Archive for Council on American Islamic Relations

Mosque in Fairfax County Vandalized

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2012 by loonwatch
A mosque in Fairfax County suffered thousands of dollars in damage. News4's Megan McGrath has the story.
A mosque in Fairfax County suffered thousands of dollars in damage. News4’s Megan McGrath has the story.

$60,000 in damage! An attack on any religious establishment is an attack on all religious establishments.

Mosque in Fairfax County Vandalized

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View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

By Megan McGrath

Construction crews should be putting the finishing touches on the Mubarak Blessed Mosque in Chantilly. Instead, they are repairing the work of vandals.

Sometime between Sunday evening and 6 a.m. Monday morning, the mosque was pelted with stones and masonry blocks. Nearly all the custom made windows and glass doors on the first floor were shattered.  Damage has been estimated at $60,000.

Investigators found beer and liquor bottles in the woods behind the mosque, and they believe teenagers may be responsible.

“It is very sad,” said the mosque’s general secretary, Usman Ghumman.  “But at the same time, our community is very resilient.  We have asked our community members to fervently pray that we are able to overcome this hurdle.”

Mubarak Blessed Mosque has been under construction for a year, and was scheduled to open in just weeks.

Jerrold Foltz, pastor at the Wellspring United Church of Christ, said acts like this are an affront to area’s entire religious community.  “Its an insult to the whole religious establishment,” Foltz said, “whether its a church or a mosque or a synagogue.”

Investigators say there is no evidence that it is a hate crime – nothing was taken and no graffiti was left behind.  However, because of the extent of the damage, those responsible face felony charges.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has asked the FBI to investigate the possibility of a bias motive in the incident.

NYT: General Withdraws From West Point Talk

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2012 by loonwatch
Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin has spoken out against Islam.
Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin has said “there should be no mosques” in the USA

MRFF deserves a lot of credit for exposing to West Point the fact that General Boykin should not be speaking at West Point’s National Prayer Breakfast.

General Withdraws From West Point Talk

By 

Plans for a talk at West Point by a retired general known for his harshly anti-Muslim remarks were abruptly canceled on Monday after a growing list of liberal veterans’ groups, civil liberties advocates and Muslim organizations called on the Military Academy to rescind the invitation.

Lt. Gen William G. Boykin “has decided to withdraw speaking at West Point’s National Prayer Breakfast” on Feb. 8, said a statement issued Monday by the academy’s office of public affairs. “In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the United States Military Academy will feature another speaker for the event.”

General Boykin, a longtime commander of Special Operations forces, first caused controversy after the Sept. 11 attacks when, as a senior Pentagon official, he described the fight against terrorism as a Christian battle against Satan. His remarks, made in numerous speeches to church groups, were publicly repudiated by President George W. Bush, who argued that America’s war was not with Islam but with violent fanatics.

Since his retirement in 2007 and a new career as a popular conservative Christian speaker, General Boykin has described Islam as “a totalitarian way of life” and said thatIslam should not be protected under the First Amendment.

Last week, after learning that General Boykin would be speaking at the prayer breakfast, a liberal veterans’ group,VoteVets.org, demanded that the invitation be revoked. In a letter to West Point’s superintendent, the group said General Boykin’s “incendiary rhetoric regarding Islam” was “incompatible with Army values” and would “put our troops in danger.”

Lt. Col. Sherri Reed, West Point’s director of public affairs, defended the invitation on Friday, saying that “cadets are purposefully exposed to different perspectives” and that the breakfast “will be pluralistic with Christians, Jewish and Muslim cadets participating.”

But by Monday, several other groups had condemned the invitation and concern was also reportedly being voiced by some faculty members and cadets. The Forum on the Military Chaplaincy (a liberal group of retired military chaplains), the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and the Council on American-Islamic Relations made public appeals to the Pentagon to cancel General Boykin’s appearance.

A fourth-year cadet at West Point, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he feared reprisals for breaking military discipline, said in a telephone interview before the cancellation was announced that “people are definitely talking about it here.”

“They’re inviting someone who’s openly criticizing a religion that is practiced on campus,” he said. “I know Muslim cadets here, and they are great, outstanding citizens, and this ex-general is saying they shouldn’t enjoy the same rights.”

The cadet asked, “Are we supposed to take leadership qualities and experience from this guy, to follow in his footsteps?”

A similar controversy erupted last week, in the days before General Boykin spoke at the mayor’s annual prayer breakfast in Ocean City, Md. The general made no inflammatory statements about Islam, instead describing how prayer had helped him through dangerous military operations.

But Peter Montgomery, a senior fellow at People for the American Way, a liberal advocacy group, said the West Point invitation was a mistake. West Point, Mr. Montgomery said, would have given “a platform to someone who is publicly identified with offensive comments about Muslims and about the commander in chief.”

General Boykin is a leader of an evangelical group called Kingdom Warriors and a visiting professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He did not respond to telephone and e-mail requests seeking comment.

Santorum: Equality ‘doesn’t come from Islam’ but from ‘God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2012 by loonwatch
Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum

Santorum: Equality ‘doesn’t come from Islam’ but from ‘God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob’

by 

Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum provoked an angry response from the Council on American-Islamic Relations Saturday for saying equality “doesn’t come from Islam“ but ”from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

“I get a kick out of folks who call for equality now, the people on the left, ‘Well, equality, we want equality.’ Where do you think this concept of equality comes from?” Santorum said during a South Carolina campaign stop Friday, ABC News reported. “It doesn’t come from Islam. It doesn’t come from the East and Eastern religions, where does it come from? It comes from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that’s where it comes from.”

The former Pennsylvania senator, a Catholic, has spoken openly about faith on the campaign trail.

“So don’t claim his rights, don’t claim equality as that gift from God and then go around and say, ‘Well, we don’t have to pay attention to what God wants us to do. We don’t have to pay attention to God’s moral laws.’ If your rights come from God, then you have an obligation to live responsibly in conforming with God’s laws, and our founders said so, right?” Santorum asked.

In a statement, CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper called Santorum’s remarks “inaccurate and offensive,“ and said the organization was sending the candidate a copy of the Quran so he could ”educate himself.”

