Archive for racial profiling

Gun Parts, Ammo Found Hidden Inside Stuffed Animals at Rhode Island Airport, Suspects are Free to Go

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by loonwatch

TSA via AP

This photo provided by the Transportation Security Administration shows pistol parts hidden in a stuffed animal found at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I.

Can you imagine if a Muslim or “Muslim looking” person had stuffed animals with gun parts and ammo? You can bet he would be on a one way ticket to Guantanomo! (via. What If They Were Muslim?)

Gun parts, ammo found hidden inside stuffed animals at Rhode Island airport

By NBC News, msnbc.com staff and news services
(msnbc.com)

WARWICK, R.I. — Gun components and ammunition were found hidden inside three stuffed animals carried by a passenger at Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport on Tuesday, federal transportation officials said.

Authorities later allowed the 4-year-old boy and his father to continue their travel to Detroit after concluding the man didn’t pose a risk, authorities said. He told police that he didn’t know the parts were inside the stuffed toys — which included a Mickey Mouse and a teddy bear.

“It appears to be the result of a domestic dispute,” Rhode Island Airport Police Chief Leo Messier said. “It was jointly investigated by the RI Airport Police, FBI and the RI State Police and it was determined that there was no threat at any time to air safety.”

NBC News station WHDH reported that a magazine loaded with two .40-caliber rounds was discovered inside a bunny and a firing pin was inside Mickey Mouse.

‘Artfully concealed’
Officials with airport police and the Transportation Security Administration declined to comment further, saying the incident remained under investigation.

A TSA officer noticed the disassembled gun components “artfully concealed” inside three stuffed animals. The stuffed animals were inside the child’s carry-on bag, which had been put through an X-ray machine as part of normal security screening.

The parts could have been assembled to make a full firearm, authorities said.

The items were confiscated. Police have not released the man’s name.

Passengers at T.F. Green told WHDH they were thankful the system worked.

“I know a lot of people don’t like the screening procedure, but I’m thankful that they really screen people and we feel much safer because of it,” one woman told the station.

NBC News station WHDH and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sam Harris, “Profile the Muslim Looking People!”

Posted in Feature, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Sam Harris continues the absurdist act that he has something intelligent to say when it comes to topics other than Neuroscience. We also learn that he possesses a 9mm, and travels with 75 rounds of ammunition, if the religion-bashing industry doesn’t work out maybe he can be the new spokesman for the NRA?

In a recent blog post, the pop Atheist guru writes that “we” should specifically profile Muslims at airports, and “be honest about it.” He is sick of the “tyranny of fairness” in which airport security searches people randomly when we all know that it’s the “Mooslims” who want to kill everyone on the plane. He concedes that he hasn’t “had to endure the experience of being continually profiled…”, and that he would find it “frustrating” if he had, but if someone looks like they may commit a crime (based on their ethnic appearance), they should be targeted for extra scrutiny.He uses the comedian Ben Stiller’s appearance as an example:

“But if someone who looked vaguely like Ben Stiller were wanted for crimes against humanity, I would understand if I turned a few heads at the airport. However, if I were forced to wait in line behind a sham search of everyone else, I would surely resent this additional theft of my time.”

Attempting to speak on behalf of the very people he wants profiled, he implies that Muslims should “welcome” profiling, at the very least it would “save them time!”

He goes on;

We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it.

Maybe Sam will want Muslims to wear crescent and star badges so as to be identified as “Muslim?” By saying “conceivably be Muslim” Sam is really saying any Brown, Middle Eastern or South Asian looking person, perhaps someone with a turban?

In a very poor attempt to soften the racialist tone, he adds this caveat;

And, again, I wouldn’t put someone who looks like me entirely outside the bull’s-eye (after all, what would Adam Gadahn look like if he cleaned himself up?)… (emphasis added)

As with most advocates of procedures that single out specific people for harassment, Sam Harris himself doesn’t have to experience the frustration that comes from this harassment. It’s easy to say, “Muslims should just cooperate and make it easier on themselves and everybody else” when one doesn’t have to experience such situations, multiple times, themselves.

He recounts earlier in the blog post an ironic experience he had at the airport whereby he “accidentally” smuggled nearly 75 rounds of ammunition past the inspectors, while a three-year old was momentarily taken from her family so that her sandals could be inspected.

I once accidentally used a bag for carry-on in which I had once stored a handgun—and passed through three airport checkpoints with nearly 75 rounds of 9 mm ammunition.

Question: What the hell is Sam Harris doing with 75 rounds of ammunition?

As of today (May 1st), he has added an addendum to his blog, complaining that some people didn’t take too kindly to his simply presenting the “facts” as he sees them. One of those basic “facts” is;

“…that, in the year 2012, suicidal terrorism is overwhelmingly a Muslim phenomenon. If you grant this, it follows that applying equal scrutiny to Mennonites would be a dangerous waste of time.”

He must have not read the report which stated that only 6% of terrorist acts committed in the United States from 1980-2005 years were committed by Muslims, and that even in 2012 an American is more likely to get struck by lightning than to be killed/hurt by a Muslim terrorist.

He goes on;

“1. When I speak of profiling “Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim,” I am not narrowly focused on people with dark skin. In fact, I included myself in the description of the type of person I think should be profiled (twice). To say that ethnicity, gender, age, nationality, dress, traveling companions, behavior in the terminal, and other outward appearances offer no indication of a person’s beliefs or terrorist potential is either quite crazy or totally dishonest.”

Well that’s a sigh of relief! It’s not “just” dark-skinned Muslims that he wants to be profiled, but all Muslims! What universalistic spirit!

It has already been established that the more “Muslim” a person looks at the airport, the less likely they are to attempt anything violent on the plane. It simply would make no sense for a person to raise a thousand red flags in the minds of airport security, before they even board the plane. The entire point of a terrorist is to accomplish their goal, not to raise the suspicions of everyone around them before they get the chance to do so.

Since the stereotypical image of a Muslim in the minds of many is that of a “dark-skinned man of the Orient,” Muslim profiling is for all practical purposes racial profiling.

Juan Cole wrote about this on his blog nearly a year ago, when two Muslim clerics were forced to exit a plane because the pilot refused to fly if they were still on board;

“The terrorist costume is a simulated reality, circulated in Hollywood and countless news broadcasts, that evokes a causal relation between appearance and action. The terrorist costume is familiar to nearly all Americans: a thick beard, an ashen robe, brown skin, sandals holding dirty feet, and some sort of headgear, usually a turban (Sikh style, of course). The terrorist wearing this costume often sports a Qu’ran, so the audience can be certain that he is a Muslim.

Yet the acts of terrorism that have been committed by radicals of Muslim heritage involved perpetrators, like Mohamed Atta, who didn’t at all resemble the image of the Hollywood terrorist. Rahman and Zaghloul dressed in a way that set off alarms in some of their American co-passengers because the latter entertained Orientalist fantasies. Ironically, Muslim-American clerics are among the more law-abiding people in the country.”

Harris’s pro-profiling views are not shocking to anyone who knows his history of loonieness. Harris after all is the same unprincipled and bigoted individual, who has, as Bob Pitt noted;

backed Geert Wilders, joined the hysterical campaign against the so-called Ground Zero mosque and claimed that “the people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists.”

Why I Agree With Asra Nomani: KFC Restaurants Need to be under Constant Surveillance

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2012 by loonwatch

Asra Nomani, who is a real life Muslim, recently wrote a piece for the Daily Beast defending the NYPD’s practice of racial profiling and spying on the American Muslim community.  Haroon Moghul, another prominent American Muslim figure, blogged a response, which was cross-posted on LoonWatch.  Nomani had written in her article:

Indeed, just as we need to track the Colombian community for drug trafficking and the Ku Klux Klan for white extremists, I believe we should monitor the Muslim community because we sure don’t police ourselves enough.

Moghul shot back:

The first part of her sentence, about Colombians, is actually right on (by her silly logic); the second part contradicts her own logic (she can call for profiling some Latinos, but she doesn’t have the courage to apply her racializing logic to white America), and everything after “I believe” speaks to how little Asra actually knows anything about the Muslim community, as well as the several seconds of your life which you could have done something better with.  For law enforcement to go after white extremism the way it seems to be going after Muslims (at least, with respect to the NYPD), they wouldn’t be going after the KKK, as Asra suggests–unless Asra means to suggest that Muslim student organizations at Yale and UPenn are offshoots of al Qaeda. Law enforcement would instead have to spy on as many white institutions (churches, civic clubs, student organizations, etc.) as they could.

Danios of LoonWatch chimed in: “Will Asra Nomani stay consistent and support spying on white people?”

But, Haroon Moghul and Danios of LoonWatch are way off: it’s not proper to compare peace-loving, good Christian white folk to Muslims or Latinos.

The real million dollar question is: should the police racially profile and spy on the black community?  Using Asra Nomani’s sage advice, I think we must.  For the longest time though, I have worried that our sense of political correctness has kept us from sensible law-enforcement strategies that carefully look at black male youth, black neighborhoods, and black hangout spots.

The LAPD and other police departments should send “rakers” into the black community–police officers whose racial background (black) and language skills (ebonics) match the places they are monitoring, including black streets, black high schools, and black hangout spots like basketball courts.

Public spaces, especially those protected from police scrutiny due to racial sensitivities, are a natural meeting spot for criminals. If the NYPD was tracking shopping malls or pizza shops where criminal activity is being planned, we wouldn’t complain. Because of racial political correctness, we’re protesting looking into black communities.  Alas, criminals and gang-bangers use our political correctness and racial sensitivity as a weapon against us.

There are other black people who believe law enforcement has to do its job and spy on black people.  I know at least four different random black people who feel the same way I do.

The last few decades of battling violence in the black community has revealed one truth: black neighborhoods are spaces used by blacks intent on criminal activity.  Asra Nomani wrote:

[M]osques and Muslim organizations are institutional spaces used by Muslims intent on criminal activity, not much unlike the pews of a Catholic church or a Godfather’s Pizza might be the secret meeting spot for members of the Italian mafia.

Nomani has done extensive research on this topic.  I heard she watched all three parts of The Godfather.  If we want to crack down on black crime, I suggest especially high surveillance of watermelon stands, basketball courts, and near white women.  As far as I’m concerned, we need plenty of “raking.”

Police and FBI sources reveal that blacks are responsible for much of the violence and crime in our nation.  Kevin Alfred Strom went through the FBI Uniform Crime Report and found the following:

According to the FBI, Blacks are more than 3 times as likely to be thieves as Whites. They are more than 4 times as likely to commit assault as Whites. They are almost 4.5 times as likely to steal a motor vehicle. According to the FBI, Blacks are more than 5 times as likely to commit forcible rape as Whites, over 8 times as likely to commit murder, and more than 10 times as likely to commit robbery. For all violent crimes considered together, Blacks are almost 5.5 times more likely to commit violent criminal acts than Whites, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report…

A few more statistics:

85% of all felonies committed against cabbies in New York City are committed by Blacks.

Nearly 25% of all Black males between the ages of 20 and 29 are in jail or on probation. This doesn’t include those wanted or awaiting trial!

Statistically, Black neighborhoods are 3500% more violent than White ones.

Nearly 25% of all Black males between the ages of 20 and 29 are in jail or on probation. This doesn’t include those wanted or awaiting trial!

Statistically, Black neighborhoods are 3500% more violent than White ones.

Well, since blacks won’t police themselves, I think it’s high time the police do it for them.  (Does anyone have an Official “I’m Black” card I can use so this sounds less offensive?)

Nomani notes:

Like the NYPD tracking the Newark restaurants where Muslims congregate, Karachi police have a local spot they have on constant surveillance: a restaurant called Student Biryani, selling a rice dish popular in the country. I learned this tracking the police case against the militants involved in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The mastermind, Omar Sheikh, met with his logistical chiefs at Student Biryani, and the police report reveals the men even took some biryani home as carryout. Militants can easily huddle in Student Biryani’s crowded restaurant space and get a hot meal and much-needed noise.

Damn those wily terrorists and their biryani bellies.  Although my extensive googling revealed no evidence for this claim that the popular food chain Student Biryani in Pakistan is under “constant surveillance” by police, I think Nomani raises a good point.  In our fight against black violence, I think we need to keep all KFC restaurants under constant surveillance.  A tracking and listening device should be included in all takeout boxes.  I once heard a gang of Bloods once ate a full 12-piece of crispy chicken at one KFC in one city at one moment in history.  Gang members can easily huddle in KFC’s crowded restaurant space and get a hot meal and much-needed noise (and chicken).

Many African countries make no apologies for monitoring their black citizens.  Neither should the LAPD or other police departments apologize for monitoring blacks.  Blacks should in fact open their doors to the surveillance and help the cops smoke out the criminals in their community, so that black neighborhoods and communities are safe spaces.

Note: If you didn’t figure it out already, the above article is not to be taken seriously and is actually a spoof of Asra Nomani’s article on American Muslims.  My purpose was to reveal how utterly revolting Nomani’s expressed views are, something that only becomes apparent when you switch out “Muslim” for black, Jewish, etc.

Addendum I:

I had thought I was being especially creative when I came up with the KFC bit, but then I realized I had missed this gem from Nomani’s original article (I almost spit my drink out when I saw it): Nomani defended the NYPD spying on

restaurants frequented by Muslims, including Kansas Fried Chicken, a place run by folks of Afghan descent, according to the report.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Asra Nomani in The Daily Beast: Spy on White People

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from avari)

By Haroon Moghul

So, Asra Nomani writes an(other) embarrasing example of self-hatred for The Daily Beast, applauding law enforcement’s apparent targeting of Muslims throughout the Greater New York City area. Her essay is riddled with simple errors, clear misperceptions of how law and constitutionalism function, an inability to process profiling, and some faulty logic, perhaps the finest instance of which is here:

Indeed, just as we need to track the Colombian community for drug trafficking and the Ku Klux Klan for white extremists, I believe we should monitor the Muslim community because we sure don’t police ourselves enough.

The first part of her sentence, about Colombians, is actually right on (by her silly logic); the second part contradicts her own logic (she can call for profiling some Latinos, but she doesn’t have the courage to apply her racializing logic to white America), and everything after “I believe” speaks to how little Asra actually knows anything about the Muslim community, as well as the several seconds of your life which you could have done something better with.For law enforcement to go after white extremism the way it seems to be going after Muslims (at least, with respect to the NYPD), they wouldn’t be going after the KKK, as Asra suggests–unless Asra means to suggest that Muslim student organizations at Yale and UPenn are offshoots of al Qaeda. Law enforcement would instead have to spy on as many white institutions (churches, civic clubs, student organizations, etc.) as they could.

Because, of course, by Asra’s article’s painful logic, a person’s whiteness is a sufficiently significant lead to get law enforcement to pay attention to him, just as a Muslim institution is, on the grounds of its Muslimness, a target of suspicion sufficient to merit law enforcement’s full attention. This is a point Amy Davidson made far more succinctly in an excellent post at The New Yorker:

There is a difference between chasing clues and treating Islam, in and of itself, as a lead.

Does Asra mean to suggest we should be spying on white folks indiscriminately, because they, like the KKK, are white? Should we spy on white Muslims twice, since they are white and Muslim, and so somehow become extremists that hate themselves. I spoke about this issue on a far more relevant basis to Welton Gaddy of State of Belief Radio.

By the way, I’ll be at Fordham’s Manhattan campus today (Monday, March 5th), speaking about the long history of Islam and especially Islam in America. It’s free, and I’ll try to make it fun, educational, and enlightening. We’ll be starting at 6pm at Fordham’s South Lounge inside 113 West 60th Street, right off Columbus Circle in Manhattan. The event ends at 8pm.

Haroon Moghul is a Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia University in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. He is an Associate Editor and columnist at Religion Dispatches and writes for the Huffington Post.

Bloomberg Fail: NY Mayor Defends Racial Profiling of and Spying on American Muslims

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2012 by loonwatch

It has now been unearthed that the NYPD has been using racial profiling to illegally target the American Muslim community, spying on Muslim students without reason or warrant.  Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York, was questioned yesterday about this unethical practice; he defended it using the typical, disgusting, and morally repugnant justifications that have become so commonplace in our national discourse thanks to the War on of Terror. (Here is an article documenting Mayor Bloomberg’s response.)

Bloomberg ominously warned journalists: ”You are not going to survive. You will not be able to be a journalist and write what you want to say if the people who want to take away your freedoms are allowed to succeed.”

This cowardly fear-mongering has long been used by authorities to strip citizens of their rights: They are going to get you, unless you surrender your basic civil rights!

Actually, I should clarify that statement; it should read: They are going to get you, unless you surrender the basic civil rights of those dark-skinned, foreign-looking Moozlums!

Sadly, most Americans succumb to this alarmist rhetoric, readily surrendering what is not theirs to give away to begin with: the Constitutional rights of our nation’s most vulnerable minority.

Bloomberg continued:

We have to keep this country safe. This is a dangerous place. Make no mistake about it. It’s very cute to go and to blame everybody and say we should stay away from…[policies like] intelligence gathering. The job of our law enforcement is to make sure that they prevent things and you only do that by being proactive.

A dangerous place?  In fact, those big bad Islamic terrorists have killed zero civilians in the United States since 9/11, which was over a decade ago.  A similar situation exists in Europe, with Europol’s annual terrorism reports showing zero civilian deaths from Islamic terrorism in the last half decade (which is as far back as the annual terrorism reports go).  Quite simply, as an American I have a higher chance of being struck by and killed by lightning–or of being killed by peanuts–than of being killed by Islamic terrorists.  No amount of fear-mongering, alarmist propaganda, and Islamophobic rhetoric can overcome this simple fact, which is why it bears repetition:

In the past decade, zero civilians have been killed in this country by Islamic terrorists.  

Therefore, it is a boldfaced lie to claim that the threat of terrorism is so grave and ominous that we must resort to such illegal and unethical tactics to Keep Us Safe.

Bloomberg regurgitates the standard nationalistic myth, saying:

Remind yourself when you turn off the light tonight, you have your job because there are young men and women who have been giving their lives overseas for the last 200 plus years so that we would have freedom of the press. And we go after the terrorists. We are going to continue to do that and the same thing is true for the people that work on the streets of our cities.

This “argument” is often used to quell debate and stifle criticism: “[our] young men and women have been giving their lives overseas for the last 200 plus years so that we would have freedom of the press.”  This argument, steeped in uber-patriotism and drenched in nationalistic propaganda, is intended to fly over rational debate (what does the “giving [of] lives overseas for the last 200 plus years” have anything to do with “freedom of the press”?), and tap into our basest emotions: anyone who dares reject this argument by pointing out that it is not just a non-sequitur but patently false runs the risk of being accused of lack of patriotism and of being “un-American”.

This is so, as I wrote earlier, because the military is our country’s most sacred institution:

The military is our national religion, its soldiers are our holy warriors, the Navy Seals are our highest religious order, those soldiers who died in war are our martyrs, 9/11 was our Karbala, Patriot Day is our annual holy day, the flag is our holy book and symbol, Osama bin Laden is Lucifer, Terrorism is the greatest Evil, supporting the troops is our greatest religious obligation, and failure to do so is the greatest blasphemy and the highest of sins.

It is true that our military has been waging wars (of aggression) “overseas for the last 200 plus years”, as I documented in another article of mine: “We’re at War!” — And We Have Been Since 1776: 214 Years of American War-Making.  But, this is hardly something to be proud of…and these wars had nothing to do with “freedom of the press”–most of them had everything to do with spreading American hegemony and usurping the resources of other peoples (and in doing so, stripping them of their most basic civil liberties).

In fact, the greatest insults to the freedom of the press have historically been during times of war.  The First Amendment Center notes in The First Amendment: A Wartime Casualty?:

Sanford Levinson, a law professor at the University of Texas, writes: “It is difficult to read our constitutional history … without believing that the Constitution is often reduced at best to a whisper during times of war.”

The First Amendment is no exception. Attorney Michael Linfield, author of Freedom Under Fire: U.S. Civil Liberties in Times of War, writes: “Rather than being an exception, war-era violations of civil liberties in the United States are the accepted norm for our government.”

The article goes on to mention numerous instances in American history when civil liberties (including freedom of the press) were stripped by the government during wartime.  The War on of Terror is certainly no exception.

I hesitate closing this article with the standard meme of “it is un-American to curtail civil liberties”, but after second thought, I will save my readers from this trite, mythical, and nationalistic mantra.  As our military history will attest to, it is actually very, very American to do so, at least when it comes to minorities: racism has beset our nation during most of her many wars, whether it was against American Indians, Hispanics, or Asians.  Today’s wars against Arabs/Muslims overseas–and the concomitant stripping away of their human rights both at home and abroad–simply mean staying true to a long-held American tradition.

Mayor Bloomberg affirms the fundamental myth of the War on of Terror, the idea that we need to wage foreign wars (and in the process curtail civil liberties) in order to stop terrorism.  This is a strongly held belief, even though nothing exacerbates the problem of terrorism more than these wars.  In fact, our military interventions in the Muslim world are the root cause of terrorism.  Targeting the American Muslim community is the wrong solution: the only way to stop terrorism is to end our many wars in the Muslim world.  That Americans today failed to realize this simple fact will be looked upon by future generations with amazement.

Update I:

A reader, Christian-friend, commented:

I don’t see him justifying racial profiling, be more accurate!

From the ACLU’s website:

Racial Profiling: Definition (2005 resource): “Racial Profiling” refers to the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.

Whenever in doubt, substitute “Jewish” for “Muslim” and see if it sounds right, i.e. it would be racial profiling if police targeted Jewish citizens.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

NYPD monitored Muslim students all over Northeast

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by loonwatch

The FBI is busy entrapping young Muslims while the local police department is spying on Muslim students without warrant or reason.  Here’s a report from The Associated Press:

NYPD monitored Muslim students all over Northeast

By CHRIS HAWLEY, Associated Press – 19 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the elite Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, The Associated Press has learned.

Police talked with local authorities about professors 300 miles (480 kilometers) away in Buffalo and even sent an undercover agent on a whitewater rafting trip, where he recorded students’ names and noted in police intelligence files how many times they prayed.

Detectives trawled Muslim student websites every day and, although professors and students had not been accused of any wrongdoing, their names were recorded in reports prepared for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Asked about the monitoring, police spokesman Paul Browne provided a list of 12 people arrested or convicted on terrorism charges in the United States and abroad who had once been members of Muslim student associations, which the NYPD referred to as MSAs. Jesse Morton, who this month pleaded guilty to posting online threats against the creators of the animated TV show “South Park,” had once tried to recruit followers at Stony Brook University on Long Island, Browne said.

“As a result, the NYPD deemed it prudent to get a better handle on what was occurring at MSAs,” Browne said in an email. He said police monitored student websites and collected publicly available information, but did so only between 2006 and 2007.

“I see a violation of civil rights here,” said Tanweer Haq, chaplain of the Muslim Student Association at Syracuse. “Nobody wants to be on the list of the FBI or the NYPD or whatever. Muslim students want to have their own lives, their own privacy and enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities that everybody else has.”

In recent months, the AP has revealed secret programs the NYPD built with help from the CIA to monitor Muslims at the places where they eat, shop and worship. The AP also published details about how police placed undercover officers at Muslim student associations in colleges within the city limits; this revelation has outraged faculty and student groups.

Though the NYPD says it follows the same rules as the FBI, some of the NYPD’s activities go beyond what the FBI is allowed to do.

Kelly and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg repeatedly have said that the police only follow legitimate leads about suspected criminal activity.

But the latest documents mention no wrongdoing by any students.

In one report, an undercover officer describes accompanying 18 Muslim students from the City College of New York on a whitewater rafting trip in upstate New York on April 21, 2008. The officer noted the names of attendees who were officers of the Muslim Student Association.

“In addition to the regularly scheduled events (Rafting), the group prayed at least four times a day, and much of the conversation was spent discussing Islam and was religious in nature,” the report says.

Praying five times a day is one of the core traditions of Islam.

Jawad Rasul, one of the students on the trip, said he was stunned that his name was included in the police report.

“It forces me to look around wherever I am now,” Rasul said.

But another student, Ali Ahmed, whom the NYPD said appeared to be in charge of the trip, said he understood the police department’s concern.

“I can’t blame them for doing their job,” Ahmed said. “There’s lots of Muslims doing some bad things and it gives a bad name to all of us, so they have to take their due diligence.”

City College criticized the surveillance and said it was unaware the NYPD was watching students.

“The City College of New York does not accept or condone any investigation of any student organization based on the political or religious content of its ideas,” the college said in a written statement. “Absent specific evidence linking a member of the City College community to criminal activity, we do not condone this kind of investigation.”

Browne said undercover officers go wherever people they’re investigating go. There is no indication that, in the nearly four years since the report, the NYPD brought charges connecting City College students to terrorism.

Student groups were of particular interest to the NYPD because they attract young Muslim men, a demographic that terrorist groups frequently draw from. Police worried about which Muslim scholars were influencing these students and feared that extracurricular activities such as paintball outings could be used as terrorist training.

The AP first reported in October that the NYPD had placed informants or undercover officers in the Muslim Student Associations at City College, Brooklyn College, Baruch College, Hunter College, City College of New York, Queens College, La Guardia Community College and St. John’s University. All of those colleges are within the New York City limits.

A person familiar with the program, who like others insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it, said the NYPD also had a student informant at Syracuse.

Police also were interested in the Muslim student group at Rutgers, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In 2009, undercover NYPD officers had a safe house in an apartment not far from campus. The operation was blown when the building superintendent stumbled upon the safe house and, thinking it was some sort of a terrorist cell, called the police emerency dispatcher.

The FBI responded and determined that monitoring Rutgers students was one of the operation’s objectives, current and former federal officials said.

The Rutgers police chief at the time, Rhonda Harris, would not discuss the fallout. In a written statement, university spokesman E.J. Miranda said: “The university was not aware of this at the time and we have nothing to add on this matter.”

Another NYPD intelligence report from Jan. 2, 2009, described a trip by three NYPD officers to Buffalo, where they met with a high-ranking member of the Erie County Sheriff’s Department and agreed “to develop assets jointly in the Buffalo area, to act as listening posts within the ethnic Somalian community.”

The sheriff’s department official noted “that there are some Somali Professors and students at SUNY-Buffalo and it would be worthwhile to further analyze that population,” the report says.

Browne said the NYPD did not follow that recommendation. A spokesman for the university, John DellaContrada, said the NYPD never contacted the administration. Sheriff’s Departments spokeswoman Mary Murray could not immediately confirm the meeting or say whether the proposal went any further.

Another report, entitled “Weekly MSA Report” and dated Nov. 22, 2006, explained that officers from the NYPD’s Cyber Intelligence unit visited the websites, blogs and forums of Muslim student associations as a “daily routine.”

The universities included Yale; Columbia; the University of Pennsylvania; Syracuse; New York University; Clarkson University; the Newark and New Brunswick campuses of Rutgers; and the State University of New York campuses in Buffalo, Albany, Stony Brook and Potsdam; Queens College, Baruch College, Brooklyn College and La Guardia Community College.

“Students who advertised events or sent emails about regular events should not be worried about a ‘terrorism file’ being kept on them. NYPD only investigated persons who we had reasonable suspicion to believe might be involved in unlawful activities,” Browne said.

But such assurances seem to offer little comfort to some former students.

One University at Buffalo student, Adeela Khan, did end up in a police report after receiving an email on Nov. 9, 2006, announcing an upcoming Islamic conference in Toronto. The email said “highly respected scholars” would be attending, but did not say who or give any details of the program. Khan says she clicked “forward,” sent it to a Yahoo chat group of fellow Muslims and promptly forgot about it.

“A couple people had gone the year prior and they said they had a really nice time, so I was just passing the information on forward. That’s really all it was,” said Khan, who has since graduated.

Khan was a board member of the Muslim Student Association at the University at Buffalo at the time. She says she never went to the conference, was not affiliated with it and had no idea who was speaking at it.

But officer Mahmood Ahmad of the NYPD’s Cyber Intelligence Unit took notice and listed Khan in his weekly report for Kelly. The officer began researching the Toronto conference and found that one of the speakers, Tariq Ramadan, had his U.S. visa revoked in 2004. The U.S. government said it was because Ramadan had given money to a Palestinian group. It reinstated his visa in 2010.

The officer’s report notes three other speakers. One, Siraj Wahaj, is a prominent but controversial New York imam who has attracted the attention of authorities for years. Prosecutors included his name on a 3 ½-page list of people they said “may be alleged as co-conspirators” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, though he was never charged.

The other two are Hamza Yusuf and Zaid Shakir, two of the nation’s most prominent Muslim scholars. Both have lectured at top universities in the U.S.. Yusuf met with President George W. Bush at the White House following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The post about the academic event was enough to get Khan’s name mentioned in the weekly MSA report, which was stamped “SECRET” in red letters and sent to Kelly’s office.

There is no indication that the investigation went any further, or that Khan was ever implicated in anything. But she worries about being associated with the police report.

“It’s just a waste of resources, if you ask me,” she said. “I understand why they’re doing it, but it’s just kind of like a Catch-22. I’m not the one doing anything wrong.”

The university said it was unaware its students were being monitored.

“UB does not conduct this kind of surveillance and if asked, UB would not voluntarily cooperate with such a request,” the university said in a written statement. “As a public university, UB strongly supports the values of freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of religion, and a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

The same Nov. 22, 2006, report also noted seminars announced on the websites of the Muslim student associations at New York University and Rutgers University’s campus in Newark, New Jersey.

Browne, the police department spokesman, said intelligence analysts were interested in recruiting by the Islamic Thinkers Society, a New York-based group that wants to see the United States governed under Islamic law. Morton was a leader of the group and went to Stony Brook University’s MSA to recruit students that same month.

“One thing that our open source searches were interested in determining at the time was, where do Islamic Thinkers Society go — in terms of MSAs for recruiting,” Browne said.

Yale declined comment. The University of Pennsylvania did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Other colleges on the list said they worried the monitoring infringed on students’ freedom of speech.

