Israel haters and Hamas operatives get Islamist extremism watchdog evicted.

Joseph Klein
Originally published in FrontPage Magazine

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center are part of an alliance of haters who seek to intimidate anyone daring to question the Islamofascists’ supremacist ideology and their strategies to implement it. Their tactics of choice include race-baiting and a campaign of economic coercion akin to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.  For example, JVP and the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center have ganged up with other like-minded so-called “inter-faith leaders and organizations” to harass a non-profit organization, the Clarion Project, they have falsely accused of being “an anti-Muslim hate group.” JVP boasted how it was successful in pressuring a real estate firm, Tishman Speyer, into throwing out the Clarion Project from offices they were renting in Tishman Speyer’s Washington D.C. building.

“The turning point in the campaign came when JVP DC-Metro partnered with leaders from the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church Virginia,” JVP declared. “The Islamic and Jewish organizations collaborated to challenge a major Tishman Speyer development project that was before the Fairfax County Planning Commission.”

The Fairfax County Planning Commission was considering the development project this month at what should have been a routine meeting. Instead, JVP and Dar-Al-Hijrah attempted to turn it into a referendum on the Clarion Project.  Alison Glick, coordinator of JVP DC-Metro, said at the hearing, “If Tishman Speyer is going to keep doing business with Clarion, then Fairfax County should stop doing business with Tishman Speyer. Let Tishman Speyer know that hate groups are not welcome in Fairfax County.”

Colin Christopher, Deputy Director for Government Affairs at Dar-Al-Hijrah, complained to the Fairfax commissioners how the Clarion Project allegedly promoted hatred and bigotry. “We like most others see this development as a good thing,” said Colin Christopher.  “But we were deeply troubled when learning about the ongoing business relationship that Tishman Speyer have with one of the most well-financed hate groups in the United States, the Clarion Project.”

The Clarion Project is, in reality, in the truth-telling business. It has put into practice what it states as its mission: “exposing the dangers of Islamist extremism while providing a platform for the voices of moderation and promoting grassroots activism.” It exposes the Islamofascists’ true agenda with their own words, while giving more moderate Muslims who are disaffected by Islamofascism the chance to express their feelings in their own words. That is not hate. It is education.

For example, Ryan Mauro, Clarion Project’s national security analyst, wrote a highly informative article based on his interview with a Pakistani Muslim activist named Anila Ali. Ms. Ali, now living in the United States, recounted what it was like trying to live the life of a moderate Muslim while being subjected to threats and hate messages from Islamist groups like the Taliban.  She condemned radical Islamic groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). She said, “I don’t subscribe to the views of any Muslim organizations or individuals who teach extremism or hate for my country, its institutions, and for the men and women in uniform that keep me and my family safe. I don’t subscribe to any Muslim organization that teaches that women and minorities don’t have equal rights in Islam. And I don’t subscribe to any organization that teaches hate against any other human being.”

In providing truly moderate Muslims in the United States a public platform to denounce the Islamists’ messages of hate and the opportunity to provide their alternative positive vision, the Clarion Project is setting an example for people, in its words, “to step up for justice, tolerance and moderation.”

JVP claims to be “inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights.” In practice, they are nothing of the kind. For example, while all too eager to condemn “Israeli war-crimes,” they have little to say regarding Hamas’s use of human shields and its firing of rockets aimed at Israeli civilian population centers. 

JVP has received funding from the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust (which also has supported Electronic Intifada). JVP and CAIR are joined together at the hip. For example, CAIR even presented one of its inaugural “Defender of Liberty” awards to JVP last December. As an Algemeiner article discussing the “love” relationship between JVP and CAIR put it, “The relationship between CAIR and JVP is a witches’ brew — a diabolical concoction of anti-Israel hatred and Islamic terrorist connections. Rather than ‘defenders of liberty,’ they are defenders of the Islamic agenda.”

Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center claims to “[P]romote better relations and understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.” Just like their partner, JVP, they are nothing of the kind. According to the Department of Treasury’s Enforcement Communications System (TECS) records, as quoted by the Investigated Project on Terrorism, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is “a mosque operating as a front for Hamas operatives in U.S.,” and “is associated with Islamic extremists.”

The Clarion Project has written about the Islamic extremist organizations and individuals linked to the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center. It has provided both direct quotes from affiliated extremists and references to U.S. government findings to back up its claims. Pointing out incontrovertible facts is not hate speech. Again, it is education in the truth.

The Clarion Project has also written about JVP’s involvement in pro-Islamist, anti-Israel causes. For example, JVP supported the cause of a former member of the terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who had reportedly moved to the United States under false pretenses. Rasmieh Yousef Odeh was indicted for omitting from her immigration papers the material fact that she had been arrested, convicted and imprisoned in Israel for her involvement in a terrorist attack that killed two Israeli students. JVP joined with the Chicago chapter of CAIR, American Muslims for Palestine and various pro-Palestinian “interfaith” groups in seeking an exoneration for this terrorist who falsified her background in order to reside in this country. The Clarion Project linked to JVP’s letter in which JVP said it “stands in solidarity with Rasmea Yousef Odeh” and opposes what it called “unwarranted and draconian enforcement of our immigration laws.”

Neither Jewish Voice for Peace nor the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center have chosen to address the Clarion Project’s fact-based reports head on. Instead, they have dressed up the Left’s time-honored tactic of race baiting to accuse the Clarion Project of hate-filled Islamophobia.  Their “source” for this calumny is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). SPLC’s October 2016 publication, “A Journalist’s Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” purported to profile 15 “anti-Muslim extremists.” The Southern Poverty Law Center took a swipe at the Clarion Project as part of its highly distorted “anti-Muslim extremist profile” of the Clarion Project’s national security analyst, Ryan Mauro.

The SPLC has been found to have inflated its numbers on so-called “hate groups” in general, and has a distinctly anti-conservative bias.  Any journalist who relies on SPLC’s shoddy work does so at his or her peril. It spliced together out-of-context quotes to portray its targets in the worst possible light. And it grossly distorted its targets’ full records of accomplishments. In Ryan Mauro’s case, for example, SPLC left out of its “profile” his extensive efforts to reach out to more moderate Muslims such as Anila Ali, whom he interviewed for the article mentioned above. SPLC included Maajid Nawaz on its list of supposed anti-Muslim extremists. Mr. Nawaz is a practicing Muslim, whom has spoken out against both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamic extremism. SPLC included ex-Muslim critic of radical Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose life has been threatened for speaking out about her own first-hand experiences with Islamist hatemongers. And SPLC’s hit list included experts on jihad such as Robert Spencer, whose thoroughly researched books and articles are nuanced in defining the problems that radical Islam poses for Western societies. In all these cases, SPLC is conflating legitimate moral and intellectual criticism of Islamist doctrine with hate speech. As Mr. Nawaz said in his rebuttal to the accusations leveled at him, members of “the regressive-left” have set themselves up as “self-appointed inquisitors.” And as Mr. Spencer said, the point of SPLC’s hit list was “to demonize and silence everyone who dares say something about Islam that is not warmly positive.”

The leftwing SPLC has given the Jewish Voice for Peace and Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center the propaganda ammunition they need to try and intimidate the critics of Islamist organizations and individuals into submission.  They must not succeed. Bullying businesses into cutting their ties with patriotic American groups such as the Clarion Project, who are unfairly smeared as hate groups, is an Islamofascist tactic that must be firmly resisted in defense of free speech.