My Counter-Islamist Grid Work So Far: 19 Articles, Photo Essays, and Reports

Best wishes to everyone for your summer! Here is a collection of events I’ve covered and the articles I’ve written in my work as the Southern California associate of the Counter-Islamist Grid, an initiative to monitor and counter Islamist influence at the local level.

*August 12 Update: Now expanded with some new pieces and a few I’d forgotten to include previously*

*September 25 Update: Now updated with 2 more CIG articles and 2 other recent, related pieces, one for Campus Watch and another for Islamist Watch, my first article as a fellow for the project.

      1. December 20, 2018, A CIG Report: Islamist Hot Spots in Southern California: Part One – Santa Barbara and Ventura

      2. January 17, 2019, An Article at PJ Media: The Truth About the Religious Activists Getting Arrested at the Border

      3. March 22, 2019, An Article at The Washington ExaminerShe’s not naive: Ilhan Omar is on the road, raising money for extreme Islamist groups

      4. April 8, 2019, A CIG Report: Over 700 Turn Out to Protest Rep. Omar’s Fundraising for CAIR-Los Angeles

      5. April 8, 2019, A CIG Photo Essay: 27 Photos from CAIR Los Angeles/Ilhan Omar protest: Varieties of the Counter-Islamist Experience

      6. April 10, 2019, An Article at The California Courier, a weekly newspaper covering Armenian news since 1958Turkish Leadership in International Islamist Movement Means Armenian Genocide Denialist Propaganda for American Muslims

      7. April 22, 2019, An Article at American Thinker: How to Counter 7 Lies in Turkey’s Denial of the Armenian Genocide

      8. April 26, 2019, A CIG Photo Essay: ‘1915 Never Again!’ Armenian-Americans and Supporters March at Turkish Consulate

      9. May 11, 2019, An Article at PJ Media: Facebook and Disney Sponsor Islamist Group MPAC’s Media Awards Honoring Dead Anti-Semitic Activist Jamal Khashoggi

      10. May 28, 2019, An Article at The California CourierTurkey Indoctrinates American Muslim Children to Celebrate Islamist Leader Erdogan

      11. June 3, 2019, An Article at The Daily Wire: Non-Muslim Lawyer Launches Major Lawsuit Against CAIR

      12. June 18, 2019, An Article at PJ Media: Beverly Hills Warned of Dangerous Impact of Qatar’s Pro-Islamist Influence

      13. June 19, 2019, An Article at The Daily Wire: Los Angeles Islamists Take to The Streets In Support of Terror-linked Clerics

      14. June 24, 2019, A CIG Photo Essay: MAS Greater Los Angeles Protests in Support of Terror Clerics

      15. July 11, 2019, An Article at The Daily Wire: CAIR LA’s Hussam Ayloush Praises Journalist-Jailing Turkey, Criticizes U.S., during July 4th Holiday

      16. July 12, 2019, A CIG Photo Essay: FAIL: 5 Groups Co-Sponsor MAS’s Second Saudi Consulate Protest But Few Participate

      17. July 26, 2019, An Article at The California CourierInfluential Los Angeles CAIR Leader Trashes America and Whitewashes Turkey’s Assaults on Freedom and Human Rights

      18. August 19, 2019, An Article at PJ Media: Islamists blame Trump & Netanyahu for “Ethnonationalism”

      19. September 16, 2019, An Article at The Daily Wire: MPAC Elevates Muslim Comedian Who Promotes Cousin Marriage

    Continue reading “My Counter-Islamist Grid Work So Far: 19 Articles, Photo Essays, and Reports”

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9 Authors With Books That Can Transform Your Life

The Andrew Klavan Symposium

Section I – Opening Remarks

Click here for the series introduction and Part 1: “Finding God in the Blood and Guts of Birth and the Big Bang” by Fred Tribuzzo

Part 2: “A Search For An Authentic Life” by Alec Ott

Part 3: “Life-Changing Literature” by Chris Queen

Part 4: “To Know The Truth About The World” by Jon Bishop

Part 5: “The Long Road To Becoming An Essential Author” by David M. Swindle

Section II – Dialogue

Part 6: “If You Love Western Civilization, You Will Love God” by Fred Tribuzzo

Part 7: “Why God Does Not Want You To Worry About Anything…” by Alec Ott

Part 8: “The Bible As Artist & Author’s Muse” by Jon Bishop

Part 9:

(cross-posted at LibertyIslandMag.com and SmashCut Culture)

Dear Jon, Alec, Fred, and Chris,

Throughout this dialogue you have each referenced other authors who have influenced you and who have reminded you in some way of Andrew Klavan’s work. Alec brought up C.S. Lewis, Fred invoked Thomas Sowell, Jon brought Augustine and monk-poet Thomas Merton into the dialogue, and Chris quoted the prophet Isaiah.

For many years I’ve been in the habit of list-making regarding books, authors, films and all sorts of subjects. And I don’t intend on breaking that habit anytime soon, in fact I’m doing the opposite: encouraging you and other writers to assemble lists too. In particular: who are the authors and books who most inspire you today? Which writers and titles are akin to weapons in your armory? Whose ideas and storytelling techniques do you adapt into your own?

