July 28, 2012 Leave a comment
"I have often been forced to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that there was no place else to go.”
January 24, 2012 1 Comment
Imagine if you lived in a city whose police department regularly looked at films that claim members of your race or religion shoot and terrorize people and showed photographs of victims of terror imposed by your special group of people while stating emphatically every of you was like that and therefore a threat to the security of the country.
Such is the case with the New York City police department which for over a lengthy period of time screened for its officers a film entitled, The Third Jihad.
This is the feature-length film titled “The Third Jihad,” paid for by a nonprofit group, which was shown to more than a thousand officers as part of training in the New York Police Department.
In January 2011, when news broke that the department had used the film in training, a top police official denied it, then said it had been mistakenly screened “a couple of times” for a few officers.
A year later, police documents obtained under the state’s Freedom of Information Law reveal a different reality: “The Third Jihad,” which includes an interview with Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was shown, according to internal police reports, “on a continuous loop” for between three months and one year of training.
During that time, at least 1,489 police officers, from lieutenants to detectives to patrol officers, saw the film.
News that police trainers showed this film so extensively comes as the department wrestles with its relationship with the city’s large Muslim community. The Police Department offers no apology for aggressively spying on Muslim groups and says it has ferreted out terror plots.
But members of the City Council, civil rights advocates and Muslim leaders say the department, in its zeal, has trampled on civil rights, blurred lines between foreign and domestic spying and sown fear among Muslims.
“The department’s response was to deny it and to fight our request for information,” said Faiza Patel, a director at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, which obtained the release of the documents through a Freedom of Information request. “The police have shown an explosive documentary to its officers and simply stonewalled us.”
Tom Robbins, a former columnist with The Village Voice, first revealed that the police had screened the film. The Brennan Center then filed its request.
The 72-minute film was financed by the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit group whose board includes a former Central Intelligence Agency official and a deputy defense secretary for President Ronald Reagan. Its previous documentary attacking Muslims’ “war on the West” attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel who has helped reshape the Republican presidential primary by pouring millions of dollars into a so-called super PAC that backs Newt Gingrich.
…….Repeated calls over the past several days to the Clarion Fund, which is based in New York, were not answered. The nonprofit group shares officials with Aish HaTorah, an Israeli organization that opposes any territorial concessions on the West Bank. The producer of “The Third Jihad,” Raphael Shore, also works with Aish HaTorah.
The people behind this nefarious production, The Clarion Fund and Aish HaTorah should be enough to call into question the integrity of such a video. Both organizations are deeply involved in the spread of Islamophobic notions of Muslims in America in a manner consistent with the strategies mentioned in a previous Miscellany101 post here. I’m also not surprised, but note with more than a bit of sarcasm the presence of a GOP candidate for President being affiliated somehow in this macabre alliance of xenophobes.
the Clarion Fund,……(I)ts previous documentary attacking Muslims’ “war on the West” attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel who has helped reshape the Republican presidential primary by pouring millions of dollars into a so-called super PAC that backs Newt Gingrich.
In addition, the NYPD’s denial then admission that the film was ever aired by them and their subsequent position that they did nothing wrong means precisely that they did something wrong. This adversarial attitude, along with the equally omnipotent alliance between the NYPD and the CIA has raised more than a few eyebrows, plenty of suspicion and the ire of New York Muslims, some of whom participated in an interfaith boycott last month to protest the city’s increased surveillance of area Muslims after it was revealed the NYPD in coordination with the CIA gathered information on city Muslims who were neither suspected or charged with any crime. All this is what we KNOW about, albeit with a great deal of diligence at gathering the information and difficulty at getting authorities to respond; no doubt there’s plenty more we don’t know about. Stay tuned.
December 6, 2011 Leave a comment
This is a fairly decent video that tries to point out the Islamophobia network in America as well as give positive suggestions on how Muslims can combat it. We’ve railed against the bigotry inherent in today’s one sided assault on Islam and Muslims but rarely have we pointed out who is behind this trend. Rather we’ve focused on how consistent has been the trend throughout America’s history while at the same time maintaining that America is a country that has far more potential and greatness if it lives up to its core values it only gives lip service to today.
