Pharyngula

Terror attack on US soil

Only, of course, it won’t be called an act of terrorism because the victims were Muslim, and the perpetrators were conservative white Americans. They sprayed gas into a mosque filled with kids.

On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain’s supporters has led to — Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.

Common decency would suggest that babies should not be targeted. These are people who lack decency, I’m afraid.

Comments

  1. #1 David D.G.
    September 30, 2008

    This crime is a vile outrage, no matter who did it or why. I hope that law enforcement finds the perpetrators promptly and throws the book at them.

    ~David D.G.

  2. #2 Michael Kremer
    September 30, 2008

    I don’t always agree with you — but here, right on.

  3. #3 Sauve
    September 30, 2008

    Sad..

  4. #4 Coturnix
    September 30, 2008

    Melissa puts it well with additional examples that will not be counted.

  5. #5 Brian English
    September 30, 2008

    Common decency would suggest that babies should not be targeted. These are people who lack decency, I’m afraid. I don’t think anybody should be targeted with gas. Common decency or no.

  6. #6 Eli
    September 30, 2008

    That’s fucking insane. No matter how ridiculous religion is, or how hostile some of its adherents may be, there is absolutely no reason to target innocent members… especially children. I hope they find the guy(s) who did this.

  7. #7 Jadehawk
    September 30, 2008

    how very messed up, but I bet it won’t get much mention, for one because it wasn’t Christians being attacked, and for another because no one was seriously hurt. from the news I’m gathering 2 people were sent to the hospital, but it isn’t life-threatening.

    watch the story devolve into “just some unruly kids” and “those Muslim are so oversensitive”

  8. #8 Jadehawk
    September 30, 2008

    ah, I was right. there you go,
    it wasn’t a hate-crime at all

  9. #9 Kel
    September 30, 2008

    what…the…fuck…

  10. #10 Michael from Idaho
    September 30, 2008

    From the article…
    “The men didn’t say anything to her (before she was sprayed),” Biehl said. “There was nothing left at the scene or anything that makes us believe this is a biased crime.”

    So… since they didn’t say “All Muslims should die!” or “Baby Jesus told me to do this!” or other blatant demonstration of hate/stupidity it’s not a hate crime? Do people in Dayton always go randomly shooting noxious chemicals at people through open windows? I’m confused…

  11. #11 qedpro
    September 30, 2008

    how come we’re only hearing about this now?
    WTF?
    This should have been all over the #$%^& news!!!

  12. #12 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    5 bucks says one of the Donowhores either posts on a thread or writes an email within the next week comparing this to crackergate.

    the wording will be something extremely stupid like:

    “see? when people spray gas at muslims, you get all upset, but you’re more than happy to poke jesus in the eye with a rusty nail and toss him in your trash can!”

    any takers?

  13. #13 Patricia
    September 30, 2008

    I think this is the DVD that was distributed through the Oregonian! I saw a blurb about it on the Channel 8 News.
    To the credit of Oregonians, there was a protest in Portland and a demand for an apology.
    Christian fucks. Where is their ‘every life is sacred’ creed now?
    Thou shalt not kill.

  14. #14 S.Scott
    September 30, 2008

    AAaauurrgghh!! How come we are just hearing about this now? I’ve had the news on all weekend!! As a matter of fact – I still haven’t “heard” anything.

    Fucking assholes.

  15. #15 ambulocetus
    September 30, 2008

    Just the latest sign that liberals and atheists are increasingly in danger. Wing-nuts have a tenuous hold on reality as it is, and it will only get worse. I have come to a decision. My friends keep asking why I don’t teach martial arts. I tell them I don’t want be a babysitter or help soccer moms prevent arthritis, but I will now teach, free of charge, to any atheists in the Chicago/Gary area. Contact me through youtube.

  16. #16 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    September 30, 2008

    My prediction is that someone will claim this was done by a Muslim activist, trying to make Christians look bad.

  17. #17 Kel
    September 30, 2008

    5 bucks says one of the Donowhores either posts on a thread or writes an email within the next week comparing this to crackergate.

    the wording will be something extremely stupid like:

    “see? when people spray gas at muslims, you get all upset, but you’re more than happy to poke jesus in the eye with a rusty nail and toss him in your trash can!”

    any takers?

    Not now that you’ve done half the work for him. FFS, don’t give Donohue any idea. Give him an inch and he’ll drain your blood.

  18. #18 woodstein312
    September 30, 2008

    This is appalling. I don’t care to what beliefs you subscribe, violence is violence… and violence against children is unforgiveable.
    I didn’t know about the DVD — since I live way out here in the CNMI — but sounds like it ranks somewhere up there with the Willie Horton advertisement that scared so many voters senseless a few elections back. Fear-mongering: it’s shameful that anyone does it and even more shameful that it works.

  19. #19 Monado
    September 30, 2008

    Gasp! This…. this — this is worse than dissing a cracker!

    Sometimes people are hateful. I hope that the terrorists are caught and punished.

  20. #20 Dahan
    September 30, 2008

    My 2c and I’m out. If this sort of thing doesn’t make the bile rise in your throat, if it doesn’t make you fear for our survival as a race, if you aren’t mad as hell that this sort of shit is tolerated in the 21st Century, you need to take a long look at your life.

    ambulocetus, would that include quiet atheists/agnostics? I’ve got a friend that lives in your neck of the woods who could use a little help.

  21. #21 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Thou shalt not kill.

    of course. that’s why they used an “irritant” instead of nerve gas.
    ;)

    honestly, my first reaction is that this is some sort of political stunt. recall what the little girl said about the two men saying absolutely nothing?

    If someone wanted to cause damage, they most certainly could have done far worse, and why be totally silent about it? Why use some relatively untraceable chemical (note that the report on the official investigation said there were no traces of things like tear gas)?

    Something stinks about this, and I don’t just mean the gas.

    I’m sure this was a real attack, but I just can’t figure out what the motive behind it would really be.

    or maybe I’ve just seen too many detective shows on TV.

  22. #22 Katharine
    September 30, 2008

    There is apparently a website of idiots on the internet which is begging to be debunked.

    http://www.atheismsfallacies.com is full of stupid.

  23. #23 Conservationist
    September 30, 2008

    Um… this has nothing to do with John McCain.

    The group that distributed the video is a pro-Israel lobby that is ALSO pro-McCain, but it’s a fallacy to connect him to this or to the video itself.

    Is anyone even paying attention to logic anymore? Oh well: when America collapses into tyranny, it’ll be funny to watch those who helped destroy it face what they created.

  24. #24 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Oh well: when America collapses into tyranny, it’ll be funny to watch those who helped destroy it face what they created.

    have you looked in a mirror today?

  25. #25 Natasha Yar-Routh
    September 30, 2008

    I heard about this on Democracy Now this morning and was appalled but not surprised. As we in the queer community know preach hate at a target group long enough and loud enough and you will get violence. With that vile DVD floating around I just hope something worse doesn’t happen.

  26. #26 Janus
    September 30, 2008

    Obsession is actually a well researched and perfectly accurate documentary. Can you call something “fear-mongering” when it tells nothing but the truth?

  27. #27 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Obsession is actually a well researched and perfectly accurate documentary.

    would you care to document the truths you found in it for us?

  28. #28 Capital Dan
    September 30, 2008

    Conservationist | September 30, 2008 1:10 AM

    Is anyone even paying attention to logic anymore? Oh well: when America collapses into tyranny, it’ll be funny to watch those who helped destroy it face what they created.

    Umm… It’s already happened there, cowboy. What did you think happened with the signing of the Patriot Act. Have you been to an airport lately? And, what about the near endless cries of “Executive Privilege” from the Chimp in Chief and his cronies?

    Sorry. We’re already living in a tyranny, and you fucktards helped create it with the incessant erosion of our rights to protect America’s Little Tyrant so that he may live to puke out his little threats every fucking day.

    Personally, when I read stories like the ones PZ is talking about, I honestly think that maybe America does deserve the bombs we seem to be encouraging people to drop on us. We are a nation of cowards giving free reign to a lackwitted egomaniac who doesn’t have the mental acumen required to operate a fucking bag of pretzels without being lethally challenged, and yet some idiots out there think he’s capable of running a country?

  29. #29 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    doesn’t have the mental acumen required to operate a fucking bag of pretzels

    LOL

    nice.

    good thing I have a waterproof keyboard.

  30. #30 BMcP
    September 30, 2008

    I am surprised that an anti-religion DVD like Obsession would be seen negatively here to be honest. I received a copy, I haven’t watch it yet though I cannot say exactly what is on it but it seems anti-Islam, which in itself doesn’t bug me, I have no use for Islam whatever, to me it is a decedent belief at best.

    That begin said, attacking people inside a mosque should is a terroristic crime and those found guilty should be punished severely.

  31. #31 Kel
    September 30, 2008

    The group that distributed the video is a pro-Israel lobby that is ALSO pro-McCain, but it’s a fallacy to connect him to this or to the video itself.

    Just that promoter is in a political organistation that’s only goal is to see Obama defeated and the movie being distributed in swing states when there’s rumours going around of Obama being a muslim, it doesn’t mean there’s anything to connect.

  32. #32 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    some idiots out there think he’s capable of running a country?

    I’m assuming those would be the same idiots that think Sarah Palin can do the same?

    why does she have to have the last name Palin, anyway. Since someone has already done the “Michael Palin for President” thing , it just makes it so I have to use her full name instead of just the last.

    Or maybe I’ll just take the advice offered earlier and just start calling her Bible Spice.

    crap, that’s still two words.

  33. #33 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    I am surprised that an anti-religion DVD like Obsession would be seen negatively here to be honest. I received a copy, I haven’t watch it yet though

    *headdesk*

  34. #34 hje
    September 30, 2008

    Onward to Kristallnacht. History repeats itself. Who’s the next target for the new jack-booted fascists?

    1. Muslims.
    2. Atheists, agnostics, and heretics.
    3. Teh Gays.
    4. Jews (those not for Jesus).
    5. Any Democrat and all liberal Republicans.
    6. Elitist college professors, especially Darwinists.
    7. Immigrants, legal or not.
    8. Anyone not white, Protestant, and of European origin.
    9. Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Episcopalians, Buddhists, etc. (those “non-Christians”–plus all those fake Christian, see Ray Comfort).
    10. People who reads books, especially those bad books (see S. Palin).
    11. People who wear glasses (excepting S. Palin, but see Khmer Rouge).

    OK, the last one might be a stretch, but just listen to conservative talk radio for a few hours–if you can bear it. Or watch Glenn Beck for an hour (if you can stomach it). Something evil comes this way.

  35. #35 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    do I have to pick only one?

  36. #36 Grammar RWA
    September 30, 2008

    Please call the Dayton police department and tell them to quit bullshitting and treat this as a hate crime. It’s dishonest for them to pretend it’s anything but. This is a non-dispatch number: 937-333-1311

    Then call the mayor’s office and tell them the same thing. Ask for a substantial reward to be offered for any information leading to a conviction. 937-333-3636

  37. #37 Kobra
    September 30, 2008

    I know a lot of liberals don’t support the death penalty, but do you think we could negotiate that with the people responsible for this one? Or maybe just have a vigilante put a .22 to their heads? No? Okay, just throwing that out there.

    In all seriousness, it’s absolutely atrocious that anyone would target children. These jerk-offs deserve about as much respect as pedophiles.

  38. #38 craig
    September 30, 2008

    Speaking of airports, I was “randomly selected” for a full screening at the airport the other day for a domestic flight. Wand waved over me, physically patted down, the bare soles of my feet (sandals removed) examined, and over a half our of watching them remove and examine in detail every single item in my baggage. Prescriptions. A little soapstone carving. Dirty clothes searched, clean clothes searched, their pockets checked, books flipped through, etc. They went through my stuff with a fine-toothed comb. Surprising that they didn’t turn on my laptop and search the hard drive.

    Almost missed my flight it took so long.

  39. #39 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Surprising that they didn’t turn on my laptop and search the hard drive.

    me too, considering that’s where you had the bomb hidden.

    oops, I’ve said too much.
    :P

  40. #40 hje
    September 30, 2008

    I too was “randomly selected” for a full screening. I thought I was in trouble for sure because I had a foot long “garden ant” sculpture made of rocks and twisted wire in my carry-on bag (to make sure it didn’t get bent). Oddly not much interest from them for the ant, not anywhere as near as much as the 1 oz. container of prescription cream that I had to treat poison ivy–it was not in a clear plastic bag!!! The screener kept yelling the words “clear plastic bag!!!” at me until I was cleared.

  41. #41 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    The screener kept yelling the words “clear plastic bag!!!” at me until I was cleared.

    Gees. I’ll make sure to remember to bring a pocketful of clear plastic bags when next I fly.

    …maybe start randomly handing them to people waiting to be screened.

  42. #42 Scott M
    September 30, 2008

    Good grief. Five will get you ten that the idiots that did this believe that they accomplished a good end.

    For the record: Obsession is not particularly popular around here. It paints an entire religion with a brush covered by the paint of the few fanatics. I’m all for criticizing a religions, any religion, and the idiotic policies that come from them. But Obsession has one purpose: To incite hate. The kind of hate that led to this…madness.

  43. #43 Grammar RWA
    September 30, 2008

    We can put the pressure on the Dayton police through the Dayton Daily News, too. Ask for a reward to be offered.

    Email for short blurbs, ~30 words: speakup@daytondailynews.com

    Email for letters to the editor, you need to include name, address and phone number: edletter@daytondailynews.com

  44. #44 InTheImageOfDNA
    September 30, 2008

    @Katherine #22

    That site you mention is a cut and paste job from carm.org. Compare http://www.atheismsfallacies.com/viable.html to http://www.carm.org/atheism/viable.htm

    I took a few minutes to look around their site and found one outright lie where they claim to not be Christians (but they cut and paste from carm.org), a grammatical error on their homepage that has a copyright date from 2006: “They [Atheists] take every opportunity to verbally abuse and persecuting people of religion – especially Christians”, a wild claim http://www.atheismsfallacies.com/about.html about having an atheist stalker who is serving jail time (no documentation, big surprise there), and a video juxtaposing death and destruction war scenes with atheism.

    It is the usual ad hominem moronic drivel spewed forth from simple minds, not even worthy of the time it would take to debunk their retardation.

  45. #45 Scrabcake
    September 30, 2008

    This is outrageous. This should be on the front page of google news…why are people not raising hell about this?

  46. #46 Buzz Buzz
    September 30, 2008

    “Common decency would suggest that babies should not be targeted. These are people who lack decency, I’m afraid.”

    What? No! Haven’t you heard? God gives them their values directly. Trust me, they’ve told me so on numerous occasions.

  47. #47 Sleeping at the Console
    September 30, 2008

    @ #32
    “Bible Spice”, I have to remember that one.

  48. #48 scooter
    September 30, 2008

    I dunno.

    I agree with the skeptics at this point, very conflicting reports, and the emphasis on the babies and children always sets off my bullshit radar like a stink bomb in a Mosque.

    As far as this being blowback from anti-muslim propaganda, it reminds me of the lethal attack on the Unitarians recently, when the they found books by Michael Savage OReilly et.el. in the murderers home, all screeds against liberals.

    If anybody can site that the DVD distribution was paid for by a pro Israeli organization, that would be useful, names and so forth.

    It’s no reason to stop the presses as pro Israeli orgs tend to look down on Islam, but AIPAC and their like tend to throw their money to the Dems, so it’s an interesting shift.

    Thanks

  49. #49 Nasikabatrachus
    September 30, 2008

    I’m as appalled at these actions as everyone else, and have no problem with the idea that it was a couple of white republicans hopped up on propaganda that did this, but the conclusions that have been reached by some don’t seem to be supported by what evidence is available. Was it white, christian republicans who did this? It seems likely, but I don’t see any details about their race in any of the stories about it. Was it inspired by ‘Obsession’? Maybe, but the link at this point is speculative. For all we know, it was just a couple of sociopaths out for a sick thrill. Maybe they are members of the KKK and they’ve been planning it for months.

    We might want to speculate wildly and finger our favorite boogey men (and I include myself here) but it’s just punching at the air.

  50. #50 woodstein312
    September 30, 2008

    @ 26 “Can you call something “fear-mongering” when it tells nothing but the truth?”

    Let’s see, can we label a video that — I’m told — paints muslims as terrorists “fear-mongering”?
    Yes, yes we can.
    Whether or not some muslims are terrorists is irrelevant. When you craft a film to paint all or most of them as such in a bid to influence the way people think, to play on their fears… yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not far from the dictionary definition of fear-mongering (if there is one).
    I say all this, of course, having no real affection for Islam or any religion but a general dislike of anyone trying incite the mob to this kind of behavior.

