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9241Islamophobia in the USA: Quran Burning Leader Running For Amarillo Mayor

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  • Zafar Khan
    Feb 20, 2011
      Quran Burning Leader Running For Amarillo Mayor
      Posted: Feb 16, 2011 1:54 PM GST
      Updated: Feb 16, 2011 2:07 PM GST


      A Texas man who tried to organize the burning of a Quran last September 11th is running for mayor of Amarillo.

      David Grisham, leader of "Repent Amarillo," filed his papers Monday.

      Grisham says he wants to lead the city in a new direction.

      "If the government authorities are to be ministers of God, then ministers of God need to be running for the offices of the governing authorities, makes sense to me," Grisham said.

      Grisham also made news for calling for the boycott of the city of Houston because it elected a homosexual mayor.

      Sue Myrick’s chief of Islamophobia, Hal Weatherman, is quitting
      February 15th, 2011 by John Grooms in Boomer with Attitude


      Soon we’ll find out whether Rep. Sue Myrick needs a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Myrick’s longtime chief of staff, Hal Weatherman, is leaving to become communications and marketing director for Act! For America, a radical Islamophobic group in Pensacola, Fla. AFA is led by one Brigitte Gabriel, who grew up in Lebanon, and gained notoriety for supporting the South Lebanon Army, which was responsible for the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres, in which around 2,000 Palestinian refugees, mostly women and children, were killed. This isn’t the first time someone in Myrick’s milieu has cooperated with loons. Myrick, remember, wrote the introduction to an anti-Muslim book written by David Gaubatz, who refers to Pres. Obama as “our Muslim leader” and a “crack-head.”
      Myrick, as you know if you read this blog, has spent the better part of the past couple of years going wild-eyed crazy over the supposed severe, immediate threat of Muslim terrorists in America. Weatherman, who is apparently just as caught up in the thrill of walking around scared all the time as Myrick, is throwing his lot in with a group that will allow him to do just that.

      Parents upset over use of the Quran in classroom
      By: Brad Broders


      ALBEMARLE – More than 100 people came out Thursday night in Albemarle to raise concern about an incident involving the holy book of Islam. Some parents say a teacher passed the Quran around a Stanly County middle school classroom.

      The use of an Islamic holy book in a Stanly County classroom has at least one parent up in arms.

      James Hinds, of Albemarle, said he was furious a few months ago when his daughter told him the Islamic holy book 'the Quran' was shown by her teacher in class at North Stanly Middle School.

      “A picture can show them what they needed to know. They didn't actually have to physically put the book in my child's face,” Hinds said.

      District officials said Thursday the Quran was used as an artifact not as an instructional tool and that the discussion of religious differences in the world was well within the proper social studies curriculum.

      “We can learn about religion of other countries without them having to put the text in it,” Hinds said.

      FBI rules graffiti wasn't hate crime


      When members of the Islamic Center in Springfield arrived for prayers Jan. 8, they were confronted with hate-filled graffiti scrawled across the walls of the building.

      "You bash us in Pakistan. We bash you here," the red spray paint said.

      One message, "Allah F...bar" implied an understanding of an Arabic saying, Allahu akbar -- God is great.

      Other messages were sexual, including a drawing of a penis near the women's entrance and a reference to Allah being gay.

      Two days later, another act of vandalism broke off an exterior water spigot.

      The police were called both times. A Springfield Police Department incident report dated Jan. 8 describes the "nature of the call" as "graffiti."

      "I called the police first," said Robert Pollpeter, a member of the mosque. The police told him the investigation would go no further.

      Pollpeter also called the FBI, which determined that the incident was not a hate crime.

      80+ Long Island Faith Leaders Call on Rep. Peter King to Cancel Muslim Hearings
      Urge Dialogue Instead of Divisive, Counterproductive "Muslim Radicalization" Congressional Hearings
      February 17, 2011


      Over 80 people of faith from Long Island, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and interfaith leaders, sent a letter today to Representative Peter King (R-NY), urging him to cancel his planned Congressional hearings to investigate claims of "radicalization" in the American Muslim community. These diverse faith leaders believe the singling out of the Muslim community undermines fundamental American values and is counterproductive to improving national security.

