South Africa and her Muslims got it right!


America needs to sit back and take a page from the South African playbook on how to handle religious bigotry.

A judge in Johannesburg, South Africa, has blocked a plan by a Muslim to burn Bibles on the anniversary of Sept. 11.

An Islamic intellectual organization, Scholars of the Truth, had sought the order. It bans the burning of any holy books. “I’m very pleased the judge came to this decision. Not only did he ban this protest but he also banned other people from burning the Bible,” The Christian Scientist Monitor quoted plaintiff’s lawyer Yasmin Omar as saying.

The order also covers the burning of other holy books, including the Koran. Mohammed Vawda planned to burn the Bibles in response to a plan to burn hundreds of copies of the Koran in Gainesville, Florida. The preacher pushing the Florida book burning has backed down.

“What Mr. Vawda wanted to do is not just morally wrong but is an affront to Islam. We regard Jesus as a prophet who is part of the Koran so if he burns the Bible, he is burning part of the Koran,” said Omar.

There are an estimated 1 million Muslims in South Africa and 30 million Christians. Judge Sita Kolbe issued his ruling after a four-minute hearing.

Did anyone notice how, a) it was a Muslim organization that sought the ban and b) it was such a no brainer it took only 4 minutes for the judge to assent and set it in motion?!?  Too bad the wheels of American justice don’t turn as quickly in such matters.  We could learn a thing or two from our brothers in South Africa.  Viva Mandela!

Political Zionism’s attempts at marginalizing American Muslims


Eight American Muslim imams went to Poland and Germany to witness first hand the historical places of the Holocaust in a trip co-sponsored by a German think tank and the Center for Interreligious Understanding, a New Jersey-based interfaith dialogue group. The imams issued a statement afterward that stated in part

We bear witness to the absolute horror and tragedy of the Holocaust where over twelve million human souls perished, including six million Jews.

We condemn any attempts to deny this historical reality and declare such denials or any justification of this tragedy as against the Islamic code of ethics.

We condemn anti-Semitism in any form. No creation of Almighty God should face discrimination based on his or her faith or religious conviction.

We stand united as Muslim American faith and community leaders and recognize that we have a shared responsibility to continue to work together with leaders of all faiths and their communities to fight the dehumanization of all peoples based on their religion, race or ethnicity. With the disturbing rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hatred, rhetoric and bigotry, now more than ever, people of faith must stand together for truth.

Together, we pledge to make real the commitment of “never again” and to stand united against injustice wherever it may be found in the world today.

Under the circumstances one would think the trip was successful in bridging gaps that have existed between the two faith communities as well as contribute towards decelerating the tensions between American Muslims and the rest of America surrounding the Park51 mosque.  It’s noteworthy the trip was covered by the Jewish outlet The Forward, but it has gone pretty much unnoticed by main stream media so America does not have the benefit of knowing of the outreach going on between the two parties and the rather optimistic outcome.  Too bad for America, which is in the throes of a new brand of anti-semitism.

What’s even worse is much of that Islamophobia is led by Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, who has come out and said the Park51 mosque should relocate

To many Americans, the decision of Abe Foxman, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, to oppose the so-called “ground zero mosque” seemed out of character. After all, Foxman is often treated by the media as an arbiter of tolerance; that he would come out in favor of Islamophobia was jarring.

The ADL’s private domestic spying operation had been going on since its inception, but after Foxman took over it engaged in operations like spying on anti-apartheid activists and other non-extremist groups. Foxman and the ADL became worried as much about direct domestic persecution of Jews as they were about opposition to Israel, and began to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Certainly, anti-Zionism can bleed into anti-Semitism, but Foxman has taken this to a cartoonish degree, demanding apologies from Americans for expressing views on Palestine that would be well within the mainstream in the context of Israeli domestic politics.

Foxman’s conservatism is clear in his selective outrage. He refused to condemn anti-Semitic statements by Sun Myung Moon’s Bush administration-allied Unification church, declined to protest Fox News’ frequent use of Nazi imagery for the purposes of political vilification — and, of course, in contrast to his opposition to an anti-Mormon film, he’s happily gotten on board with the anti-Islamic sentiment that even he acknowledges is key to opponents of the Park51 project near ground zero.

and who was against the aforementioned trip to Europe, so much so that he lobbied the US’ representative not to go on the trip.

Organizers of the trip say they were dismayed that the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman lobbied U.S. officials against participating. They also say the Investigative Project’s Steve Emerson, author of “American Jihad,” lobbied against the trip, arguing that one of the imams planning to participate had made Holocaust denial statements a decade ago.

The reason given by the ADL/Foxman was they didn’t want an American official to be a part of the trip…read that he didn’t want the government or any official thereof to recognize the efforts of Muslims at bridging gaps with other faith based communities. If it were out of a real concern for the inappropriateness of US government representation, it would have stopped with the US government, but Foxman made a play to a Polish rabbi to ask him not to meet with the 8 imams

…Foxman called both Rosenthal and the White House to object. When it went forward anyway, he went beyond objecting to the participation of the U.S. officials and called a Polish rabbi who had a scheduled meeting with the imams and asked the rabbi not to see the group

So it is a lie that Foxman acted out of a concern for the US government’s representative appearing with the group; his objection was for anyone to meet with them, in other words for there to not be any dialogue at all between anyone and the 8 American Muslim imams. By isolating them no one would know, as is the case with most of the American public, the principled stand they would take in the matter of the Holocaust, and by extension any other contemporary issue.  The reason is clear, by isolating them Foxman is able to distort or misrepresent their views and continue the atmosphere of hostility between them and the western world.  This helps political zionism in its fight with the Palestinians who Israel has managed to lump with a Muslim world view which is portrayed as hostile to the state.  If a wide cross section of American Muslim religious leaders can come to a consensus on such a hot button issue intrinsically connected to the existence of Israel as the Holocaust, what else might they be able to agree on that’s important to the existence of Israel and thus influence Muslim opinion in other places of the world?  For a country that thrives on threats and lives to fight wars with its neighbors, fulfilling its purpose with wars and acts of aggression, peace/dialogue is a threat to its existence more than the strongest opponent.  That is the reason why Foxman opposed the trip in general because he knew the outcome would be what it was, that men of faith and principle would come to the conclusions that the 8 American Muslim imams did.  The one advantage Foxman has in his favor is the statement of the 8 imams will go largely unnoticed by media and the general public and his goal of isolating legitimate Muslim voices from the American discourse will have been accomplished.  For that Foxman no doubt will get more than his share of attaboys.

Why Muslims, why Islam?


The author of the article below asks some of the same questions posed on the pages of Miscellany101 concerning the vitriol that appears so openly in almost all circles of American life.  It’s a fair question to ask about this surge in attacks against Muslims physically, as detailed in the previous post below, as well as rhetorically as we have mentioned in countless articles on this blog.  I assert these attacks point to the schizophrenic nature of America; on the one hand we call ourselves a nation of freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, but on the other hand we demonize those who exercise their free will to do just those things.  Not all of us do, however which adds to the “sickness” of our Nation or more euphemistically, the duality of the country, for there are those like the interfaith groups made of Christians, Muslim and Jews who supported the right of the Cordoba House to be built near the site of the former WTC buildings destroyed in 2001 who claim such curtailment of rights and freedoms for all have no place in our democracy.

