Lying about Islam: Daniel Tutt

Sometimes, on this site, one “useful stooge” leads to another. It’s not surprising. These stooges tend to move in packs. It’s that lockstep-ideology thing. Strength in numbers – or, actually, cowardice in numbers. The more Maoists, the merrier.

Daniel Tutt

This year we’ve spent a good deal of time on Islamic apologist extraordinaire Jonathan A. C. Brown. One of his comrades and collaborators, it turns out, is a fellow named Daniel Tutt, who like many of today’s intellectuals, academics, and activists is what you might call a red-green type, combining Marx with Muhammed, Das Kapital with the Koran. Tutt’s résumé is packed with the names of various benign-sounding activities – “interfaith” this, “dialogue” that, organizations devoted to “peace” and “reconciliation” between Islam and whatever. We listed the names of some of these organizations yesterday. If they bring to mind the equally congenial-sounding names of various Soviet front groups of the Cold War era, well, there’s a very good reason for that.

Bottom line: this guy is a hardcore Islamic ideologist masquerading as a gentle bridge-builder.

One of the items he’s shilled for in his role as “Outreach Director” of the Unity Productions Foundation, which makes pro-Islam propaganda, is a video called American Muslims: Facts vs. Fiction. It’s an inexpensive, You Tube-friendly product that starts out with Muslims staring into the camera and citing various “stereotypes about Muslims.” For example: “Muslim women are oppressed.”

And: “The Koran teaches hate.” Sorry, but these aren’t “stereotypes”; they’re hard facts. No, not every Muslim woman is oppressed, and not every word of the Koran teaches hate. But hundreds of millions of Muslim women are treated as less than second-class citizens – according to Islam, they’re the property of their husbands; their testimony in court is worth half that of a man; their husbands can rape, beat, and divorce them at will; and so on.

Eli Clifton

And all that nastiness about women accounts for only a fraction of the hate in the Koran, a book that American Muslims consistently misrepresents. There are certain lines of the Koran that are routinely yanked out of context in order to make Islam look benign: this film quotes several of them reliably. One guy actually tells us that the idea that one should “show mercy to those on earth” is “the cornerstone of what Islam teaches.” Indeed, American Muslims lays on the lies from beginning to end. Among the film’s talking heads is Eli Clifton, co-author of Fear Inc., a 2011 “report” that demonizes honest critics of Islamic ideology as purveyors of hate. The film is whitewashing, pure and simple.

Susan Sarandon

A more high-profile film fronted by Tutt is a 2011 documentary entitled Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World. Premiered at the Kennedy Center, broadcast a few month later on PBS, and narrated by Susan Sarandon, it’s part of a larger, long-term enterprise called “the Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys bookshelf.” And what exactly is that? It’s an initiative that, among other things, provides “[f]ree books and films” about Islam to libraries – another way of saying that it packs the shelves of public libraries with its brainwashing materials.

And the suckers are falling for it. In a 2012 interview (see bel0w) with Terrilynn Chun of the American Library Association, Tutt complained that for the previous eleven years Americans had been inundated with messages and images associating Islam with violence (gee, wonder why?), and said that in order to counter those messages and images the UPF was providing “humanizing stories about Muslims” that “dispel stereotypes.” (“Great!” replied a cheery Chun.) He added that the UPF also supplies this stuff to schools. (“Wonderful!” said Chun.) And it also distributes them to museums: Islamic Art, he added, had already been screened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and several other major U.S. art museums (in addition to being in the collections of over 500 libraries worldwide).

Owen Jones: silent on Muslim homophobia

Yesterday we began looking at Owen Jones, who is famous in Britain but whose celebrity, thankfully, hasn’t yet spread to North American shores. Jones, as we noted, is a gay socialist – and a strong defender of Islam. How strong? Consider this.

owen4
Owen Jones

In a 2012 column, he called anti-Muslim prejudice “a European pandemic” and “the most widespread – and most acceptable – form of bigotry of our times.” This in a time, note well, when Islamic countries execute people for being gay or apostates, when jihadist groups slaughter Christians and Jews, and when women are treated as the property of men throughout the Muslim world. In one article he cited a poll result showing that “45 per cent of Britons agreed that ‘there are too many Muslims’ in Britain. Imagine if nearly half the population admitted to believing that ‘there are too many Jews’ in Britain: how loud would our alarm be?”

islamshariaHe didn’t mention, of course, that the number of Jews in Britain is declining rapidly because Muslim Jew-bashing is leading them to migrate to places like the U.S , Australia, and Israel. Nor did he acknowledge other polls showing that a majority of British Muslims want sharia law in the UK and think homosexuality should be illegal. Jones has repeatedly railed against European “Islamophobia” – but has never faced up to the fact that there are very good reasons why Europeans are concerned about Islam and not, say, about Hinduism or Buddhism.

