Join 3,415 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Orange Party racists/tea party members protest and hurl epithets at a local muslim organization's relief dinner to raise money for women's shelters and raise aid for homelessness and hunger in the US
March 3, 2011 8:24 PM   Subscribe

Orange County tea party members protest and hurl epithets at a local muslim organization's relief dinner to raise money for women's shelters and raise aid for homelessness and hunger in the US Here is the video. Watch as members of congress show their support for this extreme show of xenophobia and racism.
posted by wooh (364 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw this tonight. Truly sickening.
posted by nola at 8:31 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel sick. America seems so backwards as fuck to me sometimes- which is to say that it puts it in line with the rest of the world. Humanity has a long way to go. There reason that can be given that would justify this.
posted by Krazor at 8:31 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


It would be the height of charity even to say that these people are subhuman filth whose most productive activity would be getting recycled for parts.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:36 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Watching this practically made me cry.

At this point, the Godwin troll is almost too easy and obvious. I'm scared about what's going to happen.
posted by schmod at 8:37 PM on March 3, 2011 [13 favorites]


Orange Party?
posted by dhammond at 8:37 PM on March 3, 2011


Ugh. Just fucking ugh.
posted by redspraypaint at 8:39 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's like the Lemon party except, you know, homophobic and stuff.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:39 PM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh that's embarassing. Made a mistake TWICE. Meant to say Orange County tea party. Woops. I think people got what I meant.

That's what I get for posting while extremely tired.
posted by wooh at 8:40 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Egypt is a better country.

Seriously.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:42 PM on March 3, 2011 [16 favorites]


Saw that earlier on Twitter and I have been disturbed all evening thinking about it, I can't get it out of my mind. It reminds me of scenes from the South that were on TV in the 60s. Not that I don't know that such vile & hate filled people aren't out there - but the fact that they are so public and bold, it's just astonishing.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:42 PM on March 3, 2011 [26 favorites]


"I don't even care if you think I'm crazy anymore!" *nose twitches*

That cracked me up cause she really reminded me of a guy I met just last night at a party. He never tired of telling me how he defends his house and property from the Asian Invasion of Vancouver, although he did seem to need some help from his good buddy the coke monster every 10 minutes or so.
posted by mannequito at 8:43 PM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


Land of the free, home of the brave, indeed.
posted by cheaily at 8:46 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nazists gonna Nazi.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:47 PM on March 3, 2011 [24 favorites]


Wow, I'm amazed that so many people would show up for an open hate fest like that. I mean even the KKK wore hoods.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:48 PM on March 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.
posted by gnossie at 8:49 PM on March 3, 2011


Those children walking by that hate filled crowd made me think of this scene.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:49 PM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is a disgraceful display from a vocal minority of our country.

I hope this visibility causes a significant rise in donations to the picketed group.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:50 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.

wtf?
posted by madamjujujive at 8:51 PM on March 3, 2011 [185 favorites]


This is going to come across as incredibly naïve, but in all seriousness, what can I, as an individual, do to help stem this madness?
posted by SemiSophos at 8:51 PM on March 3, 2011 [25 favorites]


Deborah Pauly "Make no bones about it, that is pure unadulterated evil, ... I don't even care if you think I'm crazy anymore" [followed immediately by an unveiled threat]

Lady, please don't taint the word "crazy" by association. You aren't crazy, you're damaged and ignorant.

Leave us crazy people out of your sick world view.
posted by quin at 8:51 PM on March 3, 2011 [62 favorites]


Fuck those people.
posted by birdherder at 8:53 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Welcome to the OC, bitch!"

God damn, that show was ahead of its time...
posted by hal_c_on at 8:54 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


If it ain't Hitler, it ain't fascism!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:54 PM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.
Aren't you a tart.

They did the same thing blacks did.

Exist.

But I guess this is the sound of me "forgetting" and you "never forgetting."
posted by wooh at 8:55 PM on March 3, 2011 [33 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.

Uh... these particular Muslims were apparently raising money for those in need. Seriously.

This made me sick. I cannot fathom what is going on in this country, and that people will find a way to justify it.
posted by OolooKitty at 8:56 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.

Like giving away 2.5% of their wealth to the poor and needy in an insidious plot to make them grateful; how truly terrifying of those evil terrorists.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:56 PM on March 3, 2011 [35 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.

Let's see.....

What Muslims have done lately to warrant me hostility.....

Hmmm. My doctor double billed me for an office visit, and I had to call his office about it. And my buddy Sohail hasn't returned my phone call for like a week now, but he just moved, so I know he's been kinda busy. And Mahmoud at the Raceway where I buy cigarettes was out of my brand of hard packs and I had to buy soft packs.

Other than that, I can't really think of anything.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:56 PM on March 3, 2011 [142 favorites]


"Mohammad was a child molester"

Horrid.
posted by schwa at 8:56 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]



Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.


Interesting indeed. I can't imagine what anyone would be doing to warrant this hostility.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:56 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't feed the troll.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:57 PM on March 3, 2011 [27 favorites]


Did this post get deleted then undeleted?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:58 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.
posted by gnossie at 8:49 PM on March 3 [+] [!]

That comment was so *awesome*, I just have to spouse you.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:58 PM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.


Why do you even bother to use the word Muslims when you really mean "brown people"?
posted by Loto at 9:00 PM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


It scares me but I can see my in-laws at a protest like that.
posted by schwa at 9:01 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will the aliens hurry up and blow up this planet? What are they waiting for?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:01 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Did this post get deleted then undeleted?

I hope it doesn't get deleted. Disturbing as it is, I think it's important for people to see this is going on.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:02 PM on March 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


* Wow, I'm amazed that so many people would show up for an open hate fest like that. I mean even the KKK wore hoods.

* It reminds me of scenes from the South that were on TV in the 60s.


I'd be interested to know more about the mentalities behind KKK members and people who didn't wear hoods. Was there some understanding from the KKK that there was actually not broader support for their views of the world, while those who shouted profanities at school children in broad daylight thought their views were those of the world?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:02 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


gnossie: "Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims ORANGE COUNTY might be doing to warrant this hostility."

FTFY, yw.
posted by mullingitover at 9:03 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This needs to be shown as wide as and as far as we can possibly show it. Show people how much of a disgrace this is. Publicize it, ostracize the people that think they can treat others this way.

I'm cynical, but I'm genuinely shocked at how far the tea partiers have gone. I expect it from Phelps and his ilk. These are more mainstream people who not only have gone off the deep end, but now feel comfortable enough that they can stand outside of a mosque and shout racial slurs at the top of their lungs at children.

I'm truly shocked.
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:03 PM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


I hope it doesn't get deleted. Disturbing as it is, I think it's important for people to see this is going on.

Mathowie had deleted it and then he probably undeleted it, perhaps after seeing it. It's pretty depressing footage.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:03 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


That is horrifying.
posted by Sreiny at 9:04 PM on March 3, 2011


Re: gnossie: I was contemplating flagging that comment and accidentally clicked something in the list while thinking that no, I suppose this is within the bounds of generally irritating internet discourse and I should relax.

But I'm not sure if I can quite describe how much that video set my teeth on edge. Just... God damn it.
posted by brennen at 9:04 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This took place over two weeks ago, but I was doing some web searches about the event, and I can't find any mention of it online until today on a few magazine sites. I'm curious what the Muslim group said afterwards, what the OC Register said about it, and heck if there is a OC Tea Party site, what did they post after this event?
posted by mathowie at 9:04 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.

You just gonna do a drive-by troll like that? Back up your idiotic words. Tell us why the bad Muslims deserve this level of hatred. Enlighten us.
posted by Jeeb at 9:06 PM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


That's gonna make it hard to sleep tonight... wow...
posted by tomswift at 9:06 PM on March 3, 2011


"We're patriotic Americans and we love our constitution and it's gonna stay that way!"

Wow, what a profound misunderstanding of what is really quite a good constitution.
posted by breakfast! at 9:07 PM on March 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


Southern Poverty Law Center recently named Pamela Geller's Stop Islamization of America as a hate group. Now you know why. These are the people behind the opposition of the Islamic center in NY near Ground Zero.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:07 PM on March 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is absolutely terrible. I can't even imagine what is going through their minds convincing them that those horrible things are acceptable viewpoints...
posted by orangeseed at 9:07 PM on March 3, 2011


I make this joke all the time, but Orange Party made me think of Boehner.

But yeah, Islamophobia is crazy. I was thinking earlier today that gay marriage might be a wedge issue against the Republicans as polls are starting to show a steady trend towards support at the moment and it's an issue that motivates young voters, who don't always vote. Plus, there was a WSJ/NBC poll saying that people were generally opposed to the Tea Party caucus's approach to lowering the deficit, favoring keeping unions around and raising taxes on the rich. But then I see this, and realize that a good part of the population might vote for the Republicans if they try to cash in on this. I mean, look at how the "Ground Zero mosque" divided people. Perhaps it'll be like in 2004, where people were so angry about gay marriage they voted against their self interests because of their bigotry. Only this time, instead of being worried about gays being treated like equals, it'll be about Muslims.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:07 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not normally one for donating to religious organizations, but I'm going to now.

ICNA Relief USA
posted by Flunkie at 9:08 PM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ok, so having chatted with a mod, who rightly pointed out that this could be "outrage filter" (although in my opinion, I just want people to realize that racism is alive and well in America), I rounded up some articles about this situation.

http://www.ocregister.com/news/islamic-287829-event-community.html
So a "controversial" speaker (conservative Muslim) in a place that they were renting from the country.

"Simon, whose family is Christian, said she grew up in Iran under Muslim law, a political ideology she said some Muslim groups would like to implement in the United States."

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/03/hatemongering/index.html
Gleen Greenwald weighs in.
"I think what was most striking about that video is that the presence of small children didn't give these anti-Muslim protesters even momentary pause; they just continued screeching their ugly invective while staring at 4-year-olds walking with their parents. People like that are so overflowing with hatred and resentments that the place where their humanity -- their soul -- is supposed to be has been drowned. "

I am trying to find any tea party responses to the situation.... the video has begun making the rounds but I don't know if the real reaction fire has lit up yet.
posted by wooh at 9:08 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.

they're exercising their so-called rights peaceful assembly and religion that some wild-eyed radicals said they had over 200 years ago - i strongly suggest you investigate this and find out who these terrible people were and how they've dared to dictate their ideas for our country and outlaw any documents they've left to us

this cannot be allowed in AMERICA!!!
posted by pyramid termite at 9:08 PM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Why do you even bother to use the word Muslims when you really mean "brown people"?

Not all muslims are brown, friend.
posted by Pecinpah at 9:08 PM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


Here is where you can donate
posted by Blasdelb at 9:09 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Many moons ago, there was a bit on Michael Moore's show TV Nation, where Orange County, that birthplace of all things evil, was running out of money. So they opened up their county dump to everything that people would send them. Moore sent them all of his household waste for a time.

It appears that this may have been an error, as the refuse now walks and talks.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:10 PM on March 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


"Mohammad was a child molester"

Not at all like the entire Catholic organization for the past how many decades.
posted by edgeways at 9:11 PM on March 3, 2011 [18 favorites]


Royce's statement, for what it's worth. And Deborah "Facilitating Meetings in Paradise" Pauly has a Twitter account, of course.

Ah, Orange County. How could hell be any worse?
posted by milquetoast at 9:11 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


He never tired of telling me how he defends his house and property from the Asian Invasion of Vancouver

I still get this from time to time in Vancouver, and even though it's much rarer now than 20 years ago I still find it stunning that anyone can be so ignorant at this point in time. Same goes for those crepuscular homunculi in Orange County. I find that video absolutely horrific.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 9:12 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Will the aliens hurry up and blow up this planet? What are they waiting for?


...9...8...7...6...5...
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 9:13 PM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


This took place over two weeks ago, but I was doing some web searches about the event, and I can't find any mention of it online until today on a few magazine sites. I'm curious what the Muslim group said afterwards, what the OC Register said about it, and heck if there is a OC Tea Party site, what did they post after this event?

Welcome to the OC Register, bitch!
posted by hal_c_on at 9:14 PM on March 3, 2011


LAist has a good article about what happened here.
posted by dhammond at 9:14 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Explain my ideas? I'll just quote Churchill instead, who doesn't even mention "child molesting" or "wife beating."

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property (either as a child, a wife, or a concubine) must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science (the science against which it had vainly struggled) the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."

"The River War," first edition, Vol. II, London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899; pp. 248-50.
posted by gnossie at 9:15 PM on March 3, 2011


Does anyone know how much the initial idea of this protest was directed at these two specific people versus a general anti-Muslim thing?

OC Register:
Many in the crowd outside the event said they were concerned about past anti-American statements by the event's two keynote speakers, Imam Siraj Wahhaj and Amir Abdel Malik Ali. Wahhaj is an imam at a mosque in Brooklyn. A U.S. attorney named him and 169 others as co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Wahhaj was never charged and has denied involvement.
Malik Ali is a Bay Area Islamic activist who spoke at "Israeli Apartheid Week" at UC Irvine in 2010. There he said he supports Hezbollah, which the CIA labels a terrorist group.
posted by andoatnp at 9:15 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jeeb:You just gonna do a drive-by troll like that? Back up your idiotic words. Tell us why the bad Muslims deserve this level of hatred. Enlighten us"

We're gonna load up the page,
we're gonna go go go.
We're gonna hijack a thread
and troll someone we don't know...

Drive by... Trolling...
posted by symbioid at 9:16 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


And man, am I glad I moved out of that area as soon as I could while growing up.
posted by mathowie at 9:17 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Explain my ideas? I'll just quote Churchill instead, who doesn't even mention "child molesting" or "wife beating."

okay so after barfing up a bunch of ass-backwards imperialist drivel would you like to actually say what you personally believe these individuals did to deserve being called wife-beating child molesters?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:18 PM on March 3, 2011 [46 favorites]


Ah, the pernicious, corrosive brand of "patriotism" embraced by Teahadists. This isn't footage from a distant time and place, where we can marvel at the barbaric nature of angry people with misplaced rage & congratulate ourselves on "how far we've come." This was two Sundays ago in the United States of America. Oh my fuck.

I am in a constant state of nausea. Gets me my saltine crackers.
posted by black rainbows at 9:19 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I grew up in Orange County. You can see why I fled as soon as I could.

For a brief, dumb period of my life I was really into ska and I considered myself a SHARP (Skinhead Against Racial Prejudice) or Two Tone or whatever. There was and still is a very heavy fascist/racist/neo-nazi presence in OC. Yeah, we go do "battle" against racist assholes at ska shows and generally be there to protect non-white people at shows when the racists would show up, who only showed up to try and attack people. Neo-nazi skinheads don't exactly like ska very much.

So, yeah, this is pretty much par for the course for Orange County, which was a rural/agricultural backwater until the Watts riots, and then every white racist, xenophobic asshole that could afford it fled to OC from LA. Which is also probably why crap like the Trinity Broadcasting Network was founded and flourished there.

posted by loquacious at 9:20 PM on March 3, 2011 [22 favorites]


Maybe it's silly to compare myself to the least fortunate people. However, this video me realize how lucky I am that God gave me a good vocabulary of ideas, some ability to contemplate other people's unique existence, and a fair amount of empathy. Imagine what it would be like to stumble about barely able to make sense of your world. It's an existence you can't possibly wish on anyone.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 9:21 PM on March 3, 2011 [60 favorites]


As a Canadian - I've lived in the US for a good number of years. Those flag waving assholes, spewing their fucking hate, are making a mockery of everything that all that is good that I know about Americans. For all their yelling "Go Home, Go Home" - it is they the that are the 'other' - and I wish they would Go Home.
posted by helmutdog at 9:22 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


gnossie, that is pretty disingenuous. Either use your words, say what the hell you mean or piss off. Quoting from a text over 110 years old as having anything relevant to do with a bunch of hateful fuckheads who have nothing better to do then harass a group of people who's religion is different from theirs is the height of snobbish laziness.

Stand up for yourself, tell us plainly what your objections are, be a man (or woman) about it and speak up.
posted by edgeways at 9:22 PM on March 3, 2011 [34 favorites]


Not all muslims are brown, friend.

And one day, hopefully, Bigot-Americans will wake up to the fact that a lot of middle-eastern looking brown folk are actually not Muslim, but some form of Christian, just like them.

[note: I have absolutely no expectation that this revelation will ever actually happen.]
posted by quin at 9:25 PM on March 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


edgeways: "gnossie, that is pretty disingenuous. Either use your words, say what the hell you mean or piss off ...Stand up for yourself, tell us plainly what your objections are, be a man (or woman) about it and speak up"

"It means United we stand"
"No... I read the bumper sticker, what does it mean in YOUR words?"
"It means... 'These colors do NOT run'"...
*sigh*

David Cross - United We Stand
posted by symbioid at 9:26 PM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


First the dragstrip; now this crap. What a dump.
posted by buzzman at 9:26 PM on March 3, 2011


gnossie: "Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility."

madamjujujive: "wtf?"

According to Wonkette, "two men involved with the event are controversial; one was once listed as a co-conspirator in 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and the other once said he supports Hezbollah." So there is the barest flimsiest fig leaf of an excuse to stage this "protest."

Doesn't explain why they felt the need to hurl sexually graphic blasphemies at children, though.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:28 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wonder how this is playing on the rightwing of the web.

It just made me think of a good use of crowd sourcing. You set up a site that randomly or semi-randomly picks an open thread at any Republican site, and gives you a link to it. The computer guesses at a "fact brief" guide and then asks the user to respond to the thread using the best argued and most reasoned sort of language. Users could contribute to the guides. You basically saturate Republican online media with as much of an opposing view as possible. They're bound to argue with the post, and the more exposure the better.
posted by codacorolla at 9:29 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


what can I, as an individual, do to help stem this madness?

Southern Poverty Law Center is the leading anti-hate organization in the US, they rely on donations. It should be top on anyone's list as a way to fight back.
posted by stbalbach at 9:32 PM on March 3, 2011 [31 favorites]


Orange pekoe?
posted by jcking77 at 9:34 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


My beliefs in the absolute sanctity of First Amendment are the only thing keeping me from pointing a finger towards the Supreme Court and screaming at Westboro Baptist " YOU FUCKERS!!!"
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 9:36 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


In order to break up this hate filled display, I suggest we gather with-in the group, and then gag ourselves until we puke. And let's get some good ol' Lard Ass puke going on. I bet you they step back really fucking quick.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 9:37 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


gnossie, I think there are plenty of reasonable criticisms we could level at Islam, or major threads within Islam. I'm no fan of how the religion and the cultures of which it's such a part often view and treat women and gay people, for example. I'm not a particular fan of major, integral components of religious culture and thought generally, come to that.

None of those perfectly legitimate and perhaps even necessary criticisms are what this is about. We all know that's not what this is about. There's nothing hard about knowing that. Ugly, vicious, grandstanding bigotry isn't particularly hard to recognize.
posted by brennen at 9:38 PM on March 3, 2011 [38 favorites]


I don't get what the Tea Party wants here. I mean, the Civil Rights Act and Constitution are pretty clear the government can't choose to discriminate against a single religion, right? And wouldn't things like, say, banning Muslim immigration be pretty clear discrimination? Do they want to repeal the CRA and/or amend the constitution just to punish the scapegoat du jour?
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:40 PM on March 3, 2011


That's the first time I wept at a youtube video.
posted by Leucistic Cuttlefish at 9:42 PM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Do they want to repeal the CRA and/or amend the constitution just to punish the scapegoat du jour?

I think this is one of those "once you've asked it, you don't really need the answer" situations.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 9:43 PM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


I saw this video linked in a couple places earlier and didn't play it, but for some reason I assumed they were talking about some teabagger rally, I didn't realize they were yelling this stuff at actual Muslims. Wow.

These people really are like the Nazis, IMO. It's the exact same religious vilification that you saw there about the Jews. Of course people had been haiting Jews for centuries before the holocaust, so I guess it's not really predictive of anything too horrible in the future.
Egypt is a better country.

Seriously.
Let's not get carried away here. Egypt still has a lot of problems, no country is perfect.
although he did seem to need some help from his good buddy the coke monster every 10 minutes or so.
He should try some Charlie Sheen. I hear it gives you the blood of the tiger.
posted by delmoi at 9:43 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


codacorolla: "I wonder how this is playing on the rightwing of the web."

FreeRepublic looks split between "I've never seen a racist Tea Partier, this is obviously a liberal hoax meant to embarrass conservatives and paint them as bigoted" and "damn right, those diseased subhuman insects should leave this great Christian nation. Heil Hitler." All in the same thread, too.

delmoi: "Let's not get carried away here. Egypt still has a lot of problems, no country is perfect."

I seem to recall Muslims and Christians standing in solidarity during the revolt, guarding each other's prayer services and denouncing would-be fundamentalist co-opters together. I have a hard time seeing that happen if the same thing happened here.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:46 PM on March 3, 2011 [16 favorites]


codacorolla: crowd sourcing ... "fact brief" guide ... saturate Republican online media with as much of an opposing view as possible.