However, the article below is from an American Muslim, and it would be advantageous for you to read it carefully, for it is full of the spirit we claim is necessary in order for this country to succeed; the spirit of cooperation, freedom and tolerance.  I hope we take heed

Jesus, God’s Word that He cast into Mary, the Messiah of Israel who delivered the Good News of the Millennial Kingdom and saved the faithful remnant of Israel from the treason and apostasy of the Pharisees and
scribes, the only man ever to walk the earth without sin or error, would be saddened by (what many say today).

Where in the English-speaking media do we see wholesale falsification of Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, or even Christianity? Yet that is almost all we see about Islam, incessantly, in movies, “news,” commentary, and virtually every mass-media information source from compulsory public education through old age.

It wasn’t like this when I was a child, sixty years ago. Then, we learned that “Islam” was a few dusty desert-dwellers milking camels and living in tents, and of no historical significance whatever. We certainly weren’t informed that pharmacy and medicine in Europe for a thousand years was based on Arabic writings, or that private enterprise free market capitalism was perfected in Fatimid Egypt long before our ancestors developed the European version from its Arabic roots. We didn’t know that the lost works of Aristotle were preserved in Arabic translations and restored to Europe through Muslim Spain. No one mentioned that algebra, surveying, astral navigation, refrigeration, and federalism all had Arabic origins.

But the Muslim empire persisted, in increasingly corrupted forms, for a thousand years, and then vanished into dust, as expected. And in America, when I was a child, sixty years ago, there were all of three Muslim neighborhoods in America ~ in Dearborn, Michigan, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Sacramento, California. Now there are over two thousand mosques, and over nineteen million Muslims in America, the vast majority born and raised in America, and a large plurality with no ancestral or historical heritage related to Islam.

In my lifetime, the population of Muslim America has grown at a rate not seen in the Muslim world in over ten centuries. This, despite an institutionalized demonization of Muslims hard at work since the development of mass media. And a lot of people commenting have believed the lie, even posting links to websites devoted to the demonization. It is not America’s Christians who are behind this falsification, people, and it is not without a very old motive.

A muslim “YMCA” two blocks from City Hall and two blocks from the World Trade Center? Why not? So what? Churches in downtown areas are being threatened with displacement because the cities want more tax revenue from the commercial zones of the cities. Religious organizations providing shelter for the homeless are under attack nation-wide by means of zoning regulations, building codes, and other regulatory “permit” requirements. Religion in America has been under attack ~ see  “The New First Amendment” for the legal history ~ for almost a century now. Of course, it’s not politically correct to malign a religion or a religious group.

Except muslims. Hmmm.

Try this and the other three articles linked at the top of the welcome page for a little “straight” information about those people so many love to hate. America is the closest thing in the world to a Muslim state. Our country was built on the premise of religious liberty, and it’s ingrained in our culture. Some abuse it, some capitalize on it, and some of the Arab states certainly have been trying to colonize American Islam for decades ~ and failing. But the American people live in religious congregations to a greater extent than any other people, we are a religious people despite what appears in the mainstream media

And one in twenty are Muslim. They don’t come knocking at your door, they don’t tell you how to live, they don’t seek government grants to finance social service programs or building projects, and you hardly know they exist unless they live on your street. So who’s stirring up all this controversy about a community center facility available to everyone? And why is it being made a national issue as the mid-term elections draw near?

See “Guide To Events”.

Nothing makes the headlines unless there’s an agenda behind it. Whose agenda is this hate-fest brouhaha?

Foot in mouth award


Shimon Peres is the latest Israeli leader to be awarded.  Earlier, while Benjamin Netanyahu in an equally disgusting show of contempt for the people who make it possible for Israel to exist made disparaging remarks against America which didn’t even cause a ripple stateside, Peres’ remarks about British politicians being anti-semitic caused more of a firestorm in England.  Americans are so used to being bitch slapped by Israel we just sit back and take the abuse dished out by our scorned lover, but the British who practically gave Palestine to Europe’s Jewish community took umbrage at Peres’ remarks so much so that he had to deny he ever made them.

Peres’ initial remarks that he now denies making, included references to the influence of Muslims on British policy, as if influencing the policy of a government  is something Israel would never do to any western ally, but it clearly shows the Israeli government’s attacks on Islam extend far beyond the borders of Gaza and the West Bank.  It didn’t help Peres that the Tablet confirmed his remarks and the reasons behind them while he was trying to deny them, the fact is his denial is a lie.

This illustrates two things common in both Netanyahu and Peres’ attitude.  First they are extremely manipulative of western governments by asserting  Israel is a victim in the ongoing battles with its neighbors in which Israel is always the aggressor and second they are scornful of their state sponsors, who have all but guaranteed their existence at the expense of Israel’s neighbors, by even refusing to acknowledge this support, usually undertaken  at great expense to sponsor states but little or no expense to Israel.  The recipients of this award  for a baffling comment by a public figure goes to both Peres and Netanyahu.  Please don’t congratulate them.

The ADL Defames its Jewish Heritage?


by Kamran Pasha

People often ask me what it is like being one of the first Muslims to succeed in Hollywood. There is always a hint of surprise in their tone, as if they never expected to meet a Muslim who has made strides in the entertainment industry. Because the real question they are asking is a more uncomfortable one: “How have you managed to succeed in a town filled with Jews?”

My response is one that usually takes them aback. I tell them that the only people who have helped me to succeed in Hollywood are Jews. It was Jewish studio executives who gave me my first writing breaks, and Jewish writers, directors and producers have served as my mentors and allies over the past decade. Without the help of Jews, this Muslim would still be writing scripts in a café somewhere, desperately hoping to find a way to break into Hollywood.

Others are surprised when I say that, but I am not. I grew up in Borough Park, a primarily Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, and most of my close friends over the course of my life have been Jews. Despite our often passionate disagreements about Middle Eastern politics, my Jewish friends and I always find common ground in our shared experience of being a religious minority in a predominantly Christian country.

Both American Jews and American Muslims know what it is like to feel out of place, to long for inclusion in a mainstream society that is often filled with ignorance and hate for our faiths. We know what it is like going to elementary school and being reviled by our classmates for not believing that Jesus is the Son of God. We know what it is like being mocked for having different customs at home, for celebrating holidays that our Christian neighbors have never heard of (and often can’t pronounce). We know what it is like to be preached to every day by neighbors trying to convert us and “save our souls.” We know what it is like to be told that our religion is inferior to Christianity by people who do not understand even the most basic tenets of our faiths (as well as their own).

Despite the real political differences that exist over Middle East policy between members of our communities, we have a common bond of being outsiders, of being the misunderstood “other” in a Christian world. And that common bond has always allowed me to transcend political differences with my Jewish friends and meet them on the field of shared loneliness that is the lot of those who are different.

And that is why it breaks my heart to watch a respected Jewish organization like the Anti-Defamation League fall into the abyss of anti-Muslim bigotry over the past several years. Many Americans, including many Jews, have expressed shock at the ADL’s recent announcement that it sides with bigots and fear-mongers who oppose the building of the Cordoba House Islamic center in southern Manhattan.

