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Violate the Constitution? Christian Right Group Says Yes

By Larry Keller on November 12, 2009 - 9:17 am, Posted in Anti-Muslim, Christian Right

The American Family Association (AFA) usually frets about homosexuals and pornography, but in the aftermath of the shootings at Fort Hood last week, the ultraconservative religious right group has a new concern: Muslims in the U.S. military. Ban them, urges Bryan Fischer, AFA director of issues analysis.

The day after Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an American-born Muslim, is alleged to have shot and killed 13 people at the Texas army post and wounded more than two dozen others, Fischer posted his anti-Muslim screed on the AFA website.

“It is time, I suggest, to stop the practice of allowing Muslims to serve in the U.S. military,” Fischer wrote. “The reason is simple: the more devout a Muslim is, the more of a threat he is to national security. Devout Muslims, who accept the teachings of the prophet as divinely inspired, believe it is their duty to kill infidels. Yesterday’s massacre is living proof.”

Fischer conceded that most U.S. Muslims don’t shoot their fellow soldiers. No matter, because “the more devout a Muslim is, the more likely he is to lie to you through his teeth,” Fischer writes. “You invent a jihadi-detector that works every time it’s used, and we’ll welcome you back with open arms. This is not Islamophobia. It is Islamo-realism. The barbarians are no longer at the gate. They’re inside the fort, and it’s time for the insanity to stop.”

Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said that barring Muslims from serving in the U.S. military would violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment that ensures equal application of laws among people regardless of their race, faith and the like. “That’s a bigoted, racist, vile position,” Weinstein said of the AFA article. “It’s un-American. It’s inhuman. It violates our Constitution.”

Weinstein spent 10 years in the U.S. Air Force as a military attorney serving as both a federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. Two sons and a daughter-in-law also are Air Force Academy graduates. Weinstein was legal counsel to the Reagan administration for more than three years and then served as general counsel to billionaire H. Ross Perot and his company, quitting in 2006 to devote more time to the foundation he formed to combat the evangelical, fundamentalist religious right.

“We should not tolerate each other’s faith, we should respect them,” Weinstein said. “Should we not trust any evangelical Christians because Scott Roeder killed the abortion doctor, George Tiller? [Roeder has not been convicted of last summer’s murder in Kansas, but confessed to it in an interview with The Associated Press last week.] Should we not trust any Jews because Bernie Madoff is Jewish?”

Brigham Young University law professor Cole Durham agrees that barring people of a particular religion from military service would be unconstitutional. Durham, who specializes in international religious freedom law, added that barring Muslims from military service would be foolish even if it were legal given that the U.S. government is trying to convince the world that it is not anti-Muslim. “This is obviously a terrible tragedy,” Durham said of the Fort Hood shootings. “[But] to hold the entire Muslim community in America hostage to one terrible incident does not respect Islam and the rights of Muslims to be full citizens in this country.”

The AFA normally devotes itself to issues such as “decency and morality,” “preservation of marriage and family” and “sanctity of human life.” The Mississippi-based organization was formed in 1977 by the Rev. Donald Wildmon, and was originally called the National Federation for Decency. Its members have boycotted a long list of companies – IKEA, Sears, Hallmark Cards and McDonald’s, to name but a few – deemed to be supportive of homosexuality, abortion, pornography and more. The AFA boycotted Walt Disney Company for nine years for accommodating the “gay agenda” by extending benefits to partners of employees in same-sex relationships.

Even so, Fischer’s Muslim rant isn’t the first time AFA has piped up about a religious minority in the United States. When it learned that a Hindu chaplain from Reno, Nev., would be allowed to deliver the opening prayer in the U.S. Senate in 2007, AFA urged its members to E-mail, write letters and call their senators and object to “seeking the invocation of a non-monotheistic god.”

  • Me

    All people should be allowed to defend their country. One religion is not more likely to attack fellow soldiers, and background and psychological tests are preformed on new soldiers to make sure their stable. You are restricting a person’s freedom by not allowing them to serve their country, and you are oppressing their constitutional rights.

  • Tim

    Richard,

    You should include Malaysia in there, as well. Just about 100% of all ethnic Malays are Muslims. Despite this, their government is secular, promoting freedom and diversity of religions. Along with Islamic holidays, the holidays of other prominent religions are also observed.

    I think it’s pretty interesting that Turkey is a direct descendant of the empire that was responsible for a very vast spread of Islam throughout that region, and into Eastern Europe.

  • Richard

    Joe,

    Again, I don’t seek to defend Islam, and you won’t find me defending any religion. Nor do I defend gross violation of human rights, be it by the Islamists in the Middle East, Christians throwing gays in jail in Latin America and the Carribean, or atheist/communists commiting genocide in Cambodia.

    What I defend is the freedom of individuals to find their own religion, even one I find disagreeable, and when I disagree with and combat them, it will be on their human rights abuses, not on the name of the religion or philosophy they use to justify it.

    Again, you call Islam the most oppressive religion in the world as if Islam can really be called one religion. It is like Christianity in that regard, save that its fanatics are extremely powerful and well organized in many countries; much like Christianity looked several hundred years ago. Islam, however, contains many philosophies, and to judge it by its most extreme groups is unjustified. Despite you believing my head is in the sand, I am able to reconginze that Islam is followed by over a billion people and we cannot simply bomb it into disappearing. Sometimes no ‘courage’ is needed to face the truth, but the consequences of this reality are enormous.

