July 19, 2011
Fact Checking NPR's Omar al-Omari Revisionism (bumped)
Dave Reaboi has an excellent post fact checking a piece done by NPR on the firing of Omar al-Omari after we ran a number of posts on him. As Reboi points out, had NPR bothered to Google al-Omari's name they would have learned that the man is not as innocent as he proclaims.
I think what I resent most about NPR's reporting is they frame the story as an example of Islamophobia. Poor innocent Muslim fired because Americans are frightened of Islam and Muslims.
It's lazy journalism, a classic case of falling back on the liberal narrative, and utter hogwash.
The worst part? Your taxdollars are subsidizing this.
Kudos to Reaboi for quoting Zuhdi Jasser who agrees that al-Omari's publications were revisionist history at their worst. One wonders if Dina Temple-Raston thinks the President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy is also an Islamophobe?
UPDATE: My reading of the situation is that no one ever accused al-Omari of being a terrorist, as the NPR piece implied. The originally accusation was that he tended to bolster the Islamist, Marxist, and Orientalist version of history which claims that all the problems in the Muslim world can be blamed on the West.
The second accusation was that al-Omari's version of the so-called "Muslim community" seemed to be filled with a lot of avowed Islamists and terror supporters. Men such as Hany Saqr, a go-to man for the Muslim Brotherhood, and organizations such as The Islamic Circle of North America -- the most radical of the large openly Islamist groups in the country.
Upon further investigation it turned out that he lied when getting his job with the state of Ohio. Not benignly, as the NPR piece claims, but he failed to mention getting fired from one of his teaching jobs for sexual harassment. After which he sued both the victim of his harassment and the state run college for "discrimination". Always the "victim", apparently.
Oh, and this "expert" bought two of his degrees online. Ethical, real ethical.
I really have no problem with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies doing outreach to the Muslim community. In fact, the more the better. But I hope that those involved are part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Even if al-Omari isn't a radical Islamist, then he is the kind of "academic" who's work bolsters the arguments of our enemies and reinforces their preconceived notions of America as The Great Satan. I'm just not sure how subsidizing this point of view can ever be helpful in either training law enforcement on the sensitivities of the many Muslim cultures in the US or in "outreach" to these diverse communities.
Updated by Howie: More here at the Center for Security Policy.
And Jawa gets a mention.