shift toward an interaction between governments and NGOs that was both more nuanced and more ambiguous. But in late 2001, after the invasion of Afghanistan, then Secretary of State Colin Powell, in a speech to NGO representatives, articulated a view of their role, at least in conflict zones where U.S. forces were fighting and areas where the country had a strong national interest, that were straight out of the civil affairs-oriented counterinsurgency strategy pioneered by General Edward Lansdale in the Philippines in the 1950s and Vietnam in the early '60s. The NGOs, Powell said, were a tremendous “force multiplier” for the U.S. military, and, by extending the reach of the U.S. government, would do much to help accomplish the intervention’s goals.

As with Afghanistan, so with Iraq. In June 2003, in the aftermath of the fall of Baghdad, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Andrew Natsios, instructed another audience of NGO officials that if they wanted to continue to be funded by the U.S. government they needed to emphasize their links to the government, and that, if they were not willing to do this, he would find other NGOs or for profit contractors that were, and fund them instead. Their work in the country was inextricably linked to America’s strategic goals, he said. In fairness, Natsios was not offering this Faustian bargain on a global basis–only in the theater of war, and, by extension, where the ...


http://www.newrepublic.com/blog/foreign-policy/76752/war-terrorism-ngo-perversion

Riaz Haq said...

The Islamabad headquarters of Save the Children were padlocked by police while a government notification told the group to wind up its operations and ensure that expatriate staff left within 15 days.

The expulsion of one of the world’s best known non-governmental organisations (NGOs) follows years of growing distrust towards foreign charities that security services suspect are often used as covers for intelligence work.

“There were some intelligence reports suggesting some of the international NGOs funded by US, Israel and India were involved in working on an anti-Pakistan agenda,” interior minister Chaudhry Nisar told a press conference on Friday, at which he also launched a tirade against overseas rights activists campaigning against the growing use of the death penalty by the country.

“Let me clarify: offices of any international NGO found doing anti-Pakistan activities would be shut down,” he said.


Save the Children first attracted official wrath after becoming embroiled – the organisation has always claimed unwittingly – in the CIA’s efforts in 2011 to pinpoint the location of former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden to a compound in the town of Abbottabad.

In 2012 Islamabad gave foreign staff working for Save the Children just a week to leave the country after the country’s top spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI), linked it to a bogus hepatitis B vaccination programme conducted in the town by a doctor called Shakil Afridi.

Under the cover of injecting householders with hepatitis B vaccine, Afridi had tried to collect DNA samples from Bin Laden family members living in the walled compound during the months before US special forces raided the building.

To the fury of US politicians, Afridi was arrested shortly after the killing of Bin Laden and sentenced to 33 years in jail by a tribal court for charges unrelated to the CIA or Bin Laden.

A leaked version of the official inquiry into the Bin Laden affair revealed Afridi told investigators a senior Save the Children official introduced him to female CIA officers, with whom he held secretive meetings in warehouses.

Afridi said they instructed him to organise a vaccination programme in Abbottabad with a particular focus on the part of town where Bin Laden’s compound was located.

Afridi insisted he had no idea he was being used by a foreign intelligence agency. Save the Children said the doctor had never been employed by them.

In a statement on Friday, the charity said it strongly objected to the sealing of its office in Islamabad and said it would raise its concerns at the highest levels.

“All our work is designed and delivered in close collaboration with the government ministries across the country and aims to strengthen public service delivery systems in health, nutrition, education and child welfare,” the statement said.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/12/pakistan-shuts-down-save-the-children-offices-in-islamabad

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan bans #SaveTheChildren, Warns international #NGOs: no working ‘against national interests’ http://on.wsj.com/1Izxdbl via @WSJ

The U.S. State Department said late Friday that Pakistan’s dealings with international NGOs was creating difficulties for aid donors, which often implement their programs through these organizations.

“We are concerned about Pakistan’s crackdown on international charitable organizations and other NGOs,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. “Save the Children is one of many such organizations that has long operated with transparency and in close coordination with the government of Pakistan.”

The U.S. has provided around $5 billion in civilian aid to Pakistan since 2009, with much of that money channeled through NGOs.

