Friday, August 8, 2008

Caution: This Post Has Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Royals.

Or baseball. Or sports at all, for that matter.

Apparently the Royals have been beaten badly in their two games since I last posted. I can’t say I’ve been paying much attention. I’m afraid I’ve been a little distracted by the fact that one of my friends has been accused in the national media of being a terrorist sympathizer.

When I started this blog, I warned you all that “I may even write about religion or politics from time to time, particularly if I feel my readership base has grown too large and I want to alienate half of you in one fell swoop.” Today I have to write about politics and religion at the same time, but fortunately I've found a better venue for this particular piece of writing than a Royals blog. If you want to see what I'm like when I'm really angry about something a lot more important than baseball, click here.

But if there’s the slightest chance that you might be offended by my personal opinions, peppered with a few words you can’t hear on network television, then please don't. You've been warned.

This isn’t about politics or religion for me, though. This is intensely personal.

Hopefully I'll be back to talking Royals in a few days.


60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well put, I can't believe you dropped an "F" bomb... Anyway its sad to see what his happening in this country, bigotry is as big a problem now as it has ever been.

Anonymous said...

Rany, I love your stories about the Royals. I hope you don't use your Royals site again for political banter.

It's obvious you think it's pretty unfair how Muslims are automatically labeled as security risks by the U.S. (and to a certain extent it is unfair), but the Muslim community has nobody to blame but the Muslim community.

It's like a Muslim screaming racial profiling at an airport when he's stopped for a random security check.

Unfortunately, this isn't racial profiling, it's identifying the suspect.

I don't have time to run the exact numbers, but I don't need to in order to say with confidence that every plane hijacking in the last 20 years has been carried out by Muslim extremists.

What else is America to do when a group of Muslims is affiliated with a known terrorist connection? Wait until a nuke goes off in the middle of L.A. before making a move?

What other choice does the government have? Seriously, I'd like to know an alternative.

seandec said...

"this isn't racial profiling, it's identifying the suspect"

no, that's EXACTLY racial profiling (your comment, not the random check if it is random)

actually, over the last 20 years, lots of planes have been hijacked by leftist guerrillas, cubans, and various other criminal enterprises.

we're not going to put every arab or muslim in a camp like we did with the japanese during ww2, and we should be glad about that.

Rany,

I particularly liked your comment about extremism vs. moderation. Resonated greatly with what I saw while deployed in the middle east and with what i've seen since I came back home.

phantazmo said...

Amazing! You read that article and then reacted like someone who he wrote the article about. Saying every plane hijacking in the last 20 years has been carried out by muslim extremists is just blatantly wrong.

The entire point of the article is that our society now needs no proof of anything. All that is required is to float a story to a so called "news" channel and it crystallizes into fact. What else is America supposed to do? Follow the law and convict based on evidence? I know that's crazy talk but it's much harder than just saying all muslims are terrorists and calling it a day.

Aaron said...

Sorry about your friend.

The extremists will win or at least always be a thorn in our sides until the moderates step up to their level of extremism to wipe them out or shut them up.

And about the racial profiling...

Really, what good does it do to randomly search a white 80 year old grandma at the airport? Or me for that matter, a 28 year old white guy? That's the other side of the coin. It's not a great practice, but it is one that makes some sense.

Kyle said...

They did a similar attack on Ron Paul once the primaries got to North Carolina, which just happened to be the first primary with a large black populace. Color me suprised.

This is exactly why most Americans dont participate in politics. It's stupid, ugly, and an incredibly unrealistic exercise these days.

It's our own fault for letting things get this far in the first place; We've lost alot of our civil liberties with more soon to be out the door.

As a white American, please extend my condolences to your friend.

The "political" reasons for him having to resign sucks, but Obama had no other choice. There's to many complete idiots around. I don't know how many "Obama's a secret terrorist" emails I've been forwarded. I'll not vote for the man, because he's pretty far left for me, but I'm smarter than your Average American Citizen.

LONG time reader, first time commenter said...

Way to speak out for what you know to be true. It won't have 1/100 of the impact the Wall Street Journal's article did, but unless the American public is fed accurate information from our "news" sources, we will continue to suffer as a society. This is no time to be silent about getting pushed around by The Man. Thank you for setting the record straight.

Anonymous said...

"It's obvious you think it's pretty unfair how Muslims are automatically labeled as security risks by the U.S. (and to a certain extent it is unfair), but the Muslim community has nobody to blame but the Muslim community."

If you're going to start making outrageous comments like that, shouldn't you be prepared to maybe name some names? Which of the Sept. 11 hijackers came out of the American Muslim community? Which of the USS Cole bombers came out of the American Muslim community? Which of the African embassy bombers came out of the American Muslim community? Which of the 1993 WTC bombers came out of the American Muslim community? Can you, in fact, name a single attack perpetrated by an American Muslim?

"It's like a Muslim screaming racial profiling at an airport when he's stopped for a random security check.

Unfortunately, this isn't racial profiling, it's identifying the suspect."

Wait a minute, there are a couple. Richard Reid (actually British, but okay). John Walker Lindh. What did they have in common? Oh yeah, that's right, both white guys. But no, you're right, let's racially profile -- err, I'm sorry, "identify the suspect." Sure, we might let a couple white guys with bombs slip through, but at least anyone who looks remotely brown will have undergone sufficient humiliation before boarding the plane.

"What else is America to do when a group of Muslims is affiliated with a known terrorist connection? Wait until a nuke goes off in the middle of L.A. before making a move?"

