Archive for Congress

Tennessee Congressional Race Gets 100 Percent More Anti-Shariah-y

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2012 by loonwatch

We may have spoke to soon when we wrote that the Murfreesboro Mosque saga in Tennessee may be coming to an end.

Tennessee Congressional Race Gets 100 Percent More Anti-Shariah-y

By Tim Murphy (Mother Jones)

If you live in Middle Tennessee, get ready for another four months of overheated rhetoric about Islam. On Thursday, tea partier and anti-Shariah activist Lou Ann Zelenik announced that she’s challenging incumbent Rep. Diane Black (R), setting up a rematch of a 2010 GOP primary that focused heavily on the question of whether Muslims in Murfreesboro should be allowed to build a new mosque.

In that campaign, Zelenik lashed herself to the mosque issue, speaking at a march to protest the construction, and accusing Black of being soft on Shariah. As she told Talking Points Memo, “This isn’t a mosque. They’re building an Islamic center to teach Sharia law. That is what we stand in opposition to.” Zelenik feared that a new mosque in Murfreesboro would be a stepping stone to a more sinister end—the encroachment of radical Islam into Middle Tennessee. It wasn’t a winning issue, it turned out, but Zelenik’s argument resonated in the city. Later that year, a handful of residents filed a lawsuit to block the construction of the mosque, arguing that Muslims weren’t protected by the First Amendment because Islam is a totalitarian political system, not a religion (the Department of Justice was forced to file an amicus brief noting that, yes, Islam is a religion).

Although Black took a relatively moderate stance on the mosque when she ran for Congress, promising to respect Tennesseans’ freedom of religion, she has an anti-Islam history, too: as a state Senator, she sponsored Tennessee’s 2010 law designed to ban Islamic law from being enforced in state courts.

The added wrinkle here, which should give the primary an added degree of out-in-the-open animosity, is that until two weeks ago, Zelenik was being sued by Black’s husband. The suit centered on an ad Zelenik ran during the 2010 pointing out that then-state Sen. Black had steered contracts to her husband’s forensic science business. Black and his company, Aegis Sciences, considered this charge defamatory, but the court ruled that Zelenik’s spot was accurate, and in this case the truth was the only defense necessary. So: drama.

One quibble, though: The Murfreesboro News-Journal notes that Zelenik will step down from her job at the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, “a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization that has been instrumental in sounding the alarm over the growing Islamic movement in America and the threat of Sharia Law.” That’s not quite accurate, as there is no real threat from Shariah law in the United States. More accurately, TFC has been instrumental in running around stirring up fears over a phantom menace. This would be a small point, except that Murfreesboro isground-zero for the Islamophobia movement, so it’s something the local newspapers really ought to get right.

Women in Parliament: Islamists in Tunisia Field More Women as Candidates than the Percentage of Women in the US Congress

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2012 by loonwatch
TUNISIA_Women_ParliamentTunisian Parliament–Nov 23, 2011

Whenever a Western power wants to invade and or bomb a Muslim nation one invariably hears about how the “women are oppressed in ________(insert Muslim nation of choice)” and “we must liberate them from the clutches of those evil, backward, misogynistic Muslim men.” That is one of the reasons we’ve termed the bombing, invasion and occupation of Muslim lands, the Greater Islamophobia.

Interestingly, when one analyzes say…the number of women in positions of power in countries across the world, we see the percentages of women in parliament to be higher in many majority Muslim nations than in parts of the West. [These statistics also buttress the fact that more Muslim nations have had female leaders, (Presidents, Prime Ministers) than the USA!]

Below we have a list of countries whose percentages of women in parliament is higher than the USA, which ranks a dismal 71st.

*Afghanistan (I have added an asterisk here because this nation is under foreign occupation and the results for many are not considered legitimate. However it is still interesting that Afghanis, some of the most vilified people in the world today when it comes to views of women vote for them at a higher percentage than Americans.)

Rank Country Lower or single House Upper House or Senate
Elections Seats* Women % W Elections Seats* Women % W
30 Afghanistan 9 2010 249 69 27.7% 1 2011 102 28 27.5%

Tunisia is not a surprise to many who know the country, but lets put these numbers into perspective. The Islamist party Ennahda won elections, they are known as “moderates,” but within the media, especially the Right we see an effort to translate Ennahda’s victory into a harbinger for the repression of women’s rights and other usual hoopla associated with Right-wing anti-Islam rhetoric. As the Angry Arab, As’ad Abu Khalil remarks, “I just figured that Tunisian Islamists fielded more women as candidates than the percentage of women in the US Congress.”

32 Tunisia 10 2011 217 57 26.3%

*Iraq

36 Iraq 3 2010 325 82 25.2%

Sudan

37 Sudan 4 2010 346 87 25.1% 5 2010 28 5 17.9%

Kyrgyzstan

45 Kyrgyzstan 10 2010 120 28 23.3%

Senegal

46 Senegal 6 2007 150 34 22.7% 8 2007 100 40 40.0%

Pakistan

47 Pakistan 2 2008 342 76 22.2% 3 2009 100 17 17.0%

Mauritania

48 Mauritania 11 2006 95 21 22.1% 11 2009 56 8 14.3%

Uzbekistan

49 Uzbekistan 12 2009 150 33 22.0% 1 2010 100 15 15.0%

Tajikistan

60 Tajikistan 2 2010 63 12 19.0% 3 2010 34 5 14.7%

Bangladesh

63 Bangladesh 12 2008 345 64 18.6%

Indonesia

65 Indonesia 4 2009 560 101 18.0%

Kazakhstan

66 Kazakhstan 8 2007 107 19 17.8% 8 2011 47 ? ?

United Arab Emirates

67 United Arab Emirates 9 2011 40 7 17.5%

All of the above nations did better than the USA.

Here are two Western nations who you’d think would have done better in the numbers and who wax eloquent about “women’s rights,” even using it as a pretext to bomb and invade nations:

61 France 6 2007 577 109 18.9% 9 2011 348 77 22.1%
71 United States of America 2 11 2010 434 73 16.8% 11 2010 100 17 17.0%

Of course some of the above Muslim nations still have low percentages, however my purpose here is not to draw conclusions but to add to the empirical evidence when it comes to the discussion of women, women’s role in Muslim societies and women’s rights.

As the battle over birth control, invasive procedures before abortion, etc. rages on in the USA, the above stats provide a healthy if sobering perspective to the belligerent discussion in the looniverse about Muslim women.

Joe Kaufman-O-Meter #5: Dodges Question on Whether He Supports Nuking Iran

Posted in Feature, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2011 by loonwatch
Joe Kaufman

Just when you thought Joe Kaufman couldn’t make more of a fool of himself he proves you wrong! Previously, Kaufman eulogized a dead terrorist and racist by the name of Rabbi Meir Kahane, and we thought “well he can’t top that!” Then he called for nuking Muslim countries, and we thought “OK, that’s it, no way he can surpass such lunacy.” Then it so happened we learned he’s been paying homeless people to join his pathetic anti-Muslim rallies to bolster their numbers, and we’re like “golly jee, he keeps setting the bar so low.”

Recently, Kaufman was at a rally to express love for anti-Muslim politician Allen West and condemn CAIR South Florida. I kid you not, Kaufman’s exact words at the rally were “I love Allen West.” But that’s not the real ludicrous bit.

The ridiculous portion is Kaufman’s response to a reporter who asked him about his infamous call to “nuke the Mooslims”:

Reporter: “Do you support the nuclear bombing of Iran?”

Joe Kaufman: “No…um, well, I would never say whether I would support that or not.”

Why is this so ridiculous? Well, Kaufman has had 10 years to reflect and ponder on how he would answer this inevitable question, and the above is the best he could do. Rather then coming right out and saying he “wouldn’t,” as most conscientious people would, he hesitated and dodged. By dodging however, he not-so-subtly implied he is open to supporting such horrific action. That’s wily Kaufman for you I guess.