Pakistani authorities have been concerned in recent years that NGOs are being used as cover for espionage, especially after it was revealed in 2011 that the Central Intelligence Agency had secretly recruited a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, as part of its hunt for al

Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

According to Pakistan’s official inquiry into the bin Laden raid, the then-head of Save the Children in Pakistan introduced Dr. Afridi to CIA operatives. The doctor was recruited by the CIA to carry out a fake door-to-door vaccination campaign in Abbottabad in early 2011, to try to track down bin Laden weeks before a U.S. special-operations team found and killed the al Qaeda chief there. As a result of this purported link—denied by the charity—Save the Children’s foreign staff was ordered out of the country in 2012.

In a press briefing in September 2012, the U.S. State Department’s Patrick Ventrell, at the time acting deputy spokesman, said in answer to a question about the expulsion of Save the Children’s foreign staff members amid Pakistani allegations it played a role in the death of bin Laden: “Like other donor countries, the U.S. strongly supports the work of Save the Children in Pakistan. We are deeply concerned and have raised this issue with the Government of Pakistan and urged it to allow Save the Children to continue its important work. Independent NGOs are among the essential building blocks of any healthy democracy. So in Pakistan, as in other countries, we urge governments to help create an environment in which they can operate productively.”

NGOs in Pakistan have been accused for years by religious leaders and conservative politicians of not only spying for countries they consider enemies, but also of imposing Western values and culture on Pakistani society and working against Islam.

Pakistan began monitoring international and local NGOs last year, the Pakistani interior minister said, with the stated aim of ensuring that all organizations work within the law and the scope of operations approved by the government. Senior officials at two major international organizations said Friday they had been concerned about a government crackdown on NGOs for months.

“We want to create an environment in which all positive NGOs can work in Pakistan,” Mr. Khan said. “But we won't allow any NGO to work under the table, against Pakistan’s interests, Pakistan’s culture, Pakistan’s values.…No country would allow it.”


Riaz Haq said...

Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’? #CharlestonShooting http://wpo.st/-l8M0

Police are investigating the shooting of nine African Americans at Emmanuel AME church in Charleston as a hate crime committed by a white man. Unfortunately, it’s not a unique event in American history. Black churches have long been a target of white supremacists who burned and bombed them in an effort to terrorize the black communities that those churches anchored. One of the most egregious terrorist acts in U.S. history was committed against a black church in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963. Four girls were killed when members of the KKK bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, a tragedy that ignited the Civil Rights Movement.

But listen to major media outlets and you won’t hear the word “terrorism” used in coverage of Tuesday’s shooting. You won’t hear the white male shooter, identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, described as “a possible terrorist.” And if coverage of recent shootings by white suspects is any indication, he never will be. Instead, the go-to explanation for his actions will be mental illness. He will be humanized and called sick, a victim of mistreatment or inadequate mental health resources. Activist Deray McKesson noted this morning that, while discussing Roof’s motivations, an MSNBC anchor said “we don’t know his mental condition.” That is the power of whiteness in America.

Riaz Haq said...

The Islamophobia Industry by Nathan Lean

November 27, 2012. Cosponsored with the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), Georgetown University. Nathan Lean is a second-year Master of Arts in Arab Studies (MAAS) student at CCAS and editor-in-chief of AslanMedia.com. He has dedicated himself to researching the network of writers and activists who have played upon Western anxieties about Islam particularly since the events of September 11, 2001. At Georgetown, his research has focused largely on North African political and cultural systems, Islam, Islamophobia, cultural diplomacy, and American foreign policy in the Middle East. In addition to The Islamophobia Industry, Lean has also co-authored (with Jalil Roshandel) Iran, Israel, and the United States: Regime Security vs. Political Legitimacy (Praeger, 2010).

https://vimeo.com/55359925

In his book, The Islamophobia Industry, Nathan Lean explores the rising tide of anti-Muslim sentiment in North America and Europe and what he refers to as the "minds of the manufacturers of Islamophobia." He discusses his book and the relationship between New Atheism and Islamophobia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRa-GGZFspg

Riaz Haq said...

