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Islam for Dummies: A Journalist ‘Guide’ Whitewashes Islam

by ANDREW E. HARROD

“[U]ninformed, inaccurate or consciously provocative journalism” concerning Islam worries Lawrence Pintak, founding dean of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

Unfortunately, Pintak’s remedy to this problem, the online guide “Islam for Journalists” edited by Pintak, betrays an absurdly benign understanding of an Islam whose apparent only fault is being slandered by others.

“Across the Muslim world today,” Pintak’s introduction notes, “extremists are wielding their swords with grisly effect, but the pen…can be just as lethal.”

The 2012 “lewd cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad” in the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, for example, receive Pintak’s censure while, like many journalists today, he uncritically applies the honorific “Prophet” to Islam’s founder. Charlie Hebdo’s editor had condemned the weapons used in violent reactions to the anti-Muhammad “Innocence of Muslims” internet movie trailer preceding his cartoons. Yet the “weapon he controlled can do far more damage,” Pintak warned in equating speech with the violent reactions of others, then “evident in the conflagration…erupting across the Muslim world.”

Screenshot of the "Innocence of Muslims" portrayal of Muhammad. (Image: YouTube screenshot)

Screenshot of the “Innocence of Muslims” portrayal of Muhammad. (Image: YouTube screenshot) 

“A commitment to press freedom is in my blood,” Pintak qualified against suspicions of censorship. Yet speaking of the 2005 Danish Muhammad cartoons and their violent response, Pintak showed sympathy for those who refused their publication.

“[M]any Muslim journalists,” Pintak related in denying these “Motoons” any news value, “simply couldn’t understand why Western news organizations would republish the offensive images just because” of a legal right. Yet “journalism is not supposed to be a weapon” but rather “to inform, not inflame; to understand, not distort,” in contrast to “propaganda.”

The Danish cartoons exhibited “in our increasingly interconnected world,” writer Jonathan Lyons similarly relativized, “a number of central issues.” These included the “proper extent of press freedoms; minority rights; the shifting landscape of blasphemy laws and prohibitions; and the history of Muslim grievance toward the West.”

Rather than criticize Muslim rioters, Lyons complained that “almost no one reported on…the Danish media and its supporters as cynical provocateurs motivated by domestic political concerns.”

Beyond free speech controversies, “Islam for Journalists” favored Islam with numerous biased and false statements.

After discussing how Islam “roughly translates as ‘surrender’ or ‘submission’…to the will of Allah,” Pintak noted that Muhammad in Islam, “although he is not divine, he is considered ‘the Perfect Man.’”…

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Brandeis Caves to Islamic Supremacist Thuggery

by Robert Spencer

Ayaan-Hirsi-Ali

Brandeis University had planned to award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali at its commencement ceremony this year, but after a smear campaign led by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Islamic supremacist groups, on Tuesday the university issued a statement announcing the predictable result: the honorary degree would not be given.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brandeis assured the world, “is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world.” However, as compelling as Brandeis may have considered that work, ultimately it didn’t matter: “That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.  For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these statements earlier.”

The Brandeis statement did not mention CAIR, and probably university administrators are unaware of its Hamas ties or its record of opposing any and all counter-terror efforts. Nor did the statement specify exactly what in Hirsi Ali’s past statements was “inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.” CAIR, however, did so in its press release (also issued Tuesday; Brandeis snapped into line quickly) which quoted Hirsi Ali from a 2007 interview saying: “I think that we are at war with Islam.”

Ironically, CAIR spokesmen have said the same thing: “The new perception is that the United States has entered a war with Islam itself,” said then-CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed in July 2007. The only difference is that Hirsi Ali and CAIR are on opposite sides of this war. Is it unacceptable at Brandeis, a contradiction of its core values, to oppose the global jihad? Apparently so.

In the same interview, Hirsi Ali also called for the closing of Islamic schools in the United States. While that is indeed a severe and questionable recommendation, it should be remembered that Ayaan Hirsi Ali attended Islamic schools in her native Somalia. She no doubt also has seen the reports from all over the world showing hatred and violence being taught in all too many Islamic schools. In that same interview she said: “Asking whether radical preachers ought to be allowed to operate is not hostile to the idea of civil liberties; it’s an attempt to save civil liberties. A nation like this one is based on civil liberties, and we shouldn’t allow any serious threat to them. So Muslim schools in the West, some of which are institutions of fascism that teach innocent kids that Jews are pigs and monkeys—I would say in order to preservecivil liberties, don’t allow such schools.”

Is calling for the schools that teach hatred and contempt of an entire group of people against the core values of Brandeis University? Apparently it is….

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A society of cowards: Giving in to Islamic bullies

Preaching ‘Islamophobia’ to the Choir at Saudi-Funded Georgetown

by Andrew Harrod

…In all, Varisco’s briefing exposed much of modern academia’s shallowness.  True to multicultural shibboleth, Varisco refused to identify any uniquely disturbing aspects of Islam and dismissed all past aversion towards this faith as prejudice.  Varisco’s minimalist treatment of Spencer, meanwhile, accorded with an unwillingness to respect this lucidly insightful scholar.  Rather, Varisco grouped Spencer with far more lightweight individuals like Chick and Richardson with whom Catholics like Spencer or his colleague Robert Muise of theAmerican Freedom Law Center have little commonality.  The expressed worries of Varisco, Esposito, and others, however, give hope that their efforts to silence their opposition will fail.

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Britain: Islamists Create Climate of Fear to Curb Free Speech

by Soeren Kern

Muslim fundamentalists in London have threatened to behead a fellow British Muslim after he posted aninnocuous image of Mohammed and Jesus on his Twitter account.

The death threats against Maajid Nawaz, a Liberal Democrat Party candidate for British Parliament, add to agrowing number of cases in which Islamists are using intimidation tactics to restrict the free speech rights of fellow Muslims in Europe. (Efforts to silence non-Muslims are well documented.)

Nawaz—a former member of the Islamist revolutionary group Hizb ut-Tahrir and co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation, a London-based counter-extremism think-tank—on January 12 posted on Twitter a cartoon of Mohammed and Jesus greeting one another (“Hey” and “How ya doin’?”) with the caption: “This Jesus & Mo @JandMo cartoon is not offensive&I’m sure God is greater than to feel threatened by it الله أكبر منه”.

Nawaz’s tweet followed a BBC Big Questions program in which the “Jesus and Mo” cartoons, which have been around since 2005, were discussed and Nawaz was included as a studio guest.

Nawaz, who is also author of the book “Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism,” said he posted the image to trigger a debate among Muslims about what should and should not be acceptable within Islam.

Not in the mood for debate, furious Muslims responded by bullying and issuing threats of violence—including beheading—and also launched a petition (it quickly garnered more than 20,000 signatures) to have Nawaz deselected as a candidate for parliament.

Labour Party Councilor Yaqub Hanif of Luton, a town situated 50 km (30 miles) north of London and known as the Islamic extremist capital of Britain, said the depictions of Mohammed were “totally unacceptable” to Muslims and called on Nawaz to step down.

“It’s appalling that this guy is a parliamentary candidate because this behavior is not conducive to being an MP,” Hanif said in an interview with the International Business Times. “If you want to be an MP then you must respect all faiths. He’s not doing that.”…

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