May 15, 2007
Self-described ”terrorism and national security expert” and journalist Steve Emerson “enriched the community” at Cleary University's Livingston Economic Club Speaker Series Monday with his unique brand of racism by advocating racial profiling Muslims and citizens of Middle Eastern descent.
According to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, Emerson warned the audience that militant Muslims are using "strategic deception" to enter the mainstream political debate in America and advance their terrorist agenda.
But his comments drew denials and denouncement from a local Muslim group. As well they should.
Many people see Emerson as anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigot with an obsessive agenda against Arabs.
Emerson said groups with harmless-sounding names like the Benevolence International Foundation or the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, are really front groups for Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists, and CAIR was an "ideological front for terrorists and their apologists. They have defended, championed and rationalized" terrorism.
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of CAIR, was not present at the speech but responded by blasting Emerson as having an anti-Islam agenda: "He has a crusader mentality. ... He's not an unbiased analyst."
"With all the scrutiny Muslim organizations have been under since 9/11, if there was even a shred of validity to the charges of Mr. Emerson, we would have been closed down a long time ago," Walid added.
He said Emerson's casting suspicion on mainstream Muslim groups "clearly increases Islamophobia."
There isn’t much difference in someone calling the Knights of Columbus an "ideological front for terrorists and their apologists” as Emerson calling CAIR the same thing.
Walid also criticized the university for not inviting anyone to debate Emerson's claims, but the university has shown their policy of “diverse speakers” means only diverse conservatives.
Emerson’s views on the Iraq civil war occupation are as ridiculous as his view on one of the world’s major religions.
In the long term, however, "I don't believe the war in Iraq provided any more of an external excuse for jihadists to attack us," he said.
Plus, he added, al-Qaida would quickly fill the vacuum if American troops were withdrawn too soon.
Is he serious? The mega giant U.S. attacked and invaded a Muslim country for no valid reason, and he believes it provided no more of an external excuse for jihadists to attack us? That is, again, ridiculous. They are fighting a civil war, but the only common enemy is the U.S. If the U.S. is gone they will turn to oust the other outsider, al-Qaida.
But Emerson is just the prelude to Cleary’s glorification of rightwing extremists, and the queen of hate, Ann Coulter, is yet to come.
But when Cleary President Tom Sullivan merely mentioned Coulter's name at Monday's lunch, the audience broke out into applause.
That must be the sound of the county Republicans condemning her outrageous statements like they have publicly in the press. Do we need anymore proof that Coulter speaks for the Republicans and Cleary University?