Tag Archives: double standard

Simple Chart Compares Iraq War to Libyan Action

which one is the right wing mad about

Found this on Juan Cole’s blog. He found it on reddit.

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Filed under arabist, Our glorious war in Iraq

But What Religion is Loughner?

Now, I’m not saying Sarah Palin ordered Jared Loughner to shoot a bunch of people. Sarah makes an easy target [ha!] because her team created a nice graphic that I can easily post to my own blog. Glenn Beck, on the other hand, has probably done a whole lot more to stir up people like Loughner than Sarah Palin has. Unfortunately, Beck’s ouevre is mostly video, and I can’t bring myself to post any of his work on my blog.

To concentrate on the point of this blog, did you notice that we haven’t heard yet what religion Loughner is? If his name had a Muhammad in it, of course, we’d have heard within the first hour. The usual islamophobes would be screeching and howling. What news outlets have even dealt with the issue of Loughner’s beliefs have said that he had strange ideas. They aren’t bothering to find out what they would have found out in the first day if his skin were dark: in which religion was he brought up? What a perfect example of white, Christian privilege. If you open fire in a crowd in the US, targeting political figures and also mowing down bystanders indiscriminately, and you’re white, you’re a disturbed individual who should have gotten the mental health care he deserved. Do all the same while Arab and you’re undoubtedly a Muslim terrorist acting on behalf of a terrorist organization.

Oh yeah, about Sarah Palin, according to this The Telegraph story of Nov 2008,

The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin’s attacks.

Found at Monkey Muck blog.

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UPDATE: I had to add this because it is awesome:

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Filed under domestic terrorism, Our glorious war on terror

Oregon Terrorism Case; Religious Extremists Murder Two

You just don’t rate as a terrorist in the American media unless you’re Muslim and dark-skinned. Nevermind if you’re a religious fanatic who builds a bomb (even without FBI help!), sets it off in an occupied public place, and kills a couple of local police officers. You still won’t be called a terrorist.

Thanks to this site, Blue Oregon, and this site, Blogtown, I am just now learning about these two homegrown terrorists.

A CBS news article doesn’t even bother to mention their religious extremism. Not surprising, since Christianity is never blamed for violence in the United States. Statistics aren’t even kept. Wikipedia even deleted its “American terrorists” page.

From the Blogtown post:

Father and son Bruce and Joshua Turnidge are facing aggravated murder charges for allegedly building a bomb and planting it at a bank in Woodburn Oregon. The blast killed two police officers and took the leg of another who responded to a phone call warning employees to get out of the bank. When FBI agents stopped by his house, devout Christian Bruce Turnidge struck up conversation about the importance of the right to bear arms (saying, “Every ballot should come with a bullet.”) and called Obama a racial slur. His house was filled with weapons and friends testified as state witnesses at the trial that he had tried to organize an anti-government militia and cheered that the Oklahoma City bombings would “teach the government a lesson.”

…a family friend said the Turnridges had more than 50 conversations about how to blow up a bank.

Both blogs rightly point out that this case was handled completely differently because the perpetrators are white Christians.

Say, did you even hear about this guy? He’s a Serbian immigrant, very likely a Christian, although no media has bothered to tell us his so, who assembled the largest cache of home-made explosives in history. I say very likely a Christian because Serbia is known to have gone to some trouble to ethnically cleanse itself of Muslims.

An unemployed man was in police custody today after the discovery of the largest cache of homemade explosives ever found in the US.
Police were called to the home of George Jakubec after 49-year-old gardener Mario Garcia was seriously injured in an explosion.

He successfully injured somebody, too, but a brown man, and that’s no doubt part of why he didn’t get labeled SCARY TERRORIST. Seriously injure, apparently. Poor Mario.

In a little noticed report over the weekend, a gardener was in serious condition after triggering an explosion when he stepped in a powdery substance on the grounds.

Loonwatch addresses this here, in one of their “What if He Were a Muslim” posts.

On another note, I’m kind of wondering why the headline for the Mohamed Osman Mohamud story wasn’t “FBI Plots, Thwarts Bombing.”

I’m talking about this story.

