Little Green Footballs

Saturday, January 21, 2006

We get mail

Reader A.M. writes:

You do a good job on your blog and I want to say how much I appreciate it.

Just wondering, when did Pajamas Media get established and when did they have funds available to push their propaganda in the blogosphere?

The reason I ask, is that there is this blogger, the "Religious Policeman" ( http://muttawa.blogspot.com/ ), whom claims he is a Saudi who is displeased with the state of affairs in his country and wishes to bring about reform and a dismantling of the Wahhabi religious institutions there through his writings and criticisms of the Saudi poltical and religious establishment.

Well, he is certainly a very talented and witty blogger who speaks impeccable English and seems to know the country, its culture and its people quite well.

Trouble is, there had been some questions and issues about him and his style that made me a bit uncomfortable.

I noticed that he uses the Saudi English press and MEMRI (the Israeli run mid-east media monitoring outfit) almost exclusively as his source material. If he is a Saudi, or even an Arab for that matter, why not use the Arabic press for his source material, its so much richer and contains much more of the type of stuff that would suit the purposes of his blog than the Saudi English media. I know this because I myself am a Saudi and read my press in both languages.

Then there was this matter of the Arab-Israeli conflict where he seemed to put all the blame on the Arabs and Muslims obsession with the "Jooos" as being the main impediment to a resolution of the conflict.

This person was blogging from two or three years back but for some reason stopped in mid 2004 then resumed blogging around mid 2005, a year later.

I came across some an interesting discussion that LGF readers were having about this guy in 2004 ( http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=10530 ) with many praising him (including Charles). But there was a point where the Religious Policeman (who goes by the name Alhamedi) motives and authenticity were questioned when he was asked about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and where he replied "a plague on both of their houses" for causing civilian deaths on both sides. He was taken to task for suggesting a "moral equivalence" between the Israeli and Palestinian violence.

Anyway, he was caught using another handle (Sol Rosenblum) as "virtual support" for his argument and was banned by Charles from posting in the blog for a while. Well he came back (thru another ISP I presume) and explained his position which practically backtracked from his earlier statements and therefore won back admiration from Charles and his followers.

BUT, at another point, he was called to prove that he really was a Saudi or an Arab and was asked about how to order coffee at a Lebanese restaurant. Well it was his response that proved to me beyond any doubt that he was not only NOT Saudi, but also a non-Arabic speaker. Read it in the link above where a real Arabic speaker corrects him but in which he responds with a totally lame and false explanation probably more designed to convince non-Arabic speakers that he was still legit. At this point, ANY Arab speaker knows he is a fraud.

I think that MAYBE (since he seems to have won the admiration of Charles), that Pajama Media may have asked him to resume blogging... and which he did a few months ago and that he may be getting paid for it.

Thats just a guess really, but as I said, this person is a FRAUD. No question on this as far as I and other Arab speakers are concerned. But is he getting paid to continue with his fraudulent blog or not? Or is he serving others like MEMRI to spread word on the "evils of Islamo-fascism" to an English reading audience? Well, its something that bugs me.

Us too.

Discuss.

6 comments:

Abu Sinan said...

Thanks for bringing this up. I am an American male married to a Saudi citizen and this "Religious Policeman" concerns me greatly.

He is clearly no Saudi, he has made many gaffes, such as his calling a poster named "Farah" a man. No Saudi would work on the assumption that a person named "Farah" is a male. It is almost completely a female's name, and IS 100% a female's name in Saudi. He erased his comments, admitted later that he erased it, and came up with some lame excuse.

There are several good posts out there talking about this issue. Some of the best of which comes from this "Farah" herself, a well known female blogger out of Riyadh who pushes for reform. The Religious Policeman has, on a couple occasions, taken his translated Arabic materials without asking her. It is clear that he is unable to speak, read or write Arabic. Read this post by Ms. Farah:

http://farahssowaleef.blogspot.com/2006/01/just-coz-i-know-i-can-and-you.html

I have done several posts about The Religious Policeman and lay out a pretty solid case against him. All of the questions that have been asked by bloggers he has refused to answer. Of course his right wing Western readers love him because he tells them what they want to hear. If reform in Saudi is his goal, why doesnt he target Saudis? Is he going to reform Saudi by getting a following of far right Westerners? Hardly.

