Center for Security Policy’s Comm Director Calls Comparison with Walid Shoebat a “Smear”

Here’s one I missed from last week: Dave Reaboi, Director of Communications at the Center for Security Policy, responded to the recent Washington Post article on private groups involved with advising law enforcement on terrorism:

Yesterday’s feature, “Monitoring America,” by Dana Priest and William Arkin, intentionally distorts the role of outside experts training local law enforcement in matters related to terrorism.

In an effort to smear the Center for Security Policy, Arkin and Preist erroneously describe the Center’s book, Shariah: The Threat to America, as “expanding on what [Walid] Shoebat and [Ramon] Montijo believe.”

This is false. In fact, Shariah: The Threat to America is an independent work of nineteen national security experts, including the former Director of Central Intelligence, former directors of military intelligence agencies, a former counterterrorism agent in the FBI, experts in Shariah law, and many others. Each of the authors is an expert in his own right on a diverse array of national security issues; in that capacity, they can authoritatively address the nexus between America’s national security and Islamic law, called Shariah…

I blogged on the article here. As I’ve noted previously, the emphasis on the word “shariah” is a rhetorical device to frame Islam as a subversive political ideology rather than as a religion.

But why should an association with Shoebat be seen as a “smear” by the CSP? After all, CSP director Frank Gaffney is generous in his praise of Shoebat; according to an endorsement on Shoebat’s website:

In the 25 years I have been in Washington I have never heard anything so extraordinary and the truth be so eloquently spoken by someone like this.

In 2009, Shoebat and Gaffney appeared together on a panel in which they discussed whether Obama was a Muslim. Shoebat is on record as claiming that Obama is indeed a Muslim, who is plotting with Islamists to liberalise abortion laws so that more Americans will “kill their own children”; Gaffney is more ambivalent, although he claims that Obama’s policies are “indistinguishable in important respects from that of the Muslim Brotherhood”.

Whether Gaffney shares Shoebat’s views about the Bible predicting a Muslim anti-Christ is unknown; I expect he sees it as a useful tool in certain circles but keeps his own counsel on the subject. Gaffney has spoken at an event organised by John Hagee, an apocalyptic pastor who rails against “international bankers” and the “Illuminati” and who cites the design of the $1 bill as evidence of an occult-Masonic “New World Order” conspiracy.

Incidentally, the Washington Post article did indeed acknowledge the backgrounds of those who contributed to the Shariah report. It noted:

The book’s co-authors include such notables as former CIA director R. James Woolsey and former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, along with the center’s director, a longtime activist.

Boykin took part in an event organised by Shoebat and his handlers just a few weeks ago (a “competing” Fort Hood memorial service), while Boykin and Woolsey addressed an apocalyptic Christian Zionist event together in 2008.

UPDATE: Alongside his role with the CSP, Reaboi is a correspondent for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Peace website, and both he and Gaffney have close links to Breitbart. Earlier this year, Gaffney and Breitbart worked to promote a particularly silly conspiracy theory. Steve Douglas, who blogs on logos, reported at the time:

Conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart… twattering to his 15,000+ followers via his Twitter account [asked] this ominous question “Can this be true? New Obama Missile Defense logo includes a crescent”… If you clicked on Breitbart’s Twitter link, you’d be taken to his Big Government site, where another conservative pundit, Frank Gaffney would also ask “Can this be true?” suggesting that the “new logo” was evidence that something “nefarious is afoot” and that the new Missile Defense Agency shield “appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star”. Gaffney and Breitbart aren’t the end of it either. There’s much, much more. Even this morning, Pamela Geller wrote about the fracas on her right-tilting blog Atlas Shrugs, calling the logo an example of “cultural jihad”.

(I blogged on this and related logo conspiracies here)

Hilariously, Breitbart recently got together with Gaffney to opine on the subject of “professional standards for reporting” – Reaboi has uploaded the video here.

Reaboi is also a fan of Robert Stacy McCain, whom he described in 2009 as a “magnificent bastard” after McCain wrote a denunciation of Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs for turning on Pamela Geller.

11 Responses

  1. Hello Richard

    I think that you should at least try to read the document that is referred to, rather than cherry-picking comments made by others about it. It is a straightforward work – and deals with Sharia in its political context – where it is the goal of Islamists to impose the political demands of Sharia onto societies, and to force normal law-abiding Muslims to give their political allegiance to the Ummah, rather than to the countries they live within.

    And in that sense, Shariah is political, and as full shariah law makes no allowances for democracy (and wherein the legal rights of women are worth only half those of men) can be viewed as a threat to democratic societies.

