Archive for the ‘Obama administration and Islam’ category

Outrageous Unconstitutional Intimidation of Private Citizens Who Opposed Mosque Project; Thomas More Law Center Steps In

March 30, 2017

Outrageous Unconstitutional Intimidation of Private Citizens Who Opposed Mosque Project; Thomas More Law Center Steps In, Thomas More Law Center, March 28, 2017

(The township’s press release referenced in the last paragraph is dated November 18, 2016. The lawsuit had been filed on March 10th and, four days later, the Department of Justice “notified the Township that the DOJ was going to investigate the ISBR allegations.” The press release also states,

The private lawsuit and Plaintiffs’ issuance of punitive subpoenas on private citizens merely for participating in the land use process raise further Constitutional issues of free speech and privacy concerns. These invasive probes went so far as to require documents sufficient to show endorsements of, donations to, or associations with political campaigns from the local to the national level.

Among various concerns, we anticipate that the actions of the DOJ and Plaintiffs may well dissuade residents from participating in future land use hearings for fear of retribution from an applicant and the government.

Eight months after the suit was filed, the DOJ filed its own suit against the township. The DOJ should ask the court to dismiss the suit filed on its behalf and that filed by the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge. — DM)

ANN ARBOR, MI – If you speak out against building a mosque in your community, you may be slapped with a subpoena demanding all your personal documents, including emails, voicemails, text messages, and social media posts concerning Muslims, Islam, mosques, the Quran, Muslim worship or prayer services, wudu, imams, burkas, hijabs, Sharia, jihad, or anything else associated with or related to Muslims or Islam.

This was part of the harassment and intimidation experienced by scores of private citizens of the small New Jersey town, Bernards Township (also known as Basking Ridge), who spoke out at public hearings against a plan to build a disproportionately-sized mosque on a small piece of residential property.  The mosque project, sponsored by the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (“ISBR”) and its president, Mohammad Ali Chaudry, was denied by Township officials for not complying with local building ordinances.

On March 10, 2016, ISBR and Mohammad Ali Chaudry sued Bernards Township in federal court, claiming various violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.  Shortly after, ISBR had coercive subpoenas served on private citizens whose only involvement was voicing concerns at public planning board meetings about whether the proposed mosque complied with local building ordinances.

The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently granted the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, permission to represent, without charge, several of these citizens who desired to quash the coercive and abusive subpoenas.  Westfield, New Jersey attorney Michael P. Hrycak is assisting the Law Center.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented: “ISBR is setting a dangerous unconstitutional precedent by abusing a court process to chill and trample on the First Amendment Rights of private citizens whose only involvement was to speak out against the mosque at public hearings. Because the U.S. Supreme Court has held that speech at a public place on a matter of public concern is entitled to special protection, we will ask the Federal District Court to quash the subpoenas served on our clients as a misuse and abuse of the Court’s process.”

Lori Caratzola, described in the ISBR Complaint as a fervent and frequent objector to the mosque, was a prime target for ISBR’s personal attacks.  She was personally mentioned over a dozen times in their Complaint.  Yet she has remained steadfast in her opposition.  Ms. Caratzola commented:

“Being served with a Federal Court Subpoena to turn over all my personal communications including voicemails, social media, emails, notes wherein I make any mention of anything having to do with Islam is an absolute violation of my First Amendment rights. I was a citizen exercising my right to attend public planning board meetings about a land use application that affected my community.”

She continued:

“Dr. Chaudry’s clear intent was to embarrass, strike fear, silence and cause financial harm to any citizen who dared oppose his nonconforming project.  And if these subpoenas are allowed to stand, it will set a chilling precedent for all citizens who wish to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to free speech and to petition their government.

“I was named numerous times in the Complaint, yet as a non-party, I had no standing to challenge the lies and half-truths told about me.  After the Complaint was filed, mainstream media picked up and repeated these lies and half-truths.”

Caratzola concluded:

“I have lost days, probably weeks, devoting time to trying to find counsel – only to find most attorneys are afraid of challenging an Islamic group in today’s political climate.”

