Here it is without the filter; Muslims in the West commenting on the Osama bin laden execution
Here it is without the filter; Muslims in the West commenting on the Osama bin laden execution
In an interview with the BBC, US congressman from Minnesota, Keith Ellison said ‘those spearheading the effort against the Park51 project were not adequately represented as families of 9/11 victims rejecting the proposal on emotional ground, and were rather anti-Obama, xenophobic types who wanted to suppress Islam throughout the country.’
The real driver of it are people who openly proclaim that Barack Obama is not a citizen. The real organizers of this thing are people who are just proponents of religious bigotry. Nothing more, nothing less.
Around the country, this thing is emblematic of a larger issue… There have been anti-mosque efforts in Kentucky, one gentleman who wants to burn a Qur’an in Florida, there have been efforts in Wisconsin and in the Chicago area and others.
It’s not difficult to know who these proponents of religious bigotry are; and Ellison should be the keenest among us in knowing who they are for they launched personal attacks against him. Indeed they are people who openly oppose every Muslim/Islamic attempt at engagement in American public life using the tactic of linking American Muslims to any and every terrorist incident that has taken place on the world’s stage. Their rhetoric is easy to spot, ‘not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims’, or this time worn phrase of ‘radical Islam’ and equating even the most passive of Muslims, such as Faisal Abdur Raouf as a follower of “radical Islam”. So let’s spotlight some of these useful idiots and hang their names and photos on America’s wall of racist shame, who have plagued our history.
But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.
It should be apparent to all that Peretz is in the throes of Alzheimer’s or has succumbed to it completely. He is supposed to be one of the more intelligent among American voices having taught at Harvard University, with scores of honorary degrees, but that just goes to underscore the difference between book sense and common sense is sometimes as stark as night and day. He is somewhat well connected however, among Democrats, which might be the reason why both Harry Reid and Howard Dean have taken more subdued positions than Peretz’s but with the same outcome, the demonization or marginalization of American citizens. Oh, and I neglected to mention how Peretz, a Jew, making statements that sound so like those made against his fellow coreligionists over the centuries now using the same diatribe is the height of chutzpah/hypocrisy. Peretz is a self-admitted racist however so having his name on the racist wall of shame is a no brainer, in my opinion. And we think we don’t have a racial problem in this country or that it was solved with the election of Obama? Think again America!
Perhaps it’s the paternalistic attitude of the loathsome New York Times, which presented itself to the American Muslim community as the guardian of their interests if they, American Muslims, would only express their angst about the Islamophobia sweeping America. One thing American Muslims don’t need is acceptance…..as legal citizens, and a majority of American Muslims are born and raised in this country, they are as American as apple pie and entitled to the full protection of the law, even when those who administer the law are reluctant to give it to them. In that case they must exert themselves using every available means to insure they are given what is just as much theirs as any other citizen, regardless of their faith or ethnicity. What American Muslims will have to do is man up like every other community that has had to deal with America’s on going race problem, realizing it will have ups and downs, highs and lows, but with patience and struggle it will prevail. Now is the time to get busy and stop whining.
The author of the piece excerpted below asks this and three other pertinent questions related to the debate taking place in America regarding freedom of religion especially as it applies to Muslim Americans. The answer to this first question is conditional, based on what is described below
I got home from vacation late on Friday night and was soon asked to join in the fracas around the planned Cordoba House two blocks from Ground Zero. In less than 36 hours after getting back to Washington, I was walking into the Fox News studio on Sunday morning. Welcome home.They asked about a letter that I had just signed supporting religious freedom for Muslims. I said we should ask three simple questions:
- Should we as Americans be able to worship and pray when and where we choose? Haven’t we fought for that?
- Are American Muslims … Americans?
- And, for those of us who are Christians (and I am an Evangelical Christian), are we obeying the commands of Jesus to love our neighbors? Aren’t Muslims our neighbors? So what might Jesus say to this controversy?
There was a brief silence from the Fox and Friends anchors. OK, they said, but what about “sensitivity” to the families that lost loved ones in 9/11? Well, I said, 59 Muslims also died on 9/11 because of a vile, cowardly, and criminal attack by al Qaeda. Does it honor them, or their families, by somehow connecting all American Muslims to that horrible attack?
Well, thank you for joining us today Reverend, they said. Thank you, I said, but how we handle this is very important–to what it means to be Americans or what it means to be Christians.
I was ready to talk about my friends Imam Feisal Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, who are among the leaders of the vision to build a new community center committed to peace, interfaith dialogue, reconciliation, and bridge-building. I know them both and can testify to their long record on denouncing terrorism in the name of their religion and their consistent work for peace. Until very recently, Daisy says her main concern about the new interfaith center was whether there would be enough stroller space. Daisy called me Sunday to describe how their lives have been turned upside down. If Ground Zero is the “gaping wound” my Fox and Friends anchors described, what could be more helpful than a religious center dedicated to healing?
That morning, as I watched continued coverage, I was disappointed to hear the low level that discourse has dropped to. The politicians who spoke to it sounded more like the people leaving nasty and false comments on YouTube videos than anyone deserving of public office. Well, it is the election season again.
This guilt-by-association “sensitivity” argument is very dangerous stuff. Millions of American Muslims are not responsible for the heinous crime of 9/11. And an imam’s desire to heal and build bridges should be a welcome thing. Exactly how far away from what places should Muslims be able to pray in America? Is there a measurement requirement that is emerging from all the other places in the country now where mosques are also being opposed?
Fundamentalism doesn’t only exist in Islam. The things someone like Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell have said certainly are an embarrassment to other Christians — remember Robertson’s assertion that 9/11 was the judgment of God on America because of liberalism and feminism. So how about preventing fundamentalist churches that like Robertson from worshiping within 3 blocks of Ground Zero because of “sensitivity”?
How we handle this one will affect our future as a nation. Do we believe in our principles or not? Do we believe Muslims are also Americans or not? Are we an inclusive and pluralistic nation, or not?
Perhaps FoxNews that Rev. Wallis dealt with was the network Obama was referring that is pervasive with its innuendo driven coverage of his faith? In many people’s minds, the answer to the last two questions is a resounding no!