“The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, is the best refutation of Mr. Santorum’s inaccurate and offensive remarks, which are unbecoming of anyone who hopes to hold our nation’s highest office. Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same God and share religious traditions that promote justice and equality,” Hooper said. “We suggest that Mr. Santorum educate himself about Islam and the American Muslim community by reading the Quran that we will send to his campaign headquarters next week.”

Ohio: Arson at Islamic Scholar’s Former Home & Muslim Inmates Settle Meal Preparation Suit

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2012 by loonwatch

Two stories coming out of Ohio related to Islamophobia. The first is still being investigated for a possible hate crime, and the second story shows that even within the prison system there is a double standard when it comes to Muslims.

Authorities investigate arson at Islamic scholar’s former home

By  Randy Ludlow

A deliberately set fire at the Hilliard home of the son of a controversial Islamic scholar is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

The arson fire heavily damaged a house at 4907 Britton Farms Dr. once occupied by Salah Soltan, but now the home of his 24-year-old son, Mohamed, authorities said.

The younger Soltan and a friend escaped the fire without injury after it was reported to Norwich Township firefighters at 5:24 a.m. Monday.

Firefighters arrived to find flames coming from the rear of the $290,000 house, which sustained extensive damage, said Fire Chief Dave Long.

The house was painted with anti-Islamic slurs a couple of months ago, authorities said.

The elder Soltan, who now lives abroad, is a native of Egypt and formerly was a professor at Cairo University and president of Islamic American University in suburban Detroit.

Some conservative critics have accused Soltan of being sympathetic to terrorist causes. He has said while he supports Palestinian rights, he condemns terrorism as a violation of Islamic law.

The Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations yesterday called on the FBI to assist in the investigation of the motive behind the fire.

The FBI is working with Hilliard police in investigating the circumstances of the fire, said Special Agent Harry Trombitas, spokesman for the Columbus field office.

Hilliard police called in state fire marshal investigators yesterday to assist in the probe and determined it was arson.

*******************************************************************

Ohio Muslim inmates settle meal preparation suit

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, AP Legal Affairs Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Muslim death row inmate has settled a lawsuit that accused the Ohio prison system of denying him meals prepared according to Islamic law while providing kosher meals to Jewish prisoners.

Ohio had previously decided to remove all pork products from prison menus in response to the lawsuit, though inmates weren’t seeking a ban on pork.

Details of the settlement announced Wednesday afternoon weren’t released. Neither the inmate’s lawyer or the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction would comment.

The state argued as recently as last month that providing the meals, known as halal, could bankrupt the state’s food service system because thousands of inmates have declared themselves Muslim.

Attorneys for Abdul Awkal (ab-DUHL’ AW’-kuhl) and a second inmate argued that the state was exaggerating the cost.

Court: Oklahoma Ban on Islamic Law Unconstitutional

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by loonwatch

Muneer Awad is seen in this Nov. 2010 photo by Jim Beckel.   Read more: http://newsok.com/court-oklahoma-ban-on-islamic-law-unconstitutional/article/3639122#ixzz1j5mvtpPF

For those who don’t know, the Constitution is the law of the land. Just making sure!

Court: Oklahoma ban on Islamic law unconstitutional

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An amendment that would ban Oklahoma courts from considering international or Islamic law discriminates against religions and a Muslim community leader has the right to challenge its constitutionality, a federal appeals court said Tuesday.

The court in Denver upheld U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange‘s order blocking implementation of the amendment shortly after it was approved by 70 percent of Oklahoma voters in November 2010.

Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, sued to block the law from taking effect, arguing that the Save Our State Amendment violated his First Amendment rights.

The amendment read, in part: “The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law.”

Backers argued that the amendment intended to ban all religious laws, that Islamic law was merely named as an example and that it wasn’t meant as a specific attack on Muslims. The court disagreed.

“That argument conflicts with the amendment’s plain language, which mentions Sharia law in two places,” the appeals court opinion said.

The court also noted that the backers of the amendment admitted they did not know of any instance when an Oklahoma court applied Sharia law or used the legal precepts of other countries.

Awad argued that the ban on Islamic law would likely affect every aspect of his life as well as the execution of his will after his death. The appeals court pointed out that Awad made a “strong showing” of potential harm.

“When the law that voters wish to enact is likely unconstitutional, their interests do not outweigh Mr. Awad’s in having his constitutional rights protected,” the court said.

Shopper Hit by Stun Gun possibly a Hate Crime Victim

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2012 by loonwatch

Shopper hit by stun gun possibly a hate crime victim

By HOWARD ALTMAN

TAMPA –

A stun gun apparently was used on a woman at a New Tampa Walmart on New Year’s Day, and police are investigating whether she was the victim of a hate crime.

The victim, a Muslim who was wearing a traditional ethnic dress known as a salwar, told investigators she was hit by a stun gun fired by another shopper shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday at the store at 19910 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

A video of the incident does not show the victim being hit by the stun gun, said McElroy. But she did have marks “consistent” with being hit by a stun gun, McElroy said.

“She has two marks on her back,” McElroy said. “We have no reason to doubt what she is saying.”

The video shows the suspect and another woman following the victim through the store as if she were being targeted, McElroy said. The video does not show an exchange between the women, the stun gun incident or the victim being hit, but that may have occurred off-camera, said McElroy.

Before police can determine if the incident rises to the level of a hate crime, they must first find the suspect, described as a heavy-set white female, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and between ages 30 and 49, said McElroy.

Investigators, she said, will have to determine if the offense “was based on prejudice against victim’s race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”

McElroy said the victim’s daughters raised the issue of whether she was being targeted because of her religion.

Another possibility, said McElroy, is that the victim may have been targeted because of the big purse she had in her shopping cart.

Efforts to reach the victim by phone were not immediately successful.

Hassan Shibly, spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations, said, “If indeed this was a hate crime it is a clear sign that anti-Muslim rhetoric is not cost free and may unfortunately lead to senseless attacks against law abiding American Muslims.”

Shibly said via email that regardless of the motive, he hopes the suspect is caught.

