A newly created group dedicated to fighting the â€œIslamization of Americaâ€ will be walking the streets of Washington DC on September 25th engaging passers-by in a â€œdialogueâ€ about Islam in America.
The group, Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), stands out for its extensive ties to far-right bloggers in the US and Frank Gaffneyâ€™s Center for Security Policy. It also has links to the European Far Right and Nazi apologists.
The choice of September 25 as the launch date is designed to coincide with â€œJumah Prayer on Capitol Hill: A Day of Islamic Unity,â€ a gathering of Muslims on the National Mall. Its organizers say:
â€œThe objective of this gathering is to invite the Muslim Communities and friends of Islam to express and illustrate the wonderful diversity of Islam. We intend to manifest Islamâ€™s majestic spiritual principals [sic] as revealed by Allah to our beloved prophet Muhammad (PEACE BE UPON HIM) of Arabia. Likewise; we intend to inspire a new generation of Muslim to work for the greater good of all people. We shall serve all people, regardless of race, religion or national origin.â€
SIOA, however, takes a dim view of what it calls “the doctrine of Islam, jihad, and Sharia (Islamic law),â€ especially in the United States.
â€œIslamic law and jihad are brutal, misogynist, and fundamentally contrary to our Constitution and to our concepts of human rights and freedom. Tolerance for ideologies that are opposed to our principles of individual freedoms and our Constitution is indefensible, reads SIOAâ€™s website.
Both Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller were present at the 2007 CounterJihad Europa Conference in Brussels which was co-sponsored by the Belgian far-right Vlaams Belang (VB) party whose platform, among other things, calls for pardoning Belgians convicted of collaborating with the Nazis. Spencer, Geller and Brim have also been strong supporters of far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders and helped facilitate his fund-raising trips to the US. (Ali Gharib, Daniel Luban and I have written about Wilders and his American hosts here, here and here) Wilders has gone so far as to suggest that the Koran should be banned, along with Mein Kampf, as examples of hate speech.
Spencer, Geller and other attendees at the Brussels conference have denied that theyâ€™re allied with Nazi apologists, insisting that their European contacts in VB and Wildersâ€™ Party for Freedom are totally unrelated to the fascists of the 1930s. By loudly claiming their affection and support for Israel, the new European Far Right has tried to distance itself from that era and, in so doing, has succeeded in gaining the support of some neoconservatives.
In 2007 Christine Brim, whose group Center for Vigilant Freedom helped organize the Brussels conference (along with VB) and who is listed as a speaker at the SIOA kickoff next week, elaborated on the neoconservative relationship with the European far-right in 2007.
â€œIf such parties specifically state pro-Israel positions, and take real actions opposing anti-Semitism and disavowing previous positions â€“ and reach out to Jewish constituents and encourage Jewish participation in party positions â€“ these are real actions to observe, and to approve.
Brim also serves as a senior vice president at Frank Gaffneyâ€™s Center for Security Policy.
Encouraging far-right political parties in Western Europe to reject anti-Semitism–formerly a tenet of their often fascistic views towards immigrants and non-Christians–is a positive step. But the willingness of U.S. neoconservatives such as Brim, Gaffney or far-right US bloggers, such as Geller and Spencer, to embrace politicians who have substituted Muslims as targets for their xenophobia and hate they once (and probably still, at some level) directed at Jews seems like a devilâ€™s bargain. (Of course, this is not entirely new: prominent neo-conservatives, including Midge Decter and the late Irving Kristol, staunchly defended the murderous military junta in Argentina from the late 1970s until the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas War against charges by Jacobo Timmerman and human-rights activists that it had a special affinity for Hitler and Nazi paraphernalia.)
Arutz Sheva called attention to SIOAâ€™s â€œbrainstormingâ€ blog posts that suggested that donkeys, dogs and women should be brought to the groupâ€™s launch in order to interfere with the Jumah Prayer event on the Mall.
SIOA president D.L. Adams responded to accusations that such provocations were â€œextremeâ€.
â€œBecause the Arutz Sheva article picked up on some of SIOAâ€™s creative brainstorming posts to use humor and a bit of theatrics involving the things that are thought to disrupt prayer for Muslims â€“ dogs, donkeys and women â€“ some are already calling this loving group of people â€œextreme.â€
I take the opposite viewpoint and contend that drawing attention to the Muslim belief that â€dogs, donkeys, womenâ€ (and donâ€™t forget breaking wind) are the things that interfere with their prayers being received, rather than spiritual matters like insincerity of heart, highlights the essential materialism of this so-called religion.
Neither our Founding Fathers, nor Lao Tse, Confucius, Gautama Siddartha, Saint Paul, Jesus, Isaiah, Moses, nor Abraham would recognize Islam as a bona fide religion, but would instantly understand it as the massive intellectual fraud that it is. Our cowardly leaders, in both Church and State, who claim it doesnâ€™t matter what people believe, are fools. It matters that Muslims believe non-Muslims are inferior human beings. It matters that Muslims believe women are inferior to men. It matters that Muslims believe obedience and worship are the same thing and that conformity is the same as morality. It matters that Islam requires territorial sovereignty. It matters that Muslims believe that leaving Islam is equivalent to high treason. It matters what Muslims believe just as it matters what communists believe and what neo-Nazis believe.
SIOAâ€™s kickoff will be followed by a â€œsaunterâ€ to â€œengage in conversations with our fellow citizens who might happen to be there on the same day on matters of moment.