Archive for Jacksonville

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 “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 “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

State turns ACT! Jacksonville president’s debt to collections agency

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2011 by loonwatch


Looks like ACT has to get its act together.

State turns ACT! Jacksonville president’s debt to collections agency

Florida is facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit, but, despite his sizeable debt to the state, bookkeepers should not expect Randy McDaniels to help fill that gap anytime soon.

The head of ACT! Jacksonville, a local chapter of a national anti-Islamist group, was fined $624,000, including collections fees, by the state between 2006 and 2008, related to his time as a contractor. Documents indicate he accepted $170,316 in partial, up-front payments for jobs he never started or didn’t finish to satisfaction. The state fined McDaniels, whose license was revoked, for 10 of those incidents, records show. His largest individual fine is $123,129.

McDaniels has yet to make any payments, and last week the matter was turned over to a third-party collections agency.

ACT! Jacksonville took a very public stance last year against University of North Florida professorParvez Ahmed’s nomination to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission. The group’s efforts brought attention to what is usually a routine process, and helped persuade six City Council members to oppose Ahmed’s nomination to the volunteer commission.

In an e-mail to the Times-Union, McDaniels said his business went belly-up due to a bad economy, and he criticized the newspaper’s coverage of his group.

“I and thousands of other businesses in Florida failed … during the recent economic downturn,” he wrote. “Each story you run and attack you make while favoring Parvez Ahmed swells our membership and support in the city, thank you.”

The newspaper first reported McDaniels’ troubled past as a contractor in December, when a state official characterized the harm done to McDaniels’ customers as “quite significant.”

ACT! opposed Ahmed’s nomination because it says that the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the organization Ahmed chaired for three years, is a propaganda arm for Hamas, which the federal government has designated a terrorist organization. CAIR has denied those claims.

McDaniels, who characterized the Times-Union’s stories as a “witch hunt,” said the work was not fulfilled because his company folded after contracts were signed.

“It is regretful that some of our clients were hurt,” he wrote. “Regarding the fines, had I been more concerned with my personal position and that of the company and taken time and precious monies to hire an attorney and leave working projects, our violations and fines may have been lower.”

He gave no indication that he planned on paying the fines, and the state probably will not be able to force payment.

“There is a certain percentage of debtors who have no assets, and nothing to be gotten. At that point it’s a loss,” said Fran Landau, who has been a collections attorney for 31 years, and owns Accelerated Receivables Management. She was speaking in generalities, not specifically about McDaniels’ case.

She said a lot of letters will be sent, phone calls will be made, and, if payment is not made, it will hurt McDaniels’ credit rating.

“For some, credit rating matters, for others it really does not mean a whole lot,” Landau said.

Sandi Copes, a spokeswoman for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, said if the state does not see the money it will have to write off the debt.

“This would be taken into consideration,” she said, “if Mr. McDaniels ever applied to reinstate his license.”, (904) 359-4174


Educating or fear-mongering? The controversy over ACT!

Posted in Loon People, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by loonwatch
Brigitte Gabriel

One piece would have saved Deirdre a lot of time: ACT! For America is better known as HATE! For America.

Educating or fear-mongering? The controversy over ACT!

By Deirdre Conner
When ACT! for America’s Jacksonville chapter began attacking a local Muslim scholar this year, it might have appeared to be the isolated action of a fringe group.

Far from it.

Over the past year, ACT has engaged in similar skirmishes across the country that have raised the group’s profile, its membership and its revenue.

It describes itself as educating concerned citizens and exposing the threat of radical Islamic terrorists they believe are multiplying on American soil. When the local chapter protested the appointment of University of North Florida professor Parvez Ahmed to the city’s Human Rights Commission, they claimed he had ties to terrorist organizations, despite his written record of condemning violence and terrorism.

But the episode is also one of many reasons ACT has come under increasing scrutiny from critics. They say that at best, the group is promoting misinformation among an American public still largely uninformed about Islam, and at worst, it is exploiting people’s worst fears to propagate bigotry and hate speech against Muslims.

Related: Anti-Muslim activist who led fight against Jacksonville commissioner owes state more than $500K

Its detractors include Muslim civil rights groups as well as scholars and even the Southern Poverty Law Center, all of which say the group denigrates all Muslims, not just extremists.

Despite controversy over ACT’s message, the group has found more and more willing ears from the public, and, in some cases, elected officials.

ACT! for America has a full-time lobbyist in Washington and says it ended 2010 with 155,000 members nationally. In Florida, the group’s membership has more than doubled since 2009, to 19,233 members, said Guy Rodgers, the group’s national executive director. Those members, he said, have been key in the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” strategy.