Look at these posts which blast him out of the water. My opinion is that he is a stooge of the Saudis themselves. This person is discrediting REAL Saudi reformers, and I think trying to get information on them through his e-mail. Two to three years down the road his site will shut and hundreds of Saudi reformers may be arrested because of it.

http://abusinan.blogspot.com/2006/01/mahmood-over-at-mahmoods-den-has-made.html

http://abusinan.blogspot.com/2005/11/it-seems-that-religious-policeman-is.html

http://abusinan.blogspot.com/2006/01/here-is-english-language-translation.html

http://abusinan.blogspot.com/2006/01/here-is-english-language-translation.html

http://abusinan.blogspot.com/2006/01/once-again-religious-policeman-has.html

http://abusinan.blogspot.com/2005/11/just-update-on-my-religious-policeman.html

http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/mt.php/2006/01/07/the_defrocking_of_the_religiou

http://stevenspub.blogspot.com/2006/01/islamic-distortions.html

http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2006/01/06/anon-bloggers-and-credibility/

amenaidy said...

Hello Abu Sinan,

I noticed he's been erasing my comments too but leaving the comments of others like "tolerance" which serves his purposes. Angry rants like "Muslim self-hater" or ad hominems only stray from the main issue that he is a fraud who isnt aware of even the simplest of Arabic terms. This is what he wants.

He erased my comments which dwelt on this very issue of his lack of Arabic knowledge and supplanted it with a cut and paste Arabic swear word that he seemed to have borrowed from someone who seems to be just as clueless as he because these words are NOT in the manner they would be used or pronounced (nor properly transliterated).

Arabic speakers will catch them right off and know that whoever wrote them is clueless.

Anyway, I've already copied some of the blog addresses that visit his comment section and will soon email them with the details why he is a fraud.

Again, and to those who may be aware of him and who should find this site and read this, its basically about very simple Arabic words that no Arab could possibly mistake. Its there in the above LGF link (on how to order coffee from a Lebanese restaurant). The mistake is atrocious in scale as to that of an English speaker stating that the word "coffee" is pronounced "commee" for example and writing it down as such. The second mistake is when he states how a Lebanese would pronounce it (which radically differs from the original Arabic word and sounds like an entirely different word altogether), yet he makes almost no variance to it from the original word.

Then he goes on to say "Thats it, no more tests, I'm not a performing monkey". Yes, I can see why he'd want to avoid all further opportunities to display his 'mastery of Arabic'.. lol.

A.M.

elemental said...

He's probably Saudi, he probably just grew up removed from the culture.

Either that or he's just another government plant.

Either scenario seems equally plausible in these times.

Abu Sinan said...

He claims to have grown up in Saudi, but took his higher education abroad. If you lived in Saudi until ages 16-18 you would be fluent in Arabic and be able to read, write and speak in it. The Religious Policeman cannot, not to mention he makes mistakes on common usage of Arabic names. Not something someone would do who grew up in Saudi.

My wife, a Saudi, has lived in Saudi for only about two years and wouldnt make the mistakes this person has.

Winston Smith said...

Reader P.O. writes:

"As a university lecturer, I have to spend considerable effort in looking out for signs of plagiarism and copying in student work. Over the years, I have become quite expert at it.

I was therefore struck by the original posting from A.M., who claims to be a Saudi, concerning someone else who he believes is misrepresenting himself as a Saudi; and the reply from Abu Sinan, who claims to be an American married to a Saudi. What struck me was the very close stylistic resemblance between the two pieces. In particular, note the use of CAPITALISATION to emphasise certain words, which is relatively unusual, even on the internet. It does give the appearance of a single person, pretending to be two people, replying in support of his own original item.

I enjoy reading your blog because I deplore the intolerable neo-conservative nonsense pumped out by the blog that you expose. However, in the interests of journalistic integrity, you may want to satisfy yourself that these two items come from different addresses.
"

(This came in yesterday; so it 'belongs' just above elemental's comment.)

Abu Sinan said...

Please do let us know where the two comments come from. I am sick of people trying to scrub other people's views because their "style" might be the same.

Look, there are hundreds of millions of people who speak English in this world, there are bound to be a lot of people who look the same when they write.

As to capitalisation in posting, it is hardly rare. On the net capitalisation is used instead of yelling, in other cases, to emphasis a particular word or phrase. Hundreds of millions of posters out there and you use this "proof"? I hope you arent a logic teacher.

Why not address the issues brought up? It is interesting that you use the very same arguments provided by the neo-con supporters of the Religious Policeman. Does that make you one of the neo con supporters?

Like the Religious Policeman's supporters say, dont worry about who he is or isnt, take a look at what he says. I ask the same. My identity doesnt really mean anything, although I have been more than honest in this respect and had it used against me.

Care to address any of the points brought up?