Archive for Texas

MotherJones: Meet Larry Smith, Texas’ Wannabe Anti-Shariah Sheriff

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , on May 24, 2012 by loonwatch

Meet Larry Smith, Texas’ Wannabe Anti-Shariah Sheriff

By Adam Serwer (MotherJones)

Muslim religious law isn’t coming to the Lone Star State. But one Republican is on the lookout anyway.

Larry Smith, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent running for sheriff in Smith County, Texas, has a unique plank in his platform: He has pledged to protect this deep-red border county from the creeping menace of Islamic religious law, or Shariah.

Outside of science fiction, this Texas county—which voted for John McCain at a 70 percent clip—doesn’t seem the most likely place for an Islamist takeover. After all, creeping Shariah is mostly a myth. The issue might come up in civil cases if both parties to a contract have accepted an agreement based on religious law, but the Constitution bars religious law from superseding civil law.

Despite his out-there Shariah stance, Smith has earned the endorsement of the county’s local paper. And local Democrats aren’t even fielding a candidate in the sheriff’s race. That means next Tuesday’s Republican primary—which includes four candidates for the county’s top law enforcement post—will likely decide whether Smith County’s next sheriff devotes time to worrying about a Shariah takeover.

Two of Smith’s rivals say Shariah shouldn’t be an issue in the race.

“We hear [about Shariah] on the national media, but here specifically in Smith County, Tyler, in the state of Texas, I’m not seeing that this is going to be a big problem,” says Chris Green, a former game warden running in the primary. “I don’t think it’s gonna occur, especially here; it may in some of the more liberal states.”

Another candidate, Bobby Gorman, Smith County’s chief sheriff’s deputy, suggested Smith was just trying to provoke a controversy over nothing. “Running for sheriff, you always want to get somebody’s attention,” Gorman says.

Anwar Khalifa, a local homebuilder, Muslim leader, and lifelong Republican who speaks with a slight drawl, says he was “shocked” when he heard about Smith’s campaign vow. Before that moment, Khalifa says, he was “actually supporting Larry.” An Egyptian immigrant who moved to Texas when he was eight, Khalifa says that Smith County is a welcoming and tolerant place, but the last few years there has been an influx of anti-Muslim speakers at local churches offering dark warnings about an Islamic takeover.

“They cloak it and say we’re only talking about radical Muslims, but they don’t differentiate,” Khalifa says. “This is anti-Islam.”

Smith’s anti-Shariah pledge seems to have helped him gain at least one endorsement, from a local tea party group called Grassroots America, We the People. The group sponsored an event at a local church hosting Brigitte Gabriel, the head of ACT! for America, an organization that sees itself as defending America from “radical Islam” and according to its website, has a chapter in Smith County. Gabriel has written that Islamic terrorists are “really just very devout followers of Muhammad.” According to Khalifa, Smith provided “security” for Gabriel’s event. (Smith did not respond to several requests for comment.)

“Anti-Muslim grassroots organizations are the vehicles by which these talking points enter the state and local dialogue. That’s why we’ve been seeing it sprout up so suddenly at the local level,” says Wajahat Ali, the lead author of Fear, Inc., a Center for American Progress report on anti-Muslim organizations. “The impetus behind it, though, is a movement that wants to exclude American Muslims from the same rights and freedoms that other Americans enjoy.”

Khalifa says that he recently spoke to Smith, who he says apologized for his anti-Shariah pledge. “[Smith] was very cordial and apologetic,” Khalifa says. But the candidate’s websitestill sports language promising Smith will use his own money to train officers so they understand “why Sharia and international law will never be acceptable substitutes” for the Constitution.

This wasn’t the first time Khalifa tried to convince a fellow Republican to soften his stance on the Shariah issue. State Rep. Leo Berman, a Republican who represents the area, introduced legislation in 2011 to ban the consideration of foreign law in Texas courts, explaining that he had heard Shariah law was being enforced in Dearborn, Michigan. (It isn’t.) When Berman was preparing his legislation, Khalifa helped convince Berman to focus on “international law” rather than only Shariah.

Berman’s legislation didn’t survive the 2012 session of the Texas Legislature, but he says he’ll introduce it again next year if reelected. Asked how he felt about Berman’s legislation, Khalifa said he was happy Shariah wasn’t being identified by name.

“It’s better than singling out my group of folks,” Khalifa says. “If people really want to hate, they’re going to hate, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. You just set an example.”

Walid Shoebat Still Fleecing Crowds with Snake Oil and Islam Equals the Anti-Christ Talk

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by loonwatch

Walid_Shoebat

Walid Shoebat

Walid Shoebat is still clowning around the USA, getting paid for his fake “ex-Terrorist” story:

Convert talks on prophecy, Antichrist

by Iris Pierce (Amarillo News)

Biblical prophecies reveal the Antichrist is going be a Muslim from the Middle East, Christ will ride on the clouds into Egypt, Turkey will invade Israel and the United States will be victorious in the fight against the Antichrist, Walid Shoebat told a crowd of about 120 Friday.

The self-described former terrorist and Islam-to-
Christianity convert spoke in Lubbock at a special insight rally hosted by Insight USA.

Insight USA, according to its president and CEO Faye Hardin, is dedicated to praying for and working against what she believes is the collusion of environmentalists and some U.S. government officials to take Americans’ land in the name of environmentalism.

Hardin invited Shoebat, she said, “because Walid Shoebat teaches (and) confirms with the Scriptures that God is going to judge the Middle East, and America is going to be saved. Our oil is going to gush. Our gas is going to gush. He is going to remove people who have the control, and we’ll be the largest oil and gas producers in the world — based on what the Bible says.”

Questionable points

“(Shoebat) was misleading people about Islam and Muslims and putting fear in people’s hearts,” said Samer Altabaa, imam of the Islamic Center of the South Plains.

Altabaa attended the 1.5-hour morning session of Shoebat’s Friday talk — Altabaa had to leave midday for prayers —
and took issue with a number of Shoebat’s statements about Islam and Christianity.

“I would say that this guy looks like he came from extreme Islam to extreme Christianity,” Altabaa said. “It looks like he loves extremism.”

Shoebat said he was born of a Christian American mother and a Muslim Palestinian father, raised in Bethlehem and was born with and retains U.S. citizenship.

