In yet another another episode of “I couldn’t make this up if I had to”, new research (HT: Dirk Thompson) has revealed that one of the featured speakers at this weekend’s “Many Faces of Islam” conference at the Ohio Statehouse sponsored by the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio as well as taxpayers (through the Ohio Humanities Council, who contributed $1,000 for the event), Anisa Abd El Fattah (aka Caroline F. Keeble, would-be Columbus Public School Board member) defended neo-Nazis and justified their religious and racial hatred in an email exchange earlier this year with UCLA law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh.
The exchange between Fattah and Volokh (see his post, “A heartwarming tale of people coming together”) followed from her previous public statement affirming that:
We also believe that the Jewish Lobby has acted to create an environment in the US that is hostile to Muslims, Arabs, and others, including White nationalists, and Christians so that members of these groups can be discriminated against, and denied rights such as rights to the assumption of innocence unless proven guilty of a crime in a court of law, fair trials, due process, and justice, political association, organizing and petitioning our government on matters related to civil rights, liberties, and foreign policy.This statement was part of her public call back in January as chair of the National Association for Muslim American Women (NAMAW) for the Department of Justice to investigate anyone she had deemed “connected” to the “Jewish Lobby” for violating the civil rights of anyone who was critical of Islamic extremists support for terrorist organizations, such as HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or those who had felt intimidated when publicly attacked for their questioning the established facts of the Holocaust. (This is a point to remember, that Fattah had demanded a DOJ investigation for the supposed “sedition” of anyone connected with the “Jewish lobby”. Perhaps a DOJ investigation is in order, but not with Fattah’s identified targets.)
In response, Volokh had asked her exactly what she had meant by “White nationalists”. She replied:
The point is that every American has equal rights to free speech. That aspect of White nationalist behavior that includes fear mongering, name calling, and intimidation is wrong, yet they argue that their actions result from their frustration that they are stereotyped, and misrepresented by the media and made to appear as enemies of blacks and Jews, and others, when they simply want to preserve the white race, and its majority status. They feel that Jewish supremacism threatens their existence, and that Jewish activism is aimed at limiting their rights, and many Christians feel that same way.From her point of view, “White nationalists” (aka “neo-Nazis”) have been given a bad rap by the “Jewish Lobby” and falsely portrayed by that alleged lobby as “enemies of blacks and Jews”, when all they really are doing is expressing their resistance to “Jewish supremicism”, notwithstanding their “fear-mongering, name calling, and intimidation”. Much like her beloved HAMAS, whenever neo-Nazis burn crosses and vandalize synagogues, they are merely acting out of the oppression they suffer at the hands of the “Jewish lobby” and the nefarious network imposing “Jewish supremicism” to the detriment of their free speech rights, Fattah argues.
Most of what we are talking about here is how we can colllectively preserve and protect the identies, and rights of groups in the US that have conflicting desires, and sensitivties, while preserving a sense of nationalism, or rather Americanism that can serve as a glue for our society that is strong enough to hold our country togther in spite of some of the stark differences that we represent in race, religion, political outlooks, socio-economic backgrounds etc.
In our opinion, the Bill of Rights is that glue, and a near perfect social contract. I’m not suggesting that we are going to resolve these issues tommorrow, but I am suggesting that we must start. I am praying that the complaint will serve as a first word in a dialogue that will embrace all of the various groups, and that will remove all unfair stigmas, and stereotypes, allowing every group to define itself, and also to set the tone and rules for everyone’s co-existence, and participation. The public space is increasingly smaller in my view, making it essential that we begin a dialogue on how 300 million people of different faiths, colors, races, cultures, attitudes, histories, hopes, etc., will share that space as equally and fully entitled American citizens.
There are, of course, many obvious points I could make regarding Fattah’s defense of neo-Nazis, but I will let her statement stand on its own and leave those implications to the reader’s own judgment, apart from two observations:
1) The “Many Faces of Islam” conference to be held this coming Sunday in the Ohio Statehouse atrium has been trumpeted by its sponsors and supporters (including the Columbus Dispatch; see below) as an “interfaith event” intended to raise popular understanding of Islam. But as I’ve repeatedly demonstrated in multiple articles and posts here and elsewhere, virtually all of the speakers at the conference (specifically, Anisa Abd El Fattah, Robert “Farooq” Crane, and Zalfaqir Ali Shah) represent a very narrow and extremist interpretation of Islam hardly represenatative of the Muslim community in Central Ohio.
For instance, consider the following statement made by “interfaith” giant (and al-Qaeda-linked fundraiser for the shuttered KindHearts “charity”) Zalfaqir Ali Shah (more on Shah here) as reported by Islamonline:
If we are unable to stop the Jews now, their next stop is Yathrib (The Prophet’s city of Medina), where the Jews used to live until their expulsion by Prophet Muhammad. That’s the pinnacle of their motives.I restate my own contention that this conference and its organizers defame the Central Ohio Muslim community by falsely attaching such extremist views to all Muslims. Anyone at this point trying to claim that these extremist views are actually representative of area Muslims, including, as we see, defending neo-Nazis and justifying the basis of their hatred, is more “Islamophobic” than anyone could ever accuse me of being.
2) It was Fattah and this alleged “interfaith” conference that the Columbus Dispatch reporter Randy Ludlow took to the defense of last week. Ludlow characterized my reporting of Fattah’s statements thus: “Poole attacks her strong support of a Palestinian homeland and the rights of Muslims to protect themselves and their land from Israelis whom she calls terrorists.” Of course, Ludlow ignored Fattah’s letter to the editor published by the Columbus Dispatch last month declaring all Israeli civilians in Gaza as “combatants”, and by reasonable inference, legitimate targets for terrorism.
Ludlow also falsely claimed that Fattah’s longtime employer, the United Association for Research and Studies, which had been described by one convicted terrorist leader of being “the political command for HAMAS in the United States,” had been cleared by a 2005 Senate Finance Committee investigation; when in fact I had provided evidence to him via email (specifically, a link to an Associated Press article published by the Akron Beacon Journal) more than a week prior to his article where the then-Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley indicated that the committee had most decidedly NOT cleared those organizations:
The Senate Finance Committee is done reviewing Internal Revenue Service records it requested two years ago, but that “does not mean that these groups have been cleared by the committee,” chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement Tuesday.As we have repeatedly seen, the Columbus Dispatch is never one to let the facts get in the way of a good story, especially when it involves their friends involved in the jihadist network in Central Ohio. But you wonder in light of this recent evidence whether Mike Curtin, Randy Ludlow, and the many other apologists for Islamic extremism at the Columbus Dispatch are willing to continue to defend the outrageous statements of their terror-loving “interfaith” friends and endorse their apologies for neo-Nazis. The best bet would be for the Dispatch and the Ohio Democratic Party bloggers to keep silence on this one rather than draw attention to it.
Or maybe another “open letter” in defense of Fattah, the “Many Faces of Islam” conference at the Statehouse this weekend, and a whole host of terrorist organizations, is in the offing? Will Curtin, Ludlow and the Dispatch sign on?