Busy agenda

It counts among its successes:

– The passage of a ballot initiative in Oklahoma banning courts from considering “international law or Sharia Law” in making decisions.

Related: What sharia is – and isn’t

– The investigation and suspension of the Muslim Student Union at University of California-Irvine for disrupting a speech by Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.

– Protesting the cancellation of a course called “What is Islam?” at an Oregon community college, which was to be taught by one of the group’s chapter leaders.

Together, the Pensacola-based ACT! for America and its affiliated research group, American Congress for Truth, raised more than $1.6 million in 2009, according to the latest tax returns available. Rodgers attributes growing interest in the group to the rise in domestic terrorism threats from Islamic militants over the past two years.

“More and more Americans are beginning to in their consciousness wonder, what is causing this?” Rodgers said.

‘Political correctness’

ACT also is concerned that the government is not thoroughly investigating places in America they feel could be breeding ground for Islamic militants, such as jihadist websites or camps they believe are paramilitary training grounds for terrorists.

So why does ACT believe the government isn’t as vigilant as it should be?

“Political correctness, I think that’s why,” Rodgers said. “We believe that is shackling many in the government … from tackling that issue head-on.”

It was political correctness, the group believes, that led to Ahmed being appointed to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, a volunteer board.

Ahmed is the former chairman of the national board for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. ACT claims CAIR is a front for Hamas, a militant Palestinian organization designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. government. And ACT points to CAIR being named in 2007 as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a terrorism-funding trial.

But CAIR was one of hundreds of unindicted co-conspirators. And it was never accused of wrongdoing by the government. For his part, Ahmed has personally condemned violence against both Palestinian and Israeli civilians.

In numerous blog posts and op-eds for The Times-Union and national media, Ahmed has rejected extremist views and violence and writes frequently about how religions can coexist peacefully.

Related: Parvez Ahmed speech transcript: ‘Is Islam compatible with American values?’

And although nearly a third of the City Council voted against his appointment, he found many more supporters among politicians, business leaders and citizens concerned that the episode could paint Jacksonville as a place of intolerance.

Difficult to dismiss

ACT! for America has, both locally and nationwide, found common ground with tea party members and extreme conservatives who helped Republicans retake the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections.

One of its key allies, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., announced plans this month for hearings on Muslim-Americans and terrorism when he assumes the chairmanship of the House Homeland Security Committee.

That’s why even its opponents say the group shouldn’t be dismissed.

“If they were just yahoos … then why did you have people running for Congress or government officials who are otherwise well educated playing that [Muslim] card?” said John L. Esposito, a Georgetown University professor who studies discrimination against Muslims.

“They played that card because a significant number of voters believe that.”

Esposito said ACT! for America is Islamophobic, and he compares it to anti-Semitic and racist groups.

He said that ACT – along with politicians and pundits who agree with it – is capitalizing on people’s fear, which is heightened because of the trauma of terrorism and a painful economy.

“People don’t look at the numbers,” Esposito said. Islamic terrorists “are an infinitely small but dangerous part of the population, and that’s a group that most people reject.”

He compared it to stereotyping all anti-abortion advocates as violent extremists just because there have been incidents of violence against abortion providers.

“It’s a dangerous thing,” he said, “but nobody blows the numbers out of proportion on this.”

Despite its crusade against political correctness, ACT officials deny they are anti-Muslim.

Yet its national leaders – including its founder, the Lebanese-born Christian Brigitte Gabriel – repeatedly say that Islam itself creates terrorists.

In her book “They Must Be Stopped,” Gabriel writes that “The freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedoms that Muslims enjoy in this country have not tempted them to renounce their dreams of destroying the United States.”

In 2008, she told the New York Times Magazine that she disapproves of Islam because it “calls for the killing of other people.” In a speech to U.S. Navy SEALS that same year, she said that the West is doomed to failure until it identifies Islam as the “real enemy.”

A slideshow presented as educational material on ACT! for America’s website refers to Muslims’ birth rates as a “demographic timebomb” and says that moderate Muslims are the true radicals.

But Rodgers, the group’s executive director, said the group is not prejudiced, and that it works with Muslims who want to reform Islam. Islam has “issues” that need to be addressed, he said.

“Embedded within Islamic doctrine is a supremacist political ideology,” Rodgers said. “Does every Muslim agree with that ideology? No. Does every Muslim practice it? No. But it’s that particular political ideology that is at the root of militancy, whether it’s violent militancy or what we call ‘cultural jihad.’ ”

When it comes to the information about Islam and terrorism that ACT espouses, the group is less than transparent. In its tax return, American Congress for Truth notes that it conducted 700 hours of research on the issues, but Rodgers declined to name any of those researchers.

