Safaa IBRAHIM is the Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) - San Francisco Bay Area chapter in Santa Clara, California. Personally, I believe that she should also be yet another of CAIR's poster children for advocating the repression of free speech when inconvenient facts get in the way of intellectual honesty.
At issue is a column written by Cinnamon Stillwell titled "Savage vs. CAIR: The battle over free speech" that appeared in SF Gate on December 19, 2007. In that column, Ms. Stillwell offered well documented evidence of CAIR's pattern of strategic aggression and tactics against those who disagree with their ideology and objectives, citing the case of talk radio giant Michael Savage as the latest in a series of examples. Ms. Stillwell's position was cogent, her arguments well defined, and her points both contemporary and relevant. Arguably, the facts she presented about the history and actions of CAIR could well be described as "best evidence" if her discourse was offered in a courtroom environment.
Enter Safaa IBRAHIM, who, in response to the December article, immediately launched a textbook-style assault against Ms. Stillwell by accusing her of propagating hatred through the defense of hate speech against a wide range of people, including "African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims, Catholics, Jews, immigrants and women."
I re-read Ms. Stillwell's column and could find no validity to Ibrahim's wild and unsubstantiated accusations. Then it suddenly occurred to me that I've seen this tactic used before, most effectively by the well-trained spokespeople of CAIR who march in lockstep to the same tune all across North America. If you cannot refute the uncomfortably factual evidence presented in a coherent manner, transform the argument into accusations of hate speech, and move the debate from one of facts to highly charged allegations of "hatemongering and Islamophobia."
While Ms. Stillwell's article focused on the case of Michael Savage, it naturally segued into salient truths about CAIR, all of which Ms. IBRAHIM apparently found troublesome, dismissing them as "recycled smears and distortions used by Stillwell to defame CAIR." Instead of addressing the facts she describes as "distortions," Ibrahim resorted to personally attacking Ms. Stillwell's credibility as a columnist. In her factually-void, "would you like cheese with that whine" rant, IBRAHIM failed miserably at protecting the reputation of CAIR - a reputation that perhaps cannot be protected without assailing and attacking the messengers of truth, like Ms. Stillwell.
The article authored by Ms. Stillwell was well-researched and documented, while the response by Safaa IBRAHIM was devoid and barren. I cannot think of a better example of the transparent methods of transference of blame used by CAIR apologists than the article written by Safaa IBRAHIM. In a rather convoluted way, those who want to keep free speech truly free should thank Safaa IBRAHIM for displaying her lack of intellectual acuity in her published response to Ms. Stillwell.
Haters Against "Hate"
The immensely popular conservative broadcaster Michael Savage, who won the 2007 Talkers magazine Freedom of Speech Award, is under assault from a newly formed, benignly named organization: the Hate Hurts America Interfaith and Community Coalition (HHA). But as you will see shortly, HHA itself has intimate ties to some of the vilest hate, bigotry, and intolerance imaginable.
HHA describes itself in sanctified terms as "a coalition of religious and civic organizations that was formed to address the rising problem of hatred against American minorities." "Hate hurts America by eroding our country's great traditions of religious and cultural tolerance and mutual respect," says HHA. "Hate-filled words can and do lead to violent actions."
Closely allied with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), HHA was established for the singular purpose of trying to ban Mr. Savage, host of the daily program The Savage Nation, from the airwaves. Toward this end, it has sent letters urging the program's sponsors to "stop supporting" the "hate speech" of a "hatemonger" and to "pull their advertising dollars" from Savage's show. This campaign was ostensibly sparked by what HHA calls Savage's "history of hateful and bigoted comments against minorities including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Catholics, Jews, immigrants and women." But clearly HHA's chief concern is the broadcaster's critical commentary about Islam and Muslims.....
The two most notable HHA coalition members are the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Students Association - West. Let's take a brief look at each:
A) Council on American-Islamic Relations
CAIR was co-founded in 1994 by Ibrahim Hooper, Nihad Awad, and Omar Ahmad, all of whom had close ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which was established by Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook and served as Hamas' recruitment arm in the United States. CAIR opened its first U.S. office with the help of a $5,000 donation from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), a self-described charity (founded by Marzook) which in December 2001 would be shut down by President Bush for collecting money on behalf of Hamas.