Who is he?:

Joe Kaufman, has been on the Anti-Muslim scene for quite a while now and is dubbed by the far Right-Wing FrontPageMag as, you guessed it…another one of their ”Investigative Journalists.”  That he has been influenced by Meir Kahane and the Kahanist ideology is well documented, as is his love and angst for Kahane.

In the past he has been accused of contributing to the terrorist organization founded by Kahane known as JDL (Jewish Defense League) while others accuse Kaufman of at the very least holding views that parallel JDL positions.

Kaufman’s unsavory associations and views are quite real and they are only dangerous to America if you’re stupid enough to swallow his conspiracy theories but other than that he is simply a half-baked paranoid conspiracy theorist, some what along the lines of the “9/11 Truthers.”

In every nook and cranny there is a “Mooslim”…hiding and ready to get ya…so beware and be afraid. Be veryyyy afraid goes his story.

In this special LoonWatch series we will detail the exploits and punchlines that Krazy Kaufman throws out there and attempts to pass as serious journalism, commentary and investigation.

July 27: Peter King to Hold Third Hearing on “American Muslim Radicalization”

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by loonwatch

There goes IRA terror linked Peter King again. We will be live tweeting the shenanigans once again on our Twitter page.

Rep. Peter King Announces Third Islamic Radicalization Hearing Will Happen Next Week

(Huffington Post)

Peter King, the controversial Republican congressman from New York who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, announced Tuesday that he will hold a third hearing on radicalization among Muslim-Americans next week.

While King’s first hearing in March focused on Islamic radicalization in general and his secondfocused on radicalization in prisons, the July 27 hearing will be about al Shabaab, a Somalia-based terrorist organization that has made headlines for recruiting Somali-Americans in the Midwest.

In a press release released on Tuesday, King said:

“At this hearing, the third in a series, we will examine Somalia-based terrorist organization al-Shabaab’s ongoing recruitment, radicalization, and training of young Muslim-Americans and al-Shabaab’s linking up with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).“In Minnesota, Ohio, and other states, dozens of young Muslim males have been recruited, radicalized, and then taken from their communities for overseas terrorist training by al-Shabaab. In a number of cases, the men – including both Somali-Americans and other converts — have ended up carrying out suicide bombings or have otherwise been killed, often without their families even knowing where their sons have gone. There has not been sufficient cooperation from mosque leaders. In at least one instance, a Minnesota imam told the desperate family of a missing young man not to cooperate with the FBI.

“There are growing concerns that al-Shabaab in Somalia is linking up with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen to better train these radicalized young men in order to attack Americans around the world, or potentially shift their focus to attacking our homeland.

“This coordinated and ongoing recruitment and radicalization of young Muslim men in the U.S. is a serious and growing threat to our homeland security and simply cannot be ignored.”

King has been criticized by Islamic organizations for his prior hearings, which many Muslim groupshave said too broadly target their communities. Muslims groups have also criticized prior hearings for largely lacking Muslim witnesses. A witness list for next week’s hearing has not been released.

Anti-Muslims and Politicians Find Common Cause with Iranian Terrorist Organization

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by loonwatch

The surreal world of anti-Muslim Islamophobia knows no bounds. Islamophobes and the political class that panders to them have been caught with their pants down–figuratively for once. Since 9/11, these traffickers in hate have profited from the development of an industry of “terror expert professionals,” consisting of so-called: “ex-terrorists,” “ex-Muslims,” “scholars,” “think tank gurus,” pontificating on the incompatibility of Islam and Democracy, the danger of a growing Muslim populace in the West, the need to be suspicious of Muslims, Muslims’ susceptibility to terrorism, etc.

This narrative belies reality, Muslims who commit terrorism are an extreme minority, in fact what is most glaring in the face of this propaganda is what Charles Kurzman terms, The Missing Martyrs (book review to come soon). For all the hackneyed anti-Muslim diatribe and hypotheses of an omnipresent and ever dangerous “Islamic terrorism,” what is remarkable is the absence of “would-be martyrs,” let alone a threat level that is blown out of all proportion. The Arab Spring has, more than anything else, dealt a stinging, if not lethal blow to the harbingers of doom.

