We can’t be bothered to cover Priscilla Shirer. Shirer is a Biblical motivational speaker who has authored mountains of tripe, but looking through it for a single, concrete claim in the nebulous, wooey clouds of fluffy gibberish is simply too daunting a task. She’s disqualified on technical grounds. And Andrew Shirvell needs a hug more than an entry in our Encyclopedia.
At least they pale in comparison with the amazing Walid Shoebat. Shoebat is a central actor in what seems to be a burgeoning industry of fake and questionable “former terrorists” who are selling their alleged expertise to the FBI, local police departments and – first and foremostly – lunatic wingnut talkshow hosts and columnists (Kamal Saleem is another). Shoebat is a self-proclaimed “Former Muslim Brotherhood Member Now Peace Activist,” ex-terrorist and terrorism expert, with an emphasis on “self-proclaimed” – those investigating his background has found anything resembling evidence for any terrorist or even particularly radical Muslim background, and quite a bit of evidence to the contrary (there are, for instance, no record of the terrorist attack in which he claims to have participated, and his story contains some impressively blatant contradictions) – and even if correct his background would hardly make him an expert on terrorism, something he has had ample opportunity to demonstrate. Nevertheless Shoebat, as a fundamentalist Christian, currently makes his living as an expensive lecturer and co-author of silly, paranoia-pandering books like The Case FOR Islamophobia: Jihad by the Word; America's Final Warning, and has become a pretty familiar face on fake news outlets such as Fox News. (Investigations into his finances and accountability have also led to some curious results, but that’s a different story).
And in his lectures and media appearance he gives you precisely the kinds of idiocy you’d expect someone willing to pay 5000 bucks to listen to a guy like this would want to hear. Apparently based on his background, Shoebat is in a good position to point out that Obama is a Muslim – “no one is called Hussein unless he is Muslim. So it is very clear that Barack Hussein Obama is definitely a Muslim,” says Shoebat, evidently unaware of how names work. And Obama’s pro-Islaimist worldview is motivated by Satan. “This is a demonic influence and the more America becomes liberal, the more that kind of influence prevails in America,” according to Shoebat (also here), who warns that liberals will dispose of the First Amendment in order to ban criticism of Islam and “the homosexual agenda” because … right. He managed to top most of the usual suspects on the Huma Abedin “case” – not only is Abedin a terrorist agent, “[i]t is extremely rare to have Muslim women marry non-Muslims, much less to have conservative Muslims look the other way, unless Huma has a ‘higher calling’ and a unique exception was made for her, since she is an ear into top U.S. sensitive information, or Anthony Weiner has converted to Islam or even both.” Yes, that’s how the mind of Walid Shoebat works.
Though most of his ranting concerns the evils of Islam, Shoebat does not shy away from criticizing other religions (or fail to see that they are different from Islam). So Shoebat has, for instance, accused Glenn Beck and David Barton (!) of attempting to bring about “Islamo-Mormon deistic universalism” because Islam and Mormonism are, well, the same (never mind that Barton’s vision of government would make Oliver Cromwell’s look like a pagan orgy) – according to Shoebat, Beck is a practitioner of “Chrislam”. And don’t get him started on Buddhism: “The reality is that Buddhism is just as violent, just as tyrannical, just as dangerous, and just as demonic, as Islam. Anyone who thinks otherwise is dictated by the now and the present, and not by prudence. The reason why Buddhists have, for a long time now, given an aura of peace, is because Buddhism is not in a position of power from which to commence violence and war. Buddhism has the concept of the use of false peace to deceive one's enemy, just as in Islam there is the use of false peace, or hudna (temporary truce), in order to trick the opponent to buy time and regain strength.”
In his role as Bible scholar (which also produced this, which we are not even going to try to make sense of; this is rather confusing as well), Shoebat has also determined that Allah is the antichrist of the book of Revelation, claiming that “the evidence is overwhelming”. It tells you a bit about Shoebat’s standards of evidence. At least it means – to Shoebat – that the war on terror (to him the just war against Islam) really is “God’s war on terror”. And yes, the terrorists are apparently all Muslims; for instance, when Shoebat noticed that one of the victims of the Boston marathon bombings was a Saudi guy he immediately concluded that he must be among the conspirators (after said victim had been cleared immediately by the FBI, of course) and berated Michelle Obama for visiting him during her visits to the bomb victims. But then, Muslim attempts to take over the US are, apparently, everywhere and include for instance Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erodogan; proof? In 2013 a Turkish-American Cultural Center was being built in Maryland. What more do you need (especially given Shoebat’s aforementioned standards of evidence)?
His son Theodore Shoebat seems to be following in his father’s footsteps, and we’ll return to him in a future entry.
Diagnosis: Well, at least he has the mindset of a raging Taliban fundie, we’ll grant that much. He seems to have a softer spine, however.