“Like New York City itself, American universities are admired across the globe as places that welcome a diversity of people and viewpoints. So we would obviously be concerned about anything that could chill our essential values of academic freedom or intrude on student privacy,” Columbia University spokesman Robert Hornsby said in a written statement.

Danish Munir, an alumnus adviser for the University of Pennsylvania’s Muslim Student Association, said he believes police are wasting their time by watching college students.

“What do they expect to find here?” Munir said. “These are all kids coming from rich families or good families, and they’re just trying to make a living, have a good career, have a good college experience. It’s a futile allocation of resources.”

Homeland Security TSA Agent Exposed As Anti-Muslim Bigot

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on October 21, 2011 by loonwatch

Roy Egan, “a veteran officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Chicago” and a TSA agent, was confronted by a reporter for his rabid anti-Muslim Facebook comments.  Right now, the story is limited to local ABC News.  I wonder if this will be aired on national and cable news networks.

A word of caution is in order: Roy Egan is just one part of a much larger problem.  He is a cog in a much larger Islamophobic machine.  The Department of Homeland Security and the TSA are operating inherently racist, bigoted, and fear-mongering policies.

(cross-posted from ABC)
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=8389894

October 12, 2011 (CHICAGO) (WLS) – A veteran officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Chicago is being disciplined after posting hundreds of racist and derogatory comments on Facebook.

His name is Roy Egan. Not only were Officer Egan’s racial and religious rants open for anyone to see, for years he openly identified himself by name on Facebook and listed his employer as U.S. Homeland Security-TSA, the Transportation Security Administration.

For the past nine years, Egan has worked as a TSA baggage screener at O’Hare Airport. The 46-year-old has noted on his Facebook page, “I look for bad stuff going on airplanes.”

But it wasn’t Egan’s personal data that caught the eye of the I-Team. It was his public postings calling “Islam a cult that glorifies death…and a filthy religion.” It is a theme Egan repeated in postings just about every day: that Muslims should be exterminated.

In the garage at Egan’s southwest suburban home, the I-Team questioned the nine-year TSA officer about his anti-Muslim statements.

Goudie: “You posted those, didn’t you?
Egan: It was common stuff I picked off the web and made comments on.
Goudie: What does it say that a TSA officer is saying these kinds of things about Muslims?
Egan: I don’t refer to it in my job.”

Egan’s job is to screen baggage at O’Hare. Since 9/11, the treatment of Muslim travelers and allegations of Middle Eastern profiling, have dogged Homeland Security agencies.

Officer Egan recently posted, “does anything at all make you smile more than a Muslim burning by his own hateful hand.” He maintains such beliefs don’t interfere with his work.

Goudie: “How about if some Muslim name, on a piece of luggage comes by you? Does it get extra scrutiny?
Egan: No, no. That’s against the rules. I wouldn’t do it. There’s no reason for me to open it unless we’re mandated to open it via the machine telling us to. I would never discriminate against a passenger.
Goudie: Do you understand why this attracted our attention?
Egan: I suppose…I don’t hide what I do. I don’t think anything I’ve said is illegal. I don’t think, I definitely don’t do anything illegal.”

“It made me sick. It’s chilling to know that someone who is a federal employee and works at TSA of all places can hold these views with such hatred and such intensity, and to hold them publicly on his Facebook page unabashedly without any sort of regret. It really, it’s scary,” said Ahmed Rehab, Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Egan also posted against gays, Hispanics and blacks. He called President Obama “Muslim-in chief,” made racial comments on Obama’s skin color and said he hopes to “live long enough to see him die.” He described Michelle Obama as a “ghetto snipe” and other names unsuitable to print. And to Attorney General Eric Holder he posted, “die tasting your own blood.”

Egan: “If you read the comment, and it was based on an article that was written, and I’m just commenting on an article. I think he’s committing crimes against our citizens.
Goudie: And he should be dead.
Egan: I didn’t say that. I don’t like the guy.”

TSA officials would not speak on camera, but after learning of our findings TSA officials placed Egan on administrative leave and are moving to fire him.

In a statement, a spokesman said, “TSA has management directives in place governing employee conduct. We hold our security officers to the highest professional and ethical standards. TSA learned of the situation and took immediate steps to initiate the individual’s removal from federal service.”

In my conversation with Egan, conducted before he was suspended, the veteran TSA officer seemed immovable.

Egan: “I don’t do anything against policy, I’ve never done anything against policy that I’m aware of.
Goudie: You’re OK with the things that you’ve posted here, for the public to see?
Roy: I don’t know what you’re fishing for but I’m not trying to do anything against anybody. It’s commentary. It’s freedom of speech commentary.
Goudie: Why would you put this up for the public to see, though?
Roy: I’m not the only one. It’s all over the Internet.”

“We’re going to be in touch with TSA to work with them in order to ensure that this is not a situation that is replicated and that it’s not a deeper problem,” said Rehab.

TSA officials in Chicago declined to answer our questions about screener training and evaluation and whether authorities monitor social media in an attempt to weed out bigoted employees. TSA does have a code of conduct that requires its employees on or off duty to conduct themselves in a way that doesn’t cause the public to question their judgment or harm the agency’s mission.

Transportation Security Administration www.tsa.gov

TSA management directive on employee conductwww.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/foia/TSA_MD_1100_73_5_FINALv2_090521.pdf

Council on American-Islamic Relations www.cairchicago.org

U.S. Department of Homeland Security www.dhs.gov/index.shtm

(Copyright ©2011 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

NYPD Spying on Mosques, Muslim Restaurants, and Muslim Students

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2011 by loonwatch

As someone with anti-establishment and anti-authority views, it is no surprise that I’ve been (and still am) highly critical of the military, the CIA, and the FBI for some time now.  Now I’m adding the police to that list.  I’m critical of police brutality, the racism that runs rife through the force, the heavy-handed tactics they use, and their lack of transparency.  And now there’s this: the NYPD caught spying on Muslims, including college-going students.

What perfectly encapsulates the National Security State is the police illegally spying on citizenry on the one hand (in violation of the Fourth Amendment) while on the other hand working hard to prohibit citizens from taping police officers in public doing their job (a denial of our First Amendment right).  Those in authority have the right to know what websites you browse on the internet in the confines of your bedroom while you have no right to know anything about those in authority even when it directly affects you.

The targets of the National Security State are first and foremost Muslims, who are at the bottom of America’s totem pole.  In any case, here is the article from The Associated Press:

By Adam Goldman, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department compiled lists of mosques and Muslim businesses it saw as potential security risks for reasons that included endorsing conservative religious views or having devout customers, according to hundreds of pages of internal police documents newly obtained by The Associated Press.

The records reveal the extent of an undercover effort that initially studied more than 250 mosques in New York and New Jersey and identified hundreds more “hot spots” in a hunt for terrorists. Many showed obvious signs of criminal behavior, but the police explanations for targeting others were less clear.

A Bangladeshi restaurant, for instance, was identified as a hot spot for having a “devout crowd.” The restaurant was noted for being a “popular meeting location for political activities.”

The documents obtained by the AP, many of which were marked secret, paint the clearest picture yet of how the past decade’s hunt for terrorists also put huge numbers of innocent people under scrutiny as they went about their daily lives in mosques, restaurants and social groups. Every day, undercover officers and informants filed reports from their positions as “listening posts” inside Muslim communities.

At the White House, where President Barack Obama recently urged local authorities not to cast suspicion on entire communities, spokesman Jay Carney declined to comment Tuesday on whether it endorsed the tactics outlined in the NYPD documents.

An AP investigation last month revealed that the department maintains a list of “ancestries of interest” that it uses to focus its clandestine efforts. A secret team known as the Demographics Unit then dispatched plainclothes officers into the community to eavesdrop in cafes and chat up business owners.

That effort has benefited from federal money and an unusually close relationship with the CIA, one that at times blurred the lines between domestic and foreign intelligence-gathering.

After identifying more than 250 area mosques, police officials determined the “ethnic orientation, leadership and group affiliations,” according to the 2006 police documents. Police also used informants and teams of plainclothes officers, known as rakers, to identify mosques requiring further scrutiny, according to an official involved in that effort, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the program.

Armed with that information, police then identified 53 “mosques of concern” and placed undercover officers and informants there, the documents show.

Many of those mosques were flagged for allegations of criminal activity, such as alien smuggling, financing Hamas or money laundering. Others were identified for having ties to Salafism, a hardline movement preaching a strict version of Islamic law. Still others were identified for what the documents refer to as “rhetoric.”

Other reasons are less clear.

Two mosques, for instance, were flagged for having ties to Al-Azhar, the 1,000-year-old Egyptian mosque that is the pre-eminent institute of Islamic learning in the Sunni Muslim world. Al-Azhar was one of the first religious institutions to condemn the 2001 terrorist attacks. President George W. Bush’s close adviser, Karen Hughes, visited Al-Azhar in 2005 and applauded its courage.

Al-Azhar was also a sponsor of Obama’s 2009 speech reaching out to the Muslim world.

The list of mosques where undercover agents or informants operated includes ones that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has visited and that area officials have mentioned as part of the region’s strong ties to the Muslim community. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has stood beside leaders of some mosques on the list as allies in fighting terrorism.

The documents are a series of internal presentations, including one prepared for Kelly. Following the AP’s reporting, they were provided to the AP and veteran New York police reporter Leonard Levitt, who runs the website NYPDConfidential.com. Because the list of mosques is so long and explanation for the surveillance is so limited, the AP is not identifying the individual mosques that were under surveillance.

An NYPD spokesman did return messages seeking comment Monday, a holiday, and again Tuesday. The police department has said it follows leads and does not trawl entire neighborhoods.

New York police identified 263 “hot spots” throughout the city, the documents show. Like the mosques, the examples of hot spots ranged from businesses that sold untaxed cigarettes and where inflammatory rhetoric was overheard to those with less obvious criminal connections.

The example of the Bangladeshi restaurant flagged for its “devout” clientele further undercuts Bloomberg’s claim that the NYPD does not take religion into account in its policing. Last week the AP revealed that the NYPD maintained a list of “ancestries of interest” that included “American Black Muslim,” which is a religion, not an ancestry.

Police also kept tabs on seven of the area’s Muslim student associations, defined in the documents as “a university-based student group, with an Islamic focus, involved with religious and political activities.” Two were flagged for having Salafi speakers. One was cited for having students who are “politically active and are radicalizing.”

Since the AP reports, several Muslim civil rights groups and a New York congresswoman have urged the Justice Department to investigate the NYPD for what critics see as racial profiling. Under U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department has stepped up investigations of local police departments for possible civil rights violations, but none involves national security cases.

Apuzzo and Goldman can be reached at dcinvestigations(at)ap.org or at http://twitter.com/mattapuzzo and http://twitter.com/goldmandc

Terrorism Act: ‘They asked me to keep an eye on the Muslim community’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2011 by loonwatch

From The Guardian:

People from ethnic minorities are up to 42 times more likely than white people to be the target of a counter-terrorism power which allows the stopping and searching of the innocent yet grants them fewer rights than suspected criminals, official figures seen by the Guardian show.

The power is contained in schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows policeto stop people at ports and airports for up to nine hours without the need for reasonable suspicion that they are involved in any crime.

But the rabbit hole goes deeper: MI5 officers are randomly stopping brown people “without the need for reasonable suspicion that they are involved in any crime”, then threatening to charge them with “crazy allegations” that they are terrorists unless they agree to become informants and spies.  If these allegations were true, why doesn’t the MI5 ever charge these people with a crime and give them a fair trial, or at least a farcical military tribunal?

Here is the article, again from The Guardian:

Terrorism Act: ‘They asked me to keep an eye on the Muslim community’

Asians tell of being targeted and cajoled by officers from MI5 and special branch

Asif Ahmed, 28, describes how he was detained and asked to spy:

Watch the video here

Just after landing at Edinburgh airport on 11 April 2010 Asif Ahmed was met by plainclothes officers and taken away from his wife. He was about to turn from model citizen into a terror suspect, one of 85,000 people who met a similar fate that year.

Officers met the couple just after they got off the flight from Stansted and told them Ahmed needed to come with them for a “normal check”.

The couple were returning from a weekend break and Ahmed saw no reason why he might be suspected of anything. Indeed, after London was attacked by terrorists in July 2005, Ahmed worked for the mayor of London and in Scotland to improve relations between Muslims and the rest of the population.

He was taken to a room by two officers who told him they were from special branch, a police department that deals in intelligence and security matters. Ahmed, 28, was told he was being questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

When he asked why, an officer replied: “No reason, it is just a random stop.” Ahmed told them they had stopped the only two people on the flight who looked like Muslims.

They said they did not know he was Muslim, which he did not believe.

The officers Ahmed remembers were detectives – a sergeant and a constable. They did not give their names but did give their identification numbers.

Ahmed says he felt compelled to answer their questions: “I had no choice, I was told I had no right to refuse.” He says the officers told him that if he exercised the right to remain silent, he could be detained further and eventually face jail.

Ahmed says he was questioned about his job, where he prayed, the Muslim groups he was active in. He was asked for a definition of extremism and what he would do if he found out someone was going to carry out an act of terrorism. He got the answer to that correct: he would tell the police.

In another room his wife was questioned. She was upset about being asked details about her sister, who was seriously ill at the time. Ahmed says the policemen interviewing him kept saying that he and his wife, studying for a PhD in political science, were “interesting people”. Then one of the officers asked if he would become a spy: “They asked if I would like to work with special branch, to keep an eye on the Muslim community in Edinburgh … They asked me three times. They said do it covertly.” He refused.

A similar scene played out at Stansted on 31 December 2007. Abdullah, a youth worker from east London, had returned from a Haj tour in Saudi Arabia with a tour group. “I was told that there was a problem with my passport and two white men in dark suits approached me and said that they needed to talk to me.”

They were police officers and he was taken to a room: “I was told that I had been stopped under terrorism-related legislation … I was given a sheet of paper that basically said that they were allowed by law to do this to me and I needed to comply with questioning.”

He was asked about his family, how his trip had been paid for, which mosque he prayed at and if he had “any additional training or skills”.

His mobile phones were taken away and searched. Then his questioning was disrupted by the arrival of another man, who said he was called Matthew, and a woman. “They were casually dressed and took over from the previous two men. They introduced themselves as MI5. I was concerned why MI5 would want to speak to me and listened attentively.”

In a written statement Abdullah says the officers quizzed him and said his “name had come up in circles discussing terrorist activity and it was up to me to prove where I stood. They wanted my help in tackling potential terrorists and related activity”.

He added: “They showed me some photos of a number individuals. I knew most of them well as they were friends and local associates. Some I didn’t recognise and one I wasn’t too sure about.

“This was the one they pressed me on. They also wanted details about the individuals that I knew, which I provided. I tried to be as co-operative as possible and in the end they took my number and left me theirs.

“Strangely, Matthew insisted that I save it discreetly under work or taxi. I was then escorted out and was free to leave.”

Abdullah believes MI5 wanted to turn him into a spy. “Matthew called me several times to arrange a follow-up meeting. He said he wanted me to help him in the work MI5 does. We had a phone discussion and I said that I thought that what they were trying to do was noble but I had reservations about the way in which they operate on an ethical level and was uncomfortable with that. He insisted that I meet him and said that ‘it was in my long-term interest’ to do so.”

