Monday, December 14, 2015

Trump’s Hate Rhetoric Promotes Domestic Terrorism

A Las Vegas rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump turned ugly Monday night when multiple protesters interrupted Trump's speech.

According to reporters at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino event venue, the protesters appeared to be Black Lives Matter activists and gun control supporters.

As security guards remove a black man from the rally, someone in the audience yelled, “Light the motherfucker on fire!” MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin tweeted:
'Things shouted as Black Lives Matter protester dragged away at Trump rally:
"Kick his ass!"
"Shoot him!"
"Sieg Heil!"'
Of twenty-eight recent deadly attacks by homegrown US citizen terrorists, twenty of them were carried by right-wing extremists, including the mass shooting that killed nine at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Reverb Press
In the space of less than a week, the United States experienced two completely unrelated, yet similar, terrorist attacks. Robert Dear shot up a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs on November 27, killing three and wounding nine. Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, blasted away an office party at a regional center in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 and wounding 21, on December 2.

Both Dear and Farook were American citizens. Both were apparently motivated by an extremist religious ideology. Dear is a radical evangelist who had a history of intimidating people with his extreme Christian views. Malik pledged allegiance to ISIS (DAESH) the morning of their attack.

Christianity does not call for violence against those who support women’s healthcare, but self-radicalized extremists who choose to use violence are reaching the logical conclusion of the religion’s views on women’s bodily autonomy. Violence against abortion providers is quite common and under-reported in the United States.

Nothing in mainstream Islam would lead to specifically targeting an office party. DAESH, which is not representative of mainstream Islamic teaching, does call for radicalized Muslims to attack targets in Western countries. So the attack fits DAESH’s general agenda, but is not specific to any religious teaching. While the husband and wife clearly were terrorists, they were an American citizen and an American permanent resident who abused America’s insanely lax gun laws. All 4 weapons they carried were purchased legally. The couple was reportedly not on any watch list. They have more in common with Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Jared Loughner, or Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (just to mention a few) than with the 9/11 hijackers or the Paris attackers who were highly trained militants.

Yet, candidates and leaders of the Republican Party, as well as a few blue dog Democrats, and the mainstream news media, especially Fox "News" obfuscate the religious motivations of Dear and while directing fiery rhetoric at Islam generally in the case of Farook and Malik.

Fox’s handling of Farook’s and Malik’s shooting contrasts starkly with its reporting on Dear’s shooting of a Planned Parenthood. Fox repeatedly referred to Dear as “the gunman” and did not mention his religion or discuss terrorism as a possibility. It only briefly stated that it was “not clear if his motive was related to the organization.” This statement was preposterous on its face. The article then speculated about Dear’s mental health.

On Fox “News,” when a violent American man is a radical Christian who shoots people, he is a “gunman” who is “solely responsible,” might be mentally ill, and has nothing to do with his religion. When a violent American man is a radical Muslim who shoots people, he is an example of “Islamic terrorism.”
Ultimately, neither of these descriptions is accurate, and neither gets at the heart of the problem.

Donald Trump’s racist, nativist and bigoted campaign has grown so popular that America’s most prominent white supremacist website has been forced to upgrade its servers to deal with the Trump-inspired traffic bump.

Politico reports that Stormfront, a website described as “a community of racial realists and idealists” on its homepage, sees a 30 to 40 percent spike in traffic whenever Trump spews his anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim bile. The site that hosts chat forums on a range of issues of interest for American racists, including a support group for teenagers looking to “come out” as White Nationalists and a forum that purports to offer the “truth about Martin Luther King,” already received a million unique visitors a month but credits Trump with its recent spike in traffic. Stormfront founder Don Black told Politico that Trump “has sparked an insurgency and I don’t think it’s going to go away.”

“Demoralization has been the biggest enemy and Trump is changing all that,” Black explained, predicting that Trump’s contribution to the national discourse will outlive his time in the spotlight, at least in white supremacist circles. “He’s certainly creating a movement that will continue independently of him even if he does fold at some point,” Black said.