    Since we cannot forcefully convert 1.2 billion people, doesn’t it make far more sense to try and promote versions of what they believe that are in line with human rights? The fundamentalists argue the west is corrupt, we need to prove otherwise while at the same time revealing their version of Islam for the poison that it is. Yes, I argue that self reflection is needed, but don’t think that this means leaving fanaticism unchecked.

    You say pick any Islamic government? I pick Turkey. 98% are Muslim, yet they have democracy, a secular state, and despite their government currently being managed by those who would love to make it an Islamist state, they have been unable to succeed because of fear of reprisal from that almost 100% Muslim population. Turkey is far from a perfect nation, but it has managed to maintain a secular identity even during today’s rise in extremist Islam even to the level of the government, and in its history was one of the first nations to allow women to vote and run for political office. There is potential there for coexistance, progress, and human rights.

    Rather than declaring Islam our enemy, not a real religion, and impossible to coexist with peacefully, we should be attempting to encourage the secularization of Islamic nations like what occured in Turkey so long ago, and we should attempt to preserve the protection of democracy and human rights in Islamic nations where it exists (Indonesia, too, is not ruled by theocracy and has more Muslims than anywhere else in the world) while encouraging it in other nations Muslim and otherwise. Finally, we should judge individual Muslims and individual Muslim governments by their actions and individually held beliefs, not on the grounds of their being Muslim.

  • Tim

    There were parts of Obsession that I thought were pretty informative. I do think that the video could give the wrong idea to someone who knows very little about other religions, though.

    But, in any documentary such as that, there are going to be inaccuracies or things that are seen from a different perspective. If you show the fringe of one religion in the light of criticism, it’s pretty natural that the other side is going to say “well, you do that too – look at this”.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Obsession is filled with errors, and down-right lies. It pretends to be about Muslim extremists, but then clearly smears large numbers of Muslims with the same brush. Here are some point-by-point rebuttals.

    http://www.theamericanmuslim.o.....st/0016753

  • Joe

    Richard:
    There will always be organizations that you have pointed out, the big difference is they: by pure numbers are small in the pot of international terrorism and are mostly local/regional in scope.
    Islamic terrorism is worldwide in scope and yes, much of it is supported by supposed “allies” like Saudi Arabia.
    As far as our wars are concerned, I have no problem making war anywhere as a sovereign nation, as long as it is done in a constitutional matter with a declaration of war.
    We have not had one of those since WWII.
    Congress has no constitutional authority to turn its war making powers over to the president. When they do that, they are anointing a king, and it matters not which party he comes from.
    This is the reason the founding fathers wanted the war powers to rest with the legislature, so no one man could manipulate the power of war, a historical right of kings.
    The way congress has relinquished that power to the president in an unconstitutional manner is disgusting and cowardly.

    So I guess we agree on one thing.

    Ruslan:
    An abortion doctor or a guard getting shot are not the equivalent of international terrorism.
    You also seem to forget that the muslims in Bosnia were attempting to steal a huge portion of a country that they had no legal right to.
    That is a civil war.
    What is cowardly is not recognizing a threat and not dealing with it. Putting your head in the sand while you sing Kumbaya takes no courage.

    How you folks defend Islam, the most oppressive religion on this earth, is beyond me.
    Muslims discriminate against women, children, homosexuals. They routinely execute people for things like homosexuality and infidelity. They mutilate female children.
    The list of the horrors of Islam go on and on.

    So, how can you folks defend them when they practice pretty much everything you are against?
    You guys have no logical consistency.

    Islam really is not a religion. It was a system created by a conqueror to help him achieve his goals.
    Take a look at any Islamic government. They are the most oppressive governments on earth and they are made up of, you guessed it, muslims that have power.
    To truly measure a person or group, look at what they do when they have power.
    Muslims have shown that giving them power creates horrible, evil countries that take women who have been raped, declare them guilty of infidelity, then shoot them in the head in a stadium.

    Is that a “progressive” value now?

  • Tim

    I think that it would be important to note that, like Christianity, there’s many “flavors” of Islam. Also, one should remember that clerics have a LOT of latitude in dictating the interpretation of the Koran. It’s not a monolithic entity. That being said, it’s kind of difficult to figure out who could be a Muslim extremist and who is not, when purely looking at the religion itself. Sort of like figuring out which Christians would blow up the face of federal buildings, one simply cannot say “Christian extremist”.

    If anyone saw my post in another thread, discussing extremism, it’s pretty easy to get a small number of bad apples to spoil the lot. The folks who are in the center, or moderate, seem to be the least vocal.

    If one could get a copy of the DVD “Obsession”, which explores in depth Muslim extremists, you will see what I mean. There are a lot of good Muslims out there that would not think of hurting anybody. Some of them are getting pretty sick and tired of their religion getting a bad name because of the few bad apples. During the Iranian election crisis, myself along with thousands of people, set up internet proxies so that young Iranian people could get out to their Twitter and Facebook accounts to post videos and first-hand accounts of what was REALLY going on there. I believe that is a case where extremism finally bent the moderates to the point of breaking.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Joe, you haven’t noticed any other religious extremists blowing things up? Obviously you aren’t paying attention. A Christian extremist shot yet another abortion doctor. Another Christian extremist shot up a church congregation in 2008. A right-wing conservative extremist attacked the Holocaust museum. Croats and Serbs slaughtered each other in the early to mid-90s, and we stopped by massive military intervention and economic manipulation. The Hindu Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka invented the technique of suicide bombing and continued to use it frequently for years.

    Face it Joe, you are a cowardly person, afraid of your own shadow. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and the vast majority of that will never attack anyone over religion, or for any other reason for that matter.

