UPDATE November 2019: The banning continues. Tommy Robinson video BANNED by YOU TUBE in 2018 and VIMEO in 2019. As hateful. Offensive. Against their standards, so we will post it here …. you can see for yourselves – scroll down.
A video of Tommy Robinson and Pamela Geller from that conference has now been flagged as offensive by You Tube. In 2019 it has been flagged and restricted as “hate speech”. WHAT took them so long!
YOU TUBE: “Certain features have been disabled for this video. In response to user reports, we have disabled some features, such as comments, sharing, and suggested videos, because this video contains content that may be inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.”
The “scary” warning (2 screen shots):
Two email notices came to me back-to-back on April 26. Then another a few days later. (Just in case I missed the warnings)
The “offending video” has Pamela Geller introducing Tommy Robinson [formerly of the English Defence League (EDL)]. Listen to Pamela. Listen to Tommy. WHERE in the video do they preach HATE or VIOLENCE? Yet, this VIDEO was flagged by You Tube as “offensive to some”. (video can now also be found on Vimeo)
Despite the care with which he spoke, Tommy continues to be harassed and arrested on trumped up charges. In the U.K. he is denied basic freedoms based on lies and propaganda; treated in a manner that no citizen of the free west should suffer by his own government.
Next VIDEO: Opening comments from Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer (at 3:48) established WHY this conference was necessary, 11 years after the murders on 911. Islamization vs the Civilized Man grown worse. It was war against the Civilized Man. (It still is.) No HATE was spoken here.
AFDI (American Freedom Defense Initiative) and SION (Stop Islamization of Nations) stressed how important these freedoms are:
” … freedom of speech – as opposed to Islamic prohibitions of “blasphemy” and “slander,” which are used effectively to quash honest discussion of jihad and Islamic supremacism;
…. freedom of conscience – as opposed to the Islamic death penalty for apostasy;
…. equality of rights of all people before the law – as opposed to Sharia’s institutionalized discrimination against women and non-Muslims … ”
Important then. Important NOW.
3rd VIDEO – Tommy’s cousin Kevin Carroll previously of the English Defence League (EDL) and British Freedom Party candidate for Police Commissioner was also introduced by Pamela Geller. All spoke eloquently and from the heart.
Seven years later, across the United States and the U.K. the situation has grown more threatening towards the civilized man, warnings ignored by too many in the West.
Look at the foolishness that NYC preaches to passersby every day: DON’T BE AFRAID of ANYONE.
Stealth Jihad. It’s real. It’s here. But, THEY ARE AFRAID of GELLER. SPENCER and ROBINSON. Not the sharia war machine. Sharia violence and intimidation go unchallenged. Why is You Tube afraid of Tommy Robinson?
Their focus should be on the deaths, threats, fear and harassment perpetrated by Islamists against the “infidels” and aided by media and governments who bow to Sharia.
Read Tommy’s book (Enemy of the State). Listen to him. Demonized. Imprisoned. His family terrorized for his daring to speak truths about Sharia and Islam. He speaks the truth that has been challenged, smeared and smothered by You Tube.
2019: And now, as Tommy Robinson announced his candidacy for the European Parliament — the Left flew predictably into apoplectic rage.
How many of those House members, one wonders, are so ignorant of Tommy Robinson’s actual views, which he has expressed in hours and hours of interviews that can be readily viewed online, that they actually believe him to be xenophobic, homophobic, and racist? How many, by contrast, are fully aware that these charges are absolute lies but are willing and eager to spread them as part of the effort by both the Tory and Labour establishment to stifle honest criticism of Islam? Then there is the most important question of all: how long will the British electorate continue to return these pusillanimous snobs to office? If Tommy can actually get himself elected to the European Parliament, it will be a real sign that the Westminster elite’s days are numbers. (Front Page Mag)
Remembering , as we watch the demise of Europe, that the good ol’ U S of A may not be far behind but for the courage of our warriors like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. TRUTH is a terrible thing to waste. We must put it to good use.
UPDATE May 14, 2019: From Pamela Geller, the outrageous treatment of Tommy Robinson continues : “A High Court judges ruled today that Tommy Robinson will face retrial. Tommy Robinson’s crime? Reporting on a Muslim child rape/trafficking gang trial. Thousands of supporters booed and chanted “shame on you” after the decision High Court ruling was announced. The UK clownocracy is making a free speech martyr out of Robinson.”
After covering the poorly attended Kirsten Gillibrand’s “I’m running for President” Rally, headed to Times Square (47 th st and Bdway) and the very predictable CAIR “Rally Against ISLAMOPHOBIA”. This too was not the attendance expected, but definitely better than Gillibrand’s big fail.
The Muslim signs, and the speeches, were laden with Hate, Racism and Victim Mania. Pretending to be anything but what they actually were: racists masquerading as victims. The big lie of the day, CAIR is LOVE. White America is HATE!
The Racism and Xenophobia Rally was hosted by “Majlis Ash-Shura, Islamic Leadership Council of New York, Muslim American Society – New York (MAS-NY), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC), Arab American Federation (AAF), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, New York (CAIR-NY).”
They claimed that this rally and march “showcased the solidarity of New Yorkers against the ideology of hatred” most recently manifested in the New Zealand terror attacks that left 50 fatalities. There was a recruitment call for “action and unity” to push back against growing Islamophobia, white supremacy and anti-immigrant bigotry in America … and around the world.”
Once again they claimed that the people gathering at AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) represented the worst in humanity, not the best. In speech after speech, we were told that Muslims and their supporters are the BEST of humanity.
Muslim Rally – Slide show
Patriot Protest- Slide show
Video 1: “AIPAC, Zionism Times Sq CAIR sponsored “Islamophobia” Protest”- 2 male speakers this video – excerpted. (They think the MEDIA is their enemy)
First male Speaker ranted on and on about victims and the so-called war on terror, Islamophobia, anti-black and brown racism and ZIONISM … massacres … Guided missiles fired by racists. the Victims in New Zealand no different than the victims of the Gaza Freedom March of Return. And before that the 10s of thousands of people of Palestine. The million plus people in Iraq. The 100s of thousands in Afghanistan. All victims of this system of oppression and injustice…we must call out those who commit the crimes AND the powers behind them. The AIPAC conference … from Palestine to Mexico all the walls have got to go.
Second male Speaker: …. 300 million dollars a year to Israel to build walls against Palestinians …. if you support this you are not in solidarity with the Muslim community. … We are not coming here as peaceful Muslims, we are coming here as Muslims who demand justice. We demand our rights. We demand our god given rights ….. the Constitution … all the oppressed people of the world. We cannot cower. we cannot hide our identity. the people who have spread this bigotry. who are complicit. From the media, CNN. NY Times. who propagate hate.
Video 2: Muslim Prayer Times Sq CAIR Rally against Islamophobia
We hear a Muslim prayer to allah, with a look at the crowd and signs; with lots of takbir (allah is greater) – allah akbar (allah is greater) inshallah (if allah wills to happen) and Jalla jalālahu (his glory be glorified) and WE WANT JUSTICE. WE WANT PEACE.
Video 3 – White Supremacy’s Got to go racist CHANTS
The Chant Leader
Video 4 – White Supremacy, Muslim censorship & David Weprin [50 Muslims were killed simply for being alive. It’s not okay.]
“White supremacy and Islamophobia is an enemy we cannot see. It is something very subtle that happens in our interactions every single day. You have to remember the enemy is the White Man with a gun it is also the institutions that uplifted and empowered that man. It is the media. To allow him a voice. He published before hand what he was going to do, but of course censorship only happens when MUSLIMS want to raise their voices.
