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Values Voter Summit Provides Forum for Rabid Islamophobes

By Evelyn Schlatter on September 13, 2012 - 11:21 am, Posted in Anti-Muslim, Christian Right, Extremist Propaganda

Yesterday, we posted a run-down of some of the anti-LGBT speakers who are appearing at this year’s Values Voter Summit (VVS), a gathering of social conservatives that begins tomorrow in Washington, D.C., and is attracting a number of high-level public officials from the GOP, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

In addition to the usual gay-bashers, the summit hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC) also provides a public platform for rabid Islamophobes who promote an array of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and propaganda.

Here are some of the most prominent among them:

Lt. General (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin is a 36-year veteran of the Army and a former U.S. deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence under Donald Rumsfeld. The Pentagon censured Boykin in 2004 after an investigation determined that he had violated internal regulations by giving several speeches at religious events while wearing full uniform. Boykin had not received clearance for remarks that included statements likening the war on terror to a battle against Satan and his claims that President George W. Bush was put in office by God, that radical Muslims hate America because of U.S. support for Israel, and that the military is recruiting a spiritual army that will draw strength from a greater power to defeat enemies. Since then, he has continued to bash Islam and has become a go-to guy for the anti-Islam right. He has claimed that Islam is not a religion and that it does not “deserve” First Amendment protections. He has stated that mosques should be banned in the United States and that “we are at war” against the threat of Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood, which he says is trying to implement Shariah law in the U.S. His history of incendiary remarks kindled enough heat recently that he withdrew from delivering a speech at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast, held at West Point in February. A few months after that, in July, the FRC hired Boykin as executive vice president.

Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian-born former Muslim, moved to the U.S. with her husband in 1978. She has since become a staple of the anti-Islam right as the founder of Arabs for Israel and a board member of Former Muslims United (FMU), a group whose board also includes “former terrorists” Walid Shoebat and Kamal Saleem. Darwish now devotes much of her time to denigrating Islam and worrying that it’s taking over America. She has said that Islam “is a poison to our society” and “should be annihilated.” She and FMU also have been involved in the campaign against a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn. “A mosque is not just a place for worship,” Darwish has said. “It’s a place where war is started, where commandments to do jihad start, where incitements against non-Muslims occur. It’s a place where ammunition was stored.”

Frank Gaffney, one of the most prominent anti-Muslim activists in the country, once served in the Pentagon and was tapped in 1987 to be assistant secretary of defense, though the Senate did not confirm him. In 1988, he founded the Center for Security Policy, where he is still president. Once a respected though hawkish think tank, the CSP is now a petri dish for Gaffney’s anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. Gaffney helped set off the anti-Shariah panic with the September 2010 release of the paranoid but popular report “Shariah, the Threat to America,” which depicted Shariah law as a global threat comparable to that posed by Soviet communism decades ago. Since then, he has seen “creeping Shariah” everywhere – even among allies. For the past two years, he has been barred from speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference because he claims that two of CPAC’s organizers (Suhail Khan and longtime Republican, anti-tax operative Grover Norquist) are agents of the Muslim Brotherhood. CPAC, Khan explained in 2011, “didn’t want to be associated with a crazy bigot.” Gaffney has claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the federal government, claimed that the TV network Al Jazeera was paying people to stage attacks and bombings during the U.S. military intervention of Iraq so it could report on them, and warned that the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan is to evoke a “civilization-jihadist process” that will erase Western culture from within. To Gaffney, this “zero hour” – when the Muslim Brotherhood will rise up here in America and implement Shariah law – is just around the corner.

Steve King, a member of Congress from Iowa, is no stranger to controversy. At the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference, he was a surprise guest on a panel organized by the group ProEnglish and hosted by Robert Vandevoort, a former leader of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance. One of the other panelists was Peter Brimelow, founder of the white nationalist website VDARE. King showed up to discuss his bill that would make English the official language of the U.S. King’s most recent tangle with controversy involves his support for five fellow conservative lawmakers who sent letters to several federal agencies inquiring about whether the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated the government. The letters named Huma Abedin – a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – as a possible go-between. In August, King suggested that Abedin’s family is “deeply entrenched” in the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2008, he claimed that if Obama were elected president, “the radical Islamists” and Al Qaeda “will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11” because Obama’s middle name is “Hussein” and the “radical Islamists” will “read a meaning into that.”

