anti-Islam extremism

Hate mail sent to UNC Muslim Students Association

Not all cartoons are harmless or funny:

The comics included angry imagery of camels and Muslims, as well as warnings about Islam's invasion into Western countries. One cartoon read, "If you say anything bad about 'Allah' or his prophet, Muhammad...some of them will try to hurt you." Another cartoon strip read, "Here's how they invade today. First, they're peaceful, until they gain power — then look out! England is losing control and is closer to accepting Sharia* (sic) law."

“It's definitely an eye-opener because we go about our lives as any other student on this campus," MSA publicity chairperson Malak Harb said. "For us to receive things like that, it kind of makes us stop for a second and realize, you know what, there are people who see us as less than. They try to make it very clear to us that we are not like everyone else.”

Using cartoon imagery to promote hatred is definitely not new; it was standard fare for anti-Semitic movements dating back to a century ago. And one of the main reasons bigots use this is because they are free to craft the angriest and ugliest facial features they want, in order to frighten gullible white people. Jews and recently freed slaves were depicted in this fashion even by mainstream newspapers, and average white Southerners didn't even bat an eye. And that's why it's more important then ever for us to avoid falling into the same old prejudicial trap:

Lunatic Fringe: GOP Legislative candidate attacks John Kerry

For trying to preserve Iran nuclear deal Trump trashed:

A day after President Donald Trump slammed former Secretary of State John Kerry for private meetings with a top Iranian official, a North Carolina state Senate candidate lobbed similar accusations in a tweet of his own.

“When will the President Strip Former Sec of State of his Security Clearance,” said Republican Rickey Padgett, who is running to unseat Democrat Mike Woodard in District 22. “With John Kerry now working on the behalf of foreign terrorist governments (Now) should be the answer. Drain the Swamp now! John Kerry should be next!”

Okay, aside from the fact former Secretaries of State have often taken an active role on the world stage to promote diplomatic solutions to potentially dangerous problems, what (in the name of all that's holy) does this have to do with representing people in the NC General Assembly? The answer is nothing. Absolutely nothing. But going after national Democrats is a theme for this patently unstable former Durham deputy, like posting a Tweet of Pelosi and Schumer dressed as Nazis (which he has since deleted) and making incredibly racist comments about Maxine Waters:

Profiles in hatred: Anti-Muslim extremists invade US cities

White supremacy seems to be the common denominator:

Far-right groups converged on the grounds of the State Capitol in Raleigh for an anti-sharia law rally, part of a nationwide string of events hosted by the anti-Muslim organization ACT for America, on Saturday. “There are no KKK here, there are no Nazis here,” said Peter Boykin, president of Gays for Trump and the local coordinator for the Raleigh anti-sharia rally. Despite his disavowal of extremism, Boykin publicly thanked Identity Evropa, a group founded last year that openly espouses white supremacy, after members in matching white dress shirts punctuated speeches with chants of, “Sharia-free USA” and “We will not be silenced.”

If you're wondering (as I frequently do) on what could lead to somebody joining such a fringe group, which often requires traveling great distances just to publicly display your ignorance, the most obvious first choice is deeply-ingrained racism. But it's more than that, and at least some of the responsibility may rest on our shoulders. To go this far, you have to also possess an incredible lack of trust in our system of government, the way our laws are developed and enforced. Many on the Left are guilty of relentlessly attacking that (entire) system, as opposed to being surgical in their criticisms, and this has helped to erode public trust across the board. And in that trust-deficient environment, fear always steps in to fill the void. And so we hear the names of ambiguous and "code-enhanced" groups emerging:

Fascism Watch: Anti-Muslim extremists talk openly about killing

Coming soon to a conference room near you:

“Do you have any recommendations as to how we could stop this?” asked Frank del Valle, a Winston-Salem resident whose Facebook page identifies him as a retired federal employee and native of Cuba, near the end of the hour-long presentation. “Because my only recommendation is to start killing the hell out them.”

Robert Goodwill, who identified himself as a member of the national security advocacy group Act for America, took an optimistic tack with the recent election of Donald Trump, adding, “We’re on our way.” Another man, who did not identify himself, said, “I want to start doing something instead of talking about it all the time.” He added, “I’m in a group. I’m not going to tell you what group I’m in.”