‘This filthy doctrine’

If the difference between being anti-Islam and anti-radical Islam is nuanced, some of ACT’s supporters don’t appear to get the message.

Facebook “fans” of the group repeatedly post anti-Islamic sentiments on the page. In the past week, one posted that “this filthy doctrine needs to be wiped off the face of the earth,” and another declared hatred of Muslims. The week before, one post praised ACT for “fighting the good fight” against Islam, and another called on “God-lovin” Americans to disrupt a Muslim prayer service in New York City.

But Rodgers said the group tries to keep tabs on members who cross the line. He pointed to a video posted this year by CAIR, in which an ACT member is shown saying that the Quran should be used as toilet paper.

Rodgers said ACT condemned those actions when it found out about them. The group can’t know about the beliefs of every one of its members, he said.

What isn’t in dispute is how little most Americans know about Islam and the roots of terrorism.

An August poll from the Pew Research Center shows that 55 percent of Americans say they do not know very much or know nothing at all about the Muslim religion and its practices.

Yet just 62 percent of respondents said Muslims should have the same rights as other groups to build houses of worship.

And 38 percent believe Islam encourages violence more than other religions, a figure that has increased substantially in the nine years since President George W. Bush visited a mosque and reminded Americans that Islam is a religion of peace.

Republicans and people with less education are far more likely to express an unfavorable view of Islam, Pew found, and people with more knowledge of the religion are more likely to view it favorably.

Concern over rising volume

Groups that exploit that lack of information to spread fear about Muslims seem to have become louder over the past few years, said Brannon Wheeler, professor of history and director of the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy. He does not speak on behalf of the academy.

More insidious, he said, is when groups “take a 10th century legal text [regarding sharia] … and find stuff in that text and say, this is what Muslims all around the world believe.”

Just as Christians around the world have diverging beliefs on certain issues, Muslims around the world are also quite diverse – if not more so, Wheeler said.

“It was my hope … that after the tragedy of Sept. 11, many people would learn more about Islam,” Wheeler said. “But I fear that what has happened in general is that most people’s stereotypes have become more entrenched and more widespread.”

On the whole, Muslims in America are far more integrated into society than in Europe, where there have been more violent conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Still, American Muslims – who make up less than 2 percent of the overall population – say they are more often experiencing discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has seen a surge in discrimination complaints by Muslims in the past two years, the New York Times reported in September.

Although there are many different and complex ways that people become radicalized, discrimination can be a factor, said Gary LaFree, director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. Known as the START Center, it is a partner with the Department of Homeland Security, known as a Center of Excellence.

“The more you marginalize any minority in your population, the more grievances they have, and the more their grievances will be supported,” he said. “[It’s] a way of provoking people who had peacefully coexisted.”

That, LaFree said, is something that Osama bin Laden expressed hope would happen.

“If one of the main purposes of this type of terrorism is to drive a wedge between the Muslim and non-Muslim population,” he said, “it seems this is playing right into that.”, (904) 359-4504


SPLC: ACT! for America is an anti-Muslim Group

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2010 by loonwatch
Brigitte Gabriel

Slowly but surely the SPLC is coming around to listing all the anti-Muslim hate groups or at the very least recognizing them as anti-Muslim.

In our last article on the SPLC we wrote about Dove Outreach being put on their hate list and we requested that SPLC look carefully at SIOA and also add them onto the hate list as they are every bit as anti-Muslim as Dove Outreach or ACT for America.

In this thorough article the SPLC takes on ACT, exposes their hypocrisy and concerted campaign against Parvez Ahmed, a Human Rights Commissioner in Jacksonville and also mentions SIOA in a negative light though a stronger condemnation is needed.

Anti-Muslim Group Denounces One Professor, Defends Another

The American Congress for Truth (ACT), an anti-Muslim group run by firebrand Brigitte Gabriel, has targeted a Muslim professor serving on a human rights board in Florida, accusing him of having ties to radical Islamic groups and serving as a “mosque operative” in city government.

After months of opposition to Parvez Ahmed’s nomination to the Human Rights Commission of Jacksonville — he was appointed earlier this year — ACT held a news conference on the steps of Jacksonville City Hall Thursday to release a DVD of edited clips of a speech Ahmed gave in October, which the group claims shows “irrefutable” evidence of Ahmed’s associations with the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islam — despite the absence of any footage speaking directly to that charge. The lack of evidence apparently didn’t trouble Randy McDaniels, the Jacksonville ACT chapter leader who called the news conference. “It’s how he says what he says. What he doesn’t say. What’s inferred and the facts we know,” McDaniels said, adding that Ahmed was a “made man in the Muslim mafia.”

