In what has been described as a desperate attempt "to keep the failing Russiagate conspiracy theory alive," NBC News has published a false and defamatory report about Gatestone Institute. The article, originally published on April 23, 2018, has since been has been altered online several times.
The original report libels Gatestone Institute as an "anti-Muslim think tank" that is "part of an echo chamber that includes Russian media." It is the NBC report, however, that seems to be part of an "echo chamber" to damage and delegitimize the current, duly elected, administration — and anyone ever associated with it — while using Gatestone Institute as a tool do that.
NBC's report begins with an iteration of the Russia-Trump collusion story: that Gatestone's former chairman, Ambassador John Bolton, now U.S. National Security Advisor, who has described Russia's attempts to undermine the U.S. election as an act of war, was affiliated with "a nonprofit that has promoted misleading and false anti-Muslim news, some of which was amplified by a Russian troll factory," implying that he was somehow colluding with Russia to spread anti-Muslim propaganda. NBC initially provides no evidence for this claim, but buried deep inside the article it asserts that, according to its "exclusive database," Russian trolls tweeted a total of four Gatestone articles — out of more than 200,000 tweets identified by Twitter as being linked to Russian accounts. Bolton, on the contrary, is usually criticized for having hawkish views on Russia.
By way of comparison, the NBC's database shows that Russian trolls tweeted seven articles from Heidi Przybyla, the author of the NBC report. In fact, the database shows that Russian trolls tweeted news items from the across the American political spectrum. The notion that the "Russian troll factory" was amplifying stories from only one point of view is false. NBC appears to be grasping at straws to keep the discredited Russia-Trump collusion story alive.
NBC News also provides no evidence for its insinuation that White House attorneys are "potential[ly]" investigating Bolton's affiliation with Gatestone. Moreover, after first implying that Bolton is "anti-Muslim," NBC undercuts its own claims by admitting that his name cannot be found on "the anti-Muslim articles at issue." NBC also acknowledges that Bolton was opposed to Trump's so-called Muslim ban.
The NBC report, written by political reporter Heidi Przybyla, appears to be based almost entirely on a series of deceptive reports about Gatestone by The Intercept, a left-leaning digital news site which itself has admitted to fabricating stories and quotes and is listed as one of "The Best Websites to Follow If You're Plotting the Left-Wing Resistance". The NBC report, which fails to cite The Intercept, is also intriguingly similar to false allegations in Wikipedia, which also parrots numerous false, but published, claims about Gatestone, such as that Gatestone incorrectly writes about the existence of no-go zones.
It should be noted that Gatestone Institute, far from being "anti-Muslim", is pro-Muslim. Gatestone does not want to see Muslims deprived of freedom of speech, flogged or stoned to death for supposed adultery. Gatestone is also opposed to "honor" killings, children forced into marriages; homosexuals flogged or killed, and so on. Is one to assume that NBC and its followers do want to see these abuses? Good to know.
Even a cursory perusal of Gatestone's website shows that many of its experts and authors are Muslim. Just a few include, for example, the Chairman of Gatestone Europe, the distinguished journalist Amir Taheri; also Salim Mansur, Raif Badawi, Burak Bekdil, Tharwa Boulifi, Khaled Abu Toameh, Shireen Qudosi, Ahmed Charai, Khadija Khan, Mitra Pourshajari, Najat AlSaied, Sohail Raza, and Majid Rafizadeh. Gatestone often writes on behalf of better human rights and a better life for Palestinians, for Muslims in general, and has suggested that Egypt's President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his message:
"Yes, a humanistic and civilizing message should once more emanate from Egypt. That is why we must not call ourselves anything other than 'Egyptians.' This is what we must be — Egyptians, just Egyptians, Egyptians indeed! I just want to tell you that — Allah willing — we shall build our nation together, accommodate, make room for each other, and we shall like each other, love each other, love each other in earnest so that people may see." — Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Egypt, addressing Egypt's Christian Copts, December 24, 2014
Gatestone is, however, openly committed to educating the public about an aspect of Islam, namely Sharia law, which, according to the European Court of Human Rights and others, is incompatible with liberal democracy:
"In Refah Partisi, [the ECHR] carried out a thorough examination of the relationship between the Convention, democracy, political parties and religion, and found that a sharia-based regime was incompatible with the Convention, in particular, as regards the rules of criminal law and procedure, the place given to women in the legal order and its interference in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts." (page 6)
Gatestone has provided an important platform for the Muslim Reform Movement, spearheaded by Muslim reformers such as Zuhdi Jasser and Raheel Raza. Gatestone has also drawn attention to the plight of Muslim liberals, including Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger who has been flogged, imprisoned and fined for allegedly "insulting Islam."
