Sunday :: Dec 25, 2005

Mixed Messages

by pessimist

Just the other day, as American Christians were preparing to celebrate the feast day commemorating the birth of The Prince of Peace, someone bombed a mosque in Cincinnati, prompting The Council on American-Islamic Relations to raise a $15,000 reward for information leading to the perpetrators. Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk said, "What happened here last night was wrong, hateful and evil." Rabbi Abie Ingber called the blasts at the Clifton mosque, "a deplorable, hateful act."

But what is one to expect from the $tepford $on$ of the Crawford Pioneer$, especially when Ther Leedur is performing hostile acts against Islamic mosques himself?

US News and World Report caught the holiday-focused nation off guard Friday with breaking news that the federal government has, since 9/11, run a far-reaching, top secret program that monitored radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C. area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities.

"In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation," said US News.

It also refers to the FBI agents forcing their way into Muslim-owned estates without being granted a search warrant in advance. Since the Muslim houses and mosques were watched from the outside, there was not an extra need to ask for a court decree, it is argued.

The Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim rights organisation in the United States, has described the revelation that Muslim gatherings and homes around Washington have been electronically 'sniffed' for radiation as 'disturbing'.

"This disturbing revelation, coupled with recent reports of domestic surveillance without warrant, could lead to the perception that we are no longer a nation ruled by law, but instead one in which fear trumps constitutional rights. All Americans should be concerned about the apparent trend toward a two-tiered system of justice system, with full rights for most citizens, and another diminished set of rights for Muslims."

Leaders of the Muslim American Society held a news conference in Chicago yesterday and said they are concerned about the wearing away of Americans' rights.

Up to 120 Muslim sites in the Washington area, and more in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Detroit and Las Vegas, have been regularly monitored for radiation. "The Muslims seem to be the prime target for this programme, but I think this is a sad situation in the way our resources as a country where they have been spent and the priorities of the nation seem to be messed up, because this administrations seems to be clueless when it comes to issues of security and terrorism linking that with the Muslim community."

No elevated radiation was found. Nowhere.

But that conclusion isn't as widely reported by Bu$hCo's corporate media as the initial investigation itself was, leading to an assumption of guilt in the Red State minds that only read the headlines. What if some self-appointed American 'patriot' took it upon himself to 'defend' his nation from 'terrists', as might have been in Cincinnati? Wasn't that one of the excuses used in 1965 in Mississippi? Defending 'owwer way uv lahff'?

Such a person would need supplies not readily available at the local Walmart, so he would have to go shopping for them elsewhere:

Four men were arrested Friday in connection with the theft of 400 pounds of explosives from a storage depot, federal officials said. Authorities didn't say what the thieves planned to do with the explosives, which was enough to flatten a large building, but they believed the theft was not related to terrorism.

But what if the theft was intended for an action such as that in Cincinnati? One certainly doesn't need 400 pounds of explosives - including "150 pounds of C-4, 250 pounds of sheet explosives, 20,000 feet of detonator cord and 2,500 blasting caps" to run "a chop-shop operation where stolen vehicles were disassembled and sold for parts." There are much better ways of taking vehicles apart so that the parts can be profitably sold.

But if one reads between the lines, any domestic terror threat is downplayed so that we don't think about a terror attack coming from US citizens. We're constantly reminded of the 1993 attempt on the World Trade Center, but never that of Tim McVeigh in Oklahoma City. Which attack was the successful one? Why, the one by the former Gulf War veteran, of course! But Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman gets a much larger share of the available column-inches than McVeigh ever will now that he's 'dead' and gone.

Thus, whenever a situation like this explosives theft arises, any connection to the 'need' for Homeland Security against homegrown terrorism is diminished. After all, 'terrists' only come from outside the nation, and King George has them all bottled up in Eye-rak where we can fight them there and not here.

But whatever the truth in this explosives theft, the truly religious are rising above the Cincinnati bombing:

Muslim leaders say that it isn't the physical loss that concerns them but the hatred that the bombings represent. For what ever reason for the bombing, the mosque is letting the public know that the bombers didn't win. Last night, a handwritten sign on the door read "Mosque is open. Use side door."

Thursday night [12/22/05], the Islamic Center [hosted] an all faiths prayer service in which the public [was] invited to attend.

I hope it went well.

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