Islamophobia: A panel for civil examination of controversial topics

Courtesy of www.nationalgeographic.com

On Wednesday, March 30, Students for Interfaith Action, along with the M.K. Gandhi Institute and the Muslim Student Association, organized a panel for personal reflection and political discussion about Islamophobia. The panel was mediated by Take Five Scholar Lubaba Hasan, and consisted of three non-Muslim and two Muslim panelists: Seniors Maya Dukmasova, James Eles and JJ Gonzalez, Chaplain for the Muslim Students’ Association Brother Rashid Muhammad and alumnus Omer Ropri. The participation of students whose programs incorporate Islamic studies reflected growing intellectual inquiry about Islam on the UR campus.

Eles, who will study the history of war codes in a Take Five year, provided historical insight into Islamophobia during the Middle Ages. He discussed how European perceptions of Islam and Muslims aided in waging war against “the Orient” during the Crusades, arguing that perhaps such a history has informed current misconceptions about Islam.

Gonzalez and Dukmasova, on the other hand, focused their discussion on contemporary portrayals of Islam and the War on Terror in the media. Gonzalez argued that the pervasive associations between Islam and “terror” in the mainstream media activates fear and irrationality in the American public, which grew after 9/11 and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan that followed. He explained that the second Bush administration exploited Islamophobia to gain popular support for the War on Terror. Dukmasova expanded on this further, discussing how the media used representations of oppressed Muslim women to justify the war in Afghanistan. She explained that images that portrayed Afghan society as “backwards” and stories about preventing education for women permeated the American media as the U.S. was invading Afghanistan. Quoting excerpts from an article entitled, “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?,” by Lila Abu-Lughod, Dukmasova argued that the media’s obsession with the plight of Muslim women illustrates how gender issues are used to inform or misinform the American public about conflicts in the Muslim world.

On a more personal note, Ropri and Brother Rashid reflected on their perceptions of Islamophobia through their experiences as Muslims in the United States. Ropri noted that upon emigrating from Pakistan at age 11, “My entire experience in the U.S. has been affected by Sept. 11.” He advocated for exchange and dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslim Americans to educate the American public about Islam and its teachings.

In addition to advocating for open discussions about the Islamic faith, Brother Rashid also gave a unique perspective on Islamophobia. His reflection on his identity as a Muslim, an African-American and a retired military officer represented the diverse experiences of Muslims in the U.S. Brother Rashid noted that after having served to defend the U.S. Constitution for over 20 years, he believed Islamophobic attitudes to be “antithetical to our constitutional structure.”

He also stated, “Some of the same institutions that engendered bigotry towards African-Americans and other minorities are now rising up doing the same kinds of things in the situation of Islamophobia.” Brother Rashid suggested that while Islamophobia may seem like a recent phenomenon, it is critical that we understand it in terms of a much longer history of ethnic discrimination in the U.S.

Brother Rashid’s point, as well as others made throughout the discussion, reminds us that racism and Islamophobia do not only exist in the form of personal prejudice. State and non-state institutions perpetuate stereotypes through representations and political performances in order to bolster government agendas. As students and citizens, we should organize more discussions like this panel to look at these matters critically and, hopefully, demystify them.

Chinelli is a member of

the class of 2011.



You can contact Mara at mchinell@u.rochester.edu.

    45 Responses to “Islamophobia: A panel for civil examination of controversial topics”

    1. NAOMI AHSAN says:

      I really hope that this panel created awareness and deepened understanding of Islamophobic feelings and actions– which seem to be enjoying something of a heyday. The panel included discussion of how the media can promote and enable Islamophobia, but I would like to note that news coverage does exist even if it is not easily accessible in the mainstream. This blog collects and tags news articles:

      http://www.islamophobia-watch.com

      • Adam Ondo says:

        All of the articles on that site are extremely biased and leave out everything negative that happens due to Islam.

        For instance, it mentions how racism is being promoted by Dutch cartoonists, but not that a 5 man hit squad of Muslims from N Africa and the Mid East were sent with silenced automatic rifles to assassinate the cartoonists in their European office. Luckily that was foiled.

        In Florida, they burned the Qu’ran. The Afghan Muslim response – kill 8 UN workers who had nothing to do with it. And that was a mob of civilians, not a hit squad.

        And about Muslims not having religious freedoms, like your link suggests, well, Saudi Arabia beats Christian mercenaries and shreds bibles. We don’t do anything in response to this brutal Sharia law, but if some guy in Florida burns the “holy” book of Islam, then people have to die. I found it sickening that Obama’s administration criticized the pastor in Florida for the deaths of those killed by barbarians who overreacted. They are to blame. Pastor Jones didn’t “make” them kill 8 innocent people, they just can’t act like civilized people.

        So tell me, which is worse, Islamophobia, or thousands of savages killing people in response to publications and book burnings. I’m pretty sure they are overreacting, not Americans who feel threatened by an Islamofascist presence.

        • Phil Y. says:

          Yes that site is extremely biased as opposed to your clearly objective and unbiased view of Islam. I mean why wouldn’t a site about anti-religious bigotry devote at least half of its space to how that religion deserves it? Like the ADL site talks so much about Jewish extemism and the Catholic League spends a lot of time spreading the word about pedophile priests and the IRA?