In addition, Gatestone Institute is not "anti-immigrant" or "anti-immigration." Many of Gatestone's experts and authors are immigrants or children of immigrants and are well aware of the benefits of immigration. Gatestone is, however, committed to raising public awareness of the consequences of uncontrolled mass migration and the highly problematic — some say failed — integration policies of governments, especially in Western Europe. These include, among other difficulties, "unaccompanied minors" (who have beards) here and here; mass sexual predation of children here, here, here and here; increased incidence of rape here, here and here, as well as crime syndicates — here and here.
"The group's authors also appeared on Russian media, including Sputnik and RT News, criticizing mainstream European leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron."
Gatestone Institute receives hundreds of requests for interviews each year from media outlets around the world, including from Russia. Gatestone authors rarely appear on Russian media. NBC appears to be referring to a March 2018 Sputnik interview with Gatestone Senior Fellow Dr. Denis MacEoin, who holds a Ph.D. from King's College, Cambridge, about anti-Semitism in Britain, and a November 2016 RT interview with Baroness Cox, a member of the British House of Lords, about gender discrimination by Sharia courts in Britain.
Some Gatestone writers based in France are skeptical about the policies of French President Emmanuel Macron. Other Gatestone writers have praised Macron's counter-terrorism efforts and his proposals to reform the way Islam is practiced in France. In any event, NBC does not explain why it is wrong to criticize Macron. NBC News, in fact, is being hypocritical: if Gatestone writers occasionally criticize President Macron, NBC reporters daily criticize President Trump.
"[Gatestone] has published numerous stories and headlines on its website with similar themes. 'Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants,' warned one from May 2017, about a single apartment rental property in Hamburg that had gone into temporary trusteeship."
NBC's phraseology is, again, nearly identical to that of The Intercept, which wrote: "a single house in the city was placed into temporary trusteeship." In fact, as NBC was informed, in advance of publication in an email from Gatestone, that authorities in Hamburg seized not one but six apartments, based on a highly controversial city ordinance which allows for the confiscation and forced rental of vacant properties. The aim is to ease a housing shortage, which has been exacerbated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's 2015 decision to allow into the country more than a million migrants.
"Gatestone is 'a key part of the whole Islamophobic cottage industry on the internet,' said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group.
"Hooper added that Bolton being associated with Gatestone, 'and in one of the most powerful positions on the planet, is very disturbing.'"
It is Hooper, however, who appears "very disturbing." Hooper has stated that if Muslims were ever to become a numerical majority in the U.S., they would likely seek to replace the American Constitution with Islamic law. He also has been quoted as saying that he "wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future (Minneapolis Star-Tribune, April 4, 1993)."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which presents itself as a benign Muslim American "civil rights organization," is, in fact, tied to the Muslim Brotherhood's American network. A Muslim Brotherhood document states that the objective of the group in North America is to carry out "a Civilization-Jihadist Process" aimed at "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within."
CAIR is, as numerous terrorism analysts and the U.S. government itself have noted, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2009 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) retrial — the largest terrorism financing case in the nation's history.
At the trial it was revealed there that "numerous donation checks ... made payable to ... IAP [Islamic Association for Palestine]" were "deposited into HLF's bank account," in some cases with the memo line, "for Palestinian Mujahideen [holy warriors] only.
When CAIR joined other groups in trying to strike their names from the list of unindicted co-conspirators, U.S. District Judge Solis (Northern District of Texas) found that "The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR ... with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine ('IAP'), and with Hamas," designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 1995. Citing the evidence introduced at the trial, the FBI broke off formal communication with CAIR in 2009 "until we can resolve whether" those ties remain. This FBI policy remains in effect today.
NBC, however, has treated CAIR as "a civil rights and advocacy group," and as a credible source on the subject of Islamic extremism.