Did you even read Rany's article? Do you know what the "known terrorist connection" was? Do you understand how absurdly tenuous the entire thing was, that the allegations against his friend are built on more smoke and mirrors than the Cardinals starting rotation? Hell, I'm misspeaking to say the connections are "tenuous." There is no connection. It's just more asinine fearmongering, which many people, yourself included, seem to buy into, hook, line, and sinker.

"What other choice does the government have? Seriously, I'd like to know an alternative."

I've always thought it might be nice to prosecute actual criminals, to not make unsubstantiated allegations against people, and to be open minded and tolerant instead of letting 24 hour news networks spoon feed ridiculous paranoia to you. There are lots of bad Muslims out there, yeah. There's also lots of bad Christians out there. Can we start running the Christians out of public office now too? In fact, let's just disqualify anyone from holding public office who has some sort of association with some sort of group which in turn has some sort of association with some sort of bad thing. That, after all, is much easier and more efficient than vetting each person to determine his individual qualifications for office, and bonus points because vacuous talk radio douche bags can continue painting entire groups in broad strokes instead of doing their homework, which really helps the ratings.

I know it's out there, and yet when I am personally confronted by such crassness and irrationality, it just boggles the mind. I cannot believe that people actually think this way. I cannot believe that people actually think it's okay to curtail the rights of any group of people for any reason, and especially that people think there is no alternative. Allowing the rights of a minority group to be taken away, no matter the reason, can easily become the first step toward totalitarianism. I don't know if white middle class America actively disbelieves that this won't come back to bite them in the ass or if they are just ignorant of that possibility, but it's already happening in the form of the Patriot Act, wiretapping, and everything else that people love to get up in arms about. If you can't oppose this sort of racism on ideological grounds (and that's just disgusting if you can't, but there are those people), you should at least oppose it on selfish grounds, because there's no reason this can't eventually come back to you too. There is no excuse for the way that Muslims have been treated the past seven years and there is no excuse for prominent Muslims to have to deal with allegations of terrorist connections based on nothing more than some chain of "guilt by association" that maybe eventually leads back to some nebulous link to a terrorist group. It's just revolting.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how ignorant the second reply to this post was.

It's just flat out *wrong* to say that every plane hijacking in the last twenty years has been committed by a muslim. Terrorism is the act of an individual or individual group, not of an entire faction of people.

Perhaps the poster has forgotten the white man who, after 9/11, was caught boarding a plane with a bomb implanted in his shoe? More embarrassing than that, perhaps he didn't see in the news recently that the "Anthrax terrorist" was an American scientist who murdered several people, caused widespread terror, and exploited a nation's fragile psyche in an attempt to prove a point?

Jason said...

Rany, I feel for you. The thing I initially liked about Barack was that he didn't always take the most politically expedient positions. Unfortunately, as he's gotten deeper into his campaign he's gotten away from that. Sometimes politicians are two worried about playing standard politics. I think people would be much more impressed if he defended Asbahi, especially given that the links to Muslim extremism are so tenuous. Kind of like how he called out Clinton and McCain on how dumb their idea was to give us a gas tax holiday. Americans are dumb but when the facts so clearly support something we will frequently wisen up. I'll probably still vote for Obama but only because I don't think I could bear a McCain presidency.

Shelby said...

Rany, PLEASE don't dignify poster #2's thinly-veiled bigotry with a response.

Isaac said...

First, I don't mind if you talk about something other than the Royals.

I can't say I understand the way you feel because I am not you. I also can't say I understand how these kind of things affect your life because I am not Muslim. What I can say is that this stuff is more politics than anything else and you should never let one source effect your life too much. During an election, people from both sides say things just to make the other side look bad. This comment was made to make Obama look bad and not your friend. As things go, I really don't think they cared at all about your friend.

Whether you like it or not, there are some people who will think irrationally about this issue and will believe whatever enforces their already established beliefs.
There are writers out there that will write anything that sounds good in order to make one candidate or the other look bad.

The best thing you can do with something like this is allow the facts and the truth to speak for itself. It will eventually. It is my opinion that when you react with anger or other form of emotion, you are conceding to the person who has written the defaming article to begin with and I don't think that is what you want. It allows the person who wrote the original article to achieve their goal.

The people of this country are better than that and the fact that a guy like Barack Obama is one of the candidates for president shows that. The other side has tried to tie Obama to Muslim organizations for some time and they have been unsuccessful.

Take my advice.

Anonymous said...

Another 4-hit game for Mike Aviles. Nice to see him leading off and DeJesus hitting 3rd. Now if we could just find a second place hitter...

Tom B. said...

Before this I respected you as a fellow tortured Royals fan. Sure, one who had a better grasp on the numbers behind why the Royals were so awful, but just as a fellow comrade-in-arms following a sports team.

It takes courage to say what you said today. Sure, you're far enough removed from the election process that they probably won't go after you. However, the easy way out would have been to vent your anger to your friends. Instead you brought something important to our attention, despite the all too predictable ignorance of people like the second poster.

I applaud you for bringing this injustice to our attention and I've gained a level of respect for you beyond the smart guy who's also a Royals fan. You're someone who looks injustice in the eye and calls it out for what it is.

Matt S said...

Well Rany, FWIW - your heartfelt, fiery, well-reasoned article opened my eyes and made me think about some things in a new light. The next time I hear about some heretofore moderate American Muslim being accused of something, I'll wonder in the back of my mind if there's any basis to it at all.

Anonymous said...

Rany,

Just by reading the comments you should be able to tell that your readers are sympathetic towards your friend and the treatment of the Muslim community as a whole (except for that one idiot who you obviously have no chance of reaching). I'm glad you decided to speak out on this and that you would feel like including your loyal readers in on the discussion. I always enjoy your Royals posts, but I do understand there are times when baseball takes a backseat to real world issues. And unfounded slanderous attacks on friends by the national media certainly qualify in my book. Thanks again for sharing and I am truly saddened by yet another reminder of how ignorant our society can be.

