Harris was harassing the university about “any role Phares had” in the firing of the Erdogan cirtics, trying to force the conclusion that the author of Future Jihad and the War of Ideas is out assisting the Islamist leader of Turkey. But Harris ignorance beats his own determination to dig something up on one of the leading scholars on Islamism in the West. For, in the same smear piece, he admits that Phares has criticized the Islamist government in Turkey in 2010. One argument destroys the other. The scholar, author of fourteen books on the Middle East and geopolitics cannot exist on both sides of the charge: critic of Erdogan and carries his water. The Daily Beast blogger has shattered his own credibility
But more ominous facts are at play in this hack job. We are now discovering that the student Harris used for his article is in fact a supporter of Fethullah Gulen, a leader of an Islamist movement deployed in Turkey and whose leader lives in exile in the US, and who is locked in a confrontation with Erdogan’s AKP. Harris wanted to insert Phares into the middle of an Islamist-on-Islamist quarrel. It can’t happen
The deepest roots of The Daily Beast attack on Phares, however, go beyond Turkish politics. The true reason behind the hit piece must come down to the Iran deal. The Daily Beast and Shane Harris, as well as many bloggers at the Beast, are full supporters of the Iran deal and support the transfer of $150 billion to the Ayatollahs. Why they might be supporters of that huge cash transfer is yet to be investigated. But The Daily Beast attacked Phares in 2011 after Romney appointed him with a hack job piece produced by McKay Coppins —and again after Trump appointed him in 2016. Why? because the Iran lobby fears Phares’s advice to the United States government, particularly when it comes to the global Jihadi threats posed by the Iranian regime, now super-funded by the deal. It appears that all attacks in U.S. media against Phares are systemically related to the Iran deal.
McKay Coppins smear piece was demolished by Jed Ipsen in a Family Security Matters article in 2011 (2) and Shane Harris slander piece was dismantled by a Rebecca Bynum at the New English Review in 2016 (3). This campaign against Professor Walid Phares, which was waged initially by CAIR in 2011 had failed then when Presidential candidate Mitt Romney rejected the pressure by the Muslim Brotherhood and kept Phares as his top Middle East advisor all the way till election day. And this 2016 campaign against the professor waged mainly by the Iran regime lobby in the US, is also failing despite dozens of attacks, because Presidential candidate Donald Trump is keeping Phares as one of his main foreign policy advisors.
However we can see how deep the Iran deal influence has gone in this season’s series of attacks against Phares. For the first time since 2011, the Iran lobby has recruited journalists and writers within the so-called mainstream media including the New York Times and the Washington Post. The Ayatollahs reach in the US is much greater then ever.
Tom Harb is the co-chair of the American Middle East Coalition for Trump and a commentator on US-Middle East relations on Arab and international media. He appears on France 24, BBC, I 24, Murr TV, NTV and other media