Michael Enright, a 21-year-old college student, slashed a NYC cab driver in the face and neck because this man was Muslim. Enright is being held in a psychiatric ward. If he is mad, then the United States is also insane. Enright’s assault merely mirrors what we, as a nation, have done for nearly a decade.
The United States has responded criminally and incoherently to what happened on September 11, 2001. Lopped of our twin members, downtown, we also lost our authoritative voice. Two days after that disaster, George Bush grimly declared, “The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.” Six months later, Bush shrugged, “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.” Our current president never mentions bin Laden, yet Obama has sent many more troops into Afghanistan. We’re not leaving any time soon, that’s for sure. Congress has just approved 1.3 billion dollars to expand our military bases there. Our new mission, if Time Magazine is to be believed, is to defend Afghan women against the Taliban, whom we created in the first place, to fight the Soviets. America gets a kick out of these flip flops. We propped up Saddam Hussein, then we had him hanged. We fought Communist Vietnam, then we staged a naval exercise with that same regime, as happened just recently, riling up China. Tension feeds the military industrial complex. Wars are even better.
Responding to 9/11, America also invaded Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with that catastrophe. Since the real reasons for our two current conflicts, access to oil and natural gas, defense of the petrodollar, war profiteering, are never admitted to, many Americans have concluded that we’re simply waging war against Islam, which is, frankly, not that far off the mark considering our unequivocal support for Israel whenever it attacks Gaza, Lebanon, Syria or any other Muslim population. The U.S. has also been killing Pakistani civilians and threatening Iran. It’s a miracle many Muslims don’t hate us more.
Without Israel and oil, it’s a safe bet we wouldn’t be demonizing Muslims so relentlessly. As is, this stoked hatred is bringing out the worst in our character. On Yahoo! News, many comments on the Enright story don’t condemn but applaud his obvious crime, and also bash Islam.
Bruce, “Slay the infidel…..stone the rape victim……beat your wife……..mate with your goat…..wipe your bu tt with your bare hand…..AHHH the joys of islam!”
David, “this guy should get a medal and be aloud [sic] to blow up the mosque at the ground zero sight, its [sic] about time someone in ny stepped up and showed some american balls!!!”
Spreading like cancer across the internet, openly hateful and racist comments are especially common after stories about Muslims, blacks or Mexicans, the top three scapegoats at the moment. Obama is a lightning rod for anti-black racism, which is ironic because he does not favor blacks in any way. Like Bush, Clinton and the rest of our bank-bailing-out, paid-for politicians, Obama couldn’t care less about the little guys. Eyeing his own wallet and his future after the White House, Obama’s here to defend the moneyed interest. His blackness is merely symbolic, but that’s enough to enrage the racists.
After Michelle Obama went to Spain, Alternative Right, a webzine with contributions from several established authors, had an article titled, “Michelle’s Vacation in Whitey World.” Among the comments, one man suggested that she should have gone to a blacker destination, like “Ghana or the Maldives.”
One Sheila wrote, “I cringe every time I see a photo of the Sasquatch/Wookie as purportedly “First Lady” of American women. My spouse always comments that she reminds him of a chimp with her underbite, and I am always struck by her enormous feet and trapezius muscles. Either way I feel a sort of cognitive dissonance, such as when I view old photos and see 19th century blacks dressed in Victorian clothing. As far as her amazing European adventure, she is putting herself in white people’s faces. Her very presence is a way of announcing the new order.”
There’s no new order, lady. Obama himself is a head fake! Scratch that skin lightly, and you’ll see your beloved Dubya again. Everything is still in place, including the torture chambers. After another article in Alternative Right, a reader lamented, “After 9/11, we saw the lack of a white nation identity. There was abject surrender to Islam.” Only the most deluded can call the killing of hundreds of thousands of Muslims, and the occupation of two Islamic countries, an “abject surrender to Islam.” Although not all Americans think this way, of course, this man is hardly alone. As the world’s biggest source of terror, we’re posing as its most helpless victims.
The scapegoating of Muslims, blacks and Mexicans gives the appearance that we’re being threatened from without and below, when we’re actually being mugged from above, from the inside. It’s the entrenched who are killing us, not outsiders. Even with 9/11, too many questions remain. One must remember that Bin Laden began as a CIA asset, and two months before the attack, he was at the American hospital in Dubai, where a CIA agent visited him. On September 10, 2001, bin Laden was at the Army Hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, to receive dialysis treatment. Again, no attempt was made to arrest him. Today, we’re also not trying to arrest this man, and that’s no conspiracy theory.
This is what Newt Gingrich has said
The folks who want to build this mosque – who are really radical Islamists who want to triumphally prove that they can build a mosque right next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists – those folks don’t have any interest in reaching out to the community. They’re trying to make a case about supremacy. That’s why they won’t go anywhere else, that’s why they won’t accept any other offer.
This is the reality
“Imam Feisal has participated at the Aspen Institute in Muslim-Christian-Jewish working groups looking at ways to promote greater religious tolerance. He has consistently denounced radical Islam and terrorism, and promoted a moderate and tolerant Islam. Some of this work was done under the auspices of his own group, the Cordoba Initiative. I liked his book, and I participated in some of the meetings in 2004 or so. This is why I find it a shame that his good work is being undermined by this inflamed dispute. He is the type of leader we should be celebrating in America, not undermining.”
Isn’t it clear that the Republicans are not grounded in reality?
The author of the article below asks some of the same questions posed on the pages of Miscellany101 concerning the vitriol that appears so openly in almost all circles of American life. It’s a fair question to ask about this surge in attacks against Muslims physically, as detailed in the previous post below, as well as rhetorically as we have mentioned in countless articles on this blog. I assert these attacks point to the schizophrenic nature of America; on the one hand we call ourselves a nation of freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, but on the other hand we demonize those who exercise their free will to do just those things. Not all of us do, however which adds to the “sickness” of our Nation or more euphemistically, the duality of the country, for there are those like the interfaith groups made of Christians, Muslim and Jews who supported the right of the Cordoba House to be built near the site of the former WTC buildings destroyed in 2001 who claim such curtailment of rights and freedoms for all have no place in our democracy.