Anonymous said...

"Wait a minute, there are a couple. Richard Reid (actually British, but okay). John Walker Lindh. What did they have in common? Oh yeah, that's right, both white guys."

To clarify, Richard Reid is a mulatto and does not look white like John Walker Lindh.

eddieflakes said...

Rany, I also gained respect for you today. I love your Royals work, but this post today took brass balls. I couldn't agree more with your "extremists vs. moderates" take on the state of the world. Please let us know about any other political writing you do.

And to "anonymous" poster number two, haven't you ever heard of Timothy McVeigh? And to "aaron" McVeigh was 26, non-muslim and entirely white when he killed 168 men, women, and children in 1995. No reason to ever search guys that look like him....gimme a break.

Greinke goes tonight. Go Royals!

Anonymous said...

"Can you, in fact, name a single attack perpetrated by an American Muslim?"

How about Hasan Akbar who murdered two US Army officers during time of war? Incidentally the guy is still alive. In most armies he would have been put in front a firing squad 5 years ago.

Casper said...

I don't even know what to say, Rany, other than I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I admire how you put yourself out there to defend him; friendship (all relationships, actually) today seems to have a lot of boundaries now, and it's refreshing to see a friend react like a friend should.

As for the topic in a more general sense...all I'll say is that I was a business editor for various trade publications in the KC area for about eight years, so I feel that I have gained some insight into society, as a result, that others may not (which is also why I'm not surprised WSJ would do something like this; I'd love it if they left politics to the Post and just reported on, oh, I don't know, the world of business, maybe?). But despite these insights, I still can't figure out why society is so quick to mock the media - "It's all bad news", "It's all lies", "It's all liberal crap" - but then the moment the news breaks a story like this, everyone buys it hook, line and sinker. To me that just shows that it's not so much the media that's a problem - don't misunderstand my point, because it IS problem...I can't tell you how many of my stories were edited at deadline by PR people for some of our advertisers, but that's a different story - as much as it is our fear of what we don't understand, because when we don't understand something, we tend to shy away from it. If you shy away from it, how can you learn anything factual about it? The answer is easy: you can't. And in the absence of facts, people speculate, and their speculation is virtually always negative. So unfortunately I think Obama did what he had to do. Honestly, I think it was an obvious move for ANY candidate to make, unfortunately. To bring this back to sports for a moment, I don't see how Obama would be able to take this fight to the final round if he lets himself get knocked out in the second round by feeding the insecurities of low-informed Americans that he's affiliated somehow with "those people" by not putting some distance between himself and your friend.

That was a longer posting than I'd planned on. Sorry.

Casper said...

(back to the Royals for a quick moment, sorry, but...)...what the hell is this on kcroyals.com about "Vote for Soria's nickname and when a free t-shirt" or some crap? He's already got a nickname, of which I have on the back of a t-shirt already (thanks to Jimmy Jack and WHB 810)...

Casper said...

Sorry, that's "win" a free t-shirt...leave me alone, it's 3-freaking-AM...

Anonymous said...

Rany, it's your site. You write about whatever you want to. I'm sorry about your friend. I really hope Obama stands up and does something. THAT would give me hope in this country's future.

Anonymous said...

"To clarify, Richard Reid is a mulatto and does not look white like John Walker Lindh."

I actually already knew this, but he's white and Jamaican, not Arab/Persian/Pashtun/etc, so it doesn't really change the point.

"How about Hasan Akbar who murdered two US Army officers during time of war? Incidentally the guy is still alive. In most armies he would have been put in front a firing squad 5 years ago."

Pretty sure the military thought his motive had more to do with resentment of his fellow soldiers and not his religion (although the other soldiers may have given him a lot of trouble about being a Muslim, creating that resentment). I don't think an attacker who happens to be Muslim but who carried out his attack irrespective of his religion really counts.

In any case, it was more of a rhetorical question. The major terrorist attacks that have been committed against the US have had nothing to do with the American Muslim community, and I don't think that pointing out one person out of several million whose religion may or may not have contributed to his decision to carry out an attack suddenly makes the first guy's point that "the Muslim community has nobody to blame but the Muslim community" valid. The Muslim community hasn't brought this on itself any more than the black community brought lynchings upon itself a hundred years ago. They happen to belong to a group that is especially unpopular among backwards bigots. They should blame themselves for that?

Anonymous said...

Rany,
I have absolutely no clue to the extent that your voice reaches, mostly, I suspect, baseball dorks such as myself, but to how many I just don't know. It is unfortunate that you and your friend are faced with these circumstances, yet in a way, fortunate to the rest of us that it happened to a voice such as yours that can relay information to whatever expanse it is that you reach.
I have grown tired of comments that insist you have some kind of obligation to cover only certain specifics within your blog. You want nicknames? It's your blog, let's talk nicknames. Politics, fine. But I'd also like to remind those people critical of this that
A. You clearly gave people the out, providing a link and a warning that it might not be for everybody.
B. Readers can abandon blogs anytime they wish, any blog, and still come back for the next one.
And most importantly:
C. Human rights are not politics, they are exactly as titled. And any venue, any at all, is the appropriate time and place to demonstrate support from them.

Anonymous said...

"I actually already knew this, but he's white and Jamaican, not Arab/Persian/Pashtun/etc, so it doesn't really change the point."

Actually many Persians are Caucasian and technically white. They are not European, but they, along with many Arabs such as Syrians and Lebanese, are Caucasian. I believe in the US Syrians, Iranians, and Lebanese are counted as non-hispanic white on the census.