Right, because you know law enforcement would consider you more of a terrorist threat than the local Muslim population, and rightly so. These zealots aren't really concerned with *actual* Islamic terrorists, they believe moderate Muslims are part of a coordinated attempt to take over the United States. In other words, if they do start actively looking for targets for their anger and rage, soft targets (innocents) may be at the top of their list. They even discussed Keith Ellison's brother, who is a local Democratic Party activist:

Josh Stein joins lawsuit opposing Trump's Muslim ban

Because fighting injustice is part of the job:

“President Trump’s executive order undermines the core American value of religious tolerance, and it makes us less safe,” Stein said in a statement released Monday. “It signals to the world that America sees all Muslims as terrorists, strengthening ISIS’s propaganda and efforts to recruit terrorists.

“Not only is Trump doing immeasurable damage to our country’s standing, he’s doing it in a way that is unconstitutional. That is why I will join my colleagues in taking action.”

What he said.

Wilmington professor censured by his fellow faculty members

His right-wing online rants are out of control:

On Sep. 15, 2016, the Daily Wire published an article by Adams – “Queer Muslim Jihad?” – that publicly named and lampooned a student, Nada Merghani. Students and graduates of UNCW have since called for his removal and have circulated a petition to that end.

Referencing these events, Friday’s statement from Adams’ colleagues stated, “We value freedom of speech and neither endorse nor support recent public statements or actions that have resulted in the harassment and discriminatory treatment of students.” The statement goes on to affirm the professors’ ethical obligation to respectful and dignified treatment of students without regard to how those students identify themselves.

It's plain as the nose on your face that UNC-Wilmington is unwilling or unable to exert any control over this dude. And now he's endangering the lives of students, just to feed his infamous reputation. But where are NC's faux-Libertarian pundits, who engaged in a campaign to destroy the career of Gene Nichol for writing OpEds in the News & Observer and other publications? Crickets. As for his use of anti-LGBT rhetoric, his disingenuous excuse is, "They use the word, why can't I?"

Fascism Watch: Assaulted in a kindergarten classroom

Because choking little children will Make America Great Again:

In a three page complaint submitted to the State Board of Education and the Charlotte Mecklenburg school board, the David Cox Road Elementary teacher reportedly forced the child to carry a heavy backpack with a large textbook and headphones, causing him significant back pain.

The complaint claims the teacher also called the child “bad Muslim boy” on multiple occasions, and allowed his classmates to tease and mock him. On November 16, the complaint alleges the abuse turned physical when the teacher grabbed the kindergarten student by the neck and began choking him. "Another teacher then separated the two and began consoling the student, who was crying and extremely shaken," the complaint said.

Bolding mine, and before you say, "Hold on, Steve, let's wait and see what the investigation turns up," I fully expect that "investigation" will end up like this one:

Conflicting stories of 7 year-old Muslim boy beaten on Cary school bus

Here's what the father says happened:

The parents of the first grader said he was beaten by five students on a school bus, allegedly while they made references to Muslims and the boy’s Pakistani heritage. Abdul Usmani’s father, Dr. Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, told BuzzFeed News that his wife and three sons have left the US for Pakistan after this latest incident in a long history of discrimination towards his children and family.

“These are six and seven year old kids calling him names, with one kid punching him in the face, while two other kids attacked him, kicked him, and held his arms back,” Usmani said of his son. He described his son “as American as you can get.” “They keep beating him all the way from school to home on the bus,” Usmani said of the ride home from Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary, North Carolina, last Friday.

Before you assume this dad is blowing things out of proportion, read his bio. He's done a lot of work on anti-terrorism data modeling, including trying to reduce casualties from suicide bombings. But the strangest part of this story is how I found out about it. A Facebook friend from another state posted this, so then I tried to find local coverage, and this is all I could find:

Duke University threatened by terrorists, cancels religious ceremony

Appeasement of extremists will simply encourage more tyrannical behavior:

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University has canceled plans for Muslim students to sound the traditional call to prayer from the school’s iconic chapel tower amid threats of violence and a backlash from anti-Muslim groups, conservatives and Christian leaders. “The vehemence of the reaction from a number of quarters created concerns about security,” Mr. Schoenfeld said, though he declined to discuss specific threats.

The evangelist Franklin Graham called on Duke donors and alumni to withhold support until “this policy is reversed.”

“To use that bell tower as a minaret, to call on the god of Islam,” Mr. Graham told a television station in Charlotte, N.C., “we as Christians are being marginalized.”

It's the same God, you f**king idiot. And for those of you who still think using the tower to broadcast the muezzin is inappropriate, guess what? It's a BELL TOWER. It's designed to allow the bells to be heard by the faithful, so they will know when it's time for mass, prayer, or a fricking pot-luck dinner. I have heard the call to prayer in a few different Middle-Eastern cities, and it's beautiful, if a sound can be described as beautiful. And the sheer hypocrisy of people threatening violence to silence such is mind-bending.

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