Rep. West to screen controversial film on ‘Ground Zero mosque’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by loonwatch

Rep. West to screen controversial film on ‘Ground Zero mosque’

By Jordy Yager – 08/02/11 11:22 AM ET

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is planning to screen a controversial film on Capitol Hill about attempts to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero in Manhattan.

The film, “Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mosque,” was produced by the conservative Christian Action Network (CAN) and has begun to garner criticism from such groups as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The 45-minute film is largely focused around a series of interviews conducted with survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and members of their family. The interviews, according to CAN’s website, delve into the feelings they experienced last summer when a group proposed building an Islamic center blocks away from where the World Trade Center towers once stood.

Efforts to build the Islamic center, which was set to include a swimming pool and a mosque among other amenities, were the focus of nearly every news agency last summer and brought a slew of politically charged arguments from members of Congress.

CAN attempted to get permission to show the film in New York City parks over the week leading up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but it was denied out of concern for the content.

According to CAN’s website, West plans to host the event during the week Congress returns from recess, on Sept. 8 in the Rayburn House Office Building.

This will not be the first time a controversial film about Muslims has been shown on Capitol Hill. In 2009, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) hosted the controversial Dutch filmmaker Geert Wilders and showed his movie, “Fitna,” which many Muslims have designated anti-Islamic. Following an anti-screening campaign by the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association, no members of Congress reportedly showed up to watch the film.

West came under fire last year for commenting during a conference that terrorists were fulfilling mandates laid out by the Quran.

A spokeswoman for West did not immediately return a request for comment.

Creeping Shariah: Stealth Threat or Conspiracy Theory?

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2011 by loonwatch

I wanted to find out what the kerfluffle over “creeping Shariah” was all about. After all, this is a Republican worry in thirteen states which have introduced anti-shariah laws. And apparently it’s more serious than even a global economic Depression.

So I went to a blog by the promising name of “Creeping Shariah” and its matching Twitter feed for some hard answers.

The website promised to easily locate the numerous recent cases of jihad being waged on our very shores. In Massachusetts alone there were forty incidents of jihad, as those sly Mahometans managed to finesse a Muslim holiday in Cambridge, plotted to build a cemetery in Belchertown, and the Muslim Brotherhood had apparently consulted with Whitey Bulger to get governor Duval Patrick to build a mega-mosque in Bah-stahn.

Those armed-and-dangerous ladies from Code Pink were raising money for Hamas, CAIR was at it again, trying to help out some headscarf-toting Muslim terrorists at a Boston pharmacy school, Yale University was cozying up to faculty jihadis by not re-inviting an Islamophobe to come back for a conference, and some crazy Mooslim women troublemakers in Kansas City wanted to wear Islamic-style bathing gear in a pool. The fate of our pools, our children, and our very nation were at stake. And all this trouble from a bunch of Muslim women, no less.

Beside the fact that New Haven and Kansas City are not exactly in Massachusetts, most of the other “incidents” reported were endlessly-recycled hate blurbs from people like Pamela Geller and Rick Santorum — which, I will grant you — do constitute a sort of domestic terror. But most of the postings were over a year old. Maybe getting all that “news” onto his website was just too overwhelming for him. HTML can be so wordy.

But now I was really curious. Incidents of creeping shariah and jihad were obviously so numerous, so dangerous, and so troubling that perhaps a Twitter feed could provide better real-time coverage of the onslaught. And surely the feed would corroborate a pattern of Islamification of our beloved heterosexual, fetus-friendly, pro-capitalist, White-loving, brown-skin-hating, Ayn Randophilic, Judeo-Christian-based culture! I went online looking for more answers.

And answers I found. More attacks on Keith Ellison, indignation at a Toronto school which tried to accommodate a Muslim student who wanted to pray quietly in a corner of its library, and the unmitigated gall of the town of Farmington, Michigan, to sell an unused school to an Islamic cultural association. Truly disturbing stuff, indeed!

Elsewhere in the tweets were some on a Republican congressman (Wolf, R-VA) going after CAIR via the IRS, Judicial Watch going after CAIR, and disappointment that CAIR could sue a former intern who stole tens of thousands of documents for his Islamophobe father, Paul David Gaubatz.

There was also a speech by Geert Wilders at the Cornerstone Church in Nashville, part of his“Warning to America” event, which concluded with the words:

You and I, Americans and Europeans, we belong to a common Western culture. We share the ideas and ideals of our common Judeo-Christian heritage. In order to pass this heritage on to our children and grandchildren, we must stand together, side by side, in our struggle against Islamic barbarism. That, my friends, is why I am here. I am here to forge an alliance. Our international freedom alliance. We must stand together for the Judeo-Christian West. We will not allow islam to overrun Israel and Europe, the cradle of the judeo-Christian civilization.

Wow. Now I get it. Only Leni Riefenstahl was missing from the picture. Or was that Hermann Goering?

I mean, thank goodness I’m a Jew! It wasn’t that long ago that Nordic types like Wilders were saying the same thing about my people. Now with the cool kids expanded to “European Judeo-Christians” and not just Christians anymore, I could join a select club and kick around Muslims if I wanted to — rather than just being a Yid whose faith and culture was once characterized by Nazis exactly as Wilders paints Islam at churches and synagogues today.

I’d get with his program, but all I’d have to do is stop trying to be a mensch. That and the stench Wilder’s words would leave in my mouth.

The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle

Posted in Loon People, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2011 by loonwatch

The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle

By Robert Steinback
Illustration by Bri Hermanson

The apparent recent surge in popular anti-Muslim sentimentin the United States has been driven by a surprisingly small and, for the most part, closely knit cadre of activists. Their influence extends far beyond their limited numbers, in part because of an amenable legion of right-wing media personalities — and lately, politicians like U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who held controversial hearings into the radicalization of American Muslims this March —who are eager to promote them as impartial experts or grassroots leaders. Yet a close look at their rhetoric reveals how doggedly this group works to provoke and guide populist anger over what is seen as the threat posed by the 0.6% of Americans who are Muslim — an agenda that goes beyond reasonable concern about terrorism into the realm of demonization.

