Archive for Mosque Controversy

The Daily Show Takes on Murfreesboro Mosque Controversy

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2010 by loonwatch

Jon Stewart’s Daily Show continues to take on the mosque controversy. this time Aasif Mandvi was in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the site of a different mosque controversy.

Taking Bin Laden’s Side

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2010 by loonwatch

An excellent article by Nicholas Kristof on the issue of the Park51 Islamic cultural center and mosque. He portrays accurately how those fighting this are feeding into the ideology of Bin Laden and company.

Taking Bin Laden’s Side

Is there any doubt about Osama bin Laden’s position on the not-at-ground-zero mosque?

 

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Nicholas D. Kristof

Osama abhors the vision of interfaith harmony that the proposed Islamic center represents. He fears Muslim clerics who can cite the Koran to denounce terrorism.

It’s striking that many American Republicans share with Al Qaeda the view that the West and the Islamic world are caught inevitably in a “clash of civilizations.” Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric who recruits jihadis from his lair in Yemen, tells the world’s English-speaking Muslims that America is at war against Islam. You can bet that Mr. Awlaki will use the opposition to the community center and mosque to try to recruit more terrorists.

In short, the proposed community center is not just an issue on which Sarah Palin and Osama bin Laden agree. It is also one in which opponents of the center are playing into the hands of Al Qaeda.

These opponents seem to be afflicted by two fundamental misconceptions.

The first is that a huge mosque would rise on hallowed land at ground zero. In fact, the building would be something like a YMCA, and two blocks away and apparently out of view from ground zero. This is a dense neighborhood packed with shops, bars, liquor stores — not to mention the New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club and the Pussycat Lounge (which says that it arranges lap dances in a private room, presumably to celebrate the sanctity of the neighborhood).

Why do so many Republicans find strip clubs appropriate for the ground zero neighborhood but object to a house of worship? Are lap dances more sanctified than an earnest effort to promote peace?

And this is an earnest effort. I know Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan — the figures behind the Islamic community center — and they are the real thing. Because I have written often about Arab atrocities in Darfur and about the abuse of women in Islamic countries, some Muslim leaders are wary of me. But Imam Feisal and Ms. Khan are open-minded and have been strong advocates for women within Islam.

The second misconception underlying this debate is that Islam is an inherently war-like religion that drives believers to terrorism. Sure, the Islamic world is disproportionately turbulent, and mullahs sometimes cite the Koran to incite murder. But don’t forget that the worst brutality in the Middle East has often been committed by more secular rulers, like Saddam Hussein and Hafez al-Assad. And the mastermind of the 1970 Palestinian airline hijackings, George Habash, was a Christian.

Remember also that historically, some of the most shocking brutality in the region was justified by the Bible, not the Koran. Crusaders massacred so many men, women and children in parts of Jerusalem that a Christian chronicler, Fulcher of Chartres, described an area ankle-deep in blood. While burning Jews alive, the crusaders sang, “Christ, We Adore Thee.”

My hunch is that the violence in the Islamic world has less to do with the Koran or Islam than with culture, youth bulges in the population, and the marginalization of women. In Pakistan, I know a young woman whose brothers want to kill her for honor — but her family is Christian, not Muslim.

Precisely because Palestinian violence has roots outside of Islam, Israel originally supported the rise of Hamas in Gaza. Israeli officials thought that if Gazans became more religious, they would spend their time praying rather than firing guns.

President George W. Bush was statesmanlike after 9/11 in reaching out to Muslims and speaking of Islam as a religion of peace. Now many Republicans have abandoned that posture and are cynically turning the Islamic center into a nationwide issue in hopes of votes. It is mind-boggling that so many Republicans are prepared to bolster the Al Qaeda narrative, and undermine the brave forces within Islam pushing for moderation.

Some Republicans say that it is not a matter of religious tolerance but of sensitivity to the feelings of relatives to those killed at ground zero. Hmm. They’re just like the Saudi officials who ban churches, and even confiscate Bibles, out of sensitivity to local feelings.

On my last trip to Saudi Arabia, I brought in a Bible to see what would happen (alas, the customs officer searched only my laptop bag). Memo to Ms. Palin: Should we learn from the Saudis and protect ground zero by banning the Koran from Lower Manhattan?

For much of American history, demagogues have manipulated irrational fears toward people of minority religious beliefs, particularly Catholics and Jews. Many Americans once honestly thought that Catholics could not be true Americans because they bore supreme loyalty to the Vatican.

Today’s crusaders against the Islamic community center are promoting a similar paranoid intolerance, and one day we will be ashamed of it.

 

Nonie Darwish on MSNBC: “Loonwatch are Imams”

Posted in Feature, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by loonwatch
Nonie Darwish

Our MSNBC debut!

Nonie Darwish was on MSNBC along with CAIR-New York representative Zead Ramadan (hat tip:JustAFan). Darwish was her usual self, blathering about how she “is against this frenzy of Mosque building,” trying to legitimate her putrid and irrational stance by putting up her bona fides as a “former Muslim,” you know the usual spiel we are used to from clowns like Walid Shoebat and company who parlay their too often made-up-out-of-whole-clothe ex-Muslim stories into big bucks and easy living.