Regrettably, I am not surprised. The ADL, which was founded in 1913 as a powerful voice against religious discrimination in America, has over the past decade become increasingly xenophobic toward the Muslim community, which its leaders seem to view as a threat to Jews due to its lack of support for Israel. As a Christian friend who works in the Obama Administration lamented to me recently, the ADL has in essence become the “Pro-Defamation League” when it comes to Islam and Muslims.

The recent comments by Abraham Foxman, National Director of the ADL, against the proposed Muslim community center in New York are the latest in a long line of incidents where members of the ADL have promoted bigotry and discrimination against Arabs and Muslims. In 1993, the ADL illegally spied on American citizens who had spoken out in sympathy with Palestinians, generating a watch list of 10,000 names of private citizens and over 600 groups, and then selling the list to South African intelligence agents.

The ADL was sued for violating privacy rights and settled out of court. But the organization did not learn its lesson. Through the past decade, it has regularly organized smear campaigns around Muslim leaders and conferences, falsely imputing terrorist sympathies to some of the most moderate and respected leaders of the community.

In one of its ugliest campaigns, the ADL protested the right of Muslim college students at UC Irvine to wear graduation stoles that carried the Shahada, the basic testimony of Islamic faith: “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his Messenger.” The ADL claimed that the Muslim students were supporting terrorist groups like Hamas by wearing a common symbol of their religion. As a Muslim, I was left absolutely stunned at the stupidity of this argument. It was the equivalent of trying to bar Christian students from wearing crosses because the cross is a symbol that has been used by Christian extremists like the Crusaders and the Ku Klux Klan! The ADL was forced to apologize and retract its statements that the Shahada was “an expression of hate.”

To be fair, the ADL has in a few instances spoken up in defense of Muslim civil rights, notably when the topic of Israel is not involved. The ADL publicly denounced the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia and criticized the Swiss government for amending the constitution in 2009 to prevent the building of mosque minarets.

But the preponderance of its actions over the past decade have made it clear that when Muslim grievances against Israel are raised, the ADL will firmly side with its co-religionists rather than adhere to its underlying mission of standing for justice and equality for all humanity. On some level, perhaps that is understandable, if not excusable. But what is particularly shocking about the recent statements against the Cordoba House is that the ADL appears to have moved from a knee-jerk defense of Israel to an aggressive stance attacking American Muslims even when there is no criticism of Israel involved.

I have written at length on the Huffington Post about the founders of the Cordoba House and how they represent progressive Islam and embrace people of all religions, including Jews. I know Daisy Khan personally and she is a gracious and gentle woman who espouses love and wisdom, not hate. The writings of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf continue to inspire me and countless mainstream Muslims to improve our communities and defeat the extremists that threaten to corrupt Islam from within.

The opponents of the Islamic Center have gone out of their way to vilify and defame these honorable people, who are leaders of the moderate Islam that the media is always claiming doesn’t exist. Muslim leaders like Daisy Khan and Imam Abdul Rauf have endured with great dignity the double-pronged attack from their enemies. First, the media spreads the lie that Muslim leaders like them do not speak out against terrorism. And when they do speak out, they are either ignored or lumped in with the very extremists they are fighting. The Cordoba House is exactly the voice of moderate Islam that needs to be highlighted at a time when Muslim extremists and anti-Muslim bigots both want Islam, a spiritual path of great beauty, to be seen as a religion of hate and death.

But what is particularly painful for me as a Muslim is to watch how a group like the ADL, born out of the horrible experience of anti-Semitism and bigotry in America, can so easily turn its back on its heritage in order to join forces with the voices of hate and division. If any community knows what it is like to be branded with false stereotypes, to have the innocent condemned as guilty, it is the long-suffering Jewish people. To have its leaders now embrace the mindless, drunken crowd in its march of hate against a fellow religious minority’s right of worship, it is beyond obscene. And it is a fundamental rejection of everything that Judaism stands for.

In my latest novel, Shadow of the Swords, I delve deeply into the character of Maimonides, the great Jewish rabbi, who was friend and advisor to the Muslim sultan Saladin during the Crusades. In examining the experience of Maimonides, a Jew living as a minority among Muslims, I sought to demonstrate the ancient sympathy and understanding that Jews and Muslims had for each other at a time when both were being targeted by Christian persecutors. And I sought to share with my readers that the tenets of Judaism have always stood for social justice, mercy and wisdom, and that this ethical commitment served as a link of common understanding between Judaism and Islam at a time when Christianity stood for ignorance, murder and barbarism.

People who have read my book have expressed wonder at how two communities that were once intimate friends have become so estranged in the past century. The reasons for these modern divisions are long and complex, and are mainly linked to the trauma of Western colonization of the Muslim world, and the suffering of the Palestinians when Israel was created as the byproduct of that colonial history. Despite efforts by some Christians and Jews (as well as extremists among Muslims) to portray the current tensions between these communities as rooted in theological and cultural foundations, the reality is that Jews and Muslims historically got along much better than either group did with European Christians. When the Spanish Inquisition expelled Jews from Spain, where they had thrived under Muslim rule for 800 years, Spanish Jews found refuge in the Muslim Ottoman Empire and rose to positions of great economic and political power.

What the current leadership of the ADL does not understand is that there is no ancient enmity between Jews and Muslims. If many Muslims have problems with Israel today, that arises from real grievances about the treatment of Palestinians, not inherent hatred for Judaism in Islamic culture. What the ADL appears to fear is that as Muslims become part of the American fabric of life, that their critiques of Israel will lead one day to United States abandoning its long-term ally. This fear is, frankly, insane.

There is a place for dialogue, debate and disagreement about Middle Eastern politics among American citizens, and that discussion will not threaten Israel’s existence. As President Obama made abundantly clear in his speech to the Islamic world in Cairo last year, the bond between the United States and Israel is “unbreakable.” So Abraham Foxman should relax and take a breath. Muslim empowerment in the United States will not lead to a second Holocaust. Muslims praying at a mosque in New York City will not lead to death camps and mass extermination of the Jewish community.

Muslim voices joining the public forum will not add to anti-Semitism in America. But if the Jewish community is seen as willing to join in discrimination against innocent Americans to promote its own agenda – that perception will fulfill every anti-Semite’s ugly and false perception of the Jewish community as a self-serving and hypocritical group that only cares about its own pain and not the pain of others.

That ugly vision is not the Judaism I studied in college, the Judaism of Maimonides and Martin Buber, nor does it reflect the Judaism that I have experienced in my relationships with Jews all my life. But it appears to be the cheap and unworthy vision of the ADL leadership, and as such dishonors the Jewish legacy to this world.

The Judaism that I admire, that I write about in my novel, is the true Judaism of love for mankind, of humility before God, of service and compassion. It is the Judaism that stands for the rights of the weak and the oppressed against the arrogance of those in power. It is the Judaism of Moses standing in defiance of the Pharaoh on behalf of a group of powerless slaves.

It is the Judaism of Rabbi Hillel, one of the greatest religious visionaries of all time. Decades before Jesus Christ proclaimed the Golden Rule, Rabbi Hillel is famed for his response to a questioner who wanted to know the essence of Judaism, of the Torah, in the time it took him to stand on one foot. Hillel responded that the whole of the Torah could be summarized in one sentence.

