October 28, 2010

Jawa Defamed in WaPo: Yes, Let's Follow the Money (Sticky/UPDATED)

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In a rather long article in the Washington Post, Frankie Martin says a number of out and out lies about the Jawa Report.

The article attempts to refute a post by Laura Rubenfield which argued that the Founding Fathers did not care much for Islam. His refutation is laughable, missing the forest for the trees. For instance, in the course of pointing out that Franklin's use of a story of Muslim's taking Europeans as slaves he fails to see that the use of such an analogy was quite apt: hundreds of thousands -- if not more -- of Europeans were taken as slaves by Muslims who justified the practice based on Quran, hadith, and Sunnah.

The Prophet Muhammad himself had slaves. And not just slaves: sex-slaves.

That the Founding Fathers admired Muhammad and Islam is beyond rational argumentation. They did admire Muhammad and thought of him as "great". In the same way they thought other great political and military leaders of the past were great. Like Alexander, Hammurabi, or Peter.

But they did not think of Muhammad or Islam as "great" in the same way they thought other religious leaders . The most religiously skeptical of the Founders, such as Jefferson, may have been skeptical of the divinity of Christ but he was certainly an admirer of his teachings. One could not say the same thing about his feelings towards Muhammad and Islam.

That they would tolerate Islam is also beyond dispute. These were tolerant men. But to the modern liberal the word tolerance has lost all meaning. Liberals think that anything short of embracing is an act of intolerance. Not so. To tolerate is to accept the existence of that which one disdains.

If there is any agreement among the Founders on Islam then it is that they disdained it, but were on no crusade to rid the world of this or of any other equally disdainful theories. They tolerated it.

One might say many things about their thoughts on Islam. One might wrongfully accuse them of being intolerant. One might even say they were prejudiced by their own misconceptions of Islam and Muhammad. That would be an honest argument. But one cannot argue that they thought all religions were basically the same, and that Islam was no different than Christianity or Buddhism. This is simply intellectually dishonest.

But being dishonest is something that Mr. Martin seems comfortable with. He goes on to write several false things about this website. Things that are defamatory and that the Washington Post ought to immediately retract.

He begins a long diatribe against The Jawa Report by beginning with this falsehood:

Some of the blogs that breathlessly featured Rubenfeld's article do not even attempt to conceal their racism. The Jawa Report, for example, proudly describes itself as a "weblog comparing Muslims to Jawas,"
This is a lie on two fronts. First, what "race" is Muslim? It's a typically ignorant statement, but one we've come to expect from those who oppose any discussion of Islam as anything different than Tibetan Buddhism.

Not only am I not a racist, but I unequivocally condemn all forms of racism and bigotry. Including the soft bigotry of low expectations. Such as the liberal bigotry which says that Muslims cannot be treated as adults. That they cannot take criticism the same way Catholics, Mormons, or Buddhists can. That they are somehow exempt from the rules of civilized society because, you know, you wouldn't want to piss them off. They might kill you.....

Second, I categorically deny that I have ever described this blog -- my blog -- that way. Martin didn't bother to ask me what this blog was about. Instead, he proves that in addition to being lazy and dishonest he's also 10 years behind the curve. Instead of Googling "Jawa Report" he used Yahoo!. How do I know this? Because the first hit over at Yahoo! gives you this typically biased description, quoted verbatim by Martin:

jawa_yahoo_muslims_2.JPG

He goes on:

the "typically short rodent-like" sand-dwellers of Star Wars who are described in the film as "disgusting."
At this point let me fess up to something. I've been blogging for over six years. There are over 20,000 individual posts up at The Jawa Report. Of this 20,000 posts one of them -- written six years ago -- does use a Star Wars analogy and does in this analogy compare Muslims to Jawas. It never describes Jawas as "disgusting". These are words chosen by Martin in order to paint the worst possible picture.

That posts also compares Islamists to Tusken Raiders and Israelis to moisture farmers. I wonder what Martin's vast Star Wars knowledge says about these two groups? Am I now going to be accused of antisemetism because, well, you know about Uncle Owen and company?

One post, six years ago, and now I'm somehow a racist? Never mind the absurdity of throwing race into an argument about religion.

Also, since Mr. Martin seems such a keen wit and an expert on satire, perhaps he would bother to watch South Park or Archie Bunker. When I first started this blog I went out of my way to be offensive. I was going for Cartmanesque. It was schtick. Playing the rube on purpose. The Archie Bunker character who could get away with saying uncomfortable things because, you know, he's a real as*shole. But sometimes, only the as*hole can tell the truth. Buried in there, beneath all the rude remarks and troglodyte thinking a nugget, a kernal of truth.

A lot of bloggers were doing that sort of thing back then. Of them, only a few of us are left. FrankJ over at IMAO is still around blogging in character. Allahpundit retains the name, but the shtick is long gone. So, too, is Rusty Shackleford. Mostly.

