Rick Perry, Aga Khan, and the “Sharia Curriculum:” Answering Robert Spencer

By David Stein

(My absolute final word on the subject — even if Pam Geller calls me “asshat” again – HERE)

This has officially been the worst “blog vacation” ever. I hadn’t planned to return to blogging until after Labor Day Weekend (which is also my birthday weekend). But when a man with the reputation and intellect of Robert Spencer takes the time to call you out on three different sites, attention must be paid.

For those of you who haven’t been following the chain of events, last week I posted this article, in response to the claim that Governor Rick Perry partnered with the Aga Khan Foundation (which represents the Ismaili Muslim community) to force Texas public schools to use a “pro-Sharia curriculum” (a claim advanced by Pamela Geller). In my article, I published the text of the actual lesson plan that resulted from the Perry/Khan partnership, and I interviewed its author. The lesson plan is anti-Islamist, pro-Israel, pro-West, anti-Sharia, and it highlights rather than whitewashes Muslim terror.

In response to a broadside by Ms. Geller, who posted some very inaccurate information to counter my article, I published this follow-up.

Yesterday, the following refutation by Robert Spencer was posted on Spencer’s site, on Geller’s site, and (by Spencer himself) as a comment on this site. I will run it in its entirety, with no interruptions or editorializing. Following that, I’ll run it again, with my critique. From this point on, all comments in bold are mine.

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BEGINNING OF SPENCER’S “REFUTATION”

Dave Stein at CounterContempt purports to refute the information Pamela Geller has provided about Rick Perry’s questionable associations. It would be reassuring if he had actually proven Perry to be clear of suspicion in these areas, but unfortunately that is not the case.

1. The curriculum.

Stein contends that the Atlas Shrugs reader who provided information about the Texas curriculum about Islam that the Aga Khan Foundation developed “was quoting from the abstracts (summaries) of the sessions that the teachers who volunteer for the Muslim Histories and Culture Project (MHCP) attend,” and not from the curriculum itself. He assures us that a “a 60-something-year-old world history teacher with a Master’s Degree” can “read books from various points of view and reach his own conclusions,” and that “the training involved no pro-Islam proselytizing.”

It is odd that the teacher sessions would involve whitewashing of Islamic teaching and of its historical record, but that the curriculum itself would not, and Stein doesn’t explain how that happened. Nor does he explain why we should trust his 60-something-year-old world history teacher. And even if his world history teacher is extremely knowledgeable about Islam, the material presented at Atlas Shrugs did not involve proselytizing, which he assures us is not happening, but whitewashing, which he does not address. And while I would love to take his word for it, arguments from authority are the weakest of all arguments, and he ultimately presents nothing to assure anyone that the questionable material in the teacher sessions is not making its way into the classroom. After all, what are the teacher sessions for, if not to train the teachers on how to present the material in the classroom?

He also says that there was nothing in the seminar abstracts “that even remotely qualifies as pro-Sharia.” Yet the material we do see presents Muhammad as a benign moral teacher, saying nothing about his teachings of hatred, warfare and subjugation, and also whitewashes the oppressive history of Muslim Spain, and other matters. To dismiss concern about this by saying it’s not “pro-Sharia” is too narrow. The heavily slanted and wholly positive view of Islam that Islamic supremacist groups have insinuated into textbooks and curricula fosters ignorance of the nature of the jihad threat and complacency about it, and provides a basis for proselytization from other materials. Ignore or minimize this at your own risk.

2. The Aga Khan and the Ismailis.

Stein says that “if Robert Spencer – whose entire raison d’être is investigating and tracking Islamists – didn’t know about these ‘new facts’ until last week, well…certainly Rick Perry can be excused for not knowing them as well.” No, he can’t. I am not entering into partnership with the Aga Khan. If I were, I would certainly vet him thoroughly first, and Perry should have. As far as not knowing about these issues, I wish I could keep up with all the violent and stealthy jihad activity going on in the world, but there is just too much of it, and the purchase of a tainted bank and investment in a tainted regime by the Aga Khan is simply not something that is going to become an issue until someone like Rick Perry becomes a viable presidential candidate, and everyone starts rushing to declare him the perfect candidate without properly vetting him. Perry should have vetted the Aga Khan, and we must vet Rick Perry.

3. The Habib Bank.

Stein points out that “the Aga Khan Foundation was not part-owner of Habib Bank until two years after the murder of Daniel Pearl,” and dismisses all concern about it accordingly, even though the bank is in Pakistan, a country Stein himself terms “about as loyal and trustworthy an ally as a pet scorpion.” Does Stein have information to the effect that the Aga Khan dismissed everyone who had been with the bank before he bought it, and thoroughly cleansed it of all al-Qaeda ties? Would such a thing even be possible to do in Pakistan?

4. The Aga Khan’s investments in Syria.

Regarding the Aga Khan’s investments in Syria, Stein contends that “‘General Moustapha Sharba’ accusation is found only on the ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ conspiracy-theory site of Mark Mitchell.” Actually there is a picture of Sharba with Ismaili leaders on an Ismaili website. Why doesn’t Stein mention that?