          Your logic is as unarguable as always. The fact that religious extremists kill people for stupid reasons means that it is impossible that people who believe in some nonexistent march towards America being ruled by Sharia law and or secular socialist Islamic fanatics are also overreacting. If someone does something gratuitously insulting and designed to provoke extremist zealots and we find the response to that provocation sickening and disproportionate we are not allowed to criticize the original act. Thank you for enlightening us with your insight.

          • Adam Ondo says:

            1.) Catholics don’t deny priests molest people, they work towards cleaning it up. Muslim websites just try to ignore bad things and sweep it under the rug. Why do people think Muslims are all terrorists? Address that, then you will be doing something constructive. It’s dishonest to mention cartoonists and pastors being bad without mentioning the horrific responses to the actions. Why are people Islamophobic, well there’s your answer, but that site just ignores the central issue.

            2.) And you can criticize Pastor Jones for being “insensitive” or whatever, but he did not break the law. If Petraeus and Obama thinks that what Jones did caused the deaths of our soldiers and UN members, then they are flat out wrong. Nobody made the Afghan people kill those people in the UN. They did it because they are idiotic. Also, if Obama wants to try to stop people from burning a book and protesting a religion, then apparently he doesn’t support freedom of speech/expression. This country will have officially gone to crap when the government prohibits burning a book, while allowing the burning of the American flag. The Obama administration is so unpatriotic and anti-American that I wish Joseph McCarthy were back in office.

            • Taylor B. says:

              “If Petraeus and Obama thinks that what Jones did caused the deaths of our soldiers and UN members, then they are flat out wrong.”

              No, this is ignorant and completely oblivious to how the world works. Jones knew that burning a Qur’an would incite violence upon those who he is associated with, in this case U.N. soldiers. He understood what the fallout of his actions would be, yet he chose to do it anyway. And for what, to demonstrate that he has the right to do it? Just because i have the right to speak freely doesn’t mean i should especially when i fully understand the consequences of my actions.

              Now in now way am i saying that the Afghan’s who killed the workers are not responsible, but you don’t poke a bear if you KNOW it is going to maul someone to death if you do. Even Bill O’Reilly got this one right.

              “Obama wants to try to stop people from burning a book and protesting a religion, then apparently he doesn’t support freedom of speech/expression.”

              Stop slinging this nonsense around. Obama said that the burning of a holy book is a sign of “extreme intolerance and bigotry.” In no way is that saying you can’t do it, its saying that you shouldn’t. This is a very important distinction that you failed to make.

            • Adam Ondo says:

              If you have a wife, and I tell you I slept with her, even though I know you have a gun and get really angry, and you shoot me, you still go to jail, because though I knew you would probably shoot me, I did not make you and you still had no right to do so. I would be in no way to blame (note – I don’t condone cheating on people’s spouses, because that’s immoral).

              And you may have not read this, but the government threatened to fine Pastor Jones for putting Florida at a higher security risk. You cannot try to fine people for peacefully protesting and not call that trying to limit people’s freedom of speech/expression.

              Apparently liberals only like the 1st amendment if its being used to burn the American flag, promote Islam and Sharia law in America, or target Christianity (damn ACLU attorneys and atheist groups). If Christians try to take a stand then the 1st amendment is just revoked. It is quite shameful how the courts and government institutions of this country have changed so much since WWII. First the Warren Court, then Carter, now Obama. It is just so sad. At least Bush supported a Crusade against Islamic countries and was willing to “drain the swamps of the annoying mosquitoes infesting them” (like the murderous Afghan civilians).

            • Taylor B. says:

              In the situation you presented, a sane, rational, reasonable person would not sleep with the wife knowing they would be killed.

              My point is that we are a globalized world. No longer can we entertain the idea of an isolationist, inward looking foreign policy. The actions within our border have significant effects outside of our borders. This is not debatable, it is undeniable and we must act accordingly. Our world is smaller than ever, no longer does a message take month’s to get to the war front. This must be respected and not ignored. We must adapt as the world around us changes in order to make sure we don’t find 10 more planes flying at our buildings. We cannot pretend to live in a world where Arab countries are not our neighbors. To do so would welcome significant attacks upon our people, and ultimately lead to the weakening of the U.S.

              Check the hate at the door, and recognize that it is in our interest as a nation to respect and understand rather than foster a deep hatred for the nation we hold so dear. Your position is similar to General Orvil Anderson following WWII, bomb the hell out of everything before they can bomb us. Truman and Eisenhower refused to do so knowing that it would only escalate the conflict and lead to an all out apocalypse. These two brilliant men were responsible for keeping us out of an actual nuclear war, despite objection from nearly all the classical realists at the time.

              I would recommend you read Ethical Realism by John Hulsman and Anatol Lieven. He has a unique perspective that i feel would be valuable for you to read.

            • Phil Y. says:

              Thank you for expanding on your points. It is hard to get this kind of thoughtful and complete understanding and analysis of Islam and the Obama administration outside of Glenn Beck’s show. Stay strong and don’t let politically correct liberals like Taylor B. get you down with their thoughtful and well reasoned arguments and facts.

              It is indisputable that all other religious media and religious groups never ignore bad things done in the name of their religion or try to sweep them under the rug. The Catholic Church’s response to priest abuse has never done either of those things.

