1:05 PM, Feb 11, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The tragic slaying of three Muslim college students in North Carolina is dominating the headlines today. According to his Facebook page, the killer was a committed atheist and a political liberal. I think it's very rarely helpful or fair to connect political beliefs to the acts of possibly deranged or mentally ill individuals, and thankfully some of the smarter liberal commentators such as Steve Benen agree with me on this point. And Benen was also correct to point out that some on the right have been too quick to point to politics as a motive for individual killings, such as when some conservatives engaged in overheated finger-pointing at New York's liberal mayor Bill de Blasio after two NYPD officers were killed in December.
However, I do think it's fair to say that attributing political motives to individual killings is much more of a phenomenon on the left than on the right. In recent years, liberal organizations and commentators have gone out of their way to connect mainstream conservative political beliefs to violence, and more often than not, such connections are dubious or nonexistent. Back in 2011, I addressed this unseemly tendency in the wake of the Anders Brevik killings with "Debunking the Left-Wing Myths About 'Right-Wing, Extremist Christians.”
One of the prime perpetrators of these political smears is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has devolved from an organization that once combatted real hate groups such as the KKK to a racket that trades on its former reputation to smear people such as Ben Carson as "extremists." The SPLC has, among other things, blamed Sarah Palin's political rhetoric for providing a "a facilitating context” for the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords by a man who is quite clearly mentally ill and barely registers discernible political opinions. Of course, when another man shot a security guard and was intent of starting a killing spree at the mainstream Christian organization the Family Research Council, he told the FBI that he found the organization listed on a "hate map" on the SPLC's website. What was SPLC's response to the awkward revelation that they were associated with this terrible crime?
“Well, first of all, having a group on our hate map doesn’t cause anybody to attack them any more than they attacked us for one thing or another,” Dees told CNSNews.com on August 6. It takes quite a bit of hubris for Dees to defensively equate rhetorical attacks on his own organization with actual gun violence against an organization whose politics he dislikes. It also seems more than a little convenient that Dees now denies a connection between rhetoric and violence. In 2011, an SPLC blog post, “Expert: Political Rhetoric Likely a Factor in Arizona Shooting,” concluded that Sarah Palin’s rhetoric “could have provided a facilitating context” for the Giffords shooting, though, again, there is no evidence Loughner was exposed to it.
By the loose standard of “facilitating context,” the unjust inclusion of the Family Research Council headquarters on a “hate map” otherwise filled with violent white nationalist organizations is a much more serious transgression—particularly when Corkins admits he used the map to learn about his target. And while Leo Johnson’s defining characteristics are his courage and character, as long as we’re talking about context, it’s worth pondering why the founder of a celebrated civil rights organization is obdurately unreflective about the role his SPLC played in the shooting of a black man.
Which brings us to the Facebook page of the North Carolina killer, which suggests he wasn't remotely neutral when it comes to his atheist and liberal political opinions:
His Facebook Likes included the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye "The Science Guy," Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gay Marriage groups and similar progressive pages.
4:01 PM, Feb 2, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The website Vox.com appears to still be thriving, despite my best efforts to warn people off of their willfully ignorant "explanatory journalism." As I have previously observed, we're on the tail end of a media "golden age for liberals where, to paraphrase Kipling, all the young turks were paid for their writing, and none of them paid for their sins."
3:01 PM, Jan 20, 2014 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
The young state of Kosovo—with an Albanian majority of more than 90 percent, of whom 80 percent are Muslim—declared its independence in 2008, but now faces a “risk from extremist religious currents, which requires . . . counter-measures at a strategic level.” Further, Kosovar Albanians have an agenda for a return of their people and culture to Europe, not an orientation toward the Middle East.
10:01 AM, Jul 29, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Secretary of State John Kerry will host "an Iftar dinner for Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni," according to a copy of his schedule released by the State Department. The dinner will also be attended by "Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat."
The event will be closed to the press.
Kerry's schedule for today reads:
7:18 AM, Apr 12, 2013 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Away from the eyes of the world, ideological Islamists pursue infiltration of the moderate Muslim communities in Kosovo and Albania. But in nearly all cases, they continue to be rejected.
"We ♥ Prophet Muhammad"3:46 PM, Sep 28, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Muslim Americans in Michigan, including a local newspaper editor, will be rallying Friday in Dearborn to protest the YouTube film, "Innocence of Muslims" and advocate for blasphemy laws. Here's an image of a poster advertising the rally:
4:04 PM, May 11, 2012 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
While most of the informed Western public is aghast at the economic and political chaos that appears to be overtaking the government in Athens, southeast Europe has seen aggravated Islamist turmoil in the Balkan Muslim-majority lands and minority communities on and near Greece’s borders.
6:14 PM, Jul 29, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
ABC News reports:
When Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, accused of plotting planning a deadly bombing and shooting attack on soldiers at Fort Hood, made his first appearance in court in Waco, Texas, today, he yelled the name of accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan.
Hasan is facing the death penalty for allegedly killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 in an assault on Fort Hood in November 2009.
12:33 PM, Mar 29, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Illinois senator Dick Durbin opened his Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing this morning on civil rights for Muslims by quoting George Washington. "In this land of equal liberty, it is our boast that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the laws," Durbin said, making it clear that this is the principle he's aiming to uphold today, as he tries to tackle concerns about how Muslim Americans are treated in this country. But his main focus was placed on rhetoric, not civil rights abuses, toward Muslims.
4:41 PM, Mar 28, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Illinois senator Dick Durbin will convene a hearing tomorrow on anti-Muslim bigotry, which he says will renew our nation's commitment to civil rights for Muslims. Today, New York congressman Peter King, who was roundly criticized for focusing on American Muslims at his recent hearing on homegrown radicalization, criticized Durbin for holding the hearing.
9:00 AM, Mar 28, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In what is likely a response to Rep. Peter King's relatively tame hearings on Muslim extremism and homeland security earlier this month, Senator Dick Durbin will be holding a hearing this Tuesday to investigate the supposedly growing problem of anti-Muslim bigotry in America. USA Today reports: