Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Protest Organizer Wants To 'Ignite a Movement'

I’m finding out that Majed Moughni, the Dearborn attorney who organized Friday’s protest outside the federal courthouse where Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was being arraigned, is quite an interesting guy. (He’s even earned a death threat.)

We commented the other day about that protest. The participants held signs declaring "Islam is against terrorism" and "Not in the name of Islam," and marched with big American flags.

Moughni’s group, Dearborn Area Community Members, has a Facebook page with photos and comments. At least two photos depict CAIR-MI’s Dawud Walid holding a partially rolled-up U.S. flag while he bogarts some publicity. I can’t hold it against Moughni and his group that Walid was there, as anyone at a public protest can show up and grab a flag and start giving interviews.

Seems as though we’re always mentioning Walid around here, and his Muslim Brotherhood organization, CAIR, and the lack of credibility whenever they posture as opponents of Islamic terrorism. On Friday Walid and his fellow imams in the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, held their own press event, about which I’ll comment elsewhere. The Dearborn Press & Guide noted, helpfully, that Moughni’s protest was a “separate” event.

Moughni’s the one worth watching. While looking into his background last night I realized he’s the same man who took on CAIR-MI in a letter to the Dearborn Press & Guide last year over a silly lawsuit against a local judge for ordering a Muslim woman appearing before him to remove her headscarf: a lawsuit that Moughni called “frivolous.” DU quoted him favorably at the time. Walid wasn’t so favorable, kvetching in his own letter to the P&G that nobody died and made Moughni the “hijab police.”

Anyhow, the message of Friday’s rally with Moughni and his friends, that Islam and violence don’t mix, certainly has its skeptics, including here at DU. All props are due for for the Facebook photos of patriotic Muslims marching against terrorism--the likes of which we haven’t seen, well, ever. (I didn’t even see one sign pictured with a Star of David/Swastika combo!) But you know what they say about one swallow not making a summer.

And it didn’t help that news coverage ran quotations from legitimate protesters alongside comments from spokesmen for groups already known to us wide-awake types as supporters of terror, such as Walid and CAIR, (who are Muslim Brotherhood), and, Bilal Amen, the vice chair of the Islamic Institute of Knowledge, an Iranian and Hezbollah outpost in Dearborn. That kind of contradiction is what makes rallies like these necessary.

But, skepticism on hold for the moment, I’m finding some of the things Moughni’s says refreshing. For one thing, they're utterly lacking in the stale excuses, victim talk, and two-facedness we’ve grown so sick of from the likes of Ibrahim Hooper, Imam Elahi, and their kind. On Friday, Moughni said, “We've been trying to recover from (the Sept. 11 terror attacks) for nine years. (This) comes right in our backyards, right over the heads of the largest Muslim population in North America.”

And this: "(Abdulmutallab) landed in the wrong place -- he's going to be met by the natives today," Moughni said as the demonstration began. "We're going to take our religion back."

The morning of the rally Moughni was on public radio’s The Take Away, with John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee, where he was asked, naturally, about whether or not the government’s decision to use profiling of travelers from 14 countries, including Yemen, was “the right thing to do.” To my pleasant surprise, his answer contained not one word of how profiling doesn’t work, how it unfairly targets Muslims, or how our fight against terrorism mustn’t come at the expense of civil rights. What he said was:

Anything to make us safe is the right thing to do. [!] On that airline that was going to be blown away there was 27 passengers were Muslim. So, it could have been somebody I knew, it could have been my family on that airline.
Still several hours before the rally was set to begin, Moughni said he was expecting “thousands” to show up. He said the Muslim community was very excited, that the rally was the “talk of the town,” and 120 Yemeni leaders had showed up for committee meetings, assuring him huge support from their people. Clearly, Dearborn’s Muslim leaders told him they’d get him a great turnout, and clearly he believed them.

Actual estimates of the number of protesters are around fifty. The crowd in front of the courthouse included Nigerian protesters, (who were speaking for Nigeria, not Islam), and numberless media hounds.

The worst that we could speculate about the gross failure of Dearborn’s Muslims to support Moughni’s message is that they don’t agree with it, preferring the traditional Islamic message of war, intolerance, and forcing sharia on Kuffirs. The best that we could speculate is that all those leaders who promised him support were cynical and insincere, and either unwilling, or incapable, of leading their communities to support something that might actually improve the image of Dearborn Muslims, instead of making it worse.

By ugly contrast, when Dearborn’s Muslims were called out to show support for Hezbollah in the Israel-Hezbollah war of 2006, crowd estimates were as high as 15,000--half the Arab population. Sure, it was summer then. But 15,000 to 50?

Isn’t that what people mean by the expression, “voting with their feet?”

Moughni told public radio he wants to “ignite” a movement, to drive Muslims out into the street, united against terrorism, “where they will follow these radicals into their homes, and into the schools, and into the mosques, and we will get rid of these radicals.” Rhetoric that's a far cry, I’d say, from what we’ve heard all these years from two-faced Muslim leaders who mumble about the evils of terrorism and then shriek about the evils of the Patriot Act, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and American support for Israel. If Moughni and his group are sincere, I wish them all the success in the world.

And if he needs the addresses of some local mosques they can follow some radicals into to get rid of them, we’ve got some.

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