His claims about his terroristic past have been called into question by several news organizations, including CNN, regarding his claims about his time spent in an Israeli jail, his participation in the bombing of an Israeli bank and his active involvement in terrorism.

Read the rest…

The Mazal Holocaust Library: Features Fake Ex-Terrorist/Anti-Muslim Speaker Walid Shoebat

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2012 by loonwatch
Walid_ShoebatWalid Shoebat

Sadly Walid Shoebat is still duping and conning crowds across the USA while at the same time lining his pockets with their money.

There is no reason why organizations, churches, synagogues and Holocaust Museums should be inviting characters such as Walid Shoebat as “featured” speakers. Ignorance of the special kind of liar Shoebat is, is no longer a valid excuse as there has been a plethora of exposes on Shoebat, both in the blogosphere and  in the mainstream media. Even Islamophobes are repulsed by the snake-oil salesman technique Shoebat has been using to his advantage.

Now it seems the Mazal Holocaust Library has either willfully or ignorantly fallen for the “ex-Terrorist” bait:

Walid_Shoebat_Holocaust_Museum_TexasWalid Shoebat to speak at Holocaust Museum

It is our duty as loonwatchers to make sure that people who are supposed to safeguard the memory of one of the most evil atrocities ever committed by man against man are not steered into the abyss of Islamophobia, xenophobia and hate represented by the likes of a Walid Shoebat.

I encourage you all to contact the Holocaust library and inform them of the grave mistake they are making.

Here I will reproduce JD’s comment which first alerted us to this travesty:

I think we all should Phone and email them and let them know what they did was a disgrace to the memory of the people who died in the Holocaust since Shoebat has said stuff like…

“many parallels between the Antichrist and Islam” and “Islam is not the religion of God — Islam is the devil”

According to an official who attended a similar Shoebat lecture at a conference in Las Vegas, the solution he offered for the threat of “militant Muslims” was to “Kill them…including the children.”

Sounds little bit like what they said 1930′s about another group right Texas Holocaust Library?

Please email them at :aimee@mazal-library.org
Phone:
Number on Flyer: (210)-392-5452
Mazal Holocaust Library -(210) 377-2742

Also see: Walid Shoebat Exposed.

Update: Longview Resident Welcomes Mosque

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on January 27, 2012 by loonwatch
Jesus_Yard_Signs
Longview Jesus Yard Signs

We reported on the negative response Longview, Texas Muslims received from “some” of their neighbors who don’t want to see a mosque built in the town. It is only fair that we also highlight the voices who have no problem with the mosque and are in fact “disappointed” with the ignorant actions some of the anti-Mosque neighbors have taken.

Longview resident welcomes mosque

A Longview resident said Thursday he is disappointed by the negative reaction from a portion of the Longview community toward a mosque being built on Amy Street.

“Quite frankly it was very disheartening to me to see that type of discussion taking place here in our community,” Vik Verma said during public comment at a Longview City Council meeting.

“I believe it’s strongly unwarranted. The Islamic community of Longview is merely wanting to have a house of worship just like any other faith in Longview, in Gregg County, in Texas and in the United States. I think this is a value that our community should embrace.”

Verma said freedom of religion is a right granted in the U.S. Constitution and that the community should embrace it. “I support the mosque. I’m glad it’s coming to Gregg County,” Verma said. “I think it’s good for diversity in our area, and I think it’s good for the community as a whole.”

Longview News-Journal, 27 January 2012

Longview, Texas: Neighbours Oppose Construction of Mosque

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2012 by loonwatch

Yes, they just oppose the small mosque-to-be because of “noise” and “traffic.” If that is the case ,then those issues would be legitimate concerns, but what they go on to do and say casts doubt on their stated intentions in opposing the mosque.

Hopefully this will be resolved properly (via. Islamophobia-Watch):

Longview, Texas: neighbours oppose construction of mosque

KYTX reports on resistance to the Islamic Centre of Longview’s plan to build the town’s first mosque, a relatively small structure which will be attended by no more than 40-50 people at a time. Needless to say, the objectors say they have nothing against Muslims, it’s just the noise and the traffic they’re worried about.

In response to the mosque proposal, some have erected “Jesus” signs outside their properties. However, this has nothing to do with hostility to Islam, but simply expresses their love of Christianity. As one mosque opponent explains: “The neighbourhood joined together and we put up the Jesus signs to support Jesus Christ in our church and our community.”

Didn’t they love Jesus before this mosque was going to be constructed? Do they realize Muslims believe in Jesus as well?

LGF: Anti-Muslim Bloggers Invent Another ‘Honor Killing’

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on December 28, 2011 by loonwatch
Robert “police blotter” Spencer Inventing “Islamic” Crimes

Inventing “Islamic” crimes has been one part of the hatemongers consistent methodology of smearing Islam and Muslims.

For instance, in the past month Spencer and Geller falsely accused Islam and Muslims as the perpetrators of invented Jihad attacks at least twice to our count:

*Recently Spencer tried to tie a Belgian shooter to Islam: Belgium, Islam and the Boomerang of Loon Idiocy

*Pamela Geller Turns Hollywood Shooting Tragedy into Islamophobic Hate-Fest

And now we can add a third:

Anti-Muslim Bloggers Invent Another ‘Honor Killing’

by Charles Johnson (LGF)

The so-called “counter-jihad” bloggers are covering themselves in glory again, slobbering and ranting and trying to take advantage of a terrible crime to advance their un-American agenda.

Same bigotry, different day.

This time they’ve seized on a story about a man in Texas who killed six members of his own family on Christmas morning while dressed in a Santa suit, then committed suicide. The man’s wife had left him, his home had been foreclosed upon, his business was failing, and he had filed for bankruptcy; with anyone else, these things would be considered strong motives for committing this massacre.

But because the man’s name was Aziz Yazdanpanah, and he was apparently unhappy about who his daughter was dating, these bloggers have decided it had to be an “Islamic honor killing.” And now they’re letting their bigotry run free again.

Hate group leaders Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are out in front, as always.

Geller: ISLAMIC HONOR KILLING IN TEXAS: “SANTA KILLER” WAS MUSLIM WHO HATED DAUGHTER DATING A NON-MUSLIM!!!!! – Atlas Shrugs

The mainstream media has reported this as the “Santa killer.” No mention that it was an Islamic honor killing until this Dallas Morning News story. Our daughters and granddaughters are going to be the ones who will suffer because of for this obfuscation and excusal of barbarism.

