The Top 5 Most Islamophobic Reactions to Huma Abedin

Anthony Weiner’s wife has stood by him in a baffling show of support – and the media, both mainstream and right-wing does not know what to make of it.


With all the talk surrounding Anthony Weiner’s ( second!) sexting scandal, and what it means for his chances for an electoral comeback (not looking good), his wife Huma Abedin, the Michigan-born, Saudi Arabia-raised, former aide to Hillary Clinton is coming in for her share of totally speculative, and unflattering coverage.  There is the puzzle of why a woman of her stature is sticking with a man of Weiner’s ever-diminishing one, as well as depressiingly ignorant speculation about what her ethnic background has to do with all this.

And much of it, as should be expected, has been tinged with that unique sort of racism called Islamophobia, often concluding that her baffling resolve to stand by her man is the result of her ethnic background as a Saudi woman—as opposed to, you know, her personal choices as a human being capable of asserting free will.

 

Below are some of the best (by which I mean absolute worst,) most egregious offenders of this subtle, patronizing form of racism, a.k.a. Islamophobia, that is so pronounced on the right, but which you will find among some so-called liberals too. Some familiar faces will appear (shout out to Rush Limbaugh for never missing an opportunity) while others may take you by surprise (really Maureen Dowd?) Here are the contenders:

 

1. Andrew McCarthy, National Review

2. Mark Jacobson, New York Magazine

3. Elizabeth Wurtzel, Personal Twitter Account

4. Maureen Dowd, New York Times

5.  Rush Limbaugh, Of course.

GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert: Guns Are Necessary To Protect Against Sharia Law

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told a conservative radio host this afternoon that he believes Americans must be allowed to own firearms to protect against the growing threat of “sharia law.”

Appearing on web-radio show The Voice of Freedom, Gohmert argued that Congress ought to vote down any restrictive new gun regulations because American gun-owners need their firearms as a defense against Muslims who want to subvert the United States Constitution with the Islamic moral/political code.

“[The Second Amendment] is for our protection and the Founders’ quotes make that very, very clear. Including against a government that would run amuck,” he said, before explaining: “We’ve got some people that think sharia law should be the law of the land — forget the Constitution. But the guns are there, that Second Amendment is there, to make sure all of the rest of the amendments are followed.”

 

Gohmert has long expressed a belief that elements of radical Islam have infiltrated the United States government. Last fall, he vocally led the charge to investigate Clinton aide Huma Abedin for what he suspected were ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. He has also led the push for congressional hearings on “creeping sharia law.”

At Ramadan dinner, Obama calls Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, a ‘patriot’

President Obama on Friday voiced strong support for Huma Abedin, saying the top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been “nothing less than extraordinary in representing our country and the democratic values that we hold dear.”

Obama praised Abedin during remarks at a White House iftar dinner to mark the end of the fasting during the Ramadan holiday observed by Muslims. Abedin has been subject to unproven accusations by some House Republicans, including Michelle Bachmann (Minn.), that she is part of a conspiracy by the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate the top reaches of the U.S. government.

The president called Abedin an “American patriot” and added that the public owes her “a debt of gratitude” because she is “an example of what we need in this country — more public servants with her sense of decency, her grace and her generosity of spirit.”

In his remarks, Obama said diversity “makes us Americans,” but he warned that tolerance for such diversity is “threatened.”

Bachmann and four colleagues have sent letters to inspectors general at the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State asking about the U.S. government’s involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood, noting that the group calls for “civilization jihad.

Bachmann has been criticized by some legislators in her own party, including Sen John McCain (Ariz.), who said Abedin “represents what is best about America: the daughter of immigrants, who has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies so fully.”

Thomas Jefferson held the first known White House Iftar in 1805, a sunset dinner in honor of Tunisia’s envoy in Washington.

NYT OpEd: The Female Factor: Under Attack as Muslims in the U.S.

WASHINGTON — Muslims in Western countries say they have gotten used to the fact that as elections get closer, politicians pump up the volume of accusations against them, whether they are Sunni, Shiite or of another sect.

In some European nations, it was the debate over women wearing the veil that set off the attacks. Now in the United States, where pivotal elections are looming, accusations against Muslims have reached a new level. It seems to some that the days of McCarthyism are back.

Representative Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and a member of the Tea Party movement, cited Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin as the reason, questioning Ms. Abedin’s loyalty. One of the few Muslims in a prominent government position, Ms. Abedin is a trusted adviser who is known to the public; many have defended her against Mrs. Bachmann’s charge.

It is “so sad to see,” one of the women said. “There is already a lack of Muslims in government positions, but now this debate just shows no matter how loyal you are, some people will always attack you because you are Muslim.”

It is not the first time that Muslim women involved in politics have been attacked because of their backgrounds.

This accusation was a disturbing development for four Muslim women who work for the U.S. government and spoke on the condition that they not be identified because they were not authorized to make comments to the media.

Op-Ed: Michele Bachmann’s baseless attack on Huma Abedin

TO CONSPIRACY theorists like Rep. ¬Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the Obama administration’s approach to the Arab world is the product not of considered diplomacy but of wicked “influence operations,” traceable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its agents. Exhibit A among those agents with murky “ties” to the Muslim Brotherhood, Ms. Bachmann warns darkly, is Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Ms. Bachmann’s smear of Ms. Abedin, a 37-year-old Muslim American born and educated in this country, was contained in a letter last month to the State Department’s inspector general’s office. It would be simple to ignore the baseless and paranoid assertions of Ms. Bachmann were she not a member of Congress and an also-ran in the recent race for the Republican presidential nomination. Her status doesn’t confer respectability on her views — Americans are inured to all manner of nonsense from Congress — but it does call for a response, if only to restore a dose of rationality to the public discourse.
Today, though, for arguably the first time in her congressional career, the Minnesota GOP congresswoman is finding herself publicly on the outs with some in her own party. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), among others, have publicly criticized Bachmann for her suggestion that State Department officials, including longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, might be part of a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to infiltrate the U.S. government. (Though notably, Newt Gingrich defended her this morning.)