An Alan West Connection? Attempted Bombing of Mosque in Dearborn

Leaders at the Islamic Center of America praised local police for their quick actions against a bomb threat.

Islamic Center of America

Looks like Alan West’s rant is getting the typical response

Man arrested with bomb outside of large mosque in Dearborn, Mich.; was busted after bragging at bar

A man allegedly armed with explosives outside of one of the country’s largest mosques in Dearborn, Michigan was arrested this past week.

Roger Stockham, due back in court on Feb. 4 for a preliminary examination, was charged with one count of making a false report or threat of terrorism and one count of possession of bombs with unlawful intent.

He is being held on a $500,000 bond, according to CAIR.

The downfall of his dangerous plan, according to the Detroit News, was bragging at a local bar that he was going to harm a mosque in the Detroit suburb. An alert bar employee followed the 63-year-old California resident outside, took down his license plate number and called police.

Religious leaders in the community lauded the police force’s quick actions in protecting the mosque.

“The increased number of bias incidents targeting American Muslim institutions must be addressed by local, state and national officials and law enforcement authorities,” Dawud Walid, the executive director of CAIR’s Michigan chapter said in a statement.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter said the accused wannabe bomber was arrested on Monday in the parking lot of Islamic Center of America.

The arrest is the latest in a rash of crimes on mosques, according to CAIR. Earlier this month, a mosque in Missouri was vandalized, the organization said.

 

Your House is on Ground Zero

Another excellent piece by Tim Wise. What Wise discusses is the fact that America has seen a lot of atrocities in our history – and whether those atrocities have been largely glossed over in a historical context, or remain a part of the national consciousness…

When those atrocities have involved the death or murder of peoples of color in America, there is no sense of sacredness.

One would hardly anticipate a rise out of the “protectors of the plastic flag” if WalMart decided to build a store at Wounded Knee or Rosewood, Florida.

So who’s “cultural significance” are we talking about here who’s “sacred ground”?

Wounded Knee Massacre

Your House Is On Ground Zero

In all the rancor over whether or not one group of Muslims should be allowed to build a cultural center and worship space near the site of the 9/11 attacks — which were committed by a separate and totally unrelated group of Muslims –there is one thing above all else that no one appears anxious to point out: namely, that for any white Christian to say “Ground Zero” is off limits to anyone is possibly the most deliciously and yet grotesquely ironic thing ever suggested.

After all, there is scarcely a square foot of land upon which we tread that is not, for someone, Ground Zero. I am sitting atop one now: a killing field for Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Creek; a graveyard in which are buried the bones — and if no longer the bones, then surely the dust — of peoples whose evisceration occurred not so long ago, and is still remembered by those who have not the luxury of forgetting.

And so the New Yorkers who believe against all evidence that their trauma is unique in the history of the world — or even their city for that matter — prattle on about the “defiling” of the former World Trade Center location. Meanwhile they overlook that their precious island was itself cajoled from indigenous peoples for a handful of worthless beads. And white men have been swindling those we viewed as inferior — be they of color, or even other white men — ever since, especially (and this is where the geographic symbolism of their protests becomes revealing) in and around Wall Street, where the actions of wealthy investors and financiers have done far more damage than Osama Bin Laden ever could. Would that we might prohibit the construction of banks anywhere in New York so as to make a point about terrorism and our unwillingness to collaborate with it.

Indeed, if those protesting the Cordoba House were the least bit interested in consistency — as opposed to being content to wallow in a type of hypocrisy both profound and typical — they would, to a person, vacate downtown Manhattan immediately. And this they would do out of respect for the lives destroyed by people such as they: black peoples forced to build Fort Amsterdam for the Dutch, which is where Battery Park is now, or the walls that gave the famous street its name, or the roads, or the very auction blocks upon which their compatriots would be sold, thereby allowing 40 percent of white New York households to possess other human beings as property by the mid-1700s.

And they would vacate midtown too, especially any with Irish ancestry, since it was their ancestral fathers who – and so as to show how badly they desired to become white – burned down a black orphanage on 5th Avenue between 43rd and 44th during the 1863 Draft Riots. But I’m guessing there is an Irish Pub within walking distance of the former orphanage, and yet no one seems particularly concerned about the slight.

