The American Krystalnacht has begun!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Of course, if this was intended to injure or scare Muslims, then it was a moronic and evil thing to do. It ought to go without saying that I condemn that sort of thing, but in case it doesn't, I absolutely condemn that sort of thing and insist that Muslims and all religions should be free to practice their religion freely and without harassment. And I think this ought to be thoroughly and fairly investigated to see whether the perpetrators were politically motivated, or just regular garden variety moron/vandals. I'm sure CAIR's mind is already made up--they desperately need a new membership booster--but the rest of us might like to see what this investigation turns up. (Maybe it's Buddhist Vigilantes?)
Now, that said, the JYB News Bureau has actually obtained hideous, shocking footage of these devices--which CAIR dubbed "Acid Bombs"-- at work, and the horrible consequences of the unstable mixture. Our report is here.
An Arizona mosque frequented by an imam involved in a high-profile lawsuit against airline passengers was hit by vandals early Monday with what police describe as a "pop bottle bomb."
Imam Didmar Faja says he was standing outside of the Albanian American Islamic Center of Arizona, just west of Phoenix, when the incident occurred at 1 a.m.
The plastic bottle contained pool-cleaning fluid and strips of aluminum foil, and was thrown from a red car driven by two persons. It landed about 20-25 feet from the imam, police said.
In a 10-page press release issued by the Council on American Islamic Relations, Muslims were warned to review their personal security and to "develop a list of attorneys who are willing to be consulted by the Muslim community in response to backlash incidents."
"Ask Muslim attorneys to volunteer their services to community members during this time of crisis," said the "community safety kit" issued by CAIR.
CAIR called the device an "acid bomb" that targeted the imam specifically because of the lawsuit, and called on "local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident as a possible bias-motivated attack."
Glendale police Officer Matt Barnett said at least six similar incidents were reported over the weekend but none was directed at religious targets.
"Calling it an 'acid bomb' is kind of misleading," Officer Barnett said. "It was a plastic bottle with pool cleaner that expands and pops and squirts the pool acid. It's kind of like the Menthos [mints] and Coca Cola thing you see [on YouTube] -- the pressure mounts and it pops. It's not like a stick of dynamite was placed there."
"We're not ruling anything out. We've had a few more pop bottle bombs in the area, and we're concerned and want to see if there is a motive against religion or just a bunch of yahoos driving around and tossing these out the window," Officer Barnett said.
A sergeant with the Glendale Police Department said the incident is under investigation. "We are treating it as a hate crime. We are taking it very seriously," Sgt. Jim Toomey told Reuters News Agency.
Mr. Faja and five other clerics are suing U.S. Airways and "John Doe" passengers claiming they were discriminated against when they were removed from a flight last year. The passengers are named in the suit for reporting suspicious behavior.
The imams' attorney has asked a federal court in Minneapolis to close the court proceedings to the public claiming the men have received death threats.
It was not clear what the imam was doing outside of the center at 1 a.m., as prayers were scheduled for 4:30 a.m.
A 1991 document the government entered into evidence this week from the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' parent organization, outlines its goals in America as "a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
A former Pace University student faces hate-crime charges for taking paperback copies of the Koran from the campus library on two occasions last fall and disposing of the Muslim holy book in toilets.
Stanislav Shmulevich, a Ukrainian immigrant, was arraigned Sunday in New York Criminal Court on two charges of criminal mischief in the fourth degree as a hate crime.
"The defendant, as a hate crime, intentionally damaged property of another while having no right to do so nor any reasonable grounds to believe that he had such a right," said the complaint filed by the New York County District Attorney's Office.
University officials filed a vandalism complaint with police after the first incident on Oct. 12, when "a copy of the Koran was found in a public toilet" at the Manhattan campus that "was covered in feces." A second copy of the Koran was found in a toilet Nov. 21.
When questioned by police, Mr. Shmulevich, 23, "admitted to committing said acts" and "that he committed the acts out of anger toward a group of Muslim students with whom he had had a recent disagreement," the criminal complaint said.
"We reported it initially as an act of vandalism, then the police hate-crime unit came over and decided to pursue it as a hate crime," said Chris Corey, Pace University spokesman, adding that he was "not at liberty" to discuss the investigation or how Mr. Shmulevich was implicated.
Mr. Shmulevich was arrested Friday after police found a surveillance photograph of him leaving the reading room where the books are kept, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
He was released from jail after a Sunday arraignment in New York City Criminal Court. Mr. Shmulevich has no criminal record, and works for a European banking firm. Straley M. Thorpe, Mr. Shmulevich's attorney, declined to discuss the specifics of the case, but said the law his client is charged with violating was challenged in past lawsuits on constitutional grounds.