“Do not do unto others what you would not have others do unto you.”

To Mr. Foxman and the rest of the ADL leadership, I ask if in your hearts you would want people to accuse innocent Jews of being enemies of the state? Would you want Jews to accept vilification of their entire religion if a handful of Jews ever did something wrong? Would you want Jews to tacitly accept the lies that bigots had projected on to them? And finally, would you want Jews to be forced to shut down their synagogues because of the misguided passions of a mob?

Would you want this done to Jews?

If the answer is no, then I ask as your Muslim brother that you follow the wisdom of Rabbi Hillel and the sages of Judaism.

Do not do the same hateful thing to my people.

Hat tip to Loonwatch!

Remind you of something?


The Muslim community in Riverside, California wants to build a community center/place of worship on land that they own in that town.  A conservative coalition that has been active with Republican and Tea Party functions sent an e-mail alert  to area newspapers  announcing they will hold  a one-hour “singing – praying – patriotic rally” beginning  at 12:30 p.m.  Friday, July 30 at the Islamic Center’s existing facility. That happens to be the time of day when Muslims gather for their congregational prayer. The email  recommended participants “bring your Bibles, flags, signs, dogs and singing voices.”

“We will not be submissive,” the notice proclaimed. “Our voices are going to be heard!” The alert went on to question what its authors described as Islamic beliefs. It suggested that participants sing during the rally because Muslim “women are forbidden to sing.” It suggested that rally participants bring dogs because Muslims “hate dogs.”

I can’t help but think this is what the organizers of this “event” had in mind when they thought about bringing dogs.  And yes, I had to go there.

No Comment


My Breaking Point


Everyone has their breaking point for hate speech and racism.  Mine came when I watched the video you can find here, where what started out to be a “decent” interview between a Fox reporter, Megyn Kelly, and a representative of the Media Research Center and Council of American-Islamic Relations ended with the Fox reporter shouting ‘that’s way out of line, that’s way out of line’  at the CAIR representative as if to imply he had no businesss making the assertion that more abortion clinic personnel  have been killed by members of the Christian right who protested what is  a legal right women have to abortion than people who’ve been killed by Muslims protesting depictions of the Last Messenger and Prophet.   Evidently that fact doesn’t fit into Fox News’ ideas of domestic terrorism and who the adherents of terrorism are especially if they are white Christians and not brown skinned bearded, covered and menacing Muslims.

Glen Greenwald’s breaking point must have come when he read a New York Times editorial by one Ross Douthat a rather nasty Islamophobe who has been featured in the pages of Miscellany101 before here.  Douthat’s piece put forth the premise Muslims can intimidate artists who live by poetic license into not offending Muslim sensibilities but law abiding Christians who supposedly don’t engage in the same polemic are  offended by artists who are not afraid of them nor have any respect for Christian religious beliefs.  Greenwald pretty much slams the door on Douthat and by extension the visibly upset FoxNews reporter’s argument thusly:

It looks like Ross Douthat picked the wrong month to try to pretend that threat-induced censorship is a uniquely Islamic practice.  Corpus Christi is the same play that was scheduled and then canceled (and then re-scheduled) by the Manhattan Theater Club back in 1998 as a result of “anonymous telephone threats to burn down the theater, kill the staff, and ‘exterminate’ McNally.”  Both back then and now, leading the protests (though not the threats) was the Catholic League, denouncing the play as “blasphemous hate speech.”

I abhor the threats of violence coming from fanatical Muslims over the expression of ideas they find offensive, as well as the cowardly institutions which acquiesce to the accompanying demands for censorship.  I’ve vigorously condemned efforts to haul anti-Muslim polemicists before Canadian and European “human rights” (i.e., censorship) tribunals.  But the very idea that such conduct is remotely unique to Muslims is delusional, the by-product of Douthat’s ongoing use of his New York Times column for his anti-Muslim crusade and sectarian religious promotion.

The various forms of religious-based, intimidation-driven censorship and taboo ideas in the U.S. — what Douthat claims are non-existent except when it involves Muslims — are too numerous to chronicle.  One has to be deeply ignorant, deeply dishonest or consumed with petulant self-victimization and anti-Muslim bigotry to pretend they don’t exist.  I opt (primarily) for the latter explanation in Douthat’s case.

As Balloon-Juice’s DougJ notes, everyone from Phil Donahue and Ashliegh Banfield to Bill Maher and Sinead O’Connor can tell you about that first-hand.  As can the cable television news reporters who were banned by their corporate executives from running stories that reflected negatively on Bush and the war.  When he was Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani was fixated on using the power of his office to censor art that offended his Catholic sensibilities.  The Bush administration banned mainstream Muslim scholars even from entering the U.S. to teach.  The Dixie Chicks were deluged with death threats for daring to criticize the Leader, forcing them to apologize out of fear for their lives.  Campaigns to deny tenure to academicians, or appointments to politicial officials, who deviate from Israel orthodoxy are common and effective.  Responding to religious outrage, a Congressional investigation was formally launched and huge fines issued all because Janet Jackson’s breast was displayed for a couple of seconds on television.

All that’s to say nothing of the endless examples of religious-motivated violence by Christian and Jewish extremists designed to intimidate and suppress ideas offensive to their religious dogma (I’m also pretty sure the people doing this and this are not Muslim).  And, contrary to Douthat’s misleading suggestion, hate speech laws have been used for censorious purposes far beyond punishing speech offensive to Muslims — including, for instance, by Christian groups invoking such laws to demand the banning of plays they dislike.

It’s nice that The New York Times hired a columnist devoted to defending his Church and promoting his religious sectarian conflicts without any response from the target of his bitter tribalistic encyclicals.  Can one even conceive of having a Muslim NYT columnist who routinely disparages and rails against Christians and Jews this way?  To ask the question is to answer it, and by itself gives the lie to Douthat’s typically right-wing need to portray his own majoritarian group as the profoundly oppressed victim at the hands of the small, marginalized, persecuted group which actually has no power (it’s so unfair how Muslims always get their way in the U.S.).  But whatever else is true, there ought to be a minimum standard of factual accuracy required for these columns.  The notion that censorship is exercised only on behalf of Muslims falls far short of that standard.

(1) Several people are insisting that the problem of violence and threats by Muslims is far greater than, and thus not comparable to, those posed by Christians and Jews.  This is just the same form of triabalistic, my-side-is-always-better blindness afflicting Douthat.  Who could possibly look at the U.S. and conclude that brutal, inhumane, politically-motivated, designed-to-intimidate violence is a particular problem among Muslims, or that Muslims receive special, unfairly favorable treatment as a result of their intimidation?  Do you mean except for the tens of thousands of Muslims whom the U.S. has imprisoned without charges for years, and the hundreds of thousands our wars and invasions and bombings have killed this decade alone, and the ones from around the world subjected to racial and ethnic profiling, and the ones we’ve tortured and shot up at checkpoints and are targeting for state-sponsored assassination?

