Archive for the Loon-at-large Category

Germany: How Far-Right Islamophobes Hijacked Political Debate

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by loonwatch

(Via Islamophobia-Watch.com)

Germany: how far-right Islamophobes hijacked political debate

Germany’s Salafist Muslims are back in the spotlight. Since early May, hardly a week has gone by without another regional or national politician in the country proposing new ways to counter the group’s extremist version of Islam or a major German newspaper publishing yet another exposé on the group’s insular isolation from the mainstream. Just on Friday, interior ministers from Germany’s 16 states, at a regularly scheduled conference with federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, resolved to be increasingly firm in their dealings with the Salafists.

Such hand-wringing in Germany about its Muslim population, extremist or otherwise, is not uncommon. This one, however, is different. Far from being an accidental upheaval of angst resulting from the publication of a book by the likes of the anti-immigration treatise by Germany’s provocateur-in-chief Thilo Sarrazin or comments from the country’s top politicians, its timing and nature was determined far from the country’s conventional opinion makers. It is a particularly unique case of the tail wagging the dog – and in this case, the tail is the tiny, Islamophobic political party Pro-NRW.

Spiegel Online, 1 June 2012

I’m not being seen by that! Businessman’s shocking rant at Muslim airport worker

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Anthony Holt

This seems to be a “one-off incident” but individuals such as Anthony Holt seem quite familiar to us. They defend their abusive and bigoted behavior by saying that they are differentiating between “Islam” and “Muslims” but time and again we see them exposed for who they really are.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Holt was a regular commenter on JihadWatch, he fits the profile:

I’m not being seen by that! Businessman’s shocking rant at Muslim airport worker

Stan Miller and John Scheerhout (Menmedia)

A high-flying businessman was hauled before the court for a tirade of religious abuse at a Muslim immigration official waiting to check his passport.

Anthony Holt, 65, had become wound up after reading an article in the Daily Mail about the ‘victimisation of Christianity’ on a flight into Manchester.

When he landed, the retired consultant refused to go through a desk where Sayima Mohammed was on duty.

He astonished witnesses by pointing at her and saying: “I don’t want to be seen by that. I don’t want to be seen by any Muslim in a position of authority. I want to be seen by someone who’s English. This is England. This is my country. I’m not into all this Islam.”

As Ms Mohammed burst into tears, her colleagues refused to check Mr Holt’s documents and ordered him to calm down.

When police arrived, Holt turned his attention to a cop, saying: “That’s Islam. I’m not going to that. This is my country.”

The 15-minute row only ended when he was arrested.

During a police interview Holt claimed the abuse was not ‘personal’.

He said: “The problem I have is with Islam as a whole. It’s threat to the British population and the British way of life. I wanted to take a stand.”

Holt, of Railway Road, Urmston, pleaded guilty to using religiously aggravated threatening words or behaviour.

He was ordered to pay £100 compensation and a £145 fine.

Trafford magistrates heard he had worked as a consultant advising lawyers about the purchase of railway stock until his retirement earlier this month.

The court heard the outburst took place in front of a queue of witnesses, including children.

In a statement to police, Ms Mohammed said: “I felt threatened, shocked and humiliated to be treated in that manner for no apparent reason.”

Praveen Sethi, defending, said Holt had been flying into Manchester at the end of ‘a stressful week’.

He had been reading an article in the Mail in which the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey spoke of the ‘victimisation of Christians and Christianity’.

German President Joachim Gauck Sparks Debate with Islam Comments

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by loonwatch

German President Joachim Gauck

If Muslims are a part of German society then wouldn’t Islam also be a part of it?

At least that is what the previous German president, Christian Wulff said when he remarked that decades of immigration has meant that “Islam belongs to Germany.”

The current German president, Joachim Gauck makes a differentiation, saying Muslims belong to Germany but perhaps not Islam.

This is part of a larger public discourse that has been happening over the past few years in Germany in regards to Islam and Muslims’ place in German society.

(Via. Islamophobia-Watch)

German president sparks debate with Islam comments

President Joachim Gauck has said in a newspaper interview that Muslims living in Germany are more definitively a part of the country than the religion of Islam, a slight change from the stance of his predecessor.