December 2, 2011 Leave a comment
New York, NY – The Associated Press recently reported on know-your-rights trainings happening in New York City’s Muslim communities. This was one of the latest installments in the wire agency’s series confirming what Muslim New Yorkers had long suspected – that the New York Police Department has engaged in indiscriminate surveillance on ethnic and religious grounds, without concrete suspicion of criminal activity. Curiously, the AP’s latest story turns the series on its head, giving the dangerous impression that Muslim communities are refusing to share with law enforcement tips on actual criminal activity. This could not be further from the truth.
Through the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project at CUNY School of Law, we provide know-your-rights trainings in response to the NYPD and FBI’s broad-based surveillance of Muslim communities. We advise targeted communities about their rights when law enforcement knocks on their doors, asking questions about mosque attendance, political opinions and charitable giving that are unconnected to any suspicion of criminal activity.
We were therefore quite surprised to read the AP’s latest article, beginning with its headline, “Muslims Say: ‘Don’t Call NYPD’”. Our work focuses on a very different scenario: what to do when the NYPD calls you. And, in that context, the advice we offer is standard and uncontroversial fare, such as the rights to silence and to retain a lawyer, rights that apply to all within the United States.
The NYPD’s seeming suspicion of entire communities seems to be based on the notion that when Muslims live their faith and identity or associate with other Muslims, they pose a danger to American society. Like everyone else in the US, and especially given pervasive ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim communities, Muslims have a right to remain silent, and they have a right to retain attorneys.
This basic rights awareness message is important in Muslim communities where law enforcement has interrogated at least tens of thousands of people not suspected of any crime. The government seems most concerned about legally protected activity. Agents have attempted to question our clients about the mosques they attend, about what is said in those places of worship, about what they make of recent events in the Middle East, and about the websites they visit to get their news.
Of course, the government has no business prying into protected activity or fishing for opportunities to pressure people into sharing information about their families, neighbours and communities. Accordingly, we advise the clients and communities we serve to do what any American senator, president or public figure has done when law enforcement knocks: to exercise their right to remain silent and to retain an attorney.
The AP article misses an essential distinction between the reporting of criminal activity and participation in law enforcement’s indiscriminate efforts to collect information on the expressive and lawful activities of Muslim communities. To call Muslims “uncooperative” for exercising their rights in the face of such broad-based surveillance programmes is unfair and absurd.
In fact, there is no support for the claim that Muslims do not share information with law enforcement when they suspect criminal activity. It was a Muslim community in California, for example, that reported Craig Monteilh to the police when he started talking about blowing up buildings in the name of Islam. It turned out Monteilh was an informant on the FBI’s payroll. Taxpayer dollars were funding his efforts to collect the names, phone numbers, email addresses and licence plate numbers of Muslims in southern California.
The FBI and NYPD’s covert surveillance programmes in Muslim communities rely heavily on the deployment of undercover agents and informants such as Monteilh. Many informants are vulnerable community members themselves, who are pressured by the government to report voluminous amounts of information on the lawful activities of Muslims. In the cases that we know of, the government has used money, the threat of deportation or imprisonment and other forms of coercion to recruit its informants.
Though this may come as a surprise to a segment of the general public, informants are not typically sent into Muslim communities when law enforcement fears criminal activity is afoot. Instead, often without any suspicion of criminal activity, they are dispatched to countless mosques and community spaces around the country on fishing expeditions. Sometimes, as in the case of Monteilh, the informants actually promote violence.
A recent rally organised against NYPD surveillance in Manhattan signals that there remains great reason to hope. Even in this age of surveillance and fear, Muslims joined fellow New Yorkers to reject, collectively and publicly, the hallmarks of a police state. Together, they stood, prayed and chanted so that Muslims, too, can enjoy and exercise a full panoply of rights, including the right to express political opinions, to organise and, yes, to remain silent and to retain attorneys.
December 1, 2011 1 Comment
Bet you didn’t know this did you?