              There will probably be people who say that your position reflects your own bigotry rather than any problem with Muslims, but right thinking people like us can ignore them. When people harbor mistaken beliefs about a group of people despite the available evidence it is up to that group to prove them wrong and their failure to do so is evidence of a problem with that group.

              It is not people like us who are intolerant it is the liberals. I mean you have made it clear that you have no problem with Muslims as long as they don’t take any stands you don’t like, disagree with your understanding of their religion or culture, or want to get involved in politics. Why do the liberals at this school insist on persecuting us for our beliefs with evidence and counterarguments?

            • Adam Ondo says:

              @Taylor: Just because he would most likely be shot, that does not mean he deserved to be shot. And my point still stands that he didn’t “make” the other guy shoot him, therefore you cannot say he is to blame. And if the person in the hypothetical is so irrational and insane, what about the policy – we don’t negotiate with terrorists. Sometimes negotiating may actually save lives, but we don’t do it out of principal, because they should never get what they want because it is not just. Why should Pastor Jones have to give into threats. Under your logic, if you threatened me with violence, I would be to blame if I went through with a legal action and you did something illegal to me in response. That is wrong. I’m sorry, but you are the one who is wrong. Pastor Jones was in the right with his actions.

              And Dulles, Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, believed in massive retaliation. General MacArthur, the US’s greatest general wanted to strike China and Russia during Korea. You act like ignoring those countries was a good idea. If we had struck them after WWII, when they were still recuperating, it would have been easier than fighting the Cold War and we would be better off now. That being said, I do find the Cold War tactics to be quite fun and effective. Kissinger was quite a genius after all.

              @Phil: Clearly it is just people out here who criticize me. Not once in Missouri or Utah or Texas was I ever criticized for my views on Islam, war, or crime, but out here almost everyone says I’m wrong. I’m going to trust politicians like Mike Lee and his constituents over people at this school. At least mid-westerners care enough about the country and innocent lives to want to stop crime and terror.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              Adam, you’re wrong (color me surprised). You’ve been brainwashed by the conservative hatemongers from where you get your opinions (Ann Coulter, etc.). The ACLU DOES, in fact, support the rights of Christians around the country to practice their religion. Christians “take a stand” every day, and it is legal, and allowed, and likely is due in no small part to the support of the free exercise clause that the ACLU holds so dear.

              For example:
              The ACLU of Virginia (2011) defended the free religious expression of a group of Christian athletes in Floyd County High School who had copies of the Ten Commandments removed from their personal lockers.

              The ACLU of Connecticut (2011) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Naval officer who sought recognition as a conscientious objector because of his Christian convictions against war. After a period of intense religious study, reflection, and prayer, he had come to realize that his religious beliefs were in conflict with his military service. The officer’s request was subsequently granted and he received an honorable discharge.

              The ACLU of Florida (2010) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a local homeless ministry, the First Vagabonds Church of God, challenging an Orlando ordinance that prohibits service of food to groups in the same public park more than twice per year. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit eventually enjoined the city from enforcing the ordinance, allowing the church to resume providing food to the homeless.

              The ACLU and the ACLU of Texas (2010) filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a Texas state prisoner seeking damages after prison officials denied him the opportunity to participate in Christian worship services.

              The list goes on.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              Adam, you wrote “Pastor Jones was in the right with his actions” because, according to you, he wasn’t to blame for the bombing that resulted from his hatefilled actions.

              You’re wrong. Just because you argue that he is not to blame for the UN deaths does not automatically mean he is “in the right” for burning a people’s holy book. He did it with the intent to provoke and for no “good” (in the Christian sense of the word) reason. Whether he has blood on his hands is not as important as questioning whether what he did was right, moral and responsible. It was none of the three, and arguing about how you’re free to sleep with everyone’s wives is immaterial. No good can come from burning people’s holy books, period. It is a belligerent, hate-filled gesture that I cannot fathom why you would even try to support.

            • Adam Ondo says:

              You know, I don’t see Obama condemning Saudis for shredding the Christian bible, so how can he complain about Christians burning a Qu’ran? That’s what I have a problem with. Pastor Jones should be able to retaliate, and he did so, in a very equal/just/eye-for-an-eye sort of way.

              Read the book Persecution by David Limbaugh. It highlights a ton of cases where atheists, liberals, and other religious minorities win cases that hurt Christians. The ACLU cases listed in that book are more numerous than the few you list. In a country 75% Christian, I don’t see how you can tell a fire department that they can’t put up a nativity scene. Or allow an atheist student to sue a Christian valedictorian for punitive damages because her speech on Christian values hurt his feelings. That is wrong. If Christian values hurt his feelings, maybe he should go to some hell hole of a country and leave the US. Oh, but if I tried to sue a Muslim for offending me by wearing a hijab, which in Saudi Arabia at least, signifies the oppression of women, then I would be labeled a bigot and sued. See, it only works one way. Minorities have all the rights, while the majority has none. It should be the opposite. If minorities don’t want to conform, they should take Angela Merkel’s advice and get the [expletive] out of wherever they are living. That is why there is multikulter failed and a kulterkrieg is under way, because Muslims, Summum, atheists, and radical leftists think they deserve control/power over others.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              Adam, thankfully, the Constitution (specifically the Bill of Rights) does not view the world in the myopic way you do. The reason why the majority does not need extra help is because the majority already controls all branches of government, our education system, etc. The reason why you think ACLU is “always” fighting for the rights of religious minorities is because religious minorities are who the majority consistently attack. The majority would not attack itself, so there are, simply, fewer instances of prosecution against Christians exercising their religion (you must be joking if erecting a nativity scene is in any way integral to an individual’s exercise of their religion, especially understanding Matthew 6:5 – 7 and other passages in the Bible that emphasize the virtue of private prayer and reflection). You right, ridiculously, that “the minorities have all the rights.” This is easy to say as a privileged white man, but that is emphatically untrue. It is mainly untrue because of people like you, people who attempt to use their disproportionate power to limit the rights of minorities. It is the must un-American thing you can possibly say, and it is hilarious that you actually think that you are some persecuted prince sitting in your ivory tower (full of so many books on your bookshelf!).