Attorney Karen Lugo, a specialist on constitutional law and zoning issues, echoed Lori Caratzola’s concerns:

“ISBR’s subpoena of private citizens’ communications with local government, as well as all personal email and social media statements related to ‘anything associated with or related to Muslims or Islam’ is in direct violation of speech protections enshrined in the Constitution and in Supreme Court rulings. ISBR’s blatant efforts to chill the free exercise of speech while intimidating local citizens with these subpoenas must not only be denied, but must be rebuked, by the courts.”

Cody Smith, another subpoenaed resident who opposed the Mosque, stated:

“The planning board did exactly what it should have done—set emotions aside and judge ISBR’s application solely on its merits and whether it complied with our local regulations. It’s unfortunate that Dr. Chaudry, the Township’s former mayor, has resorted to an all-out smear campaign and retaliation against residents who exercised their fundamental Constitutional rights of Free Speech in a public forum.”

Soon after ISBR’s lawsuit, DOJ investigators opened another coercive front by attempting to interview the private citizens who opposed the mosque.  Eight months later, the DOJ filed its own lawsuit against the Township.

Astonishingly, the DOJ was dismissive of an apparent conflict of interest between Mohammad Ali Chaudry and the DOJ’s chief investigator, Caroline Sadlowski, both of whom were serving together on the Center for Religious and Cultural Conflicts board at Drew University.

See Bernards Township Press Release here

Islam is not a race? Obama White House wants to change that

October 1, 2016

Islam is not a race? Obama White House wants to change that, Jihad Watch

For years those of us who have dared to note how Islamic jihadis invoke the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims have been accused of “racism.” This Big Lie has been repeated so often and so insistently, without any breaking of ranks among the bought-and-paid-for mainstream media, that it has become commonplace. In response, I have repeated more times than I could possibly recall: “What race is the jihad mass murder of innocent civilians again? I keep forgetting.” I’ve pointed out almost as often that Muslims who believe that their god is commanding them to wage war against and subjugate those who don’t believe as they do come in all races, and that race has nothing to do with their imperatives.

These simple truths have not stopped the charges of “racism,” of course, because those charges have Soros millions behind them, and a seemingly endless supply of well-paid Leftist and Islamic supremacist operatives eager to repeat them. But apparently the patent falsehood of the charge has caused some concern to this propagandist cabal, because now the Obama White House is attempting to give the propaganda a better footing by declaring a new race: “Middle Eastern and North African.”

It’s not a perfect designation, because it would include Middle Eastern and North African Christians and other non-Muslims, and would exclude Muslims who aren’t Middle Eastern and North African, but the principal beneficiary would be Muslim Arabs, and that is obviously the objective. This new designation would allow the incoming Clinton administration, among other things, to enforce “the Voting Rights Act and drawing congressional and state legislative district boundaries,” i.e., gerrymander districts to exaggerate Muslim voting power; establish “federal affirmative action plans and evaluating claims of employment discrimination in employment in the private sector,” i.e., continue and expand Obama administration efforts to establish special preferences and accommodations for Muslims in the workplace; and help “minority-owned small businesses get federal grants and loans,” i.e., make sure that Muslim-owned businesses get a healthy slice of the federal taxpayer pie.

Those special privileges are, ultimately, what this is all about, as well as to bolster the spurious charge of “racism” leveled against those who oppose jihad terror and Sharia supremacism.

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“White House wants to add new racial category,” by Gregory Korte, USA Today, October 1, 2016:

WASHINGTON — The White House is putting forward a proposal to add a new racial category for people from the Middle East and North Africa under what would be the biggest realignment of federal racial definitions in decades.

If approved, the new designation could appear on census forms in 2020 and could have far-reaching implications for racial identity, anti-discrimination laws and health research.

Under current law, people from the Middle East are considered white, the legacy of century-old court rulings in which Syrian Americans argued that they should not be considered Asian — because that designation would deny them citizenship under the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. But scholars and community leaders say more and more people with their roots in the Middle East find themselves caught between white, black and Asian classifications that don’t fully reflect their identities.

“What it does is it helps these communities feel less invisible,” said Helen Samhan of the Arab American Institute, which has been advocating the change for more than 30 years. “It’s a good step, a positive step.”

On Friday, the White House Office of Management and Budget advanced the proposal with a notice in the Federal Register, seeking comments on whether to add Middle Eastern and North African as a separate racial or ethnic category, which groups would be included, and what it should be called.

