Archive for Illinois

Illinois: Joshua Scaggs Stabs Man to “Save This Country”

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on January 1, 2012 by loonwatch
Joshua ScaggsJoshua Scaggs

A reader of BareNakedIslam or JihadWatch perhaps?

(Hat tip: JD)

CAIR believes Champaign stabbing was hate crime

(Muslim News)

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for federal civil rights charges to be filed against a man seeking to “save his country” by allegedly stabbing a faculty member of the University of Illinois College of Law who he thought was Middle Eastern.

The non-Muslim victim of Sri Lankan origin was stabbed December 7 on the second floor of the Illinois Terminal Building in Champaign, Ill. The victim was singled out due to his perceived ethnicity and the attacker allegedly committed the offense to, in his words, save his country. The victim underwent surgery for a stab wound to his neck.

His alleged attacker, 23-year-old Joshua Scaggs, was charged with attempted murder and a hate crime.

We thank local law enforcement authorities for their swift and professional actions in this case and urge the US Department of Justice to consider what federal civil rights charges could be filed in the case, said a CAIR spokesman.

Adding, Our society must begin to address the rising level of anti-Muslim sentiment that can lead to such disturbing incidents.

CAIR contacted the FBI and local police to seek the investigation of a possible bias motive for the stabbing of a Sikh man at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California.

NFL Team is on the Verge of Sharia Compliance!

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by loonwatch

After people heard that the owner and coach were replaced by a Pakastini-born Muslim and an African American, there was an uproar of Islamophobic and racist comments. If we want this country to prosper once again, we need to grow up, but when we allow comments like this to filter in, my hope diminishes:

“I wonder if Khan has any friends who are terrorists?,” asks forgotten man on www.FreeRepublic.com. “Rush Limbaugh was not allowed to buy into the Rams, but a Muslim from Pakistan can buy the Jaguars. Go figure.”

Fanning The Flames: New Jacksonville Jaguars Owner’s Muslim Faith Stirs Stupidity

[Jacksonville, FL] Last week, it was announced that the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team had been sold to super-successful Illinois businessman Shahid Khan. The deal was reported to be worth $760 million and includes a somewhat controversial first for the league.

Khan is a Pakistani-born Muslim, and will be the first of his faith to own a National Football League team. NFL team ownership is considered to be the ultimate trophy for American billionaires.

The sale is not 100% final, however, it still has to get approval from the league and the other owners, but Khan has had an ongoing relationship with the league for ten years so it seems a sure thing.

The Muslim-American community, which has been under attack since 9-11, no doubt sees Khan’s ownership as a sign that America is moving in the right direction, despite a vocal minority hell bent on demonizing all Muslims.

“He is the first … shows how American Muslims are integrating,” said Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American Islam Relations.

The Jacksonville Jaguars press release talking up the sale didn’t mention the fact that Khan was Muslim. That was probably a good thing – on the same day the sale was announced, it was also revealed that long-time head coach Jack Del Rio had been fired and assistant coach Mel Tucker – an African-American – would be taking over.

This year, the Jacksonville Jaguars have made a bigger impact in the news than on the field This year, the Jacksonville Jaguars have made a bigger impact in the news than on the field

For redneck racist types – and in North Florida there are more than a few – the fact that the white owner and white coach of their hometown NFL franchise were replaced by a Pakistani-born Muslim and a black guy was just too much to take, especially in ONE DAY.

This Jaguars ownership change could be the final straw that sends Confederate flag flyers fleeing pro football for the warm, white blanket of NASCAR.

Just last year, members of the Jacksonville City Council jumped on the Muslim hate train in what was described as a huge embarrassment for the region. Parvez Ahmed – a University of North Florida professor, Fulbright Scholar and Muslim – had his Human Rights Commission nomination sent back to the Rules Committee because of “constituent concerns.”

It had already been approved, mind you. But that was before the Islamophobes in the ACT! For America organization made a bunch of noise and the spineless jellyfish on the city council caved to their concerns.