Kamal Saleem claims to be a former Muslim terrorist who came to the U.S. to destroy it before having a change of heart and converting to Christianity. Saleem (whose real name is Khodor Shami), is founder of Koome Ministries and a popular speaker for the anti-Muslim right. He has many stories to tell, but many don’t add up. Nevertheless, he keeps spinning his conspiracy theories about Islam, many of which rival Gaffney’s. Among Saleem’s many claims are that President Obama is attempting to implement Shariah law and in 20 years, the U.S. will be a country of lost liberty; that radical Muslims are set to penetrate every level of American society; that immigrants crossing into this country include terrorists waiting for amnesty; and that Obama is a Muslim. Saleem knows this because when Obama participates in the Pledge of Allegiance, he’s not really pledging but rather is actually engaged in a Muslim prayer.

  • Reynardine

    The reason why it was sinful for Onan to prevent pregnancy in this instance was that, under the Levirate, he had married his brother’s childless widow with the understanding he was to beget a child in his dead brother’s name. In “spilling his seed on the ground” instead, he was violating a pledge to living and dead alike. Outside the Levirate, it wouldn’t have mattered where he had spilled his seed.

  • aadila

    Erika,

    Regarding birth control in the bible and sin, there is the case of Onan. Reynardine explained that Onan’s practice was sinful due to preventing pregnancy. This is not the onanism that one normally thinks of, but again I don’t really have a grasp on that issue.

  • Erika

    aadila, the only reason why the American Taliban types such as FRC isn’t pushing to stone women who have premartial sex to death in this country is because they know they can’t get away with it – at least not yet anyway. They are still trying to control women though – the preferred topic now is that while the more mainstream right wingers deny it they are currently trying to make the use of birth control illegal. Of course, i can’t recall the Bible ever saying anything about birth control so it seems the anti-birth control push is more about controlling women than preventing sin. In fact, reading the Bible it actually seems that they are basing their views on a fundamental misunderstanding – and they most definitely have never read The Song of Solomon.

    But really, it may well speak volumes of the Christian Right that they seem to think that any non-procreative sex is a sin. Not only is that view not supported by the Bible, it may well actually violate God’s Law since the Bible actually makes it the duty of a husband and wife to have sex with and even please each other. And again, the Bible actually does not ban premartial sex – severely restricts it yes, and for females, being stoned to death is a very high risk. Again, the Ancient Hebrews were not nearly as prudish as the people who claim we should follow Old Testament law claim they were.

    But even though i kind of suspect that most of the Christian Taliban types aren’t actually interested in heterosexual sex, given how obsessed the the Christian Right types are about other people’s sex lives, they would no doubt be very interested in hearing how just last night i went out on a date and totally violated Biblical law:

    i wore a skirt which was made of different materials than my blouse and then in an extreme act of pleasurable sinfulness ate shrimp for dinner ;)

  • aadila

    Well said, Erika.

    In any case it’s pretty clear that the Islamophobes from the Christian right are condeming that which, by their own scriptures, should be put into practice to adhere to God’s law. The FRC is America’s Taliban.

  • Erika

    aadila, while Leviticus seems logical since its the primary location of the ancient Hebrew laws, the verses about rape are actually in Deudorometry (sorry that i likely totally slaughtered the spelling). if i remember correctly, its around Chapter 22 and you have to watch the conservative Christians because they will parse and spin those verses like crazy to say its not talking about forcible rape despite the fact that they make absolutely no sense whatsoever if they are not talking about forcible rape.

    Another way to get conservative Christian heads to spin regarding sex in The Bible is to point out that the Bible does not exactly condemn prostitution (in fact, its pretty clear from The Bible that under Hebrew law, prostitution – often forced prostitution for women enslaved as concubines following battles – was legal. It is also pretty easy to realize reading The Bible that sexual morality under Hebrew law only really applied to women). Even under the Christian spin of the stoning to death for being a rape victim verses, premarital sex is okay if you later get married. The ancient Hebrews of Biblical times were not nearly as prudish as the “Values Voters” would have you believe.