(2) There’s no question that violence or threatened violence by Islamic radicals against authors, cartoonists and the like is a serious problem.  But (a) simply click on the links above — or talk to workers in abortion clinics about the climate in which they work — and try to justify how you can, with a straight face, claim it’s not very pervasive among extremists and fanatics generally, and (b) avoid exaggerating the problem.  The group that threatened the South Park creators is a tiny, fringe group founded by a former right-wing Jewish-American settler in the West Bank who converted to Islam and spends most of his time harrassing American Muslims (the former “James Cohen”; h/t Archtype); they’re about as representative of Muslims generally as Fred Phelps and these people are representative of Christians.  Moreover, numerous blogs displayed the Mohammed cartoons and plan to do so again; the notion that the Western World is cowering in abject fear from Muslim intimidation is absurdly overblown.

(3) Sarah Palin recently defended the Rev. Franklin Graham’s statement that Islam is “a very evil and wicked religion.”  That barely caused a ripple of controversy.  Imagine if a leading political figure had said anything remotely similar about Christianity or Judaism.  The claim that Muslims receive some sort of special protection or sensitivity is the opposite of reality.

I might add everywhere you see The New York Times and or Ross Douthat in Greenwald’s piece above, you can safely insert FoxNews and Megyn Kelly, or any other corporate media type and their corresponding lackey/reporter….the rhetoric is essentially the same and equally perverse.  If you want to really get a flavor for Greenwald’s piece read it in its entirety here.

What is common about these two media encounters, mine and Greenwald’s is how it appears media wants to inflame public passions against a group of people who are 0.00067% of the Muslim population (548 members of Revolution Muslim out of an estimated population of 6 million Muslims)  of the US in such a way as to imply they can possibly limit or even do away with the freedoms of speech we hold so dearly when it has been the government’s response to this minuscule number that  poses a greater threat to that freedom than anything the Revolution Muslim can conjure.   Such is the rhetoric which drives media and government ever closer to the precipice of destroying the social order in a way no amount of terror, Islamic, foreign, domestic, militia driven or otherwise could ever do and yet the general public seems alright with that notion that freedom and liberty are ok to forfeit or lose at the expense of persecuting minorities, the opposition, but certainly for now Muslims.  It is a notion we have embraced to readily in our past and it’s time to forgo it now.

Jerusalem Belongs to More than One Tribe


The battle for Jerusalem goes on but Miscellany101 wants to highlight some voices that too often get drowned out in the cacophony  that is designed to confuse and distort.  Before getting to the heart of the refutation that Jerusalem belongs only to Israel’s Jews, it’s necessary to excerpt the post that started it all.

For me,(Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor,  who took out full page ads in major American newspapers to express his views on the city of Jerusalem) the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics. It is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture — and not a single time in the Koran. Its presence in Jewish history is overwhelming. There is no more moving prayer in Jewish history than the one expressing our yearning to return to Jerusalem. To many theologians, it IS Jewish history, to many poets, a source of inspiration. It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain. When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time; it is a homecoming. The first song I heard was my mother’s lullaby about and for Jerusalem. Its sadness and its joy are part of our collective memory.

Since King David took Jerusalem as his capital, Jews have dwelled inside its walls with only two interruptions; when Roman invaders forbade them access to the city and again, when under Jordanian occupation, Jews, regardless of nationality, were refused entry into the old Jewish quarter to meditate and pray at the Wall, the last vestige of Solomon’s temple. It is important to remember: had Jordan not joined Egypt and Syria in the war against Israel, the old city of Jerusalem would still be Arab. Clearly, while Jews were ready to die for Jerusalem they would not kill for Jerusalem.

Today, for the first time in history, Jews, Christians and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines. And, contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city. The anguish over Jerusalem is not about real estate but about memory.

Jerusalem must remain the world’s Jewish spiritual capital, not a symbol of anguish and bitterness, but a symbol of trust and hope. As the Hasidic master Rebbe Nahman of Bratslav said, “Everything in this world has a heart; the heart itself has its own heart.”

Jerusalem is the heart of our heart, the soul of our soul.

There is so much wrong with Mr. Wiesel’s claim that Christians and Muslims are allowed to build anywhere in the city it’s laughable.  However, one Reverend Frank Julian Gelli took it seriously enough to write this scalding rebuttal to Wiesel’s soliloquy.

‘For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics’, you declare. As a priest, a messenger of peace, I could not agree more. But you add that Jerusalem ‘belongs to the Jewish people’. Astonishing. Because that is an exquisitely political statement. To belong to means to be the property of someone. Jerusalem belongs to, is the property of the state of Israel, you therefore must mean – unless some occult, cabbalistic meaning is intended. How can you then say that Jerusalem is above politics? You are contradicting yourself, methinks. Being illogical is not being unethical, no. Just a little intellectually inconsistent. Join the club – but, from a messenger to mankind I would expect a tad more rigour.

Jerusalem ‘is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture – and not a single time in the Koran’ you assert, inferring politics straight from theology. Puzzling contention. Because statistical and numerical arguments are tricky. Consider: Mecca, the holiest city of Islam, is named explicitly only twice in the whole Qur’an – a third time under the name of ‘Bakka’. Would you then conclude that Mecca is only of minor importance to Muslim? Absurd.

‘Jerusalem must remain the world’s Jewish spiritual capital’, you contend. Once again, I wholeheartedly agree. But two points. First, a spiritual capital is not the same as a political capital. Rome is the spiritual capital of Roman Catholics. It is not, however, their political capital. Canterbury is Anglicanism’s spiritual centre but Anglicans have no political allegiance to it. Orthodox Christians still regard Constantinople as their spiritual navel, but few would ask the Turks to give it back…..

Second, spiritual imperialism must have limits. Jerusalem is not sacred only to Jews. This is not a political claim. It is a straightforward factual, historical statement. In the New Testament – as you are fond of statistics – Jerusalem is named 159 times – a very high number, given also that the NT is much smaller than the OT. You might have heard a Jew called Jesus of Nazareth once preached, taught, suffered, was crucified and arose from the grave in the very city of David.

You know, my heart overflows with emotion and my eyes with tears when I think about my beloved Lord’s life, his ministry, his passion, his agony in Jerusalem. So you see, you are not the only one to be moved, anguished or rejoiced, by ancestral memories connected with the holy city. Christians are, too.  And amongst mankind, Christians – nominal or actual – number 2.1 billion. It is fair to conclude they too have at least as rightful and as strong a claim to the spiritual Jerusalem as 1.5 billion Muslims and 14 million Jews.

It’s sad that the apartheid state of Israel where nationality is a religious not a civil designation somehow or another enlists the support of a Nobel Peace prize, 1986 winner to wax eloquently about the importance of Jerusalem to Israeli Jews while the homes of Palestinian Christians and Muslims are being destroyed and their lives wantonly disregarded. A state that uses such internationally reknown mouthpieces to mask its death and destruction should not be the recipient of American largesse or respect.

NOW The Teabaggers Have a Reason to be MAD!