Almost on cue, conservative news sites were rife with ugly comments about Khan’s big play.

“I wonder if Khan has any friends who are terrorists?,” asks forgotten man on www.FreeRepublic.com. “Rush Limbaugh was not allowed to buy into the Rams, but a Muslim from Pakistan can buy the Jaguars. Go figure.”

Forgotten man must have forgotten that Limbaugh has made multiple controversial racist remarks about black athletes over the years and that many players indicated that they would not play for Limbaugh’s team if he was even a part owner.

Khan just happens to have a religion in common with some people who have committed terrorist acts in the name of their god. The same could be said about any of the major religions.

When CNN ran the story, the comments sections was literally boiling over with stupidity, hate and a bit of Star Trek movie related humor (1982′s Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan features Captain Kirk famously yelling “KHAAANNNN!,” a familiar refrain in the comments section).

The awful stuff was counteracted by some progressive Jags/NFL fans protective of their city/league and of the new owner.

On CNN, Terri surmised, “That is how the Pakistani’s will get even with the United States. They plan to buy the NFL, one team at a time, and move it to Pakistan.”

Also on CNN, someone calling themselves Pakastani [sic] wrote, “The name of the new team will be the Jacksonville Jihadis. Expect the cheerleaders to show some ankle during games!”

DisgustedNY was concerned that, “Now you have some guy who grew up in Pakistan dictating what happens with an American tradition.”

But they weren’t all an embarrassment to America’s melting pot philosophy. JaxFan noted the political ramifications of Khan’s ownership, saying that, “The level of religious ignorance and intolerance represented in some of the city’s supposed leaders will make it absolutely hilarious to see those same anti-gay, anti-Muslim religious righties having to kiss the butt of a Muslim who now holds the keys to the Jaguars and their possible relocation.”

The Jacksonville community loves their team (and t-shirt cannons) The Jacksonville community loves their team (and t-shirt cannons)

“I think any comments challenging the prospective buyer’s ‘credentials’ as an American are immature,” offered Jeremy. “The guy has been here 40+ years, went to school for engineering here (actually did a degree that is USEFUL), worked for an American company, started his own American company (notice from the link posted above, that ALL the factories for his company are in the US?), and finally has had a dream of buying an NFL team.”

“America was founded based on principles of freedom of religion,” continued Jeremy. “I say let him take the team and see what he can do with it!”

Things were about the same on Yahoo! News … Mac offered: “A new way to launder money to the terrorists. Wonderful.” And from John: “Sold to Islamic Terrorist from Pakistan.”

Jake was downright racist in saying that, “schweet! sell them to a Sand Monkey.” And from Thomas: “I think he got the money to buy the team by tipping off where Bin Laden was hiding.”

DEF appeared to be a buoy of reason in a sea of hate and stupidity, analyzing that, “As a 20-year resident of Jacksonville, I can say that this is the most conservative bible belt town I have ever lived in. It has a huge redneck/conservative Christian base not to mention that many of them have their predisposed prejudices against Muslims.”

“This new owner … has a great opportunity to change Jacksonville for the better,” he said.

Although DEF cautions Khan – and he makes a good point in doing so that if Khan moves the team from Jacksonville (as has been widely speculated) that he, “could certainly see many in Jacksonville reacting by building a much deeper hatred for Muslims. … It could get ugly.”

I think you mean uglier.

By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate

Anti-Muslim Blogger Warner Todd Huston Targets IL Muslim Advisory Council

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by loonwatch
Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley hands Safaa Zarzour the Chicago Commission on Human Relations’ 2009 Outstanding Service Award.Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley hands Safaa Zarzour the Chicago Commission on Human Relations’ 2009 Outstanding Service Award.

(Hat Tip: Jerry Jones)

Anti-Muslim Blogger Warner Todd Huston Targets IL Muslim Advisory Council

If you are a Muslim or have an Arabic sounding name and have been elected to public office or appointed to advise a government official, then be prepared to have your name smeared by the far right-wing.