This sounds like a great idea. Seriously.
posted by fartknocker at 9:47 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I seem to recall Muslims and Christians standing in solidarity during the revolt
Yeah, but that was just a couple months after someone bombed a church. It isn't like every single American hates Muslims.
posted by delmoi at 9:50 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Makes me wish I could code. It really does seem like a good idea the more I think about it.
posted by codacorolla at 9:50 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


codacorolla: The problem is those sites ban anyone who posts opposing viewpoints.
posted by delmoi at 9:51 PM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


You could still do the same thing to open news story comment posts though. You could use it as a way to push the facts behind a message to the theoretical undecided voter.
posted by codacorolla at 9:53 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's left to be said?

I've given up on certain parts of this country ever getting it together; Orange County is one of those places. I've been there and felt the stupid dripping on me. Heard too many stories from friends and strangers alike that involved the shaking of heads and the weird laughter that let's us express how confounded we are at times.

When I lived in Oklahoma and dealt with Texas on a regular basis, something I got used to was how easily white people out there could go rabid in groups. Missouri too now that I think about it. One gang of them would get started and then some more would come over to see what was going on and then they'd inevitably join in. Coon coon coon coon coon all night until we left them. It was like living through a Mel Brookes production.

My grandmother lived down south through the height of lynchings. She told me once she hadn't spoken to a white person in over 30 years. That was in the early 90s. I won't say I'll take the same path, but boy oh boy do I understand.
posted by artof.mulata at 9:53 PM on March 3, 2011 [18 favorites]


A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -Winston Churchill
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:54 PM on March 3, 2011 [24 favorites]


Calling all clowns, repeat, calling all clowns... mockery in urgent need in California! Calling all clowns! Report to cream-pie depots immediately!
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:54 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. -Winston Churchill
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:55 PM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Churchill was a drunk and an asshole.

We get it.
posted by artof.mulata at 9:57 PM on March 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


Sort of reminded me of the crowds during the Little Rock school integration: people so consumed by their hatred that they didn't notice they were screaming at children. The chants of "go back home" at American citizens were also dizzy-making.
posted by Gilbert at 9:57 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


You basically saturate Republican online media with as much of an opposing view as possible. They're bound to argue with the post, and the more exposure the better.

That's what the Right Wing are already doing to all the "mainstream" media sites, but very well organized and financed. (They have to pay to get half-literate commenters)

But seriously, I've seen serious scholarly studies showing that Islam is the second most violent, repressive religion in the world today... while Christianity is the first.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:59 PM on March 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


That 'go back home' speech is so old.

I wonder who they learned it from?
posted by artof.mulata at 10:00 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are you confused if you are talking to a teabagger or or a dangerous Muslim extremist? Let me help you.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:03 PM on March 3, 2011 [47 favorites]


Churchill was a drunk and an asshole. We get it.

I'm posting this one anyway:

I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns. -Winston Churchill
posted by The Hamms Bear at 10:04 PM on March 3, 2011


"...and when I wake I will no longer be drunk, but you, ma'am, will still be ugly." - The WC
posted by artof.mulata at 10:06 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd like to see a diverse group of Anti Anti-Immigration, Anti-Muslim groups formed across the nation, mixing the KKK-mocking clowns with the Native Americans chanting "Go back to your home country" and Thomas Jefferson impersonators carrying signs decrying private property ownership and excessive power of corporations. Let's turn these demonstrations into discussions, maybe even with a cart full of literature from the Founding Fathers.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:08 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.
posted by gnossie at 5:49 AM on March 4 [+] [!]

OH MY GOD! Those muslims are going to be OBEDIENT TO GOD!

We can't have that in America!
posted by Goofyy at 10:08 PM on March 3, 2011


An unverified story of that time a scientist had an excellent comeback to Churchill.

It's about religion, so it's not entirely a derail.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:08 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, and people supporting the Sanctity of Marriage by banning Divorces, or greater punishment for married elected officials found to be having affairs. But I digress.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:09 PM on March 3, 2011


Those fools in Orange County aren't half the wit of The WC.
posted by artof.mulata at 10:09 PM on March 3, 2011


filthy light thief, I will go as your short, black Abe Lincoln.
They will never know.
posted by artof.mulata at 10:11 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Man, where's Jonathan Swifte to make minority-baby-eating jokes when we need them? They're like dead baby jokes, but for equality.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:14 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, at least the mob didn't lynch any of the Muslims. Yet.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:18 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.

As a Muslim, let me answer that. I watched my parents as they were killed by a "Christian" army, openly supported by their "Christian" church leaders in their plans to "exterminate" (their word) peaceful people like me. I suffered horribly, then came to America where I have worked hard to overcome my past and to complete my university education (paid for by myself), to get a good job and to work my way up the ladder, to buy a house and pay lots of taxes and to participate in my community in many beneficial ways, including speaking at schools and various organizations about the horrors of intolerance and bigotry.

I could cite a zillion statistics to demonstrate the thickness of your mind, but the most salient one in this case is that there have been many, many more Muslim civilians who've been killed by "Christians" than the number of Christian civilians killed by Muslims. That number includes many people in my family and many of my friends - dozens of people known personally to me.

I'm super disappointed that your post hasn't been flagged enough to be deleted for the racist crap it is.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:20 PM on March 3, 2011 [334 favorites]


I was going to go to this rally, but I was a little busy making sure we get approval for our goddamned Reagan statue installed in goddamned Newport Beach goddamnit!
posted by Brocktoon at 10:28 PM on March 3, 2011


I'm super disappointed that your post hasn't been flagged enough to be deleted for the racist crap it is.

It wasn't even a start to a conversation. The poster didn't say "Well, here are a few reasons why these protesters might have acted this way." They just said, in paraphrase, "What the hell is wrong with you people for not looking at how Muslims deserve to get shouted down for doing acts of charity."

It was a troll, and successfully derailed the discussion without contributing to it. I'd agree with you, Dee, that it should be deleted, but for the fact that your eloquent retort would have to go with it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:31 PM on March 3, 2011 [17 favorites]


A relief dinner to raise money for women's shelters, the homeless and hungry. Think about it.

It's not hard at all for me to see a sort of new Kristallnacht about to happen, in some place in America. Would any of you who've watched the video been all that surprised if one of the anti-Muslim protesters had pulled out a gun and started shooting at anyone who "looked" Muslim. Because I wouldn't have been.

When the war started in Sarajevo, it took most of us by surprise. There was little anger in the city, coming from anyone. Bosnian Muslims still sat down with Bosnian Serbs or Croats to have coffee. Overtly bigoted comments were still viewed in horror by most people. So when the troops surrounded the city and started blockading and shooting, it was shocking to all of us. People can point out all sorts of differences between that in this video, but I've got to go with my gut feeling here - this bodes very poorly for relations between cultures in America. I realize that gnossie is a troll whose sole contributions to MetaFilter have been either meaningless comments or anti-Islamic ones. But I'm disappointed his post hasn't been deleted by people with actual principles here. Maybe there aren't enough of them, or maybe it takes 2,000 flags to be removed. It's sad in either case.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:36 PM on March 3, 2011 [141 favorites]


I hate that I can't click FAVORITE more than once on each of Dee Xtrovert's posts. But that's democracy for you.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 10:42 PM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd be interested to know more about the mentalities behind KKK members and people who didn't wear hoods. Was there some understanding from the KKK that there was actually not broader support for their views of the world, while those who shouted profanities at school children in broad daylight thought their views were those of the world?

The KKK mask seems to me to be related to people in the KKK sometimes engaging in pre-meditated murder of their own neighbours.
Wearing a mask means you're supporting and protecting the perpetrators, and protecting yourself if you're a perp. Safety in anonymous numbers.

The people last week were hateful, but they didn't plan on murder, and they don't realise they're hateful. They think they're defending America.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:45 PM on March 3, 2011


Dee Extrovert, I understand exactly where you're coming from.
You see enough of this crap and see enough people get hurt or killed, enough lives get destroyed, and you realize that this shit can happen anywhere. And the signs are always the same.

It would be great if there was an automatic policy to fire any politician who eggs this sort of crap on.
It would also be great if we cared enough to provide sufficient educations to our kids so that they'd out-think this nonsense as they grew.

It doesn't look good from some angles, but from others it looks like things are getting a little better.
But it sucks to be reminded of how awful it still is.
posted by artof.mulata at 10:46 PM on March 3, 2011


It reminds me of scenes from the South that were on TV in the 60s.

Calls to mind John Steinbeck describing one scene of school desegregation in New Orleans, in Travels with Charley:
While I was still in Texas, late in 1960, the incident most reported and pictured in the newspapers was the matriculation of a couple of tiny Negro children in a New Orleans school. Behind these small dark mites were the law's majesty and the law's power to enforce -- both the scales and the sword were allied with the infants -- while against them were three hundred years of fear and anger and terror of change in a changing world. . . .

No newspaper had printed the words these women shouted. It was indicated that they were indelicate, some even said obscene. . . . But now I heard the words, bestial and filthy and degenerate. In a long and unprotected life I have seen and heard the vomitings of demoniac humans before. Why then did these screams fill me with a shocked and sickened sorrow?

. . . Here was no spontaneous cry of anger, of insane rage. . . . [They] hungered for attention. . . . Theirs was the demented cruelty of egocentric children, and somehow this made their insensate beastliness much more heartbreaking.

. . . I knew something was wrong and distorted and out of drawing. I knew New Orleans, I have over the years had many friends there, thoughtful, gentle people, with a tradition of kindness and courtesy. . . . Where were the others . . . the ones whose arms would ache to gather up a small, scared, black mite?

I don't know where they were. Perhaps they felt as helpless as I did, but they left New Orleans misrepresented to the world. The crowd, no doubt, rushed home to see themselves on television, and what they saw went out all over the world, unchallenged by the other things I know are there.
Which reminds me of at least one conservative's admission. There's got to be more conservatives in Orange County and elsewhere who recognize dehumanization and demonization for what it is, and would speak up against it to their political colleagues if only they / y'all could connect with each other and feel like they / you aren't the only ones. (Yeah, miraculously, I've still got idealism in me, waiting to have the shit kicked out of it.)
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:49 PM on March 3, 2011 [31 favorites]


It would be great if there was an automatic policy to fire any politician who eggs this sort of crap on.

This is a joke, right? Five minutes ago the Supreme Court ruled on protests like this and the halls of MetaFilter echoed with approval.
posted by phaedon at 10:50 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's CAIR's take on the event. If you feel like donating any money to someone because of this, please consider donating to the opponents of the bigoted politicians mentioned at the bottom who spoke at this hate rally.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:50 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


the halls of MetaFilter echoed with approval.

Hateful speech and encouraging hate are two different things.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 10:53 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is disgusting.

But for everyone saying America is veering towards fascism, please remember this is the action of 100 loud crazy people. I don't think you will see widespread public support for this. I think you will see the opposite: widespread condemnation, and hopefully gestures of support for the OC Muslim community. We'll have to see, but I truly believe America, California, and yeah even Orange County are better than this.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:53 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hateful speech and encouraging hate are two different things.

This is the system working. These people are idiots and they have a voice. The troll is the content. This post should be deleted ffs.
posted by phaedon at 10:54 PM on March 3, 2011


Agreed that it is a fine line between this video and lynchings - in this case, from Indiana and not the deep south. That photo is only 80 years old and anyone who thinks the kind of smug racist rage on view on those fine citizen's faces isn't still with us in the world is crazy. After all, the children in this photo may well still be alive.

The tea partiers are tinkering with the lock on Pandora's Box. It's really up to the righteous among the US citizens to actively defeat them before they unleash terrible powers no one can control.
posted by Rumple at 10:54 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


USA: we don't even care if you think we're crazy anymore.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:55 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Five minutes ago the Supreme Court ruled on protests like this and the halls of MetaFilter echoed with approval.

Great suggestion. I will donate gladly to transport the Westboro Baptist Church members, so they can insult dead soldiers next to these flag waving brownshirts.
posted by benzenedream at 10:55 PM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


This video is terrifying. How can someone have enough hate in them to scream at children like this, to protest a fundraiser for homeless people? I just don't understand.
posted by harriet vane at 10:58 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, it isn't just politicians: the intro to the video states that the Rabbi David Eliezrie also addressed the rally. Anyone know what he might have said?

I trust he was opposed to the scapegoating of religious minorities but you never know these days.
posted by Rumple at 10:58 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was actually more shocked by the politicians making speeches than I was the protesters.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 10:59 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Love it or leave it
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:00 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree these protestors and the Phelps klan have their first amendment rights, making it legal, but it doesn't make what they're doing right. I emphasize that the government shouldn't step in unless they actually make threats or start being violent. The first amendment cuts both ways, and sadly, we have to deal with speech we don't want to hear sometimes. The supreme court made the right call, albeit on a case that really makes any decision feel terrible. They had to choose between letting hate groups picket funerals, or making an exception to the first amendment in a document they swore to uphold.

But that doesn't mean we should be extreme jerks towards people with other religions. They have a right to practice their religion, as is also included in the first amendment. As a political group, you'd think they'd understand that bit of the constitution.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:00 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.
posted by gnossie at 8:49 PM on March 3 [+] [!]


I am going to throw your couch out of a window and call you King Shit of Turn Mountain while I do it.

Now think about what you did to deserve my reaction.
posted by Snyder at 11:02 PM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


phaedon, I wasn't joking and I am not the "halls of metafilter."

And since we do have limits on freedom of speech, I'd like to add that one into the mix.
You politic in on hate, you can politic your ass right back on out.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:04 PM on March 3, 2011


please remember this is the action of 100 loud crazy people

But isn't a sign of how much things have changed that these people feel free to shout their batshit insane/canned non-sequiter comments in public? In full view of cameras? I'd like to believe that there was a time when people would stop and think before doing something like this, simply because it wasn't what normal, polite people would find acceptable. The climate is different, and the crazies don't have to be quiet anymore. It doesn't matter that there's only, as mentioned, a couple 100 crazies. It's the hundreds of thousands of people, the millions who really don't think the protest is wrong, or worse, wish they'd had the guts to be there too.

Shit. And I was getting excited about coming home to visit.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:04 PM on March 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


Joseph Gurl: "Love it or leave i"

I feel like I've posted this a few times on the blue recently, but not sure...

Stars and Stripes of Corruption

Tell me who's the real patriots
The archie bunker slobs waving flags?
Or the people with the guts to work
For some real change
Rednecks and bombs don't make us strong
We loot the world, yet we can't even feed ourselves
Our real test of strength is caring
Not the toys of war we sell the world

Just carry on, thankful to be farmed like worms
Old glory for a blanket
As you suck on your thumbs

Real freedom scares you
'cos it means responsibility

So you chicken out and threaten me

Saying, "love it or leave it"
I'll get beat up if I criticize it
You say you'll fight to the death
To save your worthless flag

If you want a banana republic that bad
Why don't you go move to one

posted by symbioid at 11:04 PM on March 3, 2011 [13 favorites]


mccarty.tim: "I don't get what the Tea Party wants here. I mean, the Civil Rights Act and Constitution are pretty clear the government can't choose to discriminate against a single religion, right? And wouldn't things like, say, banning Muslim immigration be pretty clear discrimination? Do they want to repeal the CRA and/or amend the constitution just to punish the scapegoat du jour?"

I think we all remember Sen. (ugh) Rand Paul's statements about the Civil Rights Act. But that was just the most public manifestation of that view. For a disturbing look at how this viewpoint is festering, read the truly awful speech "A Real Islam Policy for America" by conservative writer Lawrence Auster. Some excerpts:
For these reasons further steps are needed, aimed not just at stopping and reversing the growth of jihad support in America, but at stopping and reversing the growth of sharia in America. And to reverse the growth of sharia in America means to reverse the growth of Islam in America, through the forcible or voluntary departure of sharia-believing Muslims.

Therefore I shall propose these additional measures:

- Any legal resident alien who advocates or adheres to, or who on investigation is reasonably suspected of adhering to, the sharia law shall be deprived of his resident status and removed from the United States;
- No resident alien who advocates or adheres to, or who on investigation is reasonably suspected of adhering to, the sharia law, will be naturalized as a U.S. citizen. In order to be naturalized, Muslims will be required to state under oath that they totally reject the Islamic doctrine of sharia and have no association with pro-sharia activities.
- Any naturalized citizen who violates this oath shall lose his citizenship and be removed from the United States.
- Any mosque or Islamic center in the United States that promotes or seeks to spread the sharia law shall be closed.

This second part of the bill, which deals with sharia, is more far reaching than the first part, which deals with jihad. Removing jihad believers from the United States means removing only the extreme wing of the Muslim community. But since belief in the sharia law, and the obligation to institute and live under the sharia law wherever one lives, and to impose the sharia law on non-Muslims, is the very essence of Islam, removing sharia believers from the United States means removing a large part of the Muslim community from the United States.

But now we need to consider a further problem. The measures enumerated so far will inevitably be attacked as in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Therefore, in order for the measures that I've proposed to stand and not be overturned, we must have a further law stating that the First Amendment does not apply to Islam, does not protect the free exercise of the religion of Islam, because Islam is not only a religion, it is a political movement aimed at establishing tyrannical power over non-Muslims, and specifically aimed at overturning our Constitution, laws, and liberties.

However, even such a radical law would not get us out of the woods, because it also could be overturned as in violation of the First Amendment. Therefore, in order for the measures I have proposed to be truly secure and not threatened by constitutional challenge, we must go to the highest level of our political system. We must pass a Constitutional amendment that prohibits the practice of Islam in the United States. Through such an amendment we will be saying that Islam is incompatible with our existence as a society. We will be making a fundamental statement about the kind of society America is.
Note that this was not some fringe rambling on some dude's blog. It's from a speech delivered to a conference attended by, among others, university professors, national magazine editors, journalists, and (at the time) a sitting UK politician. Not exactly pillars of the conservative movement, but they lend this shit a sheen of scholarly legitimacy and introduce it into the political discourse.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:05 PM on March 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


What saddened me, as a Jew, was the participation (as indicated in the video credits) of the Yorba Linda Chabad in the protest. How any Jewish person, only one or two generations removed from Kristalnacht and much worse, can participate in such a thing is beyond my comprehension.

I wish Jews believed in Hell so there can be a special place in it for Jews who participate in such hate fests.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:06 PM on March 3, 2011 [24 favorites]


You really have to try to see it from the point of view of the protesters and the politicians who were speaking at the rally. What the protesters were saying made a lot of sense, and expressed a valid view point. The protesters had a valid concern, and they were exercising their right to voice it.

That was difficult, wasn't it? I mean, it was really difficult to put yourself in the shoes of the protesters, wasn't it? It's very difficult to see things from the point of view of someone you disagree with. It's too easy to assume they are wrong and evil. The assumption that people are wrong and should just go away makes things simple, but it doesn't tell the whole story about people and why they do things.

People are interesting. Usually they are more interesting than evil.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:07 PM on March 3, 2011


please remember this is the action of 100 loud crazy people

Yes it is. And I'm clinging really hard to that notion. But the amount of people it takes to incite serious mob mentality and bring real violence that murders people based on their skin color is far fewer than 100.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:08 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poet_Lariat, really? There were Jews in there? Protesting people's right to practice their religion? I was pretty sure it was just about as bad as it could get. Thanks for knocking my faith in humanity down another notch.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:08 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


"please remember this is the action of 100 loud crazy people.

But isn't a sign of how much things have changed that these people feel free to shout their batshit insane/canned non-sequiter comments in public? In full view of cameras?"


I don't remember this time period.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:09 PM on March 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


So according to this article, Amir Abdel Malik Ali was one of the speakers at the event. From the ADL's website:

Imam Amir Abdul Malik Ali runs Masjid Al Islam in Oakland, California, a mosque affiliated with the anti-Semitic Sabiqun movement, which seeks to establish Islamic rule in the U.S.

Malik Ali, who has made anti-Semitic speeches around the country for several years, is often invited to speak to Muslim student groups in California. During his campus appearances, Malik Ali has described the U.S. government, the economy and the media as being part of a corrupt global super-structure that is controlled by "Zionist Jews" and used against Muslims. He has praised Hezbollah, Hamas and the Iranian regime, extolled martyrdom and blamed Israel for the September 11 terrorist attacks.

In a speech titled "Death to Apartheid" during MSU's "Israeli Apartheid Week" at UC Irvine, Malik Ali compared Jews to Nazis, expressed support for terrorist groups, accused supporters of Israel of "using" the Holocaust as an excuse to oppress Palestinians and called for the destruction of the "apartheid state of Israel."


Emphasis my own. Might want to temper this whole Christians are uniquely insane angle.
posted by phaedon at 11:09 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone else donate to the ICNA?
posted by leviathan3k at 11:09 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


What stunned me was the grace with which the dinner attendees bore the insipid, hateful protesting. They seemed calm, resigned, unwilling to make a fuss. In a way it's even more heartbreaking because it means they are used to, or were expecting, treatment like this.
posted by Phire at 11:12 PM on March 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


"You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it."

-Malcolm X
posted by clavdivs at 11:13 PM on March 3, 2011 [28 favorites]


Anyone else donate to the ICNA?