  • thesneakyemu

    13 If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” 15 then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. 16 Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, 18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him. 19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels[b] of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.

    20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

    22 If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.

    23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.
    25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. 26 Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor, 27 for the man found the young woman out in the country, and though the betrothed woman screamed, there was no one to rescue her.

    28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[c] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

    Deuteronomy(22:13-29)

    Yeah, much better than those mean old Islamists. If you read closely you can hear that idiot who said women can’t get pregnant if they are really raped. Paul Ryan also made skeptical comments about “forcilbe rape”, alluding that if a woman doesn’t fight her attacker she somehow was really raped. I’m a Christian and I find that way of thinking absolutely deplorable. I love how so called “Biblical Christians” love to cherry pick Bible verses which they feel must be followed while casually glossing over the more barbaric areas and are the first to point out the most violent verses of the Koran.

  • Reynardine

    I thought it might refer to the Al Shabab incident, but it really wasn’t identified.

    Meanwhile, C.M., you are *so good!*

  • aadila

    Rey, the incident in question was reported by Amnesty International. The stoning took place in Somalia in an area controlled by al-Shabaab, a mujahideen youth militia tied to al-Qaeda.

    As such, this event can hardly be considered representative of mainstream Islam, much less anything resembling the actions of an organized state. There hasn’t been an effective government in Somalia for over two decades, with not even any kind of formal parliament until this year, nor a president until just this month.

    Basically, it’s the action of extremist warlords who were probably born after Somalia disintegrated into anarchy. Also it was a boy that was killed as a bystander, not a baby, as if that makes any difference.

    Your point stands.

    By the way, I recall the Old Testament (Leviticus, if I am not mistaken) calls for stoning of women who are raped, so really the system of belief Alexei is referring to is present in Christianity as well. The same book, I recall, that supports the FRC’s doctrine on homosexuality. So we find extremists in various faiths.

    Perhaps the only solution is to keep religion as far away from public policy as possible.

  • CM

    “Alexei” has copied and pasted parts of an article that originally appeared on the FrontPageMagazine website, written by Hasan Mahmud. Most people would consider that plagiarism, but apparently in the anti-Islamic movement, it’s okay, because this same article shows up again and again on a Google search. It’s easy to spot because 1. The date of the U.N. condemnation is wrong and 2. The victim’s name is given incorrectly, an indication that there’s more exploitation than sympathy involved.

    In fact, on Nov. 4, 2008, UNICEF did condemn, quite rightly, the horrifying killing of 13-year-old Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow by the al-Shabaab militia, an al-Qaeda-linked group, in Somalia.

    Hasan Mahmud’s article aimed to show how the incident highlighted the barbarity of sharia. This is not an entirely unreasonable reaction to the incident, though it’s unlikely that all Muslim jurisprudents would have agreed with the judgment rendered in this case.

    What does seem unreasonable is Alexei’s seeming assumption that anyone who opposes bigotry toward Muslims must endorse sharia, stoning, rape and gender-discrimination. The fact that a lot of anti-Islamic zealots like to repeat that sort of charge doesn’t make it true.

  • Erika

    Alexei, do you realize that The Bible calls for the execution by stoning of rape victims? The Bible doesn’t even give women the chance to make an argument.

    Do you remember what Jesus said about casting the first stone?

    I agree its shameful that such ancient religious laws are still being followed by anyone, but don’t be deceived – the same people who are feeding you the line about how awful Islam is want to introduce Old Testament law in this country. Would you survive Old Testament law? I know that i wouldn’t :(

  • Reynardine

    Excuse me, Alexei, exactly where did this incident occur? You can’t give one incident, refuse to identify it or give any kind of reference, and use it to “prove” over a billion people are inherently rotten. And if I were as bad as you, I’d say you’re one of those icking fuddiot Serbs, wouldn’t I?

  • Alexei

    I have a question.
    On October 30, 2008, the United Nations condemned the stoning to death of Aisha Duhulowa, a 13-year-old girl who had been gang-raped and then sentenced to death by a Sharia court for fornication (Zina). She was screaming and begging for mercy, but when some family members attempted to intervene, shots were fired by the Islamic militia and a baby was killed.