This has been going on for years. When Amina and Sarah Said were brutally murdered by their father, also in Texas, on New Year’s Day 2008 for the same reason — having non-Muslim boyfriends — I thought, this is it. This is going to break the dam wide open. America would not, could not possibly, ignore this horror caused by and sanctioned by Islamic beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes.

And yet America continues to ignore this horror. And more and more people are victimized every day.

Spencer: Islamic honor killing in Texas: ‘Santa’ who murdered family on Christmas morning was Muslim who didn’t like his daughter dating a non-Muslim – Jihad Watch

Again and again we have seen honor killings in which fathers kill daughters who are dating non-Muslims or have supposedly besmirched the family honor by some sexual indiscretion. Lt. Todd Dearing says that motive isn’t important — which is generally only the case when Islam is involved.

To recap: Yazdanpanah killed his family members while they were all celebrating Christmas and then committed suicide. He was wearing a Santa suit. His life was falling apart in just about every possible way.

But to these vile bigots, it had to be an “honor killing” — for no other reason than the man’s nominal Muslim faith. It’s almost unbelievably disgusting.

And the posts by these bloggers are just the tip of the iceberg; their followers have no restraint whatsoever. Some of the comments posted at “counter-jihad” blogs about this tragedy:

Satan and muzzies are two of a kind…..

[…]

savages

[…]

We can’t offend muslims with Christmas but a muslim can kill his whole family on Christmas day and the media won’t even go near the fact they were all muslims.
We only find out on the crazy right-wing internet.

Once again we have the media filtering out information they don’t think we need to know.

[…]

2 miles from my house, a stinkin’ Muslim is committing honor killings. Islam, the Koran, and all true followers need to burn.

[…]

Islam. Satan’s church.

[…]

We live in the same neck of the woods. My Granny lived there for a year, was a nice complex, but over the last few years has had more and more muzzies moving into it. The entire metroplex has had a huge upspike in moozlim population. But still the Media and the masses are lulled to sleep with the peaceful moozlim rhetoric.

[…]

These men who are Muslim and believe in this should never have children or be castrated.

[…]

Americans may wish to consider how safe it is to have Muslims in their neighborhoods, but that would make us bigots wouldn’t it.

Islam is a deathcult

[…]

Here’s an example of the double bladed sword of ” PC “. This piece of camel crap doesn’t deserve to be buried in the ground!!!! They should kill a pig and bury it with him!!!!

[…]

I AM surprised that this being a raghead, he didn’t rape his daughters first.

[…]

As sad as this event is it nonetheless points out the truth that a muslime can not be anything but a brutal, murdering, control freaking, inbred son of a muslime sex slave who-e.
No matter their public persona their heart and mind is convuluted and warped to commit atrocities.

[…]

Go figure, a sheethead dressed as santa kills everyone, and then himself.

[…]

Perhaps Mr. Yazdanpanah was suffering from the terrible disease known as “SUDDEN JIHAD SYNDROME” though I doubt an autopsy will be be of any help. If he was a faithful muslim the demons probably summoned him to butcher his family for rebelling against Allah.

[…]

What a waste of life. Islam = hate and murder. Islam offers NOTHING to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Absolutely nothing.

[…]

The satanic cult of death REQUIRES BLOOD SACRIFICE for any number of offenses: being non-muslim, apostasy, misbehavior, disobedience, insulting the pedophile prophet of death, drawing the pedophile prophet of death, dating, etc.

These are only pious demon worshipers practicing their demonic cult, fully protected, by an army of feds and prosecutors all of whom report to comrade holder, as a *religion*.

There are thousands of similar comments about this story, all over the right wing blogs. These people aren’t even trying to pretend they’re not hateful bigots any more — they’ve embraced their sickness.

Hate Crime: US Army Veteran Tortures a Pakistani Muslim

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2011 by loonwatch
David Nienberg is being held in a Harris County Jail on $30,000 bail. / HCSODavid Nienberg is being held in a Harris County Jail on $30,000 bail. / HCSO

Family says attack on Muslim man in Tomball should be hate crime

By LINDSAY WISE, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Yaqub Bham’s visit to a residence in Tomball on Wednesday was supposed to be routine for the 61-year-old ADT salesman, who had come to inspect a client’s property before installing a home security system.

Instead, the homeowner, David L. Nienberg, allegedly tried to stab Bham with a fork, bit off part of his ear, and beat him so badly that he broke 10 ribs.

Nienberg, 42, of Tomball, is charged with aggravated assault. If convicted, he could serve from two to 20 years in prison.

Bham’s distraught family members want the incident investigated as a possible hate crime against Bham, a Muslim native of Pakistan who became an American citizen in 2007.They say an agitated Nienberg became violent after asking Bham about the origin of his name and where he was from.

Harris County sheriff’s deputies who responded to a 911 call from Nienberg’s family about 5:50 p.m. on Wednesday did not mention the questions about Bham’s name and origins in their report, said Deputy Thomas Gilliland, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

Gilliland said Nienberg apparently became angry while reviewing the contract for a security system in his four-bedroom home on Everhart Pointe Drive. When Bham offered to make another contract, or change it, “the defendant took the backpack that Mr. Bham had and wouldn’t give him the backpack, which contained the keys to his vehicle,” Gilliland said.

The two men’s verbal disagreement then became physical, the deputy said.

Nienberg lunged at Bham with a fork, Gilliland said he was told. Relatives took the implement away, but Nienberg allegedly managed to get Bham in a choke hold, beat him, and bite him while muttering about military operations.

When deputies arrived, Nienberg refused to let go of Bham until they “secured the perimeter” and “secured women personnel,” Gilliland said.

It took three deputies to pull Nienberg off Bham, he said. They deployed Tasers on Nienberg twice, and even then, the furious man continued to kick and spit after they wrestled him into a patrol car, said Gilliland.

Victim hospitalized

Bham, who was recovering Friday in a local hospital, immigrated to Houston in 1997 and is the married father of three adult children. He and his family proudly became U.S. citizens four years ago, said his daughter, Shazdeh Bham, 23.

“When we moved to the States, it was for educational opportunities and just a better living, a better life,” she said.

Every once in a while, the Bham family hears negative comments like, “Go back to your country where you belong,” Shazdeh Bham said, “but it’s never bothered us. It never made us think twice about anything.”

The attack on her father was different, though, and frightening.

“I’m just really angry, and I’m extremely confused because I still don’t understand why this happened, and what triggered this … and why this person caused this much harm and this much hurt to my father,” she said. “Now I just want to see justice. I want to see this person punished for what he did.”

Shazdeh Bham said her father is a hardworking citizen who would never say anything negative about anyone.

“He is a patient and positive person,” she added. “He is very easy to work with. His family is his entire life, which is his only priority.”

Nienberg’s questions about Bham’s name and background suggest that the attack might have been motivated by racial or religious bias, said Mustafaa Carroll, executive director of the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The group on Friday joined Bham’s family in calling on local law enforcement and the FBI to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime.

“It’s because of what precipitated the attack that makes us think it has all the elements of a hate crime: ‘What does your name mean? Where are you from?’ And then boom, he jumped on him,” Carroll said.

“The level of hate speech and rhetoric that we hear on a fairly regular basis in society – the baseless accusations that Muslims are trying to take over America, or they’re trying to bring Sharia law, or they’re trying to subvert the government – this baseless rhetoric keeps the environment heated for something like this to happen, for the possibility of violence,” he said. “When you say that stuff over and over and over, it begins to play on your psychology toward a certain group of people.”

Motives a mystery

Nienberg has no prior criminal history in Harris County.

After hearing about his use of military terms, deputies asked Nienberg’s relatives if he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, Gilliland said. They were told that Nienberg is a veteran but that he had never served in any type of conflict, nor had he ever been deployed overseas.

Neither Bham nor Nienberg’s family members offered a clue as to what went wrong, Gilliland said.

He said deputies are looking into whether Nienberg was under the influence of narcotics or alcohol or had suffered a mental break, “because it was just incoherent, the things that he was saying.”

It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether to upgrade the charges to a hate crime, Gilliland said.

As it is, Nienberg is charged with a second-degree felony.

He is being held in a Harris County Jail on $30,000 bail.

Fired from TSA, Mpls. Man gets Prison Term for Off-Duty Hate Crime against Somali

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on November 30, 2011 by loonwatch

Fired from TSA, Mpls. man gets prison term for off-duty hate crime against Somali

Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune

A Minneapolis man who lost his job with the Transportation Security Administration for an off-duty assault of an elderly Somali man has been sentenced to six months in prison for the hate crime.

George Thompson, 64, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Thompson’s case was the first prosecuted under the act.

Signed into law in October 2009, the act was named after Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teen who died after being kidnapped and beaten in 1998, and James Byrd, Jr., a black man who was dragged to death in Texas that same year.

“Physical violence motivated by racial or religious hatred exacerbates fear and tears at the fabric of our society,” B. Todd Jones, U.S. attorney for Minnesota, said in a statement issued after Thompson’s sentencing. “Here in Minnesota, we have vibrant and diverse communities and should be celebrating that fact, not assaulting people because of it.”

Thompson also was charged in state court about three months after the May 4, 2010, assault in another bias-inspired attack on the same street as the earlier incident, but that allegation was dropped once the federal case was filed.

According to the criminal complaint in the dismissed case:

Thompson approached a man and asked him whether he was Somali. The man said he was, prompting Thompson to chase and threaten to kill him. The man found refuge with police officers who were nearby.

Thompson then went into a neighborhood bar, where he was arrested. He was drunk and had two loaded firearms with him and a permit to carry them.

Both incidents cost Thompson his job with the Transportation Security Administration. He worked for eight years with the federal agency that provides security to the nation’s airports.

According to court documents in the federal case:

Thompson was leaving a bar in his Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and “punched or shoved” an 82-year-old Somali man without provocation. The man nearly fell.

“You Muslims, go back to your country,” witnesses reported Thompson as saying, along with, “You Somali, go back to your country.”

The defense acknowledged that Thompson was embarrassed and sorry for the assault, but also noted that the defendant was frustrated by trouble that Somali youth had been causing in his neighborhood.

The defense pointed out that Thompson and others were subjected to threats, assaults, robberies and indecent exposure from Somali youth.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

Rick Perry: Hamas And Hezbollah Working In Mexico

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by loonwatch

If you didn’t know by now, Hamas and Hezbollah hablan mucho Español. If you also didn’t know by now, GOP candidates like Rick Perry are retrying to combine the fear of immigrants and Mooslims taking over the country. Apparently, it is a tried and true method to win the GOP candidacy.

Rick Perry: Hamas And Hezbollah Working In Mexico

Texas Gov. Rick Perry warned viewers of CNN’s Republican debate on Tuesday that Hamas and Hezbollah were working out of Mexico. Perry’s answer came in response to a question about securing the southern border.

“We’re seeing countries start to come in and infiltrate. We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico as well as Iran with their ploy to come into the United States,” Perry said.

He continued: We know that Hugo Chavez… and the Iranian government has one of the largest — I think their largest embassy in the world is in Venezuela. So the idea that we need to have border security with the United States and Mexico is paramount to the entire western hemisphere.”

“Let’s Play Cowboys and IRANIANS!”

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , on November 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Texas is on a roll these days. It wasn’t too long ago that the right-wing nut in Texas Crockett Keller, who is certified to teach people to obtain and use a concealed gun, said the following in an ad:

If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you and God bless America.

Just recently, according to IslamophobiaToday:

The Texas Dept. of Public Safety will not revoke or suspend the license of a handgun instructor…

Now Texas creates this racist poster. Will Texas come down hard on the people who created the poster or in the end will they pretend like nothing happened?

Students From 42 Universities Issue Statement Against Racist Texas Poster

Press Release by Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB)

New York, NY: IAAB’s 2011 Student Summit, held this past weekend in Washington, DC, included representatives from 42 universities nationwide and in Europe. Given the news on Friday afternoon of the “Let’s Play Cowboys and IRANIANS!” poster in a restaurant in Katy, Texas, the workshop on Media Representation focused on this issue. Summit participants discussed the history of such racist representations of communities of color in the United States. Students issued the following statement to condemn the poster’s display:

Iranian Alliances Across Borders’ (IAAB) 2011 Student Summit addressed the current state of the Iranian American diaspora community. Over 70 Iranian American student leaders from 42 universities around the nation and abroad expressed outrage over the bigoted content of the 1979 poster titled “Let’s play cowboys and IRANIANS!” displayed in John Nonmacher’s restaurant in Katy, Texas. This image displays a group of gun wielding cowboys under an American Flag, proudly encircling a lynched Iranian man. In Nonmacher’s words, this poster is purely a historical artifact; however, the image recalls a time of high xenophobic animosity towards Iranian immigrants within the United States.

