Wednesday, February 13, 2019

#2144: David Reaboi

David Reaboi is a wingnut, founder and senior vice president of the think tank Security Studies Group (SSG) and previously spokesperson for the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a conspiratory-minded rightwing group focusing for instance on the myth of creeping sharia. The CSP has tried to prop up that myth with a study called “Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases”, which is – considered as a study– as fraudulent as you get them. It was even pimped by the WND for months: that’s how ridiculous it was. The study ostensibly outlined numerous cases in which the Islamic system of law has been applied in the US. However, anyone bothering to actually look at the cases used would note that every single example in the report in fact shows the opposite of what the authors conclude that they show (“Shariah enters U.S. courts through the practice of comity to foreign law,” Reaboi explained, which “happens, for example, when a judge decides to allow the use of say, Pakistani or Saudi family law (Shariah) in a dispute between Pakistanis or Saudis”); instead, the cases involved the courts refusingto impose laws from Muslim countries (some details here). However, what matters to people like Reaboi is that the cases involved an Arab or a Muslim; thatis what it takes for it to be a case of the courts imposing Sharia law.

Otherwise, Reaboi seems to have been very concerned about what he perceived to be Obama’s sharia sympathies and “the infiltration of the conservative movement” by GOP figures who have suggested that Islamophobia is real. He was also a diligent pusher of various and increasingly insane Huma Abedin conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, SSG’s social media director, Nick Short, wrote about “the sheer amount of money being allocated by Congress to fund what is essentially an invasion of the third-world in the form of refugees and illegal aliens [which] is outright treasonous,” and SSG’s president Jim Hanson described the Orlando shooting as “in keeping with totalitarian Islamic code” and suggested that a homemade clock brought to a school by a 14-year-old American Muslim “was half a bomb.” (What else would a Muslim use a clock for?) 

The CSP, on the other hand, is of course the group founded by Frank Gaffney, who has claimed that Obama is a Muslim and that Gen. David Petraeus submitted to Islamic Sharia law.

Oh, and in 2017 Reaboi and his group were apparently – at least according to the group – advising the White House on the dispute between Qatar and other U.S. partner nations in the Persian Gulf. It really should worry you that not only they, but the White House, think that they are remotely competent to say anything meaningful about the topic.

Diagnosis: Though the topic concerns issues that are partially outside of what we usually cover, the case in question is such a striking case of paranoia-fuelled fraud (without recognizing it as such) that it would be negligent not to call it out. You probably shouldn’t trust a single word that comes out of David Reaboi’s mouth about anything.

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