kran
That image

In July of last year, an ex-Muslim named Saif Rahman tweeted an image to Jones. It showed a Koran with an overlay of rainbow colors – signifying, of course, gay rights. Rahman invited Jones to retweet the image. Jones refused, “because I think this is self evidently trying to provoke [rather] than win people over to LGBT rights.” In reply, Rahman asked: “why do you think it would provoke anyone? And if so, do you accept we have a serious problem?” Jones wouldn’t go there: “I’m done with people only mentioning LGBT rights when Islam is involved.”

jones1Other critics of Islamic homophobia then joined the discussion, supporting Rahman and challenging Jones: “So the rights, persecution, murder of gays in the Muslim world mean NOTHING?” one of them asked. Jones, instead of addressing this deadly serious subject, rejected the right of straight people to lecture him about homophobia: “This [is] like men lecturing women about feminism or white people lecturing black people about racism.” One critic extended an invitation to Jones: “Climb out of your identity-based politics and start thinking in terms of reason, argument, actual human rights.” But Jones refused the invitation.

gayfreeAs one observer commented, Jones uses the cover of identity politics and “broad-minded respect for other cultures” to avoid “criticising even the most regressive elements of another minority group. In his own mind, it is not his business to do so.” Instead, “he declares his unconditional and indiscriminate solidarity with all Muslims, irrespective of how hostile a given individual’s views and values may be to his own. And, consequently, he finds himself objectively defending the Islamic religious right from the pressures of progress at the expense of those they victimise.” What, then, is Jones saying, in effect, to gay Muslims? It’s simple: “gay liberation for me, but not for thee.”

PulseNightClub
The Orlando Pulse before the massacre

All this was mere preamble, however, to Jones’s response to the jihadist mass murder in June at the gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which gained him more attention than he’d ever received before. Tune in tomorrow.

CNN’s stoogery, continued

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Department shows Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan. A military jury has sentenced Hasan to death for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others. (AP Photo/Bell County Sheriff's Department, File)
Nidal Malik Hasan

On the evening of November 5, 2009, the day Nidal Malik Hasan committed the Fort Hood massacre, evidence rapidly mounted that it had been an act of jihad. He’d called himself a “devout Muslim”; he’d been known to wear traditional Muslim clothing; he’d posted a Muslim prayer on his apartment door; he’d spoken approvingly of suicide bombers; just before committing the murders, he’d distributed copies of the Koran to his neighbors.

11/05/06 CNN Strategic Marketing America Votes 2006 Larry King Live (pre-tape for 11/05 show) CNN Time Warner Center Studio 51 New York, NY ph: E. M. Pio Roda / CNN
Wolf Blitzer

But while at least some other media were quick to report on these facts, CNN either ignored them or did its best to give them short shrift and leave them unexamined. As one observer put it, “the network seemed to be making a masterly effort to avoid giving this data a cold, hard look,” even as it sought to portray Hasan as a case of PTSD or, perhaps, as a good soldier who (for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with Islam) had undergone a psychological break as a result of U.S. actions in Iraq. In an effort to illuminate the massacre, Wolf Blitzer grilled a panel of psychiatrists – not Islam experts.

Then there was CNN’s report, aired last September, on small Yemeni girls who die in childbirth. The reporter said that the practice of taking child brides was common in a certain “tribal region of western Yemen” and referred to the “cultural tradition of child brides.” But she was careful not to mention that this “tradition” can be traced directly to the Prophet Muhammed himself, who wed his wife Aisha when she was six years old and consummated the marriage when she was nine. Imams have preached ever since that any girl of that age is fair game for husbands, however old.

By omitting these facts, and by entirely leaving out the “I” and “M” words, CNN’s reporter was deliberately obscuring the reason why not only Yemen but the Muslim world generally is awash in pregnant little girls, many of whom die in childbirth because they’re too small to deliver a baby.

In May 2014, CNN’s website ran an op-ed that started out by lamenting the phenomenon of honor killing. But instead of acknowledging that this crime occurs almost entirely among Muslims – because it’s consistent with the Koranic view of women as upholders of family honor – the author, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, segued into the entirely unrelated case of Elliot Rodger, the psychologically troubled 22-year-old who murdered six people in Santa Barbara, supposedly out of sexual frustration, before killing himself.

lemmon
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Lemmon’s point was apparently to highlight the universal issue of violence against women – even though four of Rodger’s six victims were men. But to link a lone sicko like Rodger (who would have been hospitalized, or locked up in the slammer, if he hadn’t committed suicide) with perpetrators of honor killing (who are acting in accordance with religious ideology and who often escape punishment because their communities and government authorities actually approve of their actions) is utterly outrageous – a way of removing Islam entirely from the picture when it should, in fact, be front and center.

But then, removing Islam entirely from the picture is one thing at which CNN is absolutely terrific.