Then he dismisses the Aga Khan investments in Syria by pointing out that the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) did humanitarian work in countries ruled by tyrannical regimes, and challenges Pamela Geller to show that the Aga Khan money went to terrorist activity. However, the fact that one group does a foolish thing doesn’t excuse someone else for doing the same foolish thing. In any case, the JDC was not endorsing the Ceaucescu regime by giving that aid; however, the Aga Khan worked directly with the Assad regime. Aiding oppressed people in spite of their regime is not the same thing as working with that regime, thereby freeing it up to spend its own funds on terrorist or other nefarious activity. Syria is a state sponsor of terrorism. If that means anything at all, no one should be investing there.

5. Norquist.

Stein points out that Norquist is ubiquitous and powerful. Granted. But Perry and Norquist are very close. Perry has raised funds for Norquist. They have vacationed together. Until I see Bachmann, West, and the others Stein mentioned doing the same thing, I will continue to raise questions about Perry’s closeness to Norquist.

END OF SPENCER’S “REFUTATION”

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Okay – let’s look at that again, but this time including my two cents (which, due to the recession, have been devalued to one-point-three cents):

It is odd that the teacher sessions would involve whitewashing of Islamic teaching and of its historical record, but that the curriculum itself would not, and Stein doesn’t explain how that happened.

The abstracts provided on the Muslim Histories and Culture Project (MHCP) website are just that: summaries. They are clearly labeled as such. It is illogical to cry “whitewash!” based only upon reading brief summaries of lengthy training seminars. Short of attending the sessions myself, I did the next best thing – I interviewed a man (Ron Wiltse) who had completed the entire seminar. To me, that was the best way get the details.

Mr. Wiltse assured me that the seminars did not whitewash any aspect of Muslim history. To the best of my knowledge. Ron Wiltse has no reason to lie about this. From his Facebook page, it’s clear that he’s no liberal. From the audio recording of his lecture at a church retreat, he’s no lover of Islamism. I see no motivation for him to invent tall tales about the MHCP program. He was an extremely open and honest interview subject.

I don’t have to “explain how” the training sessions would involve whitewashing but the resulting curriculum would not. Wiltse says the training sessions didn’t involve whitewashing, and his lesson plan doesn’t either – as any objective reader can see by reading it.

Nor does he explain why we should trust his 60-something-year-old world history teacher.

I indeed believe that a retired teacher who has spent his entire professional life in the history field can be trusted to come to his own conclusions. Whether or not I agree with those conclusions is irrelevant. I am far more concerned with what students, who are still forming their opinions and worldviews, are forced to read in the classroom. I mean, wasn’t that the entire point of Ms. Geller’s initial hysterical post? That students are being forced to read a pro-Sharia curriculum? That would have concerned me, too. Hence my investigation into the claim.

And even if his world history teacher is extremely knowledgeable about Islam, the material presented at Atlas Shrugs did not involve proselytizing, which he assures us is not happening, but whitewashing, which he does not address.

Again, Wiltse says there was no whitewashing. BTW, whitewashing is indeed a form of proselytizing, if it’s done with the intent to influence or change someone’s point-of-view.

And while I would love to take his word for it, arguments from authority are the weakest of all arguments…

I’m not asking anyone to take my word for it. I interviewed a teacher who went through the program, and I dutifully reported what he told me.

…and he ultimately presents nothing to assure anyone that the questionable material in the teacher sessions is not making its way into the classroom.

Of course I did. I presented the entire lesson plan for my readers to examine on their own.

He also says that there was nothing in the seminar abstracts “that even remotely qualifies as pro-Sharia.”

I’m disappointed with Mr. Spencer – he’s being deceptive. My quote was about the lesson plan, not the seminar abstracts. From my article: “While Ms. Geller was (knowingly or not) misrepresenting the seminar abstracts as the school curriculum, other ‘Rick Perry Sharia curriculum’ die-hards (especially those who left comments on my story and clogged by inbox with angry emails) were taking a different tactic. After picking apart the lesson plan, and finding nothing in it that even remotely qualifies as pro-Sharia, they decided to complain instead that the lesson was poorly written and not exhaustive enough!”

Stein says that “if Robert Spencer – whose entire raison d’être is investigating and tracking Islamists – didn’t know about these ‘new facts’ until last week, well…certainly Rick Perry can be excused for not knowing them as well.” No, he can’t. I am not entering into partnership with the Aga Khan. If I were, I would certainly vet him thoroughly first, and Perry should have.

Okay…but what would Perry have found? Neither Spencer nor Geller have provided any actual “dirt” on Aga Khan. If it’s true that Habib Bank did not freeze the al-Akhtar account, it happened years before the Khan Foundation bought into the bank. And the discussions between Perry and Khan that led to the development of the MHCP occurred in summer 2002, two years before the Khan Foundation bought into the bank! So what, exactly, was Perry supposed to find in 2002? What would his “vetting” have uncovered? If the answer is “nothing,” then how do you know Perry didn’t vet Khan?