Of the 10 people profiled below, all but Bill French, Terry Jones and Debbie Schlussel regularly interact with others on the list. Most were selected for profiling primarily because of their association with activist organizations. People who only run websites or do commentary were omitted, with two exceptions: Schlussel, because she has influence as a frequent television talk-show guest, and John Joseph Jay, because he is on the board of Pamela Geller’s Stop Islamization of America group. Three other activists, Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes and Frank Gaffney, have interacted with many of the core group as well and also have offended many Muslims, but they are somewhat more moderate in their views of Muslims than those who are profiled below.

Bill FrenchBILL FRENCH
ORGANIZATION
 Heads the for-profit Center for the Study of Political Islam in Nashville. 

CREDENTIALS Former Tennessee State University physics professor; author of Sharia Law for Non-Muslims (2010; under the pen name Bill Warner).

SUMMARY French has no formal training or background in law, Islam or Shariah law — which in any case is not an established legal code, as the book title implies, but a fluid concept subject to a wide range of interpretations and applications. He garnered attention recently by leading the opposition to a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “The two driving forces of our civilization are the Golden Rule and critical thought. … There is no Golden Rule in Islam. … There is not really even a Ten Commandments.”
—Quoted in The [Blount County, Tenn.] Daily Times, March 4, 2011

“This offends Allah. You offend Allah.”
— Quoted in The Tennesseean, Oct. 24, 2010, speaking to opponents of the Murfreesboro mosque while pointing to an American flag

Brigitte GabrielBRIGITTE GABRIEL 
ORGANIZATIONS Founder and head of ACT! for America and American Council for Truth.

CREDENTIALS Author of Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America (2006) and They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It (2008). Co-producer and co-host of weekly ACT! for America television show.

SUMMARY Gabriel views Islam in absolute terms as a monolithic threat to the United States, Israel and the West. She is prone to sweeping generalizations and exaggerations as she describes a grand, sophisticated Muslim conspiracy bent on world domination. Of the people profiled here, she alone has focused on building a grassroots organization, claiming 155,000 members and 500 chapters around the country. Questions persist about the accuracy of her autobiographical account of being a victim of Muslim militancy in Lebanon.

IN HER OWN WORDS “America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America. They have infiltrated us at the C.I.A., at the F.B.I., at the Pentagon, at the State Department.”
— Quoted in The New York Times, March 7, 2011

“The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arabic world is quite simply the difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s the difference between good and evil and this is what we’re witnessing in the Arab and Islamic world. I am angry. They have no soul! They are dead set on killing and destruction.”
— From a speech delivered to the Rev. John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel Convention, July 2007

“Tens of thousands of Islamic militants now reside in America, operating in sleeper cells, attending our colleges and universities, even infiltrating our government. They are here — today. Many have been here for years. Waiting. Preparing.”
— ACT! for America website, undated

P. David Gaubatz

P. DAVID GAUBATZ
ORGANIZATION Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE).

CREDENTIALS Co-author of Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America (2009). As director of operations for SANE’s Mapping Shariah project (see David Yerushalmi, below), a privately operated effort to infiltrate American mosques in an attempt to expose radical elements, Gaubatz was paid $148,898, according to Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim website.

SUMMARY A civilian agent who worked in the Middle East for the U.S. Air Forces Office of Special Investigations, Gaubatz made it a personal project — and the theme of his book — to prove the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is linked to international terrorism. In October 2009, four members of Congress led by Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) held an embarrassing press conference claiming the book revealed a Muslim plot to infiltrate government. Their hardest “evidence” was a document showing that CAIR had encouraged young Muslims to become Capitol interns — much like many other Washington, D.C., interest groups.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “As an ideology [Islam] is a terminal disease that once spread is hard to destroy. Once the ideology (cancer) takes hold it is like trying to remove millions of cancerous cells in one’s body. Not impossible to remove, but very, very unlikely.”
— Essay on the Northeast Intelligence Network website, June 10, 2008

“[T]he political ideology of winning over the West and the world for an Islamic Caliphate is NOT specific to some extremist group of Muslims. This is mainstream Islam and Shari’a. … The goal remains the same: all of the non-Islamic world, and indeed all of the Islamic world, must submit to Shari’a. A Muslim who refuses to do so will be killed. … A non-Muslim, assuming he is not a pagan (typically a Christian or Jew) might be given the opportunity to live in a subservient status in an Islamic society and pay a special head tax to prove his submission. But this option is left to the Caliph or ruler at the time.”
— Essay carried by the Assyrian International News Agency, Feb. 13, 2008

PAMELA GELLER Pamela GellerORGANIZATIONS Executive director and co-founder (with Robert Spencer; see below) of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA)

and the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), an umbrella group encompassing SIOA. Both are listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Runs the Atlas Shrugs blog.

CREDENTIALS Self-styled expert on Islam with no formal training in the field. Co-produced with Spencer the film “The Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks,” which was first screened at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference. Co-author with Spencer of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America (2010).

SUMMARY Geller has seized the role of the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and influential figurehead. Her strengths are panache and vivid rhetorical flourishes — not to mention stunts like posing for an anti-Muslim video in a bikini — but she also can be coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam. Geller does not pretend to be learned in Islamic studies, leaving the argumentative heavy lifting to SIOA partner Spencer. She is prone to publicizing preposterous claims, such as President Obama being the “love child” of Malcolm X, and once suggested that recent U.S. Supreme Court appointee Elena Kagen, who is Jewish, supports Nazi ideology. Geller has mingled with European racists and fascists, spoken favorably of South African racists and defended Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic. She is a self-avowed Zionist who is sharply critical of Jewish liberals.