      The signers urge Rep. King, who represents part of Long Island, to "conven[e] a dialogue among faith leaders, law enforcement and elected officials" rather than hold hearing that "will only further divide our community and undermine our nation's highest ideals."

      The hearings have attracted national controversy and concern among religious, civil rights , and national security organizations. Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) have urged Rep. King to broaden the scope of the hearings to account for the array of threats our nation faces, but Representative King has refused. A poll released this week by Public Religion Research Institute also shows that nearly three-quarters (72%) of Americans agree that Congress should investigate religious extremism anywhere it exists and not single out Muslim -Americans.

      Rep. King's stated motivation for the hearings is a concern that Muslim Americans do not adequately cooperate with law enforcement but he continues to ignore prominent law enforcement officials who disagree with his claim on Muslim cooperation.

      Hearings on U.S. Muslims
      Published: February 15, 2011



      CAIR rebukes criticism from Libertarian writer
      By ALEX ROSE


      A local Libertarian commentator recently caused a stir when he asked freshman U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, if he is “with us or against us” regarding a Pennsylvania chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations annual banquet being held in Springfield March 12.

      “The group’s infiltration into the Philadelphia area is not only problematic but extremely dangerous for law-abiding citizens here,” Aaron Proctor said on his examiner.com local news feed. “CAIR is an Islamic group that forwards the false belief that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’ when it is simply a terroristic world-dominating political movement and not a religion at all.”

      He called the annual dinner at Springfield Country Club a “planned intimidation of law-abiding American citizens” and said Meehan and CAIR supporters should not get a “free pass” for allowing the banquet to go unnoticed.

      Dennis Ciciretti, general manager of the country club, described CAIR as a very peaceful group that the facility had hosted for years. He said he hadn’t received any pressure to cancel the banquet and that he didn’t see any reason he should.

      “We’ve got a great relationship with the country club, we’re great partners, it’s an event of more than 800 to 900 Muslim Americans celebrating their rights and celebrating their American citizenship,” said CAIR Philadelphia Chapter Executive Director Moein Khawaja. “Everyone who’s coming, including any politician or leader, they know that CAIR is a Muslim civil rights organization. It’s something the community is proud of and they continue to support us.”

      Religious War Comes to CPAC


      The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the annual three-day parade of GOP presidential hopefuls delivering paeans to God, country and capitalism, was this year embroiled in a full-scale, intra-party religious war. The conservative movement, according to a group of Islamophobic activists, has been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood, which they claim supports Sharia, “a supremacist program that justifies the destruction of Christian churches and parishioners” and “the replacement of our constitutional republic… with a theocratic Islamic caliphate governing according to shari’ah.”

      Right fractures over Islam


      Sharia Law or Constitution? America Must Choose
      By William G. Boykin


      We tend to assume Islam deserves unquestioned First Amendment protection. But it is a totalitarian way of life with aggressive political goals, not just a religion. What is to be done?
      The Founders who wrote the U.S. Constitution were very aware that the citizens of this nascent nation wanted the freedom to choose their own manner of worship. They made history by forbidding religious tests for public office in Article VI. They added the First Amendment to ensure that Americans would be protected from government interference in their spiritual affairs.
      But a dilemma exists in our nation today concerning whether or how the First Amendment should properly be applied to Islam. This essay will show that the ultimate outcome of blanket protection for Islam in all its manifestations on the grounds of “religious freedom” would be the establishment of Islamic law and government, or Sharia, alongside or in place of civil law and government in this country.
      As we will see, Sharia law is totalitarian in nature, providing no individual freedoms while virtually enslaving those who live under its authority. This is absolutely not what the Founders intended in creating the Bill of Rights.
      First Amendment Protection
      Ever since its ratification in 1791, the First Amendment protection from government control of the church and interference in the faith of individual citizens has been a cornerstone of the American way of life. Although the protections have been challenged and redefined through the years, and continue to be debated, overall they remain intact. What Thomas Jefferson called the “wall of separation between church and state” has become part of our political and cultural landscape.
      Most Americans accept the notion that the Constitution allows them to worship any way they choose, periodor to declare themselves atheists and not worship at all. Muslims who follow the teachings of the Koran, the Islamic holy book, have, therefore, enjoyed complete First Amendment protection like other faith, ever since the first Muslims arrived in America in the 19th century.
      Case closed? No, because adherents of any doctrine, faith, or religion are still bound by the laws of the land. Citizens as well as visitors in America are required to obey all laws, regardless of any conflict with their individual beliefs or form of worship.
      For example, religions that call for animal sacrifice or encourage sex with minors are not permitted to act out such rituals. While some Mormons may believe in polygamy, they are not allowed to practice it. Other practices such as the use of narcotics and mind-altering drugs are also deemed unlawful, religious justifications to the contrary notwithstanding.
      To be a good American, one must accept these legal restrictions in the interest of public order, human dignity, and cultural consensus. People of faith can use their constitutional freedoms to try to change laws they may find objectionable due to conflicts with their faith. But meanwhile, no one is excused from obeying the law as it stands.

