Cannibal Reza Aslan will never tell you this, but I will: the real originators of “Islamophobia” in the U.S. are not Geller, Gaffney, Pipes and me, but Nidal Malik Hasan, Mohamed Atta, Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Mohammed Abdulazeez, Syed Rizwan Farook, Tashfeen Malik, Omar Mateen, and all the other Muslims who have plotted and/or carried out jihad massacres on American soil. Aslan’s whole “Islamophobia” roadshow is a cynical and disingenuous attempt to divert attention away from the reality of jihad terror.
His claim that Geller, Gaffney, Pipes and I are actually responsible for any suspicion Americans have of Islam or Muslims is also self-contradictory: on the one hand I am a “moron” and Gaffney is a “wackjob,” and all of us are “fringe figures,” yet somehow we have managed to amass enough nefarious power to make “Islamophobia” enough of a serious concern that he has to run around the country giving talks about it.
Meanwhile, speaking of “morons,” Aslan has made the ridiculous claim that the idea of resurrection “simply doesn’t exist in Judaism,” despite numerous passages to the contrary in the Hebrew Scriptures. He has also referred to “the reincarnation, which Christianity talks about” — although he later claimed that one was a “typo.” In yet another howler he later insisted was a “typo,” he claimed that the Biblical story of Noah was barely four verses long — which he then corrected to forty, but that was wrong again, as it is 89 verses long. Aslan claimed that the “founding philosophy of the Jesuits” was “the preferential option for the poor,” when in reality, that phrase wasn’t even coined until 1968. He called Turkey the second most populous Muslim country, when it is actually the eighth most populous Muslim country. He thinks Pope Pius XI, who issued the anti-fascist encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, was a fascist. He thinks Marx and Freud “gave birth to the Enlightenment,” when it ended in the late 18th century, before either of them were born. He claims that “the very first thing that Muhammad did was outlaw slavery,” when in fact Muhammad bought slaves, took female captives as sex slaves, and owned slaves until his death. He thinks Ethiopia and Eritrea are in Central Africa.
A “renowned religious scholar” such as Reza Aslan should not make such elementary mistakes. But this is, of course, the man who writes “than” for “then”; apparently thinks the Latin word “et” is an abbreviation; and writes “clown’s” for “clowns.”
“Celebrity Prof Reza Aslan Brings His ‘Islamophobia’ Show To Penn,” by Gregg Roman, Daily Caller, March 10, 2017:
What happens when a professor known for hyping the dangers of “Islamophobia” is accused of perpetuating such a “phobia” himself? Critics of UC Riverside creative writing professor Reza Aslan’s new CNN show, “Believer,” are charging him with “Hinduphobia” for depicting Hindus as cannibals in the opening episode.
An Iranian-American academic, author, HBO producer, and now television host Reza Aslan has become a sought-after speaker on Muslim life in America. His celebrity profile packed the house at the University of Pennsylvania last month for the presentation “Fear Inc.: Confronting Islamophobia in America.”
The crowd of approximately 750 was a diverse mix of students, attentive adults, and prominent Penn faculty and alumni, most notably NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. The significance of the turnout was clear: fearmongering about rising “Islamophobia” is trending, and a young, hip Muslim-American with cable TV producing credentials has the answers.
Aslan began by proclaiming American “Islamophobia” a recent phenomenon. An Iranian immigrant whose arrival in America coincided with the Iran hostage crisis, he claims to have witnessed little bigotry against Muslims. Even 9/11 sparked not a backlash, but a nationwide rallying cry to support Muslims. “If we are engaged in the war of ideas, we knew that the most powerful weapon in our arsenal were the three million Muslims that were here,” he proclaimed.
So where did “Islamophobia” originate? A few fringe groups, or “clowns” as he put it, supposedly created it in 2014. They allegedly include authors Robert Spencer, whom Aslan charmingly called a “moron,” Pamela Geller, Frank Gaffney (a “wackjob!”), and Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes, whom he called
the thinking man’s Islamophobe! He’s the guy I worry about the most because his argument is pretty simple: it’s not the jihadists and the terrorists that we need to worry about, it’s the Muslim who is actually absorbed in American culture.
Pipes never made such a claim and, far from encouraging fear of Muslims, has consistently proclaimed “radical Islam in the problem; moderate Islam is the solution.”
Aslan encouraged the audience to “laugh at these guys” and ostracize them as “fringe figures, hate group leaders . . . and people who have no business in the mainstream on any topic, much less Islamism.” He even claimed that Trump doesn’t believe Islam is a religion at all.
A student asked about U.S. influence on the rise of Islamism, leading Aslan to point out that this is neither unique nor surprising. Religious nationalism is on the rise everywhere, especially in the U.S. and Israel, he maintained. He brought up a Pew study to back up his contention that at least one third of the U.S. can be defined as Christian nationalists, and cited messianic Zionists and current Israeli Education Minister, and who Aslan called “the expected next Prime Minister, Naftali Bennet” as Israeli examples.
“What’s important to understand is that [Islamism] is not a religious ideology, it’s a political ideology,” Aslan stressed. “As an ideology, it has very defined goals that are nationalistic.” The U.S should only be concerned with those whose goals are “trans-nationalistic,” he added.
But of course, Islamism is inherently religious, not merely political, adhering as it does to the traditional tenets of Islam that do not allow for separation of church and state. Moreover, Aslan erroneously claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are nationalistic, whereas only al-Qaeda and ISIS are trans-nationalistic.
Aslan insisted repeatedly that Islamists with nationalistic views are part of the worldwide trend exemplified by Brexit and the election of Trump, and should not be feared. That is, only jihadists like ISIS are distinguished by a “military element” and therefore pose a threat to Americans.
His claim that the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are only interested in taking political control, respectively, of Egypt and the Palestinian territories is deeply inaccurate. The Muslim Brotherhood has always maintained trans-nationalistic goals, while Hamas has forged alliances with international jihadist groups and Islamist regimes.
In emphasizing this “important distinction” Aslan sought two goals: downplay the number of dangerous Islamist groups, and attack the Trump administration for its anticipated plan to label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. “We’re in the midst of an administration that shows no difference between these two orientations,” Aslan declared to gasps of outrage from the likeminded audience. “We have to stop jihadists, but to apply the same pressure to Islamists is disastrous. This is what leads to the kind of radicalization we are trying to reverse.”…