              And, um, what case, specifically, are you referencing where a Christian high school student was sued for “hurting the feelings.”? I actually have graduated college and law school and have never heard of such a law suit.

              And, to be clear, my list was not exhaustive, just as an easy and obvious way to refute another one of your many lies.

              And, Adam, you keep saying that minorities should “get out” of America if they don’t agree with the majority while you complain and cry about how everyone on the East Coast disagrees with you. Why don’t you take your own advice and go back to Utah where you can surround yourself by people who you claim share all your ideas?

            • Phil Y. says:

              Keep up the good work Adam. It is so sad to see the way you are treated by the east coast liberal elitists at this school who seem to think that their geographic location and the fact that their beliefs are shared by their friends acquaintances makes their views superior to yours and your ideas somehow unworthy of the slightest consideration. They’ll even point to experts and political leaders who share their views as if that makes them right.

              Like you said people on the coasts are simply un-American and don’t want to stop terrorism. After all people on the east coast have no reason to fear terrorist attacks. They don’t have the personal stake that someone living in a place like Iowa does. They simply are less human than we are.

              Its a shame that the liberals at this school want to shut you up and make you conform just because your opinions are in the minority here. They have tried to associate you with abhorrent beliefs and behavior without you doing anything wrong. Some of them have even suggested you leave here if you don’t agree with them and insist on believing something different! And I think we can both agree that sort of thing is wrong and simply un-American.

        • NAOMI AHSAN says:

          Mr. Ondo,

          1. The purpose of the site is to collect examples of Islamophobia, and as you have made amply apparent, there are other sources for information about other types of bigoted actions. And “everything negative due to Islam”– do you ever differentiate between the religion and the people who practice it? It doesn’t sound like you know enough about Islam to be blaming the religion, anything you have mentioned sounds like the actions of a few individuals on the fringe of the 1 billion Muslims in the world.

          2. I disagree with your classification of the deaths of the UN workers as “the Afghan Muslim response”. It is absolutely unfair and unjustified to make every Afghan Muslim at fault for the actions of a few. Not every Afghan in the country was part of that violent mob. There were protests across the country but Mazar-i-Sharif is the only place where anyone was killed. While the deaths of the UN officials was murder and is inexcusable, there is nothing to be gained from blaming people who were not at fault.

          3. Who is “we”, exactly? We the Christians? We the Americans?

          With your question of what is worse, there is injustice both in Islamophobia and in innocent people being scapegoated for Terry Jones’ actions. I don’t see the point of making one somehow preferable. And the point is that actions which agitate anti-Western or anti-American tensions are not going to make this country any safer. Terry Jones should recognize that there’s a high chance people will react violently to his actions, right or wrong.

          People in the United States can take Pastor Jones to have destroyed one pile of paper and ink. People in countries lacking development and democracy might view it as one more excess of American arrogance when innocent lives have in fact been lost in the course of American missions abroad…not accounting, of course, for the fact that Terry Jones has no right to represent this country.

          • NAOMI AHSAN says:

            Mr. Phil. Y,

            “They simply are less human than we are”– really?

          • Adam Ondo says:

            Dear Naomi,

            By “Afghan Muslim,” I was trying to underscore that it was not the “Afghan Christian “response (which would never be scene as Afghanistan is 80% Sunni and 19% Shia, leaving little room for Christians or anyone else).

            And you admit that people in Middle Eastern countries react violently to things like burning pieces of paper and drawing silly cartoons. If I say something offensive to you, your response cannot be murder. That is wrong. That destroys any sense of security people may have. I don’t want people to cease to feel safe in their own homes. This is why I favor a policy of “rollback,” which I aggressively promote. If barbarians in places like Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine want to kill Westerners because we are invoking our 1st amendment rights, then they have to be rolled back into oblivion. We win, we feel secure, we retain our rights, they can’t hurt us, for they are no more. End of story.

            • Taylor B. says:

              Adam, You completely missed the point’s Naomi was making. You are blaming the Muslim people and essentially the Arab world for the actions of a very small minority. The majority were passionate but peaceful.

              I don’t believe you have thought through your idea of decimating Arab countries that oppose us. Our military strength is no where near capable of such a policy not to mention how it ignores the reactions of the rest of the world to such a policy. A hegemon who abuses their position will not be a hegemon for long. Once the position of dominance is lost, those who were adversely affected by the actions of the hegemon would likely ally to destroy it.