The 24th Assemblyman, David Weprin (looking lost in Muslim Prayers- Oct 19, 2018) She says, “Allies (like Weprin) are important”
Weprin: ” I have the largest mosque in NYC – the Jamaica Muslim Center in my district. I was there after the New Zealand tragedy in solidarity, identifying with my Muslim brothers and sisters. Albany declared yesterday Pakistan Day in the State of NY. He and Jon Liu have the religious garb bill they expect to get past the Senate this year; prohibits discrimination against hijabs employment, promotion, in PRIVATE. For wearing religious garbs like HIJABS. It’s very important to our sisters in the Muslim community. Discrimination for wearing hijabs is very subtle. Employers with uniforms can discriminate against our sisters in the Muslim community. And that’s outrageous! I’m optimistic that the bill will pass for the first time …and become law.”
Morales: “They’re the sickness. They’re sick people. There’s a sickness going on. There’s a group of people that are very sick.” That is what Trump said about Muslims. He gave an O.K. to that murder. Trump said he would very closely look at the closing of mosques in this country. That was an okay to this murder in New Zealand. The Blood is on his hands. On this whole system of Capitalism and Imperialism. He has blood on his hands. …whether Democrat or Republican who supports Israel. This country was founded on slavery and genocide. They put black people in this country in chains. What kind of system does this? It’s a system that cannot be reformed. A system that must be over thrown.
WE ARE REVOLUTION. The Communist party. We have the strategy and the leadership for a REAL revolution. If you’re not down for revolution, we still gotta come together. We have to unite to drive out this Trump-Pence regime. Refusefascism.org- we have a strategy. To start with thousands of people in the major cities…growing every day … growing to hundreds of thousands and millions til our demands are met: The Trump /Pence regime must go. In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a Fascist America. Driving out this regime as soon as possible.”
Video 5 & 6 – Speaker 1, a Jeanine Piro tirade, brotherhood demands change the Constitution .
“A salaam alaikum. We want to send a message to the powers that be …. to understand … that we are ONE Brotherhood. Whatever hurts any of us brothers anywhere on the planet hurts all of us. Want to read something that took place on Fox News, a statement by Jeanine Piro attacking Congresswoman Omar for wearing hijab. She said, “Think about it … hijab. Is this indicative of her adherence to the sharia law … which is unethical to the United States Constitution.”
This is pure bigotry for wearing of the hijab. It’s not a contradiction to the Constitution. It is something the women do out of purity. If purity is against the Constitution, then maybe we need to talk about changing the Constitution. (cheers/whistles)
I want to demand that this woman never be allowed to be on Fox News again. (cheers) And if the President of the United States backs what she said, then he’s a bigot too. We gotta a lot of work to do. We must stand together. We must be resolved. We must be strong in our resistance. May Allah give us the strength … inshallah …. a salaam alaikum”
Speaker 2 – CAIR NY Exe Dir, Afaf Nasher begins at 2:31
“(we see in studies) that 268 right wing extremists prosecuted in Fed Court, not under the terrorist law that should have applied to them, but under other laws. No surprise, because 80% of narratives in the media that portray Muslims, is a negative portrayal. Do we understand … the systemic racism that we see. (click pic to enlarge)
Malcolm X warned us. He told us to be careful. He told us the newspapers will have you hating the people that are being oppressed, and have you loving the people who are doing the oppression. These relentless messages of dehumanization and hatred that creates this animosity; that emboldens the extremists with hatred and attacks and murders and massacres. And these Islamophobes keep pedaling the idea that terrorism is by one people. But we know… that terrorism has no religion. We understand that terrorism is antithetical to faith, antithetical to god’s mercy; antithetical to god’s love. It is antithetical to god’s peace. It is antithetical to compassion and justice. Together, if we stand shoulder to shoulder we can defeat the racism and the hatred that is sweeping through our country and the world. (cheers) We have the responsibility to challenge the media; to challenge racism To challenge Islamophobia, xenophobia, white supremacy. I am hopeful that we can illuminate the very darkest corners of hate. Hopeful, that if we stand together, we can shut down those politicians who spew hate with our votes. Hopeful that we can shutdown the mega corporations who use their platforms to spew hate … Hopeful that as citizens, as friends, as neighbors we can create our own narrative, a TRUTHFUL narrative. One that recognizes and affirms the dignity of every single human being. We together, as New Yorkers and as family in this world of humanity, hopeful that if we have this responsibility, that we can shoulder with success and LOVE and dignity. That we can protect one another and create a legacy that is rooted in a common cause for justice, equality, compassion for all. That is you and me together. Now let me hear you. Can we do it? (cheers) Do we love one another? (yes) Will we shut down hate? (yes) Will we take our dollars else where when somebody seeks to profit through division? (yes) Will we VOTE and get those politicians OUT who want to divide us? (yes) Are we committed? (yes) Are we dedicated? (yes) Will we show up day after day (yes) My brothers and my sisters … I feed off your determination … we will bring it to the next generation. Inshallah.”
The JDL-NY was there. They managed (against the amplification) to speak the truth over the din.
They managed to balance the message.
Even though the police weren’t all that helpful (see video)
Video 7 – Because JDL yelled, police claim “combative”
JDL-NY, while marching around the AMPLIFIED protest, was informed by a NYPD legal rep (it’s difficult to HEAR him because the amplified “Say it Loud, Say it Clear” was SO LOUD) that they could not yell. JDL agreed, “They stay in their area, we stay right here.” Not good enough. The NYPD legal accuses them of being combative because they were yelling [unamplified]. He said, the sidewalks would be closed, the JDL moved, if they continued to yell. And then, a very loudly amplified prayer was heard for blocks.
BTW- off camera I mentioned to the officer that the NYPD failed to follow through on these rules at our #CancelSarsour Protest/Rally on May 25, 2017. [Listen to the videos – says it all] Of course, since he claims to have not been there, he can’t address our claim. However, when you look at this picture from May 25, 2017, sure looks like the same officer. Obviously, the rules change depending on who is in charge.
IN CONCLUSION: The media will be praising Gillibrand and defending CAIR as victims of “Islamophobia”. Even our NYPD legal guy, put on the street to control potential confrontations, is snookered. Clearly the LEFT/Muslim factions are coddled. WE are not. EXAMPLE FOLLOWS:
Patriots marching on the sidewalks with signs with unamplified voices. It’s allowed. In NYC, these are the rules: Keep moving. Nothing amplified (FYI- musical instruments, drums, whistles are not amplified). The Left, whenever countering patriots, knows these rules and always marches round and round, chanting and blowing whistles (sometimes not even marching. Just standing still) .We have suffered these offensive actions by the Commies and friends when they wish to rain on our rallies. AND the police LET them. We used to accept being separated by blocks from the rallies on the Left. No more. We, too, now march around. Keep moving and using our unamplified voices to respond to what we see and hear. But, this day we were put ON NOTICE. Our voices were COMBATIVE. If we spoke up, the NYPD would close the sidewalks. If we did not march silently, they would remove us. BECAUSE the CAIR rally had the permit which included not just the street but BOTH public sidewalks. For comparison: see our Geller/Spencer protest against Linda Sarsour . The NYPD did NOTHING to remove the leftists from our staging area. The NYPD – whom we support- sadly, they do not support us.
[Pictures and Videos where indicated Property of Pamela Hall]
AFDI President, Pamela Geller,“Saturday’s Stand With the Prophet event seeks to combat ‘Islamophobes in America’ – in line with Islamic supremacist groups’ longstanding objective of defaming, smearing and marginalizing anyone who opposes the jihad agenda. They say they want to defend Muhammad – which means to silence those who notice that defenders of Muhammad just murdered sixteen people in Paris, and tens of thousands worldwide since 9/11.”
