Thursday, July 11, 2013

Matthew Harwood Disgraces Himself

Mat Harwood's article is imbecilic from the start take the headline: "phony fear of US jihadis obscures the real threat of far-right terror." How are jihadis not part of the far-right? He wrote that on day one of the Boston Bombing trial; the article borders on denial and qualifies as tacit support for Tsarnaev.

Harwood caricatures the USA as anti-Muslim, Raquel Saraswati detailed how  America is more tolerant of Islam than most western states. Nearly seventy percent of the American population oppose hijab bans; America is more tolerant of Muslims than Turkey. Matthew argues that "American law enforcement" considers Muslims to be threat, a sweeping claim without evidence. While its true New York city cops have spied on Muslims arguing that such operations are standard police policy is as fallacious as arguing that all police are cannibals because of a certain NYPD officer.

Matthew proclaims that  people would be "outraged" if "such tactics been used against Christians after the Oklahoma City bombing"" McVeigh was not a Christian. Harwood insists that we should fear militia types yet his ignorant of the basic facts about them. He complains that the FBI gathered "intelligence at mosques and other local events."  Harwood's argument is that that proves a double standard, its actually no different from examples of the FBI spying on Christian "political and faith-based groups."

He mentions NYPD programs which as I explained before do not prove that all American law enforcement has a double standard against Muslims. He condemns the "idea that American law enforcement's mass surveillance of Muslim communities is a necessary evil"  he provided very little evidence for 'mass surveillance' other than disgraceful local PD actions.

He cites a "West Point's Combating Terrorism center" study. The study actually states that "three percent of the attacks" by the non-Muslim far-right "were intended to cause—or were successful in generating—mass casualty incidents, further emphasizing the difficulty of far right violence to make the leap from small-scale attacks against specific human targets to large-scale activities of indiscriminate violence that have the potential to generate a high number of casualties." The study also states that the "great majority of attacks" by the non-Muslim far-right have been "perpetrated against specific individuals or facilities, and the far right has limited tendencies or capabilities to engage in mass-casualty attacks." Matthew's own source disproves his article!

Matthew further distorts the subject at hand by describing sting operations as "entrapment in arresting hundreds of Muslims inside the US on terrorism-related charges." He continues to prove little other than his own ignorance; authorities use the exact same tactics against the non-Muslim far-right. One commenter stated that the "investigation on the Oklahoma bombing and the subsequent trial revealed that the FBI had a lot of informants among the groups McVeigh frequented. I find it very hard to believe that the right-wing groups ( who are still active and dangerous) and their communications are not monitored anymore."

He asks "if David Stone Sr had an Islamic-sounding name, he, his two sons, and the four other codefendants would likely be spending the rest of their lives in a federal penitentiary?" He mentions Tarek Mehenna who  received a 17-and-a-half year prison sentence on conspiracy charges. Non-Muslim far-rightits arrested on conspiracy charges that weren't nearly as treasonous as Tarek's actions have received far greater sentences, one man was sentenced to 26 years. The actual facts do not suggest a double standard.

Harwood opened with words highly insulting to the Boston bombing victims, I'd love to see Matthew tell Martin Richard's family that Islamist terrorism is a "phony threat." Matthew descends even further with sympathetic words about Mahenna and his cause. Sunni militants in the Iraqi conflict committed ethnic cleansing and atrocities like wiring bombs onto girls with downs syndrome ,sending them into crowded markets and then detonating said bombs. All of which Harwood's talk about "making their way to Iraq to resist the US occupation of that country" and "Muslims defend(ing) their lands against American imperialism" in a sinister light as the sympathetic language is undeniable. Harwood clearly sympathizes with Islamists in lieu of their victims.

Matthew takes Tarek's claim that he only went to Yemen to study at face value, Mahenna discussed "possible contacts to help with admission to terror training camps." Harwood insists that Tarek "ejected al-Qaida's worldview" but the article clearly states Mahenna translated Al-Qaeda propaganda, Matty again disproves himself with his own words. He argues that Tarek "did not, among other things, believe civilians should be targeted" all of which is based on Mahenna's claims without evidence and therefore can and should be dismissed.

Matthew further enshrines Mahenna as a victim in article nakedly insulting to Boston victims, he thinks Tarek is a "thought criminal." He complains that Mahenna is only guilty of "same kind of violent but constitutionally-protected online advocacy engaged in by...the radical right." As we can see from CIF content extremists produce pro-Al-Qaeda propaganda without being arrested. If Matthew is correct why aren't any of those people in jail?

Hardwood repeats his false claim that the FBI never spies on Christians: "White Christians rarely have to worry that an informant or undercover agent has infiltrated their churches." He also racializes Islam which is one of the most ethnically diverse faiths, its also cringe inducing since middle eastern Americans as defined as White. American Muslims also have above average incomes. Facts disprove his hyperbolic distortions the only content the guardian seems to publish these days.

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