Jun
01
2012

God Told Them to Lie

Richard Cohen--Photo Credit: Washington Post

The popular media theme that Iran “can’t be trusted” is often presented as being based on “intelligence” about the country. But sometimes pundits cut right to the chase, as Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen (9/29/09) did when he wrote in 2009, “These Persians lie like a rug.” The New York Times (4/14/12) fancied that idea up just a bit in an April 14 piece by James Risen about Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader. “Seeking Nuclear Insight in Fog of the Ayatollah’s Utterances” was the headline, though for many, Khamenei has been very clear: He says Iran is not pursuing […]

Jan
01
2012

Islamophobia Still Rising-With the Right's Help

The mainstreaming of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories

When the Center for American Progress (CAP) released the report Fear, Inc. in September (8/26/11), alleging that U.S. anti-Muslim propaganda is largely driven by a well-funded network of groups and individuals, confirmation of its claims came quickly. Just four days after publication, the Fox Business Network aired a wildly inaccurate two-part feature on Follow the Money (8/30/11) smearing the report, its authors and Muslim Americans. Rupert Murdoch-owned media outlets like FBN are among the country’s leading Islamophobic media organizations, according to Fear, Inc. The first segment featured self-styled terrorism expert Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism—named by CAP […]

Jan
01
2012

Islamophobia Still Rising-With the Right's Help

The mainstreaming of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories

Graffiti on the Islamic Center of America--Photo Credit: Center for American Progress

When the Center for American Progress (CAP) released the report Fear, Inc. in September (8/26/11), alleging that U.S. anti-Muslim propaganda is largely driven by a well-funded network of groups and individuals, confirmation of its claims came quickly. Just four days after publication, the Fox Business Network aired a wildly inaccurate two-part feature on Follow the Money (8/30/11) smearing the report, its authors and Muslim Americans. Rupert Murdoch-owned media outlets like FBN are among the country’s leading Islamophobic media organizations, according to Fear, Inc. The first segment featured self-styled terrorism expert Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism—named by CAP […]

Sep
02
2011

Lorne Stockman on Keystone pipeline, Faiz Shakir on 'Fear Inc.'

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Why have more than 700 people been arrested at the White House in recent days? Don't ask nightly news-- they've so far yet to find anything newsworthy in the largest environmental action in years: a massive protest against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. We'll get the story TV's missing from Lorne Stockman, Research Director at the group Oil Change International. Also on CounterSpin today, the Center for American Progress has published a new report on Islamophobia that looks at a prominent network of organizations and individuals who promote hatred of Islam and Muslims in […]

Sep
01
2011

In Norway, Footnotes to Mass Murder

Terror Suspect cited Islamophobic blog as inspiration

Anders Breivik--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/ghostofgoldwater

After self-described "conservative Christian" Anders Behring Breivik was charged with killing 76 in a July 22 bombing and shooting spree in Norway, writers who shared the accused's virulently Islamophobic ideology heatedly denied that anything in their body of work could possibly lead anyone to violence. But Breivik seems to be one of the most articulate ideologues in the history of mass murder, writing a 1,500-page manifesto with hyperlinked footnotes that point precisely to those writings that allegedly inspired him to violence. Breivik's "total lack of respect for human life is not...something he can have picked up from me, or from […]

Jul
25
2011

Seeing 'Islamic Terror' in Norway

Learning no lessons from Oklahoma City mistakes

Right-wing terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik reportedly killed 76 people in Norway on Friday, by all accounts driven by far-right anti-immigrant politics and fervent Islamophobia. But many early media accounts assumed that the perpetrator of the attacks was Muslim. On news of the first round of attacks--the bombs in Oslo--CNN's Tom Lister (7/22/11) didn't know who did it, but knew they were Muslims: "It could be a whole range of groups. But the point is that Al-Qaeda is not so much an organization now. It's more a spirit for these people. It's a mobilizing factor." And he speculated confidently about […]

Mar
25
2011

Asli Bali on Libya, Alia Malek on US Muslim prisons

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The U.S.'s sudden military involvement in Libya raises many questions that have not been answered by officials who've plunged the country into a war they say is to protect civilians, or even asked by many journalists who have been too busy cheering to ask them. Questions like how certain are we that going war will be better for Libyan civilians than the threat they faced from Libyan dictator Muammar el-Gadhafi? And what solutions short of war were sought? We'll be joined by UCLA law professor Asli Bali. Also on the show: the seemingly unending […]

Mar
11
2011

Phyllis Bennis on Libya, Graham Rayman on Newburgh Four

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Soldiers loyal to Libya's Muammar Qaddafi continue their assault on rebels, nearly a month into the democratic uprising there. Media are debating how and when and even whether the US should intervene, but how much of their reasoning has anything to do with what Libyans want? We'll talk with Phyllis Bennis from the Institute for Policy Studies about Libya. Also on CounterSpin today, Congressman Peter King's hearings on Islamic extremism are generating headlines and controversy. The backdrop for this conversation, we often hear, is terrorism; several plots emanating from U.S. Muslim communities show that […]