"This may very well be protected speech," Mr. Thorpe said. "The statute is way too vague and broad and includes that of simply annoying people. But this is a free country, and you can't run the risk of annoying people and be charged with a felony."
Asked whether someone was ever charged with a hate crime over the Bible, Mr. Thorpe said "that would take a paralegal a couple of days to research, but this whole situation is fraught with this kind of question."
A search of Lexis/Nexis did not disclose any hate-crime prosecutions for destroying a Bible.
Winfield Myers, director of Campus Watch for the Middle East Forum, called the arrest a step toward the implementation of Islamic law in America.
"One could take a copy of the Bible, the Torah ... abuse it in any way one liked, and never face a criminal penalty for the act of desecration," Mr. Myers said. "Anything goes — unless the keepers of Islam are offended, and then the power of the state must be brought to bear and the offender punished in a criminal court of law."
"The Supreme Court has ruled that Americans can burn the flag and remain immune from prosecution because it is considered to be an act of protected speech. But turn your wrath on the Koran, and you risk arrest and criminal charges. This is Shariah, plain and simple," he said, referring to strict Islamic law.
Mr. Corey said university officials have not been contacted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations; however, the New York chapter released a statement commending the New York Police Department "for its appropriate handling of this case" and said the organization is working with the college's Muslim Student Association and the Association of Muslim American Lawyers "to promote tolerance on the Pace campus."
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Congress yesterday sent President Bush legislation that heightens airport and seaport security and includes a "John Doe" provision to protect airline passengers from retaliatory lawsuits for reporting potential terror activity.
The measure that implements the remaining major September 11 commission recommendations passed the House yesterday 371-40. It had cleared the Senate 85-8 late Thursday night.
"It was our highest priority to make the American people safer and we passed it on our first day in our first legislative act," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.
"With this bill we will be keeping our promise to the families of 911 victims," she said.
The homeland security bill requires 100 percent inspection of air cargo and maritime cargo within three years, and changes the formula for the distribution of grant money to ensure high-risk areas such as New York and Washington get a larger share of funding.
The White House said the president would sign the bill.
The John Doe provision was introduced by lawmakers in response to a suit filed by a group of Muslim imams who were removed from a November flight after the flight crew and passengers reported the men were behaving suspiciously.
The suspicious activity, first reported by The Washington Times, included changing seats, the pattern of their seating, moving about the cabin before takeoff, criticizing the Bush administration and the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and asking for seat-belt extensions that flight attendants said were not needed.
Friday, July 27, 2007
The school bus driver arrested in May after he allegedly cursed and spit at Muslim children in a local fast-food restaurant has lost his job at Bay District Schools.
The School Board voted at Wednesday’s meeting to support Superintendent James McCalister‘s recommendation that Thomas Eugene Plaisted, 60, be suspended without pay and terminated. Plaisted did not attend the meeting.
“I talked to him and informed him, and he knows that I was going to make this recommendation,” McCalister told the board. “I told him he and his counsel could talk to the board, but he indicated to me that he would not be present and would not dispute it.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has deemed the alleged incident, which occurred at Taco Bell on State 77 in Lynn Haven, a hate crime. According to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Plaisted was in the restaurant when 36-yearold Asma Sidani, wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf, entered with her two children. When she went to the counter to order, Plaisted cursed and made threatening gestures at the children, deputies reported. He also allegedly spit on one boy and shoved the other.
Plaisted is due back in court Aug. 22 to face two counts of evidencing prejudice while committing an offense. He has pleaded not guilty.
ho would have benefited? Aside from ending some inconveniences, the real beneficiaries would be trial lawyers and pressure groups like CAIR eager to pull down the nation's homeland-security procedures. Of course, trial lawyers and far-left anti-antiterrorism groups happen to be important sources of money and policy support for Democrats.
The frightening part is how close we came to open-season on citizen tipsters. As recently as Tuesday, the tipster-immunity language appeared to be dead.
The goal of the lawsuit is not just revenge for their experience, but to send a message to anyone who associates Muslims with terror -- no matter how reasonable their suspicions might be -- they should think twice before saying anything.
The possibility of such lawsuits, not to mention the certainty that Cair will label them as "racists," will deter those who report questionable activity to the authorities, and thus potentially make it easier for terrorists to operate in the open.