The founder and CEO of Chobani has no regrets about moving part of his Greek yogurt company to south-central Idaho, a region embroiled in the national debate over refugee resettlement that spread to company boycotts by far-right bloggers and conspiracy theorists. [So there were boycotts—who knew?–ed]
“I hear the conversations here and there, but it’s a peaceful community that we all love,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant. “It’s the home of Chobani.”
Ulukaya spoke to The Associated Press before a Thursday announcement of a $20 million expansion of the company’s facility in the city of Twin Falls — the world’s largest yogurt plant — to serve as its global research and development center tackling how yogurt is made and consumed.
The company employs 2,000 workers, including 300 refugees.
However, Chobani’s time in Idaho also has taken a darker turn as anti-immigrant advocates have seized on the company’s open stance on refugees. Fringe websites have falsely claimed that Ulukaya wanted to “drown the United States in Muslims.” Other websites, like Breitbart News, falsely attempted to link Chobani’s hiring of refugees to an uptick in tuberculosis cases in Idaho.
To counteract the hateful rhetoric, Chobani sued right-wing radio host Alex Jones earlier this year, saying that Jones and his InfoWars website posted fabricated stories linking Ulukaya and the company to a sexual assault case involving refugee children in Twin Falls. Jones originally promised to never back down in his fight against the yogurt giant but eventually retracted his statements in a settlement. [We are aware that Chobani lawyers threatened other news outlets as well—ed.]
Ulukaya declined to comment on the Jones lawsuit but said the rise in anti-refugee sentiment has never delayed a project he wanted to pursue. And he says he is committed to being a welcoming company.
During Thursday’s expansion launch, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter praised Chobani’s impact on the community.
This is the scary thing when you know a good bit about a subject and you see some Leftist media reporter, with a big following (surely you have seen her on Fox), writing about something she knows little about.
In this case it is Betsy Woodruff on the Rohingya.
Here (below) is the title of her piece where she suggests that anyone who doesn’t believe that the Rohingya are pure as the driven snow are themselves inciting violence.
She includes Ann Coulter, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and yours truly as instigators of violence (murder and rape by Buddhists) against the poor, much-maligned Rohingya Muslims of Burma (actually they are most likely Bangladeshis) simply because we haven’t bought the ethnic cleansing story hook, line and sinker.
The American Far Right Asks: What Rohingya Ethnic Cleansing?
Before you read Woodruff’s yellow journalism, I want to say a few things. I have followed the build-up of the controversy in Burma for ten years and have written 212 previous reportson Rohingya people.
I’ve watched the international Left build a classic propaganda campaign to promote the image of the Rohingya as the poster-children for ethnic cleansing—poor suffering souls who only want to be left alone to build their Muslim community in the midst of a violent (to hear them tell it) bunch of Buddhists.
The fact that famous Burmese human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi has not jumped to the defense of the Rohingya is telling. Dear Betsy, is she a Far Right activist too?
And, finally, yes there have been excesses from the Buddhists. It would be inexcusable for me (although I’m just a blogger) not to say that, but surely a ‘journalist’ of Woodruff’s stature might actually mention the rape and killing carried out by the Rohingya against Buddhists.
Here are Woodruff’s opening comments:
Some of the most influential figures in the far right have suggested that the Rohingya had Burma’s ethnic-cleansing campaign coming.
The Burmese government is engaged in a campaign of ethnic cleansing that has displaced more than 600,000 Rohingya civilians from their homes. Burmese military forces have burned dozens of Rohingya villages, raped women and girls, and murdered scores of people, according to an October report from Amnesty International. The government’s brutality against the predominantly Muslim ethnic minority has drawn condemnation from the United Nations, the international human rights community, and the U.S. State Department.
But in far-right media, it’s a different story. Some of the most influential figures of the far right have helped amplify voices that incite violence, and have even suggested that the Rohingya had it coming.
Continue readingas she gasps over remarks by Coulter, Geller, Spencer and unnamed writers at Breitbart including this one (she provides no link) who apparently said this:
(Let me ask you faithful readers if this sounds outrageous to you.)
“Perhaps the Buddhists are trying to maintain their own history and culture in the face of calls for destruction,” it concluded.
What an unthinkable concept that is according to Woodruff (gasping again)!
She does give a link for a recent story at World Net Daily by Leo Hohmann where I am quoted:
And WorldNetDaily, a site best known for promoting birther conspiracy theories***, recently ran a piece indicating Burma’s government was handling the Rohingya crisis appropriately.
“The Buddhists get it,” anti-refugee activist Ann Corcoran told the site. “They are being very politically incorrect.”
I urge anyone considering themselves journalists to visit my Rohingya Reportscategory with over 200 previous posts. You should learn that the Rohingya began the latest round of violence in 2012. First came the rape and murder of a Buddhist girl by Rohingya and retaliation by Buddhists. Then the Rohingya burned some Buddhist villages in Rakhine state….and back and forth it went.
*** Have some fun, go back to Woodruff’s pieceand see how many words she uses that are yellow journalism techniques— exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering or sensationalism. Like this: “conspiratorial right-wing Robert Spencer.”
Post is filed in my ‘Laugh of the day’ category, here.
Of course I saw the news yesterday, but didn’t post on it because, sad to say, this kind of story is becoming commonplace. However, just to be sure my huge ‘crimes’ archive (here) is complete, I’m posting the basic news of what happened at the Mall of America from World Net Daily.
But, the bonus here is that readers can learn a bit about Muslim names.
Leo Hohmann at WND:
For the second time in just over a year, a Somali “refugee” has stabbed shoppers with a knife at a Minnesota mall.
The first case, on Sept. 17, 2016, was a clear act of jihad when Dahir Adan injured 10 people in the Macy’s at the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud after asking his victims, chosen at random, if they were Muslim.
But on Sunday night, a man identified as Mahad Abdiaziz Abdirahman, 20, of Minneapolis stabbed two men at the Mall of America after they tried to stop him from stealing clothes inside the dressing room at Macy’s.
His middle name, Abdiaziz, means “the slave of Allah the master,” a native Arabic speaker told WND.
His first name, Mahad, means “the one who preaches and invites people to Islam.”
Abdirahman is a common Somali Muslim last name. It means “the slave of Allah who is the gracious.”
Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said in a news conference that “the suspect went in and tried to take some property and, when confronted, he produced a knife and stabbed one man. Some family members assisted the victim and a second man sustained another knife wound.”
The next time you hear someone from the refugee industry say this: “No refugee has committed a fatal attack on an American” just laugh! Do you see how they do this? They put the word “fatal” in there (nevermind that there have been fatal attacks) because they know there have been many near fatal ones!
Furthermore, don’t let anyone tell you that an asylee is not a refugee. A successful asylum seeker is every bit as much a refugee as the ones we fly in on your dime. The Tsarnaev brothers were asylees (political refugees).
They can’t, with a straight face, say there have been no attacks on Americans because there have been dozens of attempts to kill Americans and attempts to commit jihad attacks, it’s just that many of those have been intercepted by law enforcement before they could do their damage. Have a look at my ‘crimes’ archive here and see what I mean.
Or, for a quick look, see my 10 terror cases and 5 horrific crimes post here.