Perry signed another agreement with Khan in 2009. By that time, the Khan Foundation had been majority owner of the bank for almost six years. So, again, I ask the question – what would a “vetting” have uncovered in 2009 (regarding any wrongdoing that had occurred at the bank once the foundation took over)?

Stein points out that “the Aga Khan Foundation was not part-owner of Habib Bank until two years after the murder of Daniel Pearl,” and dismisses all concern about it accordingly, even though the bank is in Pakistan, a country Stein himself terms “about as loyal and trustworthy an ally as a pet scorpion.” Does Stein have information to the effect that the Aga Khan dismissed everyone who had been with the bank before he bought it, and thoroughly cleansed it of all al-Qaeda ties? Would such a thing even be possible to do in Pakistan?

Here is the agreement that Habib Bank signed with the Federal Reserve. It’s quite exhaustive. The bank agreed to completely overhaul every aspect of its operations to be in full compliance with U.S. rules and regulations. It agreed to allow an independent firm (approved by the Fed) to thoroughly examine its new procedures. Furthermore, it agreed to allow the independent firm to examine all account and transaction activities from 2005 onward.

The Fed made clear that should any deficiencies be found, action would be taken against the bank. Although the results of the independent audit are not available on the Fed website, the Fed indeed took no action against the bank, implying that it found the examination satisfactory.

Obviously, there’s no way to tell for certain if any employees of any of the bank’s 1,500 branches around the world are engaging in illegal activities. But in the absence of any evidence, it’s foolish to pillory Rick Perry for his relationship with Aga Khan. Basically, it’s tantamount to saying, “Rick Perry, you oughtta be ashamed of yourself for occasionally associating with a guy who’s part-owner of a bank that I kinda have a hunch might possibly be doing something bad, even though I have no proof.” I mean, c’mon. That’s silly.

I should add that in her lawsuit regarding the al-Akhtar trust, Daniel Pearl’s widow made no accusations of misdeeds after the Khan Foundation took over the bank. I’m sure that if her legal team had been able to uncover any evidence of illegal activities under the new management, they’d have presented it. It certainly would have helped her case, by establishing an ongoing pattern.

And moreover, what would the Aga Khan Foundation’s motive be for helping al-Qaeda? An al-Qaeda and Taliban-controlled Pakistan would be a VERY unfriendly place for Ismaili Muslims (the Taliban and al-Qaeda consider the Ismailis to be a heretical sect). There’s no ideological motive for Khan to assist al-Qaeda.

What about a money motive? The thousands of dollars in interest or payoffs that might be earned by allowing illegal al-Qaeda accounts to exist in the bank would PALE in comparison to what the bank would lose if banned from doing business in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe (not to mention the money the Khan Foundation would lose in the West as a result of the bad PR).

But the bottom line is, it’s ridiculous to attack Perry for his association with the Khan Foundation merely because someone has a “hunch” that the bank “might” currently be involved in dirty dealings. If anyone has any hard evidence, let’s see it. If you have suspicions, do some digging. But don’t attack Perry because of a hunch.

Regarding the Aga Khan’s investments in Syria, Stein contends that “‘General Moustapha Sharba’ accusation is found only on the ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ conspiracy-theory site of Mark Mitchell.” Actually there is a picture of Sharba with Ismaili leaders on an Ismaili website. Why doesn’t Stein mention that?

To recap, this is what Geller wrote regarding “Moustapha Sharba:”

According to investigative reporter Mark Mitchell, “the Aga Khan Foundation’s membership and supporters also include top military officers in Syria, such as General Moustapha Sharba, who had a hand in the early stages of the covert nuclear weapons program that Syria was developing with help from North Korea (and probably Iran).” Don’t Sharba and the others know that the Ismailis are peaceful?

I shied away from using the Mark Mitchell material because it was completely unsourced. Frankly, Mitchell and Geller should be ashamed of themselves for making such an inflammatory claim without providing any sources to back it up. That’s not just shoddy journalism…it’s blatant disrespect for the reader.

Having now dug a little deeper into the “Moustapha Sharba” claim, I find even more evidence of Geller’s questionable journalistic ethics. Indeed, there was a Syrian army officer named Mustafa Sharba, an Ismaili. According to this dissertation submitted to George Washington University by Kirk Campbell (B.S., Virginia Military Institute; M.A., University of Virginia), Sharba was promoted by Hafez Assad in a political move – Assad, an Alawi (a minority sect in Syria), wanted to create a coalition of other Syrian minorities in the armed forces. So, yes, Mustafa Sharba fought for Syria…IN 1973!

When Geller and Mitchell claim that the Aga Khan Foundation’s membership and supporters “also include top military officers in Syria, such as General Moustapha Sharba,” and “Don’t Sharba and the others know that the Ismailis are peaceful?,” they use the present-tense. That’s just plain dishonest. Sharba commanded his unit thirty-eight years ago.

I could find no sources to back up the claim that Sharba had a hand in covert nuclear programs.

