Fear, Inc.: The Obama Re-election Strategy for Muslim Votes

by Jerry Gordon (Sept. 2011)

Daniel Greenfield aka Sultan Knish published a prescient FrontPageMagazine article about the political dynamics of appealing to Muslim American voters in the US, “The Islamic Political Takeover of America.” He noted:

American presidents have traditionally been the governors and the senators of key states. The rise of sizable politically active Muslim populations in those states positions Islamic groups to exert a strong and disproportionate influence on national politics. A governor or senator who seeks out Muslim support to get elected at a state level will form alliances that he will carry forward with him into the White House.

Basic diversity and multiculturalism means that state officials in key states are forming ties with Islamic associations that serve as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood or other organizations that are equally antithetical to the long term survival of the United States. Through a few meetings, the Brotherhood is gaining a lever that it can use to move presidents.

Like California, Texas and New Jersey—Virginia and Ohio now rank among the top ten Muslim populated states in the country.

[. . .]

Urban representation is another factor. Muslim populations are still negligible even in the top ten states, but they are often clustered in urban areas. Muslims made up 10 percent of the population of Washington D.C. in 2000. The numbers are probably higher today

There is cause for believing that the Obama Administration is enlisting supporters to implement such a strategy in the upcoming re-election contest. They are accomplishing that by engaging in a deliberate campaign to combat counter-jihadists who oppose recognizing Islamic Sharia law by US Courts. Then there is the Obama Administration’s intervention in local suits over expansion of mega mosques. In the matter brought by local citizens in Chancery Court in Murfreesboro, Tennessee against the county government for authorizing expansion of the Islamic Center without proper public notification, the US Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder filed an amicus brief on behalf of the defendants. This summer, Secretary of State Clinton has furthered this effort by sanctioning outreach to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on declarations of human rights that appear to abet criminalizing criticism of religion, specifically Islam under its blasphemy laws.

In late August two media events occurred, one in Nashville on reporting of culture clashes over mosque developments in the buckle of the bible belt, and the second, the release of a dossier by a Washington, DC think tank accusing counter-jihadists of fomenting ‘Islamophobia’. The think tank has close connections to the Obama White House. These events illustrate the Obama re-election campaign strategy seeking American Muslim votes.

In Nashville,  the symposium, “Covering Islam in the Bible Belt”, brought together working journalists with a panel composed of Nashville and Murfreesboro Muslim leaders and Imams along with a lone counter-jihadist, Bill Warner. Warner is highly critical of the political agenda at the core of Islamic doctrine. Warner is among several nationally prominent counter-jihadists, identified in the dossier released by Washington think tank, the Center for American Progress (CAP).

The Arab American News reflected these biases in its report on the Nashville symposium.

Journalists covering issues involving the Muslim community also have had their own challenges to deal with, including a lack of experience with the issue, a lack of sources for first-hand knowledge on the faith, and immense pressure and criticism from readers and viewers who have been indoctrinated with anti-Muslim propaganda.

       [. . .]

The tenor of the conference took a turn for the worse on the night of Monday, August 22, however, as the First Amendment Center hosted a public, televised forum entitled “Will Islamic Law Ever Be a Part of the U.S. Legal System?”

An audience of about 80 people included a handful of supporters of panelist Dr. Bill Warner, the founder of the Center for the Study of Political Islam, as he debated Islamic law expert Umbreen Bhati from the University of Michigan and the Los Angeles-based website Islawmix.com.

Warner, a former scientist has a following in the area as an author and producer of videos that paint Islam as a violent movement. His supporters became loud and disruptive, accusing Bhatti and fellow panelist Saleh M. Sbenaty, a Muslim engineer from MTSU, of lying as they explained the compatibility of Islam and the Constitution and experiences as a Muslim in Tennessee, respectively.

“The Middle East is on fire because of Islam and so is Europe; it won't happen here,” shouted one audience member. “Islam is a military operation against the United States…you people are a joke.”

The unwelcoming response was a glimpse of the type of discrimination the Muslims of Murfreesboro faced last year as they attempted to build a mosque.

Warner and others of his ilk had been discussed earlier in the day by Bob Smietana, a religion writer for The Tennessean in Nashville. Smietana has spent many months researching key players in the anti-Islam movement in the southeast part of the country, particularly in Tennessee, and relayed some of his findings to the audience.