A meeting was arranged for 22 January 2008 outside a tube station.

“I was told to meet Matthew outside Farringdon station but was directed by phone from there to a nearby location and Matthew walked with me to a hotel.”

He said he was asked about “my personal and work details – past and present. I mentioned here that I had visited Egypt in the summer of 2004 for six months to study Arabic.

“I was asked about my future plans – I mentioned that I planned to return to Egypt shortly to continue with my Arabic and Islamic studies.

“He mentioned that he really wanted me to help him with the photos. I said that I had already told him what I knew.

“In the end Matthew said that he wanted to meet me again but I wasn’t so sure any more as I could see that something was wrong.”

Despite telling MI5 he was not interested, the barrage of calls and texts pleading for a meeting just kept coming.

After that “Matthew called me a few times to arrange a further meeting. He gave me a mobile number (07522 055 947) but I decided that I didn’t want to have any more contact.”

By mid-February Abdullah was fed up. “I texted Matthew to explicitly say I wasn’t interested in any further contact and for him not to contact me anymore,” he said. “I also mentioned that if I did have any information about any threat, terrorist or otherwise, that I would naturally report it to the police. I then called my phone provider and changed my number.”

In May 2008, Matthew obtained the new number and called again. He wanted information, which Abdullah said he did not have.

But the MI5 officer, Abdullah alleges, made a threat. “He said I needed to see him before I travelled to Egypt, for my own good. Otherwise I would find it difficult over there because they had ‘international partners’.”

Abdullah said: “He was threatening me – if I go to Egypt, I might be arrested and ill treated. I took it as a threat. They could have me arrested, and tortured there. It was quite clear.”

There is no independent evidence to support the claims that police and MI5 are abusing schedule 7 stop and search powers by trying to turn innocent people into informers.

But there is a consistency of testimony from those who have been stopped and pressured to inform.

Solicitor Alastair Lyon, who has advised dozens affected by schedule 7, said: “This is a power which has sowed fear in the most vulnerable of our communities. The security services and special branch are operating in an unregulated and unchecked way without legal observers, to put pressure on people. This is a legal black hole allowing them to question thousands of people about very personal details without any of the usual human rights safeguards.” He added: “It has created a legal black hole where personal and sensitive information is, on pain of imprisonment, forced from individuals who are told that in effect they have no rights. It is a complete abuse of authority.”

For youth worker Mohammed, the link between his being stopped under schedule 7 and other approaches is clear. For a year security service officers tried to recruit him, approaching him at home, in the street, even as he ate at a tandoori restaurant. One of them, called Jeff, showed him pictures of various people.

Then on 5 November 2008, he was stopped at Stansted airport while returning from Spain and taken to a room. Mohammed said: “Then Tim came in. [He] showed me a badge and said he’s from MI5. He spoke about Jeff. ‘He’s been trying to meet me but you haven’t responded,’ said Tim.

“He reminded me that he is working for my best interest: he doesn’t want this to come out, doesn’t want for my workplace to become dirtied, my reputation – as if I’ve got something to hide and I’ve done something wrong in the first place.”

He added: “We know that you went to a terror camp, transited in Dubai and changed passports. We know you went to Dubai in 2006 and met AQ figures.”

Mohammed said: “I told him these were crazy allegations and how would they have this info anyway.”

Tim said: “We don’t need to go there ourselves, we have info from locals.”

Mohammed was let go with the promise that Tim would be in touch. He did indeed call several days later, but Mohammed did not reply.

Does this “Gestapo crap” remind anyone of this:

When White is Right: Asian people 42 times more likely to be held under terror law

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , on May 24, 2011 by loonwatch

This reminds me of something from The Guardian in 2010:

Black people are 26 times more likely than whites to face stop and search

Analysis of government data shows shocking discrepancy in stop and search figures for England and Wales

Black people are 26 times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched by policein England and Wales, the most glaring example of “racial profiling” researchers have seen, according to an international report.

The analysis of government data has brought claims of discrimination from campaigners who say the findings corroborate concerns that black and Asian Britons are being unfairly targeted. The US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, who arrives in London today to launch a campaign aimed at curbing what he says is stop-and-search discrimination, described the figures as “astonishing”.

The figures relate to stop-and-searches under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which was introduced to deal with football hooligans and the threat of serious violence. It allows police to search anyone in a designated area without specific grounds for suspicion.

Analysis by the London School of Economics and the Open Society Justice Initiative found that there are 41.6 Section 60 searches for every 1,000 black people, compared with 1.6 for every 1,000 white people – making black people 26.6 times more likely to be stopped and searched. Asians were 6.3 times more likely to be stopped than whites, according to the analysis of Ministry of Justice figures for 2008-09…

And now this, also from The Guardian:

Asian people 42 times more likely to be held under terror law

People from ethnic minorities more likely than white people to be stopped under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act

People from ethnic minorities are up to 42 times more likely than white people to be the target of a counter-terrorism power which allows the stopping and searching of the innocent yet grants them fewer rights than suspected criminals, official figures seen by the Guardian show.

The power is contained in schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows police to stop people at ports and airports for up to nine hours without the need for reasonable suspicion that they are involved in any crime.

The figures have led to accusations that police have resorted to “ethnic profiling”, which they deny.

British Muslims have given written statements to the Guardian alleging that the police and the security service MI5 are abusing the power by holding people and pressing them into becoming spies.

Those stopped have no right to maintain their silence, and failure to answer questions can be a criminal offence.

Questioning can begin without a lawyer present and those stopped must pay for one themselves if they want legal representation.

The authorities fear the random nature of schedule 7 means a legal challenge could see the power struck down for being arbitrary, a counter-terrorism official said. This is what eventually happened to the part of the act that allowed stop and search in the street without any suspicion, which was ruled unlawful by human rights judges.

The uncovering of official figures by the Guardian is the first time an ethnic breakdown of who is stopped under schedule 7 has been made public.

The calculation that 42 times as many Asians are stopped as white people is based on comparing the percentage of Asians in the UK population to the percentage of those stopped under schedule 7. Ethnic breakdowns for those entering and exiting the UK are not available.

The disproportionality faced by ethnic minorities is at its most pronounced where a person is stopped and questioned for over an hour. White people make up 19% of stops, Asian people 41%, black people 10% and others (including Middle Eastern and Chinese) 30%.

Asians make up 5% of the UK population, black people 3% and others 1%. White people make up 91% of the population.

Where people are stopped and held for under an hour, the breakdown is: white people, 45% of stops; Asian people, 25%; black people, 8%; other ethnicities, 22%.

One of those stopped, Asif Ahmed, 28, said he was asked to spy after landing at Edinburgh airport.

He said he was separated from his wife and taken to a room and told he must answer questions about his beliefs and faith. “They asked if I would like to work with special branch, to keep an eye on the Muslim community in Edinburgh. They asked me three times. They said do it covertly.”

Despite official claims that profiling on the basis of ethnicity is banned by the police, the official figures give strength to the argument that people are having their human rights infringed on the basis of what they look like and which god they pray to. Those stopped can also have their DNA taken and stored.

Ben Bowling, professor of criminology at King’s College London, said the data undermines claims ethnic profiling is not being used. “They lend weight to the view that ethnic profiling is going on,” he said. “The use of these powers at the border should be based on reasonable grounds and in ways that are properly transparent and accountable. At present they are opaque and unaccountable and seem little more than arbitrary and discriminatory, especially from the point of view of the person detained without reason.”

One person subjected to a schedule 7 stop has provided a written statement alleging an MI5 officer tried to recruit him as a spy. When he refused, he says he was threatened with torture abroad.

Another, Alam Sheikh, 29, was stopped under the counter-terrorism power in January at Gatwick airport after a short holiday with friends in Morocco.

He was baffled when asked by police if he was involved in the Arab uprisings: “They asked do you know anyone who is part of the protests?

“One of my friends is a trainee lawyer. Even he was shaking. It wasn’t fair. Most of us were smartly dressed. It wasn’t like we were wearing Arab clothing or beards.”

An exact figure on the disproportionate use of schedule 7 is difficult to arrive at because no figures are kept on the ethnicity of people entering and leaving the UK. Police forces have claimed releasing an ethnic breakdown of figures force by force could damage national security, and thus have previously refused to release them when requests were made under freedom of information legislation.

The figures published on Tuesday were released following a freedom of information request from the Federation of Student Islamic Societies.

In 2009 the National Policing Improvement Agency issued guidelines to officers about the use of the power, warning against ethnic profiling. “Examining officers must take particular care to ensure that the selection of people for examination is not based solely on their perceived ethnic background or religion,” the agency said. “The powers must be exercised in a manner that does not discriminate … to do so would be unlawful.”

The guidelines make clear that ethnic profiling would damage the police: “Officers should be aware that the way in which people are selected has a potentially far-reaching effect on the public and their acceptance of counter-terrorism powers.

“Misuse of the powers can damage the relationship between the police and sections of the public.”

But even some serving officers say the official selection criteria given to police makes it more likely officers will seek out those linked to Muslim communities. The guidelines talk of basing selection on “any information on the origins and location of terrorist groups” and “possible current, emerging and future terrorist activity”.

Zaheer Ahmad, president of the National Association of Muslim Police said: “We are concerned about the disproportionality reflected in the number of people stopped from ethnic backgrounds – we have seen no acceptable reason as to why this is taking place. The police service must take an intelligence-based approach to minimise the impact of this power on the travelling public.”

In 2009-10, 85,557 people were stopped and examined at UK borders under the schedule 7 powers. The government said: “A very low percentage of 220 million passengers travelling through UK ports were stopped, with only 0.03% of those travelling being examined.”

John Donlon, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ national co-ordinator for ports policing, said: “Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is important legislation in support of national security work at ports.

“The examining officers’ code of practice enforces that the examination of a person cannot be based solely on perceived ethnicity or religion. Activity is intelligence-led and officers deployed at ports do not single out particular ethnic groups for examination.”

We must keep White People Safe.

LoonWatch’s Response to Asra Nomani

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by loonwatch

Asra Nomani responded to my article with the following message:

Dear Friends,

Thanks for the time that you spent discussing the ideas that I’ve presented in my writings. I see that there are many differences of opinion with readers of this site, but, nonetheless, I appreciate the conversation.

It’s interesting to me how often readers of this site use the term “whore” to describe me, and I’m sorry that so many of you feel such anger. I understand that many of these issues from religion to intimacy are sensitive ones.

I would gently say to you that many of the assumptions that are made here are, I understand, an effort by some folks to make sense of ideas with which you don’t agree. Sometimes the truth is a lot less sensational. I’m not self-hating. I’m not gaining riches, and, as a journalist, I can tell you that the “fame” of a TV appearance here or there is most certainly fleeting.

I sincerely care about how Islam expresses itself in the world, and I care about our world. We may differ in opinion, but I would also gently suggest to you that, while anger and insults may be an authentic expression of your frustration, I do wish for all of us a day when we can be in more civil conversation.

If anyone would like to personally write to me, I invite you to do so at asra(a)asranomani.com.

Otherwise, I wish all of you well.

Warmly, Asra

My response is follows:

Dear Ms. Nomani,

You are certainly correct in stating that “civil conversation” is important.  However, I’d like to raise a few points with regard to this:

1)  It should be understood that this is the internet, and people tend to “say” things with less inhibitions than they would in the “real” world.  I myself have been called horrendous things on the internet.  Hence, the “colorful” language in the comments section needs to be understood in this context and as a product of this phenomenon.  I did not–and neither did any LoonWatch writer–refer to you as a “whore”.  Neither do we endorse such language.  As a progressive, I cannot condone the use of such a misogynistic word that is often hurled at women.  As for the few Muslim users who used this term, they ought to be reminded that in their faith the levying of such a charge is considered strictly prohibited (see Quran, 24:23).

2)  At the same time, I suspect that you will transform this into another piece of evidence against “the Muslims”, as if Muslims alone hurl such insults.  Yet, female personalities of all creeds are routinely called “whores” by random people (ever seen the comments on YouTube!?).  This is very unfortunate, but it is not a Muslim-specific issue.  But I’m sure you will make this all part of your anti-Muslim paradigm.  You might also feel the urge to boast about the insults you have received here, as you did with the “Uncle Tom” label in your article on profiling, and as Robert Spencer (your fan and loyal supporter) does with the e-death threat he supposedly received on some random forum (he put the quote on the cover of his book, just as the Uncle Tom quote was highlighted in your article).

3)  My own article was not nearly as “courteous” as your reply was.  But let’s be real for a second: my reply was at least more honest.  Your reply, on the other hand, is disingenuous (and as lame as Mr. Rogers).  “Dear Friends.” Are we really your friends?  “Thanks for the time you spent discussing the ideas that I’ve presented in my writings.”  Am I to believe you are actually thankful for the article we wrote about/against you?  C’mon, can’t we be real for a second?  We’ve accused you in our article of being a fake, not the real thing…and here you reply exactly that way: in a fake way.  You certainly could have responded in a courteous manner without being so blatantly fake, but I guess fake comes easier to some people than others.

4)  You said: “Sometimes the truth is a lot less sensational.”  Ahhh, if only you yourself understood this point.  You (and the right-wing loons who agree with you) sensationalize everything about Muslims and Islam.  Instead of having serious and nuanced discussion about Muslims and Islam, you engage in sensationalism and fear-mongering.

5)  While it may be commendable to respond with courtesy (although in your case I think it is simply an act), it should be noted that some very vile people make sure to respond to critics courteously.  For example, David Duke oftentimes sounds like an absolute gentleman, but his ideas are vile.  Even Robert Spencer attempts to portray himself in this way.  It is not simply the way in which a person responds that matters, but more importantly what they believe and say.  In your case, your ideas are horrendous, not the manner in which you deliver them.  You are not the “liberal and progressive” you pretend to be; you are a right-winger just like the people who you admire and/or who admire you, including Robert Spencer, Wafa Sultan, etc.

6)  On that note, you should be proud that the anti-Muslim website BareNakedIslam has come to your swift defense.  That vitriolic website responded with a post entitled LEFT WING LOONIES hating on a Muslim woman who most Americans would love.  They praise you as “a one in a billion Muslim author.”  On the very same page, they are selling shirts saying “War on Terror Islam” and “Infidel” and links saying stuff like “Islam’s Rules for Having Sex with Animals”, etc.  The site boasts a logo that reads “Proud Right Wing Extremist.”  If you are really a “liberal and progressive” Muslim as you pretend, then why is a “proud right wing extremist” infatuated with you?  You are in fact honored on their page entitled Pro-America Muslims, with such ex-Muslim luminaries as Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, etc.  Why care what we at LoonWatch think about you when you have such a great fan base at BareNakedIslam and JihadWatch?

7)  You have offered the opportunity for readers to write personally to you via email.  This makes it appear as though you are one who is willing to discuss your views.  Yet, your response is completely devoid of substance.  You have not responded to a single one of my arguments.  If you think that my article is not worthy of response, then why go through the charade of offering to respond to people privately?  Surely if you have the time to respond to people individually, you then should have the time to respond to our site.  Once again, this is all mere posturing.

