Category Archives: Islam

TN GOPers Root Out Creeping Sharia In Capitol Bathrooms

Tennessee State legislators Bill Ketron (R-CooCooForCocoaPuffs) and Judd Matheny (R-TinFoilHatsRUS) are still focused like a laser on crazy crap no one really gives a shit about:

Building managers and legislative staffers have sought to reassure some concerned Tennessee lawmakers that recent renovations at the state Capitol did not install special facilities to support Muslim prayer rituals.

The new sink is instead meant to make it easier for custodial staff to fill buckets and clean mops.

Senate Clerk Russell Humphrey said he had been approached by a House and Senate member to inquire about the basin, which replaced a utility sink that had been mounted higher on the wall.

Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro said he had asked about the change after being approached about it by fellow Republican Rep. Judd Matheny of Tullahoma. Ketron said the answer dispelled any potential concerns, while Matheny denied being involved.

Ha ha ha … Love that Matheny is all like, “Huh? Waddun’t me!”

SO GLAD WE GOT THAT CLEARED UP FOLKS! Now back to your regularly scheduled wackadoodle.

Fer crying out loud … Who in their right mind sees a dang sink and immediately gets all scared about ZOMG ISLAMOFASCISM!? Get some help, guys. Like, of the medicinal sort? Maybe?

I do not want to know what reality looks like to these guys.

8 Comments

Filed under Islam, Islamofascism, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, TNGOP

Sometimes A Bra Is Just A Bra

We all know that pundits say incredibly stupid things and none of the Villagers is more guilty of that than the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn. I never read her stuff, but her Dec. 29 column crossed my path somehow. And ugh, Quinn tried to embark on a modern feminist path but instead arrived at a destination so ridiculously provincial and trivial, I just had to share it.

She writes:

The blue bra. That’s what did it for me.

Yes, I know. There have been jillions of atrocities against women all over the world, many much worse than what happened to the young Egyptian woman who was beaten, stomped on and nearly stripped by the military during a demonstration. Aside from the sheer brutality, I think what got to me was that she was wearing this gorgeous, sexy bright blue bra. Under her abaya.

There was something so shocking about it, so unexpected. This person covered from head to toe demonstrated her beliefs through her choice of underwear. The blue bra said what I imagine her to be feeling: “I may be oppressed. I may not have rights. I may have to cover up my body and face. But you cannot destroy my womanhood. You can’t rob me of my femininity. You can’t take away my power.

Oh, puke.

First of all: no, the “blue bra” woman did not demonstrate her beliefs through her choice in underwear. She demonstrated her beliefs by protesting in the streets of Cairo. She paid for it by being savagely beaten by military police. She has become a symbol, but not because of the color of her bra.

Second of all: Really? You saw that picture and what got you was the fact that an Eqyptian woman was wearing a blue bra? What, did you think she had it smuggled in from France or something? I’m sorry, but when I saw that picture what got me was the vulnerability, not the bra. I saw a woman being attacked by police so viciously, her clothing had been torn off. I saw her being hauled off and thought, “that woman is about to be raped.” In fact, we don’t know what happened to her. But that was my takeaway from that image.

Maybe this is a generational thing but I don’t get my sense of empowerment from my underwear. And I’m pretty sure that photo would have been just as shocking if the woman in question were wearing a white bra. Or a sports bra.

You know what I think? I think what got Sally Quinn was the realization that beneath the head scarf was a Muslim woman who looked like any Western female. She was wearing blue jeans. Tennis shoes. And yes, a blue bra. She could have been any female being hauled away from any of the protests which have rocked the world lately: Occupy Wall Street or a demonstration in Washington, D.C. Or London, or Sydney, Australia. I think Sally Quinn expected women in Cairo to be different from the rest of us somehow, maybe wearing special Muslim underwear or something. Hey, these aren’t Mormons (sorry, cheap shot).

I mean seriously, don’t you people travel? Or at least watch travel shows on TV? Or, hey: try reading your own damn newspaper, Sally. Haven’t you seen photographs from around the Muslim world of women with plucked eyebrows and carefully applied eye makeup, lipstick and Chanel sunglasses? Some even dye their hair. It’s all very Western save the head scarf.

The truth of the matter is, people are pretty much the same everywhere. Sure, people like Rick Santorum and John McCain can say they’d bomb Iran but just remember in Tehran there are women who, beneath their hijab, are wearing blue bras and lace panties like the rest of us. Why wouldn’t they? And they love their children just as much as we love ours, and they worry about their kids getting an education and how mom is starting to get forgetful and how Dad maybe shouldn’t be allowed to drive anymore. They worry about gaining weight and have crushes on film stars and adore their pet cats and dogs like everyone else in the world. We’re all part of the same human family.