So…Rick Perry is supposed to hold it against the Khan Foundation that a man who fought in the Syrian army in 1973 was Ismaili? Ladies and gentlemen, the very definition of “reaching.” Let’s move on…

Then he dismisses the Aga Khan investments in Syria by pointing out that the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) did humanitarian work in countries ruled by tyrannical regimes, and challenges Pamela Geller to show that the Aga Khan money went to terrorist activity. However, the fact that one group does a foolish thing doesn’t excuse someone else for doing the same foolish thing. In any case, the JDC was not endorsing the Ceaucescu regime by giving that aid; however, the Aga Khan worked directly with the Assad regime. Aiding oppressed people in spite of their regime is not the same thing as working with that regime, thereby freeing it up to spend its own funds on terrorist or other nefarious activity.

Again, Spencer disappoints me. Cold War history is not ancient history; he should know this stuff. Instead, he gets his facts completely backwards. The JDC and other Jewish relief agencies were widely criticized for assisting the Ceausescu regime. They most certainly “worked directly” with the Ceausescu regime, not only “freeing it up to spend its own funds” on “nefarious activities,” but directly paying the regime large amounts of cash.

And I don’t judge those aid organizations for what they did. Coincidentally, when Ceausescu came to power, there were about as many Jews in Romania as there are Ismailis in Syria (several hundred thousand). Ceausescu was a brutal tyrant who terrorized his own people (plus, Romania had a history of anti-Semitism). Jewish aid organizations did what they felt was necessary to ensure the safety of their people, and they found a willing partner in Ceausescu, who saw “getting in good with the Jews” as a way to curry favor with the West (and to make a few bucks on the side).

Jewish relief organizations, with the backing of the Israeli government, paid Ceausescu for every exit visa he arranged for Romanian Jews. It is estimated that, during Ceausescu’s reign, he made $112,498,800 for granting 40,000 exit visas. Much of that money came from Jewish communities abroad, funneled to Romania via Jewish relief agencies.

Money was also paid to Ceausescu (mainly by the JDC) to be put toward health care and housing for Romania’s Jews (thus “freeing up” state money that otherwise would have been spent for those purposes). Jewish organizations lobbied for Romania to receive most favored nation status, and a grateful Ceausescu thanked the Jewish community by being the only Soviet Bloc dictator to not break ties with Israel after the Six Day War (Ceausescu also refused to vote for the UN’s notorious “Zionism equals racism” resolution). “The Jewish minority in Romania was the only one to enjoy a wide range of rights” (page 250, “Israeli-Romanian Relations at the End of the Ceausescu Era,” by Dr. Yosef Govrin, former Israeli ambassador to Romania – an excellent source on this topic).

This “deal with the devil” has been widely debated by Jewish scholars over the years (another reason why Spencer’s apparent lack of knowledge about it baffles me). In the February 2005 edition of The Forward, Gal Beckerman, reviewing Radu Ioanid’s book “The Ransom of the Jews,” acknowledges the uncomfortable moral dilemma:

Ioanid doesn’t shy away from telling us who Ceausescu really was — a ruthless dictator, in fact a “comrade,” by his own estimation, with the likes of Qaddafi and Arafat, a crusher of his own people, who maintained a strange neo-Stalinist cult-of-personality ideology he tried to implement under the nearly unpronounceable name Ceausism. There were deep moral consequences to this relationship. Not only was Israel shaking hands with this devil, but it also was giving him coal to keep his fires burning. Was the price of propping up a totalitarian regime really worth it?….Can quiet diplomacy be justified, even if it helped prolong this evil?

Simply put, there is no comparing the level of aid and comfort that Jewish organizations gave to Ceausescu to the level given to Syria’s Assad by the Khan Foundation. The financial and political aid given to Ceausescu by Jewish organizations was massive. But those organizations were doing what they sincerely felt was best for the people they represented. And the Khan Foundation is doing what it feels is best for the people it represents. On a speaking tour of Eastern Europe in 1991, I defended the actions of Jewish organizations in Romania. I’m not going to be a hypocrite; I defended the JDC in 1991, and I’m defending the Khan Foundation now.

I’m a historian and a windbag…so, by nature, I love drowning my readers in a sea of historical facts and anecdotes. But I went into such detail about the Romanian issue for another reason – to point out just how wrong Spencer is in claiming that Jewish organizations did not “work directly” with the Ceausescu regime. I take this as evidence that, occasionally, he can make claims without having a full command of the facts.

Which is why his hunches and assumptions about the Khan Foundation just don’t cut it with me. If he can show me proof that the Habib Bank is engaged in pro-jihadist activities, or that any of the money spent in Syria by the foundation is going toward terrorism, I will thank him and help spread the word. But I require solid proof.

Stein points out that Norquist is ubiquitous and powerful. Granted. But Perry and Norquist are very close. Perry has raised funds for Norquist. They have vacationed together. Until I see Bachmann, West, and the others Stein mentioned doing the same thing, I will continue to raise questions about Perry’s closeness to Norquist.

When people like David Horowitz and Frank Gaffney raise questions about Norquist’s pro-Islamist ties, I pay attention. But when people like Geller and Spencer attempt to use those allegations to attack only one candidate in the Republican primary, the charges against Norquist become trivialized by partisanship.