When asked about a quote from the previous president, Christian Wulff – who had said that “Islam is now also a part of Germany” – Gauck told the newspaper Die Zeit that he would not have used this particular sentence, adding “but I do welcome the intent behind it.”

“I would have simply said that the Muslims who are living here are a part of Germany,” Gauck said in an interview published in the current edition of the weekly paper. He elaborated further, defining what he considers the most important factor for people with immigrant roots to be part of Germany.

“Anybody who has come here and doesn’t just pay their taxes, but also likes to be here, partly because there’s a level of justice and freedom not available in their country of origin, they are all one of us; so long as they adhere to our basic rules,” Gauck said.

But more generally, the president said he thought “one-sentence formulations on belonging” were problematic, “and especially when they concern something as delicate as religion.”

The co-leader of the Green Party, Cem Özdemir, said in the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper on Friday that he “can not understand this differentiation between Islam and practicing Muslims,” adding that if Gauck considers Muslims a part of Germany, “then of course Islam is part of Germany too.”

Deutsche Welle, 1 June 2012

Murfreesboro Mosque Saga Continues: Judge Voids Planning Commission’s Approval

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by loonwatch

County Judge Robert Corlew III decided to void the county planning commission’s approval of the mosque project based not on the Mosque opponents wacky claims about stealth-jihad, islamization, Islam not being a religion, etc., but the narrow reason that the county did not give “adequate public notice about a request to build the mosque.” That is a helluva lot more rational reason than the hyperbolic, fear-mongering, hate-filled nonsense that we’ve become accustomed to hearing from the Lou Ann Zelenik anti-Murfreesboro mosque camp.

The judge did not however call for “construction to be stopped” and so County and Mosque officials are saying construction will continue for the time being:

County says it won’t order halt to mosque construction

by Bob Smietana (The Tennessean)

UPDATE: Rutherford County has no immediate plans revoke the building permit for an embattled Murfreesboro mosque.

“The county is going to look at all the possibilities,” said Jim Cope, attorney for Rutherford County. “This could take weeks.”

Construction at the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was set to continue today, despite a judge’s decision that voided the county planning commission’s approval of the project. But the judge did not order a stop to the construction.

Opponents of the mosque want construction to end immediately. Mosque officials say the work will continue until they get official word to stop.

“There are two sides here that disagree,” said Cope. “The county is not the umpire here.”

Cope said that county officials are waiting for a court order from Judge Robert Corlew III before taking their next step. They could file a motion to reconsider or appeal the judge’s decision.

Blocking the mosque project could lead to a federal lawsuit under the religious anti-discrimination laws.

“There are a lot of moving parts in this,” said Cope.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED

A judge says the Rutherford County planning commission violated state law by not giving adequate public notice about a request to build a mosque in Murfreesboro. But the judge did not say whether work on the building has to stop.

Mosque supporters and opponents disagree on whether the ruling means construction work at the site should stop immediately until there is another planning meeting to discuss the request again. Essam Fathy, head of the construction committee for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, said workers will return to the Veals Road site today to continue building the 52,960-square-foot mosque because no one in county government has told them to stop. “This has all come as a big surprise,” he said.

Fathy said there is still about six weeks of work left on the first phase of the project — 12,000 square feet — which began in September.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Rutherford County Building Codes Department had not revoked the mosque’s building permit.

But Joe Brandon, attorney for the plaintiffs who filed suit against the county in 2010 challenging the public notice process, said the judge’s ruling means the work cannot legally continue. “At the present time, they (congregation members) are in violation of the law if they as much as lift a hammer,” Brandon said.

Brandon said the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was not a named party in the lawsuit and that’s probably why the judge’s order doesn’t specifically order construction halted.

But he said the judge’s ruling erases the site approval, and without that approval, the building permit should be invalid.

Chancellor Robert Corlew III ruled Tuesday that the commission failed to give adequate public notice of a May 24, 2010, meeting. At that meeting, commissioners approved the new building plans for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. But the judge said the commission’s actions were “null and void.”

State law requires that government bodies provide adequate public notice of meetings, but it does not offer many specifics beyond that. Attorneys for Rutherford County have argued that the notice in the printed edition of the Murfreesboro Post and on the paper’s website met the notice requirements.

The county’s legal department did not return calls late Tuesday.