I don't and I'm a practicing Muslim. ICNA has plenty of donors. Please consider supporting politicians who agree against irrational hate and fear.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:13 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief: while those who shouted profanities at school children in broad daylight thought their views were those of the world?

Their views were those of a large portion of their society. The larger context for that Steinbeck passage is that these women he describes had become known as The Cheerleaders. They went each day to spew their bile at children, and crowds came to see and applaud, and Steinbeck saw that the Cheerleaders got off on the applause, that they were performers in their own right and the swelling crowds, who came every day bear witness to the spectacle they thought was righteous, were their appreciative audience.

And now here we are. Ordinary folks screaming "Terrorist!" like there's a 1:1 ratio between being a Muslim and being a terrorist, and these ordinary folks' elected representatives using their political capital to say, "Yes, yes, your behavior is entirely appropriate and called for and it is our duty take it even further, oh yes, my fellow patriots!" These people's views are those of a highly visible, nationally audible demographic of our society. No wonder they think they're righteous defenders of their country. Who is there -- I mean, of those who they don't already consider subhuman and deserving of death for having different political beliefs -- to gainsay them?
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:15 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


But for everyone saying America is veering towards fascism, please remember this is the action of 100 loud crazy people. I don't think you will see widespread public support for this.

No, I think these are a slightly more active slice of mainstream people voicing mainstream views. (I think it's fair to describe the Fox News worldview as mainstream American thought, for example). In their mind, they're probably protesting radical extremists preaching hate on American soil, not only bringing children to be indoctrinated, but hiding behind children!
In their minds, they're the good guys, the defenders of America. Watch some Fox.
They don't see what it looks like, and if you were to show them, they would tell you that you're taking it out of context, that it's not like that, that you're the one who is in the wrong.
Which historically is a big part of why this kind of thing spreads so easily, and why it's so dangerous.

They're the heroic David bravely facing up to the enormous Goliath threatening America - and suggesting they're wrong marks you part of Goliath.

This is not 100 crazy people.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:15 PM on March 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


Are = agree. Stupid Swype.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:15 PM on March 3, 2011


"I have a beautiful daughter..."

Since I won't be there to see it, I'm going to enjoy now that moment when her daughter completely discards her mother's notions about race and politics in favor of progressive thinking and decency. That or just straight up marries a Muslim (or anyone with brown skin, for that matter).
posted by Brocktoon at 11:18 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Kumail Nanjiani's first ten seconds in Orange County (at around 3:30). Sounds like California has its own little South Carolina.
posted by ignignokt at 11:18 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


"What stunned me was the grace with which the dinner attendees bore the insipid, hateful protesting. They seemed calm, resigned, unwilling to make a fuss."

I registered that, too.
It was the absolutely saddest aspect of the whole damn thing.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:19 PM on March 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


symbioid:

I moved to Seoul eight years ago. It's not a banana republic and doesn't aspire to be one, unlike the US, and, I have reason to believe Korea is likely moving in the opposite direction of my home country, to whose expensive and immoral foreign wars I'm happy not to be contributing significant tax dollars.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:20 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.

That might be the single most ugly and offensive thing I have ever read in a Metafilter comment, and I can't believe both the comment and gnossie are not gone by now. Guilt by association much?

It's also profoundly un-American, if you believe in anything the US is supposedly intended to stand for even on principle. Whatever your ethnicity or religion, gnossie, I hope someday someone judges you just as harshly and unfairly.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:22 PM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


The assumption that people are wrong and should just go away makes things simple, but it doesn't tell the whole story about people and why they do things.

People are interesting. Usually they are more interesting than evil.


The interesting people are the parents who walked their children through the hateful protest with heads held high. They are people I'd like to know, to understand, to appreciate more fully. We need more brave, interesting people like that in the world.

The protesters seem pretty boorish and uninteresting, in comparison. Their hate is pretty unoriginal, all of it fueled by stock racist tropes handed down from the racists on their favorite racist cable news channel and racist talk radio programs, as well as from racists of times past, whose words are thoughtlessly regurgitated in a context-free manner because it suits their bigoted agenda. What a boring lot, frankly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:23 PM on March 3, 2011 [22 favorites]


Lobbing primitive insults at children is repellent, not interesting.
posted by ducky l'orange at 11:26 PM on March 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Interesting how the focus of this post is on people's reactions and not at all what Muslims might be doing to warrant this hostility.

I'm actually starting to find it hilarious how thoroughly this point is being ignored. I'm not advocating hate protests, but Imam Amir Abdul Malik Ali is anti-Semite who extols martyrdom and advocates the establishment of Islamic rule in the United States, and Imam Siraj Wahhaj is an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

If you wish to remain stunned by the grace with which the dinner attendees bore the insipid, hateful protesting, perhaps you should be just as stunned by the insipid, hateful speakers they were making their way to.
posted by phaedon at 11:36 PM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looking at a certain person's profile, I discover hating on Muslims is a recurrent trope.

Is that welcome here? If so, I guess I'm not.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:36 PM on March 3, 2011


I once taught an English class full of very sheltered, naive students with little to no sense of world history. Part of their assigned reading list was a novel about the Holocaust. We spent quite a bit of time discussing the history behind it so the students would have context and background for what they were reading. Unsurprisingly, they were absolutely shattered by what they learned. They kept asking me, "How could something like that happen?"

If this video had been around when I was teaching that class, I would have shown it to them and said, this. This is how things like that happen.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:37 PM on March 3, 2011 [14 favorites]


George W. Bush is a war criminal who tortured prisoners and bombed civilians without compunction. People pay good money to see him speak too.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:38 PM on March 3, 2011 [18 favorites]


Rhaomi, that blog is terrifying. What surprises me is that it looks like it actually has commentors who are hanging on to every word, bragging that they forwarded the racist, anti-constitution articles to their politicians.

Anyway, guy appears to be a an authoritarian conservative while acting like he wants to fight big government and the formation of a "liberal dictatorship." And reading the wiki, he's even more batshit insane and racist.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:38 PM on March 3, 2011


These people are repellent. The problem is that Fox news and their ilk have made it acceptable for them to speak their views in public without the critical thinking that challenges them for their bigoted views.
If the speaker at the conference is also a bigot, then he too should be challenged. But shouting racist hatred at small children is appalling. I know which side my sympathies lie with.
posted by arcticseal at 11:41 PM on March 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm actually starting to find it hilarious how thoroughly this point is being ignored.

For the same reason any terrorist's message is weakened by his actions. Because that's what these protests are. In the case of the two speakers, all we have are accusations (because, after all, what the fuck is an "unindicted co-conspirator" but a travesty of American principles of justice -- you accuse without indictment, you got nothing).

In the case of these protesters, we have direct evidence that they are, in fact, terrorists.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:41 PM on March 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Maybe someone said it already, but this is to me the picture of a superpower losing its superpowers.

Gonna be a lot of fear and hate. Dog save us.
posted by Camofrog at 11:42 PM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the case of these protesters, we have direct evidence that they are, in fact, terrorists.

Well, here's more evidence. Imam Amir Abdul Malik Ali's speeches in Orange County have been protested since at least 2001.
posted by phaedon at 11:48 PM on March 3, 2011


Fear is the path to the Dark Side.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 11:50 PM on March 3, 2011


And for more context, video of the Irvine 11 disrupting Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren's speech at UC Irvine last month. The students have since been charged with conspiracy to disturb a meeting. Orange County's a real pressure-cooker right now.
posted by phaedon at 11:53 PM on March 3, 2011


Maybe someone said it already, but this is to me the picture of a superpower losing its superpowers.

The economic devastation of the Bush presidency did a lot of damage to California, particularly. Their unemployment rate is higher than the national average and the housing crunch also hit them hard. Record budget deficits are leaving state officials cutting services in massive swathes.

Much as the Great Depression left the Weimar Republic vulnerable to the Nazi Party, America's economic situation is ripe for nurturing the kind of right-wing fascist movement that you are seeing hints of in this video. The trouble signs are amplified when elected officials are joining in with the rabble.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:57 PM on March 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


phaedon, this is different and you know it.

And the huffpo video you link to shows exactly that.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:01 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


artof.mulata, if you would stop directing inarticulate, venom-y comments towards me, i'd really appreciate it.
posted by phaedon at 12:03 AM on March 4, 2011


Such an enlightened place.
Pete King, America's new McCarthy.
Let us call Congressman King's House hearings on 'homegrown Muslim terrorism' what they are: a bigoted witchhunt.
posted by adamvasco at 12:09 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Phaedon, my comments are neither 'venom-y' (sic) nor inarticulate.

You attempted to lump me into some strange grouping earlier and I let myself out of it.

And then you try to equate people, Palestinian people, making very direct comments to someone whom they consider directly involved in the genocide of their people with a bunch of dupes screaming ugly racist crap at kids?

Dude. get it together.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:12 AM on March 4, 2011 [29 favorites]


"I think what was most striking about that video is that the presence of small children didn't give these anti-Muslim protesters even momentary pause; they just continued screeching their ugly invective while staring at 4-year-olds walking with their parents."

It was bad enough last time but this time around they have the vote in a country with nukes. And no shortage of press personalities and politicians happy to pander to them.
posted by rodgerd at 12:18 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


That might be the single most ugly and offensive thing I have ever read in a Metafilter comment, and I can't believe both the comment and gnossie are not gone by now. Guilt by association much?
Eh, I've seen worse. Some of which were deleted.
artof.mulata, if you would stop directing inarticulate, venom-y comments towards me, i'd really appreciate it.
What are you talking about? This comment was much less civil then the one you replied too.
posted by delmoi at 12:20 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


And then you try to equate people, Palestinian people, making very direct comments to someone whom they consider directly involved in the genocide of their people with a bunch of dupes screaming ugly racist crap at kids?

You're reading into my comments the wrong way. I didn't equate anything to anything. I'm just trying to show you that this is part of a bigger conversation that has been going on in Orange County for quite some time. The protests in this video are part of a greater polarization that is taking place in the community, and it's ugly. On both sides.

Anything else you add to my comments is you painting me a certain way, attacking me instead of my ideas, and you'll notice I don't call you out by name and say something like:

You politic in on hate, you can politic your ass right back on out.

to you. So, as per your comments directed at me, please shut up already. I'm already representing an unpopular opinion here. And statements like "phaedon, this is different and you know it" really are inarticulate.
posted by phaedon at 12:20 AM on March 4, 2011


I don't like seeing the American flag used for prop purposes.

These arguments, the one side has to be 100% right and the other 100% wrong; does it ever resolve anything?
posted by buzzman at 12:23 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I wrote 'You politic in on hate...,' it was a clarification on my earlier statement that any politician who indulges in the behavior we saw in the fpp must be removed from office.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:25 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This kind of govno isn't just in Orange County:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110222/NEWS02/110222081/Bill-Ketron-proposes-law-make-following-Shariah-law-felony-?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CNews%7Cp

A Republican State Senator is back of this one.

@ DeeXtrvert, I spent time in Sarajevo, even damaged it is an amazing city. The people and the place had a profound effect on me.
You have made some important points in this dicussion.

I too am reminded of people like Karadžić, Milošović and Mladić. Not to mention Dodik.

I really think a lot of Christians, including those who never darken the threshold of a church really resent Muslims. Every visibly Muslim person, of whatever race is a reminder of their own considerable shortcomings, the same people used to say the same aweful things about Jews.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:31 AM on March 4, 2011


phaedon: What the is wrong with you?

You say you you don't want to be insulted, yet, you call people inarticulate, tell them to shut up, etc. Yet, his comments directed at you are not vitriolic at all. How are you managing to be so stupid? It's actually kind of impressive. It's rare to see hypocrisy where someone violates the norms they prescribe in the very expression of those norms.
posted by delmoi at 12:34 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I saw the flesh eating post a little bit ago and had no problem flipping through the pages. I could not watch the whole video.
posted by Felex at 12:34 AM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


So, if a Jane has an ant weaving in and out of his or her keyboard...
posted by buzzman at 12:36 AM on March 4, 2011


Man, it got all Usenet up in here.
posted by Justinian at 12:50 AM on March 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


This video made me furious. There's a lot of hate and fear out there, and a dangerous amount of self-pity and self-righteousness, that somehow leads these people to justify yelling vile abuse at families entering the hall with their children. (I fear that some people I knew years ago may be in groups like this now, or else are very close to joining groups like this. I'm afraid that one day I'll read their names in the paper next to a report of some atrocity.)

I've tried some quick Googling of the two names that have been posted in this thread that apparently, in the protestors' minds, justifies their shameful display.

Siraj Wahhaj, the "unindicted co-conspirator" (and it amazes me that Republicans and Tea Partiers can fling about that term with absolutely no sense of irony or historical context -- and yes, I know it's a specific legal term, but still ...) seems to be a charismatic and effective community leader. I don't see how one attorney's claim that he was involved in the 1993 WTC bombing carries much weight, no matter how the echo chamber talks up that claim over and over again, if they couldn't bloody well collect enough evidence to indict him.

Amir Abdel Malik Ali, on the other hand, seems to be a real outlier at this event. The Southern Poverty Law Center features him in a lengthy article about anti-Semitism on university campuses.
At a speaker series titled "Never Again? The Palestinian Holocaust," it was no surprise to hear denunciations of Israel. But students who attended the weeklong event this spring at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) were treated to more disturbing rhetoric when two of the speakers trotted out anti-Semitic canards blaming Israeli Jews for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The speakers, Imam Mohammad al-Asi and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, also asserted that Zionist Jews control the media, financial institutions and the U.S. government. ...

Ali expresses similar views. As a small group gathered around him after his noon speech at UCI, he said that Carl Cameron of Fox News tried to expose the "truth" about Sept. 11 in a news report. "He named those people who were there celebrating that the buildings were coming down, and how they were Zionist Jews, and how they were arrested and how they were let go. So the story was taken off," Ali said. "The Zionist Jews were behind it. Mossad [the national Israeli intelligence agency] was behind it."

During a speech at UCI last year, Ali told the same the story about Mossad agents rejoicing as the World Trade Center collapsed. He also said Zionist Jews perpetrated the attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 as well as 2001. "They do things to make people think it's Muslims, when it's actually them behind the scenes," he said. ...

Likewise, Ali has said many times during campus visits that Jews control the media. He has falsely identified as Jewish both media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Flemming Rose, the Danish newspaper editor who published controversial cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammad. In a May 2006 speech at UCI, Ali said: "Rupert Murdoch: Zionist Jew. Zionist Jew owns Fox News. They say that it's anti-Semitic if you say that the Zionists control the media. You better get out of here. Old Rupert is a straight-up Zionist Jew. He is. Put that on Fox News. Rupert Murdoch is a Zionist Jew."

Even when a questioner told him after his most recent UCI speech that he'd gotten his facts wrong about Murdoch and Rose, Ali was undeterred: "They're definitely Jewish. They're Zionist Jews. What's the other question? The media. Yes, Zionists do control the media."

"I just wanted to make sure you're not backtracking," said the questioner.

"No," Ali replied, "I'm not backtracking at all."
So this guy has, on more than one occasion, espoused anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. I have no idea if he's still talking like this, or if he's renounced his views and expressed remorse, or if he's done massive good in other areas that may lead some people to shrug off this crap. Can anyone else here fill us in with some info from reliable sources? Fox News, World Net Daily, or anything from Pamela Geller and her peers are not reliable sources in my book.

That said, even if Ali is still talking like this, that doesn't justify a single second of the explosion of bile we saw on that video. I just want to know more about him because he appears to be a handy excuse for these ugly displays and threats.
posted by maudlin at 12:51 AM on March 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


It's rare to see hypocrisy where someone violates the norms they prescribe in the very expression of those norms.

Actually that's like one of the most common forms.


I don't like seeing the American flag used for prop purposes.

Describe another use for it.
posted by clarknova at 1:12 AM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty sure inciting stuff like this IS illegal in Australia and some European countries. I'm starting to understand why those laws are supported..
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:20 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Can anyone explain what the history is that made the Orange County such an outlier in California politics?
posted by moorooka at 1:41 AM on March 4, 2011


Amir Abdel Malik Ali is a total nut, and probably the equivalent of one of the more extreme Tea Party politicians in many ways. That said, who cares? Because:

1) The sort of vitriol and hatred clearly shown on the video is in no way indicative of the sort of researched and nuanced thought that might allow an impartial observer to believe that these people were simply and genuinely protesting Ali's appearance. Nothing in their demeanor or "message" hints that this was so.

2) The messages directed at those attending this event were not about Ali's naive politics, but rather the most hateful speech the protesters could muster - attacks on ethnicity, religion, with false stereotypes about how all Muslim women are beaten, how the men molest children, insults against Mohammed, and so on. Had they wanted to convey some sort of meaningful point, this isn't how they would have gone about it.

3) No one speaking at the event was to speak about anything other than the importance of charity, with a focus on three uncontroversial areas of need.

4) The video depicts a crowd anxious to inflict fear and rage and anger on children. There's a famous photo photo (scroll down a little) most of us have seen, of Germans rounding up Jews, and the "focus" of the picture is a rather gentle-looking boy of perhaps seven or eight, holding his hands up. I saw this photo loads of times before the war in Sarajevo and, frankly, I didn't get it. Then, in the middle of the war, I saw it in the middle of one of my father's books. And I immediately took in the power of that picture - the utter bewilderment on the face of that boy at what was going on around him. I can hardly bear to look at it even now. The Tea Party followers did their best to put this look on the faces of the children at that event, didn't they? Notice how, in comparison with the Tea Partiers, the Germans in this photo look downright pleasant. Ask yourself, how sick is that?

5) If you wish to remain stunned by the grace with which the dinner attendees bore the insipid, hateful protesting, perhaps you should be just as stunned by the insipid, hateful speakers they were making their way to.

Yes, paint everyone with the same brush. I used to go to watch Serbian nationalist speeches, and I'm sure plenty of Jewish people followed the orations of Hitler. It doesn't mean that they agreed with the speakers, and it's pretty weird that you'd portray the actions of the protesters as justifiable even if they did. And wow, are you blaming the victims, or what? I mean, I suppose women who walk around in dark parks in skimpy clothes do occasionally get raped. And I suppose that German Jews in the '20s and '30s did own banks, shops and newspapers out of proportion with their percentage of the population and thus have "more than their fair share" of power. Tell me, exactly when do people simply minding their own business merit their children being so hatefully fucked with?
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 1:42 AM on March 4, 2011 [80 favorites]


i am very warily playing devil's advocate.

Siraj Wahhaj and Amir Abdel Malik Ali and their opinions are irrelevant. Because even if they should be protested, this sure as shit wouldn't be an acceptable way of doing it. And if these Teahadists were protesting them specifically, they weren't doing a very good job, because most of their vitriol was just directed at Muslims in general. So nobody was ignoring gnossi's point: it just has fuck all to do with anything.

What might Muslims be doing to warrant this hostility? Apparently making the mistake of belonging to a religion that other people who have done shitty things also belong to.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:42 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Can anyone explain what the history is that made the Orange County such an outlier in California politics?

Everywhere I've lived in America - and I've lived in lots of places - there's always been some county outside a city, or some cluster of suburbs, which are far far more conservative than most of their surroundings. Birds of a feather flock together. I used to wonder about this, too, and it seems simply that Orange County seems to be the place that relatively well-off conservatives around the Los Angeles area chose to congregate; there is a relatively large number of conservative churches long-based in the area, too. As Orange County's conservative reputation has become well-known, it seems to have attracted more of its "type" - a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Yorba Linda, where this event took place, was the long-time home of Richard Nixon, too . . . which says a lot.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 1:47 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can anyone explain what the history is that made the Orange County such an outlier in California politics?

Well upthread there's the note that much of the conservative population made a beeline to outlying areas outside of LA after the Watts Riots, and this includes areas such as Orange County. In addition, places like Irvine, CA (which is pretty much the seat of OC) were "planned" cities, essentially built by conservatives for conservatives. I don't mean to say that they are places completely seeded by such people, but from the beginning their charter, local laws, and what have you are the brainchild the Irvine Company, which specializes in building "suburban, master-planned" communities.

But as for OC being an "outlier," CA is much like any state - strong liberal lean in metropolitan areas and full of hardline right-wingers in the vast swath of empty space surrounding them. This is also why stuff like Prop 8 and Prop 13 get passed; you live in SF and you get the impression that everyone is a patchouli-soaked hippie, but then realize you drive for an hour or so and you're in Galt, full of gun-toting hillbillies. I experienced the same thing in WA; Seattle is about as liberal as cities get (and largely how people define the state) but it is pretty much a dot of blue in a sea of red.
posted by Tikirific at 2:00 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


So, not to turn this into a MeTa, but for the record: I didn't flag gnossi's stupid turd of a comment because when people are being idiots, it's sometimes better to let it stay on the public record. Being able to check his post history and immediately realize, "Oh, he's a troll with a single boring hot-button he apparently doesn't have the guts or gray matter to cogently make a case for, so I needn't feel bad mentally placing him on a list of folks whose opinions I can summarily dismiss in all future threads" was immensely helpful.

Basically, his own crap attempt to make his "point" is a better response to it than deletion could ever be.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:06 AM on March 4, 2011 [31 favorites]


Notice how, in comparison with the Tea Partiers, the Germans in this photo look downright pleasant. Ask yourself, how sick is that?