    Why is criticizing Islam and it’s teachings considered..”hateful”
    If a religion, or a system of belief, advocates punishing rape victims, or openly states that women are inferior, are you to ignore it, just because it is a religion?

    Does opposing a system of belief that advocates human rights violation make you hateful?

    Does opposing a system that says if a woman claims she was raped, she can only prove it by producing four male adult Muslim witnesses (no females, since they are intellectually inferior) or if the accused confesses. otherwise she is punished for having sex outside of marriage.

    Before someone claims that this is a misrepresentation of Islam. it is not

    The Quranic word “Zina” means sexual relation between a man and woman not married to each other. It is called adultery for married persons and fornication for unmarried ones. The Quran severely prohibits Zina. Muslim jurists also included rape in the category of Zina because in rape cases such sexual relations “between a man and woman not married to each other,” even though forced on the victim, have taken place.

    So, all the anti hate, anti islamophobe people do answer me,
    is turning a blind eye to this, or criticizing the people who condemn it really anti hate? or are you so caught up in being politically correct that you would defend a system of belief that advocates stoning to death children who are sexually abused?

  • Kiwiwriter

    Annie/Jason Smith is back again!

    Complete with sex change…here strictly to derail the discussion!

    So, Annie/Jason…do tell us how the Holocaust never happened!

    Then tell us how the Russian people greeted their Nazi invaders with flowers!

    Then tell us how Norman Rockwell sided with Hitler!

    Then show us your proof that the white man is superior to the black man!

    And tell us again how you’ll prove it to us, only if we pay you vast sums of money, showing that you’re into neo-Nazism and junior Fascism for that noblest of purposes…the money!

    Then you can give us citations and evidence for all these wacky ideas!

    White men can’t organize? Check out the boardrooms of Exxon, Mobil, Chase, US Steel, GM….

    Until then, the tumbrels await for you!

    See? I don’t even have to think in dealing with him/her/it…I just cut-and-paste my own stuff!

  • aadila

    Add military to the list. Although DoD recently expanded opportunities for female soldiers to have combat roles, this is still highly restricted. Combat duty is virtually the only way to advance to higher ranks in times of war. For crying out loud, women can’t even breast feed in uniform in parts of the military.

  • CoralSea

    Erika –

    I think we can add to your list with bodies and institutions such as:

    Academia at the higher level (still white male controlled in many fields)

    The Arts (see above)

    Corporate Boardrooms and Executive positions (see above)

    Churches (even though, at least in the case of Christian denominations, the majority of followers are female, the vast majority of leaders are still male)

  • Erika

    To add to the things that Annie has apparently never heard of:

    Congress

    State Legislatures

    The Republican and Democratic Parties

    Labor unions (most were originally all white and all male)

    Country [and City] Clubs (even today many have no female and no minority members)

  • Aron

    CM, that was HILARIOUS!

  • Santa Claus

    Looks like Steve King is not the only sitting GOP congressman who’s been dipping his toes into the waters of extremism. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) just appeared on the Political Cesspool show this past Saturday.

  • CM

    “Straight white males aren’t allowed to organize.”

    Have you never seen a golf tournament?

  • aadila

    It’s true, Coral. It gives new meaning to having the piles. Any writer needs to be an amateur archeologist just to get through the day.

    The only thing worse than the complete disarray of my office is when someone (trying, I suppose, to be helpful), moves something.

  • CoralSea

    Reynardiine –

    I’m afraid that I also “manage by pile.” Part of the reason why is because I am usually working on multiple projects at once, and part of it is because I am simply bad a filing stuff. The thing is, except when I have done a “cleaning,” I can usually find any document I need by digging down into the various piles, which display a lovely chronology–rather like geological layers.

    I work a lot with attorneys, and they frequently caution me and other consultants about being careful with our documents, considering that stuff that isn’t marked “attorney/client workproduct” could be subject to discovery. However, I think the opposition would have a pretty damned hard time discovering anything if THEY were pawing through my filing/piling system!

  • aadila

    Aron,

    I think it would be a great leap of faith to imagine that Annie reads books.