Stand Against JihaD
“Our AFDI rally,” Geller added, “will stand for the freedom of speech against all attempts, violent and stealthy, to impose Islamic blasphemy laws on Americans and stifle criticism of Muhammad and Islam. As Muhammad’s followers kill more and more people, we need critics of him more than ever – and free people need to stand up against these underhanded attempts to stifle all criticism of Islam, including honest investigations of how jihadists use Islamic texts and teachings to justify Jew-hatred, violence, supremacism and oppression.”
Stand AGAINST SHARIA
The Fight for Free Speech Rally on January 17, 2015 was made even more vivid by the vicious attack on Pamela Geller’s Atlas ShrugsBlog. Free Speech is under attack. The blog was shut down, the servers melted by a cyber-attack, just days before the Freedom Defense Initiative’s Free Speech Rally was held in Garland, Texas. Geller said,
“My site host, Media Temple, said they couldn’t cope with the attack against my site. They had never in their history seen anything like it. The DDoS attack didn’t just take down my site. It also took down Media Temple and threatened all of their clients, and even attacked the servers that Media Temple uses at Net Data Center, a service provider that promises “uninterrupted operations.” Net Data Center could not handle the massive traffic that the attackers were sending to my site to take it down, and finally had to pull the plug on Atlas Shrug”
Continuing with the rally on January 17th in Garland, Texas. They rallied for Free Speech. A fight that Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer helped to organize .
She reminded the crowd that “TRUTH is a Revolutionary Act”. “
“We are standing against the most brutal and radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth” (Pamela Geller)
From Robert Spencer, ” Stand With the Prophet Against Terror and Hate” was also billed as a fundraiser for a center to teach Muslims how to combat negative depictions of their faith. Hosted by Muslim Brotherhood operatives and Unindicted terrorist co-conspirator Siraj Wahhaj. Spencer also said, “They have too long controlled the discourse and shut down any honest examination of the motives and goals of terrorists by crying ‘Islamophobia.’
“The Stand for Freedom of Speech” rally was a huge success. A fabulous turnout of grass roots America that turned out in large numbers to counter the ill-timed “Stand with the Prophet” conference taking place there.
“Held just 10 days after the horrific attack in Paris that left 16 dead, the annual forum was billed by organizers as a “movement to defend Prophet Muhammad, his person, and his message,” with an emphasis on opposing “Islamophobes in America.”
“Stand With the Prophet Against Terror and Hate” – was hosted by a public school (the Curtis Culwell Center (Garland Independent School District property) – an event that was dedicated to eradicating “Islamophobia”.
Later, Geller pointed out that the “Media coverage of the #freespeechrally was vicious and dishonest. Absurd, they’re killing journalists.”
She also said, “The media can smear us and the President can stand with them. We the people are not having it.”
Freedom of speech. AMERICA is not interested in abrogating our freedoms in the name of diversity. STAND AGAINST SHARIA
“Never forget who you are” (Geller)
A brief comment from Robert Spencer
Those who follow “The Prophet” do NOT understand our Freedoms. Nor embrace them. And those Americans who are foolish enough to embrace this insurrection, must not be allowed to shut us down. America. Mad as hell and NOT going to take it any more.
“It’s a war in the information battle-space. We must play to win.” (Pamela Geller)
Thank G-D for the fighting spirit that rises in defense of our Freedoms. The AMERICAN WAY. We must NEVER FORGET. When our backs are against the wall – AMERICANS do not turn tail and run. EVER.
“The Muslims Are Coming: Islamophobia, Extremism and the Domestic War on Terror” by Dr. Arun Kundnani .
Kundnani has a theory that must rise above historical misunderstandings of Islam. He insists: The War on Terror is NOT about Islam. It is all about POLITICS, the FBI and government entrapment.
Whether the question was in agreement with him or not (though most seemed to support him) Kundnani predictably brought his answer back to his meme: The War on Terror is NOT about Islam. It’s about POLITICS; the FBI; entrapment.
Part Two : The Q and A – with a partial transcription for 14 questions and answers. (Q & A was still going on when I left)
Q and A BEGINS: Man asks – #1- re Entrapment Defense used by the terrorists has not been successful… through the justice department…
Answer – Kundnani: The way the entrapment defense is supposed to work, you begin saying the actions that you are accused of would not have occurred were it not for the government’s intervention. you, also, have to prove you did not have a predisposition to commit those acts BEFORE the government intervened. So far, No ONE has successfully won an entrapment defense in any of these Federal Terrorist related cases, BECAUSE it is very hard for the defendants to say they did NOT have a ‘predisposition’. That’s because the Prosecution brings a (so-called) Terrorism EXPERT in to the court who says that because this guy visited these web sites, expressed these opinions, that constitutes a predisposition to be a terrorist. What are those websites and the opinions expressed? Often, radical criticism to U.S. foreign policy OR expressions of belief that should be protected by the First Amendment (of the Constitution). The courts, the system, does not supply sufficient protection from that kind of abuse (of the First Amendment) from taking place.
Kundnani uses this moment to refer to Abdullah -Alim and his arrest for Gun possession. [46:29] Pointing out that THIS is NOT considered a TERRORISM related case. He doesn’t get to make his entrapment argument at all. The jury hears nothing about the FBI. Straight court-case. Guy stopped on street. Possession of a gun.
Kundnani CLAIMS this to be a sufficient protection from that kind of abuse (of the First Amendment) from taking place.
Kundnani uses this moment to refer to Abdullah -Alim and his arrest for Gun possession. [46:29] Pointing out that THIS is NOT considered a TERRORISM related case. He doesn’t get to make his entrapment argument at all. The jury hears nothing about the FBI. Straight court-case. Guy stopped on street. Possession of a gun.
Kundnani CLAIMS this to be a situation where THE COURTS are NOT providing PROTECTION to people who are being abused (so he claims) in this way (by the FBI)
Question # 2 – Is more about suggestion how potential informants might protect themselves BEFORE they agree to be an informant, This guy suggests that you PUBLISH in a magazine (for about $20) that the FBI approached you [47:15]
Kundnani replies: He thinks this is beyond most peoples means. That it seems a bit dramatic. Mosques are aware that they are targets for the FBI. So sadly, they are no longer welcoming to strangers who wish to join the mosque. They are suspicious of potential new members. VERY suspicious of anyone who talks Radical Talk while trying to bring about an entrapment. Mosques are now reporting that they have someone in he congregation who’s talking in an angry, radical way.
He mentions the immigration status of many of these potential informants, who are here ILLEGALLY. Vulnerable to being removed if they find themselves on the wrong end of the Federal Government. People are aware that the FBI can use its powers to TARGET you, it takes a little bit of courage to publish that the FBI is approaching you (for entrapment). He says Abdullah-Alim HAD that courage and he’s now spending 16 years in prison.
Kundnani says the more we can talk about these issues, the more we can overcome the fear and the isolation. To think about strategies.
Kundnani feels it is not possible to be as straight forward as Questioner # 2 was suggesting.[51:34]
Question # 3 [man with accented English] Clearly he agrees with Kundnani’s presentation by how he phrases his statement/question. He states ‘What’s new here?”He refers to government tactics targeting potentially radical groups. He mentions England where two years ago, he says, the government proposed to criminalize ‘free speech’, not just for radicalized groups but, for university.
Question (finally). “Is the biggest threat coming from the government or from the criminalization of being anti-Islamic . The minds seem to be already ‘colonized’ by all that rhetoric that happen in U.S. That happen in Europe. Isn’t it better (??) the police tactics from the government?”
Answer from Kundnani [53:22] (Not sure HOW this answer came out of that question above ) He says that is what he covers in his book.
The history of the FBI- 1940’s- Claiming that what’s different now from the FBI’s abuses under Hoover. Hoover had a program in the late 1950’s to criminalize the LEFT and to criminalize the Civil Rights Movement.
Kundnani says it was UNDERSTOOD at the time, by Hoover and the people that exposed it, as unauthorized criminal activity by the FBI.That’s why it had to be secret.