              “I don’t want people to cease to feel safe in their own homes.” So you propose that we murder millions of innocent people in order to ensure this feeling of comfort? You have no more right to life than any other person on this planet. You claim to be a mormon, but you don’t appear to share some of the core values taught by the church such as every person is a child of God. You should look to your faith for some guidance on your opinions of Muslims.

              @Naomi- Phil is mocking Adam, but doesn’t make it any less offensive.

            • Adam Ondo says:

              I’m pretty sure we do have enough power. Especially now that the Pentagon has okayed the creation of conventionalized low-yield nuclear weapons. Why do you think they are creating those? From a foreign policy standpoint, rollback in the middle east is definitely feasible.

              And yes, if other have to die for us to feel safe, then so be it. Is that optimal, no, but if it were face a 1% chance of annihilation or destroy a city or two, then I say destroy the city (the 1% doctrine was Cheney’s idea, and he’s very experienced and wise, so I trust his judgment).

              As for Mormonism, we believe strongly in the books of the minor prophets, which says the holy land will be returned to the Jews and its conquerors turned into kindle for the fire. That’s why I oppose Palestine. Mormon’s also feel that protecting our home is the number one priority. The two men dropped into Mogadishu in 1993 (see Black Hawk Down) were Mormons. They were willing to wage war against savages to protect us.

              Even as a Mormon, self-preservation and self-interest still control me, I am human after all. And non-Mormons won’t be let into God’s presence anyways, because God frowns upon unbelievers who follow false prophets, or did you not know that. But I don’t care much for religious arguments, political science is more of my thing.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              You know, taking a step away from the weekly bigoted and hateful parade of comments Adam puts out here at the CT, it’s pretty clear that it’s futile to even attempt to talk logically with him. The rest of us here, using arguments basic on logic and reasoning, simply can’t compete with a freshman who (a) gets “all” his opinions from Ann Coulter or Michelle Malikin’s books, (b) considers the number of books one has on ones bookshelf an absolute measure of the validity of one’s opinions, (c) uses quotations of policy conclusions from historical figures as absolute proof of the validity of the underlying policy proposal, (d) has a complete inability to comprehend what other people’s points are (ex: everything), (e) casts aspersions against entire portions of the country, including the citizens of NYC on 9/11, and (f) has not even a modicum of self-reflection, humility, curiosity, compassion or understanding that anyone who is not a white, male, Mormon from Utah may have different experiences and conclusions that him. It’s pointless. One can only hope that, as he moves from being a freshman and starts to take classes that actually push him into self-reflection (or some of his professors read his non-sensical, hate-filled screeds here and decide that he deserves special attention). Until then – it’s really pointless, he doesn’t listen to anything anyone says, never reconsiders that his opinions may be flawed.

            • Adam Ondo says:

              You’re way out of line. I don’t know where you work, but hopefully you are more professional from 9-5. How dare you call me racist and sexist. If I only like white people, why do I teach and tutor classes of black and hispanic children. Why do I coach them at basketball. Why do I rail against Muslim countries who lash women for “offenses” that are not offenses at all. And I was atheist for 16 years and baptist for 1, so clearly I don’t just like Mormons. Me not liking Islam in no way makes me racist or sexist.

              And I cite loads of evidence and statistics, so it’s not my fault if you only read the historical quotes I throw in there for extra flair.

              And I have a ton of compassion. I’ve been in charge of community service activities since the 10th grade. The only thing I want in life is to better my community.

              And I only read Ann Coulter for fun. I use government websites, Reuters, WSJ, LexisNexis, and Jstor for most of my information. You tried to spread lies like this before and it will end the same way this time.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              Number one response from someone who has not examined their privilege, sexism and racism: “But… but…but…. I have black friends!” Oh, I’m sorry, you volunteer after school somewhere. Congratulations, that doesn’t absolve you of the horrible things you’ve written here. Every time you try to actually quote evidence or statistics, you end up responding to me or others “Oh, sorry, I must have read My Book a long time ago.”

              And, to quote your previous comment: “All of my opinions can be found in Michelle Malkin’s books, Ann Coulter’s books, Bill O’Reilly’s book.” So, clearly, you use them to, at the very least legitimize your opinions and you yourself admitted that you have not a single opinion that is not shared by those three compassionate leaders of our time.

            • Adam Ondo says:

              You think the things I say are horrible, I find them to be practical. Maybe you shouldn’t discuss politics if you don’t like “mean” things. Winning is important, how you win is less important.

              And I’m sorry if you were never taught what an hyperbole is. Clearly a normal person would understand that by writing “all of my views” I was exaggerating to make my point. I was just showing how it is not just me that believes these things.

              Also, you still have not shown how I am in anyway racist. You just say I’m a stereotypical white guy. That means nothing. You have no proof. Therefore your argument is crap, not mine. Your arguments are just horribly illogical and distorted, too. I misremembered something once, and therefore I must do it all the time. And my point was still valid even with the corrected evidence, so I was still right. That’s what you don’t seem to understand.

