The right to free speech is one of our most important rights. Curtailing it for any
reason is dangerous. That being said, when one exercises this right, you must
realize that people may react or over react to what you say.
The attack in Texas, though foiled, was obviously a deplorable reaction to people
exercising their right to free speech but, can you really be surprised by this reaction ?
This anti-Muslim event had nothing to do with free speech. It was an obvious attempt
to inflame and incite a response. I guess they succeeded in that. For those who were
angered or surprised by the response, consider the response you might get if you had an event showing Jesus engaged in homosexual sex or goose stepped through Tel Aviv wearing a swastika or paraded through a black neighborhood wearing KKK robes.
You have the right to display your bigotry and racism but don’t portray yourself as an innocent victim when you intentionally provoke a violent response.
It is a shame that the only reaction to this event was two violent men rather than thousands of peaceful demonstrators of all faiths,expressing their disgust at what the people who ran this event stand for.
May 5, 2015 by Bruce Kimball, a frequent contributor to 121Contact.
"In Texas, police have shot and killed two men they say opened fire outside an anti-Islam event in the city of Garland, wounding a security officer. The event, organized by Pamela Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, included a contest for drawing the best caricature of the Prophet Muhammad." Democracy Now
We saw the atrocities committed by a handful of soldiers in Abu Ghraib, but we did not look at the other 5, larger, torture camps. We didn’t even bother to see the routine torture in that very prison.
We read reports of success as we beat back the resistance, and then Al Qaeda, but we did not see the inflicted on innocent civilians as we ‘won the war on terror’. Yes, millions were displaced, over a million innocents were killed. Uncounted numbers maimed and subjected to prolonged trauma. The orphans, the widows…occupied very little of our media as the occupation rolled on for years.
And now it’s déjà vu. Yes, all over again as we read about the successes against IS, the retaking of Ramadi:
“Kurdish PUK and Peshmerga forces kill 35 ISIS militants, liberate two villages in Kirkuk”
“Iraqi forces kill 77 terrorists, dismantle 114 IEDs in Karma”
“Iraqi forces kill 50 ISIS fighters and regain control over most of Baiji refinery”
“Baiji siege on Iraqi troops lifted”
“Anbar’s Deputy Governor confirms full government control over Ramadi’s center and entrances”
“130 ISIS elements killed, sleeper cells found in Tikrit”
But we are not hearing much about the innocent civilians caught in the maelstrom of such ‘victories’ because the military truth is not the whole truth.
The view from the people who live, lived, and died as Iraq’s government tried to cleanse areas of IS fighters is quite different. Those who were able to flee the crush of conflict are now homeless, wandering, refugees in their own country. Most of those who stayed were demolished or demoted to that ‘zombic’ status of temporary survivor. Some few found reason in joining forces with one of the battling groups.
There are no numbers yet. No statistics to count and compare. What speaks for the victims of victory is the only the anecdotal record in phone calls, twitter and Viber and Face Book postings, and the occasional media piece.
The two truths are not contradictory, but one is hidden.
ISIS at one hand and Maliki’s militias at the other (Yes, once-friend Maliki has been named head of the government sanctioned Shi’a militias), and don't forget the collateral damage from citizen’s defense groups. The life of Iraqis in many areas of the country is one of constant trauma.
The resilience of the ICSSI, the civil society movement, continues to march on with a broad set of active programs that are changing, albeit slowly, the tenor of life in the besieged nation. Dedicated and brave, with support of international organizations, the ICSSI maintains a strict policy of non-violence in its efforts to build another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.
And the people. Let’s not forget that combatants are a small percentage of Iraqi citizens. The vast majority are peace loving civilians seeking, like us, an existence of non-violence, security, and a vision of a better future. Their resilience is marked by the young who still struggle, amidst the horrors, to get educated and live a forward looking life. They are the bright manifestations of the human spirit.
He came home from high school bloodied. He had been bullied before, but this was the first violence. They called him IS; they called him Sunni dog. They beat him, and he ran home to tell his mom of what happened.
She had left Mosul after her husband was killed by IS fighters. He was part of a Sunni Militia fighting to rid the city of the invaders. Resettled in a shared house in Baghdad, she had enrolled her son in what she thought was a good high school. Hard times, but hopefully the start of a new life in the city she was born in.
Mom went to the school and got an appointment with the principal. When she was seated in the office the head of the school cut off her questions with some of her own. The interview was extremely short.
“Where are you from?”
“I came from Mosul when my husband was killed.”
“Are you Sunni?”
“Then you should take your terrorist son from the school.”
“But he is…”
“Just take him and your Sunni self away from here. There is not a place here for him, or for you. Just go.”
“Just go before I have to call security. Go. Now.”
She left, and as she tearfully told the story she recalled the happy times she had spent in that very school.
Some date the modern Sunni-Shi’a divide in Iraq to the IS (then dubbed ISIS) attack on the Al-Askari Mosque in Samarra, Iraq. The February 2, 2006 attack began with four men shooting the guards before detonating their suicide bombs. A ‘Grad’ rocket was then fired into the Masjid. Tens were killed. That IS would attack a Shi’a shrine is no surprise. Neither is it surprising that the attack would be part of the fuel igniting the Sunni-Shi’a divide that has now become pervasive in Iraq.
For many, the identity ‘Iraqi’ holds less meaning than the affiliation one holds to a religion or tribe. The fabric of the nation has dissolved.
“Every day when we go to the Masjid, especially on Fridays after the Hutbah, we we see 20s, 30s, 40s of women and children from Ramadi, Fallujah…begging. Most of them are women and children living I abandoned buildings with cardboard for windows. Each family to a room. One of the families lives under a tree…there’s no room for them. And today it is very cold in Baghdad. Some of them are very young, very young, who ISIS killed their husbands.
A young women came to the house to beg. She was so pretty, so beautiful. She looked liked from a good family. She told us she was from Heet, near Fallujah, Anbar. They killed her family and threw her from the house. Now she begs at my door.”
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The bumbling, fumbling saga of the America’s inability to bring Guantanamo prisoners to trial continues to fuel terrorist propaganda. The latest jihadi video, "A Message for American People about Killing American Hostage in Yemen," holds President Barack Obama accountable for the killing of American hostage Luke Somers and South African hostage Pierre Korkie. The video speaks of Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo and goes on to say, "Will your people dream of safety and our Ummah is in this situation? By Allah, no…”
One month after Jihadists publish a call for attacking American police officers a man named Thompson wields an axe and does just that. Was he motivated by it? Was he radicalized by it? Or did he merely find a convenient outlet that justified the psychopathic urges already rising within?
The jihadi essay "To 2.6M Muslims in USA: A Call to Arms to Defend Islam and Avenge the Slaughter of Muslims," which was distributed in Arabic and English on September 16, 2014, and in which its author wrote: "Even though just about every American man and many women are lawful targets you're well advised to pick your targets for maximum impact. For example, the impact of killing Joe Blow down the street is not the same as killing police officer Johnny Smith. Because the cost associated with the process of recruiting, training, preparing and outfitting Johnny for the job before putting him on the street is significant. So there is a significant economical impact resulting from eliminating Johnny in addition to the impact of loss of his life on his family and friends. There is also a very important icing on the cake, too. Knocking off a police, military or any other law enforcement officer sends a chilling message to the so called "civilians" and fill their hearts with consternation." [SITE]
The simplistic ‘explanation’ is clear: Islam is to blame, and Thompson received his orders from Jihadi Central. It’s so easy to put the cart before the horse...and, wait a minute: maybe there's no horse at all.
The NYC Police Department described Thompson as 'self-radicalized.' He had evidently browsed al-Qaeda web sites and watched beheadings. The media, as usual, jumped on the terrorist theme and built stories characterising Thompson as a "radicalized Muslim", with "Islamist extremist leanings" despite lack of evidence.
His Black Power anti-American feelings were rarely mentioned. In fact his postings were more anti-government, anti-Western, and anti-white than pro-ISIS or any such Islamist ranting.
Simplistic answers sell newspapers and thrill viewers but they don't really help us understand, or educate.