It would take, literally, an idiot to believe that any of my early writings were anything other than shtick. But Mr. Martin isn't even an idiot, he's just lazy. He didn't even bother reading this blog, just did a Yahoo! search.

His laziness and defamation goes on:

A section on the website is entitled "my pet Jawa" implying, (but only satirically, of course!) that Muslims are sub-human creatures suitable to be kept as pets.
Um, WTF? There is no "section" of this blog called My Pet Jawa. The blog's URL is "www.mypetjawa.mu.nu". It's a web address, not a section.

If the web address is offensive I'll be happy to change it. How about www.frankiemartinisaliar.com?

Again, if there was anything offensive in the original url then it should be taken as shtick. Now it's just a cute name reflecting my obsession with Star Wars.

If anything my biggest regret on the url is that it's kinda gay. C'est la vie!

But the lies, distortions, and defamation get even worse:

The Jawa Report also includes pictures of Qurans in toilets,
Again, this is a lie. No Qurans were actually harmed in the blogging of any posts here. Please, don't kill me!

What Mr. Martin means is that there are photoshopped fake pictures of Qurans in toilets. Like the phony story reported by Newsweek about Qurans being put in toilets at Guantanamo Bay, our so-called "pictures" showing the same are also phonies.

Mr. Martin is undoubtedly aware that fake allegations of Quran desecrations at Guantanamo, reported without any fact checking by Newsweek, led to riots all over the Muslim world and that many people actually were killed over these phony allegations. I'd like to hear Mr. Martin's equivocations on the subject. Something about Islam being just like any other religion, no different than the Amish or other Anabaptist movements I'm sure.

And since Mr. Martin is also undoubtedly aware that even the threat of Quran desecration is enough to get one death threats, then I must come to the conclusion that his pointing out of the fake Quran desecrations on my blog -- posts written in the context of the phony Quran desecration stories -- might also lead to attempts on my life.

Is Frankie Martin trying to get me killed???

Okay, I don't really think that. I just think you're an as*hole. A lazy one at that. But, dude, WTF were you thinking bringing up those old photoshops?

It just shows what an idiot you are and makes the point for us: that enough Muslims react like uncivilized barbarians to criticisms of their religion, holy books, or prophets that it is not irrational to fear retribution for the same words or actions routinely directed at other religions, holy books, or prophets.

I'd like to end my criticism of Mr. Martin, but it only gets worse from there:

likens Muslim opponents to real-life animals like monkeys
This is an out and out lie and I challenge Martin to come up with any evidence of such a thing. Even at my most pissed off, even at the lamest points of shtick six years ago, would I ever stoop to such a thing. This is a lie, and I demand a retraction from the Washington Post.

Have there been racist comments in the comments section? Of course. Our resident racist Greyrooster has been banned on several occasions. I don't ban him any more because each time I ban him he just comes back within a few minutes, and he's usually even worse. So, the rule around here is just to ignore him and his ilk.

If Mr. Martin would like to volunteer his time moderating our comments section, I would be happy to oblige him. Unlike Mr. Martin, I have a day job. One that is not funded by the Saudi royal family to defame every one and any one who is even slightly critical of some of the worst aspects of political Islam.

More:

and features numerous photos of what its editors call "hot babes" because they are seen as offending the sensibilities of Muslims.
I plead guilty as charged. But mostly because Howie likes hot chicks. The Muslim thing? That's just a secondary benefit. There's actually a good argument to be made that porn might set the Muslim world free. Sad, but true.

In this case I'm not trying to offend Muslims, I'm trying to liberate them.

And if Muslims are so offended by hot chicks, how come we get so many of them come to our website Googling "hot muslim chick"?

But mostly the hot chick thing is Howie's deal. He likes hot chicks. The hot dudes we leave for Stable Hand. And Ronin. He likes hot dudes, too. We try not to judge that sort of thing around here.

More:

Part of this emerging reliance of mainstream media on the hate bloggers comes from a genuine desire to understand Islam and the threat of terrorism, as often these blogs and commentators discuss material that the mainstream media has not looked into with as much attention or detail. It is hard for me to think of another reason why the New York Times leaned on the Jawa Report, which it described as "anti-jihadi Internet activists," for its investigative coverage of the "Jihad Jane" homegrown terrorism case, or why Esquire, while noting its "unsettling anti-Muslim invective," nevertheless glamorized the website as "laptop James Bonds," "thrill-seeking," and "all-American."
All true, and yet somehow awesome. So, did Mr. Martin somehow stop being lazy and look up all these citations in the MSM on The Jawa Report? He now realizes that the main crux of this blog isn't racism or bigotry as he suggests? That members of our community have actually been involved in counteterrorism efforts? That what we do behind the scenes is track terrorist websites and the people who use them?