“Southern Christians feel that they're losing their home field advantage, and now they're becoming suspicious,” he said.

They've produced books, movies, TV shows and blogs in order to push a message of fear by selectively quoting Islamic hadiths completely out of context or with no context at all that sound potentially violent in nature.

Their game plan according to Smietana is to push the idea that Islam is a political system that should be illegal, that there is a “stealth jihad” movement against the United States, and that Muslims are “near enemies,” meaning that they are taught to appear friendly while deceiving others about their true nature.

The Arab American News piece, on the Nashville journalist symposium “Covering Islam in the Bible Belt” is in line with the release this week of the Center for American Progress (CAP) dossier on the entire counter-jihad movement, “Fear, Inc, The Origins of Islamophobia Network in America.”  A Salon.com report on CAP study gives you some idea of the agenda in the title, “New report maps the roots of Islamophobia: A new report traces the flow — and funding — of anti-Muslim ideas.”

In a 140-page report released Friday, researchers at the Center for American Progress have traced the origins of rising Islamophobia in the United States to what they call a “small, tightly networked group of misinformation experts guiding an effort that reaches millions of Americans through effective advocates, media partners, and grassroots organizing.”

The report features profiles of some figures — blogger and activist Pamela Geller and think tank denizen Frank Gaffney— who will be familiar to regular Salon readers. It names Gaffney and four others as the leading “misinformation experts” who generate anti-Muslim talking points that spread in the media: Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; David Yerushalmi at the Society of Americans for National Existence (who is also the architect of the anti-Shariah movement); Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch; and Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

The report also reveals that a small group of little-known foundations have in the past decade provided more than $40 million to groups promoting Islamophobia.

Note what one of the study co-authors, Wahajat Ali says is the agenda of this ‘conspiratorial’ network:

There are five major players who we call the central nervous system of the Islamophobia network. They're primarily responsible for creating the talking points and manufacturing the messages and memes that get distributed and mainstreamed via the network. The second aspect of it is the grass-roots organizations and the religious right. Examples include Act for America, Eagle Forum and Stop Islamization of America. They take these talking points — such as, “Shariah is a legal-political-military doctrine that will supplant the United States Constitution” — and promote them. Then these ideas — such as “Obama may be a Muslim,” “Shariah is a threat,” “mosques are Trojan Horses” — are mainstreamed through a media megaphone. That's primarily Fox News but also radio shows like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and websites like WorldNetDaily, FrontPage Magazine and JihadWatch. Finally, we see how these talking points are used by mainstream politicians.

However, as Ed Lasky in an American Thinker article, “The Soros-Supported Center for American Progress Blames Rich Jews for Stoking Islamophobia,”the CAP dossier has a sleazy element of anti-Semitism.

The eight foundations mentioned as funding this effort include, almost exclusively, ones founded and funded by Jewish donors. Lest readers not be aware of this fact, the Center for American Progress lists not only the other beneficiaries of the charities and foundations (most of them having Jewish or Israel in the title) but also goes to the trouble of naming the individuals behind these charities — not just the donors but also those who serve on the boards.

Why include this additional information except to highlight that Jewish people are behind this effort to “defame” Muslims? By “outing” the people involved, the report endangers them. Furthermore, this “report” relies on the conspiracy and age-old anti-Semitic trope that Jews fan prejudice towards others and promotes divisions for their own nefarious purposes (to support Israel in this case). This mindset is straight out of Mein Kampf.

The report also stokes the view that rich Jews operate behind the scenes and use their wealth to control the media and government policy (politicians are also mentioned as being ensnared in this web).

Some analysts allege that this indicates the Obama campaign team is 'synching up' with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation given the declaration in Turkey in mid- July by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Note what I wrote in an Iconoclast post, “Is the Istanbul Declaration Just More Lies.”

The consensus text agreed by the U.N. Human Rights Council was an important achievement. For the first time in many years, OIC governments agreed to focus on the protection of individuals rather than religions.

Much needs to be done at the national level in U.N. member states to combat violence and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief. In particular, Human Rights First calls on all States to move toward implementing policies to combat hatred without restricting speech.

