Category Archives: Islam

Nobody Could Have …. Awww, Screw It

Tennessee anti-mosque activist Laurie Cardoza-Moore, who got pwned by The Daily Show last week, now claims she’s getting death threats:

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, an outspoken opponent of the mosque, said she has also received a death threat by phone. The threat said, “We are coming after you. You cannot stop us.”

“It was a shock, of course, but not a surprise,” said Cardoza-Moore. “It was an Arab-speaking individual. He addressed my name. He said Allahu Akbar, and it was very clear to me who he was.”

Yes, I’m sure it was very clear who he was. Probably someone pissed off that you portray all Muslims as terrorists. Moore told the local Fox affiliate:

“I was upset justifiably so. If this is the religion of peace why am I getting death threats,” said Moore.

Excellent question! And if we have freedom of religion in this country why are you opposing the expansion of the Murfreesboro mosque, which has existed peacefully in Rutherford County for 30 years?

Listen, lady. You poke a stick at a hornets’ nest, you get people all riled up at each other, you accuse your neighbors of being terrorists and having links to Hamas, you make a fool of yourself on national television spouting your ignorant claptrap, and then you want sympathy because someone left you a mean telephone message? Take it somewhere else.

————-

[UPDATE]: Via Pith, Laurie Cardoza-Moore rails against the Islamic faith at a speech in New York City. And she wonders why she gets mean voicemail messages? This lady is batshit in insane.

6 Comments

Filed under Islam, mosquetroversy, Tennessee

>Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Or STFU

>Arson is suspected at the Murfreesboro mosque construction site because, you know, construction machinery doesn’t just torch itself.

So Newt Gingrich, Charles Krauthammer and the rest of you yahoos who contend you aren’t Islamophobes, you just don’t want those people worshipping on our hallowed ground! … I just have two words: pony up.

Come to Tennessee and embrace the mosque in Murfreesboro. We’re hundreds of miles from Ground Zero. This ain’t hallowed ground, it’s Rutherford County.

Come tonight for the candlelight vigil sponsored by Middle Tennesseans for Religious Freedom. There will be TV cameras there. I know that’s important to you.

Tell your rage-filled minions that Muslims have a right to worship in America, not just legally and Constitutionally but morally, as well. Control your hateful rabble before some innocent person gets hurt. You will have blood on your hands if this escalates. I will blame you for stoking a torch and pitchfork mob.

And when you’ve finished embracing the Muslims in Tennessee you can go to Jacksonville, Florida, where a pipe bomb was found at a mosque. And then take it to Arlington, Texas, where a mosque playground was set on fire. And then take it to Madera, California.

If your beef is really about how special Ground Zero is, fine. You should be the biggest supporters of Islamic community centers and houses of worship in the rest of the nation.

That you stay silent is very, very telling. It’s all the proof we need supporting our contention that you’re just hateful bigots stoking fear among your ignorant followers.

7 Comments

Filed under fear, Islam, mosquetroversy, Newt Gingrich

>Tennessee Laughingstocks

>The Daily Show covers Tennessee’s own mosque-troversy. I don’t know who this crazy lady is who says you can find out all sorts of things on the internet but someone needs to tell her that just because it’s on the internet, it doesn’t mean it’s true. If that were the case then I’d be freaking out about the Great George W. Bush Alien Coverups of 2007.

<td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'Tennessee No Evil
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
www.thedailyshow.com
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Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

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Filed under Islam, mosquetroversy, religion, Tennessee

>The View From Ground Zero Today

>Russell Simmons lives across the street from Ground Zero. Here’s what he did to his apartment windows:

Meanwhile the media seems bent on taking its cue from a crazy lady whose last big claim to fame was announcing President Obama is Malcom X’s love child. Well, that and her famous crush on John Bolton.

I remember a time when people like that were gently ushered away from the microphone and sent on a long cruise somewhere for their “nerves.” Today’s modern Republican Party hands them a Fox News microphone and the national news media decides there must be something to it because, well, they’re on Fox News!