    Have fun being afraid of everything, coward.

  • Richard

    Joe,

    Perhaps my last comment wasn’t clear. Since I fall solidly into the category of people that hard-line Islamists call for the execution of, do not make the mistake of thinking that I ‘love’ Islam. Personally, I find the religiously motivated laws and policies of nations like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Taliban’s Afghanistan disgusting. That doesn’t mean that I believe we should invade those nations and attempt to ‘democratize’ them by force. Nor does it mean that I believe that all followers of Islam are extremists who want to commit terrorist actions.

    As for terrorism being restricted in modern times to Islam, perhaps you should consider investigating the Irish Republican Army, National Liberation Front of Tripura, or the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. These organizations all claim(ed) Christian religious affiliation, but most Christians would dismiss any connection just as they would probably not want to associate themselves with those who commit violent attacks against abortion providers.

    Your own comment that Islam is at war with the west is the true bunk here. Would you include Indonesia, an American ally in the so called ‘War on Terrorism’ on the West’s side, or on Islam’s? They work with the West when it comes to counterterrorism, are a trading and security partner of the United States, but Indonesia also has more Muslims living in it than any other nation in the world; probably close to 200 million of them. Does your so called war also include this nation alongside the much reported Middle Eastern nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran?

    If it’s ‘Islam’ that you are at war with, then the West’s leaders seem to have missed the fact that Indonesia and Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, not to mention the Muslims in India, about 150 million of them, have been overlooked in this conflict. Maybe you’d argue it’s naivity on our part, but I think the reality is that there is nothing threatening to the West or our civilizations coming from most Muslims in the world. Are their values opposed to ours? Some are, but so are the values of Christian hardliners.

    The fact of the matter is, you can’t be at war with ‘Islam’ because Islam is not a nation or even a cohesive religious philosophy. There are fundamentalist, moderate, liberal, and even secular Muslims and you’re implication that all of them are at war with all Western nations is so staggaringly misrepresentative and simplistic I find it difficult to believe you’ve done any actual investigation into the topic.

    So don’t make the mistake of thinking I defend ‘Islam’, because that is not my intention. Similarly, by pointing out the existance of terrorist groups alligned with ‘Christianity’, I am not targetting the religion or its followers as a whole. What I ‘defend’ is the innocence and reputation of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world who support peace and oppose terror, but as a consequence never seem to make it into the media headlines. I don’t agree with their religious and political ideas, but I do believe that they have a right to their opinions and to the peaceful expression of them.

  • Tim

    Ruslan,

    That was actually a pretty thought provoking response. The fact is that any country that feels as though it can project its influence will do so.

    Can you give an example of a developed country that doesn’t exert some kind of influence, either global or regional?

    I believe that our country is experiencing the deepest ideological divisions since our Civil War. Between the government acting out of control, the economy in the tank, having a president that carries what seems to be a cult of personality, to having our hands in every pie around the world, things are pretty scary.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Tim, first off you need to know that I am not a liberal. I consider liberals to be weak-willed, perpetual whiners wholly incapable of dealing with the threat of rising right-wing extremism.

    Secondly, imperialism is imperialism, and in modern times it often takes the form of neo-colonialism, whereby a more powerful country or bloc of countries controls foreign nations via influence of capital, military aid, etc. Viewed in this light, US imperialism is no morally worse nor better than that of other nations, but rather what the US has actually done, is the point. Even countries like Turkey have their examples of imperialism, but they are far smaller and can only constitute regional powers. Turkey’s main victims have been the Kurds in terms of imperialist violence. Incidentally, guess who has been giving Turkey, a military dictatorship, so much support throughout its existence. Hint: Red, white, and blue flag, 13 stripes, 50 stars. The point is, that millions of other people pay a dear price for the standard of living you enjoy.

    On a third most important point, I don’t have a shred of faith in Obama. I am not “disappointed” with him like so many naive liberals were- I flat out told liberal friends that they were inventing an idea of this man that was totally different from his actual character. They didn’t listen. Sadly I haven’t had the opportunity for “I told you so” yet.

    Lastly, you may construe my comments as “anti-American”, but some times the truth just happens to turn out that way. It is not “anti-German” to talk about the Holocaust, or more analogous- waging aggressive war. It is not anti-Japanese to talk about the Rape of Nanking. There is no reason why a different standard should be applied to the US.

  • Joe

    Pure bunk Richard.

    I haven’t noticed any Christians or Jews running around lately blowing up embassies, buildings and planes in coordinated terrorist attacks.

    This phenomenon is reserved for muslims.

    Islam is at war with the West, plain and simple.
    The values of Islam are incompatible with the West.

    We either recognize the fact and respond in kind or we lose. They are using our laws and freedoms against us and will triumph if we can not even figure out that we are at war and what we are at war with.

    I always fail to understand the liberal love for Islam. Islamic countries deny womens rights, execute homosexuals, deny abortions, the list goes on and on.
    Why would you guys want to defend Islam when they stand for pretty much everything a good liberal does not?

    Some consistency here would be honest at least.

  • Tim

    Tonydoc,

    I believe that there are plenty of Muslims that can, and should be trusted. There are many Muslims that, as a link below shows are serving our country right now. For those that don’t want to know more, here is a link to a good article:

    http://www.apaam.org/Kafel_Iraq_Peace.htm

  • carrisima

    One crazy, mixed up muslim soldier of foreign roots (a distinguished shrink that needed a shrink) does not constitute the need for banning entire blocks of people who are American citizens. The USA have done this before during WWII — apologized for the disgrace — now contemplating the identical action? I do think that American muslims who join the military should be questioned about their loyalties more intensely than others. We have to protect ourselves in the USA and take “reasonable” means to do so.

