Monday, July 25, 2011

‘Anti-Islam bloggers in US on Najib/BN payroll’

July 25, 2011

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who sees himself as the 'great protector of Islam' in Malaysia must explain link to anti-Islam promoters.


By Clare Rewcastle Brown

A team of American bloggers allegedly hired by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to improve their respective images, are in fact pro-Israel and known to publicly slander Islam.

One member of the team, Caleb Howe, indulged in a sustained, childish rant on his public Twitter page on April 23 last year, in which he said: “I drew a picture of Mohammed today. I showed him marrying a pre-tween. Might as well be historically correct right?”

Eighteen minutes later on the same twitter message, he posted: “Did I say marrying a pre-tween? Sorry.. that was my typo.I meant raping.” Caleb’s outburst against Islam is not an isolated incident (see image below).

He and his team have indulged in a number of such anti-Islamic rants on Twitter that are clearly designed to give extreme offence to Muslims.

Few would dream of engaging in such an unpleasant and offensive attack.

It thus comes as a surprise that Najib and Taib would hire Howe and his colleagues who sustain other blogs such as Red State, New Ledger, Sarawak Report(s), Malaysia Matters as their professional promoters.

It seems somewhat a misjudgement that Najib, who sees himself as the great protector of his own Muslim religion, continues to be associated with this team of Americans.

Pro-Israeli views

Howe [photo below] is closely linked to Josh Trevino, the right-wing blogger behind the American ‘Red State’ and ‘New Ledger’ blogs and also a PR company called Rogue Strategic Services.

Rogue Services have been in employ with Barisan Nasional since the days of former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Now their portfolio includes Najib and Taib. They have been allegedly hired to create ‘positive publicity’ on their behalf.

This is achieved through a network of websites. These websites have been engaged by Najib and Taib to promote them by publishing favourable articles in their blogs in the US.

These reports are then carried in Malaysian blogs. Local media then quote these blogs, giving Malaysians the impression that Najib and Taib have positive international endorsement.

Howe, who is a regular contributor to Trevino’s flagship ‘Red State’ website, also curates a Twitter account called Malaysia Matters which is linked to the Malaysia Matters website, one of Trevino’s projects to promote BN leaders.

The Malaysia Matters website (which has just been re-launched) was started in 2008 by Trevino and a colleague Jerome Armstrong.

Armstrong, who is also a professional ‘blogger for hire’, has made no secret of the fact that the project was commissioned by the Malaysian government – he lists them as a client on the website of his company WebStrong.

Trevino himself has made no secret of his rabid pro-Israeli views – to the extent that he tweeted that fellow Americans who felt sorry for the Palestinians and took part in the mercy ship flotilla deserved to be shot dead.

Clare Rewcastle Brown is the founder/editor of Sarawak Report

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