Thursday, 19 August 2010 13:29 OPP HQ
Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South did not become the scourge of modern history
because of the evil of those who pushed for those things. It was because of the
inaction and cowardice of good people who did nothing, as the saying generally goes.
It was one thing when ardent hatemongers like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer were
organizing rallies to oppose the Islamic Center in New York City. It became quite
another when the Anti-Defamation League joined these idiots and their lunacy. Now we
hear of a rally on Sept. 11 in New York that is going to include full-on racists
like Andrew Breitbart and Dutch politician Geert Wilders, And on that same day in
Gainsville, FL a church called the Dove World Outreach Center - which by the way has
ties to Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church - is otherwise getting support
for its "Burn the Koran Day" (they were denied a permit to burn, but they are going
to do it anyway in face of a fine that could be imposed). These are the people who
tell everyone that the rest of us that we should be sensitive to the families of
those who died on Sept. 11, but what do they know about sensitivity and respect to
begin with. After all, these are also the same people who cannot extend the respect
they demand of us to themselves and NOT hold one of their teabagging rallies on the
steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I
Have a Dream Speech". Well, they got our attention, and New Yorkers are coming out
to oppose this sick hatemongering. If you are in New York City on Saturday, we will
be out to tell all the Islamophobes that they will only go but so far with this.
Perhaps the mainstream media might want to ignore your bigotry, but society won't.
Ask Dr. Laura.
New York Indymedia
Say No to Islamophobia!
Defend Mosques and Community Centers!
The Fight for Peace and Social Justice Requires Defense of All Under Attack!
There has been an explosion of racist attacks, verbal and physical, on masjids
(mosques), proposed masjids, and Islamic community centers around the US. In
episodes reminiscent of Kristallnacht, the Nazi destruction of Jewish synagogues and
businesses, masjids have been picketed and vandalized and obscenities shouted at
On September 11th the Tea Party and its allies plan to demonstrate at the site of
the proposed Islamic masjid and community center in lower Manhattan. On the same
day, Christian fundamentalists plan a "Burn the Quran" day at a Florida masjid.
Like Hitler before them, these bigots whip up hatred against a religious minority in
the midst of an economic crisis. They want to divert popular anger away from the
banks and corporations who rob millions of their jobs and homes. Hitler did not only
target Jews, and the Tea Party bigots do not only target Muslims. They aim to build
a fascist movement against all people of color, immigrants, union members, against
the civil and human rights of all. They must be stopped!
The Islamophobes also want to justify the murderous stream of bombs and missiles the
Pentagon rains on the people of Islamic lands in wars that feed corporate
contractors at the expense of our schools, hospitals, subways and communities. They
want to justify continued U.S. funding of Israeli apartheid and a U.S.-Israeli
attack on Iran.
The Anti-Defamation League, part of the pro-Israel lobby, has allied publicly with
this wave of Islamophobia, whose promoters explicitly advocate violence and even
genocide. But even mainstream figures who defend some masjids and some Muslim rights
on civil liberties grounds helped create a political and social climate that breeds
After 9/11 the government and media launched a witch-hunt against Muslims and Arabs,
encouraging individual violent attacks. Even before 9/11, demonization was used to
justify support for Israel's wars and U.S. efforts to control Arab and Iranian oil.
Since 9/11, as part of the bipartisan "war on terror," tens of thousands of Muslim
men were fingerprinted, questioned and registered. Hundreds were detained with no
regard to their constitutional rights, often abused and tortured, in a campaign of
preemptive prosecution mirroring the practices in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and
overseas secret detention centers.
Masjids have been subject to FBI and police surveillance, infiltration and
intimidation. We are told that Muslims must be presumed guilty of "terrorism" until
proven innocent -- then denied the chance to prove their innocence. The government
and media demand hypocritically that "moderate" Muslims denounce and inform on
The Obama administration claims to support the right of the Cordoba Initiative to
build the lower Manhattan masjid/center but fuels Islamophobia with the wars in
Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a stepped-up campaign of extra-judicial
These attacks occur for one fundamental reason: To intimidate those who would oppose
Washington's wars abroad and growing economic misery at home.
The government demonizes those who oppose its wars and its support for Israeli
apartheid and aggression. It seeks to prepare public sentiment for a US and/or
Israeli attack on Iran.
Attacks on Muslims and Arabs mirror the labeling of war opponents as "supporters of
terrorism" during US wars in Central America and Vietnam, and the persecution is
carried out in the spirit of the round-ups of Japanese-Americans during World War
Islamophobia also serves to split potential allies in the fight against the
deepening economic crisis. The attacks parallel the persecution and
terrorist-baiting of unionists and radicals during previous depressions, as well as
of fighters for the freedom of Black, Latin@ and other peoples of color who suffered
the worst impact of such crises.
The attacks on Muslims parallel the scapegoating of mostly Latin@ undocumented
workers, whose labor is key to the economy but whose status is used to pit workers
against each other.
This understanding of the roots of Islamophobia and the resulting attacks impels us
to mobilize and speak out whenever there is an attack on any Muslim individual or
institution and call on our allies in every social movement to do the same.
*End the attacks on masjids and Islamic community centers. Stop the government and
media witch-hunt that sparks such attacks.
*End "preemptive" prosecutions and entrapment by government informants.
*Close Guantanamo, US prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the CIA's secret
detention centers. Free all Arab and Muslim political prisoners at home and abroad.
*End all attacks on immigrant communities, including racial and religious profiling,
harassment, detentions, and deportations.
*Stop US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. End all US aid to Israel. No war or
sanctions against Iran.
*Redirect the trillions of dollars from war to funds for jobs, education,
healthcare, and humanitarian relief, at home and abroad.
Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
American Iranian Friendship Committee
Council on American-Islamic Relations-Connecticut (CAIR-CT)
Creative Nonviolent Resistance against Injustice (CNRI)
Delaware Valley Veterans For America, Philadelphia
DRUM - Desis Rising Up and Moving
Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
International Action Center
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Justice and Peace in Palestine Alliance (JAPPA), Albany
Labor For Palestine
Minnesota Anti-War Committee
NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophobia
New York City Labor Against the War
Palestine Rights Committee, Albany
Palestine Solidarity Caucus of the United National Antiwar Committee
Women Against Military Maddness (Minnesota)
Women in Black Westchester
Women of a Certain Age
Individuals (organizational affiliations for identification purposes only):
Shamshad Ahmad, President, Masjid As-Salam, Albany, NY
Laurie Arbeiter, A.R.T. (Activist Response Team)
Tom Bias, President, Northwest New Jersey Peace Fellowship
Farid Bitar, Gaza Freedom March
Rick Congress, Gaza Freedom March
Paul D'Amato, International Socialist Review
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Professor, Yale University School of Art
Hedy Epstein, Women in Black, St. Louis, MO & St. Louis Free Gaza Movement
Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Executive Director, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
Carol Gay, NJ Labor Against War
Mike Gimbel, Chair, Labor/Community Unity Committee, Local 375, AFSCME
Marty Goodman, Transport Workers Union Local 100
Stephen Gross, Texas State University
Stanley Heller, host of "The Struggle" TV News
Marissa Janczewska, Central Connecticut State University
David Judd, International Socialist Organization
Fadi Kanaan, JAPPA-Albany
Roberta Koffman, UJP Palestine Task Force -Boston
Jim Lafferty, Director, National Lawyers Guild-Los Angeles
Cecelia Lavan, OP, Women in Black Westchester
Nydia Leaf, New York, NY
James Marc Leas, Co-chair, Free Palestine Subcommittee of the National Lawyers Guild
Roger Leisner, Radio Free Maine
David Letwin, Al Awda-NY; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Michael Letwin, Labor for Palestine
Marilyn Levin, New England United
Dennis Loh, MD, Creative Nonviolent Resistance against Injustice (CNRI)
Joe Lombardo, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace
Priscilla Lynch, Western Mass Code Pink
Jeff Mackler, Co-National Coordinator, National Assembly to End US Wars and Occupations
Richard J. Marini, NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophbia
Dr. Jeff Meisner
Laura Myerson, Cortlandt Manor, NY
Abu Nazem, Delmar, NY
Mark Ostapiak, National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations
Bill Perry, Delaware Valley Veterans For America, Philadelphia
Marlon Pierre-Antoine, Socialist Action
Terry Phelan, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace
Joan Pleune, Granny Peace Brigade
Sarah Roche-Mahdi, Code Pink
Cinthya M Saavedra
Dr. Moses Seenarine
Frank Siwiec, Bernardsville, NJ
Tom Sposato Brad Taylor
Andy Thayer, Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism
Will Thomas, NH Veterans for Peace
Gale Courey Toensing, Middle East Crisis Committee
Phil Wilayto, Editor, The Virginia Defender
Sarah Wellington, A.R.T.
Kevin Young, SUNY-Stony Brook