IN HER OWN WORDS “Islam is not a race. This is an ideology. This is an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth.”
— On Fox Business’ “Follow the Money,” March 10, 2011

“No, no, they can’t. … I don’t think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they’re cursing Christians and Jews five times a day. … I believe in the idea of a moderate Muslim. I do not believe in the idea of a moderate Islam. I think a moderate Muslim is a secular Muslim.”
— Quoted in The New York Times, responding to a question as to whether devout practicing Muslims can be political moderates, Oct. 8, 2010

“In the war between the civilized man and the savage, you side with the civilized man. … If you don’t lay down and die for Islamic supremacism, then you’re a racist anti-Muslim Islamophobic bigot. That’s what we’re really talking about.”
— Quoted in The New York Times, Oct. 8, 2010

DAVID HOROWITZ

ORGANIZATION Front Page Magazine (online), published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.David Horowitz

CREDENTIALS Organized “Islamofascism Awareness Week” which brought prominent anti-Muslim activists to college campuses in 2007. Author of several books including Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left (2004), which claims that American leftists support Islamic terrorists.

SUMMARY Horowitz, who spent his young years as a Marxist, has in recent years become a furious far-right antagonist of liberals and leftists. He also provides some funding support for other anti-Muslim ventures, including, according to the blog SpencerWatch.com, paying Spencer $132,537 to run the JihadWatch website. Horowitz sees no philosophical gradations; if you’re not in total agreement with his view of Islam, you’re in favor of Muslim hegemony. He believes the Muslim Brotherhood and “Islamofascists” control most American Muslim organizations, especially Muslim student groups on college campuses.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “I spent 25 years in the American Left, whose agendas are definitely to destroy this country. The American left wanted us to lose the Cold War with the Soviets and it wants us to lose the war on terror. So I don’t make any apologies for that.”
— On the “Riz Khan” Show, Al Jazeera, Aug. 21, 2008

“Some polls estimate that 10 percent of Muslims support Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. An al-Jazeera poll put the number at 50 percent. In other words, somewhere between 150 million and 750 million Muslims support a holy war against Christians, Jews, and other Muslims who don’t happen to be true believers in the Quran according to
bin Laden.”
— In the Columbia Spectator, Oct. 15, 2007

“There are 150 Muslim Student Associations on American campuses. The Muslim Student Associations were created by Hamas and funded by Saudi Arabia. … [The associations] are Wahhabi Islamicists, and they basically support our enemies.”
— On Fox News’ “Neil Cavuto Show,” Aug. 15, 2006

JOHN JOSEPH JAYJohn Joseph Jay
ORGANIZATION summer patriot, winter soldier (a website; Jay doesn’t use capital letters in his website’s name or in his writings). Board member, SIOA. Listed as one of the founders of American Freedom Defense Initiative, SIOA’s umbrella group (see also Pam Geller, above).

CREDENTIALS Jay worked for 25 years as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C. Geller’s Atlas Shrugs blog describes him as a constitutional scholar. In addition to his anti-Muslim commentary, Jay blogs prolifically on the right to bear arms.

SUMMARY Jay is remarkable for his unreconstructed hatred of all Muslims. He believes attacks by Muslim terrorists justify any violence directed at any Muslim, adding that, as he sees it, the Koran itself justifies such blind retaliation.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “every person in islam, from man to woman to child may be our executioner. … there are no innocents in islam. … there is no innocence in islam. all of islam is at war with us, and … all of islam is/are combatant[s.] … islam has established without intellectual doubt that there are no innocent muslims, that the myth of the ‘moderate muslim’ is precisely that, and that muslims are no more entitled to exemption or protection from retaliation that [sic] any of the other ‘non-innocent’ combatants in the world. … there are no innocent muslims.  islam is subject to killing on grounds of political expediency on the same basis as islam kills its victims, and islam cannot ethically and morally claim otherwise.”
— From his website, July 14, 2010

“in short, dear muslims, g_d in his infinite wisdom saw in advance this struggle between men and religions to win his favor, and the only thing that is foreordained, is that the strong and the resolute shall win his favor, and so far, it has been amply demonstrated that he has chosen the jews as his people, and favored christianity with science, technology, culture and military power. to islam, he has given the hind and dry tit, and the sewers and the deserts of the world in which to inhabit, and in which to fester.”
— From his website, June 27, 2010

TERRY JONESTerry Jones
ORGANIZATION Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Fla. Listed by the SPLC as a hate group.

CREDENTIALS Pastor of Dove World; instigator of “International Burn a Koran Day,” which was slated for Sept. 11, 2010, but canceled after worldwide protests and calls from senior officials of the Obama Administration. On March 20, however, Jones did burn a Koran, leading to several days of rampages in early April by religious rioters in Afghanistan, including the storming of a United Nations compound, that resulted in the deaths of at least 20 people. Jones showed no remorse over the deaths, which included at least seven foreigners. Author ofIslam is of the Devil (2010). Jones has admitted never having read the Koran. He has no academic or theological degree; his “doctorate” is honorary.

SUMMARY A true fanatical extremist who seems to be driven mostly by the need for self-promotion and publicity. Operates entirely outside of the core circle of anti-Muslim activists. Jones is also virulently anti-gay.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “Here’s your opportunity, all you so-called peaceful Moslems [Jones’ pronunciation]. … We are accusing the Koran of murder, rape, deception, being responsible for terrorist activities all around the world. … Present to us your defense attorney who is going to defend the Koran. Let us really see. We challenge you: do it. Let us not talk. Let us have some action and proof. … The Koran, if found guilty, can be burned … Or the Koran will be drowned. Or the Koran will be shredded into little bitty pieces … or the Koran will face a firing squad.”
— From an undated video on the Dove World Outreach website announcing “International Judge the Koran Day”

“The world is facing a great danger, which, if it is not stopped, will sooner or later be a threat to freedom in all nations and specifically to the United States. This danger is the growing religion of Islam.”
— From the introduction to Islam is of the Devil, 2010

DEBBIE SCHLUSSELDebbie Schlussel
ORGANIZATION Columnist; eponymous website.

CREDENTIALS The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Schlussel is a Detroit-based attorney and MBA. Frequent guest on conservative talk shows.

SUMMARY Uncompromising, viciously anti-Muslim commentator who dismisses ostensible allies if they are willing to believe in the concept of moderate Islam. She has even berated Hollywood for its failure to depict Muslims as sufficiently villainous. She has referred to Muslims as “animals.” Her intense animosity toward Muslims appears rooted in strong pro-Israel sentiments.

