The Crescent Report

March 5, 2008

Steve Emerson’s Campaign of Fear and Smear

Filed under: American-Politics, Muslim American Society — Tags: , , — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 10:18 pm

Steve Emerson’s March 1, 2008, op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, concerning the Muslim American Society (MAS) and its leadership, once again demonstrates his propensity for selectively using facts out of context, and in some cases, simply lying. He continues to rant about the ties between MAS and the Muslim Brotherhood, our alleged support for suicide bombing, and our endorsement of terrorism.

The proof that he offers for his allegations is an article in a now-defunct MAS magazine (which he himself admitted was not a MAS article, attributed to MAS, and contained a disclaimer by MAS). He believes in guilt by association, and further, makes the assertion that the word jihad in Arabic is synonymous with suicide bombing.

This is, to use the familiar metaphor, a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Emerson again demonstrates his willingness to distort facts. In one of his books written more than a decade ago, he falsely accused me of encouraging the throwing of stones at the face of Jews at a rally in front of the Embassy of Israel in Washington. This is a lie. Even those who disagree with my position on Israel and Palestine know that I am not, and have never been an anti-Semite. I oppose any and all forms of racial hatred, including hatred directed against the Jewish people.

My position on the Israeli and Palestinian issue has consistently been that
Israel should end the occupation of Palestinian land. But that does not make me anti-Semitic; I’ve never resorted to demonizing a people in order to promote a just position.

Emerson also conveniently omits a number of facts related to our organizational work in
Egypt. For instance:

He mentioned my two trips to
Egypt to protest the military trials of Muslim Brotherhood members, however, he failed to mention that our organization opposes military tribunals everywhere, including here in the United States. Further, he did not mention that Egypt‘s use of military tribunals is a clear violation of international law.

Emerson also suggests that MAS is acting as a surrogate for the Muslim Brotherhood. What he fails to mention, however, is the broad opposition to the tribunals from both Egyptian civil society, including its civilian court, and the international human rights community. Our campaign, far from focusing only on the Muslim Brotherhood, is concerned with the human rights violations faced by virtually all opponents of the Egyptian regime, including students, artists, writers, academicians, secular activists, and a host of others.

Why did Emerson omit the fact that my trip to
Egypt also included meetings with Ayman Nur’s secular opposition group Kifiya, members of the Egyptian Bar Association, the Egyptian Women’s Council (headed by Madam Mubarak, the wife of the Egyptian President), opposition journalists, members of other opposition groups, and trade unionists?

Finally, why did he only mention Cindy Sheehan as a member of our delegation, while failing to name either Bruce Nestor, a past president of the National Lawyers Guild, Amman Al-Qurbi of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, a former member of Congress and a noted civil rights leader?

The reality is that my trip had less to do with the Muslim Brotherhood than with my organization’s opposition to the human rights violations of Egypt—an American ally and the second largest recipient U.S. foreign aid. Perhaps Mr. Emerson should spend more time explaining to both Congress the media his reported collaboration with the Israeli Consulate in
Boston to abridge the constitutional rights of Muslims to build a mosque in Roxbury.

I don’t have a dog, because Muslims don’t keep dogs as house pets. But since Mr. Emerson is fond of canine metaphors, perhaps someone should tell him that, when it comes to terror baiting legitimate Muslim leaders and organizations with tactics from the segregationist playbook of the 1960’s, his dog, simply put, just won’t hunt.

1 Comment »

  1. Published February 28 at “Family Matters”

    Comment by Aishah Schwartz — March 6, 2008 @ 4:41 am

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