Glenn Beck’s terrifying new book: 300 pages of #Islamophobia dressed up as scholarship http://www.salon.com/2015/09/13/glenn_becks_terrifying_new_book_300_pages_of_islamophobia_dressed_up_as_scholarship/ … via @Salon

Glenn Beck would like to tell you about Islam. Sure, he’s a walking conspiracy generator who’s been wrong nearly every time he parts his lips: wrong about Obama’s SS-like “civilian national security force,” wrong about Obama’s FEMA camps, wrong about Obama using the postal service as an evil spy network, wrong about the Boston Marathon attack being a Saudi affair, and the seemingly countless breathlessly alarmist warnings over the years. But, hey, even a broken doomsday clock is right once an apocalypse, and Beck’s really done his homework on this one, a study of how Islam is going to destroy us all: “It IS About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate.”

Beck chooses to end the nearly 300-page book with a three-word paragraph that serves as a tidy tl;dr to reveal his position once you’ve already made the mistake of reading the whole thing. “All lives matter,” concludes the book, as if the Christian nationalism throughout needed a final splash of racism. In a nice symmetry, the final white reactionary note recalls the scene on which the book opens: Thomas Jefferson prophetically consulting the Quran before he became “the first American president to go to war with Islamic radicals” in the 1801 war with the North African Barbary states, essentially the United States’ first foreign war.

Beck shocks his readers with a revelation by the Barbary ambassador in 1786 to Jefferson and his eventual presidential predecessor, John Adams: the Islamic Barbary armies used Quranic scripture to permit the enslavement of a portion of enemies captured in battle. Africans enslaving Americans?! But that’s the wrong way around! And relying on pro-slavery scripture that isn’t the Bible? Beck, so eager to construct a narrative in which the Islamic hordes have always pounded the innocent American gates, casually overlooks the horror of the transatlantic slave trade, of which Jefferson was no small beneficiary, and the Biblical means of its defense. Instead, it’s the North Africans who are presented as Quranic savages, while the far, far worse Christian savagery in America was at that very moment unleashing two world-historical horrors: genocide and the slave trade, both reliant on the era’s white Christianist worldview. (Which isn’t to say that Christianity is to be blamed for the twin horrors, any more than 9/11 and ISIS’s crimes can be pinned on Islam, or Stalin’s mass murder can be blamed on atheism. Tyrants and terrorists will use whatever is available in the cultural milieu to justify and buttress their actions.)

The pages in between those white Christian nationalist bookends present a sprawling mess of contradictions, not unlike a religious text itself, full of intense feeling and certitude but never quite explaining everything in any sort of way that satisfies reason. Beck emphasizes the title’s verb: It is about Islam, not its errant practitioners, its misinterpretations or its crass use in the service of national power. No, Islam as a religion is the problem, asserts the book’s cover. But the pages inside find Beck hedging against that blanket condemnation of 1.3 billion believers with qualifications, which he turns right around and negates with more absolutist indictments.

Riaz Haq said...

How #Islamophobia industry uses #Muslim "reformers" like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/09/cloneofhigh-risk-strategy-muslim-reformers-15092-150925074623115.html …

The recent publication of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Heretic: Why The Muslim World Needs a Reformation and Sam Harris' and Maajid Nawaz's Islam and The Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue, has seen all three authors appearing on the talk show and book tour circuit. Both books and writers seem to cement promising new dialogue, meant to showcase mutual respect and understanding between Muslim activists and commentators hostile to Islam. Yet, the Islamophobia industry still preys on the painful experiences of Muslims in order to further its own cynical agenda.

Islamophobia formally came into being after the events of September 11, 2001. The attacks threw order into disarray, and people sought answers for the hostility from some Muslims towards the West. The soul-searching soon turned into a blistering racism and bigotry against Muslims in the United Kingdom, South Asia, or the Middle East. Prominent scholars like Karen Armstrong, Tariq Ramadan and Reza Aslan have all commented on how Islamophobia has been deliberately nurtured to further political aims.

Propaganda and prejudice

Like other forms of racism, Islamophobia's targets are not specific to any geographical area.



