General Antisemitism

Meet CiF’s Wajahat Ali: Anti-Islamophobia crusader with a soft spot for anti-Semites

Wajahat Ali

There is not , as CiF columnist  contends in “Fighting the defamation of Muslim Americans“, Aug. 27,  an Islamophobia network in America.

Yes, of course there exists anti-Muslim bigotry, just as there is bigotry in every nation in the world, but there is simply, despite the frequent hyperbolic insistence of CiF commentators, no actual evidence that there’s anything resembling an organized wave of Islamophobia in the U.S.

Ali begins:

Center for American Progress Action Fund released a 138-page report, “Fear Inc: Exposing the Islamophobia Network in America,”which for the first time reveals that more than $42m from seven foundations over the past decade have helped empower a relatively small, but interconnected group of individuals and organisations to spread anti-Muslim fear and hate in America.”

This report,  which characteristically conflates criticism of radical Islam with Islamophobic bigotry, includes in this network, as those who stoke the flames of anti-Muslim bigotry, Sean Hannity, U.S., Congressman Allen West, former U.S. Congressman Newt Gingrich, Middle East Scholar Daniel Pipes, Terrorism expert Steve Emerson, and Walid Shoebat.

The report also indicts Fox News, The National Review, and the Washington Times as purveyors of anti-Muslim bigotry.

Ali continues:

 “Islamophobia as the following: an exaggerated fear, hatred and hostility towards Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination and the marginalisation and exclusion of Muslims from America’s social, political and civic life.”

Of course, absent from Ali’s report is any empirical evidence indicating that bias, discrimination, or exclusion of Muslims is growing or represents a big problem in the lives of Muslims in America.

In fact, a new 40 page report by the Center For Security Policy not only debunks the claim that Muslim Americans are disproportionately victimized by religiously inspired bias crimes, but clearly demonstrates Jewish victims are, in fact, far more likely to be the target of such crimes – a report based partly on the FBI’s yearly Hate Crime Data from 2000-2010.

Further, a 2007 Pew Study about Muslims in America found the following:

“Muslim Americans generally mirror the U.S. public in education and income levels, with immigrant Muslims slightly more affluent and better educated than native-born Muslims. Twenty-four percent of all Muslims and 29 percent of immigrant Muslims have college degrees, compared to 25 percent for the U.S. general population. Forty-one percent of all Muslim Americans and 45 percent of immigrant Muslims report annual household income levels of $50,000 or higher. This compares to the national average of 44 percent. Immigrant Muslims are well represented among higher-income earners, with 19 percent claiming annual household incomes of $100,000 or higher (compared to 16 percent for the Muslim population as a whole and 17 percent for the U.S. average). This is likely due to the strong concentration of Muslims in professional, managerial, and technical fields, especially in information technology, education, medicine, law, and the corporate world.

So, in addition to the relatively low incidents of hate crimes against American Muslims, it also seems clear that such Muslims, by most objective measures, are doing quite well in the U.S. socially and economically, and enjoy religious and other democratic freedoms that many Muslims in the rest of the world are denied.

Ali, in past CiF essays, has demonstrated a similar tendency to engage in accusations of “Islamophobia” quite liberally.

Indeed, he leveled the charge of Islamophobia against the U.S. government in the context of the FBI prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for the “charity” group’s ties to terrorism – a prosecution which resulted in five convictions, which included “conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, providing material support to a foreign terrorist, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.”

Further, a little more research into the background of  Wajahat Ali (who CiF benignly described as “a Muslim American of Pakistani descent, a writer and attorney, and Associate Editor of revealed that the author holds some decidedly illiberal views about another historically oppressed minority – a record of bigotry which should put the author’s report on Islamophobia in some perspective.

Ali is a contributor to the radical anti-Zionist site, Counterpunch, where, in an essay largely commenting on Israel’s war in Gaza, he likened Israel to Apartheid in S. African, and characterized the war as an “Israeli blitzkrieg that repeatedly bombards a beleaguered Palestinian refugee population.” Ali also published, in Counterpunch, an extremely sympathetic interview with Norman Finkelstein, about “The Holocaust Industry” – a book which characterizes Israelis as “basically Nazis with beards and black hats”.

Indeed, a few searches on Ali’s own blog, Goatmilk: An intellectual playground, which is often cross posted at the English Website of the Muslim Brotherhood, demonstrates a propensity to use his “playground” for voices hostile to Jews and opposed to Israel’ existence.

On June 10, he included on his blog, as the “Essay of the week”, a cross-post of a piece by Ilan Pappe, the universally discredited radical Israeli “historian” who advocates the end of the Jewish state.  Pappe, in the essay, commenting broadly about Israel in the aftermath of the May 31 Mavi Marmara incident, accused the state of practicing ethnic cleansing, and opined that “only sustained pressure by Western governments [similar to the pressure placed on S. Africa and Serbia] will drive the message home that the strategy of force and the policy of oppression are not accepted morally or politically by the world to which Israel wants to belong.”

In April of 2009, Ali posted a piece by Sasha Rabkin titled, “A Jewish American man’s defense of self-hatred” –  simply exquisite example of the AsAJew recently dissected so skillfully by Geary – which characterized Zionism as an “identity centered on racism, military might, [“fascism”] and occupation,” and later characterized Jewish Zionist identity as a “Judaism devoid of soul and love and oppressing the most occupied people in the world”.