However, the article below is from an American Muslim, and it would be advantageous for you to read it carefully, for it is full of the spirit we claim is necessary in order for this country to succeed; the spirit of cooperation, freedom and tolerance. I hope we take heed
Jesus, God’s Word that He cast into Mary, the Messiah of Israel who delivered the Good News of the Millennial Kingdom and saved the faithful remnant of Israel from the treason and apostasy of the Pharisees and
scribes, the only man ever to walk the earth without sin or error, would be saddened by (what many say today).
Where in the English-speaking media do we see wholesale falsification of Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, or even Christianity? Yet that is almost all we see about Islam, incessantly, in movies, “news,” commentary, and virtually every mass-media information source from compulsory public education through old age.
It wasn’t like this when I was a child, sixty years ago. Then, we learned that “Islam” was a few dusty desert-dwellers milking camels and living in tents, and of no historical significance whatever. We certainly weren’t informed that pharmacy and medicine in Europe for a thousand years was based on Arabic writings, or that private enterprise free market capitalism was perfected in Fatimid Egypt long before our ancestors developed the European version from its Arabic roots. We didn’t know that the lost works of Aristotle were preserved in Arabic translations and restored to Europe through Muslim Spain. No one mentioned that algebra, surveying, astral navigation, refrigeration, and federalism all had Arabic origins.
But the Muslim empire persisted, in increasingly corrupted forms, for a thousand years, and then vanished into dust, as expected. And in America, when I was a child, sixty years ago, there were all of three Muslim neighborhoods in America ~ in Dearborn, Michigan, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Sacramento, California. Now there are over two thousand mosques, and over nineteen million Muslims in America, the vast majority born and raised in America, and a large plurality with no ancestral or historical heritage related to Islam.
In my lifetime, the population of Muslim America has grown at a rate not seen in the Muslim world in over ten centuries. This, despite an institutionalized demonization of Muslims hard at work since the development of mass media. And a lot of people commenting have believed the lie, even posting links to websites devoted to the demonization. It is not America’s Christians who are behind this falsification, people, and it is not without a very old motive.
A muslim “YMCA” two blocks from City Hall and two blocks from the World Trade Center? Why not? So what? Churches in downtown areas are being threatened with displacement because the cities want more tax revenue from the commercial zones of the cities. Religious organizations providing shelter for the homeless are under attack nation-wide by means of zoning regulations, building codes, and other regulatory “permit” requirements. Religion in America has been under attack ~ see “The New First Amendment” for the legal history ~ for almost a century now. Of course, it’s not politically correct to malign a religion or a religious group.
Except muslims. Hmmm.
Try this and the other three articles linked at the top of the welcome page for a little “straight” information about those people so many love to hate. America is the closest thing in the world to a Muslim state. Our country was built on the premise of religious liberty, and it’s ingrained in our culture. Some abuse it, some capitalize on it, and some of the Arab states certainly have been trying to colonize American Islam for decades ~ and failing. But the American people live in religious congregations to a greater extent than any other people, we are a religious people despite what appears in the mainstream media
And one in twenty are Muslim. They don’t come knocking at your door, they don’t tell you how to live, they don’t seek government grants to finance social service programs or building projects, and you hardly know they exist unless they live on your street. So who’s stirring up all this controversy about a community center facility available to everyone? And why is it being made a national issue as the mid-term elections draw near?
See “Guide To Events”.
Nothing makes the headlines unless there’s an agenda behind it. Whose agenda is this hate-fest brouhaha?
Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna, Archbishop of Sebaste in Jerusalem was asked the following question
Main Evangelical Christians in U.S. and western countries believe that the emergence of the state of Israel is promised by God. They support Israel financially. What is the Orthodox Church’s position on this matter?
AT: The Orthodox Church as all churches in the Holy Land refuses to give excuses from the bible for the unjust treatment of the Palestinian people.
I am very sorry to hear about some religious groups in the United States that support the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Such support cannot be justified from a Christian point of view because Christianity is against any sort of occupation and the injustice in it all forms and rationalization.
These groups need to re-read their bible, because the bible calls us to stand with the marginalized and the oppressed and not with the oppressors.
For those who use the bible to support Israel need to differentiate between God\s promise and Balfour promise (Balfour Declaration), because the occupation is the result of a promise given to the Israelis by Lord Balfour and not by God.
God is innocent from the unjust actions of the Israeli occupation of our land since ‘48 and until now.
‘Nuff said! Mainstream Christianity in America that identifies with Israel’s occupation and oppression of Palestinians is out of step with their religious principles. When you are without principle, what other behavior can one expect of you?
There are only a very few people who are acting responsibly concerning the veil worn by some Muslim women especially in European countries. Caroline Spelman, a Conservative Party member in the UK is one of them. While I don’t know much about the Conservative Party in England, if it’s anything like American Conservatives, this woman, Spelman is quite progressive in her thinking.
“I don’t, living in this country as a woman, want to be told what I can and can’t wear.“One of the things we pride ourselves on in this country is being free, and being free to choose what you wear is a part of that, so actually banning the burka is absolutely contrary I think to what this country is all about.
“I’ve been out to Afghanistan and I think I understand much better as a result of actually visiting why a lot of Muslim women want to wear the burka.
“It is part of their culture, it is part of understanding that they choose to go out in the burka and I think those that live in this country, if they choose to wear a burka, should be free to do so.
“You have to understand the actual culture and it was probably only when I went there and spent some time amongst women that I really understood that for them it’s a choice.
“For them the burka confers dignity, it’s their choice, they choose to go out dressed in a burka and I understand that it is a different culture from mine but the fact is in this country women want to be free to choose whether or not to cover their heads, whether or not to go out in the morning wearing a burka, that’s for them.
“We are a free country, we attach importance to people being free, and for a woman it is empowering to be able to choose each morning when you wake up what you wear.”
It goes without saying she’s been slammed by members of her own party, but the essence of what she’s saying, the freedom to choose shouldn’t be lost on those secular countries that say the same thing about a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion, for example, or what career she aspires to, etc.
For Muslim women living in the West who would like to wear the face veil or niqab who have any reservations or doubts about doing so comes this word from the primeval Islamic source, Saudi Arabia
if Muslim women are in a country that has banned the niqab, or full-face veil, or if they face harassment in such a place, “it is better that the Muslim woman uncovers her face.”
Numerous scholars of various Islamic schools of thought agree on this point, Qarni said.