No. He's still lazy. But instead of only looking at the top hit for his Yahoo! search, he looked at the second hit. A Wikipedia entry where all of the above citations can be found.

He then defames me and The Jawa Report once more:

Yet it is possible to analyze and understand the threat of terrorism without relying on the bigots. Just as a Ku Klux Klan member would not be asked to advise on issues facing the African American community, responsible people in media and government must keep the bile-spewing anti-Muslim racists away from anything to do with Islam-related subjects.
He's right on all counts. Racists and bigots should not be asked about Islam-related subjects.

Of course, Muslim isn't a race so it isn't possible to be "racist" against Muslims.

One might be an anti-Arab racist. Or an anti-Pakistani racist. Etc. But one cannot be "racist" against a religion. A religion is simply a set of ideas and practices flowing from those ideas.

That isn't just semantics 101 either. People like Mr. Martin try to equivocate being anti-ideas with being racist. By conflating the two terms he intentionally misleads people into thinking that the same thing that motivates skinheads and Nazis is at the heart of the motivation of those who are anti-Islam.

I am not anti-Islam. I am anti-Islamist. That is, I oppose the political and legal system linked to Islam. If you want to pray towards Mecca and shave your balls, fine by me.

I know people like Robert Spencer don't like the latter term because he thinks Islam and Islamism are inseparable, but I think he's wrong on that point.

And there are people who are irrationally afraid of Muslims. Just as there were people were were irrationally afraid of Communists.

But just because some have irrational fears does not mean that others cannot have legitimate and rational fears. The truth of the matter is that there are many aspects of political Islam that are just as dangerous as Communism. And there are many Muslims --including Mr. Martin's financial benefactors in Saudi Arabia -- who share these dangerous political ideas.

Mr. Martin then goes on to defame many other bloggers and politicians who have ever said anything that might even hint that Islam isn't just a warmed over version of the Jehovah's Witnesses. I'll skip that part.

But he ends by calling for an investigation of these "anti-Muslim" bloggers. Insinuating that we are part of a large conspiracy, bankrolled by the "Los Angeles-based Fairbrook Foundation."

I don't know about that, but I'd like to know more. Seriously, I'm willing to sell out. Call me.

Somehow Mr. Martin believes that this giant bankroll of this Fairbank Foundation, which I've never heard of, is trickling down to us wee "hate" bloggers.

If we are somehow being bankrolled by a vast anti-Muslim conspiracy, what can one say when we compare that bankroll to the one funding the Ibn Khaldun Chair at American University by the Saudi Royals? Mr. Martin and his boss have a full time job, literally, defending Islam from criticism bought by the same people who exported their Salafi ideology and who were the intellectual backers of 9/11.

If you want to gainsay someone's motivations, I'd start there.

UPDATE: Thanks for all the support in the comments section. I didn't realize that Google had the same description of The Jawa Report as Yahoo! My bad on that. I wonder why that is?

Unlike Mr. Martin and his boss Akbar Ahmed, I don't spend all day Googling myself. Yes, we know you Googled yourself today. Keep that up and you'll need to start shaving those palms. You may even go blind.

Here is the original Star Wars-Jawa post as I reprinted it in late 2004. On rereading it it's not nearly as offensive as I remembered it being. In fact, it's really only of interest to hardcore Star Wars fans.

Looking back on it, I now remember another motivation for the Star Wars themed blog: Clerks.

The whole what if the Empire were really the good guys thing and the Rebel Alliance were terrorists dialogue. Or something like that. Pretty good shtick, I thought, given that at the time Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield were often portrayed by the Left as the Emperor, Darth Vader, or some combination of bad guys from the Trilogy.

Like I said, it was shtick, but I thought it was funny at the time. Yes, I know -- I am a total geek.

I also appreciate my Irish friend Mark Humphrys for digging into this post a little more and providing a few more links to refute Martin's spurious allegations. In his words, the Star Wars analogy is "somewhat incomprehensible". Yeah, I get that.

Most of all, thanks for reminding readers what my real political views are. The first two quotes about the Ground Zero Mosque are not taken out of context. I oppose the mosque building because it is offensive. But I also oppose those opponents of the mosque who tried to use the mechanisms of government to have the project shut down (such as through the zoning commission).

That is exactly how I feel about church/state relations, liberty, and private property: you keep the government out of my business, and I'll kindly repay the favor by keeping it out of yours.

I'm a tolerant libertarian. People should be allowed to do, say and believe stupid things. Which is one of the main reasons why I oppose political Islam: because it does not allow for real and meaningful dissent.

Humphrys also discovers that Mr. Martin plagiarized the offensive Star Wars language not from me, but from a Star Wars wiki (scroll down to see the screenshot). Not surprised, in the least.

Oh, yeah, and I forgot to mention Ace as one of the few old-school shtick bloggers still in the biz. Back from the day when a cool nickname was half the fun. How did I forget that?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:11 PM | Comments |