  • Tim

    Ruslan,

    What you, and other liberals fail to see in your passion is that by flinging insults and not making clear who the target of your criticism is, you end up alienating the people, and YOU become the enemy.

    Please define “imperialist”. That seems to be the battle cry of communists, socialists, or people who have a romantic view of Che Guevara. If you are against the “imperialist” An imperial government would imply our flag is flying over territories other than our own. If you are speaking of influence, what is the difference between the US, China, Russia, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and India?.

    In any case, if your target is the government, why do you, and your ilk, include Republicans in that? Are we members of the government? If Obama turns out to not be the guy you guys thought he would be, would you also start to direct your rage towards other Democrats, as well as Republicans?

    The motives of you and your comrades are not very clear, neither are your targets. Reading your comments, I would say that you are anti-American in general. If liberals want to get their message into, and considered by, the mainstream, that kind of rhetoric is no way to do it. All you end up doing is keeping your message within the wingnuts and bobbleheads on your side of the house – and, yes, YOU guys have them, too …

  • http://resopo96@msn.com Mike Magruder

    As I recall from my reading of history, the Christian Crusades not only murdered Muslims but Jews as well. I was thinking about radical pro life along these lines and this line of reasoning led me to recall the cartoon Crusader Rabbit. My logic has something to do with the presumed fact that rabbits reproduce very rapidly. At first I felt silly about the Christians only. Then I came to realize that all fundamentalist thinking is Crusader Rabbit symbolically. I came to understand that old guard bullshit has a lot to do with the reality that human beings were the original machines and that they could only be manufactured biologically like cabbages. I’m puzzled about the cartoon because I’m writing this from deep in the bowels of fundamentalist Texas.

  • Richard

    Joe,

    As a non-religious person, I can understand your unease with passages in the Koran that seem to condone this kind of behaviour. But if you’re correct, and a religion cannot be divorced from its founding documents for convenience or political correctness, than more religions than Islam become extremely unpleasant.

    I am, of course, referring to the Bible. One wonders, when Christians go on about how many horrible morals there are in the Koran, if they’ve actually read Leviticus, or Revelations. Here are some choice passages from the old and new testaments:

    Deuteronomy 20:16-17 – God advocates genocide against the Caananites.

    Leviticus – Numerous calls for punishing crimes which offend religion/tradition with death by stoning.

    Romans 9:20-22 – Paul relates that God can create evil people and than destroy them/damn them to hell simply to evince his own wrath and power.

    Revelations – Vast population of unbelievers thrown into a lake of fire for eternity. This, like the genocide and creation of evil people just to punish them for acting the way they were created, is presented as a wonderful thing.

    My point is simple: If we accept that all religious individuals must be treated with the level of concern warrented by their religious texts regardless of whether or not they claim a different interpretation, than Christianity and Judaism, as well as Islam, become incompatable with the American constitution, as well as the constitutions of all Western and, for that matter, a great many African, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries as well.

    The problem is that the vast majority of Jews would not argue that they have the right to commit genocide in order to establish Isreal/Zion, and the majority of Christians disagree with these passages, and similarly horrific visions of the future in the New Testament as well. Generally, Christians and Jews seem to take a mostly inclusive view toward their religious tradition and ignore the nasty elements of their scripture. That the scripture remains nasty, and fundamentalists use it to commit and advocate evil, is a separate problem. The same is probably true for most of the more than 1 billion Muslims living on this planet. Condemn the Koran if you wish, but realize the same contempt could be levelled toward the Torah and Bible. I don’t follow any of the three, but I think we should er on the side of caution before associating everyone who does with every word in them. There’s an old saying about glass houses and stones that I think applies here for Christians who don’t do so.

  • Tonydoc

    So…good Americans think that Muslims should not be trusted.

    In World War I, Americans of German descent were not to be trusted, so my great-grandfather (who had immigrated in 1880) was taken in and questioned as an enemy alien.

    In the 1920′s, the KKK said that Catholics were not to be trusted, and so some Nebraska klansmen refused to trade farm labor with my grandfather.

    Maj. Hasan has something in common with other notorious gunmen. Was Islam to blame for Maj. Hasan’s crime? You might as well ask the following:

    Was Christianity responsible for the anti-abortion murders committed by Scott Roeder, Paul Hill and John Salvi?

    Was Orthodox Judaism responsible for Yigal Amir’s assassination of Yitzhak Rabin?

    Was the civil rights movement responsible for Arthur Bremer’s attempt on the life of George Wallace?

    These are things we all need to think about before we go venting our spleens and putting our often half-baked opinions on view for all to see. We also need to remember this serious observation of Ben Frankin:

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    No Tim, I have no shame for writing that statement. America is far from “not perfect”. Subverting elections in Southeast Asia, causing a war that kills around 2 million people, is not simply “not perfect.” The US is and has been for some time an empire, Stained with the blood that empire’s inevitably accumulate. When thousands of civilians were killed in Somalia, Iraq, Yugoslavia, and so on, they were labeled “collatoral damage” by the US military, and the world media accepts it. Well apparently folks like Osama Bin Laden figured out that they could cause collatoral damage too. I am reminded of the famous quote by Sir Arthur Harris:

    “The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.”