      Facing down Islamophobia: interview with Zahra Billoo


      Man stabbed in the neck by 'friend' because he was Muslim


      South Dakota Considering Ban on Courts Using “Foreign Religious or Moral Code”


      St. Louis-area Somalis feel intimidated by FBI


      Hate Crimes Examined
      USF and SUNY-Albany researchers explored the post-9/11 spike in hate crimes, but found some curious results.
      Special to USF.edu News


      TAMPA. Fla. (Feb. 1, 2011) – In the weeks and months following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, hate crimes against Arab and Muslim-Americans spiked. However, hate crimes against other groups decreased during this time, says a newly published article authored by researchers at the University of South Florida and the State University of New York at Albany.

      "Hate Crimes against Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 America," appearing in the February issue of Social Problems, reveals that, concurrent to the dramatic rise in hate crimes against Arab and Muslim-Americans in the wake of 9/11, the incidence of hate crimes against blacks, whites, Asians, and Latinos fell.

      The team of sociologists, led by USF Associate Professor James Cavendish and doctoral student Ilir Disha and associate professor Ryan King from SUNY-Albany conclude that "9/11 created a climate in which many Americans felt united against a 'new enemy' and in which acts of hatred against Arabs and Muslims became 'normalized' behaviors."

      The researchers made ample use of hate-crime statistics from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) program, and to an important but lesser degree from U.S. Census demographic variables, Arab and Muslim advocacy groups' measures, and county indicators of political affiliation obtained from Polidata.

      The study also reveals that in the aftermath of 9/11 Arab and Muslim-Americans were at greatest risk of victimization in U.S. counties where their proportion of the population was very small while the proportion of the population that was white was very large. The authors argue that this is a case where "the small minority group is visible, has little protection, and is thus highly vulnerable."

      According to Cavendish, a couple of different theories might explain why Arab and Muslim Americans have higher rates of victimization in counties where their population proportions are small and whites’ population proportions are large. One theory, which the authors present in their article, argues that when a minority group represents an extremely small percentage of the population, the majority group may feel like it can commit acts of violence without fear of the minority group mobilizing or retaliating against it. The minority group, it is believed, is simply too small to pose a threat to those members of the majority who are inclined to commit acts of violence.

      The authors criticize the lack of an "Arab" category in the nation's hate-crime reporting mechanisms, which, they argue, is a major obstacle in studying hate crimes against Arab Americans in the wake of 9/11. While Muslims are covered by the racial, ethnic and religious categories established by the federal Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, hate crimes against Arabs are likely to be assigned to the "other ethnicity" category.

      The full report, Historical Events and Spaces of Hate: Hate Crimes against Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 America, is available at http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1525/sp.2011.58.1.21.pdf?acceptTC=true.

      Expert: Fireworks near mosque could have killed


      'He was serious,' bar owner said of mosque bomb suspect
      7:54 PM, Jan. 31, 2011


      Plot to blow up Dearborn mosque foiled by tip to police


      Man arrested in Dearborn served time for threats against Bush
      Jennifer Chambers and Francis X. Donnelly / The Detroit News
      Dearborn — A decorated Army veteran accused of plotting to blow up a Metro Detroit mosque served time in federal prison for threatening to kill President George W. Bush and bomb a Vermont veterans' clinic in 2002.
      Roger Stockham, 63, who flew 600 combat helicopter missions in Vietnam, is behind bars in Michigan after he drove from his home in California last week and parked a car with a trunk full of explosives outside the Islamic Center of America, authorities said.

