Liberty/Training

Walid Shoebat

From the Preface by Chip Berlet

Kill them, including the children.”

That’s how to solve the threat of violent militant Muslims?

The above quote is from what one official involved in homeland security said was how she understood
the underlying theme of a speech by Walid Shoebat at an anti-terrorism training in Las Vegas in
October 2010. Our investigator had turned around after Shoebat’s speech and asked the woman seated
one row back what she thought was the solution offered by Shoebat.

“Kill them…including the children…you heard him,” was the full response.

Shoebat’s speech was described by our source as “frightening.”

Thom Cincotta’s report, “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace” skillfully exposes how speakers like
Shoebat are teaching our public servants to fear Islam and hate Muslims. Cincotta shows how private
counterterrorism training groups utilize a network of biased speakers to train law enforcement at every
level and in all parts of the country. The response to these trainings has been, unfortunately, quite positive.

After reading this groundbreaking report, you will likely have a negative response to this post-
September 11, 2001 phenomenon.

George D. Little, Director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS) at Texas State
University, in San Marcos, TX, also attended the Las Vegas training where Shoebat spoke. When first
contacted by e-mail after the ICTOA conference, Little responded, “I believe there are good Muslims like
there are bad ones just like there are good Christians and bad ones.” Little, however, dodged repeated
questions about what he specifically thought of the content of Shoebat’s speech, and has since refused
to comment altogether.

Shoebat is popular in Texas, having helped organize an anti-Islamic event near Fort Hood; spoken
at an evangelical church; and been featured in ads for a statewide law enforcement training: “Preparing
Law Enforcement Executives for the Future,” co-sponsored by the state’s Attorney General, Greg Abbott.
Shoebat is also periodically interviewed as an expert on Islam on Fox News and is extensively quoted by
the right-wing conspiracy website, World Net Daily.

Another Las Vegas conference attendee, Edwin Urie, praised Shoebat’s ICTOA speech. “From my
perspective, Mr. Shoebat's presentation was so much on the mark, so specific, and so correct that I was
concerned that he would be the target of those about whom he spoke. Maybe the objections are merely
a part of that,” wrote Urie in an e-mail. Urie is an adjunct professor at Henley-Putnam University and
a specialist in counterterrorism.

Keith Davies, Director of the Walid Shoebat Foundation, claims that the Islamic “definition of Jihad
quoted in Sharia law is clear and means struggle but is used in context of holy war to conquer infidels.”
Davies continues:

This is the standard interpretation recognized by all schools of thought in Sunni and Shia
Islam.” [Not] everyMuslimpractices his religion to the letter but all that do are required to practice Jihad….So if say for argument 10% of Muslims actually practice their religion properly (figure is probably much higher) that would be 150 million terrorists. Even if it were 1% that is 1.5 million terrorists.

This interpretation of Islamic Law and its religious demands is an outlandish distortion; and yet it
is being taught to our homeland security personnel. Davies disagrees with my criticism, and suggested
that if I ““hate this country and its constitutional values of individual freedom and respect Islamic people
so much, maybe Saudi Arabia could be a good place for you to live….”

Shoebat’s speech in Las Vegas was sponsored by the International Counter-Terrorism Officers
Association (ICTOA). Michael Riker, president of the ICTOA, said that “numerous public safety personnel
along with military personnel heard from Walid Shoebat” at the event. Then Riker defended
Shoebat’s bigoted tirade in a blog post:

What you hear from Walid is the TRUTH. The attendees were glued to what [Walid] had to say and the majority of them agreed. The liberal media is afraid to hear what the truth really is. Who has been planning attacks on our country? We are in a war of ideology and if you don't know that you need to get you head out of the sand. Before you make judgment see what is really going on then make an educated decision for yourself.

Shoebat has claimed that Islam is not the religion of God, but rather Islam is the devil, according
to the Springfield News Leader. Shoebat revealed he was “shocked to find so many parallels between the
Antichrist and Islam."

Religion writer Richard Bartholomew has written that “Shoebat is a pseudo-expert on terrorism,
Islamic extremism, and Biblical prophecy, and he teaches that Obama is a secret Muslim and that the
Bible has prophesied a Muslim anti-Christ." This means for some apocalyptic Christians that Muslims
then would be allies of Satan in the End Times battle between good and evil. In this script, the battle
ends when Jesus returns and with a vengeful God kills all those deemed to be non-believers in
Christianity. This bloody and bigoted version of apocalyptic prophesies is rejected and condemned by
the Catholic and Orthodox churches and every major Protestant denomination.

Abdus Sattar Ghazali wrote about Shoebat and other anti-Islamic bigots in an article on the website
of Muslim Military Members, an organization that networks Muslims serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
"Walid Shoebat has built a lucrative speaking career by manipulating the fears and whipping up hatred
between Jews and Muslims," wrote Ghazali.

Federal and state agencies have turned to right-wing “experts” on “subversion” throughout U.S. history.
These experts have included informers, who have surfaced to spin their tales in public, or converts,
who claim to have been involved in skullduggery and now are sounding the alarm. In both cases, the
alarmist stories these self-dramatizing demagogues tell tend to be exaggerated or even invented.

The fear that there is a conspiracy to undermine the government emerges periodically throughout
our history as a nation. This hunt for an exaggerated subversive enemy “Other” is dubbed a “countersubversion” panic. One government official involved in deporting thousands of innocent Italians and Russians during the “Palmer Raids” panic in the 1920s described it as a “delirium.” Most of us just call
it a “Witch Hunt.” Whatever we call it, this countersubversion tendency has fueled episodes of political
repression by government agencies and right-wing “patriotic” groups.

Shoebat may be the most outlandish example of the coterie of anti-Islamic bigots and fear mongers
who are training law enforcement officials and anti-terrorism agents, but the problem is corrosive. Why
are tax dollars being spent to peddle prejudice against Muslims in the United States? This report documents the problem. The solution will depend on a thorough and public review of this sad situation by
government officials, elected representatives, a vigilant media, and public outrage.


 

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