Oh they'll look just as pleasant if we give them the chance.
posted by clarknova at 2:09 AM on March 4, 2011


Basically, his own crap attempt to make his "point" is a better response to it than deletion could ever be.

Yeah, his only support is a racist screed from the peak of the exceedingly racist era of grotesque British imperialism - 112 years ago! I guess we needn't worry about the power of gnossie's rhetorical skill.

In 1902, three years after it was printed, Churchill asked that this passage be deleted from further printings of the book from which it came, and acknowledged that it referred solely to his experiences in Sudan which, to be fair, was a relatively miserable place long before Islam appeared. In other words, Churchill recognized the fundamental stupidity of this passage 109 years sooner than gnossie!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:26 AM on March 4, 2011 [137 favorites]


If someone can demonstrate that the OC protesters were there to protest antisemitism, I'll be willing to entertain this discussion.

The video just shows people who were there to protest Muslims.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:41 AM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


The video just shows people who were there to protest Muslims.

What, AZ? Nothing says 'I wish to oppose prejudice based on religion' like repeatedly screaming 'Go home' to US citizens and 'Muhammed was a child abuser, Muhammed was a child abuser'.

I really don't know what you were thinking.
posted by jaduncan at 3:09 AM on March 4, 2011


I've lived in a country with a large Muslim majority for years, and the thought that these people who have been so welcoming to me might ever see this makes me want to cry.
posted by Nothing at 3:10 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Tea Party followers did their best to put this look on the faces of the children at that event, didn't they?

In the section that begins around the 2:10 mark, a girl turns to face the camera with a look like that - you can see she's afraid and looking back to whoever's filming for reassurance. Very sad.

And if you want to see what happens when 100 protesters of this sort turns into thousands, the UK is, sadly, way ahead of you thanks to the activities of the English Defence League (not strictly analogous - the EDL is in part a strange new form of football hooliganism, and a fair number of their supporters are probably in it for the violence as much as the anti-Islamic ideology).
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 3:17 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just watched the video. People can be so vile. Really sad and really, really common. Arseholes are everywhere, lurking within the skins of otherwise decent people.
posted by h00py at 3:38 AM on March 4, 2011


That's both frightening and sad. These people have become exactly what they believe Muslims to be.

The rich astroturfing meddlers who encouraged this belief should be in jail.
posted by lucien_reeve at 3:39 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


As I am a great advocate for naming names; here is a small list of the bigots:
Rabbi Dov Fischer of Young Israel of Orange County,
Irvine Jewish activist Dee Sterling
U.S. Congressmen Ed Royce (R-CA), Gary Miller (R-CA),
Chapman University adjunct professor of law Karen Lugo
Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly (R)
Steven Amundson - Protest organizer
posted by adamvasco at 3:45 AM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


Note that this was not some fringe rambling on some dude's blog. It's from a speech delivered to a conference attended by, among others, university professors, national magazine editors, journalists, and (at the time) a sitting UK politician.

I was surprised to see a "UK politician" involved, as this sort of thing is infra dig in the UK. A little digging revealed that the politician is Patricia Richardson, a member of the British National Party. I always thought they were antisemitic as well as racist. Seems they've changed their remit because :

"The Jewish BNP candidate for Epping Forest has polled under 2,000 votes.

Patricia Richardson increased the BNP’s share of the vote by just 254 to 1,982.

Ms Richardson told the JC that the party is neither antisemitic nor racist. She described the mainstream Jewish community's hostility towards her party as "blinkered" and accuses it of "demonising" BNP policies.
Jewish Chronicle.

I looked this up because I wanted to show that no UK politician of any standing would ever be associated with this. Its just not the way we do things. I'm shocked to see there are are jews in the BNP.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 4:26 AM on March 4, 2011


I'm shocked to see there are are jews in the BNP.

The EDL have - wait for it - official Jewish and Gay Divisions.
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 4:34 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Imagine, say, the Ambassador to the United States from Lebanon or Saudi Arabia, visited a New York mosque, saying that Arab leaders who made preemptive attacks on Israel were his personal heroes...

Imagine that the ambassador in question used the teachings of the Quran to defend the idea of a preemptive attack on Israel, accusing it of an unproven, unfounded plan to preemptively attack Arab nations...

Imagine that the ambassador cited an extremist, anti-semitic Arab politician under investigation for fraud and corruption, claiming Israeli attempts to undermine several South American governments, despite a complete lack of evidence and those governments strongest possible denials.

Imagine them asking Islamic Americans for their unconditional support for a war... or even a preemptive nuclear strike against its neighbors, based on a threat that our own government's intelligence agencies have repeatedly downplayed.

Imagine that he met with a radical US mullah, who preached that the Palestinian Diaspora was part of Allah's plan to set the stage for the return of the Mahdi, the final apocalyptic battle, and the fall of Israel.

Well, that is essentially what Michael Oren, Israel's Amabassador to the United States, has done in our country.

Michael Oren doesn't just deserve hecklers. He deserves a US government brave enough to kick him out of our country for inciting war crimes.
posted by markkraft at 4:47 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


In response to moorooka's question, and for anyone interested in Orange County and the New Right, I will recommend this book:

Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right
posted by dhens at 4:58 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


>I'm shocked to see there are are jews in the BNP.

>>The EDL have - wait for it - official Jewish and Gay Divisions.


Well, remember the big bogeyman for those guys now is Islamic. So I guess their thought process went 'all Muslims bad! All Jews hate Muslims! Jews good now!'.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:02 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Horribleness of this whole thing aside, I'm pretty sure that persecuting a religious group is the best way to reinforce their beliefs. Probably didn't think that one through, teabaggers.
posted by indubitable at 5:07 AM on March 4, 2011


I came to this country because I believed that:

The US never conducted a war of aggression
All religions could coexist peacefully in the US, free from intolerance
The US racial intolerance was, after the Kennedys and Dr. King, on the way to extinction

Direct me to the nearest time machine, I want to go back and change my decision.
posted by francesca too at 5:08 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


That is interesting and worrying, markkraft, and I can see why you might think it was germane, but I am not sure it is going to help this discussion. I think most people are aware that the US dealings with Israel are a bit *special snowflake*.
posted by asok at 5:13 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"'all Muslims bad! All Jews hate Muslims! Jews good now!'."

Given that many white supremacists in the US feel the same way, this should not be surprising. The eneny of my enemy, etc.

Sadly, there are entirely too many similarities amongst the extremists.

posted by markkraft at 5:20 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I assume the rationale for groups like the EDL and BNP letting gay and Jewish people join is to give their politics the veneer of rationalism, rather than the ugly hatred that it is. It's a sophisticated variation on the "Some of my best friends are black, and THEY say…" line.
posted by dudekiller at 5:22 AM on March 4, 2011


I came to this country because I believed that:

The US never conducted a war of aggression
All religions could coexist peacefully in the US, free from intolerance
The US racial intolerance was, after the Kennedys and Dr. King, on the way to extinction

Direct me to the nearest time machine, I want to go back and change my decision.


I'm sorry you feel that way. Those idiots are the lunatic fringe. Our people aren't better than any other people, but at least our laws still mostly respect those good notions.
posted by gjc at 5:26 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I assume the rationale for groups like the EDL and BNP letting gay and Jewish people join is to give their politics the veneer of rationalism, rather than the ugly hatred that it is. It's a sophisticated variation on the "Some of my best friends are black, and THEY say…" line.

A thought process like that might exist among the leadership, but I'm just not sure if any of it's driven by a rationale, per se. While groups and movements focused on this kind of hate have a lot of broad similarities, there's quite a bit of fluidity to just who is in the in-group and who is the Hated Other at any given time.

Not that it's not weird to see Jews and openly gay folks among their ranks.
posted by brennen at 5:35 AM on March 4, 2011


dudekiller: Yes, although in retrospect I feel I should be surprised that Jews and gays would want to join these groups.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:35 AM on March 4, 2011


"I came to this country because I believed that:

The US never conducted a war of aggression
All religions could coexist peacefully in the US, free from intolerance
The US racial intolerance was, after the Kennedys and Dr. King, on the way to extinction

Direct me to the nearest time machine, I want to go back and change my decision."


The problem being, most Americans haven't really internalized the above. Unfounded, disproportionate fear and hate, combined with a major political party whose oftentimes winning agenda is usually to divide the country, provoke fear and distrust of minorities/bogeymen/those in other parts of the country/"the other" makes them lose their way.

And well... some Americans reject your noble beliefs outright. It doesn't help that our most largest, most politically influential protestant religion got its start by defending the institution of slavery... something they didn't apologize for until 2009, and which , in many ways, their members have not internalized. It did look like hatred was on the way to extinction... but in a very real sense, it was "born again". The very progress you cited became a recruitment tool for hatred, oftentimes in the name of God.

Sadly, like you make clear, the problem is so huge, so frustrating, and so tragic, it's all too easy to want to give up, rather than stand up and fight.

It's your America too, you know.
posted by markkraft at 5:47 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"That is interesting and worrying, markkraft, and I can see why you might think it was germane,..."

What I think matters far less than what Islamic Americans think.

Perhaps you should ask a few whether they think inciting preemptive wars -- nuclear or otherwise -- against Islamic nations is germane?!
posted by markkraft at 5:54 AM on March 4, 2011


Because even if they should be protested, this sure as shit wouldn't be an acceptable way of doing it.

This is pretty much the only thing that needs to be said, imo. That protest is an embarrassment to the whole country, and just plain poor tactics by the protesters, because it makes the people they're protesting look sympathetic by comparison.
posted by empath at 6:01 AM on March 4, 2011


Until this, I was completely unaware of the existence of ignorant, hateful bigots in America.

Seriously, though, this is just plain embarrassing, and I feel especially terrible for the Muslim children -- all of who will never forget this and some of who will only feed the cycle of distrust and discord.
posted by gagglezoomer at 6:09 AM on March 4, 2011


WHAT. THE. FUCK. I am ashamed. These people are fellow Americans.
posted by zardoz at 6:14 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Anti-sharia" protesters through crosses at feet of praying muslim man.
posted by empath at 6:17 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


ugh, through=throw... too much cough medicine this morning..
posted by empath at 6:17 AM on March 4, 2011


I don't really know what to say after watching that. I think I'm going to be sick.
posted by snwod at 6:43 AM on March 4, 2011


Couldn't watch the whole thing. Disgusting.
posted by Splunge at 6:49 AM on March 4, 2011


I couldn't watch the whole thing...

Back when I lived in LA, we called the OC the "DMZ" or the "Orange Curtain" because we were always a bit afraid to go down there.
posted by schyler523 at 6:49 AM on March 4, 2011


I don't have time right now to read the rest of this thread, but I did find a link to a YouTube video of the speakers at the rally on Deborah Pauly's Facebook page. Later, I plan to watch it and catch up with the comments here, but I didn't see this linked and thought there might be interest in it.

I will say now my level of disgust is through the roof, and I am going to be unpleasant to be around today. Woe to those who must work with me this afternoon.
posted by Orb at 6:57 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, as an atheist liberal living in southwest Missouri, I'm beginning to wonder how long until this kind of vicious hatred is directed toward people like me.

Let's not kid ourselves. Speaking out in defense of the targets of their bigotry and hatred is the best way to become "an enemy of the state" ourselves. [scare quote extravaganza]

Part of me wants to say 'bring it on,' but I guess it's never wise to tempt fate...
posted by crackingdes at 7:03 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'll tempt it. Bring it the fuck on.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:05 AM on March 4, 2011 [16 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised more people didn't dig into the story about the people speaking at the event. I mean, I can give the WTC bombing guy a pass for maybe being wrongly accused, but the other speaker sounds like he's said some anti-semitic things before and I don't know how seriously he takes that whole "sharia law for all in the US" thing. Of course, no matter what the speakers had said in the past, screaming at children to go back home is so totally bigoted and over the top, but I'm curious what sort of nugget of truth took a bunch of lunatics so far down the path of crazy.

Reading the story from the point of view of the people that spoke at the rally (of hate, it turns out), it reminded me of being back in college in Southern California in the 90s, and how we had a huge latino population and the on campus MEChA group was pretty big and a great way for a generation of kids to be proud of their identity (often being the first generation in their family to attend college). College if for nothing else is about figuring out who you are, so the MEChA group was just as useful as the GLBT groups and I guess even the frats and sororities in terms of helping people become who they wanted to be.

But like clockwork, every fall semester, a new wave of Political Science majors would funnel in and there would be an anti-MEChA editorial in the school newspaper, where some new freshman fresh off reading Atlas Shrugged would scream wildly in print about how MEChA doesn't just stand for Chicano unity, but they want to "take California back" and restore lands taken from Mexico in the late 1800s. This would cause a small uproar and you'd see more MEChA presence at school events for a few weeks and eventually it would all die down, but every September the cycle would repeat.

From the outside, I don't know if more than a couple people in the thousands-strong MEChA group really thought the entire Southwest of the US could actually go back into Mexico's rule, or if that was even a worthy cause. But that nugget deep in their bylaws caused the campus republican club to always be at odds with them.

I'm curious if something like this was at the core of this situation in Yorba Linda, and it spiraled way out of control since the start.
posted by mathowie at 7:12 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Haters gotta hater.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:15 AM on March 4, 2011


What the fuck. Watching that video made me embarrassed to be a human.
posted by something something at 7:19 AM on March 4, 2011


He never tired of telling me how he defends his house and property from the Asian Invasion of Vancouver

I still get this from time to time in Vancouver, and even though it's much rarer now than 20 years ago I still find it stunning that anyone can be so ignorant at this point in time.


Allow me to introduce you to my brother and his girlfriend. A few Sundays ago my niece brought her new boyfriend for dinner with the family, and once the conversation turned to the Asian Invasion, even me turning to the new boyfriend and saying "Ha ha, welcome to the racist portion of the evening" wouldn't shut them down. It's still out there.

And we were brought up in a properly liberal (in the American sense) household, too. The Civil Rights protesters of the 60s were family heroes.
posted by jokeefe at 7:25 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


francesca too: "Direct me to the nearest time machine, I want to go back and change my decision."

Don't worry - the Teabaggers are pushing mighty hard against the hands of the clock that moves time... If they succeed, just hop off the nearest exit point on the way back to the middle ages.
posted by symbioid at 7:32 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is what happens when people let other people do their thinking for them. Unfortunately, a lot of people do that.

Stupid is as stupid does.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:35 AM on March 4, 2011


How incredibly sad it must be to live in a mind-created world filled with so much fear.

And I feel so damn privileged to be a product of mixed parents - a then-Catholic mom and Muslim dad, both FOB immigrants from two different continents, who got together in 1969. I feel very sad for these kinds of people who miss out on so much joy and fun, because they just cannot seem to break the chains of their own self-harming paranoid prison. What a tragic life.
posted by raztaj at 7:44 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


The beauty of this is that thanks to future advances in face recognition software and the permanent memory created by the Internet these people will have to explain why they acted the way they did for the rest of their lives when their children and grandchildren come across this stuff while doing ancestrally driven Google ego surfing.

I still have awkward memories of my own grandfather's bigotry and painfully embarrassing memories of my own ignorant teenage assholery but none of these things were ever archived (also I will never have an descendants - bullets dodged!).

I look forward to these people having to explain their behaviour over and over again to their hopefully smarter and kinder descendants.
posted by srboisvert at 7:44 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lovecraft In Brooklyn: I'm pretty sure inciting stuff like this IS illegal in Australia and some European countries. I'm starting to understand why those laws are supported.

So maybe a change of opinion since you recently talked about free speech?

I'm not making fun and I'm not taking shots, regardless of where one wants to draw the line on free speech, I think it is very important to understand that there are very good reasons that some people think "100% free" is a bad answer.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:44 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be fair to those racist Canadians, that asian invasion stuff is pretty damn mainstream.
posted by mek at 7:48 AM on March 4, 2011


I'm kind of surprised more people didn't dig into the story about the people speaking at the event.

I think it's not being made about that because the protesters didn't make it about that. They made it about telling American citizens to "go home" and that their god is a child molester.

Why should I make a rational argument in defense of irrational people?
posted by rollbiz at 7:55 AM on March 4, 2011


rollbiz: and that their god is a child molester

In Muslim theology it's actually pretty important that Mohamed is not a god, but a prophet visited by an angel.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:59 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Salon explains why the protesters insist they were up in arms--two controversial speakers, one who was supposedly linked to 9/11 (never charged, denies the allegation) and another who said he supports Hezbollah.

CNA spokesman Waqas Syed, who also lives in Orange County, told me Thursday that "we invited the speakers for their social services work in Brooklyn and Oakland, and not because of their political stances on the Middle East -- which we may or may not have agreed with." He said the event was entirely apolitical. Malik spoke about neighborliness, he said, and Siraj spoke about giving back to society.

Funny how you don't see the same protesters going against, say, the Westboro Baptist Church.
posted by misha at 8:00 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sadly, like you make clear, the problem is so huge, so frustrating, and so tragic, it's all too easy to want to give up, rather than stand up and fight.

It's your America too, you know.


Up to 9/11 I would have agreed. I felt American, free to pitch in and help what I saw could stand to be made better and enjoy the things I thought were great. I used to tutor students in subpar schools, I volunteered to help the mentally ill and the homeless. Since 9/11 I no longer feel free to express my opinions (except on Metafilter, with family, and with close friends) because I have been slapped down too many times, even by people whom I considered closer than family. I can pass for American until I talk, then a distinctive chill sets in, no matter if I am in a grocery store, department store, at work or in church. I no longer volunteer in schools, I no longer volunteer for the homeless (not because the homeless dissed me, but because my co-volunteers did). I still volunteer for the mentally ill, they don't care that I talk funny.

The change in the way people react to me is not due to a change in the way I express myself: while I consider myself a liberal (and I'm surrounded by Republicans), I also consider myself polite and I do respect other people positions and opinions.

I did not come to this country to improve my financial situation. I came here because I truly believed in this country ideals (and because I could read new SF books still hot from the press).
posted by francesca too at 8:03 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Funny how you don't see the same protesters going against, say, the Westboro Baptist Church.

It's because this is not some philosophical debate on their part. This is clannish behavior, pure and simple. These people, by and large, are insular and incapable of self-reflection. They probably haven't traveled or read much past People magazine. They just know that the people across the rope are "different" than they are - and "different" is bad, of course.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:05 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


In Muslim theology it's actually pretty important that Mohamed is not a god, but a prophet visited by an angel.

Sorry, I didn't know who they were accusing of being a child molester since they don't actually explain themselves.
posted by rollbiz at 8:07 AM on March 4, 2011


Actually, yes I did since they specifically say Mohamed. My mistake, carry on.
posted by rollbiz at 8:07 AM on March 4, 2011


raztaj: "How incredibly sad it must be to live in a mind-created world filled with so much fear. "

I have a friend that just posted this comment in my LJ: "Whoever said 'seeing is believing' got cause and effect the wrong way round."

I thought that was a potent quote and felt it fit the topic, here.
posted by symbioid at 8:09 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]



In Muslim theology it's actually pretty important that Mohamed is not a god, but a prophet visited by an angel.

Sorry, I didn't know who they were accusing of being a child molester since they don't actually explain themselves.


I would not expect these people to realize the distinction.
posted by Think_Long at 8:20 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, man. I couldn't watch the whole thing. What a fucking disgrace.
posted by brundlefly at 8:21 AM on March 4, 2011


As for the claims that Siraj Wahaj is one of 170 unindicted "terrorists", well... here's what Andrew McCarthy, former federal prosecutor involved with the 9/11 indictments, says:

"I think the list is probably an interesting footnote to people. I get asked about it every couple of years when some story or another about Wahaj pops up. I think the list is a tempest in a teapot."

Do you think the people running the protest... or the politicians involved... or Rabbi David Eliezrie, the president of the Rabbinical Council of Orange County, who helped sponsor this protest, knew this fact?! Do you really think it would've changed their minds about getting involved if they had?

I doubt it.

Whether you're talking about the politicians, the rabbi, or the Tea Party groups involved, there were all there for one reason. Because hate and fear sells. It's good for business. It promotes their agenda. Hell... it *IS* their agenda.

I traveled about 300 miles down to Orange County back in 2009, to attend an event that was a beautiful mirror opposite of the pit of racism, lies, and self-serving hatred in that video. I went to the first annual Anatolian Cultures & Food Festival. It was an epic indulgence in a truly great culture. The people putting it on spent about a million dollars to create sets for the festival, tall models of the skyline of Istanbul and numerous other cities, examples of all the cultures over the ages that existed there, etc. There were plenty of Turkish-Americans there, including some that traveled down from where I lived... but there were also many others within the Islamic community. The organizers even specifically reached out to the Armenian-Americans. I saw one old woman crying when she walked into a large set model of a famous Armenian church in Van, wondering if she'd ever get to go there.

It was awesome... and I got to meet one of my favorite performers and see his band, featuring incredible musicians from around the world, perform live. Even pro-torture, anti-immigrant congressman Dana Rauchbauer was there, reminiscing about previous trips to Turkey, and about how important such events were, and how glad he was that it was being hosted in Orange County. The whole weekend was joyous and friendly, really.