Yes, there are cultural differences. And yes, as the global economy undergoes a major transformation, the balance of power around the world is undergoing a transformation as well. The world doesn’t belong to America anymore, we’re sharing it with growing economies like China, India and Brazil. Changes have taken place and this means cultural change as well as economic change.

Quinn writes:

The great thing about it is that when women go into the workplace, or the public square, or anywhere else, the men are always going to wonder, does she have on the blue bra? Let the answer always be yes.

Um, no they are not. At least, men aren’t undressing women in their minds any differently than they ever have through the centuries. They’re going to wonder, “if the women are in the workplace or the public square they are asserting themselves in an arena that used to belong solely to men. Is this change good or bad?”

It’s not about the damn bra, Sally. Please, look beyond the superficialities.

19 Comments

Filed under feminism, Islam, Media

The Hits Just Keep On Coming

I’d never heard of Tennessee Republican Rick Womick before, but now the entire world knows he’s a raging asshole idiot Islamophobe:

In the interview, which took place on Veterans Day, Womick told ThinkProgress that “I don’t trust one Muslim in our military” and “if they truly are a devout Muslims, and follow the Quran and the Sunnah, then I feel threatened because they’re commanded to kill me.” When asked if Muslims should be forced out of the military, Womick responded “Absolutely, yeah.” Read the exchange:

FANG: What about the thousands of Muslims that are still in the military that are veterans, that are translators, that are active personnel. Is there some sort of policy solution that you’re advocating? […]

WOMICK: Personally, I don’t trust one Muslim in our military because they’re commanded to lie to us through the term called Taqiyya. And if they truly are a devout Muslim, and follow the Quran and the Sunnah, then I feel threatened because they’re commanded to kill me.

CLIFTON: You believe they should be forced out?

WOMICK: Absolutely, yeah.

Jeeeeez. Can’t imagine why Nashville’s Hutton Hotel didn’t want to be associated with this hatefest! Watch the video here:

What an absolutely despicable moron. On a related note, I’ve learned of a new scientific study indicating conservatives are borderline sociopaths:

A new study finds that conservative moral judgements on several issues have a correlation with “dark and anti-social personality traits.” The study, from the University of Tampa’s Dr. Marcus Arvan, PhD in the journal Neuroethics found Machiavellianism (deception), narcissism (overinflated sense of self-worth), and psychopathy (absence of guilt or remorse) in conservative value judgements.

Science! I have to say, with the stuff we’re hearing from people like Womick (and at every GOP debate thus far, where something heinous has been cheered by the Lizard People in attendance), I’m inclined to think Dr. Avan is on to something.

Pffft.

6 Comments

Filed under conservatives, Islam, right-wing hate

Free Hand Of The Market Bitchslaps Islamophobes

Sorry, Tennessee Islamophobes: you’re going to have to take your little Muslim hate-fest somewhere else! Nashville’s Hutton Hotel has told the anti-Sharia Preserving Freedom Conference to take a hike, rather than be associated with a bunch of nutballs and bigots. Ouch.

Predictably, chief hater Lou Ann Zelenik has started whining about censorship, because the conservative mind is too narrow to grasp the difference between free speech and the free market:

Zelenik said her group is being censored for opposing radical Islam, and the hotel’s action shows Shariah law is a threat to free speech.

No, honey. You don’t have a “right” to hold your merry little hate-fest wherever the fuck you please. It’s called the FREE MARKET. Something your side always yammers on about when it suits you.

You know what people do have a right to do? Practice whatever religion they want, in whatever church/house of worship they want. And that includes Islam, in a mosque in Murfreesboro that you’ve been trying so desperately to stop.

Get lost.

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Filed under free hand of the market, free speech, Islam, Nashville, religion

The Origins Of The Anti-Shariah Movement

Today’s New York Times has a fascinating story on the origins of our national “anti-Shariah Law” movement, including the numerous bills making their way around various state houses (including Tennessee).

I mean, all of us in the reality-based community have been sitting here going, Shariah Law? Really? How is this a problem for America right now? And it’s taken waaaay too long for our news media to look into the roots of this hate campaign, especially considering how it has dominated the national news cycle in recent years.