      Acting on a tip, Dearborn police thwarted the alleged plot by arresting Stockham outside the sprawling religious center, one of the largest mosques in North America. At the time, 500 members were attending a funeral at the mosque.
      Stockham had high-end fireworks outside the 70,000-square-foot mosque, which has a 150-foot dome height and 10-story-tall minarets, said Dearborn Mayor John B. O'Reilly Jr.
      "The kind that are illegal here and if used in a building would cause tremendous harm," O'Reilly said Sunday.
      Stockham, who lives in Imperial Beach, Calif., is charged with one count of a false report or threat of terrorism and one count of explosives/possession of bombs with unlawful intent.
      He is being held on a $500,000 cash bond. He will be in court Friday for a hearing on the charges before 19th District Judge Mark Somers.
      Police said Stockham was in possession of class C fireworks, a 15-year felony. The terrorism charge carries a 20-year felony.
      FBI special agent Sandra Berchtold confirmed Sunday the FBI is investigating the incident, which was referred to the federal agency by Dearborn police.
      According to federal records, Stockham pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to federal charges stemming from the case in Vermont in 2004. That included threatening the president, mailing threatening communications, threatening by use of the telephone to use explosives, and threatening witnesses.
      A psychiatric examination found that Stockham suffered from bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and personality disorder with anti-social features.
      In the Vermont incident, he told authorities at the time of his arrest at a Veterans Affairs Department complex in Colchester that his minivan was full of explosives. A search found no explosives.
      Before the arrest, Stockham called a local paper twice to say he was going to explode bombs in the neighborhood. In one call, he identified himself as "Hem Ahadin," saying he was "a local Muslim terrorist on a roll."
      He ranted against the VA, the FBI and Bush, largely because of the things the president had said about Iraq in a speech earlier in the week.
      According to affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, Stockham threatened to carry out "jihad," or holy war, against the VA office in White River, Vt.
      Released in 2005
      In May 2005, a federal order of conditional release was issued for Stockham. It said the warden of the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Miss., certified that Stockham had recovered from his mental disease and that his conditioned release under a regimen of treatments would not create a risk of bodily injury or harm to others.
      He left federal lockup in September 2005.
      Just two weeks ago, Stockham was on Facebook, posting a rambling statement in which he again refers to himself as "Hem Ahadin," calling it his Muslim name.
      Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Michigan chapter, said he learned from police that Stockham had been drinking at a Detroit bar on Monday when he threatened to do harm to a mosque in Dearborn.
      A bar employee followed the man outside and wrote down his license plate number and called Detroit police, who in turn contacted authorities in Dearborn, Walid said.
      Dearborn police began searching around mosques in the city and found Stockham inside his vehicle outside the Islamic Center of America, Walid said, with a load of M-80s and other explosives in his trunk.
      "We thank law enforcement authorities for their quick and professional actions in this troubling incident," Walid said. "The increased number of bias incidents targeting American Muslim institutions must be addressed by local, state and national officials and law enforcement authorities."
      Investigators chose to keep the arrest quiet during the week while detectives determined whether Stockham was acting alone or with others, O'Reilly said. Police worked with the mosque's imam during the investigation, he said.
      O'Reilly said it appears Stockham was acting alone.
      "People asked why they didn't know about this earlier. Why is because it's based on who needs to know. There was no threat to anyone else and no one else was in danger," O'Reilly said.
      Problems at VFW post
      Stockham used the Internet to post comments about his life and current events. On a MySpace page, Stockham said he was "proud of my kids. Happy with how much I've lived. Ready for it to be over, but have a policy I contend with often: So long as I am alive, I can't play dead."
      According to a VFW website, Stockham joined the U.S. Army in 1965 and served in Vietnam in 1968.
      Stockham said he flew with an assault helicopter company. He says he has two children and a grandchild.
      In recent weeks, a California VFW post was in the process of removing Stockham as a member after several recent incidents, said a post official.
      Four months ago, Stockham was suspended for 60 days for smoking marijuana at Post 5477 in Imperial Beach, said Richard Schmitz, co-chairman of the post's house committee.
      After he returned from suspension, Stockham referred to the black post commander with a racial slur, said Schmitz.
      Schmitz, who has known Stockham for four years, described him as a loner who, though he appeared at the post frequently, rarely socialized with other members.
      "He's a nut," said Schmitz. "He flipped out lately."
      Robert Snell and the Associated Press contributed.