So... when ignorant, racist cretins and scheming demogogues attack a community of genuinely kind Americans who don't condone or support terrorism, I take that pretty seriously. It's an outrage that it happened, and a betrayal that others in their community didn't stand up for them, or shout the demogogues down.

Evil is the right word... but not for the people who attended the charity event, or evne its speakers. Unfortunately, this is the kind of evil that spreads.
posted by markkraft at 8:26 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


"I can pass for American until I talk, then a distinctive chill sets in, no matter if I am in a grocery store, department store, at work or in church. I no longer volunteer in schools, I no longer volunteer for the homeless (not because the homeless dissed me, but because my co-volunteers did). I still volunteer for the mentally ill, they don't care that I talk funny."

The mentally ill *and* Metafilter!

Honey, you live in the wrong neighborhood...!
posted by markkraft at 8:35 AM on March 4, 2011


How can you find out about events like this before they happen? I like to think that if I knew about a hate-filled protest that was going to happen in my town that I would show up as a counter-protester. But since I usually hear about these things after the fact, I'm left only to stew in my frustration and possibly donate money.

I know it's become pretty well publicized when the WBC is coming to town, but outside of big tea party events I don't ever hear about these things. If it hasn't been done already, someone should create a site that culls all the protests that are planned and will notify you if one is happening in your area. The only other option I can think of is actually joining the mailing list of whatever groups will admit to this kind of hate, which sounds pretty unpleasant to me.
posted by HSWilson at 8:37 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I can give the WTC bombing guy a pass for maybe being wrongly accused"

One person out of 120 that the government said *might* be charged -- but not necessarily convicted -- of doing something in some way related to assisting the terrorists, even if it was completely without knowledge of the actual plan...?!

Maybe? Perhaps?!

Gee, that's generous. I guess I might have to stop blaming you personally for that invasion of Lebanon, then.
posted by markkraft at 8:42 AM on March 4, 2011


How can you find out about events like this before they happen? I like to think that if I knew about a hate-filled protest that was going to happen in my town that I would show up as a counter-protester.

Having been around it my whole life, I've become completely inured to the concept of guides and protectors used to help women get to their local health clinic / Planned Parenthood office, almost like that's just the way it's always been, the way it always shall be.

That's depressing in its own right, obviously, but it's an even more troubling feature of this world we now live in when people talk about organizing the same kind of counter-protests and protections as we've had for decades at abortion clinics, but now we're doing it for ordinary citizens doing ordinary citizen-y things, like going to a fundraiser or burying their dead.
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:47 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I don't get what the Tea Party wants here. I mean, the Civil Rights Act and Constitution are pretty clear the government can't choose to discriminate against a single religion, right? And wouldn't things like, say, banning Muslim immigration be pretty clear discrimination? Do they want to repeal the CRA and/or amend the constitution just to punish the scapegoat du jour?"

Lawrence Auster wants to prohibit Islam and attends conferences. Bryan Fischer wants to expel every Muslim in America and routinely chats with prominent Republicans and Republican candidates on his radio show. Mike Huckabee claimed that Obama "was born in Kenya" on Fischer's show on Monday. It's unlikely that they'll get it, but it's clear what they want.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:48 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


How can you find out about events like this before they happen? I like to think that if I knew about a hate-filled protest that was going to happen in my town that I would show up as a counter-protester.

It's by no means the best or only technique, but: Go undercover. I do this with the Tea Party/White Power/etc., I maintain a dummy Facebook profile become a fan of tea party groups and maintain a Stormfront account and so on.
posted by rollbiz at 8:51 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I personally hope I'm wrong, but this not all that unexpected surge seems to stem from november 2008. That was when all of the "we're losin the country" talk and all the years of behind the scenes jokes, talk and racist ramblings had some event to make these people think that they are "in danger" and now is the time to speak up and act out. The "one last stand" as it were. Friends, neighbors and all sorts of racist people now feel like it's okay in places for them to spout off things they would never have let slip....until the social order was threatened by having someone not like the other someones gain a position of power like the presidency.

You see it in these republican bills put forth that aren't even pretending to be reasonable, they're just flat out regression. It's a way of just establishing the beginnings of war - setting the bar at a place that is so far away from modern ideas....because they (the people who think this way) want to go back to when they were in power and could do anything to anybody and not only get away with it but profit from it.

I see it in lots of places in popular culture, and without this getting me labeled, I think Obama has been so bend over backwardsy toward the republicans is to short circuit the ability of people like this to have reasonable people drawn into this type of thinking.

I think the 4th of July is going to be a ramping up, and Sept. 11th this year is going to be extremely combative. And then the next election cycle....I can't even imagine the crazy things that will occur. Of course I would love to be mistaken about all of this. I have no desire in seeing friends and acquaintances show their truly evil sides, hopped up on fear. Honestly, as someone suggested, we need to think about these things and come up with a plan to combat them.
posted by cashman at 8:56 AM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's by no means the best or only technique, but: Go undercover. I do this with the Tea Party/White Power/etc., I maintain a dummy Facebook profile become a fan of tea party groups and maintain a Stormfront account and so on.

This is brilliant. But what happens if someone stumbles over it on your computer and thinks you're a secret racist?

I tried to go to the book burning in Gainesville, FL, and another anti-Muslim talk in my hometown, but they were both cancelled before I got there. I was pleasantly surprised that I seemed to be behind the curve on public opinion, but I wonder what is going to happen with the 2012 election cycle...

I would love to infiltrate this crowd posing as a foreigner and have them shout "God is with us!" in German. I doubt they'd fucking get it.
posted by notion at 8:57 AM on March 4, 2011


"the other speaker sounds like he's said some anti-semitic things before"

Good thing, then, that rabbis never say or do anything which could be construed as scapegoating or stereotyping Arabs, supporting illegal settlements, defending illegal preemptive wars, justifying illegal blockades as tens of thousands suffer from malnutrition, etc.
posted by markkraft at 8:58 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Mike Huckabee claimed that Obama "was born in Kenya" on Fischer's show on Monday

In fairness to Huckabee, he actually said that Obama grew up in Kenya (wrong, but not the same). He believes Obama was born in Hawaii because he said the Clintons spent a fortune on private investigators.

Doesn't matter anyway. Huckabee is too overweight to get any presidential nomination.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:58 AM on March 4, 2011


(Actually, Huckabee is the candidate most likely to win the nomination, according to all the pollsters. )
posted by markkraft at 9:01 AM on March 4, 2011


Ah, I didn't know that. Conventional wisdom would say that fat balding dudes aren't TV friendly enough to win presidential elections.
/derail

posted by Burhanistan at 9:04 AM on March 4, 2011



"the other speaker sounds like he's said some anti-semitic things before"


Yeah, I harass Christian children because their preachers are homophobic. It isn't insane at all.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:05 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Mike Huckabee is an ignorant racist asshole. The Atlantic breaks down his stupid Kenya comments and how he insists that Obama is "different".
posted by mathowie at 9:17 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


markkraft and furiousxgeorge, I don't believe what the people described the two "controversial" speakers as being, I was just trying to get at how in the hell this situation got so crazy, what the line of thinking was in even starting the protest, what those guys had allegedly done. I had a feeling it was flimsy to non-existent, I just wondered if someone looked it up and could share it.
posted by mathowie at 9:20 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I, too, despise the protest. It's hateful rhetoric, and ignorant as well. My question to the group is why, despite knowing Amir Abdul Malik's staunch anti-Semitic stance, these Muslim groups invite him to speak at their events? I live in Dearborn, so don't think I don't see this type of self-destruction happen all the time. There HAVE to be better speaker choices, there have to be other Muslim community leaders who embody sacrifice and service far, far better than Malik. The organizer acknowledged he knew the speaker was controversial, but he "didn't invite him to speak about that." That's incredibly disingenuous.

Is it because he is still appealing to Muslims? That it what the slightly saner protesters might think. Why invite someone so polarizing -- and a self-professed "hater" himself--to an event that is, by its very nature, supposed to be about peace, help, and love?

I hate to think promoting the anti-Semite speaker among Muslims brings more money to a fundraiser. But what else are we to think?
posted by Kokopuff at 9:27 AM on March 4, 2011


There is a part of me who wishes that one of those 8-year-old Muslim kids had run toward the hateful crowd while waving her arms and shouting "Boogity boogity boo!" just to see them startle and panic like the bleating frightened sheep they are.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:28 AM on March 4, 2011 [8 favorites]


"For the first time, an NPR investigation has identified 86 of the more than 100 men who have lived in the special units that some people are calling "Guantanamo North." The Communications Management Units in Terre Haute, Ind., and Marion, Ill., are mostly filled with Muslims."
posted by futz at 9:34 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


There is a part of me who wishes that one of those 8-year-old Muslim kids had run toward the hateful crowd while waving her arms and shouting "Boogity boogity boo!" just to see them startle and panic like the bleating frightened sheep they are.

I'd love that. Except someone in the crowd would probably trip in panic and then demand that the kid be arrested and deported for assault. Can't deport an American citizen? Well, everyone knows that Those People aren't real Americans! Then they'd sue the kids family into bankruptcy.
posted by rtha at 9:34 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


ftha: or that's when the concealed weapons would come out...
posted by toastchee at 9:46 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


As an ultra-liberal wingnut, I find Huckabee a hell of a lot scarier than Sarah Palin. His politics and philosophy are just as repulsive as hers, but while Palin comes across as ignorant and abrasive to pretty much everyone except her hardline supporters, Huckabee is articulate and charismatic. Where Palin's public delivery is stiff and shrill, ol' Huck is friendly and relaxed, with just a touch of self-effacing humour. (And for a "fat balding dude," he's honestly not that bad-looking.)

Every time I see Mike Huckabee on the Daily Show or whatever, I have to make a considerable effort to remind myself that his platform is just as racist, classist, misogynistic, homophobic, theocratic and warmongering as the rest of those Republican fuckers. The guy represents the exact opposite of every single thing I stand for; given the chance, he would destroy everything I hold dear and count it a good day's work.

And yet—he trips my subconscious have-a-beer-with-the-guy circuit ten times harder than Dubya ever did. And that makes him fucking dangerous.
posted by Zozo at 9:46 AM on March 4, 2011 [30 favorites]


Ugh, I read Glenn Beck's Blog "The Blaze" yesterday to see what the hard-right thought of this (some of them think it's faked, naturally), and I stumbled across an article about how Chris Christie's been saying he feels like he could win, but he's not sure if he'll run.

What's funny is most of them rallyed around him, saying they like what he's doing for NJ. (Hooray for canceling major public infrastructure projects in progress! Hooray for firing a well-respected judge to put his friend in place!) But a vocal minority said that he wasn't conservative enough, because he wasn't as Islamophobic as them, and had no plans to challenge "ObamaCare" legally.

I kind of hope he doesn't run, even though that would probably get someone else to take up the governor's seat and I don't think he stands a chance against more established names like Sarah Palin or Huckabee. If anything, he'd probably splinter the moderate Republican vote. I'd be pretty happy if they got Acting Governor Cody to come back, if Christie wanted a Republican. He actually went to state mental hospitals, got angry at the staff, and chastised them about the conditions and got them to add air conditioning.

Also, u mad about speakers at my former college, Beck?

What's strange is how most of the readers of that blog seem to think Glenn Beck is intellectually bulletproof, saying that he's right about everything, any exposure he gets (even if it's a joke on the Daily Show) will just get his message more exposure and thus more followers, when he's been caught lying, confabulating conspiracies or at least seriously misrepresenting the truth many times. I guess if you consider truth to be fluid and the reliability of your leader to be rock solid, it's hard to see he has no clothes.

Also, the comments on this thread are pretty depressing. You shouldn't need a warrant to spy on Muslim US citizens, apparently.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:50 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


So this guy has, on more than one occasion, espoused anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

So does Glenn Beck, but I don't see the Tea Party giving him shit about his Soros puppet demonstrations.

You know, as an atheist liberal living in southwest Missouri, I'm beginning to wonder how long until this kind of vicious hatred is directed toward people like me.

Hey, the 41nd President said you aren't really a citizen.
posted by rodgerd at 10:01 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good thing, then, that rabbis never say or do anything which could be construed as scapegoating or stereotyping Arabs, supporting illegal settlements, defending illegal preemptive wars, justifying illegal blockades as tens of thousands suffer from malnutrition, etc.
What on earth does that have to do with anything? Are you implying that it's ok for this particular person to be an anti-semite because, what?, some Jews are actually evil? WTF.

People should call out religious leaders (and other people) who say hateful shit, no matter what religion they belong to.
posted by craichead at 10:04 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


octobersurprise: It's unlikely that they'll get it... I sure hope that's true. If it isn't, the USA won't be the first great society torn apart from the inside due to the manipulations of a powerful minority.
posted by fartknocker at 10:04 AM on March 4, 2011


McCain used to look good on The Daily Show too. Eventually campaign level media attention wears down the facade. Huck is already starting to break, the Kenya stuff will come back to bite him in a general. The intense hated of Obama on a personal level just doesn't exist outside of wingnut land. The dude sounds and looks like a slightly nerdy professor, not a radical.

markkraft and furiousxgeorge, I don't believe what the people described the two "controversial" speakers as being, I was just trying to get at how in the hell this situation got so crazy, what the line of thinking was in even starting the protest

I know, was criticizing the silly justification, not trying to imply you agreed with it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:16 AM on March 4, 2011


Honey, you live in the wrong neighborhood...!

You are so right!
posted by francesca too at 10:20 AM on March 4, 2011


What's hard to wrap my brain around is that every one of those ugly, hateful protestors believes in their heart that they're right. They're not "ugly and hateful"; they're "taking a stand for what's right".

I mean, usually in a conflict, there's some genuine misunderstanding that, once explained in full to all parties, leads to some reconciliation... Like "hey, wow, I hadn't thought about it like that -- I'd be pissed off too if I were in your place" and then we're all friends or at least non-enemies. Is that even possible here, when the core belief appears to be "I'm a good person because I despise everyone who is different from me."?
posted by LordSludge at 11:11 AM on March 4, 2011


"I'm a good person because I despise everyone who is different from me."?

Welcome to the Internet age

/snark

sorry, that wasn't directed at you at all LS, just general venting.
posted by edgeways at 11:41 AM on March 4, 2011


"I don't know. He's not here," the mayor responded. When told that Wahhaj was in fact in the meeting, Bloomberg reversed course.

"That one. Yes. We have to talk to everybody," he said. "That's what dialogue is all about. That's how you prevent tragedies."
posted by clavdivs at 11:54 AM on March 4, 2011


One of the speakers at this event, Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali, is affiliated with the Sabiqun movement. According to the Anti-Defamation League:

Sabiqun is an anti-Semitic Muslim group that advocates for the creation of a global Islamic state that would abolish all "man-made" forms of governance. [...]

The mosques are located in poor neighborhoods and claim to provide social services to the communities. [...]

Sabiqun is also trying to raise money for a Islamic Institute for Counter Zionist American Psychological Warfare." The planned institute will "monitor Zionist and Israeli networks, circles, and clubs which deceitfully infiltrate Muslim and Black groups," according to a June 2010 Sabiqun newsletter. [...]

On July 4, 1995, [Sabiqun] published a document called "Resolution of Philadelphia," which declared the group's "independence from man-made concepts." The document, created as a challenge to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, resolved to work toward establishing a self sufficient Muslim community that will work with other Muslims "for the purpose of reestablishing the system of governance known as Khilafah, or the Caliphate."

Sabiqun predicts that Islamic rule will be established in the U.S., which it calls "the Islamic State of North America," by "no later than 2050." Speaking in 2000 at a gathering organized by Jamaat al-Muslimeen in Baltimore, Alim Musa said: "Islam went everywhere in the [ancient] world…so why can't Islam take over America…We are on the right road."

An article published in the Sabiqun newsletter in March 2002 claimed that there is "open warfare" between Muslims and the U.S., which it described as "the united forces of kufr [non-believers]…the criminal constitutional dictatorship of the USA."


Again, I'm not condoning hateful protests, but if you'd think the Orange County Tea Party - consisting of, for example, conservative lunatics whose kids are serving in the military - would protest something, it would be this. LordSludge, comments like:

"I mean, usually in a conflict, there's some genuine misunderstanding that, once explained in full to all parties, leads to some reconciliation... Like "hey, wow, I hadn't thought about it like that -- I'd be pissed off too if I were in your place" and then we're all friends or at least non-enemies. Is that even possible here, when the core belief appears to be "I'm a good person because I despise everyone who is different from me."?"

as they are being leveled unilaterally at the protestors, and not the hate speech that they are protesting, are tough to swallow. And that's just my opinion.
posted by phaedon at 11:54 AM on March 4, 2011


as they are being leveled unilaterally at the protestors, and not the hate speech that they are protesting, are tough to swallow. And that's just my opinion.

Except, again, the speaker did not speak about Israel here, but public service.

Let me, perhaps, provide an example.

Think of the worst possible word that a person could scream at a 4 year old white girl.

Now, imagine that little girl's parents are taking her to fundraiser for abused women.

That fundraiser for abused women features Rush Limbaugh. He's scheduled to speak on the importance of helping out your fellow man (I know, I know, he would never do that - which is an interesting difference between Limbaugh and these allegedly evil Muslim speakers).

Anyhow, some protesters show up and, instead of focusing the protest on Limbaugh, stand around and hurl the worst possible word that you could scream at a 4 year old white girl at that 4 year old white girl.

Yes, Limbaugh has said some awful things. No, its not all right to scream that at a 4 year old.

In fact, since we have no way of knowing the motives of the people attending this event (beyond the fact that, maybe, they want to participate in community service), its not all right to scream that at any of the attendees.

So, the reason we're aiming things at the protesters here is because:

1) They are behaving inappropriately to innocents.

2) There word choices suggest that they're not protesting the controversial words of that one speaker, but rather that they are decrying the presence of Muslims in their country period.

3) Their word choices are undoubtedly racist.

The reason we're not aiming things at that speaker that they are allegedly protesting is because:

1) He wasn't the one they were yelling at.

2) Even if he was the one they were yelling at, his hate speech doesn't justify their hate speech. That's the way a child justifies bad behavior - "well, he did it first." Adults should know better.

Adult A saying "Racist Thing" does justify Adult B's screaming "Equally Racist Thing" at Child C.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:15 PM on March 4, 2011 [33 favorites]


So - what exactly does "unindicted co-conspirator" mean?

It sounds, to me, like some lawyers said "he's part of it" but the dude was never brought to trial under any charges? That is, "un-indicted co-conspirator" is another way of saying "never actually convicted of a crime"? Nor even charged with one? I don't understand.

Sounds more like a smear to me, but if anyone is better w/legalese, I'd appreciate clarification on the term.
posted by symbioid at 12:15 PM on March 4, 2011


The worst of this, is that mainstream politicians are in on this. Look who attended this rally. Republican politicians. This is dangerous. These are people who make laws. We know what that combination - hatred and mainstream political parties - can lead to, we've seen that in other countries, and we've seen it in our own. And why does the press not hold them accountable? The Republican party has latched onto the Southern Strategy decades ago. It has now metastasized into something incredibly dangerous. Why is the press not covering this day and night - the fact that the GOP has become the home of hatred, bigotry, racism and obscurantism in every form? This is one of the two main parties in this country - a party that controls the House and perhaps soon the Senate if not the Presidency. Is this not noteworthy?
posted by VikingSword at 12:16 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, phaedon, you're saying that Tea Partiers are correctly concerned that Islam will *literally* take over the US?
posted by LordSludge at 12:19 PM on March 4, 2011


Let me add one other thing.

If the Tea Party protesters who showed up came with signs that read "Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali is Racist," picketed the event, and featured a speaker or two talking on how the man is associated with a terrorist group, etc, I don't think any of us would have a problem with the protest.

Shouting racial slurs at innocents crosses a line.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:28 PM on March 4, 2011 [19 favorites]


So, the reason we're aiming things at the protesters here is because:

1) They are behaving inappropriately to innocents.

2) There word choices suggest that they're not protesting the controversial words of that one speaker, but rather that they are decrying the presence of Muslims in their country period.

3) Their word choices are undoubtedly racist.


And you're telling this can't be flipped around to describe Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali's anti-American, anti-Semitic statements? That Jews are the new Nazis? This isn't a racial slur - on the record, from a podium? I'm sorry, but this guy's resume is a really weak link in your argument. Which is to isolate these protestors from what it is they are protesting and treat them as rhetorical outliers.

I'm not trying to justify anyone's hate speech here but just am blown away by everyone's sudden disbelief at how sickening these protestors look when I feel that it is part of a greater, even more sickening polarization that clearly goes both ways.
posted by phaedon at 12:30 PM on March 4, 2011


phaedon, thanks for the itemized run down.

Just a few thoughts on several of those points, offered not as a defense per se of them, but just as an exercise in critical thinking:

Sabiqun is an anti-Semitic Muslim group that advocates for the creation of a global Islamic state that would abolish all "man-made" forms of governance.


