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


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...


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...

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.”


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
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!


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.


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.


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.”


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.”



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. .....


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?


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.”

Riaz Haq said...

Five scary Christopher Columbus quotes that let you celebrate the holiday the right way

1. Conquest: the perfect chaser for expelling Muslims and Jews. You don’t have to be an academic to link Spain’s colonial expansion abroad with its inquisition at home. Columbus made the connection himself. Of course he saw this as a good thing, not a bad one– a killer combo, if you will. He wrote to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain...

YOUR HIGHNESSES, as Catholic Christians and Princes who love the holy Christian faith, and the propagation of it, and who are enemies to the sect of Mahoma [Islam] and to all idolatries and heresies, resolved to send me, Cristóbal Colon, to the said parts of India to see the said princes … with a view that they might be converted to our holy faith …. Thus, after having turned out all the Jews from all your kingdoms and lordships … your Highnesses gave orders to me that with a sufficient fleet I should go to the said parts of India …. I shall forget sleep, and shall work at the business of navigation, so that the service is performed.
2. These Natives are so nice, we’d be crazy not to enslave them! This excerpt from Columbus’ diary describes the Arawak people who greeted him and his men:

They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned… . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… . They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.
3. I was right about how easy that whole subjugation thing would be! In another letter to King Ferdinand, Columbus wrote

As soon as I arrived in the Indies, in the first island which I found, I took some of the natives by force, in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts. And so it was that they soon understood us, and we them, either by speech or by signs, and they have been very serviceable.
4. Rape! Columbus was such a mensch, he would let his men do whatever they wanted with the natives they captured. One of his men and a childhood friend of Columbus, Michele da Cuneo, describes in a letter how he raped a native woman:

While I was in the boat, I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me. When I had taken her to my cabin she was naked—as was their custom. I was filled with a desire to take my pleasure with her and attempted to satisfy my desire. She was unwilling, and so treated me with her nails that I wished I had never begun. But—to cut a long story short—I then took a piece of rope and whipped her soundly, and she let forth such incredible screams that you would not have believed your ears. Eventually we came to such terms, I assure you, that you would have thought that she had been brought up in a school for whores.
5. Not so Christian. But the anecdote captured above was not some isolated incident of cruelty. Ironically, but in no way surprisingly, the Spanish who came to save the “heathens” from their idolatry, weren’t very Christ-like in their behavior. In his book The Devastation of the Indies. Bartolome de las Casas, the priest who accompanied Columbus on his conquest of Cuba, detailed the abuse and murder of the native population:

5. Not so Christian. But the anecdote captured above was not some isolated incident of cruelty. Ironically, but in no way surprisingly, the Spanish who came to save the “heathens” from their idolatry, weren’t very Christ-like in their behavior. ..


Riaz Haq said...

CAIR reports that $119 million were spent on funding organized Islamophobia in America from 2008 to 2011. According to our extensive analysis, here are the top seven contributors to promoting Islamophobia in our country:
• Donors Capital Fund
• Richard Mellon Scaife foundations
• Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
• Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker foundations and charitable trust
• Russell Berrie Foundation
• Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund
• Fairbrook Foundation


Anonymous said...

Why is the Saudi prince investing in Fox News?

Well , he's in it for the money. Fox News has the highest ratings of all the cable channels and makes a lot of money.


Riaz Haq said...

Republicans have long successfully used "culture wars" as part of their strategy to turn out the votes, particularly in the conservative states where there's a lot more racism and xenophobia. The biggest example of this is Jewish-American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the big casino owner who spends hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money to promote bigotry. It started with Nixon's "southern strategy but has gained a lot more momentum in recent years with Obama becoming the first African-American president of the United States.


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who represents 150 victims of American drones and was twice denied entry to the U.S. to speak about them, told my Intercept colleague Ryan Devereaux how two of his child clients would likely react to Obama’s “apology” yesterday:

“Today, if Nabila or Zubair or many of the civilian victims, if they are watching on TV the president being so remorseful over the killing of a Westerner, what message is that taking?” The answer, he argued, is “that you do not matter, you are children of a lesser God, and I’m only going to mourn if a Westerner is killed.”

The British-Yemeni journalist Abubakr Al-Shamahi put it succinctly: “It makes me angry that non-Western civilian victims of drone strikes are not given the same recognition by the US administration.” The independent journalist Naheed Mustafa said she was “hugely irritated by the ‘drone strikes have killed good Westerners so now we know there are issues with drones’ stories.” The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson this morning observed: “It is all too easy to ignore … the dubious morality of the whole enterprise — until the unfortunate victims happen to be Westerners. Only then does ‘collateral damage’ become big news and an occasion for public sorrow.”

