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August 24, 2020

Reader’s Digest Misleads About America’s Founding Fathers

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While ignoring America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, RD magazine provided this misleading item in the “Facts Left Out of History” column in the September 2020 issue:

The Founding Fathers embraced Islam

George Washington invited Muslims to work at his home. John Adams praised Muhammad as one of history’s greatest “inquirers after truth,” alongside Socrates and Confucius. Thomas Jefferson taught himself Arabic using a Koran and even hosted an iftar dinner at the White House during Ramadan.

Why was there such openness to Islam in the early United States? One reason: Morocco’s Sultan Muhammad III was the first head of state to formally recognize the 13 colonies’ independence from Great Britain, in December 1777. Following the Revolutionary War, Jefferson, Adams, and the sultan signed the U.S.–Morocco Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1786. After more than 230 years of conflicts and crises, it remains the longest unbroken treaty in U.S. history.

However, this potpourri of unsupported claims and twisted information is misleading. The reality is that the Founding Fathers were interested in Islam because they wanted to understand why the Barbary Pirates were attacking U.S. ships and taking Americans as hostages and slaves. After they learned a bit about Islam they sent the U.S. Marines to “explain” to the Muslims why they needed to stop. And once again contrary to the Reader's Digest, the United States fought against the Sultanate of Morocco in the first Barbary War, 1801-1805.

Legend has it that Marines are called "Leathernecks" because they wore heavy leather collars to protect their necks from attackers, especially Muslim attackers, who following the Koran liked to use swords to strike the necks of their opponents.

Bruce Kelley, Editor-in-Chief of Reader's Digest magazine, has failed to respond to a letter asking for a clarification. RD will be monitored for repeats of such irresponsible journalism.


Posted by MK at 11:27 AM |  Comments (0)

August 19, 2020

NY Times Praises Ilhan Omar’s Book While Glossing Over Her Antisemitism

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A recent New York Times book review boosts Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) autobiography while glossing over her antisemitism. In the paper’s Aug. 16, 2020 edition, NYT reporter Christina Cauterucci writes:

The memoir offers breathing room for Omar, who has been the target of racist attacks and whose history-making tenure in Congress has been marked by disputes with colleagues, especially over their support for Israel, in the claustrophobic confines of Twitter threads. Her efforts to deter further outrage are evident throughout the book, which barely touches topics that have inflamed her critics... But, with unrepentant recollections of schoolyard brawls with bullies, Omar bolsters her image as a scrapper constitutionally incapable of backing down. “Fighting didn’t feel like a choice,” she writes. “It was a part of me.”

Yet Omar supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. As CAMERA has noted, "BDS seeks the end of the Jewish state, singles out Israel for opprobrium, has been declared antisemitic by various legislative bodies, and is endorsed by terrorist organizations like Hamas."

Ilhan Omar's problems with Jews and Israel

• In July 2020, an Omar campaign mailer accused her congressional opponent of being “in the pocket of Wall Street” and mentions three Jewish donors by name. The mailer references only the three donors, plus “Michael, a donor from Scarsdale, New York.” This echoes the anti-Semitic trope that Jews exercise excessive political influence through use of outsize wealth.

• In February 2019, Omar employed the anti-Semitic dual loyalty trope while referring to American Jewish supporters of Israel: “[There is] the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

• In February 2019 Omar tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!” in response to a report about AIPAC, a pro-Israel organization. Omar’s tweet echoed a longstanding anti-Semitic trope — the implication that Jewish political influence operates entirely (“all about”) through money as well as the implication that Jews exercise undue political influence. The tweet refers to the fact that a representation of Benjamin Franklin is on the $100 bill, the largest U.S. dollar bill in circulation.

• In March 2019 Omar stated: “some people [who] did something” — in describing the Islamist terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on Sept. 11, 2001.

• In a November 2012 tweet, Omar accused Israel of “hypnotizing the world,” while insinuating that her fellow lawmakers are purchased by Jewish money, and that the Jewish Americans among them have dual loyalties. Her comments meet the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, used by the U.S. State Department and others.

The Times, of course, has had its problems with Jews and Israel as has been chronicled by CAMERA since 1992. A recent example involves the Times repeatedly turning to the radical Peter Beinart’s advocacy for dissolving the Jewish state.

Another recent example involves the newspaper’s erroneous claim that that there had been a “longstanding American policy treating the settlements as illegal,” which remained in place until Secretary of State Pompeo announced a reversal in 2019. The newspaper is aware of the error but has refused to correct or put forward a defense for its claim.

Perhaps particularly shameful is the newspaper's record during the early to middle part of the previous century when it buried news about the Holocaust.

It should not come as a surprise that the New York Times glosses over Ilhan Omar’s problems with Jews and Israel.

Posted by MK at 02:54 PM |  Comments (0)

August 11, 2020

When TV Interviews of Ilhan Omar Constitute Journalistic Malpractice

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) documented animosity toward Jews and Israel was ignored in recent interviews by MSNBC and C-SPAN.

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MSNBC’s The Beat for July 23, 2020 included host Ari Melber’s 10-minute conversation at 6:16 pm EST with Omar (screenshot above left).

MSNBC’s The Reidout with Joy Reid for July 24, 2020 provided a 15-minute conversation at 7:18 pm EST with Omar (screenshot above right).

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C-SPAN’s BookTV program aired on July 26, 2020 a 35-minute conversation between host Peter Slen and Omar about her book, “This Is What America Looks Like” dealing with “her journey from Somalia as a refugee to becoming one of the first Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress.”

These interviews provided Omar with valuable public exposure during an election season, but they failed to note her history of antisemitism.

Ilhan Omar's problem with Jews and Israel

• In July 2020, an Omar campaign mailer accused her congressional opponent of being “in the pocket of Wall Street” and mentions three Jewish donors by name. The mailer references only the three donors, plus “Michael, a donor from Scarsdale, New York.” This echoes the anti-Semitic trope that Jews exercise excessive political influence through use of outsize wealth.

• In February 2019, Omar employed the anti-Semitic dual loyalty trope while referring to American Jewish supporters of Israel: “[There is] the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

• In February 2019 Omar tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!” in response to a report about AIPAC, a pro-Israel organization. Omar’s tweet echoed a longstanding anti-Semitic trope — the implication that Jewish political influence operates entirely (“all about”) through money as well as the implication that Jews exercise undue political influence. The tweet refers to the fact that a representation of Benjamin Franklin is on the $100 bill, the largest U.S. dollar bill in circulation.

• In March 2019 Omar stated: “some people [who] did something” — in describing the Islamist terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on Sept. 11, 2001.

• In a November 2012 tweet, Omar accused Israel of “hypnotizing the world,” while insinuating that her fellow lawmakers are purchased by Jewish money, and that the Jewish Americans among them have dual loyalties. Her comments meet the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, used by the U.S. State Department and others.

Is there any other prominent ethnic/religious/national group that would be so egregiously overlooked or slighted as in these interviews on MSNBC or C-SPAN or, for that matter, any other major network?

Posted by MK at 03:30 PM |  Comments (0)