Exposed in the early 1970’s, recognizing that this secret program was against the Constitution; against the law. With 1990’s legislation in the U.S. the government can now do the same stuff lawfully. Some one can now be convicted not for something they are doing, but for expressing opinions.
Kundnani also says that to write this book, he had access to material that’s not public, but THIS is Open Secrets. ” If you publish an article that says something positive about a terrorist organization, you are effectively providing resources. material support to that organization.” Twenty years ago we’d have understood that activity as First Amendment protected.
Re Change: He feels this is about how we THINK about theses issues in society. We’re not going to bring about change by changing government policies here or by changing how we do counter-terrorism policy coming out of Washington.
What we NEED is a more FUNDAMENTAL change in how we question violence in society. How we THINK about Muslims.
Are we able to recognize Muslims as fellow citizens when they express opinions that we disagree with and not seen as extremism, but seen as just someone else expressing an opinion from us.
That’s the KEY test.
Next Kundnani refers to the questioner’s mentioning of pieces of legislation in Europe that target, not radicals, but what we consider to be radicalization is somewhat nebulous and vague.
Looking at how we use the word extremism in the United States, in relation to Muslims, we don’t use that term just for people who advocate violence, we use it in a much wider way-to talk about people’s choice in clothing.[58:21]
QUESTION #4 – a woman-“Going back to the recent beheadings, now you did say that you were compare the United Kingdom and the U.S. in regard to these kind of practices so I was just ‘looking’ at that. And, also, other than interviewing people who were in the FBI, have you in anyway been involved with the FBI-type work in your career?
Kundnani asks her to clarify what she is asking. (he euphemistically responds) That there seems to be more people coming from Britain involved in that “kind of activity”? Syria- UK – [she mentions the radicalization being worse in UK.] He continues, that for about a decade now the story, the impression, is that there is a bigger problem in the UK compared to the US. (He does not agree) He claims it’s very hard to reach that conclusion based on the actual statistics.
This is Kundnani’s answer (of sorts)
He thinks it’s about the same.Many from UK have gone to Syria (he says) for Humanitarian reasons, medical/nursing, in opposition to the Assad regime.Some join groups supported by US, some have joined ISIS.
NOW he starts talking about the son of a man who is between held in a downtown New York prison [1:02]The Metropolitan Correctional Center on Park Street. A Federal Building where we hold people accused of terrorism (Pre-trial) He’s Egyptian.
Egyptian Security services have wanted him for a long time. He was in prison in Britain for about 10 years without being convicted of a crime, extradited to the U.S. The son has grown up with his father in prison, the victim of a great miscarriage of justice. (HOW does this answer her question??? about beheadings. Seems he’s just making sure to keep his talking points on-the-floor)
QUESTION # 5 (a woman) [1:03] The questions started to get bit more demanding. (Accented English. Hard to understand) re “God of Islam” and madrassas.
Kundnani explains this is not his field- She is slightly argumentative- He responds this is what would be solved by the so-called terrorism experts. Another woman is saying that she asked, what does it mean. Lots of chatter happening at the same time. (He tries to answer the question that is apparently about the madrassa and a phrase that is about the ‘House of Islam”. About how to define the world(the woman keeps talking over him)
He tries to respond again:”These are kind of emotional issues I get once in awhile [1:05;30] I understand we have strong feelings, but…again…this mythology we’re being told that somehow that THEY (she interrupts him again) He responds, “You have to let me try to answer your question.” (she KEEPS talking over him)
He tries again, “We can talk about this ONE ideology called Islam. That everyone follows in the same way. This kind of monolith. Then we are told that these are the kind of beliefs that everyone in this monolith believes. Then you get the version where there are moderates on the one hand and there’s extremists — (and she INTERRUPTS HIM AGAIN) But, he continues —“…eventually we come to the same point, talking percentages. How many are extremists. THIS is the mythology we’re being sold.” [1:07;15] (He insists) This is not HOW people turn into terrorists …. because of religious text. There is absolutely NO evidence for that. (!!)
You’ve been TOLD that because it’s a NICE story to explain to you WHY we’re involved in this thing called the “War on Terror”. The REAL reason: It’s ALL about POLITICS and NOT religious Ideology. (she is still chattering in the background as the audience APPLAUDS him)[1:07;40]
Question #6 (a woman – Devils Advocate) WHY are you blaming the victims? (9-11) We’re not blaming ALL Muslims but, what happened to the Moderate Muslims who need to put their best foot forward and recognize that they do have a certain amount of extremism. (She then mentions the American Japanese in WW 2 who were interred.)
They were not responsible for the actions of Japan but, because they were so vilified (she says) the internment was so we could protect them. We don’t want to see Civil War in our streets the way ISIS is doing it. All we want – WHY are WE the VICTIMS not allowed to have the FBI to protect me…her? WHY are YOU right and I’m wrong?[1:08;55]
Kundnani tries to respond (she keeps talking in the background) First, you said I’m blaming the victims of 9-11. Kundnani insists he is NOT blaming the victims. He says our governments approach to counter-terrorism is misguided. We need to be consistent in our morality here.
If we’re going to condemn 9-11, we also need to condemn the actions of our OWN government when IT kills civilians. If we want to talk about morality, THAT’S moral consistency.
When our own government carries out violence, which could be domestically, we have to condemn that as passionately as we condemn the violence of 9-11. That’s the ONLY way we can condemn 9-11 without HYPOCRISY. (the room becomes a MESS of cross-talking)
(Rising above the vocal mess) He makes the point that the internment of the American Japanese (put in camps to “PROTECT” them) was one of the most Civil Rights (….?) that the US government has done in the last century [1:11;44] (She continues to argue with him and to babble-on til the next question)
Question #7 (a woman) [1:12;09] She feels he would have a much better argument if he said that the vast majority of Muslims are not radicalized, they don’t follow these teachings. But, when you say Islamic teachings never have anything to do with this, quite frankly it’s not believable.
NY Times had an interview, head of Pakistani madrassa system said that the “most important thing for his madrassa students to realize was that the destruction of the West is really the most important thing in Islam.” You can say that he is misinterpreting Islam, but I’m sure he believes that the madrassa system is (…?) Islam for him.
He has a PHD in Islamic Theology. He is exterminating Yizidis and Christians; selling them in to slavery. He is NOT doing that because he is reacting to the actions of the United States. So, I would ask, it’s just not credible to say that Islam never had anything to do with this.
Yes, the West has done wrong-things, but it’s not credible, in my opinion. I’d like to know how you respond to that. (there is a smattering of applause)
Kundnani jumps right back to his meme, not wavering one little bit: Islamic theology is NOT the CAUSE of Terrorism [1:13;26] He says she’s kind of objecting to something he’s not exactly saying (!?)
He takes a broader point with two talking points:
“Extremism causes terrorism. Moderate Islam is a Religion of Peace.”
“This still leaves you,” he says, “with this flawed assumption that ideology causes Political Violence and Terrorism.
Ideology does NOT cause political violence and terrorism.
One does not become a terrorist because he read an Islamist extremist texts. That’s never happened.
Someone watches videos, becomes propagandized, becomes a terrorist. Never happened.
Kundnani gives one example of a woman in London, Choudhury, who is the closet example (he says) that it happened. That’s IT.
The others: It’s Mental Health problems. Looking for a Sense of Adventure. OR Political Injustices. THAT’S what the data tells you.
He says it’s very hard to be objective about this right now. [1:16;09]And THEN he claims that ” the place where you go for OBJECTIVE knowledge is University. It should be. That’s what university is meant to do.”
So-called Terrorism Studies Departments, which have been founded by Federal Government after 9-11 with HUGE sums of money for a PARTICULAR agenda (!) There’s a revolving door between these particular departments. The FBI. The CIA. Various aspects of the National Security system. It’s NOT genuinely independent place.