Crazy world we live in.

By the way, Leviticus 19:18 referenced in Simmons’ window? It reads:

18 ” ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

Gotta love how religious conservatives always overlook just those parts of Leviticus that are inconvenient to their politics.

3 Comments

Filed under conservative bloggers, Islam, media, mosquetroversy, religion

>Calling Bullshit

>Today I caught several morning news stenographers anchors breathlessly reporting the latest political “controversy,” which is President Obama’s statement about that mosque thingie in downtown Manhattan. I’ve already written about the mosque here, written about how there’s already a mosque near Ground Zero, it’s been there since before 9/11, blah blah. I’ve since learned there are also a bunch of synagogues and a bunch of churches in that area, plus porn shops and lord knows what else on this so-called “hallowed ground.” The entire thing is so blatantly manufactured in the Frank Luntz Little Shoppe Of Bullshit that you’d have to be truly braindead or a member of the American media to take any of it seriously.

Anyway, the GOP wants to make this an election issue, which is how you know it’s utter bullshit because everyone knows the only election issue worth paying attention to right now is the economy and jobs, jobs, jobs. But of course the GOP says “jump” and the media asks “how high?”

Seriously, I can’t take another election season dominated by silly, emotional, unimportant issues. The media needs to wake the fuck up and stop hurting America. No one gives a crap about a mosque in New York City. How do I know this? I know this because the GOP is trying to make it an election issue. If people really cared, they wouldn’t be flogging this dead horse all the way to the November finish line.

And why do they do this? Because they have absolutely no fucking clue what to do about jobs, the tanking economy, and the rest of the huge mess they left the nation in. If they had a fucking clue they wouldn’t be trying to distract your attention with the shiny-sparkly mosque thingie over there. They’d be presenting their bold plan to kickstart our economy and create jobs. Unfortunately, their sad little plan is more tax cuts for the wealthy and deregulation, plus another war in the Middle East for good measure — the same crap that got us into this mess.

So: different year, same old crap. But dear American media, just because the GOP is having one of its periodic hissy fits, that doesn’t mean you guys need to play along. Seriously, there’s something about having a Democrat in the White House that sets our media off. They’ve got “Democratic President Derangement Syndrome.” Suddenly perfectly ordinary things that presidents do and say — like, oh, I dunno, maybe defending the First Amendment and defending the rights of private property owners — are deemed very odd and “controversial.”

It’s very puzzling.

Pullitzer to the reporter with the cojones to point out that the GOP wouldn’t be making an election issue out of a stupid issue like this if they weren’t so desperately bereft of any real ideas on how to solve America’s problems.

19 Comments

Filed under Davidson County Republican Party, Islam, media, mosquetroversy, President Barack Obama

>Tennessee Know-Nothings

>Remember Vijay Kumar? Of WTVF’s famous “Homegrown Jihad” expose? He’s the one running for Jim Cooper’s seat on an “anti-Sharia platform.”

He’s erected a few billboards around Nashville. Here’s one:

Kumar is a crank of the highest order and I’d say his chances against Jim Cooper are slim to none. Interestingly, another crank, Lou Ann Zelenik, is running for Bart Gordon’s seat. She, too, has made anti-Muslim sentiment a focal point of her campaign:

In a Thursday evening statement, 6th District candidate Lou Ann Zelenik said she stands with those who oppose building what she calls “an Islamic training center.” She says the center is not part of a religious movement, but a political one “designed to fracture the moral and political foundation of Middle Tennessee.”

“Until the American Muslim community find it in their hearts to separate themselves from their evil, radical counterparts, to condemn those who want to destroy our civilization and will fight against them, we are not obligated to open our society to any of them,” Zelenik says in the statement.

Wow. Only in Tennessee — and maybe South Carolina, Texas, and a few other Southern states — could your intolerance be a campaign issue … as a selling pont.

Frankly, I am surprised at this turn of events. I thought the Hispanic community would be the Republican punching bag this election; instead, they seem to have decided that Muslim hate is the issue that can rally their base. How convenient that they can all identify a common enemy to inspire fear and hatred in the hearts of their followers. Because what’s an election without a convenient punching bag?