Ahmed is a former national chairman of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest advocacy organization for Muslims in America. Fueling ACT’s accusations against Ahmed is the fact that CAIR was named in 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in charges brought against the Holy Land Foundation. The foundation is a Muslim charity that was ultimately convicted of funneling more than $12 million to Hamas, the militant Palestinian Islamist organization considered a terrorist group by the U.S. government. Charges were never brought against CAIR in the case.

Ahmed says ACT’s claims are categorically false, and that the group, whose lobbying arm is called ACT! for America, has gone too far in its efforts to sully his reputation. “They are going to make the waters so muddy that sensible people will shy away from engaging Muslims in this country. That would be such a tragedy at this time when we need more Americans to engage with Muslims, even have disagreements with them.”

The waters may already be muddied in Florida, however. ACT’s campaign to discredit Ahmed has gone on for months. Ruffians claiming to be ACT members have disrupted his public appearances, screaming that he belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood. Ahmed described being harassed at one public appearance to the point that audience members, fearing for his safety, escorted him from the room. Another eyewitness confirmed Ahmed’s account.

Last week, Jacksonville General Counsel Cindy A. Laquidara told the Florida Times-Union that the city is standing by Ahmed. “Once he’s appointed, he’s appointed,” she said. “And there is not a procedure for people to change their mind.” A message left with Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton’s assistant requesting comment was not immediately returned.

ACT’s attacks on Muslims elsewhere have moved onto the Web, where the hate-filled rhetoric has reached an incendiary level. YouTube clips show people claiming to be ACT members suggesting the Koran is best used for toilet paper and the footbaths outside mosques are better suited for urinals.

ACT officials in Florida and Oregon did not return several communications seeking comment on these recent events.

Still, the campaign against Ahmed is part of a groundswell brought on by groups such as ACT andPam Geller’s New York-based Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) whose members see themselves as foot soldiers in the so-called “anti-jihad” movement and domestic patriots on the front lines of a war on terror. Claiming nearly 300 chapters nationwide, with the largest concentrations in California, Texas and Florida, ACT representatives have pushed for legislation to prohibit courts from acknowledging Shariah or international law and asked for deeper investigations into U.S. Muslim charities. Gabriel, ACT’s founder, has written two books titled They Must Be Stoppedand Because They Hate, the latter partly a memoir in which the Lebanese-born Christian claims to have the experience to judge all of Islam.

On its Web page, ACT claims without proof that “tens of thousands of Islamic militants now reside in America, operating in sleeper cells, attending our colleges and universities, even infiltrating our government.” ACT’s Web site also chastises the “purveyors of political correctness,” saying the “political Left in America denies, apologizes for, or blames America for the rise in Islamic extremism.”

Three thousand miles from Jacksonville, ACT is at work trying to save another professor’s job. Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., cancelled a scheduled class on Islam to be taught by an ACT chapter leader named Barry Sommer. The class, called “What is Islam?” was pulled from the school’s catalogue after CAIR wrote a letter of concern to administrators that Sommer would spread hateful untruths about Islam based on his association with ACT and statements he had made on his personal blog, Islam Today Oregon. Neither Lane College administrators nor Sommer responded to telephone calls and E-mails seeking comment, though Sommer has told several media outlets he is talking to the American Center for Law and Justice about possible legal action.

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said Sommer’s class would be a disservice to Muslims nationwide and stoke already-burning flames of intolerance. “Once you look at what this guy believes, it’s clear what he would have taught,” Hooper said.

In a Dec. 6 entry on his blog, Sommer wrote: “When I say that Islam wants to rule the world, I am called a hatemonger. When I say sharia [sic] law is creeping into western civil law, I am accused of demeaning a religion. When I say that Islam is a patriarchal society where men control women I am said to be a [sic] Islamophobe. My view that Islam is more political than spiritual is shouted down as being intolerant.”

Ahmed, who has no association with the controversy in Oregon, says it all comes back to respecting and tolerating difference. “It’s one thing to have a negative opinion of Islam. And somebody may not like Muslims, and that’s fine,” he says. “But to have the kind of rhetoric and the kind of tactics that ACT and Pam Geller’s group engage in is way over the top.”