But it may also just as easily be the case that the FBI — as they’ve done many times in the past — found some very young, impressionable, disaffected, hapless, aimless, inept loner; created a plot it then persuaded-manipulated-entrapped him to join, essentially turning him into a Terrorist; and then patted itself on the back once it arrested him for having thwarted a “Terrorist plot” which, from start to finish, was entirely the FBI’s own concoction.

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Cop Killer Thought He Was Jesus; Christian Law to Kill Gays

Maurice Clemmons Christian Terrorist Extremist

No sooner did a photo of alleged cop-killer Maurice Clemmons appear in the news than the screeching began. “He’s a Muslim” “He was radicalised in prison” “He’s another domestic terrorist!” Presumably this is because his visage is swarthy and he’s not smiling a genial smile, although the smile wouldn’t be necessary if he were paler in hue.

Once it became apparent that the late Maurice Clemmons was a Christian, nobody cared anymore. Most news article failed to mention it. Those that did buried it several paragraphs down the page. Because somehow when a American who practices Islam mows down soldiers, it’s terrorism, extremism, and an indictment of Islam, but when an American who practices Christianity mows down police officers, it is none of those things. And Mr Clemmons wasn’t just a cultural Christian, he thought he was Jesus.

“The whole time Clemmons kept saying things like trust him, the world is going to end soon, and that he was Jesus,” a Pierce County sheriff’s report said.

Clemmons was charged in Washington state earlier this year with assaulting a police officer and raping a child, and investigators in the sex case said he was motivated by visions that he was Jesus Christ and that the world was on the verge of the apocalypse.

Within a couple days after the Fort Hood shooting, we knew more about Major Nidal Hasan than we’ve ever known about any spree killer, ever. The media gave us its analysis of a PowerPoint presentation he gave to his colleagues, encouraged us to gasp at his email exchange with an American imam in Yemen (and I still haven’t heard a single peep from anyone complaining that we spied on an American citizen’s correspondence with an American citizen–which was judged by the FBI to be innocuous), and found a blog comment on the internet that sounded like he might have written it and attributed it to him. I imagine there are hundreds or thousands of people posting on the internet every day who say things that sound like something I would say. Please don’t attribute them to me. Thanks.

Christian evangelical minister ex-governor Mike Huckabee did not actually pardon Clemmons, so what I wrote the other day is not accurate. Huckabee recommended clemency, basically making him eligible for parole. Huckabee was prudent enough not mention the religious angle in any explanation for this clemency, so we can’t actually know that Huckabee gave Clemmons another chance because he felt he had truly repented and accepted Jesus into his heart.

Salon article on Huckabee’s dealings with Maurice Clemmons.

Huckabee has proudly declared on many occasions that he disdains the separation of church and state, insisting that his strict Baptist piety should serve as the bedrock of public policy. Nowhere in his record as governor was the influence of religious zeal felt more heavily than in the distribution of pardons and commutations, as his own explanations have indicated. During those years he granted more commutations and pardons than any governor during the previous four decades, many of them surely justified as a response to excessive penalties under the state’s draconian narcotics laws. But others were deeply controversial, especially because so many of his acts of mercy appeared to depend on interventions by fellow Baptist preachers and by inmate professions of renewed Christian faith.

No doubt word spread among the prison population that the affable governor was vulnerable to appeals from convicts who claimed to be born again. Clemmons too was among those who benefited from Huckabee’s tendency to believe such pious testimonials. “I come from a very good Christian family and I was raised much better than my actions speak,” he explained in his clemency application in 2000. “I’m still ashamed to this day for the shame my stupid involvement in these crimes brought upon my family’s name … I have never done anything good for God, but I’ve prayed for him to grant me in his compassion the grace to make a start. Now, I’m humbly appealing to you for a brand new start.”

New York Times article about Huckabee’s clemency issues.

Mr. Huckabee, who rode a brand of prairie populism to finish second in the Republican presidential primaries in 2008, granted more than 1,000 pardons or clemency requests as governor. As his reputation for granting clemency spread, more convicts applied. Aides said he read each file personally.

In most cases, he followed the recommendation of the parole board, but in several cases he overrode the objections of prosecutors, judges and victims’ families. And in several, he followed recommendations for clemency from Baptist preachers who had been longtime supporters.

