A University of Michigan history professor is blaming the Charleston church shooting on “Islamophobia” being spread by “right wing Jews” such as Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes.
Professor Juan Cole argues in his blog, Informed Comment, that “far right wing Jews” like Daniel Pipes and Pamela Geller, French politician Marine LePen and Dutch politician Geert Wilders, and “the whole Islamophobic Network” were “a key influence” in Dylann Roof’s shooting of nine people in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, reported Campus Reform.
Cole cites Roof’s comments against European immigrants in a manifesto published in the wake of the death of Trayvon Martin as evidence that anti-Islamic “writings and web sites … made Roof ‘completely racially aware.'”
“From this point I researched deeper and found out what was happening in Europe. I saw that the same things were happening in England and France, and in all the other Western European countries,” Roof wrote. “But Europe is the homeland of White people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there.”
Roof shot and killed nine black American Christians who were neither immigrants, nor Muslims, but that didn’t stop Cole from trying to concoct his bizarre narrative, said Geller in a response emailed to WND.
“Juan Cole’s claim is sick and ridiculous, and shows how low the academic left will stoop in its mad quest to defame and marginalize those whom it hates and fears. The Charleston shooter’s “manifesto” was full of ranting about race. He never mentioned me, or Islam, or Muslims. But no logical leap is too great for the likes of Juan Cole, who by these insane claims demonstrates how corrupt and compromised today’s academic establishment has become.”
Pipes also responded to WND with the following statement:
“Cole is beneath contempt and his calumny unworthy of discussion. If the University of Michigan had standards, it would fire him.”
Cole, author of 14 books most about the Middle East, appears widely on both mainstream news outlets such as CNN, ABC and NBC, and far-left media such as “The Rachel Maddow Show” and Democracy Now!, according to his website.
His most recent book was the 2014 tome, “The New Arabs: How the Wired and Global Youth of the Middle East Is Transforming It.”
This is not the first time Cole has blamed critics of Islam for inspiring violence. In a 2011 post, he contends that Norwegian mass-shooter Anders Breivik’s “passions were whipped up, according to his diary, by reading anti-Muslim hatemongers such as Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes.”
Cole accuses Geller, Pipes and Wilders of whipping up hatred among whites for “non-Christians.” Yet, a careful reading of his own blogs indicate a common theme, hatred of “fundamentalist” Christians.
He claimed in one blog entry that the world media were giving too much attention to Christian persecution in the Middle East, even as Christian bishops and leaders both Catholic and Protestant have pleaded at the United Nations and elsewhere for the world to stop closing its eyes and ears to the cries of Iraqi and Syrian Christians who are being slaughtered by ISIS and al-Nusra Front.
When seven black churches burned in the span of a week in the U.S., with three, possibly four, attributed to arson and the others attributed to strong thunderstorms and lightning-strikes present in the area or electrical malfunction, Cole said the media should have assigned blame to “white supremacists.” Police have made no arrests or issued the descriptions of any suspects, but Cole concluded, “If ISIL had burned 4 churches in the span of a week it would have been big news.”
“[T]here are lots of thunderstorms all the time in the South and churches have lightning rods. Why would a church that had stood for decades suddenly succumb to a single storm?” Cole writes. “Shouldn’t the headline be ‘Suspected White supremacists burn down at least four African-American churches”?
He continues then to expressing his horror at what he considers to be excess media coverage of the atrocities of ISIS, which he calls by its Arabic name, Daesh. These attacks, which include not only church burnings but beheadings recorded on video, are, in Cole’s mind, merely cruel acts carried out “in the fog of war.” And since no Westerner was there to take notes, he seems to doubt that they even occurred.
“Compare how the press handled Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) attacks on Christians and churches. It was front page news!” Cole writes. “And the active voice was used, even though these events happened thousands of miles away amidst a fog of war and there were no Western eyewitnesses.”
This is just “further evidence,” Cole writes, “that ‘terrorism’ is ‘raced’ in the United States, as something that dark-skinned people do but as a category improperly applied to white people.”
Cole insists that “these same hatemongers” and “unhinged millionaires and bigoted gadflies” who “teach white people to hate non-Christians” have caused another shooting, this time at Charleston, Campus Reform reported.
The statement, again as Geller points out, makes no logical sense given that Roof’s victims were Christian people killed inside a church. An outpouring of love and support followed for the shooting victims’ families from Christians of all stripes, whites and blacks, conservatives and liberals.
Not all students at University of Michigan are in awe of the learned professor’s pronouncements.
Sophomore Grant Strobl, chairman of Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Michigan, denounced Cole’s comments as “race baiting and anti-Semitism.”
“In the position of an instructor at a public university,” Strobl told Campus Reform, “he is creating a hostile environment for minorities and conservatives especially in the classroom.”
Campus Reform has a team of professional journalists who work alongside student activists and student journalists to report on the conduct and misconduct of university administrators, faculty and students.