It’s so weird to me. Am I the only one who remembers conservatives touting how wonderful it was that Nashville was selected as a polling site for ex-pat Iraqis, how this proved the war had been worth it? Remember all of those purple fingers?

I don’t get it. You’ll let these folks vote, but you won’t let them worship?

13 Comments

Filed under Islam, Tennessee

>Tennessee Puts The Hate On-AGAIN

>The anti-Muslim haters crawled out from under their rocks to oppose the Rutherford County mosque at a county commission meeting last week. Some of the statements that were made are shocking in their ignorance and intolerance. For example:

“Everybody knows they are trying to kill us,” Karen Harrell said. “People are really concerned about this. Somebody has to stand up and take this country back.”

”Take this country back” being code for “I’m a tea bagging idiot who just parrots whatever words Glenn Beck spews.” Isn’t it funny how people who don’t like government interference in anyone’s business are suddenly demanding the Rutherford County Commission stop a private group from building a house of worship on land they own?

Just as we saw when Lee Beaman donated his Antioch property to the homeless, these folks seem to live in a world of double standards. If a megachurch wanted to build on that land and people objected it would be “oh my God Christianity is under attack” all over again.

Even worse were the statements expressed by supposed people of faith. Here’s one:

“We have a duty to investigate anyone under the banner of Islam,” Allen Jackson, pastor of World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, said during Thursday’s meeting.

This from someone professing to lead a group with the words “world outreach” in its title? Cognitive dissonance much?

Here’s another one:

But Michael O’Bannon, senior minister at First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, said questioning the new mosque is not religious intolerance.

“It is a genuine concern based on the fact that, while we believe and practice freedom of religion, experience has taught us that a segment of Muslims are very hostile toward anyone who is not a Muslim.

“Their Quran is very explicit about how they should treat infidels,” he said.

I’m guessing this fellow hasn’t spent too much time reading his Bible, especially the Old Testament. And he certainly hasn’t spent much time reading his own United Methodist literature, since the United Methodists are one of the more tolerant denominations out there. I guess he missed the 2005 meeting between Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and a group of UMC bishops. So to Michael O’Bannon who says “a segment of Muslims are very hostile toward anyone who is not a Muslim,” I suggest you remove the log from your own eye.

But the best comments came from a self-described “tea party Democrat” named George Erdel running for Bart Gordon’s seat. First of all, let me say there is no such thing as a “tea party Democrat.” There is not one thing about the tea party that represents the Democratic Party. This person is clearly delusional. He said:

“Islam is a system of government. Islam is a system of justice. We’ve got people here who remember Sept. 11, 2001. These people are scared.

“I’m afraid we’ll have a training facility in Rutherford County.”

Yes, please roll that tape of the guys in their pajamas on the monkey bars, we haven’t seen that one enough. What an idiot.

Fortunately, a real Democrat has spoken up. U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran Ben Leming, also running for Bart Gordon’s seat, writes on his website:

 “I see a lot of people quoting our Constitution these days, but only when it suits their agenda. You can’t have it both ways. I believe in the United States Constitution.  I have fought and will continue to fight to uphold every single right guaranteed by it. This includes the right to worship freely. Just because we may not agree with someone’s religious views does not mean we get to decide whether they can have a place of worship in the community. This is simply un-American,” said Leming.

The Rutherford County Commission approved a proposed site for a new Islamic mosque planned for Murfreesboro in May. One local leader in the community, Pastor Allen Jackson, said “We have a duty to investigate anyone under the banner of Islam.” He went on to mention American troops in his remarks.

“I completely repudiate those statements.  He does not get to speak for me or most other members of the military. I expect more from a man who should be teaching the message of tolerance, forgiveness, and love.” said Leming. “I support those leaders who voted to uphold our American values and rights. Doing the right thing, even if it is unpopular, takes courage.”