A poll released Thursday revealed curious contradictions in the Muslim-American community, which is more enthused about its country and president than any other religious group, yet is the least politically active and faces the greatest discrimination.
The Gallup poll on American religious groups offers a counterpoint to the stereotype that Muslims in the US lead isolated lives because they do not feel comfortable fitting in or associating with mainstream American culture. Moreover, it also offers insights into the Muslim-American experience – from how dramatically the election of President Obama affected them to how little they trust the activists who work on their behalf.
In total, the poll paints a picture of a community characterized by optimism but still seeking acceptance among its fellow citizens.
For instance, 93 percent of Muslim Americans say they are loyal to America. They have the highest confidence in the integrity of US elections (57 percent), and they are the most hopeful about their lives over the next five years, compared with other groups.
Yet 48 percent of Muslim Americans report they experienced some kind of racial or religious discrimination, a finding that places them far ahead of Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, and atheists/agnostics.
One reason for the optimistic outlook despite discrimination could be that Muslim Americans see their financial fortunes improving. Some 64 percent of Muslim Americans in 2011 reported their standard of living got better, compared with 46 percent in 2008.
But the presidency of Mr. Obama has arguably had an even more powerful affect on Muslim Americans. Muslim Americans give him the highest approval rating – 80 percent – of any religious group. American Jews are a distant second, giving Obama a 65 percent approval rating.
The number is even more striking when compared with Muslim American support for George W. Bush in 2008, which was 7 percent.
The shift in leadership in Washington was “truly transformational” for US Muslims in how they viewed their loyalties to democratic institutions and the nation at large, says Dalia Mogahed, director and senior analyst of the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, based in the United Arab Emirates.
After the 9/11 attacks, Muslim Americans faced intense scrutiny, both individually and from federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Obama is credited with helping smooth tensions through his outreach to the US Muslim community and his effort to end the Iraq war responsibly. The poll shows that 83 percent of Muslim Americans – more than any other religious group – say the war was a “mistake.”
Despite the positive signs, “there are still obstacles” for Muslim Americans, Ms. Mogahed says.
“They embrace American values and democratic principles but aren’t sure if the rest of American embraces them,” she says.
Some 56 percent of Protestants said American Muslims had no sympathy for Al Qaeda, the lowest number of any faith group. By comparison, 63 percent of Catholics and 70 percent of Jews thought Muslim Americans had no sympathies for Al Qaeda.
“That’s certainly a challenge for the [US Muslim] community – to have their loyalty questioned by such a large number of their fellow Americans,” Mogahed says.
Those challenges, however, have not led Muslim Americans to try to affect change at the ballot box. They are the least likely religious group to vote, with just 65 percent of Muslims in America are registered. One reason is age: The average age of a Muslim-American is 35, while the average American Protestant is 55. Younger people tend to be less politically active, Mogahed says.
Another reason is affiliation: Poll findings show that the majority of Muslim Americans say that none of the leading Muslim organizations in the US, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations or the Islamic Society of North America, represents their interests.
With the 2012 election around the corner, Mogahed says political parties that want to reach out to Muslim-American voters might be better off establishing partnerships with local mosques than focusing on winning endorsements from national advocacy organizations. This is especially relevant considering that Muslim Americans who attend a religious service once a week are two times more likely to be politically active than those who attend less frequently, the poll found.
“The mosque should be more the mobilization engine” for get-out-the-vote drives than it has been in the past, she says.
The poll surveyed 2,482 adults, 475 of whom were Muslim. For Muslims, there was a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 7 percentage points.
Which begs the question, where does everyone else rank in comparison? This article addresses that with respect to Christian evangelicals, one of the groups largely responsible for the current Islamophobic public attacks going on in America today. Citing a Pew Research Center poll the article makes the point that Christian evangelicals are far less patriotic than American Muslims
Among Christians in the U.S., white evangelicals are especially inclined to identify first with their faith; 70 percent in this group see themselves first as Christians rather than as Americans, while 22 percent say they are primarily American.
so the upshot of this is the next time you hear someone ranting about the Muslim fifth column or taqiyah or any other cliches used by people on the right to justify casting suspicion of members of the Islamic faith remind them that they are more a threat to the national security than the Muslims against whom they rail.