However, this time she was stopped dead in her tracks, and her soft tone quickly turned shrill when Ramadan pointed out to her that she is featured on “Loonwatch.com for fibbing.” Yes, Darwish, you are featured on our site for being “Caught in a pool of lies,” an article written by Professor Jim Holstun,  and trust me we are not done exposing you, we haven’t even scratched the surface.

In response Darwish was slightly incomprehensible, and cried “those people at Loonwatch are Imams.”

Watch it:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icyoDzAkPP4 350 300]

Transcription:

Ramadan: “Ms. Darwish is on Loonwatch.com because of fibbing, she tells stories all the time, she fabricates information in order to push her ultra-right concept. She’s an extremist.”

Darwish: The people who are on Loonwatch are those Imams who are tyring, who are trying to fool the American people, who don’t want to stand up for our rights and freedoms in America.

So not only are we George Soros funded, one-half of the Leftist Mooslim-alliance, but we are also Imams trying to fool Americans. This gets funnier by the minute.

 

Mayor Bloomberg Gives Stirring Defense of Religious Freedom

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2010 by loonwatch

I haven’t been the biggest fan of Michael Bloomberg, but I have to commend him for his stance on the Park 51 Cordoba Center and Mosque. It wasn’t easy.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXm_fUDfJZQ 350 300]

Michael Bloomberg delivers stirring defense of mosque

by Justin Elliot

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has emerged as the unlikely but passionate defender of the plannedMuslim community center near ground zero, today traveled to Governors Island off the tip of Lower Manhattan to deliver a stirring plea for sanity in what he called “[as] important a test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes.”

The Daily News’ Adam Lisberg reports that Bloomberg choked up at one point as he delivered the speech surrounded by religious leaders of different faiths, with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

Rather than attack the bigotry of the opponents of the so-called “ground zero mosque,” Bloomberg made several positive arguments for building the center. He traced the struggle for religious freedom in New York and affirmed the rights of citizens to do as they please with their private property:

The simple fact is, this building is private property, and the owners have a right to use the building as a house of worship, and the government has no right whatsoever to deny that right. And if it were tried, the courts would almost certainly strike it down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.

It’s worth noting that three Jewish leaders  — Rabbi Bob Kaplan from the Jewish Community Council, Rabbi Irwin Kula from the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and Cara Berkowitz from the UJA Federation — were present with Bloomberg during the speech, despite the Anti-Defamation League’s opposition to the project. Below is the full text. Video of the speech is here.

“We’ve come here to Governors Island to stand where the earliest settlers first set foot in New Amsterdam, and where the seeds of religious tolerance were first planted. We come here to see the inspiring symbol of liberty that more than 250 years later would greet millions of immigrants in this harbor. And we come here to state as strongly as ever, this is the freest city in the world. That’s what makes New York special and different and strong.

“Our doors are open to everyone. Everyone with a dream and a willingness to work hard and play by the rules. New York City was built by immigrants, and it’s sustained by immigrants — by people from more than 100 different countries speaking more than 200 different languages and professing every faith. And whether your parents were born here or you came here yesterday, you are a New Yorker.

“We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That’s life. And it’s part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11, 2001.

“On that day, 3,000 people were killed because some murderous fanatics didn’t want us to enjoy the freedoms to profess our own faiths, to speak our own minds, to follow our own dreams, and to live our own lives. Of all our precious freedoms, the most important may be the freedom to worship as we wish. And it is a freedom that even here — in a city that is rooted in Dutch tolerance — was hard-won over many years.

“In the mid-1650s, the small Jewish community living in lower Manhattan petitioned Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant for the right to build a synagogue, and they were turned down. In 1657, when Stuyvesant also prohibited Quakers from holding meetings, a group of non-Quakers in Queens signed the Flushing Remonstrance, a petition in defense of the right of Quakers and others to freely practice their religion. It was perhaps the first formal political petition for religious freedom in the American colonies, and the organizer was thrown in jail and then banished from New Amsterdam.

“In the 1700s, even as religious freedom took hold in America, Catholics in New York were effectively prohibited from practicing their religion, and priests could be arrested. Largely as a result, the first Catholic parish in New York City was not established until the 1780s, St. Peter’s on Barclay Street, which still stands just one block north of the World Trade Center site, and one block south of the proposed mosque and community center.

“This morning, the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission unanimously voted to extend — not to extend — landmark status to the building on Park Place where the mosque and community center are planned. The decision was based solely on the fact that there was little architectural significance to the building. But with or without landmark designation, there is nothing in the law that would prevent the owners from opening a mosque within the existing building.

“The simple fact is, this building is private property, and the owners have a right to use the building as a house of worship, and the government has no right whatsoever to deny that right. And if it were tried, the courts would almost certainly strike it down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

“Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.

“This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.

“Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play into our enemies’ hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that.

“For that reason, I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes, as important a test. And it is critically important that we get it right.

“On Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked, ‘What God do you pray to?’ (Bloomberg’s voice cracks here a little as he gets choked up.) ‘What beliefs do you hold?’

“The attack was an act of war, and our first responders defended not only our city, but our country and our constitution. We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor their lives by defending those rights and the freedoms that the terrorists attacked.

“Of course, it is fair to ask the organizers of the mosque to show some special sensitivity to the situation, and in fact their plan envisions reaching beyond their walls and building an interfaith community. But doing so, it is my hope that the mosque will help to bring our city even closer together, and help repudiate the false and repugnant idea that the attacks of 9/11 were in any ways consistent with Islam.