  51. #51 BrainFromArous
    September 30, 2008

    Question Time…

    (1) Does anyone have any hard facts on this attack beyond what the local Dayton news sources report?

    All I found from the news article linked was

    *****

    Someone “sprayed an irritant into the mosque,” Dayton fire District Chief Vince Wiley said, noting that fire investigators believe it was a hand-held spray can.

    According to fire dispatch communications, a child reported seeing two men with a white can spraying something into a window. That child was brought to the supervising firefighter at the scene.

    Wiley would not discuss that report, but said the investigation has been turned over to police. Police were not commenting.

    *****

    (2) PZ wrote “the perpetrators were conservative, White Americans.”

    Do we know this for a fact? Have the police detained suspects? Has the primary witness (a young girl) said anything else?

    (3) The Daily Kos piece makes much about the attack occurring after the release of the Obsession film. Is there any actual link established here or is this a Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc statement?

  52. #52 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    @scooter, and totally OT.

    nice to meet and chat with you in LA.

    hope you liked the pic I snapped of you.

    cheers.

  53. #53 BobC
    September 30, 2008

    Gassing children and babies? I bet they were Christians. Whoever they were, they need to go to prison.

    This is probably not politically correct, but I wish the Muslims living in America would go back to the dirtbag countries they came from. Whenever I hear the word ‘Muslim’ all I can think about is people being burned alive, or jumping out of windows and exploding when they hit the sidewalk, or somebody slowly getting his head cut off with a small sharp knife, screaming until his head is almost completely separated from the rest of his body (I unfortunately saw a video of this). If the Muslims left, I don’t think anyone would miss them.

    Before anyone says ‘Most Muslims are moderate’ I would like to know what is moderate about being a member of a religion that is responsible for 100% of the daily suicide bombings in this world. Anyone with any common sense at all would not want to be a part of a religion that is infested with thousands of insane terrorists.

  54. #54 amk
    September 30, 2008

    Haven’t you been banned yet?

    responsible for 100% of the daily suicide bombings in this world

    You’ve never heard of the Tamil Tigers then. Also, read this.

  55. #55 jadehawk
    September 30, 2008

    …and Germans are responsible for 100% of gassed jews. should we be passionately shun and vilify Germans, while we’re at it?

    seriously. religion, just like every other fanatic -ism out there is a nightmare that fucks with people’s heads and makes them do horrible things. that doesn’t mean that every member of an -ism is inherently an evil person. it’s a brainwash, they need to be un-brainwashed (what do you call that…?), not attacked or “sent back where they came from”.

  56. #56 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    This is probably not politically correct, but I wish the Muslims living in America would go back to the dirtbag countries they came from.

    we’ve uh, kinda gotten that message loud and clear from you for a while now, bobbo.

    some personal issue you wish to share with the class?

  57. #57 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Also, read this.

    bookmarked.

    thanks.

  58. #58 DangerAardvark
    September 30, 2008

    Why is this automatically a hate crime, and automatically a result of that dumb DVD? You people act like that’s not even up for debate. I haven’t watched the DVD, but unless it was an unambiguous and direct incitement to violence, then the link is completely fallacious and thus protected by the first amendment.

  59. #59 craig
    September 30, 2008

    “I haven’t watched the DVD, but unless it was an unambiguous and direct incitement to violence, then the link is completely fallacious and thus protected by the first amendment.”

    Uh, no.
    The link may be fallacious… if the person who did this has not watched the DVD or was not inspired by it. If they DID watch the DVD and were inspired by it, yet the DVD contains no direct incitement to violence, then it is protected by the first amendment AND the link is NOT fallacious.

    Just because something is protected by the first amendment does not mean that it is benign, that it can not inspire immoral acts.

    Logic – ur doing it wrong.

  60. #60 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    You people act like that’s not even up for debate.

    not very observant, are you?

    the link is completely fallacious and thus protected by the first amendment.

    what the fuck does that even mean?

  61. #61 Moggie
    September 30, 2008

    This is probably not politically correct, but I wish the Muslims living in America would go back to the dirtbag countries they came from.

    And what exactly would you do with the many Muslims who were born in America?

  62. #62 MikeinJapan
    September 30, 2008

    This isn’t a court of law where we have to prove beyond doubt that there is a connection. This is a blog. PZ can make the suspicious connection that the attack, which coincided with the distribution of the DVD, was connected by more than just happenstance. The distributors of the DVD probably cannot be held liable, but the people involved in the attack certainly can and should. When they are caught they can be questioned, and more information will become available about what role this DVD may have had in inciting them to violence.

  63. #63 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    This is a blog. PZ can make the suspicious connection that the attack, which coincided with the distribution of the DVD, was connected by more than just happenstance.

    er, not that he actually HAS done that, mind you.

    note that the blockquoted part of the article was not written by PZ, but taken from the linked KOS article.

  64. #64 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    one thing I would add, is from a historical perspective within the US, if this had been a gas attack on a xian church in the same locale, very likely it would have been immediately investigated from the start as a hate crime.

    so, regardless of whether or not this one actually turns out to be, it seems hypocritical to me for the local police not to investigate it as such.

  65. #65 scooter
    September 30, 2008

    Posted by: Ichthyic

    from a historical perspective within the US, if this had been a gas attack on a xian church in the same locale, very likely it would have been immediately investigated from the start as a hate crime.

    Obviously you have never been to a southern babtist white church. These people start drinking cheap beer on Friday night and stumble into church hungover or still drunk, after eating eggs for breakfast.

    Every Sunday morning service is a gas attack, and sulphur dioxide is far more lethal than ‘irritants’.

    That’s why they don’t light candles or sling incense or anything flammable in southern churches

  66. #66 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Every Sunday morning service is a gas attack, and sulphur dioxide is far more lethal than ‘irritants’.

    ROFLMAO

    must be where the rumors of “spontaneous combustion” come from.

  67. #67 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    It seems likely, but I don’t see any details about their race in any of the stories about it.

    one of the links described the little girl as saying she was sprayed by two white men, who said nothing.

  68. #68 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    That’s why they don’t light candles or sling incense or anything flammable in southern churches

    Lyle: “How ’bout some more beans, Mr. Taggart?”

    Mr. Taggart: “I’d say you’ve had enough …”

  69. #69 Muffins
    September 30, 2008

    “Common decency would suggest that babies should not be targeted.”

    Common decency would also suggest that terrorist attacks should not be committed at all, I’d say. Or that any kind of racism, discrimination, fear-mongering etc. should not exist.

  70. #70 Fernando Magyar
    September 30, 2008

    Posted by: Janus @ 26

    Obsession is actually a well researched and perfectly accurate documentary.

    Well, I actually have seen said DVD, and you sir are a complete and total idiot! Moreover, I didn’t have to do any research whatsoever to be 100% certain of the accuracy of my statement.

  71. #71 Kobra
    September 30, 2008

    #69:

    That kinda goes without saying. It’s more appalling that someone committing these attacks would harm children, though.

  72. #72 Fernando Magyar
    September 30, 2008

    That kinda goes without saying. It’s more appalling that someone committing these attacks would harm children, though.

    Come on now, this is the *WAR AGAINST TERROR* we’re talking about here. A few women, children and babies here and there, that’s merely *COLATERAL DAMAGE*.

  73. #73 Pandora Neurospora
    September 30, 2008

    BobC:
    “Whenever I hear the word ‘Muslim’ all I can think about is people being burned alive, or jumping out of windows…”

    Hey this might seem rude BobC but I have to ask. Have you ever met a Muslim? Do you interact with them, at all?

  74. #74 clinteas
    September 30, 2008

    Get off BobC’s back people !

    One thing’s for sure,hes saying it like he feels it is,and I can deal with that,and somewhat relate,I have had similar outbursts here myself.Sometimes you just blow the gasket and have to vent.

    I work with Muslims every day of the week,lots of my residents and support staff are,and yes they are mainly discussion-resistant,and yes they will walk out on you in the middle of a resus to go pray for 15 minutes,and yes I have seen the videos of decapitation and stonings.
    Are there nice Muslims? Duh,what a stupid question,just as many as nice Christians or Jews,of course,but are there millions of zealots and retarded violence-ready people on all sides,but more so on the side of Islam? Definetely yes IMO.
    The sound makes the music,as they say.But keep the message in mind too.

  75. #75 johannes
    September 30, 2008

    > responsible for 100% of the daily suicide bombings in this world

    # 53,

    Suicide bombings were brought to the middle east by the Syrian National Socialist Party, which is Melkite (= greek orthodox) Christian.

  76. #76 Evolving Squid
    September 30, 2008

    I do hope that the perpetrators are pursued with the same vigour that has driven the pursuit of Muslim terrorists these past 7 years.

  77. #77 clinteas
    September 30, 2008

    And now to something completely different :

    Bill Maher talks about “Religulous” on Conan last nite :

    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=459Ln4h5ldU

  78. #78 Christopher
    September 30, 2008

    Don’t expect too much done about this. The police are involved, but even if they bother to find the perpetrators and arrest them, bring them to trial, it’ll be a very light charge with little, if any, jail time upon conviction.

    This is a very conservative part of Ohio. Southern, especially southwest Ohio, will go for Republican almost every time. These are the people who voted Jean Schmidt back in even after she was contemptible in the House for remarks about Kerry.

    This is also near the area where Larry Flynt found himself targeted often for his pornography studio. This is not a pleasant area for freethinkers to feel safe from religious zealots. And it especially isn’t too safe for non-Christians who are in the path of any of the religious zealots.

    It’s wrong. But like much of what happens in Ohio lately, I don’t see anything going right about it.

  79. #79 craig
    September 30, 2008

    “Whenever I hear the word ‘Muslim’ all I can think about is people being burned alive, or jumping out of windows…”

    And whenever I hear the word ‘German’ all I think of is the Holocaust. And whenever I hear the word ‘Jew’ all I think of is the Palestinians. And whenever I hear the word ‘Palestinian’ all I think of is the Jews. And whenever I hear the word ‘Japanese’ all I think of is Pearl Harbor. And whenever I hear the word ‘French’ all I think of is Algeria. And whenever I hear the word ‘Turk’ all I think of is Armenia. And whenever I hear the word ‘Chinese’ all I think of is Tienanmen Square. And whenever I hear the word “American,” all I think of is the Sullivan Expedition. And whenever I hear the word ‘English’ all I I think of is… well, many things. And whenever I hear the word ‘Christian’ all I think of is the Salem Witch Trials. And whenever I hear the word ‘Communist’ all I think of is the gulags. And whenever I hear the word ‘Capitalist’ all I think of is the Ludlow Massacre. And whenever I hear the word ‘scientist” all I think of is Hiroshima.

    The problem with that kind of thinking is – it’s not thinking. It’s reacting. It’s lizard-brain.

    THINKING is what get’s you past those reactions.

  80. #80 BAllanJ
    September 30, 2008

    OK, so when they find these guys (I hope), they should send them off to Gitmo where they can stand on a stool naked and blindfolded until they say their guilty of….well… everything. Not really, since I hope they close that place and let the Cubans have it back, but it is a nice fantasy.

    Re the DVD… anyone know if it’s distributed up here in Canada? If it is we could ask the distributors to come up and give a little talk… then arrest their asses and charge them with hate crimes!

  81. #81 Jon
    September 30, 2008

    This is bad and everything, but what does this have to do with John McCain? Complete non-sequitur.

  82. #82 Jordan S
    September 30, 2008

    Craig said:

    “…and whenever I hear the word ‘scientist” all I think of is Hiroshima.

    The problem with that kind of thinking is – it’s not thinking. It’s reacting. It’s lizard-brain.”

    Lay off BobC. He was sharing what, his thoughts or feelings?…you don’t really make the connections of your examples … you are simply mocking. Bob probably does make the connections he’s suggesting he does. Making connections is part of the human experience. Your suggestion that his thinking is lizard brained makes some kind of weird assumption that a person can make a choice about how one feels about something.

  83. #83 Eamon Knight
    September 30, 2008

    I’ve seen this flick. My take is here.

  84. #84 decrepitoldfool
    September 30, 2008

    The effort to disentangle one’s consciousness from fear is often more than many people can make. My mother told me of a trip she made to Pearl Harbor in the 1960′s. Of course as a young woman she had lived through WWII and all the propaganda posters, etc. There were tourists everywhere including Japanese tourists. She told me; “I know it isn’t rational, but I kept thinking, ‘Get that camera away from that Jap!’”

    That is the price of fearmongering and hatemongering (and indirectly of attacks in the first place) – fear and distrust, hate, that persists for decades despite conscious efforts to get past them. Fortunately children don’t care much for their parents’ concerns, unless they are carefully taught.

  85. #85 Hockey Bob
    September 30, 2008

    Great – more reactionary drivel from DailyKos. At least they didn’t blame Bush for it this time.

    Seriously, a “chemical” “terrorist attack”? It was a white spray can – they probably got sprayed with dollar store deodorant…

    (Which is what the cops *should* have used on the anarchists at the RNC – anything is better than that awful patchouli oil crap they wear!)

  86. #86 Nick Gotts
    September 30, 2008

    HockeyBob,
    You’re a moronic scumbag. If you are sprayed with an unknown chemical by unknown people, it has to be assumed highly toxic until proven otherwise.

  87. #87 Snitzels
    September 30, 2008

    OMFG. I freaking live here in Dayton. This doesn’t surprise me too terribly much, as most of the population has thinly veiled suspicion of anyone different. What pisses me off the most is that it happened here, and then the police said it’s NOT A HATE CRIME.

    WTF!?!?!? All you have to do is read the article, a little girl was standing next to a window and two white men sprayed her in the face with a chemical, but because they didn’t say anything, just gassed everyone, it’s “not a hate crime”. I guess it was just a simple attack on a religious building and only targeted the children. that makes it not a terrorist act at all.

  88. #88 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 30, 2008

    honestly, my first reaction is that this is some sort of political stunt. recall what the little girl said about the two men saying absolutely nothing?
    If someone wanted to cause damage, they most certainly could have done far worse, and why be totally silent about it? Why use some relatively untraceable chemical (note that the report on the official investigation said there were no traces of things like tear gas)?
    Something stinks about this, and I don’t just mean the gas.
    I’m sure this was a real attack, but I just can’t figure out what the motive behind it would really be.

    Man, is that easy.

    The motive of terrorism is to strike the targeted population segment with fear, in Latin terror. Killing people is not the goal; when it happens (see 9/11), it’s a means to an end, the end being to say “be afraid — do what we want, or you’ll be next”.

    …and Germans are responsible for 100% of gassed jews.

    Austrians were overrepresented among concentration camp guards and… similar groups of people.

    a religion that is responsible for 100% of the daily suicide bombings in this world.

    The ignorance! Not only is Islam not necessary for becoming a suicide bomber, religion in the usual sense or even any belief in an afterlife is not necessary. The PKK, the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan, is Stalinist, and has produced a series of suicide bombers, many of them incidentally women. I repeat: Stalinists. They all firmly believed that death is The End®.

  89. #89 Cafeeine
    September 30, 2008

    Posted by: Jordan S | September 30, 2008 9:07 AM

    Craig said:

    “…and whenever I hear the word ‘scientist” all I think of is Hiroshima.

    The problem with that kind of thinking is – it’s not thinking. It’s reacting. It’s lizard-brain.”

    Lay off BobC. He was sharing what, his thoughts or feelings?…you don’t really make the connections of your examples … you are simply mocking. Bob probably does make the connections he’s suggesting he does. Making connections is part of the human experience. Your suggestion that his thinking is lizard brained makes some kind of weird assumption that a person can make a choice about how one feels about something

    Craig was making a point that prejudices can exist for a multitude of categories, and while I doubt he even personally believes one of those, there are people who do, or did, passionately.

    Furthermore, BobC did more then express his feelings, he called for action on them. He also expressed ignorance on the facts.

    And with regards to your comment, do you purport that people cannot make a choice about how they feel? Should the fact that I severely dislike him, based on his comment give me grounds to have him deported? I don’t think so. (and not just because I happen not to share his nationality.)

  90. #90 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 30, 2008

    Lay off BobC. He was sharing what, his thoughts or feelings?

    He was sharing his lack of thought. He seems to honestly believe that Muslims automatically sympathize with suicide bombing, beheadings and so on. And you really suggest we should just lean back and smile at this vile, hate-filled stupidity?