What is most irksome is that the real radicals, the ones who draw us into endless war, increase hostilities amongst communities, and hob nob with anti-freedom organizations are the same individuals projecting their worldview onto Muslims.

Where else (with the exception of perhaps a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel) could we witness a House Homeland Security Sub-committee Hearing being chaired by a Congressman who once was the most outspoken advocate of a terrorist organization. Rep. Peter King’s involvement with the IRA while they were targeting and murdering civilians is well known, and the hypocrisy and double standard of him chairing hearings on “American Muslim radicalization” is painfully evident.

This however is not the only, or even the most glaring example we can turn to of Congressmen or former high ranking government officials supporting or advocating on behalf of a terrorist organization.

Congressmen (including Democrats) and former government officials have met with the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an organization that was designated a terrorist group in 1997 when the list was first compiled, and is STILL ON THE LIST–for now.

MEK has a very aggressive and organized lobby effort in Washington D.C. According to one House staffer, the MEK is “the most mobilized grassroots advocacy effort in the country — AIPAC included.” Their mission is to be delisted as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO), push the USA to foment war with Iran, i.e. “regime change,” and have themselves installed into power. Sound familiar?

They attempt to pass themselves off as the sole legitimate opposition to the Iranian regime, going so far as to claim that they are the Green Movement or the government in exile. Now there is a quiet push to have them delisted from the FTO list:

Members of Congress led by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) have introduced a resolutioncalling on the Secretary of State and the President to throw the support of the United States behind an exiled Iranian terrorist group seeking to overthrow the Iranian regime and install themselves in power. Calling the exiled organization “Iran’s main opposition,” Filner is urging the State Department to end the blacklisting of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) — a group listed by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The resolution currently has 83 cosponsors and is gaining significant ground.

Such a move would have disastrous repercussions for the USA, and would inevitably lead to blowback considering what the MEK is about:

[F]or the record, here are the facts about the MEK (you can find this and more at www.mekterror.com):

  • The State Department reports the MEK is a terrorist group that has murdered innocent Americans and maintains “the will and capacity” to commit terrorist attacks within the U.S. and beyond. [1]
  • The MEK claims to have renounced terrorism in 2001, but a 2004 FBI report states “the MEK is currently actively involved in planning and executing acts of terrorism.” [2]
  • RAND and Human Rights Watch have reported that the MEK is a cult that abuses its own members. [3] [4]
  • MEK has no popular support in Iran and has been denounced by the Green Movement, Iran’s peaceful democratic opposition movement.[5]

Iran’s Opposition Green Movement Rejects the MEK

  • The leaders of the Green Movement, Iran’s true popular opposition movement, have denounced the MEK and warned that the Iranian government seeks to discredit Iran’s opposition by associating it with the MEK:
  • “The Iranian Government is trying to connect those who truly love their country (the Greens) with the MEK to revive this hypocritical dead organization.” – Mehdi Karroubi, Green Movement leader. [6]
  • “The MEK can’t be part of the Green Movement. This bankrupt political group is now making some laughable claims, but the Green Movement and the MEK have a wall between them and all of us, including myself, Mr. Mousavi, Mr. Khatami, and Mr. Karroubi.” – Zahra Rahnavard, Women’s rights activist and wife of Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi[7]

Iraqi National Congress Redux?

  • The MEK claims it is “the main opposition in Iran,” yet similar to Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress that helped bring the United States into war with Iraq, the MEK is an exiled organization that has no popular support within Iran[8]
  • RAND reports that the MEK are “skilled manipulators of public opinion.” The MEK has a global support network with active lobbying and propaganda efforts in major Western capitals. [9]
  • Members of Congress have been deceived and misinformed into supporting this terrorist  organization:
  • In 2002, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen led efforts for the U.S. to support the group, prompting then-Chairman and the Ranking Member of the House International Affairs Committee, Henry Hyde and Tom Lantos, to send a Dear Colleague warning against supporting the MEK.  They cautioned that many Members had been “embarrassed when confronted with accurate information about the MEK.” [10]
  • In the current Congress, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) have each introduced resolutions calling for MEK to be removed from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list.