In the Washington Post article I linked to in my previous post, Norquist clearly stated that Michelle Bachmann was going to be attending one of his exclusive, private “Wednesday meetings” the week of July 12th. That’s six months after Horowitz laid out the case against Norquist at CPAC (where Bachmann was in attendance).

Perry has appeared alongside Norquist publicly. But Bachmann apparently attended one of his nefarious “secret meetings.” If so, what was discussed? I mean, I know the answer, we all know the answer – taxes. That’s what Republicans talk to Norquist about. But if Geller and Spencer are going to portray Perry’s relationship with Norquist as menacing, why not do the same for Bachmann’s attendance at the clandestine meeting?

If Geller and Spencer want to prove that they’re not singling Perry out, they’d demand that Bachmann give a full account of her private Norquist meeting.

I have spent a lot of time on this Perry/Sharia thing over the past week. I’m spent. I’m not going to be addressing any more baseless supposition and innuendo. I have had the pleasure of meeting the governor, and I know several people on his staff. If Ms. Geller or Mr. Spencer want to bring me any actual evidence that Habib Bank is currently engaged in supporting al-Qaeda, or that Khan Foundation money is going toward supporting terrorism in Syria, I pledge to take that evidence straight to Perry’s campaign staff. If they stonewall me or refuse to address my concerns, you will read about it here first.

But, in the absence of such evidence, I’m finished with this subject. Good riddance.

Comments
28 Responses to “Rick Perry, Aga Khan, and the “Sharia Curriculum:” Answering Robert Spencer”
  1. Josephus says:

    All Spencer cares about is his partnership with the increasingly unstable Pamela Geller who is not exactly based in reality. I agree with a lot of Geller’s message over the years but am finding her to be an increasingly repugnant messenger.

  2. TJ Chambers says:

    DAMN, Stein. A brutal takedown. Nice!

  3. Ethan Marsh says:

    A thorough, truthful refutation of a phony refutation. Good job. This should keep the nutjobs at bay…at least for a week or so!

  4. SMJ says:

    I am completly dissappointed with Spencer. He knows better than this. Truly. I haven’t been keeping up on this because I have been busy, however, Mr. Spencer should reassess his partnership with Ms. Gellar. I did my own digging into the Ismali Muslims and after going through Davids links and all of the painstaking research and back tracking he did, he seems to have a far better grip on the facts of this than Mr. Spencer and a better grasp on reality than Ms. Gellar.
    First of all there is no bigger champion of Israel than Rick Perry, so thats not even a fact left for discussion.
    Secondly, the Aga Khan is no more a terrorist than I am. And the Syrian Army officer being question for his relationship with the Aga Khan? OK please give me a break. Rational human beings do not debate issues like this. I recently met a former Kriegs Marine, who fought on the Russian front in WW2. Should that 87 year old man be held accountable for fighting the war or the atrocitys? He was 19 years old. It was 66 years ago. The irrationality and blind devotion to only way of thinking not only hurts a persons credibility (MS GELLAR ARE YOU LISTENING?) but it also will drive sensible people away from the reality and dangers that both Spencer and Gellar speak of in their blogs and writings. Yes we do have a problem with Islamists but since Ismali Muslims are as hated by Wahhabist, Salafist and the Iranian Regime we have no need to fear them or their leader. Mr. Spencer should do his own digging into the Aga Khan and have an open mind. After all Prince Aly Khan once drew the eye of Rita Hayworth. I sincerly doubt a bearded fanatic would have done the same. Instead of attacking Ismalis we should be showing them that their moderate secular view of the world is welcomed and that they have a stake in this republic. I am not a fan of Islam but any moderates who are willing to become part of a solution, who understand they have a stake in our rein deer games shouldn’t be chased off just because of the nutty ravings of a woman who see’s a jihadist under every bush. Sometimes an Ismali is really just that..an Ismali. And the Ground Zero Mosque issue deserves a better champion than Pam Gellar if thats all she is about. We may even be stuck with that pile of odious garbage because no one could take her seriously anymore because of this fixation.

  5. Josephus says:

    Shouldn’t that be Agha Khan instead of Age Khan?

  6. Fluff says:

    I have felt for a while that Spencer should be on his own. He has an approach that is so superior to Gellar’s that he insults himself by association with her. I think Robert is so used to Gellar getting the TV shows and such because she’s prettier than he is that he easily defers to her. He shouldn’t. It is she who should be eternally grateful that he gives her the time of day. She does not come off well in the media even when her facts are right. She furthers the belief that antijihadists are right wing nuts. This allows the lefties and centerists to assume that Islamisation is a fear mongerer’s myth and that can lead to opening more doors for Islmic supremacists just to “spite the haters”. Spencer is the most diplomatic, fair and balanced debater I have ever seen. He is capable of convincing people from all sides but not if he continues to be associated with those who seem so agenda driven. I doubt he would ever step away from her as she is a friend. It’s that kind of heart that makes him so good yet may hurt him in the end.

