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1 SpaceJesus  Thu, Jun 16, 2011 3:05:19pm

“When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled ‘made in Germany’; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, ‘Americanism’”

2 Max  Thu, Jun 16, 2011 3:05:36pm

Personally, I think these hearings are self-defeating. Yes, homegrown terrorism and radicalism are serious issues, but they are not confined to the Muslim community. Congress should investigate the influence of radical Islam in our nation’s prisons, but they should also be investigating the Soverign Citizens Movement, anti-abortion extremists, left-wing eco-terrorist groups, etc.

Extremist violence should be a serious concern for law enforcement, it should be studied, investigated, and appropriate action should be taken.

All that being said, I think Rep. Honda’s comparison is ludicrous. No elected official, to my knowledge, has called for the indiscriminate detention of Muslims. I think most victims of internment would consider themselves lucky if they had the same rights and protections as Muslim-Americans do today.

3 Obdicut  Thu, Jun 16, 2011 3:07:50pm

re: #2 Max D. Reinhardt

Honda didn’t say they were the same. He said they reminded him of what happened to him— indicating we’re on the road to it, not that we’re already there.

4 Max  Thu, Jun 16, 2011 3:16:26pm

re: #3 Obdicut

Honda didn’t say they were the same. He said they reminded him of what happened to him— indicating we’re on the road to it, not that we’re already there.

I don’t even think we are on the road to it. The percentage of hate crimes directed at Muslims is tiny compared to number suffered by the Jewish community, Muslims are not randomly picked up and detained without probable cause, and Muslim stores are not frequent targets of vandalism.

There are misguided people like Peter King who are fixated only on homegrown Islamic extremism, there are outright bigots like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, but there are no Franklin Roosevelts in our government with the power to reinstate a bigoted internment policy.

5 Max  Thu, Jun 16, 2011 3:18:02pm

re: #4 Max D. Reinhardt

*Muslims are not frequently picked up and detained without probable cause

6 Obdicut  Thu, Jun 16, 2011 3:19:28pm

re: #4 Max D. Reinhardt

I don’t even think we are on the road to it. The percentage of hate crimes directed at Muslims is tiny compared to number suffered by the Jewish community, Muslims are not randomly picked up and detained without probable cause, and Muslim stores are not frequent targets of vandalism.
.

They may be tiny compared to those against Jews— we’re always the favorite, it’s so nice— but they’re not tiny compared to the actual percentage of Muslims in the population.

The situation is definitely different. But I thin it’s foolish to ignore the warnings of someone who’s seen, first-hand, how the alienation and isolation of an entire ethnic group can occur in the US.

7 SpaceJesus  Thu, Jun 16, 2011 3:29:28pm

re: #2 Max D. Reinhardt

All that being said, I think Rep. Honda’s comparison is ludicrous.


I’ll leave that comparison to the person who actually lived through it

8 wrenchwench  Thu, Jun 16, 2011 3:42:03pm

re: #4 Max D. Reinhardt

There are misguided people like Peter King who are fixated only on homegrown Islamic extremism, there are outright bigots like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller …


And your Twitter buddy David of JIDF. I can’t believe you can complain about Geller and Spencer and still use #JIDF tag on some of your tweets.

And no, I don’t expect you to respond, because you haven’t the last few times I mentioned him to you.

9 CuriousLurker  Thu, Jun 16, 2011 4:26:15pm

re: #8 wrenchwench

Interesting.

10 Michael Orion Powell  Thu, Jun 16, 2011 9:41:47pm

I think it may be too literal to criticize Honda on the basis that internment of Muslims may occur. History repeats but not that blatantly. Honda is right that the general atmosphere and attitude towards Muslims is very similar to how it was with Japanese.

What’s interesting to me in this discussion is that this attitude wasn’t around during Bush. It may be that the recession that hit at the end of his presidency may be making bigotry and intolerance a better sell.

11 CuriousLurker  Fri, Jun 17, 2011 1:24:38am

re: #10 OrionXP

I think it may be too literal to criticize Honda on the basis that internment of Muslims may occur. History repeats but not that blatantly. Honda is right that the general atmosphere and attitude towards Muslims is very similar to how it was with Japanese.

What’s interesting to me in this discussion is that this attitude wasn’t around during Bush. It may be that the recession that hit at the end of his presidency may be making bigotry and intolerance a better sell.

It was around. It’s been around for a good long while now. When the Murrah Building in OKC was bombed in 1995 I was still a relatively recent convert. It’s difficult to convey the level of dread & anxiety we felt, the collective holding of breath the silently fervent pleas to heaven of please-please-please-don’t-let-it-be-“us”, and the huge wave of relief when it turned out it wasn’t.

To President Bush’s credit, the rage, fear, grief, and intense desire for revenge that existed in the aftermath of 9/11 was largely kept in check. Sure, the current economic situation exacerbates things, but that doesn’t explain all of it. What’s different now is that the beasts of bigotry & intolerance are being fed red meat by far-right politicians & religious ideologues. And the internet. Don’t forget how VERY different things were 10 years ago, before the proliferation of blogs, social networking, YouTube, etc.