Former Christian Converted to Islam Terrorized with Anthrax? Double Standards Galore

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , on June 10, 2010 by loonwatch
Joshua Evans 

Joshua Evans, a former Christian missionary and youth minister from South Carolina, converted to Islam some years ago.  He began preaching again, but this time explaining why he converted religions.  Evans relocated to Florida, and someone detonated a pipe bomb in front of the Jacksonville mosque in which he worships.  Just this week, Evans’ received in the mail an envelope full of white powder which he feared might be anthrax.  The Florida Muslim preacher was rushed to the hospital, and the substance was tested.  Thankfully, it was no more than a scare, and officials determined that the powder did not pose a biological threat.

Can you imagine for an instant if it had been the creators of South Park who had received such an envelope?  Or perhaps if a former Muslim converted to Christianity (such as Fathima Rifqa Bary) had?  Just flip “former Christian” to “former Muslim” and “convert to Islam” to “convert to Christianity” and you would have the ingredients necessary for a front page news article.  All the networks would be covering such a story non-stop, and pontificating pundits and so-called terrorism experts would remind us of the existential threat of radical Islam.

This selective media bias has allowed many Americans to erroneously think that all acts of terrorism are committed by Muslims, when in fact the reality is that official FBI records show that only 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980-2005 have been committed by adherents of the Islamic faith.  According to official Europol reports, less than one percent (0.4% to be exact) of terrorist attacks in Europe are committed by Muslims.  Yet, in the public perception, 99% of terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims.  This huge discrepancy is only possible due to the profound media bias and their selective reporting.  Said quite simply: had this been Fathima Rifqa Bary (a former Muslim converted to Christianity) whose church had been attacked with a pipe bomb and who had received white powder in the mail, the mainstream media would have lost its mind.  Yet, with Joshua Evans either his story is not reported at all, or if it is, then it is done in passing and in the most apathetic way possible.

Matthew Yglesias wrote of the bombing of the Jacksonville mosque:

Apparently there was a terrorist attack on American soil earlier this week. What’s more, though fortunately nobody was killed in the attack, unlike in the much-hyped Underpants Bomber or Times Square plots, the perpetrator actually managed to build a working bomb. But somehow this attack, despite its greater technical sophistication, hasn’t obtained nearly the same level of media attention.

The Huffington Post writes of the anthrax scare:

Hey, have you heard about all the terrorist attacks that have been going on down in the Jacksonville, Florida region? Probably not, actually, because the would-be victims of these attacks have been members of Florida’s Islamic community, and I’m pretty sure they aren’t deemed eligible by the media to be victims of terrorism. Which is too bad, because they are getting terrorized like the dickens!

Back in May, someone planted and detonated a pipe bomb at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida while 60 people were inside. Fortunately nobody was hurt. But despite the fact that this bomber managed to do what Captain Crotchfire Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad couldn’t do — successfully explode a device — the event failed to get as much media attention, for, you know,some reason.

Flashforward to this week, and we find that “a Florida Muslim leader named Joshua Evans was at the center of an anthrax scare, when he received a ’tissue stuffed inside with white powder’ in the mail.” As Amanda Terkel points out:

What is disturbing about this incident is that it is the third high-profile anti-Islamic incident in the Jacksonville, FL area in recent months. As ThinkProgress reported in April, when University of North Florida professor and Fulbright scholar Parvez Ahmed went before the city council for confirmation to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, he had to answer irrelevant questions “about gay marriage, God, Islam and prayer in public places.” Another councilman mocked him for being Muslim and requested that he “say a prayer to your God” during a public hearing.

Sounds like a charming community!

This double standard was in play during the South Park controversy as well.  Comedy Central axed a show due to threats from a couple radical Muslims.  The media went into hyper-drive and once again the so-called experts explained to us what’s wrong with Islam and Muslims.  Glenn Greenwald, a lone voice of reason, wondered at the profound double standard: Corpus Christi, a play that depicted a gay Jesus, was canceled multiple times due to extremist Christians who threatened to “kill the staff” and “exterminate” the producer.  Greenwald writes: “Both back then and now, leading the protests (though not the threats) was the Catholic League, denouncing the play as ‘blasphemous hate speech.’”  But you would have hardly heard about this, leading you–the average American–to think that only Muslims do such things.

The Islamophobes want us to react with a fecal incontinence level of trepidation when it comes to radical Islam–or, as the Queen of Islamophobia Pamela Geller puts it: they want to “scare the bejeezus outta ya.”  On the other hand, the Islamophobes say that Islamophobia barely exists, as Robert Spencer claims in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  This conforms to their hate-filled paradigm, one that is reinforced by the piss poor job that the mainstream media does.

