April 6, 2006, - 9:51 am
By Debbie Schlussel
The group-think chorus of ignorant Jill Carroll cheerleaders and blog/internet bashers grows ever more shrill . . . and hypocritical.
Contrast them with several parties, including Mayer Abrahams, who knew the REAL Jill Carroll. Their encounters with her left lasting impressions of her rabid hatred for America, Israel, and the Bible (she called it “that shit book,” says Abrahams). More about this, below.
The most blatant example of the ignorance and hypocrisy–regarding Carroll–is Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, who has now sainted and lionized the released hostage/”journalist.” His latest column, scolding columnists and commentators who jumped the gun by taking her captivity video seriously (I was not among them), reads like a fat chick lecturing others about the virtues of diet, exercise, and watching one’s weight.
While Jacoby denounced blogs and websites for “rushing to judgment,” the fact is Jacoby is the king of the sloppy rushers. In 2000, The Boston Globe suspended Jacoby for six months for plagiarizing Internet material on the signers of the Declaration of Independence and passing it off as his own work. He did so in his OWN rush to get a column out.
But he didn’t learn his lesson. Next came other big errors, including Jacoby’s absurd 2001 column praising and legitimizing Muslim extremist Muqtedar Khan, in Jacoby’s rush after 9/11 to find a “moderate” Muslim. Jacoby was in too much of a hurry (or simply too lazy) to check out Khan, who is closely tied to Al-Qaeda’s Al-Muhajiroun terrorist group, supports homicide bombings (Jacoby said he opposed them) except when they are bad PR for Muslims, and attacked the Dalai Lama.
And don’t forget Jacoby’s column attacking America for it’s use of provocative female interrogators with Islamic terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, a column which is cited with approval by extremist Muslims sites that hate America.
Now, Jacoby writes this about Carroll: “She prefers to think before she vents.” How does he know? He doesn’t even know her. But he rushed to that judgment about Saint Jill, too.
Mayer Abrahams actually did know Jill Carroll. He originally posted this in the comments section of this site.
I met Carroll in Cairo two summers ago in an Arabic language training school (Kalimaat).
I admit I was struck by her anti-American and anti-Israel sentiments. From the comments she made she seemed to detest America more than Arabs did. She was pleased that I mistakenly identified her as Canadian and expressed a wish to deny being American. I was surprised knowing how proud Americans normally are of their identity. She refused to use the name Israel but called it ‘that state’ with some venom, which made me feel uncomfortable as she knew I was Jewish.
What’s really funny, considering that she works for the CS Monitor, were the comments she made about the Bible “that shit book” . . . .
I asked Mayer to e-mail me with more detail to prove he did attend Arabic school with Jill Carroll. Based on details he gave me–many of which I’ve not posted for security reasons (for Mayer’s safety)–he and his report are very legit. Here’s what he had to say about the newly-beatified free-lance writer:
Since my ancestors are originally from Iraq, I have made an effort to study Arabic intensively and spend as much time as I can in the Arab world.
I spent about five weeks in the summer of 2004 (August) in Cairo. I was staying in downtown Cairo in the Red Sun Hotel (Talaat Harb Street) and went daily for a morning course in Modern Standard Arabic to an Arabic language school called Kalimaat in nearby Mohandiseen (the college was just of Midan Mustafa Mahmoud), which was run by some chaps who used to run courses for the British Council in Cairo.
The college was attended by students mostly from Europe and America. Most of them were of European descent though one or two had ancestors or family from the region. In my class there were two American girls.
One American was a tall friendly blond girl, a Japanese teacher by profession called Jamiliah from New York (notwithstanding her name she was Caucasian and Christian). I got the impression that she was a missionary or a Christian activist as she was active in the Copt community. The other was our friend Jill.
Jill had arrived, I gathered, fairly recently from Jordan having been in Baghdad just before the war started. She was a friendly, personable person. Her Arabic was not that good, though she was trying very hard to improve it. We generally sat next to each other and were, for some of the time, study partners.