"Yet in fanning anti-Muslim news, Gatestone had a common purpose with a broader Russian disinformation campaign that sought to portray Western society as at risk of 'Islamization.'"
To begin with, the Koran and Hadith [the sayings and deeds of Mohammed] teach that Islam is to bring the entire world under the submission of the will of Allah:
Koran 2:193 instructs Muslims to "fight them [non-Muslims] until there is no more discord and the religion of Allah reigns absolute." A hadith (Sahih Muslim 001, 0031) quotes Mohammed as saying: "I have been ordered to wage war against mankind until they accept that there is no god but Allah and that they believe I am His prophet and accept all revelations spoken through me." Another hadith (Bukhari 4, 52, 196) quotes Mohammed as saying: "I have been directed to fight the [non-Muslims] until every one of them admits, 'There is only one god and that is Allah.'"
Political Islam aims to extend Islam beyond the realm of religion and reorder all aspects of society and power — political, cultural, and religious — according to Islamic law. Political Islam is spread by three primary means: jihad, dawa (proselytizing) and immigration. Mass migration from the Muslim world has placed Europe at the center of massive geopolitical, demographic and societal changes.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for instance, has threatened to flood Europe with 3,000,000 refugees.
On a smaller scale, Le Figaro, in 2014, published the contents of a leaked intelligence document that warns about the imposition of Sharia law in French schools in Muslim ghettoes. The 15-page document provides 70 specific examples of how Muslim radicals are taking over ostensibly secular schools throughout the country. These examples include: veiling in playgrounds, halal meals in the canteen, chronic absenteeism (bordering 90% in some parts of Nîmes and Toulouse) during religious festivals, and clandestine prayer in gyms or hallways.
NBC's attempt to portray the "Islamization" of Western society as nothing more than part of a Russian disinformation campaign seems the result of either ignorance, incompetence or wishful thinking.
"Some of the group's work was widely distributed, including a claim about Muslim-controlled 'no-go zones' in France that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz cited in an op-ed article during the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign."
NBC provides no evidence that Senator Ted Cruz based parts of his article on Gatestone's work. Cruz's article does not mention Gatestone. NBC's claim appears to be based on a similar assertion made by The Intercept.
"[Gatestone President Nina] Rosenwald, emailed numerous links to support Gatestone's claims [that "no-go zones" do indeed exist], including a number in French and German."
Gatestone provided NBC News, prior to publication, with many links to original sources in French and German:
The author of the NBC report, Heidi Przybyla, claims to have been educated in Germany and to have a degree in German studies. Her dismissal of the information provided by Gatestone suggests an attitude that, "My mind is made up, do not bother me with the facts."
Several links were from the French Government:
- Atlas of Urban Sensitive Zones (Zones urbaines sensibles, ZUS);
- Sensitive Urban Zones;
- Definition of Urban Zones;
- The List of the Sensitive Quarters of France
In addition, the Socialist mayor of Amiens, Gilles Demailly, has referred to the Fafet-Brossolette district of the city as a "no-go zone" where "you can no longer order a pizza or get a doctor to come to the house."
Additional material includes: "Are there police no-go zones in France? The police say yes." And: " Europe's no-go zones: Inside the lawless ghetto that breed and harbor terrorists."
"Gatestone has been a significant promoter of the disputed notion that "no-go zones" exist in the heart of major cities where Muslims rule by Shariah law."
"No-go zones" are defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as "an area, especially in a town, where it is very dangerous to go, usually because a group of people who have weapons prevent the police, army, and other people from entering."
Referred to by the French government as "Sensitive Urban Zones" and in Germany as "Lawless Zones" (rechtsfreie Räume), no-go zones, which primarily but not exclusively exist in areas with large numbers of Muslim immigrants, embody what many say is the failure of European integration policies.
Multiculturalism, which downplays and even discourages the assimilation of migrants, has led to the establishment of parallel societies in many European cities. Gatestone has documented the politically incorrect, "taboo" problem of speaking about no-go zones, sometimes through interviews with European police. No-go zones are a "disputed notion" only in the imagination of some political and media elites, who apparently do not want to admit to the reported problems of the policies of multiculturalism.
"In calling for uniform regional police standards, Merkel said 'no-go' areas where the police avoid going should not be allowed; yet a German government spokesman in Berlin, Johannes Pepping, told NBC News that Merkel was not referring to immigrants or Muslims."
