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we don't serve your kind in here

I am disgusted with my neighbors.

When I speak about Muslims and facetiously refer to the Religion of Peace on this site, it's obvious that I am talking about extremist Muslims; the militants who kill in the name of their god, the terrorists who have taken a religion and turned it into a rallying cry for death.

I've defended American Muslims here. I know quite a few; my daughter is friends with several American Muslims. I do not believe those that live in my community are terrorists or extremists. True, I sometimes take them to task for remaining silent in the face of people co-opting their religion for the sake of violence, but I do not for one minute resent the fact that any of them live here.

There was a meeting Tuesday night at the local library regarding a small mosque and school that local Muslims want to build where two rather large houses now exist. The members of the community who asked for the meeting claimed that their opposition to the construction of the mosque and school revolves around parking and traffic, and the quaility of life in the neighborhood.

The voices raised at the meeting proved otherwise.

A few East Meadow residents at the Tuesday meeting protested in moderate tones about the society's planned expansion and its tax-exempt religious status, which they said forces them to pay more than their fair share of property taxes.

But most of the meeting consisted of a barrage of angry shouts and anti-Muslim jeers directed at Rahman, his architect Hossein Alemzadeh, and his lawyer, Peter Morra. Meeting moderator Joseph Parisi, who heads the civic group, banged a gavel again and again, and shouted the audience down, to maintain order.

"Go park in Bangladesh!" one man shouted.

Some said they oppose the mosque because it would attract more Muslims to East Meadow, and they don't like Muslims, especially after last year's Sept. 11 attacks.

"A lot of people died in the name of your god. We don't kill in the name of our god," said Michelle Caio of East Meadow. About half those present cheered Caio's comments, while the rest shouted disagreement, to which she answered: "You don't want to admit it, but that's the issue. Parking's not the issue," Caio said to her neighbors. "I'm against building a mosque in the town I live in. I do not think this is the time after what happened last year."

Gina Caio, Michelle's cousin, also spoke. "We obviously don't want you here," she told Rahman. "Why would you want to be in a community that doesn't want you?"

The term "Ugly Americans" comes to mind. This is how gaps widen and this is why wars wage. Not all Muslims follow the same path as their terrorist counterparts; my angry neighbors would be wise to find other ways to voice their opinions so as not to make themselves appear to be ignorant, though it's too late for that.

When blind hatred permeates a person, there is no reasoning with them. I won't even try to speak to my neighbors about this because they are at that place where there is no turning back; they've committed themselves to blanket judgment and you cannot debate or argue successfully with people like that.

It's not so much their feelings but the way they express them that sickens me. There were so many other ways to say what they did, but they chose the path of bigoted name calling.

Just another answer to the why do they hate us question.

Comments

I am sorry to hear what transpired Michele... It is sad to know that we let our fear, ignorance cloud our better judgements.

I don't know why but this statement angers me "A lot of people died in the name of your god. We don't kill in the name of our god," said Michelle Caio of East Meadow. It is an ignorant statement made with no backing. There are very few faiths that can lay claim to that fact. Christianity [I am assuming that is the religion to which she is referring too, please correct me if I am wrong] is not one of those religions. The word crusades, inquisition rings too strongly in my head.

It's the ignorance that gets to me.

Pardon me, Ms. Caio, but unless you're Buddhist or Hindu or anything other than Jewish, Christian or Muslim, IT IS THE SAME GOD! Different name. Same God.

Of course, I shouldn't be to hard on her. It's the same ignorance that's kept Jews, Christians and Muslims (not to mention all the different flavors of Christians) killing each other for centuries.

This kind of verbal reaction is prelude to violent direct action; it's what I have been fearing for a long time. One more large attack on US soil and we will see movement from verbal to actual violence. So far, hate crimes against Muslims have increased moderately (though large in percentage terms) and they remain fifth of the five main hate crime target groups. I fear we are on the verge of seeing Muslims move from fifth to first place.