  91. #91 Nick Gotts
    September 30, 2008

    So, clinteas, if BobC can “say it how he feels it is”, why can’t I say it how I feel it is: that BobC is a disgusting bigot, that I can easily envisage him acting out his repeatedly expressed hate by physically attacking Muslims, and that he ought to get psychiatric help?

  92. #92 Steven Dunlap
    September 30, 2008

    The latest update from the Dayton Daily News

    There is only one witness: a 10 year old girl. Hazmat crews were not able to find any trace of the 130 chemicals they tested for. Not a trace on the girl.

    Also, there does not exist a direct link between McCain and the DVD in question.

    I do not like McCain nor his politics. I also do not seek to defend anyone who sprayed anything. I am only pointing out that we have an absence of facts and we can not verify this incident as anything one way or another. We may never learn any more about what actually happened. Sorry.

  93. #93 Chiroptera
    September 30, 2008

    BobC, #53: Whenever I hear the word ‘Muslim’ all I can think about is people being burned alive, or jumping out of windows and exploding when they hit the sidewalk, or somebody slowly getting his head cut off with a small sharp knife, screaming until his head is almost completely separated from the rest of his body (I unfortunately saw a video of this).

    You know, they have medications that can help with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It would certainly be less “politically incorrect” to check it out than asking other people to accommodate your emotional imbalances by leaving the country.

  94. #94 Dan B.
    September 30, 2008

    Welllllll, I’m guessing one reason we haven’t heard much about it is because no one died and no one got sick. If you read the article it sounds like someone sprayed some chemical (maybe pesticide?) in the face of the babysitter watching this room of kids. Certainly a crime and certainly should be prosecuted, but I’m not sure it’s enough to make national news as a “terrorist attack.” I think that would actually be irresponsible scare-mongering.

  95. #95 Hockey Bob
    September 30, 2008

    Wait a minute here… you mean we’re NOT supposed to hate religious moonbat nutjobs?

    You’ve got to be kidding, right? Religion is the cause of more human suffering, torture, and murder than any other cause in the history of the universe – but we’re okay with it now, because some offspring of believers of Brand M Skyfairy (TM) were sprayed with starting fluid, possibly by believers of Brand J Skyfairy (TM)???

    All religion is evil. Period. Anyone stupid enough to fall for it deserves nothing but contempt. Contempt, yes. Illegal attacks, no. Then again, an eye for an eye, etc…

    If that makes me a “moronic scumbag”, at least I’m in good company here.

    As for Nick Gotts, thanks for clearing that up for me – since the article I had read stated that, apart from some eye irritation, everyone was fine, no one died, and thus, the substance was not “highly toxic”; this led me to ridicule the “chemical” “terrorist” commentaries. Of course, if it is discovered that the perps were using a can of Acme Spray Anthrax and Room Deodorizer, I’ll gladly retract my criticisms of the “drama queen” over-reactions in short order.

  96. #96 Liz
    September 30, 2008

    Muslim’s claim that Islam is a religion of peace yet in Dearbornistan they hold yearly rallies in support of Hezbollah,Al Qaeda and the Mujahideen.

  97. #97 Natalie
    September 30, 2008

    Steven @ 92

    Also, there does not exist a direct link between McCain and the DVD in question.

    No one has claimed that there is a direct link between McCain and this DVD, so what’s your point?

    HockeyBob @ 85

    It was a white spray can – they probably got sprayed with dollar store deodorant…

    Doesn’t matter what it was – if it was done deliberately it’s still assault.

    (Which is what the cops *should* have used on the anarchists at the RNC – anything is better than that awful patchouli oil crap they wear!)

    You’re confusing anarchists with hippies.

    What bothered me the most about the follow-up article was this statement: “The detective will determine if a crime was committed.” If? Leaving aside the hate crime aspect, and leaving aside whether or not this chemical was terribly dangerous, deliberately spraying someone in the face with an irritant is a crime. Considering that a bunch of people left the mosque due to the irritation, I think we can safely say that an irritant was actually in the mosque. So why the question of whether or not a crime was committed?

  98. #98 K
    September 30, 2008

    Ok, I have to be honest.
    I wouldn’t condone anyone doing this.
    I wouldn’t do it, myself.
    But paybacks are a b*tch.
    Until muslims speak up against the so-called, “bad muslims,” who perpetrate evil, they are condoning it and frankly, I just don’t care what happens to them.

  99. #99 Nick Gotts
    September 30, 2008

    HockeyBob,

    Well, we’re certainly not supposed to hate children. Spraying with an unknown chemical is undoubtedly a terrorist attack, in the very simple sense that it’s intended to cause terror. I don’t know if you have children, but if someone sprayed my son with an unknown chemical, I’d certainly feel terrorised. And yes, you are indeed a moronic scumbag.

  100. #100 SC
    September 30, 2008

    Dear Hockey Bob:

    On behalf of myself and those who share my political views, I respectfully request that you go fuck yourself. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

    Most sincerely,

    SC, Samsara-scented anarchist

    K:

    Until muslims speak up against the so-called, “bad muslims,” who perpetrate evil, they are condoning it and frankly, I just don’t care what happens to them.

    Wow, this thread’s sure brought the creeps out of the woodwork.

  101. #101 EntoAggie
    September 30, 2008

    Re: “politically incorrect”

    BobC, I read an interesting blog post the other day about what being “PC” actually means. You may want to look into it, because the statements you’ve expressed here (and on many other comment threads) actually fall quite neatly under the original definition of politically CORRECT, as in, they align with the viewpoints of those currently in power.

    http://www.kaichang.net/2006/11/the_sloppy_prop.html

    (sorry, can’t remember right this second how to do cool insert linky thing).

    Yeah, I’m just sick of people using “I’m just being politically incorrect!!” (and people here do it too) in order to spout ridiculous nonsense. Un-PC does not automatically equal right or true, it can just as well still be stupid.

  102. #102 Nick Gotts
    September 30, 2008

    K,
    Yeah, that ten year old girl and the younger kids she was looking after deserve whatever they get, don’t they? I mean, why haven’t they denounced Osama bin Laden?

  103. #103 Dianne
    September 30, 2008

    I seem to remember after 9/11 that people were demanding that ALL Muslims, regardless of their political beliefs, to denounce al Qaeda. Simply because they were Islamic. So, where are the calls for all Republicans or all Christians or all Jews to denounce this attack and the people associated with it?

    BTW: I imagine that bin Laden would like to send the attackers a thank you card. It’s so much easier to recruit people to radical and/or violent groups after they have been villified and attacked than when they are happy and feel comfortable with their neighbors.

  104. #104 Quiet Desperation
    September 30, 2008

    There is only one witness: a 10 year old girl. Hazmat crews were not able to find any trace of the 130 chemicals they tested for. Not a trace on the girl.

    Gasp! It’s the Pattern! The girl will begin to transform into a giant hogweed at any moment! Quick! Get Dr. Walter Bishop over there with one of his cobbled together woo machines!

  105. #105 Armchair Dissident
    September 30, 2008

    Until muslims speak up against the so-called, “bad muslims,” who perpetrate evil, they are condoning it and frankly, I just don’t care what happens to them.

    Then you are a blithering idiot. It does not, for one moment, cross your mind that the assumption “muslims aren’t speaking up against ‘bad muslims’” is entirely false? They are. You’re just not hearing about it, because it doesn’t make good headlines. Even overlooking your shockingly abhorrent conclusion, you can’t even get your premises right.

  106. #106 Hockey Bob
    September 30, 2008

    Natalie @ 97
    You can blame DailyKos for that meme… as written on their website;

    This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain’s supporters has led to — Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.
    (Emphasis mine.)

    So, while not stating a direct link to McCain, it is still an incredible leap of faith (see what I did there?) to attempt to pin this action on McCain supporters.

    Also, you said…


    Doesn’t matter what it was – if it was done deliberately it’s still assault.

    Agreed.


    You’re confusing anarchists with hippies.

    No, I’m from St. Paul… literally a few miles from downtown. I had to walk right next to these “moronic scumbag” anarchists… they evidently ascribe to the same hygiene standards as your garden-variety hippies do. Hey, at least they’re doing their part to fight global warming!

    Now, a serious question – anyone know where I can get a copy of this evil DVD, here in Minnesota? I’d like to see what the fuss is all about, with my own eyes.

    /curious recovering catholic

  107. #107 frog
    September 30, 2008

    Jordan S.: Your suggestion that his thinking is lizard brained makes some kind of weird assumption that a person can make a choice about how one feels about something.

    ??? What, do spirits possess you and give you “feelings”? Do you lack a feedback loop between ego and id? You don’t develop, restrain and sublimate your feelings as you “grow up”?

    This is how you end up a fanatic – you have “feelings” which are therefore unquestionable. That’s just an excuse to recategorize stupidity as sacred.

  108. #108 Liz
    September 30, 2008

    “Islam isn’t in America to
    be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant.”
    –Omar Ahmad
    Co-Founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR]

  109. #109 Markus
    September 30, 2008

    and the perpetrators were conservative white Americans

    You got evidence to support they were conservative, Mr. Scientist? That must be some smart 10 year old to spot people’s political ideologies visually through a window at night. Maybe she’s psychic?

  110. #110 Nick Gotts
    September 30, 2008

    Now, a serious question – anyone know where I can get a copy of this evil DVD, here in Minnesota? I’d like to see what the fuss is all about, with my own eyes feed my hatred. – HockeyBob

  111. #111 frog
    September 30, 2008

    HockeyBob: So, while not stating a direct link to McCain, it is still an incredible leap of faith (see what I did there?) to attempt to pin this action on McCain supporters.

    Yeah, there’s no such things as decentralized social movements. We can’t make any link between McCain -> Palin -> AIP -> Constitution Party -> Southern League, not without McCain directly stating that he supports slavery.

    Basically, we can’t say anything about society at all. It wouldn’t be “scientific” in HockeyBob-ese.

    I guess we can’t talk about evolution either, because it’s stochastic pattern of decentralized filters – there’s no direct linkages, but a system of feedbacks with higher levels of order appearing.

    18th century thinking is the downfall of conservatives.

  112. #112 Latecomer
    September 30, 2008

    The story has certain congruences to episodes of mass hysteria, doesn’t it? Including the rapidity and virulence of the responses by people who have heard it third-hand (roughly one person every 7 minutes calling for the dismemberment of the perpetrators). This presents itself like just the kind of occurrence that gets written up–sadly, almost always years later–in the Skeptical Inquirer as an outrage that didn’t happen. I don’t say it is a fiction, just that the reports we have read in the first hours (silent men, unidentified agent leaving no detectable residue, physiological reaction rippling out through the community, emotional distress of those near the epicenter, apparent bafflement of investigating authorities) support one hypothesis about as well as they do the other.

    Many Pharyngulistas will probably say this is a brutish and insensitive reading of the story, and maybe it is. If only all those Satanist preschools and impalpable toxic clouds and contagious demonic possessions had received skeptical readings too.

  113. #113 Armchair Dissident
    September 30, 2008

    Co-Founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR]

    Yup, and the utterances of that moron “the Pope” is a clear indication of the point of view of all catholics. We can clearly deduce from this that no catholic ever uses birth control. Furthermore, all protestants are creationists, and all hindus like disrupting plays.

  114. #114 Chiroptera
    September 30, 2008

    Thanks, Liz. Making children targets of violence will certainly teach them there Muslims a lesson!

  115. #115 Jeeves
    September 30, 2008

    Of course, if the act of terrorism was vice versa…would we ever hear the end of it? Forget the election, this story would have taken over all the coverage everywhere. Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck would probably have had anuerysms. The U.S. government would have decided to make war against Ohio. Better yet, bombing Wisconsin or something. Muslims in internment camps, for their own safety. But gassing a room of children, why that’s just a Friday night in Dayton apparently. Nothing to see here, folks.

  116. #116 Grammar RWA
    September 30, 2008

    What bothered me the most about the follow-up article was this statement: “The detective will determine if a crime was committed.” If? Leaving aside the hate crime aspect, and leaving aside whether or not this chemical was terribly dangerous, deliberately spraying someone in the face with an irritant is a crime.

    Don’t expect too much done about this. The police are involved, but even if they bother to find the perpetrators and arrest them, bring them to trial, it’ll be a very light charge with little, if any, jail time upon conviction.

    It’s wrong. But like much of what happens in Ohio lately, I don’t see anything going right about it.

    OMFG. I freaking live here in Dayton. This doesn’t surprise me too terribly much, as most of the population has thinly veiled suspicion of anyone different. What pisses me off the most is that it happened here, and then the police said it’s NOT A HATE CRIME.

    WTF!?!?!? All you have to do is read the article, a little girl was standing next to a window and two white men sprayed her in the face with a chemical, but because they didn’t say anything, just gassed everyone, it’s “not a hate crime”.

    Mentioning this again for anybody who might have missed it…

    The above posters are correct. Nothing is going to get done. The police are going to studiously ignore this. If they can get away with claiming “no crime” and then dropping the investigation entirely, they will. If they can get away with claiming “no hate crime” and then letting the investigation atrophy, they will.

    We will have to put pressure on them.

    Please call the Dayton police department and tell them to quit equivocating, and treat this as a hate crime. It’s dishonest for them to pretend it’s anything but. This is a non-dispatch number: 937-333-1311

    Then call the mayor’s office and tell them the same thing. Ask for a substantial reward to be offered for any information leading to a conviction. 937-333-3636

    We can put the pressure on the Dayton police through the Dayton Daily News, too. Ask for a reward to be offered.

    Email for short blurbs, ~30 words: speakup@daytondailynews.com

    Email for letters to the editor, you need to include name, address and phone number: edletter@daytondailynews.com

  117. #117 frog
    September 30, 2008

    Dianne: BTW: I imagine that bin Laden would like to send the attackers a thank you card. It’s so much easier to recruit people to radical and/or violent groups after they have been villified and attacked than when they are happy and feel comfortable with their neighbors.

    Well, if this is what it appears to be – then that was the goal. A major goal of terrorism is to polarize a community and force the moderate middle to pick sides; to either be terrified into siding with the “terrorists”, or to be galvanized into action against them – which would just lead to another round of polarization.

    It’s the old dialectic-as-political-action.

  118. #118 Evolving Squid
    September 30, 2008

    and then the police said it’s NOT A HATE CRIME.

    That’s why there should be no such things as “hate crime”. Hate crime is an Orwellian “thoughtcrime” and has no place in a civilized world. It’s a subjective kind of crime that can be affected by the whims of those who prosecute it. Because if that, it can be very unfairly applied.

    Spraying people with chemicals is a crime in and of itself. That it was done for hateful reasons does not change the criminality of it. There is no difference between calling something a “hate crime” or an “insult to Islam”.

    Spraying chemicals on people is a crime regardless of whether you do it for shits and giggles or because you have some irrational dislike of Muslims.

    Beating people up is a crime regardless of whether you like to get liquored up and fight or did it because the guy was “gay and asking for it”.

    Hijacking a plane and flying it into a building is a crime whether you’re a suicidal nutbag or a religious asshole who thinks that god will give you 72 virgins for killing people who worship differently.

    Thoughts should never be criminal, only actions.

  119. #119 bootsy
    September 30, 2008

    To BobC and others who feel the need to try and “logically” justify their hate: Hey idiots, what are you going to do? Get rid of a billion muslims? Or discriminate against all people who look middle-eastern, even though they may not be muslim at all (and there are people of every “race” who are muslim).

    This attack is horrible, and brings to mind the second-worst terrorist attack on American soil, committed by non-muslim Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City.

    Yet another horrible aspect of this is the supposedly ‘pro-israel’ christian group that distributed the film. As someone of jewish origin, I’d like to tell all those ‘pro-israel’ christians that they’re as bad as hamas to me. Hell, at least hamas has distributed some food to some people, before blowing some other people up.

  120. #120 Brent
    September 30, 2008

    Don’t know why so many of you are so shocked. This is normal Christian behavior.

  121. #121 Nick Gotts
    September 30, 2008

    Evolving Squid,
    The term “hate crime” only applies to acts which are in any case criminal: the intent, to cause fear to members of an identifiable group, is treated as an exacerbating factor. This is hardly a new departure in law: intent is the only difference between murder and manslaughter. So your basic premise is wrong. That doesn’t necessarily mean your conclusion is wrong, but your argument for it is faulty.

  122. #122 Tulse
    September 30, 2008

    “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant.”

    You think that any of the Christian evangelists would say differently about Christianity in the US?

