Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CAIR-OH opposes zoning laws, representative democracy

The ladies of CAIR-Ohio have got their burqas in a bunch over a decision by the Sugarcreek Township board of zoning appeals in the Dayton area denying a request by the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton to allow them to build a mosque on a remote 15 acre farm. The obligatory outrage by CAIR has been endorsed by the leading dead tree media outlet, the Dayton Daily News, who denounced the zoning board’s decision as evidence of Islamophobic bigotry in a Jan. 16th editorial, “Sugarcreek bigots can’t call the shots”.

So what evidence does CAIR and the Dayton Daily News provide that the zoning board’s decision was based on the group’s religious beliefs? Well, that’s a problem, you see, because they don’t have any. Their outrage is that there might be some lurking Islamophobia in the hearts of the zoning appeals board members and elsewhere in the community. Here’s the reasoning they provide:

The appeals board’s denial comes at a time when other communities nationally have been resistant, even hostile, to construction of Islamic gathering places. The prejudice is not always overt, but can be couched in technical zoning objections — pretexts used to cover discrimination.

Karen Dabdoud, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Cincinnati, suggests this may be what is going on in Greene County’s Sugarcreek Twp.

“This kind of thing is, unfortunately, very common across the country,” she said. “It’s usually framed in terms of traffic and property values, but, underneath, it is a situation of religious tension.”
“Yes, we have no evidence for our Islamo-fascist hysteria, but we don’t like the decision, so we must hound out the secret bigots behind this like Nazis used to blame the global Jewish conspiracy”, CAIR and the Daily News seem to agree. (I guess I should consider myself lucky that I haven’t been blamed yet for the zoning board’s decision.) But remember that these are the same folks who howl “McCarthyism” anytime someone actually exercises their freedom of speech to criticize their extremism. No McCarthyism here, folks. Move along, move along.

It should be noted that Ms. Dabdoud and CAIR-OH do not have a spotless record when it comes to religious bigotry. As I noted in an article for The American Thinker, “Kafir-phobia: Americans as violent anti-Muslim bigots”, when a Xenia sub shop owned by Jordanians was subject to a series of firebombings in July and August 2006, Ms. Dabdoud and other CAIR-OH officials were quick to point their finger of blame at the entire non-Muslim community for harboring violent Islamophobes even before any of the facts were known. A press release issued by the national CAIR organization (which has curiously disappeared from their website) screamed the headline, ‘Blast at Arab — American Restaurant ‘Suspicious’. Ms. Dabdoud herself was quoted by the local media (including the Dayton Daily News) as saying:

‘Anytime an attack like this happens, the perception in the Arab and Muslim community is that it is ethnically or religiously motivated. Especially in the absence of perpetrators [and any evidence — ed.] being caught by law enforcement, that’s the fear [gee, you mean like a “phobia”? — ed.]. Until that (motivation) is discovered, people speculate, rightly or wrongly.’
Dabdoud and CAIR-OH were right there to fuel those speculations, but as I noted at the time, however, the facts that were known even at the time that Dabdoud was speaking to the media didn’t fit with CAIR-OH’s narrative of pandemic anti-Muslim hatred in small-town America. Even while CAIR officials continued to perform their full religious grievance show, police, the media and CAIR already knew that the Jordanian store owners, who had stood shoulder-to-shoulder with CAIR in front of the media microphones and cameras, were themselves implicated in the firebombings. Details later emerged that they had hired a former employee to commit the initial firebombings, and that the final blast which fatally injured the storeowners, Musa Shteiwi, and his son, Essa, was sparked when one of them unintentionally set off a pool of fuel inside the store, which had been spread to later set the store on fire, when one of them lit a cigarette. Both men died in the weeks that followed from their injuries.

Needless to say, Ms. Dabdoud and CAIR-OH never apologized for falsely accusing non-Muslims in the area for being violent anti-Muslim bigots and harboring Islamophobic tendencies. Thus, it’s not surprising to see them following that same script again when the Sugarcreek Twp. zoning case didn’t go the way they wanted it to. And it seems that the facts at hand don’t fit their “rampant Islamophobia” claims. In fact, the Dayton Daily News buried the facts of the case at the very end of the editorial:

For its part, the Islamic Society has a duty to take a second look at its plans. Correspondence from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency casts doubt on whether the site — without very expensive sewage-related improvements — is environmentally well-suited for such a large structure.

Has the society’s architect done his due diligence? Could the current plan be recast in ways that meet zoning requirements and the society’s building needs? Conversations need to be had on these questions.

Oh, you mean the Ohio EPA says the site isn’t suitable for the purpose? What a bunch of Islamophobes. A follow-up letter to the editor also suggests that other zoning issues, like the fact that the two-lane rural road may not be able to support the traffic for the suggested mosque, which they hoped would accommodate nearly 1,000 visitors. Doesn’t matter — Islamophobia must be to blame. Where is Ahmad Al-Akhras when you need him? Dubai, you say?

No, in fact the problem CAIR-OH has is with being required to follow zoning laws and being subject to fortunes of representative democracy, like all of us infidels have to.

Muslims in Ohio deserve much better than CAIR. And they certainly deserve better than the dead tree media dhimmis at the Dayton Daily News representing to the world that CAIR speaks for anyone other than their Islamic extremist masters. When was the last time CAIR had elections? When did they go to Muslims in Ohio to get the permission to speak on behalf of an entire religious community? Oh, that’s right. Never.

Note to CAIR: This is America. Get over it.