What do you suppose would happen if—God forbid—there were to be another horrific attack in the run-up to the next election, say in the summer or fall of 2012? Do you think the current cast of demagogues, their operatives, and the numerous & sundry haters with an agenda wouldn’t jump all over the opportunity for a possible win, no matter what the cost to innocent American Muslims?

Anyone who asserts that because things haven’t gotten that bad means they can’t is either a fool or a liar. There are those who consider us expendable—who would, in fact, be rather pleased if we simply disappeared from the fabric of American society. We’re damned well aware of that fact and have no intention of accomodating their bigoted fantasies. It’s our country too.

12 CuriousLurker  Fri, Jun 17, 2011 5:59:56am

re: #2 Max D. Reinhardt

All that being said, I think Rep. Honda’s comparison is ludicrous. No elected official, to my knowledge, has called for the indiscriminate detention of Muslims. I think most victims of internment would consider themselves lucky if they had the same rights and protections as Muslim-Americans do today.

Seriously? Do you think that as long as no elected official has called for the indiscriminate detention of Muslims, then the concern is unwarranted, despite all the other parallels? If so, then I suggest you read my #11 above.

I agree that we American Muslims are damned lucky for the rights and protections we have, but I’d also point out that he Japanese Americans who were interned should have ALSO been protected by our Constitution, just like all other Americans. They were not—their civil rights were violated.

Civil rights violations

Former Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, who represented the US Department of Justice in the “relocation,” writes in the epilogue to the
1992 book Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans:

The truth is—as this deplorable experience proves—that constitutions and laws are not sufficient of themselves…Despite the unequivocal language of the Constitution of the United States that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, and despite the Fifth Amendment’s command that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, both of these constitutional safeguards were denied by military action under Executive Order 9066.

Legal Legacy

The rulings of the US Supreme Court in the 1944 Korematsu and Hirabayashi cases, specifically in its expansive interpretation of government powers in wartime, have yet to be overturned. They are still the law of the land because a lower court cannot overturn a ruling by the US Supreme Court. The coram nobis cases totally undermined the factual underpinnings of the 1944 cases, leaving the original decisions without much logical basis.[99] Nonetheless, in light of the fact that these 1944 decisions are still on the books, a number of legal scholars have expressed the opinion that the original Korematsu and Hirabayashi decisions have taken on renewed relevance in the context of the War on Terror.

It could happen again.

13 CuriousLurker  Fri, Jun 17, 2011 6:21:17am

re: #4 Max D. Reinhardt

I don’t even think we are on the road to it. The percentage of hate crimes directed at Muslims is tiny compared to number suffered by the Jewish community, Muslims are not randomly picked up and detained without probable cause, and Muslim stores are not frequent targets of vandalism.

I fail to understand what one has to do with the other. The most recent FBI hate crimes statistics report is from 2009, which would mean that the data is from 2008, well before the current wave of Islamophobia got underway.

I don’t doubt—as the FBI report indicates—that hate crimes against Jews more frequent than those against Muslims. The percentage of racially based hate crimes against Blacks are similarly much higher than those against Whites, especially if you consider the ratio of Blacks:Whites vs. Jews:Muslims in terms of percentage of the population. But I’m not good with numbers, so lets leave the statistics for now.

What is undeniable is that American Muslims have not achieved the same level of cultural acceptance that American Jews have, nor do we have the political clout that comes with powerful lobbying groups, or the protection of numerous well-funded & highly organized national institutions guarding our interests.

Last time I checked there were something like 17 anti-sharia bills pending. How many anti-Halacha bills are pending?

In 2007, 42 members of Congress protested the recognition of Ramadan by voting “present” on the resolution. When was the last time a politician voted against the simple recognition of a Jewish holiday?

What about the protesting & demonstrations over the building of mosques? I haven’t seen any national news stories about protests against the building of synagogues.

What about the politicians who are currently (and potentially) running for President of the United States who have helped fuel the current Islamophobia and made varying degrees of bigoted comments about Muslims (as well as other groups)? I’ve been tracking this crap for months and have a whole database full of examples. I wonder how long a candidate would last if they smeared Jewish Americans they way they do Muslims?

So, yeah, the statistics on hate crimes are higher when it comes to anti-Semitism, but it hardly cancels out all of the above. As a matter of fact, it’s my understanding that one of the reasons Jewish organizations are speaking out against the anti-mosque, anti-sharia stuff is because they’ve seen this before and know where it can lead. Given the continued existence of anti-Semitism, it wouldn’t be difficult, once anti-Islam laws were on the books, to turn them against Judaism as well. A recent example—not specifically related to anti-Muslim sentiment, but rather to exclusionary actions by an elected official—is the letter sent by the ADL to Gov. Perry regarding his upcoming prayer assembly.

This stuff is for real and it stinks.


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