IN HER OWN WORDS “So sad, too bad, Lara. No one told her to go there. She knew the risks. And she should have known what Islam is all about. Now she knows. Or so we’d hope. … How fitting that Lara Logan was ‘liberated’ by Muslims in Liberation Square while she was gushing over the other part of the ‘liberation.’ Hope you’re enjoying the revolution, Lara! Alhamdillullah (praise allah) [sic].”
— From her website, following the gang sexual assault on CBS Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Lara Logan in Cairo, Feb. 15, 2011

“[T]he fact is that the majority of Muslims support terrorism. The vast majority. Not just a few hijackers and a few suicide bombers. But the MAJORITY. This isn’t me saying it. It’s Muslims saying it. And not just in poll after poll of Muslims around the world including in America. Go to the streets of ‘moderate Muslim’ Dearbornistan [Dearborn, Mich.] and see how many Muslims dare condemn Hezbollah and HAMAS. It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo?”
— From her website, Oct. 8, 2008

ROBERT SPENCERRobert Spencer
ORGANIZATION Runs the Jihad Watch website, a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Co-founder with Pamela Geller (see above) of Stop Islamization of America and the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

CREDENTIALS Spencer has a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Co-produced with Geller the film “The Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks” (2011). Author of numerous books including The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion (2007) andThe Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (2005).

SUMMARY Spencer is entirely self-taught in the study of modern Islam and the Koran. Critics have accused him of doggedly taking the Koran literally — Spencer considers it innately extremist and violent — while ignoring its nonviolent passages and the vast interpretive tradition that has modified Koranic teachings over the centuries. Spencer believes that moderate Muslims exist, but to prove it, they’d have to fully denounce the portions of the Koran he finds objectionable. Spencer has been known to fraternize with European racists and neo-fascists, though he says such contacts were merely incidental. Benazir Bhutto, the late prime minister of Pakistan, accused Spencer of “falsely constructing a divide between Islam and West” in her 2008 book,Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West. Spencer, she wrote, presented a “skewed, one-sided, and inflammatory story that only helps to sow the seed of civilizational conflict.”

IN HIS OWN WORDS “Osama [bin Laden]‘s use of these and other [Koranic] passages in his messages is consistent … with traditional understanding of the Quran. When modern-day Jews and Christians read their Bibles, they simply don’t interpret the passages cited as exhorting them to violent actions against unbelievers. This is due to the influence of centuries of interpretative traditions that have moved them away from literalism regarding these passages. But in Islam, there is no comparable interpretative tradition.”
— From The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), 2005

“Where is moderate Islam? How can moderate Muslims refute the radical exegesis of the Qur’an and Sunnah? If an exposition of moderate Islam does not address or answer radical exegeses, is it really of any value to quash Islamic extremism? If the answer lies in a simple rejection of Qur’anic literalism, how can non-literalists make that rejection stick, and keep their children from being recruited by jihadists by means of literalism? Of course, as I have pointed out many times, traditional Islam itself is not moderate or peaceful. It is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.”
— Jihad Watch, Jan. 14, 2006

DAVID YERUSHALMIDavid Yerushalmi
ORGANIZATION President of the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE); principal of Stop the Madrassa.

CREDENTIALS General counsel for the Center for Security Policy (see Frank J. Gaffney Jr., above); also, an attorney representing SIOA. Yerushalmi drafted a proposed law filed this year in the Tennessee legislature that would subject anyone who advocates or adheres to Shariah customs to up to 15 years in prison; he drafted a similar bill in Georgia in 2008.

SUMMARY Yerushalmi equates Shariah with Islamic radicalism so totally that he advocates criminalizing virtually any personal practice compliant with Shariah. In his view, only a Muslim who fully breaks with the customs of Shariah can be considered socially tolerable. He waxes bloodthirsty when describing his preferred response to the supposed global threat of Shariah law, speaking casually of killing and destroying. Ideally, he would outlaw Islam and deport Muslims and other “non-Western, non-Christian” people to protect the United States’ “national character.” An ultra-orthodox Jew, he is deeply hostile toward liberal Jews. He derides U.S.-style democracy because it allows more than just an elite, privileged few to vote.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “On the so-called Global War on Terrorism, GWOT, we have been quite clear along with a few other resolute souls. This should be a WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful. … At a practical level, this means that Shari’a and Islamic law are immediately outlawed. Any Muslim in America who adopts historical and traditional Shari’a will be subject to deportation. Mosques which adhere to Islamic law will be shut down permanently. No self-described or practicing Muslim, irrespective of his or her declarations to the contrary, will be allowed to immigrate to this country.”
— A 2007 commentary entitled “War Manifesto — The War Against Islam,” as reported by The American Muslim

“The more carefully reviewed evidence, however, suggests that because jihadism is in fact traditional Islam modernized to war against the ideological threat posed by the West against Islam proper,there is no way to keep faithful Muslims out of the war. If this is true, any Muslim who sticks his neck out of the mosque to yell some obscenity at the West should be considered an enemy combatant and killed or captured and held for the duration of the war. If you kill enough of them consistently enough, those disinclined to fight in the first place will find a way to reform their religion.”
— Review of Mary Habeck’s book Knowing the Enemy on the American Thinker website, Sept. 9. 2006

Hate message left on US Muslim family’s car

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , on May 26, 2011 by loonwatch

Even though they took the time and effort to write the same message in Arabic, they failed to comprehend what an independent sentence is.

Hate message left on US Muslim family’s car

A hate message was left on the car of a Muslim family while they were inside a business in Redmond, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) said Tuesday.

CAIR-WA said a Muslim mother reported that she found the message, which said, “We don’t [want] Muslims in America” in English and “We don’t want Muslims in our country, go away”, in Arabic, stuck to the family’s vehicle when she returned to it Monday afternoon after visiting a Redmond Starbucks.

“I can’t believe someone could hate me because of my religious beliefs,” the victim told KIRO 7. She asked us not to use her name or show her face.

The Muslim mother, who was with her 9-year-old daughter at the time of the incident, wears an Islamic head scarf.