I would agree with you that the overwhelming majority of muslims are decent people. But it is human nature for the ingroup to be suspicious of the outgroup. And in the US, at least in 2008, muslims are an outgroup.

I would think Lebanese and Syrian Christians, although they are from the same ethnic background, don't face the same prejudices as the muslim cousins because of their assimilation into the American mainstream.

Anonymous said...

Rany, as someone who believes Limbaugh, Hannity, and O'Reilly may be the the three horsemen of the apocalypse - are their four horsemen? - I am disappointed in Barack's cowardice, and what I see as political incompetence, in not standing by your friend.

While I agree with the sentiment, I'm not sure this is as easy as moderates versus extremists. It's easy to define moderates as people who believe in the rights of others to be left alone to live as they wish, and extremists as those who believe they should get to make other peoples' decisions for them, but that definition only holds up for homogenous societies and ours is anything but.

Since a "moderate" is simply "someone who agrees with me" and an "extremist" is, by definition, "that crazy person who thinks something else" it's not a very helpful dichotomy.

I think the real battle is between rationality and irrationality. The reason I love to read your blog comes from your extremely perceptive analysis of baseball, an analysis that is both funny (the lengthy and brilliant description of Soria's last save, for example), and rooted in precision, logic, mathematics. You rail against the conventional, by-the-gut managing that bestows the managing-by-whim strategy with a sort of mystical fiat.

While I know that people live their religions in many different ways, the scary thing about religion is that it extends this "by-the-gut" or "by-God's-gut" kind of decision-making to many if not all aspects of life. Ascribing many of the most important decisions about life, be they meaning, morals, proscripted behaviors, to God, is a little like putting an omnipotent Buddy Bell in charge of everything (although hopefully one that is benevolent and a little brighter).

Anyway, I'm not sure how a productive dialectic can occur between societies putatively Christian and putatively Muslim - whether that dialogue is carried out through the intersection of intellects, ideologies, or guns - when it comes down to a clash of irrationality vs. irrationality. After all, I only have to go to my Deuteronomy to discover - on the same page I find out I can't eat hot dogs - that I am required to kill you for tempting me with your religion.

I am sorry to hear of your friend's experience. He sounds like a very good person.

The Dude Abides

Anonymous said...

Rany - Welcome to presidential politics. It's all about dirt. Not that it is any consolation, but the same 'guilt by association' tactics are applied to every person affiliated with a presidential campaign. If it's not the opposing party , then it's some journalist trying to make a name by adding one-plus-one and coming up with three. It crosses all ages, colors, religions and encompasses both genders. Racist, terrorist, sexist and a dozen other labels are handed out like Halloween candy. Welcome to the politics of Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olberman.

GeorgeM said...

Rany,

As a Christian, I am disturbed by how easily other groups are caricatured and dismissed for racial and religious reasons. I believe it is motivated by fear, but that's obviously no excuse. Thanks for taking the time to write what you did; maybe more light will lead to less fear and more understanding. With understanding hopefully comes moderation.

Anonymous said...

Great article - even if it isn't about our Royals.
The War of the World is as you pointed out, Moderates vs. Extremists. I know many Muslims. They don't support Hamas or Al Qaeda just like Christians don't support the KKK.
It's also not a Republican/Democrat issue. Its about ignorance - sometimes people are afraid of what they don't know. It all they see about Muslims are Islamic terrorists then in their mind all Muslims are terrorists. I have no intention of voting for Obama. In fact there is no candidate who excites me. There is no doubt he had a chance to take a stand and educate people on this issue, and he punted.

Anonymous said...

Rany, when it comes to politics you may need to lower your expectations. There is very little that is fair about it and if you expect it to be you're going to be disappointed. Its not the way I wish it would be but that's the reality of it. People today look under every rock to find something to discredit someone else. Speaking of fairness, there's nothing fair about how the Red Sox and Yankees have advantages that the Royals do not have. However, that will make it even sweeter when the Royals win the World Series in 2010!

Anonymous said...

Rany, I admit that I come to this site to read Royals-related topics. But, as has been pointed out by others, it is YOUR blog and if you want to have your voice heard on other matters it is okay with me. It is your right in many ways. And I do give you and your friend my thoughts in spite of the fact that I am pretty much a right-wing kind of guy.

There, you read it right. A right-wing guy supporting someone whose views are clearly to the left of my own. Why? Because of something called the brotherhood of man. You know, the old "live and let live" way of thinking.

We regulars readers and/or commenters on here can rarely agree on Royals-related issues so why expect us to agree politically? But it seems that the vast majority of us can agree on the fact that ALL people should be allowed to live as they see fit, based on their own beliefs, while being allowed to express those beliefs. I support that!

I hope the level of tolerance AROUND THE WORLD toward our fellow man continues to improve to the point that it is a NON-issue. But, it seems a ways off doesn't it?

Anyway... GO ROYALS!!! Go ZACK!!! C-ya, AusSteveW

BTW... don't most of think that if someone is going to post a comment like anonymous #2's that they should be willing to put their name to it?

Ron said...

First thing, nothing is more important than baseball.

Secondly, I respect your decision to support your friend and to write about it. That's what friend ship is.

Now on to other important matters.

Random profiling is done by the TSA everyday. I know people who work for the new NAZI's and they admit. They have to do a set number of random searches each day. And to avoid the chance of being accused of racial profiling, they intentionally select white people, in particular young, white males. Because if any of those people complain about being searched, they're accused of being bad people who don't care about security and are treated as though they are terrorists.