In large part, I blame our leadership, especially Bush, for failing to correctly identify the enemy. It's insane, of course, to label all Muslims with the terrorist brush; it's equally insane to label all Muslims with the "Religion of Peace [RoP]" brush.

Saying that we have a "War on Terrorism [WoT]" is nonsense; terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy. This WoT dodge is used by Bush and others to avoid identifying the real enemy as radical Wahabi-style Islamofascism. I think the Bush administration approach reflects both Saudi-philia and disdain for the American people. They seem to assume we cannont grasp these nuances.

What's ironic and sad about the Bush RoP approach is that it will almost certainly backfire and lead to a horrendous backlash against all Muslims willy nilly.

We don't kill in the name of our god

one word. belfast.

I think it's truly sad that this happens in a country that was largely founded so that its citizens might have religious freedom. As for blaming this on Bush, how would that meeting have gone if he was more specific in his talk about Islam?

The very same. These people sound like no amount of "leadership" would alter their base opinions. Such ignorance and bigotry are not caused, or cured, by whomever may sit in the Oval Office.

These bad neighbours of yours are the spiritual brothers of those Palestinian fucks that celebrated 9/11.

If all you do is hate, you turn into what you hate.

I have nothing to add to these great comments except that things like this scare me so much.

Were you at the meeting, Michele?

It is truly sad that so many have given in to the ignorance and hatred. It is always easier to demonize something you fear and refuse to try to understand.

This is a country that has always celebrated diversity- unless THEY are different from you. We talk diversity, but what we really want is for others to walk, talk, and believe as we do.

Sometimes, Ignorance and Hatred really ARE what it's all about. How sad.

I had no idea this meeting was even taking place, or I would have gone.

The thing is, they really could make an issue out of the parking and the traffic; it is a semi residential area and the two lane street the houses are situated on is already clogged with traffic 24 hours a day. There will be almost zero space for parking, meaning the worshipers will be parking in front of resident's houses.

If the meeting had stuck to that issue, I would have had no problem with it. It was not necessary to bring bigotry and hatred into it.

i've only just started posting here but there are things here that are important to say.

michele, it's your words that strike this chord. You say that you 'sometimes take these people to task for not speaking up...'

this is a very telling point. What you're saying is, the same people who will not speak out against the terrorists--and the faith they espouse(or their version of it) want to build a new mosque in your neighborhood.

They, living in New York, refuse to condemn those who attacked New York.

Perhaps your neighbors anger was rude, but was it totally unwarranted?

And, is equating this with the wholesale murder commited by the people your local muslims refuse to condemn really fair? Are not angry voices preferable to armed mobs?

Is not an argument, however heated it might get preferable to the bodycount that usually vrops up when islamicists don't get their way?

Is saying we don't want to aid people who refuse to condemn terrorism wrong?

Well said, Michele!

As a matter of fact, I'll make my first stop on my Nov. 29th spending spree the local convenience store run by a handful of VERY hard working, friendly and utterly American Muslims. It's not much, but at least I get to do my little part in showing them that they ARE wanted.

And don't get me wrong, if I ever caught them planning or supporting acts of terrorism, I would gleefully put a .45 ACP right between their eyes but, until then, let's at least TRY to maintain our ideal of "innocent until proven guilty", shall we?

Another disturbing aspect of the meeting, as I read it, outside of the reprehensible bigotry, is that those bigots actually hyjacked the zoning argument where now no one can oppose the construction of a quasi business building in a residential area.

More than a couple of years ago, my neighborhood underwent a similar discussion, obviously prior to 9/11. The Muslims proposing their mosque and school in a residential area not only rejected the questioning of the people due to concerns about traffic, but publically declared those in opposition as being bigots. ANY opposition was aggressively portrayed as anti-Muslim.

An aside to Dean, where were you when GW et al were forthrightly declaring that most Muslims were not the Islamofascists we are at war with? Indeed, I'd say CAIR has had undue influence by their very aggressive nature in getting Bowlderized any references to the RELIGIOUS nature of this conflict.

Darleen:

Islamofascists was not Pres. Bush's word. What I'm critical of is the confusing messages we hear from GWB. War on Terrorism nonsense, Saudi's are our great friends, Religion of Peace. I have not heard it spelled out exactly who is the enemy other than "terrorists". I wish GWB would talk about specific death cults such as Wahabbism, Bin Ladenism, Baathism, etc. instead of euphemisms.

You ask the wrong question, Michele. Instead of "Why do they hate us?" ask "Why do we hate them?"

How often have your Muslim neighbors condemned Islamonazis blowing up Jewish kids? My bet is they haven't. I had an acquaintance back in the early '90's that was Palestinian, and I still recall the anti-Semitism that underlay her every comment about Israel.

Would you support the Ku Klux Klan if it tried to set up a Klavern in your community?

After the events of the last year, many of us look at the "Religion of Peace" in the same way we look at the "Invisible Empire".

And if the good Muslims want us to look at them as different than the evil Muslims, they first need to condemn them. Saying that we should understand why an Islamokazi blew himself up to kill a bunch of Jewish kids just doesn't cut it.

As long as the mainstream Muslims remain mute on the Islamokazi bombers targeting civillians (and, especially children), Islam will remain the equivilent of the KKK. Indeed, the time to distance themselves is running short.

Hi, Dean,

I agree that some of the warnings from within the Beltway have been too generic...ie terrorists... and the underlying raisen d'etre of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas, etc, has been sorely missing. But is it the fault of the administration, or are they being overly timid about discussing the religious roots of the hatred in an effort to be "even handed?" The New York times in "reporting" about the riots in Nigeria blamed it on "chaos"...as if Muslims and Christians were equally to blame for the death and destruction over an innocuous statement in a newspaper article.

I am so friggin' tired of political correctness!

We don't kill in the name of our god? How about adding abortion providing doctors to the list?

I could actually imagine my mother uttering drivel like the anti-mosque faction. If memory serves, the only reason she welcomed a Mormon church in the vacant property behing my childhood home was the fact the one of the alternatives was possibly, gasp multifamily homes disturbing the suburban tranquility.

I shouldn't be, but I'm still constantly amazed by the sheer amount of willful ignorance and bigotry that is floating around out there.

Why do American Muslims have to "openly condemn" terrorism? Who is to say they haven't already? Why do they need to be "spokespeople" for what a pack of assholes on the other side of the world do?

Belfast, the Crusades, and abortion clinics (mentioned above) are some great examples of Christianity's shining moments of killing for "our" God.

If there's a religion out there, then there's bound to be a fanatic in there willing to "Kill for his God".

Well, e, the Muslims MUST condemn the evil among them for the same reason I would expect you, me or anyone else to speak ill of the evil they see. I would think that they should want to distance themselves from the lunatics, and I have concern and a sincere lack of trust for Muslims at this point for their utter failure to denounce their radical brethren. If my family were a bunch of murderous jackals I would be shouting "FUCK THEM" from the rooftop, not presuming that everyone should magically assume that I am smart, decent or sane enough to feel that way.
And that is also my concern with Michelle's response to the meeting: I tend to agree more with Iron Fist et al, that it is MANDATORY that Islam/Muslims loudly, forcefully and persuasively start taking a much more aggressive stand against the fucks among them. They have to, it is their responsibility. Out here in Portland, Oregon, the local Muslim community has either been defensive or silent in the media. Well, that's fine, but I don't want a mosque in my neighborhood if that is THEIR attitude...

I think the real question here is property rights. Why can't the RoP just buy the land and build? This zoning law crap...if there are enough people opposed to a mosque (BTW I think there is justification there)...then they should buy up the land and stop them that way. But hiding behind zoning laws is BS. In any case, everyone can keep an eye on the mosqe next door...it's the ones in Saudi that I'm really worried about...

One person's FREEDOM is anothers' OPPRESSION. RESPECT that and there will be PEACE!

Messing with others beewax will get you sung!

Peace!

One person's FREEDOM is anothers' OPPRESSION. RESPECT that and there will be PEACE!

Messing with other's beewax will get you stung!

Peace!