A Capacity and Will to Commit Terrorist Acts in the U.S. & Beyond

  • The Bush administration determined in 2007 that “MEK leadership and members across the world maintain the capacity and will to commit terrorist acts in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, and beyond.” [11]
  • The Canadian and Australian governments have also designated the MEK as a terrorist organization. The Canadian government just reaffirmed its designation in December.[12] [13]
  • An EU court removed the MEK from its list of terrorist organizations, but only due to procedural reasons.  According to a spokesperson for the Council of the European Union, the EU court “did not enter into the question of defining or not the PMOI [MEK] as a terrorist organization.” [14]

Saddam Hussein’s Terrorist Militia

  • The MEK received all of its military assistance and most of its financial support from Saddam Hussein, including funds illegally siphoned from the UN Oil-for-Food Program, until 2003. [15]
  • The MEK helped execute Saddam’s bloody crackdown on Iraqi Shia and Kurds. Maryam Rajavi, the MEK’s permanent leader, instructed her followers to “take the Kurds under your tanks.” [16]

A Cult That Abuses Its Own Members

  • Human Rights Watch reports that MEK commits extensive human rights abuses against its own members at Camp Ashraf, including “torture that in two cases led to death.”[17]
  • RAND report commissioned by DOD found that the MEK is a cult that utilizes practices such as mandatory divorce, celibacy, authoritarian control, forced labor, sleep deprivation, physical abuse, confiscation of assets, emotional isolation, and the imprisonment of dissident members. [18]
  • RAND concluded that up to 70% of the MEK members at their Camp Ashraf headquarters were likely recruited through deception and are kept there against their will. [19]
  • The FBI reports that the MEK’s “NLA [National Liberation Army] fighters are separated from their children who are sent to Europe and brought up by the MEK’s Support Network. […] These children are then returned to the NLA to be used as fighters upon coming of age.  Interviews also revealed that some of these children were told that their parents would be harmed if the children did not cooperate with the MEK. ”[20]

A History of Anti-Americanism

  • One of the founding ideologies of the MEK is anti-Americanism—the MEK is responsible for murdering American businessmen, military personnel, and even a senior American diplomat[21]
  • The MEK strongly supported the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, vigorously opposed their eventual release, and chastised the government for not executing the hostages[22]

The MEK was Not “Added” to the FTO List as a Goodwill Gesture to Iran

Delisting MEK: Disastrous Repercussions

The MEK is opposed by the Iranian people due to its history of terrorist attacks against civilians in Iran and its close alliance with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war.

  1. The greatest beneficiaries of delisting MEK would be Ahmadinejad and Iranian hardliners who seek to link the U.S. and the Green Movement to MEK.
  2. U.S. support for MEK would be used as a propaganda tool by hardliners to delegitimize and destroy Iran’s true democracy movement.
  3. American credibility among the Iranian people would be ruined if the U.S. supported this group.

This should all gives us pause. Do the elected and former government officials who support delisting the MEK know the troubling anti-American, terrorist history of the MEK? If they do, then how in good conscious can they actively push to delist them?

The scenario that keeps coming to mind is cover for war or a possible Israeli attack against Iran. A possibility that seems ever more likely as MJ Rosenburg wrote recently:

A longtime CIA officer who spent 21 years in the Middle East is predicting that Israel will bomb Iran in the fall, dragging the United States into another major war and endangering US military and civilian personnel (and other interests) throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Earlier this week, Robert Baer appeared on the provocative KPFK Los Angeles show Background Briefing, hosted by Ian Masters. It was there that he predicted that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to ignite a war with Iran in the very near future.

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Robert Spencer’s link to the MEK. Spencer frequently spews insults at Reza Aslan for being a board member of the NIAC. In his “expert” opinion true Iranian Freedom organizations oppose the NIAC, and view them as tools of the Mullahs.

A contemptuous claim if it wasn’t so laughable, considering that the NIAC has frequently spoken out against the Iranian regime and has thrown its weight completely behind the Green Movement.