I travel internationally a lot. I get searched at least at every other flight. Which was funny to me, because at one time, I had a military I.D. and a diplomatic passport. And I was at the Pentagon less than 2 hours before it was hit. But I'm stopped and searched while young Muslim men in thier 20's are allowed to board a plane without being stopped because we afraid of offending them? That's bullshit!

Ask any of the nearly 3000 people who died on September 11th are offended by the fact that they were killed by Muslim terrorists.
Oh wait, you can't. They're dead. They were killed by Muslim terrorists.

"The consensus of the vast majority of Muslims in Chicago is that the mosque is not a fundamentalist anything, which is why it has such a large membership. Some of the mosque’s more recent projects include donating a riverfront garden to the city of Chicago (here’s a picture of major Richard Daley at the ribbon-cutting ceremony) and becoming the first mosque in the country to run on solar power."

That's straight from the article. So they don't think they're fundamentalist. Guess that makes it true. Muslim terrorists dont' think they're terrorists. They think they're fighting a holy war. And they use solar power. I work at a company that installs solar panels. Do that make me a Muslim?

The problem most Americans have with the Muslim community is because you refuse to understand the problem. Muslims keep saying "it wasn't us, we didn't do it" or "why are you blaming us for what other people did".

Well, the people who did it are using the Muslim religon to justify what they are doing. They are dragging you into it. If you don't like it, stop them. That's the key point. When is the Muslim community in America going to stand up and actually condem the terroists for thier actions? Because you don't. On one hand, you complain because you are lumped with them, and on the other hand refuse to disassociate yourselfs from them.

The German people try to say they aren't responsible for the Holocaust because it was the NAZI's who did it. But I've been to Dauchau. Its is in the middle of a German town. And you can still smell the stink from the ovens today, so they can't pretend like they didn't know about it.

If the Muslim community in American isn't going to stand up and denounce what is going on, and Muslims continue to support and be part of groups that advocate the violence, then you only have yourselves to blame. If you don't like what's happening, then do something about it.

You're either part of the problem or part of the solution.

I don't know if your friend is innocent or guilty. I'm willing to bet that he's 99% innocent and this is all political muck-racking and needs to be stopped. I hope everything works out for him.

And anyone who thinks I'm some racist asshole, get to know me first. And if anyone wnats to come kick my ass, let me know, I'll send you my address.

Brendan said...

Sorry about your friend, Rany. I feel that Karl Rove and others actively seek out the worst aspects of the American psyche and use them to divide and conquer the electorate. I believe Obama said they "use religion as a bludgeon" and he's 100% correct.

jonfmorse said...

Rany, this really breaks my heart. Obama clearly has neither the principles to stand by a falsely-portrayed associate, nor the sense to understand that his pandering isn't going to get anyone to vote for him.

Ron... I'm sorry, but the "you guys have to put a stop to this" argument is completely hollow. How often do you see Christian organizations "putting a stop to" the depredations of their alleged brethren? And the "Christians" engaging in the offensive behavior ARE Americans. In the face of that, you want to condemn American Muslims for not doing anything about foreigners?

That's hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Question: Why does a lot of the criticism on this thread, and the one Rany linked to, seem to be directed only at Christians?

If Rany's friend was incorrectly linked to Hamas, isn't that a poison pill to American Jews who support Israel? The only reason Hamas is even discussed in America is because of its opposition to the Jewish State. Yes there are bible thumpers who support Israel as well as Jews.

So at the very least it is the Zionists (both Christian and Jewish) who are the ones that are hound dogging any muslim suspected of providing financial aid and comfort to Hamas and other Palestinian groups. Most Americans who don't eat, drink and sleep Israel don't really care about American muslims helping the Palestinians. After all many of us have have sent money back to our mother countries and continue to do so today.

Frank said...

It's to bad many Muslims are suspiciously viewed as terrorists. However, 99% of the time, terrorists are Muslim. Yes, I know about Richard Reid and Timothy McVeigh. However, those guys are the exception not the rule. Is it fair? No, however, it is a part of life. Most people should be more upset that Obama doesn't have the stones to stand by a friend and do what's right. Remember that come November.

Anonymous said...

"When is the Muslim community in America going to stand up and actually condem the terroists for thier actions? Because you don't. On one hand, you complain because you are lumped with them, and on the other hand refuse to disassociate yourselfs from them."

You mean like this web page - http://groups.colgate.edu/aarislam/response.htm

But you're right, no Muslims in America, or around the world for that matter have condemned the terrorists.

Seriously, if you are going to be so blatantly wrong, you should probably do it on a subject that isn't so easy to research.

Anonymous said...

"However, 99% of the time, terrorists are Muslim. Yes, I know about Richard Reid and Timothy McVeigh. However, those guys are the exception not the rule."

How about Eric Rudolph, Terry Nichols, William Krar, the IRA, the Marxist terrorists, etc... I guess those are all just exceptions too.

Anonymous said...

"Actually many Persians are Caucasian and technically white. They are not European, but they, along with many Arabs such as Syrians and Lebanese, are Caucasian. I believe in the US Syrians, Iranians, and Lebanese are counted as non-hispanic white on the census."

But "Caucasian" is just a made up classification. That conception of race goes back to the 18th century when humanity was divided up into the Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid, and American Indian races. These were based entirely on skin color -- white, yellow, black, and red, respectively. It's true that people of the Middle East and Central Asia were sort of shoehorned into the "Caucasoid" race, but that's not a real race by any scientific measure (and in fact whether race exists at all outside of social constructs is a matter of debate), and I would certainly bet that there are very few Arabs or Persians who could pass for white European.