    But what you fail to realize Tim, is that there is a difference between hating the imperialist government, and hating the individual people, which is just plain foolish. If Americans continue to support their government, or not take interest in what their government is doing overseas, they will be tacitly if not actively endorsing such policies, in which case many people actively opposing such policies will rationalize attacks on them, or at least not care so much about minimizing “collatoral damage.”

    Joe, if you are going to recommend people read the Koran, you should recommend the Yusuf Ali translation, but most importantly a translation with commentary. Yes, many revelations have a certain historical context, but this usually absolves the Koran rather than condemns it. Besides, you will find far worse in the Bible.

  • Tim

    I said: “The US military is for the defense of our country.”

    You said: “Yes, and it is made up of patriotic men and women of all faiths and backgrounds. How many of these people are Muslim? Probably quite a bit. How many of these Muslims have gone on a rampage and killed people? I only know of one. By your logic, all Christians should be excluded because of the killing of the abortion doctor. I really get tired of these WATBs going ballistic every time one of “those people” gets out of line but completely ignore the story when it’s one of their own. Grow up.”

    “One of their own” … What do you mean by that? Show me “one of my own” that has done something like this, and I would say they should be equally repudiated. The problem is that you guys don’t repudiate actions such as Maj Hasan’s. You “try to understand” and “try to be sensitive”. If it’s a white, Christian male, you guys would be witnesses at his execution. The problem here is double standards, and no one can profess to be tolerant nor impartial while operating under a double standard.

    I, on the other hand, profess neither. :) That being said, when have Christian military officers killed abortion doctors? When was the last time that you can remember that any military officer went on a rampage such as this guy did? Please respond, citing new articles and dates.

    I am not familiar with pithy liberal acronyms, so I need to know what “WATB” means. Assuming the “TB” is “Tea Bagger”, I have not had the pleasure to go to a tea party yet, no any other kind of protest. I have a day job. If “WA” is “Whiny Ass”, I am not whining. I’m simply answering things. I did not say that anyone needed to be excluded. I simply said that diversity and providing opportunities to people shouldn’t be the *priority* of the military. It should recruit those that are optimally able to defend our country – diversity and opportunities will be contigent on the people who come in, and how much the military gives back to these people. The military really can’t afford to implement “cultural sensitivity” in its recruiting and training practices. Typically, our enemies aren’t that sensitive to us!

    I don’t think that anyone necessarily should be excluded from the military, either – so long as they do not undermine the mission of the military. As I said before, the people recruited should be optimally able to defend our country – not head cases. Someone identified as such should not be allowed to continue to serve. I am willing to bet that if someone put him on the couch, he would have ended up with a Section 8 discharge. The problem is, so many people were scared of “offending” him, that they didn’t dare say “Hey! What you’re saying is out of line”, and then have someone check him out. Had they done that, there would have at least been visibility to his mental state, and beliefs. We might have 13 people still alive today.

    Lastly, I can’t help myself, so please forgive me. :)

    I’d rather be a teabagger than be teabagged. Unless, of course, you’re into that kind of thing …

  • kate

    Tim and Joe:

    None of your “facts” or assumptions about Islam or the Koran have any bearing on the truth that in our society respect for freedom of expression requires the tolerance of eachother’s views and the other’s right to exist. There exists no difficulty or ambiguity in the necessity of the above in a free, democratic society.

    The Bible is rampant with violence, patriarchy, rape, senseless murder that is religiously sanctioned as justifiable acts. Does that taint all of those who profess to follow the Bible as people who are committed to such acts? I’d have no problem finding churches, many of which are considered fringe and underground, which in fact, do condone acts of violence and terrorism against their own imagined enemies. Enemies who are in fact simply innocent citizens.

    Thank you Rusian for your clear and truthful summary of atrocities committed by the powerful, politically connected and even corporate interests in the name of Americans like myself. I am ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted at the inhumanity that has been committed in the name of America, but I am not a rube, nor am I about to give up on seeing to it that America will someday become the democratic beacon of justice and peace that it professes to be.

    The Ft. Hood shooter was obviously mentally imbalanced and acting on his own. The only similarity between his actions and that of Islamic extremists is the similarity of religion and possibly motive; although one was more of self inflated grandeur than actual group induced activity.

  • Joe

    “It is not Islam but a group of RADICAL Islamists who misinterpret the teachings of the religion who iare at war with not only the west but also anyone who fails to agree with them.”
    Wrong Dr. Minton.
    I highly suggest you get a copy of the Koran that is printed in chronological order and actually read it.
    (Most Westerners do not realize that the Koran is normally printed, not in chronological order, but is arranged by chapter size. This allows all kinds of lies by omission. Most of the frequently quoted Koran passages that are used to defend Islam are early in the Koran’s timeline and come from the period of time when Muhammed was trying to get the Christians and Jews to recognize him as their prophet. Those passages are negated by the later passages.)
    The actions the shooter took guarantee him a spot in paradise.
    His beliefs are not “radical,” they are part and parcel of Islam.
    You can not divorce the religion from it’s founding documents for convenience or political correctness.

    “The US military is for the defense of our country. Not a platform to show case diversity nor serve as a soup kitchen for the “have nots.”
    You have it exactly right Tim.

    To Ana:
    Thanks.

  • Tim

    Ruslan,

    I will, however, say that the latter part of your commentary makes perfect sense.

    Unfortunately, as much as the 1st Amendment allows groups such as the SPLC or MoveOn.org to exist, it also allows for alleged hate groups to exist.