May 5, 2011 Leave a comment
Here it is without the filter; Muslims in the West commenting on the Osama bin laden execution
March 27, 2011 1 Comment
‘Not all Muslims are terrorist but all terrorists are Muslims’, so goes the ‘phobes chant when talking about the dangers of an imagined enemy, the Shariah welding Muslim fanatic. What they don’t say is all non-Muslim terrorists aren’t categorized as such. Rather they are given more inert sounding names like manic depressive and charged not with terrorism, but with ‘placing a bomb’ inside a federal building and thus fall beneath the terrorist radar. Such is the case with this guy, Gary Mikulich. His bomb sat in said federal building for over a month, is that fodder for a conspiracy theory or what, before it was discovered, which goes to show you all the money you can squeeze out of everyday working Americans and give to Homeland Security can’t buy security if people don’t do their jobs. This electrical engineering genius made a bomb and put it in front of a federal building with the intent to kill people, yet he’s not charged with a terrorist related offense. So what good are the terrorism laws if we don’t apply them equally to all? It should be apparent that the law is designed to single out a group of people , not law breakers, in order to effect a blanket condemnation of all members of that group. Shame on you America….you’re still as bigoted as ever.
March 24, 2011 Leave a comment
Give credit where credit is due for leadership to Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois for his principled stand on the rights of Americans of the Muslim faith to equal protection under the Constitution. Remember his face please….it’s the new face of LEADERSHIP in America where everyone else seems enamored with bigotry and demagoguery, for now, Durbin has refused to give in to that.
During the course of our history, many religions have faced intolerance. It is important for our generation to renew our founding charter’s commitment to religious diversity and to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights
March 24, 2011 Leave a comment
First the “good” news. The folks in Tennessee are removing religious references from the bill they wanted to introduce regarding foreign laws not being applied in state matters which would amount to treason and a 15 year jail sentence. It was obviously designed to persecute Muslims. The state’s lawmakers were too dumb to realize they are pawns in a much bigger battle between American jurists who assert the right to reference other countries’ laws in their decisions and those xenophobes who vigorously opposed that idea. More on that later.
But, and there’s always a “but” isn’t there? For every step America makes forward they seem to take several back. Check out this story of a true blue American Muslim who was put on the no-fly list because he refused to cooperate with federal officials who want to infiltrate America’s Muslim population. Seems his refusal to do so was based on his family situation, he’s married with 4 children and probably doesn’t trust the government to help support his family while he’s out and about spying on people…….isn’t that the kind of self-reliant, no trust government but do for self citizen the “Right” and their neo-con allies wanted?…….and most likely he’s not too keen on the idea because he doesn’t feel comfortable being around Muslims, since according to him he’s gone to church with his Christian wife more times than he’s been in any mosque.
Finally there’s this bit of crab barrel politics of an aspiring politician who wants to make a name for himself on the backs of America’s Muslim population. A black David Duke or a blacker Allen West, the Florida congressman of the same political bent, Herman Cain has taken his Godfather’s Pizza moniker a bit too seriously. You remember the one don’t you, ‘the pizza you can’t refuse’ slogan that rocketed that franchise onto America’s consciousness back in the 80s. He thinks that the idea of religion and not being able to choose extends to America’s Muslims as well. What’s more dastardly about Cain is he joins a long list of former slaves who now want to be slave owners, emotionally and mentally that is. He hasn’t learned anything from the history of his people or his country; he’s too drunk with success and money to realize the error of his ways, but he wants to be president of the United States. The more things change…….the more they remain the same.
February 1, 2011 1 Comment
King’s committee hearings on Islam are another politician’s pandering to the racist Islamophobes in American culture even when his hearings, which will be stacked against Muslim Americans, have no merit in fact. King seems to think Muslims aren’t helping America in its war on terror. False again. Muslims have been active in fighting extremism, and here is just one example.