SO, we have to start to create opportunities for a much more NUANCED, more ACCURATE account of what causes terrorism.
Instead of talking about radicalism, we need to be talking about the political cause (as well as) the way religious language is used,ways of expressing propaganda.
QUESTION #8– A man [1:17;18] He must be a supporter. He begins with ‘Thank you. Thank you for everything.’ This is all about Obama. He voted for him (twice) He asks, “What is his role, in your theories about what’s going on…”
Kundnani’s response: Says he likes the question, because you would think that Obama would be pretty good on the issues.
[1:18;36] Kundnani says, “After that incident, the way the media and the debate plays-out after-the-fact actually set (??) the Obama administration. He’d just been in office a few weeks.”
The conclusion: ‘They’ (the Obama administration) decide that this ‘issue’ of terrorism has the potential to destroy any (?….) debate; to undermine (??) [1:18;57]THEY decide this can’t happen again,to have an issue spiral out-of-control and make it seem to the American people that WE’RE not tough on Terrorism.
Obama does two things(domestically).He gives the FBI Free-Hand. All kinds of Civil Rights and Muslim Community organizations are constantly turning up, saying we have the issues about civil rights not getting any play.
Internationally his strategy is, “We will try to close down Guantanamo”[1:19;38] Kundnani continues, “Which, of course, is the right thing to do.” We’re going to END torture.
In fact, we STILL out-source people who need to be tortured. We don’t do it ourselves any more. We’re going to try to bring those kinds of processes within the judicial system so we can (do it) with some sort of legal veneer.[1:20;04].
Then, still referring to Obama’s policies, he mentions drone-strikes as the (preferred?) kind of killer-act for counter-terrorism. We don’t need to do something like the Iraq War again. We don’t need to do interrogations (we’ve done so many now), we can just do extra–judicial killing. SO, he says, the ASSUMPTION was that the drone-strikes were THE solution.
He then mentions thatObama’s War on Terror Strategy is centered around his weekly Tuesday morning meetings. (Does he attend these/DID he? ) The War on Terror strategy meetings, where the list of potential drone targets keeps growing and growing and with the advise coming from his National Security advisers.
But, Kundnani says, the drone-strikes aren’t really ‘doing it’. It just manufactures more people who were involved in violence. It seemed to be a quick-fix solution. But, it turned out to be worse. [1:21;28] Kundnani continues, “We keep looking for these quick-Fix solutions,which involve inflicting violence on other people””
(A woman mentions Bin Laden) Kundnani he responds: It seems like we are making progress on the War on Terror. Yet, we have another round of (…..) which resembles what we were getting in 2003.
The evening Bin-Laden was killed- Peter Berg CNN’s Terrorism (guy) [1:22;10] said THIS is the END of the War on Terror (2011) It’s a decade. We’re DONE. (If only, says Kundnani) But, next morning, Hillary Clinton steps up and says the War on Terror continues. Lunch Time, the next day, Berg (back tracks). He is back on and says, the War on Terror is NOT over.
Kundnani says, the government did not use this opportunity to draw a line and think about these issues in a NEW way. They made a strategic error by saying “more of the same’ and the message from CNN becomes just a sort of ‘mouth-piece’ for the government.
(Finishing his response to the woman) Yes, we ‘got them out’, but it doesn’t feel like actually representing a ‘kind-of’ progress in retrospect now (The woman speaks, saying , “If we had not, we don’t know what it would be like now) Kundnani feels it would be pretty much the same place.[1:23;45]
QUESTION #9 A man – [1:23;53]“Thank you for a very interesting presentation. (his question) Even if your more ‘nuanced’ approach is the better one, once any massive terrorist attack occurs, wouldn’t any administration in power at the time be blamed for letting it happen.”
Kundnani’s response: Yes. (the man interrupts- every administration is afraid ) Yes, but, if you don’t have a serious attack, no one’s going to give you any credit for it. Now, any president, is just thinking about SELF-interest (wow – what a broad statement of ‘fact’: any and ALL presidents?) and that, he says, would a a TOUGH approach.
[1:25;30] He feels public opinion in the Fight Against Terrorism should we trade Civil Liberties for (greater ?) Powers for the Government. Ten years later (after people said ‘yes’) now people are saying, we should Keep our Civil Liberties.
It’s not just about the incident of a Terrorist attack, it’s about how we communicate about that terrorist attack in the aftermath. For example, the Boston Marathon bombing. It didn’t produce any really significant changes in counter terrorism ( …?) The reason: We’d been told for decades to expect something like that, if not worse. And when it hap pened, people were outraged, but they weren’t surprised or shocked. It didn’t generate the same kind of dynamic as the Post 9-11. (man interjects) But very few people were really killed. And you had thousands (Kundnani interrupts him) But, terrorism is about terror, not just about the number of people killed so … look at the beheadings videos, where again, the number of people being killed is not the same as 9-11, but it’s generated a whole lot of fear… in the United States… The man says, “But, people were killed—“Kundnani takes the next question.
Question #10 – a woman (accented English-Chinese) [1:27;08] This is just my observation. I agree with you. You do something wrong… you the minority must justify… The strategy…to wipe out the rich people. The so-called rich people. Or the intellectuals. I don’t follow you very well, I feel like there is similarity. When I grew up in China. I didn’t feel brain-washed. I was not active in politics. But, since I came to America, I find, I feel like brainwashing is universal. Not just in China. Right now we have so much brainwash. In America. I feel there is so much misunderstanding.
Your presentation, I think there is some truth, it’s not about… it’s like the Chinese Falun Gong. Americans have convince themselves we’re a religion, we’re not politics. Its totally politics. The Chinese, you have to understand the culture and I know Chinese culture so well, to know that Falun Gong is not a religion, it’s politics. So I really appreciate your point. (healthy applause)
Kundnani’s response [1:29;20] Thank you. All I can say is, an ideology is most affective when you don’t realize it’s an ideology. So in a society like the Soviet Union, or China, it’s obvious that it’s the State propaganda. We’re not a Totalitarian Society which makes the ideologies we (Americans? The West?) have less obvious. In a way, it makes them all the more pernicious. An interesting comparison. Thank you.
Question #11- a Muslim man [1:29;55]I’m a Muslim and my family has been Muslim since the Time of the Prophets. (lots that he said was garbled) I’m a Muslim. But, I am Arabic. So, my experience with Western Foreign Policy is quite different from a Muslim who is Palestinian. A Muslim who is Pakistani. He mentions Sharia. [1:30;31] (He is difficult to understand)[1:30;51] He says we have to understand Muslim Community. State Religion. Every major (..?) is in Arabic. Our Religious beliefs are the same. Our Cultures are quite different. (hard to understand again) To combat Terrorism we have to go back to his culture, hi people who are committing this act. Ask WHY. Being Muslims (..?) (applause)
Kundnani [1:31;50] Thank you. The way you are talking about culture there, has some problems for me. “It’s not the religion that cause the violence, but it’s the CULTURE.” (the man interjects) It’s your cultural ‘experience’. Perhaps I can be a bit more precise about it. (but he isn’t) If you’re talking about POLITICAL context where you have bombings….for me I’d describe that as a POLITICAL experience, NOT a Cultural Experience. (of course he would)
The reason I make that distinction... in order to defend against prejudice against Islam we create NEW prejudices against particular ethnic groups. We say Arabs because of their Cultural History become terrorists. Kundnani says he is personally uncomfortable with the idea that we would be saying they became terrorists because of their ethnicity (examples: Pakistanis or West Africans)
He ends with an obscure conclusion—When talking about different POLITICAL differences, you’re absolutely right the political experience is hugely different. Different scenarios.