On February 26, Merkel publicly admitted, for the first time, the existence of no-go zones — lawless areas in German cities where the state has effectively lost control to migrant gangs and where native Germans, including the police, increasingly fear to go.
In an interview with RTL television, Merkel said:
"Naturally, the arrival of so many refugees has raised many questions regarding internal security. The state has the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force (Gewaltmonopol). The state must ensure that people feel safe whenever they are in the public realm. People have a right to security. This is our top responsibility. It means that there should not be any no-go areas — areas where no one dares to go. Such areas do exist. We must call them by name. We must do something about it."
On February 26, German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly admitted, for the first time, the existence of no-go zones — lawless areas in German cities where the state has effectively lost control to migrant gangs and where native Germans, including the police, increasingly fear to go. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
NBC News later concedes that Chancellor Merkel has in fact admitted to the existence of no-go zones, but still claims that Gatestone has fabricated the idea "because [Merkel] was not referring to immigrants or Muslims." Who, then, is living there?
"The sensationalized headline of one story said the German government was 'confiscating homes to use for migrants.'
"According to Germany-based Correctiv, a nonprofit investigative newsroom, the city of Hamburg did force the owner of six rental properties that sat unused for five years to pay for renovations and rent them. However, the "decision had nothing to do with migrants," said Tania Roettger, a Correctiv journalist, who added, 'Gatestone was known for disseminating false information.'"
As with the quote from CAIR, NBC uses quotes that may be false but, not surprisingly, are from organizations that support its narrative. Correctiv is not an impartial fact checker; the group is financed by George Soros, an open-borders globalist who is pressuring the Hungarian government to adopt a pro-immigration policy. The claim that the Hamburg "decision had nothing to do with migrants" is patently false. Hamburg, Germany's second-largest city, is facing an acute housing shortage, due in large measure to Chancellor Merkel's open-door immigration policies.
The Hamburg apartments, which are owned by a private landlord, are in need of repair and have been vacant since 2012. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.
The expropriation is authorized by the Hamburg Housing Protection Act (Hamburger Wohnraumschutzgesetz), a 1982 law that was updated by the city's Socialist government in May 2013 to enable the city to seize any residential property unit that has been vacant for more than four months.
The forced lease, the first of its kind in Germany, is said to be aimed at pressuring the owners of other vacant residences in the city to make them available for rent. Of the 700,000 rental units in Hamburg, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 (fewer than one percent) are believed to be vacant, according to an estimate by the Hamburg Senate.
It remains unclear why the landlord left his apartments vacant for more than five years. Some have posited that, given the location of the properties, the renovation costs may have been too high and probably would not have been offset by the rental income.
Public outrage over the seizure of private property in Hamburg prompted politicians in Berlin to backtrack on proposals to enact a similar law in that city.
Meanwhile, properties have been confiscated and tenants have been evicted to make room for migrants in Eschbach, Königsbach-Stein, Leopoldshöhe, Ludwigshafen, Lüneburg, Mechernich, Nieheim, Olpe and Wetzlar.
"Gatestone has also fanned the notion of a German 'migrant rape crisis,' pointing to real incidents, including an assault on women by several immigrants at a New Year's Eve celebration in Cologne, Germany, in 2015. Der Spiegel conducted a detailed investigation and found 'many problems' with that narrative."
NBC here is guilty of journalistic malfeasance. More than a thousand women were sexually assaulted in Cologne and other German cities on New Year's Eve in 2015 by hundreds of Muslim males. The incidents, which were initially covered-up by local authorities, prompted the German government to make changes to the criminal code that expand the definition of rape and make it easier to deport migrants who commit sex crimes.
Police reports show that, since Chancellor Merkel allowed more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East into the country, sexual violence in Germany has skyrocketed. Chancellor Merkel has allowed more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East into the country. But the crimes are being played down by German authorities, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments. The director of the Criminal Police Association (Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter, BDK), André Schulz, estimates that up to 90% of the sex crimes committed in Germany do not appear in the official statistics.
Gatestone Institute has reported on Germany's migrant rape crisis because politically correct media outlets such as Der Spiegel and NBC News evidently refuse to do so.