  7. Dustin says:

    Sure you’re spent. But I appreciate your hard work. This is journalism done right, and there is a dire need of it.

  8. CR says:

    I stopped reading Pamela Geller’s work a long time ago because she was obviously becoming unstable. It became easy to notice factual omissions, errors and fabrications in her articles which were mostly opinions bereft of verifiable facts. Apparently, her slide into lunacy is nearly complete. She attacked Rick Perry because he frightens her. If he became President, she would become irrelevant. She has made a living railing against the actually pro-Sharia Obama. Perry is not at all pro-Sharia so she wouldn’t have anything to gripe about. Geller is greedy and unhinged so plan on seeing more disgraceful behavior from her and her cohorts.

    How do I know Rick Perry is not at all pro-Sharia? I live in Texas, that’s how. I know what my state government is doing or not doing. Muslims are always crying about wanting Sharia law in Texas and they always get the same response: over our dead bodies. That issue never leaves the local level so Perry never needs to address it directly. I wish Geller had actually read the curriculum in question. Any sane person with an ounce of common sense would be unable to find pro-Sharia statements or language. Many Muslims and leftists in Texas claim the curriculum is biased against Islam. So, which is it? It can’t be pro-Sharia and anti-Islamic at the same time. Geller is wrong, again.

    When President Perry is sworn in, Pamela will fade into obscurity and her legacy will be that of a desperate, crazed, unhinged lunatic who has no regard for facts, logic or common sense. Until then, she will do as much damage as she can. Fortunately, she can’t do any real damage. Rick Perry is more than capable of defending himself against half-truths, fabrications and smears. Ask Kay Bailey Hutchinson how fabrications worked for her when she ran against Perry for Governor. Her campaign tried everything, from claiming Perry is gay to his being a closet Muslim. Perry easily refuted each attack and Hutchinson lost. Hutchinson used to be well-liked in TX but not after her election stunts.

    At least Geller has shown her true colors. She is not to be believed or trusted. She is also incredibly stupid – attack Rick Perry at your own risk.

    • Steve says:

      CR, a few days after the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, Governor Perry wrote the following in part:

      “I ask that all Texans be mindful that the attacks on New York City and Washington are not the work of the Islamic faithful, but the work of terrorists – of fanatics – who have hijacked the name of religion for their campaign of hatred…..Like most of the world’s major religions, the Islamic faith preaches peace, love and tolerance. Indeed, terrorism is the antithesis of the basic tenet to which the one billion Islamic followers all over the world adhere.”

      Do you have reason to believe Governor Perry has since re-appraised his analysis of Islam or do you think Perry still holds the same views? Can you understand how these views expressed by Governor Perry might concern some national-security minded Americans?

      • Zane says:

        Steve, are you aware that Texans do not cotton to people blowing our stuff up and killing 3,000 American citizens? Have you never heard a politican calling for “calm” during a violent storm? That is what they are supposed to do. You admit that Perry made those comnments just days after 9-11.

        We are not a nation that reacts violently, but when one segment starts killing us, there is an adverse reaction that can be expected. Every politician from D.C. to Dallas was calling for “calm”. And you find fault with that?

        What did you think should have been said? Get the pitchforks and torches and start burning mosques?

        • Steve says:

          Zane, I have addressed this question before. I voted for George W. Bush in 2000. I am a forty year registered Republican. You might notice, Perry’s language is similar to what President Bush said on September 20, 2001 before a joint session of Congress and the American people. Bush-defenders make an argument similar to yours. I am asked, “Don’t you think Bush wanted to discourage Americans from taking revenge on our peaceful Muslim neighbors?” Is it possible that is why Bush (Perry) said Islam is a religion of peace; Islam means peace? Is it possible Zane, that is why Bush said (and Perry implied) the terrorists are traitors to their faith, trying in effect to hijack Islam itself? He said, “The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics; a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam?” Is it why Bush said (Perry implied), “(Islam’s) teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah….?” Of course these are all falsehoods, I am sure you would agree. Is it possible Bush and Perry told the public these falsehoods so that we did not “take the law into our own hands” against our Muslim neighbors? If that is the case, why didn’t Bush and Perry simply warn Americans that vigilante justice against American Muslims will NOT be tolerated and would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law? Why Zane, did Bush and Perry inexcusably mislead the American public about our enemy? Do Bush and Perry know that to “know your enemy” is the first and fundamental principle in warfare, enunciated by Sun Tzu? Do Bush and Perry understand the centrality and the importance of knowing and identifying the enemy? Why did they mislead the public about Islam?

          • Antimedia says:

            Let me see if I understand your argument. You’re saying that because George Bush and Rick Perry said Islam is a religion of peace that they’re pro-Muslim?

            The guy who attacked Iraq & Afghanistan in preemptive wars that cost him dearly in support back home is pro-Islam? The guy who sent thousands of US troops into Muslim countries to kill Muslims is pro-Islam?

            Yeah, that’s a sensible argument.

            Hopefully you’re cognizant of the martial nature of some of the Bible? And you know that at one time Christians tortured and murdered people in the name of their God? So, I guess by your logic we should be anti-Christian as well as anti-Muslim. After all, Onward Christian Soldiers is a call to Christian jihad, right?