    They have a right to exist, as does the SPLC. The problem is when the exercise of one’s rights infringes on the rights of another.

    The problem is figuring out who is an extremist, and who is just a crazy Skinhead. Can’t just outlaw groups, that’s unconstitutional. Can’t perform domestic wiretaps without a warrant, because that’s bad too.

    So, what should we do?

  • Tim

    “The day after Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an American-born Muslim, is alleged to have shot and killed 13 people at the Texas army post and wounded more than two dozen others, Fischer posted his anti-Muslim screed on the AFA website.”

    Alleged? Dozens of people saw him do this, and this is “alleged”?

    Ruslan,

    You should be ashamed of what you have said. Our country is not perfect, but which one is? How can you justify this? Do you think we deserve this? Even the innocents in this country? Perhaps you?

    If there would be a full-blown “jihad”, I am sure that guys like Maj. Hasan won’t recognize you as the mild-mannered guy that you, and simply bypass you.

    If you really think that our entire country is evil, as it seems you have expressed through the above post, why don’t you leave this country for greener pastures? Doesn’t it make you sick to be around us?

  • Jimbo

    Perhaps if some Christian – one who also practices the ‘hate-based’ kind of version of that Religion, which Osama bin Laden practices in Islam – had not torn up the mans ‘Allah is Love’ bumper sticker; which was a clear attempt by HIM to ‘Love His Neighbors’ (who oh-so clearly became his enemies, that day); then no one would have been killed.
    Many Christians – who have created what is perhaps the most hypocritical of all religions (I’m a Buddhist, by the way; and though I’m basically impartial by nature – I chose to have nothing to do with your Hate-O-Rama Religions looong ago) – hate every bit as much as Al Qaeda does; they HATE OUR FREEDOM every bit as much as Osama bin Laden does; why i’ve ven heard them justify his attacks on 9-11 – saying “We deserved it,” then launching into diatribes about “The Earth shaking with his mighty fist,”as their eyes loll about, and they pleasantly contemplate the images of all those pesky people who refuse to kiss their sanctamonious asses “getting it” from Jesus – who’se suddenly beccome “The Killer, the Destroyer.”
    Why, I’d swear to OM that they’re actually some kind of Avataars – of Kali!

  • JoeBuddha

    The US military is for the defense of our country.

    Yes, and it is made up of patriotic men and women of all faiths and backgrounds. How many of these people are Muslim? Probably quite a bit. How many of these Muslims have gone on a rampage and killed people? I only know of one. By your logic, all Christians should be excluded because of the killing of the abortion doctor. I really get tired of these WATBs going ballistic every time one of “those people” gets out of line but completely ignore the story when it’s one of their own. Grow up.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Islam is opposed to “Western values”? What values would those be? Bombing and napalming entire countries, murdering anywhere between 2 and 4 million people in Asia? Overthrowing democratically elected governments? Waging wars of aggression on false pretenses? Ignoring the atrocities of hand-picked dictators so long as they continue to serve western interests? Drug culture, sex tourism, sweat-shops? When idiots say “Islam is at war with the West”, maybe you ought to step back and figure out how this war started. You went into THEIR countries, played around all in the name of resources and markets, and lo and behold, a LOT of people there didn’t like it.

    And don’t even pretend that immigration to the west is some kind of “Islamic invasion”- those immigrants were welcomed in because lazy Europeans and Americans wanted to exploit their labor.

    Secondly, anyone who can’t see the difference between a Nazi skinhead and a Muslim wanting to join the army has obviously suffered a severe injury to the head. One can be a faithful Muslim, according to most of the mainstream Islamic world, and NOT support the Salafists or Wahhabists. In case you didn’t know, Egypt has an army, Saudi Arabia has an army, and so on. These armies continue to exist despite the fact that folks like Bin Laden are basically condemning them en masse.

    By stark contrast, one cannot be a Nazi and disavow the belief in the need for violent revolution, ethnic cleansing, etc. Don’t believe me, sign up an account on one of the major neo-Nazi forums and start trying to espouse that view. See what happens.

    If we should distrust Muslims on the basis of religion, then we MUST also screen for fundamentalists Christians and those with a conservative viewpoint as well. Statistics prove that the majority of terrorist acts in America are committed by far-right wing conservatives, often religious fundamentalists. In fact, one reason why their body count might be lower is because more often than not their plots are easily sabotaged and prevented from coming to fruition. When you read about many of those plans, you’ll understand why that’s a damn good thing.

  • Tim

    The US military is for the defense of our country. Not a platform to show case diversity nor serve as a soup kitchen for the “have nots”. Here’s the problem with activism – it promotes tunnel vision. Only the things that can promote the activist’s agenda has any value.

    Does anyone in the SPLC have *any* military experience? Do they understand what a military does? Probably not. How many are Christians? Probably none.

  • http://www.petefirm.com Attorney Mike Pete

    Service in the military is a viable way that the have nots can make a decent living for themselves in America, while serving their country. We have the strongest military in the world because of our diversity.

  • http://empathyforall.blogspot.com/ Wendy

    It amazes me how many human beings are spiritually illiterate. Religious affiliation has nothing to do with who we really are. I realize this is just my opinion but I do believe we are all one. Barriers of prejudice of any kind have no place in a pure heart. We are all a part of something larger (God, Creator, etc.). Religions create barriers which invites division and eventually, intolerance. I refuse to limit my view to one religion. Without spiritual evolution there is no hope of world peace. I pray for tolerance and patience in ridding the world of these horrible ideologies.