For example, Rep. Keith Ellison’s victory as the first Muslim elected to Congress is routinely used by the right-wing as evidence of the “Muslim Brotherhood” agenda to subvert and “Islamicize America.” Who can forget the widely-lampooned exchange between Rep. Ellison and Glenn Beck asking the congressman to “prove that he is not working with the enemy?

Even if you are not yourself a Muslim, but are the son of a Muslim, you are not immune. The President of the United States is a practicing Christian, but one born to a Muslim father. That was enough for the far-right hacks to dish the same Islamophobic whack job on Barack Obama, i.e: accusing him of being a terrorist-sympathizer and a secret Muslim hell bent on destroying the United States through “stealth Jihad.”

Such conspiracy theories have now reared their ugly head in Illinois. A blogger by the name of Warner Todd Huston takes issue with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s appointment of Safaa Zarzour to the Illinois Muslim American Advisory Council.

After mocking the formation of the council, Huston goes on to write:

Among those appointed by the Governor to this board is ISNA Secretary-General Safaa Zarzour, a man who has been linked to organizations that fund Islamist terrorism.

Zarzour is known as a supporter and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group well known for pushing extremist Islamism and for funding terror throughout the world…Why has our governor appointed a terror supporter to a state board of advisors?

What evidence does Huston provide to support the quite serious claim that Zarzour is a “known supporter and member of the Muslim Brotherhood” or that he is a “terrorist supporter?” Zero. Not a quote, not a video, nothing but innuendo and poorly connected guilt by association smears.

Such lies and indulgences in conspiracy theory are especially egregious when one considers who Safaa Zarzour really is and what he stands for. He is the perfect example of a civically engaged citizen: an elected official, a prominent interfaith leader, an educator and an advocate for civil rights.

Safaa Zarzour at a Northwestern University panel with Cardinal Francis George and Michael Kotzin, VP of the Jewish FederationSafaa Zarzour at a Northwestern University panel with Cardinal Francis George and Michael Kotzin, VP of the Jewish Federation

There isn’t exactly a ton of Muslim elected officials in Illinois, but Safaa Zarzour happens to be one: he was elected as a trustee of the Bridgeview Public Library several times, each time with an emphatic victory margin. In fact, he is twice elected, having also been chosen by voters as the Commissioner of the Bridgeview Park District where he currently serves.

Throughout his career, Zarzour has made a reputable name for himself as a civic leader in Chicago, a national interfaith leader, and a trailblazing educator having served as a High School principal for many years.

Mr. Zarzour’s civic and educational work has been featured in many media including 60 Minutes, PBS Front Line, Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine and many others. Mr. Zarzour has received several honors and awards for his public service.

It goes to show the extreme cluelessness of the far-right hate bloggers that they see fit to question the credentials of such an established name, one who is the recipient of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations’ 2009 Outstanding Service Award, handed to him by Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley at a prominent ceremony.

But Warner Todd Huston’s shoddy attempt to fear-monger about a Muslim adviser to Gov. Quinn comes as less of a surprise when one considers Huston’s own, very real and problematic associations and beliefs.

Warner Todd HustonAnti-Muslim Right-Wing Blogger Warner Todd Huston

Huston is part of the nefarious Islamophobic network of bloggers that includes the likes of the far right loon Pamela Geller. Geller is the co-founder of SIOA, an organization labeled by the SPLC as an anti-Muslim hate group. One of its co-founders, John Jay has openly called for the annihilation of Muslims. Geller’s work was also cited by the anti-Muslim/anti-Left Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik as inspiration in his terrorist manifesto. A simple glance at Geller’s beliefs and activism reveals a radicalism that has earned her the appellation of The Looniest Blogger Ever.