Question #12 – a man– [1:33;38] Thanks for speaking and putting up with us for so long. You’ve been talking about how a person’s political context and their political experience can lead them to make a certain set of decisions. In the context of Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda, as far as my knowledge of their history goes, the kind of justification for the actions he had stemmed originally from the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia. And I guess you can keep going back and forth with the U.S. military reacted this to this thing because another group did this thing… and you can get back to the 60’s and Said Qu’tab and all these people…and you go back and forth…
So, how to you, kind of, make the distinctions that you are making that would stop the discussion from devolving into “He Said this/She Said this” or this came first…I think some of the comments that were happening earlier in this discussion: The FBI does this thing because Muslims or Arabs (whatever) have done this thing, but the counter-argument might go: The Arabs are acting this way because the U.S. government does this thing. And it could just go on and on forever.
Kundnani responds[1:34;49] (had difficulty transcribing some of this response) Right. And that’s the cycle we’re in. That’s my whole point. We’re doing this to you because you did this to us earlier. That’s precisely the cycle we need to break. I would hope that (the society?) in the United States will be much better at breaking that cycle than our enemies. We should be the reasonable ones with a strategy to break that cycle, much more effectively.
There’s always going to be the Bin Ladens who have an ideology that they use to legitimize their violence. (Their God?[1:35;36] Did he say that?) But, what we can do is to intervene to actually make their benevolent support for those people much reduced. (that’s about change…?)
Right now, for me, thinking about the situation with ISIS, we need to radically rethink our whole alliance with Saudi Arabia. Probably Turkey as well. Thinking along those lines is the key to breaking these cycles.
We’ve turned a blind-eye to Saudi Arabia and the official and semi-official funding that it provides for armed groups in the Middle East; for decades. We have assumed that we NEED Saudi Arabia to be our ‘friends’ , to supply cheap oil into our economy and to keep buying our weapons. The REALITY is we DON’T need to do that.
We actually get most of our oil from Canada so we can radically change our whole relationship with Saudi Arabia and as a result see that horribly unDemocratic regime over thrown once we withdraw our support (…??)
[1:36;53] Right now the people who are most affected by the United States are the Kurds. (… ) We’re never going to allow them to do very much because we have to hold on to Turkey as our ally.
We don’t want the Kurds to become more influential in the region. (…) If we’re serious, the United States, we should be doing something very different in terms of our relationship with Turkey. (…) …our political thinking around the whole foreign policy towards the region… in a situation where we have genuine grass-roots movements in the Middle East OR real democratic societies where the people in the region get to shape the direction their societies take…That’s the best way to prevent Terrorism in the end.
[1:38;08] How do we get there? We stop (…?) regimes in the region. Which no one talks about. Why don’t we do that … We don’t want a genuine democracy in Egypt. If that happened, then the Egyptian people might choose not to be an ally of the United States anymore. These kind of questions (…?) how do we break that cycle and create a more peaceful Middle East.
Question #13- a man (1:38;55) What is your take on the Assad regime. Why it is that we did absolutely nothing to fight ISIS, even though ISIS destroyed four Divisions of Iraqi Troops ( …) Why we did nothing to rid this country (of ISIS)
Kundnani’s Response [1:39;28] Yes, the Syrian Regime. Mass Human Rights Abuses the last few years, and going back much further to his father, killing whole civilian populations an entire towns. I would be delighted to see that regime over-thrown. He feels the end of that regime will be part of how we bring about the end of ISIS. [1:40;02]
The reason the regime … [noise on mic for about 40 seconds as I prepare to leave. Obscuring words] (sorry) The regime, how stupid ?… the perception that ISIS is the ONLY problem in Syria. The regime would be much ‘happier’ believing, convincing the world that he’s involved in a conflict (where he’s faced with this ??… ISIS… rather thinking these groups that are involved with …? Syrian regime. (?….?) [1:40;42]
From TSM:As I finish transcribing the Q and A, there has been ANOTHER ISIS BEHEADING. Sunday, November 16, 2014. “Abdul-Rahman” Kassig aka Peter Kassig. He converted (‘reverted’) to Islam. It didn’t save him. He had fought in Iraq in the U.S. military, and so for the Islamic State he was a “Crusader” and had to die. His grusome murder is part of a 16 minute video sent to the Social Networks. Kassig was murdered as part of a MASS beheading that included about a dozen Syrian soldiers.
Continuing with Kundnani’s comments regarding Syria and ISIS. ” So,that’s why the Assad Regime has been buying oil ISIS …? To the extent that … strategy…2003…don’t wind up with…in some way the hypocrisy of the last two years… Assad regime in the one hand…. on the other hand, the opposition… ? [wish I had gotten this statement…. I had now left the room and had mic noise interference-again)
Question #14 – man- (I was in the hallway) – Began by thanking Kundnani for giving people this platform; to sit down and listen to you. “I’m a Muslim, a convert to Islam (8 years back) I’m from India. My parents are still Hindu..”
END audio [1:42;19;00]
++ The Q and A was still going on after an hour. I quickly took a couple of cell-phone pics as I left the room. This is the best angle I could get of the clean-cut, ‘NYPL Dr.Kundnani’ vs the academic radical I found on-line.
Later, I found pictures of a completely different ‘look’ from Dr. Kundnani Seems this is his ‘rebel’ Kundnani, speaking to the Muslim student orgs. Since beheadings are IN THE NEWS. I wold love to see Dr. Kundnani encourage a dialogue that would focus on this question,
“The Muslims are Coming:”Islamophobia, Extremism and the Domestic ‘War on Terror”.
On the evening of October 16, 2014, Dr. Arun Kundnani, the author, defended Islam from the accusation that it could in be, in any way, responsible for terrorism. This included a Q and A discussion (which can be found in a second blog-post)
Dr. Kundnani is an Adjunct Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and terrorism studies teacher at John Jay College.
“Based on several years of research and reportage from Texas and New York to Yorkshire, the New York based scholar tackles the growing Islamophobia in Britain and the United States.
(In the book)”Kundnani gives a critique of counter-radicalization strategies, focusing particularly on the surveillance of American Muslims and exposes the hypocrisy of the states fighting terror and their misguided attempts to stem the tide of radicalisation.”
Part One is the author’s presentation. Length of lecture was 45 minutes [approx] Part Two – Q and A was one hour [approx.]
From The Silent Majority (TSM) :I transcribed the lecture as best I could. There were occasional spots where I couldn’t catch a word or phrase. I have indicated this with (??… ??)
The librarian, NOT surprisingly, began with a reference to RACHEL MADDOW. Validating how important and timely this topic of Islamophobia has been made by a current program of Maddow’s.
From the intro to Kudnani’s book, The Muslims Are Coming, “Government is no longer imagining the threat (?) foreign terrorist sleepers living among ordinary American Muslims; now that the radicalization of ordinary Muslims themselves (??) ”
In support of this statement she refers to a Rachel Maddow podcast (MSNBC political talk show host) Regarding Maddow, ” Two weeks previous to this event, Maddow referenced a story where the FBI distributed a photo to the public of a mass terrorist, American- native born”. She feels this shows how the FBI tells us we should now FEAR ordinary Americans.
Referring to the reviews of the “Muslims are Coming” (on Islamophobia and the domestic War on Terror) the claim is made that the book is, “the most comprehensive study yet on how governments fight Terrorism on both sides of the Atlantic.” He took several years to research this book. He interviewed FBI agents working on counter-terrorism and .. ?? (1:58)
Dr. Kundnani teaches terrorism studies at John Jay college. He also wrote a book on The End of Tolerance: Racism in the 21st Century.KundnaniBEGINS:
He said that he actually did some of the research for this book “here in this very building“. He briefly explains the motivation for the book.
“The debate on ? … ?? from the time Obama was elected, beginning of his first term, the debate about terrorism in the United States was starting to look very different from how it did in the “Bush Years”. The “Bush Years’- very dramatic. highly critical debate. people talking about the Iraq war. torture. Abu Ghraib.
