Rubin quoted from the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s response to her request for comment on the gutter attacks by ThinkProgress bloggers and other like-minded leftists. Here are some excerpts:
CAP blogger Eli Clifton joined Media Matters Senior Foreign Policy Fellow MJ Rosenberg in using Twitter to promote an article accusing the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance of pushing ‘Western groupthink that has for centuries justified wars and countless atrocities against the Arab world . . . [that’s] representative of the way many Americans feel toward Muslims and Arabs — that they are all terrorists.’
Far from slandering Islam or demonizing moderate Muslims, we’ve seized every opportunity available for interfaith outreach by organizing and/or attending conferences and dialogues from Spain to Indonesia.
Recognizing that he and his fellow bloggers had been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar, Armbruster tried to make nice with the Simon Wiesenthal Center and said it was all just a misunderstanding. He wrote in a December 13th blog entitled “Response To The Simon Wiesenthal Center:”
We’re happy to join in a common pledge of raising the level of discourse.
CAP should start “raising the level of discourse” by rescinding its smear-filled Fear, Inc. report. But that is something it will never do. Instead, it is doubling down. A series of ThinkProgress blogs last week, for example, attacked the home improvement company Lowes as intolerant and buckling to “right-wing” pressure for exercising its right to decide where it would place its advertising dollars. Lowes chose to discontinue its ads on TLC’s show All-American Muslim.
Responding to an inquiry from one of ThinkProgress‘ bloggers, Jaclyn Pardini, a Lowe’s spokeswomen explained:
We understand the program raised concerns, complaints, or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show. We based our decision to pull the advertising on this research and after hearing the concerns we received through emails, calls, through social media and in news reports.
In other words, Lowes made a business decision not to unnecessarily alienate a broad spectrum of potential customers. But a ThinkProgress blogger, Alyssa Rosenberg, would have none of that. Instead she accused Lowes of “cowardice” for “folding to virulent Islamophobes.”
In trying to understand the Center for American Progress’ persistent campaign against so-called “Islamophobes,” and its lumping of Jewish supporters of Israel into that category, I think that conservative columnist Jeff Dunetz was on to something when he pointed out the symbiotic relationship between CAP and the Obama administration. “This progressive think tank sets much of the policy endorsed by the Democratic-progressive politicians who still dominate the federal government and the Obama Administration,” wrote Dunetz.
Dwight Holton, a top Department of Justice official, helped prove Dunetz’ observation when he said on October 19th at a Washington, D.C. event scheduled by the department:
I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.
When a reporter for TheDC asked Holton to explain his charges, he pushed a door shut in the reporter’s face, according to a report in the Daily Caller. Does Holton also want to rebuke and banish from government reading materials the opinion of President John Quincy Adams, who observed that the “precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.” Does Holton want to do the same to Thomas Jefferson, who had also come to view the Koran, which he took the time to study, as sanctioning war. Indeed, when Jefferson and the senior John Adams met with the envoy of the sultan of Tripoli to seek an end to Muslim Barbary pirate attacks on American ships, they were told, according to Jefferson, that “it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found.” Some things don’t change.
Holton’s politically correct remarks are right out of the Center for American Progress playbook. Expect much more of the same now that Jennifer Palmieri, who has been serving as the senior vice president for communications at the Center for American Progress, will be joining the Obama White House as deputy communications director.
In fact, we don’t have to wait. In a shameless deal reached by the Obama administration last March with the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (“OIC”), the UN Human Rights Council passed a “compromise” resolution entitled “Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief.” The Obama administration hailed this resolution as a major break-through with the Muslim world because the OIC purportedly gave up its long-standing campaign to pass annual UN resolutions branding “defamation of religions” as a violation of international law that should be criminalized – a position that directly challenged this nation’s free speech protections under the First Amendment. In a meeting with the OIC in Istanbul last July in which she lavishly praised the Islamist organization, Hillary Clinton tried to gingerly dance around the First Amendment issue. She said that the new UN resolution does “not criminalize speech unless there is an incitement to imminent violence” and that it helps “overcome the false divide that pits religious sensitivities against freedom of expression.” But knowing that the OIC expected something concrete in return, Clinton talked about using “some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor” (emphasis added).
About a month later, the Center for American Progress – the organization described at one time as “the official Hillary Clinton think tank” and where she still has significant connections – came out with its Fear, Inc. report on Islamophobia. It is a useful tool for Clinton to show her OIC buddies that she was following through on her promise to shame those who “do what we abhor.” Don’t criminalize what they say – at least not yet. But do all you can to encourage libelous assaults on some of this nation’s most knowledgeable experts on Islamism in order to marginalize them. In addition, the Obama administration is moving ahead with plans to bar these experts from participating in any federal law enforcement training programs and putting pressure on states and local communities to do the same.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted a three-day, mostly closed door conference in Washington, D.C. last week to which she invited OIC officials to participate, along with “experts” from more than thirty countries. The purpose of the meeting was to follow up on the Istanbul meeting and discuss ways to implement the UN Human Rights Council resolution. Once again, according to sources who were able to attend the opening and closing sessions, Clinton paid lip service to the uniquely American idea of limiting direct governmental prohibitions on free speech to that which incites immediate violence. However, if so-called “hate speech” causes an immediate violent reaction from those who perceive their religion to be the object of such “hate” – think of the violence spawned in the Muslim world in reaction to the Danish cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed – what then?
Moreover, according to a source familiar with the proceedings of the D.C. conference, the Obama administration would favor encouraging non-governmental groups to condemn speech that Muslims may find offensive. This is a form of community organizing with which Barack Obama is well versed. The difference is that the Obama administration is using the clout of the federal government to help activate “grass-roots” pressure. Its instruments of choice appear to include aggressive out-reach training for law enforcement officials, vetted by Islamist advocates, with boots on the ground to interface with local community leaders, and encouraging such leaders and friendly opinion makers to “shame” people who dare to speak out against the Islamist agenda.
The Center for American Progress and its far-left bloggers are an essential part of this stealth strategy to silence robust debate about the Islamist threat to the freedoms we take for granted – starting with chilling free speech itself.
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