Fox News is, as described in the Center for American Progress report "Fear Incorporated," as an "echo chamber" for American Islamophobia. So it wasn't a big surprise that Fox News, without knowing the actual facts, would use the Australian "terror" incident as an opportunity to fear monger about global Islamic jihad. What was interesting, though, was that Brian all-terrorists-are-Muslims Kilmeade would present, as a credible source for his hysterical hyperbole, a former sports reporter turned "terrorism expert" who has said that gays and liberals are allied with radical Muslims because they hate American and Jesus, too. But, as Kilmeade informed us, this incident in Australia is "Muslim extremism" even if the Australians won't acknowledge it. So there!
Kilmeade began with an up-date on the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia. Naturally, Kilmeade stressed that the hostage taker had requested an ISIS flag. [Wrong, Man Haran Monis asked for a flag with the Islamic Shahada on it - not an Isis flag] After asking "what do we know about Australia's history with Islamic extremism and why are they being targeted," he introduced his guest "terrorism expert, one of the best" Erick Stakelbeck who, given that he condemns the building of mosques and fears Islamic "infiltration" of the Bible Belt, is a natural for the rabidly anti-Islamic Fox News. His right wing creds include his employment at the Christian Broadcasting Network and regular contributions to Glenn Beck's TV as well as numerous other right wing media outlets. But even better, he worked for the Investigative Project on Terrorism founded by the bad shit, Islamphobic crazy Steve Emerson.
Despite the reality that there was no verifiable connection to terrorism, at that time, Kilmeade framed the requisite Fox fear mongering narrative that any incident involving Muslims is related to global jihad: "Are you suprised that "we have another terror incident of this magnitude in Australia? As the chyron engaged in classic Fox fear mongering: "Terror Down Under," Stakelbeck said about how Australia is a target for terror because of it's a western country which is contributing to anti-terror military actions in the Middle East. He noted that there are Muslims in Australia, some of whom have joined ISIS. Despite the reality that no ISIS connection had been established, the chyron read "Jihadist Blueprint, Stakelbeck: This Points To ISIS Sympathizers."
Kilmeade mentioned Australia's thwarting of an ISIS plot to attack Australians. He added that because Australia is an American ally, the terrorist will strike Australia "to get to us." Stakelbeck spoke, at greater length, about the aforementioned ISIS plot. Kilmeade made "one thing clear" - "When you ask for a flag and that flag is delivered and the words are translated *"there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is the messenger of God," it's hard to believe this isn't Muslim extremism even though Tony Abbot [Australian PM] hasn't said that yet."
Since this morning, the Australian police and PM have now gone on record as saying that although the hostage taker was "politically motivated," there appears to be no connection to organized jihad. While Monis espoused a radical Islamic ideology, he, according to the PM "had a long history of violent crime, infatuation with extremism and mental instability." But Brian Kilmeade, who knows more than the Australian authorities, thinks it's "Islamic extremism" and that, as was said in Plan 9 From Outer Space, "proves it!"
*And memo to Kilmeade: The Muslim "Shahada" is inscribed on Saudi Arabia's flag.
To my mind, the perp in Sydney Australia was similar to one of our own (almost always male) crazies who enters a church to shoot the worshipers and then tries to justify what he knew perfectly well was wrong by claiming to have acted in the name of a noble cause (faith, patriotism, etc.). Such claims reveal a degree of awareness that is not present when a crazy shoots randomly at anonymous passers-by from a tower or a window. Of the two, it’s the former that scares me the most.
Religious leaders in Islam do not undergo an organised education or training programme at a seminary or religious college. They don’t have to sit for any exams entitling them to a certificate or a diploma. They emerge from a local congregation or community of the faith (aka mosque) due to their erudition and rectitude and only a few have much influence outside that community.
The hostage-taker had never been recognised as a leader by a Muslim congregation. He appears to have had some success as a spiritual healer (and sexual abuser). Truth be told, this was a charismatic but very sick man, much like the leaders of one of those off-the-wall spiritual sects that used to (?) proliferate in California.
If only it was just Fox, though. CNN, with Wolf Blitzer, was beside itself with the same hysterical nonsense, including lots of B-roll of U.S. warplanes, for God’s sake.
A crazy person has a psychotic break and takes a bunch of hostages, which happens in the U.S. pretty much every day, but because the guy is Iranian-born, that somehow makes him a terrorist— never mind that calling himself “Sheikh,” which is an Arab term not an Iranian one, shows how desperately confused he is.