The Hypocrisy of Ibrahim Hooper and CAIR’s 'Islamophobic List'
Editor's Note: This is Part VI of an ongoing series by Robert Spencer highlighting human rights hypocrisy and fraudulent peace activists. For Part I see "The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam," for Part II see "The Hypocrisy of the Fatwa Against Terrorism," for Part III see "The Hypocrisy of the Feminist Response to Islam’s Oppression of Women," for Part IV see "The Hypocrisy of the Western Christian Response to Muslim Persecution of Christians," and for Part V see last week's "The Hypocrisy of the Leftist Response to Ariel Sharon’s Death."
Ibrahim “Honest Ibe” Hooper of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last week sent out a crafty and deceptive op-ed as a “service,” and of course our lazy, clueless and compromised mainstream media was happy to oblige him by publishing it. The op-ed, “Islamophobic ‘List’ Used to Justify Suspicion of Muslims,” seems to have been a response to Pamela Geller’s recent exhaustive summary at Breitbart of Islamic jihad and supremacist activity in America in 2013. In response, Hooper offered not honesty and reform, but disingenuousness and deception.
Hooper claimed that,
one of the bigoted themes often promoted by the growing cottage industry of Muslim-bashers is that the increasing level of Islamophobia online and in the public arena is merely a legitimate response to the violent actions of Muslims worldwide.
He thus reveals the dishonesty at the heart of the entire “Islamophobia” initiative: Islamic supremacists and leftists use the term to refer both to analyses of how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism (e.g., what my colleagues and I do) and also to attacks on innocent Muslims (which neither I nor my colleague nor any decent person favors).
The objective is to make Americans think that any criticism of Islamic texts that jihadis use to incite violence worldwide threatens and endangers Muslims at home who don’t approve of that violence in the first place. Then by saying that “Muslim-bashers” claim that “Islamophobia” is a “legitimate response to the violent actions of Muslims worldwide,” Hooper is implying that those who decry violence and terror committed by Muslims in the name of Islam approve of violence against innocent, peaceful Muslims, as if to say, they had it coming.
Hooper cannily designs all this to obscure the real point: that people are suspicious of Islam because of jihad terror attacks -- but not just because of them, but also because of the endless mau-mauing, intimidating, opposition to counter-terror efforts, claiming of victim status, faked hate crimes, smear campaigns against foes of jihad terror, and all the other things that make people suspicious of Hamas-linked CAIR and other Muslim organizations in the U.S.
No genuine attack on any innocent person, Muslim or otherwise, is ever justified. If Hamas-linked CAIR really wants to stop such attacks, it could do so by working sincerely to end the suspicions people have of Islam and Muslims -- not with disingenuous “outreach” sessions designed to dispel “misconceptions” about Islam (i.e., spread more misconceptions about Islam, fool people into thinking it is a “Religion of Peace,” etc.), but by honestly working within Muslim communities and with law enforcement to root out jihadis and teach against the understanding of Islam that creates jihadis. Instead, Hamas-linked CAIR has opposed virtually every counter-terror measure that has ever been proposed, and one of its California chapters distributed a poster reading “Don’t talk to the FBI.”
You might wonder why Hamas-linked CAIR would do this if it wants to end “Islamophobia” (in the sense of suspicion of Islam) -- surely Hooper, Awad and co. must know that those things increase such suspicion? Yes, I am sure they do -- but in fact they want “Islamophobia” (both suspicion of Islam and attacks on peaceful Muslims) because they can use such attacks to claim victim status and the privileges that come with it, thus intimidating officials into thinking that surveillance of Islamic organizations is unjustified and endangers innocent people.
“These Islamophobes,” Hooper also asserted, “scour the Internet to highlight every act of violence or political instability that can be tied to Islam and Muslims.” At my website Jihad Watch, I chronicle Islamic jihad activity in the U.S. and around the world, and I never in ten years have had to “scour the Internet” to do so. On the contrary, there is so much jihad violence that rarely am I able to post all the news items I’d like to post; time and resources limit the ones I can get to. Whatever I have on Jihad Watch, there is always more jihad. But Hooper, of course, would prefer you didn’t know that.
“If a Muslim in a remote village in Pakistan,” he continues, “violates Islamic beliefs by abusing his wife, we will hear about it and about why Islam should be blamed for his actions. Reports on every crime committed by a Muslim are assigned to the faith, whether or not there is even a remote religious connection.”