    And Pope Benedict says that other faiths are not true churches. Does that make him equivalent to Islamic terrorists?

  123. #123 frog
    September 30, 2008

    EvolvingSquid: That’s why there should be no such things as “hate crime”.

    So I guess you would suggest that we dump such crimes as “attempted murder”, “manslaughter” and make “accidental homicide” a capital crime?

    The only distinctions from 1st degree murder (or simple assault for attempted murder) is in the intention of the perpetrater.

    We sure would have a different legal system if we dumped mens rea and all the other elements of “thought crime” from our legal system and reduced it to “objective” (in the most vulgar meaning of that word) measures.

  124. #124 noncarborundum
    September 30, 2008

    the link is completely fallacious and thus protected by the first amendment.
    what the fuck does that even mean?

    You’re not familiar with the First Amendment’s “protection of fallacy” clause? It’s right here:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

    Well, one kind of fallacy, at least.

  125. #125 thedeviliam
    September 30, 2008

    I haven’t seen _Obsession_, and it clearly was distributed as swing state propaganda, but I find it odd that people naturally assume that something that makes Islamicism sound scary is automatically factually inaccurate.

    It seems like it would take some real laziness to have to be factually inaccurate if your agenda is to make Islamicism look like a threat. It is a threat. Of course not all Muslims are Islamicists, although the silence from the “moderates” regarding the extremists is troubling. My main difference with much of the left is this ridiculous multiculturalism that allows the same people who bitch that the media treated Hillary Clinton unfairly because she’s a woman overlook the treatment of women in Islamic culture, overlook the thousands of honor killings, overlook the fact that forced marriage usually means forced sex, etc. Surveys show a frightening number of Western Muslims are willing to admit that they believe suicide bombing in defense of Islam is justified.

    When something like this happens, it does give me pause because even well-meaning activists like Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq could incite violence simply by telling the truth. I guess it’s probably best just to stress that liberal Muslims aren’t miles away from liberal Christians, and for every Muslim who wants sharia law there’s a Christian who wants Old Testament theocracy. But some of the comments here remind me of the same Western multiculturalists who made excuses for the cartoon riots, for Theo van Gogh’s killer, for the Rushdie fatwa, and so on. Acknowledging reality doesn’t make you a racist or a fear-monger.

  126. #126 Padraig
    September 30, 2008

    Everybody that reads this should send this link to everyone they know. This cannot be allowed. I am from Ireland and if it wasn’t for a friend sending me this link I would never have know about this outrage.
    I know a few muslims that were living in the states that spent every day worried for their families because of the threats and violence that they experienced every day by bigoted idiots that don’t see the difference in what they are doing to the terrorist attacks perpetrated by people of other racial and national backgrounds.

    Make this news. Don’t let it be ignored. The only way we reduced terrorism in Northern Ireland, Ireland and England was to publically denounce the actions that racists were carrying out “on our behalf”.

  127. #127 frog
    September 30, 2008

    EvolvingSquid: It’s a subjective kind of crime that can be affected by the whims of those who prosecute it.

    Subjective: arising out of or identified by means of one’s perception of one’s own states and processes.

    Objective: perceptible to persons other than the affected individual.

    One can objectively determine another’s subjective experience. AKA, your “feelings” are subjectively experienced; but I can objectively determine what you are feeling by your behavior.

    Please, if you’re going to play philosophical games, understand your terms. Legal evidence is objective; the legal system is derived from our collective subjective experiences.

  128. #128 Dianne
    September 30, 2008

    It seems like it would take some real laziness to have to be factually inaccurate if your agenda is to make Islamicism look like a threat.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “Islamicism”, but as far as I know, only a small number of Islamic people have ever committed acts of terrorism. As have a small number of Christian, Jewish, Hindi, atheist, etc people. Does that mean that Christianity, etc are religions of hatred?

    It is a threat.

    What is a threat and to whom? And so what? The US is a threat to Iran. Does that make the US evil? Well, maybe…uh, maybe I’d better come up with a better analogy before I undercut my point entirely. The EU is a threat to Iran. It is threatening any number of things (not yet, AFAIK, including military force) in an attempt to stop Iran from producing nuclear weapons. Is the EU evil? Not in my opinion, although I think Iran has at least as good a case for “needing” nukes as, say, India and far better than the US has.

    Of course not all Muslims are Islamicists, although the silence from the “moderates” regarding the extremists is troubling.

    What the frick do you want? That 10 year old children should spend half of every day chanting “al Qaeda is evil”? You’d probably complain that they wasted the rest of the day playing, eating, going to school, and sleeping when they could be denouncing extremists. For that matter, have you denounced this act, the attacks on abortion clinics, the Oklahoma City bombings and the anthrax attacks (all carried out by US-Americans, probably Christians, probably believers in some form of democracy) today? If not, then you’re just a terrorist symp who doesn’t denounce the evil of Americanists.

  129. #129 jester
    September 30, 2008

    You people are lost.

    It was probably some stupid teenagers spraying bug spray or something like that. Not smart by a long stretch but pretty far from “Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque”…LOL

    If 20 min. after the “attack” HAZMAT test come back negative for chemicals I dont think it was much of a gassing.
    ——-quote from article——
    HAZMAT crews called to the scene started testing for chemicals less than 20 minutes after a member of the mosque called 911, team coordinator Denny Bristow said.

    “Whatever chemical was released it dissipated too quickly for us to determine what it was,” Bristow said. “We can test for about 130 to 140 chemicals, including pepper spray, and all our tests came back negative.”

  130. #130 Natalie
    September 30, 2008

    HockeyBob @ 106

    So, while not stating a direct link to McCain, it is still an incredible leap of faith (see what I did there?) to attempt to pin this action on McCain supporters.

    I’m not seeing the huge leap of faith here. The movie distributor is a 501(c)3, so they cannot endorse a specific candidate, but do you think their supporting Obama if their message is “Islam is a threat to the United States”? Additionally, the same person whose promoting this film runs two anti-Obama PACs, so I’d say it’s pretty logical to assume that he’s a McCain supporter. I guess he could be supporting a 3rd party candidate, but that seems less than likely.

    No, I’m from St. Paul…

    Hey, I live in Minneapolis!
    I was joking re: hippies. Although IME anachists tend to smell more like stale Black Label.

    Now, a serious question – anyone know where I can get a copy of this evil DVD, here in Minnesota? I’d like to see what the fuss is all about, with my own eyes.

    Try the Clarion Fund’s website. Not sure if it’s free, though.

  131. #131 PTBB
    September 30, 2008

    THIS IS WHY THEY HATE US

  132. #132 Eric Paulsen
    September 30, 2008

    [snark]

    What can you expect PZ, after all the perpetrators ARE white. The mindless violence of whites is a documented fact, it’s probably genetic, or maybe something taught to them in their violent religion. They are a frustrated subspecies of human beings destroying the world with their bottomless greed when they aren’t reacting from fear in persecuting anyone who doesn’t believe in what they believe in. The sterile lives they live keep them out of touch with other people and has stunted their ability to empathize with any other living organisms so their corrupt government and insane priests are able to manipulate their fear into hatred because it is a conditioned response taught to them by the fanatical teachers in their schools from birth. We shouldn’t hate the whites, we should pity them.

    [/snark]

    Disclosure – I’m white so for those of you who may have missed the SNARK tags, don’t bother flaming me as a racist. Mama never told me there would be days I would be ashamed of being a white American male. Attacking children – could they BE bigger pussies?

  133. #133 Hockey Bob
    September 30, 2008

    SC @ 100

    Dear SC:

    On behalf of world + dog, I respectfully request that you eat a bowl of dicksfrackin’crackers. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

    Not really sincerely,

    Hockey Bob, Euphoria-for-Men-scented realist

    (Seriously, though – if you’re able to achieve that whole anarchy thing, without destroying public or private property, have at it. I can’t see it happening, but I doubt it could be as bad as the choices we have for our next election.

    Nick Gotts @ 110>

    When “Expelled!” came out, did you automatically claim it was a bunch of shit (which it most certainly is), or did you wait for previews, or even see it yourself, before you made that judgment? My wanting to see the DVD being placed at the center of this controversy is the exact same thing… ***I*** want to see it, and make my own judgments. Anyone who supports rational and free thinking would be able to see this.

    frog @ 111
    18th century thinking is the downfall of conservatives.

    Absolutely correct.

    Of course, I’m not a conservative, so I already knew that.

    (Pro-choice, environmentalist, AND atheist)

  134. #134 Mrs. Schaarschmidt
    September 30, 2008

    If this story were identical with the exception of the location…if you were to substitute “church” or even “synagogue” with “mosque”, this would have been all over the national news.

    Oddly, if you were to subsitute “mosque” with “library” or “McDonalds” this story would not even be the subject of a blog post, as no-one was really hurt and there was no lasting damage. It would be shrugged off as a bad prank.

    The fact that this incident did take place at a mosque is what makes it important. Racism is wrong. It is not in the interests of free thinking logical people to gather up one group of people and spew hatred and frustration at them.

    After 9/11, a girl that I work with stated that she was sad that she had to change gas stations because the convenient one near her home was run by “one of them.” I asked her what the owner of the gas station had ever done to her, what his specific religious beliefs were, what country he was from, and what evidence she had that he was anything other than a hard working guy born in Philadelphia who happened to have brown skin. She had no answer.

    When we group people into “us” and “them”, we are setting the stage for problems that are detrimental to all of us. And as for the poster above who stated that all religions are evil…you are doing the same thing.

    I know that it is silly idealism to think that the entire human race can get beyond racism. But I would like to think that anyone who has enough intelligence to be reading a skeptical blog would at least try to move beoynd knee-jerk reactions and think rationally.

  135. #135 Natalie
    September 30, 2008

    jester @ 129

    It was probably some stupid teenagers spraying bug spray or something like that.

    Newsflash: that is still a crime. And if the intent was to terrorize a group of people, then it is actually still terrorism. There is no requirement that terrorism involve loud booms or gore, although I’m sure it would make it more interesting to the average TV viewer.

    thedeviliam @ 125

    I haven’t seen _Obsession_, and it clearly was distributed as swing state propaganda, but I find it odd that people naturally assume that something that makes Islamicism sound scary is automatically factually inaccurate…

    I guess it’s probably best just to stress that liberal Muslims aren’t miles away from liberal Christians, and for every Muslim who wants sharia law there’s a Christian who wants Old Testament theocracy… Acknowledging reality doesn’t make you a racist or a fear-monger.

    I would say that selectively acknowledging reality, in such a way that the only reality you acknowledge reflects negatively on, say, one single religion or one single race does make you a racist or a fear-monger. If this video documented the threat to the rest of the world from fundamentalist religion, in general, it would different. But those who complain about fundamentalist Islam exclusively aren’t targeting it because it’s a religion. They are targeting it because it’s not their religion. The message is “look at their wingnuttery – isn’t that silly and/or scary? Come join my particular brand of wingnuttery instead!”

  136. #136 Natalie
    September 30, 2008

    gah, blockquote fail. Quotes in 135 should end after “Acknowledging reality doesn’t make you a racist or a fear-monger.”

  137. #137 skyotter
    September 30, 2008

    i, for one, would like to applaud the local HAZMAT team for such a quick response, getting to the scene within 20 minutes of the 911 call. if there’s a “hero” in this story, they’re it.

  138. #138 thedeviliam
    September 30, 2008

    @Dianne

    “I’m not sure what you mean by ‘Islamicism’”

    Loosely speaking, those who want to impose Islam on government, even in Western society, and there are quite a few of those.

    “As have a small number of Christian, Jewish, Hindi, atheist, etc people. Does that mean that Christianity, etc are religions of hatred?”

    Of course Christianity and Judaism are religions of hatred when people take the books literally. Have you read any of these holy texts? They make _Mein Kampf_ sound like Dr. Seuss. I have to admit that Christianity has reformed more than Islam has, though.

    “The EU is a threat to Iran. It is threatening any number of things (not yet, AFAIK, including military force) in an attempt to stop Iran from producing nuclear weapons.”

    Of course it’s easy to get on your high horse about who has a “right” to have nuclear weapons, but it’s still a self-defense interest for us for Iran to not have nuclear weapons, which is a lot more reasonable than random violence in the name of a religion.

    “What the frick do you want? That 10 year old children should spend half of every day chanting “al Qaeda is evil”? You’d probably complain that they wasted the rest of the day playing, eating, going to school, and sleeping when they could be denouncing extremists.”

    Now you’re just being silly. The problem is that whenever Islamic violence–and by “Islamic violence” I don’t mean any act of violence done by Muslims but acts of violence done for explicitly Islamic reasons, which is an important distinction that too many people overlook–occurs, the liberal Muslims are more concerned with obscuring that there’s a problem in their own culture instead of working towards reform from within, when in many ways they’re the only ones in a position to do that.

    http://www.atheistcartoons.com/deference.jpg

    American Muslims are by far the most liberal in the world, and of those under 30 roughly a quarter say that suicide bombing in the same of Islam is justified.

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/05/poll_a_quarter_.html

    In Western Europe it’s worse. In France, about 60 to 70 percent of the prison population is Muslim versus 12 percent of the general population.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/28/AR2008042802560_pf.html

    And if you want to go on about how minorities are disproportionately represented in US prisons, save it. There’s nothing more racist than conflating race with religion. The problem is explicitly in Islamic ideology itself, which is the difference. A lot of violence is explicitly motivated by precisely that.

    “For that matter, have you denounced this act, the attacks on abortion clinics, the Oklahoma City bombings and the anthrax attacks (all carried out by US-Americans, probably Christians, probably believers in some form of democracy) today? If not, then you’re just a terrorist symp who doesn’t denounce the evil of Americanists.”

    Of course I denounce all those acts. And I denounce all religions, for that matter. But saying “Americans do bad things, Muslims do bad things, therefore denouncing Islam for what some Muslims do is the same as denouncing America for what some Americans do” is dumb. Islamicism is an ideology, like Nazism, not a race, not a nationality, and it is a stupid and dangerous ideology just like Islam is a stupid and dangerous religion. Millions of Muslims take the lines about beheading unbelievers seriously, and we should take that seriously.

    I made a point to qualify this in my original post, that we have to put this into perspective so as to discourage terrorist attacks like this assault on children in a mosque. But this mentality of conflating an explicit ideology of violence in the name of a faith with a race or nationality is just ignorant.

    When Theo van Gogh was murdered, a death threat to Ayaan Hirsi Ali stabbed into his chest, imams went on TV to say “If you insult Islam, you have to pay” and van Gogh “crossed the limits of freedom of speech” when he collaborated with Hirsi Ali on the film _Submission_, in which abused Muslim women were interviewed. As I understand it, many on the left said he got what he deserved for breaking a “taboo”. Respected white “intellectuals” said Rushdie would have gotten what he deserved for disrespecting Islam as well. I read about a secondary-school teacher in Malmo, who walked in on a dozen or so Arab boys cheering at a DVD of American and Israeli hostages being decapitated in a classroom. When she complained to the principal, she was accused of intruding into the “students’ private business”.

    If you’re going to be a moral relativist you’ve got to do it consistently. If you can’t denounce Muslims for their beliefs, don’t get on your high horse with me.

  139. #139 Janus
    September 30, 2008

    Lots of ignorance in this thread.

    First, someone said that Obsession calls all Muslims terrorists. It does no such thing. It’s even in the film’s title: RADICAL ISLAM’s war against the West.

    Second, equating fundamentalist Christianity with fundamentalist Islam is completely crazy. Here and now in the 21st century, how many Christian fundies believe that killing non-Christians is OK because that’s what God wants them to do? A few dozens? Maybe a few hundred? Maybe even a few tens of thousand?

    How many Muslims believe the same with regard to non-Muslims? About 200 million.

    As barbaric as Christianity is, the majority of its main text, the New Testament, is benign stuff. The majority of the Qur’an, however, is about how much Allah hates infidels. As another poster stated, “preach hate at a target group long enough and loud enough and you will get violence”. Islam’s been at it for 14 centuries now.

  140. #140 Natalie
    September 30, 2008

    thedeviliam @ 138

    The problem is that whenever Islamic violence–and by “Islamic violence” I don’t mean any act of violence done by Muslims but acts of violence done for explicitly Islamic reasons, which is an important distinction that too many people overlook–occurs, the liberal Muslims are more concerned with obscuring that there’s a problem in their own culture instead of working towards reform from within, when in many ways they’re the only ones in a position to do that.