  • Reynardine

    Coral Sea, some white men are highly organized, and some are real slobs. So are white women, and so is everybody else. But some slobbish-looking arrangements, as Aron suggested, are actually idiosyncratic modes of organization. A colleague asked me to get some of his letterhead and print out a letter he had on floppy (more Atlantean technology). I went in, and it looked like macaroni had hit the fan. I called him up: “Where is it?” “Under the stuffed panther,” he said. Sure enough, it was under an enormous plushtoy.

    I completed the task for him, and then told my boss when he came in. “No!” he exclaimed. “That’s MY panther! I’ve been looking all over for it!”

  • CoralSea

    Aron — touche’!

    Annie — white men have been organized for millennia and they still are, you foolish person.

  • CoralSea

    I always wonder about these folks who claim to be “former terrorists.” Back during the whole “Satanic Panic” thing in the 1980s, everyone was worked up over alleged satanic cults performing human sacrifices and running daycare centers where they were allegedly sexually abusing the children AND performing sacrifices (very busy people!). If you all remember (those of you who are old enough to remember), people were sent to jail based on wild stories, later debunked, told by toddlers who were encouraged to make them up by social workers and police officers. Since then, guidelines for working with children have been established and the FBI debunked the whole satanic cult thing as an actual, organized phenomenon (although some disturbed individuals and rebellious teens sometimes commit crimes ranging from petty (vandalism) to serious (actual murders) in the name of satan.

    I bring this up because back during this time, a whole crop of “former satanists” emerged, penning books and articles and hitting the lecture circuit. We (meaning the Pagan community) paid attention to this because many of these self-proclaimed former satanists were blurring the lines between satanism and nature-based religions such as Wicca (Wicca was a “gate way to satanism,” they declared).

    Easily worked up people like Jesse Helms tried to pass legislation against the sending of information on Wicca or any Celtic folklore through the mail–based on all of these accusations. As a rather funny side-note, the coven I was with at the time (which was Celtic-based), sent a letter to Helms, in which we included a fantastically crazy Tony Alamo tract, asking how IT could possibly be okay while Celtic nature beliefs were not. We never got a reply, but his proposal was voted down.

    There was an incredible amount of chatter in the various pagan publications, where some of these self-proclaimed former satanists would write in to the letters to the editor section and tell us we were all going to hell and claiming to have performed numerous murders/human sacrifices.

    Finally, some of these folks dropped out of sight when several influential pagans challenged them to show where the bodies or skeletons were (I mean, how do you get rid of hundreds of bodies?) and to turn themselves in to the justice system, confess their crimes, and take their punishment if they had really done these things and had now converted to Christianity. They weren’t actually expecting a free walk on hundreds of murders, were they? It is my understanding that several police investigations were conducted, but predictably, no human remains were found.

    Happily, the more obnoxious “formers” dropped out of sight, having already made at least some money off of gullible, and I am assuming, well-intentioned Christians.

    So — I know that the FBI has checked out some of these alleged “former Islamic terrorists” and haven’t found anything, but if they really were REAL terrorists, and perpetrated criminal acts, why aren’t they in prison? And why are these other loonies palling around with them? Sorry, but I thought in our system of justice, you don’t get a pass just because you “accept Jesus.”

  • Aron

    Annie,

    You’re right. Straight white males aren’t allowed to organize.

    Because we all know that if they WERE allowed to organize, we’d never be able to deal with the fact that what were once orderly piles of books in our home libraries are now ALPHABETIZED and STACKED ON THE SHELVES.

    That IS what you meant by ‘organize,’ right?

  • Erika

    If those radical fundamentalist Christians would just sit down with those radical fundamentalist Moslems they would find out just how close their values really are to each other. In fact, what they both ultimately want is to institute Old Testament law including stoning disobedient children or rape victims to death..

    Its no doubt a good thing for all of us that they never ever will sit down and realize they actually want the exact same thing.

  • Annie

    Straight white males aren’t allowed to organize.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold?feature=mhee CriticalDragon1177

    Evelyn,

    Looks like gay people aren’t the only targets of their hatred now.

  • aadila

    I think we should offer a bounty of $1000 for the first photograph of a vein popping out on the forehead of any speaker at the Angry Values Conference.

  • Reynardine

    Projecting, rather, aren’t they?