Just when you think it’s safe to have hope in government they go and make a major bo0 boo when it comes to your rights as a citizen.  For now, government is pretty safe in saying they will go after and even KILL Anwar al-Awlaki because as far as everyone is concerned he’s a bad guy and he’s not entitled to the same rights and privileges as the rest of us and that’s because the government said so.  It doesn’t matter that not one shred of proof has been offered other than the government’s claim to Awlaki’s nefarious character, or that we haven’t given him a chance to defend himself against the accusation.  Nor does it seem to matter that his rights as an American citizen are irrelevant as far as the government is concerned; perhaps there are many who assert he isn’t an American citizen, much like the teabaggers who say the same about Obama, and in that he and Obama, oddly enough, have something  in common. What is telling is the government’s premise their position to extra-judiciously kill Awlaki is in ‘strict accordance with the law.‘  He’s no longer considered a ‘militant preacher’ now he’s an operative for al-Qaida based on the kind of evidence that was enough to allow others to stand trial or have access to the judicial system but for him is a death sentence without recourse to the rights guaranteed him by the US Constitution.  However the incremental erosion of citizenship rights by Government means what’s here and allowed today can very easily be taken away tomorrow merely on the declaration of an un-named and in general civics terms unaccountable public  servant.

What bothers this observer is how close the US response to perceived acts of terrorism mimics that of the Israelis who claimed the right to kill any of their enemies whenever and wherever they wanted at the beginning of the 21st century.  Years later Israel is still an insecure, even by their own admission, country that continues to kill its opponents while at the same time further dimming hopes for peace and security.  Simply put, assassinations of political foes does not engender security or peace nor the cessation of hostilities, but rather exacerbates them.  That is a lesson the US, despite the Israeli model, has refused to learn.

What looms on the American horizon is the prospect that any one who resists the government and can be adequately portrayed as evil enough for his death to be accepted by a large segment of the US population stands the risk of having their rights casually dismissed and their life equally dispatched the way of a common criminal without the ability to prove or disprove a charge or legally defend himself. I know that’s enough to get tea baggers angry in this day and age; the existence of a black American as president sets them off.  The polarization of American society has made it possible for people to turn a blind eye to  the idea that one branch of government can unilaterally determine the rights it is willing to extend to a citizen with the citizen having no say in the matter especially when that citizen is not from one group or another.  That can only mean the continued insurgency of the federal government on the rights of its citizen.

Voodoo Terror Alerts


In light of the recent attempt on December 25 to take down an airliner on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, a few things should be kept in  mind.  The alleged terrorist was on a watch list connecting him to terrorism for over two years, was a Nigerian citizen who was denied entry into the UK after graduating from there and still he was given a visa to come to the US!?  Moreover, his own father had alerted US authorities six months ago to his son’s extremist views and none of that previous history was enough to make people at airports in Nigeria or Amsterdam to even perform a pat down of the young man before he boarded a plane?  I know we just came off the Christmas holiday which can stretch credulity to its limits with images of Santa Claus and red nosed reign deer but to think that is plausible is to think 19 hijackers can collectively penetrate the most protected air space of any place in the world on orders from a man in a cave with a cell phone to attack some of the most secured buildings ever built.  Quite simply it just doesn’t happen, and if it does, people from TSA to Homeland Security to airport authorities and airline companies across three continents should have their heads lopped from their shoulders for incompetence.

It should be apparent to all concerned that all of the inconvenience and intrusiveness citizens have  gone through as we travel all over the world has nothing to do with our or the nation’s security, but is rather done to us or visited upon us by the new class of welfare queens and kings who are stealing from the nation’s coffers as they perpetuate one of  the biggest frauds known to man…that of the threat of terror.  This latest “terrorist” should have never been allowed to board a plane headed for America with all the attention he had supposedly received from his father to officials in the UK to bureaucrats in Delta, Northwestern and the bowels of the US federal government. Not one voice of dissent was raised when this young man bought his ticket in Nigeria; not one red flag or alarm was sounded as he travelled and it was only the brave acts of individual citizens who were seated near him that stopped a disaster that the government has been telling us for the last 8 years only it can stop at the expense of untold amounts of money and human suffering for the innocent.

So it should come as no surprise this story of vodoo terror alerts…you know the kind that never materialize because they aren’t really real…..where a man claimed he could decipher terror chatter from al-Jazeerah TV’s airwaves; this assertion was enough to cause the Bush administration to raise the terror alert level to level Orange, in of all months……December…… Merry Christmas……..just in time to claim that terrorism war was aimed at Christians celebrating Christmas, much like the attempted assassination or rather sacrifice made on the passengers of flight 253 on December 25, 2009 would have signified had it been successful.  In the case of the al-Jazeerah story, the fraudster Dennis Montgomery was discovered and outed as a liar and con man by people in government but not before literally stealing money from you and I while lying about what he could do.  As it turns out he couldn’t do anything he promised, and that seems to be the story of much of what has to do with terrorism and the federal government.  It can do very little to “protect” us and in some cases has been the source of much of our terror.  How else can you account for the fact that Umar Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab was able to purchase a ticket on an American airliner with all that is in place to prevent people like him from flying!  No doubt it will be said ‘more needs to be done’ and I would agree.  Let’s start by firing the idiots who don’t do their jobs and crediting the people who really saved lives…the passengers of flight 253.   Let me be one who says, like my brothers in arms of the 2nd amendment, we don’t need more laws we just need people to enforce the laws we already have.

Blowback-The Intended Consequence of American Foreign Policy-The Awlaki Interview


It was one of the themes of Ron Paul’s candidacy for president in 2008; American foreign policy would exact a price for Americans that they should neither have to pay or  or are not responsible for paying.  Blowback, a term coined by the CIA after their coup was responsible for re-installing the Shah of Iran to power in the early 1950s means the possible “unintended consequences” of American government’s  covert action against other countries, most notably those in the Middle East and elsewhere.  Paul used the term to refer to any policy of the US government, covert or otherwise that adversely affected the people to whom it was directed, but might have possibly been considered advantageous to American interests in the short term.  What Paul and his supporters, I counted myself among them, wanted to say was that American interventionist policy held no strategic long term advantage for anyone and the best course of action was for the US to not become obstructionist in its relations with foreign countries, especially those in the Middle East.

In the present much ado has been made about a certain Imam that might have inspired Nidal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter of late, to commit his acts of murder and mayhem, saying the Imam, Anwar Al-Awlak used his firebrand rhetoric which he espoused while an Imam in an Arlington, Va masjid shortly after 911 and which left an indelible mark on Hasan until today.  However, that narrative is incomplete and at the same time convenient for the proponents of blowback, because it allows policy and public to aim their ire at the people who respond to acts of aggression against them in much the same way as they are assaulted.  Thanks to the American Muslim blog, I ran across a National Geographic interview with Al-Awlak while he was Imam of Dar al-Hijrah  masjid and the things he said at that time are a far cry from the firebrand rhetoric he is accused of using to incite people to acts of terrorism against America. In answer to the question of the climate in America created by the 911 catastrophe, al Awlak had this to say.

we stated our position clearly, and I even feel that it’s unfortunate that we have to state this position because no religion would condone this, so it should be common knowledge. But we were in a position where we had to say that Islam does not approve of this. There is no way that the people who did this could be Muslim, and if they claim to be Muslim, then they have perverted their religion.We encourage people to participate in blood drives, we encourage them to donate, and then we encourage the community to reach out. Part of the blame is on us that we haven’t been very active in reaching out to our fellow citizens, so that when these things happen we don’t have to go through this unfortunate backlash. We had a neighbor come in, and she said, “I’m coming to show my solidarity with you, to let you know that we are with you in this and that we are sorry for the difficult times you’re going through.” And then she said, “I wish you had came and visited me earlier, to give me an understanding of your religion. Although we were neighbors, we didn’t really hear from you.” This really is a message for us Muslims, that we need to reach out.

