How clueless and compromised are this country’s moneyed Leftist elites? This clueless and compromised. Intersections International, a group that styles itself as dedicated to promoting “peacemaking” and “interfaith outreach,” is honoring the Leftist media’s darling of the moment, Reza Aslan, “for his work at the intersection of religion, scholarship, and global peacemaking.”
It is hard to overstate how spectacularly bad a choice Reza Aslan is as someone to be honored for “global peacemaking,” unless Intersections International is using the word “peacemaking” as a synonym for “surrender to the enemies of the United States,” particularly Iran — which, in light of the fact that Intersections International is a Leftist group, may well be the case. For Reza Aslan in no way represents peacemaking, either professionally or personally. He is, for starters, a board member of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which has been established in court as a lobbying group for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This is not hearsay or rumor; there is an abundance of evidence for it. Michael Rubin noted in February 2013 that “Jamal Abdi, NIAC’s policy director, now appears to push aside any pretense that NIAC is something other than Iran’s lobby. Speaking at the forthcoming ‘Expose AIPAC’ conference, Abdi is featured on the ‘Training: Constituent Lobbying for Iran’ panel. Oops.”
According to Charles C. Johnson in the Daily Caller: “Iranian state-run media have referred to the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) since at least 2006 as ‘Iran’s lobby’ in the U.S.” Iranian freedom activist Hassan Daioleslam “documented over a two-year period that NIAC is a front group lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime.” NIAC had to pay him nearly $200,000 in legal fees after they sued him for defamation over his accusation that they were a front group for the mullahs, and lost.
Yet Aslan remains on their board.
Reza Aslan is a busy man, living a life of hectic vacancy as he rushes from one adoring Leftist crowd to another, and it may be that in between media appearances to tout (and wildly overstate) his credentials, he just hasn’t had the time to find out what NIAC is all about. That’s unlikely, however, as his own words and actions are consistent with this affiliation. He tried to pass off Iran’s frenziedly antisemitic and genocidally-minded former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a liberal reformer, even calling on the U.S. government to negotiate with him, as well as with the jihad terror group Hamas.
Aslan even praised the terror group Hizballah, Iran’s jihad terrorist client group in Lebanon, as “the most dynamic political and social organization in Lebanon.” He has also singled out for praise the antisemitic, misogynist, Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated in its own words, according to a captured internal document, to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.”
At the height of the “Arab Spring,” Aslan wrote: “The Muslim Brotherhood will have a significant role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt. And that is good thing.” (That’s right, there was no indefinite article in that last sentence. Basic grammar and spelling are not the “scholar” Aslan’s strong suit.) Tens of millions of Egyptians registered their disagreement with Aslan’s assertion that the Muslim Brotherhood was “good thing” when they took to the streets to topple the Brotherhood government in the summer of 2013.
Intersections International says this of itself: “Since its establishment in 2008, Intersections International has worked toward a world where every person—regardless of race, culture, gender, ideology or sexual orientation—is treated with mutual respect and understanding.” Yet Reza Aslan isn’t a peacemaker as a human being, either, and has no interest in showing “mutual respect and understanding” to his ideological opponents. He has applauded and called for fascist thuggery to deny the freedom of speech to those he hates. This in itself probably doesn’t bother Intersections International, however, as the group is no stranger to lauding fascists: it previously honored anti-free speech vandal Mona Eltahawy.
Aslan is publicly obnoxious, usually on Twitter, and gleefully unrepentant about it: when Buzzfeed published just a sampling of the foul-mouthed abuse he spews at those who cross him, Aslan shrugged it off, saying that his opponents were terrible people, and deserved everything he said to them. Similarly, when a Muslim woman in California, Shaima Alawadi, was murdered in what was widely and erroneously reported as a “hate crime,” Aslan tweeted: “If a 32 year old veiled mother is a terrorist than [sic] so am I you Islamophobic fucks Gellar [sic] Spencer et. al. [sic] Come find me.” When it became clear that the murder was actually an Islamic honor killing, not an “Islamophobic hate crime” at all, I asked Aslan for an apology for essentially accusing me of complicity in a murder. He tweeted: “You owe me an apology for that beard you sexy walrus.” Gandhiesque!