Under Obama: EVERYTHING WENT QUIET. at least for the first term. (He claims what happened) was that Obama normalized the War on Terror. (even if he wasn’t using that phrase any more) [4:25]
He suspected that the way we were doing Domestic Counter Terrorism in the United States was FLAWED; even discriminatory. Many of the assumptions being made in how we understand terrorism and what causes it, were misguided.
2010. Dr. Kundnanitraveled the U.S. New York. Minnesota. Michigan. Texas. Virginia. Wash, DC.
Interviewed FBI agents working on counter terrorism with local police departments. Security Officials. Homeland Security. National Security Council in the White House. His goal: to get a sense of HOW they understood this counter-terrorism work that they were doing. The thinking behind it.
He also had interviews with COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS in Muslim Communities around the U.S. AND he interviewed a small number of people who actually were being accused and labeled as Islamic extremists. (to try to get an understanding of their stories as well) He spent a year doing this.
Kundnanitraveled England doing similar interviews over there.(5:51) Book is mainly about U.S. This evening he was going to give us three personal stories that he wrote about. To give us a feel for the issues he wants us to think about. (one of the stories -#2- is not in the book)
First story (6:29) Jesse Curtis Morton – Interviewed 2011, shortly before he was arrested.Younus Abdullah Muhammad, aka Jesse Curtis Morton– (NY Daily News-June 22, 2012) A Muslim convert from Brooklyn was sentenced Friday to nearly 12 years in prison for posting online threats against the creators of the “South Park” television show and others he deemed enemies of Islam.
Morton’s siteinspired a variety of would-be jihadis, including “Jihad Jane” Colleen LaRose; Antonio Benjamin Martinez, who plotted to bomb a military recruiting station; and Jose Pimental, who plotted to assassinate members of the U.S. military returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. He also corresponded with American al-Qaida member Samir Khan on writing an article for use as al-Qaida propaganda.
Morton’sprosecution was relatively novel under a law enacted in recent years that makes it a federal crime to use the Internet to place another person in fear of death or serious injury. Morton was arrested last year in Morocco, where he moved after Chesser’s arrest.
Morton and Zachary Chesser used the Revolution Muslim website to deliver thinly veiled threats against the creators of the “South Park” television show for perceived insults to the prophet Muhammad, by depicting him in a bear costume. (Chesser earlier received a 25-year sentence, but he also tried to travel to Somalia to join the al-Shabab terrorist group.)
Typically, Morton was well educated. He had a Masters Degree from Columbia. Reverts to Islam. Credits Islam for saving him from drug addiction. Becomes a drug abuse Councilor.
Spends time in Saudi Arabia where he encounters the same materialism that alienated him from US society. American commercialism was being imposed around the world. He wants to save the world from Western Capitalism. Revolutionary, anti-Globalist politics version of Islam; a religious conservatism.
His point made: This is very different from how most American Muslims think about religion.
(Morton)Claims they were not directly trying to incite violence but then they quoted Bin-Laden: “If there is no check in the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions.”
QUESTION from author, Dr. Kundnani – What led him (Morton) to this radical form of Islam? Was it his abusive upbringing that produced his rage that was projected on to American Society as a whole? Was it to escape his drug addiction? A religious longing for a utopia where his life’s struggles could be redeemed?
Why did his ideological journey take the particular form that it did? The author’s attempt at an answer leads to the War on Terror and BUSH. Kundnani posits that Abdullah Morton’s own belief’s mirrored the War on Terror’s (fascist ??) civilization.
Did Morton accept on ‘face value’ the BUSH administration’s official narrative [12 :37] that Radical Islam is an existential threat to an American Society that he has come to despise. He gets his labels of Good and Evil from the Official War on Terror.
[FromThe Silent Majority: I have pictures on-file from 2008, when I captured the “Death to all Juice” poster in the hands of Carlos Almonte, the NJ Jihadi, who was convicted and sent to prison. Revolution Muslim (the organization) was there, at the same protest.]Continuing with Dr. Kundnani. He jumps (with no real conclusion) EXAMPLE, #2, which is not in the book. From Nation Magazine. [13:00]
An example of the FBI setting up a Muslim, with threats, to be an FBI Informant. Spying on fellow Muslims. Ayyub Abdul-Alim from Springfield, Mass. 36 years old. He founded and ran the Quran and Sunnah Community Center that provided a meal service in Springfield and helped with prison visitations.Abdul-Alim grew up in NYC. His father was a Black Panther, his mother a Puerto Rican Young Lord radical. He was raised as a Muslim. After he went to SAUDI ARABIA on a “three-week religious trip to Mecca”, Abdul-Alim got repeated visits from the FBI, pressuring him to be an informant (which he refused.)
He wound up marrying a woman who, unbeknownst to him, turned out to be an FBI informant. [she was supposedly paid almost 12,000 by the FBI)
Abdul-Alim claims that when he was arrested on Dec. 9, 2011, the police placed a gun on him. This was then followed by a visit from the FBI. Pressured again to be an informant so he can avoid a possible 10 years in prison on trumped up charges. He chose to go to trial.
At his trial-Ayyub cleaned up “real good”His trial was April of 2014. “… In the post-9/11 era to recruit Muslim informants… He sought justice through the legal system and, as with every other post-9/11 case in which a Muslim in the United States has mounted an entrapment defense, was unsuccessful.“
A black man with previous conviction (a 2003 conviction for cocaine trafficking) he was convicted again.This time he was found guilty of “possession of ammunition without a license and possession of a firearm without a license.” 6 years. Police also say they found another bag of guns that are his and could add 10 years to his sentence.
Kundnani says THIS is an example of the FBI tactics used to recruit informants. The implication being that Abdul-Alim was framed. (17:14)
THIRD Story.Black Muslim from Detroit. [17:21]Abdullah Luqman (also listed as Imam Luqman Abdullah) A revert to Islam in the 1980’s was “murdered” by the FBI inOctober 2009. FBI characterized his group as “radicalized Sunni, Black Americans, looking to create a separate Islamic State, within the borders of the United States, governed by sharia law.”
Sympathized with al-Qaeda, viewed the US government as an oppressive government, and the Imam called on his followers to organize a protest against it. Members of Abdullah-Luqman’s mosque also carried guns.Question asked byKundnani, were they just small-time hustlers who were set-up by the FBI, who infiltrated the mosque and entrapped the Imam in a warehouse sting.As he concludes his presentation,Kundnani’s claim that these cases are textbook examples of the taunting of people, not for their actions, but for their ideology, with agents and informants acting as provocateurs.
The FBI provides the plans for the alleged terrorist plot, but also the means and opportunity. Supplying money and weapons, the accused would not have had the capability to carry out the plot. The FBI was able to manipulate vulnerable people.
Supposedly, WE (the FBI, etc) were actually fantasizing in to existence the very threat of Domestic Terrorism that we claimed to be fighting.
“The ONLY rationalizing in this case is the FBI’s OWN.”
“On both sides of the Atlantic, so-called terrorism experts,with theories of radicalization, claim to be able to identify those who may not be terrorists now, but will be at some later date.” (23:23)
Kundnani ASKS,”How do you identify tomorrow’s terrorist, today?”
He mentions Spielberg’s futurist film”The Minority Report“, using the film as an allegory to debunk counter-terrorism within the United States right now.
He says of our own Security Officials, “They turn to Academic Mortals that claim scientific knowledge of a process by which ordinary Muslims are supposed to become terrorists. They CLAIM certain behavioral, cultural and ideological signals can reveal who is at risk to become a terrorist at some point in the future.”
They claim there are 4 stages on the way to becoming a terrorist:
1: Pre-radicalization 2. Identification (growing a beard, wearing Islamic clothing, alienated from one’s former life) 3. Indoctrination (increased activity in a pro-Muslim group) 4. Action
Claiming that some form of religious ideology is the root-cause of terrorism.