This highlights the ugliest propaganda tactic on which the War on Terror centrally depends, one in which the U.S. media is fully complicit: American and Western victims of violence by Muslims are endlessly mourned, while Muslim victims of American and Western violence are completely disappeared.

When there is an attack by a Muslim on Westerners in Paris, Sydney, Ottawa, Fort Hood or Boston, we are deluged with grief-inducing accounts of the victims. We learn their names and their extinguished life aspirations, see their pictures, hear from their grieving relatives, watch ceremonies honoring their lives and mourning their deaths, launch campaigns to memorialize them. Our side’s victims aren’t just humanized by our media, but are publicly grieved as martyrs.

I happened to be in Canada the week of the shooting at the Parliament in Ottawa, as well as a random attack on two Canadian soldiers days earlier in a parking lot in Southern Quebec, and there was non-stop media coverage of the victims, their families, their lives:


Riaz Haq said...

A Terror Threat #FoxNews Won't Cover #WhiteSupremacy #Xenophobia #Islamophobia

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/05/20/a-terror-threat-fox-news-wont-cover/203714 …

Fox News was completely silent after a Christian minister pleaded guilty to plotting to attack American Muslims in New York, continuing a habit of downplaying threats to Muslims and ignoring extremist acts with no ties to Islam.

Robert Doggart, an ordained Christian minister and former Tennessee congressional candidate, was arrested and pled guilty to attempting to recruit "expert Gunners" to aid him in a plot to kill residents of Islamberg, NY, a largely Muslim community at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. RawStory reported on the details of Doggart's plan:

He met with the informant in Nashville and discussed using Molotov cocktails to firebomb buildings in the Muslim community, which was founded by African-Americans who had converted to Islam from Christianity.

Doggart told the informant during a recorded conversation that he planned to bring 500 rounds of ammunition for the M4 rifle and a pistol with three extra magazines - as well as a machete.

"If it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds," he told the informant.

He said during a recorded call that the "battalion" he commanded hoped the raid on Hancock, which is also known as Islamberg, would be a "flash point" in a possible revolution.

"So sick and tired of this crap that the government is pulling that we go take a small military installation or we go burn down a Muslim church or something like that," Doggart said.

The Daily Beast pointed out that the media has remained largely silent on the story, wondering at the absence of "the Fox News panic" and noting:

It goes without saying that if Doggart had been Muslim and had planned to kill Christians in America, we would have seen wall-to-wall media coverage. Fox News would have cut into its already-daily coverage of demonizing Muslims to do a special report really demonizing Muslims.

And in fact, Fox News has made no mention of the story at all. What's more, the network does have a history of downplaying threats against Muslims while hyping any Islamic connection to terror it can find. After the Boston Marathon bombings, the network ridiculed former Attorney General Eric Holder for warning against retaliatory acts of violence, ignoring years of threats against Muslims. In 2010, Fox host Brian Kilmeade claimed that "all terrorists are Muslims."

And Fox has reacted to terror attacks committed by right-wing extremists with a yawn. After the Department of Homeland Security released a report on right-wing terror in 2015, Fox News' Eric Bolling claimed "you can't name" instances of right-wing terrorism "in the last seven years," ignoring dozens of examples.

Right-wing media have also been known to fearmonger about often-unsubstantiated Islamic terror threats. Outlets like Fox News, The Drudge Report, and The New York Post hyped an unfounded "jihadist" plot against Fort Jackson in South Carolina. And Sean Hannity and other conservatives promoted an unsubstantiated story of an Islamic State (ISIS) training camp on the U.S.-Mexico border around the same time Doggart was arrested.

Islamberg, the town Doggart was planning to attack, has also garnered Fox News' attention in the past -- a 2007 FoxNews.com article wondered if it was a "terror compound" and a report by Fox Business host Lou Dobbs claimed the town was home to a group engaging in "guerilla war training."

Riaz Haq said...

Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’? #CharlestonShooting


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.


I hope the media coverage won’t fall back on the typical narrative ascribed to young white male shooters: a lone, disturbed or mentally ill young man failed by society. This is not an act of just “one hateful person.” It is a manifestation of the racial hatred and white supremacy that continues to pervade our society, 50 years after the Birmingham church bombing galvanized the Civil Rights Movement. It should be covered as such. And now that authorities have found their suspect, we should be calling him what he is: a terrorist.

Riaz Haq said...

