On a conservative radio program over the weekend, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) went on an anti-Muslim tirade, making accusations about Muslims that ranged from the offensive to the absurd. Within her long conversation with host Jan Markell and co-host Eric Barger, Bachmann suggested that Americans read Islamic study materials to learn about Muslims’ supposed plot to conquer Western civilization, comparing the tactic to reading Adolf Hitler’s infamous book, Mein Kampf.
During the interview, Bachmann said she had proof that there was creeping sharia law — or, Islamic law — infiltrating the United States. That proof? A letter signed by groups of Muslim-Americans asking the Department of Homeland Security to stop distributing anti-Muslim materials:
BACHMANN: That’s right. That’s why we need to know what their belief system is; we need to know what they truly believe. That’s why the most important thing a person could do in WWII was to read the book that the leader of Germany wrote.
BARGER: Mein Kampf.
BACHMANN: Because he laid out very clearly what his intention was, he wasn’t hiding it, the Islamist does the same thing. They do not hide it, they lay it out very clearly. But what we’ve never seen before is the United States aiding and abetting that goal.
Bachmann’s Islamophobia has been an important part of her congressional repertoire. Most recently, Bachmann lost a lot of favor among her congressional colleagues when she led the witch hunt of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin, with accusations that Abedin was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Michele Bachmann has been on a rather intense anti-Islam tear recently, fearmongering about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the government. Recently, she’s touted the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya as proof of her conspiracy theories.
One group of Bachmann supporters, the National Republican Trust PAC, responded in stride, running an ad that attacks Bachmann opponent Jim Graves for calling her comments “outrageous.” The ad ties Graves’ comments to footage from the Middle East during the attack.
The NRTPAC got a little bit of attention in 2010 for running an ad that parroted pretty much every conservative talking point about Obama ever, tying him to everyone from ACORN to the New Black Panther Party.
This time around, though, Jim Graves got a little help. The Daily Kos selected the ad for a weekly feature that asks readers to help raise money for the targets of conservative attack ads, and wound up pulling in close to $8,000.
Revenge. It is among the most potent drivers of human behavior. The 9/11 terrorist attacks more than a decade ago shocked the world, and for some, the horrific attacks provoked a powerful demon with a voracious appetite for vengeance. Attacking one Muslim country after another has not sated every appetite. Even the killing of Osama Bin Laden did not slay the demon that haunts so many. In fact, sensational headlines and lurid tales of the the assassination of Bin Laden actually seemed to further stimulate blood lust in some quarters.
Regardless of one’s personal reaction to the attacks, most people can relate to the concept of revenge. It is the quest for a sense of justice that comes from avenging the innocent. What is amazing is the incredible blind spots that obscure the very same motives in others.
Why shouldn’t Muslims, or any other people on the receiving end of Western foreign policy, not also long for revenge against their tormentors? If we accept they are no less human, then it shouldn’t be so hard to imagine that they, too, want to protect their people and avenge their dead.
Why should they remain supine in the face of unrelenting Western aggression? We all agree that terrorism is wrong, but do we ever ask what options are available to those on the receiving end of our policies? The bombing, torturing, poisoning, and starving of their people, and the theft of their lands and resources angers them too. Even a child can see this is true, so why is it a constant struggle for so many to see what’s right in front of their noses? It’s easier to believe sweet, self-serving lies than to see their plight and common humanity, and ask, “What would I do if I were in their shoes?”
“We” want revenge, “they” want revenge, so where does it end? Sweet lies and the endless cycle of violence on both sides of the so-called “War on Terror” will bring nothing but more death and destruction. The powerful have the ultimate means to change course, and while we obscure reality with fantasy, mutual hatred is flourishing, and revenge is a commodity:
Getting inside the mind of a terrorist wasn’t difficult at all. Even as children, human beings fabricate elaborate revenge fantasies. We’re not a particular species. Check out popular video games. ~Alan Dean Foster
Why trouble your beautiful mind with unpleasant reality and boring “policy” talk? If real life wars and playing couch potato soldier in Call of Duty hasn’t satisfied your personal blood lust, you’re in luck. You can indulge in the Orwellian dream of a “Sealed Mindset” for just $325: Keep the wounds fresh, unleash your simmering rage, and enjoy the thrill of personally killing the world’s most notorious, demonic “raghead.”