    And the exact same thing happens in Christian communities all the time. Focusing on Islam as though this is unique to Muslims is biased.

    In Western Europe it’s worse. In France, about 60 to 70 percent of the prison population is Muslim versus 12 percent of the general population.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/28/AR2008042802560_pf.html

    And if you want to go on about how minorities are disproportionately represented in US prisons, save it. There’s nothing more racist than conflating race with religion.

    One does not have to conflate race and religion to note that most of France’s Muslims are immigrants or first-generation French from Africa. They are also disproportionately poor. Those are just as likely to contribute to their high imprisonment rate as being Muslims.

    The problem is explicitly in Islamic ideology itself, which is the difference. A lot of violence is explicitly motivated by precisely that.

    I assume you some sources that support your assertion that the crimes that land all those French Muslims in prison were motivated by Islam, and not by other factors.

    But saying “Americans do bad things, Muslims do bad things, therefore denouncing Islam for what some Muslims do is the same as denouncing America for what some Americans do” is dumb. Islamicism is an ideology, like Nazism, not a race, not a nationality, and it is a stupid and dangerous ideology just like Islam is a stupid and dangerous religion.

    Dianne didn’t say “Americans”, she said “Christians”. Christianity is an ideology, like Nazism, not a race, not a nationality. (Nice Godwin, btw. Very subtle.)

    Janus @ 139

    How many Muslims believe the same with regard to non-Muslims? About 200 million.

    Cite?

  141. #141 Dianne
    September 30, 2008

    If 20 min. after the “attack” HAZMAT test come back negative for chemicals I dont think it was much of a gassing.

    Note that the Hazmat crew disagrees with you: they state that the chemical dissipated too quickly to be identified. This seems not outrageously unlikely given that it was clearly highly volatile and the area was probably opened quickly to allow the children to breathe. And the list of 140 or so chemicals tested for is hardly exhaustive. While I would agree that it is not possible to completely rule out a mass hysteria component, I see no reason to assume from the data given that no noxious chemical was released.

  142. #142 thedeviliam
    September 30, 2008

    @Natalie 135

    I actually agree–all religious fundamentalism should be denounced, but the double-standard apparently goes both ways. It doesn’t make much sense for me to criticize Christians for trying to put creationism in schools if I don’t denounce Muslims for honor killings, does it? Which is why it’s especially strange that people are accused of being racist for condemning what’s wrong with Islam. Frankly, I think whites who make apologies for Islam are the racists. If white women were getting raped for the crimes of their male family members, and then murdered by their male family members for being raped, I doubt the apologists would be so accepting.

  143. #144 Dianne
    September 30, 2008

    I made a point to qualify this in my original post, that we have to put this into perspective so as to discourage terrorist attacks like this assault on children in a mosque.

    You’re “putting it in perspective” sounded like a rousing encouragement of people to assault children–as long as they are “moderate” about it…you know, use irritants instead of nerve gas. Why do you feel the need to mention Islamic terrorism at all in this context? It’s not relevant to whether or not the people who attacked these children are terrorists or not. They clearly are. If PZ had gone over the top and called them worse than the 911 terrorists or something you might have a point. As it is…not so much so.

  144. #145 SC
    September 30, 2008

    No, I’m from St. Paul… literally a few miles from downtown. I had to walk right next to these “moronic scumbag” anarchists… they evidently ascribe to the same hygiene standards as your garden-variety hippies do. Hey, at least they’re doing their part to fight global warming!

    You didn’t say anything about their hygiene. You said that they wear patchouli. (I’ve never met an anarchist who does, but whatever.) This is a stupid discussion at any rate, but the offensive aspect of your comment was your blithe reference to the repressive actions of the police.

    Seriously, though – if you’re able to achieve that whole anarchy thing, without destroying public or private property, have at it.

    Yeah, OK, I’ll worry about property damage when the capitalists and their friends in government stop harming actual people, denying them their basic rights, and killing them when they fight back.

  145. #146 thedeviliam
    September 30, 2008

    @Natalie 140

    You write:
    “Dianne didn’t say ‘Americans’, she said ‘Christians’. Christianity is an ideology, like Nazism, not a race, not a nationality.”

    Yes, it is. Convenient editing on your part, considering the last line I quoted from Dianne was:

    “If not, then you’re just a terrorist symp who doesn’t denounce the evil of Americanists.”

    And you also snipped the first two lines of my reply to that:

    “Of course I denounce all those acts. And I denounce all religions, for that matter.”

    So, in context, your reply doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’m afraid I’ve been strawmanned.

  146. #147 Chiroptera
    September 30, 2008

    jester, #129: It was probably some stupid teenagers spraying bug spray or something like that.

    Yeah, that makes it better. Kind of like when a cross burning on an African-American’s lawn is just a prank by some kids. No harm done, eh?

    Of course, a cross burning would nonetheless lead to questions as to why they chose to burn a cross as a “prank”, and one would still take into consideration the not unjustified anxieties that this would cause among African Americans regardless of whether it was just a “prank”.

    Oh, wait. We aren’t discussing African Americans. We’re only discussing them there Muslims. Ah, I guess their just a bunch of whiners.

  147. #148 Natalie
    September 30, 2008

    thedeviliam @ 146

    Convenient editing on your part

    Oh, relax. There’s no such philosophy as “Americanists”, but if there were it would be a philosophy, not a nationality. She wasn’t suggesting that Americans denounce the actions of other Americans simply by virtue of shared nationality. You were attempting to claim that she was, and then arguing that this was incorrect because Islam isn’t a nationality. You strawmanned yourself

  148. #149 Chiroptera
    September 30, 2008

    thedeviliam, #142: It doesn’t make much sense for me to criticize Christians for trying to put creationism in schools if I don’t denounce Muslims for honor killings, does it?

    Well, if the topic under discussion is Christian attempts to put creationism in schools, then it makes perfect sense not to bring up Muslim honor killings. Just like if the topic is a violent attack against Muslim children in North America, Muslim honor killings is pretty irrelevant.

    Why, are you one of those people who have trouble staying on topic?

  149. #150 Nick Gotts
    September 30, 2008

    When “Expelled!” came out, did you automatically claim it was a bunch of shit – HockeyBob

    As soon as I knew who made it, of course I did. I don’t have time to watch every bunch of shit every gang of fools or liars produces. Same with Obsession: I only have to look at the record of those responsible for it. As for my comment about feeding your hate, here’s a quote from you:
    “you mean we’re NOT supposed to hate religious moonbat nutjobs?”
    The answer to that question is, in general: no. The ideas, yes. Most of those who believe them are victims of a lifetime’s indoctrination and deserve pity, not hate.

  150. #151 Natalie
    September 30, 2008

    Janus, I assume that was supposed to be a cite for your claim that 200 million Muslims hate all non-Muslims. Now, I didn’t go over each link with a fine toothed comb, but I don’t see that number in the blog post at all. Could you perhaps be a little bit more specific?

  151. #152 Heather Kuhn
    September 30, 2008

    If you want information on the video, and its makers, you might try reading here.

    In the meantime, let’s not engage in any post hoc fallacies. As someone pointed out at another site I read, this could be targeted at an individual rather than the mosque. We don’t have enough information.

  152. #153 Dianne
    September 30, 2008

    Which is why it’s especially strange that people are accused of being racist for condemning what’s wrong with Islam.

    Have you ever actually read this blog? PZ criticizes acts of evil committed in the name of Islam quite as much as he criticizes acts of evil in the name of Christianity.

    Men who kill women for being raped are evil MFs. As are men who rape girls after killing their families in front of them and then kill them. But what does that have to do with whether all Islamic people or all members of the US military are evil?

    And I still don’t see you condemning acts of evil in the name of Christianity. When was the last time you got this excited about a doctor being shot or a clinic being bombed?

  153. #154 thedeviliam
    September 30, 2008

    @Dianne 144

    You are being entirely disingenuous right here. First of all, my original post was not a response to PZ’s article. I’m glad PZ gave this coverage when the mainstream media did not. It was a critique of loonies like you who take being critical of religious violence as advocating violence against children, even when I explicitly said that it “gave me pause” to consider how legitimate criticism of religion could wind up inspiring people to do evil things. Here’s what I wrote:

    “When something like this happens, it does give me pause because even well-meaning activists like Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq could incite violence simply by telling the truth. I guess it’s probably best just to stress that liberal Muslims aren’t miles away from liberal Christians, and for every Muslim who wants sharia law there’s a Christian who wants Old Testament theocracy.”

    It is really out of line for you to insinuate that I was in any way defending the terrorist actions at the mosque. I don’t know what your problem is.

  154. #155 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    I do hope that the perpetrators are pursued with the same vigour that has driven the pursuit of Muslim terrorists these past 7 years.

    Right, with that in mind the equivalent thing to do would be…

    let’s invade Canada!

  155. #156 Dianne
    September 30, 2008

    There’s no such philosophy as “Americanists”, but if there were it would be a philosophy, not a nationality.

    Oh, for FSM’s sake, “Americanists” was meant to be a sarcastic play on Islamicists. And if you think that there are no “Americanists” out there who want only what’s best for the US, regardless of how it impacts the rest of the world, then explain McCain’s campaign slogan: country first. Country first. Not world, humanity, or even the people, but the country.

  156. #157 Nick Gotts
    September 30, 2008

    Why is support for suicide bombing considered particularly wicked, as compared, say, to support for dropping bombs on cities from a great height? Could it be because it’s “their” tactic as opposed to “ours”? Most Americans, as I understand it, support mass murder (e.g. the use of nuclear weapons) in “defence” of their country under certain conditions.

    Disclosure: I consider organised violence, under some circumstances, justified. I consider the deliberate or reckless targeting of noncombatants, which would include any use of nuclear weapons and any bombing (suicide or otherwise) of areas likely to contain noncombatants, as unjustified in any circumstances I can think of.

  157. #158 Janus
    September 30, 2008

    Natalie, as stated in the article I posted, the most common estimate of the percentage of radical Muslims is 15%. There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, which means the number of radical Muslims is around 195 million.

    The links in the article are meant to show that the estimate is, if anything, conservative.

  158. #159 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Muslim’s claim that Islam is a religion of peace yet in Dearbornistan they hold yearly rallies in support of Hezbollah,Al Qaeda and the Mujahideen.

    If one wishes to understand the current politics that has enmeshed itself with Islam, you have to start with what happened to the Shah of Iran, and look at how the Islamic Revolution came to be.

    then it starts to make more sense.

  159. #160 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    How many Muslims believe the same with regard to non-Muslims? About 200 million.

    if that were actually true, we’d all be dead.

  160. #161 Dianne
    September 30, 2008

    First of all, my original post was not a response to PZ’s article.

    Then why even post it on this thread? It may be true and/or interesting, but it is not relevant. It’s like mentioning that the mosque that was attacked might be in danger of being forclosed upon because of the greed of investment bankers and calling on us to condemn investment bankers. It may be true, but it’s just not relevant to the thread. Nor is Islamic terrorism, which NO ONE here doubts exists, relevant to terrorism against children whose parents are Islamic. (I have a hard time calling children members of any religion: they haven’t made their decisions on the issue yet. Which makes attacking them all the more terrible.)

    There’s a large hole in the ground near where I live that is a testiment to what religion can do to people. But right after the 911 attacks happened, EVERYONE condemned the terrorists. Saddam Hussein sent sympathy, fer FSM sake. Islamic leaders in NYC condemned it from the moment it happened and recondemned it when it was clear that it was Islamic terrorists who were responsible. Repeatedly. Publically. In no uncertain terms. Without reservation. Drop bin Laden in a predominantly Islamic neighborhood in NYC and I guarentee he will NOT come out. (Though finding a bit left that’s large enough to PCR to confirm his death…that may be difficult.) What condemnation would possibly be enough to get through your hatred of Islamic people–and it is clear that it is Islamic people, not the religion and certainly not all religions that you hate–in order for you to see that what you demand has been done?

  161. #162 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Well, if this is what it appears to be – then that was the goal. A major goal of terrorism is to polarize a community and force the moderate middle to pick sides; to either be terrified into siding with the “terrorists”, or to be galvanized into action against them – which would just lead to another round of polarization.
    It’s the old dialectic-as-political-action.

    Yes, this is what I was thinking last night, and why I tend to disagree with David in thinking this a case of simple motives.

    this close to the election?

    it could very well be a singular attempt at polarization.

    …and of course, it seems to be working quite well if that indeed what was intended.

  162. #163 Dianne
    September 30, 2008

    I consider the deliberate or reckless targeting of noncombatants, which would include any use of nuclear weapons and any bombing (suicide or otherwise) of areas likely to contain noncombatants, as unjustified in any circumstances I can think of.

    It’s not just evil, it’s inefficient as well. It’s a hard question to study, but IIRC, what evidence exists suggests that bombing cities and other civilian targets stiffens civilian resistance to the enemy, increases support for the government (see 90% approval rating of GWB after 911), and generally makes wars last longer.

  163. #164 Janus
    September 30, 2008

    “if that were actually true, we’d all be dead.”

    That 200 million Muslims believe that waging war on non-Muslims is a divinely ordained task means just that. It doesn’t mean that 200 millions Muslims are waging war on non-Muslims at this moment.

    There’s nothing remarkable about this. To use an analogy, what’s the percentage of American Christians who want creationism taught in schools? Something like half of them? But that doesn’t mean that half of American Christians have dedicated their lives to this goal, it only means they support it.

  164. #165 thedeviliam
    September 30, 2008

    @Chiroptera 142

    If I made the first post on this thread, you would have a point. But I wasn’t replying to PZ’s entry, and Dianne, I don’t know if you’re just using the linear nature of this format to strawman me or if you genuinely just overlooked whole sections of the posts you responded but I guess I should set this much straight:

    @Dianne and Natalie

    *I never criticized PZ’s post at all. I have, in fact, applauded it. It is exactly why I come to Pharyngula every day (although usually don’t participate on the boards). I can always count on PZ to cover the things I miss from all my other news sources.

    *I really am concerned by this act, and I _thought_ I made that pretty clear in my first post, and I have repeatedly called it a terrorist act. There are some _real_ problems with Islam, and I wish all religious faith would just go away. But I raised this question: how do we make legitimate criticisms of a horrible ideology that manifests itself in all kinds of human rights abuses without motivating idiots to use it as an excuse to gas children? I think people should be angrier at religious fundamentalism, but I want them to respond reasonably. What if someone got so pissed off about Crackergate that they gassed a Catholic church? It isn’t impossible, but it doesn’t make PZ Myers wrong.

    Of course, if all else fails, I guess I can be all disingenuous and reply to things you guys didn’t say as well.

  165. #166 Evovling Squid
    September 30, 2008

    The term “hate crime” only applies to acts which are in any case criminal: the intent, to cause fear to members of an identifiable group, is treated as an exacerbating factor. This is hardly a new departure in law: intent is the only difference between murder and manslaughter. So your basic premise is wrong. That doesn’t necessarily mean your conclusion is wrong, but your argument for it is faulty.

    Where I live, hate crimes are specifically on the books. My fault is assuming it is the same in the USA. Your point is well taken – my perspective is skewed due to the legislative environment in which I live.

    Yes, I agree that frame of mind might be a mitigating factor – INTENT is the difference between murder and manslaughter. But you’d be hard pressed to convince me that the crime of assault is greater if someone kicks your ass because they don’t like your ancestry, as opposed to kicking your ass because it’s Tuesday.

    So I guess you would suggest that we dump such crimes as “attempted murder”, “manslaughter” and make “accidental homicide” a capital crime?

    The only distinctions from 1st degree murder (or simple assault for attempted murder) is in the intention of the perpetrater.

    The concept of mens rea is very important in order that we separate delibeate killing from accidental killing. That’s why we have a different punishment scale and different definitions for murder and manslaughter.

    However, if someone chooses to kill you because you have dark skin, versus choosing to kill you because it’s Tuesday, the crime is murder and the reasoning should not matter. You are dead and the crime was deliberate. The crime of it isn’t greater just because he had weird ideology.

    The difference between murder and manslaughter is NOT the same as the difference between murder for passion and murder for religious hatred.

    The important bit is that someone formed intent to commit a crime. The reasoning behind that intent should matter not at all. That is how the law stays impartial.

    If you start trying to judge what is and isn’t hate, you will introduce prejudice into the system. The judicial system doesn’t need any more opportunities for that.

  166. #167 SC
    September 30, 2008

    Seriously, though – if you’re able to achieve that whole anarchy thing, without destroying public or private property, have at it.