But he, Qarni, is not the only one saying this. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, has made similar pronouncements, and there is spirited discussion on Muslim forums about this issue. Of course given the opportunity, most governments would love to define their constituents in the manner that is appealing to the majority or that would ensure government office holders remain in power…and “choice” really has nothing to do with that, it’s consensus or expediency that matters. This is the attitude of western secular countries that tout one type of choice for women that is liked by a majority of them….abortion for example, but deny another type of choice not so popular. Muslim countries don’t consider choice at all; rather it’s tradition that carries the day. In traditional Muslim countries, it is up to women themselves to make their case for their choices and most likely it will have to start from the top down. Grass root movements simply don’t exist in many traditional countries. What is most interesting to this observer is two prominent Muslim countries, most notably Syria and Egypt, have said the niqab is not allowed either in public or by woman who work in government jobs, thereby placing themselves on equal footing with their brethren governments from the West; common ground found on the backs of women’s rights or lack thereof. Sad.
The manifestations of Islam are as varied as the communities in which this religion lives, yet the Islamophobes would have you believe it is one giant monolith whose sole intent is the destruction of someone’s way of life. (read the Gingrich rant below) Here is an interesting story from China about how women have become active participants in their religious affairs and not just observers
As she leads the service, Yao stands alongside the other women, not in front of them as a male imam would. But she says her role is the same as a male imam.
“The status is the same,” Yao says confidently. “Men and women are equal here, maybe because we are a socialist country.”
China has an estimated 21 million Muslims, who have developed their own set of Islamic practices with Chinese characteristics. The biggest difference is the development of independent women’s mosques with female imams, something scholars who have researched the issue say is unique to China.
There’s more here. Amazing that a socialist country allows for the expression of religion in ways even the country of origin of Islam doesn’t, much less western secular democracies.
It has been very revealing watching members of the Right deny the responsibility of their ideology for two tragic murders that have recently occured which captured the attention of the Nation. First came the cold blooded slaughter of an abortionist, Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas followed up shortly by the brutal killing of a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC of all places.
Dr. Tiller’s death is troubling because he had been the target of anti-abortionists’ rage before and even the person charged with his murder had been known to stalk and even vandalize the clinic where Tiller worked in the days preceeding his death. Several people in the clinic have gone on record saying they knew about Scott Roeder’s attempts at disrupting the operation of the clinic and notified the proper authorities yet nothing was done to apprehend Roeder and possibly prevent Dr. Tiller’s death. Such ineptness on the park of the federal beaucracy does not mean that even more layers of government are necessary to protect the citizens but rather irresponsible civil servants need to be replaced with more diligent and efficient ones.
The death of Stephen Jones at the National Holocaust Museum at the hands of a white supremacist is a tragedy underscored by the fact this murderer had a long history, easily documented that could possibly point to such a heinious crime being committed by his hand, age notwithstanding, yet he very easily walked down a metropolitan city street with a .22 caliber rifle and shot and killed an armed federal agent. The reason why I mention again both of these crimes is because of the contortions those on the right are taking to distance their ideology from these two men who claimed to hold that ideology near and dear to them. Political pundits are taking great lengths to say that these murderes aren’t from the right at all but rather from the left of the political spectrum, despite the fact they, the perpetrators clearly identify with the Right. Punditry has managed to make actions a mark of political persuasion and not words and have told their admirers that death and killing are marks of the political left, terrorism marks of Muslims, while the opposition the Right makes to anything is noble and necessary to save America from its enemies.
This was the kind of meme advanced by Dick Cheney, more recently, and the entire Bush administration before which reduced all argument to ‘with us or against us’ sloganeering. In that small universe built by the likes of the triumphant Right there was nothing that we did to those ‘against us’ that could be considered illegal or immoral behavior. The concept of “exceptionalism” had been developed to the point that meant even the boundaries of legality didn’t apply to us or we made every attempt to legalize illegal behavior in order to legitimize our unlawful actions. It was a vicious circle we continue to traverse by denying the rational of these latest criminals for their criminal behavior.
News accounts and political pundits have taken great pains to classify these murderers as lone gunmen who are completely separate and detached from the environment which they have enveloped themselves. By doing so they hope to further distance themselves from the effect their rhetoric has on the people who listen to and subscribe to it.
In our system of law as it pertains to capital crimes unless there is a conspiracy there is no guilt by association. Conversely there is also no innocence by association. Christian leaders and conservative citizens in general have jumped at the chance to label Mr. Roeder a vigilante, a monster and things far worse.
Regrettably this tactic is only applied to members of the right who spent an entire two terms of a right leaning Republican administration to paint with the broadest of brushes entire groups of people based on the actions of individual(s). This has been a common practice of demagoguery; the politics of the many condensed into the actions of the lone individual. Cries of bombing the institutions that are symbolic of political ideology have given way to the absolute negation of ideology and their import on an individual’s actions. Murderers on the right have suddenly appeared on our political landscape and killed their perceived foes because they were inherently defective and acting completely on their own, while the last eights years of a Republican administration were spent literally trying to root out whole communities of conspirators who lurked in every corner of our country waiting for a chance to reap their collective death and destruction at the earliest possible moment on an unsuspecting public that need the invasive protection of a government bureaucracy.
Finally the absence in many cases of condemnation from the progenitors of rightist motivation for such murderous tendencies is another characteristic of the sudden revisionism going on in Obama’s America. During the Bush years people were always challenged to condemn the acts of coreligionist or fellow ideologues, today’s America sees there is no need for condemnation because such acts rarely accomplish anything and not worth the time spent doing so.
Condemning Roeder doesn’t add anything to the pro-life cause. Pro-abortionists are always quick to remind the Christians of Christ’s rule of not judging or condemning. Why add fuel to the fire by condemning Mr. Roeder, isn’t it just a matter of six of one and a half dozen of the other? Both Tiller and Roeder have One that will be their final judge and he is neither hot under the collar, biased or partial. Why don’t we leave all that to Him?
In many ways such ideas mirror the current glossing over done by the Obama administration vis-a-vis Bush Administration crimes of torture and violations of the US constitution and are entirely motivated by groups’ needs to absolve themselves of responsibilty for actions of the past or the future.
