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Old 07-05-2007, 01:13 PM   #1
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local Muslim controversy


A guy wrote me Tuesday with this warning: "All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim".
Not a student of history.
Forget Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols and the 168 people they killed in Oklahoma City. Forget sarin gas was leaked into Tokyo trains that year by a Japanese religious cult. Forget decades of Christian-related violence in Northern Ireland. Think closer to home.
This is Birmingham, one of the most terrorized American cities of the past half-century. Too many people don't care to remember, but they called the city "Bombingham" for a reason. More than fifty bombs were planted between the '40's and 1965. (Yikes. I only listed twenty in my book).
They weren't harmless pranks.
You'll remember terrorists killed four little girls in a church in 1963, but that didn't make them stop. In the spring of 1965 nine bombs were set around Birmingham, including big ones at the homes of Councilwoman Nina Miglionico and Mayor Albert Boutwell.
If that's too long for you, think back less than a decade to Eric Robert Rudolph. That Bible-toting, verse-quoting Christian was a bomber. And a killer.
It's shocking that anyone could live in or around Birmingham and be so insular, fearful and ignorant as to believe all terrorists are Muslim.
But I heard alot of ridiculous, bigoted guff after writing Tuesday that people of good will should stand up for Ismaili religious freedom in Hoover.
One guy said Muslims were like a college football team that didn't follow the rules. "Still wanna play the Muslim team" he asked. "I don't think so"
I'd play 'em. But then I'd schedule Alabama too.
In truth, some of the responses were nasty and some were not. Some emanated from Hoover and some did not. Some arrived anonymously, and some did not. Some of the complainers could spell, and well, some could not.
It could have been discouraging. But I had planned to be at the Hoover Public Library Tuesday morning already. I couldn't think about Hoover hate mail and the Hoover dialogue, for I was right there in Hoover looking at people.
What struck me was not the elaborate library that some have dubbed a "Taj Mahal" or all the children who toddled and rolled in to watch a magician do his magical best.
I thought that this place--the Hoover Library, a couple of miles from the site of the proposed Muslim worship center at the heart of the controversy, was as diverse and cosmopolitan a place as I've seen in the Birmingham area lately.
Black people, white people, Asian, and Middle Eastern people. Old, young, big, small, just plain people, all over. Reading. Writing. Watching the magic.
I don't suppose I should have seen it it as odd, for Hoover's school system is as diverse as any in the region. Why shouldn't the library reflect it?
It happens on purpose, library director Linda Andrews said.
"Everybody here celebrates diversity', she said. "All of that energy creates a spirit that is like a force. And it's contagious".
And it is. With that attitude, Hoover can be great. Without it, Hoover wiill never escape the legacy of Bombingham.

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Old 07-05-2007, 01:18 PM   #2
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interesting thread verte.


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Old 07-05-2007, 01:18 PM   #3
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that is scary

I didn't realize how many people had secretly converted to Islam, and pretended to be other things.

I guess we can't tell who really is Muslim
until their do their "evil deeds".
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:03 PM   #4
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We have some converts to Islam in the local peace group. The newspapers have gone berserk with this controversy.
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:04 PM   #5
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Re: local Muslim controversy

Originally posted by verte76
Forget Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols and the 168 people they killed in Oklahoma City.
I was at work when this happened and I remember everyone (everyone voicing an opinion that is) was saying it was done by Arabs/Muslims. It didn't feel like that to me, so I asked "why do you think that?" and the person who spoke up (and no one else corrected her or looked at all concerned with her logic) said "because it was a truck bomb. Only Arabs use those."


I'm not sure it's just because a lot of people are stupid or if it's just because they don't want to believe "we" could be just like "them."
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:37 PM   #6
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Depressing, isn't it?
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:48 AM   #7
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Ha. Here in Albany, NY we have our very own Federal "terrorism" scandal. We have a nice little Moslem community here, about 6000 people, actually it's concentrated in 2 areas, one of them in a suburb 10 miunutes away from me (actually the mosque is nicely tucked away in a subdivision; it was right around the corner from my parents' house) where all the middle or upperclass Moslems go, the docotrs and engineers etc. Like the Indians a lot of them are professionals here. Fairy recent immigrants. And the other half are working class or "poorer" people who live in the downtown area and frequent a tiny mosque in a converted former department store on the main street, close to the Governer's mansion. A third mosque is currently being built, not too far from that one.

Anyway, the "scandal") actually involved someone I knew on a casual basis. Right next to the main branch of the Albany Public Library, close to a major bus stop and across the steet from the Arts District, (where most of the city's remaining 200+yr old buildings are) there is a pizza/sub shop called Little Italy, owned and operated by a Pakistani family who've been here about 20 yrs or so. There was an old grandfather, his 2 sons and daughters-in-law, and an extended family of about 25-30 people. "Chain" immigrants, Bush's worst nightmare! One of the daughters wears a hajib but the other is more modern. The old guy's wife wears a full-on bourka (as they call them over there). She helps with the register sometimes. I used to go in there a lot and get pizza, and chatted with her. Very nice old lady but very shy; but she had learned decent English. Felt funny talking to someone when you could only see their eyes, and I had to work myself up to it, I confess. On the wall in back of the register was a picture of the Kaaba in Mecca. The place was like a Moslem version of the pizza place in Do The Right Thing, with the Kaaba pic taking the place of the pics of Italian heroes in that movie.

About 3 yrs ago the Feds announced that they had arrested the grnadfather and a fgriend of one of his sons, on terrorism charges. It was supposedly b/c the grandfather had made some "remarks" to an undercover agent (who of course wasn't revealed as such until after the guilty verdicts were announced) that he supported either Syria or Saudi Arabia's construction of either a new missle or some kind of WMD. The Fed in disguise had made friends with this old guy and they'd begun talking about politics, etc. The Fed "drew this guy out" and he had supposedly made some "pro-terrorist" remarks.

The arrests caused a heck of a big stink here; this guy, esp the old one, was the owner of the puizza shop and a very popular guy. I don't know about the son, that's give or take (but you know the logic of Gitmo) but if the old guy was a terrorist then I'll eat my next pay stub. A lot of people joined the local chapter of the Moslem Aliance b/c of the convictions. Their names pop up in some local anti-war rallies now. I think the Feds wanted to pout the fear of, well, Allah into the Moslem community closest to NYC.

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