    Funny how it’s often people who’re largely unconcerned about the enormous environmental destruction brought about by a consumption- and “growth”-oriented economic system, which is lowering our species’ very prospects of survival, who worry about protesters breaking some freakin’ windows at the Gap.

  167. #168 Dianne
    September 30, 2008

    I don’t know if you’re just using the linear nature of this format

    (Never mind. This one’s just too easy.)

  168. #169 thedeviliam
    September 30, 2008

    @Dianne

    You quote:
    First of all, my original post was not a response to PZ’s article.

    And respond:
    “Then why even post it on this thread?”

    Same reason you are posting responses to me on this thread. See, I thought since everyone else was replying to other people, I could, too. I was responding generally to other things that were said on this page.

    Of course, I did make a mistake. You aren’t responding to me at all. You’re making up a bunch of disingenuous garbage and pretending to respond to me. You’ve added and subtracted so much from what I wrote it’s pathetic. This format makes it so easy for you to take and leave and add whatever you want, it must be much more convenient for you than an actual conversation.

  169. #170 D
    September 30, 2008

    Evolving Squid @ 166.

    The idea with US hate crimes is that they are committed against a group, not just the individual. A type of terrorism.

  170. #171 Nick Gotts
    September 30, 2008

    But you’d be hard pressed to convince me that the crime of assault is greater if someone kicks your ass because they don’t like your ancestry, as opposed to kicking your ass because it’s Tuesday. – Evolving Squid

    As I said, a “hate crime” is, specifically, one carried out in order to cause fear among a particular, identifiable, section of the population. If you can’t see that deliberately doing this is an aggravating factor, I must conclude that you’re being deliberately obtuse. By the way, where do you live that “hate crime” is defined differently?

  171. #172 Fatpie42
    September 30, 2008

    Common decency would suggest that babies should not be targeted.

    I think your use of understatement gets you into trouble sometimes Mr. Myers. Common decency would suggest they shouldn’t be gassing buildings at all. What possible reason can you think of offhand for going to ANY building and gassing people?

    That sort of action is either an act of guerilla warfare or a hate attack. The Muslim community in America will be mostly immigrants or children of immigrants who are generally of middle eastern-ish ethnicity and since Islam is a minority culture within the US. As such, I don’t think I’m being terribly controversial in saying that this was an attack on a group with very little power (so no point in using guerilla warfare on them) and while the stark paranoia might have pushed them into action, I think racism and xenophobia will have played its part too.

    While it might pale by comparison to your example, here’s some cases of attacks on Sikh children. The particularly nasty one being where they lit a boy’s turban on fire while he was wearing it.
    http://sikhism.about.com/od/sikhwomen/ss/Sikh_Student.htm

  172. #173 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    what’s the percentage of American Christians who want creationism taught in schools?

    actually, it’s much smaller than you think.

    It’s just that not only are they louder, but they are extremely motivated.

    and then, of course, there’s the whole apples-oranges thing.

    surely you really aren’t trying to compare teaching a philosophy with murder?

  173. #174 Grammar RWA
    September 30, 2008

    That’s why there should be no such things as “hate crime”. Hate crime is an Orwellian “thoughtcrime” and has no place in a civilized world. It’s a subjective kind of crime that can be affected by the whims of those who prosecute it. Because if that, it can be very unfairly applied.

    Spraying people with chemicals is a crime in and of itself. That it was done for hateful reasons does not change the criminality of it. There is no difference between calling something a “hate crime” or an “insult to Islam”.

    Spraying chemicals on people is a crime regardless of whether you do it for shits and giggles or because you have some irrational dislike of Muslims.

    Beating people up is a crime regardless of whether you like to get liquored up and fight or did it because the guy was “gay and asking for it”.

    Evolving Squid, you are a despicable liar. You were lying in the cracker thread, and you’re lying again now.

    You were even shown before why your misinformation was wrong, and you’re repeating it again. That’s no mistake. You are a deliberate liar.

    A hate crime is not a “thought crime.” Your right-wing frames are not welcome here.

    Outside of your paranoid fantasies, back here in reality, a hate crime is an assault committed for the intent of intimidation against a group of people.

    So if you beat up the Mexican kid next door because he’s got nicer shoes than you, you’ve just committed assault. If you beat him up in order to intimidate other Mexicans in the neighborhood, then that’s a hate crime, because the results are different. In one scenario, the community understands your violent behavior is probably an isolated incident, and they can move on. But if you’re threatening the community with the likelihood of further violence, creating an environment where certain people are robbed of their sense of security, then you are causing much larger detrimental effects, and you should be punished accordingly.

    If the results are different, then the punishment may be different. That’s all a hate crime is. You’re contributing to a threatening environment for some of your fellow citizens, and that’s taken into account during sentencing.

    And don’t even think about bitching that intent shouldn’t influence sentencing. The law has always considered intent; that’s the whole difference between murder and manslaughter.

    But as for your assertion that it doesn’t matter whether you kill your neighbor because he’s black, or because he’s a jerk, my first response is, I’m guessing that you are not part of any minority that has been the object of campaigns of violence directed at them. If I’m wrong, I sincerely apologize. But let me just say that as a gay man, whenever there is violence against gay men for being gay — which still goes on a LOT — I feel threatened by that in a way that random violence does not cause. In any society we all have to live with the possibility of violence. But anti-gay attacks tell me and my fellow gays and lesbians that there are those who would single us out as a target.

    Think for a moment about lynchings of blacks in the Jim Crow days. Do you really see no difference between the hanging of black men from the trees and random violence? Don’t you see how the former was done precisely to — and to a large extent did — keep blacks in fear and oppression? (I won’t violate Godwin’s law by bringing up the even more heinous example.)

    Well, it’s that communal fear that, in part, hate crimes laws are meant to attack. It also, in my view, is a statement by the community that such oppression of minorities will not be tolerated.

    As far as I’m concerned, a rapist or murderer at large has just as much negative impact on a community as a white supremacist who attacks hispanics (or more because they can attack anyone).

    And when that indiscriminate murderer is put behind bars, the murder streak ends, and the community can rest again. It was an isolated case, not part of a wider system of oppression. The same does not apply to hate crimes. The threat persists even when one particular criminal is imprisoned. That’s why these crimes are more damaging.

    Look, if you’re so fucking dense that you can’t understand why a racially-motivated murder is worse than another, then imagine separating the hate crime into two crimes. Both murderers have taken a life, with all the suffering that entails for the victim’s family, friends, etc. That’s one crime each. The racist murderer has also made a threat against others in the victim’s community, the same as if he had written letters to them saying “I’m going to kill you.” Making those threats (like writing those letters) is also a crime, and a separate crime from the murder. The racially-motivated murderer has committed two crimes, and shall be punished for two crimes.

    Should you completely miss the fucking point again, and insist that both crimes are terrorizing a community, remember that just like manslaughter and murder, intent matters. There’s a difference between a perp who is deliberately choosing to threaten certain people, and one whose crimes are incidentally threatening.

    Stop lying. A hate crime is nothing like a “thought crime.” It is an overt crime of intimidation.

  174. #175 Dianne
    September 30, 2008

    But I raised this question: how do we make legitimate criticisms of a horrible ideology that manifests itself in all kinds of human rights abuses without motivating idiots to use it as an excuse to gas children?

    That’s actually an interesting question. A related question, if anyone’s still interested: Why should criticism of an ideology be used as an excuse to gas children (or adults)? Is there a threshold level at which criticism becomes dangerous, i.e. at which people start to feel that anyone who holds beliefs that are that wrong is simply not worthy to live or live in safety?

  175. #176 Quiet_Desperation
    September 30, 2008

    I understand the arguments defending the concept of hate crimes, yet I still find myself uncomfortable with it. Just seems like there a lot larger margin for abuse than most standard penal code items. Intellectual reasoning over emotional reactions and all that, but every now and then you should listen to your gut. It’s like a small step down on of *those* sorts of roads, you know? I think we can have a perfectly fine system of justice and punishment without it.

    And since I hate to post without being at least a little goofy, did anyone see any black helicopters in the area at the time of the Terror Incident? A Ryder truck? Anyone in a hoodie? Where was OJ?

  176. #177 Grammar RWA
    September 30, 2008

    (longer post in moderation)

    Evolving Squid is lying again.

    Last time it was Wednesday, not Tuesday.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/07/its_a_goddamned_cracker.php#comment-970919

    Everything he says has already been addressed. He ignores all past criticism and simply states it again.

    Refusal to learn from one’s mistakes: a deliberate moral failing.

  177. #178 Tulse
    September 30, 2008

    Seriously, though – if you’re able to achieve that whole anarchy thing, without destroying public or private property, have at it.

    Seriously, though – if you’re able to achieve that whole capitalism thing, without destroying public or private property, have at it.

    what’s the percentage of American Christians who want creationism taught in schools?

    About 65%, presuming most Americans are Christian. If you mean those who want only creationism taught in schools, the figure is around 37%.

  178. #179 D
    September 30, 2008

    I understand the arguments defending the concept of hate crimes, yet I still find myself uncomfortable with it. Just seems like there a lot larger margin for abuse than most standard penal code items. Intellectual reasoning over emotional reactions and all that, but every now and then you should listen to your gut. It’s like a small step down on of *those* sorts of roads, you know? I think we can have a perfectly fine system of justice and punishment without it.

    It is my understanding that some hate crime laws have been drafted to counteract negligence on the part of law enforcement who chose not to pursue investigations or prosecution because of less than affable sentiment towards the victims of said crimes. This would indicate your criticism is out of place.

  179. #180 Longtime Lurker
    September 30, 2008

    Wait a minute here… you mean we’re NOT supposed to hate religious moonbat nutjobs?

    We’re supposed to attack their ideas, not their children!

    You’ve got to be kidding, right? Religion is the cause of more human suffering, torture, and murder than any other cause in the history of the universe – but we’re okay with it now, because some offspring of believers of Brand M Skyfairy (TM) were sprayed with starting fluid, possibly by believers of Brand J Skyfairy (TM)???

    We’re not defending their religion, we’re defending their right to not be terrorized. I don’t care if the chemical sprayed into the room was Drakkar Noir- if you spray anything into a room full of people who are already on edge (if the articles are correct, there were Iraqi refugees present) there is a possibility that a panic will ensue, putting lives in danger.

    Stop being troglodytes, and show a modicum of empathy and decency here.

  180. #181 Grammar RWA
    September 30, 2008

    In case my long post isn’t going to be let out of moderation, one small excerpt:

    Look, if you’re so dense that you can’t understand why a racially- (or religiously-) motivated murder is worse than another, then imagine separating the hate crime into two crimes. Both murderers have taken a life, with all the suffering that entails for the victim’s family, friends, etc. That’s one crime each. The racist murderer has also made a threat against others in the victim’s community, the same as if he had written letters to them saying “I’m going to kill you.” Making those threats (like writing those letters) is also a crime, and a separate crime from the murder. The racially-motivated murderer has committed two crimes, and shall be punished for two crimes.

  181. #182 Alligator
    September 30, 2008

    Ohio’s hate crime statute, for anyone interested:

    § 2927.12. Ethnic intimidation

    (A) No person shall violate section 2903.21, 2903.22, 2909.06, or 2909.07, or division (A)(3), (4), or (5) of section 2917.21 of the Revised Code by reason of the race, color, religion, or national origin of another person or group of persons.

    (B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of ethnic intimidation. Ethnic intimidation is an offense of the next higher degree than the offense the commission of which is a necessary element of ethnic intimidation.

    The offenses cited in (A) deal with harassing, stalking, menacing, endangering and the like.

    Example of evidence necessary to establish ethnic intimidation:

    Evidence… that the victim recognized defendant as one of his attackers, and that the victim specifically remembered the defendant throwing a bottle at him while yelling a derogatory racial name was sufficient to support a conviction for felonious assault and ethnic intimidation, with the underlying crime of menacing.

  182. #183 frog
    September 30, 2008

    EvolvingSquid: Yes, I agree that frame of mind might be a mitigating factor – INTENT is the difference between murder and manslaughter. But you’d be hard pressed to convince me that the crime of assault is greater if someone kicks your ass because they don’t like your ancestry, as opposed to kicking your ass because it’s Tuesday…. The difference between murder and manslaughter is NOT the same as the difference between murder for passion and murder for religious hatred.

    Why do we care whether a crime is deliberate or not? The damage of the act itself is exactly the same. We care not because of the crime, but because an intentional crime leads to a safe assumption of continuing threat – the “moral culpability” requires a stronger response to protect society.

    That “moral culpability” and it’s social implications is what distinguishes murder from manslaughter; it is exactly what distinguishes a crime of passion from a crime of religious hatred. The former are one-offs, driven by the moment, while the latter are part of a larger social movement threatening not only the victim, but society at large.

    Kristallnacht was not a series of assaults.

  183. #184 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008
  184. #185 Natalie
    September 30, 2008

    Oh, for FSM’s sake, “Americanists” was meant to be a sarcastic play on Islamicists. And if you think that there are no “Americanists” out there who want only what’s best for the US, regardless of how it impacts the rest of the world, then explain McCain’s campaign slogan: country first.

    Yes, I got it, hence my interpretation that you were not talking about Americans. Although I thought we just called those “country first”ers nationalists?

    Janus @ 158

    Natalie, as stated in the article I posted, the most common estimate of the percentage of radical Muslims is 15%. There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, which means the number of radical Muslims is around 195 million.

    That’s not stated in the article you posted, though. What is stated is that the author believes that 10-15% of Muslims are Islamists. Nowhere does s/he say that this is a widely accepted estimate. Nor does s/he explain where that 10-15% figure came from.

    The links in the article are meant to show that the estimate is, if anything, conservative.

    Of the various other estimates the author has provided, the highest are estimates taken from elections (hardly a valid measure of this particular issue) or from completely unsupported statements by individuals. The ones that appear to be valid statistical measures don’t support his premise.

    thedeviliam @ 165

    I never criticized PZ’s post at all.

    I never said you did.

    What you did say, though, is that
    “Acknowledging reality doesn’t make you a racist or a fear-monger.”

    I already responded, but I’ll respond again: Selectively acknowledging reality, in such a way that the only reality you acknowledge reflects negatively on, say, one single religion or one single race does make you a racist or a fear-monger.

    This was not intended as an attack on you personally – this pretty much sums up why I have a problem with this video that’s being distributed in swing states, which I believe is what the discussion was about.

    Of course, if all else fails, I guess I can be all disingenuous and reply to things you guys didn’t say as well.

    Again, I don’t believe I have. If you feel like I have misunderstood or mischaracterized your point somewhere, please point it out to me.

  185. #186 David Miller
    September 30, 2008

    My parents (who live in PA) got a copy of this in their paper a few weeks ago and another copy in the mail. I took one of them with me, but have yet to watch it.

  186. #187 harmlesstree
    September 30, 2008

    Some of those who have posted on this blog seem to believe that the acts of terrorism perpetrated by Al Qaeda, and other Islamists, against the United States and the West are mostly, or solely, due to the medieval religious convictions of the individuals that make up these groups. This is certainly not the case. Islamic terrorism, specifically the terrorist acts that are committed against the United States and the West, is primarily motivated by the extreme hatred that is aroused in certain Muslims because of the policies, with respect to the Islamic world, of the American government. Bin Laden makes this very clear in his writings: ” Why do we attack you, because you attack us.” The recent frenzied reactions of the Iraqi’s and Afghani’s to the various killing of innocents, by American bombs, should also make the motivations of those who would perpetrate acts of terrorism against the United States quite clear. Their motivations are primordial; they transcend one’s religious convictions. They are, incidentally, the same reasons an American would give to justify their support of the so-called war on terrorism. However, most Americans are completely ignorant of, or are indifferent to, the policies of their government that have lead to this conflagration.

  187. #188 Eric Atkinson
    September 30, 2008

    Well, I actually have seen said DVD, and you sir are a complete and total idiot! Moreover, I didn’t have to do any research whatsoever to be 100% certain of the accuracy of my statement.

    yes, go play with your dogma Fernando Magyar.

  188. #189 frog
    September 30, 2008

    EA: yes, go play with your dogma Fernando Magyar.

    But you do have to agree that with FM that you are a simple-minded buffoon, don’t you? I mean, it’s trivially true. Particularly when you accuse someone else of being a dogmatist – it’s like the Pope accusing Dawkins of being arrogant!

    You do realize that Libertarian economics is based on Mise’s praexology, which is explicitly pure dogma, don’t you? Don’t you?