You seem to enjoy being interviewed on the “Fair and Balanced” Fox “News” channel.  Why not speak with us and actually field some critical questions for once?

Warmly, Lovingly, and Cherishingly,
Danios.

 

Self-Hating Loon Asra Nomani Calls for Profiling Muslims

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2010 by loonwatch
Asra Nomani on Fox “News”, fear-mongering about Muslims

Hat tip: to all the countless people who sent us tips about Asra Nomani’s lunacy.

Islamophobia is a big business.  From pretend-scholars of Islam to pretend-apostates from Islam, it seems like every other person is trying to cash in on the cash cow that is anti-Muslim bigotry.  All sorts of opportunists have made six-digit salaries and full-time careers out of Muslim-bashing.  So it shouldn’t surprise us that some Muslims would want to get in on the action.  And so, I introduce to you one very prominent self-hating loon, namely Asra Nomani.

Nomani has become the “Muslim-for-hire”, selling out her religious community in exchange for fame and money.  Like other anti-Muslim bigots, she arose out of obscurity and shot to national prominence by fear-mongering about the Evil Muslims.  Now, she has a very steady career out of doing the neo-con bidding.  Nomani is very useful to the right wing, as she provides them with the “voice from the inside.”  She says the same things as the Islamophobes do, but when she says them, then the Islamophobes can point and say: “Look, even one of their own–a real life Muslim–says the same as we’ve been saying all along!”

This self-hating loon has consistently taken positions that are anti-Muslim.  For example, she came to the swift defense of anti-Muslim bigots who opposed the construction of an Islamic cultural center two blocks away from Ground Zero, arguing that “their fears are legitimate.”  When Juan Williams stated that he discriminates against people who “look Muslim”, it was none other than Nomani whocame to his defense.  (One wonders how she’d feel about an old woman being “worried” about a young black man walking towards her on the street?  Would Nomani defend a white person admitting being fearful of blacks–and on top of that arguing that it was a justifiable fear?)  Notice how she prefaces her statement with “I am Muslim.”  Well then, you must automatically be a spokesperson for Muslims everywhere, and whatever you say about Islam and Muslims must be true.  You are, after all, a real life Muslim!  In fact, Asra Nomani can hardly ever write an article or argue a point without injecting herself into it, such is her self-absorbed nature.

When anti-Muslim bigots began burning the Quran, Nomani couldn’t get herself to say a word against these lovely people.  (One wonders how she’d feel if people were burning Torahs?  Remember how that ended up in Europe?)  Instead, she came out on the side of bigotry once again, writing an article fit for Pamela Geller’s hate site.  When right wing bigots need a Muslim voice, who better to do their bidding than Asra Nomani?  By so doing, she allows people to say “well, there are Muslims on both sides of the aisle.”  She might be one of the only voices chanting anti-Muslim talking points, but HEY A REAL LIFE MUSLIM SAYS WHAT WE’VE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG!  Suddenly there is an equivalence: “there are Muslims on both sides of the issues!”

Asra Nomani is marketed as a “progressive Muslim” and argues that what “we need [is] an expression of institutional Islam that is moderate, progressive and liberal.”  Yet there is absolutely nothing progressive about her.  Instead, she actually finds herself agreeing with right wing loons.  In the very same article, she states that “the Tea Party activists actually express the sentiments of Muslims such as myself…”  She criticizes liberal and progressive Americans like myself, saying:

Liberal and progressive Americans and their organizations have dropped the ball in having a nuanced, intelligent critique of extremist Islamic ideology, currying pluralism points instead in the name of interfaith relations.

So on the one hand, Muslims should be liberals and progressives…And on the other hand, she always is on the side of right wing loons and against real liberals and progressives.  Nomani’s so-called “liberalism and progressivism” is akin to colonial feminism.  Colonial feminism is when people with no connection to feminism suddenly become indignant about womens’ rights in Foreign-Looking Peoples and Countries.  For example, many right wingers in America became the world’s most ardent defenders of womens’ rights when it came to invading and occupying Afghanistan.  Those People Over There need to be conquered by Us, so We can show them how to treat women.  (Lost on them of course is that they are dropping bombs on the heads of women.)

In the same way, Asra Nomani is far removed from liberalism and progressivism, having no relation to it whatsoever.  Womens’ rights is nothing more than a great big stick with which to bash Muslims over the head with.  Nomani is, allow me to coin a new term (albeit a cheap rip-off of the previous neologism), a colonial liberalist.  Her liberalism and progressivism only comes in the flavor of Muslim-bashing. Her liberalism and progressivism goes into overdrive when it comes to the ultraconservative Saudi Arabia (so does mine), but meanwhile she remains silent when this Goodly Judeo-Christian Beacon of Light Country imprisons and tortures Muslims without charge.  Iran’s belligerence is then seen as the Ultimate Evil, but meanwhile our own country’s multiple unjust wars cannot be questioned.  When it comes to criticizing Muslims, she dons the mantle of liberalism and progressivism.  When liberalism and progressivism would mean standing up for Muslims against right wing nut jobs, she’ll be sure to write a piece chastising Muslims.

As a colonial feminist and colonial liberalist, Asra Nomani provides the U.S. government with the proper environment for it to continue waging endless wars against the Muslim world, and to continue occupying their lands. This is no different than what the colonialists aforetime did.  And the Arabs, Africans, and Asians are well aware of it.  The British would always find some chump from amongst the natives to chant the colonialist line.  Back then they used to shower that chump with gifts, money, and positions of power.  In exchange, that person would sell out his own people.  Today, the same dynamic exists: Asra Nomani says what they want her to say, and in exchange she gets media appearances on Fox News, sells her books for millions, and gains positions of prestige.  (How Yale took her as a fellow amazes me.)

Whilst claiming to be the voice of progressive and liberal Islam, she remains chummy with the right wing nuts who find her ever the useful tool.  As a proud progressive myself, I cannot understate the degree of harm that her type of self-hating Muslim-bashing “liberals and progressives” have done.  Due to people like her, the term “liberal and progressive” has a negative connotation in the Muslim world.  And why shouldn’t this be the case, when all the Muslims have heard from such so-called “liberals and progressives” is how barbaric they are, and how great the West is compared to them?  People like her make it harder for true liberals and progressives to market themselves in the Muslim world.

Interesting is the fact that despite saying what they want her to say, many extreme right wing characters hate Muslims to such an extent that they can’t tolerate Asra Nomani because she still refers to herself as a Muslim.  And so, the colonial analogy comes full circle: the chumps-for-hire were generally hated by their own people and scorned by the colonialists themselves.  This oneYouTube conversation between bigcherry99 and bronco200005 is accidentally very insightful:

bigcherry99: asra is a really nice lady, but i cannot believe she hasn’t completely denounced islam. what the hell is wrong with her?

bronco200005: @bigcherry99 well if she denounces islam wat will she be left to milk?? Christianity?? Judaism maybe?? I dnt fink so

I don’t “fink” so either.  Her utility is only in that she is a Muslim.  That’s what she milks.  Her article promoting racial and religious profiling would hardly have gotten such significance had she been another non-Muslim calling for profiling of those Dark-Skinned Bad People.  But because she plays (and exploits) the I’m-a-Muslim card, her writings are thus pushed to the forefront.

Career bigot and hate blogger Robert Spencer, who advocated a militant video calling for the genocide of Pakistanis and joined a genocidal Facebook group against Muslims of Turkey, gave high praise of Asra Nomani, saying: “why are voices like this so rare among Muslims in the West?”  And he lauds her as “courageous.”  She is praised elsewhere on his vitriolic website.  Why is it, Ms. Asra Nomani, that one of the world’s leading Islamophobes is praising you so? If you are really a “liberal and progressive” Muslim, why is an extreme right wing website speaking so fondly of you?  Is it perhaps because you say the exact same things that they normally do against Muslims?

Thankfully, almost no Muslims are buying what Asra Nomani is selling.  Instead, her fans consist of right wing non-Muslims, who love the fact that A REAL LIFE MUSLIM is saying exactly what they say.  One article critical of Nomani asked (perhaps rhetorically):  “Are her remarks given any more weight or legitimacy by the fact that she herself is Muslim?”  The answer to that question is obvious: if she wasn’t a Muslim, nobody would have heard of her.  She’d have to get a real job then, or at least struggle for a job in the already saturated I-am-an-ex-Muslim-writing-a-book-against-Islam market.

And so, with the latest anti-Muslim controversy, Nomani once again sides with the voices of bigotry.  As many of you know, many Americans are protesting the TSA (Transit Security Administration) and their invasive ways, including “touching [your] junk” and using XXX-ray scanners to see you naked. But as the ever astute Glenn Greenwald (a real liberal and progressive, unlike the right wing loon Asra Nomani) notes:

[The] American People. They’re not angry that the Government had adopted inexcusably invasive and irrational security measures.  They’re just angry that, this time, it’s being directed at them — rather than those dark, exotic, foreign-seeming Muslims who deserve it, including their own fellow citizens.  And if there were a successful bombing plot against a passenger jet, many of those most vocally objecting now would be leading the way in attacking the Government for not having kept them Safe, and would be demanding even more invasive measures — just directed at those Other People, the Bad Dark People over there.

Asra Nomani, ever the self-hating loon, tries to reassure Good Judeo-Christian Folk that they shouldn’t need to get screened like that, and that it’s better to just target Her People.  This then is her “difficult solution” that “we need to consider”, namely “racial and religious profiling.”  In other words, the “cop-a-feel strategy” (her words) ought to be used only against Muslims and Muslim-looking peoples.

Her article is full of weak arguments to prove her point.  The article starts out with the following introduction (emphasis is mine):

In the wake of yet another Muslim terror plot, we can’t ignore the threat profile any longer–or the solution.

Which “Muslim terror plot” is she referring to?  She clarifies in her article:

…the Somali-born teenager arrested Friday night for a reported plot to detonate a car bomb at a packed Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Oregon.

It amazes me that this loon was allowed to blog for Salon.com (which is one of my favorite sites).  Another writer for Salon, the epic blogger Glenn Greenwald, wrote an excellent piece about how “the Somali-born teenager” was in fact set up by the FBI:

The FBI successfully thwarts its own Terrorist plot

…The FBI — as they’ve done many times in the past — found some very young, impressionable, disaffected, hapless, aimless, inept loner; created a plot it then persuaded/manipulated/entrapped him to join, essentially turning him into a Terrorist; and then patted itself on the back once it arrested him for having thwarted a “Terrorist plot” which, from start to finish, was entirely the FBI’s own concoction.  Having stopped a plot which it itself manufactured, the FBI then publicly touts — and an uncritical media amplifies — its “success” to the world, thus proving both that domestic Terrorism from Muslims is a serious threat and the Government’s vast surveillance powers — current and future new ones — are necessary.

How Asra Nomani’s conclusion from this entire escapade was that we need to adopt racial and religious profiling against Muslims (an essentially more right wing position than is currently in place, at least officially)–instead of reflecting on the backwards approach of the authorities in combating terrorism–only a self-hating loon could explain!  But this indeed is where Nomani misses the mark entirely.  Terrorism to her is the fault of “literal interpretations of the Quran” which supposedly sanction “terrorism, militancy, and suicide bombings in the name of Islam.”  The Somali-born teenager was ready to kill children because of “literal interpretations of the Quran”, or at least so the argument goes.  See!, argues the Islamophobe, even a Muslim herself says that the Quran is to blame for terrorism, militancy, and suicide bombing!

Of course, the reality is that the Quran forbids terrorism, suicide, and targeting of civilians.  No literal interpretation of the Quran could justify such things.  Neither did traditional Islam ever tolerate such.  In fact, ultraconservative traditionalists–including the Wahhabi clerics in Saudi Arabia–have declared terrorist tactics to be strictly prohibited in Islam, a view that is entirely consistent with the Islamic tradition.  Contrary to popular misconception, Al-Qaeda types justify such deeds not in the Quran or Islamic tradition, but based on the political situation today, wherein the West (the United States and Israel in specific) invade, occupy, and bomb Muslim countries.  Greenwald writes:

Finally, there is, as usual, no discussion whatsoever in media accounts of motive.  There are several statements attributed to Mohamud by the Affidavit that should be repellent to any decent person, including complete apathy — even delight — at the prospect that this bomb would kill innocent people, including children.  What would drive a 19-year-old American citizen — living in the U.S. since the age of 3 — to that level of sociopathic indifference?   He explained it himself in several passages quoted by the FBI, and — if it weren’t for the virtual media blackout of this issue — this line of reasoning would be extremely familiar to Americans by now (para. 45):

Undercover FBI Agent:  You know there’s gonna be a lot of children there?

Mohamud:  Yeah, I know, that’s what I’m looking for.

Undercover FBI Agent:  For kids?

Mohamud:  No, just for, in general a huge mass that will, like for them you know to be attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays.  And then for later to be saying, this was them for you to refrain from killing our children, women . . . . so when they hear all these families were killed in such a city, they’ll say you know what your actions, you know they will stop, you know. And it’s not fair that they should do that to people and not feeling it.

And here’s what he allegedly said in a video he made shortly before he thought he would be detonating the bomb (para. 80):

…For as long as you threaten our security, your people will not remain safe. As your soldiers target civilians, we will not help to do so.  Did you think that you could invade a Muslim land, and we would not invade you..

We hear the same exact thing over and over and over from accused Terrorists — that they are attempting to carry out plots in retaliation for past and ongoing American violence against Muslim civilians and to deter such future acts.  Here we find one of the great mysteries in American political culture:  that the U.S. Government dispatches its military all over the world — invading, occupying, and bombing multiple Muslim countries — torturing them, imprisoning them without charges, shooting them up at checkpoints, sending remote-controlled drones to explode their homes, imposing sanctions that starve hundreds of thousands of children to death  — and Americans are then baffled when some Muslims — an amazingly small percentage — harbor anger and vengeance toward them and want to return the violence.   And here we also find the greatest myth in American political discourse:  that engaging in all of that military aggression somehow constitutes Staying Safe and combating Terrorism — rather than doing more than any single other cause to provoke, sustain and fuel Terrorism.

Even Asra Nomani’s article itself betrays this point, as she quotes Usama bin Ladin as follows (emphasis is mine):

Our response to the barbaric bombardment against Muslims of Afghanistan and Sudan will be ruthless and violent,” he said in a statement. “All the Islamic world has mobilized to strike a prominent American or Israeli strategic objective, to blow up their airplanes and to seize them.”

Naturally, pointing out the obvious–that nothing promotes Terrorism more than us “invading, occupying, and bombing” their countries–would be anathema to a fake “liberal and progressive” like Asra Nomani.  Instead, she’d rather agree with the likes of the Tea Party and other right wing nuts who–even though the United States has killed way more Muslims than “the Muslims” have killed Americans–wonder mysteriously why a few Muslims would want to attack us.  It’s much easier to blame The Other for being so violent, and then have a self-hating loon affirm this for them.  It is only by removing this key element–our invading, occupying, and bombing their countries–that we can condescendingly discuss what’s wrong with Islam.  The truth is, however, that terrorism is directly related to our own foreign policy.  As Nomani herself says (except she’s talking about racial and religious profiling):

I know this is an issue of great distress to many people. But I believe that we cannot bury our heads in the sand anymore.