The exact same thing could be said for many Christian groups. Until fairly recently I think a legitimate argument could be made that the Catholic church was anti-Semitic, and it's not too out of line to suggest that the end goal of quite a few religions is global dominance.

The mosques are located in poor neighborhoods and claim to provide social services to the communities.


Well.... 1. if secular institutions didn't fail so miserably at this it wouldn't even be a concern, and 2. So are many churches, and 3. a major tenet of Islam is charitable giving, so you may as well remove the "claim to" part of that.

Sabiqun is also trying to raise money for a Islamic Institute for Counter Zionist American Psychological Warfare." The planned institute will "monitor Zionist and Israeli networks, circles, and clubs which deceitfully infiltrate Muslim and Black groups," according to a June 2010 Sabiqun newsletter.

Er.. you don't have to be a Muslim to be worried about the FBI and Israeli counterparts spying on groups they consider radical. Hell, nowadays you don't even have to be radical to worry about the same thing, it is pretty much documented fact.

On July 4, 1995, [Sabiqun] published a document called "Resolution of Philadelphia," which declared the group's "independence from man-made concepts." The document, created as a challenge to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, resolved to work toward establishing a self sufficient Muslim community that will work with other Muslims "for the purpose of reestablishing the system of governance known as Khilafah, or the Caliphate."

Sabiqun predicts that Islamic rule will be established in the U.S., which it calls "the Islamic State of North America," by "no later than 2050." Speaking in 2000 at a gathering organized by Jamaat al-Muslimeen in Baltimore, Alim Musa said: "Islam went everywhere in the [ancient] world…so why can't Islam take over America…We are on the right road."


here's a two-fer: these are pathetic wish fulfillment fantasies. get back to me when they start a movement to violently overthrow the government... and then I'll start thinking of them like I think of the Tea party and Sarah Palin... hell Sarah Palin has closer ties to secessionist movements then these folks.


An article published in the Sabiqun newsletter in March 2002 claimed that there is "open warfare" between Muslims and the U.S., which it described as "the united forces of kufr [non-believers]…the criminal constitutional dictatorship of the USA."

Uh.. yeah, 2002, when the US was in full swing invading two countries in the mid east. I completely fail to see why someone may think we where at war with Islam /snark.


And you know. I don't think I would particularly get along with Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali. But nothing provided me so far sounds any different then what white Christians have been saying with slightly different contexts.
posted by edgeways at 12:31 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not trying to justify anyone's hate speech here but just am blown away by everyone's sudden disbelief at how sickening these protestors look when I feel that it is part of a greater, even more sickening polarization that clearly goes both ways.

Do you have a four year old daughter, or niece? If not, can you imagine having one? And then can I go up to her and scream, scream, scream "TERRORIST GO HOME, MY SON IS A MARINE AND WILL BE GLAD TO KILL YOU" while you're walking with her to a dinner fundraiser being hosted by Rush Limbaugh? Are you going to be all happy about that and shake my hand and say "good show, you make sure you let my daughter know what's what"? I doubt it.

If there was a sign that said "Anti-Semitism is wrong" then you would have a leg to stand on. There wasn't, and so you don't. That you cannot seem to grasp this point is weird.
posted by shen1138 at 12:41 PM on March 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


And you're telling this can't be flipped around to describe Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali's anti-American, anti-Semitic statements?

Did he make any antisemitic statements at the event? Was he going to speak about the subject of Jews, or Israel? was that what the protesters were protesting?

As a Jew who is quite concerned about the rise of antisemitism, especially in the Muslim world, I nonetheless think this has anything to do with what we witness on the video. And, if it does, I'd rather not have the Tea Party and unscrupulous right wing politicians as my defenders.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:59 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


don't think, rather.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:01 PM on March 4, 2011


Oh dear.

Phaedon: And you're telling this can't be flipped around to describe Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali's anti-American, anti-Semitic statements? That Jews are the new Nazis? This isn't a racial slur - on the record, from a podium?

Of course I'm not telling you that.

Its deplorable what he's said.

However, his racist speech still does not in any way justify, rationalize or excuse hurling invective at innocents.

Phaedon: I'm sorry, but this guy's resume is a really weak link in your argument. Which is to isolate these protestors from what it is they are protesting and treat them as rhetorical outliers.

This guys resume does not justify hurling invective at innocents.

The things these protesters are yelling are not justified by what they are protesting.

They are not yelling things that suggest that they believe those innocents (the four year old girl, for example) are anti-Semitic; they are yelling things that suggest that they hate them because they are Muslim.

Essentially, they are attacking the wrong target.

I'm not trying to justify anyone's hate speech here but just am blown away by everyone's sudden disbelief at how sickening these protestors look when I feel that it is part of a greater, even more sickening polarization that clearly goes both ways.

This is the part that confuses me, and I think its because this is clearly an emotional hot-button issue for you and its effecting your responses. That's cool. I get worked up about things, too.

Your main point comes across as "Yes, they are racist, but they had their reason, can't you people understand that!" This is, ipso facto, a justification for hate speech. Perhaps that is not your point, but the reason you're receiving so much negative response is because that's what it seems like you are saying.

Allow me to offer an alternate rhetorical approach that you might have engendered a less critical response.

First, categorically decry hate speech of all forms, specifically of the protesters in question.

Second, point out what you've already pointed out about Iman Amir Abdel Malik Ali's statements. Point out that he is worthy of our scorn as well.

Third, point out that even though he is worthy of our scorn, that it still doesn't justify what the protesters were shouting at innocents.

If that's what you've been trying to do, that's not what has been coming across. What's been coming across is that you think his behavior justifies the protester's behavior. The Iman's words might justify a protest but they don't justify what was yelled at the innocents, for example the four year old.

Essentially, saying that a speech given by an old, nasty racist is the same as screaming racist taunts at a four year old is a false equivalency.

I'll say that they're both bad, but screaming at an innocent four year old is, perhaps, categorically worse.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:03 PM on March 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


I mean, regardless of what you think of imans, they are law-abiding citizens and their actions and speech are constitutionally protected. Of course, we can say the same thing about the protesters. In this country you have the right to be an asshole, but you are still an asshole.

Most importantly, Muslims have the right to call America home.
posted by mek at 2:09 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


What these people said to the Muslims who were simply going to hear two speakers was hateful. Even if the speakers themselves were hateful, two wrongs don't make a right. I am appalled at the behavior of the tea partiers who screamed epithets at everyone.

I do find it interesting, though, that the Mefites who are so fond of making, "Please think of the children!" jokes and bemoaning how overprotective parents have become are now, in effect, saying, "Please think of the innocents," and getting worked up over the effect this will have on the kids.
posted by misha at 2:49 PM on March 4, 2011


I do find it interesting, though, that the Mefites who are so fond of making, "Please think of the children!" jokes and bemoaning how overprotective parents have become are now, in effect, saying, "Please think of the innocents," and getting worked up over the effect this will have on the kids.

There's no real gotcha here. "Please think of the children" jokes are a reaction to policies and opinions which overexaggerate dangers to children or turn isolated incidents of child-harm into the signposts of a wave of child-harm which will spread inexorably unless checked, usually through means that the joke-makers find draconian. Frequently the spectre of child-harm is raised as a potential outcome of not enacting said draconian policies, even though the causal link is tenuous at best: hence the joke.

This is video evidence of real people yelling really hateful things at real children. It's not hypothetical harm, and it's not much of a hypothetical to imagine what effect this might have on a child. Hell, I'm an adult, and when people yell at me about being a terrorist, it bugs me. (Yeah, that's "when", not "if", by the way. Let's hear it for liberal Seattle; this is not confined to outlandish OC weirdness.) I can fairly safely assume it would bug me more were I still a child and forming an identity and a role for myself in a culture, a culture I was now being told I was not welcome in.
posted by Errant at 3:04 PM on March 4, 2011 [21 favorites]


I do find it interesting, though, that the Mefites who are so fond of making, "Please think of the children!" jokes and bemoaning how overprotective parents have become are now, in effect, saying, "Please think of the innocents," and getting worked up over the effect this will have on the kids.

I'm trying to recall which specific logical fallacy you committed here, and I believe it is one of equivocation.

In the context of overprotective parents, the "think of the children" cry usually comes up in response to something that is a perceived threat to children, but that likely doesn't actually have any actual direct threat to children.

In the context of this story, there is an actual direct threat to the children.

To whit, when a parent in Maine reads a story about a kid in California accidentally strangling himself well trying to tie his shoe and, as a result, introduces legislation to ban shoelaces, that is a mockable "think of the children" situation.

When somebody actually shouts at children that, if they had their way, they would strangle all those children with shoelaces, that is a time to deride the person doing the shouting.

Anyhow, similar words, but different meanings.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:07 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


The things these protesters are yelling are not justified by what they are protesting.

Yeah, this word "justify" keeps coming up, I think this post could have done a better job of explaining what the hell the protestors were doing there in the first place, which is all that I have attempted to do, amidst a flurry of comments like "this is the most disgusting and despicable thing I've seen in my entire life." I probably misspoke at points, but ultimately I really don't want to look like I have an agenda to push here.

The post says "Watch as members of congress show their support for this extreme show of xenophobia and racism." And you know what? Turns out one of the main speakers at this event is well-known for his own brand of xenophobia and racism. And this guy is practically in Camp Pendleton's backyard, for fuck's sake.

And furthermore, I'm not sure I entirely agree with your assessment, I feel that Amir Abdul Malik Ali's reputation is probably what drew the organized attention of this crowd. What you call hate wrongly directed at "innocent Muslims" to me could just as easily be interpreted as "supporters of an extremist Muslim imam attending a meeting," sans children of course. These aren't random people on the street. So you know again, just a little more context. That's all I'm trying to offer, perhaps in an overly barbed manner.
posted by phaedon at 3:46 PM on March 4, 2011


Also, the comments on this thread are pretty depressing. You shouldn't need a warrant to spy on Muslim US citizens, apparently.

Update to that story: Muslim student sues FBI over GPS tracking device placed on his car without a warrant
posted by homunculus at 3:48 PM on March 4, 2011


And you're telling this can't be flipped around to describe Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali's anti-American, anti-Semitic statements?

maybe if there's footage of him screaming racial abuse at Jewish kids attending a similar function.
posted by moorooka at 3:55 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think this post could have done a better job of explaining what the hell the protestors were doing there in the first place

It provided a link to a video where it was pretty damn clear what they were doing. I didn't see or hear any mention of this one "extremist" preacher from the crowd, or any of the speakers. It was pretty obvious that their hate was directed at presence of Muslims in general. You're making excuses, and badly.
posted by moorooka at 4:01 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's called selective editing. Anyways, I'm out.
posted by phaedon at 4:02 PM on March 4, 2011


It's called selective editing.

LOL.

They edited out the bits where the crowd weren't screaming like rabid bigots, no fair!
posted by moorooka at 4:06 PM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


I feel that Amir Abdul Malik Ali's reputation is probably what drew the organized attention of this crowd.

Seriously, maybe the instigators here just have a problem with this one guy because of his offensive rhetoric...

Controversial postings on "Atlas Shrugs" have included a number of false claims,[45][46] including that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan (who is Jewish) supports Nazi ideology (accompanied by a fake picture of her in a Nazi uniform),[47] a video suggesting that Muslims have sex with goats, a doctored photo showing President Obama urinating on an American flag[12] and false claims that Obama's mother was involved in pornography and that Obama "was involved with a crack whore in his youth".[48][49] Geller has also posted accusations against President Obama of anti-Semitism and doing the bidding of "Islamic overlords," while her site posted a posting by another writer who, inter alia, suggested without any evidence that the President is the "love child" of Malcolm X (Geller herself says she does not believe that Obama is Malcolm X's love child, and never did).[12][50] During an RT Television News interview, reporter Lauren Lister repeatedly questioned Geller's claim that she is not anti-Muslim, at one point calling attention to Geller's having posted a drawing of Muhammad on her blog with the face of a pig superimposed over his own. Geller responded by saying "I don't know where it is in America that you can't make jokes or make fun."[51]

Geller has written "that Islam is the most antisemitic, genocidal ideology in the world." [52]





Oh.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:11 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


And furthermore, I'm not sure I entirely agree with your assessment, I feel that Amir Abdul Malik Ali's reputation is probably what drew the organized attention of this crowd. What you call hate wrongly directed at "innocent Muslims" to me could just as easily be interpreted as "supporters of an extremist Muslim imam attending a meeting," sans children of course. These aren't random people on the street. So you know again, just a little more context.

Ok, let's assume that's true and that Ali's presence is the catalyst for this protest. Why is the protest slogan "Go back home", a slogan that they are clearly chanting at the attendees and not just at Ali's motorcade? Where do the protesters think the homes of these people are? Where do the protesters think these people ought to go?

Why are they screaming at a man videotaping them to go back inside and beat his wife, like he does every night? Why is that man screaming about the sexual perversions and fraud of Mohammed, if the protest is about Ali?

In what world is the evil of terrorism best confronted by saying, "You're a stupid terrorist, go home, go home, go home"? "You're a stupid terrorist"; how does that track with protest against fear and death? Here's a thought experiment: replace "terrorist" with "darkie". Doesn't change the meaning or the tone much, does it? Turns out "terrorist" is an easy racial slur, because it doesn't have the stigma yet. Trust me on this one, when people are yelling "terrorist" at you, it's not usually because they think you are a terrorist, it's just that "sand nigger" is now considered impolite.

You may well be right that the reputation of a radical cleric is what sparked the protest, and there may well be legitimate and troubling grievances relating to his participation. But that's not what this protest ended up being about, which is always the danger when the base urges of the mob are allowed to overwhelm the rational focus of organization.
posted by Errant at 4:25 PM on March 4, 2011 [23 favorites]


Trust me on this one, when people are yelling "terrorist" at you, it's not usually because they think you are a terrorist, it's just that "sand nigger" is now considered impolite.

Bingo. If you actually have a bomb strapped to your chest, people are quite respectful - trust me on this one.
posted by mek at 4:41 PM on March 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


You may well be right that the reputation of a radical cleric is what sparked the protest, and there may well be legitimate and troubling grievances relating to his participation. But that's not what this protest ended up being about, which is always the danger when the base urges of the mob are allowed to overwhelm the rational focus of organization.

I entirely agree. But it will be framed by supporters of the protesters as a spontaneous response to a deliberate provocation, and the only apology will be that it got a bit out of hand; and even then, it will be compared unfavorably with the overblown response of Islamic protesters to newspaper cartoons and or infringement of blasphemy laws. Islamic fanaticism is a bit of a problem at this point in history, and Amir Abdel Malik Ali seems very fanatical, from his 'jews did it' conspiracy theories to calling for jihad on the UC Irvine campus.

Inviting him to speak at this event was a terrible idea. Of course it's not possible or even reasonable to worry about every last little thing that might upset a bunch of racist xenophobes like the crowd that showed up to protest this event. Muslims and muslim community groups shouldn't have to obsess over How Not To Upset Bigots all the time. But inviting an unpopular bigoted demagogue with a track record of pissing off almost everyone in your neighborhood is somewhere between hopelessly naive and perversely stupid. It's like throwing lighted matches around at a gas station and saying that you're concerned about the safety standards there - even though you might have a point, the risks are so blatantly obvious that you really undermine any claims to sympathy you might have in the event of a fire.

He could have been talking about flower gardening, but the problem is that the guy is a virulent bigot. If a conservative invited Fred Phelps or David Duke to speak on some topic unrelated to extremist homophobia or racism, and then complained that the people who showed up to protest said some mean things, we'd roll our eyes because extremists don't get to clock out at 5pm and be treated like regular members of the community. Likewise, Malik doesn't get to rant about how evil jews are and declare a United States of Islam, but then be treated as Mister Nice Guy because he supports a women's shelter. It gives people like the OC Tea Party a ready-made excuse both to protest and to allow the protest to get out of hand, because they will deflect criticism of their ugly excess with criticism of Malik's ugly excess, and in TV news and politics proportionality trades at a massive discount.

Irrational and unfair though this is, the protesters and the political drop-ins will probably get away with it. I don't think it will have very much impact on the momentum of the current right-wing populist movement at all, but I do think CAIR or whoever organized the event and invited the imams has scored a massive own goal.

Unfortunately, the people who will end up paying for this mistake are ordinary people who happen to be muslim but have no real interest in politics (and thus will be taken unawares by any backlash) and people like illegal immigrants, who it is safe - indeed fashionable - to propose legislating against because they are on the legal, economic, and political margins of society already.

I find this deeply worrying for a variety of reasons.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:56 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah, this word "justify" keeps coming up, I think this post could have done a better job of explaining what the hell the protestors were doing there in the first place, which is all that I have attempted to do, amidst a flurry of comments like "this is the most disgusting and despicable thing I've seen in my entire life." I probably misspoke at points, but ultimately I really don't want to look like I have an agenda to push here.

The behavior of the protesters was disgusting and despicable and was so no matter why they were there.

The post says "Watch as members of congress show their support for this extreme show of xenophobia and racism." And you know what? Turns out one of the main speakers at this event is well-known for his own brand of xenophobia and racism. And this guy is practically in Camp Pendleton's backyard, for fuck's sake.

I agree that that is a framing issue of this post. I don't know whether the congressmen agree or disagree with the protesters. There's a guilt-by-association fallacy at play there. This is why I've been limiting my discussion of the situation to the behaviors of the protesters who were, by any metric, behaving in a deplorable manner.

And furthermore, I'm not sure I entirely agree with your assessment, I feel that Amir Abdul Malik Ali's reputation is probably what drew the organized attention of this crowd.

He may have been what attracted the crowd or he may not have been, your strong feeling non-withstanding. Obviously, a feeling that something was probably the reason something happened is not the same as objective fact about why they i actually happened.

What you call hate wrongly directed at "innocent Muslims" to me could just as easily be interpreted as "supporters of an extremist Muslim imam attending a meeting," sans children of course. These aren't random people on the street.

Even if these people were supporters of an extremist Muslim (which we can't say for sure), the behavior of the protesters is still deplorable.

The protesters had no evidence that any of the people there were supporters of anything more than raising money for charity and supporting community service. They had a feeling that Muslims were bad, and expressed that feeling. I see solid evidence of that in their choice of words to the attendees.

I, for one, can't ignore the presence of the children. Even if overtly racist behavior is somehow all right because the adults you're aiming at have behaved in a way that justifies racism, the children were there. We see them in the video. That is empirical evidence that at least some of the people being told to get out of the country were children. Ergo, at least some of the people the protesters were hurling racist invective at were children,

None the less, as a reasonable person, I'm sure you agree that hurling racist invective at people is not appropriate in any situation. Thus, it stands to reason that you agree that the protesters were behaving irrationally at best and hatefully at worst.

As mature adults, they have control over how they behave in a protest situation. They could, as I've mentioned, holds signs protesting the Iman and his supporters for their racist views. This is not how they chose to behave.

In brief, in this case, the context doesn't mitigate the hatefulness of the protesters behavior.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:13 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


If a conservative invited Fred Phelps or David Duke to speak on some topic unrelated to extremist homophobia or racism, and then complained that the people who showed up to protest said some mean things, we'd roll our eyes because extremists don't get to clock out at 5pm and be treated like regular members of the community.

Certainly, which is why moderates and liberals were disappointed by McCain going to speak at Falwell University, founded by a man he had previously and unambiguously disparaged.

I agree that having this guy there is basically inviting controversy, much as inviting Farrakhan or, indeed, Falwell to things is inviting controversy. I understand entirely that you are speaking to the political wisdom of having such a figure present and that you are not justifying or mitigating the crowd's speech by his presence, and I take your point.

Unfortunately, I also agree with you that the usual "casualties", although I don't need to put that in quotes all the time given the track record of hate, will be the average Muslim and Muslim-appearing citizen. For my money, it is unfortunate and even contemptible for an organization to have a man such as Ali espousing his views on their public square, but it's the crowd that'll kick you to death and plant a flag in your torso. I don't think I'm out of line in finding both viewpoints reprehensible but one more dangerous, because the latter is not so discerning in its targets.

I guess I could just be saying that because I'd be one of them, though, so maybe I'm taking it a bit personally.
posted by Errant at 6:29 PM on March 4, 2011


We feel pretty much identically about this, I think. The crowd freaks me out as well, and more so because they have an excuse ticket to wave around if it ends up in the news.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:17 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


#1 Islamic sign is MOON #2 Moon landing was JFK/Bilderberg LIE #3 My hummus contains MSG #4 *M*oon=*S*atan=*G*od! #5 Frankenstein monster gangster machine controls Communist Machine God!! #6 Oh, fuck it.
posted by moonbird at 8:01 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


If Jesus ever does come back, he's going to punch those Christians in the teeth and take those Muslims to heaven.
posted by EarBucket at 9:20 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


MeTa.
posted by scalefree at 10:08 PM on March 4, 2011


I would really suggest anyone who really wants to know what the protesters were actually THERE for in the first place watch at least some of the video I linked earlier of the speakers at the rally. It's a non-edited video made by the people doing the rally, so their words haven't been twisted or "selectively edited" in any way.

I still haven't gotten to watch the entire 60 minutes, because there's only so much of this kind of thing I want to hear in one sitting, but the first speaker explains they are there to "think of the children" and to pledge to "restore America" to the country our forefathers envisioned with the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, etc.