Rosewood, Florida Massacre

Truth be told, that whole city is a Ground Zero, and has been for far longer than the existence of al-Qaeda, since long before those phallic monuments to architectural ingenuity and big business were constructed, and since long before there were any airplanes capable of bringing them down. It was Ground Zero for Amadou Diallo but we still allow police to operate in the vicinity of Wheeler Street in the Bronx. It was Ground Zero for Sean Bell but we haven’t banned the NYPD from around the environs of the Kalua Cabaret in Queens, where they shot he and his friends 50 times in 2006. Neither have we seen too many New Yorkers losing sleep over the inherent insensitivity towards the respective Ground Zeros for Patrick Dorismond or Timothy Stansbury Jr., both of whom were felled by police bullets, and yet which spots have hardly been made off limits to law enforcement out of respect for the dead.

That many New Yorkers in 2010, and especially white ones — since there are few residents of the South Bronx or Washington Heights who are making their way downtown for these protests — cannot feel those other pains hardly acquits their arrogance. That they cannot see how their livelihoods, their homes, their bank accounts, and the clothes on their backs have been paid for with the blood of innocent people, is theirproblem. It is not the fault of those who would build Cordoba House, and in so doing disturb the hallowed ground of what has been, most recently, a Burlington Coat Factory.

Their houses, and mine, and yours, sit atop Ground Zero. And those who died to make it so gave no permission for the construction of the homes, to say nothing of the churches that for so long were instrumental in rationalizing the slaughter. There were no building permits issued by those who died here so that we could be, as we like to say, “free.” But here we are nonetheless. And it takes some nerve to pretend, even as we sleep above the graves of those extirpated to make way for us, that 9/11 was the day everything changed. Or to believe that we have the right to tell anyone where they can and cannot live, pray or work. Or to suggest that we are the only ones who have ever died, or known terror, and that having done so we now have the right to draw a circle around us, a bubble of specialness, which can keep us warm and protected as though it were an amniotic sac inside of which we will forever be insulated from harm.

We wish to be free from the pain, which is understandable. But it is not acceptable that in seeking that freedom we should ignore the pain by which we have come this far already.

Newt’s a Bigot

Harold Ford makes an interesting point here…

Faux News and the Tea Bagged right wing in this country are killing American Troops.

They are also killing American business, destroying our ability to go after 1 billion Muslim customers worldwide.

These people are not Patriots – they are anything but…

Black Conservative Develops Cajones

Damn – Juan Williams?

Islamic Services At The Pentagon

American soldiers come in all colors, they can be from anywhere and are a cross section of the peoples from all of the varied places Americans come from…

American Muslim Soldiers at Prayers

At Pentagon 9/11 site, Muslims pray without objection

Inside the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial Chapel, a female Air Force sergeant unlaced her combat boots, set them under the pews and slipped her black veil around her hair and over her camouflaged uniform.

The men pushed back the altar for Christian services to make room for their large green prayer rugs; then they moved the podium from one side of the room to the other so that the congregation would be facing Mecca.

“Allah akhbar,” called out Ali Mohammed, a contractor who works at the Pentagon, raising his hands to his face as he chanted the call to prayer. While politicians and others across the country in an election year debate the propriety of building a Muslim center, including a mosque, two blocks from the former World Trade Center site in New York, there’s no sign of such debate at the Pentagon.

Instead, about 400 worshipers, including Muslims, attend prayer services every week in the chapel, a non-denominational facility built over the rubble left behind when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon.

Opponents of the New York mosque say it would be disrespectful of those killed on Sept. 11, 2001, to allow Muslims to pray near the World Trade Center site.

That’s never been an issue at the Pentagon, where 125 people who worked there died that day. Muslims have been praying at the Pentagon’s chapel since 2002, gathering every day at 2 p.m. around the time of the second of five prayers Muslims are supposed to offer daily. Continue reading

Would The Real Americans Please Stand Up!

Is it just me, or some other folks out there getting tired of the ignoramuses and bigots stealing all of the oxygen out of the public discourse?

book_burning33

Nazi Book burning May 10, 1933 in Berlin - Not Much Different From the Bozos in Florida Calling Themselves Christian Who Want to Burn Korans

Real Americans, Please Stand Up

By DICK CAVETT

All this talk about the mosque reminds me of two things I heard growing up in Nebraska.

I had a 6th grade teacher who referred to American Indians as “sneaky redskins” and our enemies in the Pacific as “dirty Japs.” This abated somewhat after I asked one day in class, “Mrs. G., do you think our parents would like to know that you teach race prejudice?” She faded three shades.

The rest of that year was difficult.

As a war kid, I also heard an uncle of mine endorse a sentiment attributed to our Admiral “Bull” Halsey: “If I met a pregnant Japanese woman, I’d kick her in the belly.”

These are not proud moments in my heritage. But now, I’m genuinely ashamed of us. How sad this whole mosque business is. It doesn’t take much, it seems, to lift the lid and let our home-grown racism and bigotry overflow. We have collectively taken a pratfall on a moral whoopee cushion.

Surely, few of the opponents of the Islamic cultural center would feel comfortable at the “International Burn a Koran Day” planned by a southern church-supported group (on a newscast, I think I might have even glimpsed a banner reading, “Bring the Whole Family,” but maybe I was hallucinating). This all must have gone over big on Al Jazeera news.

I like to think I’m not easily shocked, but here I am, seeing the emotions of the masses running like a freight train over the right to freedom of religion — never mind the right of eminent domain and private property.

A heyday is being had by a posse of the cheesiest Republican politicos (LazioPalin, quick-change artist John McCain and, of course, the self-anointed St. Joan of 9/11, R. Giuliani). Balanced, of course by plenty of cheesy Democrats. And of course Rush L. dependably pollutes the atmosphere with his particular brand of airborne sludge.

Sad to see Mr. Reid’s venerable knees buckle upon seeing the vilification heaped on Obama, and the resulting polls. (Not to suggest that this alone would cause the sudden 180-degree turn of a man of integrity facing re-election fears.)

I got invigorating jolts from the president’s splendid speech — almost as good as Mayor Bloomberg’s
— but I was dismayed, after the worst had poured out their passionate intensity, to see him shed a few vertebrae the next day and step back. Continue reading

California Interfaith Weighs In on Mosque Issue

A lie can run half way round the world before truth can get it’s pants on…

We are now beginning to see the adult voices speak up.

California interfaith leaders to back ground zero Islamic center

A group of 60 interfaith leaders in California will come out Friday in favor of a controversial Islamic center near ground zero in New York City.

“Christian, Jewish, Mormon and Muslim leaders will address the rapidly expanding epidemic of Islamophobia across the nation — from Temecula to Tennessee to New York to Connecticut — which they view as a threat to religious freedom and rights of mosques, churches, and synagogues to exist,” the group said in a statement.

The event will take place at the Islamic Center of Southern California at 9:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. ET).

The New York Islamic center’s leaders say they plan to build the $100 million, 13-story facility called Park51 two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks.

“We Americans, whether Muslim or Christian, whether Jew or Hindu, whether of faith or no faith, were all attacked on 9/11 by terrorists who can only be described as criminals,” the text of the signed statement provided to CNN says. “We oppose the exploitation of the pain and suffering of 9/11 by political opportunists. They only divide our country and undermine the principles of pluralism, religious freedom, and security by fostering hate based on fear.”

Developer Sharif El-Gamal describes the project as an “Islamic community center” that would include a 500-seat performing arts center, a lecture hall, a swimming pool, a gym, a culinary school, a restaurant and a prayer space for Muslims.

Some New Yorkers say an Islamic center two blocks from the site of a terror attack by Islamic extremists that killed more than 2,700 people is a painful affront, and a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released August 11 marked nationwide opposition to the proposed facility at 68 percent.

“The rhetoric against Muslim Americans — namely, that they are a suspect community, or worse, enemies of the state; their religion is uncivilized and anti-American; they are deceitful; and they aim to destroy our culture and our constitution — are replicas of attacks against other religious minorities in the past as well as current attacks against ethnic and racial minorities,” the group says.

Keith Ellison Explains It, The Way Obama Shoulda’

Screaming high level debate now about the right of a Muslim group to build a Mosque near Ground Zero in NYC. President Obama stepped in it Friday, with support for the Mosque being built – which has had every Republican and bigot (but I repeat myself) in the United States bouncing off the walls. In usual form, President Obama has failed to stand up, and clearly and unequivocally justify his support for allowing the Mosque to be built on American Principle.

Representative Keith Ellison (D), in a debate with Peter King of NY (R) lays out exactly why those who oppose the Mosque are contrary to our tradition and core American values  of Religious Freedom, the words and beliefs of the Founding Fathers, and out Constitution.

Can we finally get some backbone here, President Obama?

Sympathy for the Devil, the Victimization of Bigots at the “Ground Zero” Mosque

How do you tell when the right wing is losing an argument…

They get page time for a really vicious screed in the Wall Street Journal declaring their victim status.

The short version of this is that an Moslem group wishes to build a Mosque on property they own near the site of the WTC. There are a couple of reasons they want to do that -

  1. There was a Mosque there already – prior to 911. Indeed, the reason they own the land in the first place is that there was a Mosque already there – which had to be demolished because the roof was caved in by part of one of the airplanes which hit the towers.
  2. Second, the new building isn’t actually only a Mosque. It’s an Interfaith Center where all are welcome, and Movie Theater which will participate in the Tribeca Film Festival.
  3. By most lists, at least 60 innocent Muslims were killed in the 911 attacks. Muslims, just like Jews and Christians, have a piece of this tragedy as well.

This one really doesn’t add up to more than your typical right wing “ism”. Hatred of everyone, and everything which isn’t white, male, and preferably Protestant quasi-Christian. “Quasi-christian”? Yeah – as much hate as has been directed at black folks, Jewish Folks, and now Hispanic and Muslim folks, sanctified in the very same churches…

It’s got nothing to do with anything in the Bible… Or Torah for that matter.

On with the “Victimization of Bigots!”

Liberal Piety and the Memory of 9/11

Americans may have lacked for much in the course of their history, but never instruction in social values. The question today is whether Americans of any era have ever confronted the bombardment of hectoring and sermonizing now directed at those whose views are deemed insufficiently enlightened—an offense regularly followed by accusations that the offenders have violated the most sacred principles of our democracy.

It doesn’t take a lot to become the target of such a charge. There is no mistaking the beliefs on display in these accusations, most recently in regard to the mosque about to be erected 600 feet from Ground Zero. Which is that without the civilizing dictates of their superiors in government, ordinary Americans are lost to reason and decency. They are the kind of people who—as a recent presidential candidate put it—cling to their guns and their religion.

There is no better exemplar of that faith than New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, though in this he is hardly alone. Compared with the Obama White House, Mr. Bloomberg is a piker in the preachments and zealotry department. Still, no voice brings home more unforgettably the attitudes that speak for today’s enlightened and progressive class.

Immediately after the suspect in the attempted car bombing near Times Square was revealed to be Faisal Shahzad, of Pakistani origin, Mayor Bloomberg addressed the public. In admonishing tones—a Bloomberg trademark invariably suggestive of a school principal who knows exactly what to expect of the incorrigibles it is his unhappy fate to oversee—the mayor delivered a warning. There would be no toleration of “any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.”

That there has been a conspicuous lack of any such behavior on the part of New Yorkers or Americans elsewhere from the 9/11 attacks to the present seems not to have impressed Mr. Bloomberg. Nor has it caused any moderation in the unvarying note of indignation the mayor brings to these warnings. It’s reasonable to raise a proper caution. It’s quite something else to do it as though addressing a suspect rabble.

It’s hard to know the sort of rabble the mayor had in mind when he told a television interviewer, prior to Shahzad’s identification, that it “could be anything,” someone mentally disturbed, or “somebody with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health-care bill.” Nowhere in the range of colorful possibilities the mayor raised was there any mention of the most likely explanation—another terrorist attempt by a soldier of radical Islam, the one that occurred to virtually every American who had heard the reports.

The citizens were, of course, right. Those leaders bent on dissuading them from their grasp of the probable cause of this near disaster were left with their red herrings hanging—but remembered. Mr. Bloomberg’s “someone who doesn’t like the health-care bill” would be inscribed in the golden book of howlers these events have yielded, along with Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano’s brisk assurance there was no evidence this was anything but “a one-off.”

The notion that it is for the greater good that the people be led to suspect virtually any cause but the one they had the most reason to fear reflects a contempt for the citizenry that’s of longstanding, but never so blatant as today. It is in the interest of higher values, Americans understand—higher, that is, than theirs—that they are now expected to accept official efforts to becloud reality.

Such values were the rationale for the official will to ignore the highly suspicious behavior of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who went on to murder 13 Americans at Fort Hood. A silence maintained despite all his commanders and colleagues knew about his raging hostility to the U.S. military and his strident advocacy on behalf of political Islam.

Those who knew—and they were many—chose silence out of fear of seeming insensitive to a Muslim. As one who had said nothing in the interest of this higher good later explained, Maj. Hasan was, after all, one of the few top-ranking Muslim officers the army had.

In the plan for an Islamic center and mosque some 15 stories high to be built near Ground Zero, the full force of politically correct piety is on display along with the usual unyielding assault on all dissenters. The project has aroused intense opposition from New Yorkers and Americans across the country. It has also elicited remarkable streams of oratory from New York’s political leaders, including Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

“What are we all about if not religious freedom?” a fiery Mr. Cuomo asked early in this drama. Mr. Cuomo, running for governor, has since had less to say…

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