He also characterized Israel’s War of Independence as an act of “genocide” against Arabs.

Rabkin’s defense of Jewish self-hatred, which Ali endorsed, concludes with this appalling passage:

“the two main forces of the 20th century who sought to separate Jews were the Nazis and the Zionists. This is not to fully equate the two. There are obvious differences. But, both sought to single out the Jews, to show them as special and in need of segregation. They both contributed to the death of Jews. Most importantly, they both have sequestered Jewish identity in a militarized, confrontational and racist corner. 

Our anti-Islamophobia crusader seems to be on a bit of a Judeophobic crusade of his own.

Who needs to demonize the Jewish state as a fascist, genocidal force – which is a moral blight on the world (and Judaism itself) – when you can get a Jew to do it for you?

More broadly, Ali’s exquisite moral hypocrisy in condemning bigotry against Muslims while promoting anti-Semitism represents another perfect illustration of the Guardian Left ideology – sensitive souls who renounce racism, real and imagined, against “the oppressed” at every opportunity, and who possess an eye for bigotry endowed with a wide and powerful lens, yet have a glaring and dangerous blind spot when it comes to Jews. 


9 replies »

  1. CiF is doing what it does so well – excusing the blatantly offensive.

    “Islamophobia as the following: an exaggerated fear, hatred and hostility towards Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination and the marginalisation and exclusion of Muslims from America’s social, political and civic life.”

    Strange this, coming from such a one. But thank you for proving that this creature exhibits lack of insight of the effect of what he says on others and all the paranoid projection so prevalent among his like-minded co-religionists which is, I am told, borne out of a deep sense of insecurity from his knowledge deep down that his allah isn’t really as akhbar as he pretends. I also note how he cannot differentiate between Muslims and Islam, which makes sense since Islam requires total submission from all its slaves. Luckily I know quite a few Muslims who are decent human beings.

    I would be interested in any excuse this joker would make for the setting up of the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets in London.

    It seems to me that fear of the influence of Islam, not fear of Muslims, is an index of sanity in the world today in the face of the excesses of Islam and Islamism. It’s natural and functional to fear an entity which has killed more of its own people than its real and alleged enemies have done.

    My fear of Islam is not exaggerated; on the contrary it is well-placed and grounded in reality and my own experiences. Living where I live I can witness its steady encroachment, its whingeing, its belligerent presence in certain areas of my town. And I don’t like it. I hope that the UK and the rest of the world follow the example of the Dutch government.

  2. We have two problems at once. Many of the people who are the most prominently outspoken about the topic of Islamofascism actually are anti-Muslim bigots who don’t distinguish between the fascists and Islam in general. There is one notoriously thin-skinned blogger who will drop a nonspecific condemnation of “Muslims” or “Islam” a few times a month and who praises European neo-nazis as a liberating force, and if you call him out on it he will try to destroy your reputation. Less belligerent but similarly bigoted attitudes are sometimes seen in more mainstream circles.

    The report also indicts Fox News, The National Review, and the Washington Times as purveyors of anti-Muslim bigotry.

    They have been in the past, and we should not defend these instances of misbehaviour but rather encourage them to understand that there is more to Islam than the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda, the groups that get into the newspaper.

    The corrollary of the problem of too many vocal opponents of Islamofascism being bigots is that there are too few who are not. The mainstream newspapers have silenced themselves on these issues, and many writers and public officials do not dare to discuss Islamofascism for fear of being accused of bigotry against all Islam.

    That leads us to the second problem, the conflation of opposition to fascist, right-wing Islam with opposition to all Islam, and this is what Wajahat Ali and others before him are practicing. The association of investigative journalist Steven Emerson and academic Daniel Pipes with extremist figures is intentional. In the name of anti-bigotry, he is saying those people are all the same and you don’t want to be known as one of them, do you? Shut your face and know your place. You’re not allowed to discuss Islamofascist activities or ideology; people have even been shamed from calling it a fascist form of Islam.

    The only solution is to speak truth to power, to discuss these issues openly and intelligently with an understanding that totalitarianism is a persistent problem of humanity that can arise in any society under any name. (Leaving comments against “Islam” on these people’s blogs doesn’t help).

    • the cap report also included memri, as an org that spreads islamaphobia, because they “cherry pick” clips

      when i asked what the difference between memri and media matters was…this was the response

      “MEMRI uses clips from “the internet” as sources. MMFA uses Fox News. Big difference.”

      that is a blatant lie, and i will be spreading this response to other blogs. if one of their staffers is either so ignorant or can so easily lie, it pretty much paints the entire report as a fraud

      • MEMRI presents clips from Iranian and “Palestinian” TV of actual programs and demonstrations.

    • Well this explains it. I thought Wajahat was putting lipstick on the islamofascist pig because he was too shit scared of the extremists to stand up and be counted as a tolerant “moderate” muslim. If what you are saying is true, then wajahat is leading the propaganda war for the caliphate, keeping the lid on until critical mass is acheived by the demographic time- bomb (not to mention the iranian H bomb)