The IAAB Summit participants condemn both the violent image portrayed in the poster and its bigotry towards Iranians, as well as indigenous groups. Fundamental American values of tolerance, diversity, and respect for all human beings are not in accordance with the offensive nature displayed by the poster. We believe that the ideas represented in this incident are detrimental to civil society, especially at a time when democratic dialogue is critical to mitigating political tensions. We stand in solidarity with communities of color that have and continue to experience this kind of demonization. We firmly believe that the propagation of such hostile ideas should not exist within any society.

Signed by students from the following 42 universities:
Bentley University, Boston College, Boston University, Bucknell University, College of William and Mary, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, Fairfield University, Fordham University- Lincoln Center, George Mason University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, INSEAD, New York University, Northern Virginia Community College, Oxford University, San Jose State University, Stanford University, Syracuse University, The Commonwealth Medical College, The George Washington University, The New School, Tufts University, University of Baltimore, University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles, University of Central Florida, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois Springfield, University of Iowa, University of Maryland – College Park, University of Maryland – Baltimore County, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Southern California, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Washington University in St. Louis, Wellesley College, Westminster College, Yale University

About Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) – IAAB is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit volunteer organization with a young, dedicated staff spread across the United States, Europe and Iran.  The mission of the organization is to address issues of the Iranian diaspora community while raising awareness of the Iranian community, promoting leadership, and connecting Iranians across borders. For more information about IAAB, please visit www.iranianalliances.org.

Must See Viral Video: Radio Show Host Michael Berry Promotes “No Arabs, No Muslims Allowed” Ad by Crockett Keller

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2011 by loonwatch

Crockett Keller is a right-wing gun-nut in Texas who owns Keller’s Riverside Store.  Keller is certified by the Department of Public Safety to teach people how to obtain and use a Concealed Handgun License.  He paid for an “interesting” radio ad, which ran for six days, in which he specifically says he refuses to teach “socialist liberals” and “non-Christian Arab[s] or Mozlem[s].”  In the ad, Crockett Keller says:

If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you and God bless America.

He said later:

The fact is if you are a devout Muslim then you cannot be a true American. Why should I arm these people to kill me?  That’s suicide.

KVUE-TV News notes:

It’s a stance Keller isn’t alone on. During this interview the instructor fielded nearly 40 calls congratulating him for the ad.

In fact, Keller’s anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry will no doubt be a boon for business, something that speaks volumes about how prevalent Islamophobia has become.

Keller and his supporters claim he has a right to discriminate against Muslims, but the Department of Public Safety, the same government agency that certified him to teach, says otherwise; they released the following statement:

The Texas Department of Public Safety certifies individuals to teach coursework and provide training required to be taken by individuals seeking to qualify for a Texas concealed handgun license. Certified instructors are required to comply with all applicable state and federal statutes. Conduct by an instructor that denied service to individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion would place that instructor’s certification by the Department at risk of suspension or revocation. The Department became aware of the statements in question yesterday and has begun an investigation into the matter. The Department will take appropriate administrative action based on the findings from the investigation.

Here’s a video of the ad, which would normally be amusing but we must take seriously the fact that many Americans feel the same way as him:

What’s not getting as much attention is the fact that this radio ad is shamelessly being promoted by radio host Michael Berry:

Berry gushed over this ad, calling it “the best gun commercial ever” and promised viewers “you’re gonna love it.”  This is the same Michael Berry who said he hoped someone would blow up a mosque.  Can you imagine, just for a second, a Muslim-American radio show host still on the air if he said he thought a synagogue should be blown up or if he promoted the same radio ad except it was “Jews” instead of “Muslims?”  How fast do you think such a person’s career would be over?

Tom “Nuke Mecca” Tancredo thinks Rick Perry is Soft on Muslims, Cites Robert Spencer

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2011 by loonwatch

You’ll note that the main authority Tancredo cites in his attack on Perry is “Islam scholar [sic] Robert Spencer, head of Jihad Watch”.

For all you need to know about the terror inspirer and terror linked Robert Spencer visit: www.spencerwatch.com

(via. Islamophobia-Watch)

Tancredo accuses Perry of being soft on migrants and Muslims

Since Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s debate debacle last week, commentators and conservatives alike have been questioning his readiness and looking for another presidential alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Now, Colorado’s Tom Tancredo is piling on.

In a column for the Daily Caller, Tancredo, who ran twice for his party’s presidential nomination in an effort to inject the illegal immigration issue into the larger debate, is slamming Perry for his soft policies on illegal immigration in Texas – and what Tancredo calls his “Muslim blind spot.”

“What is not yet as widely known about Perry is that he extends his taxpayer-funded compassion not only to illegal aliens but also to Muslim groups seeking to whitewash the violent history of that religion,” Tancredo writes. ”Perry endorsed and facilitated the adoption in Texas public schools of a pro-Muslim curriculum unit developed by Muslim clerics in Pakistan.”

Tancredo cites a study by The Center for Immigration Studies, which shows that 81% of the 279,000 jobs created in Texas in the past four years went to non-citizens, a high number of them illegal aliens, to discredit Perry’s central presidential argument – that he’s overseen a “Texas miracle” of job growth while the national economy continues to decline.

And in 2008, as Tancredo points out, Perry helped expand the Muslim Histories and Culture Project, a teacher-training program spearheaded by Texas Ismailis that introduces Islamic history and culture curricula into Texas schools.

While many of the GOP’s 2012 contenders have sought to distance themselves with Islam, Perry, Tancredo points out, refused to endorse a proposal in the Texas legislature to outlaw Sharia law in the state.

“What is it with Republican elites like Perry?” Tancredo writes. “Do they think Republican primary voters are stupid? Does Perry think he can talk tough in defending the Texas death penalty and then waffle on border security and taxpayer support for illegal alien children? Why does he think he can claim to be the ‘tea party candidate’ while endorsing a whitewash of Islamic extremism in Texas schools?”

KWGN, 28 September 2011

2012: Rick Perry Ally Wants to Bar Muslims from Naturalization

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on August 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will lead American in prayer this weekend. Find out who he'll be praying with.Texas Gov. Rick Perry will lead American in prayer this weekend. Find out who he’ll be praying with.