Robert Herzfeld, then the prosecuting attorney of Saline County, wrote a letter to Governor Huckabee in January 2004, saying his policy on clemency was “fatally flawed” and suggesting that he should announce specific reasons for granting clemency. Mr. Huckabee’s chief aide on clemency wrote back: “The governor read your letter and laughed out loud. He wanted me to respond to you. I wish you success as you cut down on your caffeine consumption.”

After the Fort Hood shooting, public figures called for ousting Muslims from the US military. They shouted that Maj Hasan was allowed to remain in the Army due to “political correctness” and claimed that Muslims are a protected class in the United States. As if Maj Hasan wouldn’t have been able to shoot anybody if he’d been kicked out of the army, which by the way he had been trying to leave for years, to no avail. As if any Muslim can commit any kind of crime in the US without his religion making the headlines.

Meanwhile, some Christians in America are howling that they are the underclass, that everyone makes fun of them, that public entities sometimes acknowledge that there is some religious diversity in America. The “war on Christmas” is a good example.

Here’s a scientific study whose conclusions will come as no surprise to most:

For many religious people, the popular question “What would Jesus do?” is essentially the same as “What would I do?” That’s the message from an intriguing and controversial new study by Nicholas Epley from the University of Chicago. Through a combination of surveys, psychological manipulation and brain-scanning, he has found that when religious Americans try to infer the will of God, they mainly draw on their own personal beliefs.

Obviously, this is what Huckabee was drawing on when he was pardoning Christians and what Bush was drawing on when he decide to war on Muslims and when he looked into Putin’s eyes and “saw his soul.”

And along those lines, let’s talk about religion and its pernicious effects on the law. Take Uganda. It has no state religion, but the majority religion makes up 84% of the country and influences the legal and political system there. On top of that, a powerful and wealthy foreign country dominated by coreligionists has been exporting religious materials of the most extreme flavor to Uganda, and foreign fundamentalists attended a conference there earlier this year that led to an anti-homosexuality bill that if passed would impose the death penality for “aggravated homosexuality.”

Many speakers at that conference think that homosexuality is an illness that can be cured. One wrote a book that equates Nazism and homosexuality and one works at a foundation which ostensibly “cures” homosexuals.

“They told us all things are going wrong because the family is being neglected. Not having more children is one of the things that they said are going wrong. Homosexuality is a way of stopping us from having more children,” said Senyonjo.

Macauley, who fled Nigeria last year after receiving death threats for hosting a gay-friendly church, added that the harsh law comes in a context of perceived challenges to men’s role in society. Women’s increased agency, including deciding whether to have children and how many, is experienced as a threat by some men. A relationship between two men raises the fear that one of the men will behave “like a woman” in the household, which undermines any supposedly natural definition of men’s position in society.

One of these imported fundamentalists probably also met with a number of Ugandan parliamentarians.

A bill has since been drafted and was tabled on Oct 14 in Uganda’s parliament, legalising not only the persecution of lesbians and gays but also of straights that “support” them. The bill applies to Ugandans inside and outside the country. It nullifies Uganda’s ratification of any international treaties that support LGBTI human rights and explicitly rejects the notion that homosexuals have human rights.

Any parent who does not denounce their lesbian daughter or gay son to the authorities face fines of 2,650 dollars or three years’ imprisonment. Any teacher who does not report a lesbian or gay pupil faces the same punishment.

Senyonjo believes that the Ugandan law stems from the urge to protect patriarchal arrangements: “It is men who want the law. They have a very loud voice. The church is still very patriarchal. They want the man to be the head of the family. Even at weddings they say the man is the head and the woman has to be obedient.”

Shariah Christian law truly is harsh and blood-soaked. If only the close-minded fundamentalists who can’t get it enacted here in the US wouldn’t export it to the rest of the world. We excoriate Saudi Arabia for funding fundamentalist schools around the world, but turn a blind eye to Christian proselytizing of the most foul kind.

Alhamdulillah we have a wall of separation between church and state here in the US! Let’s hope politicians such as Huckabee, Palin and Bachmann are never able to tear it down.

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For readers outside the US who may not know who Mike Huckabee is, he is a former candidate for president who in a Gallup poll published in early Nov 2009 was the Republican frontrunner for a presidential run in 2012.

71% of Republicans say they would seriously consider voting for Mike Huckabee.