  9. Steve says:

    Mr. Stein, you wrote: “I presented the entire lesson plan for my readers to examine on their own.” Are you aware that the “Muslim Histories and Culture Project” site you linked to is no longer accessible?

  10. Steve says:

    Stein: “In the Washington Post article I linked to in my previous post, Norquist clearly stated that Michelle Bachmann was going to be attending one of his exclusive, private “Wednesday meetings” the week of July 12th. That’s six months after Horowitz laid out the case against Norquist at CPAC (where Bachmann was in attendance).

    “Perry has appeared alongside Norquist publicly. But Bachmann apparently attended one of his nefarious “secret meetings.” If so, what was discussed? I mean, I know the answer, we all know the answer – taxes. That’s what Republicans talk to Norquist about. But if Geller and Spencer are going to portray Perry’s relationship with Norquist as menacing, why not do the same for Bachmann’s attendance at the clandestine meeting?

    “If Geller and Spencer want to prove that they’re not singling Perry out, they’d demand that Bachmann give a full account of her private Norquist meeting….”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    On this we agree even though I’ve been a Bachmann supporter. I think it is shameful Michele Bachmann would associate with this dangerous man. Why? She should be held accountable, just as Perry should be held accountable. Grover Norquist was the invited speaker here at our annual Lincoln Day Dinner (Central Florida) a couple or so years back. When (Executive Committee) officers were apprised of Norquist’s troubling connections and his work toward furthering the “stealth jihad” in America, Norquist was dis-invited. Shame on Bachmann. Shame on Perry. Shame on any candidate who associates with this dangerous man. Barack Obama was properly called out (by too few in the media) for his troubling adult associations with Jeremiah Wright, Rashid Khalidi, Bill Ayres, etc. So should Perry and Bachmann and any other candidate who associates with Grover Norquist be called out.

  11. Zane says:

    Want to know just how whacked out and radical Pamela Geller is? Let me tell you; I posted on her website defending Governor Rick Perry and pointing out that he has been a clear friend of Israel and was even the person that Shurat HaDin sought help from to stop American participation in the Gaza flotillas. And what did I reap from that?

    Geller sent me not one, but FIVE of the most hateful, vile, loathing emails one could ever have the displeasure to receive. After the first email, I emailed her back asking her to not email me again, but that didn’t slow her down, she continued to send them. Her emails were so bad that I, normally not a person to be frightened by vitriol, have turned those emails over to my lawyer, a former FBI agent. My attorney was so alarmed by Geller’s emails, they have now been turned over to our local FBI office. Little did I know that I was not the only one Geller has done this to. She has been sending emails to anyone who disagrees with her assessments on Perry’s “Sha’ria supporting.”

    Geller needs to have her meds upped and Spencer needs to disavow all relationship with her. She will not support his cause but will drag him down to her level of hysteria.

    • Steve says:

      Are you the one who posted under “www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawluZ9A7zcYLL79sY9jFOi77DKxISIap588?” This is the only pro-Perry poster I saw on her piece, “Pamela Geller, WND: Rick Perry, Fifth Column Candidate.” Is that you?

      • Zane says:

        No, I have not posted at Geller’s site. As I explained, I typed Geller’s name when I should have typed Schlussel’s. But they are two peas on a pod.

  12. Zane says:

    I am sorry. I gave you wrong information. My first experience with Geller’s article was at Debbie Schlussel’s website. IT WAS SCHLUSSEL that sent the hatefilled emails that have been turned over to the FBI, not Geller’s. IT WAS SCHLUSSEL who sent hatefilled emails to others that had posted on her website. NOT Geller.

    But they pretty much are clones of each other. And Geller, like Schlussel, have begun to see an Islamist under their beds.

  13. David Stein’s epic fail: the material he quotes is not the Perry/Aga Khan curriculum at all:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/08/the-first-time-this-was.html

  14. Max Publius says:

    I don’t think this is really about whether Perry is really a traitor who would sell his soul to Islamists–he’s not, or at least not knowingly. This is about raising the bar on the whole lot of politicians, diplomats, educators, generals, bankers and CEOs who indisputably curry favor with Islamists. This is about holding them accountable, and its not about any one individual. This is about quality control, character and anti-corruption. Its about reforming and demanding higher standards. Perry may be no worse, but he is no better than the others who ignore these links to evil. Seems that a presidential candidate is a good place to start cleaning up city hall. If you want to defend mediocrity and low standards, keep digging. I’ll side with Spencer and Geller.

    • Zane says:

      You can side with whomever you choose. That is your choice. But Geller’s accusations are built on fairy wings and a lot of connect-the-dot theories.

      As was pointed out on this very site, Spencer’s position on Aga Khan in 2010 was very different than it seems to be today. In 2010, Spencer seemed to think that Aga Khan was, in fact, a peaceful leader of a peaceful sect. Not today when he is busy trying to cover for Geller.

      So, tell me this: if Spencer thought that Aga Khan was the peaceful leader of a peaceful sect in 2010, how was Perry supposed to know any differently in 2009?