(Zaid) Shakir (Islamic activist and teacher at Zaytuna College, pictured above) answered critics who say that the violent extremists are only following a literal reading of the Quran with the verse, “Allah does not forbid you concerning a people that have not fought you over your religion nor expelled you from your homes that you have amicable and just relations with them and Allah loves those who are just.” Some may respond by saying that “the Americans are driving people out of their homes” but Shakir countered this by saying “most Americans I know haven’t driven anyone out of their homes.” Rather, he advised Muslims, especially frustrated and angry young Muslims that want to do something to join forces with those Americans like Michael Ratner and Chris Hedges that have dedicated their careers to shutdown the Guantanamo Bay prison and oppose the invasion of Iraq.
“Michael Ratner has dedicated the last 8 years of his career with others in trying to shutdown Guantanamo Bay. What have you done to help him in this effort, did you go to law school or learn about the political mechanisms of this country and add your voice, organize your community, educate your neighbors, use the media…Where were you when Chris Hedges and Veterans for Peace chained themselves to the White House fence and were arrested while trying to draw attention to those veterans protesting the war? Had Shakir, a military veteran been here, he says he would have a joined them.
Most likely, Mr. Shakir will not be called to testify before Peter King’s committee because frankly King is not interested in hearing anything that counters his subversive notions of the role Muslims play in American life. But Shakir, et.co aren’t the only ones saying that American Muslims don’t deserve this negative attention. Time magazine ran this story in one of its recent editions claiming this
Though acts of violent extremism by U.S. Muslims appear to have grown, their potency has not. American Muslims remain more moderate, diverse and integrated than the Muslim populations in any other Western society. Despite the efforts of al-Qaeda propagandists like al-Awlaki, the evidence of even modest sympathy for the enemy existing inside the U.S. is minuscule. The paranoia about homegrown terrorism thus vastly overstates al-Qaeda’s strength and reflects our leaders’ inability to make honest assessments about the true threats to America’s security….
A comprehensive report by the Rand Corporation last year concluded that just one out of every 30,000 American Muslims could be said to have joined jihad, “suggesting an American Muslim population that remains hostile to jihadist ideology and its exhortations to violence.”……
So why does the myth of homegrown terrorism persist? In part because, like every hardy political meme, it serves the interests of loudmouths on both ends of the ideological spectrum. To the right, the threat of homegrown terrorism helps to perpetuate the notion of a ceaseless, civilization-wide struggle against Islamic extremism. To the left, the prospect of American Muslims taking up jihad fits with the idea that the U.S.’s foreign policy is creating a new generation of terrorists.
In other words, Muslims in America are a political football that’s used to influence foreign policy or advance a politician’s career, which is also known as demagoguery. King fits the latter profile and that should come as no surprise in today’s political climate. Instead of being a leader, a statesman for his constituents, he’s become a follower of political crosswinds that ostensibly serve to minimize the effect of Islam in America and abroad.
January 12, 2011 Leave a comment
Sorry folks, but I have a real problem with demagoguery and Congressman Peter King, R of New York is at the center of my ire at the moment for exemplifying the untruthfulness typical of today’s politicians. Where do you begin with him?
After the latest terror attack on America this past weekend, King has now taken the liberal side of the crime in America argument to propose gun control legislation to limit carrying a firearm within 1000 feet of of certain high-profile government officials. Typical big government solution and one I wouldn’t expect from a Republican member of Congress, but there was no word from King, who’s set to take over the position of the Homeland Security House committee, when gun toters like the man in the picture above were seen walking around during an Obama rally in 2009, in of all places the state of Arizona. Everyone touted the rights of such individuals as “Chris” to carry openly the firearm of his choice even in the vicinity of a sitting US President. As a firearm owner myself, I was somewhat mixed about this brazen display of chutzpah, but King’s pronouncement now makes me wonder whether he would consider Obama, should he be re-elected a high-profile government official worthy of having the ban imposed for him or not? Most likely not…..since King is obliged to the ‘birther’ wing of his party for any future political aspirations.
