“Unofficial” CPAC Event Takes On IslamFebruary 19, 2010 - 12:33 PM | by: Kelley Beaucar Vlahos
The speakers participating in “Jihad: America’s Third Rail,” an “unofficial” panel at today’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) wanted their standing-room only audience to know that there’s more to fear than jihad — it’s Islam itself that is the threat.
Sentiments like that are what has made this panel — which just ended here at the Marriott Wardman Hotel in D.C — one of the more controversial at the three-day conservative confab.
“Everyone knows Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority,” said Robert Spencer, sarcastically and to a great amount of applause and guffaws. Spencer, executive director of Jihad Watch and associate director of the Freedom Defense Initiative, which he recently founded with Atlas Shrugged Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller, told his audience everyone believes that “like they believe in Santa Claus though no one has ever seen it.”
He declared that “conservative media leaders even parrot this line” that Islam is a peaceful religion at its core.
So defined the event, which repeated the group’s message, that political correctness was preventing the American people — elected officials and the government included — from acknowledging — in Geller’s words — that Islamists “have infiltrated at every level of society and all levels of government.”
Spencer called recent complaints that full body scanners at airports violate the privacy and modesty of Muslim women according to Islamic law and attempts to accommodate them a “perversity,” “absurdity” since Muslims “themselves made (scanners) necessary.”
Wafa Sultan, author of A God Who Hates, argued that Islam is a tryannical religion and was roundly applauded when she was introduced as a “former Muslim.”
Islam is “the very same teaching that drove 19 terrorists to fly planes into the World Trade Center,” she said.
Steve Coughlin, who says he was fired from his job as a Pentagon analyst for his un-PC examination of the Koran as a justification for jihad, told the audience that there is no question in his mind that political correctness has undermined the government’s strategy in the War on Terror, including its inability to have foreseen the threat from Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychologist is accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood in November.
Coughlin said the threat of jihad is closer than we think, “you think they (jihadists) are fighting a war there? I think they are fighting a war right here.”
Others speakers included Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who is being investigated for hate speech in Austria for her critical seminars on Islam; Simon Deng, a former slave in Sudan; Anders Gravers, a Dane who wrote of Stop the Islamization of Europe; and Lt. Col Allen West (Ret.), a candidate for congress in Florida.
The event was on CPAC’s schedule, but CPAC organizers said it was “unofficial” and sponsored by outside groups. Attendees were asked for picture identification because they did not want “certain people coming in,” said one guard. Geller had drawn controversy last year when she attempted to set up a similar forum, officially, featuring Dutch anti-Islamic activist Geert Wilders.
UPDATE — Corrections: The first reference of Geller’s blog should be “Atlas Shrugs”; the former Sudanese slave participating in Friday’s session was named Simon Weng, and Anders Gravers is a leader in Stop the Islamisation of Europe.