              So why don’t you just shut the hell up about me being racist and not wanting to help others, because that’s all I want to do. I don’t want money, I don’t want fame, I want the power to make a difference. Why do you think I’m writing a book on ANCSA and Venetie and the oil companies in Prudhoe Bay and how oil lobbyists effectively destroyed the tribal government system and took away the sovereignty of Alaska Natives. I care about injustice. Also, all the money made will not go to me, but to the village corporations.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              You would be hilarious to keep laughing at if your Machiavellian “practicality” wasn’t so inhumane, indecent and, frankly, evil. And here’s the proof that you’re racist, prejudiced and bigoted: Every Single Comment You’ve Ever Written About Muslims. I can’t wait until you see the error of your ways, we don’t need another psychotic powerful fool running around.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              PS, Adam, for someone who claims to be so ethical and religious, I cannot believe that you wrote with a straight face that “Winning is important. How you win is less important.” This is a horrible, unethical, unChristian, and certainly unlawyerly way to see the world. The “how” of winning should be paramount for anyone who fancies them a good, decent, moral person. The fact that you proudly state your end-justifies-the-means philosophy without any concept that the HOW is where our CHARACTER/SOUL/ETHICS come in simply go as (in case I actually needed more) further proof that you, Adam Ondo, are not a good person. You are a very, very, very bad person, who has horrible, horrible, evil, bigoted, racist and sexist things to say and think about Muslims, your countrymen, and anyone who dares disagrees with you. You grew up in a cocoon where maybe you were surrounded by people who helped influence your corrupt worldview. Welcome to the real world, baby, where the world rightly casts you aside as little more than another annoying fly proudly sitting on the self-made pile of shit that is your moral code.

            • Adam Ondo says:

              Again with your lies. I don’t believe you have any proof that I am racist or sexist, as you still have not presented it. And if you think that comments about Muslims make me sexist or racist, then you just have no idea what you are talking about because Islam is not a race or sex. I don’t care if Jihad Jane is white or if Osama bin Laden is a man, it really doesn’t matter what color or gender you are, you can still be Muslim.

              And maybe you don’t realize this, but the overall outcome is what matters. I’ll make my community a better place at all costs. I’m sure they’ll appreciate that. Helping people is something that God looks favorably upon; maybe you should do some soul searching. It would be unethical to lose if that meant good people got hurt, therefore it is ethical to do what it takes to save people. My soul 100% good. I want to see criminals hanged, countries that could possibly pose a threat destroyed, and traitors exiled. That is what God wants. That is what is good.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” MATTHEW 5:7

              “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” MATTHEW 5:9

              “You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” MATTHEW 5:38-39

              “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” MATTHEW 7:1-2

              “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” MATTHEW 7:12

              “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. MATTHEW 22:39

              “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword”. MATTHEW 26:52

              And that’s just Matthew.

            • Adam Ondo says:

              Fine, you don’t like Old Testament, look at the book of revelations. Or since you know so much about Mormonism, let’s look at the book of Mormon.

              Alma 54:12-13 – And behold, if ye do not this, I will come against you with my armies; yea, even I will arm my women and my children, and I will come against you, and I will follow you even into your own land, which is the land of our first inheritance; yea, and it shall be blood for blood, yea, life for life; and I will give you battle even until you are destroyed from off the face of the earth. Behold, I am in my anger, and also my people; ye have sought to murder us, and we have only sought to defend ourselves. But behold, if ye seek to destroy us more we will seek to destroy you; yea, and we will seek our land, the land of our first inheritance.

              (I got a few of my more recent ideas from the Book of Mormon if you couldn’t tell)

              Alma 1:13-14 – And thou hast shed the blood of a righteous man, yea, a man who has done much good among this people; and were we to spare thee his blood would come upon us for vengeance. Those who refuse to kill a murderer must have his blood fall upon them.Therefore thou art condemned to die, according to the law which has been given us by Mosiah, our last king; and it has been acknowledged by this people; therefore this people must abide by the law.

              (Death penalty right is righteous)

              By the way, this came after the New Testament, so clearly it is more recent.

              And you can try to change or ignore the Old Testament and do your own thing, but that would go against stare decisis, something you should respect.

            • Adam Ondo says:

              Clearly you just ignored my article on community service, all of the community service I’ve done, and all the good things I plan on doing for people in my community, just because you don’t agree with my political beliefs. That makes you ignorant. Calling me racist and sexist without any proof also makes you a liar. You’ve made yourself look worse and worse with every post on here. Also, I never personally insult you, but all you seem to be able to do is say that I’m a horrible person, a pathetic person, whose beliefs are shit. At least I don’t need to “stoop” to YOUR level.

              PS: If you think telling me that I “stooped to my enemies’ level” is an insult, then you just don’t see the bigger picture. There is a reason Osama, Mahmoud, and a bunch of Palestinians hate America. We’ve screwed over the Middle East. If I were in Palestine and the IDF responded to a mortar attack with an air raid, killing my father, I may become a terrorist, too. I understand why people are our enemies. I’m not ignorant like you think I am. I understand just fine, it’s just that they’re interests conflict with mine, so even though I understand their point of view, I don’t support it. In fact I believe it to be a good reason to preemptively strike them.