  189. #190 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Some of those who have posted on this blog seem to believe that the acts of terrorism perpetrated by Al Qaeda, and other Islamists, against the United States and the West are mostly, or solely, due to the medieval religious convictions of the individuals that make up these groups.

    OTOH, some of us mentioned the Islamic Revolution and the Shah of Iran.

  190. #191 Nick Gotts
    September 30, 2008

    Given Eric Atkinson’s recommendation, those of us who have not seen it can now be absolutely certain that it’s a bunch of crap.

  191. #192 Evolving Squid
    September 30, 2008

    As I said, a “hate crime” is, specifically, one carried out in order to cause fear among a particular, identifiable, section of the population. If you can’t see that deliberately doing this is an aggravating factor, I must conclude that you’re being deliberately obtuse. By the way, where do you live that “hate crime” is defined differently?

    I live in Canada. If the onus is on the prosecutor to PROVE that a crime is carried out in order to cause fear among a particular, identifiable section of the population then I could be convinced that it is some kind of terrorist act.

    However, that isn’t the same as a couple lads go get liquored up and beat up a guy because he’s gay. To call that a hate crime by your definition, I think the onus would be to demonstrate that the crime was committed to send a message to all gays. That’s not the same as just beating up a guy and using his perceived homosexuality as an excuse.

    It shouldn’t be enough that an act *COULD* cause fear, it should be a requirement that the INTENT (the mens rea) was to cause that kind of fear in the group. Prove the intent to cause an identifiable-group-wide fear and then I would agree that there might be some kind of metacrime that goes beyond whatever the base assault/murder/whatever is.

    In Canada, however, it seems to get applied in such a way that if the victim is a minority, it’s a hate crime. A guy was prosecuted here where I live for killing a gay man. It was treated as a hate crime because the perp didn’t like gays and was very public about that… but the Crown never established that the guy knew the victim was gay, nor that the perp had some greater intention of sending a message to gays as a whole. Nevertheless, it was treated as a hate crime and that affected sentencing. It should not be considered a more serious crime to kill a gay man just because he’s gay, any more than it should be considered less of a crime just because he’s gay.

    (bleah… while typing this, I knocked my red fountain pen on the floor… now it looks like someone exploded a red squid in my computer room)

  192. #193 bluescat48
    September 30, 2008

    Terrorism is terrorism no matter who the perpetrator is. This is totally outrageous. It does not matter that the victims were children, the same tactic would still be outrageous if all in the Mosque were adults. Being a muslem does not mean that a person is a terrorist, burt being totally stupid in regards to human life is. The perpetrators, when caught, should be severly punished.

  193. #194 Chiroptera
    September 30, 2008

    thedeviliam, #165: If I made the first post on this thread, you would have a point.

    I think I have even more of a point now that I’ve read your first comment on this post. You start off with:

    …I find it odd that people naturally assume that something that makes Islamicism sound scary is automatically factually inaccurate.

    It seems like it would take some real laziness to have to be factually inaccurate if your agenda is to make Islamicism look like a threat.

    I used the “find” command in my browser to look at all the previous posts that used the word “obsession”. Granted I didn’t catch any of the posts where the talked about the DVD without mentioning its title, but I haven’t seen a comment here where your initial post would be a relevant point to make.

  194. #195 frog
    September 30, 2008

    Evolving Squid: However, that isn’t the same as a couple lads go get liquored up and beat up a guy because he’s gay. To call that a hate crime by your definition, I think the onus would be to demonstrate that the crime was committed to send a message to all gays. That’s not the same as just beating up a guy and using his perceived homosexuality as an excuse.

    Look, let’s take the model of terrorism against African-Americans in the US. Not everyone who attacked black people because they were black was a Card-Carrying Member of the klan. They took advantage of the fact that crimes against blacks were less prosecuted, and they had the effect of keeping blacks terrorized.

    Not every thug who belongs to a movement to oppress a minority has a fully-developed political program. They nonetheless act as the fists of those programs. Probably most of the thugs who broke windows on Kristallnacht had no idea about Nazi ideology, or even a very good idea about who was a Jew. But they acted in concert with certain social ideas.

    You simply can’t look at these incidents atomically. No one goes around beating up the left-handed, people with beauty-marks on their necks, or the nine-fingered. Any one who did would be insane. But gay-bashers, Sikh-attackers and skinheads are different. They take advantage, are part of, a political movement — and advance that political movement by their acts, even if they are dumb thugs without fully developed ideologies.

    If you had to live in fear that you would be attacked, you wouldn’t be so sanguine over whether the attacker had a full understanding of their social role in a system of violence directed at you.

  195. #196 Natalie
    September 30, 2008

    Evolving Squid @ 191

    In Canada, however, it seems to get applied in such a way that if the victim is a minority, it’s a hate crime.

    I’ve heard that a lot from people who don’t agree with hate crimes legislation, but I’ve never seen it backed up with any sort of evidence. If you have any, I’d love to see it.

    nor that the perp had some greater intention of sending a message to gays as a whole.

    From what I’ve understood of hate crimes laws, the perpetrator doesn’t have to actively want to “send a message” to the group they hate. The point is that their actions will send a message to that group, and will result in the terrorizing of said group.

  196. #197 BrainFromArous
    September 30, 2008

    Ichthyic wrote:

    “If one wishes to understand the current politics that has enmeshed itself with Islam, you have to start with what happened to the Shah of Iran, and look at how the Islamic Revolution came to be.

    then it starts to make more sense.”

    One should begin with Mohammad and the birth of Islam, the writings of the Quran and the function and nature of the earliest Islamic states.

    In other words: What they believed and what they did about those beliefs.

    It was pretty much aggression, expansion and conquest from the word “go.”

  197. #198 frog
    September 30, 2008

    BrainFromArous: One should begin with Mohammad and the birth of Islam, the writings of the Quran and the function and nature of the earliest Islamic states.

    No, you would have to begin with Rome & Persia. The cultural template for everything between Ireland and Afghanistan was set by the Roman-Persian cultural continuum. So you would then have to go back to Alexander the Great, and his messianic mission that is the underlying model for Christianity and Islam, and how it interacted with the indigenous religions of the ME cultural horizon to form those states, and their development through the medieval period.

    But then you would be forced to look at the cultural continuities between us and our enemies, and in what ways we are mirror images. It would be a little too scary…

  198. #199 BrainFromArous
    September 30, 2008

    So… back to the matter at hand…

    We have a single incident.

    We have one (child) witness who saw “two men” with “a spray paint can.”

    We have no forensic evidence as to the chemical(s) used.

    We have no accompanying vandalism, graffiti, shouted slurs, media statements, harassing phone calls or email to the mosque, etc.

    We have no group of any kind claiming responsibility.

    We don’t know if this was a bias crime, cruel prank, random hooliganism or personal attack against someone at that location (or their children).

    In light of this, I’d say PZ’s remark about “white conservatives” tells something about what’s going on in HIS head… but nothing at all about the attack itself.

    This was a despicable act, whoever did it and for whatever reason. Beyond that, we cannot say because of insufficient data.

  199. #200 BrainFromArous
    September 30, 2008

    Frog,

    We are mirror images in the sense that we are all humans and, accordingly, have much in common.

    Beyond that, what you propose is far too reductionist and relativist, methinks.

    Ideas matter. What people believe about themselves and others matters. If they spend a large part of their lives believing (and teaching others, incl. children) that the Lord of Creation wrote a book… you’d best believe the contents of that book matter.

    Islam in and of itself is a peaceful creed… as long as there are no non-Muslims, anywhere. Read the Quran itself (as I have) if you have the slightest doubt about this.

    If some Muslims turn aside from these teachings, I am delighted. (As I am when Christians jettison the nonsense of their magic-thinking, Jews theirs, Hindus theirs, etc.)

    But that doesn’t change the central problem: the ideas themselves. If loony Christian and Islamic fundamentalist on earth – all of ‘em – dropped dead at midnight tonight the Bible and Quran would still be toxic… because of their ideas. Poison doesn’t stop being poison just because nobody’s drinking it at a given moment.

    BTW #1, the early Caliphate took a far dimmer view of “fire worshipping” Zoroastrian Iranians than of Christian and Jewish “peoples of the book.” The new Islamic religion-state promptly fell upon the Sassanian Empire and wiped the inheritors of the Achaemenids from the map, something no Roman or Hellene had ever accomplished – no, not even Alexander.

    So in this eternal “east” vs “west” dialectic, I guess Shahanshah Yazdgerd III was the “eastern” one his vanquisher, Caliph Umar, played the Caesarean/Alexandrian role? Oh dear, that won’t do at all. Oh well, so much for that model.

    BTW #2, why stop at the Greco-Persian wars? Let’s trace the whole thing back to the centuries-long efforts of the ruling class of Pharoah’s Egypt to avoid political, economic and cultural usurpation at the hands of the Assyrians, Phoenicians, Hyksos, Babylonians, Nubians…

    Ok, enough silliness. Nobody is claiming that Islam is some sui generis malevolence that dropped out of the sky one day – any more than any other belief system has those properties.

    But Islam, nonetheless, has distinct elements and specific doctrines which make it adversarial to the kind of modern, tolerant, secular, diverse society I – and you, I hope – wish to live in.

    Add to this – or rather, subtract FROM it – the lack of attenuating influences which have gone far, but not all the way, towards de-fanging Christianity in the West and we have the real problem.

  200. #201 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    One should begin with Mohammad and the birth of Islam, the writings of the Quran and the function and nature of the earliest Islamic states.

    In other words: What they believed and what they did about those beliefs.

    It was pretty much aggression, expansion and conquest from the word “go.”

    pure, unadulterated ignorance on your part.

    congratulations.

  201. #202 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Islam in and of itself is a peaceful creed… as long as there are no non-Muslims, anywhere. Read the Quran itself (as I have) if you have the slightest doubt about this.

    utter crap. You’d have to say the exact same thing if you read the relevant passages from the old testament bible. Or do you somehow think that xians or Jews are currently in the habit of acts of complete genocide, down to the dogs, pigs, etc.? I mean, that’s what the bible says should be done with your enemies in the OT, right?

    I’m so sick of you morons thinking that everyone, everywhere, follows every word of the relevant dogma.

    religion itself is superstitious nonsense, but the reactions of any given set of ‘followers’ of a specific dogma are as varied as the 30000+ sects of xianity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

    you types just LOVE to speak of the people, instead of the religious nonsense, and it just doesn’t fly here.

    get it?

  202. #203 frog
    September 30, 2008

    BFA: But Islam, nonetheless, has distinct elements and specific doctrines which make it adversarial to the kind of modern, tolerant, secular, diverse society I – and you, I hope – wish to live in.

    I would say all the Roman derived cultural systems are inherently adverserial to post-enlightenment, secular societies. They have different foci, but in the end they are totalitarian at heart – both Christianity and Islam.

    The difference between the two is that to some extent, we’ve managed to defang Christianity. We’ve tried to cut out it’s heart, and replace it with a few empty rituals that are devoid of the essential message of Christianity, which is a revolutionary and universal system of totalitarian thought, messianic in the sense of depending on a Universal Ruler on Earth. Basically, grab Alexanderianism, add a dash of Ceaserism and a few dollops of Judaic mysticism. Until the 1960′s, the Catholic church still claimed universal sovereignty over the human conscience and expected underlying states to enforce it.

    Not so different from Islam. If we can just castrate Islam in the same way, kill the Caliphate dream, it would be just as safe as Methodism. Reduce it to the Jihad of the spirit.

  203. #204 frog
    September 30, 2008

    BFA:

    Remember that a number of the US’s Revolutionary generation (the same in France), were quite explicit about wanting to bring back the pre-Roman Empire values against the Empire’s Christian values. Secularism has been tied since it’s inception with the death of Roman Empire derived ideas.

  204. #205 Ichthyic
    September 30, 2008

    Nobody is claiming that Islam is some sui generis malevolence that dropped out of the sky one day

    But

    ya know, just today, in another thread, we were pointing out the age old pattern of people spouting something they don’t really believe, but think it will somehow “placate” their audience, then following it up with “but”, before spouting their real insanity.

    you just spent a previous post decrying the evils of islam, then try to makes us believe you had no malevolent slight in mind, before using that word…

    but.

    fact is, both Islam AND xianity have similar roots, similar histories, and similar doctrines.

    both can be readily abused for whatever politics one can care to muster up.

    both have their share of the credulous that act as grassroots power bases.

    both should be entirely abandoned.

  205. #206 Rob
    September 30, 2008

    Knowing what I know about Dayton (I live in the burbs but I’m in Dayton frequently) and from what I saw in the newspaper about it (Dayton Daily News reported that they’re looking for 2 black guys and that they found a can of mace in a white and red plastic bag near the scene) more than likely it was random drunk idiots doing stupid things like they always do in this town.

    But there’s still this voice in the back of my head telling me the coincidence of this DVD getting distributed in the newspaper and then this happening is too strong to ignore.

    My mom got this DVD about a year ago free from some Zionist rag called “Israel My Glory”. Up until the news about it hitting with the local papers she never watched it. So the other night mom and dad both sit down to watch it.

    So while I was watching the Falcon 1 Launch (kudos to SpaxeX for reaching orbit!), they were watching that DVD. After they watched it I could tell the DVD had it’s intended affect on them. They kept saying Obama wants to negotiate with the terrorists and that the president shouldn’t negotiate. My answer was this: “So we should just keep scorching the earth looking for them and not address the root problem as to why they’re so ticked off at us in the first place? I know being on their land isn’t making us any more friends.” I got yelled at by my dad for “defending the terrorists”. I’m not making excuses for the action of the terrorists here, what they did was horrible, but they way I see it, what we’re doing isn’t much better. Slamming two fully fueled jet’s into a high rise in the name of “Allah” is no worse than invading countries because it’s “God’s Will”.

    I think it is us as a country that have become obsessed. We have to get Bin Laden, we have to give up our liberties for the sake of security, we have to invade Afghanistan, we have to invade Iraq, we have to find the WMD’s, we have to arrive at the airport 2 hours before our flights and take off our shoes so we they can check them for bombs, we have to keep a republican in the white house otherwise the terrorists win. No, the only thing that winning here is fear.

    Madness, it is.

  206. #208 windy
    September 30, 2008

    BTW #1, the early Caliphate took a far dimmer view of “fire worshipping” Zoroastrian Iranians than of Christian and Jewish “peoples of the book.” The new Islamic religion-state promptly fell upon the Sassanian Empire and wiped the inheritors of the Achaemenids from the map, something no Roman or Hellene had ever accomplished – no, not even Alexander.

    How melodramatically put… What is your point here? Alexander chose not to kill all the members of the ruling family but he could have easily ‘accomplished’ it. The Sassanids were only self-styled “inheritors” of the Achaemenids. The dynasty was toppled in both cases, Alexander’s treatment of the surviving royalty was better, but I doubt we can pin this on Islam – in the modern world, obsession to wipe out members of a ruling family does not seem to be limited to Muslims.

  207. #209 NickG
    September 30, 2008

    Um, for the people who keep wanting to see this (awful) movie. Please don’t pay these whackjobs a penny. Get thee a BitTorrent client and Google: Obsession Pirate Bay.

    Not that I would know about Pirate Bay. But I am told that when certain media is popular more people seed it so apparently it downloads faster than PZ’s flying monkeys can crash a poll.

    Oh, and to clinteas regarding Muslim residents. I’ve worked with Muslim residents too. When I was a chief resident in emergency medicine at the biggest trauma center in Brooklyn I did the schedule for 52 ER residents – including Muslims, Christians, Orthodox Jews, and even a couple Secular Humanists. By far the hardest to schedule around were the Orthodox Jews. Though no one ever left a resuscitation for prayers or to make it home before sundown.

    Moreover when September 11th happened and we were called by FDNY to tell us that we should expect 150 patients 50 of which were OR candidates (and then upped to 250/100 when the second tower was hit) every resident regardless of religion or lack thereof was focused on only one thing. One of our third year residents who was a devout Muslim had a wife who worked in the towers.

    He didn’t ask to leave. That wasn’t even a question for him.

    Though he did break down in tears for a few minutes when she finally got through on his cell. Her work mate had made her stop to get coffee and they were just walking into the WTC when they were hit and she and her friend got away safely.

    So yes, do Muslims want time for prayers at work? Yes. Do Orthodox Jews want to get off early every week for Shabbos? Yes. Do Christians thank the sky fairy that there are Jews and Muslims to work Christmas and Easter? Also yes. Does that make any of them deficient residents or physicians? No more than me wanting off Halloween or to go to a pride parade in June or taking a 10 minute break to caffeinate myself.