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Filed under bigoted idiots, church and state, domestic terrorism

Palestinian Children in Israeli Jails

I was surprised to see the mainstream press reporting on this. Here’s a Yahoo News/Time Magazine report on the mistreatment of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers and the Israeli system.

Under Israeli military law, which prevails in the Palestinian territories, the crime of throwing a stone at an Israeli solider or even at the monolithic 20-ft.-high “security barrier” enclosing much of the West Bank can carry a maximum 20-year-prison sentence. Since 2000, according to the Palestinian Ministry for Prisoner Affairs, more than 6,500 children have been arrested, mostly for hurling rocks.

Human-rights groups in Israel and elsewhere have also condemned the punishment meted out to Palestinian children by Israeli military justice. Most onerous, says Sarit Michaeli of the Israeli human-rights group B’Tselem, is that inside the territories, the Israeli military deems any Palestinian who is 16 years and older as an adult, while inside Israel, the U.S. and most other countries, adulthood is reached at age 18.

The report states that “the ill-treatment and torture” of Palestinian child prisoners “appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized, suggesting complicity at all levels of the political and military chain of command.” The group’s director, Rifaat Kassis, says the number of child arrests rose sharply in the past six months, possibly because of a crackdown on Palestinian protests in the West Bank in the aftermath of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

The Geneva organization’s report alleges that under Israeli military justice, it is the norm for children to be interrogated by the Israeli police and army without either a lawyer or a family member present and that most of their convictions are due to confessions extracted during interrogation sessions or from “secret evidence,” usually tip-offs from unnamed Palestinian informers. If so, the practice may violate the U.N. Convention Against Torture, which Israel ratified in 1991. In response to TIME’s queries, a lawyer for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that under “security legislation” and Israel’s interpretation of international law, no lawyer or relative need be present during a child’s interrogation.

According to the Israeli human-rights group Breaking the Silence, a few Israeli soldiers are alarmed by their own troops’ behavior. The group cites the testimony of two officers who complained before a military court that during an operation last March in Hares village, soldiers herded 150 male villagers, some as young as 14, into a schoolyard in the middle of the night, where they were kept bound, blindfolded and beaten over the course of more than 12 hours.

But Khalid Quzman, a defense lawyer at the Israeli military courts, says, “We don’t complain anymore because it’s a waste of time.” More than 600 complaints of torture and ill treatment were filed between 2001 and 2008, he says, “and not a single criminal investigation was ever carried out.”

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Attention-Getting Headline

This Los Angeles Times story, posted today, has already garnered 1103 comments.

Arab world sees Bush’s response to Georgia-Russia crisis as hypocritical

CAIRO — President Bush’s condemnation of Russia as a bullying intimidator in the Georgian conflict struck a hypocritical note in a Middle East that has endured violent reverberations from the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and where the sharp White House rhetoric against Moscow echoes what many Arabs feel in turn about the U.S.

Now Bush’s spirited criticism of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Georgia has raised derisive smirks among Arab commentators, who say the U.S. president is condemning the same power politics he practices.

Bush should be “too ashamed to speak about the occupation of any country, he is already occupying one,” said Mohammed Sayed Said, editor in chief of the Egyptian independent daily Al Badeel. “U.S. forces have been in Iraq for five years and they still fight in an unacceptable manner that violates human rights conventions. Bush had better talk about his own occupation of Iraq.”

It is also widely noted here that Washington stood by uncritically during Israel’s military incursion into southern Lebanon in its 2006 war with Hezbollah.

So when Bush declared Friday that “bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century,” many dismissed his statement as a double standard.

And, just on the off chance that you missed these quotes from recent days, here they are:

“In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations.” –John McCain, mid-August 2008

“For anyone who thought that stark international aggression was a thing of the past, the last week must have come as a startling wake-up call.”–John McCain, mid-August 2008

Raise your hand if you thought stark international aggression was a thing of the past.

“Russia has invaded a sovereign neighbouring state…. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century…. We have no doubts about it. This is a deliberate attempt to destroy an entire country and change the regime.”–George W. Bush, August 11 2008

“This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where [you]* can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it.”–Condoleezza Rice, August 13 2008.

*She actually said “Russia.”

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