In any case, I don't quite understand where this little tangent is going. My original point was that racial profiling is stupid because members of the stereotypically "Muslim" groups -- Arabs, Persians, Pashtuns, North Africans, and so on -- are not the only ones carrying out attacks. If you are in turn going to respond that we're all technically members of the same race, where I guess the suggestion is that you can't necessarily tell the difference between, say, a Frenchman and a Pakistani (wait, what?), then doesn't that also undermine the idea of racial profiling?

The rest of your post seems to suggest that we're actually on the same page here, so I'm not quite sure why we're splitting hairs on racial classifications in the first place. Just kind of seems like nitpicking to me.

"I travel internationally a lot. I get searched at least at every other flight. Which was funny to me, because at one time, I had a military I.D. and a diplomatic passport. And I was at the Pentagon less than 2 hours before it was hit. But I'm stopped and searched while young Muslim men in thier 20's are allowed to board a plane without being stopped because we afraid of offending them? That's bullshit!"

Of course it's bullshit. We all know that white people have never done anything wrong and only those uncivilized towel heads are capable of hijacking a plane or really committing any sort of violent act. Only Muslims have ever hijacked a plane before, so only Muslims need to be searched before getting on planes, right?

"Ask any of the nearly 3000 people who died on September 11th are offended by the fact that they were killed by Muslim terrorists.
Oh wait, you can't. They're dead. They were killed by Muslim terrorists."

It's disgustingly presumptuous of you to think that you speak for 3000 other people, particularly 3000 people who are unable to speak for themselves. There are people with the capacity to conceive of guilty individuals instead of just ascribing atrocities undertaken by a handful to the whole group -- particularly in this case, where we're not even talking about the same groups. No member of the American Muslim community had anything to do with the Sept. 11 attacks, so why do American Muslims take the blame? Does that mean all Christians are culpable for the violence in Northern Ireland? Is my Basque friend a "terrorist by association" just by virtue of the fact that he's Basque?

"That's straight from the article. So they don't think they're fundamentalist. Guess that makes it true. Muslim terrorists dont' think they're terrorists. They think they're fighting a holy war. And they use solar power. I work at a company that installs solar panels. Do that make me a Muslim?"

Are you really an idiot or is this just an act? Is the solar panel comment supposed to be a joke or do you actually not understand the relationships between various concepts? Fundamentalism exists according to objective criteria about your beliefs; "terrorism" is a matter of perspective. If they say they're not fundamentalists, they're not fundamentalists. If they say they're not terrorists, it's because "terrorism" only exists from the point of view of those being attacked, and perhaps of neutral third parties as well.

"The problem most Americans have with the Muslim community is because you refuse to understand the problem. Muslims keep saying "it wasn't us, we didn't do it" or "why are you blaming us for what other people did"."

You're blaming an entire group for the actions of a handful of people who don't even belong to that group and who is it who refuses to understand the problem?

Nathan said...

Great article, Rany. I lean right, politically, but this neoMcCarthyism transcends the left-right divide. It has, as you put it, carried us through the looking glass. I have to believe that if people just knew the facts about this, they'd dismiss it out of hand. Letting the bigots behind these attacks control our political system is like letting M.C. Escher blueprint your new skyscraper. I hope your contribution helps restore some order.

Nathan said...

I do question the last paragraph of your article. The current war isn't Christian vs. Muslim, but it isn't moderate vs. extremist either. That is, the political extremists behind these slurs against Mr. Asbahi don't quite deserve to be lumped in with the murderers and oppressors who count as extremists in the Islamic world. They're a vile lot, to be sure, and need to be dealt with, but they aren't committing genocide in Darfur or flogging rape victims, like, say, the Sudanese government. Almost everyone in America is a moderate compared with some of the extremists found elsewhere, thank God. Maybe that's kinda your point.

Again, great article. I hope a lot of people on my side of the political isle read it.

Anonymous said...

"I would certainly bet that there are very few Arabs or Persians who could pass for white European."

It depends upon what part of the Arab world you visit and what part of Europe you compare them to. Comparing a Swede to a Yemeni is a no brainer. However, trying to distinguish between a Greek and a Lebanese or an Italian and Syrian is harder. Arabs from Lebanon and Syria are more similar in appearance to Mediterranean Europeans than those from the gulf states.

The point I was trying to make is that muslims are not a race but a religious group of diverse people. And most who harbor prejudices against them do so because of the differences in their religious beliefs and not their skin color. I used the Lebanese as an example because we have both Christian and muslim Lebanese in the US and the Christian ones seem to have no problems with discrimination.

Ron said...

Wow!!

Hey, Anonymous, I might actually take your comments seriously if you could actually take 2 seconds out of your life and actually put in a name.

But since you can't be bothered, why should I take anything you say serously. Since over 30 of the over 40 posts have been "anonymous".

What are you guys afaid of??

Look back through some of the posts. If you want to find out who I am, you can. Easily. Becasue I don't hide who I am.

And if Rany can make the assumption that someone can't be a Muslim extremist because they have installed solar panels, then I guess I can make the suggestion that I'm not a Muslim extremitst because I work for a company that installs solar panels.

Seems pretty stragighforward and simple to me. But you, Anonymous, are a complete fucking asshole.

Because you can't separate fact from sucking up to someone.

Anonymous said...

Not "afraid" of anything. I have responded openly to everything that has been said to me so far. I don't see any genuine difference between posting as "anonymous," which is just the default setting, or attaching a name to each post. It's not as though anyone here can actually identify you just because you posted as "ron" instead of "anonymous." It means nothing one way or the other unless we all want to post with full names, phone numbers, addresses, and whatever. You're every bit as "anonymous" as I am even if you took a little extra time to put in a name. You can look back through the posts and find out which ones are mine as well, because all of mine have been direct responses to people responding to my previous posts.

