Hussam Ayloush: ‘Deception’ film promotes intolerance of Islam
Tolerance towards intolerance is cowardice. —Ayaan Ali Hirsi
Stephen Emerson’s documentary, ‘The Grand Deception,’ contributes to an industry that employs fear to create suspicion of Muslims.
Â Ayloush is suggesting that Hamas operatives like himself should be above suspicion. Cute, isn’t he? ‘Don’t look at what we do, look at the Islamophobes! They are reallyÂ eevil!’
In her recent editorial,Â Rory Cohen uses the O.C. RegisterÂ to promote a documentary calledÂ “The Grand Deception.”Â The film’s producer,Â Steven Emerson, is described as an “award-winning journalist,” yet Cohen fails to mention that Emerson has a rich history of peddling dubious claims against Muslims and Islam.
Hardly. Steve Emerson has done invaluable work for the counter jihad. Nothing “dubious” here at all. Steve Emerson is a patriot and a hero, very much the opposite of a MuBro headbanger on the payroll of Hamas-CAIR, like Hussam Ayloush.
If readers are going to get a taste of Emerson’s work, they should also know that Emerson is a self-declared expert on terrorism who falsely claimed that 80 to 85 percent of United States mosques were controlled by extremists after 9/11. This claim, parroted by the likes of Rep. Peter King (R-NY), dates back to a comment made by a fringe Muslim cleric, Sheikh Hisham Kabbani, in 1999. It was later found to be dubbed highly unsubstantiated, according to theÂ Washington Post’s “Fact Checker.”
There are no ‘false claims’ here. If 80 to 85 % of mosques in the U.S. are Saudi financed and MuBro operated, they teach Islam in the way of the profit Muhammad. That includes Jew-hatred, jihad and subjugation of non-muslims. If that’s not ‘radical’, what is?
Additionally, Emerson’s website,Â The Investigative Project on Terrorism, promotes the allegation that American Muslim groups collude with the Muslim Brotherhood, a religiously influenced political movement based in Egypt, to “infiltrate” the U.S. and challenge it through a process they call “civilization jihad.” This conspiracy is based off of a single 1991 document, which experts like Professor Tarek Masoud of Harvard University have asserted is a wildly overblown notion; in fact, Masoud testified the notion was inflated during an April 2011 House Intelligence Oversight Committee.
Apparently, according to Emerson, extremism is the only prism by which Muslims can be understood – we are either terrorists or subject to the accusation of terrorism, until we can prove otherwise. And Emerson’s attempt at a documentary serves to perpetuate that Islamophobic framework. Such prejudicial and intentional efforts to misrepresent Muslims and Islam have led Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watchdog group, to list Emerson as one of America’s leading Islamophobes in itsÂ 2008 reportÂ “Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation.” In addition, the Center for American Progress (CAP) highlights Emerson’s misinformation campaign in its comprehensiveÂ 2011 reportÂ “Fear, Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.” CAP’s report shows how Emerson and like-minded individuals operate within a discourse that has served to justify unconditional support for Israel byÂ promoting intolerance of Islam and Muslims. Such efforts often receive the ideological and financial support of right-wing, pro-Israel groups.
These examples point to Emerson’s role and contribution in a well-established and well-funded industry that employs fear to create an aura of suspicion around Muslims and to portray them as a threat by reducing them to stereotypes of terrorism and fanaticism. This campaign of making Muslims a suspect community comes with serious domestic and international consequences.
American Muslim organizations and student groups have made positive social contributions across many fields and institutions. (Specifics, please. How come we are never told about these “positive social contributions?”)
Similarly, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is proud of its efforts to defend civil liberties and foster mutual understanding through its coalition work and peace-building initiatives. But the likes of Emerson aren’t interested in such efforts to promote peace, justice, and unity. This track record undermines their aims to conflate Islam and its 1.6 billion followers worldwide with extremism. The toxic rhetoric of Islamophobes like Emerson results in a greater susceptibility to hate-based attacks among American Muslim, Middle Eastern and Sikh communities.
Recent history has taught us that the crimes of hateful groups like the Ku Klux Klan in the U.S. and the Nazis in Germany were the natural result of a deliberate attempt to dehumanize others through their vitriolic speech and propaganda. It is a shame that the Register and Cohen would give space to the likes of Emerson whom we believe aim to marginalize the American Muslim community, and divide Orange County and America.