Earlier this month, CAIR’s Michigan chapter called on state and national law enforcement authorities to investigate an incident in which a vehicle was vandalized and defaced with a racially-derogatory phrase and profanity.

CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari said a coalition of some 60 interfaith and community leaders recently asked Everett Community College to drop an “Islamophobic” speaker scheduled to appear Thursday as part of an “Islam in America” lecture series.

Bukhari said that a growing number of hate incidents targeting American Muslims, those perceived to be Muslim and Muslim institutions have occurred in the days since the death of Osama bin Laden.

“Some of the issues we see happening are an increase in rhetoric against Muslims and an increase in mainstreaming of anti-Muslim speech,” Bukhari said.

CAIR-WA held a news conference Tuesday afternoon with the Muslim mother and her daughter to talk about the incident.

The victim said she isn’t angry about the note, but she’s shocked that it would happen in a community she’s grown to love. ”We are just regular people, and I hope this person realizes that they can’t make us afraid to go out and live our lives regularly,” she said.

KIRO TV, 24 May 2011

Eccentric Has-Been Debbie Schlussel Looks to Sabotage

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2011 by loonwatch

Once on the opinion scene, Debbie Schlussel has spat and snorted her way into irrelevance. No one really cares about her over-the-top rantings anymore. Today, she’s widely seen as an irrelevant foul-mouthed hatemonger who thinks that she’s important just because she was on FOX a couple of times. Desperate for attention, Schlussel has become increasingly erratic and extreme hoping to shock her way into the realm of public attention. But like a flasher lurking in an overall at dark corners of the park, when she strikes, it’s only cause for more people to be turned off. So much for “shock” therapy.

Recently, she posted a diatribe applauding a terror attack against innocent Christian victims at an Alexandria church, saying she’s happy they were killed and that she hopes more of them get blown up. The reason for her raving mad commentary? That they are not pro-Israel enough for her liking.

Schlussel’s hatred and bitterness seems to be mostly driven by her personal inadequacies and insecurities. Jealous of Oprah’s success, the unsuccessful Schlussel routinely refers to her as HO-prah; jealous of Rima Fakih’s charm (Miss USA), the not-so-charming Schlussel refers to her as “Hezbollah’s Sharmuta” (whore), Elizabeth Hasselbeck gets called “hag,” and Kentucky Fried Chicken can’t escape her wrath getting labeled “Kentucky Fried Sleaze.” Even her old pal and now a frequent target of her ire, Pamela Geller is called Scamela Geller (not without merit in this case at least).

Recently, Schlussel’s actions have become more eccentric (bordering on delirium);

CAIR sues Debbie Schlussel over name

(Detroit Free Press)

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has sued controversial Southfield lawyer Debbie Schlussel in federal court for trademark infringement, saying Schlussel incorporated several similarly-named groups to confuse its donors.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, urges U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn, to stop her from using the names she incorporated.

“There are people in our community who contacted our office thinking she actually was named executive director of CAIR Michigan,” the group’s executive director, Dawud Walid, said today. He said he fears supporters of his group are making charitable contributions to Schlussel, believing she runs the real CAIR organization.

Schlussel countered that CAIR abandoned its name in Michigan by failing to file annual reports to the state of Michigan beginning in 2004. She said she filed articles of incorporation last year, at the behest of a client who she wouldn’t identify.

“They abandoned it,” Schlussel said. “The state of Michigan sent them notices, but they never once responded.”

Walid says Schlussel spews anti-Muslim hatred on her website. Schlussel counters that she seeks to point out the intolerance of Islam.

A hearing on the case is set for 9 a.m. Friday.

Schlussel’s blog piece on her latest lunatic move is a laughable cry of victimization, faux claim at free speech and most reprehensible of all asking for money to support it.

Schlussel Appointed Executive Director of CAIR Michigan; How You Can Help Our Efforts (to Expose Islam)

I have some important information to share with you. I was recently appointed the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan a/k/a CAIR Michigan, Inc. CAIR Michigan is and will continue to be educating residents of Michigan–through various activities, in the courts, in the media, and everywhere you can imagine–about Islam and the true state of “American-Islamic relations.”  Check out our website, which is in development.  (Thanks to Fred Taub of Boycott Watch for his help in that endeavor.)  We have a lot of projects in store, in terms of educating the public about Islam in America and elsewhere.  We will be mixing things up.  We are applying for tax-deductible status and are in the process of filing all of the official paperwork to raise money as a non-profit.

Until that process is complete, you can help me in this and my other endeavors in exposing the real Islam and stopping it from further changing the American way of life by donating to these efforts.  Donating even just $5-$20/month can really add up to significant support in the ongoing operation and expansion of these activities. You can either use the yellow Paypal buttons on the upper left hand side of the site, or you can prevent the PayPal fees by going to PayPal and sending it directly to: writedebbie@gmail.com.  Any amount is appreciated, and we can really use your help to make a bang as the new year approaches.

My first official act as CAIR-Michigan Executive Director was the letter below to the Michigan Attorney General’s office in opposition to a federal appellate lawsuit filed by an imposter group of Muslims using our name to fight a Michigan judge who asked a woman, Raneen Al-Baghdady–to remove her Muslim headscarf in court. And a few weeks ago, the appeal lost. The judge was upheld in asking the woman to remove her Muslim headscarf.

Can it get any more creepy and pathetic than that?

Dawud Walid, the Executive Director of the real “CAIR-Michigan” has an excellent blog piece on this farce as well as some hilarious broadsides at the comedic and goofy character of Debbie Schlussel:

Schlussel makes classic ‘straw man’ argument today

For years, the Muslim community, its leaders including myself and the organization which I lead have been subjected to fallacious allegations, distortions and smears from “xenophobic loon” Deborah (Debbie) K. Schlussel. Despite her incessantly bigoted blogging, we have virtually ignored this “know-nothing nut”, and I haven’t really blogged about her over the years because she is frankly an irrelevant, fringe in my book.  In other words, she’s simply been a Class A, minor league annoyance unlike major league Islamophobes that can cause serious harm to civil liberties.