            • Adam Ondo says:

              *change “they’re” to “their” or keep “they’re” and follow it with “against me”. I kind of switched my train of thought mid-sentence.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              Adam, like I said before, volunteering after school and writing an article in your school newspaper about how much you volunteer doesn’t absolve you of the horrible things you say over and over again. Sorry, I don’t really care how much you volunteer. Your heart is full of violence, hatred and hubris and that is disgusting. I am certainly not the one being made a fool here. Islamaphobia, which you clearly admit to, has been defined as racism by the Journal of Sociology – your simplistic and immature concept of what racism is doesn’t change the fact that you are a bigot. Your paternalistic and heavy-handed views on the hijab, as if you, a white freshman from Utah can possibly understand the feminist underpinnings of women who choose to wear it are obviously sexist. Of course you don’t think they are, you’re perfect because you volunteer! and have books! But you consistently preach violent and hateful rhetoric about other human beings who have done nothing wrong to you; you should be ashamed.

            • Adam Ondo says:

              My heart is full of anger directed at those who would hurt the innocent, which is why criminal law is my main focus, and against those who would oppress others and/or me and seek my destruction, hence the foreign policy concentration.

              The hijab doesn’t oppress people, you’re right, but Muslim authorities in Saudi Arabia and Iran make it a symbol of oppression. In Saudi Arabia, a school caught on fire and the police locked the girls inside and let them burn to death because they weren’t allowed in public without their head scarves. That is evil, not me, I want to stop that.

              http://europenews.dk/en/node/3559

              And I don’t hate everyone in the Mideast, like you try to say. I don’t want to see innocent people die, but if its necessary then oh well. We’re in a war. War isn’t nice.

              As for Islamophobia being a form of racism, the journal you cite is wrong. Islam is not a race, no matter how hard they argue. Discriminatory, yes, but not racist. There are white, brown, black, and probably a few yellow Muslims. Color does not matter. I know Arab and Persian and Egyptian people who aren’t Muslim and I have no problem with them.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              Adam, you say that you just hate people who want to destroy you. What you can’t see through your hate-filled eyes is that not all Muslims want to destroy you. You have been brainwashed to think that it is some pervasive thing about the Muslim community that is out to get you and America. You’re wrong. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. A small minority are violent in the name of their religion. Just like a small minority of Christians have been or are violent in the name of their religion. But where you lack of morality comes in is your refusal to see Muslims as individuals. That’s what’s so disgusting, so unChristian and so immoral. I don’t care if you think that a person who let little girls burn to death in the name of religion is immoral; no one here is disputing that. But what everyone here is saying, and what you refuse to see, is that just because someone holds the Muslim faith doesn’t mean they are violent (and before you start quoting me violent Koran passages, remind yourself of last night and your insistence on trying to prove that the Bible is a violent, angry and vengeful book).

          • Adam Ondo says:

            # “And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.” – Micah 5:15

            # “Learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, plead for the widow.” – Isaiah 1:17

            Yes relieve the oppressed (like women in the middle east and the Kurds under Saddam).

            # “The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for kindle, and [the flames] devour it, and there shall be nothing remaining of the house of Esau.” – Obadiah 1:18

            # “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” – Nahum 1:3

            # “I will make thy grave, for thou art vile.” – Nahum 1:14

            # “According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay fury to his adversaries.” – Isaiah 59:18

            # “Therefore I shall number thee to the sword, and ye shall bow down in slaughter.” – Isaiah 65:12

            # “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, as he has caused blemish to a man, so shall it be done to him.” – Leviticus 24:20

            I can quote the Bible all day, but that is more objective than politics, so it really doesn’t matter. The bible supports many viewpoints.

            • Aaron Burro says:

              Adam, you cherry-picked out of context passages from the Old Testament. You cannot refuse that Jesus, the Son of God, stood for peace and loving your neighbor. This is precisely why you are immoral and hateful – you bastardize The Bible to “prove” your outlandish, violent and extreme views so that you can pretend you are preaching your hate and bigotry in the name of God. No. God stands for peace and kindness and loving your neighbor; He does not see political divisions; He would not stand for someone considering other human beings mere “collateral damage” because they happen to live in a different geographic region. You are no better than the extreme minority Muslims that you hate so much; you use your myopic and limited concept of religion to support violence and treating other humans as less than you. This is disgusting, and you are disgusting. Read and study the New Testament, Adam, that surely must be a part of the Mormon/Baptist upbringing you claim. Until then, realize that you just spent part of your evening researching Bible quotations that support anger, revenge, destruction and war. That surely cannot be the evening of a man with any goodness inside of him.

          • Aaron Burro says:

            Book of Mormon is irrelevant to me, I just referenced Mormonism to appeal to your claimed religion. And it’s telling that the only references to this vengeful, violent God in the New Testament is in Revelations – you willingly ignore the teachings of Jesus in Gospel, which is telling. You’re using your perverted reading of a small fraction of religious books to fuel your violent and hateful rhetoric. That is disgusting and you stoop to the same level as your professed enemies. You’ve irrefutably proven my point this evening (that you are, essentially, an awful human being) with your inability to admit the kind, loving base of the Bible in an attempt to “win” an argument. You are pathetic.

    2. Aaron Burro says:

      *write

      • Adam Ondo says:

        My mistake, I hadn’t read Persecution in a long time, so I confused two cases both on page 29 of the book. The school wouldn’t allow the valedictorian to speak, not an atheist classmate. A student led graduation prayer at St. Albans high school in W. Virginia was the one I was thinking of with the damages. However, the judge ruled that the plaintiff would suffer irreparable injury if the prayer went on (how, I don’t know). The irreparable damage led to an injunction, but the school was forced to pay $23,000 in legal fees to the atheist student. So he wasn’t awarded damages, he was rewarded an injunction. So I was wrong, I had to go read it again just now, because I last read it in 2008. Still, both scenarios are ridiculous, which is why I remembered them.