Terror Double Standard

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , on May 14, 2010 by loonwatch
Dr. Hesham Hassaballa

Here is a good article by Dr. Hesham Hassaballa:

Terror Double Standard

On the evening of May 10, there was a small explosion and fire outside a Jacksonville, FL mosque. According to a fire department investigation and officials of the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida, worshipers heard a loud noise outside the mosque, and there was a small fire that was extinguished. The damage was described as “very minimal” by a Jacksonville Fire and Rescue spokesperson. Thank God, no one was injured in the attack.

According to the Council on American Islamic Relations, mosque officials reported that an unknown white man in his 40s entered the mosque on April 4 and shouted “Stop this blaspheming.” He was chased away by worshipers, but he reportedly said, “I will be back.” Now, it has been determined that the explosion was due to a pipe bomb, and it is being investigated as a possible act of domestic terrorism. “It was a dangerous device, and had anybody been around it they could have been seriously injured or killed,” says Special Agent James Casey.

Yet, you would not be faulted for not knowing that it even occurred. Most of the news coverage has been local in Florida. There has not been nearly the same amount of coverage at the failed bombing in Times Square.

Now, of course, the size of this pipe bomb is nothing compared to the size of the truck bomb allegedly placed by Faisal Shahzad. The mosque bombing was perpetrated by one individual, and it increasingly looks like the Taliban in Pakistan were behind the attempted bombing in Times Square. Obviously, an attack on Times Square in the middle of a tourist/theater district is much more of a story than an attack on a mosque in Florida.

But just as the Times Square bomb could have really done harm, the pipe bomb could have also done a lot of harm. FBI officials noted that the blast radius could have been 100 feet. In addition, The FBI Special Agent in Florida, James Casey, had added: “We want to sort of emphasize the seriousness of the thing and not let people believe that this was just a match and a little bit of gasoline that was spread around.” The attempted attack on Times Square was rightly called an act of terrorism. But, as this news report says: “The FBI is looking at this case as a possible hate crime, and now they’re analyzing it as a possible act of domestic terrorism.”

A pipe bomb that explodes outside a mosque causing a fire a possible act of domestic terrorism? What if a pipe bomb exploded in Times Square? Or outside a church? Would this be called terrorism? Of course it would…and it should. So should this attack on the Jacksonville, FL mosque.

It must be said that this is not the only incident of an attack on a house of worship.Black churches have been attacked in this country for decades, and people have been killed. It is an ugly stain on the fabric of our nation’s history. Yet, so is this. Houses of worship are sacred spaces that must be respected, protected, and kept safe.

It is heinous wherever it occurs: whether it is a church in Baghdad, a Church in Birmingham, a synagogue in Chicago, a mosque in the West Bank, or a mosque in America. And we should also call a spade a spade: a pipe bomb outside a mosque is terrorism. But, because no Muslim is behind it, it does not get much attention. This must stop.

Let us–just for argument’s sake–assume that the pipe bomb was not at all serious and not a big deal.  Even if that was the case, can you imagine the ruckus if some Muslim dude did the exact same thing to a Jewish synagogue?  It would get incredible coverage by the mainstream media, and terrorism experts by the dozens would be called to pontificate about the threat of Islamic radicalism.

Yes, the “Jacksonville bomber” (the media only gives such scary sounding names if it’s a Muslim) failed miserably and nobody was hurt, but did this stop national hysteria when the shoe bomber or the underwear bomber tried to light their foot and buns on fire?   There is truly a disproportionate response between when a “normal” person does something and when a “Moozlem” does something.

A Muslim suspect wouldn’t even have to use the pipe bomb.  A Muslim would simply have to post something on Revolution Muslim stating intent to do that, and it would be enough to create national hysteria.  It is barely exaggeration to say that a Muslim would create national hysteria if he simplythought of doing that, let alone actually attempting it.  A Muslim would be on front page news for simply farting in the general direction of a synagogue or church.


Mosque in Florida Firebombed

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2010 by loonwatch
Police respond to the bombing of a Jackonsville mosque.Police respond to the bombing of a Jackonsville mosque.

A white male in his forties allegedly used some sort of incendiary device to set a Jacksonville mosque on fire during prayer time.  Worshipers chased the criminal (terrorist?) away, and thankfully nobody was hurt, but the mosque sustained fire damage. First Coast News is reporting:

Possible Hate Crime Under Investigation after Fire at Islamic Center of NE Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A fire at a mosque on the Southside is under investigation as a possible hate crime.

Worshipers at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida heard a loud noise outside the mosque shortly before evening prayers Monday night.

Witnesses went outside and found some type of incendiary device had started a fire.  The fire was put out with a fire extinguisher.  No one was hurt.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the fire marshal, ATF and FBI representatives responded to the incident, which is being looked at as a possible hate crime.