CAIR knows a great deal not only about hate speech, but also about plain, old-fashioned, unvarnished hate:
* Co-founder Nihad Awad asserted at a 1994 meeting at Barry University, "I am a supporter of the Hamas movement."
* On February 2, 1995, U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White named CAIR Advisory Board member Siraj Wahhaj as one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in Islamic Group leader Omar Abdel Rahman's foiled plot to destroy several New York City monuments. On June 6, 2006, CAIR's Ohio affiliate held a large fundraiser in honor of Wahhaj.
* In September 2003 CAIR's former Community Affairs Director, Bassem Khafagi, pled guilty to three federal counts of bank and visa fraud and agreed to be deported to Egypt. Federal investigators said that a group Khafagi founded, the Islamic Assembly of North America, had earmarked money for terrorism-supporting activities and had published material advocating suicide attacks against U.S. interests.
* In July 2004 Ghassan Elashi, a founding Board member of CAIR's Texas chapter and a former Holy Land Foundation (HLF) official, was convicted of having illegally shipped computers to the terrorism-sponsoring states of Libya and Syria. That same month, he was charged with having funneled more than $12.4 million through HLF, to Hamas. And in April 2005 he was convicted of knowingly doing business with Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook, his brother-in-law.
* Randall Todd Royer, who served as a communications specialist and civil rights coordinator for CAIR, trained with Lashkar-I-Taiba, an al Qaeda-tied Kashmir organization that is listed on the State Department's international terror list. He was also indicted on charges of conspiring to help al Qaeda and the Taliban battle American troops in Afghanistan, and was later sentenced to twenty years in prison on firearms charges.
* Onetime CAIR fundraiser Rabih Haddad was deported from the U.S. because of his work as Executive Director of the Global Relief Foundation, which helped finance al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
There you have it: CAIR -- which has all these ties to Islamist organizations dedicated to Jew-hatred, terror, and genocide -- thinks it has the moral standing to lecture Michael Savage (and everyone else) about "hate" and its fearsome capacity to breed violence. Perhaps someone should inform the bigots at CAIR that this all sounds like a very bad joke......
HHA is headed by Sabiha Khan, who also serves as Communications Director for CAIR of Southern California. Previously, she was a spokesperson for CAIR-Los Angeles and Executive Director of CAIR-Orlando. She attended the University of California, Irvine, where she was a member of the Muslim Student Union, an organization notorious for featuring guest speakers who advocate Israel's destruction, liken Israelis to Nazis, and deny the Holocaust.
During her tenure as CAIR-LA spokeswoman (from 2001-2006), Khan worked closely with Hussam Ayloush, the chapter's Executive Director, to defend the radical cleric Wagdy Ghoneim. Ghoneim is affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and is known for his repeated calls for violent jihad against Jews. When Ghoneim was denied bond after his 2004 arrest in the U.S. for immigration violations, Khan organized an "emergency town hall" meeting to address the matter. She told the Orange County Register, "Yes, people are worried that we are being persecuted because we are Muslim."
In May 2005, Khan penned a guest editorial for The Geeze news website, where she conflated American society's concern about "[t]he actions of extremist Jews, Muslims, Christians or others," disingenuously implying that Americans as a whole felt equally threatened by extremism from each of those quarters. Her piece said nothing about Islamic extremism specifically, focusing almost entirely on such alleged U.S. transgressions as "actions at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the torture tactics, the long, indefinite detentions of prisoners without charges, the use of heavy bombs on largely civilian areas, and the constant disregard of the Geneva Conventions and our own American values."
This, then, is the Hate Hurts America Interfaith and Community Coalition, the organization hounding Michael Savage about his "hate speech"; an organization that wouldn't be caught dead supporting bigotry of any kind; an organization solemnly pledging its undying "support for the American traditions of religious and cultural tolerance and mutual respect." Go ahead. It's all right; go ahead and laugh.
Much more here
Britain: Drug dealer refuses to leave his 'comfy' cell
A judge has condemned the "barking mad" human rights rules that allowed a drug dealer to stay in his prison cell rather than appear in court. Amir Ali, who was jailed for almost four years last September, refused to leave the "comfortable" cell because he was afraid of losing it to another inmate
Judge Richard Hayward said: "I didn't know that prisoners could choose whether or not to come to court. I just assumed they would be scooped up by a burly prison warden and dumped in the back of a van. Now I hear this prisoner is refusing to leave his cell, and no one's doing anything about it. Once again, it's down to barking mad human rights rules."
