“Everybody Has a Right to Be an Idiot”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Islamophobes are planning to hold another "draw Muhammad" cartoon contest, but this time it will be held outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix that was attended by the two men who attacked the cartoon contest held in Texas early this month.

The president of the community center had possibly the best response to the news that one could imagine.

"Everybody has a right to be a bigot. Everybody has a right to be a racist. Everybody has a right to be an idiot," Shami said. He added that members of the mosque have been encouraged to attend prayer services Friday evening as scheduled.

"It will be the same as every Friday evening and we're going to tell our members what we've told them before: not to engage them," said Shami. "They're not looking for an intellectual conversation. They're looking to stir up controversy and we're not going to be a part of it."

Shami and his congregation may have no plans to engage the unbridled morons outside their community center, but the pack of skinhead hyenas is coming prepared anyway.

The Facebook announcement for the rally also encourages participants to "utilize their second amendment right at this event just in case our first amendment right comes under the much anticipated attack." As of Wednesday afternoon, the website showed 131 people confirming their attendance.

The "much anticipated attack."

They want to have a confrontation so bad they can taste it. Their delusions of grandeur -- the idea of being attacked and heroically defending themselves and the Constitution -- sexually arouses them. And if something unfortunate were to occur, they would say 'See? We were right all along.'

This is not a principled stand against radical Islam on behalf of the First Amendment. It's white nationalist masturbation. The only radicals in this scenario are the Cro-Magnon men waving their guns and American flags at fellow Americans.

  • Badgerite

    What you say may be true as to the motivations. But the foundation of free speech is that all may speak their minds and speak truthfully. If you have to lie or hide what you truly believe out of fear, there is no free speech. There is only prudent speech. Speech designed to protect your posterior. And nothing more.

    • Karen Marie

      Which is what these asshats are trying to force on the Muslim community through intimidation.

      • Badgerite

        Well, all the “asshats” did was have a contest, purportedly to support the concept of free speech as much as anything, and two men with guns and INTENDING TO KILL showed up. The two men were killed. Having a rally or protest with armed people involved by the Mosque that those two men frequented was not a good idea but no one went there intending to kill and no one was killed.
        Far more incidents of unjustified killings of Muslims or even anyone who was judged to sort of look Muslim occurred after 9/11 than occurred because of Pam Gellar’s actions. There were two people killed as a result of their contest.
        And those two people came to their gathering intending to kill. That, frankly, is enough for me to support her right to hold such a contest.
        Here is a link for you to Salman Rushdie’s piece in the New Yorker of what he went through during the initial days of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa on him due to his book, The Satanic Verses. As he says, if he had wanted to “insult” someone he could have done it in a lot less time than the many years he took to write his book. Which until the fatwa was on the short list for the Booker prize.
        Please read the whole thing. He is clearly a very decent man. What he went through had nothing to do with bigotry on his part. As the article notes, the fatwa not only attacked him but anyone involved in the dissemination of his book. Rushdie survived, but several people involved in that process were killed. One, a Japanese translator.

        • Karen Marie

          No, they did not “simply” have a contest in Phoenix, they organized an armed mob outside a community center. That no one was shot is surprising except that the taxpayers funded a boatload of police to control the crowd.

          • Badgerite

            They simply had a contest in TEXAS. I said what they did in Phoenix was stupid. But no stupider or more offensive or threatening than abortion clinic protesters. And the SCOTUS has rightly identified that as free speech. No one in the community center protest in Phoenix was killed. Because – no one went there specifically to kill. As they did in Texas where the cartoon contest was held.
            Please read what Salmon Rushdie has to say.

  • Karen Marie

    I spent over two hours on the phone with nine different City of Phoenix departments, including the mayor’s office and the PD, as well as the Denny’s at 17 and Dunlap, which, according to its press release, is closing from 4-7 pm out of “concern for its customers,” to find out who, if anyone, issued these people a permit. No one knows, or they aren’t talking. If it is on private property, no permit is needed. The manager at Denny’s was furious I was asking whether they had given permission for use of their parking lot or were they closing because of safety concerns, and hung up. Denny’s HQ is in SC and does not answer the phone after SC business hours.

    Crazy that it should be this difficult to get answers to simple questions.

    • JMAshby

      Seems unlikely Denny’s HQ would give permission for something like this.

      • Karen Marie

        Apparently they did not because just hours ahead of the event, the specific Denny’s announced its parking lot could not be used. They had earlier said they were closing 4-7 pm out of concern for customers.

  • muselet

    “I want this to be about pushing out the truth about Islam,” said Jon Ritzheimer. “I’ve read the Koran three times… the ones flying the planes into the tower, those are Muslims following the book as it is written.”

    I call bullshit. I watched the KPNX video, and I doubt Jon Ritzheimer has opened a Koran in his life.

    A Facebook page dedicated to the event, titled “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II,” states: “This will be a PEACEFUL protest in front of the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix AZ… Everyone is encouraged to bring American flags and any message that you would like to send to the known acquaintances of the 2 gunmen.”

    “… [K]nown acquaintances of the 2 gunmen.” Really?

    [Garland, Texas, shooters Elton] Simpson and [Nadir] Soofi attended the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix until 2010 and, according to mosque leaders, never expressed extremist or violent views while attending during that time.

    Americans tend to move around a lot. It seems unlikely that very many members of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix knew Simpson and Soofi.

    Clearly, this is just a bunch of knuckleheads trying to look tough and manly by being offensive.

    Where is a meteor when you need one?


    • Draxiar

      “following the book as it is written”
      And the Bible is so filled with “perfection” that it’s been used to justify all sort of heinous shit through the ages because, well, it was just being followed as written. Rocks and glass houses…

  • Christopher Foxx

    They want to have a confrontation so bad they can taste it.

    Indeed. And when they don’t get one, I wonder how far they will go to provoke one.

  • Karen Marie

    I am curious where precisely this “contest” is supposed to occur. If it is a public sidewalk, do they have a permit?