“Muslims are as much a part of our city and our country as the people of any faith. And they are as welcome to worship in lower Manhattan as any other group. In fact, they have been worshipping at the site for better, the better part of a year, as is their right. The local community board in lower Manhattan voted overwhelmingly to support the proposal. And if it moves forward, I expect the community center and mosque will add to the life and vitality of the neighborhood and the entire city.

“Political controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure, and there is no neighborhood in this city that is off-limits to God’s love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us can attest.”

 

Temecula Valley: A Mosque Controversy?

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2010 by loonwatch

Planned Temecula Valley mosque draws opposition

July 18, 2010|By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times

Muslims throughout Temecula and Murrieta have saved up for years to build a mosque to replace the plain white industrial building, tucked between a pipeline company and packaging warehouse, where they now gather to pray.

But as the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley moves ahead with plans to build on a four-acre plot of vacant land near Temecula’s gentle hills and invading housing developments, plans for the new mosque have stirred hostility in this mostly conservative community in southwest Riverside County.

Along with increased traffic and noise, opponents fear the mosque would clash with Temecula’s rural atmosphere and, they say, possibly turn the community of 105,000 into a haven for Islamic extremists.

The pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, just across a cul-de-sac from the site of the mosque, said the two religions “mix like oil and water” and predicted a “confrontational atmosphere” if the project moves forward.

“The Islamic foothold is not strong here, and we really don’t want to see their influence spread,” said Pastor Bill Rench.

“There is a concern with all the rumors you hear about sleeper cells and all that. Are we supposed to be complacent just because these people say it’s a religion of peace? Many others have said the same thing,” he said.

Leaders of the Islamic center were surprised by the level of criticism, especially from a few religious groups, saying their current makeshift mosque and Islamic community center have been in town for more than a decade and members always have felt welcome.

“Our children go to the same schools their children go to. We shop at the same stores where they shop,” said Mahmoud Harmoush, the imam of the Islamic center and an instructor at Cal State San Bernardino’s World Languages and Literatures Department.

“All of a sudden our neighbors wake up and they’re opposed to us building the Islamic center there, the mosque. I hope it’s a small group,” he said.

The mayor and members of the City Council did not respond to calls about the issue. Temecula’s city attorney advised them not to comment about the proposed mosque because the Planning Commission’s vote on the application for the facility could be appealed to the council.

The Rev. Joe Zarro, co-chairman of the Interfaith Council of Temecula and Murrieta Valley, said criticism of the mosque in the community is from a very small but vocal minority. The council, made up of leaders of a variety of faiths in the area, including Harmoush, unanimously endorsed plans for the mosque, Zarro said.

“A lot of this has been blown out of proportion,” said Zarro, the minister at the United Church of the Valley. “It’s important for people to see our neighbors, and for them to be part of our community.”

The land for the proposed mosque lies west of the Temecula wine country in a pocket of the city that’s become a mish-mash of ranch homes with large grassy spreads and clusters of encroaching red-tile roofs. Along with Calvary Baptist, the mosque will be a short walk from Grace Presbyterian Church.

The design of the 24,943-square-foot mosque and center reflect a Mediterranean design seen in many Temecula neighborhoods, though the building will have traditional domes topped with crescent moons. The facility will be built in two stages, with the first limited to a 4,100-square-foot mosque to serve about 150 Muslim families living in Temecula, Murrieta and surrounding communities, Harmoush said.

The Islamic center has owned the land since 2000, but the small Muslim community has needed time to raise enough money to build. Harmoush said it could be years before the entire mosque and community center are completed.

The proposal is expected to go before the Temecula Planning Commission in August, and city officials are reviewing the expected effect of the mosque on neighborhood traffic and noise levels and any other environmental concerns.

“We look at land issues, that’s it,” said Patrick Robinson, director of the city’s planning and redevelopment agency. “We don’t take into account the denomination of the religion or any of the political issues that surround it.”

A petition opposing the new mosque is being circulated by a group called Concerned Community Citizens, and other politically active volunteers have started organizing a campaign against the facility.

Karen Fesini, who belongs to a Republican women’s group in the Temecula and Murrieta area, said she’s been making calls to warn her friends about the project.

“They say they’re not radicals, but how do we know?”‘ said Fesini, 68.

“Right now we’re at war with the Taliban and the Muslims and our boys are over there fighting and dying for our freedom. What would it be like if they come home and found out we just let them in the front door?”

phil.willon@latimes.com

 

Exposing David Wood: Of Mosques and Men, Pt. 2

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2010 by loonwatch
David Wood Rambles

In my last article I debunked the lies and disinformation in the first half of David Wood’s anti-Muslim/anti-Mosque diatribe. Since then we have received a lot of comments and tips regarding the background of David Wood. Apparently David Wood is a Teaching Fellow at Fordham Universitywhere he is pursuing his PhD in Philosophy. I wonder if the administration at Fordham would consider Wood’s anti-Muslim activities as being in line with its Jesuit traditions and values? Maybe we should start a campaign to let them know?