"And if Rany can make the assumption that someone can't be a Muslim extremist because they have installed solar panels, then I guess I can make the suggestion that I'm not a Muslim extremitst because I work for a company that installs solar panels."

Look at that, the one genuine point you tried to make in this entire mess of a post. I don't think Rany's point that the mosque was not extremist was based on the fact that they rely on solar power as much as it was based on the fact that they are not fundamentalist (something you dismissed out of hand with an irrelevant analogy). The points about solar power and their donation to the Chicago riverfront were meant to suggest that not only are they not terrorists, but they've actually been active and productive members of their community, trying to make their city a better place.

"Seems pretty stragighforward and simple to me. But you, Anonymous, are a complete fucking asshole."

Luckily I won't lose any sleep over pissing off a dimwitted douche bag.

"Because you can't separate fact from sucking up to someone."

But wait, I'm anonymous, I'm too frightened to even reveal myself. Isn't all my "sucking up" for naught then? How will Rany or whoever else ever figure out who to reward for all this brown nosing?

Or maybe I'm not sucking up, I'm just genuinely appalled by the attitudes that some people have toward their fellow man. Follow the chain of deductions that your post sets off and realize that you compared Rany and his friend to fucking Nazis. They share a common religion with Muslim terrorists, if nothing else, but that's good enough for you apparently. Then again, about 80% of Americans identify as Christian, which means there's about an 80% chance that you share a common religion with millions of Germans/"Nazis," which...would make you a Nazi by association, wouldn't it?

Ron said...

Well, I'm not going to apologize for what I said. And I did not refer to Rany and his friends as Nazi's.

What I said was, '

The German people try to say they aren't responsible for the Holocaust because it was the NAZI's who did it. But I've been to Dauchau. Its is in the middle of a German town. And you can still smell the stink from the ovens today, so they can't pretend like they didn't know about it.'

The German people refused to put blame on themselves for what they say were the actions of other people. Doesn't work. Muslims are saying the same thing. Its not their fault, even though the terrorists are saying they are acting for all Muslims around the world.

You either support it, or you denounce it. Its pretty simple.

But the Muslims in America have yet to denounce it. So tell me, exactly, what is the American Muslim position on terrorism and killing Americans? I would like to know?

It's not a hard questions. So I want a Muslim to answer it.

This is for the last anonymous post, not the 35 previous ones. Guess you still can't take 2 second out of your life to add a name.

What are you afraid of?

Nathan said...

ron,

Would you hold Dietrich Bonhoeffer responsible for what happened Daucheu? I agree with you that those who are silent in the face of evil bear some responsibility for it. But it's categorically false that no Muslims have stood up to the Islamofacists. Sheikh (Prof) Shaheed Satardien of the Supreme Muslim Council of Ireland is one who has done so (as I detailed here. Rany, in his ESPN column soon after 9/11 is another. Very likely Asbahi is another.

If you can show that Asbahi approved of or tolerated the acts of terrorists, that's one thing. But Rany's whole point is that the man has been smeared and politically destroyed, not because anyone has proven any such thing, but simply because he's a Muslim.

It was God who said that no one should be punished for the sins of another, but each should suffer for his own sins (Ezekiel 18, and elsewhere). Let us not abandon that principle, which is common to Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.

keith jersey said...

Rany,
I'm not even sure the attack on your friend has anything to do with your friend. It is an attack by Republicans on anyone associated with Obama so that they can convince the american people that he is either too muslim or too black to be trusted. Your friend just got caught in the crossfire.

But if Obama stands up for him, many ignorant voters WILL jump to the conclusion that Obama sympathizes with muslim radicalists. That is the sad state of american politics today. So please try not to hate Obama too much for this. Ultimately, he needs to get elected to begin to make changes and a few people are unfortunately going to be temporarily sacrificed along the way.

Nathan said...

Keith,

Your Obama Messiah complex is altogether too typical. If a few innocent people have to be thrown under the bus so he can be elected, that's just too bad, right? Because unless Obama is elected, America is doomed, doomed! That isn't the attitude of a great leader, who would be willing to sacrifice his own ambition for what is right.

I don't defend the nativist SOBs who circulate attacks like this. You shouldn't defend the political hacks who care more about electoral success than ethical behavior.

skeptic said...

Didn't read the post at the other site. But since most terrorist acts are carried out by Muslim men, Muslim men should expect to be under greater scrutiny.

Eric said...

You know one thing I kept asking myself while reading your post, Rany? Why did your friend give in so easily? Why? As you said, it was something he had worked for for years, and was extremely proud of. So why did he resign? Was he forced, or even asked to do so by the Obama campaign? You should know - he's one of your best friends. I'd like to know. If this was the case, tell us. People should know if Obama is so spineless. But it this wasn't the case, then why would your friend give in so easily? As you also stated, you knew and he knew that "they" would come after him. And this predictable claim, which was so easy and simple to refute, was all it took to get him to resign? Again, all he was guilty of was associating with the Muslim community. So why didn't he stand up for himself and fight a little? Taking the fall and resigning just to help the Obama campaign...I don't buy that. Not if was so important to him. He should have fought something so easily predictable and weak as this. And if he couldn't fight it, then he wasn't strong enough to be in the position in the first place.

Your friend wasn't even the close to being the first person during this campaign season to find himself in a situation like this. And most of these situations don't have anything to do with Muslims. I personally have found myself SICK AND TIRED of reading or hearing on an almost daily basis that someone has resigned from a campaign or a public position because of something they said that offended someone, or someone they know saying something that offended someone, or a group that they were even remotely associated with did something that offended someone. Or not offending someone, but just wasn't quite down-the-middle, vanilla, quiet, standing for nothing, believing in nothing. It's so WEAK! When is someone going to stand up and fight it? Your friend had his chance. What purpose did it serve to just bow out like a sacrificial lamb? But fighting it and standing up for something out of the norm probably wouldn't have fit in with Obama's campaign.

jonfmorse said...

