Sara Rosenbaum writes on the phenomenon of right-wing US bloggers inciting hatred against Muslims, with particular emphasis of Joe Kaufman’s Americans Against Hate site (which in the interests of accuracy should be required to change its name to “Americans For Hate”):
“Kaufman’s site is only one of a constellation of blogs with names like JihadWatch.com, MilitantIslamMonitor.org, and WesternResistance.com that are dedicated to the surveillance of American Muslims. The blogs link to one another, with more-traveled sites amplifying stories from more obscure ones, like Kaufman’s. He claims he has not found a single mosque in Florida that is not linked to terrorists.
“A lot of people are listening. Last month, after Kaufman called a Tampa Muslim religious retreat a ‘jihad camp for children’ and wrote that the speakers were ‘linked to al-Qaida’, death threats poured in to the Presbyterian camp hosting the event. Muslims say the blogs breed hate. ‘He’s spreading lies, slandering individuals’, said Ahmed Bedier, spokesman for the Tampa Bay chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. ‘These are vigilantes’.”
For Kaufman’s reply (condemning Rosenbaum as “biased and irresponsible”!) see here.
And for Western Resistance’s equally irony-free complaint that Kaufman et al have been subjected to a “smear campaign”, see here.
Robert Spencer isn’t happy either. He rejects Rosenbaum’s claim that he admitted to her that Jihad Watch attracts contributions from racists (see for example these comments on the London bombings) on the grounds that he has “pointed out ad infinitum that Islam is not a race” – and he says he never reads the comments anyway.
Osama Saeed argues that the lesson to be drawn from Rosenbaum’s article is that Muslims need to “get blogging” and counter the influence of the hate-sites.