Jim Cope, Rutherford County attorney, told The Tennessean in July 2011 that if the site plan approval was revoked, then mosque leaders probably would have to reapply to the planning commission. Because the Veals Road site is already zoned for religious use, there would be no public hearing or comments on the site plan.

“What we’d have in effect is a ‘do-over,’ ” Cope said last year.

The county attorney also could appeal the decision.

‘A huge victory’

The judge said the commission can meet again to discuss the mosque project, as long as it gives proper notice to the public. Mosque opponents and other members of the public have a right to attend that meeting, but they don’t have the right to speak at the meeting, Corlew wrote. And any future decision by the commission can’t discriminate against members of the mosque, he said.

The next commission meeting is set for June 11.

Imam Osama Bahloul said leaders of the Islamic center would do whatever the county asked of them. “We want to obey the law,” he said. “We want to be good citizens.”

Brandon repeated his belief that the Islamic center is a political organization, not a religious group. “Today is a huge victory. It’s the first time that the political movement of Islam has been stopped in its tracks.”

If the Islamic center gets approved for a new site plan, he said, then the plaintiffs would file a new lawsuit. “They are in this for the long haul.”

Sri Lankan Buddhist Monks Want to Demolish Muslim Community Building in Colombo

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2012 by loonwatch

Is this going to be Dambulla 2.0? (h/t: msmrishan)

Any opportunity that the anti-Muslim blogs get, they attempt to castigate Islam as a whole for the actions of a minority of fundamentalists. Can you imagine them even calling out these Monks actions and tying it to Buddhism?

What if they were Muslim?

Buddhist Monks Want To Demolish A Muslim Community Building In Colombo

by Colombia Telegraph

Buddhist monks took to the streets yesterday again demanding the demolition of yet another Muslim community building in Colombo, claiming it was illegal, Ceylon Today reports. Meanwhile Divaina newspaper claims that the building is a illegal cattlekilling place belong to Islam fundamentalists.

Over 250 protestors led by Buddhist monks staged a demonstration yesterday in front of Galvihara Road, Dehiwala, calling for the demolition of the Madarasa ‘Darul- Qur’an lil Baranil Iman. The protestors charged it is an illegal construction and a place where goats are scarified.

One of the monks leading the protest claimed the Madarasa should be demolished as the Muslims had constructed it illegally; a claim many Muslims in the area are disputing.

In response to this a member of the trustee board, Hizni Mohamed said the Madarasa named has been situated here for over 13 years. “It is a place mainly to teach and educate the children on religion and the Qur’an,” he said.

He said the monks’ claim that the Muslims were rearing goats and sacrificing them within the premises of the Madarasa, but nothing of that sort happened. “It is not an illegal construction. We have accurate deeds and the building has been there for so many years,” he said.

According to the Western Province UNP PC member Mujibur Rahman, this Madarasa has been frequented by the Muslims for 13 years and this problem of demolishing has begun all of a sudden. “Nothing illegal or unlawful is happening,” he confirmed.

When Ceylon Today contacted the Mayor of Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Municipal Council Dhanasiri Amaratunge said that a group of monks had complained to him regarding an illegal construction.

“I sent a team to inspect the area and we have found that the Madarasa is an illegal construction and we have summoned them to court on Monday. Even before the legal aspect could be done the villagers and the monks have begun a protest,” he said.

Hamid Dabashi: Merci, Monsieur Badiou

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2012 by loonwatch

Hamid Dabashi has an excellent article replying to a piece by prominent French philosopher Alain Badiou on the complicity of the celebrated French “intellectuals” such as faux philosopher Bernard Henri Levy in stirring up Islamophobia:

Merci, Monsieur Badiou

by Hamid Dabashi (AlJazeera English)

New York, NY – In a powerful new essay for Le Monde [Fr], Alain Badiou, arguably the greatest living French philosopher, pinpoints the principal culprit in the success of the far-right in the recent French presidential election that resulted in the presidency of Francois Hollande.

At issue is the evidently not-so-surprising success of the French far-right, anti-immigration, Islamophobe nationalist politician Marine Le Pen – to whom the French electorate handed a handsome 20 per cent and third place prestige.