The news that’s most upsetting about King is his intent to have hearings on the radicalization of Islam in America. The author of this piece calls it a show trial, I couldn’t agree with him more. Read on
It is just about certain that the new Republican House will hold hearings on the “radicalization of the American Muslim Community.” The hearings will be called by Peter King, the Republican representative from New York who is now the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.
This move on the part of Rep. King will reveal more about him than it will about American Muslims.
Why so? Because King’s publicly expressed prejudices will shape the hearings he will hold, thereby giving us an accurate view of where he is coming from. Simultaneously, they will only supply an inaccurate and skewed view of American Muslims.
To date, what do Peter King’s public positions look like? Here are some examples:
1. King has publicly asserted, without evidence, that most of the leaders and organizations of the American Muslim Community are dangerous radicals. They are to be judged so because, allegedly, they are purveyors of “radical Islam.”
He has made the accusation that “80 to 85% of the mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists.” He here conflates radicals and fundamentalists. He has even written a novel, Vale of Tears, about Muslims plotting against the United States.
2. He has asserted that mainstream American Muslims, their leaders and organizations, have “not come forward and denounce(d), officially denounce(d), officially cooperate(d) with police against extremists and terrorists.” This accusation happens to be demonstrably false.
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, the first Muslim American elected to the House, has spent a good bit of time documenting the efforts of Muslim Americans to do just what King says they don’t do. Among other things Ellison points out that “about one third of all foiled al-Qaida related plots in the U.S. relied on support and information provided by members of the Muslim community.”
A recent attempt at such terrorism, the placing of a car bomb in Times Square, was foiled by a Senegalese Muslim immigrant.
3. When Peter King is asked about his sources of information on American Muslims he names Steve Emerson and Daniel Pipes. Emerson is one of those journalists turned self-proclaimed “experts” on security matters. He has written a number of books on “radical Islam” which, in turn, have been criticized by real Middle East experts.
Pipes is a devotee of Israel and rarely deviates from a right-wing Zionist line. Both men have been described as aggressive enemies of Muslims and Islam. It is to these sorts of people that King looks to confirm his own biases. No wonder Peter King now regards American Muslim leaders as “an enemy living amongst us.”
4. Just to round out this picture we can add that, quickly after 9/11, King became a staunch supporter of the invasion of Iraq. Having taken this stand, he never addressed the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, nor has he ever publicly considered the fact that American foreign policy in the Middle East did have a lot to do with that event.
King was a strong defender of George W. Bush’s policy of torture, claiming that the Bush should be given a medal for authorizing water boarding. He supports a strict application of the “USA Patriot Act.” He says that Guantanamo Bay prison should not be closed, and the proposed “mosque” near “ground zero” should not be opened.
King has all the right credentials to qualify as a demagogue and a racist demagogue at that, for all of the reasons stated in the article above. Please read it in its entirety at the link, ConsortiumNews.com, home of investigative reporter Robert Parry, and one of the best damned news website currently operating anywhere in the world.
January 11, 2011 Leave a comment
I’m against waterboarding because I believe it’s illegal, but many on the right clamored for it when we were fighting our war on terror against people with Arabic names who, it was said, posed a threat to our Republic. The waterboard, that instrument of death, was pointed to as something needed to extract information from even the most diehard terrorist in order to save lives. When it was presented in those stark terms even some “progressives” demurred in their protests afraid they would be seen as anti-American, traitors or worse, threats themselves and singled out for persecution. (Regrettably, the latter may have happened a time or two.) It didn’t matter that America was a signatory to a law that said we were against torture and would prosecute anyone who committed it, we were told waterboarding was necessary.
After the latest assault on a sitting member of Congress and the murder of a federal judge at the hands of an assassin who resembles a skinhead in all appearances and who had made references to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, there comes news that another congressman has received ominious threats from places unknown, raising the specter that more death and destruction might be visited on members of Congress. How can we stop what looks like certain carnage? Waterboarding and profiling are two solutions offered up by those on the right when they spoke of Muslims and jihadists who were threats to the American way of life and yet not once, except on the pages of Miscellany101 have these tools not too long ago embraced by many Americans, been mention in the latest discourse. Unfortunately, neither has the matter of whether what Loughner commited is terrorism been discussed much in the media and for obvious reasons.