“In the last decade the government has spent MILLIONS of dollars TRYING to prove that there is some form of connection between religious ideology and terrorist violence.“
Kundnani claims that “when studied rigorously“, as he has tried to do in his book “The Muslims are Coming”,“these assumptions don’t actually stand up to scrutiny.” (he mentions again the film “The Minority Report”)
2008 the FBI had 15,000 paid informants. But, even though he admits he does not know how many were from the Muslim Community, he makes the claim that he finds it reasonable to assume there must have been at least 10,000 PAID informants of those 15,000 from the Muslim Community.
Their job, he says, was “to look for ‘warning’ signs of radicalization, not ‘suspected’ criminal activity.”
Mentioning, also, what he says is the “NYPD surveillance of every aspect of Muslim Life: mosques, restaurants, cafes and Muslim Student organizations; identified by the NYPD as ‘hot-spots’ NOT because there is any evidence of criminal activity, but based on their religious OPINIONS or expressing political opinions.”
[NYPD THOUGHT Police-actions] where under-cover officers take NOTES on what people are talking about) From 2008-2012 NO criminal actions was revealed. [28:16]
“Lost in the debate about having an informant in the (Muslim) community, is that this is way more pernicious in under-mining relationships of trust.
As government officials and the ‘so-called’ terrorist experts have repeatedly invoked this concept of radicalization, has become part of our everyday language. This had led to the situation where there is a wide-spread assumption now that the root-cause of terrorism lies in some kind of Islamic ideology.
Actually, this is NOT a particularly plausible way of thinking about TERRORISM…..we have this (?) reflex that links terrorism to Islamic belief. The evidence to support this is (surprisingly ?) weak.”
“Having a belief in (let’s call it) extremist Islam, or however you want to define that, does not correlate with involvement with terrorism” . “A simple STATISTICAL fact”.
“The many good reasons for objecting to reactionary interpretations of ‘religion’, but the idea that religious ideology (??) is causing terrorism, is not one of them. (30:00)
We see these ‘errors’ being made now in how we understand ISIS…we’ve totally misunderstood what’s led to its emergence…we’d like to think that there’ s something called Islamic extremism which can be used to explain everything bad that Muslims do.”
Kundnani continues, “The ‘reality’ is that it’s POLITICS not religious ideology that drives terrorist violence.
ISIS is the product not of religion but, POLITICAL decisions made by our allies, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and by our own government. It’s a product of a legacy that we’ve created in (Iraq?…??) [30:47] shows how deeply we’ve held on to this myth, Islamic extremism. How quickly we’ve forgotten the lessons of the last Iraq War.”
[TSM- Bill Maher and his argument with Ben Affleck was mentioned next]
“Bill Maher has this problem about Islam causing terrorism. Ben Affleck said that’s racist.”Kundnani says, “This is a debate that has been playing out since at least 9-11.“.
Someone says, “Islam is a Religion of Peace, it’s not inherently violent. You have this minority who misinterpreted Islam in an extremist fashion.”
Kundnani says, “This is a standard argument. Each side trades quotations from the Quran, out of context, which doesn’t really solve anything. We can ALL trade quotes from the Quran.”
The real meaning of this debate is not actually what each side says, but this hidden assumption that Islamic ideology is the KEY to understanding WHY terrorism happens“[32:25]
The argument Kundnani makes in the book, “The Muslims are Coming”, is that “Islamic ideology is largely irrelevant in trying to understand the causes of terrorism.
What we consider to be commonsense, is what we’ve been ‘told’ to believe by people we consider to be ‘authorities’ in this area. To systematically associate Islamic belief with terrorism, in this way, leads…to Islamophobia!” [32:57] A form of structural racism directed at Muslims.”
He now tells us more about his research for the book. About a town in Texas and a mosque. He tells us that he was in a restaurant in this town and that there was poster of a famous photograph of a lynching. He claims that instead of a black face, there was now a stereo-typical face of an Arab, with the caption, “Let’s play cowboys and Arabians.”
Showing how such a poster connects a long history of racism in the United States (a reworking of racism) to Islamophobia (and the genocide of indigenous peoples in America and a reference to Jim Crown segregation-lynching.)
It’s also analogous to anti-Semitism . He mentions late 19th c Jewish conspiracy theories. Jews were turned in to sub-humans and yet at the same time, super-powerful people.
He claims this is the same structure we have now with Islamophobia; conspiracy theories and secret Muslims controlling the world and Sharia Law in the White House.
“This is NOT to imply to criticize Islamic Belief, it is somehow ‘racist’.
[36:47] “What it means is that WE need to pay attention to opposing the kind of social and political processes by which Islamophobia is acted out in violent attacks on the street which we’ve seen increasing in the last few years in the U.S.“[37:03]
All institutionalized in government profiling. Civil rights abuses.
[37:14] Looking at the official way that terrorism is understood, leads us to the role of government in foreign policy, fostering political context. This idea that we can blame terrorism on Islamic belief is convenient, it allows us to talk about religion and NOT politics, including the politics of our own government.
[37:40] Some terrorists may use religion to articulate their particular propaganda, but (he insists) it’s POLITICS that is the underlying cause (of terrorism)
EXAMPLE: Hamas uses religious language to legitimize its violence. Uses religious language to legitimize its cease-fires. (he insists) that this indicates (somehow) that it is NOT the religion that drives them to use violence, What’s driving its decisions is (Hamas’) assessment of the political context (Israeli ‘occupation) [38:16]
Claims THIS is consistent with the WHOLE history of terrorism of the last 150-200 years. Terrorism is DRIVEN by political content.
Example – assassins of the late 19th c- ‘working class movement‘ – takes over Paris – 10’s of thousands killed by the army – some of survivors say it is legitimate for us to use dynamite. Context creates that decision.
NEXT example– British- Catholics-Irish- violent conflict that unfolds for decades
SOUTH AFRICA- students protesting that their classes have to be taught in Afrikaans. Not their language. Students shot by the apartheid state. African National Congress resorts to bombs in retaliation. He claims this is a pattern that repeats itself.
Kundnani jumps to 2003 to 2006 (2009)a dramatic surge in terrorism. It is the process that we need to understand.
Their ideology hasn’t change from moderate to extremist Islam. What’s changed is being exposed to the NEWS of 100’s of thousands of people dying. We are in a cycle of violence. BUT, we ONLY see the violence of OTHERS.
Quotes Brendan Behan (to paraphrase) the guy with the big bomb is the government ( little bomb – the terrorist). He claims, that Government violence is always seen as normal, necessary, rational. [42:19]
In actual fact, both forms of violence FEED each other in this cycle of war and murder. Words. Terrorism. Extremism. Radicalization. encourage us to seek only half an evaluation.
[42:39]He now claims to quote Dr Martin Luther King (1967) King said as he spoke to the angry young men across the country about a non-violent approach to protesting American racism, he felt like a hypocrite.
He could never raise his voice against the violence and oppressed in the ghettos, without speaking clearly against the greatest purveyor of violence IN THE WORLD, “my OWN government”. (Kundnani refers here to the Viet Nam war)
Kundnani’s conclusion: Violence is NOT just about the Angry Young Men, it’s about the Governments. They both feed each other.
That point is as valid today as it was then in the War Against Terror. Ground strikes, bombings and the way we entrap people within the United States itself, and put them in prison for decades, for the opinions they hold. [End of presentation 44:01]
End Part One – The Presentation ++ The next post :Part Two is The Q and A. The audience now had a chance to ask questions of Dr. Kundnani. Some even dared to ask him for comments regarding the recent beheadings .
TSM asks: Is it ‘Islamophobic’ to oppose ‘beheadings”??