Perhaps the “ragheads” will respond with their own morbid revenge “adventure” and the cycle of hatred and vengeance can go on forever?
Got a few hundred bucks and a bloodlust compelling you to pretend to gun down another human being? Boy, have we got the adventure for you.
In St. Paul, Minnesota, a former Navy Seal, Larry Yatch, is offering people who fantasize about killing other people a chance to participate in a reenactment of the Seal raid that executed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani compound last year. Called “Sealed Mindset,” the reenactment begins with practice with real firearms aimed at an Osama target, during which Yatch tells the gunners to aim for “anything above the moustache to below the turban.”
Once sufficiently amped up by the sensation of pumping deadly bullets out of a rifle, participants are then led on a mission to storm Osama’s lair, which is actually just a musty room in Sealed Mindset’s 10,000-square-foot studio. The toy soldiers kick in the door and shoot Osama with paintballs, and then the man in the Osama costume slumps over like he’s dead, and everyone hoots and howls, about a fake killing.
According to Minnesota Public Radio reporter Madeleine Baran, people walk away from Osama’s corpse enthused. “That was awesome,” one woman told her.
ROCHESTER – Police say they have no suspects after racist graffiti were found on the driveway of a Somali-American family.
Meanwhile Minnesota Muslim leaders called on the FBI to investigate.
A swastika and a KKK symbol, apparently referring to the Ku Klux Klan, were found on the driveway Sunday. The word “stink” was written nearby.
Fahma Mohamed told the Post-Bulletin that the symbols felt “very personal” — a message to make her family feel unwelcome.
“Minnesotans of all faiths must speak out against the hatred and intolerance that leads to this type of disturbing incident,” said Lori Saroya, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). “State and federal law enforcement authorities should assist in bringing the perpetrators of this apparent bias-motivated crime to justice.”
Mohamed says many neighbors have brought over flowers and expressed their regret.
It took about three hours to power-wash the graffiti away.
Last May, the same symbols were painted on the siding of a house a block away. CAIR-MN had asked the FBI to look into that case as well.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) on Mar 5 announced that a lawmaker in that state’s legislature will drop a proposed “anti-Sharia” bill written using a template provided by an anti-Islam extremist. That announcement came following a news conference CAIR-MN held on Mar 5 with interfaith leaders to challenge the threat to religious freedom posed by the bill. In announcing his decision to drop the bill, Republican State Senator Dave Thompson said: “It was never my intent to introduce legislation that was being targeted to any one group.”
“We thank Senator Thompson for dropping this discriminatory bill and hope his responsible decision sends a message to all those elected officials in other states who are supporting similarly unconstitutional legislation,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Coordinator MunazzaHumayun.
According to media reports, Thompson’s anti-Islam bill (S2281) was a “boilerplate copy-pasted verbatim from a far right policy group.” Last week, CAIR’s national office released a community toolkit designed to assist those seeking to preserve America’s ideal of religious pluralism in the face of similar unconstitutional anti-Sharia bills that have been introduced in more than 20 states nationwide.CAIR’s toolkit includes background on David Yerushalmi, the anti-Islam extremist who authored the template for the anti-Sharia bills.
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said Friday the Obama administration is striking all references to Islam from Justice Department training manuals, exaggerating a directive from federal officials to evaluate procedures for religious and cultural sensitivity.
Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, equated the effort to strike offensive references to Islam from material to removing suspicion of Islamic terrorism from department policy.
A conservative popular with tea party activists and evangelical conservatives, she later linked President Barack Obama with “4,400 American lives” lost in Iraq. However, the death toll in the 8-year-old war that began under President George W. Bush had already reached 4,229 when Obama was inaugurated in 2009. It now stands at no fewer than 4,481.
As she campaigned in Iowa, now the focus of her effort to win the Republican nomination, Bachmann accused the administration of making changes in training manuals under pressure from pro-Islam groups with terrorist links.
“And now Obama is allowing terror suspect groups to write the FBI’s terror training manual,” she told about 75 Republican activists in an eastern Iowa hotel conference room.
The FBI has not removed Islam from training material, said an FBI official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity.