      CPAC's anti-Muslim film festival


      The Myth of Homegrown Islamic Terrorism
      By Romesh Ratnesar Monday, Jan. 24, 2011


      Ayaan Hirsi Ali should not testify before Rep. Peter King
      Category: Culture Wars • Policy and Politics
      Posted on: January 21, 2011 7:09 PM, by Josh Rosenau


      Patriots United claims bias toward Islam in school textbooks
      By Ron Matus and Jeffrey S. Solochek, Times staff writers
      In Print: Sunday, January 23, 2011


      They say Florida's social studies textbooks are biased in favor of Islam. • They say it's part of a deliberate effort to brainwash American children. • They want them fixed or dumped. • "I'm not Ms. Paranoid or anything like that," says Sheri Krass, leader of Patriots United, a Broward County-based group with tea party ties. "But I do know I heard some of these major publishers have backing with Arab countries, that are financially backed in some way, or they are somehow being influenced in some way by them."

      Patriots United recently sent letters to about 25 of Florida's 67 school districts — including Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco — citing a long list of textbooks and passages they found to be pro-Islam, or anti-Christian, or anti-Judaism, or all of the above.

      The concerns raise the specter of textbook wars in other states, especially Texas, where ideological camps have long locked horns over everything from the validity of evolution to how much the Founding Fathers were guided by Christianity.

      They also come as the state begins to review social studies textbooks. Department of Education officials said the issue is a local one, as districts select their own textbooks from the state-approved list.

      The response to the passages from a professional historian: "It strikes me as a fairly paranoid reading of history, but I'm really very, very hesitant to comment specifically on quotations taken out of context," said Fraser Ottanelli, chairman of the history department at the University of South Florida in Tampa. "Most of the stuff I saw was relatively benign."

      The response from a high school history teacher: "I would have trouble validating the (group's) concerns," said Eric Johnson, social studies department chairman at Fivay High School in Pasco.

      But Steve Casel, the social studies chairman at Hudson High, didn't discount the notion that there might be some bias in the texts.

      Bias, he suggested, is to be expected. And it's up to teachers to help students interpret and filter those biases.

      "The textbook is not the end-all, be-all of education," Casel said.

      Judge for yourself.

      The Earth and Its People: A Global History, Page 134

      The passage

      "Jesus was offended by what he perceived as Jewish religious and political leaders' excessive concern with money and power… ."

      The criticism: "sets Jesus in opposition to Jewish leaders using some of the worst stereotypes of Jews as justification"

      The American Vision, Page 27

      The passage

      "In the early A.D. 600s, Islam began winning converts outside of its native Arabia. By 711 Islam, whose followers are called Muslims, had spread all the way across northern Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. Through both armed conquest and the sense of religious solidarity that Islam promoted, this new creed won wide acceptance."

      The criticism: "Nothing is mentioned of religion before Islam. It's as though no religion ever existed before Islam."

      Modern World History: Patterns of Interaction, Page 587

      The passage

      "In 1987, Palestinians began to express their frustrations in a wide spread campaign of civil disobedience called the intifada, or 'uprising.' The intifada took the form of boycotts, demonstrations, attacks on Israeli soldiers, and rock throwing by unarmed teenagers."

      The criticism: "Islamist terrorists" would be more accurate. This relatively benign portrayal of Palestinian protests excludes attacks on Israel's civilians, but does include "unarmed teenagers." While Intifada militants, including rock throwers, were of all ages, the writer selectively identifies "teenagers," to whom middle and high school teenagers can relate with sympathy.

      World History, Page 491

      The passage

      "Women, as wives and mothers, have an honored position in Saudi society."

      The criticism: It's well known that they are limited members of society in most other ways.

      World Cultures and Geography: Eastern Hemisphere and Europe, Page 230

      The passage

      "Sometime during the years 8 to 4 B.C., a Jewish boy named Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a small town in ancient Palestine."

      The criticism: Spins the "Jesus was a Palestinian" myth.

      Staff writer Michael Kruse contributed to this report. Ron Matus can be reached at matus@... or (727) 893-8873. Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at solochek@... or (813) 909-4614.

      [Last modified: Jan 23, 2011 08:12 PM]
      Copyright 2011 St. Petersburg Times