The modern day KKK, the Arkansas-based Knights Party, also credits Trump with aiding their recruitment efforts. “Right now he is a major talking point. He is in the news a lot,” spokesperson Rachel Pendergraft told Politico.
According to 18 U.S.C. § 2331, “domestic terrorism involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law.” Although that is the official legal definition of domestic terrorism, according to nearly all mainstream media outlets, evangelical conservatives, Republicans, and even federal law enforcement agencies, using the U.S. Code to define domestic terrorism does not apply to white people no matter how violent or dangerous to human life their actions are or how many innocent people they wantonly kill.

However, if an act of violence is committed by a person that claims to be associated with the Islamic faith, then it is must be domestic terrorism. And, Republicans and their media are automatically empowered to incite “real” domestic terrorism toward Muslim adherents, anyone that might appear to be Middle Eastern, or anyplace a Muslim might worship. It is the American way as designed by a political movement founded on hypocrisy, hate, ignorance, and arrogance. It is also wrong and after 63 recorded attacks on mosques in 2015 alone, it is time to call it what it is; domestic terrorism.

Last Friday some person was inspired to throw a Molotov cocktail firebomb at a Mosque in California while Muslims were inside praying, but it was not terrorism. It was also not terrorism when an avowed evangelical Christian marched into a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood and killed 3 and injured 9 to send a “pro-life” message founded, not on the Christian bible, but evangelical hate. Earlier this year it was not a terror attack when a white supremacist opened fire at a college in Roseburg Oregon killing 9 and injuring 9 because he was not a Muslim. When another white Christian racist murdered 9 African Americans at their place of worship in South Carolina, it was not an act of terror; because Dylan Roof was a good Confederate hero and not a Muslim.

This idea that only acts of violence committed by a “so-called” Muslim devotee can be labeled as terrorism did not begin this year. In 2012 when another Christian white supremacist killed 7 Sikh adherents, because of their appearance, as they worshiped inside their temple, it was not terrorism any more than another white Christian massacring 20 little children and six of their teacher guardians at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut three years ago yesterday. If America were equal, and conservatives hewed to their wont of getting revenge on a religion for committing acts of domestic terrorism, there would be mass acts of violence against evangelicals and their places of worship like the past week of attacks on Muslims; in part due to hate and fear-mongering by Republicans, Fox News and particularly the fascist du jour Donald Trump.

As explained here, it is “Islamically unlawful to murder anyone who is innocent of any crime. Hence, if any Muslim kills an innocent person, that Muslim has committed a grave sin, and the action cannot be claimed to have been committed ‘in the name’ of Islam.” Still, whether it is out of ignorance, arrogance, sheer hatred, or being propagandized by Fox News, Republicans, and Donald Trump, an increasing number of Americans automatically see Muslims, no matter how peaceable and tolerant, and see a terrorist. It has led to 19 separate violent attacks on Muslims and their places of worship, and although some law enforcement is investigating them as hate crimes, no-one is willing to call them what everyone but conservatives know they are according to 18 U.S.C. § 2331; acts of domestic terrorism against American citizens because they practice the wrong faith.
A backlash against American Muslims is on the rise again after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris and the attack in San Bernardino, Calif. Advocates say the number of hate crimes and harassment incidents today [fueled by the hate filled rhetoric of GOP candidates and lawmakers] is nearly as bad as it was in the weeks after Sept. 11.

An anti-Muslim climate seems especially potent in the Dallas area.

For instance, take Irving, Texas, a city of 230,000 that borders Dallas on the northwest. More than one-third of its citizens are foreign-born. It's home to the world headquarters of ExxonMobil and Kimberley-Clark, and to one of the largest mosques in North America.

Last month a group of protesters showed up on the sidewalk in front of the mosque, shouldering loaded rifles and holding a sign that said "Stop the Islamization of America." Their spokesman is a man who identifies himself as David Wright and carries a tactical 12-gauge shotgun to demonstrations.

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