The FBI has been conducting a comprehensive review of its training materials after it was revealed that what officials termed an inaccurate description of Islam, one that linked the religion to terrorism, was being used in some of the bureau’s training programs. Last month, FBI officials said the agency was undertaking the review in light of an analyst’s criticism of Islam during a lecture last spring.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole said last week he had asked that all aspects of the department be broadly re-evaluated for “sensitivity for all peoples of faith” in its training efforts.
“Examples include the efforts of our law enforcement components to ensure that their interactions with the community – whether in responding to an attack on a mosque or arresting a suspect in a counter-terrorism investigation – convey a sense of basic respect to the rule of law and the rights of all who have made this nation their home,” Cole said.
In her remarks Friday, Bachmann broadly painted the effort as trying to remove the link between Islam and anti-American terrorism sponsored by radical Islamic extremists.
“And so now the White House has scrubbed all Islamic terms from the national counterterrorism strategy. The White House has removed all Islamic terms from the Pentagon’s report on the Fort Hood shooting. And now, Obama is allowing terror suspect groups to write the FBI’s terror training manual,” she said.
The White House declined to respond to Bachmann’s criticism.
In an interview with CNN on Friday, Bachmann said Obama’s foreign policies were worse than his economic ones and linked Obama to the war’s overall death toll as well as its cost.
“Under Barack Obama’s watch, we’ve expended $805 billion to liberate the people of Iraq and, more importantly, 4,400 American lives,” she said.
Bachmann is on the first leg of a three-day campaign trip to the leadoff caucus state.
Sullivan reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Pete Yost in Washington contributed to this report.
MSNBC’s The Ed Show on MSNBC turned its focus on Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District race as candidate Lynne Torgerson spoke with Rev. Al Sharpton about incumbent Rep. Keith Ellison last night. The contentious back and forth centered on Torgerson’s claim that Ellison, a Muslim, doesn’t hold the U.S. Constitution “supreme” over Shariah law. Her beef: Ellison said the U.S. Constitution is the “bedrock” of American law, but didn’t say it was “supreme.”
On The Ed Show, Sharpton asked Torgerson, “What evidence do you have that he’s not committed to the Constitution?”
Torgerson replied, stating that she’s “not anti-Muslim in any way, shape or form,” before going on to say, “Mr. Congressman Ellison has been long been associated with the most extremist groups around. He has close ties to CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic relations, which was a named co-conspirator to funding terrorism in the Holy Land Foundation trial—”
Sharpton interrupted her to again ask her whether she has evidence to back her claim that the congressman doesn’t hold the Constitution “supreme” or whether she’s “fearmongering and demagoguing to get votes.”
She says Ellison “refused” to answer the question, but Sharpton noted that in a clip played on the show and credited to Torgerson’s campaign Ellison answers it.
“I believe that the United States Constitution, which has been amended well over 25 times, is the bedrock of American law,” Ellison said in the clip. “This whole movement to ban Shariah — bills like this have been introduced in 22 states — in my view is a very thinly disguised effort at religious persecution of people that are Muslim.”
To that, Torgerson said, “Actually, what he said is the U.S. Constitution is the bedrock of American law. That does not answer the question of what should be supreme currently… Mr. Ellison actually evaded the question.”
Ellison’s office sent a statement to The Ed Show underscoring his stance and taking Torgerson to task for her “extreme” and “intolerant” rhetoric:
I took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion for all Americans. Religious acceptance is a deeply rooted American value, and regardless of political persuasion, it’s a value we must protect.
It’s too bad that someone can obtain so much attention based on their intolerant rhetoric, especially when unemployment is above 9 percent. On the other hand, the nation will be able to see how extreme the rhetoric has become. I call on all Americans to reject religious intolerance and embrace our constitution which upholds the promise of liberty and justice for all people.
One other question Sharpton asked: Since Ellison got 68 percent of the vote in 2010, compared to Torgerson’s nearly 4 percent, “Is 68 percent of your district radical Islamic sympathizers?”
“No sir, I wouldn’t say so,” she said. Asked why so many people voted for Ellison, she answered, “I don’t believe people yet know what his associations and his actual agenda is.”
St. Paul, Minn. — A St. Paul blogger faces misdemeanor charges after he allegedly harassed two Muslim women last week in downtown Minneapolis.