One quote I do have to share though. I really tasty one:

"Let me tell you what's going on over there is pure, unadulterated evil, and I don't care. ... I don't even care if you think I'm crazy anymore. I have a beautiful daughter. I have a wonderful 19-year-old son who is a U.S. Marine. In fact, I know quite a few Marines who would be happy to send these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise."
--Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly (R)

Seriously, there's no better way to find out why they are there than to listen to what they themselves have to say. They are quite precise and clear in their statements.
posted by Orb at 1:11 AM on March 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Seriously, there's no better way to find out why they are there than to listen to what they themselves have to say. They are quite precise and clear in their statements.

If you have a point to make, go ahead and make it.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:27 AM on March 5, 2011


Sorry, don't mean to be combative.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:29 AM on March 5, 2011


Area Man Passionate Defender of What He Imagines The Constitution to Be.
posted by dougrayrankin at 3:08 AM on March 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hate Illinois Nazis.
posted by flabdablet at 6:26 AM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like it when people speak calmly, rationally, and dispassionately about their beliefs regarding things like this. Yeah, I know, we shouldn't be calm, etc. It's just a rare neurological disease I happen to suffer from. But, if anyone reading has the same disease, here's a calm, rational point of view against the relief organization in question. I'm having more trouble finding a calm, rational point of view against the protesters. I think the kind of people who oppose these protests tend to be far to neurologically healthy to speak rationally at times like this.
posted by Xezlec at 7:49 AM on March 5, 2011


Ugh... that's "too".
posted by Xezlec at 7:49 AM on March 5, 2011


It would be great if there was an automatic policy to fire any politician who eggs this sort of crap on.

We all have the next best method -- not an immediate firing, but an eventual firing.

It's called "voting."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:26 AM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


The trouble with voting is that so much of it has to get done by people so much stupider than you. If politicians were not required to grind their positions down into intellectual baby food in order to make them comprehensible to electors too stupid to think beyond their hereditary tribal loyalties, we'd get better public policy.
posted by flabdablet at 8:38 AM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Muslim theology it's actually pretty important that Mohamed is not a god, but a prophet visited by an angel.

And it's also pretty important to note that during Mohamed's life, "marriages" to tween-age kids was the norm. Such marriages were not consummated until the bride reached puberty, either. The texts of the Abrahamic religions were written during a very different era with very different societal mores, and times have changed dramatically.

Hell, The Virgin Mary was only thirteen. Does that make Joseph a "child molester"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:44 AM on March 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


No, it makes God a child molester.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:21 AM on March 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


I think the kind of people who oppose these protests tend to be far to neurologically healthy to speak rationally at times like this.

I feel like I'm able to say, very calmly and rationally, that you shouldn't whip up mobs of people motivated by ethnic and cultural bigotry into a frothing mass of nativist rage. I don't feel like that's a wild-eyed, crazy-man-yelling-on-the-street-corner kind of position.
posted by EarBucket at 9:50 AM on March 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I thought there were two groups of protesters and that the video has somehow cut together the two groups? I also think it's naive to believe that ICNA's funds raised by these events goes 100% to the social outreach programs.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:48 AM on March 5, 2011


I feel like I'm able to say, very calmly and rationally, that you shouldn't whip up mobs of people motivated by ethnic and cultural bigotry into a frothing mass of nativist rage.

I agree with you there. And as I read it, so does the Tea Partier in the link I provided.
posted by Xezlec at 10:53 AM on March 5, 2011


OK I see what you're saying. When I said I have a hard time finding a calm point of view on your side, I misspoke, and I apologize. Several people in this thread have been reasonable. But it's hard to find anyone in the blogosphere taking such a rational approach to the argument. What I really mean is that I want to hear the evidence against the claim that some of these aid groups are shady. I haven't been able to find much on that side. I would like to because I want to be informed.
posted by Xezlec at 10:59 AM on March 5, 2011


phaedon: "Malik Ali compared Jews to Nazis, expressed support for terrorist groups, accused supporters of Israel of "using" the Holocaust as an excuse to oppress Palestinians and called for the destruction of the "apartheid state of Israel.""

I'd have to see the speech in question, but if "Jews" were to mean "certain elements in Israeli politics" I would say "right on, man".
posted by dunkadunc at 11:03 AM on March 5, 2011


What I really mean is that I want to hear the evidence against the claim that some of these aid groups are shady.

A totally fair point. I appreciate the clarification.
posted by EarBucket at 11:46 AM on March 5, 2011


I think the problem is, Xezlec, that you kind of cede too much rhetorical ground to the assholes if you use this space to address that question. It's a perfectly legitimate question, but it's a separate thing. Their behavior would have been unacceptable even if the speakers at the event were bad people who supported terrorism. Telling people to "go back home" isn't an appropriate response to their support of terrorism. And it's not something that anyone would have shouted at, say, Rep. Peter King in the days when he was a vocal and powerful supporter of the IRA. In the US, white terrorism supporters don't get told to "go back home."

And that's a fairly disgusting comment, dunkadunc, given some of the stuff that's been linked above. Being anti-Zionist doesn't give anyone a pass to be an anti-semite.
posted by craichead at 12:46 PM on March 5, 2011


I think the problem is, Xezlec, that you kind of cede too much rhetorical ground to the assholes if you use this space to address that question.

OK, I hadn't thought about it that way.
posted by Xezlec at 1:07 PM on March 5, 2011


A friend of mine took this photo: "I was welcomed by this mob of people and was called a piece of "chicken shit" by someone I have never seen in my life, simply for being Muslim." (via)
posted by Rhaomi at 2:52 PM on March 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know, if you replace the Muslims with Jews and the Americans with Germans, you get a nice representations of late 1930s Germany.
posted by dougrayrankin at 3:12 PM on March 5, 2011


You know, if you replace the Muslims with Jews and the Americans with Germans, you get a nice representations of late 1930s Germany.
No you fucking well do not. Here, let me google the Nuremberg Laws for you, so you can stop saying stupid shit on the internet.
posted by craichead at 5:07 PM on March 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know, if you replace the Muslims with Jews and the Americans with Germans, you get a nice representations of late 1930s Germany.

No you fucking well do not. Here, let me google the Nuremberg Laws for you, so you can stop saying stupid shit on the internet.

America's a little behind on Nuremburg Law-styled legal racism. But we're working on it!

1) We already have more than the sole oddball elected official calling for the forced deportation of Muslims.

2) We already have more than the sole oddball elected official calling for bands on the immigration of Muslims to the USA.

3) (via Salon) Next week, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY) will convene a Congressional hearing to investigate the loyalty and "radicalization" of American Muslims.

4) (via Salon) Earlier this week in Tennessee, a bill was proposed to make it a felony to follow sharia law -- which would essentially criminalize the practice of Islam in that state.

5) (via Salon) The case against the Park51 community center -- including from mainstream TV journalists -- was grounded in the warped premise that Muslims generally bore guilt for the 9/11 attacks. All of these sentiments are regularly bolstered by a deranged cult-leader/TV personality followed by millions.

And I'll add to that, that even "liberal" media tended to inaccurately refer to the community center as the "Ground Zero mosque," thus distorting reality in a way more likely to garner anti-Muslim sympathies.

6) (via Salon) And last month, in Orange County, California, Tea Party members and other protesters bombarded a charity event sponsored by a Muslim group -- and the families of American Muslims entering the event -- with the most foul, hateful, threatening messages possible, while various politicians, including a member of Congress, praised the protesters.

7) The "anti-sharia law" debate has picked up steam in many other states, such as Texas and Oklahoma. Again, these laws would make, in theory, the practice of Islam illegal. On a practical level, sharia law is used in the USA as a means of mediating disputes; similar practice is common with Christian scripture-based arbitration, Jewish Talmudic law, and so on. As long as these methods of solving disputes do not go against local, state and federal laws and as long as both parties agree to them in advance, there's nothing wrong with this - it's an aspect of one of the primary freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. Unless these monsters have their way, and you're Muslim.

I can think of dozens more examples - these are simply from the top of my head and from a single paragraph of a single Salon article I happened to read earlier today.

You can think of a zillion ways in which this situation is not like Germany, but the trend is ominous. I've been in this exact situation before (actually, one more benign than this is at the moment), and within a year, people were being "exterminated" because of their faith. In a modern industrialized country, no less.

I'm horrified of what will happen if a major terrorist attack on Americans soil occurs by the hands of Muslim extremists. Because, despite of the overflow of realistic information about Muslims that has been made widely-accessible since 9/11, the mood in America is such that I don't have any problem imagining that events like the Orange County protests would evolve quickly into events of direct violence against Muslims. I also have no problem imagining what sort of insane laws and policies would be rapidly voted into law by the scared and pandering politicians who run giant segments of the country.

Last night, I was reading about the brilliant composer Hans Eisler (and by extension, many like him) who was deported from America and had his life ruined solely because of his belief system. It wasn't that long ago, really. Americans have a shitty sense of history, and it gives me a migraine whenever pronouncements are made that imply that such things are impossible today. That's a mighty frightening delusion to have, and history has a way of proving such people to be pretty foolish.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 7:57 PM on March 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


"This is going to come across as incredibly naïve, but in all seriousness, what can I, as an individual, do to help stem this madness?"

Monitor the activities and communications of the groups that organize these hateful protests and when you get wind of the next protest, organize a counter-protest to show support for the targets of the hate.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:01 PM on March 5, 2011


I can say "more than sole" anti-muslim assholes about every nation in Europe. Here's a hint folks, if your Nazi comparison can apply to half the fucking world, it's a stupid fucking comparison that diminishes what the Nazi horror actually was.

The American government would be peacefully or violently overthrown for attempting Nuremberg Laws in 2011.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:18 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Americans have a shitty sense of history, and it gives me a migraine whenever pronouncements are made that imply that such things are impossible today.
I'm actually a PhD candidate in US history, so I think I've got a pretty good handle on history, thanks.

So here's my question. Can Muslims in the US be US citizens? I don't mean whether any Muslim has ever been denied US citizenship: I mean are Muslims, as a class, legally allowed to be citizens? Can Muslims in America vote? Is there a law prohibiting Muslims from marrying non-Muslims? Is there a government agency that tracks which Americans are Muslim and issues them special Muslim ID cards so they can be prohibited from doing the long list of things that it is illegal for Muslims to do in America? Is it obligatory to fire Muslims from their jobs because they're Muslims? (My dad still has the reference that my grandmother's boss gave her the day that he was legally required to fire her because she was a Jew.)

If not, then there is no comparison between the situation of Muslims in contemporary America and the situation of Jews in Germany in the late '30s.

I share your concern about what might happen if there were another terrorist attack in the US. It's a pretty frightening scenario. But it's still totally wrong to compare the situation of contemporary American Muslims, who have citizenship rights and legal protections, with the situation of people who were, as a class, denied those things. Maybe it seems like no biggie to you: it's ok to lie about history and diminish other people's suffering to make an important political point. But it's my family tragedy, and it's not ok with me.
posted by craichead at 8:36 PM on March 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


"But it's hard to find anyone in the blogosphere taking such a rational approach to the argument. What I really mean is that I want to hear the evidence against the claim that some of these aid groups are shady. I haven't been able to find much on that side. I would like to because I want to be informed."

Well, I claim that *you* are shady. Where is the evidence against *my* claim? If there isn't yet some well-researched retort posted on some blog testifying to your non-shadiness, doesn't that imply that my claim about you being shady might have some truth to it?

(My point is that I think you are a little confused about who should bear the burden of proof when such claims are made.)
posted by Jacqueline at 9:33 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


If not, then there is no comparison between the situation of Muslims in contemporary America and the situation of Jews in Germany in the late '30s.

I think the point is that things are trending badly, and Dee and others are making the point - don't underestimate where things can go.

I've said previously that a lot of bad things are happening because many people (Americans, in this case) simply do not believe their fellow man is capable of these bad things. They figure if something this awful were happening without an explanation, there would be a nationwide uproar, and they'd hear about it from friends and family. Show this video to 50 people in America, and the majority of them would think "Oh those muslims must have done something to deserve that".

And they think that because most people in America (I shouldn't have to tell you this, since you're a Ph.D. candidate) are conditioned to believe that except for super rare, extreme cases, that people are good at heart and just don't have it in them to do horrible things like scream at children.

So as a result, people think hey, vote Republican, vote Democrat, vote Tea Party, vote whoever, it doesn't matter because people are basically the same and you would not see something like, for example, internment. Again, I'm sure you get this concept if you're getting a Ph.D. So I'll just say bell hooks about comparing oppressions, I'm sure you've run across her before.

But don't argue about the specifics so much that you miss a chance to honor the tragedy by preventing the march up to it. People in America would never have thought what happened in Rwanda would have happened in contemporary times.

If you view your family horror as 100, even if you see this as 15, going on 16, going on 17, you'd do yourself proud to note the differences but to also acknowledge the similarities without cursing at those who are on the same side as you, not wanting to go down that path of regression.
posted by cashman at 10:38 PM on March 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Here's a hint folks, if your Nazi comparison can apply to half the fucking world, it's a stupid fucking comparison that diminishes what the Nazi horror actually was.

here's a hint, furiousxgeorge, if our nazi comparison can apply to half the fucking world, it just shows you that we haven't learned jackshit from our history
posted by pyramid termite at 11:17 PM on March 5, 2011


But it's still totally wrong to compare the situation of contemporary American Muslims, who have citizenship rights and legal protections, with the situation of people who were, as a class, denied those things. Maybe it seems like no biggie to you: it's ok to lie about history and diminish other people's suffering to make an important political point. But it's my family tragedy, and it's not ok with me.

This might seem callous, but I cannot accept that a person can own a tragedy. Every human tragedy belongs to mankind because the causes are deep and impersonal.

When I see that mob, I see people who are fanatically conformist, bigoted (in the sense that they maintain the primacy of the most superficial aspects of their culture), insecure and finding security in an echo chamber, and who have freed themselves from the fraternal instinct through othering.

I believe that humanity always overcomes bigotry through our internal urges of curiosity (to approach the other), empathy (to understand the other), and justice. The problem is that most of the time, most people are swept up in a culture of nonthinking, and the the mob supersedes the individual.

At least for me, this is why that video reminds me of what I imagine happening before the holocaust on an emotional level. When one advocates for a society without holocausts, one should not concern oneself with implementations of genocide. Yes, we will never put gold stars on people and we will never put people in gas chambers. But, that is a tiny consolation to people who have endured genocides implemented in other ways. There is always a novel way to inflict inhumanity!

The problem has to be addressed at the root, and so it should be recognized at the root. When I see that mob, I ask myself how other people became this way and where one could intervene. And I think about how I am a little bigoted as well, and how in my small act of overcoming my own prejudices I am stopping holocausts.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 11:21 PM on March 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the point is that things are trending badly

Again, no. Hatred of Muslims was at its peak after a shocking terrorist attack and has been calming since. A vocal minority of racist idiots is a sign of no trend. Go bash the fucking Swiss who actually pass national anti-Muslim laws for being up and coming Nazis and leave us alone until there is anything close to a majority willing to do the same here.

Push comes to shove, Americans will not let freedom of religion be abused to that degree. Our courts won't let it happen, our politicians know it would be a political loser.

We have our moments of idiocy, but the majority that opposed the "Ground Zero Mosque" were misinformed by the media and really thought it was meant as an intentional insult to Ground Zero, you won't find any national momentum to restrict their rights in such a manner as the Swiss people already voted for.

There are people of banal evil all over the world, as there always has been, they aren't Nazis. Nazi is not another word for evil, if you think it is than you have cheapened it to the point where it has no meaning which is a tremendous insult to the memory of the genocide and totalitarianism they brought to the world. Racism isn't Nazism. Warmongering isn't Nazism. Totalitarianism isn't Nazism. These things are what they are on their own.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:25 PM on March 5, 2011


I share your concern about what might happen if there were another terrorist attack in the US. It's a pretty frightening scenario. But it's still totally wrong to compare the situation of contemporary American Muslims, who have citizenship rights and legal protections, with the situation of people who were, as a class, denied those things. Maybe it seems like no biggie to you: it's ok to lie about history and diminish other people's suffering to make an important political point. But it's my family tragedy, and it's not ok with me.

You can't point out a single passage wherein I "diminish other people's suffering," of course.

In reality, nations do not generally bother with such petty things as law when deciding to eliminate entire segments of their population, so that's fairly irrelevant. In a sense, the Nazis were just weird that way - they also issued "tickets" and something akin to boarding passes for those herded like cattle in boxcars destined for death camps. Try making sense of that. In any case, I can name about fifty genocidal movements sponsored by governments despite the laws of said governments forbidding exactly such things. For a student of history, it's weird you wouldn't be aware of this - it's pretty much the norm.

The idea that is "totally wrong" to make comparisons between what is happening here and what happened in 1930s Germany is a dictatorial view in itself. But I will explicate.

Jews in Germany had been subject to centuries of discrimination, violence, and so on. Jews had only enjoyed full citizenship in Germany for a couple of generations prior to the rise of Nazism, and this legal status was often, in practice, of dubious worth. Political, social and judicial anti-Semitism was the norm, and it wasn't until the Weimar period (post-WWI) when German Jews could even plausibly be said to have shared equal rights with non-Jewish Germans. Even then, there was rampant discrimination for which enforceable cures were generally unavailable . . . but the general trend was this: after centuries of often slow progress to equal rights and opportunities, German Jews in the post-WWI period could justifiably feel that things were equitable, or on the way to being so.

(This was an advance beyond what some other residents of Germany enjoyed. The Sinti population, for example, didn't enjoy a time in Germany without racist laws on the books until quite recently. And still don't in practice. When people point out the discriminatory laws against Jews imposed in 1930s Germany, they seem unaware that similar laws against Roma had been enacted decades earlier, or that the Nazis' burden of proof that one was not of "subhuman" origin was always twice as burdensome for Roma as it was for Jews. In short, it's a losing game to try to claim that one's suffering or that the suffering of one's family was unusually great - there's always someone with a worse story to tell.)

So quite a lot of the profound shock regarding the laws against Jews under Hitler was that the slow, steady progress they had made in becoming full members of German society was pulled so forcefully backwards in a relative instant. Of course, the scale of the Holocaust was especially immense, but this doesn't change a couple of basic facts, namely:

1) Germans (Jewish or otherwise) had a bad sense of history, too. Time and time again, one will read of German Jews who had opportunities to escape or emigrate, but stayed until their sad fate was sealed, because they really believed that things would never get that bad (despite plenty of historical evidence which should have led to at least a suspicion that their recent "good" status might be an aberration, rather than the standard course of things.)

2) It had really only been one generation since German Jews were "fully-integrated" into German society (and even this is a pretty optimistic interpretation of reality.) Using this as an example, it's not just a bad sense of history, but a bad sense of living memory that was in play here - that Weimar Republic period didn't even last two decades.

In general, Americans see things as improving over time for minorities and oppressed peoples within its borders. I'd rather be a woman today than a woman in 1880. I'd rather be African-American today than fifty years ago. And so on. Some of this has to do with new laws enacted to establish greater protections. Some of it is just how humanity has progressed. But I can point out many examples where laws (still in place) have utterly failed to protect people. re: Schools are substantially more segregated now than they were fifty-plus years ago when Brown vs The Board Of Education was decided, and in relative terms, schools attended primarily by African-American children are worse in comparison to "white" schools today than they were then. The law changed nothing, protected no one necessarily. The legal protections afforded to all citizens do not, in practice, mean that all classes of people are treated the same. Muslims are way more likely to be searched at an airport security check (they're not supposed to be), black drivers in primarily white towns are way more likely to be stopped by police without cause. The "supreme" law in the USA, the Constitution, bars the government enacting laws to suppress the free practice of one's religion - but the many states considering "anti-sharia law" laws are attempting to do just that. The Bill of Rights also bars "unreasonable search and seizure," which for centuries has been interpreted to imply a basic human right to privacy - but that doesn't stop the government from placing tracking devices on the vehicles of Muslims, without warrants or legal permissions. (To name two events taking place in the past week.)

I mentioned in my previous post Hans Eisler, a victim of the McCarthy-era persecution of Communists, who was - like many others - divested of his career and livelihood and ultimately emigrated simply for exercising his first amendment rights! The government didn't need, or use, a law to fuck up his life . . . they just did it.

"Can Muslims in the US be US citizens? I don't mean whether any Muslim has ever been denied US citizenship: I mean are Muslims, as a class, legally allowed to be citizens? Can Muslims in America vote? Is there a law prohibiting Muslims from marrying non-Muslims? Is there a government agency that tracks which Americans are Muslim and issues them special Muslim ID cards so they can be prohibited from doing the long list of things that it is illegal for Muslims to do in America? Is it obligatory to fire Muslims from their jobs because they're Muslims?"

