YAF Speaker Scrutinized

Last month, Media Mouse reported that Michigan State University’s (MSU) chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) is bringing Walid Shoebat to speak at the college in March. Recently, Talk to Action published an article titled “Autobiographical Accounts of USAF-paid ‘3 ex-Terrorists’ Challenged” that further scrutinizes Shoebat:

“Walid Shoebat and his “former terrorists”, converts to fundamentalist Christian zionism Christianity (apocalyptic premillenniallist dispensational Christianity to be exact) have been traveling around the US, around for several years now, beating the drumbeat for a full-blown religious war between the United States and the entire Islamic world. Shoebat and his associates claim that, because of their alleged background as former terrorists in the PLO, Hamas, or Hezbollah, they knew what Islam is really about: killing Christian and Jews. Along with a large cohort of Christian Zionists and other speakers and publicists, NeoConservatives and Israelis tied to the Likud Party, Walid Shoebat has been part of an ongoing PR campaign seemingly bent on to whipping Americans into a frenzied panic about the alleged menace of militant Islam.”

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According to the article, Shoebat and his two “ex-terrorists” have received increased scrutiny after being invited as paid experts on terrorism at a United States Air Force Academy. Along with this, there has been new criticism of Shoebat’s background:

“Now, a woman who says she has tracked down and talked to one of Walid Shoebat’s Palestinian-American relatives–who supposedly has said Walid Shoebat’s story is fraudulent–has now called Shoebat out to the extent of refusing to retract her story, which contradicts Shoebat’s story of having been a major PLO terrorist, despite a lawsuit threat from Shoebat’s agent.

As reported by Eileen Fleming, on her blog, a relative of Shoebat’s told Fleming that:

“The biggest act of ‘terror’ he ever committed was to glue Palestinian flags on street posts. But, when he was in jail he met someone who invited him to join a group against Israel. In 1977 Walid and his friends put packages behind a bank, but there were no explosives in it. That year he also met some Jehovah Witnesses and joined them for a while.”

As Fleming’s account, of this alternative and somewhat drab alternate chronicle of Shoebat’s past, continues it descends to a sad, tawdry level:

“Walid came to the U.S. in 1978 and met an Afghani friend and they went into business together, but it didn’t work out, so he moved to Chicago in 1981 where many cousins live and asked for help. He went to Loop College [now Harold Washington College] and was appointed as a foreign student advisor; a position offered him so he could pay his tuition.”

“The repo man took Walid’s truck and after that he went back to California. He met a Palestinian girl there and they got married and had a son. But, he beat his wife and that marriage broke up.”

It is also worth noting that Kamal Saleem–one of the “three ex-terrorists”–spoke at Calvin College in Grand Rapids last fall. Since that time, he has been examined by Doug Howard, a history professor at Calvin College. Howard said that he suspects that Saleem–an associate of Shoebat–is a fraud and advised the college against hosting him.

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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org