Suhail Khan, a conservative Republican who served as a political appointee in the Bush administration and currently serves on the American Conservative Union board, calls the Fox News report asserting that the Congressional Muslim Staff Association poses a national security threat "anti-Muslim bigotry."
As I reported on Friday, the American Center for Law and Justice has jumped on the Fox report, amping up hysteria by calling for a Department of Justice investigation. ...
Regarding the Fox piece, Khan said, "since 9/11 there have been a couple of individuals that have been spending a lot of money to cull through tapes and videos of conferences and TV programs and the Internet to look for information that is critical of Muslims and Muslim-Americans getting involved in public policy. They compile that into a guilt-by-association Powerpoint and then shop it to reporters." These individuals include, said Khan, Frank Gaffney, who issues baseless warnings to members of Congress about "creeping shari'ah;" Paul Sperry, co-author of the book Muslim Mafia, which claimed that the Council on American Islamic Relations had infiltrated Capitol Hill by placing interns as spies; Kenneth Timmerman, a conservative writer and activist; Pamela Geller, the blogger who spurred much of the anti-Park51 fervor; and Robert Spencer, who runs the website Jihad Watch; and Steve Emerson, whose profits from a cottage industry of peddling fear of Islam were exposed last month by the Tennessean's religion reporter Bob Smietana.
"Ninety-nine point nine percent of honest reporters toss it into the garbage can," said Khan. "They know a smear when they see it."
He added, "I know the cast of characters and their highly dubious reputations and complete lack of expertise when it comes to Islam, Muslims, and national security."
"What I would assert is really at play here is good old fashioned bigotry," he continued, and "some are making a decent living on this," referring to the Tennessean's revelations about Emerson. (More)