  • http://may-chang.com Jody May-Chang

    I thought you might like to know that while Bryan Fischer may be fresh meat in the national spotlight right now, for me he is old rancid meat.

    If you want the real background story on Bryan Fischer, I have been reporting on and documenting this fraud for several years, who is now trying to erase his past here in Idaho.

    http://may-chang.com/?p=619 Scroll down for a story link list.

    Thanks for helping to expose this hate monger!

  • Fuzzy Thomson

    Some of you people are just stupid. You just love to hate. If a Southern Baptist ran into an abortion clinic and killed 13 people you would want every Baptist french fried, but you give this blessed muslim a hero’s break. When will you hate fellows realize who the enemy is. Those people want you and me dead. The Baptist want you and me to live…. Think about it….

  • Samantha

    Immigrants are what made our country what it is. I love the melting pot that we have. The actions of few do not reflect the feelings of many. Are all Christians like Fred Phelps?

  • Liam

    In the 70 & 80′s military I was assigned to be a Jewish Layleader. “Oh and while your’re at it can you also be the command point of contact for all of those other non-Christian religions? Jews, Hindus, Sikkhs and Arabs.
    We all came together over dietary laws. Too much pork.

  • http://www.scottgordon.co.cr Scott Gordon

    Everyone seems to have missed that this guy was a psychiatrist. Probably taking his own meds – meds known for suicidal and homicidal ideation. Black-label psychiatric medications aside, psychiatrists are not known for their own mental stability or integrity. The surprise is that finally a psychiatrist did the carnage himself instead of sending one of their own patients out to go berserk with a weapon out in public. The fact he was muslim and chanting extremist rhetoric is beside the point. This is a dangerous profession with a shocking rate – well over and above that of any other profession – of fraud, divorce, suicide, and violent criminal consequences following psychiatric “treatment”. It would be good to see the finger pointed at the real source of the problem – another cynical shrink with one too many combat stress patients he had no way, or maybe even no desire, to help – but a lot of people are unfortunately going to focus on his race/religion.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ruralpotter Potter

    I must add that Carter is absolutely correct in his/her assessment that Muslims must police themselves, as must Christians. I have stated this before on the SPLC posts, but it bears repeating. If a member of your religious group does something that you disagree with that is either heinous (such as these shootings) or simply hateful (like protesting funerals) it is YOUR responsibility to speak up in protest. Why is it your responsibility? Because if you by choice associate with any group (religious, civic, political, etc.) and you don’t speak out when a member of your group does wrong; the message to those outside the group is that you agree. Is it fair? No, but it is the way it is.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ruralpotter Potter

    I and my family were terrorized and victimized by Christians, who committed crimes against us because we/I wasn’t a Christian. Their religious bias was the motivation for their crime.
    Christians commit crazy and often violent crimes. Sometimes their religious beliefs even fuel their crimes. This is true whether it is vandalism, shooting abortion doctors or drowning your child to remove the demons from her. Despite the fact that Christians are inspired by their religion to commit crimes, they still are in the minority of Christians. The same is true of Muslims.

  • Emmett

    So this is the issue here, whether or not Muslim immigrants are loyal to our country, and can be trusted. I do know (from my personal experiences) how the more devout Muslims are, the more they take Quran’s teachings seriously. As far as the “more devout the Muslim, the more he lies to you through his teeth” remark, I would like to refer to Quran, verses 2:225:

    Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts.

    That means, on the outside, the Muslim can swear his loyalty to the United States (or any other civilized Western nation that he came to). But but in his heart, he can be plotting jihad, or the Islamic holy war against non-Muslims. And while we’re on the subject, an interesting question has been discussed on islam-qa.com, a popular website amongst Muslim immigrants which addresses various religious and moral issues for them:

    http://islam-qa.com/en/ref/3885/military

    “…it may be advantageous for Muslims to work in these (meaning American or NATO) armies so as to learn their secrets..”

    Now I remember SPLC howling and moaning about how neo-Nazis are encouraging their followers to join U.S Army in order to prepare themselves to wage the RaHoWa. Strangely enough, they are absolutely silent about a well known Islamic website telling Muslims to join the U.S army, so that they too would be able to wage their own Holy War. The Islamic Holy War, that is. And although the Ft Hood massacre occurred on November 5, not even a single mention has been given about it on “Hate Watch” until today. And even then it wasn’t about the fact that Nidal Malik Hasan was shouting “Allahu Akbar!!” as he shot his fellow soldiers. Nor the fact that Hasan has been noted by the federal authorities for his ramblings on the Internet 6 monts earlier, supporting the Islamic terrorists. No, SPLC reported about it only when someone called this tragedy for what it was: an Islamic terrorism. Islamic terrorism perpetrated by a Muslim man, inspired by his Muslim beliefs, who had done it all in the name of Islam. But then again, if Nidal Malik Hassan was a Baptist or a Lutheran and had he shouted “The Power of Christ Compels You!!!” before opening fire, the incident would be all over the SPLC’s webpage.

  • Dr. David K Minton

    It is not Islam but a group of RADICAL Islamists who misinterpret the teachings of the religion who iare at war with not only the west but also anyone who fails to agree with them. Speaking to you Radical Christians: “does this sound familiar to you?” Your behavior is analgous to their’s. How can anyone even think of violating Constitutional and Human Rights so blatently? Iguess”It takes one to know one!!!”

  • JoeBuddha

    …thoroughly investigate the mosques…

    Sounds good to me. While we’re at it, I think we should thoroughly investigate the churches, especially the ones who are violently anti-abortion. After all, aren’t these the people aiding and abetting the terrorists who are shooting law-abiding doctors in their homes and places of worship? Sounds like a clash of values to me. Oh, and wasn’t Timothy McVeigh a Christian? These Christian guys are dangerous people; maybe we need some kind of registry! Look at the hateful, hateful anti-gay rhetoric, some of which must have lead to beatings and even murder! Talk about advocating terror!!!

  • Caryn

    This article has infuriated me to the fullest extent. There are no legal grounds for the U.S. Military to discriminate and ban a certain religious faith from enlisting. True, what happened on 9/11 and at Ft. Hood were horrific examples of how having a deep religious faith can persuade a person or groups to act violently. I do not in any way condone any violent acts, but to ban someone from protecting the country which they live in because radicals in their faith have acted out? Unbelievable. If there is a threat in the U.S. Military which could undermine the standards of our troops, then ban all pedophiles, rapists, White Supremacists, and alike. There are several groups of people out there who do not agree with American ideals, but I do not consider using a persons faith to be the primary reason for excluding them from an honor such as serving in the United State Armed Forces. It is completely unconstitutional and discriminatory for Muslims (or any other group, such as homosexuals) to be banned from joining up. The AFA should be ashamed of their actions and should understand that the United States is a welcoming country to anyone who legally wants to become an American citizen. This hatred against Muslims is behaving in the exact manner in which the 9/11 hi-jackers hated Americans for their faiths. This country was founded upon the concept of religion and open worship. It would be an insult to American History and heritage to exclude people or persons strictly based upon their faith.

  • Kate De Braose

    Joe, it is the Pentagon that is, or has been, at war with almost every other country. Just look up the huge numbers of wars this nation has already fought, beginning in which years and for how long. It will be an eye-opener.

  • Ana

    Joe and Chris make good points.

  • http://snarla.wordpress.com Snarla

    They should also be sure not to allow Muslims in the NBA or the NFL.

  • Chris

    The Ft. Hood shootings bring up a point of contention about Islam regarding its status. Is it just a religion, or is it more than that – an ideology whose basic tenets stand diametrically opposed to our western democratic ideals?
    One thing is for certain. It’s been said elsewhere and bears repeating:
    Islam is not a race.
    If, when looking at Islam and its doctrine, we decide that parts of it are troubling, we are not being racist by speaking out about it. Mikey Weinstein’s comment that the AFA’s belief that Muslims be barred from the US Military is a racist sentiment is wrong. Bigoted against Muslims in the context of serving in our military? Yes.
    Racist? No.
    As such, Weinstein’s comments could have been limited to stating the objective truth, that the 14th Amendment would be violated. It’s impossible by the article above to determine that anyone in the AFA is a racist, but Weinstein certainly implies it in his comment. Maybe he knows something we don’t.

  • Joe

    “[But] to hold the entire Muslim community in America hostage to one terrible incident does not respect Islam and the rights of Muslims to be full citizens in this country.”

    It is not one incident Cole, but one after the other after the other ad infinitum.

    Islam is at war with the West, it is about time we recognized it.

    We may not be able to stop enlistment, but we could legally stop immigration, thoroughly investigate the mosques and many other things.

  • Troy Lynn Hamzy

    My step grandfather was Lebonese. He came to America in the late 50s and bought american suits and tried to blend in. Over the years he became a respected pillar of the community, and quite profitable in real estate, building life long business partnerships and friendships in his home town. I hate to think that all of his trying to be an American and fit into society has all gone to waste. His relatives from Lebanon would visit occassionally. They were very nice and kind people. I’m glad that I had that experience, to experience another culture blending into the melting pot. I hope that we will learn to respect our immigrants from the middle east and realize that they just want what everyone wants. To be treated fairly and given the ability to freely run their lives, unharrassed. Thanks for all of the good work you do.

  • Carter

    Damn these idiots to Hell!
    Substitute the 1930′s for today Germany for the USA and Jews for Muslims and you get -

    “No matter, because “the more devout a Muslim is, the more likely he is to lie to you through his teeth,”

    I don’t want to be misinterpreted either; this piece of garbage (the killer) SHOULD have been cashiered from the military when he started in on his pathological diatribe on how this country is a monster and wants to kill all Islamic peoples, etc. That is not only untrue but is such a “red flag” that I am shocked that the military didn’t do something fast!
    Sorry; I just don’t buy into the polar end of this discussion either! The non-Islamic peoples of this country are NOT monsters!

    But actions of single individuals do NOT model the actions of a defined group: any free thinking person knows that. Islamic peoples should not bear as a burden any more than they already have… They DO need to condemn the psychos that claim to represent their religion. And IF they have trepidation about doing so for fear that they MAY become targets themselves….ALL the more reason to speak LOUDER in condemnation. -As those who speak up will become more than martyrs for Truth and Justice – but they will become Blessed by generations to come.

  • stella

    By that logic all men should be kept out of society because they might rape someone. After all the men have not invented a rapist detector to tell us which ones are rapists and which ones are not. Maybe all catholic clergy should be kept away from children until they invent a molesting priest detector. Maybe no one should ever be allowed to go shopping again until we can invent a shoplifter detector. after all anyone can be shoplifter. These people seem to have no brains and no logic. They would absolutely die if they were held to their own hypocritical standards.

  • beholder

    War is such a decent and moral enterprise, such a loving family atmosphere, so nurturing and neighborly, so kind and forgiving, so holy, really, that I am certain the AFA has a valid point about Christians being much better qualified than Muslims to do it.