Here again Hooper characterizes his opponents’ arguments in a reductionist way that unfairly trivializes them. The point is not that “Islam should be blamed” for someone abusing his wife, but that if the abuser used Islam to justify that abuse, then Muslim leaders who oppose such abuse should work honestly to make sure it doesn’t happen again by removing or reforming the things that are used to provide such justification. Are there any? Yes. The Qur’an says it:
Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God’s guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. (Qur’an 4:34)
Hooper would still say that the abuser “violates Islamic beliefs,” because Islamic apologists routinely claim that the Qur’an’s command to beat disobedient women must be applied only with the most harmless of implements -- i.e., a toothstick, as per a weak hadith. However, Muhammad’s example is normative for Muslims, since he is an “excellent example of conduct” (Qur’an 33:21) – and according to a canonical hadith, Muhammad’s favorite wife, his child bride Aisha, reports that Muhammad struck her. Once he went out at night after he thought she was asleep, and she followed him surreptitiously. Muhammad saw her, and, as Aisha recounts: “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?” (Sahih Muslim 2127) Aisha herself said it: “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women.” (Sahih Bukhari 7.72.715)
So is this blaming Islam for spousal abuse? A more constructive way to put it would be: this is pointing out how spousal abusers justify their actions by pointing to Islamic texts, and these texts need reforming and reinterpretation on a large scale.
Hooper then comes to his main point: he claims that “a collective ‘mental list’ of outrages committed by Muslims” is used “to justify Islamophobia and suspicion of Muslims,” and adds: “The list grows with each new crime or act of violence committed by a Muslim anywhere in the world.” Then he details a couple of alleged plots by “Muhammad Ahmad Ali” and “Omar Ahmed Muhammad,” before revealing:
Never heard of these cases? Perhaps that is because they involved not the stereotypical pseudonyms used above, but instead involved individuals named Andrew Scott Boguslawski and Todd Dwight Wheeler Jr., who are apparently not Muslim….
That is the problem with the “list,” it only grows if the perpetrator is an “Ali,” “Ahmed” or “Muhammad.” Violent acts or crimes committed by others are either ignored, attributed to the “deranged” nature of the perpetrator, or quickly forgotten.
This is all very clever, but the non-Muslim perpetrators didn’t point to any religious text as the inspiration and justification for their violence. Islamic jihadists routinely do. It is not just that they’re people named Ali and Muhammad who happen to commit acts of violence; they say they’re doing so because of Islam. A very small sampling:
“Jihad was a way of life for the Pious Predecessors (Salaf-us-Salih), and the Prophet (SAWS) was a master of the Mujahideen and a model for fortunate inexperienced people. The total number of military excursions which he (SAWS) accompanied was 27. He himself fought in nine of these; namely Badr; Uhud, Al-Muraysi, The Trench, Qurayzah, Khaybar, The Conquest of Makkah, Hunayn and Taif . . . This means that the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) used to go out on military expeditions or send out an army at least every two months.” -- Abdullah Azzam, co-founder of al-Qaeda, Join the Caravan, p. 30
“If we follow the rules of interpretation developed from the classical science of Koranic interpretation, it is not possible to condemn terrorism in religious terms. It remains completely true to the classical rules in its evolution of sanctity for its own justification. This is where the secret of its theological strength lies.” -- Egyptian scholar Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd
“Many thanks to God, for his kind gesture, and choosing us to perform the act of Jihad for his cause and to defend Islam and Muslims. Therefore, killing you and fighting you, destroying you and terrorizing you, responding back to your attacks, are all considered to be great legitimate duty in our religion.” -- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow 9/11 defendants
“Allah on 480 occasions in the Holy Koran extols Muslims to wage jihad. We only fulfil God’s orders. Only jihad can bring peace to the world.” -- Taliban terrorist Baitullah Mehsud
“Jihad, holy fighting in Allah’s course, with full force of numbers and weaponry, is given the utmost importance in Islam....By jihad, Islam is established....By abandoning jihad, may Allah protect us from that, Islam is destroyed, and Muslims go into inferior position, their honor is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligation and duty in Islam on every Muslim.” -- Times Square car bomb terrorist Faisal Shahzad
“So step by step I became a religiously devout Muslim, Mujahid -- meaning one who participates in jihad.” -- Little Rock, Arkansas terrorist murderer Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad
“And now, after mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives, and continuous planning to target the infidel Americans, it is time for Jihad.” -- Texas terrorist bomber Khalid Aldawsari
The ways in which such people use Islam to justify violence -- that’s what Hooper should be addressing and working to end. Instead, he once again blames the “Islamophobes.” Judging from what angers him and what he writes about, in Ibrahim Hooper’s perfect world, jihad activity would continue unabated – only those who dared to write about it in a critical way and acted to defend non-Muslims against it would be silenced and stopped.