The shooting in Charleston this week that ended with nine people dead fits the textbook description of a terrorist attack. The victims were African American, gunned down at a historic black church. The suspect is a white 21-year-old who was apparently a white supremacist.
“I don’t even think twice about it,” says Juliette Kayyem, a former counterterrorism official at the Department of Homeland Security. “This is a template, essentially at this stage, for terrorism. He says what he’s doing, he says why he’s doing it, he says what he wants the result [to be],” Kayyem says. “Too much ink has been wasted on this question. It is terrorism.”
It is important to accurately label acts of terrorism for a host of different reasons. People in the news media need to be accurate if they want to maintain any credibility. The history of violence perpetrated against African Americans in US history is part of the story and needs to be acknowledged. There has also been a tendency to use the “terrorism” when the suspects are foreign, especially Muslim, says Michael German, a former FBI official who worked undercover to prosecute white supremacists.
“Since 9-11, when people use the word ‘terrorism’, they’re referring only to one type of violence and ignoring the fact that terrorism committed by Muslims is only one piece of the political violence that takes place not just in American society, but around the world,” German says.
“The numbers of people killed by far-right extremists [in the US] typically exceeds any other type of group on an annual basis,” he says.
White supremacist groups remain a persistent threat in the US, German adds. The 1993 bombing in Oklahoma City was the worst terrorist attack on US soil until September 11, 2001. Radical right-wing groups have also tried to obtain weapons of mass destruction.
But German says law enforcement needs to be smart about the way it responds to any and all terrorist threats, and avoid the worst excesses committed during America’s long-running "war on terror." “If we are going to have a counterterrorism effort, it should be focused on the actual people who are engaging in terrorist acts,” German says. “They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The "terrorism" label can lead to problems in law enforcement, German says. One of them includes going after people who espouse ideologies considered radical. “Once you go down that path, there are a lot of different things [we] don’t agree with. And once people begin to be targeted for their beliefs, when they’re not actually engaged in criminal activity, that hurts our society as well.”
Federal officials say they are investigating the shooting in Charleston from all angles. "The department is looking at this crime from all angles, including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism," Department of Justice spokeswoman Emily Pierce said in a statement.
From a legal perspective, labeling the attack in Charleston an act of terrorism could cause problems by making the case against the suspected shooter more difficult to prosecute. “Terrorism charges are sometimes unnecessary,” Kayyem says. In the case of the convicted Boston Marathon bomber, for example, Dzokhar Tsarnaev did not face formal terrorism charges.
“A lot of times, prosecutors do not want to bring cases that require proof of intent,” she says. “If the facts are there, then just bring a factual case. I have no problem saying this is terrorism, but also being very comfortable with this just being a series of murder charges, legally speaking.”


Riaz Haq said...

Time Op Ed by Kareem Abdul Jabbar on Charleston church shooting::

So why this persistent denying of a lingering racist undercurrent in America? Political gain. By convincing Americans that racism doesn’t exist, politicians are able to divert funds from programs that combat racism and create equal opportunities for everyone to other projects that would most benefit their political power base. We’ve seen this Ministry of Misinformation in action before. In China, the government has removed all mention of the 1989 protest at Tiananmen Square that resulted in the massacre of thousands of people. On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal announced, “Today the system and philosophy of institutionalized racism identified by Dr. King no longer exists.” Donald Rumsfeld is taking another That Never Happened tour, telling us he never thought we could bring democracy to Iraq, despite the endless film of him telling the American people the opposite. They are rewriting history to suit their needs. However, the racism deniers following the Charleston shootings are trying to rewrite history as it’s happening, which is even more insidious.

The result of all this denying is to give tacit approval to continue victimizing certain groups. When those in power argue against fighting for rights for blacks, gays, women, or any other group seeking equal treatment under the law, they are announcing with a wink that these groups somehow don’t deserve those rights. If they don’t deserve equal treatment, then they aren’t equal as people and can be victimized. When presidential candidate Donald Trump refers to Mexican immigrants as mostly drug dealers and rapists, he’s encouraging Americans to victimize them. Nothing says we don’t give a crap about black history more emphatically than flying a Confederate flag, as it does in South Carolina’s capitol, enforced by state law. To claim it’s there to honor the state’s past is like Germany hoisting the swastika above a synagogue to honor its past of making Volkswagens. Whatever Roof’s motivations—be they drug-induced or ideological—he chose to attack a group that to his twisted mind seemed reasonable because they are already a victimized group.

Public perception, not reality, drives political change. In 2014, crime statistics were at a 20-year low, yet most Americans (63%) thought crime was on the rise. Clearly, the increased reporting of violent crimes on TV and the scare-rhetoric of some politicians and news commentators helped mold that perception. Whether intentional or not, that perception drove gun sales up and lowered public support for gun control laws. Profits and political power were made on the back of misperception, not truth. The same misperception occurs regarding Islamic terrorists in the U.S. Since 9/11, an average of nine Muslims have contributed to six terrorism plots a year. The result over those years has been 50 deaths. However, during that same time, according to a study conducted by Professor Arie Perliger at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center, right-wing extremists conducted 337 attacks each year and were responsible for 254 deaths. But if a government agency wants public support for privacy-invading laws or massive funding, the imminent threat of Muslim terrorists is bandied about because they are on the unofficial Go Ahead and Victimize list. And so it continues with the rush to Jedi mind-trick us into not seeing what is clearly in fronts of us: “This is not the racist you’re looking for.”