You asked this in such a way as to imply that there was no comparison between German Jews in the 1930s and the Muslim Americans of today. But - despite my assertions (above) that this is sort of a red-herring argument (in that the actual letter of the law can, and sometimes does, mean nothing in practice) - remember that the equivalent situations for German Jews were not yet in place in 1930 . . . but three years later, many of them were. (And by the way, government agencies do track Muslims and, yes, it does affect them I can speak from personal experience. I came here via the direct personal involvement of a US president, and a US Senator - prior to 9/11 - and my citizenship was delayed for a couple of years solely because I was Muslim, despite regular calls from among the highest elected officials in the country. How do I know this? I was told so by the INS itself!)

Anyhow:

A civilized country begins to fall into political chaos, rage and anger in the face of worrying economic issues and an unstable international political situation, while a widely-disparaged political party with lunatic views (laughed at by a majority of the population) gains quick and sudden traction. Rumblings of preparations to marginalize a scapegoated minority population begin to take place. This minority population, who experience relative social parity with the mainstream of society finds itself increasingly demonized by large segments of the population, and by members of a government no longer willing to act to uphold the nation's stated values in the face of declining popular support for the same values - and against the minority.

This describes the Germany of 1931, and the USA of today. The comparison is obvious. The worry that many Muslims feel isn't only about the possible fallout from a jihadi terroristic attack, but many other things. For instance, what if a gallon of gas costs $7? A result of social and economic chaos is that fingers start to look for someone to point blame towards. It could be anything really. Despite whatever crazy ideas people may have, Muslims aren't anymore violent than other people (on a per capita basis, the Irish or the Basques or Tamils have wreaked more terroristic chaos, but no one really looks at things that way. Because it's stupid. And just as stupid to discuss Muslims in that way.) In any case, America has had nearly a decade since 9/11 to "get to know" Muslims and stop trading in stupid stereotypes. But the stereotypes have increased, and violence against Americans Muslims was higher in 2010 than in the year after 9/11. And the rush to laws against Islam (in various forms) is new, not a continuation of events since 9/11. This is all worrisome for Muslims, as I am sure many German Jews worried about the "talk" going around in the early 1930s.

I lived through a genocidal movement - and I'm still a young woman - and I remember people saying the same things as you, and employing the special horrors of their family histories of various struggles as kinds of sacred totems with which it was "totally wrong" to make comparisons. A lot of people were shamed into silence by these people.

Then the killing began.

____

I have done a lot of speaking at schools and places like that, frequently (though sadly, less often) with elderly survivors of the Holocaust. When it's appropriate (meaning, there are audiences old enough to understand), I make the same sort of comparison between the rise of fascism and what I see going on today in America. Few people agree with me as readily and wholly as the Holocaust survivors who lived through those times. For them, it isn't crystallized "family tragedy" as much as it is a sort of monster hiding underground, waiting to draw breath once again. And like me, having been through it once already, they feel especially attuned to the sound of the earth rumbling beneath their feet. How lucky you are to see this sad part of your family's history as a sort of unusual event sealed away in some sort of magical box. And I bet you don't even know it.

____

The American government would be peacefully or violently overthrown for attempting Nuremberg Laws in 2011.

Some forces do learn from history. I am reminded of the 1930 quote from the cover of a Robert Wyatt album, "We shall not make Britain’s mistake. Too wise to try to govern the world, we shall merely own it. Nothing can stop us."

As I have said about a zillion times, I lived through an attempted genocide, and guess what? Those hell-bent on killing innocent civilians within my nation made absolutely no fucking Nuremburg-type laws at all. It didn't make a bit of difference. In fact, in probably hurt us in as much as it allowed the rest of the world (back when the rest of the world may have had the inclination and funding to help us, which would be less true today) pretend as if nothing were wrong. From a strategic point of view, the Nazis were sort of stupid to enact those laws - reality could have been just as brutal without them, and plenty of people and institutions would have had at least a slightly more plausible means of denying their involvement. The monstrosity of the crimes would have been less centralized, in a sense, and the Holocaust would probably not have been perceived in quite the same way.

So discussing what might happen were America to enact laws similar to the Nuremburg laws is just silly talk; these laws are not how most genocides and mass exterminations begin. They're not needed for the promotion of human brutality. It's almost quaint in its naiveté, this implicit idea that first we'll make hate laws, then we'll open up the death camps!

Again, no. Hatred of Muslims was at its peak after a shocking terrorist attack and has been calming since.

I mentioned this. It's not true. (Well, anti-Muslim crime, anyway. I have no idea how you would measure "hatred of Muslims.") First of all, anti-Muslim crimes have never been as low since 9/11 as they were prior to then. But they did decrease after 2002, up to and including 2008. Since then, they have increased, and in 2010 there were more anti-Muslim crimes than any year in the US, ever. If I remember correctly, the number of cases of arson against mosques and Muslim centers in 2010 was actually twice as high as in any previous year. The number of proposed anti-Muslim laws is at a peak, too.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 11:40 PM on March 5, 2011 [31 favorites]


More than 6-in-10 (62%) believe Muslims are an important part of the American religious community. There is strong agreement on this across political and religious affiliation groups.

Only about 1-in-5 (23%) Americans believe that American Muslims want to establish Shari’a law as law of the land in the United States. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the public disagree.


When you figure out how these minorities, who don't even want to genocide you despite the racism, are going to genocide you without the approval of the rest of us, via law or otherwise, let me know.

I'm sorry for what you have been through, but America has been through this kind of thing before. It doesn't end that way. The hatred has been much more intense for other groups, it didn't end that way. The precursor conditions for the Nazi regime were not what made them Nazi, it was the things they did. More often, those precursors lead in entirely different directions.

The uniqueness of their evil cannot be compared to the normal, infuriating idiocy of common racism.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:05 AM on March 6, 2011


The American government would be peacefully or violently overthrown for attempting Nuremberg Laws in 2011.

God, I sure hope so.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:27 AM on March 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Liberals would hate the laws and conservatives would join up just to oust Obama, who really thought that compromise he got on the "Muslim Freedom Act of 2011" would finally make Republicans like him.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:34 AM on March 6, 2011


More than 6-in-10 (62%) believe Muslims are an important part of the American religious community. There is strong agreement on this across political and religious affiliation groups.

Only about 1-in-5 (23%) Americans believe that American Muslims want to establish Shari’a law as law of the land in the United States. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the public disagree.

When you figure out how these minorities, who don't even want to genocide you despite the racism, are going to genocide you without the approval of the rest of us, via law or otherwise, let me know.


You can't be serious. First of all, it's extremely worrying that 23% of Americans are so delusional that they actually admit to believing that American Muslims want to establish Shari'a law as the law of the land. That's patently not the case (which I'm embarrassed to even have to point out), and that nearly 1 in 4 Americans believe it . . . is just scary. It's akin to stating that 23% of Germans in 1930 believed that Jews kidnap Christian children, kill them and use their blood for Passover matzoh to support the idea that, well, nothing bad's going to happen to the Jews, because 77% of Germans don't believe that!

You don't have to be in that 23% to be rabidly anti-Muslim (And I know people who'd love to get rid of the Muslims but still don't believe that Muslims want Shari'a law in America.) If 23% of Americans believe that, I have no problem imagining that three times that number have essentially negative opinions of Muslims, just not that extreme.

And 62% of Americans believing that Muslims are an "important part of the American religious community" is meaningless. Hitler was a really "important part" of 20th Century history. Rats are dung beetles "important parts" of the ecosystem. It doesn't mean I'd want any of them as roommates.

I don't find that people in America are any less racist than people in Bosnia or Hungary or any other place I've spent time, but there is a difference: the culture of admitting these things is not comparable. A Hungarian or Bosnian will generally come right out and say, "Yeah . . . I fucking hate Romanians or Gypsies or Serbs or Muslims (or whomever)," without any real anger or emotion. In America, people are less direct in their racism. I've had people in America tell me to my face, "Oh, it's not that I don't like Muslims - they're fine, I just think that they're too extreme for America." (Or similarly weird statements about Mexicans or black people or homosexuals or whatever.) That sort of person, like many Americans, isn't likely to answer many of the questions on the poll honestly . . . because they don't even see that they are racist. I can look back on what I've read on MeFi and think of many overtly racist or bigoted comments being made, but I don't need any fingers at all to count the number of times when the poster in question has openly acknowledged their racism or bigotry. Racism in America is generally of the "silent" variety. So do these polls mean anything?

In any case, it didn't take a majority of Germans to let the Nazis rise to power. There's no real evidence that the majority of Germans did or would have supported death camps. The vast majority of those living under Communism absolutely detested the system and rejoiced at its eventual collapse, but they lived under it for more than half a century. The vast majority of Serbs, Croats and Muslims in Bosnia were vehemently opposed to the war and got along with each other fine, but that didn't stop carnage put into motion by a few.

And nowhere do I write that I feel "genocide" is the logical outcome. Plenty of American lives have been utterly destroyed without it, time and time and time again, without a majority backing or Nuremburg-style laws or any of that. I'm worried about that.

Also, events are not static. A big part of Hitler's rise to power, or the violent nationalism of Milosevic, to cite just two examples, is due to unusual events. The slow failure of the Weimar Republic in the face of a calamitous economy led to a general sort of desperation that made even Adolf appealing to many. He seemed to have answers, and confidence. Serbia faced a similar set of worries with the break-up of Yugoslavia (it would have been on the losing side, economically) and so its leaders used nationalism (something they may have learned from Hitler) as a means of directing anxiety and keeping their on to power. These events would have been unthinkable a decade earlier, in both cases.

The America of 2021 will probably be less recognizable to the America of today than the America of 2001 is for us today. At least, that's what I think! In many ways, the Western world is running on fumes, and the adaptation to forthcoming challenges does not appear to being met "head on" in any way that I can recognize. Other nations of the world are moving in ways that do not fit well into recognized patterns of history. What will happen in India, or China? Or the Arab world, which is seeing unexpected, massive upheaval as we speak? What will happen as oil runs out, prices increase and our luxurious way of life slips out of reach? Real income for most Americans has been declining for many years - there is a breaking point, somewhere. The economic system has not been dealt with very well. The housing industry is still obviously in a very unstable place.

Historically, we go through strife and then things straighten out, or strife continues for longer. But generally, when things first get bad, someone gets the sharp end of the stick. To pretend like that won't happen here in America is ridiculous - it flies in the face of both American history and simple human nature.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 1:21 AM on March 6, 2011 [14 favorites]


I think the point is that things are trending badly, and Dee and others are making the point - don't underestimate where things can go.
I don't think we'd be having this discussion if anyone had said "things are trending badly and could get much worse." But the original post to which I responded didn't say that.
This might seem callous, but I cannot accept that a person can own a tragedy. Every human tragedy belongs to mankind because the causes are deep and impersonal.
I'm not claiming to "own" anything. I don't like casual Holocaust analogies, because they exploit the suffering of people I love, as well as that of people who I might have loved if they'd survived. You can, of course, continue to say anything about it that you want. I'm not actually part of some Jewish cabal that will smite you for saying things that are hurtful to me. All I can do is tell you I don't like it, same as anyone else could do. All I can do is tell you that I think it's cheap and lazy and inaccurate and exploitative. You're free to ignore me, as I'm sure you will.
You can't point out a single passage wherein I "diminish other people's suffering," of course.
You posted in support of this statement:
You know, if you replace the Muslims with Jews and the Americans with Germans, you get a nice representations of late 1930s Germany.
He did not say "there are historical parallels between the rise of Nazi Germany and what's going on America." He did not say "things are trending badly." He did not even compare the contemporary US to Nazi Germany before 1935, when German Jews were officially declared "state subjects" rather than citizens. He compared the situation of Muslims in America now with the situation of people who were formally, legally stripped of basic rights. That hasn't happened to Muslims in the US. The fact that you can imagine it happening does not make the US analogous to Germany in the late '30s.

And finally, there's not really any reason to go to the Holocaust as the go-to analogy for any instance of escalating prejudice. You could find several analogies in American history, many of which ended with considerable ugliness but not genocide. You could, for instance, analogize attitudes towards contemporary Muslims with attitudes towards Jews in the US a hundred years ago. There was a lot of antisemitism in the US in 1911, and it had some bad policy effects, but it didn't lead to genocide, and it eventually dissipated. You could analogize it with attitudes towards Eastern Europeans, who in late 19th and early 20th century America were widely believed to be racially inferior to "Anglo-Saxons" and racially incapable of full American citizenship. That was a big factor in the 1924 Immigration Act, which shut off most immigration from Eastern Europe while continuing to permit immigration from Western Europe. That's a bad and discriminatory outcome, but again there was no genocide. Or you could analogize attitudes towards Muslims with attitudes towards Japanese-Americans. That's obviously a really troubling comparison, given that Japanese internment was a clear violation of the Constitution and one of the more shameful episodes in twentieth-century American history. But it's not the Holocaust.

People don't go to those analogies, because they don't have the rhetorical oomph of the Holocaust, a rhetorical oomph which is derived from the deaths of actual people and the destruction of actual communities. But the less oomph-y analogies suggest different probable outcomes and different strategies to deal with it. If the probable outcome is the Holocaust, then the only moral method of dealing with it is to do everything in our power to help American Muslims flee the country. Luckily, I don't think most of us actually think that's what we're dealing with here.
posted by craichead at 4:24 AM on March 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


So discussing what might happen were America to enact laws similar to the Nuremburg laws is just silly talk; these laws are not how most genocides and mass exterminations begin. They're not needed for the promotion of human brutality. It's almost quaint in its naiveté, this implicit idea that first we'll make hate laws, then we'll open up the death camps!

Rule based even during genocide? If there was one nation that was going to do it...
posted by jaduncan at 6:07 AM on March 6, 2011


The American government would be peacefully or violently overthrown for attempting Nuremberg Laws in 2011.

This seems ridiculously naive to me. Americans have accepted state-sponsored kidnapping and torture, unaccountable unlimited surveillance, and even the indefinite detention and torture of American citizens not convicted of any crime. And, yeah, Obama's been nearly as bad as Bush. This isn't what I knocked on doors every weekend for months for.

More Americans than not, I've come to believe, will accept any abrogation of Constitutional rights that they don't feel personally affects them. In the wake of another major terrorist attack, I'm honestly convinced that the Obama administration could start rounding up Muslims into camps (not all Muslims! just the ones we think might be terrorists, or know a terrorist, or whatever) and about 52% of voters would approve. That's enough to get Obama re-elected.
posted by EarBucket at 8:52 AM on March 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


No one HERE is passing anti-Mosque laws. Seriously people, if you are worried about the specter of possible genocide, get to Switzerland, they are much further along the path to the death camps than America. How fucking pissed are you gonna be when they set up the gas chambers there and you are still waiting for Americans to start rounding up Muslims while liberals sit around doing nothing?

HURRY, YOU REALLY BELIEVE THIS IS INCOMING NAZISM, SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Americans have supported anti-terrorism laws after the worst terrorist attack in the history of the planet, at the same time as we have not passed any laws to restrict religious freedom. It is an intense response that falls well short of signalling the possibility of institutional genocide. You sound as insane as the right talking about FEMA camps when you discuss Muslim concentration camps. Guantanamo takes people off the battlefield and is a military facility, it is obviously flawed in so many ways but not a sign of Auschwitz 2.0.

You sound just as insane as the right when you break out the cheap Nazi analogies. This is one of those cases where I literally have to give the exact same lecture on the exact same arguments to both sides and neither ever possibility will admit that maybe Hitler really isn't just around the corner and they are just falling prey to human emotional fallibility and tribalism to demonize political opponents.

I'm getting out now, I don't need to hear another, "But really Obama did this and Hitler...and if I guess at my own poll numbers for a hypothetical question..."

Oh wait, I forgot, this is the left wing version of the lecture. Whatever.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:12 AM on March 6, 2011


I don't think anyone's saying there's going to be mass executions and death camps. But mass deportations? Unlimited search and detention powers? Torture of suspected terrorists on American soil? I don't think it's hard at all to imagine those things happening here in the next decade, particularly if a Republican president is elected.
posted by EarBucket at 11:01 AM on March 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just curious how you can spit that with such venom at someone who watched their famil murdered behind a situation relevant to this discussion. I mean damn. I guess I need to take my own advice about what we are capable of.
posted by cashman at 1:03 PM on March 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Liberals would hate the laws

That's an understatement. Would you seriously stand by nonviolently in that case? If so, you are inhuman. If the Nuremburg Laws were passed in America today, I can safely say that there would be rioting in the streets. Contrary to popular belief in this thread, America is not 99.8% Tea-Partier. They are a loud minority, just like the far left. I'm considered a milquetoast moderate or even a far-right Bush apologist by many here, but even I would literally grab any heavy object I could, run outside, and start caving heads in if Kristalnacht hit Austin. And if they started denying property rights to Muslims, even the most right-leaning Libertarians would be trying to start a revolution.

Someone pointed out that 23% of Americans think Muslims want Sharia Law. It doesn't say "all". That's actually true as stated -- some do. A fairly large number, I think. They have their crazy conservatives just like the Christians have theirs. Well guess what? Another 23% of Americans are not Christian. From the original link, 29% think that the government should not investigate religious extremism (!) and 36% believe Muslims have been unfairly targeted by law enforcement.

Stereotyping all Americans as being like those protesters on TV is the same as stereotyping all Muslims as being like the people engaged in the overseas violence we see on TV. Most Muslims aren't terrorists. Most Americans aren't fascists. There will always be occasional incidents of nastiness, but it's a jump to start crying Hitler over one crowd of angry racists.
posted by Xezlec at 1:55 PM on March 6, 2011


He compared the situation of Muslims in America now with the situation of people who were formally, legally stripped of basic rights.
No I didn't lol.
posted by dougrayrankin at 3:22 PM on March 6, 2011


No I didn't lol.
Yeah you did lol.

Anyway, you've provided us all with an object lesson in why Godwinning the discussion is a bad idea that is guaranteed to end in a useless derail. So thanks for that, I guess.
posted by craichead at 4:04 PM on March 6, 2011


I should say that I don't think a fascist police state America is an inevitability, or even a high probability. But it's certainly a possibility, and I think there are enough worrying signs in our public discourse that we need to at least start talking about it.
posted by EarBucket at 4:11 PM on March 6, 2011


To wit: say there's another large-scale terrorist attack this fall, on the order of 9/11 or worse. Say some Muslim lunatic sets off a dirty bomb in downtown Chicago. What do you think the odds are that Obama, Biden, Clinton, Jones, Gates, and Holder would say among themselves "We must be measured in our response to this, always respecting the Constitution, even when that costs us support from voters?" vs. "We have to make sure this doesn't happen again, even if we have to rough up a couple of poor brown foreigners?" I'd like to think they'd sound more like the former, but their actions so far suggest the latter's more likely. And, hell, I understand that calculus, even if I can't agree with it.

Now what are the odds when we replace them with President Mike Huckabee and his cabinet?
posted by EarBucket at 4:20 PM on March 6, 2011


Yeah you did lol.
lol
posted by dougrayrankin at 4:40 PM on March 6, 2011


lol
posted by dougrayrankin


Your posting history betrays your lack of insight. Perhaps chill out and lurk a bit more.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:04 PM on March 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stereotyping all Americans as being like those protesters on TV is the same as stereotyping all Muslims as being like the people engaged in the overseas violence we see on TV. Most Muslims aren't terrorists. Most Americans aren't fascists

You miss the point. The Germans aren't inherently fascist, just as they weren't in the 1920s. There's nothing about fascism which requires a particular culture. Fascism was a particular political philosophy, but to the extent we're really talking about authoritarianism, the US is no less susceptible than any other culture. Authoritarian governments are a product of human nature, and we're all vulnerable to it if we allow it. Most Germans in WWII would not have considered themselves fascist, either, at least not the way we know it now - they considered themselves patriots, and most did not want to know much about what their government might really be doing that's inhumane, as it was a time of war. You've heard arguments from US citizens (sometimes defending torture, GITMO, etc) that war is brutal and we should just accept it. It's not a problem that only happens to certain types of people.

Most Germans in the 1930s were just like you and me.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:50 PM on March 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


the worst terrorist attack in the history of the planet

Forgive me, but this is American hyperbole; and it also depends on how you define "terrorist attack".
posted by jokeefe at 7:18 PM on March 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


clvrmnky: "Egypt is a better country.

Seriously.
"

Yeah, those protesters are fucking Saints. Lara Logan aside of course.
posted by Bonzai at 8:29 PM on March 6, 2011


Anybody else got a new link?

The video has a "copyright claim" by one "George Collins" Why do I have a feeling this is a bullshit DMCA takedown, not something from the actual video taker?

How can we force it back?
posted by symbioid at 11:12 AM on March 7, 2011


George Collins appears to be a perennial Republican candidate for mayor of Santa Ana. It looks like he was also one of the videographers for the protest, but IIRC the video in the OP was being used by CAIR with permission from various local news networks. Dunno if the video contained any material from Collins -- he might have provided the speech footage, though I don't recall seeing a watermark -- but I can't imagine he'd willingly hand any of it over to a Muslim advocacy group like CAIR given his apparent anti-immigrant leanings.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:49 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a new link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoKd8CCdsxU&feature=player_embedded
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:10 PM on March 8, 2011


« Older What you gonna do with atheists, all those pagan a...  |  We've had 2 economic super-cyc... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments