Wednesday’s rally by Terry Jones of Stand Up America! outside Edsel Ford High School came and went without dramatic event. Jones’s stated purpose for the rally was to call attention to bullying of nonMuslim students by Muslim students. Jones wanted to meet with the principal, who refused, and then wanted to meet with students while they were boarding buses after school got out, but he was forbidden to enter school property.
I expect most of that was school officials wanting to keep Muslim students away from Jones – not from fear of Jones, who has never been validly accused of any violence towards anyone – but to avoid a repeat of the Children’s Crusade of bottle and rock-throwing that broke out last summer when the “Bible Believers” at the Arab American Festival found themselves under attack.
Credit where it’s due, the Dearborn Press & Guide’s Joe Slezak has done a much more balanced job of covering yesterday’s event than other local media. (“Jones visit to Dearborn’s Edsel Ford High uneventful”).
For one thing, Slezak identifies at least two Dearborn parents who express support for Jones, citing their own experience of having children bullied by Muslim students, who apparently are treated with impunity in most schools. According to Jones, a third parent had emailed Jones “about an incident in May where their son, who is black, was suspended. She said that Arabic students called their son a racial slur several times and when he fought back, he was suspended but the Muslim students were not.” The presence of actual school parents supporting Jones lends credence to his stated reason for staging it, in spite of the popular notion that Jones is only doing this to get publicity.
Even if Jones is trying to get publicity for himself and his organization, (don’t most causes try to do the same? – look at the way BAMN shows up at EVERYTHING), that doesn’t mean that the problem he came to protest doesn’t exist.
Granted Jones that appealing a champion. But remember that he’s first and foremost a messenger. A distinction must be made between his message, and the wacky persona the media and Islamist leaders are trying to paint on him. His detractors call him a loon and a publicity hound to gain two objectives by foul means: it makes it easier to disregard anything he says, and it scares away potential supporters who aren’t willing to face guilt by association with a person certified a lunatic by the liberal media and the Islamophile left.
But Jones’s message is not loony, nor crazy, nor, based on anything I’ve heard him say or that’s been quoted, is his message much different from our message or the message of many other anti-jihad sources. Nor is it a message of hate. It isn’t hate to be critical of a religion that’s in love with bloodshed and death.—and that maintains its religion-of-peace image behind a wall of lies.
Jones’s message at the rally, for instance, includes this (as reported in the Press & Guide and the Free Press:
- “Muslims need to obey and respect laws of communities.”
- “Islam is not a religion that tolerates any criticism.”
- (Explaining his support for “Innocence of Muslims”): "Criticism is part of Western society."
- Muslims have a difficult time integrating into communities.
- As a Muslim community grows, it [becomes] more demanding.
- There is a “radical” element of Islam that is violent and bans free speech.
- “The Quran does teach that the Muslims are the best of all people.”
As far as I’m concerned, every one of those statements is a testable fact. Every one of them can be supported with ample documentary and historical evidence. Take away Jones’s General Bullmoose mustache and his endorsement of that crummy movie and his overall hard-guy image, and his message shouldn’t be controversial at all. It’s only upsetting for those already pre-disposed to object to any criticism of Islam.
Which unfortunately includes the media and most Dearborn public officials.