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At the beginning of this month, I received an e-mail about a lecture that was taking place on October 14th at the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center, located in
Pembroke Pines, Florida. The event was being sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Keynote Speaker was listed as Keith Ellison, a candidate for United States Congress from
Minnesota and a man that has raised thousands of dollars through CAIR. Our group, Americans Against Hate, planned to be there and welcome him in protest. All was fine, until we attempted to sit in on the event.
When I received the e-mail concerning the lecture, I wanted to corroborate the information to make sure that it was correct. I searched the Internet. I found nothing. I went onto CAIR’s and CAIR-Florida’s websites – nothing. I went onto Keith Ellison’s campaign website – nothing. Details about this event were nowhere to be seen. It wasn’t until I spoke with someone from the Pembroke Pines Police Department that I found out the information was indeed accurate. Questions popped up in my head: Why is this event being made a secret? Why is a Congressional Candidate from
Minnesota campaigning in
South Florida? And right before the election?
We obtained the permit, and the protest went on as planned. What we were protesting was the fact that Keith Ellison had accepted campaign donations from CAIR officials. We were also protesting Florida Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Davis for doing the same. Ellison had taken money from CAIR’s National Executive Director Nihad Awad, CAIR’s National Chairman Parvez Ahmed, and CAIR’s Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor. Jim Davis had accepted money from CAIR-Florida’s Communications Director Ahmed Bedier. Given CAIR’s ties to the terrorist organization Hamas, given the fact that four CAIR representatives have previously been charged by the
U.S. government with terrorist activity, and given the fact that CAIR is being sued for its role in the attacks on 9/11, we believed our case was strong.
Our protest consisted of a small group of people holding appropriate signs. They included: “GIVE BACK THE MONEY!” “BEWARE OF CAIR,” “KEITH ELLISON, JIM DAVIS, CAIR LAP DOGS,” and one sign containing pro-terror quotes from Nihad Awad and Ahmed Bedier. We stood across from the entrance of the center, so that we could get a good look at the attendees. From what we saw and what we heard, there seemed to be very few people attending this event, which led to more questions.
Somebody that resembled Ellison was driven up to the front and was quickly ushered in. CAIR-Florida’s Legal Director, Areeb Naseer, passed by. Earlier, the Executive Director for the group, Altaf Ali, was spotted. A CAIR operative sat outside the door to the entrance – I figured either to greet guests or to watch us – or both. Thankfully, police officers were set up there, as well.
Eventually, another CAIR op came outside to videotape us. We did the same to him. I told him it was worse for him – CAIR already knew what I looked like. We asked him questions, but like a good CAIR soldier, he didn’t say a word. When it was time for our speeches, which were made at a podium we had brought, the op moved closer to video them. My speech contained some hard-hitting evidence of CAIR’s terrorist ties. The op just stood there expressionless. I assumed he had no problem with what was being said. As I spoke, I wondered to myself what the guy was capable of. After my speech, I thanked everyone for coming.
We were about to leave, when I made the conscious decision to go inside to see the event. If someone from CAIR was videotaping us, why shouldn’t we be able to do the same? We asked the police officers if it was alright to go inside to videotape. They said it was okay, as long as we didn’t disrupt anything. Two of us went in. As we reached the entrance to the affair, we were stopped by two people. “This is a private event,” one said, as he put up his hand to stop us. We said we received permission from the officers. He repeated his statement a couple more times. Areeb Naseer rushed out to speak with the officers. Altaf Ali looked nervous and confused. We took CAIR totally by surprise.
In the end, the officers said, since it was a “private” event we had to abide by what they were telling us. My colleague stated that it was a public place – the center was owned by the city – and we should be able to pass through. However, we didn’t press much further and soon left. With all of the preceding questions, a new question arose: Why did they not want us inside? Keith Ellison is running for public office. Why was this a “private meeting”? What was being said inside that made it so private?
These are questions that Keith Ellison should be asked. He comes all the way to
South Florida from
Minnesota, less than one month before his election, to a private meeting that no one knows about, attended by only a small number of people, with individuals guarding the entranceway, an event sponsored by a group that has numerous ties to Islamic terrorism. Is it just me, or does this picture look strange?
As I write, the homepage of Keith Ellison’s website offers a glaring contradiction to his mysterious
Florida meeting. On it, he states, “Between now and November 7 — and for as long as I have the privilege of serving you in Congress — I’m going to be seeking opportunities for us to connect face-to-face. I’d like you and your neighbors to join me in town hall discussions around the district where we can talk about the issues that are important to us: the challenges we face and the successes we want to build on.”
How is Mr. Ellison going to “connect face-to-face” with his constituents, when he’s in another state and he won’t even let the public into his events? It’s just one more question that needs to be answered. Minnesotans should demand to know these answers, before their votes are cast.
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FRANCE: GOVERNMENT EYES NEW SECURITY MEASURES AMID FEARS OF FRESH RIOTS
Paris, 16 Oct. (AKI) – France’s prime minister, Dominique de Villepin on Monday asked interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy and justice minister Pascal Clement to study ways of boosting security and stepping up penal sanctions for those convicted of attacking the country’s law enforcers. The move follows a series of ugly clashes between police and youth gangs in poor suburbs of Paris in recent weeks which have sparked fears among the country’s police associations and politicians that the urban riots that rocked France in late October and November 2005 could be about to break out again.
“Gendarmes and policemen have a difficult job that demands respect and support,” said Sarkozy – a hopeful in France’s 2007 presidential race who controversially described last year’s rioters as “rabble” and “scum”. His office will meet police unions on Tuesday, AFP news agency reported.
In most recent of four serious incidents in the past month, a policeman was seriously injured by stones hurled by youths at the weekend after their vehicle was allegedly ambushed and stoned in the suburb of Epinay-sur-Seine north of Paris. The patrol car was trapped when a driverless vehicle was rolled behind it by a group of up to 50 youths, police said.
The police car was attacked with stones and baseball bats and one policeman, Christophe Esteve, 30, was hit in the face. Youths allegedly fired tear gas at police sent to investigate a theft. Local people claimed no more than 20 youths were involved in the disturbance, however, and that the incident began when police began to forcefully interrogate two youths they had picked up on the street.
Violence and aggression towards police, gendarmes, firemen and teachers rose by almost 10 percent between October 2005 and September 2006, according to France’s national Observatory research body. There have been 4,200 violent incidents involving youths in France this year, and such violence increased by 30 percent from August to September, according to a study published on Monday in the daily Le Monde.
The French authorities have recorded around 480 incidents of violence towards police – demonstrating “an unprecedented desire to attack the police,” according to the French police union. Policemen have complained of demotivation, lack of resources, suspicion, repeated vandalism, and physical danger when intervening in incidents, according to police associations.
But Ahmed Hacene, member of a local cooperative founded in Epinay-sur-Seine founded after the more than three week long riots of November 2005, said that the weekend incident there was “an initial act” that had occurred “in a climate of verbal provocation and a frequent lack of respect shown by policemen.”
Last year’s riots erupted in France’s delapidated tower-bloc suburbs with high immigrant populations and unemployment after the accidental death of two Muslim teenagers in Clichy-sous-Bois, a working-class Paris suburb during a police chase.
The violence, which spread from Paris to poor suburbs of other cities, mainly involved Muslim youths of Arab and African descent. St least one person was killed and dozens injured in the riots, which led to 2,900 arrests. Damage to the many thousands of vehicles that were torched and to buildings was put at hundreds of millions of euros by insurers.
Last year’s unrest in France captured the attention of the world’s press and prompted renewed debate over radical Islam and the integration of immigrants, and whether the French system has failed its immigrant communities. Many come from its former colonies and have remained France’s poorest groups.
Of course, they are claiming discrimination. “Muslim airport workers lose clearances,” by Jamey Keaten for Associated Press, with thanks to Drew:
PARIS – Authorities at Charles de Gaulle airport have stripped several dozen employees — almost all of them Muslims — of their security badges in a crackdown against terrorism, a government official said Friday.Four baggage handlers who lost their clearance filed a joint discrimination complaint this week, alleging they had been unfairly associated with terrorism because they are Muslims, their lawyers said. Some had been in their jobs for up to five years.
The baggage handlers and other employees have been barred from secure areas at the airport since February, Jacques Lebrot, an official who oversees the airport, told The Associated Press in an interview.
The cases were “linked to terrorism, of course,” he said, adding that the crackdown followed recommendations by France’s anti-terrorism coordination unit, UCLAT, as part of an 18-month investigation.
“You don’t strip people of their badges for small matters,” he said. The crackdown was part of heightened security in France, after terror attacks in Britain, Spain and the United States in recent years.
Lebrot, citing security reasons, declined to say whether the “several dozen” people — he would not specify how many — who lost their badges had been involved in specific plots.
“Mr. X or Y could have been suspected because corresponding facts … suggested he belonged to a sizable network,” Lebrot said, without elaborating. Others could have been stripped of the badges because they were “impressionable and manipulated” by such networks, he said….
In letters from the regional government office, the employees were told that they presented a “significant danger to airport security,” or had shown “personal behavior threatening airport security.”
Lawyers for those who lost their badges said that under police questioning, they were never told of the reasons they lost their badges — but repeatedly were asked about their religion.
“The link among these people is that either they are Arab — or practice their religion in a normal way,” said Eric Moutet, a lawyer for the four employees suing in administrative court. Authorities, he said, “are in essence asking people to prove they are not terrorists.”
They “practice their religion in a normal way.” Does that mean in a way that Osama bin Laden might consider normal? In a way that accords with mainstream teaching of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, all of which mandate warfare against unbelievers?
Video Sheds Light on Mexican Pledge Controversy
After parents in Freeport expressed outrage over a Velasco Elementary School assembly last month, KTRH News has obtained a video that answers some questions about what really happened.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Whether students also recited the Mexican pledge remains a point of contention.
Several parents have told KTRH News that students were saying the pledge, while Brazosport Independent School District officials say that did not happen.
The assembly was meant to teach children about Mexican Independence Day, school district officials said. The holiday is celebrated Sept. 16 to mark the day Mexico won independence from Spain.
Sam Williams, the school’s longtime principal, has said, in hindsight, he would have done things “differently.” He has also apologized to anyone who may have been offended.
“As stated previously, and again verified with the campus administration this morning (Tuesday), the students did not say the Mexican pledge,” district spokesman Stuart Dornburg said.
KTRH News obtained the video by requesting it from the Brazosport Independent School District under Texas open records laws.
The father of a third-grader at Velasco, who wished to remain anonymous, said Tuesday that some students surrounding him at the assembly were saying the pledge. “I was telling them you don’t have to stand for the pledge of allegiance to the Mexican flag,” he said. He noted that only some students — not all — were reciting the pledge.
“That’s treason … you’re not supposed to say the pledge of allegiance to any flag other than the American and Texas flags,” the father added. “It broke my heart to see the kids doing that.”