Terrorists can’t be white, non-Muslims and waterboarding or profiling (racial profiling) can’t be applied to them because it obscures the debate about what’s good and what’s bad for America. White crime is tolerated and ostensibly good for America…we can build case law around it, institutionalize it and put people to work combating it yet maintain a civil society, or so it seems. Terrorism many on the right maintain is the purveyor of dark skinned or Muslim people who threaten our very civilization and we must fight them by any means necessary, even illegal means that we visit upon them and sometimes ourselves. We have bemoaned that double standard time and time again here on Miscellany101. The right seems to relish, embrace it and heap scorn on those who point it out.
The “wingnuts” on the right have for the past decade managed to escape responsibility for any miscalculations on the political stage. The WMD fiasco was dismissed because Saddam was a bad guy and we needed to get rid of him anyway, the encroachment on our civil liberties was proposed because it’s government’s job to take care of us, during the administration of Bush, and during Obama because liberals elected him into office and he is a socialist and that’s what socialists do. The spiteful and intemperate political rhetoric is necessary because it’s a “war” of ideas and too the hearts and minds of the people. It seems every excuse is made that absolves the right from any responsibility for any misfortune that has occurred over the past decade even though they were the party in power for over half the time.
Now comes the political assassination in Tuscon, Arizona right after the virulent election campaigning of 2010 where the political opposition rode on the backs of people who believe in conspiracy theories that rival those concocted after 911. This murder didn’t come in a vacuum; it was sparked by a constant barrage of speech that equated a democratically elected political party with the equally repugnant foe of terrorists, jihadists and Muslims; some even calling the President a secret Muslim, whose goal is to promote a socialist agenda. It was against these policies that the right was shaped and the makers of these policies were the focal point of everyone’s rage. Loughner who it was claimed by neighbors/friends targeted Congresswoman Giffords wasn’t the only one. Byron Williams who had a shootout with authorities after planning acts of violence against the ACLU, a favorite target of the right and the Tides Foundation, said he wanted to spark a civil war and he pointed to a radio head pundit as being a primary source of his information and motivation. Yet the right, the more vocal among them, claim no responsibility for this violent swing in politics even while others among them are asking for de-escalation in the rhetoric. Fat chance.
This is the group that claims when it comes to their enemies that everyone of them is responsible for the crimes committed by one of them; that the idea of collective punishment, something practiced by the Israelis against Palestinians, is a legitimate way of dealing with a threat, not just the kind that a Loughner, or a Williams or the unknown assailant threatening Congressman Renny Davis pose. So there will be no talk of waterboarding anyone to get information from them about the impending murder of another Congressman, now will there be calls for profiling white males who look like Loughner, or Williams and we won’t hear not one suggestion that the motivating factors behind their rage be investigated or asked to condemn their murderous impulses because in almost every case they, these perpetrators of terrorism against the homeland are just like the pundits and politicians who use these acts of government coercion on others. That is the story of America and her injustices and it will plague us for as long as we continue to ignore it.
January 1, 2011 Leave a comment
The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property in order to coerce or intimidate a government or the civilian population in furtherance of political or social objectives.
Since the September 11th Attacks on the United States in 2001, which resulted in the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City and severe damage to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the United States has changed its priorities to focus upon eradicating terrorism in the world. Terrorism involves the systematic use of terror or violence to achieve political goals. The targets of terrorism include government officials, identified individuals or groups, and innocent bystanders. In most cases terrorists seek to overthrow or destabilize an existing political regime, but totalitarian and dictatorial governments also use terror to maintain their power.
As clear and distinct as this definition is, it cannot but include the Israeli government as a dictatorial government that uses terrorism to maintain power, as this article in RawStory suggests. In spite of a newly signed peace agreement with Egypt, in 1979 Israel was intimating that it would use nuclear weapons against its neighbors because somehow it feared for its existence. We know now that was a crock….Israel then as now, has no more to fear from its neighbors than the man in the moon. In fact, since 1973 all of Israel’s wars have been wars of aggression and expansion, not self-defense. One could argue they have been the precursor to America’s aggression in the Mid East…a kind of good cop, bad cop play on empire and subjugation of the Middle East.