He defined “jihad” this way

The linguistic meaning of the word is “struggle.” The jihad of the individual would be to struggle against the evils of oneself. Therefore, it’s a continuous process of improvement. It is striving to become closer to God. That’s jihad for the individual.Jihad for the community is to protect the religion from any inside or outside enemy. So the jihad of the community would mean that if there is any internal corruption, we would struggle to get rid of it. And if there is an invading force from outside, then we would, too, struggle to defend ourselves, and that is where armed combat occurs. So actually, fighting is only a part of the jihad, and it’s considered to be a defensive force in order to protect the religion. If somebody defends their life, their property or their family, this is considered to be a jihad.

 

Could it be this was the ideology that attracted a searching Nidal Hasan to Awlaki at a time when he was looking for direction and purpose?  As we mentioned in an earlier post the place of worship in Virginia where Awlaki was imam was well known to federal authorities and worhshippers there remember Awlaki strongly condemning acts of terrorism on American soil, as the tone of the above interview seems to suggest.  In a heavy dose of foreshadowing, Awlaki while referring to bin Laden had this to say,

My worry is that because of this conflict,(i.e. in the Middle East-pre Iraq war)  the views of Osama bin Laden will become appealing to some of the population of the Muslim world. Never in the past were there any demonstrations raising the picture of Osama Bin Laden—it has just happened now. So Osama bin Laden, who was considered to be an extremist, radical in his views, could end up becoming mainstream. That’s a very frightening thing, so the U.S. needs to be very careful and not have itself perceived as an enemy of Islam.

True to form, America did just the opposite, entering into what George Bush and others in his administration and the  media called the “clash of civilizations”, an inevitable war of the worlds, and blowback ensued, which is just what the fanatics on both sides of the divide, in Washington and in cities across the Middle East wanted.  Throughout the Iraqi war the constant refrain was the occupation of Iraq by American troops  made America less safe today than it was before and the radicalization of people like Awlaki is proof of that.  Even in the words of the milquetoast Washington Post, Awlaki didn’t become radicalized until he returned to Yemen in 2004, the land of his parents, and witnessed  firsthand the destruction of a nominal agrarian society by an aggressive American foreign policy toward  Yemen and other countries in the Middle East. The fact that Yemeni authorities arrested him once and tried to identify him with a group he had previously eschewed and whose tactics he had condemned played no small part in his about face to  today.  Blowback; and the ability of policy wonks to point to him and by extension Hasan as a reason for repressive measures against Arab/Muslim citizens of the United States, as well as increased vigilance, read, military spending and government intrusion into the lives of all citizens is a convenience of blowback that the initiators and proponents cannot  overlook.  Quite simply, many in government want dissension and strife in areas of the world and if need be at home as well, to justify their continued occupation of such areas amidst huge military and government appropriations.  Anything that can be done to justify this trend is acceptable in their rational, and blowback becomes just another tool, at the risk of ordinary citizens, for the interference of government in people’s lives, either as oppressors or liberators or saviors.

 

Muslim Spies in Congress: A Classic Misdirection Play


Chris Gaubatz Chris Gaubatz, pictured on the right next to Representative Andre Carson, along with his father have produced what they think is an explosive book about the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR,  a Muslim civil rights organization’s attempts to infiltrate Congress with spies as interns.  Yes, this is another in a long line of attempts to discredit, denigrate, pollute Islam’s presence in America, and you the reader should ask yourself the question why is so much effort being made to destroy a religion in the land of the free and the home of brave.  The book in question is called Muslim Mafia, and the writer, Chris’ dad, Dave Gaubatz is literally on the fringe when it comes to sanity in today’s America; you can read about his dubious past here.  Among some of his more enlightened pronouncements is the one where he says when talking about the Obama campaign, ‘We are now on the verge of allowing a self admitted ‘crack-head’ to have his finger on every nuclear weapon in America.’ His tendency to make things up out of thin air is continued in the aforementioned book.  What’s disturbing about it, apart from the fact he prostituted his son to lie and deceive the people who work in the offices of CAIR where he stole memos from them, no doubt that the FBI already possessed, to prove his theory of spying, is the fact this book was announced by four members of Congress, one of whom wrote the forward for the book…….a bit of self-promotion never hurt anybody I guess.  This is the same Congress, an institution where one of their own esteemed members has already been outed as a spy!

HarmanJane Harman, democrat from California has been recorded discussing making a deal with some Israeli intelligence officer who was being monitored by the feds through a court approved wiretap.  Harman was to throw the full weight of her office behind getting the Justice Department to drop the charges against two AIPAC officials….the DOJ inevitably did just that,  who were accused for spying for Israel in exchange for being appointed chairman of the House Intelligence Committee with the help of said Israeli officer. It doesn’t help Harman’s supporters to know that Harman had been under investigation since 2006 and that DOJ attorneys had decided she indeed committed a crime in her discussions with the Israelis.  That doesn’t seem to matter to the likes ofReps. Sue Myrick (NC), John Shadegg (AZ), Paul Broun (GA), and Trent Franks (AZ), who claim the Muslim menace is imminent and deadly and by extension trumps anything Harman ever did.  Yet, the CAIR’s  literature used by Gaubatz to expose their dastardly plot reveals them to be no more than a public advocacy group for the rights of Muslim Americans and a lobbying organization with far less effectiveness than AIPAC.

The second part of the misdirection involves diverting attention away from the efforts Muslims have made to report, bring to the attention of authorities or police,  members of their community only to have their efforts denied, like the community in California that reported an obviously errant Muslim who it later turned out was a FBI informant only to have one of their own arrested and the  subject of a government investigation.   Or how about the Muslim community leader,  known as an Imam, who was arrested by federal authorities because while he agreed to help law enforcement round up radical leaning Muslims he refused to do so surreptitiously. Left with examples like this Muslim communities throughout America feel helpless to stop what are many times government inspired plots of violence against American citizens because such disclosure to or cooperation with federal authorities often leads to negative consequences to otherwise law abiding citizens.   Perhaps this high publicity appearance of the four horsemen congressional representatives was meant to get the members of CAIR and other Muslim civil rights groups to come running back to federal officials begging to be accepted by them and agreeing to any terms dictated by law enforcement to counter any negative publicity generated by this “book”.  I hope that doesn’t happen, and it shouldn’t.   The Muslim community has done more than  their share to show good faith in working with law enforcement  to eliminate any threat to the security of American citizens….many of them Muslims.  This spurious book, Muslim Mafia, is the thanks they get for that.

Eid Mubarak


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To those who fasted and celebrated the month of Ramadan, Eid Mubarak.