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).


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.


Riaz Haq said...

How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency.
By Jane Mayer

He (Patrick Caddell) has not worked directly for the President, but at least as far back as 2013 he has been a contractor for one of Trump’s biggest financial backers: Robert Mercer, a reclusive Long Island hedge-fund manager, who has become a major force behind the Trump Presidency.

During the past decade, Mercer, who is seventy, has funded an array of political projects that helped pave the way for Trump’s rise. Among these efforts was public-opinion research, conducted by Caddell, showing that political conditions in America were increasingly ripe for an outsider candidate to take the White House. Caddell told me that Mercer “is a libertarian—he despises the Republican establishment,” and added, “He thinks that the leaders are corrupt crooks, and that they’ve ruined the country.”

Trump greeted Caddell warmly in North Charleston, and after giving a speech he conferred privately with him, in an area reserved for V.I.P.s and for White House officials, including Stephen Bannon, the President’s top strategist, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. Caddell is well known to this inner circle. He first met Trump in the eighties. (“People said he was just a clown,” Caddell said. “But I’ve learned that you should always pay attention to successful ‘clowns.’ ”) Caddell shared the research he did for Mercer with Trump and others in the campaign, including Bannon, with whom he has partnered on numerous projects.


After the Citizens United decision, in 2010, the Mercers were among the first people to take advantage of the opportunity to spend more money on politics. In Oregon, they quietly gave money to a super pac—an independent campaign-related group that could now take unlimited donations. In New York, reporters discovered that Robert Mercer was the sole donor behind a million-dollar advertising campaign attacking what it described as a plan to build a “Ground Zero Mosque” in Manhattan. The proposed building was neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero. The ads, which were meant to boost a Conservative Party candidate for governor, were condemned as Islamophobic.


Riaz Haq said...

#Saudi Money Fuels the #Tech Industry in #SiliconValley. #Twitter #Facebook #Uber #WeWork The New York Times


We need to talk about the tsunami of questionable money crashing into the tech industry.

We should talk about it because that money is suddenly in the news, inconveniently out in the open in an industry that has preferred to keep its connection to petromonarchs and other strongmen on the down low.

The news started surfacing over the weekend, when Saudi Arabia arrested a passel of princes, including Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire tech investor who has large holdings in Apple, Twitter and Lyft. The arrests, part of what the Saudis called a corruption crackdown, opened up a chasm under the tech industry’s justification for taking money from the religious monarchy.


Unsurprisingly, this is not a topic many people want to talk about. SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate that runs the $100 billion Vision Fund, which is shelling out eye-popping investments in tech companies, declined to comment for this column. Nearly half of the Vision Fund, about $45 billion, comes from the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

WeWork and Slack, two prominent start-ups that have received recent investments from the Vision Fund, also declined to comment. So did Uber, which garnered a $3.5 billion investment from the Public Investment Fund in 2016, and which is in talks to receive a big investment from the SoftBank fund. The Public Investment Fund also did not return a request for comment.

Twitter, which got a $300 million investment from Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Company in 2011 — around the same time that it was talking up its role in the Arab Spring — declined to comment on his arrest. Lyft, which received $105 million from Prince Alwaleed in 2015, also declined to comment.

Privately, several founders, investors and others at tech companies who have taken money from the Saudi government or prominent members of the royal family did offer insight into their thinking. Prince Alwaleed, some pointed out, was not aligned with the Saudi government — his arrest by the government underscores this — and he has advocated for some progressive reforms, including giving women the right to drive, a restriction that the kingdom says will be lifted next year.

The founders and investors also brought up the Saudi government’s supposed push for modernization. The Saudis have outlined a long-term plan, Vision 2030, that calls for a reduction in the state’s dependence on oil and a gradual loosening on economic and social restrictions, including a call for greater numbers of women to enter the work force. The gauzy vision allows tech companies to claim to be part of the solution in Saudi Arabia rather than part the problem: Sure, they are taking money from one of the world’s least transparent and most undemocratic regimes, but it’s the part of the government that wants to do better.

Another mitigating factor, for some, is the sometimes indirect nature of the Saudi investments. When the SoftBank Vision Fund invests tens of millions or billions into a tech company, it’s true that half of that money is coming from Saudi Arabia. But it’s SoftBank that has control over the course of the investment and communicates with founders. The passive nature of the Saudi investment in SoftBank’s fund thus allows founders to sleep better at night.

On the other hand, it also has a tendency to sweep the Saudi money under the rug. When SoftBank invests in a company, the Saudi connection is not always made clear to employees and customers. You get to enjoy the convenience of your WeWork without having to confront its place in the Saudi government’s portfolio.