“A possible bias-motivated attack on a house of worship should be of great concern to Americans of all faiths, and particularly to our nation’s religions and political leaders,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.  “Those who shape public opinion must begin to speak out against the rising level of anti-Muslim sentiment in our society.”

CAIR says a man in his 40s entered the Islamic Center on April 4, and shouted, “Stop this blaspheming!”  The man said he’d be back as people chased him away.

Can you imagine the national hysteria if a Muslim had bombed a synagogue or church?  Meanwhile,this story will barely be mentioned.  No wonder so many people think that all terrorists are Muslims.  Will the Muslim worshipers who bravely chased the man away be honored in any way?  Can one imagine the honors heaped on Jewish or Christian parishioners had they chased away a Muslim who had done such a thing?


ACT! for America is better known as Hate! for America

Posted in Feature, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by loonwatch
Brigitte GabrielBrigitte Gabriel

ACT! for America has a problem. Its first problem is that it was founded by Brigitte Gabriel. Yes, the same Brigitte Gabriel the New York Times called a “radical Islamophobe” and who in the past has made statements like “Arabs have no soul,” and “Arabs are barbarians.” She might be novel eye candy for some (which I’m guessing is the reason Bill Maher had her on his show) but it is clear that Brigitte Gabriel is a whacked out fundamentalist with a seething rage against Muslims and a determination on the one hand to destroy Islam and on the other to make as much profit in the process.

The other problem with ACT! is that it is an organization filled with the types of people we see at Tea Party rallies. You know the ones who dress up in late 18th century regalia a la George Washington or carry around posters about Obama being a Kenyan, or Hitler, or Joker or a Marxist Mooslim anti-Christ coming to change America from a Christian nation into the Soviet Union.


The ACT! for America scheme essentially boils down to an organization masquerading as a “defender of Western Civilization” akin to the claims of other Islamophobes such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. They have a binary view of the world, the Bush mantra of “you’re either with us or against us.”

Brigitte Gabriel pretentiously declares on the ACT! site, “I founded this organization to give Americans their voice back…” Brigitte, Americans never lost their “voice,” unless the “voice” you want to give back is the Jim Crow voice that unleashed the dogs and water hoses on Southern blacks fighting for civil rights and against White racism because that is the historical parallel which fits into your rhetoric.

Those White racists were saying the same thing Brigitte is saying today, that we need to “defend Western civilization.” To the White racists of the South, Western civilization equaled White and Christian. Today Brigitte claims a bigger tent though it is bigoted just the same, to her Western Civilization equals Judeo-Christian and de facto excludes any Muslim.

ACT! is an organization shot through and through with Christian fundamentalists. That is why at many of their events one will see a Christian missionary preaching the Gospel while other ACT! custodians will be passing out anti-Islam literature.

In this video a representative for a Florida Chapter of ACT! for America spews his hate filled beliefs about Islam. He brags about using the Quran as toilet paper and urinating in Muslim ablution sinks (starts at 45 seconds):

[youtube: 350 300]

I guess that is defending Western Civilization for you. The original user (an ACT! member) who put up the above video on YouTube has removed it. Obviously realizing that it hurts their credibility, but luckily someone else downloaded it.

Also in Florida where they seem to be the most active, ACT! for America chapters were angered at the appointment of Parvez Ahmed to Jacksonville’s Human Rights Commission. They couldn’t countenance a Muslim being appointed to anything in an official capacity (even though 90% of them probably believe that Barack Obama is a Mooslim). So they began a campaign to smear Parvez, saying he was filled with Taqiyyah, that he was a terrorist, a terrorist supporter, etc. To do so they brought up his time as an employee with CAIR. ACT! members falsely held the belief that they could shout “CAIR!” and it would be enough to stop the train and ruin someones career and reputation.

An anti-Muslim organization is lobbying Jacksonville City Council members to vote against confirming a University of North Florida professor to the city’s Human Rights Commission.

Parvez Ahmed, who is Muslim, was appointed to the voluntary advisory board by Mayor John Peyton and recommended for confirmation by the council Rules Committee. A vote on his confirmation is scheduled to occur at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The group ACT! for America caught wind of his appointment last week and e-mailed a 20-page report Friday accusing Ahmed of having ties to extremist groups through his service on the board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“When it comes to a human rights commissioner, Jacksonville can do better than this nomination,” said Randy McDaniels, leader of ACT’s Jacksonville chapter.

The mayor’s office and some City Council members dispute the organizations’ claims and said there is no proof Ahmed has radical ties. Deputy General Counsel Cindy Laquidara will attend Tuesday’s council meeting to answer questions about Ahmed’s background.