Twenty-first century France has replaced 20th century Nazi Germany as the European hotbed of political fascism, climbing on the backs of its Muslim population to claim this distinction much like German socialism climbed on the graves and skeletons of the European Jewish minority in the 30s and 40s. Nationalism and secularism are the reasons given for this decision on the part of French government to curtail the rights of a vibrant Muslim minority, making a mockery of the French motto of ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’ while inciting its citizens to turn against one another based on the clothes they wear and the religion they profess. While the tombstones of French Muslims are desecrated, French feminists, who claim advocacy of a woman’s right to choose, bemoan and denounce the candidacy of a French women who supports contraception and abortion rights because she chooses to wear a scarf on her hair! The hypocrisy of the French position, so steeped in bigotry and irrational hatred have led Ilham Moussaid to point out
It is with great sadness that I watch … my life reduced to my headscarf. It is with great sadness that I hear that my personal beliefs are a danger to others while I advocate friendship, respect, tolerance, solidarity and equality for all human beings.
It would appear based on what she says above, Moussaid is more French than any of her detractors. Touche!
This is the second part of the previous article that was on the use of the immigration courts to essentially re-try immigrants for a charge they might have been previously found innocent. For such victims of American “justice” the penalty is deportation, but what happens to Muslim American citizens? Take a look
“Malik,” an American citizen, engineer, and Houston area community leader dedicates his spare time as an organizer for a major political party and participates in roundtable discussions with senior U.S. government officials on outreach to Muslim Americans. During a return trip home from Canada, (he was) taken to a small, private room by an armed, federal border agent and repeatedly asked such questions as, “What is your religion?” and “What mosque do you attend?” as well as questions about the membership in (his) mosque. While (he was) answering question after question, (his) laptop and flash drives containing (his) tax returns and other personal information, (were) searched. Business cards with Muslim names (were) removed from sight and presumably copied.
“Munir,” a well-respected Arab-American community leader from the Detroit area driving home from Connecticut with his wife and two young daughters when he passed through Canada to re-enter the U.S. at the Port Huron land crossing 40 miles north of Detroit. He and his wife were forcefully dragged from and thrown against their car, handcuffed, and separated from each other and their children and detained for over four hours while being aggressively interrogated. They asked to call their lawyer, but the federal agent guarding them denied their request for counsel. Munir’s wife was separated from their daughters for nearly 40 minutes. Although they possessed no weapons, to their colleagues, agents described Munir as “armed and dangerous”.
Zakariya Reed, a Toledo, OH firefighter, Gulf War veteran and 20-year
veteran of the National Guard has endured extensive interrogations on over 10
occasions since 2006 after visiting family members in Ontario, Canada. CBP
agents at the Detroit Ambassador Bridge have searched him both physically
and electronically; asked questions about his political views, his financial
transactions, and his personal associations; and even challenged the basis for
his religious beliefs.
Fairuz Abdullah, a San Francisco Bay Area lawyer and civic leader was
interrogated by CBP agents upon arriving at Miami International Airport in
June 2007 after returning from vacation travel in Peru. Agents questioned Ms.
Abdullah, about her prior travels, the identities and locations of her family
members around the world, her marriage, her profession and educationalhistory. Agents at times challenged her responses and initially prevented her from re-entering the country. Federal agents denied her legal counsel, detained and moved her to immigration processing where she was aggressively approached repeatedly by federal agents, who not only addressed her in Spanish but continued to do so even after she had repeatedly identified
herself as a native English speaker.
Yasir Qadhi, a graduate student at Yale University, who has been consulted
by federal counterterrorism and State Department officials for his expertise on
extremist religious movements and ideology, has faced aggressive and
intrusive border scrutiny on several occasions since 2005 at Newark
International Airport, Houston Intercontinental Airport and the Niagara Falls
(NY) border crossing. He faces recurring questions from armed federal agents
about his religious beliefs. Agents have also copied data from his cell phone,
and interrogated him about his associates and acquaintances, the contents of
his lectures, and even the mosques in which he has prayed.
These are just some of the examples where Muslims had their right disregarded and trounced on by officials for no reason other than their religious identity. This type of racism is not uncommon in America; ours is a history replete with examples like this directed towards every group that has settled on the shores of this country. What’s sad is enlightenment, information, time and a knowledge of history have not prevented us from making the same mistakes today and that means organizations like Muslim Advocates are being formed to inform us of government’s delinquent behavior as well as help those who need help with keeping big government from its inherent brutality of individuals. As far as Muslims and Islam in the west are concerned it doesn’t take much to arouse the suspicions of a government in the throes of Islamophobia and treacherous congressmen and women. The latter group using the old misdirection play to keep people diligent about a non existing threat while stealing state secrets and government coffers blind.
Hussam Ayoush has compiled a pretty good list of those things Muslim should not do to avoid government scrutiny and even prosecution. Joining the NRA and hunting are some of those all American activities that are off limits to Muslims, unless they like living under a blaring spotlight that gets switched off when the same past times are indulged by those who get the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney elected to office.
One thing I hope these trials and tribulations do for the Muslims in America and ostensibly all of North America is make them more aware, attune and commited to combating government oppression when government strikes the next group seen as easy pickings in the high stakes game of pitting one group against the next, keeping its citizens off balance and in fear and suspicion of their neighbors while continues its blitzkreig towards power and control. I hope Muslim Americans will come away with a greater appreciation of the struggles of their fellow Americans who preceded them and will be better in joining the fight.
It’s varied, multi-racial and ethnic, and for the most part peaceful and prosperous. It seeks to live with its neighbors and contribute to the well being of its co-religionists and the society in general. It is NOT the monster portrayed in the media, out to destroy the American way of life. It is the American way of life. The story below is a case in point.
I was completing a degree in Recreation, when I met my first Muslims. It was the first year that we had been able to pre-register by computer. I pre-registered and went to Oklahoma to take care of some family business. The business took longer than expected, so I returned to school two weeks into the semester (too late to drop a course).
I wasn’t worried about catching up my missed work. I was sitting at the top of my class, in my field. Even as a student, I was winning awards, in competition with professionals.
Now, you need to understand that while I was attending college and excelling, ran my own business, and had many close friends, I was extremely shy. My transcripts actually had me listed as severely reticent. I was very slow to get to know people and rarely spoke to anyone unless was forced to, or already knew them. The classes I was taking has to do administration and city planning, plus programming for children. Children were the only people I ever felt comfortable with.