Huston’s blog, Publius Forum has been featured on various far-right vitriolic hate sites with extreme and radical leanings, such as: Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, RightWingNews.com, CandaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, TheRealityCheck.org, Human Events Magazine, American Daily Review, etc.

Huston’s bias against the enfranchisement of qualified American Muslims like Safaa Zarzour are even less of a surprise when you consider that he has called for the “criminalization of Islam” (Wikiquote). In an article titled, “Making Islam Illegal—Is it the only Choice,” Huston goes on to answer his own question by writing,

The best course of action is to make public displays of Islam and certain of its practices illegal in Western nations.

He goes on to compare Islam to the KKK and calls for the USA to put Islam “down” by not affording it the status of being a religion, a regular meme amongst Islamophobes and their fascist counterparts in Europe such as Geert Wilders.

What is evident is that Safaa Zarzour and Warner Todd Huston are polar opposites. While Zarzour works in the interfaith world, contributes to society, stands up for civil rights and is the epitome of moderation, Warner Todd Huston represents those anti-Freedom voices who seek to sow discord amongst different faiths and undermine one of our most cherished freedoms: the freedom of religion. The notion that an extremist hatemonger would call for the marginalization of an award-winning and established community builder is testimony to the self-delusional farcical worldview of Islamophobes and of how little respect they have for the intelligence of the public and elected officials alike whom they hope to scare into compliance.

If anything Governor Quinn should be lauded as a role model of American integrity and inclusiveness and emulated from coast to coast. It is only by standing up for what’s right, that the cowardly forces of hate, divisiveness, and fear-mongering can be duly undermined.

‘No ragheads’ response to plan for Islamic centre in Illinois town

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on October 17, 2011 by loonwatch

‘No ragheads’ response to plan for Islamic centre in Illinois town

Timoth Sylvia, pastor of HOPE United Church of Christ in Naperville, first noticed the signs saying “Vote No to Mosque on 248″ early this week.

The signs relate to the possible annexation into Naperville of a 14-acre property on 248th Avenue just south of 95th Street. The land is currently owned by the United Church of Christ’s national organization. However, the Islamic Center of Naperville is working to purchase the land and get it annexed into the city. The site includes a four-bedroom house which United Church of Christ used for offices before moving to its new location at 1701 Quincy Ave. in Naperville this summer. The rest of the property is farmland.

The annexation was discussed on Wednesday night at the Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The meeting may have been the spark for those who put the signs up in the area.

Sylvia said he got word Monday that signs had been put up on the property. He said one sign put in the front yard of the property said “No Ragheads on 248″. “It was just disheartening,” he said. There were also signs saying a basic “Vote No to Mosque on 248″ on utility poles up and down 248th Avenue, he said, and also along stretches of Route 59 in Naperville.

Naperville Sun, 6 October 2011

See also Chicago Tribune, 7 October 2011

Roman Conaway: Vet Threatens Muslims and Obama in lead to Standoff

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2010 by loonwatch
Roman Conaway Facebook page (Riverfronttimes)

Roman Conaway, a veteran in the US army with explosives training is an ardent Christian, he lists the Bible as the “only book” he has ever read. He has made anti-Islam and anti-government threats and in the lead up to his most recent standoff with the police in which he took his wife hostage he made crazy, threatening calls to St.Louis area Muslims prompting a visit from the FBI.

This is a manifestation of a possible threat we have been talking about for months now, the convergence of “armed and loaded” veterans who do not leave their animus towards Islam and Muslims on the battlefield but also bring it home, either joining groups in the anti-Muslim movement or acting as lone wolves. In this instance we had the overlapping of anti-Muslim and anti-Obama/government feelings, an actualization that should make the Department of Homeland Security look seriously at updating their document on the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism by including anti-Muslim groups.

