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Clarion Project’s New Islamophobic Film, “Honor Diaries”

honor diaries islamophobiaThe Clarion Fund (now the “Clarion Project–#1 news site on the threat of Islamic extremism“) rides again.  After producing three classic Islamophobic films, Obsession, Third Jihad and Iranium, T-H-E-Y’R-E B-A-C-K with a new one, Honor Diaries.  The new project focuses on honor killings and Islam’s supposed hatred of women.  One has to ask why a film about the purported abuse of Muslim women was produced by Jews, and ones with a distinct ideological agenda at that.

Honor Diaries calls itself a “woman’s film” (it was launched on March 8th, International Women’s Day) when its focus is decrying the alleged backwardness and misogyny of Islam.  Here is the blurb from the film’s website in which you can see the sly manipulation of feminism for the purpose of Muslim-bashing:

The film gives a platform to exclusively female voices and seeks to expose the paralyzing political correctness that prevents many from identifying, understanding and addressing this international human rights disaster.  Freedom of movement, the right to education, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation are some of the systematic abuses explored in depth.

Spurred by the Arab Spring, women who were once silent are starting to speak out about gender inequality and are bringing visibility to a long history of oppression. This project draws together leading women’s rights activists and provides a platform where their voices can be heard and serves as inspiration to motivate others to speak out.

More than a movie, Honor Diaries is a movement meant to inspire viewers to learn more about issues facing women in Muslim-majority societies, and to act for change.

The words “Arab Spring” above are the “hook” for the film.  Its producers erroneously saw the Arab Spring as a revolt against Islam.  So they devised this film as a wedge to further divide the mass of westerners against Islam.  If the Arab Spring represented democracy, feminism, and turning toward western values, then it offered a perfect tool to discredit traditional Islam.  Of course, this analysis of the Arab Spring is totally wrong.  It did represent a turn toward populism and even democracy in some national contexts, but it in no way rejected Islam.

Another aspect of the marketing of this film is quite devious and sophisticated.  Instead of taking on Islam head-on as it did so outlandishly in the previous three films, here the trash-talking is downplayed.  It doesn’t preoccupy itself with terrorism or claim that all Muslims are terrorists as the earlier films did.  Instead, it embraces a subject as American as apple pie: women’s rights.  We all agree that oppression of women is wrong.  So if Clarion can paint a picture of Islamic societies as oppressing women, then it’s achieved it’s goal of discrediting Islam, but done it through the back-door as it were.

ayan hirsi ali

Ayan Hirsi Ali interviewed by libertarian radical, John Stossel, on FoxNews.

Behind the film are the usual cast of characters including Rabbi Raphael Shore, formerly (according to him) of the settler-linked Aish HaTorah and Israel media-advocacy group, Honest Reporting.  Alex Traiman, who wrote the previous films is back for another reprieve.  But there are some intriguing new figures, Ayan Hirsi Ali, one of the early African female of assailants of Islam, who is a visiting fellow at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute.  Another “expert” interviewed extensively is Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a Manhattan sleep disorder specialist, who’s transformed herself into a feminist Muslim and darling of the pro-Israel world.  She celebrates Israel’s achievements as an unapologetic voice of Arab hasbara.

A member of the film’s advisory board is Christopher Boughey, a detective in the Peoria, AZ police department.  Though his work involves investigating crimes against women, he has no particular expertise in Islam.  His claim to fame is that he was the lead detective investigating an alleged honor killing.  Which now makes him an expert in the entire field of women’s rights and Islam.

A writer and producer of the film, Paula Kweskin, has penned anti-Palestinian articles in the Jerusalem Post arguing that Israel does not occupy Gaza.  Despite Kweskin’s claim of special interest in international humanitarian relief and the plight of Arab women, her NY Times wedding announcement proclaims that she is an employee of Clarion Fund (not just an independent producer of the film).  She and her husband appear to be Orthodox Jews.  So rather than a feminist filmmaker, she’s little more than a hasbara professional.

There may be genuine, sincere feminists involved with this film.  There may even be some legitimacy to the issues offered.  But under the auspices of an Islam-hating outfit like Clarion, whatever good might’ve been possible in this project has been completely undermined.  The participants have either been used without their awareness, believing they were doing good; or they’ve participated out of sharing the values of Shore and Clarion.

One of the latter is one of the nine subjects of the film, Reza.  Here is her spin on the matter:

“I thought this project was the most brilliant thing I’d ever heard of, and I say hats off to Clarion for having done this and allowing us to speak. We were not paid and it was not scripted,” Reza told Haaretz in a phone interview.

“The term Islamophobia is being used today to ward off any criticism of Islam and to silence people. Moreover, this is not really a film about Islam, it’s a film about human rights,” she said. “Those who are apologists will have an issue with that.”

I’ve got news for Reza, either she’s lying and she knows it; or she hasn’t seen any of the previous Clarion films and hasn’t reviewed Raphael Shore’s credits or bio.  Clarion is an overtly anti-Muslim organization and all of its projects share that goal.

Clarion represents not just a pro-Israel agenda, but an Islamophobic one.  Think Progress compiled a list of the group’s largest donors and they are some of the most pro-Israel, Islamophobic funders in the U.S.  They include the Irving Moskowitz Foundation ($60,000), the San Francisco Jewish Federation ($75,000), the Jewish Communal Fund (NY, $30,000), and the William Rosenwald Fund ($25,000).  Moskowitz is one of the most generous donors to the radical settler movement, the S.F. Jewish federation’s largest donor is the Islamophobic Koret Foundation.  The Rosenwald Fund is controlled by Jewish Islamophobe, Nina Rosenwald.

Clarion’s board members and analysts like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Frank Gaffney and Ryan Mauro are frequent guests on FoxNews shows in which they decry the threat of Islam to U.S. society.  Clarion is almost a wholly-owned subsidiary of the GOP, especially the Jewish neocon variety.

Clarion’s films are hyperbolic, histrioinic and senationalist.  Tens of thousands of copies of Obsession were mailed to voters during a presidential election at a cost of $18-million, an expense secretly borne by a Chicago Jewish pro-Israel donor, Barre Seid.  Before they removed it, one of the websites overtly championed the candidacy of John McCain.  Clarion has paid GOP political consultants to promote its previous films.

The movie bills itself as “interfaith” in order to inoculate itself from claims that its sole target is Islam.  But as near as I can tell the sole interfaith aspect of the project is that Jews funded a project to bash Muslims.

The producers have located nine women, only one of whom lives in the Arab world, and most of whom appear privileged, wealthy and secular.  Some of the subjects haven’t lived in the Arab or Muslim world for decades.  One of the interviewees is an Arab Christian, who would have a plethora of prejudices against Islam.  Another is an Indian Sikh, who is neither Arab nor Muslim.

If the producers had wanted to make an honest film they would’ve created a project that explored the subjugation of women in the Third World, not just in Arab or Muslim lands.  This would’ve enabled them to explore conditions for women throughout the world, rather than in one relatively small piece of it.  But then, of course, they wouldn’t have fulfilled the agenda of the producers to bash Israel’s Arab and Muslim “enemies.”

Nor did I see in the movie trailer any commitment by any of them to engage in work in the Arab world to liberate women and girls from their alleged straits.  The only call to action asks viewers to support the International Violence Against Women Act, which has failed to gather enough support in past Congresses to become law.  It also offers a “Wall of Honor” to which you may nominate a respected man or woman.

The film does offer video clips of young girls speaking of their suffering.  But the girls were rarely identified and it wasn’t clear what, if any, connection they had to the nine main subjects of the documentary.

The film’s style is agitprop.  It juxtaposes a heartfelt girl-power session with numerous videos showing women who’ve been hung, whose faces have been disfigured by acid attacks, and who’ve been murdered in honor killings.  There is little sociological analysis of the problem or suggestions about how to end it other than general consciousness raising.  The only clear enemy suggested is Muslim men and society.

One example of the sloppiness of the film is the denunciation of female circumcision.  This is not a rite of Islam.  Nor is it a religious rite in the cultures where it is practiced.  Though genital mutilation is a barbaric practice, it cannot be associated with Islam.  This distinction is not made clear in the trailer I viewed.  Another glaring distortion has an interviewer claiming honor killings are an alarming phenomenon even in the U.S. and “increasing” in occurrence.  I’d challenge this claim, which is never buttressed with any evidence.  In yet another segment, an Iranian-American woman says:

Muslim women are deprived of their humanity.

There are tens of millions of Muslim women who would disagree with this statement.  A statement, I might add, which is never supported with any evidence other than news clips of U.S. honor killings.  There is a presumption that the men who committed these heinous crimes did so out of some allegiance to Islam.  Another unfounded assumption.

An example of the naivete of Paula Kweskin, the public face and producer of the film is that she closes the clip above by soliciting $10,000 to have the film translated into Arabic so it can be shown in Muslim countries like Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Why in God’s name would any Muslim society be willing to screen a film that disparages virtually all of its adherents?

Though they would deny it, one of the end results of this film will be a spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes.  The tone of this film encourages the acts of the imbalanced haters in our communities.  It empowers them to engage in anti-social behavior like shooting into mosques (which occurred several days ago near Chicago).  So instead of liberating women from the shackles of Islam, it’s liable to put Muslims in harm’s way.

What’s unprecedented for a Clarion film is the level of co-optation they’ve managed with the feminist and human rights community.  Haaretz claims Amnesty hosted a London screening and that the UN Human Rights Commissioner received a copy of the film in Geneva.  The film has been screened at film festivals all over the western world.  Their stealth marketing strategy earned them a screening at the University of Michigan Dearborn, right in the heart of the Arab-American community.  When asked by naive campus administrators to participate in a panel discussion both CAIR and the ADC refused wisely.  They didn’t want to give the film any further credibility by appearing.  Surely, their participation would’ve been used by the producers to claim even they saw it as a legitimate portrayal of Muslim attitudes toward women.  I understand the screening was wisely “postponed” by campus officials.

If you are a feminist or human rights activist on campus or elsewhere, beware any attempt to bring this film into your organizations as a documentary worthy of screening.  I am sure there are legitimate films that discuss this issue without the animus inherent in this one.

Another dubious development is that Haaretz liberal Zionist blogger, Ilene Prusher published a credulous profile of the film which actually treats it like a real documentary, rather than a piece of Islamophobic agitprop.  I’ve noted here previously Prusher’s tendency to diminish or discredit the achievements of Israeli Palestinian cultural figures at the expense of Israeli Jewish artists.  Now, Prusher champions an overtly Islamophobic film and propaganda outlet.  She does so while barely acknowledging the reams of online published research exposing Clarion’s ideological biases.  Haaretz too becomes a tool to promote these wares before its liberal Zionist audience.

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{ 72 comments… add one }
  • Jalal March 27, 2014, 3:16 AM

    Hi Richard,

    Wondering where I can buy the T-Shirt you’re wearing in this picture here: http://richards10.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2005/06/RS-photo-Seattle-Times.jpg

    Thank you so much!

    • Richard Silverstein March 27, 2014, 1:39 PM

      @ Jalal: Through Jewish Voice for Peace. If you can’t find the link to their store let me know.

  • Oui March 27, 2014, 3:28 AM

    Thank you so much for a very detailed research and clarity about this Islamophobic enterprise. Living in Holland, I’m aware about Ayaan Hirsi’s lies to obtain refugee status in a country that welcomed her and she made the best of the opportunity given. Her enterprise with filmmaker Theo van Gogh was a dreadful failure and pushed the agenda of her colleague Geert Wilders in Dutch politics. Ayaan was forced to resign as MP, under threat het citizenship was to be revoked, and Wilders also left the Dutch conservative party VVD to establish his single-member party PVV. Daniel Pipes & Co. funds the activities of Wilders in Dutch politics with an anti-Palestinian agenda.

    Ayaan’s life is partially based on lies and it’s very self-centered with a mind of revenge from her early experiences growing up in Somalia and Saudi Arabia. I trust she found her place in the US amongst the famous Islamophobes, her work at AEI and her family life with Niall Ferguson[sic].

  • Shoshana March 27, 2014, 4:36 AM

    [comment deleted]

  • ben March 27, 2014, 5:28 AM

    Good article. I am not a fan of any group that perpetuates hate threw the guise of human rights be it islamaphobia in the form of human rights or anti semtism under the guise of anti israel rethoric.

    Much like israel accusers regularly disregard other countries violations of international law so do the makers of this video fail to lòok at all honor killings. Interesting enough but the bulk of those killings happen in india and are in hindu or sheikh families but who cares right? They aren’t the ‘enemy’ so I guess thier crimes don’t count.

    http://www.islamawareness.net/HonourKilling/outside.html

  • Oui March 27, 2014, 1:16 PM

    Using the search engine, I noticed you have covered some of these funds in previous articles .

    Donors to the Islamophobia network [pdf]

    A list of the seven largest donors to think tanks and organizations in the United States identified
    by the Center for American Progress as anti-Islam and anti-Muslim, promoting Islamophobia in our country:

    • Donors Capital Fund
    • Richard Mellon Scaife foundations
    • Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
    • Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker foundations and charitable trust
    • Russell Berrie Foundation
    • Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund
    • Fairbrook Foundation

    Donors Capital [Koch Bros.] is most famous for contributing more than $17 million to the Clarion Fund in 2008, the largest recipient of Donors Capital’s largesse “by a large margin,” according to CounterPunch’s Pam Marten. Indeed, Donors Capital Fund’s contributions made up 96 percent of all the funding Clarion Fund received that year. That $17 million, provided by a single anonymous source (who is alleged to be Chicago businessman Barre Seid, according to the website Salon.com), helped pay for a DVD the Clarion Fund distributed, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” to more than 28 million swing-state voters before the 2008 presidential election.

    Fakery 2: More Funny Finances, Free Of Tax by John Mashey

  • Rocky Lore March 27, 2014, 1:30 PM

    There is no such thing as “Islamophobia.”

    • Richard Silverstein March 27, 2014, 4:18 PM

      @ Rocky Lore: Sure there is, and you’re a perfect example of it. Your first comment was trashed because it was a perfect representative of the genre. If you further violate the comment rules with Islamophobia & racist drivel, you’ll be banned. Read the comment rules before you publish again here.

    • Jafar Siddiqui March 27, 2014, 11:25 PM

      You are completely right Rocky, there is no such thing as Islamophobia. While we are at it, we should also note that there are no such people as “Palestinians”, Jews were never slaughtered in the Shoah and Hitler and Stalin were great fellows.

      Now that we have dealt with fantasies of the bigots, perhaps we can get back to real life?

    • Nick April 28, 2014, 6:11 AM

      While there may not be a clinical term, “Islamaphobia”, I think there is such a thing as “Islamaphobia”. Although the name seems to suggest an irrational fear of Islam (phobia), it is defined by some as the intense dislike or fear of Islam or a hostility or prejudice against Muslims.

      I do think the term “Islamaphobia” is used often used to stifle respectful conversation about real issues. Real debate is often uncomfortable and although I may disagree with you, I think contrarian opinions are integral to a healthy society.

      • Jafar Siddiqui April 28, 2014, 11:59 PM

        Hello Nick,
        Not sure if I understood the second paragraph of your statement correctly.

        If you mean people often accuse others of Islamophobia in order to avoid a frank discussion, you haven’t met enough Muslims. There is nothing wrong with a highly energise discussion about Islam (or any other faith) where people disagree but with sincerity and respect.

        The line gets crossed into Islamophobia when the accusing party starts to use false information to support their position and have no interest in facts. Let’s say someone were to accuse Muslims in America of trying to take control of the country and forcing their “Shariah law” on hapless Americans (meaning Judeo-Christian Americans, of course). I would call that either Islamophobia or abysmal stupidity.

        On the other hand, if someone were to ask if the Quran requires people who convert out of Islam, to be killed or, adulterers to be stoned or, women to undergo Female Genital Mutilation (It does not). Such an inquiry would fall under open and sincere discussion and should be okay for Muslims to respond to, without either side losing its cool

      • Jafar Siddiqui April 29, 2014, 12:01 AM

        Please forgive the pytos…haste makes for sausage-fingers.

        • Nick April 29, 2014, 5:06 AM

          Jafar, I agree that either side should be able to discuss without losing its cool.
          The following summarizes why many in the US are distrusting of the Islam religion. First, a terrorist event of some type will happen and a “radical Islamic” group will claim responsibility or investigation connects the dots. The said group has ideology based upon specific passages in the Quran regarding violence that in their mind sanctioned the violent act. Second, the general public becomes interested to verify the information about the Quran, and they find the violent scriptures there in the book. Many stop here and their impression of Islam is set. Is this Islamaphobic? I don’t know. Maybe it is. Third, some recognize the Quran is not the complete story when it comes to instruction regarding Islam. There is the Hadith and even further there are major (large / prominent) schools of Islam teaching. The person questioning Islam will then look to see any of the major schools define Jihad to include physical fighting as acceptable do defend Islam. If they find that large Islamic institutions still condone violence in defense of the religion they will think Islam is violent. Is this Islamaphobic? I don’t think so (with caveat). At this point the questioner has a position based upon information in the Quran confirm by a large Islamic institution. Caveat – if the person can separate people from the religion, i.e. People can chose to follow or not follow a specific school of thought and individuals should be evaluated on their individual merits.
          I’ve seen online and in person, conversation that starts after stage 3 and often if the questioner asks, “if Islam is peaceful is jihad allowed to be violent?” At this point, there is usually no discussion but accusations of Islamaphobia and insults to Muslims etc.
          So a divide is created and both sides are further polarized.
          I think people should be able to criticize institutions of power, whatever the flavor, with the goal of promoting human rights and freedom. In this line of questioning, the questions, based off learning from Islamic texts and groups, the question or position must be argued with facts. I can appreciate that type of debate, and it helps all grow in understanding of the truth of a situation.
          Ohhhh K. Got getting going. Thanks

          • Jafar Siddiqui May 1, 2014, 5:47 PM

            Nick.
            At the risk of going off-topic again (Richard, please advise), I just HAVE to respond to your comments. Since I do not wish to impose too much on this excellent thread, please feel free to continue this conversation with me directly: jeffsiddiqui at msn dot com
            However, if Richard will allow this discussion to continue here, I am quite satisfied that.

            To begin with, my understanding of Islamophobia is not bias against Islam born out of sincere ignorant, but bias against Islam and Muslims because of willful ignorance of facts. As an analogy, if someone hates Catholics because s-he believes Catholics drink human blood in their rites, but then is shown that this is untrue and then changes his mind. That person was not Anti-Catholic. However, if the person ignores all attempts to set the facts straight and continues to hate Catholics, then that person is truly “Cathlo=phobic”.

            I must say if your points were all valid then it is inescapable that Islam says let’s kill of everyone but our own (sub-) group. Thankfully however, your points are not accurate. I will start by noting that people (some? many?) are distrustful of Islam and Muslims, because they are deliberately mal-informed about us by the media and by well-heel, anti-Muslim propaganda machines like The Clarion Group…money does talk and people do listen.

            Muslim groups can and will claim their violent actions are required by God in the Quran, just as similar justifications have been and will continue to be used by all faith-groups through history. I will not go off on that tangent on this discussion group. Yes, the same violent groups can and will, find passages in the Quran, Bible and other documents of God, that they say, support the violence against one or more sets of people.

            The FACT is that if a sane and reasonable person were to read the Quran s-he would NOT find passages that command the killing of people because of their faith or, if they did not start the aggression. The Quran is the only absolute, indisputable document in Islam, all others (Hadith, Sunnah etc.,) can be argued and disputed for even being real.

            I will not get into details of the term “Jihad” here, but if you go to my blog, http://www.Peniihad.com and read the side-panel “Dare I Say Jihad?”, it should clarify what “Jihad” entails.

            Finally, when we Muslims say “Islam is a peaceful religion” it does not mean we will lie down so an attacker may more easily slit out throats. We are required to defend our selves and our family, our nation by all peaceful means available, but with violence if the attackers do not desist and continue with their violence. If that leads you to say, “AHA! I knew Islam is not a peaceful religion” then there is nothing I can say to help you change your mind.

            I absolutely agree that we must ALL oppose oppression and stand for human rights and freedom. But we must be careful not to parse those terms such that they serve our goals and not the absolute values represented by those terms. Sadly, I don’t believe there is any country where free speech, human rights or “Freedom” are allowed their natural, free rein.

  • M&M March 27, 2014, 1:44 PM

    [Islamophobic comments will not be published]

  • Abdul Ameer March 27, 2014, 5:33 PM

    Richard, you write: “Though genital mutilation is a barbaric practice, it cannot be associated with Islam. ” What, then, do you make of the following statement from the popular manual of Sharia Law, “Reliance of the Traveler”: e4.3 Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)”
    This Sunni manual of Sharia law was approved by the highest Islamic religious authorities of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and America as a reliable guide to Sharia law for Muslims today.
    The practice is fairly widespread in certain parts of the Muslim world, and there seems to be little serious opposition to on the part of the Islamic religious leaders.

    • Richard Silverstein March 27, 2014, 8:24 PM

      @ Abdul Ameer: My statement was imprecise. Here is what Wikipedia says on the subject:

      There is no mention of FGM in the Bible or Quran.[102] Although its origins are pre-Islamic, it became associated with Islam because of that religion’s focus on female modesty and chastity…It is praised in several hadith (sayings attributed to Muhammad) as noble but not required…In 2006 several leading Islamic scholars called for an end to the practice, and in 2007 the Al-Azhar Supreme Council of Islamic Research in Cairo ruled that it has no basis in Islamic law.

      And another source:

      …There are hadiths (teachings of the Prophet) that support circumcising a female but these hadiths are considered “weak,” which means they cannot be used to create an Islamic ruling…

      Female circumcision is largely practiced in Africa. It is not practiced by Muslims outside Africa (except in Yemen). It derives from a combination of ethnic and religious practice. But its place in Islam is tenuous and it is gradually losing that place, especially as Muslims become more aware of the harm and damage the procedure can cause to women.

      A Muslim friend of mine whose views I trust completely also wrote this (italics are mine):

      The modern fatwas from Muslim countries mostly forbid it, discourage it or barely allow it. The Mufti of Egypt has flat out gone and made it haram, a position with which I agree.”

      …The book the person cites (Reliance of the Traveler) is a “Shafii” book, hence it endorses the position of Shafiis.

      …So, one can find classic and ancient books justifying the practice–as one can find Christian scholars, some of them quite loved and favored by humanists today, who may have supported chastity belts or considered women to be evil and devious. Just as we historicize (place the comments in their respective historical context) some of these opinions in Western scholars, we need to do the same for some of these opinions in Muslim scholars. The textual evidence is not there to support making it “obligatory.” What is clear (from an Islamic pure textual perspective) is that the practice is:
      a) Not mentioned in the Quran at all.
      b) Not documented to have been practiced by prophet Muhammad or his family.
      c) Clearly of lower importance and significance than male circumcision even in those textual references that seem to be endorsing it.

      So, this is the response to why there exists opinion X 500 years ago that supports this or that, but the more pressing issue is how do Muslim societies see the practice today… In many societies it is banned (though some still practice it illegally), in many the laws are silent (mostly where the practice is not wide spread and not a major concern) and in some the laws “allow it” (like Emirates, but only non clitoral circumcision)… Very few encourage it. So, they have moved from what the book says, but they are still not where they ought to be.

      • Abdul Ameer March 27, 2014, 9:18 PM

        Thank you for the explanation. That was my impression, too. Your sources show that female circumcision is, indeed, “associated” with Islam, but not, strictly speaking, required by it, although the Shafi school, according to their manual of Sharia law, says that it is obligatory. The other sharia schools do not say that it is obligatory. When the Al Azhar Supreme Council ruled that FGM has no basis in Islamic law, did they condemn it as barbaric? Or is the practice merely permitted without condemnation? Also, note that it took until 2007 for al Azhar, Sunni Islam’s preeminent university, to get around to saying even as much as it did. What was al Azhar doing for the past 1000 years on this issue? Your last source is not quite correct about FGM not being practiced by Muslims outside of Africa (except for Yemen). It is certainly practiced widely in Egypt which, geographically, may be Africa, but it is not Africa as we usually think of it. Also, because of massive emigration to the West from places like Somalia and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, there are frequent cases of FGM being practiced in Europe, especially, Britain, and also America, now.

        • Jafar Siddiqui March 27, 2014, 11:47 PM

          Abdul Ameer, I am afraid I do not fully understand your position. You seem to be looking for excuses to condemn Islam or Muslims for something…anything.
          First of all, there is no such thing as a “Sunni Manual of Shariah Law”. Shariah is NOT a “law” it is a code, much like a constitution, derived from five main sources, the over-riding one of which, is the Quran. The LAWS that are derived from Sharia are called Fiqh.
          Each society or sect or school of thought may interpret any of the five different sources differently and come to a completely different conclusion and it follows that Fiqh for each such group is going to also be different.
          Naturally, everey school just knows, they are the only ones with a firm grip on Truth!

          Al-Azhar is a much-respected institution, but by no means, does it speak for all Muslims so their nuances or action or lack thereof, is immaterial. To draw form your quuestioning of Al-Azhar as a statement on Islam and Muslims, I could say the same about Christians and the White Man.
          How was it possible for a Christian Church to support the inferiority of the Black man in South Africa as late as the 1980s?
          How could a Christian-majority, White America treat its Blacks as inferior right up to the Civil Rights era and indeed, up to right now?

          You also lay out unsubstantiated points to underscore your condemnation of Muslims by saying baseless things like:
          “Also, because of massive emigration to the West from places like Somalia and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, there are frequent cases of FGM being practiced in Europe, especially, Britain, and also America, now.”

          You are reaching a bit aren’t you? Where are the reports and why do you think local Police or Women’s groups are sitting on their thumbs while you have this obvious public information?
          As for the practice of FGM, all you have to do is Google or Bing it and go to the World Helath Organizations site on FGM: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/
          FGM is practised in countries like Kenya where Muslims are in minority, but for some reason, people want to focus only on the Muslim aspect of FGM

          You statement denying Egypt a place in Africa is the most revsionist. I suppose this member of the rganization of african states is an interloper, just like other North African countries?

          You need to check your biases against facts before you start off on us Muslims.

          • Abdul Ameer March 28, 2014, 10:53 AM

            Jafar, you assert: “there is no such thing as a “Sunni Manual of Shariah Law”. Shariah is NOT a “law” “.

            This is strange because I have a 1400 page book on my desk right now entitled: “Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.” On the first page of the Introduction, we read: “The four Sunni schools of Islamic law, Hanafi, Malike, Shafi’i and Hanbali, are identical in approximately 75% of their legal conclusions… The Present volume, “Umdat al Salik” (The Reliance of the Traveler) represents one of the finest and most reliable short works in Shafi jurisprudence, a school with perhaps fewer scholarly differences on rulings than others … There is no single work from any of the schools that has everything… The authors of the present volume…represent the orthodox Muslim intellectual and spiritual heritage that has been the strength of the Community for over a thousand years…”

            This manual of Sharia law was approved years before the Al Azhar ruling cited above by the highest Islamic religious authorities of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt (Al Azhar) and America (President of the Fiqh Council of North America).

            Therefore, according to these greatly respected Islamic religious authorities, Sharia is law and this book is a Sunni manual of Sharia law. How do you explain the fact that these recognized authorities disagree with you about this?

          • Richard Silverstein March 28, 2014, 6:13 PM

            Abdul Ameer: Despite your purported nickname, you don’t appear Muslim though you profess to have some outsider knowledge. Even I know that Sharia is not a legal code like the U.S. constitution. It is not “a law” as you claim. It is a set of diverse opinions established by legal scholars and has many different branches depending on sect & authority. There is no single unified code, despite your attempt to assert such a thing. In the Talmud there were the schools of Hillel & Shamai, each having distinct and contradictory beliefs & rulings. We also have Ashkenazi & Sefardi traditions. Islam is no different. In fact, Islam is even more diverse as it has many more schools than two.

            You are done in this thread. You may not comment further. A primary rule here is you may not repeat yourself. This comment duplicates numerous statements you made in your previous comment. You are done in the thread. You may comment in other threads on other subjects if you choose.

        • Richard Silverstein March 28, 2014, 1:17 AM

          @ Abdul Ameer: There are 27 African countries in which it is practiced. I’m fairly certain they included Egypt in that group. Egypt is considered to be north Africa and hence in Africa. As for why Al Azhar didn’t condemn it until 2007, there are still many practices & attitudes in society that at one time were commonly accepted and are now considered barbaric or uncivilized. Attitudes and even religious laws change as views and attitudes & even scientific research changes. If Muslims should’ve condemned female circumcision 1,000 yrs ago but didn’t, shouldn’t we have stopped stoning men for being homosexual 1,000 yrs ago as well, since homosexuality is condemned in the Torah? Laws & attitudes change.

          female circumcision is, indeed, “associated” with Islam

          It is indeed, just as stoning homosexuals and adulterers is “associated” with Judaism. Just as genocide and wholesale slaughter is associated with Christianity. If you live in a glass house perhaps you might want to put down that stone…

          • Abdul Ameer March 28, 2014, 11:21 AM

            Richard, at least we can agree that female circumcision is associated with Islam, although this is surely not the same kind of association that you refer to regarding stoning homosexuals and adulterers with Judaism or genocide with Christianity. After all, there have been no recorded instances of Jews stoning homosexuals or adulterers in thousands of years, if ever, whereas murder of homosexuals and adulterers takes place from time to time today in the Islamic world in the name of Islam and based on sacred texts from the Koran and the Sunnah. As for genocide and Christianity, I do not know what you are referring to. Certainly, you cannot be referring to Nazism since Nazism was a profoundly anti-Christian movement, and Christian doctrine was never invoked in support of Nazi barbarity. Even when Christians, mainly Catholics, did nasty things a long time ago, they could not quote Jesus or other passages from the Gospels in support of the atrocities they committed. The Muslim terrorists, by contrast, always quote passages from the Qur’an and the Sunnah in support of their acts. One can make the argument that they are misquoting or misinterpreting Islam’s sacred texts, but there is no doubt that those texts are used to support acts which we consider to be atrocious and barbarous.

            Concerning the topic at hand, namely, female circumcision, this is widely practiced today in parts of the Muslim world and causes great suffering. Meanwhile, the Islamic religious authorities, even according to the evidence you presented, have apparently not taken a strong stand against it, certainly not as a group. The Al Azhar fatwa from 2007 merely states that female circumcision finds no basis in Islamic law, which means that Islamic law does not require it like it requires male circumcision. Did they actually condemn the practice as a violation of Islamic law? Female circumcision in parts of the non-Muslim world is either forbidden by law or condemned by the Christian clergy in those countries.

          • Richard Silverstein March 28, 2014, 6:25 PM

            there have been no recorded instances of Jews stoning homosexuals or adulterers in thousands of years

            Really? Considering the Torah itself is “thousands of years old” and Jews until 1948 did not have legal sovereignty to invoke Biblical punishments, it’s ridiculous to assert Jews haven’t executed adulterers or homosexuals. Undoubtedly, if there had been Jewish sovereignty in the interim there would’ve been such outrages perpetrated. But Judaism has plenty of other barbarities that were practiced until the past few centuries like polygamy and whipping men in public for refusing to give their wives divorces.

            Don’t know about Christian bloodletting and genocide? Ever heard of the Albigensian Crusade? Or the First and Second Crusades? Rivers of blood running through German towns, most of it Jewish. Tens of thousands of Jews murdered in cold blood. Perhaps you forgot about the 1492 Spanish Expulsion in which thousands of Jews were massacred by the Christians and hundreds of thousands expelled.

            Are you really claiming that the Crusaders, who brought with them priests and bishops to bless their battles, did not invoke the Gospels?? Christian doctrine & theology was at the heart of these genocidal ventures. You’re either arguing in bad faith or are ignorant, or you’re flat out lying (if you know better).

            this is widely practiced today in parts of the Muslim world

            It is practiced in some countries by Muslims and non-Muslims. The practice is generally declining and will continue to do so in just the same way that practices in other religions have changed over time. Jews allowed polygamy till a few centuries ago. Now the practice is considered bizarre among Jews. Most don’t even know Jews once practiced it. To allow other religions the right to change and not criticize them for past barbarities, while doing the opposite to Islam shows bad faith & even animus toward Islam.

          • Jafar Siddiqui March 28, 2014, 5:33 PM

            I hate to say this but Abdul Ameer, you sicken me. From your words, it does not appear that you are Muslim although your name would certainly suggest you are, perhaps it is your nom du guerre. While you are lavish with your fantasies, I doubt if you know much of anything about Islam or, for that matter Judaism or Christianity. It would appear that your main interest is to bash at Islam and Truth is only a minor impediment to your goals.

            I want to deal with your response to me as well as your response to Richard in this sub-thread.

            Jews have been known to have stoned adulterers to death, there is no reason to believe they did not stone homosexuals. Plenty of Christians have also done terrible things to homosexuals and I am sure the fact that the actions were done in the name of Christianity or not, is a point completely lost on the victims. As for your reference to the Quran, perhaps you would be good enough to cite me a chapter and verse of where God says in the Quran, to kill homosexuals?

            History is full of instances where genocides were committed by Christians in the name of their faith. Your lack of knowledge and surplus of bias tells me I should at least, inform you of a few. A Pope ordered the slaughter of all pagans in Southern France, when the Army went there, they found that there were a lot of Christians there as well so he sent a message to the Pope asking how he should distinguish among them. the Pope said, “Kill them all and let God sort them out”.

            When the Christians sacked Jerusalem, they slaughtered over 40,000 people there…Muslims, Jews AND Christians.

            The genocide of the First Nation people in the Americas and the Pacific (Australia and NZ) was part of the White man’s Christian duty. The genocide of the Bosnian Muslims was part of the “removal of Muslims from the heart of Europe” as Karadzic said.

            You seem to cut a difference without a distinction when you slice you pie by saying Muslims killed in the name of Islam while the Christians and Jews killed for other reasons . What difference does or should, that make? Christians prided themselves for being the most wonderful people on Earth eve as they wiped out people after people. Christians lorded over the Blacks in South Africa using their faith. As I said befor, you should check your facts before you take your poison to Richard’s website.

            If you wish to bash Islam and Muslims, why don’t you just do that without trying to conjure rationales to support your hate?
            There are plenty of Christian-majority countries where FGM (condemnable as it is) is practiced and NONE of those countries have taken bold stands against FGM either. But you seem to reserve your hate towards Us Muslims for some reason.

            Now for your ill-reasoned response to my e-mail. I don’t care if the tome oyu have on your desk is 1400 pages or, fourteen thousand pages, it is NOT (repeat, NOT) the Sunni Manual for Shariah. “Reliance of the Traveler” is a disgusting book written by someone with a disgusting mind but unfortunately, someone who was recognized as a religious scholar and therefore, he is given much weight by those who are either unlettered or have a frail grasp on their religion. It is no surprise that such people would claim they are the final voice for the faith, what else would they do? say, “Here is a book but we are not sure if anyone would agree with it or follow it”?

            It is fairly clear to me that the hate you harbor against islam and Muslims runs deep and no amount of facts will move you so, I am done with arguing with you.
            Good luck with your hate.

      • Deïr Yassin March 28, 2014, 4:35 AM

        From the article linked: “Female circumcision is practised in Africa. It is not practised by Muslims outside Africa (except in Yemen)”

        This is wrong, and I would say the whole article is not a serious piece of research. In Malaysia, the majority of the Malay women are circumcised whereas other Muslim non-Malays ethnic groups do not practice female circumcision. Female circumcision is also found in some of the Kurdish regions.

        Female circumcision is a pre-Islamic custom. 95% of the Egyptian females are circumcised whereas hardly anyone in Saudi Arabia, and it’s totally unknown in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Lybia (cf. the map in the wikipedia-link, there is also a link to a good report by UNICEF). In Ethiopia, a majority Christian country, female circumcision is still a majority practise, and Ethiopian Jews practised female circumcision too. In Kenya, Kikuyu (non-Muslims) and Luo (muslims) practice exactly the same female circumcision (there are four different types). In Senegal, some ethnic groups practice female circumcision whereas others (such as the Wolofs) don’t at all, and there’s no correlation with Islam or Westernization (as some claim too).
        In fact, at a certain time I wanted to do research on this topic (in social science) but I realized that I simply couldn’t, after having seen the first documentary on female circumcision made by a mid-wife.

        • Castellio March 28, 2014, 2:37 PM

          Well, let’s get some informed information in the table. This is from the Female Genital Cutting Education and Networking Project.

          You can find it here: http://www.fgmnetwork.org/gonews.php?subaction=showfull&id=1247346324&archive=&start_from=&ucat=1&

          ” The history of female circumcision, also called female genital cutting or mutilation, is unclear. Some say it’s a religious requirement for Islamic women, while others point out that the practice pre-dates the spread of Islam. The practice is controversial in many countries. Westerners decry the practice, yet, it persists in many African and Islamic countries because of strong cultural support.

          Now, new research finds the practice is losing support in one large country – Egypt. In that country, historical evidence indicates that female cutting has been done since the time of the pharaohs. Traditionally, it’s been seen as a requirement to make girls marriageable.

          But the current government in Egypt banned female circumcision in the 1990s and strengthened the restriction in 2007 after a high-profile case where a 12-year-old girl died after the ritual.

          However, female circumcision is still widespread, says Ann Way, a researcher with the organization Measure DHS, which has been collecting information on the practice since 1995.

          “The prevalence of circumcision among ever-married women at that point was over 90 percent,” Way says.

          Measure DHS helps countries calculate vital statistics by doing large surveys, often repeated over the course of years. Way and her colleagues asked women about female circumcision again in 2000, and most recently, last year. She says they are starting to see a reduction in the number of young women who have been circumcised.

          “We have seen the rates drop from over 90 [percent] in older women, women aged 25 and older, to just around 80 percent in the age group 15 to 19,” she says.

          Influential leaders raising questions

          The government ban, along with the well-publicized deaths, led some people – most importantly women and religious leaders – to start questioning the practice.

          “I think the government and, you know, a number of other organizations have clearly been supporting campaigns which have been directed towards changing people’s support for circumcision,” Way says.

          “You know, at the time of our first survey in 1995, where we looked at the percentage supporting female circumcision, wanting the practice to continue, about eight in 10 ever-married women at that point wanted the practice to continue. In the most recent survey it was only about six in 10 women.”

          Interestingly, fewer wealthy girls and women currently have the practice performed on them. Only about a third of girls in the wealthiest 20 percent of Egypt’s population will be circumcised by the time they’re 18. In contrast, in the poorest 20 percent, about three-quarters of the girls will end up circumcised.

          Way says attitudes and practices change slowly. She says even if fewer girls are circumcised, it will take time for the total number of adult women who have been circumcised to drop. “

        • Richard Silverstein March 28, 2014, 6:07 PM

          @ Deir Yassin: Thanks for correcting me and the Wikipedia article. I think what you’ve posted proves that while there is some association between female circumcision & Islam there is no absolute correlation. It’s also likely that the practice came into Islam from elsewhere and was adopted, where it was adopted, as a pre-Islamic custom.

        • Deïr Yassin March 29, 2014, 2:44 AM

          @ Richard.
          The wikipedia-article is quite good and have many good sources. It’s the other article written by some under-graduate that I find biased, it’s written from a religious perspective.
          Anyway; the fact that Egypt (and Yemen) is the only Arab country (i.e. after all the core of the Muslim world historically) where female circumcision is widely practised, by Copts and Muslims equally, indicates that this is a cultural matter. I read somewhere that female circumcision in Yemen was ‘imported’ from the African Horn, the two areas share many cultural practices, such as chewing Qat as well. And according to a Malaysian woman I discussed this with, the practice of female circumcision was introduced to the Malays during the early phase of Islamization by merchants from Yemen who intermarried. That’s why only Malays and no other Muslim ethnic groups in Malaysia practice female circumcision.

  • Sara March 27, 2014, 6:34 PM

    How come you go so far out of your way to place honor killings in context, giving benefit of the doubt, avoiding stereotyping, etc., while having the exact opposite attitude toward Israeli Jews? Look at your comments on Israeli sex abuse cases, demonizing Israeli soldiers, etc?

    • Richard Silverstein March 27, 2014, 8:05 PM

      @ Sara: I’m not giving honor killing “the benefit of the doubt.” I’m giving Islam the benefit of the doubt which it deserves. Similarly, Judaism as a religion deserves the same benefit of the doubt. My criticism of Israeli policies has very little to do with Judaism and very much to do with Israel itself, the nation, the political entity.

      I strongly urge anyone with a common first name to use it as your comment nickname only in combination with an initial so we can tell all the Saras, etc. apart.

  • Piotr Berman March 27, 2014, 6:40 PM

    Fundamentalist adherents of patriarchal religions are, well, patriarchal. And fundamentalist Jews, who are much closer to the ruling rabbinate of Israel then our rav Richard are quite close to their Muslim colleagues.

  • Oui March 28, 2014, 2:55 AM

    Wonderfully crafted within the legitimate community fighting for Women’s Rights …

    Sisters In Solidarity

    (Dec. 6, 2013) – Today’s post comes from Paula Kweskin, an attorney specializing in international humanitarian and human rights law. She has worked on various human rights projects including corporate social responsibilty and micro-credit initiatives in Argentina, advocacy on behalf of victims of extraordinary rendition, and relief for victims of domestic violence. Paula is currently pursuing her LL.M in International Law and Human Rights while producing Honor Diaries, an award-winning documentary film focused on women’s rights and gender empowerment.

    Website: Honor Diaries by Paula Kweskin

  • Oui March 28, 2014, 2:57 AM

    Solsticewitch13’s BOS – a publication in support of the Clarion Project

    “The gravity of the existential threat we face from Islamic Jihad is truly of epic proportions. It is essentially a battle pitting free-civilized man against a totalitarian barbarian. What is at stake is the struggle for our very soul – namely who we are and what we represent. The lives that were sacrificed for individual rights and freedoms that we’ve come to cherish are being chiseled away from right under our noses by the stealth jihadists. And many of us are in denial and totally clueless.

    The left’s appeasement and pandering to evil is nothing new. What makes their utopian delusions so infuriating and unpardonable is that it is not only they who will have to pay the consequences, and deservedly, so, they are thwarting and undermining our best efforts at resistance and are thus dragging us down in the process as well.”

    By Peter Lancz, the head of the Raoul Wallenberg World Campaign Against Racism.

    • Oui March 28, 2014, 2:58 AM

      PS Not to be confused with the famous sculptor Paul Lancz, a holcaust survivor and creator of the Raoul Wallenberg memorial!

      Solsticewitch13 – early post on Jihad Watch in Nov. 13, 2008

    • Oui March 28, 2014, 3:09 AM

      This interview tells all about motivation and pathological evil. Peter Lancz is the son of sculptor Paul Lancz and uses the high standing of his father and hero Raoul Wallenberg to smear Muslims. What a creep!

      FP: Wallenberg fought the same Islamo-Nazis of yesteryear didn’t he? What meaning do you see in that?

      Peter Lancz: Indeed he did. As many of your readers may know, Islamic anti-Semitism long predates the Nazi variety, in fact the Nazis drew much impetus and inspiration from the Koranic based Jew-hatred.

      During the war, the Islamists and the Nazis — who on first sight would seem to have made unlikely bedfellows — were in fact united in their pathological Jew hatred, viewing the Jews as the very incarnation of evil, the demonic force behind all the world’s ills.

      • Jafar Siddiqui March 28, 2014, 8:57 AM

        David horowitz’s blog, we cannot expect anything less than Muslim-bashing.

  • Sara March 28, 2014, 3:57 AM

    Can you please provide references in the previous three films where it was said that “all Muslims are terrorists”.

    Thank you.

    • Jafar Siddiqui March 28, 2014, 9:11 AM

      I can tell you about “Obsession” and “The Third Jihadd” and “Ever Again” if those are the videos you refer to. They have equated Islam with Nazism, the Quran with “Mein Kampf” and Terrorism with Muslims.

      Are you looking for a second-by-second reference?
      I did one on “Ever Again”. The portraiture being created in that film is of Muslims…ALL Muslims, being taught to hate Jews in Mosques…ALL Mosques and that virtually ALL acts of anti-Semitism, are being conducted by Muslims. Equates Islam with Nazism and talks about Muslims working (today) with Nazis to exterminate Jews.

      “Jews On First” have an excellent analysis on “Obsession” http://www.jewsonfirst.org/obsession/index.html where you can find out how the Clarion Fund and its producers have done a character assassination of Muslims and Islam.

      • Sara March 28, 2014, 12:26 PM

        So the answer is no. And what you say is the same as any pro-Palestinian documentary that paints Israel in a bad light, yet you’ll follow up by saying that not all Jews support it. These films are the same, and they clearly differentiate between terrorists and terrorist movements and the Muslim population generally.

        • Richard Silverstein March 28, 2014, 6:30 PM

          @ Sara: That is a flat out lie. These films paint the entire religion as evil, violent & debased. They rarely if at all differentiate between “bad” and “good” Muslims. To claim otherwise shows you haven’t watched the films.

          I do not support comments in which commenters show they haven’t done any research to support their claims. Opinions not based on evidence are a terrible idea here. I urge you not to offer your opinions & prejudices. They’re not wanted unless supported by credible evidence. Read the comment rules. I insist.

        • Jafar Siddiqui March 28, 2014, 6:43 PM

          You obviously did not read my response so I suggest you read it again. When an entire faith is accused of terrorism and called Nazi, I don’t know what is left for you to come back with “So the answer is no”.

          I have no objection to you or someone else (Ameer?) saying the Taliban in Afghanistan are doing terrible things in the name of Islam but not all Muslims support them. I have a problem when you take shots at Islam.
          I can understand why you seem to conflate Israel with “All Jews” or even “Jews” because the current narrative being impressed on ALL Jewish people is that any attack on Israel is an attack on Jews and therefore, anti-Semitism. Personally, I will attack Israel because of its discrimination policies against their own Arabs and their oppression of ALL Christian and Muslim Arabs and yes, i will support the overthrow of such a regime. BUT…I will oppose anyone who espouses anti-Semitic feelings or, suggests Jews should be “thrown into the sea” and I don’t care if they are Muslims or not.

          I have copies of all three films and I doubt if you have seen any of them or, you would not be defending their points of view…that Islam and Muslims are all murderous, anti-Semitic, genocidal maniacs…unless you espouse the same views!

      • Deïr Yassin March 28, 2014, 1:42 PM

        @ Sara
        “So the answer is no and blahblah ….”
        Haha, amazing ! Jafar’s comment clearly indicates the contrary. Did you read it at all or did you just post your hasbara talking point ? Zionist propagandists landing these days sure are low-cost… (internal joke that you wouldn’t understand anyhow).

        • Sara March 28, 2014, 2:44 PM

          I saw his comment and seen the films. Nowhere is Islam equated with Nazism. The term radical Islam is frequently used. And the prime material is actual footage of radical preachers and terrorist attacks. I also read half of that article and the comparisons with Christians in the US are ridiculous. I could write an article just as long refuting everything it says. Absurd.

          • Jafar Siddiqui March 28, 2014, 6:57 PM

            “Obsession”:
            They equate “Radical” Islam with Nazism, terrorism and all kinds of ills. This is the new code for bashing Islam and Muslims; simply add a prefix or suffix to “Islam” or “Muslims” (Radical, Violent, Extremist, Fundamentalist etc.,) and bash away because you are no longer talking about Islam or Muslims! Nice argument but it fools nobody.
            Tell me this is valid AFTER I start to see similar prefixes on Christians Blacks or Jews just before they are flayed.

            Back to Obsession:
            There is a lot os prefix/suffix Islam and Muslim-bashing throughout the film.
            Chapter 9. Nonie darwish says, “the propaganda of Islam is very similar to the propaganda of Nazism. It’s the same hate-speech, paranoia and ‘us against them’”.
            Excerpts from “Jews on First”:
            In Obsession, we are provided only the following subtitle: “We must educate our children on the love of Jihad for the sake of Allah. And the love of fighting for the sake of Allah.” First of all, the English subtitle begins well into the speech in Arabic. Here is a longer version of what the Sheikh said: “We must establish/live our lives based on the religion of God, glorious and exalted, and on the law of God, glorious and exalted. We must raise our children on the love of spiritual struggle (jihad) toward the way of God, the love of struggling (jihad) along the path of God.” In the context of the longer speech, jihad, here, means spiritual struggle.
            a cleric is shown holding a copy of the Koran, the Holy Scripture of Islam. The subtitle tells us that he is saying, “And those who dispute the book of Allah are enemies of Allah.”
            But our translator says that this is inaccurate. A better translation would be: ” And those who desecrate the book of Allah, or the revelation of God, are both treacherous and uncivilized.”

            a little girl reciting a poem, that, we are told, proclaims her ambition to be a suicide bomber.
            We are told that she is saying, “When I wander (journey or arrive) into the entrance of Jerusalem I’ll turn into a suicide warrior I’ll turn into a suicide warrior. In the battledress In the battledress In the battledress.”
            That truly would be horrible. However, according to our translator, what the girl says is, “If I enter the door to Jerusalem, I will turn into a fighter for Palestine, in uniform, in uniform.”

