The Jewish Community Relations Council in San Francisco gave us a heads up about this story, suggesting it would make a good Muzzlewatch entry. According to CAIR’s own press release:
The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) today called on campus police at the University of California – Davis (UC Davis) to detain a speaker who openly states that he has committed acts of terror.
The UC Muslim Student Association also joined in the call, right before Shoebat was to appear before a sold-out UC audience.
At first glance, it seemed to make sense for Muzzlewatch. Walid Shoebat, a self-proclaimed former terrorist and Palestinian, who had converted to evangelical Christianity and discovered a new love for Israel, certainly had a right to speak at a public university, even if one disagreed with him.
But there was another question about Walid Shoebat, a longtime favorite on the Israel-right-or-wrong speaking circuit. Why exactly did CAIR and the MSA want him detained?
It was true, in an age of hyper-vigilance about terrorism, when even nuns get stuck on airline watch lists, and Muslim academics have a hard time just getting into (or back into) the country, it does seem odd that a supposed former terrorist who admits killing Israelis is running around the country, popping up on Fox and CNN, with nary a care in the world about getting hauled in by some enforcement agency.
But the real issue, it seemed, which CAIR and the MSA should have kept focused on, was that Shoebat is a religious extremist bigot who doesn’t deserve a platform at a public university. In fact, the question really should be, why are groups giving this guy even a second of airtime?
If anything, that CAIR and the MSA felt they had to resort to the PR tactic of calling for Shoebat’s detention to get anyone to notice is a disgusting indictment of the fact that nobody else really seems to care if this guy is an Islamophobe. Hating Muslims just doesn’t rank as anything to get, you know, worked up about.
But there’s more.
To understand how disturbing it is that Jewish groups promote a Christian Zionist like Shoebat, it helps to understand the end times belief.
As an evangelical Christian, Shoebat has a vision that goes beyond annexing the entire West Bank–a vision that he avoids mentioning to his Jewish audiences. In private, though, Shoebat explained that he believes there will be “a great battle at the end…the children of Ishmael versus the Jewish community. Christians believe [the Jews] will…recognize that Jesus is the Messiah in the end.” Then he added, “but that is beside the point, this is not my agenda in the universities.”
Just to be clear, the belief is that Jews will either convert or be incinerated so the Messiah can return. Peace, reconciliation and happy Jews are not exactly end-time goals.
Nathan-Kazis continues later:
Keith Davies, an Irish Jew now living in Pennsylvania, is Shoebat’s agent and tour manager. Davies has no qualms about sending Shoebat to speak to Jewish groups without mentioning his Christian Zionism: all that matters, Davies says, is Shoebat’s willingness to speak for Israel. But Davies clearly feels that if attention is called to his evangelism, Shoebat’s credibility may suffer: immediately after I interviewed Shoebat and asked about his religious beliefs–particularly pressing him on details of his Christian Zionism–I received a call from Davies instructing me not to mention those beliefs in this article. If I did, Davies warned, it would “hurt Israel.” And Davies is protective of his own image as well; upon being emailed the quotes to be attributed to him in this article, Davies replied, “This is a disgusting article and I will [not] have anything further to do with you.”
Shoebat wrote about his beliefs in the book “This is Our Eden, This is Our End,” which he co-wrote with Mohammed Altaf, a former Sunni Muslim who also converted to Christianity. Its clear why it probably wasn’t a best-seller, with chapters like The Angel of the Bottomless Pit, The Signs of the Anti-Messiah and The Abomination of Desolations. This is from the introduction written by Altaf:
Later Walid and I both decided to create a website on the internet [ED note: definitely explore this site], http://www.abrahamic-faith.com, to propagate the truth to the world about what is coming to pass. Our aim is not to spurn hatred or draw enemy lines, far from it, our aim is to show all people the deception that they have been lured into, whether they be Muslims who do not recognise the path of self-destruction that they have chosen so that all may be touched by the light of life and Christians who have not discerned the signs of the times.
But what really got my attention, and likely CAIR’s attention, was chapters like these:
Chapter 4. Satan’s master plan to use Islam to deceive the world
A. How are the Muslims deceived? Our Messiah is their Anti-Messiah
B. Who is the Gog of Ezekiel and how does he fit Islam?
C. Is the Messiah coming back to rescue Israel and annihilate Islamic forces?
D. Are the Magog Russians Slavs or Islamic Turkic Muslims?
E. Then who are today’s Russians?
Chapter 5. Is The End Time Beast Islamic?
A. Psalm 83 – Is it referring to Europe? Or Islamic nations?
B. The Binding of Satan and the entire Muslim world – Is this true?
C. Psalm 74 – It cannot be Europe?
Chapter 6. Mecca the Harlot City
A. The Turks in History tried to destroy Mecca but can it happen again?
B. Can the Muslims fight the Christians and Jews when they claim to be peaceful?
C. Anti-Messiah will change times and laws?
Building a lucrative speaking career in the Israel-right-or-wrong world, by whipping up hatred between Jews and Muslims, which just happens to help bring on the apocalypse so the Jews will all disappear and the Messiah can return, is nice work for a Christian Zionist if you can get.
So we figured this is as good a time as any to make clear, since we haven’t already, that Muzzlewatch does not advocate for the rights of people who are clearly bigots, like Shoebat, David Duke or Israel Shamir. We want a good, fair debate. Let a pure free speech site defend their right to speak. We won’t.