Ali was due to appear at Lewes Crown Court, East Sussex, for a confiscation hearing yesterday to be stripped of the tens of thousands of pounds he earned from dealing in class A drugs.
However, he refused to leave HMP Camp Hill, a category C training prison on the Isle of Wight. Julian Woodbridge, defending Ali, said: "Mr Ali refused to leave his cell this morning because he is comfortable there and doesn't want to lose it. "There is a shortage of comfortable prison cells in this country, so he was obviously keen to hold on to his." Judge Hayward, who adjourned the hearing, said: "If he doesn't turn up then, we will simply go on without him."
Police caught Ali and 14 co-conspirators in Crawley, East Sussex, during a sting operation in March 2007. He was convicted of conspiring to supply cocaine, two counts of supplying the same drug and a further two charges of supplying heroin. After the operation, Det Insp Nick May said: "Compared with the same period last year, burglary, robbery and vehicle crime have all dropped in Crawley, and this is a tribute to the fantastic support we receive from communities, and the efforts we put into tackling drug dealing, as shown by this series of arrests."
A court source said: "Judge Hayward is known for his no-nonsense approach to criminals and he is sick and tired of coming up against barriers which slow down the legal process. It's incredible that this drug dealer finds his cell so comfortable he doesn't want to leave it. If they make prison that easy then it is no surprise the jails are full up." The source added: "To claim your human rights are being infringed by being brought to court from your prison cell is really the final straw."
First Amendment Rights for Abortion Protestors?
Ed Snell was thrown to the ground and knocked unconscious while exercising his First Amendment right to protest outside an abortion clinic. The media completely ignored it
On December 22nd a 69-year-old pro-life activist who was standing atop his automobile and protesting in front of the Hillcrest Abortion Clinic in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was physically attacked by an abortion supporter and thrown to the ground with enough force to knock him unconscious. Doctors even worried for a time that the elderly man might perish from the attack. Over a week after the attack, there aren't any accounts of the attack in the mainstream media. As I searched for the story, I found only two Internet hits for it.
Why the silence from the MSM? Can you imagine the MSM swarm that would have occurred if it had been a pro-lifer who attacked an abortion supporter? The cacophony would have been deafening if a pro-lifer had been the one to get violent.
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property issued the first story to hit the net a few days ago. Also, a Catholic PRWire and media advisory from Catholic Online was released on the 28th. But the MSM has remained silent on the matter. Here is the account from the TFP:
When Mr. Snell tried to counsel the woman, his words were cut short when the man became furious, jumped the fence and, in the words of Mr. McTernan, "leaped on the vehicle with Ed and catapulted him off of the vehicle and onto the ground." Mr. Snell hit his back and head on the pavement and was knocked unconscious.An elderly man almost dies from an attack by an abortion supporter and the MSM is mum. But, the receptionist at the clinic sure wasn't mum! When asked on the phone about the vicious attack, the receptionist at Hillcrest Abortion Clinic refused to give a recorded statement and angrily shouted: "He got what he deserved! He earned what he got!" She then hung up the phone, according to the TFP account.
His medical report outlines the extent of his injuries: "multiple trauma, right subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the area between the brain and the tissues that cover the brain), compression fractures of four vertebrae (T3, T4, T5 and T10), right scapula fracture and fracture of the fourth and fifth ribs." Before doctors were able to stop the bleeding in his head, they even feared Mr. Snell would die.
And, on top of this indignity, the Harrisburg police didn't seem to want to do their duty and arrest the attacker at first, letting the man go home after witnesses pointed him out as the assailant.
Ed was taken away in an ambulance and three police officers arrived to investigate. They went into the clinic, where the assailant was waiting. After a few moments, the assailant and his companion left the clinic freely, got into their car and drove away. Shocked, Mr. McTernan shouted to the police: "What are you doing? That's him! That's the assailant!" One cop replied: "It is none of your business!"To "protect and serve," eh? Apparently not to serve the victim of a vicious attack in this case. So, why the widespread uninterest by the MSM over this story? It can only be because the wrong guy got attacked.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.