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Neocon flak: Weiner may have converted to Islam

Can these neo-Con Islamophobes stoop any lower? Obviously they can.

Neocon flak: Weiner may have converted to Islam

by Justin Elliot (

We thought everything that could be said about Anthony Weiner’s lewd photo scandal had been said. But Eliana Benador, a former influential neoconservative public relations operative, has proved us wrong.

Writing for the “Communities” section of the Washingtom Times’ website, Benador argues that the Twitter scandal shows that … the Jewish Weiner might have converted to Islam!

Benador, who is currently the U.S.-based “goodwill ambassador” for a group of Jewish settlers in the West Bank, advances an argument that is fairly difficult to follow, but it seems to go like this: Because a New York imam was quoted in the press seeming to take Weiner’s side in the matter, and because Muslims (supposedly) practice deception as part of their faith, it’s possible that Weiner is secretly a Muslim convert who is still presenting himself to the world as a Jew.

She writes:

The Imam of New York has stated: “I would tell her [Huma] to be a little bit patient. In our book, if you think your wife, or husband, is doing something unacceptable, you start by counseling her.”

Counseling? For whom, Huma or Anthony? The Imam’s statement seems to state that Huma is in need.

Regardless, those are words of compromise offered by a leading Muslim Imam trying to make us forget that the Koran actually advocates stoning wives for adultery while turning a blind eye toward the sexual mis-deeds of the husband.

It is also important, when looking at this situation, to remember that observant Muslims practice Taqiyya , an element of sharia that states there is a legal right and duty to distort the truth to promote the cause of Islam. …

Given the defense articulated by the Imam, which would be offered only for a Muslim man, we must believe this opportunity to remove this Muslim woman from a union with an non-believer would be quickly taken. Therefore we must consider that Mr. Weiner *may* have converted to Islam, because if he did not, we have to consider the unlikely, that being that Ms. Abedin has abandoned her Muslim faith, even while she still practices.

(It’s worth noting here that “The Imam of New York” is not an actual title, and she is pretty clearly taking this imam’s quote out of context.)

Benador also wonders in the column if Huma has “been groomed to access leading political movers and shakers to advance the cause of Islam in America, including a politically positioned marriage to Congressman Anthony Weiner?”

Benador is no random blogger. She was the president of the now-defunct Benador Associates, a public relations firm that was active in the run-up to the Iraq war getting media exposure for such influential hawks as Michael Rubin, Richard Perle, Laurie Myrloie, and former CIA director Jim Woolsey. An article in the Guardian described pictures of her at a party with Joseph Lieberman. And one of her clients famously (and falsely) claimed in a 2006 newspaper column that Iran had instituted a Nazi-style dress code for Jews.

The bottom of the “Communities” section notes that “contributors are responsible for this content, which is not edited by The Washington Times.” But an editor did apparently delete one paragraph from Benador’s column, leaving this note: “(Correction: Paragraph removed for inaccuracies.  Apologies are issued and we regret the error.  The Communities).”

I’ve asked the Communities editor for comment on what that error was.

In any case, the fact that Weiner married a Muslim woman has long been the subject of rumblings in certain corners of the right-wing blogosphere.

(Hat tip: Benjy Sarlin)

Justin Elliott is a Salon reporter. Reach him by email at and follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin More: Justin Elliott

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  • RDS

    I 200% endorse what mustafarama said!

  • (Religions are for the happiness of humanity) Ladies and gentlemen, through reading many of your comments, I have noticed clear and strong insistence on attacking and mocking the other. If prophets and their messages and books were sent or revealed for the happiness of humanity, why do I see all this huge amount of hatred and disbelief of the other? I believe that the methodology, there is none, of the conversation on the pages of this site should be changed. There are lots of misunderstandings. Let’s start making our faiths clear and known, by illustrating the teachings that we have in common How about citing and exemplifying the virtues that are preached by each religion. Let’s start with love, peace, justice and quote what each religion says about each notion or concept. By so doing, we will at least know things that we don’t know about one another, and hatred and incitement will disappear gradually. God bless you!

  • Khushboo

    ^actually 33% but yeah, India is not a Muslim country.

  • Tata Nano

    Bravo Mohammed Sameel! Bravo! You hit it right on the head of the nail. I applaud you!

  • Ali

    @ Fox news

    India is not a Muslim country. Only 15% of the population is Muslim.

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