Yes, it does cause great distress to many people that we dare cogitate that we are responsible for our own plight.  But I believe that we cannot bury our heads in the sand anymore.  How the media completely blacks out the obvious–and how any politician who dares argue this point must be immediately ostracized–is indicative of its truth.

Not only is Asra Nomani’s article ethically repugnant, she deceitfully cites “studies.”  She cites the Rand Corporation’s study entitled “Would-Be Warriors.”  Only a self-hating loon could read that entire report and only glean the point that she did!  In fact, I wrote an article summarizing the Rand Corporation’s findings here:

Rand report:  Threat of homegrown jihadism exaggerated, Zero U.S. civilians killed since 9/11

The “threat profile”, as Nomani asserts, is defined as follows by Rand:

[Of the] 83 terrorist attacks in the United States between 9/11 and the end of 2009, only three…were clearly connected with the jihadist cause.

Fifty of the 83 terrorist attacks were committed by environmental extremists and animal rights fanatics, “which account for most of the violence.”  Five civilians were killed by the anthrax letters.

The Rand study states:

There are more than 3 million Muslims in the United States, and few more than 100 have joined jihad—about one out of every 30,000—suggesting an American Muslim population that remains hostile to jihadist ideology and its exhortations to violence. A mistrust of American Muslims by other Americans seems misplaced.

Only a self-hating loon could argue that 3 million Muslims should be profiled for the crimes of 100.  In fact, the Rand study blasts people like Asra Nomani who fear monger about the “threat profile.”  Says Rand:

Public reaction is an essential component of homeland defense. Needless alarm, exaggerated portrayals of the terrorist threat, unrealistic expectations of a risk-free society, and unreasonable demands for absolute protection will only encourage terrorists’ ambitions to make America fibrillate in fear and bankrupt itself with security…Panic is the wrong message to send America’s terrorist foes.

Nomani argues for widened governmental power, including invasive security measures.  Yet, the Rand report argues the opposite.  As I wrote in that previous article:

Americans have ceded their civil liberties to the government due to the misplaced fear of terrorism.  The first group affected by these heavy-handed laws are Muslim Americans, which hampers anti-terrorism efforts by alienating the very community whose cooperation is so necessary.  The report declares:

In response, the country has conceded to the authorities broader powers to prevent terrorism. However, one danger of this response is that revelations of abuse or of heavy-handed tactics could easily discredit intelligence operations, provoke public anger, and erode the most effective barrier of all to radicalization: the cooperation of the community.

We argue that the loss of civil liberties and rise in xenophobia have a more significant and longer lasting effect than acts of terrorism.

In any case, the Rand study is an excellent one, and enough to refute loons like Asra Nomani.  I urge our readers to read my summary of it as well as the original study.

Asra Nomani writes:

According to a terrorism database at the University of Maryland, which documents 60 attacks against airlines and airports between 1970 and 2007, the last year available, suspects in attacks during the 1970s were tied to the Jewish Defense League, the Black Panthers, the Black September, the National Front for the Liberation of Cuba, Jewish Armed Resistance and the Croatian Freedom Fighters, along with a few other groups.

In each of these groups’ names was a religious or ethnic dimension. For that time, those were the identities that we needed to assess. Today, the threat has changed, and it is primarily coming from Muslims who embrace al Qaeda’s radical brand of Islam.

So, terrorism was before linked to Jews, blacks, and Hispanics in the 1970′s.  But now it is linked to Muslims.  Hence, we should racially and religiously profile Muslims.  OK, so would Asra Nomani have agreed to racially and religiously profiling Jews, blacks, and Hispanics in the 1970′s?  (Notice how the “threat profile” is always The Other, never Good Christian White Folks, but Jews, blacks, Hispanics, and now the Evil Muslims!)  I suspect Nomani will issue a response to my article, and if she does, then I want a direct yes/no answer from her: would she agree that it would have been the right thing to do at that time to racially and/or religiously profile Jews, blacks, and Hispanics?

But we need not restrict this to a hypothetical in the 1970s.  Rather, it can be applied to the situation today.  Nomani’s argument is very simple: Muslims are (according to her) the number one terrorists, therefore it makes sense to racially and religiously profile them.  Extending that logic, one could easily sanction racial and religious profiling of blacks and Hispanics by police.  One could cite studies and statistics just like Asra Nomani did against Muslims.  For example,the government released a report which showed that “more than three times as many black people live in prison cells as in college dorms.”  And: “The ratio is only slightly better for Hispanics, at 2.7 inmates for every Latino in college housing.”   The same study found that the percentage of U.S. inmates that are black is 41%, and the percentage that are black and Hispanic is 60%.   The same is the case in the UK, where the Metropolitan Police found that 54% of those who committed street crimes were blacks, 59% of robberies were by blacks, and 67% of gun crimes were by blacks.

One racist website breaks it down for us:

The chilling report by The New Century Foundation, called The Colour of Crime [PDF], shows in unflinching statistical detail, that in the USA:

  • Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.
  • The single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of the population that is black and Hispanic.
  • Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.
  • Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.
  • Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.
  • Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes against whites than vice versa.

Meanwhile, over here in Our Country the pattern appears to be much the same

  • Blacks are 5 times more likely to commit violence against the person.
  • Blacks are 4 times ‘more likely’ to commit sexual offences.
  • Blacks are fifteen times ‘more likely’ to commit robbery.
  • Blacks are over six times ‘more likely’ to commit fraud and forgery.
  • Blacks are over twice as likely to commit criminal damage.
  • Black are five times ‘more likely’ to commit drugs offences.

Source: The UK Government

This is of course all “threat assessment.”  Another racist website argues that we are curtailing the government’s ability to Protect and Keep Us Safe by prohibiting racial profiling of blacks (emphasis is mine):

Data suggest ‘racial profiling’ may have scientific basis

1. African-Americans commit 90% of the approximately 1,700,000 interracial crimes of violence that occur in the United States every year, and are more than 50 times more likely to commit violent crime against whites than vice versa.

Study: blacks commit 90% of interracial crime

2. Blacks are so much more likely than Americans of other races to commit crimes that police may be justified in stopping and questioning them more frequently – just as they stop men more often than women and young people more often than old people.

These are some of the controversial findings of a new think tank report based on extensive cross-analysis of government crime statistics. The study finds that Asians consistently commit the smallest number of crimes, followed by whites. Hispanics commit violent crime at approximately three times the white rate, and blacks are five to eight times more violent. In one of its most startling conclusions the report finds that blacks are as much more violent than whites as men are more violent than women.“This is the painful reality that gives rise to ‘racial profiling,’ “ said Jared Taylor, the report’s author. “Police quickly learn who the bad guys are. When there is a murder they don’t look for little old ladies. They look for young men – unfortunately, they are often justified in looking for young black men.”

Why should you stop my grandma instead of that young black man?  Isn’t that wasting resources?  Any argument that Nomani and other right wingers make against Muslims in support of racial or religious profiling could be applied even more so to blacks and Hispanics.  In fact, violent crime on the streets accounts for a hundreds times more American deaths than from terrorists.  So if there is an urgency that must be met–if we simply just cannot avoid racial or religious profiling of terrorists due to the imminent threat–then surely there is an even greater urgency to apply such standards to our domestic police force.

This is Asra Nomani’s logic to justify racial and religious profiling.  There is no logical way for her to support the racial and religious profiling of Muslims, and to be against it when it comes to black people and Hispanics.  My point here is not to argue for the profiling of blacks and Hispanics.  Rather, it is to show that we all immediately have a visceral reaction to the mere thought of this (as we should).  But when people on national media routinely suggest the profiling of Muslims, then it’s something that is seriously debated.  This proves that although blacks and Hispanics are certainly low on the social totem pole, the Muslims are the absolute lowest.

On the other hand, even passingly mentioning the idea of racially and religiously profiling Jews would be met with absolute shock. Yet, if we were to use Asra Nomani’s logic (and that of the right wing in general), then wouldn’t Iran be justified in racially and religiously profiling Jews in their country?  After all, logic dictates that a Jewish guy is much more likely to be an Israeli spy than anyone else.  Wouldn’t this be justified in light of the fact that Israel has repeatedly threatened Iran?  Shouldn’t national interest trump everything else?  So I’m sure we wouldn’t have a problem if the Iranians racially or religiously profiled Jews, right?

Racial and religious profiling is immoral.  Our nation had already come to this conclusion.  It is sad that Islamophobia has reintroduced this ugly evil.  Asra Nomani, like all bigots, has to justify her bigotry with the necessary disclaimer: “I’m not racist, but…”  She states:

I realize that in recent years, profiling has become a dirty word, synonymous with prejudice, racism, and bigotry…

Yes, she is correct.  It is certainly synonymous with prejudice, racism, and bigotry.  Too bad she didn’t stop there.  Nomani concludes (emphasis is mine):

We have to choose pragmatism over political correctness, and allow U.S. airports and airlines to do religious and racial profiling.

Pragmatism?  Perhaps Asra Nomani is a “racial realist”?  Racial realists are just being “pragmatic” when they argue for racially profiling young black men.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with pragmatism, or any desire to actually stop terrorism.  Terrorists do not fit one mold, and in fact come in all different shapes, sizes, and races.  TheUnderwear Bomber was a black guy, and so was the recent Somali would-be bomber…Show both pictures to any random person on the street, and see how many of them would recognize them as “Muslim.”  On the other hand, most people would see two black guys.  Asra Nomani argues not just for religious profiling, but racial profiling.  So is she arguing for racial profiling of black people?  Or perhaps just young black men?  The Underwear Bomber was Nigerian and the Oregon would-be bomber was Somali.  Nomani states that “they trace their national or ethnic identity back to specific countries.”  So, are we to screen out only Nigerians and Somalis as opposed to other black people?  How many people could make that fine distinction?  I’m sure there are plenty of black people–born and bred here in the United States–who could pass off as Nigerian or Somali.  Should we also profile them?

(Many Islamophobes will chime in that they oppose racial profiling but support religious profiling…Would it then be OK to religiously profile Jews in the 1970′s or for Iran to do so today?  The famous line “you-can’t-be-racist-against-Muslims-since-Muslim-is-not-a-race” is debunked by simply asking “would it be OK to discriminate against Jews in a similar fashion?”)

Asra Nomani came to Juan Williams’ defense, arguing that Williams was justified in fearing passengers who wore “Muslim garb.”  Yet, Al-Qaeda operatives are told to blend in.  They are not dressed in stereotypical “Muslim garb.”  Oftentimes, they are as clean-shaven as they come, and wearing Western clothes just like you or I.  Does Asra Nomani think that Al-Qaeda cannot recruit blue-eyed blond-haired terrorists?  They sure can, and they have.

There are certainly times when we must choose between the ideologically sound choice and the expedient one.  Even if that were the case here–even if we had to choose between being racially/religiously equal vs Being Safe–then our moral conscience should choose the former.  Evenif racial or religious profiling made us safer, we should not opt for that route, since it goes against our moral character.  Benjamin Franklin famously said: “The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either.”

But in this case, racial and religious profiling of Muslims does not make us safer at all. Andrew Curry wrote an excellent article on Salon.com (why on earth did a great website like Salon.com ever hire a right wing Tea Party sympathizing loon like Asra Nomani!?) on how a recent study found that “such profiling is not only ineffective, it’s counterproductive.”  (Not like the proponents of racial and religious profiling actually care about keeping us Safe; if they really did, they would be the first to oppose U.S.-led invasions, occupations, and bombings of Muslim countries.) The article reads:

In a study released on Tuesday, the Open Society Institute — a think tank and democracy-promotion organization funded by billionaire George Soros — argues that racial profiling of Muslims is essentially a public relations tool designed to make people feel safer in the immediate aftermath of a terror attack. After the 2006 bus and subway bombings in London, for example, highly publicized raids on mosques or ID checks in Muslim areas gave the public the impression the police were taking action.

There is also the desire to use racial and religious profiling to single out and blame Muslims.  Yourpeople are to blame.  And Asra Nomani, the ever eager self-hating loon, chants: my people are to blame for all this.  But just because she is Muslim, it does not give her the right to cede Muslim rights to the majority population.  She cannot be allowed to speak for all Muslims, no more than Uncle Tom was allowed to speak for black people.  Neither should Nomani be thought of as some Muslim “liberal and progressive”, when in fact she has nothing to do with liberals and progressives.  Liberals and progressives stand for all minority groups, be they Christians being targeted in Iraq by Muslim extremists or Muslims being targeted by Jewish extremists in Israeli Occupied Territories.  We stand up for them not to score cheap political points, nor to reinforce the Team Muhammad vs Team Jesus mentality.  The last thing we tolerate is the demonization and singling out of one community, which is what Asra Nomani facilitates.  She is not a liberal or progressive Muslim; she is a self-hating loon and self-absorbed opportunist.

This entire “I’m a Muslim, Please Profile Me” nonsense is theatrics.  Nomani knows she would be immune from scrutiny due to her fame.  Subjecting her fellow Muslims to such treatment–which she herself calls “cop-a-feel strategy” and knows is an outrage to The Real Americans (Good Judeo-Christian White Folks)–this she has no problem with.  She has no qualms about selling out her religious community for the fame and money it provides her.

Update #1:

It seems that the last article Asra Nomani wrote for Salon was in 2003.  Perhaps she realized that a right wing nut like herself has no reason to write for such a website.  In light of the fact that Nomani’s last article on Salon was so many years ago, it might be making much ado about nothing to question that site about this.  Nonetheless, I think it might behoove people to message Salon and especially people like Glenn Greenwald to give them a heads up that Asra Nomani does not in any way, shape, or form represent Muslims.  This is not to say that a Muslim is not allowed to give a dissenting opinion from the Standard Muslim Line…I’m all for that.  But, notice how she seems to use her Religious Affiliation as an immunity card, always making sure that it is known that she is a Real Life Muslim.  Furthermore, she posits herself as a representative for Muslims, using such constructs as “The Tea Party activists actually express the sentiments of Muslims such as myself…”  A Muslim supporting the Tea Party is as much of a political oddity as a gay black man supporting the Republican party.  Ms. Nomani, try making an argument without seeking to validate it with the “I’m-a-Muslim” routine.

Update #2:

Asra Nomani’s support for the right wing Islamophobia machine was highlighted in a previous profile of the loon Wafa Sultan by our very own Garibaldi. Sultan, like Nomani, lives off of the anti-Muslim cash cow–the “I’m a real life (former?) Muslim” canard–and she uses it to deliver speeches and write books declaring Islam a greater threat to civilization than Nazism.  Amongst other things, Sultan is friends with and is admired by career Islamophobe Pamela Geller, who she often lectures with.  Sultan was seen at a synagogue calling for nuclear strikes on Muslim countries.

Asra Nomani, the so-called “liberal and progressive”, has expressed her deep admiration for Wafa Nuke-the-Muslims Sultan, referring to her as a fellow “bad girl of Islam.”  From Garibaldi’s article on Sultan:

Another good example of her (Sultan’s) tale of woe is the profile carried by self-described “bad girl of Islam” Asra Nomani in TIME magazine. Asra Nomani, who can’t pen anything without including herself writes,

I connected with her (Sultan’s) anger and pain. She questioned Islam in 1979, when, she says, she witnessed the murder of a professor by men with alleged ties to the ultraconservative Muslim Brotherhood political group.