"A search of articles on Sputnik, the Russian government-controlled news agency, turns up three web pages of Gatestone citations."
A search of articles on Sputnik, the Russian government-controlled news agency, turns up 1,650 pages of NBC citations.
"NBC News found at least four instances of known Russian trolls directly re-tweeting from the Gatestone account, according to an NBC News database of deleted tweets sent by Russian trolls. The stories were sent by trolls identified by Twitter as working for the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency."
NBC admits that the "Russian troll factory" mentioned in the first paragraph of its story involves only four tweets — out of more than 200,000 tweets identified by Twitter as linked to Russian accounts:
Let's compare that to MSNBC, where star Joy Reid was the favorite political pundit of Russian trolls during the 2016 presidential election, according to Dan Abrams' Law & Crime website. Reid was retweeted 267 times by the "private sector Russian troll brigade," according to the report, which cited an analysis of the raw data. Four times vs. 267 times. If getting retweeted four times makes you a Russian spy, NBC must be the Kremlin.
"Geert Wilders, head of the Dutch Party for Freedom and a prominent critic of Islam who is listed as a Gatestone author, was on an RT broadcast last month saying Europe lacks strong political leaders like Russia's Vladimir Putin and Trump. In a May 2017 post on Medium, Gatestone contributor Yves Mamou called Macron France's "useful idiot of Islamism."
Many agree with the assessments of Wilders as well as Mamou, who worked for two decades as a journalist for the center-left Le Monde. Medium is an online platform based in the United States, not Russia.
"In February, Gatestone published a post criticizing the British government's plan to create a new national security unit to combat fake news and disinformation, likening it to censorship and a violation of free speech. The post argues there is no place for government in a democratic 'marketplace of ideas' and that it could lead to censorship of satire and parody."
European governments, which are not restrained by First Amendment rights as in the United States, are increasingly using hate speech laws to silence discussion of and opposition to controversial policies, including those on multiculturalism and mass migration.
In Germany, the parliament recently approved a controversial law to fine social media networks up to €50 million euros ($57 million) if they fail to remove so-called hate speech. The Network Enforcement Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, NetzDG), commonly referred to as the "Facebook law," gives social media networks 24 hours to delete or block "obviously criminal offenses" (offenkundig strafbare Inhalte) and seven days to deal with less clear-cut cases.
Critics said the law will restrict free speech because social media networks, fearing high penalties, will delete posts without checking whether they are within the legal limits and should actually remain online. Others said the real purpose of the law is to silence criticism of the government's open-door migration policy, as well as multiculturalism and the rise of Islam in Germany. Still others have warned that the law could be used to "sway public opinion in the run-up to a national election..."
"An RT article... struck a critical tone, noting that it 'further distances Trump from his campaign promises to drain the swamp.'"
It was, ironically, RT, Russia's state-owned media outlet, that summed up the deficiencies in NBC's attack on Gatestone Institute:
"As the narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia stays alive, NBC news has found that if you join enough dots and squint just hard enough, Bolton 'colluded' with Russian trolls to spread anti-Muslim propaganda....
"In the eyes of NBC the fact that several Gatestone authors spoke on Russian media outlets like RT and Sputnik somehow constitutes proof of Bolton's collusion with Russia.
"According to this narrative, Russian trolls are responsible for Bolton's appointment too. Przybyla points out how four suspected 'Russian troll' Twitter account retweeted Gatestone articles, and one 'troll account' tweeted a suggestion to Trump that he appoint Bolton to his cabinet.
"The connection between Bolton and Russia is even more tenuous. Overseeing a think tank that publishes politically incorrect articles plus five tweets from alleged Twitter trolls looks less like collusion and more like a desperate attempt to keep the failing Russiagate conspiracy theory alive."
While some of NBC's assertions are true — some of our writers did appear in Russian media (So what? Why should they not try to educate Russians?) and some of our writers did criticize Macron (So what? Why should they not enjoy freedom of speech?) — the issue here is context. NBC's claims are based on truths, half-truths and untruths all woven together and framed in way not only to misrepresent Gatestone's work, but also to also to destroy its reputation and that of others — as part of a general, seemingly criminal conspiracy and abuse of power — as Judge T.S. Ellis III declared this week, "that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment, or whatever" -- to "oust" a duly elected president from office.