            I am sure you still have at least one “Yes, but” however, this should suffice to satisfy an objective viewer.
            If you or anyone else wishes, I will be happy to go over each film frame by frame at oyur home anywhere in Puget sound…or, buy my ticket and I will come to Israel!

          • Richard Silverstein March 29, 2014, 1:30 AM

            @ Sara: You’re a liar. Either you haven’t seen the films or you are deaf and blind to what’s in them. There are photo montages which juxtapose images of Nazis with images of Muslims. It doesn’t matter whether the term “radical Islam” is used, the films conflate Islam with radical Islam and use the terms interchangeably.

            We’ve heard enough of you in this thread. You’re repeating yourself. Move on to another thread if you wish. But you’re done in this one.

    • Richard Silverstein March 28, 2014, 6:04 PM

      @Sara: Use Google. It’s your friend. Also, use the search box in the sidebar to search for “Clarion” & you wouldn’t even have to ask the question. I have posts on most or all of the films. Don’t expect people to do research you could be doing yourself. Of course, if you’ve tried & not found something, let us know & we can help.

  • david March 29, 2014, 7:43 PM

    Arab springs sparked from Tunisia and spread all over Arab world,against autocratic western approved regimes and threatening the most to oil rich kingdoms,which were created by west in gulf at first place.When Egyptian over throw the blood sucking US approved 35 years old forced upon them by west as liberal Mubarak rule,and elected democratically president Mursi, it was Hillary Clinton first, who visited the military head, instead of congratulating the elected president.what happened within year was self explanatory, how proven convicted murderer in court with 70 billion dollars stolen saved in Swiss bank,biggest money-laundry bank in the world. Mubarak who was taking last breaths,were smirking on departure and elected president after bloody coup was going in bogus charges, together with intentional criminal western silence, sponsored by oil rich states and state department.Western double standards are so corrupt, that even genuine democracy in Muslim world is undigested,let alone islamophopic preaching on the name of freedom.

    • stretch March 31, 2014, 2:00 AM

      I haven’t seen the film and I probably wouldn’t bother even if I had the opportunity, but it’s curious (not) that an Islamophobic film targets (among other things) female genital circumcision when male genital circumcision is perpetrated on Jewish boys.

  • anita barton March 31, 2014, 8:23 PM

    I just read for about an hour a lot of the postings and cannot understand why none of you seem to be able to differentiate, or discern the need to identify radical, extremist, evil, etc. doctrines. How else can we explain or talk about the “bad” Muslims, the “bad” Jews, the “bad” Christians vs the “good” ones if we are not allowed to use those “words” to identify them. These people exist in all religions. I don’t get why we can’t call them out on their evil practices?

    • Jafar Siddiqui April 2, 2014, 12:07 AM

      Anita. Let me see if I may be able to help you understand this better.
      First of all, as I said earlier, the suffixes and prefixes applied ti Islam and to Muslims, are (in todays usage) code to taking bashes at islam and Muslims yet still appearing “civilised”.
      Let us take an example of some members of the Taliban cutting off the heads of some people. That is indeed a terrible event and must be condemned, but the labuage used may be critical. To refer to them as extremists, violent, cruel, satanic, murderous, would all be fine. But then to turn the definitions and stating that this is an example of “Violent Islam”, “extremist Islam” or, “Islam has been hijacked”would be unacceptable; one does not take bashes at an entire population.
      similarly, terms such as “Violent Muslims”, “extremist Muslims” etc., would also be unaccpetable because that suggests that “Moderate Muslims” are better; one is either Muslim or not, there are no degrees of Muslim-ness except in the eyes of God and He aint sayin!
      I suppose terms like “Violent Muslims” etc., MIGHT be acceptable if current usage also allowed for similar prefixes for other people such as Blacks, jews and other minorities, but today’s culture frwons upon that. Papers have a hard time even mentioning the faith of some criminal…unless of course, s-he is Muslim!
      When was the last time you heard about extremist Jews who had vast caches of explosives in Florida? No, you heard about a doctor and his wife.
      Violent Jews who plotted to blow up 50 Muslim buildings in California? No. “Crazed” JDL member.
      Murderous Christians who had 18 Cyanide bombs to deploy in large shopping malls? No. Violent cult members.
      Butchering Christian Black Sailor who murdered 12 of his own fellows in a Naval Yard? No. Contractor gone crazy kills 12 people (vs. Maj. Nidal Hassan, the murderous Muslim).

      I agree, it is sometimes, a fine line, but if you keep honesty and fairness in mind, you should have no trouble discussing horrible deeds by horrible people, without getting entangled in the language of the bigots.

      • Laura in LA April 6, 2014, 12:55 AM

        I have to disagree with this analysis. I consider myself to be a “liberal” Christian, but I do not reserve the right to deny that label to another person with whose views I disagree. I may believe that a conservative Christian has views that are antithetical to the message of Jesus; but I am not the arbiter of her sincerity or “salvation”. Likewise, if an individual says she is Buddhist, Jewish, or Muslim, I do not believe I can ignore that label. To my knowledge, each religion has factions/doctrinal disagreements/sectional differences which will seem conservative or liberal in relation to the beliefs of an individual. So I might believe someone is an “extremist” or “zealot” based on my understanding/learning about the basic tenets of the religion and/or a comparison with my own. But I would never say a member of the Taliban is not a Muslim, though I may find his version of Islam distasteful.

        Sorry to be long-winded, but to call someone a conservative, extremist, or orthodox of any religious stripe is not an indictment of that faith as a whole, but a comparative and descriptive label which can be negative or not depending on the context.

        • Richard Silverstein April 6, 2014, 3:17 PM

          @ Laura in LA: This is wrong on so many levels. Of course, there are different doctrinal strains in every religion & political ideology. It is very dangerous to attempt to delegitimize someone as a member of such religions or political movements. But when belief becomes so divorced from the consensus of religious belief and verges into homicidal or genocidal mania, then one certainly has not only a right, but obligation to declare such belief to be a violation of religious doctrine.

          Al Qaeda no more represents mainstream Islam than settlers represent mainstream Judaism. Though followers of Al Qaeda are Muslims, that doesn’t mean that their extremist ideology is kosher (sorry for the inapt metaphor) as Muslim theology.

          • Laura in LA April 6, 2014, 4:53 PM

            If you are interested, please see my response to Jafar below. I believe your opinions and mine share common ground.

          • Richard Silverstein April 6, 2014, 10:25 PM

            @ Laura in LA:

            I believe your opinions and mine share common ground.

            If so, it’s a very small sliver. I do not believe in dialoguing or attempting to sway hostile, fanatical, genocidal members of any religion whether it be Judaism or Islam. Once they turn their inclination to violence into real harm to real human beings I’ve pretty much done with them. There is nothing to be said to or gained by dialogue with Hirsi Ali or Osama bin Laden (were he alive) or Baruch Marzel or Meir Kahane (were he alive). Too many have died & too much blood has been shed for that.

            To engage in real discussion with someone requires some commonality. Some shared value, shared humanity. People who would kill others or even just advocate doing it as Hirsi Ali does are beyond the Pale.

        • Jafar Siddiqui April 6, 2014, 4:01 PM

          Laura, I believe you are misunderstanding me. I would NEVER suggest we get in the game of pronouncing who is or isn’t, Muslim, Jew, Christian or whatever; that is between him and his Maker.
          Thus, Taliban and Al-Qaeda folk can say they are Muslims and we could nto dispute it although we coulddefinitely say, they are breaking every Quranic injunction. Smililarly, we could not deny the Christianity of Milosevic, Karadzic ot the Lord’s Resistance army, but we can condemn their actions as very un-Christian.
          So on for people of every stripe and faith.