Human Rights First has identified scores of cases that provide ample warning of the misuse of blasphemy laws at the national level. The organization’s study, Blasphemy Laws Exposed, documents over 70 such cases in 15 countries where the enforcement of blasphemy laws have resulted in death sentences and long prison terms as well as arbitrary detentions, and have sparked assaults, murders and mob attacks.

A State Department press release noted the Ministerial gathering and the declaration reached in Istanbul:

The Secretary of State of the United States, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, together with foreign ministers and officials from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Sudan, United Kingdom, the Vatican (Holy See), UN OHCHR, Arab League, African Union, met on July 15 in Istanbul to give a united impetus to the implementation of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 on “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief.” The meeting was hosted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation at the OIC/IRCICA premises in the historic Yildiz Palace in Istanbul and co-chaired by the OIC Secretary-General H.E Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and U.S. Secretary of State H.E. Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

They called upon all relevant stakeholders throughout the world to take seriously the call for action set forth in Resolution 16/18, which contributes to strengthening the foundations of tolerance and respect for religious diversity as well as enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world.

Moreover, note what Andrew McCarthy said in his National Review article, “Losing Malmo”on the spreading ink blots of Islamic 'no-go areas' in Sweden and elsewhere in the EU. He also draws attention to the doctrine that has been developed by the Department of Homeland Security, deeply infiltrated by Muslim Brotherhood front representatives and their allies at the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The Obama administration has arrived at a counterterrorism policy it publicly calls “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.” It has its roots in the Homeland Security Department’s “Countering Violent Extremism” working group.

In 2010, the working group issued its recommendations. The group “felt” it was essential to “delink” law enforcement’s “crime reduction efforts” from studies on “radicalization” in the Islamic community. Law enforcement needs to be more “sensitive,” the working group suggested, to damaging community “perceptions” that can arise from “enforcement actions and intelligence gathering.” Nothing is more important, the group argued, than developing strong relationships between police and communities, and those relationships can be wounded if people “perceive that they are viewed as incubators of violent extremism.” Instead, police should take their lead from “members of the community” who “should be invited to provide training to government personnel.”

Having read through the CAP dossier, we may be witnessing the re-election campaign strategy of the Obama team trolling for Muslim votes in key states cited by Greenfield. CAP was founded  by Marion and Herbert Sandler, who made a fortune in the sale of their sub-standard mortgage plagued Golden West Financial  to troubled Wachovia for $24 billion. They personally made $2.4 billion on the transaction. The Sandlers were significant funders of CAP along with Peter Lewis, Chairman of Progressive Insurance and his pal, George Soros via his Open Society Institute. If you go to the CAP website, you will see that this liberal think tank receives over $25 million annually in grants.

For further evidence of the Obama campaign strategy, look who runs CAP, ex-Clinton Chief of Staff and Obama transition team helmsman John Podesta. Also in the CAP group are convicted felon Van Jones, Obama's ex-Green Jobs czar, and former US Senate majority leader, Tom Daschle. Daschle was Obama's original go-to guy on health care reform and nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, before his tax problems caught up with him and was forced to withdraw.

This CAP dossier is clearly pandering to spot areas of Muslim voters in key battleground states across the US. Think of Dearborn, Michigan the equivalent of a US version of an EU “no go” area. In the 2012 contest, the Obama campaign team is doing everything to troll for votes in key battleground states. The CAP dossier is explicitly appealing to Muslims who voted for Obama in 2008 by disclosing the network and funding of the counter-jihad network.

Think of the likes of The Tennessean's philo-Islamic journalist Bob Smietana, he of questionable antisemitic associations from his North Park University days in Chicago and with the Muslim Brotherhood Da'wa proponents from Nashville and Murfreesboro. He is aiding and abetting Muslim outreach to the liberal base that elected Obama in 2008 and hopes to do it again in the 2012 re-election campaign.

That is unless we stop them from realizing their goal of converting the US to EU style ‘no go’ Shariah controlled areas, where, as Andrew McCarthy wrote, women, cops and first responders fear to enter. We can only do that by getting GOP nominees to address this in their appeals to conservative and concerned Democratic and Independent voters. They certainly don't want their daughters forced to wear burkas, do they?


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