Wednesday, June 24, 2015

LCG and the Islamophobia Network

The Islamophobia Network

In 2011 the Center for American Progress released a report, Fear, Inc. which exposed a collection of closely connected individuals and groups that have created an business in marketing the vilification of Muslims. They are often funded by the same charities as each other. The authors of Fear, Inc. called this collection of related groups the Islamophobia Network. As seen in a previous post PCG has often used figures associated with this network of dubious experts to portray Muslims in a bad light. This is also the case with UCG. (See UCG and the Islamophobia Network.)

But what about LCG? Has LCG been reading and presenting as fact ideas presented by these persons identified by the Center for American Progress as being a part of this Islamophobia Network?

Yes they have. Unlike PCG or UCG in contrast Meredith's group has rarely quoted individuals associated with the Islamophobia Network. This does not necessarily mean that LCG has a better opinion towards Muslim individuals but it seems to reflect how LCG tends to write about "spiritual matters" and are less fixated upon writing about world affairs in their recruitment writings than PCG. But even in the few instances when LCG cite individuals associated with the Islamophobia Network they never criticize them and accept their expertise at face value.

Daniel Pipes
Nevertheless, Muslim intrareligious quarrels can be fierce. Middle East expert Daniel Pipes offered this analysis: "Islamic schisms start as political quarrels and only later acquire theological overtones. In particular, the greatest divide between Muslims, that separating Sunnis and Shi'is, has powerful political implications.… more than one-half of Iraq's population adheres to the same Twelver Shi'i version of Islam that prevails in Iran. This engenders deep fears of a Shi'i rebellion in Iraq" ("A Border Adrift," Pipes, The Iran-Iraq War, 1983). (William Bowmer, Islam in History and Prophecy, July-August 2001.)
In this quote Bowmer cites Pipes in a fairly neutral tone. I well remember reading Bowmer's article just before 9/11. Bowmer's article struck me as being quite neutral towards Muslims and even fairly respectful towards Muslims. Then after 9/11 I decided to read what PCG's (recruitment) magazine The Philadelphia Trumpet had to say about world affairs. Instead of being neutral towards Muslims like Bowmer it was wildly hysterical. The tone was completely different from Bowmer's article. It had a photo of these scary looking bearded men in a protest that was clearly made to make the reader scared and fearful. These were no such photos in Bowmer's article.  

However it must be mentioned here that Daniel Pipes is notorious for baiting Muslims. Daniel Pipes' tendency to do this is more clearly seen below from what the late John Ogwyn wrote later in an article in 2004. 
Wes Vernon, in an article for, cites this analysis from Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation: "We are not at war with a gang of terrorists… It is not even that we are at war with Islam. Rather, Islam is at war with us" (March 25, 2003). Elsewhere in the article, Vernon quotes scholar Daniel Pipes as declaring that in pre-modern times, "jihad meant mainly one thing among Sunni Muslims, then as now the Islamic majority. It meant the legal compulsory communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims… at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims." The goal of jihad is offensive, not defensive. The ultimate intent is to extend Muslim dominion throughout the entire globe. (John Ogwyn, Will the Terrorists Win?, July-August 2004.)
The idea that jihad simply means offensive warfare (as opposed to defensive warfare) is complete nonsense. Actually depending on how the word is used, there are many different meanings for the word jihad. Not all of them of a military meaning either.

Even LCG's William Bowmer pointed out that depending on context jihad can mean simply struggling to live a righteous life with no reference to violence whatsoever.
Muslim theology includes the concept of jihad, or struggle, and teaches that those who succeed in jihad, and give their lives to it, will be promoted to the highest rewards offered in Heaven. In most circumstances, jihad is understood as the struggle to live a righteous life-"overcoming" would be a close synonym. But in the context of war, jihad takes on a more foreboding implication. Muslims have come to believe that if they die on the battlefield while spreading Islam, they will assure themselves of a glorious salvation. Many Muslims denounce this militaristic understanding of jihad, but it remains a powerful force in the Muslim world, a tool often used by rulers to incite nationalistic passions in their peoples. (William Bowmer, Islam in History and Prophecy, July-August 2001.)
Didn't Ogwyn pay attention to this part of Bowmer's article? It would appear he did not do so.

Islam is 1400 years old so it is readily apparent that, reflecting peoples' creativity, the word has been used in many different ways over the centuries. It is folly to imagine it only means just one thing.

If one read William Bowmer's article in isolation one could assume that LCG was rather tolerant of Muslim individuals. I would strongly advise against that assumption. Just take a look at the cover for this issue of LCG's recruitment magazine.

May-June 2006 issue.

What are LCG's leaders trying to say with this cover? That Muslims are a threat to Europe? That Muslims are about to somehow "take over" Europe? LCG does not even believe that will happen so why did they try to attract readers by using this topic? (LCG teaches that Europe is soon fated to conquer America and Britain so why would they insinuate something else would occur?) This cover shows that as seems to be quite common among the COGs Muslims are viewed with suspicion.

We now continue.

Walid Shoebat

Another individual associated with the Islamophobia Network who is mentioned by LCG is Walid Shoebat. He is mentioned in the following anonymously written short article which insinuates that Satan's demons are on the march in Egypt. It was published in 2013. For whatever reason he is named as Walid Shoebet, instead of Shoebat, in the article.
In a recent interview, a former PLO operative who has since renounced his terrorist ways, reported on a recent celebration at an Egyptian wedding, where “a group of men in a frenzy tear apart a live chicken by hand, then scrabble over its pieces to eat its raw flesh” (WorldNetDaily, April 22, 2013). Walid Shoebet (the interviewee) suggested the behaviour at the wedding “demonstrates the ‘demonic’ spirit that has gripped the nation since its 2011 Islamic revolution” (ibid.). Many are starting to long for a strong ruler who will again enforce the law as Hosni Mubarak did, and bring back a time when “no one dared to do such things” (ibid.). (A Perverse Spirit in Egypt, May 6, 2013.)
Shoebat's story is presented by LCG at face value. No mention is made of the widespread skepticism and doubt about his story. Shoebat claims he was a PLO operative but it widely reported that his story does not seem to withstand scrutiny. There has long been skepticism about Shoebat's story but this writer of LCG is either unaware of such concerns or has chosen to ignore them. It is not even mentioned in this article of LCG's.

And so we see once again how LCG, quite similar to PCG and UCG although to a lesser degree, have cited individuals associated with the Islamophobia Network to scare monger about Muslims. 

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