Spencer comes to this conclusion based on the opinion of his friends in a group called the PDMI or Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran. No one really knows how many people are in the PDMI, all they have is a blogspot website which Spencer links. The website is quite strange, it has an image of former Iranian dictator Reza Shah, and also articles supporting the MEK. Is it another MEK front group? One recent article from July 15 is titled “Iran, Mujahedin-e Khalq, and the US State Department,” by Hamid Yazdanpanah, who writes:

[W]hat has consistently been a go-to practice in appeasing Tehran? The harassment and terrorist listing of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK)…the terrorist designation of the MEK arose purely out of appeasement of the Iranian regime…The terrorist designation of the MEK has not only failed to appease the Iranian regime, it has resulted in severe harm and restriction for an organization devoted to the liberation of the Iranian people. The State Department has a moral and legal obligation to undo this grave error and delist the MEK.

It looks as if on top of all the conspiracies, hatred, and anti-Freedom ideas that Spencer pushes he is also linked to the terrorist MEK. Human Events, another website Spencer writes for contains articles supporting the MEK, such as this one by James Zumwalt. Can we now begin every piece on Spencer with, “The MEK linked Robert Spencer…”?

Sadly, this chimera world in which the Islamophobes and their allies turn everything upside down or sweep it under the rug hoping no one will find the truth is real. We are confronted with an organized mechanism of propaganda seeking to profit from endless war, occupation, hatred, hypocrisy and double standards. We are in an age in which the Supreme Court has upheld a “criminal prohibition on advocacy performed in coordination with, or at the direction of, a foreign terrorist organization,” and yet our Congressmen, and their lobbyist friends can get away with doing exactly that when it suits their purposes!

*Update: There are more Islamophobes involved in the cynical nexus of bringing legitimacy to the MEK. One such longtime advocate has been neo-Conservative Daniel Pipes, who rather seems like a mild Islamophobe these days. For his support of the MEK see, Daniel Pipes: My Writings on the Mujahedeen-e Khalq. (hat tip: NassirH)

Peter King and “Prislam”: Round 2 of Muslim American Radicalization Hearings

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2011 by loonwatch

Rep. Peter King held his second round of Homeland Security subcommittee hearings on the radicalization of Muslim Americans. This time the focus was on radicalization in our prison system and the threat it poses to the USA, some witnesses and Congressmen termed the concept “prislam,” a silly neologism that gives me headaches just hearing. Here’s hoping the word doesn’t take off.

It must be repeated from the very beginning that King is tarnished by his past Islamophobic and anti-Muslim comments. A point which has been made by countless journalists as well as by fellow Congressmen/women during the first hearing. He hasn’t apologized for, or retracted, any of those comments, which makes the present populist exercise he is involved in even more deplorable.

King also lacks all credibility considering he supported IRA terrorists for over a decade. Only in the magical realism world of Washington politics would someone who supported terrorists be the chairman of a committee discussing homegrown terrorism and radicalization, unless King is now going to argue that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter?”

Now that we’ve established the serious problems with King chairing such a committee, lets get to today’s hearing. The hearing was less of a circus than the first one in March, mainly due to the absence of such clowns and non-experts as Zuhdi JasserMelvin Bledsoe, and co., but that doesn’t mean that it was any better.

Aside from the contribution made by Prof. Brent Useem much of the testimony was unsubstantial. Prof. Useem essentially summed it all up when he said, “Prisons are infertile ground for the growth of radicalization.” He had a mountain of evidence to back this quote up, which he submitted to the committee.

The most eloquent, touching and thoughtful questions and comments came from Rep.Hansen Clarke, Rep. Jackson Lee and Rep. Richardson, who did excellent jobs in questioning the premise of the hearings, highlighting its discriminatory nature and also providing perspective when it comes to violence and radicalization at large in our prison system.

Here are some choice cuts:

Rep.Hansen Clarke:

“You know what pisses me off? It’s not about Islam. It’s about the prison system,” …”It’s about the prison culture. We’ve got to change it.”

Rep. Jackson Lee:

“If we look to the informational, we should include an analysis of how Christian militants are intending to undermine the laws of this nation.”

“My political correctness is based on this document, ‘the Constitution’”.

Rep. Laura Richardson:

“I disagree with the scope of this committee, I deem that these hearings are discriminatory.”