Better late than never, I guess:

A confluence of factors has fueled the anti-Shariah movement, most notably the controversy over the proposed Islamic center near ground zero in New York, concerns about homegrown terrorism and the rise of the Tea Party. But the campaign’s air of grass-roots spontaneity, which has been carefully promoted by advocates, shrouds its more deliberate origins.

In fact, it is the product of an orchestrated drive that began five years ago in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in the office of a little-known lawyer, David Yerushalmi, a 56-year-old Hasidic Jew with a history of controversial statements about race, immigration and Islam. Despite his lack of formal training in Islamic law, Mr. Yerushalmi has come to exercise a striking influence over American public discourse about Shariah.

Working with a cadre of conservative public-policy institutes and former military and intelligence officials, Mr. Yerushalmi has written privately financed reports, filed lawsuits against the government and drafted the model legislation that recently swept through the country — all with the effect of casting Shariah as one of the greatest threats to American freedom since the cold war.

That sounded so familiar to me. Let me think …. Oh yeah, the English Only movement:

For decades, John Tanton has operated a nativist empire out of his U.S. Inc. foundation’s headquarters in Petoskey, Mich. Even as he simultaneously runs his own hate group — The Social Contract Press, listed for many years by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its anti-Latino and white supremacist writings — Tanton has remained the house intellectual for FAIR. In fact, U.S. Inc. bankrolls much of FAIR’s lobbying activity and, at least until 2005, Tanton ran its Research and Publications Committee, the group that fashions and then disseminates FAIR’s position papers. In its 2004 annual report, FAIR highlighted its own main ideologue, singing Tanton’s praises for “visionary qualities that have not waned one bit.”

There is something about the authoritarian leanings of right wing bigots — coupled with the established network of organizations funded by conservative moneybags like Richard Mellon Scaife — which allows one fringe nutwagon to exert such power over American life.

Here’s a rule of thumb: every nationwide movement of hate-mongers selling fear of any group of people has its roots in one loon that the entire wackadoodle community has rallied around, financed and promoted. Call it Beale’s Rule of One Crazy Asshole.

Yerushalmi got his start on the crazy train in the usual way: free market ideology, coupled with 9/11:

[…] His interest in Islamic law began with the Sept. 11 attacks, he said, when he was living in Ma’ale Adumim, a large Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

At the time, Mr. Yerushalmi, a native of South Florida, divided his energies between a commercial litigation practice in the United States and a conservative research institute based in Jerusalem, where he worked to promote free-market reform in Israel.

[…]

On its Web site, the Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish civil rights organization, describes Mr. Yerushalmi as having a record of “anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry.” His legal clients have also drawn notoriety, among them Pamela Geller, an incendiary blogger who helped drive the fight against the Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero.

From here, Yerushalmi met prominent neocon Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, a think tank funded by defense contractors. Gaffney was one of the 25 who signed PNAC’s 1998 letter advocating war in Iraq.

Ah yes, the neoconservative political establishment. The people who led us to war in Iraq. Can’t imagine why they’d want to stoke the fires of Islamophobia, can you? /sarcasm.

The conservative hate machine has long been a cancer poisoning American discourse. It amazes me to see how well-funded and entrenched this network truly is. What we’re seeing now are efforts to codify this hate into American life legislatively. One can hope that revealing the intolerant bigots behind these campaigns — the sunlight factor, if you will — can put a stop to this craziness.

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently investigated what it called the “Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.” Of Yerushalmi they write:

CREDENTIALS General counsel for the Center for Security Policy (see Frank J. Gaffney Jr., above); also, an attorney representing SIOA. Yerushalmi drafted a proposed law filed this year in the Tennessee legislature that would subject anyone who advocates or adheres to Shariah customs to up to 15 years in prison; he drafted a similar bill in Georgia in 2008.

Umm … Tennessee, aren’t we always hearing how we don’t like no dirty, rotten outsiders telling us what to do? Hello? I digress …

SUMMARY Yerushalmi equates Shariah with Islamic radicalism so totally that he advocates criminalizing virtually any personal practice compliant with Shariah. In his view, only a Muslim who fully breaks with the customs of Shariah can be considered socially tolerable. He waxes bloodthirsty when describing his preferred response to the supposed global threat of Shariah law, speaking casually of killing and destroying. Ideally, he would outlaw Islam and deport Muslims and other “non-Western, non-Christian” people to protect the United States’ “national character.” An ultra-orthodox Jew, he is deeply hostile toward liberal Jews. He derides U.S.-style democracy because it allows more than just an elite, privileged few to vote.

