Smearcasting documents the public writings and appearances of Islamophobic activists and pundits who intentionally and regularly spread fear, bigotry and misinformation in the media. Offering a fresh look at Islamophobia and its perpetrators in today’s media, it also provides four snapshots, or case studies, describing how Islamophobes manipulate media in order to paint Muslims with a broad, hateful brush. PLEASE NOTE: The printed report and the text on these web pages was written in 2008. An Update page is now included.

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Debbie Schlussel

Debbie Schlussel may tout herself to her fan club as the “greatest sexy, blonde and beautiful commentator,” but her Islamophobic rhetoric is as ugly as the rest.


Schlussel jumped to the erroneous conclusion (Debbie Does Politics, 4/16/07) that a “Paki” was responsible for the Virginia Tech shooting. (She remarked that “even if it does not turn out that the shooter is Muslim, this is a demonstration to Muslim jihadists all over that it is extremely easy to shoot and kill multiple American college students.”) When Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign team prevented two Muslim women from sitting behind him during a speech (see Islamophobia Election piece, page 25), Schlussel asserted (Debbie Does Politics, 6/19/08) that they were “Muslim Terror Front-Group Activists” (One of them faced this accusation because she held a position at the University of Michigan-Dearborn Muslim Students Association.)


Claiming a “unique expertise on radical Islam/Islamic terrorism” (DebbieSchlussel), Schlussel presents America as being in “the war of our lives with Islam,” and depicts the American Muslim community as a dangerous fifth column. She has asserted (FrontPage Magazine, 2/10/05) that “Fox’s 24... actually tells the truth about Islamic terrorists”:
They are here on our shores, pretending to be loyal Americans, and they are plotting to take over our country. With the help of plenty of complicit Muslim-Americans, working for the government and government contractors.


A resident of the Detroit area, which has large Muslim and Arab populations, she wrote immediately after the September 11 attacks (9/17/01): “Don’t blame federal agents for Tuesday’s lapse in national security. Blame my neighbors--the Arab-American and Muslim leaders who’ve actively blocked the fight against terrorism for years.”
Schlussel (DebbieSchlussel, 11/13/07) has raised national security concerns about Muslims being employed in certain fields, and having access to public resources that would allow them to teach their own children Arabic:

As long as we continue to hire Muslims to be translators and analysts, as long as we
continue to give money to Arabic and Muslim schools to teach their kids Arabic instead of non-Muslim, non-Arab Americans, as long as the FBI (and ICE) continues to turn down Sephardic Jews and Maronite Lebanese Christians who speak Arabic and who’ve applied for jobs in favor of extremist Muslims... the result we will get is... spies, spies and more spies.

 

She has also questioned (12/18/06) “Barack Hussein Obama’s” patriotism based on his father being born Muslim.
Schlussel’s columns have been published by the Wall Street Journal (6/24/05), the New York Post, and the Jerusalem Post. She has appeared on Fox News, CNN, ABC, Howard Stern and ESPN, and, in 2002-03, her own radio show on a CBS-owned Detroit station. Her blog Debbie Does Politics appears on the websites Townhall.com and PoliticalUSA.com, she has also been quoted by Rush Limbaugh and in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and USA Today.

 


The Dirty Dozen: Who's who among America's leading Islamophobes

Glenn Beck | Steve Emerson | Sean Hannity | David Horowitz | Michelle Malkin | Bill O’Reilly

Daniel Pipes | Pat Robertson | Michael Savage | Debbie Schlussel | Robert Spencer | Mark Steyn