One wonders if Nomani was so moved by her “connection” with Sultan that she (and her editors) forgot to fact check whether or not Sultan actually could have witnessed the murder of her professor in her classroom. InFocus, a California based magazine did more thorough research into the matter than TIME in a piece titled Wafa Sultan: Reformist or Opportunist,

As to the claim that her professor (thought to be Yusef Al-Yusef) was gunned down before her eyes in a faculty classroom at the University of Aleppo, Halabi said the incident never took place. “There was a professor who was killed around 1979, that is true, but it was off-campus and Sultan was not even around when it happened,” he added.

InFocus contacted the University of Aleppo and spoke to Dr. Riyad Asfari, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, who confirmed Halabi’s account. “Yes, the assassination took place off-campus,” he said. Dr. Asfari was keen to add that no one had ever been killed in a classroom anytime or anywhere at the university.

Syrian expatriate Ghada Moezzin, who attended the University of Aleppo in 1979 as a sophomore, told InFocus that she never heard of the assassination. “We would’ve known about the killing if it had happened,” she said. “It would have been big news on campus and I do not recall ever hearing about it.” Moezzin, who lives in Glendora, Calif., added that government security was always present around the university given the political climate in Syria at the time.

Update #3:

Anyone read Asra Nomani’s article entitled “My Big Fat Muslim Wedding?” In it, she uses her n=1 experience to stereotype Pakistani men as brutish.  A great reply to her silly article was written by G. Willow Wilson:

Asra Nomani’s recent essay in Marie Claire, My Big Fat Muslim Wedding, lays out a scenario that has become familiar to everyone in the post-9/11 world: despairing Muslim woman is forced to choose between her (literally) white knight and a traditional marriage to a boorish, vaguely ominous Muslim man. Losing love to Islam has become as universal a theme as finding love in Paris. It’s the subject of high art, low art and everything in between: Samina Ali’s Madras on Rainy Days springs to mind, as does the much-hyped failed marriage of Princess Meriam Al-Khalifa and Lance Corporal Jason Johnson. The implication of Nomani’s story, like those I’ve just listed, is that there are no decent Muslim men on planet Earth–or, if by some miracle they do exist, they are so difficult to find that it’s not worth the bother. This is the crux of the argument that Shari’a law should be changed to allow Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men, and perhaps the reason even liberal Muslim groups can be defensive and traditionalist when it comes to this point. It is an implicit condemnation of Muslim men everywhere: in the eyes of women, they do not measure up in any way that counts.

Nomani’s complaints about her Muslim ex-husband are indeed cringeworthy: he is cold, withdrawn, childish, and sexually worse than useless. But this litany of failings is not limited to Muslim men–not by a long shot. The story of a passionate woman in a stale marriage is as old as Helen of Troy. The theme is so perennial that without the specter of Islam to dress it up, it’s almost boring. This is a case of cultural amnesia: as soon as a Muslim man enters the picture, women everywhere forget about Thelma and Louise,The Good Girl and The Divorcee, and pretend that sullen oafish husbands are an Islamic phenomenon. If this was really true, poor Shakespeare–along with hundreds of thousands of modern divorce lawyers–would have been out of a career.

Out-marriage is an issue religious groups have been wrestling with for some time. Of course men and women fall in love. Of course it’s not always convenient to their respective cultural and spiritual norms. Out-marriage is of such concern in the Jewish community that its leaders have gone to extraordinary lengths to encourage romantic relationships between young Jews. If they are successful, it is because they are not up against the same barrier: Jewish men are not perceived (by Jewish women or anyone else) as inherently threatening and perverse. In western culture, Muslim men start the marriage process with a handicap–because of the way they are portrayed and the example that is made of them, even Muslim women have begun, consciously or unconsciously, to view them with suspicion.

This puts those of us in healthy Muslim marriages to good Muslim men in a difficult position. On one hand, there is an onus on us to provide a counterexample, and inject a little hope into the grim picture of Islamic marriage. On the other hand, people in happy marriages are usually (and for good reason) unwilling to write about the intimate details of their sexual and domestic lives in magazines. So I will close with the conclusion I’ve come to after years of listening to girlfriends Muslim and non complain about men: the reason Asra Nomani discovered a dirth of eligible Muslim men is the same reason Carrie Bradshaw discovered a dirth of eligible Manhattanite men. The good ones go first, and they go fast. The battle of the sexes–love gained and lost, marriages failed and personalities mistaken–was raging long before the demonization of Muslim men became fashionable. Choosing a spouse with religion in mind is not always a mistake, especially if your heritage and your faith are important parts of who you are. The trick is, as always, to recognize a good thing when you see it–and never mistake the bad for something more.

G. Willow Wilson is author of the Eisner Award-nominated comic book series AIR. Her memoir The Butterfly Mosque is forthcoming from Grove Press.

 

Islamophobia: Violence in Britain, Vandalism in Chicago

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2010 by loonwatch
Art Exhibit Defaced

A mosque in Britain was the subject of an attack dubbed as “racist” by a local newspaper and in a glaring case of irony an art exhibit in Chicago that was about hate attacks on Muslims after 9/11 was the subject of racist vandalism.

Racist Attack on Islamic Centre in Renfrew (via. Islamophbia-Watch)

A frightening attack by a gang of hooded thugs on an Islamic centre was last night being treated by police as racist.

The group of neds in their late teens and early 20s who hurled eggs into the building while prayers were being held in the afternoon were yesterday branded despicable by one shocked worshipper.

At first those gathered at the centre were astonished at what was happening and didn’t have a clue what had been thrown. All that was heard were shouts of abuse and the loud noise of a main door banging shut. The alarming incident happened on Friday, May 7, at the Dar-Ul-Quran Islamic Centre in Paisley Road, Renfrew.

One man, who spoke to the Paisley Daily Express, said: “At the time it was scary. The attackers were very abusive and shouting at the tops of their voices. Then something was hurled into the building and we didn’t know what it was at first. This has never happened here before and we’re all disappointed. It was a despicable act.”

Police said there was a “racist incident” around 2.15pm while prayers were being held. There were a few worshippers inside when a main door of the centre suddenly opened and eggs were thrown inside.

Paisley Daily Express, 12 May 2010

Muslim art Exhibit Defaced

CHICAGO – A Muslim exhibit at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has been vandalized.

The work addresses racial profiling and violence directed at Muslim people after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The art work by graduate student, Anida Yoeu Ali, is just one part of a series of work at the school entitled, “1700% Project.” That series displays responses to hate crimes in the form of artistic expression.

Last Week, Ali was on National Public Radio’s “Worldview” program discussing the project as part of a discussion on Islamic reform and identity.

On Tuesday, Ali returned to the exhibit only to find it damaged and defaced with large caricatures and the words “Kill All Arabs.” The rest of the gallery was untouched.

Officers may have trouble tracking down potential suspects since the gallery does not have security cameras.

Chicago police say the defacement happened sometime between last Thursday and Tuesday. Ali believes the defacement happened Monday or early Tuesday because someone she knows told her the exhibit was “intact” on Monday. Ali says she will continue to present the artwork as-is.

Copyright © 2010, WGN-TV, Chicago

 

Republican campaign ad: Darker-skinned people look like terrorists

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2010 by loonwatch

racist-political-ad

Dan Fanelli is a Republican loon who is campaigning for the GOP congressional primary.  He supports racial profiling (which by the way has been scientifically proven to be ineffective), and is now running a campaign ad that is unbelievably racist.

In the ad, Fanelli stands between a middle-aged white man (perhaps the whitest man on earth) and a young darker-skinned man with a menacing growl.  “Does this look like a terrorist?” he asks, gesturing towards the white man.  Then, he points to the darker-skinned fellow, asking “Or this?”

Fanelli supports racial profiling at airports, arguing on Fox’s brain numbing and dumbing show Red Eye that “[racial] profiling is good.”  In that interview, Fanelli turns to his white host and says that a person who “looks like you or I” should not receive extra screening.

Here’s the racist ad in question:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umTITWQuXwY 300 250]

After he was ambushed by critics, Fanelli quickly began to backpedal and claimed that his ad’s message was not at all that darker skinned people are more likely to be terrorists.  He then claimed that his message was only that people from countries like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Syria “require a higher level of security.”

This is an unconvincing argument, since his ad explicitly conveyed the idea that people should be screened based on their outward appearances, not nationality. This was made crystal clear by the juxtaposition of the white man with the Arab guy.  Had he put a third generation Arab-American on one side and an Arab foreigner on the other, the ad would have made no sense.  Clearly, Fanelli was calling for us to discriminate based on ethnic facial features and skin tone.

Many third generation Arab-Americans look exactly like Arab foreigners who have never been to the U.S.  How would Fanelli’s question of “does this look like a terrorist, or this?” apply here?  Let’s be real: Fanelli’s ad was calling to discriminate based on ethnic appearance, not nationality or place of birth.

In his “defense,” however, Fanelli might not be racist towards all dark-skinned people, only Arabs.  This is indicated by Fanelli later clarifying that some Arabs are “light-skinned.”  So Fanelli might not be racist against blacks, but he certainly is racist against Arabs and any other “Moozlem-looking” races.  Funny how we Americans are so much more forgiving of racism against Arabs.

If such policies were instituted against anyone else other than Muslims, there would be public outrage.  What if the Iranians instituted a policy of racial profiling, whereby they would give Jews extra screening because they are more likely to be Mossad agents?  (Who knows, they might actually do that.)

What if police officers in Arizona were instructed to stop Hispanic-looking people to screen for illegal immigrants?  (Oh wait…damn it, what is this country turning into?)

Or what if police officers in American suburbia were instructed to stop blacks, because c’mon let’s put political correctness aside for a second and ask “does this look like a criminal, or this?”  Wouldn’t a young black man look more like a criminal than a good-looking white man?

Sorry, Mr. Fanelli, but this is the United States of America.  We don’t believe in judging people based on their outward appearances.  We believe all people are created equal, no matter what their race, religion, or creed is.  If you don’t like that, then leave.  You’re un-American.

In any case, the Arab actor in the video (anyone know who this pathetic “race traitor” is?) only looks like a terrorist (or an Ultimate Fighter) because of the way he is scowling.  Here’s a hint: if someone gives the evil bad guy facial expression like that, you might want to give him extra screening (or laxatives for his constipation) regardless of his race.

But seriously, if you saw that Arab guy on the street and thought to yourself “he looks like a terrorist,” then congratulations, you’re a 100% certified racist.

On a lighter and somewhat amusing note, Fanelli says:

Let’s face it, if the good looking rich guy without much hair was flying airplanes into the twin towers, I’d have no problem being pulled out of line at the airport.

Does he really think that he looks like a “good looking rich guy?”  And since when do “good looking” guys have “[not] much hair?”  Is he under the impression that chicks dig his shiny bald head?

Fanelli’s comment is almost identical to that made by Kathleen Parker, who said:

If a 5-foot-6-inch, 115-pound middle-aged woman of Northern European extraction with shoulder-length, tastefully highlighted hair and dark-brown eyes who speaks English with a slight Southern accent recently had hijacked an airplane and killed thousands of people, I’d gladly subject myself to extra scrutiny.

There is most definitely a racial supremacist undertone here, implying that white people are better looking.  The bottom line is: don’t screen people who look like us, but screen those people.  Real Americans are white-skinned and look like us: tall, blond hair, and blue eyes.  (For the record, the Arab actor in the video–race traitor though he is–is far better looking than Fanelli or the middle-aged zombie.)

Fanelli does not look like a terrorist…just a douchebag.

 

Muslim American community finds Arizona law “appalling”; LoonWatch agrees

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by loonwatch
The fight against illegals...The fight against illegals…

An op-ed in The Washington Post reads:

Arizona’s draconian new immigration law is an abomination — racist, arbitrary, oppressive, mean-spirited, unjust.  About the only hopeful thing that can be said is that the legislation, which Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed Friday, goes so outrageously far that it may well be unconstitutional.

Brewer, who caved to xenophobic pressures that previous governors had the backbone to resist, should be ashamed of herself. The law requires police to question anyone they “reasonably suspect” of being an undocumented immigrant — a mandate for racial profiling on a massive scale. Legal immigrants will be required to carry papers proving that they have a right to be in the United States. Those without documentation can be charged with the crime of trespassing and jailed for up to six months…

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon — who wrote an op-ed in The Post calling proponents of the law “bitter, small-minded and full of hate” — hopes to file a lawsuit against the state…

How are police supposed to decide whom they “reasonably suspect” of being in the country illegally? Since the great majority of undocumented immigrants in Arizona are from Mexico, aggressive enforcement of the law would seem to require demanding identification from anybody who looks kind of Mexican. Or maybe just hassling those who look kind of Mexican and also kind of poor. Or maybe anyone who dares to visit the Mexican consulate.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued the following statement on behalf of Muslim Americans:

CAIR-AZ Condemns Signing of Anti-Immigrant Bill

(PHOENIX, AZ, 4/28/2010) — The Arizona chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) today expressed disappointment at the signing into law of Senate Bill 1070. CAIR-AZ and other civil liberties groups say the law legitimizes suspicion based on appearance and will result in racial profiling and discrimination.

“It’s natural for the Muslim community to find this new law appalling” says CAIR-AZ Chairman Anas Hlayhel. “The Quran instructs Muslims to stand up against injustice and racism, which this bill seems to advocate. No matter what good this bill claims to bring, we see that its harm will outweigh its good. We see it as a desperate attempt to legitimize racial profiling in order to hide the failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform. It is a reminder of recent attempts to legitimize racial profiling at airports.”

Hlayhel said the new law is a major setback to civil rights accomplishments in America.

LoonWatch agrees.  By the passage of this discriminatory law, police are obligated to stop anyone whom they “reasonably suspect” of being an illegal immigrant.  Realistically, this means stopping anyone with brown skin, and Hispanics in particular.  The good people of Arizona have succumbed to the forces of intolerance, hatred, and xenophobia.  This law is quite simply un-American, and those who backed it don’t seem to believe in the ideals of this country.

Right-wingers in general and the anti-Islam camp in specific have pushed hard to legitimize racial profiling at airports, calling for all Arabs or Muslims to receive extra screening.  This campaign has met with considerable success, with very little uproar from the public.  Justifying racial profiling in one context legitimizes it in another; a bad precedent opens up pandora’s box.  Now we find the discussion moved from Arabs/Muslims to Hispanics, and who’s to say it will stop there?  Could police officers eventually be granted the right to randomly pull over black Americans driving through white neighborhoods?  Where do we stop?  If we tolerate discrimination against Arabs/Muslims and Hispanics, then it opens the door to discrimination against everyone that does not look exactly like the majoritorian group.