In regards to the current complaint that has been made against Schlussel for her commandeering the name Council on American-Islamic Relations – Michigan, she is trying to frame her bogus argument that the legal complaint against her is to silence her freedom to criticize Muslims.  This, however, is a classic straw man argument.  Our complaint against her, though it mentions that she is an anti-Muslim blogger in showing her motive, focuses on her attempt to represent herself as the director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in the state of Michigan, an organization devoted to protecting the civil rights of Muslims and challenging Islamophobia.  This is the issue at hand, not her bigotry.

If Schlussel wishes to state that President Obama is an uncover Muslim who can’t be trusted, let her do so.  If she chooses to continue to mislabel Dearborn as “Dearbonistan” (Arabs, by the way, don’t use “stan” behind their lands; those are Central Asians :) ), she is free to do so.  If she even chooses to state that Christian Arabs such as Coptics deserve to be bombed because of their “anti-Semitism” (Arabs are Semites too by the way :) ), she can also say such.

It appears in this situation that her disdain for Muslims caused her to make some crucial lapses in her attempt to “drive the Muslims crazy.” (To DS: We have the entire blog saved, so no need in trying to erase the post now.  :))  And like any organization or business with a trademark and name recognition which has offices or stores in other regions, we signed an affiliation agreement to use the trademark with our national office kind of like how franchisees sign a contract with Burger King for instance with its corporate office to use the name Burger King.  Burger King would never allow its trademark to be used by a store that is strictly vegetarian and against selling hamburgers in America, nor would a civil rights organization such as CAIR allow an anti-Muslim, anti-Arab bigot to use its name in any state, be it Alaska, Colorado or Michigan.  Even my 9 year old son grasps this simple logic.

Anyway, I have bigger fish to fry for now.  I have talks to give at area mosques today and tomorrow as well as have official business with government officials to conduct.  This will all work itself out in court.

Cut & paste below to view complaint filed against Schlussel:

http://www.4shared.com/document/4Ls80IjM/Final_Filing.html

Update: The website for Schlussel’s “CAIR-Michigan” no longer stands for “Council on American Islamic Relations” if you visit it now it reads “Council on American Israeli Relations.” A fitting description perhaps. Maybe Schlussel started feeling the heat?

 

Sheriff Lee Baca: A Man of Principle

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2010 by loonwatch

lee_-baca

The loons love to cast themselves as the defenders of freedom and the vanguards of enlightenment against the dark forces of Islam. A self-image we have shattered over and over by hurling facts and exposing their ignorance and hateful hypocrisy.

A lot of these right wingers’ invective revolves around castigating the largest Muslim civil rights organization in America, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) because it is a strong and influential voice against bigotry and discrimination against Muslims and that just irks the Islamophobes. They have come up with all sorts of conspiracies revolving around CAIR including one that made Newsweek’s ‘Top Conspiracies of 2009.”

However it seems like they didn’t bargain for an encounter with Sheriff Lee Baca.

L.A. County Sheriff Defends Himself, Muslims after Attack by Indiana Governor

If L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca was feisty last week when he tangled with a Republican congressman in Washington, D.C., he was even more impassioned Tuesday while discussing it.

A week ago, Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) impugned Baca during a House Homeland Security subcommittee meeting, saying the sheriff had allied himself with a Muslim American group that engaged in “radical” speech by going to its fundraisers. Baca not only attacked that description of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, but he also told Souder he would be fine with going to more fundraisers for the group.

“If he thinks I’m afraid of what he said, I will go to 10 fundraisers because he said it,” Baca declared Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours before a town hall meeting with the Muslim American community.

Actually, Baca said, he’s been to only two fundraisers for the organization in four years, but that, he added, is not the point. What rankled Baca — aside from what he took as Souder personally challenging the sheriff’s patriotism — was what he saw as the congressman’s inaccurate assessment of the group.

“In other words, he’s an amateur intelligence officer,” Baca said.

Several times a year, the Muslim American Homeland Security Congress — an independent group set up to advise Baca and forge a partnership between the department and Muslim Americans — and the Sheriff’s Department’s Muslim Community Affairs Unit hold forums to discuss issues. The one Tuesday night was scheduled before the dust-up in Washington offered a charged topic for discussion.

When Baca spoke at the Tuesday event, he was given a standing ovation by the 75 or so people at the Omar ibn Al-Khattab Foundation near USC.

Baca called Souder’s comments “scary” and said they were an affront to all Muslim Americans. “When you attack CAIR,” he said, “you attack virtually every Muslim in America.”

Baca’s response to Souder was a statement in defense of democracy, said Maher Hathout, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Southern California. “And they will not vanish,” he said. “They are on the record and they are a landmark on the road of our democracy.”

Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, hailed Baca as a hero. “Sheriff Baca is our champion and is our hero in defending us against McCarthyism in this era,” Al-Marayati said.

Although CAIR, a national Muslim civil liberties group, has its critics, Baca said the local offices represent average Muslim Americans “very committed to the safety of the U.S. It is not an organization that supports or promotes terrorism.” He added that the group supported a proposed half-cent sales tax hike for law enforcement. “I think CAIR’s support for public safety is unequivocal,” he said.

Baca said he believes strongly in a connection between public safety and religious understanding. The Sheriff’s Department’s interfaith council, he said, has been working for a decade on projects such as passing out food baskets to the homeless and counseling drug addicts. “We have all faiths represented — Jewish, Muslim, Scientology is even involved.”

The Muslim American Homeland Security Congress was set up in the wake of “this constant uninformed chatter about religion being a factor in terrorism,” he said. “I’m saying — because I’ve read the Koran and been involved with Muslim Americans for years — this is not correct. God has nothing to do with mentally ill people committing terrorist acts. If a mentally ill person is using Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Scientology to say ‘This is part of why I’m doing this,’ I say, ‘Well, guess what, don’t act like you’re God, you don’t have God’s authority.’ ”

Baca is Catholic. “I’m a weak Catholic; I’m not suggesting I’m doing my best at it,” he said. “I respect Catholicism and I respect all faiths.”

Without them, he said, “our crime would be outrageous. We would not be a civilized world.”

carla.hall@latimes.com

raja.abdulrahim@latimes.com

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times