2012: Rick Perry Ally Wants to Bar Muslims from Naturalization

By 

This weekend, Gov. Rick Perry will host a mass Christian prayer rally in his home state of Texas. The principal sponsor of the rally, the American Family Association, has a truly vile record on immigration issues. The Association’s principal spokesperson on policy issues, Bryan Fischer, says that Muslims should be barred from becoming naturalized citizens because, he says, Islam requires Muslims to kill Christian Americans.

Fischer has hosted a number of Republican presidential hopefuls, including Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty, on his powerful “policy” radio broadcast that is heard nationally. His tarring of all Muslims as destructive of America has not dissuaded Perry and others from seeking Fischer’s favor. For instance, this rant by Fischer was deemed beyond the pale by Republican leaders:

We allow unrestricted Muslim immigration into the United States. We are welcoming to our shores, welcoming to our borders, men who are determined to destroy us. They’ve said it themselves, it’s in their own writings, it’s in their own words; they’re out to eliminate and destroy western civilization. It’s just absolute folly to invite that kind of toxic cancer into our culture, but that’s what we’re doing every single day.

Fischer has said that Muslim immigrants are not protected by the First Amendment. Fisher says there should be  “no more mosques, period” because “each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government.”

Fischer says that Muslim’s should be ineligible to enter the U.S. and that those who are already here should be deported:

[T]he most compassionate thing we can do for Americans is to bring a halt to the immigration of Muslims into the U.S. This will protect our national security and preserve our national identity, culture, ideals and values. Muslims, by custom and religion, are simply unwilling to integrate into cultures with Western values and it is folly to pretend otherwise. In fact, they remain dedicated to subjecting all of America to sharia law and are working ceaselessly until that day of Islamic imposition comes.

The most compassionate thing we can do for Muslims who have already immigrated here is to help repatriate them back to Muslim countries, where they can live in a culture which shares their values, a place where they can once again be at home, surrounded by people who cherish their deeply held ideals. Why force them to chafe against the freedom, liberty and civil rights we cherish in the West?

In other words, simple Judeo-Christian compassion dictates a restriction and repatriation policy with regard to Muslim immigration into the U.S.

Fischer was a harsh critic of evangelicals who endorsed immigration reform as a way of showing compassion to the undocumented. Ladst year he wrote this in The Hill:

But upholding the law is not mistreatment. We do no wrong to the shoplifter by holding him accountable for his behavior. In fact, enforcing the law is the way government shows compassion for victims of crime. Compassion is misdirected if it is targeted toward lawbreakers rather than victims.

Where is the compassion for the residents of Arizona who are forced to cope with drug smuggling, drug-related violence, human trafficking, home invasions, kidnappings and $2.7 billion in annual costs imposed on them by illegals for education, welfare, law enforcement and healthcare?

There’s no way around the fact that my evangelical friends want to reward aliens who break the law.

We should instead deal with the 12 to 20 million illegals currently in the country through attrition, by making access to any taxpayer-funded resource — whether education, welfare or healthcare — contingent upon proof of legal residency.

Once illegals realize they will be sent home the moment they come to the attention of any government agency or any branch of law enforcement, they will immediately stop being a drain on taxpayer resources and will be the most law-abiding residents we have.

Rigorous use of the E-Verify system will dry up the job market for illegals, once again creating incentives for them to self-deport.

Enforcing our immigration policy need not break up families. The president sent spouses and children along when he deported the Russian spies, and we can do the same with every illegal alien. We do not want to separate husbands from wives, or children from parents, so our policy should be to repatriate entire families together to preserve family integrity.

If a member of a family has the legal right to remain in the U.S., he of course should be allowed to exercise that right. But then the family itself would be responsible for dissolving the family unit, not the United States.

Gov. Rick Perry, Violating Church-State Separation by Supporting Extremist Christians

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2011 by loonwatch

The story below from AlterNet is a must read, I don’t know why it is not being covered more. This is a clear and bold example of a high ranking politician meddling in religion and thereby comprising the separation between Church and State. If that wasn’t bad enough he happens to be propping up one of the most extremist, dominionist organizations and movements in the country, the AFA.

AFA is the same group whose rising star is the repugnant Bryan Fischer. Fischer has made radically hateful comments about Muslims and Gays. In light of the fact that the Islamophobesphere and twitterati are up in arms about the Imam who made homophobic statements, where is the outrage over Gov. Rick Perry? This is an issue that effects us ten times more than some Imam making bigoted remarks.

Interestingly enough I have just found out that Bruce Bawer, (a friend of Robert Spencer’s, who thinks the West is “appeasing Islam”) is now blogging on Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish. Just today, under a blog titled “Islamophobia,” Bawer writes somewhat misleadingly that if you object to an Imam who preaches intolerance of gays you will be labeled an “Islamophobe.” How ridiculous is that?

I tweeted back, “Bigotry does not make bigotry OK. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Homophobia does not justify #Islamophobia and vice versa.”

No response yet. However, I noticed that neither Andrew Sullivan or any of his fellow bloggers at the Daily Dish have commented on Gov.Rick Perry’s endorsement of AFA or full frontal assault on the separation of Religion and State.

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Bizarre, Fringe Mass Prayer Rally — What Happened to No Gov Meddling in Religion?

Gov. Rick Perry’s call for a day-long event of prayer and fasting Aug. 6 at a sports stadium in Houston is a dramatic escalation of government meddling in religion.

AlterNet / By Rob Boston

American politicians love to invoke religion, and a generic form of an alleged “one-size-fits-all” piety is so common that scholars have even give it a fancy name: ceremonial deism.

Ceremonial deism is what explains “In God We Trust” on our money, “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance and the tendency of presidents and governors to attend interfaith prayer services whenever there’s a natural disaster.

Despite its short-comings – ceremonial deism doesn’t offer much to non-believers, for example, and many devoutly religious people find it sterile and bland – the practice at least recognizes that religious beliefs come in many forms. Thus, God is appealed to but not Jesus. Prayers are “non-sectarian.”

What’s planned for Texas in August is not ceremonial deism. It’s something else entirely. And it’s a big problem.

Gov. Rick Perry’s call for a day-long event of prayer and fasting Aug. 6 at a sports stadium in Houston is a dramatic escalation of government meddling in religion. Called “The Response,” the event is being coordinated by the American Family Association (AFA), an extreme Religious Right group, as well as other far-right religious groups and figures with controversial theological and political ideas. The rally is exclusively Christian in nature; in fact, it reflects a certain type of Christianity – the fringes of fundamentalism.

