Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Creeping Racism in Australian Universities -- Exhibit A


This is an article recently published in The Conversation by someone described as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of South Australia 

Boston bombings: beware the multi-million dollar Islamophobia industry

Local commentators have variously described reactions to the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured 183 others, as “restrained”, “refreshingly honest” and wholly different to what unfolded after September 11, 2001.

True, this time round we were spared the “with us or against us” clash of civilisations rhetoric from those in power. And thankfully, save for a hijab-clad woman punched while dropping her daughter at a Boston playgroup and a Bangladeshi man bashed for looking Arab in the Bronx, we have not seen the same wave of violent attacks on Muslims that gripped the US in the wake of 9/11.
Nevertheless, the US Islamophobia industry has seized on the bombing to bolster its campaign of misinformation and fear-mongering, and we would do well to pay careful attention.

Do read the whole piece.  Here are highlights of  this brave scholar's daring expose of the well funded, secretive and cunning conspiracy to convert the Boston bombings into anti-Islamic hatred. 

By Thursday, US conservative commentator Glenn Beck was issuing ultimatums to the Obama administration: admit that the bombing was the work of a “bad, bad, bad” Saudi national who has since been deported back to the Kingdom, or Beck would expose the government’s complicity in the culprit’s escape from justice.

A huh. Glenn Beck. I've heard of him. Step one

While it is unclear where Beck sourced his wild allegations, they bear a striking resemblance to the nonsense that former CNN reporter and self-styled terrorism expert Steven Emerson consistently spouted throughout the week.

OK.  Steven Emerson. I hadn't heard of him but he's firmly in the picture for sounding like Glenn Beck. Step two.

Emerson has an impressive and well-documented record of spreading false information. The US media watchdog FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) has been drawing attention to Emerson’s consistently anti-Muslim and anti-Arab reportingsince the early 1990s. ...Most notorious was Emerson’s claim in the immediate aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma bombing – which turned out to be the work of far-right extremist Timothy McVeigh – that it bore a “Middle Eastern trait” because it “was done with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible”. 

My that is notorious. This is called intuition.   As Albert Einstein once noted intuition is "nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience”.  A psychologist might say “nothing more and nothing less than recognition”. Sometimes intuition can be wrong. Step three.

That same year he (Emerson) wrote in the Jewish Monthly that Islam “sanctions genocide, planned genocide, as its religious doctrine”.

The Jewish Monthly? The plot thickens. Step four. The clincher coming up.

Emerson’s ideas are not only warmly received by the Christian Right and the pro-Israel lobby, they have also made inroads into Congress.

O no. Not the pro-Israel lobby! I just knew it. Almost there. Step five.

Emerson’s is but one voice in a well-resourced industry of Islamophobia in the US. This network includes Daniel Pipes, Frank Gaffney, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Brigitte Gabriel and others, and a seemingly endless stream of funding ensures that its anti-Muslim diatribe is a steady feature of mainstream US political discourse.

While Muslims may not have faced as many random attacks on the street this time round, they remain fixed in the crosshairs of a multi-million dollar industry dedicated to the sole purpose of hating them.

And that just about wraps things up. However this is a scholar who cannot resist the urge to comment on her own article. And it is there that she drives the nail home. 

Chloe Patton

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at University of South Australia
I's very difficult to tell who is funding these groups because they channel funds through intermediary trusts such as Donors Capital so as to remain anonymous. The CAP report I cite in the article makes a guess concerning the source of the $17 million donated to the Clarion Fund, but there's no way of knowing for certain

That sounds sinister.

Chloe Patton

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at University of South Australia
In reply to Pat Moore
Good point about the Israeli lobby, Pat. Steven Emerson presented a paper at the AIPAC annual conference just last month. Alex Kane over at Mondoweiss had this to say about it:
"The appearance of a major fomenter of Islamophobia at AIPAC is a prominent example of how Islamophobia has become entwined with strong support for Israel--particularly the right-wing brand of Zionism, though more mainstream Zionist organizations, like AIPAC, also legitimize anti-Muslim sentiment.
Emerson’s appearance is in line with how the Israel lobby utilizes Islamophobia to further its own goals by trying to marginalize Muslim American political organizing and by casting the Israel/Palestine conflict as a civilizational clash between Christianity and Judaism on one side and Islam on the other."

Mondoweiss. That's all right then. That makes it authoritative

And there you have it. Barely a week had passed since the Boston murders and here is an allegedly serious academic at an allegedly serious university who can only write about Muslims in the crosshairs of a multi million dollar campaign dedicated to the sole purpose of hating Muslims and is funded by we don't know who because they are so good at covering their tracks but we all know are the you know whoooos. Who else can it be?

Lest their be any doubt here are some other comments on that thread. This is a moderated academic site funded by the universities and the public. 

Mearsheimer and Walt's groundbreaking study "The Israeli Lobby" revealed years ago the power of AIPAC to influence US domestic and foreign policy, including "coalition of the willing" wars. The policies of Israel in the Middle East with a zionist dominant government may not be in the best interests of the US or its allies, including Australia.

Absolutely ground breaking.

On another note, to be quite honest, I wouldn't even be surprised if these people aren't even genuine racists. Some love any form of attention and start believing their own b.shit after a while due to the support and ratings they receive from ignorant and racist viewers. Same sorta people whom didn't want to give African Americans the vote, applied the white Australia policy and so on and on. It's a shame though, when Jewish bodies, ie AIPAC supporting such notions, after going through what Jews went through in the holocaust.

The "they of all people" gambit. They just can't leave the Holocaust out of it.  

Some will know that the in-house ape takes for himself the role of commenting abroad when the punters are intellectuals. He does this on the basis that as a non-human primate he is the brains of the outfit and less likely to exhibit bias or emotional involvement on account of these people being human beings funded by the taxpayer. 

Che Gorilla

Human Rights Activist
In reply to Baz M
If one needs any more proof that antisemitism and mindless racist bigotry has now deeply penetrated the "progressive" class then you seriously do not have to go past this comment.
Here's a reality check. This is supposed to be a serious exchange of opinion at an Australian site with academic pretensions. The article is problematic enough. There's just been another vile crime committed against innocents in the cause of an ugly ideology that if it does not defile Muslims certainly defiles humankind and what is the subject? A multi-million dollar Zionist conspiracy against the Muslims.
Then read this comment and ask the question. What the hell do the Jews have to do with this? Do you seriously believe this .

But that isn't all Che had to say. He made another comment. But the moderators pinged it. This is the deleted comment.

This is an important article. It has been written by someone who presents as engaged in a serious field of research at an important Australian university.

And yet it is the most offensive pile of sham intellectualism and conspiracy-minded spiteful bigotry that you would hope not to expect to see outside of the Weimar Republic circa 1932.

Let's face the truth here. There has been yet another barbaric crime committed in the noble cause of this sick extremist ideology and here is someone who comes out spitting the most vile allegations against the Jews barely hours after the bodies of the victims have been buried. A "well funded" "Islamophobic'  conspiracy.

Sure it is. The Israel lobby. The Zionists.

If this is "Muslim and non-Muslim understanding"  then all I can say is may God and the eternal help the Muslims. And the rest of us.

And why did they remove these innocuous observations from the hairy one?

The Conversation wrote to Che to tell him.

Dear Che Gorilla,

Your comment on 'Boston bombings: beware the multi-million dollar Islamophobia industry ' has been removed.

There are several reasons why this may have occurred:

1) Your comment may have breached our community standards. For example it may have been a personal attack, or you might not have used your real name.

2) Your comment may have been entirely blameless but part of a thread that was removed because another comment had to be removed.

3) It might have been removed for another editorial reason, for example to avoid repetition or keep the conversation on topic.

For practical reasons we reserve the right to remove any comment and all decisions must be final, but please don't take it personally.

Or in the case of the gorilla, don't take it hominidaely.  So which could it be?  Surely it couldn't have anything to do with "community standards" given that The Conversation had just published a slab of antisemitic conspiracy theory in classic form masquerading as academic enquiry. And Che Gorilla is always scrupulous about using his real name. 

So what could it possibly be?

cross posted Geoffff's Joint


  1. Well, one thing that this fine academic got entirely wrong is that there was no "wave of violent attacks on Muslims that gripped the US in the wake of 9/11."

    It never happened.

    There may have been a few incidents - I seem to recall a Sikh getting beaten up or killed sometime directly after 9/11 - but there absolutely was no "wave of violent attacks" that "gripped" American society.

    Not even close.

    btw, for those who may not be aware, hate crime statistics in the United States shows that Jews are subject to far and away more abuse than are Arabs or Muslims.

    That's one of those little inconvenient facts that people generally ignore.

    1. Yeah, I can't seem to find the official graph I had a couple years ago, but this one sounds about right.

      Note that even in the worst year of hate crimes against Muslims, 2001, the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes recorded by the FBI still more than doubled the former. Most years, the ratio is more like 10-1, and antisemitic hate crimes far and away make up the vast majority of attacks recorded under 'religiously-motivated.'

  2. I noted that too Mike. A "wave of violent attacks on Muslims". Complete horse shit. This academic is rewriting history. They do that. I remember some people in Muslim dress attended a Nascar event to put this to the test. They were ignored or treated with courtesy throughout the day.

    I think its some kind of visceral thing. I have no doubt that fear among many Muslims about mindless retribution after one of these events is genuine and when it doesn't happen there is a psychological need to pretend it did happen. It seems to me there are many examples of this.

    There is a reason for this and no doubt I will be condemned as an Islamophobe for pointing it out. It's because those in fear have just emerged from a political culture where a minority associated with an event like Boston or 9/11 had excellent reason to be in fear. That culture still has a grip. Therefore they project. They know it would trigger street massacres and sectarian violence if the situations were reversed. They therefore need to be victims of their own imaginations.