I can’t tell you how embarassed I am by my fellow Tennesseans sometimes. I understand people are afraid and I get that scared people do stupid things, but haven’t we seen this movie like a thousand times before? Have we learned nothing from the way we treated Japanese and German Americans and immigrants during WWI and WWII? Come on people, cut the crap already.

I’m tired of living in Amygdala America. It’s time that we started drowning out the voices of hate once and for all. We need more Ben Lemings speaking out.

9 Comments

Filed under Islam, religion, Tennessee

I Wonder If WTVF Feels A Teensy Weensy Bit Responsible

If they don’t, they should:

On February 10th, 2010, Al-farooq Masjid of Nashville, TN was vandalized with religiously motivated hate-speech spray painted on their outside walls. Whoever did this also left a hand written letter at the Al-farooq Youth Center that said ugly things about Muslims and Islam.

This event is particularly troubling as it comes on the heels of a sensationalist report by News Channel 5 this past weekend about a long-time Muslim community in Dover, TN, who they initially insinuated as having links to terrorists.

Well no one could have anticipated THAT.

Way to go, Nashville’s ”yellow journalists.”

Pith has more…

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Filed under Islam, Nashville, religion, WTVF

Really, WTVF? REALLY?

WTVF-NewsChannel5 has lost me forever. In a pathetic ploy for ratings, or perhaps an effort to sell more Depends, they have sent reporter Nick Beres out to cover the extremist anti-Muslim video “Homegrown Jihad.” The video claims that there are terrorist training camps right here in Tennessee!!!! OMG!!!!!11!!1!ELEVEN!!!!

The segment I saw interviewed local anti-Muslim nutball/perpetual Republican Congressional candidate Vijay Kumar. From the link:

Vijay Kumar believes otherwise. He’s a Nashville member of ACT for America – a national group concerned with Islamic radicalism in the U.S. Kumar says it’s hard to know for certain what happens at the community near Dover because they keep to themselves.

“It’s my feeling they are introverted and live among themselves and think the whole world is hostile,” says Kumar.

It would have been nice if Beres or someone else at WTVF had bothered to check into ACT For America’s or Kumar’s background. For one thing, he’s the Republican candidate running for Jim Cooper’s seat–again–on an “anti-Sharia platform.”

Seriously, an anti-Sharia platform? Are you kidding me? What world do these idiots live in?

Saying ACT For America is “a national group concerned with Islamic radicalism” is soft peddling pedaling it. They are a rabid Islamophobic group headed by hyper-Zionist Brigitte Gabriel, author of anti-Muslim books with charming titles like “Because They Hate” and “They Must Be Stopped.” Sorta like an anti-Muslim KKK.

Lovely.

Not surprisingly, Kumar’s campaign website is full of fearmongering about immigrants and Jihad. Did Beres’ piece mention any of this? No it did not. Not one word.

Did it mention any of the radical anti-Muslim ideas he has espoused? Of course not.

Did it mention this psycho-talk?

Kumar: The Left and Islam share many of the same values. Both deny that individuals have a personal ethic. A central authority should control all things. Both insult and denigrate their opponents and see themselves as victors in the movement of history. Both hate the native cultures and individual efforts.
 
The mindset of the Leftist is one of deliberate ignorance.  I was a Leftist, a bleeding heart liberal until a few years ago.  I came from a Marxist family in India.  The Left, by its silence on the issue of radical Islam, has betrayed its own professed ideals, if it has any.
 
The fight against Political Islam should have been led by the liberal intellectuals in our universities, but instead they deliberately and systematically support a seventh century totalitarian ideology that negates all forms of rational thinking, intellectual pursuit, and pluralism – the very ideals which are supposed to be central to the philosophy of the Left.
 
The Liberals have become the lackeys of Islamic imperialism in their words and deeds. They fail to mention the 1,400 years of Jihadists’ terror in this world.  How can we cry for the genocide in Darfur and ignore the cause?

So this is NewsChannel5’s “expert” on the so-called “Jihadi’s” in Stewart County, Tennessee.