That bigotry was quickly and ruthlessly monetised in what Nathan Lean calls "The Islamophobia Industry", a well-established and powerful machine that seeks to enshrine prejudice and bigotry as part of a discussion about Islam. Like other forms of racism, its targets are not specific to any geographical area. Its aim rests on ordinary people, and divides communities, cultures and countries.Through propaganda and prejudice, validated and legitimised by right-wing pundits, politicians, bloggers and scholars, an intolerant narrative leaks into view through the media, both mainstream and social.

The Islam-hostile industry, now nearly 15 years old, has recently taken on a new incarnation, one without which it could not survive: the addition of Muslim activists who have forged links with the commentators, scholars, think-tanks and media organisations most prejudiced against Islam.

Riaz Haq said...

#US created Islamic extremism:Those blaming #Islam for #ISIS aided Osama bin Laden in ’80s. #ParisAttacks http://www.salon.com/2015/11/17/we_created_islamic_extremism_those_blaming_islam_for_isis_would_have_supported_osama_bin_laden_in_the_80s/ … via @Salon

History takes no prisoners. It shows, with absolute lucidity, that the Islamic extremism ravaging the world today was borne out of the Western foreign policy of yesteryear.

Gore Vidal famously referred to the USA as the United States of Amnesia. The late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai put it a little more delicately, quipping, “One of the delightful things about Americans is that they have absolutely no historical memory.”

In order to understand the rise of militant Salafi groups like ISIS and al-Qaida; in order to wrap our minds around their heinous, abominable attacks on civilians in the U.S., France, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Turkey, Yemen, Afghanistan and many, many more countries, we must rekindle this historical memory.

Where did violent Islamic extremism come from? In the wake of the horrific Paris attacks on Friday, November the 13, this is the question no one is asking — yet it is the most important one of all. If one doesn’t know why a problem emerged, if one cannot find its root, one will never be able to solve and uproot it.

Where did militant Salafi groups like ISIS and al-Qaida come from? The answer is not as complicated as many make it out to be — but, to understand, we must delve into the history of the Cold War, the historical period lied about in the West perhaps more than any other.

The newspaper noted that bin Laden organized a militia of thousands of foreign fighters from throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and “supported them with weapons and his own construction equipment” in their fight against the USSR in the 1980s. “We beat the Soviet Union,” bin Laden boasted.

The mujahedin, this international Islamic extremist militia organized and headed by bin Laden, is what eventually morphed into both al-Qaida and the Taliban.

“When the history of the Afghan resistance movement is written,” the Independent wrote, “Mr Bin Laden’s own contribution to the mujahedin… may turn out to be a turning point in the recent history of militant fundamentalism.”

Portraying bin Laden in a positive light, less than eight years before he would help mastermind the largest terrorist attack on American soil in decades, the British publication claimed that the “Saudi businessman who recruited mujahedin now uses them for large-scale building projects in Sudan.” In reality, bin Laden was setting the stages for what would be become al-Qaida.

Unheeded warnings
In Greek mythology, Cassandra was blessed with the power of prophecy, but cursed in that no one would ever heed her warnings. Eqbal Ahmad, the late political scientist, historian and expert in the study of terrorism, was a modern-day Cassandra.

In a speech at the University of Colorado, Boulder in October 1998, Ahmad warned that the U.S. policy in Afghanistan would backfire:

“In Islamic history, jihad as an international violent phenomenon had disappeared in the last 400 years, for all practical purposes. It was revived suddenly with American help in the 1980s. When the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, Zia ul-Haq, the [U.S.-backed] military dictator of Pakistan, which borders on Afghanistan, saw an opportunity and launched a jihad there against godless communism. The U.S. saw a God-sent opportunity to mobilize one billion Muslims against what Reagan called the ‘Evil Empire.’

“Money started pouring in. CIA agents starting going all over the Muslim world recruiting people to fight in the great jihad. Bin Laden was one of the early prize recruits. He was not only an Arab. He was also a Saudi. He was not only a Saudi. He was also a multimillionaire, willing to put his own money into the matter. Bin Laden went around recruiting people for the jihad against communism.

Riaz Haq said...

CBS News Investigative Journalist Explains How #American Mainstream Media Brainwashes The Masses: http://wp.me/p2ftZi-2Aa via @IamNotSirius

Did you know that only a handful of corporations, 6 to be exact, control over 90 percent of the media? That means nearly everything we hear on the radio, read in the news, and see on television (including ‘news’). I’m talking about General Electric (GE), News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS.

Ever since Operation Mockingbird, a CIA-based initiative to control mainstream media, more and more people are expressing their concern that what we see in the media is nothing short of brainwashing. This is also evident by blatant lies that continue to spam the TV screen, especially when it comes to topics such as health, food, war (“terrorism“), poverty and more. Corporate interests always seem to get in the way.

Multiple celebrities have even spoken out about this. Roseanne Barr, for example, said that MK Ultra rules in Hollywood. MK Ultra was (and I believe still is) a program run by the CIA to practice methods of mind control and experiment on human beings. (source)(source)

Filled with clever marketing tactics designed to tell us what to think and what to buy, mainstream media manufactures public opinion and popular trends. It’s time to really take a look at what’s going on here and consider the type of information we’re being bombarded with.

In the below eyeopening talk, veteran investigative journalist (and Former CBS NEWS investigative reporter) Sharyl Attkisson shows how “astroturf,” or fake grassroots movements, funded by political, corporate, or other special interests very effectively manipulate and distort media messages.

Riaz Haq said...

#YouTube launches country-specific homepage for #Pakistan with #Pakistan-specific content http://tribune.com.pk/story/1026164/youtube-launches-country-specific-homepages-for-pakistan/ …

A respite for Pakistanis, Google introduced on Tuesday the local version of YouTube for Pakistan which will deliver country specific content.

If you’re in Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka, you’ll see a new YouTube homepage that’s customised in your local language and domain, a post on Google Asia Pacific blog read.

Pakistan’s IT sector more robust than before

YouTube is already available in Nepali, Sinhalese and Urdu, and now having country-specific homepages means we can bring you the most relevant videos in a YouTube experience tailored for you, said the post written by Gautam Anand, Director of Operations and Content, YouTube Asia Pacific.

“With these launches, we hope to pave the way for the work of more local creators, personalities and musicians to shine on the world’s largest and most vibrant video community. To all our YouTube viewers and creators from South Asia and around the world, we can’t wait to see what you share,” he added.

YouTube has officially been banned in Pakistan since September 2012 after a low-budget movie containing sacrilegious content sparked furious protests around the world. At the time, the country’s top court ruled the site should be banned until a way is found to block all blasphemous material. Google had removed the blasphemous movie following a US court order but its shorter versions are still available online.

YouTube’s local version will present popular country-specific content on its home page. While announcing the launch, Google also presented some of their favourite examples of the South Asian content that’s already available on YouTube.

“Pakistanis love YouTube’s diverse music offerings. One of the country’s most popular YouTube channels is Coke Studio, a series of live studio-recorded music performances by artists from across Pakistan. Atif Aslam’s tribute to the magnum opus of the Sabri brothers, Tajdar-e-Haram is one their most-watched videos, clocking over 11 million views to date,” the post read.

National Assembly session: ‘Ban to stay till YouTube localised’

However, it is not yet known whether this localised version will lead to the removal of the government ban on YouTube. IT Minister Anusha Rahman could not be reached for comment.

In March last year, the state minister for information technology (IT) said YouTube will only be accessible in Pakistan after Google allows the country to manage the video-sharing website locally for proper monitoring. Anusha Rehman had said that the legislation to localise YouTube in Pakistan was under way.

Riaz Haq said...

"Dark Money" is the textbook for understanding that insight. Large checks to presidential candidates by billionaires may get headlines. But this cash is just part of the broad mission the Koch brothers and other mega-buck funders represent throughout America. The mission is to plant anti-tax, anti-regulation sentiment firmly at the top of American political discourse.

Proposals to address climate change through regulations of the fossil fuel industry illustrate a successful sortie by the Kochs and their allies in coal, oil and natural gas. Nowhere have they been more effective in writing the scripts for politicians, many of whom previously had acknowledged climate change and the need for government action.

With direct or indirect aid of the Kochs and the fossil fuel industry, a few cooperative scientists, op-ed writers and conservative radio talk show hosts created enough doubt to make climate change denial eligible to be one side in "fair and balanced" reporting.

When Obama was elected in 2008, 71 percent of Americans believed the planet was warming. By 2011, it had dropped to 57 percent, according to a poll Mayer cites from Yale University and George Mason University. "Opponents of climate change reform got their wish," she writes.

Another successful thrust matched billionaires with scruffy denizens of state capitals around the country. Inspired by Republican strategist Ed Gillespie, Mayer found, mega-donors aimed unprecedented sums of cash aimed at races for state legislators and governors in 2010. After President Obama's 2008 victory, Gillespie's scheme revitalized a despondent conservative movement.

"He knew that 2011 was a year in which many state legislatures would redraw the boundaries of their congressional districts based on a new census, a process that only took place once a decade," Mayer writes. "While the mechanics of state legislative races were abstruse and deadly dull to most people, they were key to a Republican comeback."

Thanks to GOP victories in 2010, state legislators drew maps that concentrated Democratic voters in a few congressional districts while leaving the rest in Republican control. The results were scores of House districts where Republicans could not lose, unless challenged by even more conservative opponents in primary elections. Dozens of GOP House members had no reason to obey House leadership in Washington if cooperation would draw the ire of far right donors back home.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-prj-dark-money-jane-mayer-radical-right-funding-20160310-story.html

https://books.google.com/books?id=X5nrCgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=dark+money+jane+mayer&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi5rNOqjuLLAhUO1GMKHXxMAaQQ6AEINTAB#v=snippet&q=tea%20party&f=false

Riaz Haq said...

Funding #Islamophobia : $206m went to promoting 'hatred' agaist #American #Muslims, report finds. #Trump

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/20/islamophobia-funding-cair-berkeley-report

Council on American-Islamic Relations and University of California Berkeley report names 74 groups they say contributed to Islamophobia in the US

Inciting hate toward American Muslims and Islam has become a multimillion-dollar business, according to a report released on Monday.

Released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) and University of California Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender, the report names 74 groups it says contribute in some way to Islamophobia in the US. Of those groups, it says, the primary purpose of 33 “is to promote prejudice against, or hatred of, Islam and Muslims”.

The core group, which includes the Abstraction Fund, Clarion Project, David Horowitz Freedom Center, Middle East Forum, American Freedom Law Center, Center for Security Policy, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Jihad Watch and Act! for America, had access to almost $206m of funding between 2008 and 2013, the report said.

Corey Saylor, author of the report and director of Cair’s department to monitor and combat Islamophobia, said: “The hate that these groups are funding and inciting is having real consequences like attacks on mosques all over the country and new laws discriminating against Muslims in America.”

Saylor added that the Washington-based Center for Security Policy and Act! for America have the most impact, because they are trying to push their anti-Muslim rhetoric beyond their formerly fringe following.

Two groups on the list, the Center for Security Policy and the David Horowitz Freedom Center, have given awards of recognition to Jeff Sessions, a US senator from Alabama who chairs Trump’s national security advisory committee and is a possible vice-presidential pick.

On Monday, the headline on the David Horowitz Freedom Center website was “Muslim privilege killed 49 people in Orlando”, a reference to the mass shooting on 12 June in an Orlando LGBT nightclub by Omar Mateen, a Muslim American from Port St Lucie, Florida.

Two other Trump foreign policy advisers have ties to groups named in the Cair-UCB report. The Center for Security Policy lists Joseph Schmitz as a senior fellow; Walid Phares reportedly served on the board of Act! for America.

The Guardian contacted Brigitte Gabriel, the founder of Act! for America, and the Center for Security Policy, which is led by Frank Gaffney, who advised Ted Cruz on national security during the Texas senator’s presidential campaign. Neither group responded immediately.

The Trump campaign and Sessions’ Senate office also did not respond to requests for comment.