Councilman John Crescimbeni, who initially suggested Ahmed to the mayor’s office for a nomination, said the group and its last-minute claims against the professor have no credibility.

“In fact, I checked out some of those allegations made in the original e-mail that came out last Friday,” Crescimbeni said. “It looked like a cut and paste job. It’s pure hate on their part.”

Crescimbeni said Ahmed, who is a Fulbright Scholar with decades of public service under his belt, would be an asset to the Human Rights Commission.

“I can’t think of a better person to serve on that commission than him,” he said. “He is the guy that’s all about peace, and he’s all about getting along.”

Council President Richard Clark said Ahmed’s appointment is currently included on the consent agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, meaning it would be approved quickly with several other items. However, he said, any council member can request that it be taken off the consent agenda and discussed separately.

“I have no intention of pulling it,” Clark said. “If people felt that strongly about it, they should have spoken up long before the confirmation process at Rules.”

McDaniels said ACT learned of Ahmed’s nomination after media reports surfaced about the Rules Committee vote and Councilman Clay Yarborough’s questioning of the professor’s opinion on separation of church and state and gay marriage.

Yarborough voted to recommend the professor after receiving responses he considered satisfactory, but he now says the ACT report has given him pause. He said he wants to know more about its claims before deciding whether he will vote for Ahmed’s confirmation.

“If need be, I will adamantly oppose confirmation of his appointment on the floor tomorrow if there are established links here that are of concern,” Yarborough said Monday.

The ACT report ties Council on American-Islamic Relations to extremists because it was listed as one of 300 unindicted co-conspirators in a Department of Justice terrorism financing trial. That matter ended in mistrial, and CAIR was never accused of wrongdoing.

McDaniels’ group offered no evidence that Ahmed had directly attempted to support terrorist groups.

The mayor’s office is standing by its decision to nominate Ahmed to the Human Rights Commission, saying it conducted the same criminal background and reference checks as all other nominees to a board or commission.

Ahmed said the scrutiny he has experienced in recent days has not deterred him from wanting to serve on the commission, but he worries about the message it is sending.

“I am afraid other qualified individuals may be discouraged to pursue public service,” he said. “Hate groups like ACT do not belong in our Democratic process.”

Councilman Art Shad, who is chairman of the Rules Committee, expressed the same concern and said the next two weeks will be important for the City Council as Ahmed and two others come up for confirmation to the Human Rights Commission.

“We want to be very careful in how we act because we need to set the example of being level-headed, although we want to be thorough in our view,” Shad said.

He said any council member has a right to ask questions of nominees, but he hopes there is an air of respect to the process and to those who want to volunteer their time.
(904) 359-4425

Unfortunately for ACT! people aren’t buying into the conspiracies anymore, and their cries about CAIR are falling on unsympathetic ears.

Jacksonville panel votes again to recommend Ahmed for commission

After nearly two weeks of controversy, the City Council Rules Committee voted 4-1 today to recommend University of North Florida professor Pervez Ahmed as a member of the city’s Human Rights Commission.

The nomination now goes to the full council for approval.

Only Councilman Clay Yarborough voted against Ahmed. He had voted to approve Ahmed at the last Rules meeting.

Mark WoodsJacksonville councilman Clay Yarborough takes turn at answering questions

“I have too much of a reasonable doubt based on the research I’ve done over the last week and a half,” Yarborough said.

Voting in favor were Art Shad, John Crescimbeni, Denise Lee and Bill Bishop. Council Vice President Jack Webb left the room before the vote was taken; he told The Times-Union he stepped out to get a soft drink and was surprised that the vote came so soon.

The meeting was interrupted by shouting and several people walked out.

Ahmed said of the vote, “It’s a vindication for the City of Jacksonville more than for me … The city needed an outcome that demonstrated courage, that demonstrated moral clarity.”

Ahmed’s nomination was opposed by ACT! for America, an anti-Islamist group. Randy McDaniels, head of the group’s Jacksonville chapter, said, “It is surprising that so many people are pushing this individual and I would ask why.”

This story isn’t over but it is clear that the days of maligning Muslims for standing up for their civil rights will not get a free pass. However, the dogged persistence of hate groups such as ACT! for America means Americans of all stripes will have to be vigilante and work hard to fight hate.

ACT! for America maybe more properly known as Hate! for America because that is what they represent, as is evident by the bigotry of their founder Brigitte Gabriel, the witch hunt against Parvez Ahmed and the video of the hate filled ACT! for America representative make plain.