        And I plan on staying in NY for law school (NYC to be exact) because people back home don’t need converting (they are Mormon and neoconservative) but people in New York definitely do. It’s time to restore the Empire State to its former glory. Like Donald Trump said, “we (America) are a laughing stock… no one will be laughing if I become president.” New York needs some renovation work done to it. Also, I like this school a lot, because quite frankly it is really lovely.

    3. Aaron Burro says:

      Well, you keep using Donald Trump as your benchmark of “former glory” for New York, good luck with all this, all these ridiculous, close-minded, uneducated and hateful views that you proudly write all over the internet. Good luck getting into law school honey.

    4. Xiao Yang says:

      “If minorities don’t want to conform, they should take Angela Merkel’s advice and get the [expletive] out of wherever they are living.”

      Native Americans are the only people who have a right to say this without being logically inconsistent.

    5. Xiao Yang says:

      And what’s with the conservative circle jerk here? The fact that people in a backward redneck state hold the same bigoted beliefs you do does not make them any less bigoted. I’ve went to countries where witch doctors routinely poison young rape victims so as to spare their families the “embarrassment” (these are Christians, by the way). The fact that some people believe in such acts does not make their beliefs any less retarded.

      • Adam Ondo says:

        Actually, Christian churches tried very hard to eliminate spirit mediums and witchdoctors because they found them to be anti-Christian. Just because some go to Christian churches doesn’t mean they are 100% “Christian” in the sense that people usually use it. Santaria, for instance, is not purely Christian and no real Catholic would consider the Santaria practicing “Catholics” to be true Catholics.

        And if over 50% of the people elect a bigot, then I guess that tells you what the public wants. Maybe the minority should take the hint or follow the laws in place. If Muslims in Switzerland don’t like not having minarets on their mosques, maybe they should move to Damascus or Medina or even Mumbai.

        Also, Utah is in no way redneck. Missoui, yes, but Utah is not. Mormons are the most civilized, most intelligent, kindest, just people there are. We hate crime, we cherish innocence, we hate terrorists and evil, we love peace and good. That is why Utah is nice. We also are huge supporters of the law and the Constitution (the way it is supposed to be read).

        • PJ Birkman says:

          As a lawyer and a conservative Republican I have a hard time reconciling your belief that bigotry is perfectly acceptable as long as it has majority support with your stated love of the Constitution and previous claims of deep understanding of legal theory.

          One of the greatest things about the government created by the Constitution is that it cannot do whatever it wants to just because those actions are supported by a majority of the voters. Voters in some cites and states have passed laws that place undue restrictions on gun ownership. That is wrong and those laws have been overturned. Similarly the folks in Tennessee trying to stop the construction of a mosque or the anti-Sharia laws being proposed are undue restrictions on the free exercise of religion despite majority support.

          I believe that in general we should defer to the will of the people as expressed by their elected representatives, but when if conflicts with the basic principles on which this nation was founded such as religious freedom than those principles must prevail. I would suggest that you reread the Federalist Papers and consider what Madison had to say about the importance of checking the inflamed passions of the majority and allowing reason to prevail, protecting the rights of the minority.

    6. ADAM MATTISON says:

      As well, getting back to the original point of the article, Islamophobia today is and will continue to be a threat to the US for as long as people refuse to educate themselves on the reality of the Islamic religion. Many people tend to look at current events and cite the most extreme and horrific actions taken by an extreme minority group, portraying them as the norm across the Muslim World. By doing this, they are broadcasting a very skewed version of events. What these people refuse to acknowledge is that the vast majority of Muslims do NOT have violent tendencies toward Americans, and while they oftentimes disagree with American foreign policy, they love meeting and speaking with American citizens who are willing to learn about their culture.

      Travel to the Middle East and you will see this for yourself. Talk to study abroad students, Peace Corps volunteers, ESL teachers who have worked with Muslims, and anyone else who has made an effort to integrate themselves in an Islamic society for an extended period of time. They are the ones who have the personal experiences to back up what they say, and they are often the strongest proponents of cross-cultural education. As the above article states, we need dialogue “between Muslims and non-Muslim Americans to educate the American public about Islam and its teachings.” Talk to the knowledgeable Muslims (there are plenty of them on campus), and go to the roots of the religion for your information, not to the twisted interpretations of a politically-motivated cleric or politician.

      • Phil Y. says:

        People like me and Adam do not need to talk to actual Muslims. They will just lie and cover up the truth. We get our information about Islam from reliable sources – politicians like Mike Lee, Michelle Bachman and Peter King, and scholars like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter.

        The truth is Islam was founded by a charismatic prophet who built upon existing religious belief with what he claimed was the word of God which he received as divine revelation. They were met with hostility and even attacked, but eventually gained converts and even political control over territory. The prophet was followed by a successor who continued his theocratic practices. Today this religion has many adherents who are separated from the mainstream by there culturally conservative beliefs and dietary restrictions and continues a pattern of active expansion. Some of them even seem to think they are superior by virtue of their religion being smarter and more just than the rest of us. A supporter of normal religions like Mormonism such as Mr. Ondo could never support a religion like that!



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