          What I am saying is that we may not use the professed faith of a criminal, to generalize all people of that faith. Thus, terms such as Extremist Islam, Violent Islam are out, as are temrs with the same prefixes for Muslims.
          I am willing to consider the prefixes for Muslims when we start seeing the same prefixes for Christians, Jews, Blacks or other groups.

          My sensitivity on this point stems from the usage of “Extremist Muslims” vs. “Moderate Muslims”, suggesting that one is either on one side or the other. While I am not a violent or extremist Muslim, I reject being called a “Moderate Muslim”; I am Muslim and that is all there is to it.

          • Laura in LA April 6, 2014, 4:51 PM

            I greatly appreciate your kind response, Jafar. As a Jewish/Muslim/Christian teacher and the product of a multi-faith/cultural education, my colleagues and I may use the adjectives “extremist”, “misguided”, or “apostate” to refer to Christians, Jews, or Muslims (or Buddhists, Hindus, etc.) who believe that they may use violence to enforce their views on others. We generally call such individuals “fanatics” and often discuss the reasons for their insecurity and persecution (factual or perceived). We discuss these movements in comparison to the “mainstream” of a given religion (including liberals, moderates, and conservatives). I completely understand the defensiveness (for example) my fellow Christians may feel when abortion clinic bombers or abused women like Andrea Yates are referred to as members of our faith. But rather than isolate or deny them, we prefer to work to bring them into the fold. And in our experience, it has not served well to carve out exceptions to this rule — we don’t choose to judge “extreme” Buddhists more harshly than their Jewish counterparts, but aim to give everyone the same benefit of the doubt. Our goal is that our students and their peers will inhabit and create a world that is less prejudiced in this way (at least).

            This is not a discussion limited to Islam; there is an ongoing debate about the place of Mormonism within Christianity, with some choosing to disown it and others seeking to include it in the “mainstream” of the religion.

  • Judith Posner, PhD March 31, 2014, 11:11 PM

    I was at a recent screening of the film in Jerusalem and it was very unsettling. The audience was largely young, Aish Hatorah students cheering for their friends who were involved in this poorly done propaganda documentary. I went home and researched the internet and found that all my suspicions were confirmed. I agree with everything in Richard’s article. And then some. When one woman from the audience tried to speak to the wider issues and mentioned Jewish inequality for women she was silenced. And later when I wrote on the Honor Diaries wall (where there is not a single critical remark) my comment was quickly deleted, even though it was rather mild considering my real views on the matter. The intent of this film is clearly not to promote a dialogue of any kind about women’s rights, but merely to bash Islam. It’s disgraceful.

    • Richard Silverstein April 2, 2014, 12:41 AM

      @ Judith Posner: Thanks for your comment. You were brave to see the film with all those True Believers. I’m wondering if Paula Kweskin, the director, comes out of the Aish HaTorah environment as well, since Clarion & Aish are kissing cousins.

  • Crap Detectr April 1, 2014, 9:07 PM

    Richard, I applaud you calling out the Clarion Project for exploiting the horror of honor killings to slam Muslims as a whole. However, you really should not have thrown the word “Jew” into your critique here — it’s being slung as ammo against CAIR, as we saw these past couple nights on The Kelly File. (http://video.foxnews.com/v/3419916749001/honor-diaries-screening-shut-down-by-cair/?playlist_id=2694949842001)

    And yes, I am fully aware that “Richard Silverstein” doesn’t exactly sound like the name of an Islamist jihadist. Of course, that’s a detail that Fox News conveniently left out, much to the detriment of CAIR’s public sympathy.

    • Richard Silverstein April 1, 2014, 9:28 PM

      @Crap detectr: I stand by my reference to the Jewish funders, producers & directors of this project. Muslims don’t need Jews telling them their alleged vices. Would I accept a Muslim producing a film telling me about the vices of Judaism? No it’s ludicrous & racist.

      • Crap Detectr April 1, 2014, 9:30 PM

        By referring to them simply as “Jews,” don’t you do the same harm as when the Clarion Project refers to honor killers simply as “Muslims?”

        • Richard Silverstein April 1, 2014, 9:41 PM

          @Crap Detectr: There is nothing ever “simple” about this subject, nor was my use of the term in context “simple.” Here is what I wrote:

          One has to ask why a film about the purported abuse of Muslim women was produced by Jews, and ones with a distinct ideological agenda at that.

          Anyone, whether you or Megyn Kelly who elides the last phrase in that sentence does a grave disservice to me and those who legitimately criticize this film & the pro-Israeli Islamophobe Jews instrumental in its creation..

  • Abdul Ameer April 2, 2014, 9:48 AM

    [comment deleted--when you find a UN report that shows 90% of honor killings are by Muslims, then comments may be approved. Till then don't bother commenting here.]

  • Abdul Ameer April 2, 2014, 9:55 AM

    [comment deleted for comment rule violations]

  • Rocky Lore April 5, 2014, 9:21 AM

    I thought liberals were champions of women and free speech. Yet they advocate censoring critics who stand up for women’s rights.

    • Richard Silverstein April 6, 2014, 12:37 AM

      No, that was actually FoxNews which invited me on a show to criticize the film & then lied saying I’d refused to appear. THAT is censorship.

      Clarion isn’t “standing up” for women’s rights. It’s standing up for Islamophobia.

      • Rocky Lore April 6, 2014, 6:15 AM

        [comment deleted: read the comment rules. Islamophobic comments are not acceptable. Since you're already moderated, the next step is a complete ban if you cannot respect the rules.]

    • Jafar Siddiqui April 6, 2014, 2:24 PM

      Here’s the main issue Rocky. When people want to bash Islam, they use “Freedom”, “Free Speech” and other cliche slogans such as “Women’s Rights”, but their real intent and purpose is to bash Islam; they would never take such a stand if the so-called “perpetrators” were not Muslim.

      Take this “Honor Diaries” for instance. All the people defending this piece of Hate-mongering, are looking to bash Islam and Muslims, they are not concerned about women’s RIGHTS on this issue, across all groups. The video, as far as i can ascertain, does not talk about Honor Murders committed by Hindus and Sikhs or by other races and faiths. These defenders are talking about how repressive Islam and Muslims are, and how the Quran tells them to kill or oppress women (it does not). Nowhere does this video…from the trailer that I have seen…talk about acid attacks on women, about gang-rapes as a punishment, as murders to “defend honor”, about cutting off noses and ears, BY PEOPLE OTHER THAN Muslims.

      You go and bring your friends and the people from the Clarion Fund/Group/Project and Ms. Kweskin and talk about REAL women’s rights and oppression of women BY ALL, not just by the targets du jour (Muslims) and I will guarantee to stand with you and will bring dozens of Muslims with me.
      Until that time, do me a favor and take your superior attitudes where someone agrees with you and have a great Muslim-bash session.

      By the way, while I understand the colloquial understanding of the two words, there is no such thing as a “Liberal” or a “Conservative”.
      Liberals are conservative on a lot of things, Civil Rights and a woman’s right to choose, for instance and Conservatives are liberal on a lot of things, giving to the rich and having lots of guns, for instance.

  • Abdul Ameer April 6, 2014, 4:24 PM

    [Comment deleted: no further comments will be published by you until you admit that you have no UN source confirming that 90% of honor killing victims are Muslim]

  • naomi June 21, 2014, 11:34 AM

    [comment deleted for major comment rule violation. Lies about Islam and Islamophobia will NOT be published here]

  • muneebah September 10, 2014, 1:35 PM

    thank you for very insightful and helpful article! as a muslim and longstanding women’s/human rights activist, i am constantly coming up against the argument that muslim women can’t be feminists unless we reject our faith. and this film-i use the term loosely- is more and more being used as ‘valid’ evidence for this viewpoint by well-meaning feminists in the mainstream, who want to ‘rescue’ women from islam, not realizing that the quran gave us many rights not established in the west for women until the 20th century- voting, property rights, inheritance rights, etc.

    i would like to ask permission to link to it, when discussing this film and the co-opting of women’s rights issues by persons and groups for anti-islam purposes?

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