After we conclude this dialogue about Klavan’s memoir with one final post each, I challenge each of you — and all readers are invited too — to submit your lists of key authors and books. (Submissions@LibertyIslandmag.com please.) I restarted this project last year with my “Essential Authors” series at my “Travel, Art, and Book” blog and now I’m expanding the dialogue at Liberty Island. Anyone is welcome to join in the discussions of influential authors and their most valuable books. Who are the essential authors for you and which of their books cannot be missed?

As a place to begin the debate, I present the above image. When we moved into our new home in summer 2015 it didn’t take me long to figure out what items to feature in a display case built into the wall: my collection of autographed novels and non-fiction books. There’s only room for 9 titles to be visibly displayed across the three shelves, but others sit behind them, for a total of 23 books in the case (not all of the titles in my autographed collection, but the cream of the crop…) Here are the authors included in the above photo, with links to highest priority texts, and a few comments about why they are so valuable and inspiring to me.

1. James Wasserman

Recommended Reading To Begin:

It’s now been about 15 years since I’ve been an open mystic, occultist, and quiet practitioner of magickal rituals. During this time I’ve read plenty of books on these subjects and in my humble opinion the very best author alive today writing on them is Wasserman. Nobody is better at presenting the historical development of the mystical traditions with more solid sourcing and better arguments than him. Wasserman is also a key influence in what I’ve described as “Biblical Occultism.”

2. Andrew Klavan

Recommended Reading To Begin:

I initially kicked off this series of highlighting authors with this post here, explaining why Klavan had become such an important creative influence. I recommend his books to all the novelists I work with and am studying his body of work. I also credit Klavan with inspiring my recent passion for Raymond Chandler’s novels.

3. Douglas Rushkoff

Continue reading “9 Authors With Books That Can Transform Your Life”

The Last Two Legs of My Africa Trip

(Click here for Part One, and here for Part Two.)

Well, I’ve been home for over a week now and between trying to get caught up on work and getting my sleep back in order (apparently jet lag can last awhile) I have not yet done the final post describing the last two countries of my part of the trip — Morocco and Nigeria. Let’s correct that now.

Day 19: Thursday, July 20 — We arrive in Morocco early in the morning (around 8) but cannot check into our hotel until the afternoon (2ish). Apart from that anticipated bump in the road the hotel was nice, among the highlights of our short stay in Casablanca.

Day 20: Friday, July 21 — We take a tour of the Hassan II Mosque in the morning and then explore the markets in the afternoon.

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#Casablanca #morocco

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Continue reading “The Last Two Legs of My Africa Trip”

The Adventures Of Week 2.5 In Our Africa Travels

OK everyone, as I type this it’s Wednesday, July 19, 9:40 PM, and we’re getting picked up from our hotel here in Dakar in about 45 minutes for a drive to the airport (not far away.) Our flight to Casablanca will then take off several hours later and we should arrive around 6 or 7 and make it to our hotel by 8 AM where we’ll cross our fingers that a room will be available and we can get in early before our afternoon check-in.

So as the Senegal portion of our trip comes to a close, now seems a good time to summarize our recent adventures.

Day 7: Saturday, July 8 — a Travel Day from Dakar to Fathala Wildlife Reserve

We left Dakar around 7 or 8 in the morning and the drive to Fathala was supposed to take five hours. It took a little bit longer as the route we took included a trip on a ferry across a lake. But we were very happy with our driver, Pape, who we’d hired to drive us there and pick us up on Tuesday morning.

When we arrived we encountered two ostriches filled with personality:

The accommodations at Fathala are wonderful. The rooms are tents that are very modernized — wooden floors, plumbing, electricity, a small refrigerator, shower, bathtub, and toilet. We also had a porch with two West African Lazy chairs. (We so enjoyed these chairs that later in our trip we decided to acquire some.)

April felt sick for much of the trip, when we arrived she prayed that it would rain and lo and behold it did start coming down and thundering. We sat out on our porch and just took it in all around us while watching the plains before us as animals grazed. Such a peaceful way to end a day of travels.

Days 8 and 9: Sunday July 9 and Monday July 10 — Two full days at Fathala Wildlife Reserve

What Fathala is perhaps best known for is its “lion walking” attraction. That was first on our priority list on Sunday. The two lions have been trained since birth to respect the African walking stick, so each guest is issued one before entering the lion enclosure and walking with them on a set route that includes plenty of spots for picture posing:

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April & I had a blast on the lion walk!

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Here’s some video that April shot of the restaurant/lounge/reception/pool area:

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I'm at @fathalareserve

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For our second day’s adventure we took a tour of the villages nearby Fathala. The highlight was a chance to see and learn about this giant tree, believed to be over a thousand years old:

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#senegal #silkcottontree 1000 years old

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Continue reading “The Adventures Of Week 2.5 In Our Africa Travels”