The right-wing fear factory has created this imaginary boogie man of so-called “stealth jihad”, claiming that “the other” is seconds away from overthrowing democratic rule and enacting a brutal interpretation of Sharia in North America and Europe.  Meanwhile, these right-wing fear-mongers are the ones hacking away at the roots of our democracy, pushing their hate-filled agenda in the shroud of rationalized legislation, justifying racial profiling, warrantless wiretapping, torture, the suspension of habeas corpus, secret prisons, targeted assassinations of citizens, and the pursuit of imperial conquest abroad.

Since the creation of our great nation-state, there has been an element in us that has said “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal,” and paradoxically another element that has called for some people to be considered only three-fifths human.  Throughout U.S. history, the country has wrestled between these two sides: the tolerance inherent in our nation’s ethos on the one hand, and the wretched flame of intolerance on the other.  It’s time for Americans of conscience everywhere to stand in solidarity for the ideal of tolerance, and against this repugnant law.  This nation was founded and built by immigrants (illegal ones at that).  While sensible immigration reform is something desirable, we cannot allow xenophobia to snuff out the country’s legacy of multiculturalism.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breath free…

 

Ed Koch Believes there are “Hundreds of Millions” of Muslim Terrorists

Posted in Loon Media, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on January 12, 2010 by loonwatch
Ed KochEd Koch

You might remember Ed Koch as the mayor of New York or as the judge on People’s Court but now he seems to be a not so wise pundit on Fox News.

‘Hundreds of Millions’ of Muslims are Terrorists

Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York City, told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Thursday that “hundreds of millions” of Muslims are terrorists.

Taking up the now-standard conservative political talking point, in the wake of the Christmas Day bombing attempt, that political correctness prevents the US from identifying Muslim terrorists as such, Koch said:

We’re afraid of calling them Muslim, Islamist terrorists. We’ll call them anything but. Because we don’t want to alienate Muslim countries. That’s ridiculous. Of course the vast majority of Muslims — there are a billion, four hundred million — are not terrorists, but there are hundreds of millions who are. They want to kill every Christian, every Jew, every Hindu who won’t convert. And we ought to put it on the table.

Host Neil Cavuto did not attempt to correct or even question Koch’s claim.

Joshua Holland at AlertNet gives Koch “the benefit of the doubt” and assumes Koch meant to say “hundreds of thousands” of Muslim terrorists. Even so, Holland argues, that suggests Muslim terrorists aren’t doing their job very well.

“Given that there were a total of around 9,000 fatalities worldwide resulting from Islamic terrorism in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available), those hundreds of thousands must have been pretty damn incompetent,” he quips.

Koch was a Democratic member of Congress in the 1960s and 1970s, and was the Democratic mayor of New York for much of the 1980s. But in recent years he has taken to endorsing Republican candidates, including endorsing George W. Bush for president in 2004, although he endorsed Barack Obama in the general election in 2008. In his interview with Cavuto, Koch said he would fire National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter over the Christmas Day bomb attempt.

The following video was broadcast on Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, January 7, 2010, and uploaded to YouTube by user therightscoop.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ_A_nVv6Ms&feature=player_embedded 350 300]

 

Stephen Colbert: TSA Should Give all Young Muslims Involuntary Colonoscopy

Posted in Loon TV with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2010 by loonwatch
Stephen ColbertStephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert says all young Muslims should be given a colonoscopy.

David Edwards and John Byrne
Raw Story
Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In a desultory rant Tuesday night, Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert jabbed conservatives who are promoting racial profiling and more radical techniques after the failed Christmas bomb plot against a commercial jetliner.

“Every time a young Muslim man arrives at the airport, the TSA should respectfully take him aside and give him an involuntary colonoscopy,” Colbert quipped. “This cannot fail. Everyone knows that terrorists are all young, poor, disenfranchised Arab Muslims. Well, except the Christmas bomber, who is a middle-class well-educated Nigerian. Which, frankly, I don’t think is fair.

“We elected a black guy. What more do Nigerians want? I mean, ever since we elected JFK, the Irish haven’t terrorized us… So i guess we have to profile anyone who looks like a Nigerian too. Basically, all black people.

“And, I’m not saying all black people look alike,” Colbert continued. “I’m saying I can’t tell them apart. I mean, which of these guys is Kenyan? Of course, there was the dirty bomber Jose Padilla, so we’ll have to go after Hispanics too. Then there’s shoe bomber Richard Reid. God only knows what he is. Belgian? Patchouli? To be safe, let’s profile anyone named ‘Reid.’”

“Ben Franklin did say, ‘Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither,’” Colbert added wryly. “Then again, Franklin said a lot of things.”

This video is from Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, broadcast Jan. 5, 2010

Thomas McInerney: Retired US General wants Muslim men Strip Searched

Posted in Loon TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2010 by loonwatch

oreillyrussians

Thomas McInerney, a retired US Lieutenant was on Fox News advocating that Muslim men between the ages of 18-28 be strip searched. The Fox host Julia Banderas surprisingly takes him on, which leads the the lieutenant to contradict himself in the worst way.

He goes from saying that “we should use profiling, and I mean we have to be very serious and harsh about the profiling, if you are an 18-28 year old Muslim man then you should be strip searched” to saying “I don’t want to racial profile, I want to profile on that group that we have enough evidence, from 9/11 and other cases, Moussoui, etc. that we know what we’re looking at.” He doesn’t make any sense, but that isn’t anything new for Fox pundits.

Retired US general wants Muslim men strip searched at airports

Retired Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney wants to get young Muslim men naked in the worst way.

Awkward as that sentence sounds, it is an accurate description of the former US Air Force general’s comments during a recent Fox News broadcast.

“We’ve got to go to more than just the normal process that they’re talking about now,” he opined on Saturday. “We have got to go to very, very strict screening and we’ve got to use profiling. And I mean, be very, very serious about the profiling. If you are an 18-28-year-old Muslim man, then you should be strip searched. If we don’t do that, there’s a very high probability that we’re gonna lose an airliner.”

McInerney said that “in the next 30-100 days,” there is “very high probability a US airliner will come down.”

When the Fox host blandly objected that racial profiling would not go over in the United States, he replied, “I agree, that’s the problem.”

The general’s comment comes one day before that the Transportation Security Administration announced new, “enhanced screening” tactics at U.S. airports, with a renewed focus on foreign travelers.

All passengers flying into the United States from abroad will be subject to random screening or so-called “threat-based” screens, the TSA said Sunday.

It further mandated that “every individual flying into the US from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening” that includes a thorough inspection of luggage and pat-down searches.

“If you lose 300 Americans, and then people are gonna say ‘Why didn’t we do this?’” the general insisted.

McInerney, who has been a Fox News military analyst for years, was Director of the Defense Performance Review during the Clinton administration and reported directly to the Secretary of Defense. He is currently chairman of the Iran Policy Committee’s advisory council and co-author ofthe book “Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror”.

In his book, the general advocates a scenario of nearly endless war, urging the conditional invasions of Syria, North Korea and Saudi Arabia. He also argues that deceased Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein hid his weapons of mass destruction in Syria; a primary reason he calls for their destruction.

“The authors’ ambitious schedule of ultimatums and conquests leads them to focus almost exclusively on the U.S. military, for which they recommend the Rumsfeld doctrine of light, mobile forces, supplemented by additional weapons spending,” reads a Publishers Weekly review of “Endgame”. “Homeland security gets scant attention beyond vague proposals for a Terrorist Security Department and Special Terrorist Courts involving substantial infringements on due process.”

“Broad-based ethnic profiling creates in turn panic and the false sense of security that airlines are actually preventing terrorist attacks,” wrote Earl Ofari Hutchinson in a commentary for New Media America. “It also causes law enforcement resources to be squandered chasing the wrong targets. Worse, it’s a witch hunt against a group based solely on their religion and ethnicity. This fuels even greater racial division, fear and hysteria.”

To her credit, Fox News host Julie Banderas pushed back against the former general, insisting that racial and religious profiling at airports is “not going to go over — not in this country, anyway.”

“The sound of the latex glove snapping shut against a hairy wrist — that’s the sound of Freedom itself, ringing out in tile-walled rooms with the abrupt harshness of a fluorescent light and the unforgiving tightness of arm restraints,” mocked the Inside-Out the Beltway blog. “God Bless America.”

This video was broadcast by Fox News on Jan. 2, 2009, as snipped by Mediaite.

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

 

Is Flying While Brown the New Driving While Black?

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by loonwatch

southwest_airlines1
The paranoid calls to profile Muslims on airplanes have become louder in recent days.  Here’s a story from 2008 that ought to make us think twice about such an un-American response (hat tip:KevinMD.com):

Doctor Flying Southwest Tries To Go To Bathroom, Ends Up In Jail

By Chris Walters on September 24, 2008

65-year-old urologist, born in India but living in the United States for 38 years now, was flying from his home in Missouri to a medical convention in Las Vegas on June 26th, 2008. Did you notice that “born in India” detail? Apparently his attempts to go to the bathroom angered and frightened a flight attendant, who wouldn’t tell Dr. Sivaprasad Madduri why he couldn’t use the lavatory (the pilot was using it) and who wouldn’t listen to Dr. Madduri’s explanation that he was taking a medicine that acts as a diuretic. When the plane landed he was arrested, spent the night in jail, and was told the next day to plead guilty and pay $2500 if he wanted a quick resolution.

Southwest has since told Dr. Madduri, “We don’t want this experience to affect your feelings about flying with us in the future,” and they’ve offered him a $100 voucher. It turns out the “apology” was meant for the other passengers, and was in fact about Dr. Madduri.

From Rediff:

Ironically, even before he filed his complaint with the Southwest Airlines officials, he got a letter from Frederick Taylor Jr, senior manager at the airline’s customer service communications, offering a $100 voucher for a future flight.

“Sometimes, an explanation for the reason why things happen is not always possible, and the bizarre behaviour of the individual during your June 26 flight to Las Vegas supports this point,” Taylor said in a letter accompanying the voucher. “While I am unable to explain the circumstances surrounding the disruption, I think it is important to offer my heartfelt apologies for any concerns you may have had as a result of this event”.

“Naturally, we don’t want this experience to affect your feelings about flying with us in the future, or for it to be your last recollection of traveling with our company. In fact we would consider it a privilege if you gave us another opportunity to provide you with better memories.”

Here’s Dr. Madduri’s story in his own words:

[I am] a physician from India who immigrated to the United States 38 years ago and [has] been in private practice in South East Missouri for more than a quarter century.

On June 26, 2008, I traveled from St Louis to Las Vegas to attend AAPI annual convention by Southwest flight 1226. Two hours into the flight, I tried to go to the bathroom ( I take a blood pressure medicine with diuretic that makes one ‘go’ more often). As I was sitting in row six, I walked to the front lavatory. The flight attendant, named Lora Lee Minton, abruptly stopped me and essentially shouted at me, “Go back! This bath room is occupied, and you cannot stand here.”

Shocked and dumbfounded at this unfriendly behavior, I went back and sat in my seat. Two minutes later, I saw the lavatory door opening and I got up and walked towards the bath room again. The same flight attendant (Lora Lee Minton) screamed at me, “I told you not to go to that bathroom,” and started pushing me into my seat. I was totally confused at this erratic behavior, and told her that I had been taking medicine and I had to go to the toilet. I even tried to walk past Ms.Minton as I was very uncomfortable.

“I told you not to go,” she pushed me into my seat! I was lost. I flew many times but had never experienced a rude and unfriendly behavior like this. Confused and not knowing what to do, I went back and sat in my seat. I saw the pilot came out of the lavatory, walked into the cockpit and closed the door behind him. Later I could use the bathroom.

The sequence of events that followed were more frightening and beyond the scope of any one’s imagination. As the plane landed in Las Vegas , I was escorted by two police officers and was handed over to the FBI. The FBI interrogated me at length and for the first time, I was told that the flight attendant, Ms.Lora Lee Minton, reported that I was causing ‘disturbance’ during the flight. I was also told that when the pilot is out of the cockpit, no one is supposed get up from their seat, till the pilot goes back to his seat. This apparently is a federal law being enforced since 9/11 and no one ever told me, nor was it announced during the flight.

That night I was taken through federal centers for further investigation. I was hand-cuffed, finger printed and was ‘processed’ as a common criminal. I was told repeatedly that my background was checked and I had no criminal record. Even after checking my back ground and even after confirming it by calling my family members (Our two children that live in St Louis and Houston, Texas ) and my professional partner (urologist from Poplar Bluff, Missouri ), I still had to go through the harassment. I was dragged through Federal court buildings that night with hand and ankle cuffs, left in cells for hours before I was interrogated and was threatened repeatedly with abusive language: ‘Shut up,’ ‘I am going to kick your ass,’ to name a few. Finally I was taken to a federal detention center in Las Vegas and was ushered into a large jail cell! I spent the night in jail with 43 prisoners – most of them drug dealers and picked up at street fights!

The next day I went through processing in a federal court building and presented in front of a Federal Judge. The public defender told me that my ‘case’ was decided and I would be released if I pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $2,500. He also told me that I could refuse to plead guilty, contest the judgment and even could win, but could be taking a long time, cost more and might result in multiple trips to Las Vegas.

Exhausted, depressed and completely deflated, I agreed to what ever the public defender suggested and got out after 24 hours of ‘living hell’.

I endured the most horrifying and traumatic 24-hours of my life for a crime I sincerely believe I did not commit. A simple statement by the flight attendant (Lora Lee Minton) in normal tone of voice that I was not supposed to wait in front of the toilet when it was occupied by the pilot, would have saved the ghastly ordeal.

I was told repeatedly by the prison guards, some of the FBI officials (not all of them were rude), the prison inmates who heard my story that the reason I was targeted was because of my skin color (brown) and ethnic background (South Asian, Indian).

When I returned home, I did not feel like lying flat and take the abuse, more so the incident involved not only me but an entire race and ethnic group. I sent my story to local, state and national news papers including all the major Indian news publications. The response was overwhelming: the news papers were very receptive; I received numerous e-mails, letters, phone-calls, sympathy and supportive cards; every one wanted me to ‘fight-it-out’ and ‘not to keep quite and do nothing.’

I did send my story to ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of Missouri and Nevada , yet I haven’t heard from them yet, though I was told that my experience had merit. I contacted attorneys locally as well as in St Louis and was told that they were looking for proper attorneys that specialize in civil liberties cases; I was told by some that I should not have pleaded guilty and should find eye-witnesses that would testify in my favor.

During 30 years of my stay in America , I never felt so threatened nor my rights so violated as I did that fateful night. ‘You are not guilty until proven otherwise’, the anthem we are made to believe all the time was turned out to be not true; I was guilty until prove my self innocent. I was treated like a guilty person and was never given a chance even to tell my side of the story. Even after the incidence, I am finding it difficult to prove my innocence. I want Southwest Air Lines to realize their mistake and drop charges against me. I did contact Southwest airlines and was informed that they were standing by their stewardess and the issue had no racial profile or bias.

 

TYT Nation: Extreme Right Wing’s Un-American Reaction to Ft. Hood Shooting

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2009 by loonwatch

TYT Nation: Extreme Right-Wingers Un-American

The Young Turks
The Young Turks

Many of us here at LoonWatch.com are fans of The Young Turks, so we decided to post some of their videos on the Ft. Hood Shooting along with some commentary: Continue reading