Well, back to the story. The computer printout held one enormous surprise for me. I was registered for a Theatre class…a class were I would be required to perform in front of real live people. I was horrified! I could not even ask a question in class, how was I going to get on a stage in front of people? My husband was his usual very calm and sensible self. He suggested that I talk to the teacher, explain the problem, and arrange to paint scenery or sew costumes. The teacher agreed to try and find a way to help me out. So I went to class the following Tuesday.
When I entered the classroom, I received my second shock. The class was full of ‘Arabs’ and ‘camel jockeys’. Well, I had never seen one but I had heard of them.
There was no way I was going to sit in a room full of dirty heathens! After all, you could catch some dreadful disease from those people. Everyone knew they were dirty, not to be trusted either. I shut the door and went home. (Now, there is one little thing you should know. I had on a pair of leather hot pants, a halter top, and a glass of wine in my hands…but they were the bad ones in my mind.)
When I told my husband about the Arabs in the class and that there was no way I was going back, he responded in his usual calm way. He reminded that I was always claiming that God had a reason for everything and maybe I should spend some time thinking about it before I made my final decision. He also reminded me that I had a scholars award that was paying my tuition and if I wanted to keep it, I would have to maintain my G.P.A.. Three credit hours or ‘F’ would have destroyed my chances.
For the next two days, I prayed for guidance. On Thursday I went back to the class convinced that God had put me there to save those poor ignorant heathens from the fires of hell.
I proceeded to explain to them how they would burn in the fires of hell for all eternity, if they did not accept Jesus as their personal savior. They were very polite, but did not convert. Then, I explained how Jesus loved them and had died on the cross to save them from their sins. All they had to do was accept him into their hearts. They were very polite, but still did not convert. So, I decided to read their own book to show them that Islam was a false religion and Mohammed was a false God.
One of the students gave me a copy of the Qur’an and another book about Islam, and I proceeded with my research. I was sure I would find the evidence I needed very quickly. Well, I read the Qur’an and the other book. Then I read another 15 books, Sahih Muslim and returned to the Qur’an. I was determined I would convert them! My studies continued for the next one and half years.
During that time, I started having a few problems with my husband. I was changing, just in little ways but enough to bother him. We used to go to the bar every Friday and Saturday, or to a party, and I no longer wanted to go. I was quieter and more distant. He was sure I was having an affair, so he kicked me out. I moved into an apartment with my children and continued my determined efforts to convert the Muslims to Christianity.
The, one day, there was a knock on my door. I opened the door and saw a man in a long white night gown with a red and white checkered table cloth on his head. He was accompanied by three men in pajamas. (It was the first time I had ever seen their cultural dress.) Well, I was more than a little offended by men showing up at my door in night clothes. What kind of a woman did they think I was? Had they no pride or dignity? Imagine my shock when the one wearing the table cloth said he understood I wanted to be a Muslim! I quickly informed him I did not want to be a Muslim. I was Christian. However, I did have a few questions. If he had the time….
His name was Abdul-Aziz Al-Shiek and he made the time. He was very patient and discussed every question with me. He never made me feel silly or that a question was stupid. He asked me if I believed there was only one God and I said yes. Then he asked if I believed Mohammed was His Messenger. Again I said yes. He told me that I was already a Muslim!.
I argued that I was Christian, I was just trying to understand Islam. (Inside I was thinking: I couldn’t be a Muslim! I was American and white! What would my husband say? If I am Muslim, I will have to divorce my husband. My family would die!)
We continued talking. Later, he explained that attaining knowledge and understanding of spirituality was a little like climbing a ladder. If you climb a ladder and try to skip a few rungs, there was danger of falling. The Shahadah was just the first step on the ladder. Still we had to talk some more.
Later that afternoon, May 21, 1977 at Asr’, I took Shahadah. However, there were still some things I could not accept and it was my nature to be completely truthful so i added a disclaimer. I said: “I bear witness that there is no god but God and Mohammed is His Messenger” ‘but, I will never cover my hair and if my husband takes another wife, I will castrate him.’
I heard gasps from the other men in the room, but Abdul Aziz silenced them. Later I learned that he told the brothers never to discuss those two subjects with me. He was sure I would come to the correct understanding.
The Shahadah was indeed a solid footing on the ladder to spiritual knowledge and closeness to God. but it has been a slow climb. Abdul Aziz continued to visit me and answer my questions. May Allah reward him for his patience and tolerance. He never admonished me or acted like a question was stupid or silly. He treated each question with dignity and told me that the only stupid question was the one never asked. Hmmm…my grandmother used to say that.
He explained that Allah ahd told us to seek knowledge and questions were one of the ways to accomplish that. When he explained something, it was like watching a rose open – petal by petal, until it reached its full glory. When I told him that I did not agree with something and why, he always said I was correct up to a point. The he would show me how to look deeper and from different directions to reach a fuller understanding. Alhamdulillah!
Over the years, I had many teachers. Each one special, each one different. I am thankful for each one of them and the knowledge they gave. Each teacher helped me to grow and to love Islam more. As my knowledge increased, the changes in me became more apparent. Within the first year, I was wearing hijab. I have no idea when I started. It came naturally, with increased knowledge and understanding. In time I even came to to a proponent of polygamy. I knew that if Allah had allowed it, there had to be something good in it.
“Glorify the name of thy Guardian – Lord Most High, Who hath created, and further, given order and proportion; Who hath measured, and granted guidance; and Who bringeth out the (green and lush) pasture, and doth make it (but) swarthy stubble, By degrees shall We teach thee (The Message), so thou shalt not forget, except as Allah wills: for He knoweth what is manifest and what is hidden. And We will make it easy for thee (to follow) the simple (path).” (Al-A’la 87:1-8)
When I first started to study Islam, I did not expect to find anything that I needed or wanted in my personal life. Little did I know that Islam would change my life. No human could have ever convinced me that I would finally be at peace and overflowing with love and joy because of Islam.
This book spoke of THE ONE GOD, THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE. It described the beautiful way in which He had organised the world. This wondrous Qur’an had all the answers. Allah is The Loving! Allah is the Source of Peace! Allah is the Protector! Allah is the Forgiver! Allah is the Provider! Allah is the maintainer! Allah is the Generous One! Allah is the Responsive! Allah is the Protecting Friend! Allah is the Expander!
“Have we not expanded thee thy breast? And removed from thee thy burden the which did gall thy back? And raised high the esteem (in which) thou (art held)? So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief: Verily, with every difficulty there is relief!” (Al-Ishirah, 94: 1-6)
The Qur’an addressed all the issues of existence and showed a clear path to success. It was like a map forgiving, an owner manual for life!
How Islam changed my Life
“How much more we love the light…If once we lived in Darkness.”
When I first embraced Islam, I really did not think it was going to affect my life very much. Islam did not just affect my life. It totally changed it.
Family life: My husband and I loved each other very deeply. That love for each other still exists. Still, when I started studying Islam, we started having some difficulties. He saw me changing and did not understand what was happening. Neither did I. But then, I did not even realise I was changing. He decided that the only thing that could make me change was another man. There was no way to make him understand what was changing me because I did not know.
After I realised that I was a Muslim, it did not help matters. After all…the only reason a woman changes something as fundamental as her religion is another man. He could not find evidence of this other man…but he had to exist. We ended up in a very ugly divorce. The courts determined that the unorthodox religion would be detrimental to the development of my children. So they were removed from my custody.
During the divorce, there was a time when I was told I could make a choice. I could renounce this religion and leave with my children, or renounce my children and leave with my religion. I was in shock. To me this was not a possible choice. If I renounce my Islam….I would be teaching my children how to be deceptive. For there was no way to deny what was in my heart. I could not deny Allah, not then, not ever. I prayed like I had never prayed before. After the thirty minutes was up, I knew that there was no safer place for my children to be than in the hands of Allah. If I denied him, there would be no way in the future to show my children the wonders of being with Allah. The courts were told that I would leave my children in the hands of Allah. This was not a rejection of my children!
I left the courts knowing that life without my babies would be very difficult. My heart bled, even though I knew, inside, I had done the right thing. I found solace in Ayat-Ul-Khursi.
“Allah! There is no god but He – the Living, the Self-subsisting, Supporter of all. No slumber can seize him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) Before or After or Behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and he feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is Most High, The Supreme (in Glory).” (Al-Baqarah, 2:255)
This also got me started looking at all the attributes of Allah and discovering the beauty of each one.
Child custody and divorce were not the only problems I was to face. The rest of my family was not very accepting of my choice either. Most of the family refused to have anything to do with me. My mother was of the belief that it was just a phase and I would grow out of it. My sister, the ‘mental health expert’ was sure I had simply lost my mind and should be institutionalised. My father believed I should be killed before placed myself deeper in Hell. Suddenly I found myself with no husband and no family. What would be next?
Friends: Most of my friends drifted away during that first year. I was no fun anymore. I did not want to go to parties or bars. I was not interested in finding a boyfriend. All I ever did was read that ‘stupid’ book (the Qur’an) and talk about Islam. What a bore. I still did not have enough knowledge to help them understand why Islam was so beautiful.
Employment: My job was next to go. While I had won just about every award there was in my field and was recognised as a serious trend setter and money maker, the day I put on hijab, was the end of my job. Now I was without a family, without friends and without a job.
In all this, the first light was my grandmother. She approved of my choice and joined me. What a surprise! I always knew she had alot of wisdom, but this! She died soon after that. When I stop to think about it, I almost get jealous. The day she pronounced Shahadah, all her misdeeds had been erased, while her good deeds were preserved. She died so soon after accepting Islam that I knew her ‘BOOK’ was bound to be heavy on the good side. It fills me with such joy!
As my knowledge grew and I was better able to answer questions, many things changed. But, it was the changes made in me as a person that had the greatest impact. A few years after I went public with my Islam, my mother called me and said she did not know what this ‘Islam thing’ was, but she hoped I would stay with it. She liked what it was doing for me. A couple of years after that she called again and asked what a person had to do to be a Muslim. I told her that all person had to do was know that there was only ONE God and Mohammed was His Messenger. Her response was: “Any fool knows that. But what do you have to do?” I repeated the same information and she said: “Well…OK. But let’s not tell your father just yet.”
Little did she know that he had gone through the same conversation a few weeks before that. My real father (the one who thought I should be killed) had done it almost two months earlier. Then, my sister, the mental health person, she told me that I was the most ‘liberated’ person she knew. Coming from her that was the greatest compliment I could have received.
Rather than try to tell you about how each person came to accept Islam, let me simply say that more members of my family continue to find Islam every year. I was especially happy when a dear friends, Brother Qaiser Imam, told me that my ex-husband took Shahdah. When Brother Qaiser asked him why, he said it was because he had been watching me for 16 years and he wanted his daughter to have what I had. He came and asked me to forgive him for all he had done. I had forgiven him long before that.
Now my oldest son, Whittney, has called, as I am writing this book, and announced that he also wants to become Muslim. He plans on taking the Shahadah as the ISNA Convention in a couple of weeks. For now, he is learning as much as he can. Allah is The Most Merciful.
Over the years, I have come to be known for my talks on Islam, and many listeners have chosen to be Muslim. My inner peace has continued to increase with my knowledge and confidence in the Wisdom of Allah. I know that Allah is not only my Creator but, my dearest friend. I know that Allah will always be there and will never reject me. For every step I take toward Allah, He takes 10 toward me. What a wonderful knowledge.
True, Allah has tested me, as was promised, and rewarded me far beyond what I could ever have hoped for. A few years ago, the doctors told me I had cancer and it was terminal. They explained that there was no cure, it was too far advanced, and proceeded to help prepare me for my death by explaining how the disease would progress. I had maybe one year left to live. I was concerned about my children, especially my youngest. Who would take care of him? Still I was not depressed. We must all die. I was confident that the pain I was experiencing contained Blessings.
I remembered a good friend, Kareem Al-Misawi, who died of cancer when he was still in his 20’s. Shortly before he died, he told me that Allah was truly Merciful. This man was in unbelievable anguish and radiating with Allah’s love. He said: “Allah intends that I should enter heaven with a clean book.” His death experience gave me something to think about. He taught me of Allah’s love and mercy. This was something no one else had ever really discussed. Allah’s love!
I did not take me long to start being aware of His blessings. Friends who loved me came out of nowhere. I was given the gift of making Hag. Even more importantly, I learned how very important it was for me to share the Truth of Islam with everyone. It did not matter if people, Muslim or not, agreed with me or even liked me. The only approval I needed was from Allah. The only love I needed was from Allah. Yet, I discovered more and more people, who for no apparent reason, loved me. I rejoiced, for I remembered reading that if Allah loves you, He causes others to love you. I am not worthy of all the love. That means it must be another gift from Allah. Allah is the Greatest!
There is no way to fully explain how my life changed. Alhamdulillah! I am so very glad that I am a Muslim. Islam is my life. Islam is the beat of my heart. Islam is the blood that courses through my veins. Islam is my strength. Islam is my life so wonderful and beautiful. Without Islam, I am nothing and should Allah ever turn His magnificent face from me I could not survive.
“O Allah! let my heart have light, and my sight have light, and my hearing (senses) have light, and let me have light on my right, and let me have light on my left, and let me have light above me, and have light under me, and have light in front of me, and have light behind me; and let me have light.” (Bukhari, vol. 8. pp. 221, #329)
“Oh my Lord! Forgive my sins and my ignorance and my exceeding the limits (boundaries of righteousness) in all my deeds and what you know better than I. O Allah! Forgive my mistakes, those done intentionally or out of my ignorance or (without) or with seriousness, and I confess that all such mistakes are done by me. Oh Allah! Forgive my sins of the past and of the future which I did openly or secretly. You are the One who makes the things go before, and You are the One who delays them, and You are the Omnipotent.” (Bukhari, vol. , pp. 271, #407)
A Charlotte, NC credit union wants to discriminate against its customers who wear scarves, hats, sunglasses, et.al. Of course the move is aimed against Muslim women who wear the hijab as a part of their wardrobe when out in public; all the other folks mentioned in the news report can easily doff their offending clothes item.
The credit union says it’s their way of protecting their employees from bank robbers. (I really wonder how many banks have been held up by women wearing hijab?) but Rose Hamid has it right…it’s simply the bank’s way of taking an offensive jab at Muslims in America and humiliate those Muslim women who are its patrons. No one should pay anyone else to subjugate them to second class citizen status, so, here’s a shout out to the Muslims in the Charlotte area…psssst. Take your business elsewhere.
This is from the ‘I don’t believe he just said that’ department. Abe Foxman of the ADL doesn’t think being fair is in Israel’s best interests because that would mean Israel would have to give back everything it has illegally seized over the last 40 years.
Sen. Mitchell is fair. He’s been meticulously even-handed,but the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasn’t been ‘even handed’ — it has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical U.S. support. So I’m concerned, I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach(even handedness) in the Middle East.
Huh? Say what? Fairness is not something needed in the Middle East? Then what is? Complete and total preference to the Israeli policy of expansionism and the subjugation of Palestinians in the occupied territories, which includes even their acceptance of their own genocide? The answer is that’s precisely what the Israeli’s want. In their own words
George Mitchell worries them because he was so successful in Northern Ireland, a success that was built on his persistence and his utterly impartiality … and a deal means Israeli concessions which they have never favored. The stronger the candidate for envoy or mediator — the more of an honest broker he or she would be — the more uncomfortable they are.
This is the problem I have with the idea that a state formed on the basis of religion is exclusively for members of that religion only. While I am happy the Israeli Supreme Court over turned the Central Elections Committee (CEC) government decision to ban Arab parties from the elections next month, such a ban in a democratic state should have never been instituted or even dreamed of. However, if religion is the rule of law and not justice, there’s nothing inconsistent with banning, limiting the speech of, restricting the movements of people not of the state’s religion. Yisrael Beitenu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, a member of parliament believes the very participation of Arabs in Israeli government is a threat to Israel’s existence!
The court threw away this declaration and in fact gave the Arab parties license to kill the state of Israel as a Jewish democratic state….In the next Knesset, we will pass a citizenship law that will prevent the disloyalty of some of Israel’s Arabs.
Such attitudes beg the question if participation in Israeli government is enough to make one an enemy of the state, what does their conventional wisdom say about Arabs outside the borders of the state? Naturally, they are terrorists who deserve the fate of the Gazans.
Islamophobes would have you believe such a headline as the one above would issue from the hearts and minds of Muslims, but today’s news highlights that is not the case. Phony wars bring out the worse in a society; the realization that lives are being sacrificed and lost for anything less than a noble cause sometimes brings on a certain blood lust that is difficult to satisfy. Fringe elements pop up and take center stage for their 15 minutes of fame only to be moved out by someone or something more sinister and diabolical or stupid and dangerous.
So this news about a group of Christians who are celebrating the death of an Army specialist because war casualties are divine revenge for America tolerating gays and lesbians should come as no surprise in an America consumed with death, destruction and the war on terror. It didn’t help that Army specialist that she was pregnant when she was killed, not on a distant battlefield, but rather the one on/in the homefront. Ironies are all over the place with this story. Westboro Baptist Church proclaims God Hates the US military, contrary to the claims of others that the US military is on a mission to stamp out evil, or words to that effect, uttered by the President. (One of the ironies then is that the most proselytizing Army in America’s history is viewed by some as antithetical to Christian morality?) But according to Westboro, God hates everything about America including California.
It’s no doubt this is a fringe group of Christians, but they speak what other more main stream Christians probably feel. I know I’m using the term “mainstream” loosely. Many of America’s finest Christian leaders have said things that are in close proximity to what appears on Westboro’s website. Fortunately, there are no cries from anyone calling for Christiandom to reject the obscene theology of this group of heretics, like there are whenever something is done by people calling themselves “Muslims” or done in the name of “Islam”. When such atrocities are done with an Islamic favor, no amount of denial or denouncement done by any number of Muslims is enough to satisfy the racism that paints Islam with the broad brush of the actions of just a very few. So that’s the other irony I take from this news story. Somehow, people are reasonable enough to understand Westboro is a house of cards, a church of kooks, and the best way to deal with them is to laugh at them, or ignore them, and move on as a society, not getting obsessed with them. I have had my laugh at them; take a look at their website and you will too, I hope.