Sunday, 26-Oct-2003 9:35 AM
Australia’s Dateline television programme that claimed Anwar Ibrahim
has terrorist links depends heavily upon the accusations of a woman
named Rita Katz (transcripts
of the SBS feature).
who is Rita
an Iraqi Jew who now lives in the United States. She is a self-proclaimed
"terrorist hunter" who operates a one-woman research centre
in Washington called "The
Search for International Terrorist Entities Institute,"
or SITE. This is obviously a word play on the SETI
Institute -- the search for extra terrestrial intelligence.
Look at the logo on Katz's website, and you will want to say "Beam
me up, Scotty."
also the author of a book called "Terrorist
Hunter: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman Who Went Undercover to
Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America",
which lists her authorship as "anonymous". It later became
known that Katz was "Anonymous".
In the book
she tells her personal story: how, as a child, she and her Jewish
family escaped imprisonment in Iraq after the regime executed her
father as a spy for Israel.
well imagine how, as a young woman, as a Jew, as the daughter of
an Israeli spy who was killed by the Iraqi government, as someone
who had to flee from her own country -- one can well imagine how
her hatred for Muslims grew.
If you use
the Yahoo or Google search engines to learn more about her and her
book, you will see a certain pattern.
appears most often as an "expert" on Fox News, the right-wing
American cable news network. There are no citations for any appearance
by Katz on any mainstream or reputable news network -- except the
infamous “60 Minutes" interview, in which she appeared anonymously,
in shadows. Fox's animosity towards Muslims and Arabs, and its flag-waving
American patriotism is well-known. It even set the video of the
"shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad to music, as if its
viewers were watching the 4th of July fireworks display.
she is quoted and interviewed primarily by ultra right-wing websites
such as the National Review Online and NewsMax, or by Jewish publications.
When she speaks, it is usually before conservative and Jewish groups.
The animosity that these groups have for Muslims and Arabs is well-known.
The willingness of so many Jew and Christian right-wingers to believe
the worst about Muslims is obvious. Consider, for example, the comments
of Jerry Falwell and General William, "My God is bigger than
your God" Boykin. Consider the right-wing darling of the Fox
News Network, Ann Coulter, who said the United States should invade
all Muslim countries and convert them to Christianity. People like
this love Rita Katz.
two most prominent (and most controversial) interviews were both
conducted by Jewish journalists -- Bob Simon for CBS and Ginny Stein
for SBS. We have no intention to engage in Mahathir-style Jew-bashing.
The point -- as we said above -- is that many Jews are inclined
to believe the worst about Muslims and think that there is a terrorist
under every bed.
Katz is being sued
for libel by the Herndon, Virginia groups that she accused of
being terrorist fronts, and also by a company
she accused of laundering money for terrorists, the Mar-Jac
Poultry Company of Gainesville, Georgia.
is the real question for Malaysians to ponder.
ago, Dr Mahathir said that the West is biased because it thinks
all Muslims are terrorists. He talked about Jewish influence in
the media and the anti-Muslim comments of right wing American leaders
like Reverend Jerry Falwell. Why then are friends of Abdullah Badawi
doing the very thing that Dr Mahathir and all Malaysians condemn?
Why are they falling into the trap of labelling all Muslims as terrorists,
and believing the worst accusations that are made by right-wing
Americans and Jewish groups in the United States?
are Badawi's friends on?
Anwar Campaign refutes terror links alleged in SBS report - Malaysiakini
distorts SBS report on Anwar Ibrahim – FAC News Oct 25
Lah fires the first shot – FAC News Oct 24