Under the proposal, the new Middle East and North African designation — or MENA, as it’s called by population scholars — is broader in concept than Arab (an ethnicity) or Muslim (a religion). It would include anyone from a region of the world stretching from Morocco to Iran, and including Syrian and Coptic Christians, Israeli Jews and other religious minorities.

But the Census Bureau, which has been quietly studying the issue for two years, also has gotten caught up in debates about some groups — such as Turkish, Sudanese and Somali Americans — who aren’t included in that category. Those are issues the White House is trying to resolve before adding the box on 2020 census forms.

Adding a box on the census form could have implications beyond racial identity. According to the White House notice, the new data could be used for a wide range of political and policy purposes, including:

• Enforcing the Voting Rights Act and drawing congressional and state legislative district boundaries;

• Establishing federal affirmative action plans and evaluating claims of employment discrimination in employment in the private sector;

• Monitoring discrimination in housing, mortgage lending and credit;

• Enforcing school desegregation policies; and

• Helping minority-owned small businesses get federal grants and loans.

Adding the classification also would help the government and independent scholars understand more about trends in health, employment and education.

“We can’t even ask questions like that, because we don’t have the data,” said Germine Awad, an Egyptian-American and professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin….

Brennan: Comments That ‘Taint’ Islam ‘Tremendously Detrimental’ to Counterterrorism

October 1, 2016

Brennan: Comments That ‘Taint’ Islam ‘Tremendously Detrimental’ to Counterterrorism, PJ Media, Bridget Johnson, September 30, 2016

(The fantasy religion of peace. — DM)

isishalab-sized-770x415xcISIS video screenshot

WASHINGTON — CIA Director John Brennan said comments that “taint” Islam “as being the source of the problem” are “tremendously detrimental to our interests and to a better understanding of this phenomenon” of terrorism.

Speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum this week, Brennan said he’s met with “princes or presidents and prime ministers throughout the Middle East” who are “outraged that their community — their Muslim community — has been infected by this cancer, individuals who have this distorted and very perverted interpretation of Islam that pursue these psychopathic agendas of horrific violence, and they recognize that they have a very important role — the leading role to help purge their communities of these influences.”

“These individuals who are fanatics — extremists and terrorists — they are driven by this ideology that is not rooted in Islam,” Brennan said. “It’s a psychopathic ideology that is very absolutist, that either you are with us or against us.”

“And that’s why the establishment of the caliphate — the so-called caliphate by ISIL, as well as al-Qaeda’s agenda, really, are trying to cause this …clash of civilizations. They want to drive this wedge between the West and the Muslim world.”

Brennan said he has not spoken with Donald Trump, but “anybody who promotes that type of characterization of the problem, and mischaracterization, in my mind, I would try to describe how those comments are being interpreted and how they are feeding this narrative that the terrorist organizations are propagating, that it does not help to arrest this cancer that has taken over so many of the communities because of a lot of the underlying conditions that exist within Middle East and Africa, South Asia, the areas, because of economic deprivation, political disenfranchisements, lack of opportunity.”

“These terrorist organizations and this perverted version of religion preys upon their sense of hopelessness,” the CIA director continued. “And by making comments that are incendiary and are viewed as attacking a religion or a people or a community only further drive those individuals to grasp onto those extremist views because they interpret a lot of the comments that are made as the Western United States are out against them. And so, when those comments come forward, the comments of a Bin Laden or others resonate with them.”

“And they say, yes, you’re right. You know, the West is determined to exterminate us.”

Brennan was asked how he can separate terrorism from Islam when terrorists are quoting the Quran and enjoy support from some Muslims, particularly in certain parts of the world.

“People can take any faith — the Jewish faith, the Christian faith — and distort it and use it for violent agendas. And we’ve seen through the course of history that individuals who think that they are the vanguard of the effort of Christianity or Judaism or even Hinduism or other religions, really have this distorted interpretation of their faith,” Brennan replied.

“And the overwhelming majority, the 99.9 percent of Muslims do not support that type of violent agenda. Yes, there may be some individuals who are considered to be radical within their Islamic faith or even extremist,” he added.

“But the use of this horrific violence, the type of violence that’s being perpetrated by ISIL is something that we have not seen, I think, previously… their philosophy is, well, even if the innocents are killed, God will sort them out and they’ll go to heaven even earlier.”