Patrick Dunleavy:

“In the Attica and Sing-Sing prison riots, Muslims helped decrease violence and stem deaths.”

The WTF comment of the day from Michael Downing:

“Gangs as urban terrorists, the distinction is that they don’t target innocent civilians”

Peter King attempted to defend these hearings and the scapegoating that him and his colleagues are parlaying by saying,

“I have repeatedly said the overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans are outstanding Americans”…“Yet, the first radicalization hearing which this committee held in March of this year was met with much mindless hysteria — led by radical groups such as the Council of Islamic Relations and their allies in the liberal media personified by the New York Times.”

He thereby effectively made it about CAIR once again, which actually stands for Council on American Islamic Relations not Council of Islamic Relations. By doing so he dodged addressing the core criticisms leveled at him and the premise of these hearings, by not only CAIR, but a wide range of groups.

Such a hearing, aside from stigmatizing a whole group of people is also a waste of time, resources and energy,

Last year, the bipartisan Congressional Research Service determined that only a single example of homegrown terrorism stemmed from an individual who was radicalized in prison. CRS concluded that prisons, “while seen by some as potential hotbeds of radicalization, have not played a large role in producing homegrown terrorists.”

So whats all the fuss about?

Peter King wants to sharpen his hawkish GOP credentials, pander to the anti-Muslim base of his party and present an image of being tough on terror, while also continuing the scapegoating and fear-mongering of Muslim Americans.

These hearings only reinforce the point that Muslim Americans have been making the past few years, they are being unfairly targeted and feel besieged as a community. Rep. Mike Honda, a Japanese-American sympathizes, drawing on his own experience of having been interned by the USA during World War II,

Make no mistake. Growing up in internment camp Amache in Colorado was no joy ride — just look at the pictures. We were treated like cattle in those camps…We look back, as a nation, and we know this was wrong. We look back and know that this was a result of “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.” We look back and know that an entire ethnicity was said to be, and ultimately considered, the enemy. We know that internment happened because few in Washington were brave enough to say “no.”

We know all this, and yet our country is now, within my lifetime, repeating the same mistakes from our past. The interned 4-year-old in me is crying out for a course correction so that we do not do to others what we did unjustly to countless Japanese-Americans.

This time, instead of creating an ethnic enemy, Rep. King is creating a religious enemy. Because of prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of Republican leadership, King is targeting the entire Muslim-American community. Similar to my experience, they are become increasingly marginalized and isolated by our policies.

Mike Honda’s words are like a clarion call to our political elites to recognize the dangerous path this nation is headed toward. Lets hope it won’t take another internment camp scenario for our leaders to wake up.

Detroit Reps. Conyers, Clarke call on federal government to counter anti-Muslim sentiment

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2011 by loonwatch

A move from rep. Conyers and Clarke to combat anti-Muslim hate.

Detroit Reps. Conyers, Clarke call on federal government to counter anti-Muslim sentiment

By Jonathan Oosting | MLive.com

U.S. Reps. John Conyers and Hansen Clarke want the federal government to take an active role in countering anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States.

In a House resolution introduced last week, the Detroit Democrats urged federal investigators to avoid unconstitutional profiling and called for the government to target rhetorical attacks and violence against Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian American communities.

“Communities should be protected from the threat of violence and suspicion that, for example, was at the heart of last January’s thwarted attack against the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn,” Conyers and Clarke said in a joint statement. “They should also be able to rely on law enforcement’s fundamental integrity and respect for First Amendments protected rights.

“Ultimately, the American Muslim community should be able to rely on the federal government to lead the effort in fostering an open climate of understanding and cooperation. Only through a balanced examination of the challenges facing the nation will we establish a strong policy framework for protecting security, while respecting the Constitution and the interests of affected communities.”

The resolution comes in the wake of complaints from several Metro Detroit Muslim Americans who say they were harassed, searched, groped or jailed without reason when crossing into Michigan from Canada.

The complaints prompted a probe by the Department of Homeland Security’s office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, while last week’s resolution was sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which Conyers chairs, for review.