In 1980, British officials were concerned that Israel could be heading for a new conflict, despite signing a peace treaty with Egypt the year before, according to official papers released from the National Archives after being kept secret for 30 years.
“The situation in the region is deteriorating and with it Israel’s dangerous mood of isolation and defiance will grow,” warned a cable from the British embassy in Tel Aviv, dated May 4.
What Israel served to do with this threat to use nuclear weapons was to get governments to support her in her continued suppression of Palestinian statehood, in other words to achieve the political objective of denial of human rights to her Palestinian neighbors as well as forge political hegemony in the area. Let’s not forget existential threats to Israel are no more than political dissent that are the basis for a mature political entity, not a threatening bullying one like Israel, which usually contribute to the improvement of the social fabric, not its elimination. Very few but the extreme of the extreme, (and who could that be?) would dare suggest Israel not exist, but what everyone of conscience and morality should insist upon is that Israel honor the territorial integrity of its neighbors, not interfere with Palestinian statehood, cease its racist policies towards non-Jews within its borders and honor international treaties against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. That’s the kind of discourse that countries can conduct on the world’s stage in a mature, socially and internationally acceptable manner. Not so with the Israeli interpretation of dissent. In its case dissent is not tolerated except from within and only within limits defined by the government. That is called fascism.
January 1, 2011 5 Comments
Bill O’Reilly and his minions at FoxNews want Muslims to “refudiate” terrorism, and absent that they are to be suspect. O’Reilly et.al also waged a very public campaign to out those who didn’t share the “Christmas” spirit in the same way as he did, saying absent their vociferous bellowing of “Merry Christmas” they were surreptitiously sabotaging Christmas.
Muslims on the other hand were taking a much more pro-active stance about the holidays….something you can read and see here.
Early Christmas morning, hundreds of Muslim-Americans turned out to help their Christian friends by doing the volunteer work that they would normally do. Muslims say this is a way to allow Christians to celebrate the Holiday by stepping in to provide meals to seniors and distributing toys to needy children……
Once again putting a lie to the myth generated by the pundits who are on the payroll of today’s racists/fascists media whores. Oh and speaking of myths, did you hear the one about the Justin Bieber endorsement of the Ground Zero/Park51 mosque that really wasn’t an endorsement at all?? The Islamophobes, who constantly prove themselves to be the worse America has to offer, were tricked again into showing their racist colors by falling for another satirical website that claimed Bieber said something about Park51 that he really didn’t say. Why don’t these people just admit they have nothing but their own animus which drives them towards insanity and stop hanging excuses on things that really don’t exist?!?!
Mosque foes recently started a boycott of Bieber after he made comments in support of the mosque project in an interview with Tiger Beat, a teen fan magazine….
I was able to reach the proprietor of the site, who confirmed that the Bieber item is in fact a hoax. “[T]he fact that some people take it seriously is hilariously depressing,” he said in an e-mail.
Depressing indeed, and par for the course. America, wake up.
September 16, 2010 Leave a comment
September 6, 2010 Leave a comment
Perhaps it’s the paternalistic attitude of the loathsome New York Times, which presented itself to the American Muslim community as the guardian of their interests if they, American Muslims, would only express their angst about the Islamophobia sweeping America. One thing American Muslims don’t need is acceptance…..as legal citizens, and a majority of American Muslims are born and raised in this country, they are as American as apple pie and entitled to the full protection of the law, even when those who administer the law are reluctant to give it to them. In that case they must exert themselves using every available means to insure they are given what is just as much theirs as any other citizen, regardless of their faith or ethnicity. What American Muslims will have to do is man up like every other community that has had to deal with America’s on going race problem, realizing it will have ups and downs, highs and lows, but with patience and struggle it will prevail. Now is the time to get busy and stop whining.