As Neni Panourgia has recently warned, “the phenomenon of Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi in Greek), the neo-Nazi organisation that received almost seven per cent of the vote in the Greek elections of May 6″ is a clear indication that this rise of the right is not limited to France. The gruesome mass murderer Anders Breivik signalled from Northern Europe a common spectre that hovers over the entirety of the continent – most recently marked by the trial of the Bosnian Serb mass murderer General Ratko Mladic – accused of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including orchestrating the week-long massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim boys and men at Srebrenica in 1995 during the Bosnian war.

As Refik Hodzic, a justice activist from Bosnia and Herzegovina puts it, the implications of that murderous incident are not to be missed:

“The statement that will haunt the consciousness of Bosnians, Serbs and the world for decades to come was recorded in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Srebrenica, a UN-protected enclave in eastern Bosnia: ‘On this day I give Srebrenica to the Serb people,’ he announced into a TV camera. ‘The time has finally come for revenge against Turks [Bosnian Muslims] who live in this area.’ These chilling words were the prelude to a systematic execution of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys who had sought refuge with the Dutch UN battalion or tried to reach safety through the woods surrounding Srebrenica. Years later, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice would judge the massacre, directed by Mladic and carried out by his subordinates, to be the first act of genocide committed on European soil after World War II.”

Who is responsible? 

In this poignant and timely essay, Alain Badiou dismisses the pop sociology of blaming the rise of the right on the poor and the disenfranchised French, supposedly fearful of globalisation. He denounces the blaming of the poor French by the educated elite for all its ills – and instead offers a far more sensible and factual evidence of what seems to be the matter with the French – and, by extension, other Europeans.

Blaming the poor, Alain Badiou retorts, is reminiscent of Berthold Brecht’s famous sarcasm that the French government evidently does not have the people it richly deserves. Turning the table against the French politicians and the French intellectuals, Badiou blames them directly for the rise of the right. Badiou turns to a list of the most recent anti-labour and anti-immigrant statements uttered by socialist politicians and charges them with the responsibility for the rise of the right.

“The succession of restrictive laws, attacking, on the pretext of being foreigners, the freedom and equality of millions of people who live and work here, is not the work of unrestricted ‘populists’.” He accuses Nicolas Sarkozy and his gang of “cultural racism”, of “raising high the banner of ‘superiority’ of Western civilisation” and “an endless succession of discriminatory laws”.

But Badiou does not spare the left and, in fact, accuses them of complacency: “We did not see the left rise forcefully to oppose… such reactionary” laws. Quite to the contrary, this segment of the left maintained that it understood this demand for “security”, and had no qualms about the public space being cleansed of women who opted to veil themselves.

Badiou accuses the French intellectuals of having fomented Islamophobia, as he accuses successive French governments of having been “unable to build a civil society of peace and justice”, and for having Arabs and Muslims abused as the boogymen of French politics.

Read the Rest…

Charles L. Worley, North Carolina Pastor: Put Gays And Lesbians In Electrified Pen To Kill Them Off

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by loonwatch

This is just plain craziness. All fundamentalists, of one stripe or another are terrified by the personal lives of homosexuals:

Charles L. Worley, North Carolina Pastor: Put Gays And Lesbians In Electrified Pen To Kill Them Off


The barrage of anti-gay sermons delivered by North Carolina-based pastors to hit the blogosphere continues with yet another disturbing rant caught on tape.

The pastor, identified on YouTube as Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C., condemns President Obama’s much-publicized endorsement of same-sex marriage while calling for gays and lesbians to be put in an electrified pen and ultimately killed off.

“Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there,” Worley suggests in the clip, reportedly filmed on May 13.

He continues: “Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out…and you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out…do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”

He also said that if he’s asked who he’ll vote for, he’ll reply, “I’m not going to vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover!” Many of the congregants cheer and reply, “Amen.”

Worley added, “It makes me pukin’ sick to think about — I don’t even whether or not to say this in the pulpit — can you imagine kissing some man?”

The pastor’s comments seem in line with statements made by Ron Baity, founding pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and head of the anti-marriage equality organization Return America, who told his own congregation that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people should be prosecuted as they were historically, and Pastor Sean Harris of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville who advocated parents “punch” their male child if he is effeminate and “crack that wrist” if he is limp-wristed.

Similarly, Tim Rabon, pastor at Raleigh’s Beacon Baptist Church, condemned states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland which have already “re-defined” marriage to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples before asking his congregants, “What is stopping them from refining marriage from a person and a beast? We’re not far from that.”