Minneapolis police say John Hugh Gilmore, 52, who writes a blog called Minnesota Conservatives, caused a scene Thursday night on Nicollet Mall. Sgt. Bill Palmer, a police spokesman, said Gilmore appeared to be drunk when he confronted the two women wearing the Muslim headscarf known as the hijab.
“Mr. Gilmore made some comments that he didn’t believe the women should be in the United States, and that he thought that they were ruining America,” Palmer said.
One of the women, University of Minnesota student Jamila Boudlali, said she’s lived in Minnesota her entire life and has never been hassled about her religion.
Police say several onlookers intervened, and Gilmore allegedly threatened to assault one of the men.
Gilmore was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process.
Boudlali said Minneapolis police, who took the man to jail, did the right thing.
“I have to admit I was very surprised that the guy got arrested because we’ve always kind of been afraid, I guess, of the police, and afraid to report things when things happen to us,” Boudlali said. “It made [me] really happy and made me have a lot more trust and confidence in the city of Minneapolis.”
The Muslim women had been attending the liberal NetRoots Nation convention, which was taking place at the same time as the conservative RightOnline conference.
There is no problem with anyone calling to their Faith, or trying to win converts, that is part of Freedom of Religion. Unfortunately both Rep. Arlon Linder and Pastor Campbell have crossed the boundaries of interfaith harmony and peace in to the territory of bigotry. Imagine if this were a Muslim Imam and Rep. Keith Ellison saying such words, you would never hear the end of it from Islamophobes. We would be inundated with threats that our Constitution was being desecrated and that the evil Mooslims were trying to take over and must be stopped.
The Associated Press reports that a Christian prayer on the Minnesota Senate floor on Monday made non-Christian members of that body uncomfortable. Pastor Dennis Campbell’s prayer was highly Christian, as opposed to the nonsectarian prayers that were commonplace under DFL control. It’s not Campbell’s first controversy; last summer he took out ads in the St. Cloud Times that were viewed as anti-Muslim.
“We pray, lord, that you help us show reverence to the Lord Jesus Christ,” Campbell prayed. “Jesus said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ our savior, we pray.”
The controversy mirrors that of one in 2000, when the Republicans last took over the Minnesota House. Previously, the DFL has allowed non-sectarian prayer in the House, but when Republicans took control, many of the chamber non-Christians protested the overtly Christian prayers.
Rep. Arlon Lindner, instead of acquiescing, instead attacked those members.
“You know, we’re told there’s one God and one mediator between God and man. That man is Jesus Christ. And most of us here are Christians. And we shouldn’t be left not able to pray in the name of our God… And if you don’t like it, you may have to like it. Or just don’t come. I don’t come sometimes for some prayers here… We have that privilege, and you need to exercise it. But don’t impose your irreligious left views on me.”
Following that statement, an ethics complaint was filed against Lindner, one of many in his career in the Minnesota Legislature.
Pastor Campbell came under fire for religious intolerance last summer when his church took out ads in the St. Cloud Times.
“What happens when Moslems take over a nation?” asks Campbell in the ad. “They will destroy the constitution and force the Moslem religion on the society, take freedom of religion away, and they will persecute all other religions.”
The ad also said, “Moslems seek to influence a nation by immigration, reproduction, education, the government, illegal drugs and by supporting the gay agenda.”
Bill Maher is anti-Religion, everyone knows that, well at least anyone who know who Bill Maher is, but as we have documented on our site Maher has a special bias against Islam, Muslims and Arabs. For Maher the Qur’an is a “hate filled Holy book,” and Islam presents a “unique” threat to us all as opposed to other religions which he says are merely “superstitious” nonsense but essentially not violent. He even had the temerity to say that the Bible has less violent passages than the Qur’an. A ridiculous claim that we have utterly debunked.
In this encounter, Bill flings these charges at Rep. Keith Ellison, who in my opinion did a pretty decent job in pushing back against Bill’s claims even though he could have done better:
For instance Rep. Ellison could have attacked the statement that the Qur’an is a “hate filled Holy Book” with more than just verses about peace and justice. But I understand that such a short time is really only good for soundbites and that real intellectual and thorough discussion requires a lot more time. He should have at the very least addressed the idea that Islam was somehow a “unique” threat because that is patently false.