    Personally, I think the document is informative insofar as it treats with the political ambitions of so-called “advocacy groups” in the USA who have shilled for the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

    The document is 177 pages long, and can be downloaded here:
    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.7376/pub_detail.asp
    or directly here:
    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/docLib/20100915_Shariah-TheThreattoAmerica.pdf

    The problem with Islam in America is that outside funding goes to “political” Muslim groups and mosques, and the funders are generally Saudi-based Wahhabists who have absolutely no respect for democracy. As with the case of the Muslim Council of Britain (co-founded by Kemal el-Helbawy) – these political groups have a specific international agenda of their own.

    They prevent the growth of regional forms of Islam. A genuine British Islam or an American Islam will never develop spontaneously as long as foreign funding goes to pro-Hamas groups and mosques, and as long as political patronage goes to these “foreign-funded” groups and bypasses the majority of peaceful Muslims who have no interest in Islamist politics and just go about their lives.

    These groups of non-affiliated citizens are the ones who are always betrayed and neglected by both Islamist activists and lazy Western politicians.

    The only solution is to treat all citizens equally, and to stop treating certain individuals and organizations as “representatives”.

    If people are not elected – they have no right to be involved in influencing the democratic political process. Unfortunately Britain and other nations have got too used to unelected “quangos” setting themselves up as authorities. This deference to quangocrats has set a poor precedent and has opened the door for activists to gain a foothold in the political machinery of nation-states.

    I believe that is the fundamental flaw in “tokenist” politics that has allowed unpleasant and unrepresentative people to set themselves up as “community” leaders/representatives.

    • Although I am sometimes accused of wishing to minimise or understate the dangers and unpleasantness of Islamic extremism, the reason I dislike clowns like Shoebat et al. is because their hysteria undermines taking a clear perspective. There may indeed be some reasonable points in the report, but can we take them when presented by a man who claims that Obama hid an Islamic crescent in the Missle Defense Agency logo?

      Certainly, though, the malign impact of funding from abroad, particularly Saudi Arabia, is the one subject that everyone tends to agree on. It’s not just in the West, either – it seems we’re currently backing Gaddafi as a Muslim influence in Africa as a counter the Saudis, although it’s a policy I fear won’t end well.

    • Lots of errors in Adrians post.

      “where it is the goal of Islamists to impose the political demands of Sharia onto societies”

      Same thing with the Christian groups that march against gay rights and abortion.

      “And in that sense, Shariah is political, and as full shariah law makes no allowances for democracy (and wherein the legal rights of women are worth only half those of men) can be viewed as a threat to democratic societies.”

      Two things here. First of all, the same thing with the various Christian groups in the US that march and are pretty well known for having their men in government. Will we see Shoebat write against them? No. Because they are the ones paying him.

      Secondly, the legal rights of women in Islamic Hsaria are not half those of men. That is another Islamophobic excuse used by people like Shoebat and Spencer so they can cotninue on their bigoted crusade.

      “The problem with Islam in America is that outside funding goes to “political” Muslim groups and mosques, and the funders are generally Saudi-based Wahhabists who have absolutely no respect for democracy. As with the case of the Muslim Council of Britain (co-founded by Kemal el-Helbawy) – these political groups have a specific international agenda of their own.”

      I suggest you read the recent reports on the funding that the various Islamophobic groups and organizations receive.

      • That “report”- which appears to be an article by Bob Smietana in the Tennessean, then passed around by Huffington Post, the Salon and other sites with no criticism, is a mishmash of a few poorly interpreted IRS returns, larded up with political bias and a dollop of magical thinking.

        That article has been subsequently picked up by (Saudi-funded) CAIR and mispresented as “fact” on Iran’s propaganda station PressTV.

        A discussion of the Tennessean’s claims can be found here:
        http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.7752/pub_detail.asp

        Unless you have a direct link to another specific, report, of course. Which I would be grateful to receive.

  2. I stand corrected on Shoebat –

    I forgot that he is actually mentioned in the report (page 20) where he is briefly mentioned as a a “brave man”, cited as someone whose words should have weight.

    Until the issue of the bomb that Shoebat claims he threw onto the roof of Bank Leumi can be proven, there should be some doubt about his trustworthiness.

    I have recently avoided giving publicity to his views until those issues are resolved. Unfortunately, one of his main critics is also a rather contentious individual (no names – sorry) which does not help to bring clarity to the issue of whether Shoebat is really a former terrorist or just a poseur.

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