Steve Emerson, the courageous and indefatigable pioneer of anti-jihadist investigations in the United States, reveals some disturbing but unfortunately unsurprising facts about the California Democratic Party's pandering to radical Muslims -- by attacking those who are exposing them -- in a piece in today's FrontPage magazine: "Jihad in California". Read the whole thing, but here are some substantial excerpts:
"For years, the Democratic Party, in California and across America, stood for justice and decency and fairness and equality and peace. For years, the Democratic Party embodied principles and beliefs that define America, and led our nation to a better, stronger, freer day. Thus, it is deeply troubling to find that the leader of the Democratic Party in California, Art Torres, has chosen to engage in the most vicious form of demagoguery in his recent appearance before the annual convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) held in Long Beach, California on December 20-21, 2003.
"This is not a charge I choose to make casually. But don't take my word -- judge for yourself. So, here are Mr. Torres' own words, quoted verbatim:
"'... there has been a steady stream of attacks in the Qu'ran including specific verses taken out of context and on the Prophet. These attacks are vicious. They're mean spirited and politically motivated.'
"Sounds familiar, the notion of twisting the Qu'ran and attacking the Prophet Mohammed for evil purposes? This is exactly what Salman Rushdie was accused of; and as a result, a fatwa calling for Mr. Rushdie's death was issued by Iran and supported by militant Islamic groups around the world. Bookstores were bombed. Translators of Mr. Rushdie's book were stabbed and assassinated. Mr. Rushdie was consigned to live under the permanent threat of being executed.
"But here we have the head of the Democratic Party issuing the exact same language issued by radical Islamic groups against Salman Rushdie.
"And, according to Mr. Torres, who are those carrying out the attacks on the Qu'ran and the Prophet Mohammed? Well, to my unpleasant surprise, he named me and Daniel Pipes. Mr. Torres' comments were rather chilling:
"'And a second stream of attacks have been against American Muslims in particular - and this type of attack is focused on tarring the community with the label Islamist, and these attacks have been led by Daniel Pipes and Steve Emerson. We need to remember these names because they're getting away with it, because we don't confront them with their vitriolic hatred as implemented in our media waves...in America.'
"So here we have the head of the Democratic Party in California using the same exact tactics as Islamic militants used in claiming that Salman Rushdie defamed Islam. In the typically inverted and conspiratorial logic of Islamic extremists in which they are self-portrayed as the 'victims' of hate crimes, Rushdie was deemed the proponent of 'hatred' against Muslims. Mr. Torres invokes the exact same murderous conspiratorial logic in claiming that Daniel Pipes, a noted scholar and expert on Islamic fundamentalism, and I have been engaged in a campaign of hatred against Islam. . . .
". . . whenever Islamic militants were exposed, as they were in my film ["Jihad in America"], radical groups claimed that it was Islam that was under attack. It represented a deliberate deceit to have the public believe that criticism of militant Islam was the equivalent of criticizing mainstream Islam.
"And so, after my documentary aired in 1994, I found myself the subject of constant attacks by militant Islamic groups that I had tarred all Muslims, that I defamed Islam, etc. Within a year after the documentary was broadcast, I was forced to go in hiding because I was informed by federal law enforcement officials of an assassination plot against me.
"The incendiary language and the fabricated allegations used against me since 1994 by various radical Islamic groups were chillingly reminiscent of the language used by Art Torres. In fact, the incitement by Torres was lifted directly from the attacks against me by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group created by Hamas front groups in the United States, the American Muslim Council (a Saudi created group whose leader was just indicted on secretly working for Libya in the US and who had been secretly affiliated with Hamas and Al-Qaeda leaders) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
"MPAC? The very group that Mr. Torres addressed. And if anyone has even the smallest doubt as to what MPAC stands for, well then, just as Mr. Torres' words speak volumes, so do the words by MPAC and its officials.
"On September 11, 2001--the day of the devastating terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center--Salam al-Marayati, Executive Director and one of the Founders of MPAC, stated during an appearance on KCRW-FM's 'Which Way, LA?' program that 'we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list':
"'If we're going to look at suspects, we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies.'
"Al-Marayati has also maintained that al-Qaeda has no American supporters. In reality, numerous American citizens have been found working with al-Qaeda, including Ali Mohammed, who worked for the American army, and Wadih El-Hage, who was Osama bin Laden's personal secretary and was convicted for the U.S. Embassies bombing plot in Africa:
"'The only known American supporter of al-Qaeda and bin Laden is John Walker Lindh...If the attorney general has any evidence that there are other supporters of al-Qaeda in our community, then that should be disclosed immediately and due process should be followed in order to preserve the civil liberties we all cherish and aim to protect. This fishing expedition will not help the war against terrorism. It will only hurt America's image abroad.' . . .
"The MPAC 2002 Annual Banquet featured Ali Mazrui, a SUNY-Binghampton professor who said:
"'There is also suspicion that some members of the Bush administration in collusion with Israel are more than ready to plunge the Middle East into turmoil in the hope that the final outcome would be to the territorial advantage of Israel and the strategic advantage of the United States. All this is part of the emerging external sadism of the United States, a readiness to hurt others abroad.'
"In a 2001 press release, MPAC justified a Palestinian suicide bombing in Jerusalem that killed 16, including 6 children:
"'[The Jerusalem bombing] is the expected bitter result of the reckless policy of Israeli assassination that did not spare children and political figures.... MPAC holds Israel responsible for this pattern of violence.' . . .
"In a November 1997 speech at the University of Pennsylvania, MPAC Co-Founder and Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati, refused to call Hizbollah a terrorist organization:
"Question: 'You mentioned Hizbollah, do you consider it to be more of a, I guess a national liberation movement or a terrorist group?'
"Al-Marayati: '... I don't think any group should be judged 100% this or that, I think every group is going to have, um, its claim of liberation and resistance ...there's the part that deals with the military confrontation with Israel and if you look at the numbers though, Hizbollah attacks against Israeli civilians are like a fraction of Israeli attacks against the Muslims.'
"During the same speech at the University of Pennsylvania in 1997, Al-Marayati justified Hamas' existence as a political entity, and equated Hamas with the PLO in terms of social programs and 'educational operations':
"'Yesterday's terrorists in the Middle East are today's leaders. The PLO is the number one example of this [unclear word]. The PLO 35 years ago was considered a terrorist organization, nobody should deal with them, no terrorists can hide, so on and so forth. But they became the people in authority, in Palestine, today. So Hamas today, the way it's being viewed, is exactly how the PLO was viewed 30 years ago. And in fact, even Hamas in terms of its social and educational operations is doing exactly what the PLO was doing 35 years ago, as well as its quote unquote military operations.'
"Finally, at the University of Pennsylvania speech in 1997, Al-Marayati equated 'jihad' to the statements of Patrick Henry:
"'And, the person who we think in America would epitomize jihad would be Patrick Henry, who said, "Give me liberty or give me death." That is a way of looking at the term jihad from an American perspective.' . . .
"While that is but a very, very small sample, you get the idea, even if, perhaps, Mr. Torres does not. Those few quotations tell us all we need to know about MPAC - and also about Mr. Torres.
"What is left to be said? What can be said? That Mr. Torres chose to legitimize a group that supports Islamic terrorism and that he himself parroted the same incendiary rhetoric issued by MPAC and other extremist organizations shows that the murderous deceit that led to 9/11 is still alive and well, at least in California."