The cannibal Reza Aslan has somewhat faded from the public eye since he was fired by CNN for prematurely revealing that they’re a propaganda ministry, not a news outlet. He also recently exhorted readers in his last book to take the advice of the oldest and most celebrated self-improvement coach, Satan: “Take a lesson from Adam and Eve and eat the forbidden fruit. Do not fear God. You are God.” Now, says LA Weekly, “he’s an E.P. on a new Chuck Lorre CBS comedy called The United States of Al, which aims to ‘de-exotify’ a Muslim character for a mainstream audience.”
Aslan has wanted to do this for a long time. “I’m waiting for a Muslim ‘All in the Family,’” he said in 2016. “Muslims are never going to feel like a part of the American family until people start to make fun of them on TV. That’s how minds have always been changed in this country.” Really? After all, we all know how much Muslims love being made fun of. And can Reza Aslan give us a single other example of a group that started “to feel like a part of the American family” when people started “to make fun of them on TV”?
This is just another spurious claim of Muslim victimhood from someone who has made a tidy living in the Muslims-Are-Victims industry, Reza Aslan. And it is more muddled thinking from a spectacularly muddled thinker. Which marginalized group began to “feel like a part of the American family” because they were made fun of on “All in the Family”? Right-wing racist bigots? Polish hippies who were dubbed “Meathead” by their fathers-in-law?
Aslan here probably meant not “All in the Family,” but something like “The Cosby Show,” which has been invoked before in the same way (before the spectacular fall of Cosby): Katie Couric said a few years ago that we needed a Muslim “Cosby Show,” i.e., a TV show that shows Muslims as just ordinary folks, and this will supposedly melt away the alleged prejudice that Americans have toward them.
The fallacy of that reasoning lies in the fact that when “The Cosby Show” aired, there were no international black terror groups mounting terror attacks in the U.S. and around the world, and boasting of their imminent conquest of the U.S. The suspicion that Americans have of Islam comes from jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, not from racism and bigotry, and Americans know this distinction, despite the best efforts of people like Reza Aslan to obscure it and make people feel guilty for opposing jihad terror. Some slick TV show depicting funny, warm, attractive, cuddly Muslims would not end jihad terror, or blunt concern about it — it would only serve to further the idea that resisting jihad violence is somehow “bigoted.”
This shouldn’t come as any surprise to those who are familiar with Aslan’s rancid public career. That this sinister jihad enabler was ever given a mainstream platform is a dispiriting sign of the times. His show on CNN was devoted to showing other religions as violent and hateful, and Islam as benign and peaceful. Also, Aslan is a Board member of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). NIAC has been established in court as a lobbying group for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Said Michael Rubin:
Jamal Abdi, NIAC’s policy director, now appears to push aside any pretense that NIAC is something other than Iran’s lobby. Speaking at the forthcoming “Expose AIPAC” conference, Abdi is featured on the “Training: Constituent Lobbying for Iran” panel. Oops.
Iranian freedom activist Hassan Daioleslam “documented over a two-year period that NIAC is a front group lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime.” NIAC had to pay him nearly $200,000 in legal fees after they sued him for defamation over his accusation that they were a front group for the mullahs, and lost. Yet Aslan remains on their Board.
Meanwhile, despite his increasingly obvious Islamic heterodoxy, Aslan remains popular with Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in the U.S.: he has also spoken at events sponsored by the Muslim Students Association, a Brotherhood group, as well as at an event co-sponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Doubtless they recognize that he shares their overall agenda.
Not surprisingly, after a trip to Israel he lied about being threatened by Shin Bet.
Aslan is as stupid as he is evil. It’s also worth noting that despite being hailed as a great intellect, Aslan isn’t actually very bright. He is, in fact, a borderline imbecile who frequently states howlingly false errors of fact, but is never called out for them by his friends in the establishment media. He has made the ridiculous claim that the idea of resurrection “simply doesn’t exist in Judaism,” despite numerous passages to the contrary in the Hebrew scriptures. He has also referred to “the reincarnation, which Christianity talks about” — although he later claimed that one was a “typo.” In yet another howler he later insisted was a “typo,” he claimed that the Biblical story of Noah was barely four verses long — which he then corrected to forty, but that was wrong again, as it is 89 verses long. Aslan claimed that the “founding philosophy of the Jesuits” was “the preferential option for the poor,” when in reality, that phrase wasn’t even coined until 1968. He called Turkey the second-most populous Muslim country, when it is actually the eighth-most populous Muslim country. He thinks Pope Pius XI, who issued the anti-fascist encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, was a fascist. He thinks Marx and Freud “gave birth to the Enlightenment,” when it ended in the late 18th century, before either of them were born. He claims that “the very first thing that Muhammad did was outlaw slavery,” when in fact Muhammad bought slaves, took female captives as sex slaves, and owned slaves until his death. He thinks Ethiopia and Eritrea are in Central Africa.
A “renowned religious scholar” such as Reza Aslan should not make such elementary mistakes. But this is, of course, the man who writes “than” for “then”; apparently thinks the Latin word “et” is an abbreviation and writes “clown’s” for “clowns.” And now he is going to lower the guard of Americans on jihad terror by presenting funny Muslims on a TV show. This should go wonderfully.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.