Paul Williams, of the Muslim Debate Initiative has also stated that David Wood told him during a debate, in front of an audience of a hundred or more, that he attempted to murder his father and that he was sent to a mental institution for the attack which left his father permanently disabled,

About a year ago I moderated a debate at Westbourne Park Baptist Church (my old church here in London), between Wood and a Muslim. In front of an audience of probably one hundred people, mostly Christians, Wood told the audience of some of the more disturbing aspects of his past including his unspeakable attack on his own father with a hammer. Happily his father did not die (though Wood says he really wanted to kill him). His father is permanently disabled however. Wood spent time in a mental institution.

Yahya Snow, an Islamic apologist who has been following David Wood’s work also commented that Wood told him that, “his blog is not about evangelising to Muslims but about ‘warning’ non-Muslims about Islam.” This would explain why he and his group were the sole Christian Evangelical group arrested at the Dearborn Arab Festival, slamming on its face the argument that they were being “persecuted” for preaching Christ.

In fact, a few Evangelical Christians who witnessed the event wrote on David Wood’s blog (via. MDI),

Spiffy the Basset said…

‘This is a complete and total lie and David and Nabeel should be ashamed of themselves. Tonight, just as last night, there were dozens of Christians and former muslims at the festival witnessing to muslims. None of them had problems with people. None of the other several dozen “Christian preachers” were arrested. Lies, lies, and more lies.

The same happened last night. I saw Nabeel and David showboating and trying to cause a scene and know they were not only expecting to be arrested, but to some degree, trying to get arrested.

They care more about their hatred for islam than their love for muslims. I have evangelized in many continents and in places far more hostile than the dearborn festival, but can say with experience that they did not at all suffer for the cross, they suffered for their egos.’

June 19, 2010 10:52 PM

All of this makes me wonder if I should waste time even debunking the rest of the anti-Mosque video. David Wood is an obvious huckster with real problems. Maybe a longer stay at the mental institution was in order?

Anyhow, someone has to drudge through the swamp and refute the lies, lies, lies.

Of Mosques and Men

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxFzFIDbKpg&feature=player_embedded 350 300]

Picking up from the 3:00 mark David says,

This is when I first realized that there were two forces at work within Western Muslims like Nabeel. On the one hand he was born and raised in the United States, his father was in the US military, he loved America, but on the other hand, even though he came from the most peaceful sect of Islam there was something in Nabeel that allowed him to smile when there were terrorist attacks. Now those of you who know personally, who know Muslims close enough to where they can tell you what they really think, you know that this is really quite common, good citizens in public, not so good citizens in private.

What words can describe the above verbal barf and pseudo-psychological sewage spewed by Wood? He uses Nabeel, a Christian apologist and leader in Wood’s organization, (who seems not to mind being used as his ex-Muslim-mascot-that-evidences-the innate-evil-of Muslims-example) to drive the point home that even if you are a “peaceful Muslim,” there is something hidden, somethingstealth about you.

If this doesn’t sound eerily similar to the anti-Semitic racism and sinister conspiracies about Jews that were propagated in the past then you need to read up on history. Wood’s entire monotone delivery has the timbre of a sleazy used car salesman combined with a soothsaying Nazi propagandist trying hard to sound like Captain Kirk.

The hypocrisy is also glaring, someone needs to tell David Wood that if he really wants to talk about “good citizens in public, not so good citizens in private” he should look towards his Christian brethren; to the likes of Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ted Haggard, not to mention those family value politicians who love to trumpet their Christian bona fides while fondling male pages at the same time. I think there was once a Jewish carpenter who summed it up best, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Wood is not content to end the disinformation and pseudo-psychological babble about “duel-Muslim natures,”

Interestingly, this duel Muslim nature is advocated in the Quran. If you turn to Surah 3, verse 28, you will see that the Quran says, “Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security.” So if you’re a Muslim you are not supposed to be friends with unbelievers unless to protect yourself.

What this means is that if Muslims feel threatened by a stronger advisory, say the United States of America, they can pretend to be friendly in order to protect themselves, in order to guard themselves against these unbelievers. The greatest Islamic  commentator of all time, Ibn Kathir comments on Surah 3:28, and he says, that when Muslims are outnumbered by a stronger advisory, “…believers are allowed to show friendship outwardly but never inwardly.”

He goes on to quote Muhammad’s companion, Abu Darda who said “we smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.”

Wood again propagates half-truths and lies to further mislead his audience into viewing Muslims as a sinister bunch not to be trusted even when they smile. He throws out context, history, theology and the polyvalent interpretations within Islamic canon. All with the aim of portraying Muslims as a deceiving group of untrustworthy criminals who telepathically communicate taqqiyah with each other like mindless ants as part of a plot to destroy the West.

THE FACTS:

The Literalist Ultra-Conservative interpretation:

The truth is there is a minority of Literalist ultra-Conservative Muslims who hold the opinion that Muslims should not be intimate friends with non-Muslims (I would venture to say 1% or less), because they fear Muslims will be put into a position of harm (physically and spiritually), will lose their religion, and take on the ways and mores of other religions.

However, even here there is a necessary caveat that must be made, this literalist minority while espousing the belief that one should not be close intimate friends with non-Muslims also states that one should deal justly and kindly with them, they say this based on the verse,

Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity. (60:8)

As for the latter part of the verse, the interpretation and selective quotation of Ibn Kathir, (presumptuously labeled the “greatest Islamic commenter ever” by Wood when no such position or authority exists) does not support Wood’s theory. In fact, it is an intellectually deceptive attempt that leaves out the true import of the verse and is even a clumsy handling of the Ultra-Conservative interpretation.