  208. #210 SoMG
    September 30, 2008

    Ummmmm sorry to be a dickhead but the fact is we don’t know who did this or why.

    Were the victims Sunni or Shi’ite? Whichever they were, maybe the perps were the other.

    Or maybe it’s a Tawana Brawley trick.

    We just don’t know yet.

  209. #211 SoMG
    October 1, 2008

    Suppose it turns out that CAIR orchestrated this in order to gain public sympathy.

    No one who has followed CAIR’s shenanegans would be the least bit surprised.

  210. #212 SoMG
    October 1, 2008

    It would not be the first fake “islamophobic” attack:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/08/kafirphobia_americans_as_viole.html

  211. #213 pzph
    October 1, 2008

    An actual news report (not DailyKos) states no real evidence was found:

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/09/27/ddn092608evacweb.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=16

    No chemicals found in the room or on the girl claiming to have been sprayed. So there’s nothing but the claim.

    Wouldn’t be the first time people falsely reported crimes, would it?

  212. #214 Quiet_Desperation
    October 1, 2008

    This would indicate your criticism is out of place.

    Or, you know, not.

  213. #215 Grammar RWA
    October 1, 2008

    Ummmmm sorry to be a dickhead

    Don’t lie. You’re proud of being a dickhead.

    Were the victims Sunni or Shi’ite? Whichever they were, maybe the perps were the other.

    You don’t know a thing about American Islam. That kind of sectarian violence is not a problem here. The foremost threat to American Muslims is from American Christians.

    Or maybe it’s a Tawana Brawley trick.

    We just don’t know yet.

    What we know is that you’re a bigot who’s eager to excuse the perps because you reflexively assume that dark skinned people are lying.

    Suppose it turns out that CAIR orchestrated this in order to gain public sympathy.

    No one who has followed CAIR’s shenanegans would be the least bit surprised.

    You have absolutely no evidence that CAIR has ever done such a thing. Your allegations, then, are nothing but the first ridiculous bullshit that pops into your head.

    That’s what happens when threads like this start to go stale. The bigot scum come out to play where they won’t be censured.

    It would not be the first fake “islamophobic” attack:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/08/kafirphobia_americans_as_viole.html

    An isolated case of insurance fraud, like countless similar cases perpetrated by white Christians, and you see a nationwide Muslim conspiracy. Get your head checked. CAIR did nothing wrong here. They were victims of fraud, same as the ADL has been in the past.

  214. #216 Grammar RWA
    October 1, 2008

    An actual news report (not DailyKos) states no real evidence was found:

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/09/27/ddn092608evacweb.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=16

    No chemicals found in the room or on the girl claiming to have been sprayed. So there’s nothing but the claim.

    Wouldn’t be the first time people falsely reported crimes, would it?

    Wouldn’t be the first time you lied.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/09/30/ddn093008mosquecopsweb.html

    The police found pepper spray, material evidence.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/09/27/ddn092708islamicweb.html

    “When firefighters and HAZMAT personnel arrived, they noticed a bad odor”.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/09/26/ddn092608evacweb.html

    And then there’s the testimony of the triage workers. None of whom are suggesting that the symptoms they treated were faked.

    “Nothing but the claim” my ass. What a lying piece of shit you are.

  215. #217 Grammar RWA
    October 1, 2008

    Dayton Daily News reported that they’re looking for 2 black guys

    If you heard that, you heard it elsewhere. Links to all four Dayton Daily News articles are here in this thread, and none of them mention black men.

    more than likely it was random drunk idiots doing stupid things like they always do in this town.

    As someone said earlier, even if the attack is not related to the Obsession DVD, it doesn’t mean this isn’t a hate crime. A mosque is a very conspicuous target. It’s not random. If they had just wanted a target, any target, it’d be simple enough to spray someone walking down the street.

    So… since they didn’t say “All Muslims should die!” or “Baby Jesus told me to do this!” or other blatant demonstration of hate/stupidity it’s not a hate crime? Do people in Dayton always go randomly shooting noxious chemicals at people through open windows?

  216. #218 Grammar RWA
    October 1, 2008

    This would indicate your criticism is out of place.

    Or, you know, not.

    Quiet_Desperation, your laziness is inexcusable. When people take the time to rebut your nonsense, it behooves you to either respond in kind, or shut up and let it go.

    Your childish “nuh uh!” is an unmistakable concession that D was right and you were wrong.

  217. #219 Chiroptera
    October 1, 2008

    SoMG, #211: Suppose it turns out that CAIR orchestrated this in order to gain public sympathy.

    No one who has followed CAIR’s shenanegans would be the least bit surprised.

    It’s been my experience that this sort of attack of CAIR is often a sign of Islamophobia. In fact, the blog that you reference in # 212 has this screed against Obama, this screed against Barney Frank and democrats in general, and this claim that McCain is somehow a bipartisan statesman who is acting honorably and “above the fray”. Personally, I don’t put much credence in what this blog has to say.

    -

    # 210: Ummmmm sorry to be a dickhead but the fact is we don’t know who did this or why.

    That is probably true. But I’m interested is how a violent attack against Muslims is being used as an excuse for Islamophobes to once again bring on their attacks against Islam. Don’t you find that interesting?

  218. #220 Aphrodine
    October 1, 2008

    I just received a copy of “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” If the title alone doesn’t scare you off, then the description of it will: “AS SEEN ON FOX NEWS.”

    Yeaaah… nokthnxbai.

  219. #221 RonF
    October 1, 2008

    Did ANYONE here click through and read the actual story?

    Here’s what the primary source for this story (the Dayton Daily News) said:

    The girl was watching children whose parents and relatives had gathered at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, 26 Josie St., to celebrate Ramadan when she noticed two men standing outside a basement window about 9:40 p.m., according to police. One of the men then sprayed something through the open window and into the girl’s face from a white can with a red top, according to a police report.

    Now, here’s the first sentence of this blog entry:

    Only, of course, it won’t be called an act of terrorism because the victims were Muslim, and the perpetrators were conservative white Americans.

    Anybody see a problem here? Such as, “How do we know what the race or political principles of the perpetrators are?”

    Of course the cops aren’t treating this as a hate crime. There’s absolutely no evidence or testimony that points to the motive of the perpetrators. Just because someone’s Moslem doesn’t mean that a crime committed against them is a hate crime, folks. The perpetrators could be someone who had a personal grudge against the victim’s family. They could be Moslem themselves (Sunni vs. Shia, perhaps?).

  220. #222 Penny
    October 1, 2008

    If I didn’t know better, I would almost think somebody had researched the run up to the Holocaust in Europe of some 70 years ago and was deliberately setting out to reproduce it.

    But nah…. these do not seem like representatives of a historically literate, or even a literate culture.

  221. #223 Grammar RWA
    October 1, 2008

    Did ANYONE here click through and read the actual story?

    Did YOU read the comments? Pretty much everything you said has already been answered. Illiterate asshole.

    Anybody see a problem here? Such as, “How do we know what the race or political principles of the perpetrators are?”

    That would be PZ making an educated guess. Most attacks like these are carried out by the dominant group in any given society; here that happens to be whites. Their politics? That’s even more within the realm of predictability. American conservatives in general hate Muslims. American liberals in general do not. I’d believe that you were honest but myopic if you doubted their race. You’re an idiot and/or a liar to suggest that it’s plausible they aren’t conservatives.

    Of course the cops aren’t treating this as a hate crime. There’s absolutely no evidence or testimony that points to the motive of the perpetrators. Just because someone’s Moslem doesn’t mean that a crime committed against them is a hate crime, folks.

    Maybe when the victim is walking down the street. But when the crime is committed within a mosque, it becomes exponentially more likely that it is a hate crime, because here the victims are conspicuously Muslims.

    They could be Moslem themselves (Sunni vs. Shia, perhaps?).

    Your ignorance and illiteracy is showing. American Sunnis and Shiites get along fine.

    The perpetrators could be someone who had a personal grudge against the victim’s family.

    Oooh! Yeah! Maybe it’s inner-city gang warfare over drug trade territory.

    You’re making up far less probable scenarios, when the most obvious explanation, the only one that holds up to Ockham’s razor, is that Muslims attacked during prayer in a mosque are being attacked for being Muslims.

    Why would you bother to keep positing pluralities beyond necessity? Only to pretend that there’s no biased violence against minorities in this country.

  222. #224 Rob
    October 1, 2008

    umm…#217 I’m gonna have to call Shenanigans on this one

    link below is to a WDTN (local NBC Affiliate) news story on the spraying incident:

    http://www.wdtn.com/global/video/popup/pop_playerLaunch.asp?vt1=v&clipFormat=flv&clipId1=2965053&at1=News&h1=Hazmat crews evacuate Dayton mosque

    Pay attention around 1:44 in the video…the part where he says “Police are looking for two, slender black males…”

    Why DDN is changing the story mid-stream looks pretty fishy if you ask me.

  223. #225 Rob
    October 1, 2008

    Blasted deformed HTML!!

    You’ll have to cut/paste that link in order for it to work right. the blogging software doesn’t like it because there are spaces in it.

  224. #226 Grammar RWA
    October 1, 2008

    You’re right, Rob, the reporter does say that. He also says the girl who was sprayed was eight years old, while the DDN reports she was ten.

    It’s not unusual for news agencies to change their web-based stories without noting the retraction. It’s annoying, but not unusual. If the DDN previously reported that the police were looking for two black men, there are a few likely explanations. They may have found, from talking to the police later, that they got their story wrong from the beginning. Or, the police may have told them that they were no longer looking for black men in particular; that may happen if two black men were merely reported in the vicinity and were being sought for questioning, but were later decided to not be of interest. Also possible is that the little girl decided she was no longer sure that the men were black; it was dark outside, and she was inside in a lighted room, conditions which are not conducive to a clear view; recall is spotty under stressful conditions.

    If you want detail, you might write to the author of the DDN article that you remember reading.

  225. #227 ambulocetus
    October 1, 2008

    @ Dahan #20
    Tell him to contact me. Absolutely legit free martial arts study for atheists only. I’ve been on the mat for 20 years, but love it too much to see it commercialized. Experience not neccesary, but no children, please.

  226. #228 Cockenstien
    October 2, 2008

    I’m not sure what’s wrong with being an “islamaphobe”. Unless someone is “islamaphobic” for religious reasons, being an “islamaphobe” is surely a logical and rational position on islam. Are there not basic “teachings” of islam that are against basic human rights (espcially for women), basic science, basic modern morality? Islam is tougher on gays than modern christianity is and many islamic countries around the world are barbaric in the extreme. Even moderate states like Malaysia (in which I used to live) practice some pretty unfair law in regards to the Chinese and Indian minorities. It’s a religion which causes an amazing number of deaths around the world each month.

    Now of course not all muslims are terrorists, not all muslims are barbaric. Many in the west just want to get along with everyone and believe what they like without hurting themselves or others. I still have a problem with them in the same way I have a problem with Christians or Jews or Buddhists or anyone that believes in nonsense. But isn’t it clear that the mainstream religion itself is extreme in comparison to Christianity or Buddhism or whatever. YES there are other religious extremists and I’m against them all. But they dont operate anywhere NEAR the scale of islam. I really have a problem with both the “moderate” islam AND the extreme islam (but obviously much less worried about the moderate ones). I’m shocked more people don’t. Keep in mind I have a problem with all religion, but can’t we be grown up enough to see that not all religions are equal? Isn’t it clear that islam is at least a little more dangerous than other religions?

    We shouldn’t treat all religions equally when it’s abundantly clear that religions are not equally dangerous or stupid or counter productive or obtrusive. Not all cultures are equal either. Some really are better than others. Some are plain wrong and we shouldn’t pay them any respect.

    Moderate muslims (I like them MUCH more than the mainstream ones) are influenced by modern western moral values and they abandon the harsher parts of their religion in the same way that Christians do. I like them more but still think they are at least a little loopy for believing in god at all. I guess though things are different for you in the USA. You have to put up with the hardcore christians.

    Oh and before anyone accuses me of various stuff, I’m super agaisnt spraying any one with chemicals. I don’t want to hurt muslims. They’re the biggest victims of islam. Islam is the problem. The ideology and “teachings” of it are just so wrong. I’d love to be shown that I’m wrong about this so please, do try. If I’m wrong then the world is less terrible than i think it is.

    Sorry for the long post. I just got the feeling that everyone was sticking up for the muslims because they’re muslims and not cos they were some people in a building being attacked by some fools.

  227. #229 frog
    October 2, 2008

    Cockenstein: Moderate muslims (I like them MUCH more than the mainstream ones) are influenced by modern western moral values and they abandon the harsher parts of their religion in the same way that Christians do.

    You surely meant enlightenment moral values, and not western, correct? Since much of Islam is very western, in the sense of being Roman-derived and very similar to traditional Christian values.

    Secular societies aren’t Western — they are a revolt against traditional Western values, such as ignorance, classism, slavery and authoritarian religion.

    There’s a reason why the West was a bastion of ignorance and poverty until the Renaissance – and only really got going after the Enlightenment.

  228. #230 RonF
    October 3, 2008

    Illiterate asshole, eh? Usually the prize for illiteracy goes to people who need to use curses and insult to express themselves.

    That would be PZ making an educated guess.

    No. “and the perpetrators were conservative white Americans.” is a statement of fact. “and I’ll bet the perpetrators were conservative white Americans because I think that’s the most likely person to have done such a thing.” would be a guess (although not particularly educated). What PZ did was to present his own biases as a fact, and anyone who didn’t click though and read the actual story would have been misled as to what the actual facts are.

    Most attacks like these are carried out by the dominant group in any given society

    Here in America we don’t keep crime statistics based on religion. But we do keep statistics on race. Look at those and you’ll find that most assaults against members of non-dominant groups are committed by fellow members of the non-dominant group.

    American conservatives in general hate Muslims.

    What basis do you have for this rather breathtaking assertion? Where do you find information that you think represents the general opinion of American conservatives?

    But when the crime is committed within a mosque, it becomes exponentially more likely that it is a hate crime,

    Oh, I’ll give odds that it’s a hate crime. But cops have to work off of actual legal evidence, and the single fact that it occured in a mosque doesn’t rise to the level of evidence. Catch these guys and investigate their motive and then we may well have evidence of a hate crime. Until then, the issue is open.

    American Sunnis and Shias get along fine? Fine. But that presumes that the perpetrators are assimilated into American culture to a certain extent and are not recent arrivals here.

    Why would you bother to keep positing pluralities beyond necessity? Only to pretend that there’s no biased violence against minorities in this country.

    So you equate pointing out that the known facts in this case do not establish the facts of the race and political philosophies of the perpetrators with a pretense that there’s no biased violence against minorities in this country”? I fear that the only biases established with that statement are yours.

  229. #231 RonF
    October 3, 2008

    Illiterate asshole, eh? Usually the prize for illiteracy goes to people who need to use curses and insult to express themselves.

    That would be PZ making an educated guess.

    No. “and the perpetrators were conservative white Americans.” is a statement of fact. “and I’ll bet the perpetrators were conservative white Americans because I think that’s the most likely person to have done such a thing.” would be a guess (although not particularly educated). What PZ did was to present his own biases as a fact, and anyone who didn’t click though and read the actual story would have been misled as to what the actual facts are.

    Most attacks like these are carried out by the dominant group in any given society

    Here in America we don’t keep crime statistics based on religion. But we do keep statistics on race. Look at those and you’ll find that most assaults against members of non-dominant groups are committed by fellow members of the non-dominant group.

    American conservatives in general hate Muslims.

    What basis do you have for this rather breathtaking assertion? Where do you find information that you think represents the general opinion of American conservatives?

    But when the crime is committed within a mosque, it becomes exponentially more likely that it is a hate crime,

    Oh, I’ll give odds that it’s a hate crime. But cops have to work off of actual legal evidence, and the single fact that it occured in a mosque doesn’t rise to the level of evidence. Catch these guys and investigate their motive and then we may well have evidence of a hate crime. Until then, the issue is open.

    American Sunnis and Shias get along fine? Fine. But that presumes that the perpetrators are assimilated into American culture to a certain extent and are not recent arrivals here.

    Why would you bother to keep positing pluralities beyond necessity? Only to pretend that there’s no biased violence against minorities in this country.

    So you equate pointing out that the known facts in this case do not establish the facts of the race and political philosophies of the perpetrators with a pretense that there’s no biased violence against minorities in this country”? I fear that the only biases established with that statement are yours.

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