Ramadan Kareem to all


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The 2nd Amendment pushed to the limits


gun_toterI am a big time supporter of the 2nd amendment and believe every citizen should exercise his or her right to own firearms.  EVERY citizen.  I am somewhat mildly amused at the demonstrators mingling with crowds of  protesters at President Obama’s appearances at different venues across America, while other citizens take it all in and law enforcement officers are civil during the display of armed resistance to a President of the United States and I ask myself the question what would be the reaction of the very same group of people to the presence of armed Muslims outside a George Bush appearance during his war on terror era?  No doubt it would provoke mass detention of every member of the Islamic faith in America’s borders, and a prohibition of some sort that would single out that group from legally owning firearms.  I doubt very seriously that those who are carrying their weapons at such events as those which Obama has spoken are true supporters of the 2nd amendment in all its meaning but rather using it as a symbol of resistance to government policies.  As such, they are selfish ideologues  whose blatant disregard for the public safety and well being jeopardize the amendment more than anything Obama could do with all of big government behind him.   How would the people openly carrying firearms in protest of Obama’s policies act towards similarly armed citizens in close proximity with signs supporting an Obama led federal government, and what would be the stance of till now completely law observant local and federal law officials to such a situation?  It’s ironic to see such people standing among crowds with signs protesting big government when these same signs were absent during the Bush administration which ratcheted up the size of government by way of its phony war on terror.   I wonder what would be the response of today’s patriots patrolling the grounds near the appearance of a black POTUS to the presence of armed opponents of the Bush doctrine of preemptive strikes and wars of aggression at one of Bush’s rallies not so many years ago? I remember clearly supporters of Bush saying sometimes rights have to be curtailed, suspended, abridged, infringed upon, at times in order to protect the public.  Certainly that would not be their cry today, and if they say they believe  fundamentally in the right of citizens to keep and bear arms, no matter what their persuasion, I would ask them to come out and support the trial of Daniel Boyd whose crime it seems is that he too owned guns and differed with the current political winds.  I don’t think you’ll see the guy in the above photo or any others like him at Boyd’s trial.

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Europe’s Hitler Moment Relived


fascismThe Europeans are getting all uptight about the Muslim presence on their soil and are reacting pretty much like they did during the middle of the 20th century with their racist diatribe against Jews.

Britain and the rest of the European Union are ignoring a demographic time bomb: a recent rush into the EU by migrants, including millions of Muslims, will change the continent beyond recognition over the next two decades, and almost no policy-makers are talking about it.

The numbers are startling. Only 3.2 per cent of Spain’s population was foreign-born in 1998. In 2007 it was 13.4 per cent. Europe’s Muslim population has more than doubled in the past 30 years and will have doubled again by 2015. In Brussels, the top seven baby boys’ names recently were Mohamed, Adam, Rayan, Ayoub, Mehdi, Amine and Hamza.

As is with so much else about racial histrionics, a lot of what is being bandied about in Europe is untrue, unproven, distorted, etc. You can find a pretty comprehensive debunking of the “claims” of the racists here. One should pay particular attention to parties and party hacks who spout this racist nonsense and work hard through the electoral process to prevent the prevalence of such notions to influence government policy.  Stay tuned for similar garbage to infest America’s shores.

Hijab allowed in Georgia Courtrooms


hijab-demo-17jan04-741Any form of religious expression which is incontrovertibly linked to a religion should be classified as free speech in America and therefore the bearer or wearer should be allowed to go wherever need be.  It was disgraceful for personnel in a Georgia court room to cite a Muslim woman for contempt of court and sentence her to 10 days in prison for the “offense” of wearing her religiously mandated scarf to court.  She wasn’t scheduled to testify, she wasn’t a defendant or lawyer in court, she was merely accompanying a relative and was met at the door with the State’s infringement on her right to freedom of religion.  That has now changed, for the Muslim citizens of Georgia.

Georgia courtrooms will allow religious headgear after last year’s arrest of a Muslim woman who refused to remove her headscarf in a west Georgia courthouse.The Judicial Council of Georgia voted unanimously this week to allow religious and medical headgear into Georgia courtrooms. It also allows a person to request a private inspection if a security officer wants to conduct a search.

“If this had been a nun, no one would have required her to remove her habit,” said Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, who heads the Judicial Council. “I think this is a good rule, and I think it’s clear.”

The policy shift stems from the December 2008 arrest of Lisa Valentine, who was ordered to serve 10 days in jail for contempt of court after she refused to remove her hijab at a courtroom in Douglasville, a town of about 20,000 people west of Atlanta. She was released in less than a day.

Muslim rights activists were infuriated by the incident, pressing the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the incident and organizing a protest. The city also said its employees would take sensitivity training classes.

City officials at the time said they were trying to follow courtroom rules that restricted headgear, but the city said the officer who detained Valentine should have sought a solution that “would preserve the spirit of the law.”

Valentine, who did not immediately return phone messages Friday, said she was accompanying her nephew to a hearing when officials stopped her at the metal detector and told her she couldn’t enter the courtroom with the headscarf, known as a hijab.

She said she was stopped by officers when she objected and turned to leave, and that she was later brought before a municipal court judge who ordered her held for contempt of court.

City officials did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment, but Douglasville Police Chief Joe Whisenant characterized the incident at the time as a miscommunication.

The police department said in a news release that Valentine was found in contempt for fighting with one of the officers, not for wearing a scarf. The city said she was released after it was determined there had not been a fight.

Muslims are just as much a part of the American fabric as any other ethnic group and their rights as citizens cannot and should not be abridged because of personal dislikes or community wide prejudices.  Personal likes and dislikes have no place in determining what is legal and illegal.  The Constitution, and particularly the 1st amendment  says in clear language that the legislative body of this Republic cannot make any law prohibiting the free exercise of any religion.  In this regard we are different and better than our European cousins who bend the rules to satisfy contemporary societal mores usually directed towards those they deem distasteful.  Whether we like it or not, we have become a pluralistic society that is home to people of faiths, colors, creeds that span the entire breath of human existence; we must live under this umbrella of law that has been developed throughout the lifetime of America, sometimes carefully and deliberately, and at other times impulsively yet judiciously.  To do otherwise would make us criminals before the law and before our Creator.

What You Won’t Find in Corporate Media


muslim_clinicMain stream media and many politicians and other “phobes” have expended a lot of effort to portray Islam and Muslims as a menacing, threatening force in America, despite all the evidence to the contrary.  You can find a lot of  negative publicity about Muslims all over the blogosphere, so I’ll take the time to show you what some of your neighbors are doing to improve relations between the different communities as well as make a positive contribution to their society.  The three health care clinics mentioned in this piece are probably just a drop in the bucket in terms of the service Muslims seek to give to their communities.  The health care clinics in Flint, Michigan, Tampa, Florida and San Bernadino, California offer free health services to citizens of these cities regardless of race, color or creed.  George H.W. Bush called it a thousand points of light, and later on Colin Powell became the focal point for volunteerism nationwide, emphasizing the need for people to get involved in improving the quality of life without relying on big government to do that.  It seems the Muslims in America have taken that advise to heart.  It won’t stop the Islamophobes from their spread wide innuendo and rumor and fear mongering….but it will improve the quality of life of some of the people in the cities and towns where these Muslim professionals are busy at work.