The ellipses that Wood inserted is the key to understanding the context. No where does Ibn Kathir mention “when Muslim are outnumbered by a stronger advisory,” (David Wood made that up whole-cloth). What he actually writes is,  ‘do not take disbelievers as friends in preference to Muslims,’ and the portion in question, unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, is rendered as unless you indeed fear a danger from them. Ibn Kathir then interprets it as “meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly.”

So clearly we see that the ellipses purposely inserted by Wood hides the true interpretation given by Ibn Kathir. Ibn Kathir was essentially saying that Muslims who fear for their lives may be friendly in order to guard themselves from harm.

Think for example of the Spanish Inquisition, that was a time and a place where Muslims (and Jews) might have put the above into practice. Fearing for your own and your families safety is cause enough to show a “duel nature.” In fact, many Jews and Muslims under intense persecution proclaimed outwardly to have converted to Catholicism, while inwardly they remained Muslims and Jews, these crypto-Muslims (Moriscos) and crypto-Jews (Marranos) were known as Conversos.

Can David Wood honestly find fault with a verse that gives a dispensation to Muslims to save their lives and protect their religion by hiding it or acquiescing to their enemy in the face of danger or persecution?

David Wood bastardizes the verse by attributing an interpretation to Muslims that does not exist. He does this by asserting half-truthfully the minority ultra-conservative literalist interpretation.

The lie comes in the second half of the verse, where he attempts to say that when Muslims are “outnumbered,” they can be friendly with non-Muslims but inwardly they must hate them until a time comes when they have the numbers to take over, a position that the ultra-conservatives don’t advance. We have demonstrated that the literalist ultra-conservatives are in fact referring to a situation of danger that Muslims may find themselves in and not a tactic of domination.

The Context:

When we analyze this verse and its surrounding verses in context we learn that the verse was directed at the “hypocrites” (Munafiqoon), a group who entered Islam in outward appearance only in an attempt to destroy it. They had allied themselves with the sworn enemies of Islam, the pagan Meccans and their allies.

The Prophet Muhammad was speaking to his community in Medina and prophesied to them that one day they would hold sovereignty over the lands of Persia and Byzantium. The hypocrites responded by saying, “How preposterous!”

In response to this, verses 3:26-29 were revealed,the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, written about 100 years after Ibn Kathir’s exegesis explains,

When the Prophet (s) promised his community sovereignty over the lands of Persia and Byzantium, the hypocrites said, ‘How preposterous!’, and so the following was revealed, “Say, ‘O Allah , Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.’” (3:26)

“You cause the night to enter the day, and You cause the day to enter the night; and You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give provision to whom You will without account.” (3:27)

Then we come to the verse in question, in it the word Awliya, which instead of being translated as  “friends” is more accurately rendered in the context as “allies,”

Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing with Allah , except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the [final] destination.(3:28)

The Tafsir Jalalayn explains,

Let not the believers take the disbelievers as patrons, rather than, that is, instead of, the believers — for whoever does that, that is, [whoever] takes them as patrons, does not belong to, the religion of, God in anyway — unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard (tuqātan, ‘as a safeguard’, is the verbal noun from taqiyyatan), that is to say, [unless] you fear something, in which case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts… (emphasis added)

The hypocrites in particular and humanity in general is then told,

Say, “Whether you conceal what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knows it. And He knows that which is in the heavens and that which is on the earth. And Allah is over all things competent. (3:29)

Tafsir al-Jalalayn explains,

Say, to them: ‘Whether you hide what is in your breasts, in your hearts, of patronage to them, or disclose it, manifest it, God knows it and, He, knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth; and God is Able to do all things, and this includes punishing those who patronise them.

The above is indicative of how the majority of Muslims explain these verses; revelation in a context of war and betrayal. Particularly in response to the hypocrites who claimed to be Muslims but concealed their alliance and patronage with enemies who wanted to annihilate the nascent Muslim community.

We also see that the dispensation referred to in verse 3:28 pertains to particular situations Muslims might find themselves in when they are in danger.

This becomes even more evident when we realize that at the time of the revelation of this verse there were Muslims who lived in pagan Mecca who concealed their religion and had to show patronage to the enemies of the Muslims due to fear of death or torture. Referring to them the Quran says, ‘you may outwardly show that you are allied with those who are at war with Muslims and may harm you for being Muslim, but inwardly you should feel differently.’

To drive the point home we look at one more verse that puts this subject into context,

For Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for your faith, and drive you out of your homes and support others in driving you out, from turning to them for protection (or taking them as wali). Those who seek their protection they are indeed wrong- doers. (60:9)

Also, logically we have to question, if Islam doesn’t allow Muslims to befriend non-Muslims, why would it allow Muslim men to marry non-Muslims? Marriage is even more intimate than friendship, it is based on love and friendship.

Abu Darda’s statement: “We smile in the face of some…”:

David Wood then goes on to quote Muhammad’s companion, Abu Darda who said, “we smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.”

The above quote from Abu Darda, which Wood employs as a means to bash us into the belief that Muslims have a “duel nature” actually comes back to bite him in the butt.