Since when did local news media peddle intolerance as some kind of credible story? We live in a state where shit like this is in the news. And now we give airtime to a far-right zealot who is hardly a credible source. Thanks, Nick Beres and NewsChannel5 for mainstreaming the crazy.

Local journalism has hit a new low.

I eagerly anticipate the expose on the intolerant phony “Christians” who distributed this video to begin with. Part Two, NewsChannel5?

38 Comments

Filed under Islam, media, Nashville, WTVF

>Is Vanderbilt Tolerating Intolerance?

>Uh-oh. Vanderbilt University is in a little bit of trouble with GLBT activists since this video started making the rounds:

Asked by a student whether he accepts or rejects that part of the Koran which calls for execution of practicing gays and lesbians, Vanderbilt’s Muslim chaplain Awadh A. Binhazim tried to pass the buck and say, well, Islam is not the only religion which has intolerant views towards gays and lebsians.

Binhazim also indicated it didn’t matter really since there is no such thing as a country which follows Islamic Law 100% of the time, that all Muslim countries follow a mixture of laws. The student pressed on, however, and Binhazim was forced to admit that homosexuality is punishable by death under Islamic Law.

Well, this is a bit of a pickle. I don’t know very much about Islam and have never read the Koran, but I don’t get the sense that Muslims are allowed to do too much interpretation of their holy text. Maybe I’m wrong but it seems that unlike Christianity, where the Bible is interpreted in hundreds of different ways and as a result there are hundreds of different Christian denominations, the Islamic faith is a little more rigid on that score. So while one can argue that there are Christian religious denominations that take a dim view of homosexuality, there are plenty of others that do not.

And I think that was the corner Binhazim got backed into here. He can’t come out and say that some Koranic teachings are still valid while others are no longer abided in modern times, so he danced around it with his “mixture of laws” point.

Anyway, this blogger opines:

All of which has Vanderbilt racing to distance itself from Binhazim: “Vanderbilt University is dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race or sexuality,” the school says in a statement. “Awadh A. Binhazim is not and has never been a Vanderbilt employee, and is not paid by the university. He is the university’s Muslim chaplain under a working agreement that is similar to those signed with chaplains of other faiths at Vanderbilt. This working agreement requires Binhazim to observe Vanderbilt rules, including its non-discriminatory policies. Vanderbilt does not limit the free speech of its students, faculty, staff or its chaplains in any way.”

Not limiting the free speech of its chaplains is a fantastic policy, and one we support at any school. But what would happen if a visiting chaplain came along and said his religion called for the extermination of Jews? Would Vanderbilt be letting him return to campus?

Of course there is no religion that calls for extermination of Jews so that’s a bit of a straw argument. And as a general principal I think it’s bad form to make people defend their religion. You shouldn’t have to defend why you accept or reject your religion, and your job shouldn’t be on the line when you can’t.

That said, when a religious teaching is itself intolerant, and calling for the execution of gays is certainly that, then people have every right to speak out. Especially when there have been news reports that gay teens are possibly being executed in Iran.

In Judeo-Christian religions we debate what the Bible says about anything and everything; indeed there are entire fields of study devoted to Biblical and Talmudic hermeneutics. But hermeneutic debates on cultural issues like homosexuality are never fruitful because a progressive Christian will never convince a fundamentalist that they are wrong, and vice versa. So we end up with this uncomfortable stalemate and endless bickering when cultural issues enter the public policy arena.

Where Islam is concerned, I just don’t know. Is there a Koranic hermeneutic discipline? Do people debate what the Koran actually says about homosexuality, what the intent of the text was or the context in which it was written? I don’t know. If anyone does, please enlighten me.

In the meantime, while I’m all for being tolerant and accepting of our nation’s religious diversity, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do so at the expense of our GLBT citizens. So I’m less concerned about Binhazim’s interpretation of Islamic Law than I am with how he would counsel someone on this issue.

We follow American laws here, not Islamic ones.

29 Comments

Filed under GLBT, Islam, religion, Tennessee