What brought this about? Perry’s theological allies claim that America is being punished by God for its wicked ways. They see a national day of repentance as the solution.

On The Response’s website, Perry writes, “Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.”

Of course, this could be just a sheer political ploy. Perry has been openly flirting with a presidential run, and this event could be little more than an effort to curry favor with the Religious Right in advance of that.

Regardless, word is spreading quickly among the religio-political right. Potential attendees to The Response are told to bring a Bible and encouraged to fast – although there will be a few food vendors on site for those who can’t or won’t. The groups behind this effort tend to come from the fringes of Christianity that are obsessed with things like prophecy, direct messages from God, faith healing and so on. These charismatic Christians emphasize a highly charged form of worship that stresses emotional outbursts and a theology of judgment. They seem to be convinced that God has it in for America, mainly because we permit legal abortion, tolerate gays and have a secular government.

Many churches in America preach this theology, and Americans are free to attend these houses of worship and hear it whenever they like. But government endorsement of this sectarian message goes too far – and that’s why more and more people are speaking out over Perry’s prayer confab.

Mainline Christian, non-Christian and secularist groups have protested the Perry event – and rightly so. Perry and his supporters don’t try to downplay the proselytizing nature of the event; in fact, they brag about it. They say non-Christians are welcome to attend to hear a message about redemption through Christ.

Perry defended the event, tellingThe New York Times, “It is Christian-centered, yes, but I have invited and welcome people of all faiths to attend.” He also brushed off charges that the AFA is extreme, calling it “a group that promotes faith and strong families, and this event is about bringing Americans together in prayer.”

Read the rest at AlterNet

A Texas Teacher told a Muslim Student, ‘I Bet You’re Grieving’

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2011 by loonwatch

Doh! What was this teacher thinking? Probably that all Muslims are alike.

TX Teacher Suspended After Telling Muslim Student ‘I Bet You’re Grieving’

(TPMuckracker)

A Texas high school teacher has been placed on administrative leave following an incident where he allegedly told a 9th grade Muslim girl in his algebra class “I bet that you’re grieving” on Monday following the death of Osama bin Laden.

According to one parent at Clear Brook High School in Houston who spoke about the incident to a local ABC affiliate, the teacher also said, “I heard about your uncle’s death.”

The parent said the student “understood that he was referring about Osama bin Laden being killed and was racially profiling her.”

The name of the alleged victim of the comment has not been released. She is being described as an “American-born girl of Muslim faith.”

The teacher allegedly showed no remorse after Muslim girl reacted to his comments, according to the parent (who requested anonymity from the ABC station because “she doesn’t want any retaliation against her daughter or the girl who experienced the inappropriate comment.”)

“The student ended up crying over what was said to her by the teacher and the teacher asked her why she was crying and another student said it was because of what you said earlier,” the parent told the station. “And his response was, oh, OK, and just kind of smirked and giggled and walked away.”

The Houston Chronicle reports the unidentified teacher “has been placed on administrative leave” following the alleged remark. The Chronicle published this official statement from the school district:

In the Clear Creek Independent School District, we believe diversity strengthens our community and seek opportunities to celebrate the different cultures within our schools and neighborhoods. The sentiments allegedly shared by this teacher are not reflective of the staff at Clear Brook High School or anyone within the Clear Creek Independent School District.In accordance with CCISD policy, the teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a personnel investigation. The student did the right thing and immediately notified an adult regarding the teachers’ comments. The principal at Clear Brook High School notified the child’s parents and has been in communication with the family.

The alleged incident in Texas is just the latest in a short string of small incidents targeting American Muslims following the death of bin Laden. A mosque in Portland, ME was vandalized in what police there are calling a hate crime and a Muslim unity rally was canceled in Portland, OR after organizers feared reprisals from both non-Muslims upset over terrorism and Muslims who organizers said might be angry by an event that supported the killing of bin Laden.

Texas GOP Rep. Pushes Anti-Sharia Bill

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2011 by loonwatch
“Well, I heard it on the radio, so, ya know…”

I cannot begin to fathom the shame some Texans are feeling right now…

ThinkProgress – Texas GOP Rep. Introduces Sharia Ban Because He Heard Sharia Is A Threat On The Radio, Asks “Isn’t That True?”

Texas is now joining over 15 states that have introduced bills to guard against the non-existent threat of Islamic Sharia law. In proposing legislation to ban state courts from considering foreign religious or cultural laws like Sharia, Texas state Rep. Leo Berman (R) — the bill sponsor — said, “We want to prevent it from ever happening in Texas.”

Berman insisted one U.S. city offered unquestionable proof of this supposed threat:Dearborn, MI. Dearborn is home to one of the largest Muslim populations and the largest mosque in North America. Therefore, according to Berman, Sharia law necessarily is being implemented there. “It’s being done in Dearborn, Mich., because of a large population of Middle Easterners,” Berman said, “and the judges in Dearborn are using and allowing to be used Sharia law.” He mentioned the city six times throughout his testimony. However, when pushed for details, the only actual evidence Berman could offer was, “I heard it on a radio station”:

Rep. Berman himself acknowledged knowing nothing about Dearborn.

I heard it on a radio station here on my way in to the Capitol one day,” Berman said Monday in an interview. “I don’t know Dearborn, Michigan but I heard it (Sharia is accepted law here) on the radio. Isn’t that true?

No, says Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly (D), who must repeatedly debunk Islamophobic theories about the city. “These people know nothing of Dearborn and they just seek toprovoke and enflame their base for political gain,” he said. But such cultural ignorance doesn’t stop “Dearborn-Sharia theorists” from citing the city as proof of a Muslim threat. Likely GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich cited the arrest of four Christian missionaries during a Dearborn Arab festival as an example of “radical Islamism” to argue against the Islamic Center in New York City. Perpetual candidate Sharron Angle (R-NV) said Dearborn faces “militant terrorist situation” and is ruled by Sharia law.

But even Berman, who is no stranger to outlandish extremism, must realize “I heard it on a radio station” fails as evidence for anything. Unless, of course, he’s planning an anti-Martian bill in response to War of the Worlds.

Amarillo: Quran Burning Leader Wants to Run for Mayor

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2011 by loonwatch

This guy is wacko but does that mean he has no chance to win?

