Weekend of Angst Over Islam in Texas: Guns in Richardson, Marchers in Dallas, Conversation in Irving
This needs to STOP. I don’t know when it became okay for some Americans to put on masks and show up armed with long guns at other Americans’ places of worship, but it’s out of control. Below is a photo of armed “protesters” demonstrating in front of a mosque this past weekend in Richardson, TX.
Note the the smirking guy on the left, the skull mask hiding the face of the the guy who clearly fancies himself a “patriot” on the right, and the III Percenter flag—these people are clearly feeling proud and enjoying their attempts to intimidate Muslim worshipers. I wonder what Muslim children think when they see this? Hopefully their parents are keeping them home so they won’t be traumatized.
Actually, I do know when it became okay to terrorize Muslims—when politicians like Donald Trump and other demagogues began openly demonizing them and the GOP failed to immediately, loudly and unconditionally denounce them.
Anti-Muslim bigotry is apparently now considered patriotic by some. Look at these guys proudly waving their American flags—the photo below is of the protest organizer/leader David Wright. That would be the same David Wright whose armed protesters also showed up at a mosque in Irving, Texas back in November and who subsequently posted the names & addresses of of dozens of local Muslims and “Muslim sympathizer(s)” to Facebook, saying that they “stood up for Sharia tribunals.”
The notion of illegal Sharia courts is patently absurd. The tribunal in question was nothing more than a voluntary mediation service, exactly like those that have existed for years for other U.S. religions like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.
Imagining that the existence of such a service for Muslims is unique to Islam and/or that it represents some sort of uniquely malevolent threat to the sovereignty of the U.S. shows the extreme ignorance & paranoia of people who are easily led around by the nose by those who have made careers out of disseminating disinformation, misinformation fear and hatred, such as Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, David Horowitz, Frank Gaffney Jr., David Yerushalmi, Brigitte Gabriel, Debbie Schlussel and numerous others. They, along with opportunistic, morally bankrupt politicians, are enablers who seek to tear down everything our country has built and replace it with something unrecognizable—the very thing that groups like ISIS want and what the GOP & far right has spent the past seven years accusing President Obama & liberal Democrats of. I find it amazing that more people can’t see this.
About this weekend’s events, from The Dallas Morning News:
Members of the Bureau on American-Islamic Relations (BAIR) had traveled to Irving from cities across North Texas. Many of them believe Islam is inherently violent and some were convinced that Irving’s mosque had harbored an illegal Shariah court—a rumor that grew out of a voluntary mediation service for North Texas Muslims called the “Islamic Tribunal.”
Similarly, BAIR’s event page for today’s rally claims the Richardson-based Islamic Association of North Texas “has a documented history of funding terrorism.”
The News could find no such documentation, aside from false blog reports that the Richardson mosque was implicated in a famous terrorism trial.
And BAIR spokesman David Wright’s suspicions sounded more nuanced in an interview with The News.
He said that two people convicted in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial lived in Richardson, and that he wants authorities to investigate the city’s major mosque.
Wright said he has been trying to meet with members of the mosque. He wants to open up their books to assure they are not actively funding terrorist organizations.
“If I’m wrong in the end, fine: I’m wrong,” Wright said as he prepared for Saturday’s demonstration. “Nobody really got hurt. What’s the big deal?” […]
I don’t know who in the hell David Wright thinks he is, but he doesn’t have any more business asking a mosque to open its books to him than the leader of a group of antisemitic Muslims would have asking to see a synagogue’s books, or a Ku Klux Klan leader would have asking to see those of a black church.
Try to imagine, if you will, a group of heavily armed militant Muslims clearly hostile to Christians or Jews standing outside your church or synagogue as your family enters to worship. It’s almost impossible to envision, isn’t it? But when it comes to Muslims it seems to not be an issue for far too many—Muslims are apparently held collectively responsible for every terrorist attack and are therefore fair game.
Threats, harassment, and vandalism at mosques have reached a record high. It’s just a matter of time until one or more law-abiding, innocent Muslims is murdered.
When it happens, the demagogues who stoked the fires of fear & hatred may not be held legally responsible, but they damned sure can and should be held morally accountable.
I’ve created a second “Related” page for one of the links I had below as an “Also See” as I wanted to add more to it, namely a piece about Jewish religious law.