IN HIS OWN WORDS “On the so-called Global War on Terrorism, GWOT, we have been quite clear along with a few other resolute souls. This should be a WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful. … At a practical level, this means that Shari’a and Islamic law are immediately outlawed. Any Muslim in America who adopts historical and traditional Shari’a will be subject to deportation. Mosques which adhere to Islamic law will be shut down permanently. No self-described or practicing Muslim, irrespective of his or her declarations to the contrary, will be allowed to immigrate to this country.”
— A 2007 commentary entitled “War Manifesto — The War Against Islam,” as reported by The American Muslim

A fringe character advocating a war against Islam joining forces with a Neocon funded by defense contractors advocating for war in the Middle East so we can control the oil. Can’t imagine what can go wrong here, can you?

I’m just curious as to when Americans will get tired of the mainstreaming of these fringe characters? When will we say, enough already?

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Filed under conservatives, David Yarushalmi, Islam, mosquetroversy, right-wing hate

>What If They Burned A Koran And Nobody Was There To See It?

>I guess we’ll find out as Springfield, TN’s Bob Old decided to go through with his copycat Koran burning after all:

But for all the controversy and hype, his Quran burning took place in front of just a handful of people, most of them from the media.

Old and the Rev. Danny Allen stood together in Old’s backyard, answering what they say was a message from God.

Well isn’t that special. In fact, eight journalists showed up for Old and Danny Allen’s pathetic “demonstration,” which clearly was a sad attempt to get some attention since obviously his church wanted nothing to do with it.

Also:

Three protesters stood across the street from Old’s home, holding signs that read “My husband fights terrorism and your actions perpetuate it” and “Proud of my country but ashamed of my neighbors.”

Okay, Tennesseans. Hope everyone is proud of themselves. Now can we all move along?

[UPDATE]: Read John Shuck on our new imperial religion.

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Filed under Islam, mosquetroversy, religion, Tennessee

>Tennessee Wackadoos REPRESENT!

>[UPDATE]: Florida’s Koran burning has been cancelled. Wonder if this idiot in Tennessee still plans to go forward.

——————-

Not to be left out of all the fun, a Springfield, TN pastor wants to join in the Holy book barbecue planned for Saturday:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Springfield minister says he also plans to burn a Quran on Saturday to mark the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Rev. Bob Old told The Tennessean the Rev. Terry Jones of the Dove World Center Outreach in Gainesville, Fla., is doing the right thing by burning the Quran, and so he’s going to do likewise.

Jones’ plan to burn Qurans on Saturday has caused a furor of opposition, including an urging from President Barack Obama to call off his plan.

However, Old says not only does he plan to burn the Quran, but he intends to post a video of the burning book online.

Says Old of Muslims in America: “If they want to have their religion, they can have it somewhere else.”

Wow that’s just SO FUCKING AMERICAN, ain’t it? Isn’t that what the Puritans were told? “If you want your religion go somewhere else?”

I mean, we just knew that some asshole in Tennessee was going to join in the fun, didn’t we?

*SIGH*

Look, I really didn’t want to pay attention to this wacko down in Florida because clearly he’s an attention-seeking media whore of the Fred Phelps variety. The media circus has already been whipped up, it was inevitable, but I just really hoped I could check out of Crazy Town and just not take part in the spectacle. But noooo, of course not, someone right up the highway from Nashville thinks this is a stellar idea! The nation has clearly gone off the rails and frankly I’m tired of having to say “you don’t represent me!” over and over again.

People have a right to burn books in this country, it’s part of the whole “free speech” thing, so enjoy yourselves. But I just have to wonder at what these folks are going to be thinking come Sunday morning when they show up at church for worship. As you arrive on church property and smell the acrid burned-ash-and-ink smell of your little holy flame fest, are you going to be proud of yourselves? Will you think that God is proud of you? Do you think Jesus looks down from heaven on you and smiles at setting flame to some ink and paper? Really?

Or will there be a tiny bit of shame in your hearts? Maybe the smallest shard of embarrassment that the entire world has looked upon you and your congregation, not with awe at how much you love, but with horror at how much you hate?

Is this how you represent God to the world?

“Vide”, inquiunt, “ut invicem se diligant” – ipsi enim invicem oderunt – “et ut pro alteruto mori sint parati”; ipsi enim ad occidendum alterutrum paratiores erunt.

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Filed under Islam, mosquetroversy, religion, Tennessee