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Archive for the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Category

Ahmed Sharif

DOJ Investigating Anti-Muslim Incidents

TPM Muckraker

Rachel Slajda | September 2, 2010, 1:43PM

The Department of Justice is investigating two recent, high-profile anti-Muslim incidents, TPMmuckraker confirms.

A DOJ spokeswoman says the department has opened investigations into the attack on a Muslim cab driver in New York City and an apparent arson at the site of a future mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

“The Department is investigating these matters with local authorities,” said the spokeswoman, Xochitl Hinojosa.

Although it hasn’t happened yet this time, the Justice Department has in the past created task forces for dealing with apparent hate crime waves. In the 1990s, a spate of church fires in the South lead to the Church Arson Task Force, which found that some of the fires were racially motivated against African-Americans. After Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush DOJ Civil Rights Division began an “Initiative to Combat Post-9/11 Discriminatory Backlash” to make sure potential hate crimes against Muslims were prosecuted.

Department officials reportedly met recently with an interfaith coalition, including Muslim groups, worried about the apparent increase in anti-Muslim sentiment, and more meetings may be in the works.

Additional reporting by Ryan J. Reilly.

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Rent-This-Missile Ad Agency Donates Two ‘Missiles’ To Protest Against Manhattan Mosque

TPM Muckraker

Rachel Slajda | August 27, 2010, 5:58PM

Need a missile for your next corporate event or political rally? Have we got the guys for you.

The missile appeared in several photos of last weekend’s protests against the planned Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan. It’s pointed at the sky, wrapped in a poster that reads, “Ground Zero Mosque — Religion Preying On Freedom.”

The owner of the missile is an ad agency called JetAngel, which until recently was a charity that carted decommissioned missiles and jet cockpits to children’s hospitals to cheer up the kids. But now, as the agency’s owner describes in a CraigsList ad, it’s “now turning in to an advertising business.”

From its sales pitch:

Our goal is to ‘re-commission’ these aircraft to share the excitement of jet flight and engage the public by telling the stories that make up our history. In doing so, we can also provide a new venue for national advertisers and sponsors that has no equal in reaching consumer attention.

The owner, Arye Sachs, is looking for people to volunteer to cart one of his missiles back and forth to the site of the proposed mosque, starting on Sept. 2.

He is “donating” two missiles, and his time, “to fight the proposed mosque on Ground Zero.”

MORE HERE

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Earlier this year, Republican Party chairman Michael Steele admitted that the GOP has engaged in Southern Strategy politics: employing racial, anti-minority code language and fear-mongering as a means of energizing the party’s white Christian base.

This is a fact. The Southern Strategy is real, though it’s no longer exclusively “southern.”

There’s no disputing its widespread use. Come to think of it, for Steele to “confess” to the the GOP’s use of the Strategy makes it seems as though it was previously a secret. It wasn’t. Fact: the Republican Party routinely tweaks white fear, paranoia, prejudice and resentment in order to win votes and score political points at the expense of demonized minority groups. They engage in stereotyping and misinformation and they rarely, if ever, use the “n-word” these days, though they might as well. After all, as the Strategy goes, blacks and minorities aren’t voting Republican anyway, so… let fly.

And it works. So well, in fact, that it’s still actively used on AM talk radio and on Fox News Channel as a ratings-grabber, not to mention as a recruitment tool for the various tea party groups. If you can effectively convince the majority race that they’re being somehow victimized by the significantly smaller minority, you have a seriously powerful (and clearly immoral) psycho-weapon in your arsenal.

This year has to be some kind of high water mark for white antagonism against minorities, and evidence that the Republicans, along with the array of far-right apparatchiks, don’t really have a serious agenda for governing to sell or, for that matter, anything of value to say. And so they do this. They continue to tap into a mother lode of white majority self-pity and inchoate rage as a form of spackle over the gaping holes in their ridiculous policy arguments.

Take a good look at the big stories of the last several months — the stories that have been driven by the far-right machine, injected into the mainstream and subsequently debated by the rest of the country — partly as a result of the far-right’s money, loudness and tenacity, and partly because these arguments are too obnoxious and outrageous, and therefore too irresistible, to avoid. I’ve been hearing a lot about August being “crazy month,” but the crazy topics have spanned the entire summer and beyond.

(more…)

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Republicans Whip Anti-Muslim Hysteria While Gainesville Pastors Plan Readings From Quran in Response to Planned Burning

FDL- By: Jim White Saturday August 21, 2010 7:21 am

On September 12, at least sixteen Gainesville area pastors will read from the Quran as a response to the Gainesville church that has designated September 11 as “Burn a Koran Day”. (photo of Quran at the Museum of Natural History in New York City by *Muhammad* on Flickr)

In Saturday’s New York Times, Scott Shane points out the impact of the hysteria being whipped up, primarily by Republican politicians, over the Park 51 project in New York. By falsely conflating a Muslim community center with the radical extremists who attacked the World Trade Center in 2001, these politicians are fueling recruitment for the same types of radicals:

“I know people in this debate don’t intend it, but there are consequences for these kinds of remarks,” said Brian Fishman, who studies terrorism for the New America Foundation here.

/snip/

“When the rhetoric is so inflammatory that it serves the interests of a jihadi recruiter like Awlaki, politicians need to be called on it,” Mr. Fishman said.

A Reuters article goes into more depth on the subject:

Religious scholar Aslan blames “Islamophobia” that he said was being whipped by the Republican Party establishment.

“They are making religious bigotry — just as they made anti-immigrant sentiment — part of their political platform,” Aslan said. “Democrats in the most cowardly fashion have completely caved in to this challenge.”

MORE HERE

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