      Geller indicates that this curriculum was wide spread in Texas. It was actually presented to 80 teachers. Now, wrap your brain around that. 80 teachers out of a state that has almost 400 school districts.

      • Steve says:

        Zane, you’ve not answered my previous question to my satisfaction. Again, my question is this to both you and David Stein.

        Why did President George W. Bush and Governor Rick Perry mislead the public to believe that “the attacks on New York City and Washington (were) not the work of the Islamic faithful (when they were), but the work of ‘terrorists’ – of fanatics – who have hijacked the name of religion for their campaign of hatred?”

        Why did former President Bush and Governor Perry insist that “like most of the world’s major religions, the Islamic faith preaches peace, love and tolerance,” when the truth is quite the opposite?

        Why did Governor Perry insist that “(jihad) terror is the antithesis of the basic tenet to which the one billion Islamic followers all over the world adhere,” when this is clearly false?

        Again, why didn’t Bush and Perry simply warn Americans that vigilante justice against American Muslims will NOT be tolerated and would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law? Why did Bush and Perry inexcusably mislead the American public about our enemy? Do Bush and Perry know that to “know your enemy” is the first and fundamental principle in warfare, enunciated by Sun Tzu? Do Bush and Perry understand the centrality and the importance of knowing and identifying the enemy? Why did they mislead the public about Islam?

      • Max Publius says:

        I don’t think you get it. I’m sure both Geller and Stein made their errors of omission and commission, and I’m reasonably sure neither were done intentionally. That leaves only comprehension of the problem in question. Have you heard the expression, “the spirit giveth life, the letter taketh away”? You want to nitpick and defend all these political elites who were chumming it up with Islamists before 9/11 and continue to this day? And this Aga Khan is some kinda joke, actually. What other imam in the world looks like a hillbilly and hangs out with Hooters girls? Yet, he still pushes a sanitized version of Islam that would be beyond criticism, if he could.

        Time to elevate who we allow our politicians to spend our tax dollars with, not give them a pass because they give a good impression of being pro American values.

        • Max Publius says:

          By sanitized, I mean a version of Islam that is censored for dhimmi consumption, i.e., in children’s textbooks, not truly reformed.

  15. Mark Mitchell says:

    Could you please let me know where you got your informationt that Sharba has not worked for the Syrian military since the 1970s? It seems that you have been misinformed. He was, as of 2009 (the last I checked), in active duty and was indeed (like most Syrian generals) involved in the nuclear program. It seems rather unfair for you to claim that it is “irresponsible” to quote a story that is “unsourced” and at the same time fail yourself to identify your own sources. As I’m sure you were aware when you wrote that, journalists often do not name thier sources, especially when those sources are speaking about nuclear programs and the Syrian military. In any case, I would be curious to know (at least in a general sense) where you got your information, as it is patently false. It also reflects a misunderstanding of the Syrian military to suggest that a high-ranking general would simply fade into retirement, with a half-century of life ahead of him.

    Furthermore, while it is true that the Aga Khan Foundation formally purchased Habib Bank after the Daniel Pearl affair, it was nonetheless closely involved with Habib Bank prior to 2001 and through the Daniel Pearl affair. It is, indeed, suspected (by government investigators) of having had a hand in financing some of those responsible for Pearl’s death. And as most any expert in Pakistan can tell you, the Habib Bank remains to this day a financier for a host of jihadi terrorist groups, some with ties to Al Qaeda.

    It is important when discussing such matters not to have an agenda. One must not instinctively defend a Muslim organization without considering all of the facts,
    just as one must not be instinctively suspicions of a Muslim organization without attention to the facts. No matter how noble they are, instincts always cloud the truth.

    Regarding the Aga Khan Foundation’s ties to “terrorists” or jihadi paramilitaries or nobel holy warriors (whatever you want to call them), the facts, many of which you ignore, are indisputable. I say that as a propective Muslim and without passing judgement on the merits of jihad. I say it as a journalist obliged to report the facts, regardless of whether they advance an agenda that I might or might not deplore. We have to get a handle on the truth before we can even begin to have opinions.

    With due respect, you have not done justice to the truth.

    • RightAsRain says:

      Your comment demonstrates exactly why you are a pseudo-journalist. It is YOUR responsibility to present evidence for claims YOU make. Neither this site, nor any other site, can debunk evidence that is not presented. Look at it like this – suppose someone wrote an article titled, “Mark Mitchell – Rapist!” But the author provides NO evidence to support that claim. So let’s say you email him, asking “What’s your proof?” And he replies by saying, “Oh no, YOU show me YOUR proof that you’re NOT a rapist!”

      No real journalist would respond that way. But that’s exactly what you’re doing. If you claim that Sharba is still on active duty and involved in Syria’s nuclear program, and if you claim that he is still involved with the Agha Khan Foundation (the photo of him with Khan is about 30 years old), SHOW US YOUR DAMN PROOF, or shut the hell up.

      POST your proof. Post it here. Post it if you’re not a fraud. Post it.

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