Act! for America Education runs the Thin Blue Line Project, a password-protected database of information about Muslim communities in the US. According to the group’s website, the project “provides educational and informational content about issues relating to national security and terrorism and how the call to Jihad is accelerating homegrown terrorism”.
In a 2 June article, Stephen Piggott of the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that the Thin Blue Line Project’s key component is a “Radicalization Map Locator … which lists the addresses of every Muslim Student Association (MSA) in the country as well as a number of mosques and Islamic institutions – all listed as suspected national security concerns”.

The Cair-UCB report also tracks anti-Islam bills, which it says have become law in 10 states, and 78 recorded incidents in 2015 in which mosques were targeted. Saylor said this was the highest yearly number of attacks on mosques since Cair started tracking in 2009.

Riaz Haq said...

Are All #Terrorists #Muslims? It’s Not Even Close. #Islamophobia #ModiToadies #BJP #Trump http://thebea.st/1IvzdRs via @thedailybeast

So here are some statistics for those interested. Let’s start with Europe. Want to guess what percent of the terrorist attacks there were committed by Muslims over the past five years? Wrong. That is, unless you said less than 2 percent.
As Europol, the European Union’s law-enforcement agency, noted in its report released last year, the vast majority of terror attacks in Europe were perpetrated by separatist groups. For example, in 2013, there were 152 terror attacks in Europe. Only two of them were “religiously motivated,” while 84 were predicated upon ethno-nationalist or separatist beliefs.
We are talking about groups like France’s FLNC, which advocates an independent nation for the island of Corsica. In December 2013, FLNC terrorists carried out simultaneous rocket attacks against police stations in two French cities. And in Greece in late 2013, the left-wing Militant Popular Revolutionary Forces shot and killed two members of the right-wing political party Golden Dawn. While over in Italy, the anarchist group FAI engaged in numerous terror attacks including sending a bomb to a journalist. And the list goes on and on.
Have you heard of these incidents? Probably not. But if Muslims had committed them do you think you our media would’ve covered it? No need to answer, that’s a rhetorical question.
ADVERTISING


Even after one of the worst terror attacks ever in Europe in 2011, when Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 people in Norway to further his anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and pro-“Christian Europe” agenda as he stated in his manifesto, how much press did we see in the United States? Yes, it was covered, but not the way we see when a Muslim terrorist is involved. Plus we didn’t see terrorism experts fill the cable news sphere asking how we can stop future Christian terrorists. In fact, even the suggestion that Breivik was a “Christian terrorist” was met with outrage by many, including Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.
Have you heard about the Buddhist terrorists? Well, extremist Buddhists have killed many Muslim civilians in Burma, and just a few months ago in Sri Lanka, some went on a violent rampage burning down Muslim homes and businesses and slaughtering four Muslims.
Or what about the (dare I mention them) Jewish terrorists? Per the 2013 State Department’s report on terrorism, there were 399 acts of terror committed by Israeli settlers in what are known as “price tag” attacks. These Jewish terrorists attacked Palestinian civilians causing physical injuries to 93 of them and also vandalized scores of mosques and Christian churches.
Back in the United States, the percentage of terror attacks committed by Muslims is almost as miniscule as in Europe. An FBI study looking at terrorism committed on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 found that 94 percent of the terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims. In actuality, 42 percent of terror attacks were carried out by Latino-related groups, followed by 24 percent perpetrated by extreme left-wing actors.
And as a 2014 study by University of North Carolina found, since the 9/11 attacks, Muslim-linked terrorism has claimed the lives of 37 Americans. In that same time period, more than 190,000 Americans were murdered (PDF).
In fact in 2013, it was actually more likely Americans would be killed by a toddler than a terrorist. In that year, three Americans were killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. How many people did toddlers kill in 2013? Five, all by accidentally shooting a gun.

Riaz Haq said...

Feel the power of propaganda...Whoever owns the media gets the top ratings
Groups Americans like best
1 Jews
2 Catholics
3 Evangelicals
4 Buddhists
5 Hindus
6 Mormons
7 Atheists
8 Muslims