She was very anti-American. I was actually shocked by her attitude, having never come across an American with such opinions. She was against the war and did not see America as being a force for good in the world. I recall her upsetting a fellow American student by telling him that she felt Americans were hated by Arabs. He did not feel that was the case. She expressed satisfaction that I mistook her for Canadian saying she would prefer not being identified as American.
She was more than anti-war. She felt that America was culturally imperialist. She viewed the international success of American culture as being a way for America to impose its values on the world. She expressed the sort of opinions which you would hear from [Noam] Chomsky. It would be fair to say that she would be classified as somebody from the far left. I can not recall all the details of what she said, but I remember her saying that at the end of the day America was just another empire which would come hopefully to an end.
With regard to Israel, she despised the country with some venom, referring to the country as “that state.” She was practically foaming at the mouth. She knew I was Jewish, and I felt quite shocked and vulnerable at the way she expressed herself about the country. It did cross my mind that she may have been anti-Semitic, though I prefer not to label people.
She was at her wits end with regard to Christian support in America for Israel and referred to the Bible as “that shit book” in regard to it being used as a reason for Israelis holding on to the land.
As you can see, she is a girl of strong opinions and I am sure others will come forth to verify this.
When she was kidnapped, I sent emails to the CS Monitor informing them of what I knew of her opinions. I felt that the information might aid them in presenting her as anti-war and hence save her life. Her opinions were so strongly expressed that I was in no doubt that the terrorists would free her. I can tell you honestly that the opinions she expressed in the video would strike me as being hers alone and I am not surprised that she was freed.
I also received this e-mail from someone who says he attended the University of Massachusetts with Jill Carroll:
I actually know Jill quite well from UMass, where she was a reporter for the school newspaper. . . . She is an extreme liberal [probably more communist/socialist]; she has never been a fan of America [which she used to spell Amerikkka in her articles], she hates the military, and she despises “republikkkans” as she likes to write. I have no doubt that she went to Iraq with a political agenda and wouldn’t be surprised to hear some outrageous things come out of her mouth in the upcoming days. She is an activist way beyond Cindy Sheehan. . . .
Finally, as I’ve noted before, The Jordan Times also knows Jill Carroll well. And here’s what the paper, her former hand-picked, anti-American, anti-Semitic employer, something I’ve had to post now for the FOURTH time for the willfully ignorant:
The kidnappers who abducted her could not have chosen a more wrong target. True, Jill is a US citizen. But she is also more critical of US policies towards the Middle East than many Arabs. . . . Jill has been from day one opposed to the war, to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
More than just being sympathetic with average Iraqis under war and occupation, Jill is a true believer in Arab causes.
From Arabic food to the Arabic language, Jill has always wanted to know and experience as much as possible about Arab identity, and she is keen on absorbing it, learning, understanding and respecting it.
She doesn’t just “like” Arab culture, she loves it. . . . It is simply unconscionable for any Arab to want to harm a person like her.
Remember, Oprah defended fabricator James Frey on Larry King. But she suddenly did a 180 when she saw the negative reaction against her for doing so. That’s probably what happened with Jill Carroll. She won’t call those who kidnapped her, “terrorists,” and won’t say what her real views are.
So whom do we believe about Jill Carroll–plagiarist and Islamist supporter Jeff Jacoby, or people, like Mayer Abrahams, who actually know her? It’s not even a question that needs to be asked.
Unless, like Jacoby, you hate that the blogs and Internet are making you rapidly less relevant and influential.
Tags: activist, al-Qaeda, America, Amerikkka, anti-American, Arabic food, Baghdad, blog/internet bashers, Boston Globe, British Council, Cairo, Cindy Sheehan, columnist, Europe, Guantanamo Bay, Internet material, Iraq, Israel, James Frey, Jeff Jacoby, Jill Carroll, Jill Carroll's Fan Club, Jordan, journalist, King, Massachusetts, Mayer Abrahams, Middle East, Mustafa Mahmoud, New York, newly-beatified free-lance writer, President, Red Sun Hotel, reporter, Talaat Harb Street, teacher, the Boston Globe, The Jordan Times, the King, United States, University of Massachusetts