Monday, September 13, 2004

Scratch & Sniff: Kamal Nawash & Free Muslims

South Park character 'Token'I came across recommendation on Get Religion today for Free Muslims as "source of information about the moderate Muslims who are outraged by events in Beslan and elsewhere."
I did a little digging and I would be leery of recommending Free Muslims.

The president and founder, Kamal Nawash, ran an unsuccessful senate campaign as a Republican candidate in Virginia last year against Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mary Margaret Whipple. He also ran unsuccessfully in 2001 for the Virginia house of Delegates against Virginia House Democratic Caucus Chair Brian Moran. In 2001 Nawash raised $57,057 and in 2003 he raised $180,339: Nawash 2001 donor list and 2003 donor list.

This *may* be on the up and up...but from inside Virginia politics, it looks an awful lot like a move to promote Nawash's political career and yet another a Republican attempt to put up thinly-veiled front group of token minority spokespeople to hijack a community's authentic voice:

1. Fronted by a Republican, Kamal Nawash.

2. According to the site, Nawash is a "regular guest on Fox News Channel," including Bill O'Reilly's show. As the documentary Outfoxed demonstrated, Ruper Murdoch's media channels, including Fox, are notorious for inviting GOP-invented "spokespeople" like Nawash. The group has also been highlighted by the Drudge Report.

3. The purpose of the website seems to be to encourage Muslims to spy on their neighbors, and loudly, publically, and simplistically pin the blame for any and all acts of terrorism singly and solely on Muslims.

4. According to Ismail Royer, boardmember Ali Al-Ahmed is part of a neocon campaign to smear the Saudi government and Saudi-based Islamic groups. (Er...I can't say I've really noticed the neocons jumping *out* of bed with the Saudis. Royer has his own checkered past, and I haven't been able to verify the allegations against Al Ahmed or the Saudi Institute, but I'm including FYI).

5. Domain Registration Scrub
Kurt at Canadian Content took a look at Free Muslim's domain registration on Friday, Sept 10. Here's what he found:
Registrant:
Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism

2560 Virginia Avenue, NW
Suite 171
Washington, District of Columbia 20037
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: FREEMUSLIMS.ORG
Created on: 21-Apr-04
Expires on: 21-Apr-08
Last Updated on: 02-May-04

Administrative Contact:
Huber, James huber@huberspace.net
704 Donaldson Ln., SW
Leesburg, Virginia 20175
United States
7037719368 Fax – 7037719368
Technical Contact:
Huber, James huber@huberspace.net
704 Donaldson Ln., SW
Leesburg, Virginia 20175
United States
7037719368 Fax – 7037719368

Domain servers in listed order:
NS.THEHOSTGROUP.COM
NS2.THEHOSTGROUP.COM
(The DNS information was originally posted on What Really Happenned, and presented as the "latest pathetic attempt to frame arabs for 9-11." WRH also points out that the groups offices are appropriately located at the Watergate Office Complex.)

Kurt commented "You’d think the Republicans would at least cover their tracks and find somebody with an Arab or Muslim name to register the FreeMuslim domain.">

Well, Kurt, it turns out that Free Muslims and Jim Huber are listening. Before I found your site, I ran a whois on Free Muslism at Sam Spade and lo and behold...by Monday, Sept 13, Kamal Nawash is now listed as the registrar (Huber's name has not, however, been scrubbed, but his home address in Leesburg, Virginia has been replaced with the DC office address, and his personal email with a webmaster address):
Registrant ID: GODA-06290488
Registrant Name: Kamal Nawash
Registrant Organization: Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism
Registrant Street1: 2560 Virginia Avenue NW
Registrant Street2: Suite 171
Registrant City: Washington
Registrant State/Province: District of Columbia
Registrant Postal Code: 20037
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: 1.2022623491
Registrant FAX: 1.2022623491
Registrant Email: president@freemuslims.org

Admin ID: GODA-26290488
Admin Name: James Huber
Admin Street1: 2560 Virginia Avenue NW
Admin Street2: Suite 171
Admin City: Washington
Admin State/Province: District of Columbia
Admin Postal Code: 20037
Admin Country: US
Admin Phone: 1.2022623491
Admin FAX: 1.2022623491
Admin Email: webmaster@freemuslims.org

Tech ID: GODA-16290488
Tech Name: James Huber
Tech Street1: 2560 Virginia Avenue NW
Tech Street2: Suite 171
Tech City: Washington
Tech State/Province: District of Columbia
Tech Postal Code: 20037
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: 1.2022623491
Tech FAX: 1.2022623491
Tech Email: webmaster@freemuslims.org
6.RNC Operatives

Jim Huber is the proprietor of HuberSpace, "a web development company specializing in law firms, conservative campaigns and organizations." In addition to Free Muslims, Huber has previously worked through Washington Webworks, LLC for Elizabeth Dole for President, George Allen for Senate, Demaris Miller for Congress, Jay Katzen for Lieutenant Governor (Virginia), and the Republican National Committee.

In 2003, Nawash's campaign coincidentally paid Jim Huber/Huberspace for internet services.

And, Nawash was an altenate delegate to the 2004 RNC.

Nawash is looking like the Right's new Islamic Michelle Malkin or Virginia Walden-Ford, and Free Muslims (sic) is looking a whole lot like right-wing astroturf.

Proceed with caution.




Cross-posted to BOP
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