Abu Darda’s (hadith) statement can be found in Saheeh Bukhari, under the chapter heading, Al-Mudaaraah ma3 An’Naas which means “Politeness/Gentleness with the People.” So rather than being something Taqqiyah or Jihad related, this statement actually pertains to polite manners and etiquette!

In explaining the statement, Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani, writer of one of the seminal explanations of Saheeh Bukhari wrote,

Ibn Battaal  said: Politeness is part of the attitude of the believers, and it is lowering the wing of humility to people, speaking gently, and not speaking harshly to them, which are among the best means of creating harmony.

Ibn Muflih, an eminent 14th century scholar of the Hanbali school wrote concerning Abu Darda’s statement,

This attitude of Abu Darda does not mean approving of something haram (prohibited); rather it is politeness that may achieve some purpose.

Ibn Abd’ al-Barr, an eminent scholar and jurist who predates Ibn Kathir also quoted Abu Darda’s statement with regard to the virtues of good manners.

Abu Darda’s statement was intended to be a spiritual teaching, meant (in Islamic theological semantics) as a “heart softener” toward those who have “hard hearts.” The context given is that some individuals have brash and very rude manners, and the best way to deal with them, even though you dislike them in your heart is through politeness and good manners, because that may eventually lead to the rude individual reforming him or herself. It is the actualization of the Quranic verse, “Repel evil with that which is better,” i.e. respond to evil with goodness.

“Don’t trust those evil Mooslims, please!”:

Wood continues,

What’s my point you ask? Well, the Muslims who want to construct a massive mosque here, assure us that they are doing it to honor the victims of 9/11 and not to construct a symbol of Islamic supremacy. They assure us that they are going to build a beacon of understanding and harmony. A place where people of all faiths to gather and condemn extremism.

[Pause]

Do you believe that?

If so, I would like to sell you a bottle of Wood’s magical cure all, from the miracle springs of Poland for the low low price $870.

This mocking and very ineffectual attempt at a joke falls dead on delivery. In this instance David Wood may not be selling “magic” holy water like many of his televangelist preacher/prophet brethren are want to do, but he is selling something else — hate.

Wood is pitching the idea that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a supporter of American intervention in Afghanistan and a Sufi is in cahoots with Bin Laden. You see, David Wood tells us, Muslims are all the same at the end of the day, when they speak of harmony and peace, and when they condemn terrorism they are not to be trusted.

What makes this especially ironic is that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf knew people in the Twin Towers! Many of his congregants worked there, but in Wood’s world those facts just don’t matter because the “Muslim other” cannot be allowed to share in the tragedy and suffering of 9/11, that would humanize them, that you would make them Americans.

Of Churches and Men?:

Wood then attempts to prove his point,

My friends, what did Muslims do when they conquered Mecca? They went to the Ka’ba, the center of pagan worship and they claimed it for Islam, what did Muslims do when they took Jerusalem, where did they build their mosque, they built it on the Temple Mount, when Muslims conquered Damascus, where did they build their mosque? They demolished the Church of St. John the Baptist and replaced it with a mosque. Why?

Cordoba Mosque with the Cathedral in the Middle

While Muslims have had their share of taking over Churches or other places of worship and converting them into Mosques (Hagia Sophia), in that age and time that was the practice of most religions, including Christianity. The Spanish did it when they invaded Cordoba and transformed the famous Cordoba Mosque into a Catholic Church by plopping a Cathedral right in the middle of the Mosque.

As far as the capturing of Mecca goes, then the uniqueness of the circumstances and context must be elaborated. According to Arab tradition, the founder of the Ka’ba was Prophet Abraham who dedicated it to the One God. The Muslims, whether we view them as correct or not, believed essentially that they were only restoring the Ka’ba for its original purpose as the House of the One God, similar to the Temple created by Solomon in Jerusalem. They did not believe that by abolishing the practice of idolatry at the Ka’ba that they were supplanting the old and original religion with a new one.

As for Jerusalem, we must note that when Muslims gained sovereignty over the city, the Temple Mount was being used as a trash dump by the Christians. There was no Jewish Temple and it is highly likely there was no Church. In fact, it was only under Muslim rule that Jews were allowed to come back to Jerusalem to worship, having previously been banned by the Byzantine Christians.

As for the Church of St. John the Baptist or what is known as the Umayyad Mosque today, then we are about to give David Wood a history lesson. Damascus is one of the, if not the, oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The site of the Umayyad Mosque has an interesting and unique historyof conquerors building religious structures devoted to their specific God(s) and cults,

It was 1000 BC at the latest when the Arameans built a temple here for Hadad, the god of storms and lightening. A basalt orthostat dating from this period, depicting a sphinx, has been discovered in the northeast corner of the mosque.

In the early first century AD, the Romans arrived and built a massive temple to Jupiter over the Aramean temple. The Roman temple stood upon a rectangular platform (temenos) that measured about 385 meters by 305 meters, with square towers at each corner. Parts of the outer walls of the temenos still survive, but virtually nothing remains of the temple itself.

In the late fourth century, the temple area became a Christian sacred site. The Temple of Jupiter was destroyed and a church dedicated to John the Baptist was built in its place. The church was (and is) believed to enshrine the head of the Baptist, and the site became an important pilgrimage destination in the Byzantine era.