Quran Burning Leader Running For Amarillo Mayor

(Newschannel6)

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.

 

Louie Gohmert: I’m Going to be Pushing for Hearings on “Creeping Sharia’”

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2011 by loonwatch

Does it get anymore hick then Gomert?

Rep. Louie Gohmert: ‘I’m Going To Be Pushing…To Have Some Hearings’ On The Creeping Threat Of Sharia Law

When pollsters ask Americans what the most important issues facing the country are, “creeping Sharia law” barely competes with the margin of error (and only does so by generously grouping it with “other”). But this hasn’t prevented Republicans from tripping over themselves to make combating Sharia law a central focus of their legislative agenda.

In November, Oklahoma became the first state to ban the cipher threat of Sharia law. (Native American law may have been inadvertently affected as well.) Next month, Republicans will again target Muslims when Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, holds hearings on the threat posed by radical Islam. King, who has said that Muslims aren’t “American” when it comes to war, is already compiling a radical rightwitness list for the hearings, including Dutch critic Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who believes that “Islam is a cult,” that “there is no moderate Islam,” and that “we are at war with Islam.”

This week, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) joined the growing chorus of Republicans clamoring for hearings to look into the threat of “creeping Sharia law.” Appearing on Frank Gaffney’s radio show (Gaffney is of course the chief architect of the “creeping Sharia” threat), Gohmert told the host he hoped they would “have some hearings” and that he would “be pushing for them”:

GOHMERT: The biggest shock out of all of this is that the women’s liberation groups have not just gone berserk over this creep into our society that diminishes women as it does.

GAFFNEY: This creep of Sharia law you’re talking about, Congressman Louie Gohmert. You’re absolutely right, they’re nowhere to be seen as this is such an affront to everything that they supposedly hold dear. It’s really extraordinary and it’s why we’re so delighted that you are in place in the United States Congress and that you will be holding forth I know as the Judiciary Committee begins its deliberations this session to look at the creep of Sharia law.

GOHMERT: I’m hoping we’re going to have some hearings because I’m going to be pushing for them. To discuss this issue because it does diminish the Constitution when you bring any law in that doesn’t allow women to be full equal citizens of the United States.

Listen here:

This is not idle banter. As chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Gohmert has the power to hold such hearings. Rep. Allen West (R-FL), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, has also said that the 112th Congress should prioritize the threat of “infiltration of the Sharia practice” in the United States. Between King, Gohmert, and West, three separate House committees could decide to spend valuable congressional time combating a phantom threat. Unfortunately, this Muslim scapegoating will do nothing to make America a more free, secure, or just society.

 

AlJazeera’s Hour Long Newscast on KPFT Receives Threats

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2010 by loonwatch

AlJazeera News has begun to air for one hour on KPFT, a prominent Texas Radio Station. It has received threats and hate mail since.

 

Mark Chancey: Islam Resolution Reflects Frightening Agenda

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on September 21, 2010 by loonwatch

Mark Chancey: Islam resolution reflects frightening agenda

04:50 PM CDT on Friday, September 17, 2010

Let’s not pretend that the resolution on Islam that the Texas State Board of Education is considering is about balance in textbook coverage of the world’s major religions. While its final lines sound reasonable – “reject future prejudicial Social Studies submissions” that have “significant inequalities of coverage space-wise” or that reflect bias “by demonizing or lionizing” one religion over others – the rest of it is clearly not about fairness. It is about fear – specifically, fear of Muslims, including, presumably, the numerous Texas Muslims among the board’s constituents.

If the resolution were really motivated by concern for various religions, we might expect it to at least mention them. But it names only two traditions, Islam and Christianity, which it presupposes are in conflict. Its first line complains that “pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias has tainted some past Texas Social Studies textbooks.” It later objects that “pro-Islamic/anti-Christian half-truths, selective disinformation, and false editorial stereotypes still roil some Social Studies textbooks nationwide.” In its rhetoric, the terms “pro-Islamic” and “anti-Christian” go hand in hand; whatever is “pro-Islamic” is by definition “anti-Christian.”

The evidence the resolution provides is unconvincing. It asserts that some textbooks devote more coverage to Islam than to Christianity and that they often play down negative aspects of Islam but emphasize negative aspects of Christianity. Others have observed that these arguments misrepresent the textbooks in question, sometimes egregiously so. The more remarkable fact is that the resolution’s complaints focus on 1999 editions that do not even circulate in Texas classrooms anymore. The textbooks actually in use reflect considerable effort to be fair.

Elsewhere, the resolution relies on an American Textbook Council report that is disturbingly anti-Islamic. That report adopts a “clash of civilizations” model and ignores the diversity within Islam, ultimately concluding that “Islamic values” are “not conducive” to values such as “the rule of law, constitutional democracy, and a market economy.” In other words, it implies, Islam in its very essence is incompatible with American-style freedom. Board members should look elsewhere for reliable information about Islam.

The resolution warns that “more such discriminatory treatment of religion may occur as Middle Easterners buy into the U.S. public school textbook oligopoly,” referring to the Dubai royal family’s investment in a major publisher. One might reasonably doubt such a correlation. Few would argue that Fox News is unduly sympathetic to Islam, even with a Saudi prince as the second largest shareholder of its parent company.

This charge is important, however, because it points to the motivation of the resolution’s chief proponent, failed school board candidate Randy Rives. Rives recently cautioned that dangerous outsiders might try to control America, using textbooks as their tool. “If you can control or influence our educational system, then you can start taking over the minds of our young people.” He predicted that problems would increase as “more and more Moslems’ [sic] money is pumped into buying textbooks.”

In short, this resolution appears to be motivated not by a desire for balanced treatment of Islam but by ill-founded anxiety about a Muslim takeover of America. It is the same sort of anti-Islamic sentiment that has manifested itself so often in recent weeks. It is driven by half-truths, selective disinformation and false editorial stereotypes.

Most Texans likely agree that textbooks should treat religions fairly and accurately. If anything, students would benefit from more attention to religion. Religious literacy is essential for the smooth functioning of a pluralistic democracy in a shrinking world. Greater religious literacy would make paranoid proposals such as this resolution less likely to gain traction. Let’s hope the board votes it down.

Mark A. Chancey is chair of the Department of Religious Studies in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University. His e-mail address is mchancey@smu.edu.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.