Standoff over: Threats to president, Muslims lead Fairview Heights man to take hostages with fake suicide belt

BY JACQUELINE LEE – News-Democrat

50-year-old man with a suicide belt wrapped around his waist, with wires coming out of it and attached to a curling iron he claimed was a triggering device, surrendered to FBI and Secret Service agents Wednesday morning after a standoff that was sparked by his alleged threats to Muslims and President Barack Obama.

The man surrendered at 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, shortly after releasing his wife and son.

Roman Conaway, 50, of 9030 Summit Drive in Fairview Heights, was arrested on suspicion of threatening the president and law enforcement with an explosive device, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Stu McArthur.

The drama began unfolding Tuesday on Summit Drive as well as on the social networking website Facebook. Conaway posted vague threats against Muslims, and later his family members pleaded for him to end the standoff.
Conaway on Tuesday called members of the Muslim community in St. Louis, making wild threats against them and against President Obama, McArthur said. Those community members called the FBI about 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The seven-hour standoff started after the FBI and Secret Service went to Conaway’s home at 9030 Summit Drive about 7 p.m. and were greeted by him outfitted with the belt packed with blocks of what looked like C4 explosives, wires and a curling iron. He pointed to two 55-gallon drums and said the curling iron was a remote triggering device that would activate if he were shot or attacked.

“We were quite surprised to see the props,” McArthur said.

McArthur said they heard Conaway had explosives training and that he was ex-military, which they believed added some credence to his threats.

The blocks on the belt turned out to be Play-Doh. The barrels were filled with water.
Fairview Heights Police Lt. Steve Evans said that by about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday police began evacuating homes in the neighborhood.

After federal agents went to the home, “It quickly evolved into a confrontational situation,” Evans said.
Evans said police were able to see the man and the woman during the standoff because they were outside the home. But as of midnight, police had not been able to determine whether he in fact had explosives.

“We’ve had a visual on everybody there, and everybody seems to be OK,” Evans said. “The man has been verbally confrontational, but there has been no other aggressive action. We’ve taken precautions, but there’s nothing to substantiate claims that there are explosives.”

Evans said another man was at the scene, though it appeared that man was not being held against his will. The two men and the woman were on the lawn of the residence. Police were getting close enough to talk to the suspect, who was “physically detaining” the woman, Evans said.

McArthur later said the woman was Conaway’s wife and the other man was his son.

“No stone is left unturned and every lead is investigated until there is no threat to national security,” McArthur said.

Conaway posted remarks about the situation earlier Tuesday on Facebook.

At about 5 p.m., Conaway wrote: “I need everbody with a camera phone or video phone or video cameras to come to 9030 Summit Drive in Fairview Heights, Illinois. The media and your government think this is a joke. I’m not joking.”

His sister responded: “no joke… and ugh! BRO???????????? :(
She also wrote: “who will I share my Bday with now if you dont’ pull through this! I LOVE YOU… I understand…. but I am sad!!!!!!!!!!!! :(

His niece pleaded with him not to follow through on the threat. “uncle jr.. please dnt do this.. ur my favorite uncle :( i love u very much.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Conaway wrote that he was going to burn a Quran, and added that “6 other CDs will be released upon my death or arrest against other countries on the Internet. this is not a joke.”

Conaway’s writings indicate he had been involved recently in a child-custody dispute.

He wrote on Aug. 24: “there is no way judge kelly is a christian judge. so i guess god will punish him to the fullest of his wrath.”

Also on Aug. 24, he wrote about having been awake for 92 hours straight: “opps typo well what the h… Been awake over 92hr.im lucky i can see the keyboard doe!”

In his biographical information on Facebook, Conaway states that he’s “anti gov” and that “they are way overpaid.” It also shows a like for blues and guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and states under favorite books: “bible only book ive ever read.”

St. Clair County court records showed one minor traffic conviction for Conaway and no other arrests.
His relatives said some of his family members were in Fairview Heights and working with police Tuesday night to try to end the standoff.

Residents of the area were evacuated to the Sterling Baptist Church on Bunkum Road. The evacuation of residents was complete by 10 p.m.