Islamophobia Inc. Targets GOP Muslims, Too

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The fact that the GOP is now experiencing the kind of outrageous character assaults against Muslims that many Dems, like US House Representative Keith Ellison, have endured only means that the push back has come much later than it should have. 

2010_US_MuslimAmerican.jpg
Reuters/Rebecca Cook

Are you or are you not a card-carrying member of the pro-Shariah, Muslim Brotherhood network trying to force the citizens of the United States of America to submit to the hateful will of Allah?

I haven't heard anyone in the network of scholars, validators, or activists -- profiled in the just-released Center for American Progress report Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America -- utter the above statement precisely.  However, the propaganda of a growing American-based network agitating against the spread of Shariah Law, an entirely fabricated fear-mongering movement, sounds a vibe close enough.

9-11 Ten Years LaterRecently, Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller -- who is a key player in the Fear Inc. report, decided to focus her anti-Muslim rants at a Muslim GOP candidate, David Ramadan, that former Reagan administration Attorney General and Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation Edwin Meese was helping to support in a local Virginia House of Delegates race.

Geller wrote:

James Lafferty, SIOA board member and VAST [Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force] chairman,  just advised me that Ed Meese bought into stealth jihadist David Ramadan's ruse. That's just what this country needs, more Muslim Brotherhood plants in the legislature.

joseph-mccarthy.jpg"Stealth Jihadist"?  "Muslim Brotherhood plants"?  This kind of character defamation and disgusting insinuations about Americans running for elected office in this country demands the strongest of responses.  There should be no place in our political discourse for these kind of bigoted assaults.

My colleague at The Atlantic Jeffrey Goldberg has been doing his part to darken Geller's luster -- but it's remarkable how fear of the "fear network" has silenced so many from defending Muslim-Americans and frankly, Muslims around the world who don't deserve this abuse.

To get the real feel of the defamatory tone attempting to insinuate that a Muslim, in this case a loyal GOP Muslim-American, read this press release calling for people to come learn about David Ramadan.  One of the primary protagonists of the Center for American Progress Fear, Inc. report, Frank Gaffney -- someone I have known and had respectful disagreements with for a very long time -- appears as a lead in this McCarthyesque press conference: 

Who is Imad Afif 'David' Ramadan?

Press Conference
Government Center
1 Harrison Street S.E., Leesburg Virginia
August 10, 2011
5:30 p.m.

The background, relationships and beliefs of Imad Afif "David" Ramadan, a candidate seeking the Republican nomination for the Virginia House of Delegates seat in the new 87th district in Loudon County, have lately become a matter of increasing controversy. To explore what is known - and as yet unknown - about Mr. Ramadan's character and caliber, a group of local and national figures will hold a press conference at the Government Center in Leesburg, Virginia at 5:30 on Wednesday, August 10.

Among those participating in the press conference will be:

§  Frank Gaffney is the President of the Center for Security Policy, a Washington Times columnist and host of the nationally syndicated talk-radio program, Secure Freedom Radio (heard locally on the Salem Radio Network's WRC 1260 AM at 9:00 p.m.) Mr. Gaffney was the publisher and co-author of the Amazon best-seller, Shariah: The Threat to America.

§  Kent Clizbe was a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer specializing in counter-terrorism operations in Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East in the 1990s. Following the attacks on 9/11, Mr. Clizbe returned to work for the Agency as counter-terrorism operations officer, for which service he was awarded the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, its highest decoration for contractors. He is a Muslim convert who formerly served on the Loudoun County Republican Committee. He is also the author of Willing Accomplices: How KGB Covert Influence Agents Created Political Correctness, and a recent article at BigPeace.com about his interview with, and research on, David Ramadan.

§  Kerry Patton is a former intelligence officer who has specialized on network-centric warfare and served in South America, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe. He is an internationally recognized expert on security, terrorism and intelligence-related issues and is a national security commentator for Fox News. Mr. Patton has advised domestic government agencies and international organizations on these issues. He is author of Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies.

§  Nagi N. Najjar is a Lebanese Orthodox Christian born in Beirut. He was an officer in the Lebanese Armed Forces specializing in intelligence. He has advised the U.S. government on issues regarding Islamic terrorism in Lebanon and the Middle East. And, since 2000, Mr. Najjar has been the Executive Director of the Government of Free Lebanon in Exile. He is also the publisher of From Israel to Damascus and Cobra.

§  James Lafferty is the founder and chairman of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force and a member of the board of Stop the Islamization of America. He operates a political and public relations consulting firm with offices in Washington, DC and New York.
Immediately following the press conference, "Friends of David Ramadan" are hosting a fundraiser headlined by former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese at Tuscarora Mill, a restaurant adjacent to the Government Center complex. Curiously, a spokesman for Mr. Meese has said he is not endorsing Mr. Ramadan. Unless and until questions are fully and accurately addressed about who Imad Afif Ramadan is, no one else should either.

3-David_Ramadan_and_Congressman_Eric_Cantor_june-2011_300x250.jpgDavid Ramadan is a distinguished guy -- and it's great that he is getting into the political ring.  The fact is that the Muslim stuff aside, Ramadan and Frank Gaffney probably share very similar world views as devout conservatives both.

House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor of all people has endorsed and supported David Ramadan for this House of Delegates seat in Virginia -- but this inconvenient fact hasn't yet factored into Pamela Geller's reporting.

The fact that the GOP is now experiencing the kind of outrageous character assaults against Muslims that many Dems, like US House Representative Keith Ellison, have endured only means that the push back has come much later than it should have. 

People like Edwin Meese, Eric Cantor, and Meese's colleagues at Heritage like David Addington and Ed Feulner, should be calling foul on the Islamophobes in the GOP who are hatching a new variant of bigotry and McCarthyism.


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Steve Clemons is Washington editor at large for The Atlantic and editor of Atlantic Live. He writes frequently about politics and foreign affairs. More

Clemons is a senior fellow and the founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a centrist think tank in Washington, D.C., where he previously served as executive vice president. He writes and speaks frequently about the D.C. political scene, foreign policy, and national security issues, as well as domestic and global economic-policy challenges.

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