"ron," it takes a great deal of fortitude to post with a first name shared by millions of people with no other identification, and then call out other people for posting as "anonymous."

You're now two-for-two on hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

"Well, I'm not going to apologize for what I said. And I did not refer to Rany and his friends as Nazi's."

I didn't say you called them Nazis, I said you compared them to Nazis, which you did. If you weren't seeking to make such a comparison, you would not have brought up Nazis in the first place. Don't backpedal now.

Numerous other posts have already addressed your patently false allegation that no Muslims have spoken out against terrorism, so there's no need for me to do the same.

Casper said...

Damn! I don't read any postings for a couple days and holy shit, it explodes.

Ron, let it go. You've been beaten. Mostly semantically, partially ideologically, but beaten nonetheless.

AJ said...

Such a complicated issue.

First and foremost, racism in any shape or form...whether it be by skin or by religion or whatever should be condemned...period. This blog obviously has a lot of readers, and when something strikes such a raw nerve in a writer, I have absolutely no problem at all with using the stage to fight for what you believe in. For that, you should be applauded.

But there are so many things wrong here...in such a complex and difficult situation, I'm not even sure where to begin.

The Obama campaign is indeed wrong for accepting your friend's resignation. If you're going to go after the office of leader of the free world, then you should do so on pronciples and honor. This situation shows that neither of these traits are in place. However, I'm also completely resigned to the fact that Obama is trying to get elected president..and it's not just him who would benefit from holding such an office. It's called 'politics' for a reason.

Another whack-ass problem here is the media. In this age of instant news and tabloid TV thriving, it's pathetic and sad that it is in fact the MEDIA which holds all the cards here. It is no dobut the media who directs the shots and let's face it...if they werne't in teh business of selling news..they wouldn't so much as sniffed this as an issue.

But once again, the complexity of politics come into play. In this case, the media is simply being used as a pawn for political gain.

With all that being said, it is an absolute shame that an entire religion is being held responsible for the actions of a few. It is vile and dispicable how minorities in this country, and as I said before..it should never be tolerated.

But alas, we are still in a war...3,000 of our citizens were killed by doing nothing more than showing up to work one day. The men who killed them did not represent a country but an ideaology. They represented the worst in humanity and unfortunately stood along good people such as your friend and yourself to do so. That is a tragedy as well.

But when you are at war, you must fight the enemy wherever they may be. War is not clean...it is not perfect and war is every bit the hell that those who have lived through it describe it. So with that being said, it is a sad realization that certain rights will be trampled...certain groups will be targeted...certain individuals will be unfoundly persecuted.

Again, I get all of this..and NONE of it makes it right.

What happened to your friend and to members of your religion in this country in general is sad, tragic and unacceptable. But we are in unprecidented times. The fight was brought to us in a way that has never happened before...and our leaders have no idea how to react.

Difficult choices to make for a difficult problem. Unfortunately, I don't have the answers to any of them, other than the fact that I'm sorry this happened to your friend. I hope he has the courage and strength to fight back. It may not help...it may not get noticed...but at least in his heart he'll know he tried.

AJ

JimSlim said...

You erred with me, twice. You are a scumbag liberal and a mulsim. Your ilk or more importantly your ilk's lack of outspoken, dramatic and constant repudiation of terrorism, expecially in the US, is a huge problem with the vast majority of the well-informed citizenry. You people will get what you deserve here or in the after life. Please disassociate yourself with my favorite baseball team.

Anonymous said...

Hey ranny I liked your political writeup. If you get a chance drop by phog.net politics board. We have some great debate on subjects like this. I am the mod there. We also have a baseball board. That's where I first ran accoss your blog.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=172&f=2497

Ignorant Author of Post #2 said...

Most of you missed the point. I never mentioned race or ethnicity. I said Muslim extremists. I'm sure most of you would agree that you can be both white and Muslim. Just as you can be both Arab and Christian.

I just think that somewhere along the way we all forgot how great the country is that we live in. I'm proud to be an American and I'm tired of the sense of entitlement felt by many others who say we need to change. That's now how we got where we are today. If anything, we need to revert back to a few of the things that got us where we are today.

The simple fact is, Rany's friend wouldn't have even been able to sniff the position he had been awarded with the Obama campaign in any other non-Muslim nation (maybe the U.K.). The fact that he was forced to resign amidst terrorist allegations/connections is unfortunate. It shows that we have a little ways to go.

But it will be a lot easier to bridge the gap if Muslims in the other part of the world would quit blowing themselves up in the name of Allah.

And sure Muslims in America say, "How can I affect what some Muslim extremist does in Iran or Iraq? I'm here in the United States."

That's exactly my point. Shut your mouths, quit complaining and be thankful you live in the greatest nation in the history of the world.

By the way, the guy who tried to light his shoe (Richard Reid) had recently converted to Islam before trying to light his show on fire.

Also, I never referenced anything related to homegrown terrorism. There were no references to the Oklahoma City bombings.

Everything in my post to my knowledge was factually accurate. I said all airplan hijackings in the last 20 years were carried out by Muslim extremists. And that pertained to my own airport quote.

Typical Democrats, just waiting to say your points before listening to or analyzing the points made before.

carl said...

Jimslim,

You're an idiot. Please disassociate youself from my favorite baseball writer's blog.

Anonymous said...

Not your business! 40-minute ciallis buy Florida I have a fresh joke for you) Why did the hubcap fall asleep? Because it was tired.