Initially, the Muslim conquest of Damascus in 636 did not affect the church, as the building was shared by Muslim and Christian worshippers. It remained a church and continued to draw Christian pilgrims; the Muslims built a mud-brick structure against the southern wall where they could pray.

Under the Umayyad caliph Al-Walid, however, the church was demolished and the present mosque was built in its place between 706 and 715. An indemnity was paid to the Christians in compensation.

The Mosque still contains relics attributed to John the Baptist. It is a beacon of interfaith interaction and draws Christians (such as Pope John Paul II) and Manadeans. One notices also that the Church of St. John the Baptist itself was built after the destruction of a Roman Temple dedicated to Jupiter! Will David Wood say that act was a practice of Christian supremacy? Can we link that action with current projects by American Christian missionaries in Iraq and say that they are a sign of Christian supremacy?

In contrast to the Byzantines, the early Muslims who conquered Syria left the Christian Holy places untouched. If it was a practice of Muslims to convert the Holy places of non-Muslims into mosques to “show that they are in control,” surely the zealous companions of Muhammad would have immediately gone to the Church and made it into a mosque? However, it was 70 years later that the Mosque was built in its place, and quite out of pattern for conquerors, the Muslims actually paid an indemnity to the Christians as compensation for demolishing the Church.

The Conspiracy Theory Rears its Ugly Head:

Keep in mind, this was in the mind of Muslims all along, right after the September 11th attacks, Muslims were joking about filling the city with mosques and now they tell us that they are doing it to honor the victims of 9/11. Smiling in our faces while cursing us in their hearts. Come out of the cave America, it’s dark in there.

This brutally long and disgusting ode to disinformation, Islamophobia and bigotry finally comes to a close with one final outright and bold embrace of the conspiracy theory that has been the theme of this whole video: “keep in mind, this was in the mind of Muslims all along.”

Those crafty Muslims have been conspiring this whole time to take over our country and subjugate us to Islam! Somehow, in David Wood’s world the so called proposed Cultural Center and Mosque which he repeatedly and falsely refers to as “massive” was in the “mind of Muslims all along.” Bin Laden and his goons were working with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to build this Mosque. The plans announced by Cordoba Initiative that this is not a “massive mosque” but a center that will honor the victims (which by the way included 300 Muslims), contain a mosque, theater, gym, etc. cannot be believed because what Muslims say should never be trusted.

Why do I get the feeling that the only one who is truly smiling in our faces and cursing us in his heart is David Wood? A loon trying by any means possible to sow seeds of hate and suspicion. Such a person would benefit from the teaching of another famous Jew who was instructing his flock, “what­ever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

 

Another Mosque Controvery: Lilburn

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on June 22, 2010 by loonwatch
Like Momma like Son

Some people seem to think that Muslims building mosques will somehow put them in danger of becoming targets of terror.

Lilburn mosque foes allege harassment

by Shane Blatt

Lilburn’s Hood Road carries new Gwinnett into old Gwinnett. The mile of asphalt begins with a mosque at U.S. 29 and turns into a byway of houses, trees and gardens.

But now, when the sun goes down, tension grows in this tidy, middle-class neighborhood.

Some residents opposed to a mosque expansion on Hood Road say for the past seven months, they’ve been the frequent targets of harassment, mostly by those they describe as “Middle Eastern men”. But a founder of the mosque says the claims are unfounded and the city’s mayor, who lives on Hood Road, hasn’t witnessed anything unusual.

Nonetheless, residents have reported vehicles traveling the road at night with occupants yelling, making obscene gestures, snapping photos, even confronting two women in their driveway.

Since November, when city leaders ruled against a local Muslim congregation’s plans to expand, the Lilburn Police Department has received 21 calls of suspicious activity along Hood Road.

Lilburn police officials say they have investigated every claim and patrolled Hood Road around the clock for two months starting in April, when reports started to escalate.

“We have been unable to substantiate any crime by any person there,” Lilburn police Capt. Bruce Hedley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “[Residents] feel certain people have been driving up and down the road harassing them. Suspicious cars simply driving down the road is not something we can arrest someone for.”

And Wasi Zaidi, a founding member of the Muslim congregation of Dar-E-Abbas, said residents’ claims are “all lies and B.S.,” trumped up by a handful of people who have a political ax to grind against the mayor and the Police Department.

Still, residents say, the harassment is real. Some have installed security camera systems. Others are carrying guns.

“A lot of people are locked and loaded because they don’t know what’s going to happen,” resident Angel Alonso, 46, said. “We have a feeling somebody is going to get hurt.”

Residents say the harassment started Nov. 18, the same day the Lilburn City Council rejected the congregation’s proposal for a 20,000-square-foot mosque, cemetery and gym at U.S. 29 and Hood Road. The council’s decision has since sparked a federal religious discrimination lawsuit against the city.

The congregation has worshipped at two 2,000-square-foot buildings on the same property for nearly 12 years. It owns 1.4 acres of the land and wanted to buy an additional 6.5 acres to accommodate the city’s growing Muslim population. Lilburn Mayor Diana Preston owns four of those acres.

In November, more than 400 residents packed the Gwinnett County courthouse to protest the rezoning. They argued it would pose traffic and parking problems and run afoul of the city’s land-use plan.

After the meeting in Lawrenceville, resident Janie Hood said she was followed and boxed in on U.S. 29 by a van and sport utility vehicle full of “Middle Eastern” males, according to a police report. The vehicles were pulled over. Hood didn’t pursue the matter further, the report said.

But Hood said she didn’t drop it. Since March, she said she has spoken three times to the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, which is investigating.

Now the 56-year-old Hood, whose father and grandfather built Hood Road, won’t sleep at her house at night, not since an attempted break-in in late December, she said. And on April 23, Hood said five vehicles pulled in front of her property. Two to three men exited and approached, according to a police report. Hood’s daughter, Christi Nichols, who feared for her safety, grabbed a firearm and told the men to leave, the report said.

“It’s getting worse and worse,” Hood said. “All we get from the Police Department is, ‘Stay in your house.’ We will stay in our house, but we should haven’t to.”

Zaidi, of the Muslim congregation, said the 90-plus families who worship at the mosque have “nothing to do with this.”

“They’re saying the mayor isn’t doing her job, the police chief isn’t doing his job,” Zaidi said. “But if they falsely accuse us, we will sue them.”

For months, the mayor was in the cross hairs of the controversy. In January, a group of residents demanded Preston step down or be removed from office for trying to sell her land to the congregation. Preston maintained she had a right to sell her property and refused to quit.

To avoid a conflict of interest, Preston recuses herself from all mosque-related meetings.

As for the harassment claims, Preston gardens close to dusk and up until recently has slept with her windows open. She said she hasn’t seen or heard anything.

“It’s a mystery,” the mayor said. “But every complaint that is made the city is taking seriously and investigating it and giving it due process. A policeman is here quite frequently. I really don’t know what else [the city] could do.”

Yusof Burke, president of the board for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Georgia, said the city’s decision against the rezoning created tension in the neighborhood, but he didn’t think it would boil up into this.

“I’ve never heard of this happening before,” Burke said of the alleged harassment. “The best solution is to meet and talk things out.”

A month ago, a group of residents met with the city manager and police officials.

“We were told that yes, people can take pictures of our houses. Yes, they can stop in front of our houses,” resident Allan Owen said. “The city has essentially been useless.”

Councilman Scott Batterton said the city has tied up significant police manpower to investigate every claim.

“I feel like we need to make no apologies in terms of our efforts to catch or to see what’s going on on Hood Road,” he said. “Policeman like to arrest people for doing wrong. So far, they have not yet been able to identify anyone.”

Capt. Hedley said Lilburn police officers now patrol Hood Road twice a day, and they will continue to investigate all leads.

“I’d love for the community to return to where it was,” Hedley said. “A nice, peaceful neighborhood.”

 

Ignorance and Fear: Residents Fear Planned Mosque in Sheepshead Bay

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by loonwatch

mosque

Some crazy comments by ill informed and ignorant people about Islam and a proposed Mosque that will be built in their neighborhood.

Some Residents in Sheepshead Bay Fear Planned Mosque

Racial and religious tensions are flaring in Sheepshead Bay over plans to build a mosque on a residential street.

Opponents say the mosque will lead to traffic and noise problems – but their complaints are littered with anti-Islamic attacks, like one letter to elected officials that said “mosques and Muslim schools preach hatred.”

“There’s a safety issue here. I don’t want my kids walking past it,” said Kathy Cash, 38, a mother of three children who attend Public School 52 around the corner on E. 29th St. “It’s disgusting,” said Cash, “they [Muslims] have no respect.”

“My children are scared and I am too,” said Victor Benari, 56, trying to rally neighbors against the mosque during a civic group meeting on Monday. “This is a security issue.”

The hysterical language startled officials from the mosque, who say their neighbors have no reason to worry.

“It saddens us very much to see our neighbors already agitated about these things,” said Allowey Ahmed, 60, who owns the property and is spearheading the project.

“Our neighbors are very important. We cannot be good Muslims unless we have good relations with our neighbors,” said the native of Yemen who moved to Sheepshead Bay in 1997.

Besides the prayer hall, the project will include a community center with youth programs for the growing number of Arabic-speaking families in Sheepshead Bay.

It would be affiliated with the Muslim American Society, a national organization, which runs another facility in Bath Beach.

Other opponents distanced themselves from the hateful language some of their neighbors used.

“I don’t agree with how they presented us. I don’t have a problem with it being a mosque,” said Grigory Kalman, 54, a computer programmer who lives on E. 28th St.

Still, he’s fighting the project because he says it will be noisy and make traffic chaotic on the block.

“This is a quiet residential street, but who knows how bad it will become,” said Kalman.

To calm fears, Ahmed said the Muslim center will not broadcast the daily call to prayer heard at other mosques five times a day.

“We are keen to not disturb the neighbors,” he said.

Councilman Lew Fidler (D-Sheepshead Bay) denounced the stereotyping by the project’s foes.

“I understand they’re uncomfortable. Our emotions are so high and our concerns for safety are so real,” Fidler said, “but to suggest that any mosque that is going to be built is a haven for terrorism or a pulpit for hate before they even build the foundation is simply just over the top.”

Construction is currently stalled because the city Buildings Department rejected plans for a 4-story structure in August, but Ahmed said work would begin “in a couple of months.”